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The Upanishads, Part 1 (SBE01), by Max Müller, [1879], at


1. Some say: 'Let the swing be one ell (aratni) above the ground, for by that measure verily the Svarga worlds are measured.' That is not to be regarded.

2. Others say: 'Let it be one span (prâdesa), for by that measure verily the vital airs were measured.' That is not to be regarded 1.

3. Let it be one fist (mushti), for by that measure verily all eatable food is made, and by that measure

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all eatable food is taken; therefore let it be one fist above the ground.

4. They say: 'Let him mount the swing from east to west, like he who shines; for the sun mounts these worlds from east to west.' That is not to be regarded.

5. Others say: 'Let him mount the swing sideways, for people mount a horse sideways 1, thinking that thus they will obtain all desires.' That is not to be regarded.

6. They say: 'Let him mount the swing 2 from behind, for people mount a ship from behind, and this swing is a ship in which to go to heaven.' Therefore let him mount it from behind.

7. Let him touch the swing with his chin (khubuka). The parrot (suka) thus mounts a tree, and he is of all birds the one who eats most food. Therefore let him touch it with his chin.

8. Let him mount the swing with his arms 3. The hawk swoops thus on birds and on trees, and he is of all birds the strongest. Therefore let him mount with his arms.

9. Let him not withdraw one foot (the right or left) from the earth, for fear that he may lose his hold.

10. The Hotri mounts the swing, the Udgâtri the seat made of Udumbara wood. The swing is masculine, the seat feminine, and they form a union. Thus he makes a union at the beginning of the uktha in order to get offspring.

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He who knows this, gets offspring and cattle.

12. Next the swing is food, the seat fortune. Thus he mounts and obtains food and fortune.

13. The Hotrakas (the Prasâstri, Brâhmanâkkhamsin, Potri, Neshtri, Agnâdhra, and Akkhâvâka) together with the Brahman sit down on cushions made of grass, reeds, leaves, &c.

14. Plants and trees, after they have grown up, bear fruit. Thus if the priests mount on that day altogether (on their seats), they mount on solid and fluid as their proper food. Therefore this serves for the attainment of solid as proper food 1.

15. Some say: 'Let him descend after saying vashat 2. 'That is not to be regarded. For, verily, that respect is not shown which is shown to one who does not see it 3.

16. Others say: 'Let him descend after he has taken the food in his hand.' That is not to be regarded. For, verily, that respect is not shown which is shown to one after he has approached quite close.

17. Let him descend after he has seen the food. For, verily, that is real respect which is shown to one when he sees it. Only after having actually

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seen the food (that is brought to the sacrifice), let him descend from the swing.

18. Let him descend turning towards the east, for in the east the seed of the gods springs up 1. Therefore let him rise turning towards the east, yea, turning towards the east.


173:1 They rise one span above the heart, and they proceed one span from out the mouth. Comm.

174:1 Here we have clearly riding on horseback.

174:2 While the swing points to the east, let him stand west, and thus mount.

174:3 The fore-arms, from the elbow to the end, the aratnî. Comm.

175:1 One expects ishah before ûrgah, but it is wanting in both text and commentary, and in other MSS. also.

175:2 The word by which the Hotri invites the Adhvaryu to offer the oblation to the gods. The descending from the swing belongs, of course, to a later part of the sacrifice.

175:3 it is supposed that the Hotri rises from the swing to show respect to the sacrificial food, when it is brought near. But as it is not brought near, immediately after the Hotri has finished his part with the word vashat, the food could not see the Hotri rise, and this mark of respect, intended for the food, would thus be lost.

176:1 Should it be devaretah sampragâyate, or devaretasam pragâyate?

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