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Satapatha Brahmana Part IV (SBE43), Julius Eggeling tr. [1897], at

p. xii p. xiii


THE present volume completes the exposition of the Agnikayana, or construction of the sacred Fire-altar. Whilst to the general reader the section of the Brâhmana treating of this ceremony, and extending over no less than five of its fourteen kândas--or rather more than one-third of the whole--will probably appear the least inviting part of the work, a special interest attaches to this ceremony, and the dogmatic explanation of its details, for the student of Indian antiquity. The complicated ritual of the Fire-altar, as has been pointed out before 1, does not seem to have formed part of the original sacrificial system, but was probably developed independently of it, and incorporated with it at a comparatively recent period. There seems, indeed, some reason to believe that it was elaborated with a definite object in view, viz. that of making the external rites and ceremonies of the sacrificial cult the practical devotional expression of certain dominant speculative theories of the time. As a matter of fact, the dogmatic exposition of no other part of the sacrificial ceremonial reflects so fully and so faithfully as that of the Agnikayana those cosmogonic and theosophic theories which form a characteristic feature of the Brâhmana period. In the present work, that section commences with a cosmogonic account so elaborate as is hardly to be met with anywhere else in the Brâhmana literature; and throughout the course of performance the symbolic import of its details is

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explained here, as in other Brâhmanas, on the lines of those cosmogonic speculations.

When, towards the close of the period represented by the Vedic hymns, inquiring minds began to look beyond the elemental gods of the traditional belief for some ulterior source of mundane life and existence, the conception of a supreme, primordial being, the creator of the universe, became the favourite topic of speculation. We accordingly find different poets of that age singing of this uncreate being under different names,--they call him Visvakarman, the 'All-worker'; or Hiranyagarbha, the 'golden Embryo'; or Purusha, the 'Person'; or Ka, the 'Who?; or the heavenly Gandharva Visvâvasu, 'All-wealth'; or Pragâpati, the 'Lord of Creatures.' Or they have recourse to a somewhat older figure of the Pantheon, likewise of abstract conception, and call him Brahmanaspati 1, the Lord of prayer or devotion; a figure which would naturally commend itself to the priestly mind, and which, indeed, in a later phase of Hindu religion, came to supply not only the name of the abstract, impersonal form of the deity, the world-spirit, but also that of the first of its three personal forms, the creator of the Hindu triad. Amongst these and other names by which the supreme deity is thus designated in the philosophic hymns of the Rik and Atharva-veda, the name of Pragâpati, the Lord of Creatures or generation, plays a very important part in the immediately succeeding period of literature, viz. that of the Brâhmanas.

In the so-called Purusha-hymn (Rig-veda X, 90), in which the supreme spirit is conceived of as the Person or Man (Purusha), born in the beginning, and consisting of 'whatsoever hath been and whatsoever shall be,' the creation of the visible and invisible universe is represented as originating from an 'all-offered' sacrifice 2 (yagña) in which the Purusha himself forms the offering-material (havis), or, as one might

p. xv

say, the victim. In this primeval--or rather timeless, because ever proceeding--sacrifice, Time itself, in the shape of its unit, the Year, is made to take its part, inasmuch as the three seasons, spring, summer, and autumn, of which it consists, constitute the ghee, the offering-fuel, and the oblation respectively. These speculations may be said to have formed the foundation on which the theory of the sacrifice, as propounded in the Brâhmanas, has been reared. Pragâpati, who here takes the place of the Purusha, the world-man, or all-embracing Personality, is offered up anew in every sacrifice; and inasmuch as the very dismemberment of the Lord of Creatures, which took place at that archetypal sacrifice, was in itself the creation of the universe, so every sacrifice is also a repetition of that first creative act. Thus the periodical sacrifice is nothing else than a microcosmic representation of the ever-proceeding destruction and renewal of all cosmic life and matter. The theologians of the Brâhmanas go, however, an important step further by identifying the performer, or patron, of the sacrifice--the Sacrificer--with Pragâpati; and it is this identification which may perhaps furnish us with a clue to the reason why the authors of the Brâhmanas came to fix upon 'Pragâpati' as the name of the supreme spirit. The name 'Lord of Creatures' is, no doubt, in itself a perfectly appropriate one for the author of all creation and generation; but seeing that the peculiar doctrine of the Purusha-sûkta imparted such a decisive direction to subsequent dogmatic speculation, it might seem rather strange that the name there chosen to designate the supreme being should have been discarded, only to be employed occasionally, and then mostly with a somewhat different application 1: On the other hand, the term 'Pragâpati' was manifestly a

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singularly convenient one for the identification of the Sacrificer with the supreme 'Lord of Creatures'; for, doubtless, men who could afford to have great and costly sacrifices, such as those of the Srauta ceremonial, performed for them--if they were not themselves Brâhmans, in which case the term might not be inappropriate either--would almost invariably be 'Lords of Creatures,' i.e. rulers of men and possessors of cattle, whether they were mighty kings, or petty rulers, or landed proprietors, or chiefs of clans. It may be remarked, in this respect, that there is in the language of the Brâhmanas a constant play on the word 'pragâ' (progenies), which in one place means creature' in general, whilst in another it has the sense of 'people, subjects,' and in yet another the even more restricted one of 'offspring or family.'

How far this identification of the human Sacrificer with the divine Pragâpati goes back, and whether, when first adopted, it was applied at once to the whole of the sacrificial system, or whether it rather originated with a certain restricted group of ritualists in connection with some limited portion of the ceremonial such as the Agnikayana, and became subsequently part and parcel of the sacrificial theory, it would probably not be easy to determine. As regards the symbolic connection of the Sacrificer himself with the sacrifice, there can at any rate be no doubt that it was an essential and an intimate one from the very beginning of the sacrificial practice. When a man offers to the gods their favourite food, it is in order to please them and to gain some special object of his own,--either to make them strong and inclined for fighting his battles, and to secure their help for some undertaking of his or against some danger by which he is threatened; or to deprecate their wrath at some offence he knows or fancies he has committed against them; or to thank them for past favours, with an eye, it may be, to new and still greater favours to come. Gradually, however, the connection becomes a subtler and more mystic one; the notion of substitution enters into the sacrifice: it is in lieu of his own self that man makes the

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offering. This notion is a familiar one to the theologians of the Brâhmanas, either in the sense that the oblation is sent up to the gods in order to prepare the way for the Sacrificer, and secure a place for him in heaven; or in the sense that along with the burnt-offering the human body of the Sacrificer is mystically consumed, and a new, divine body prepared to serve him in the celestial abodes. Intimately connected with this latter notion we find another, introduced rather vaguely, which makes the sacrifice a mystic union in which the Sacrificer generates from out of the Vedi (f.), or altar-ground, his future, divine self. In this respect Agni, the offering-fire, also appears as the mate of Vedi 1; but it will be seen that Agni himself is but another form of the divine and the human Pragâpati.

With the introduction of the Pragâpati theory into the sacrificial metaphysics, theological speculation takes a higher flight, developing features not unlike, in some respects, to those of Gnostic philosophy. From a mere act of piety, and of practical, if mystic, significance to the person, or persons, immediately concerned, the sacrifice--in the esoteric view of the metaphysician, at least--becomes an event of cosmic significance. By offering up his own self in sacrifice, Pragâpati becomes dismembered; and all those separated limbs and faculties of his come to form the universe,--all that exists, from the gods and Asuras (the children of Father Pragâpati) down to the worm, the blade of grass, and the smallest particle of inert matter. It requires a new, and ever new, sacrifice to build the dismembered Lord of Creatures up again, and restore him so as to enable him to offer himself up again and again, and renew the universe, and thus keep up the uninterrupted revolution of time and matter. The idea of the dismembered Pragâpati, and of this or that sacrificial act being required to complete and replenish him, occurs throughout the lucubrations of the Brâhmanas; but in the exposition of the ordinary forms of sacrifice, this element can hardly be considered as

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one of vital importance; whilst in the Agnikayana, on the contrary, it is of the very essence of the whole performance. Indeed, it seems to me by no means unlikely that the Purusha-Pragâpati dogma was first practically developed in connection with the ceremony of the Fire-altar 1, and that, along with the admission of the latter into the regular sacrificial ceremonial, it was worked into the sacrificial theory generally. In the Agnikayana section (Kândas VI-X), as has already been stated 2, Sândilya is referred to as the chief authority in doctrinal matters, whilst in the remaining portions of the Brâhmana, that place of honour is assigned to Yâgñavalkya. Now, it may be worthy of notice, in connection with this question of the Pragâpati dogma, that in the list of successive teachers 3 appended to the Agnikayana section, the transmission of the sacrificial science--or rather of the science of the Fire-altar, for the list can only refer to that section--is traced from Sândilya upwards to Tura Kâvasheya, who is stated to have received it from Pragâpati; the Lord of Creatures, on his part, having received it from the (impersonal) Brahman. Does not this look almost like a distinct avowal of Sândilya and his spiritual predecessors being answerable for having introduced the doctrine of the identity of Pragâpati and the sacrifice into the sacrificial philosophy? If such he the case, the adaptation of this theory to the dogmatic explanation of the other parts of the ceremonial, as far as the Satapatha-Brâhmana is concerned, might be supposed to have been carried out about the time of Samgivî-putra, when the union of the two lines of teachers seems to have taken place 4. But seeing that the tenth Kânda, called the Mystery, or secret doctrine, of the Fire-altar, was apparently not at first included in the sacrificial canon of the

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[paragraph continues]gasaneyins 1, the mystic speculations in which that section so freely indulges would seem to have been left apart from the regular canon, along with other floating material which was not considered suitable for practical purposes, or indispensable for an intelligent appreciation of the hidden import of the sacrificial rites.

Once granted that the real purport of all, sacrificial performances is the restoration of the dismembered Lord of Creatures, and the reconstruction of the All, it cannot be denied that, of all ceremonial observances, the building of the great Fire-altar was the one most admirably adapted for this grand symbolic purpose. The very magnitude of the structure;--nay, its practically illimitable extent 2, coupled with the immense number of single objects--mostly bricks of various kinds--of which it is composed, cannot but offer sufficiently favourable conditions for contriving what might fairly pass for a miniature representation of at least the visible universe. The very name 'Agni,' by which the Fire-altar is invariably designated, indicates from the very outset an identification of cardinal importance--that of Pragâpati with Agni, the god of fire, and the sacrifice. It is a natural enough identification; for, as Pragâpati is the arch-sacrificer, so Agni is the divine sacrificer, the priest of the sacrifice. hence the constantly occurring triad--Pragâpati, Agni, and (the human) Sacrificer. The identity of the altar and the sacred fire which is ultimately to be placed thereon is throughout insisted upon. Side by side with the forming and baking of the bricks for the altar takes place the process of shaping and baking the fire-pan (ukhâ). During the year over which the building of the altar is spread, the sacred fire is carried about in the pan by the Sacrificer for a certain time each day. In the same way as the layers of the altar are arranged so as to represent earth, air, and heaven, so the fire-pan is fashioned in such a way as to be a miniature copy of the three worlds 3. But, while this identity is never lost sight of, it is not an absolute

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one, but rather one which seems to hold good only for this special sacrificial performance. Though it may be that we have to look upon this identification as a serious attempt to raise Agni, the divine priest, to the position of a supreme deity, the creator of the universe, such a design seems nowhere to be expressed in clear and unmistakeable terms. Nor are the relations between the two deities always defined consistently. Pragâpati is the god above all other gods; he is the thirty-fourth god, and includes all the gods (which Agni does likewise); he is the three worlds as well as the fourth world beyond them 1. Whilst, thus, he is the universe, Agni is the child of the universe, the (cosmic). waters being the womb from which he springs 2. Whence a lotus-leaf is placed at the bottom of the fire-altar to represent the waters and the womb from which Agni-Pragâpati and the human Sacrificer are to be born. Agni is both the father and the son of Pragâpati: 'inasmuch as Pragâpati created Agni, he is Agni's father; and inasmuch as Agni restored him, Agni is his father 3.' Yet the two are separate; for Pragâpati covets Agni's forms,--forms (such as Îsâna, the lord; Mahan Devah, the great god; Pasupati, the lord of beasts) which are indeed desirable enough for a supreme Lord of Creatures to possess, and which might well induce Pragâpati to take up Agni within his own self. Though, in accordance with an older conception, Agni is still the light or regent of the earth, as Vâyu, the wind, is that of the air, and the sun that of the heavens; it is now explained that really these are but three forms of the one Agni,--that Agni's splendour in heaven is Âditya, that in the air Vâyu, and that on earth the (sacrificial) fire 4. When Pragâpati is dismembered, Agni takes unto himself the escaping fiery spirit of the god; and when he is set up again, Agni becomes the right arm, as Indra becomes the left one, of the Lord of Creatures. Upon the whole, however, the peculiar relations between the two gods may perhaps be defined best in accordance with the

p. xxi

passage already referred to:--Agni is created by Pragâpati, and he subsequently restores Pragâpati by giving up his own body (the fire-altar) to build up anew the dismembered Lord of Creatures, and by entering into him with his own fiery spirit,--'whence, while being Pragâpati, they yet call him Agni.'

The shape adopted for the altar is that of some large bird--probably an eagle or a falcon--flying towards the east, the gate of heaven. Not that this is the form in which Pragâpati is invariably conceived. On the contrary, he is frequently imagined in the form of a man, and symbolic features are often applied to him which could only fit, or would best fit, a human body. But, being the embodiment of all things, Pragâpati naturally possesses all forms; whence the shape of a four-footed animal is likewise occasionally applied to the altar 1. It was, doubtless, both traditional imagery and practical considerations which told in favour of the shape actually chosen. Pragâpati is the sacrifice and the food of the gods 2; and Soma, the drink of immortality and at the same time the Moon, is the divine food or offering κατ᾽ ἐξοχήν, the uttamam havis 3, or paramâhuti 4, or supreme oblation: hence Pragâpati is Soma 5. But Soma was brought down from heaven by the bird-shaped Gâyatrî; and the sacrifice itself is fashioned like a bird 6. In one passage 7, certain authorities are referred to as making the altar (Agni) take the form of a bird in order to carry the Sacrificer to heaven; but the author himself there insists dogmatically on the traditional connection of the altar with Pragâpati: that it was by assuming that form that the vital airs became Pragâpati 8; and that in that

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form he created the gods who, on their part, became immortal by assuming the birdlike form--and apparently flying up to heaven, which would seem to imply that the Sacrificer himself is to fly up to heaven in form of the bird-shaped altar, there to become immortal. It is not, however, only with the Moon, amongst heavenly luminaries, that Pragâpati is identified, but also with the Sun; for the latter, as we have seen, is but one of the three forms of Agni, and the fire on the great altar is itself the Sun 1; whilst the notion of the sun being fashioned like a bird flying through space is not an unfamiliar one to the poets of the Vedic age. More familiar, however, to the authors of the Brâhmanas, as it is more in keeping with the mystic origin of Pragâpati, is the identification of the latter, not with the solar orb itself, but with the man (purusha) in the sun, the real shedder of light and life. This gold man plays an important part in the speculations of the Agnirahasya 2, where he is represented as identical with the man (purusha) in the (right) eye--the individualised Purusha, as it were; whilst his counterpart in the Fire-altar is the solid gold man (purusha) laid down, below the centre of the first layer, on a gold plate, representing the sun, lying itself on the lotus-leaf already referred to as the womb whence Agni springs. And this gold man in the altar, then, is no other than Agni-Pragâpati and the Sacrificer: above him--in the first, third, and fifth layers--lie the three naturally-perforated bricks, representing the three worlds through which he will have to pass on his way to the fourth, invisible, world, the realm of immortal life. We thus meet here again with the hallowed, old name of the Lord of Being, only to be made use of for new mystic combinations.

As the personified totality of all being, Pragâpati, however, not only represents the phenomena and aspects of space, but also those of time,--he is Father Time. But just as, in the material process of building up the Fire-altar, the infinite dimensions of space require to be reduced to

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finite proportions, so, in regard to time, the year, as the lowest complete revolution of time, is taken to represent the Lord of Creation:--he is Father Year; and accordingly Agni, the Fire-altar, takes a full year to complete. And, in the same way, Agni, the sacrificial fire, from the time of his being generated in the fire-pan, as the womb, requires to be carried about by the Sacrificer for a whole year, to be matured by him before the child Agni can be born and placed on the Fire-altar. The reason why the Sacrificer must do so is, of course, that Agni, being the child of the universe--that is of Pragâpati and the Sacrificer,--the latter, at the time when the fire is kindled in the fire-pan, has, as it were, to take Agni within his own self 1, and has afterwards to produce him from out of his own self when mature.

But whilst, in regard to Agni-Pragâpati, the year during which the altar is erected represents the infinitude of time, to the mortal Sacrificer it will not be so until he shall have departed this life; and, as a rule, he would probably not be anxious there and then to end his earthly career. Nor is such an effort of renunciation demanded of him, but, on the contrary, the sacrificial theory holds out to the pious performer of this holy ceremony the prospect of his living up to the full extent of the perfect man's life, a hundred years; this term of years being thus recognised as another unit of time, so to speak, viz. that of a complete lifetime. Yet, be it sooner or be it later, the life of every creature comes to an end; and since time works its havoc on all material existence, and carries off generation after generation, the Supreme Lord of generation, Father Time, as he is the giver of all life, so he is likewise that ender of all things--Death. And so the Sacrificer, as the human counterpart of the Lord of Creatures, with the end of his present life, becomes himself Death,--Death ceases to have power over him, and he is for ever removed from the life of material existence, trouble, and illusion, to the realms of light and everlasting bliss.

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And here we get the Supreme Lord in his last aspect; nay, his one true and real aspect, in which the Sacrificer will himself come to share,--that of pure intellectuality, pure spirituality;--he is Mind: such is the ultimate source of being, the one Self, the Purusha, the Brahman. The author of the Mystery of Agni attempts to reveal the process of evolution by which this one true Self, through sacrifice carried on by means of the Arka-fires of his own innate fervour and devotion, comes to manifest himself in the material universe; and--as the sum total of the wisdom of Sândilya--he urges upon the searcher after truth to meditate on that Self, made up of intelligence, and endowed with a body of spirit, a form of light, and an etherial nature, . . . holding sway over all the regions and pervading this All, being itself speechless and devoid of mental affects;--and bids him believe that 'even as a grain of rice, or the smallest granule of millet, so is the golden Purusha in the heart; even as a smokeless light, it is greater than the sky, greater than the ether, greater than the earth, greater than all existing things; that Self of the spirit is my Self: on passing away from hence I shall obtain that Self. Aid, verily, whosoever has this trust, for him there is no uncertainty.'

As the practical application of the Agni-Pragâpati mystery to the sacrificial ritual consists mainly in the erection of the Fire-altar and the ceremonies connected with the fire-pan, which fell almost entirely within the province of the Adhvaryu priest, it is naturally in his text-books, in the Yagur-veda, that the mystic theory has become fully elaborated. Yet, though the two other classes of priests, the Hotris and Udgâtri1, take, upon the whole, a comparatively subsidiary part in the year's performance symbolising the reconstruction of the Lord of Creatures, they have found another solemn opportunity, subsequently to the completion of the Fire-altar, for making up for any

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shortcomings in this respect, viz. the Mahâvrata, or Great Rite.

The brick altar, when complete, might apparently be used at once for any kind of Soma-sacrifice 1; but whether, if this were to be merely a one-day performance, it might be made a Mahâvrata day (in which case it must be an Agnishtoma), seems somewhat doubtful 2. As a rule, however, at any rate, the Mahâvrata was performed in connection, not with an ekâha or ahîna, but with a sacrificial session (sattra); and since sacrificial sessions, it would seem, could only be undertaken by Brâhmans who would at the same time be the Sacrificers--or rather Grihapatis (masters of the house or householders) as the Sattrins are called--and their own officiating priests, the Mahâvrata would thus generally, if not invariably, be reserved for Brâhmans 3. Indeed, in our Brâhmana (IX, 5, 2, 12-13) the rule is laid down that no one may officiate for another person at the Agnikayana, the Mahâvrata (sâman), and the Mahad Uktham; and dire consequences are predicted in the case of any one who does so; 'for, indeed, these (rites) are his divine, immortal body; and he who performs them for another person, makes over to another his divine body, and a withered trunk is all that remains.' And, though other authorities are then referred to who merely prescribe, as a penance for those who have officiated at these ceremonies for others, that they should either perform them for themselves or cause others to perform them again, the author

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adheres to his opinion that there is no atonement for such an offence. There can be no doubt, however, that the Agnikayana, at any rate, was not restricted to the Brâhmanical order 1; and this passage, if it does not merely record a former sacrificial practice, has probably to be understood in the sense that one must not officiate for another at an. Agnikayana which is to be followed by a Soma-sacrifice with the Mahâvrata. If the Sattra performed was one of the shortest kind, viz. a Dvâdasâha, or twelve days’ performance--consisting of a Dasarâtra, preceded and followed by an Atirâtra--the Mahâvrata was inserted, it would seem, between the Dasarâtra and the final Atirâtra. Usually, however, the Sattra, like the Agnikayana, lasted a full year; the favourite form being the 'Gavâm ayanam,' arranged, in accordance with the progress of the sun, in two halves, an ascending and a descending one, divided by a central day, the Vishuvat. The Mahâvrata was performed on the last day but one of the year, the day before the final Atirâtra, being itself preceded (as it was in the case of the Dvâdasâha) by a Dasarâtra, or ten days’ performance. Now, the chief feature of the Mahâvrata day is the chanting,--in connection with a special cup of Soma-juice, the Mahâvratîya-graha--of the Mahâvrata-sâman 2, as the Hotri's Prishtha-stotra at the midday service; this chant being followed by the recitation of the Mahad Uktham 3, or Great Litany, by the Hotri. The special feature, however, of these two ceremonies, which recalls the mystic Agni-Pragâpati doctrine, is the supposed birdlike form of both the chant and the litany. The Lord of Creatures, as the embodiment of all things, also represents the 'trayî vidyâ,' or sacred threefold science, the Veda. Accordingly, the Stomas (hymn-forms) of the single Sâmans (chanted

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verses) composing the Stotra or hymn of praise (the Mahâvrata-sâman), on the one hand, and the verses and metres of the recited litany, on the other, are so arranged and explained as to make up the different parts of a bird's body. It need scarcely be remarked that, whilst in the case of the altar the task of bringing out at least a rough resemblance to a flying bird offered no great difficulties, it is altogether beyond the capabilities of vocal performances such as the chant and the recitation of hymns and detached verses. But the very fact that this symbolism is only a matter of definition and make-believe makes it all the more characteristic of the great hold which the Pragâpati theory had gained upon the sacerdotal mind.

The question as to whether these compositions themselves might seem to show any signs of comparatively recent introduction of this symbolism requires further investigation before it can be answered. Of the Mahâvrata-sâman we have virtually a single version, with only indications of certain substitutions which may be made in the choice of texts and tunes; the parts of the bird's body represented by the single Sâmans being in the order--head, right wing, left wing, tail, and trunk. Of the Mahad Uktham, on the other hand, we possess two different versions, those of the Aitareya and the Sâṅkhâyana schools of Rig-veda theologians. Both of them start with the hymns representing the trunk of the bird; but otherwise there is so marked a difference between them, both as to arrangement and the choice of verses and hymns, that it seems pretty clear that, whilst there must have existed already a certain traditional form of the litany when these two schools separated, it was not yet of a sufficiently settled character to prevent such serious discrepancies to arise as those exhibited by the two rituals. This point being, however, of too technical a nature to be entered upon in this place, its further investigation must be reserved for some other opportunity.


xiii:1 See part i, introduction, p. xxxi.

xiv:1 Cf. Rig-veda X, 22, 2.

xiv:2 That is to say, a sacrifice at which not only portions of the sacrificial dish, or the victim, are offered up to the deities, but where every single part of it is offered.

xv:1 In its original sense it occurs at the beginning of the Agnikayana section, VI, 1, 1, 2-3, in connection with what might almost be regarded as an exposition of the Purusha-sûkta. The seven original purushas out of which the Purusha comes to be compacted, are apparently intended to account for the existence of the seven Rishis (explained in the Brâhmanas as representing the vital airs) prior to the creation of the one Purusha. It would seem that they themselves previously composed the as yet uncorporeal Purusha.

xvii:1 See I, 2, 3, 15-16. From the woman Vedi (otherwise representing the earth) creatures generally are produced; cf. III, 5, 1, 11.

xviii:1 VI, 2, 2, 21, This performance (of the Agnikayana) assuredly belongs to Pragâpati, for it is Pragâpati he undertakes (to construct) by this performance.'

xviii:2 Part i, introduction, p. xxxi.

xviii:3 For this Vamsa, as well as that appended to the last book of the Brâhmana, see ibid. p. xxxiii, note 1.

xviii:4 Ibid. p. xxxiv; Max Müller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 437.

xix:1 Ibid. p. xxxii.

xix:2 See X, 2, 3, 17-18; 2, 4, 1 seqq.; 4, 3, 5-8.

xix:3 VI, 5, 2, I seq.; VII, I, 2, 7-9.

xx:1 IV, 6, 1, 4.

xx:2 VI, 8, 2, 4-6.

xx:3 VI, I, 2, 26.

xx:4 VI, 7, 4, 4; VII, 1, I, 22-23.

xxi:1 See, for instance, VIII, 1, 4, 3.

xxi:2 V, 1, I, 2.

xxi:3 Rig-veda IX, 107, I.

xxi:4 Sat. Br. VI, 6, 3, 7.

xxi:5 See, for instance, VI, 2, 2, 16; X, 4, 2, 1.

xxi:6 IV, I, 2, 25.

xxi:7 VI, I,2,36; cf. XI, 4,x,16.

xxi:8 This can only refer to the cosmological statement at the beginning of the same Kânda, where the seven Rishis, or vital airs, are said to have combined to form the bird-shaped Purusha or Pragâpati. Though nothing is said there of their having themselves been shaped like birds, this might perhaps be inferred from the use of the term 'purusha' with reference to them. In the Purusha-sûkta nothing whatever is said of a birdlike form, either in regard to the Rishis, p. xxii or the Purusha; the latter being on the contrary, imagined in the form of a gigantic man.

xxii:1 VI, 1, 2, 20; 3, 1, 55.

xxii:2 X, 5, 2, 1 seqq.

xxiii:1 VII, 4, 1,1.

xxiv:1 They take part, however, in such ceremonies as the doing homage to the completed Fire-altar by means of the Parimâds; cf. p. 288, note 2 of this volume.

xxv:1 Our Brâhmana, X, 2, 5, 16, says that, if a man cannot press Soma for a year, he should perform the Visvagit Atirâtra with all the Prishthas, and at that performance he should give away all his property. These, however, were doubtless by no means the only alternatives.

xxv:2 See, however, Sâyana on Ait. Âr. V, 1, s, 1, where it is distinctly stated that the Mahâvrata may either be performed as an Ekâha, or as part of either an Ahîna, or a Sattra.--Kâtyâyana, XVI, s, 2, lays down the rule that (though the building of an altar is not a necessary condition for the performance of a Soma-sacrifice) it is indispensable in the case of a Soma-sacrifice performed. with the Mahâvrata.

xxv:3 That is to say, as Sacrificers. Persons of other castes of course took part in the proceedings of this day. In the various accounts of these proceedings, no alternative ceremonies seem anywhere referred to in case the Sacrificers themselves belong to different castes.

xxvi:1 See, for instance, Sat. Br. VI, 6, 3, 12-15, where directions are given as to certain alternatives of performance at the initiation ceremony in case the Sacrificer is either a Kshatriya, or a Purohita, or any other person. The ceremonies connected with the consecration of the Sacrificer (IX, 3, 4, 1 seqq.) point chiefly to a king.

xxvi:2 See p. 282, note 5 of the present volume.

xxvi:3 See notes to pp. 110-113 of this volume.

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