Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Satapatha Brahmana  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Satapatha Brahmana Part V (SBE44), Julius Eggeling tr. [1900], at



11:6:3:11. Ganaka of Videha performed a sacrifice accompanied with numerous gifts to the priests. Setting apart a thousand cows, he said, 'He who is the most learned in sacred writ amongst you, O Brâhmanas, shall drive away these (cows) 1!'

11:6:3:22. Yâgñavalkya then said, 'This way (drive) them!' They said, 'Art thou really the most learned in sacred writ amongst us, Yâgñavalkya?' He replied, 'Reverence be to him who is most learned in sacred writ! We are but hankering after cows 2!'

11:6:3:33. They then said (to one another), 'Which of us shall question him?' The shrewd Sâkalya said, 'I!' When he (Yâgñavalkya) saw him, he said, 'Have the Brâhmanas made of thee a thing for quenching the firebrand, Sâkalya?'

11:6:3:44. He said 3, 'How many gods are there, Yâgñavalkya?'--'Three hundred and three, and three thousand and three,' he replied.--'Yea, so it is!' he said. 'How many gods are there really, Yâgñavalkya?'--'Thirty-three.'--'Yea, so it is!' he said.

p. 116

[paragraph continues] 'How many gods are there really, Yâgñavalkya?'--'Three.'--'Yea, so it is!' he said. 'How many gods are there really, Yâgñavalkya?'--'Two.'--'Yea, so it is!' he said. 'How many gods are there really, Yâgñavalkya?'--'One and a half.'--'Yea, so it is!' he said. 'How many gods are there really, Yâgñavalkya?'--'One.'--'Yea, so it is!' he said. 'Who are those three hundred and three, and three thousand and three?'

11:6:3:55. He replied, 'These are their powers, but thirty-three gods indeed there are.'--'Who are those thirty-three? Eight Vasus, eleven Rudras, and twelve Âdityas,--that makes thirty-one; and Indra and Pragâpati make up the thirty-three.'

11:6:3:66. 'Who are the Vasus?'--'Agni, the Earth, Vâyu (the wind), the Air, Âditya (the sun), Heaven, the Moon, and the Stars:--these are the Vasus, for these cause all this (universe) to abide (vas), and hence they are the Vasus.'

11:6:3:77. 'Who are the Rudras?'--'These ten vital airs in man, and the self (spirit) is the eleventh: when these depart from this mortal body, they cause wailing (rud), and hence they are the Rudras.'

11:6:3:88. 'Who are the Âdityas?'--'The twelve months of the year: these are the Âdityas, for they pass whilst laying hold on everything here; and inasmuch as they pass whilst laying hold (â-dâ) on everything here, they are the Âdityas.'

11:6:3:99. 'Who is Indra, and who Pragâpati?'--'Indra, indeed, is thunder 1, and Pragâpati the sacrifice.'--'What is thunder?'--'The thunderbolt.'--'What is the sacrifice?'--'Cattle.'

p. 117

11:6:3:1010. 'Who are those three gods?'--'These three worlds, for therein all the gods are contained.'--'Who are those two gods?'--'Food and breath. (life).'--'Who is the one and a half?'--'He who is blowing here 1 (Vâyu, the wind).'--'Who is the one god?'--'Breath.'

11:6:3:1111. He (Yâgñavalkya) said, 'Thou hast gone on questioning me beyond the deity 2, beyond which there must be no questioning: thou shalt die ere such and such a day, and not even thy bones shall reach thy home!' And so, indeed, did he (Sâkalya) die; and robbers carried off his bones 3, taking them for something else 4. Wherefore let no man decry 5 any one, for even (by) knowing this, he gets the better of him 6.


115:1 One might also construe,--These are yours, O Brâhmanas: he who is the most learned in sacred writ shall drive (them) away. Cf. Delbrück, Altind. Syntax, pp. 251, 363.

115:2 Gokâmâ eva kevalam vayam smah bhavâmah, Sây.

115:3 See XIV, 6, 9, 1 seqq (There is no such location--JBH).

116:1 Sâyana takes 'stanayitnu' in the sense of 'thunder-cloud,'--stanayitnuh stananasîlo gargan parganya ity arthah.

117:1 XIV, 6, 9, 10, the use of 'adhyardha (having one half over)' in connection with the wind is accounted for by a fanciful etymology, viz. because the wind succeeds (or prevails) over (adhy-ardh) everything here.

117:2 That is, as would seem, Pragâpati, cf. XIV, 6, 6, 1 (There is no such location--JBH), where Yâgñavalkya tells Gârgî how one world is 'woven and rewoven' on another, the last being that of Pragâpati, which was woven on that of the Brahman; and when Gârgî asks him as to what world the Brahman-world was woven on, he gives the same reply as here, viz. that there must be no questioning beyond that deity (Pragâpati).

117:3 Prof. Weber, Ind. Streifen, I, p. 23, connects this feature with the belief in a strictly personal existence after death prevailing at the time of the Brâhmana, which involved, as a matter of great moment, the careful collection of the bones after the corpse had been burnt, with a view to their being placed in an earthen vessel and buried.--Cf. Âsval. Grihyas. IV, 5, 1 seqq.; Kâty. Sr. XXI, 3, 7 seqq. See also J. Muir, Orig. Sanskrit Texts, vol. v, p. 316.

117:4 That is, mistaking them for gold or some other valuable substance, comm.,--anyan manyamânâh suvarnâdidravyatvena gânantah.

117:5 Or, 'revile,' as the St. Petersb. Dict. takes it. Possibly, however, 'upa-vad' has here the sense of 'to speak to,' i.e. 'to question or lecture some one.'

117:6 The commentary is partly corrupt and not very intelligible:--p. 118 Yasmâd evam tasmâd iti goshu kathârûpena tattvanikri(ti)m upetya vâdî na bhavet, sva (? svayam) api tu evamvit paro bhavati, uktaprakârena yah prânasvarûpam gânâti tam vidvâmsam upetya tâtparyenâ savâ (? âtmanâ) yukto bhaved ity arthah, Sây. Cf. Weber, Ind. Stud. V, p. 36.1, note.--Prof. Delbrück, Altind. Syntax, p. 528, takes 'paro bhavati' in the sense of 'he becomes one of the other side, or shore,' i.e. he dies.

Next: XI, 7, 1. Seventh Adhyâya. First Brâhmana