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



12:2:3:11. That year, doubtless, amounts to a Brihatî--,there are two shadahas (12) of winning days  2; the

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two, Prishthya and Abhiplava (12); the Go and Âyus, and the Dasarâtra (ten days)--that makes thirty-six; for the Brihatî consists of thirty-six syllables, and by means of the Brihatî the gods strove to reach heaven, and by the Brihatî they did gain heaven; and in like manner does this one, by means of the Brihatî, now strive to reach heaven, and thereby gain heaven; he who knows this secures for himself whatever wish there is in the Brihatî.

12:2:3:22. And as to the Katurvimsa day, it is the same as either the seventh or the ninth (day) of the Dasarâtra 1 From out of the Abhiplava the Prishthya is formed, from the Prishthya the Abhigit,

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from the Abhigit the Svarasâmans, from the Svarasâmans the Vishuvat, from the Vishuvat the Svarasâmans, from the Svarasâmans the Visvagit, from the Visvagit the Prishthya 1, from the Prishthya the Abhiplava, from the Abhiplava the Go and Âyus, and from the Go and Âyus the Dasarâtra.

12:2:3:33. And that Mahâvrata is a winning-day, for its Stoma is the Pañkavimsa, and a metre does not collapse from (excess or deficiency of) a syllable--neither from one nor from two (syllables); neither does a Stoma by (an excess of) one hymn-verse 2.

12:2:3:44. Prior to the Vishuvat they perform first the Abhiplava, and afterwards the Prishthya, for the Abhiplava represents the sons, and the Prishthya the father; whence in early life the sons subsist on (the resources of) their father. Subsequent to the Vishuvat they perform first the Prishthya, and afterwards the Abhiplava; whence in later life the father subsists on (the resources of) his sons; and, verily, the sons of him who thus knows this subsist on him in early life, and he subsists on his sons in later life.

12:2:3:55. Here, now, they ask, 'If he were to die after entering on the Katurvimsa day, how does he become one who has not merely (uttered) the

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[paragraph continues] Âgur-formula 1?' Let him say, 'In that they then perform the Opening Atirâtra, thereby (he becomes such a one).'

12:2:3:66. As to this they ask, 'Seeing that there are the twelve months of the year, and that one day, to wit, the Vishuvat, is in excess, does this belong to those (months) that go before or to those that follow?' Let him say, 'Both to those that go before and to those that follow;' for the Vishuvat is the body (trunk) of the year, and the months are its limbs; and where the body is there are (or, that includes) also the limbs, and where the limbs are there is also the body; and neither is the body in excess of the limbs, nor are the limbs in excess of the body: and thus, indeed, that (day) belongs both to those (months) that go before and to those that follow.

12:2:3:77. But, indeed, that year is a great eagle: the six months which they perform prior to the Vishuvat are the one wing, and those which they perform subsequent thereto are the other; and the Vishuvat is the body; and, indeed, where the body is there are also the wings, and where the wings are there is also the body; for neither is the body in excess of the wings, nor are the wings in excess of the body: and thus, indeed, that (day) belongs both to those (months) that go before and to those that follow.

12:2:3:88. As to this they ask, 'Seeing that for six months prior to the Vishuvat they- perform Stomas tending upwards, and for six (months) reversed

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[paragraph continues] (Stomas), how are these latter performed so as to tend upwards?' Let him say, 'In that they perform that Dasarâtra as one with upward tending Stomas, thereby they do so.' Now, the Mahâvrata did not yield itself to the gods saying, 'How is it, ye have performed the Vishuvat with upward tending hymns, and me with reversed ones?'

12:2:3:99. The gods said, 'Try ye to find out that sacrificial performance which has upward tending Stomas, and whereby we may gain this.' They saw that Dasarâtra with upward tending Stomas after the manner of the year: what Prishthya-shadaha there is in it that is the seasons, the (three) Khandomas are these worlds, and the tenth day is the year. Thereby they gained this (Mahâvrata), and it yielded itself to them; and, verily, the Mahâvrata yields itself to him who so knows this.

12:2:3:1010. And in this way, indeed, there is an ascent of days:--by means of the Opening Atirâtra they ascend the concluding Atirâtra, by means of the Katurvimsa the Mahâvrata, by means of an Abhiplava a subsequent Abhiplava, by means of a Prishthya a subsequent Prishthya, by means of the Abhigit the Visvagit, by means of the Svarasâmans the subsequent Svarasâmans--but that one day is not ascended, to wit, the Vishuvat: and, verily, he who thus knows this ascends to (the state of) one more glorious, and no one inferior to him ascends (to be equal) to him.

12:2:3:1111. And in this way, indeed, there is a descent of days:--the Prâyanîya Atirâtra descends to the Katurvimsa day, the Katurvimsa day to the Abhiplava, the Abhiplava to the Prishthya, the Prishthya to the Abhigit, the Abhigit to the Svarasâmans, the

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[paragraph continues] Svarasâmans to the Vishuvat, the Vishuvat to the Svarasâmans, the Svarasâmans to the Visvagit, the Visvagit to the Prishthya, the Prishthya to the Abhiplava, the Abhiplava to the Go and Âyus, the Go and Âyus to the Dasarâtra, the Dasarâtra to the Mahâvrata, the Mahâvrata to the Udayanîya Atirâtra, the Udayanîya Atirâtra to the world of heaven, to the resting-place, to plenty.

12:2:3:1212. Such, indeed, are the wilds and ravines of sacrifice, and they (take) hundreds upon hundreds of days’ carriage-drives; and if any venture into them without knowledge, then hunger or thirst, evil-doers and fiends harass them, even as fiends would harass foolish men wandering in a wild forest; but if those who know this do so, they pass from one duty to another, as from one stream into another, and from one safe place to another, and obtain well-being, the world of heaven.

12:2:3:1313. As to this they say, 'How many onward, and how many backward days are there?' Well, those which are performed once each are onward days, and those which are performed repeatedly are backward days: let him at least consider these 1 as backward ones, for in accordance with the course of the Shadahas he himself moves.


155:2 The term 'ârkshyat' is apparently a future participle of 'â-arg,' p. 156 hence 'calculated to procure, or win.' The Ait.-Br. has 'âkshyat' instead. The two Shadahas (or periods of six days), here counted as such days, would seem to include the six Svarasâman days, and the special named days scattered over the session (the opening and concluding Atirâtra being apparently counted as one).

156:1 Katurvimsa day is one in which the Katurvimsa-stoma, or twenty-four-fold hymn-form, is exclusively used in the chanting of the Stotras. The one usually denoted by that term is the second day of the Gavâm ayanam. In the Dasarâtra, or ten-days’ period, there is, however, likewise a day in which the Katurvimsa-stoma is used exclusively. That period consists of a Prishthya-shadaha (six days), three Khandoma days, and a final Atyagnishtoma, called Avivâkya. The three Khandoma days (i.e. days fashioned after metres) have assigned to them as their exclusive Stomas the twenty-four-fold, the forty-four-fold, and the forty-eight-fold hymn-forms respectively; the first of them, or the seventh day of the Dasarâtra, being thus a Katurvimsa day. But in the second half of the year's session the regular order of the days of the minor sacrificial periods--the Shadahas and Svarasâmans--is reversed, the last day being performed first; and according to this paragraph the same is optionally to be the case in regard to the three Khandoma days, the Katurvimsa day being taken either first or last (see, however, parag. 9). Cf. also Haug, Ait.-Br., Transl., p. 347, note (where, in l. 3, read Dasarâtra instead of Dvâdasâha).

157:1 Here, the order of Abhiplava and Prishthya followed in the first half of the year is reversed.

157:2 The author apparently claims for the pañkavimsa-stoma, or twenty-five-versed hymn-form, the same efficacy as for the katurvimsa-stoma, the hymn-form of what is practically the first day of the sacrificial session (cf. Tândya-Br. XXV, 1, 1, where it is called Katurvimsam prâyanîyam), and which by the number of its stotriyâ-verses, being that of the half-months in the course of the year (24), is supposed to represent the whole year; cf. Ait.-Br. IV, 52.

158:1 See XI, 2, 5, 10 with note. (There is no paragraph XI, 2, 5, 10--JBH.) The Katurvimsa day is, as it were, a promise on the part of the Sacrificer to perform the sacrificial session; whilst the Prâyanîya Atirâtra not only represents the actual entering on the performance, but, as it were, implies the Udayanîya Atirâtra (XII, 2, 2, 18).

160:1 Or, 'meditate upon these' (? worship these); see p. 155, note 1.

Next: XII, 2, 4. Fourth Brâhmana