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



8:7:3:11. He now throws loose soil (on the layer); for the loose soil means flesh: he thus covers him (Agni) with flesh. [He does so] after having laid down the bricks;--the bricks are the bone: he thus covers the bone with flesh.

8:7:3:22. He also strews it on (the place where lies) the naturally-perforated (brick), for the naturally-perforated one means vital air, and the loose soil

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means food: he thus puts food into (the channels of) the vital air. In that manner 1 he covers the whole body (of the altar); whence the food which is put into (the channels of) the vital air benefits the whole body, extends over the whole body.

8:7:3:33. 'Let him not strew it on (the place of) the naturally-perforated one,' say some, 'lest he should stop up (the channels of) the vital airs, for the naturally-perforated one is the vital air.' Let him, nevertheless, strew it, for the vital airs are sustained by food, and whoever eats no food his (channels of the) vital airs grow up (and close): hence he for whom they act thus, comes to exist in yonder world even like a dry, hollow tube. Let him, therefore, by all means strew (loose soil) on (the place of) the naturally-perforated one.

8:7:3:44. Having strewed it on the svayamâtrinnâ (place) he goes on covering (the altar) from the (brick) on the cross-spine up to the enclosing-stones. In the same way he goes on covering it from left to right behind the naturally-perforated one up to the one on the cross-spine again.

8:7:3:55. The body (of the altar) he covers first, for of (a bird) that is produced, the body is the first to be produced; then the right wing, then the tail, then the left wing: that is in the rightward (sunwise) way, for this is (the way) with the gods.

8:7:3:66. Now this loose soil, indeed, is the vital air; he therewith covers the whole body: he thus puts vital air into the whole body. And, assuredly, whatsoever member thereof he should not reach, that member of him (Agni) the vital air would not

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reach; and whatever member the vital air does not reach that either dries up or withers away: let him, therefore, cover it entirely therewith.

8:7:3:77. [He scatters the loose soil 1, with, Vâg. S. XV, 56; Rig-veda I, 11, 1], 'They all have magnified Indra,'--for all beings, indeed, magnify Indra;--'the voices, him, of ocean-wide extent,'--he thereby alludes to his greatness;--'the foremost of charioteers,'--for of charioteers he is the greatest charioteer;--'the lordly lord of viands,'--viands mean food: thus, 'the lordly lord of food.' With this anushtubh verse addressed to Indra he scatters it; for the loose soil belongs to Indra: that (layer of) loose soil is one half of Agni (the fire-altar), the (other) half is the collection of bricks.

8:7:3:88. Here, now, they say, 'Whilst he lays down the bricks with all kinds of metres, and with (verses addressed to) all deities, he now scatters (the soil) with a single (verse) addressed to a single deity,--how is this one half of Agni?' Indra, surely, is equal to all the gods; hence in that he scatters it with a (verse) addressed to Indra, this (soil) is one half of Agni. And as to its being (done) with an anushtubh verse,--the Anushtubh is speech, and all metres are speech: thereby also it is one half.

8:7:3:99. He then lays down the Vikarnî and Svayamâtrinnâ (bricks),--the Vikarnî is Vâyu (the wind), and the last naturally-perforated one is the sky: he thus sets up both the wind and the sky. He lays them down as the last (highest), for wind and sky are the highest; and close together, for wind and

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sky are close together. The Vikarnî he lays down first: he thereby places the wind on this side of the sky; whence that wind blows only on this side (thereof).

8:7:3:1010. And, again, as to why he lays down the Vikarnî. When, on that (former) occasion, they make the horse smell (the pile of bricks of) the (first) layer 1, then yonder sun strings these worlds to himself on a thread. Now that thread is the same as the wind; and that wind is the same as this Vikarnî: thus when he lays down the latter, then yonder sun strings to himself these worlds on a thread.

8:7:3:1111. And, again, as to why he lays down the Vikarnî and the Svayamâtrinnâ; the Vikarnî, doubtless, is vital power, and the naturally-perforated one is vital air: he thus bestows both vital power and vital air. He lays them down as the two last (highest bricks), because vital power and vital air are the two highest (endowments); and close together, because vital power and vital air are closely (bound) together. The upper (northern) Vikarnî he lays down first 2: he thereby encloses the vital air on both sides in vital power.

8:7:3:1212. [He lays it down, with, Vâg. S. XV, 62; Rig-veda VII, 3, 2], 'When, like a snorting steed, that longeth for the pasture, he started forth from the great enclosure, then the wind fanned his flame, and black then was thy path;'--for when the wind fans his (Agni's) flame,

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then his path does become black. With a trishtubh verse he lays it down, because Vâyu (the wind) is of trishtubh nature; with one relating to Agni, because it is Agni's performance; with an undefined one, because Vâyu is undefined. And as to his saying 'the wind,' Vâyu indeed is the wind.

8:7:3:1313. He then lays down the Svayamâtrinnâ, with (Vâg. S. XV, 63), 'I seat thee in the seat of the vital power,'--the vital power, doubtless, is yonder (sun), and his seat this is;--'the animating,'--for he (the sun) animates all this universe;--'in the shadow,'--for in his shadow all this universe is;--'in the heart of the sea,'--for this, indeed, is the heart of the (aerial) sea 1;--'the radiant, the luminous,'--for radiant and luminous is the sky;--'thou that illumines the sky, the earth and the wide air;'--for thus, indeed, does he (the sun) illumine these worlds.

8:7:3:1414. 'May Parameshthin settle thee,'--for Parameshthin saw this fifth layer 2.

8:7:3:1515. And, again, as to why he lays it down by means of Parameshthin. When Pragâpati had become disjointed, the deities took him and went off in different directions. Parameshthin took his head, and kept going away from him.

8:7:3:1616. He spake to him, 'Come to me and restore unto me that wherewith thou hast gone from me!'--'What will therefrom accrue to me?'--'That part of my body shall be sacred to thee!'--'So be it!' So Parameshthin restored that to him.

8:7:3:1717. Now that last self-perforated (brick) is just

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that part of him (Pragâpati-Agni); and when he now lays it down in this place, he thereby restores to him what part of his body this is: that is why he lays it down in this place.

8:7:3:1818. 'On the back of the sky, thee, the wide and broad one!'--for this (top of the altar) is indeed the back of the sky, and it is both wide and broad 1;--'Sustain thou the sky! make firm the sky! injure not the sky!'--that is, 'Sustain thy self, make firm thy self, injure not thy self (body)!'

8:7:3:1919. 'For all out-breathing, off-breathing, through-breathing, up-breathing!'--the naturally-perforated (brick) is the vital air, and the vital air truly serves for everything here;--'for a resting-place, for a moving-place!'--the naturally-perforated (bricks) are these worlds, and these worlds are the resting-place and the moving-place;--'May Sûrya guard thee,'--that is, 'May Sûrya protect thee,'--'with mighty well-being,'--that is, 'with great well-being;'--'with the safest roof!'--that is, 'with whatever roof (abode) is the safest.'

8:7:3:2020. Separately he lays them down, for separate are wind and sky; and once only he 'settles' them: he thereby makes them the same, for vital power and vital air are the same. They are both of them stones and both of them naturally-perforated; for vital power and vital air are the same. He then pronounces the Sûdadohas over them,--the Sûdadohas means vital air; he thus makes them

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continuous, joins them together by means of the vital air.

8:7:3:2121. 'Those his well-like milking ones 1'--a well (sûda) means water, and milking means food;--'the speckled ones mix the Soma,'--the speckled (cow) means food;--'at the birth of the gods,'--the birth of the gods is the year;--'the tribes,' the tribes (vis), doubtless, are the sacrifice, for all beings are ranged (vishta) 2 under the sacrifice;--'in the three spheres of the heavens,'--the three spheres of the heavens, doubtless, are the (three) pressings (of Soma): he thus means the pressings. With an anushtubh verse (he performs this rite), for the Anushtubh is speech, and speech (includes) all vital airs; and by means of speech, that is vital air, he thus makes these two (bricks) continuous, and joins them together. This same Sûdadohas, whilst being a single (verse), extends over all the bricks, whence--the Sûdadohas being the vital air--this vital air, whilst being one only, extends over all the limbs, over the whole body.


139:1 Or, therewith (with loose soil).

140:1 Taking it from the edge of the Kâtvâla or pit, cf. VII, 1, 1, 36.

141:1 See VII, 3, 2, 13.

141:2 As 'uttarâm' means both 'northern' and 'higher,' so 'pûrvâm' means both 'first' and 'eastern,' hence, by a whimsical play on these double meanings, 'on both (or two) sides.'

142:1 The topmost naturally-perforated brick represents the heavens.

142:2 See VI, 2, 3, 5; 10.

143:1 Though, in the text of the formula, the adjectives are feminine, and evidently refer to the brick, the author here makes them neuter, referring them to 'prishtham,' the back (of the sky).

144:1 Part iii, p. 307, note 2, the following translation of this difficult and obscure verse was proposed:--'At his birth the well-like milking, speckled ones mix the Soma (draught), the clans of the gods in the three spheres of the heavens.'

144:2 Literally, have entered, or settled. At XIV, 8, 13, 3, the same etymological word-play occurs, only 'food (anne)' being substituted for 'sacrifice (yagñe)'; where the St. Petersb. Dict. takes 'vishta' in the sense of 'entered, i. e. contained.'

Next: VIII, 7, 4. Fourth Brâhmana