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

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13:6:2:11. And as to why it is called Purushamedha:--The stronghold (pur) doubtless is these worlds, and the Purusha (spirit) is he that blows here (the wind), he bides (sî) in this stronghold (pur): hence he is the Purusha. And whatever food there is in these worlds that is its 'medha,' its food; and inasmuch as this is its 'medha,' its food, therefore (it is called) Purushamedha. And inasmuch as at this (sacrifice) he seizes 1 men (purusha) meet for sacrifice (medhya), therefore also it is called Purushamedha.

13:6:2:22. He seizes them on the central day, for the central day is the air, and the air is the abode of all beings; and, indeed, these victims are also food, and the central day is the belly: he thus puts food in the belly.

13:6:2:33. He seizes them by decades 2 for the obtainment

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of all food, for the Virâg consists of ten syllables, and the Virâg is all food 1.

13:6:2:44. Eleven decades 2 he seizes;--the Trishtubh consists of eleven syllables, and the Trishtubh is the thunderbolt, and vigour: with the thunderbolt, with vigour, the Sacrificer thus repels evil from within him.

13:6:2:55. Forty-eight he seizes at the central stake;--the Gagatî consists of forty-eight syllables, and cattle are of Gâgata (movable) nature: by means of the Gagatî he (the priest) secures cattle for him.

13:6:2:66. Eleven at each of the others;--the Trishtubh consists of eleven syllables, and the Trishtubh is the thunderbolt, and vigour: with the thunderbolt,

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with vigour, the Sacrificer thus repels evil from about him.

13:6:2:77. Last of all he seizes eight;--the Gâyatrî consists of eight syllables, and the Gâyatrî is the Brahman (n.): he thus makes the Brahman to be the ultimate thing of this universe, whence they say that the Brahman is the ultimate thing of this universe.

13:6:2:88. These (eight) are sacred to Pragâpati, Pragâpati assuredly is the Brahman, for Pragâpati is of the nature of the Brahman 1: therefore they are sacred to Pragâpati.

13:6:2:99. When about to bring up the victims, he offers those three oblations to Savitri, with (Vâg. S. XXX, 1-3), 'God Savitri, (speed the sacrifice, speed the lord of sacrifice unto his share)!'--'May we obtain that glorious light of the God Savitri, (who shall inspire our prayers)!'--'All troubles remove thou from us, O God Savitri: bestow unto us what is auspicious!' He thus pleases Savitri, and thus pleased with him, he (Savitri) impels (speeds) those (sacrificial) men, and he seizes them impelled by that (Savitri).

13:6:2:1010. For the priesthood he seizes a Brâhmana, for the Brâhmana is the priesthood: he thus joins priesthood to priesthood 2;--for the nobility he seizes a Râganya, for the Râganya is the nobility: he thus joins nobility to nobility;--for the Maruts (he seizes) a Vaisya, for the Maruts are the clans (peasants): he thus joins peasantry to peasantry;--

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for (religious) toil (he seizes) a Sûdra, for the Sûdra is toil: he thus joins toil to toil;--according to their particular form he thus supplies these divinities with victims, and, thus supplied, they supply him with all his objects of desire.

13:6:2:1111. He makes offering with ghee, for ghee is fiery mettle: by means of fiery mettle he thus endows him (the Sacrificer) with fiery mettle. He makes offering with ghee, for that--to wit, ghee--is the dear resource of the gods: he thus supplies them with their dear resource, and, thus supplied, they supply him with all his objects of desire.

13:6:2:1212. By means of the Purusha Nârâyana (litany), the Brahman priest (seated) to the right (south) of them, praises the men bound (to the stakes) with this sixteen-versed (hymn, Rig-v. X, 90, Vâg. S. XXXI, 1-16), 'The thousand-headed Purusha, thousand-eyed, thousand-footed 1 . . .;'--thus (he does) for the obtainment and the securing of everything, for everything here consists of sixteen parts, and the Purushamedha is everything: in thus saying, 'So and so thou art, so and so thou art,' he praises and thereby indeed magnifies him (Purusha); but he also thereby speaks of him, such as he is. Now, the victims had had the fire carried round them, but they were not yet slaughtered,--

13:6:2:1313. Then a voice 2 said to him, 'Purusha, do not

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consummate (these human victims 1): if thou wert to consummate them, man (purusha) would eat man.' Accordingly, as soon as fire had been carried round them, he set them free, and offered oblations to the same divinities 2, and thereby gratified those divinities, and, thus gratified, they, gratified him with all objects of desire.

13:6:2:1414. He makes offering with ghee, for ghee is fiery mettle: with fiery mettle he thus bestows fiery mettle upon him.

13:6:2:1515. He concludes with those of the set of eleven (stakes),--the Trishtubh consists of eleven syllables, and the Trishtubh is the thunderbolt, and vigour: with the thunderbolt, with vigour, the Sacrificer thus repels evil from within.

13:6:2:1616. The Udayanîyâ (concluding oblation) having been completed, he seizes eleven barren cows, sacred to Mitra-Varuna, the Visve Devâh, and Brihaspati 3, with the view of winning these deities. And as to those of Brihaspati being last,--Brihaspati truly is the Brahman (n.), and thus he finally establishes himself in the Brahman.

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13:6:2:1717. And as to why there are eleven of them,--the Trishtubh consists of eleven syllables, and the Trishtubh is the thunderbolt, and vigour: with the thunderbolt, with vigour, the Sacrificer thus repels evil from within. The Traidhâtavî is the final offering (Udavasânîyâ): the mystic import is the same (as before 1).

13:6:2:1818. Now as to the sacrificial fees. What there is towards the middle of the kingdom other than the land and the property of the Brâhmana, but including the men, of that the eastern quarter belongs to the Hotri, the southern to the Brahman, the western to the Adhvaryu, and the northern to the Udgâtri; and the Hotrikas share this along with them.

13:6:2:1919. And if a Brâhmana performs the sacrifice, he should bestow all his property in order to obtain and secure everything, for the Brâhmana is everything, and all one's property is everything, and the Purushamedha is everything.

13:6:2:2020. And having taken up the two fires within his own self 2, and worshipped the sun with the Uttara-Nârâyana (litany, viz. Vâg. S. XXXI, 17-22), let him betake himself to the forest without looking round; and that (place), indeed, is apart from men. But should he wish to live in the village, let him take up again the two fires in the churning-sticks, and having worshipped the sun with the Uttara-Nârâyana (litany) let him dwell at his home, and let him offer such sacrifices as he may

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be able to afford. But, indeed, this (sacrifice) is not to be imparted to any and every one, lest one should impart everything to any and every one, for the Purushamedha is everything; but one may only impart it to one who is known to him, and who is versed in sacred writ, and who may be dear to him, but not to any and every one.


I. 1. To the priesthood (he consecrates) a Brâhmana--2. To the nobility a Kshatriya--3. To the Maruts a Vaisya--4. To penance (hardship, tapas) a Sidra--5. To darkness a thief--6. To hell a man-slayer--7. To evil a eunuch--8. To barter an unchaste woman (ayobhû 2)--9. To desire a harlot (pumskalû)--10. To the shriek (atikrushta) a minstrel (mâgadha)--11. To dancing a herald (bard, sûta)--12. To singing an actor (sailûsha)--13. To the law a counsellor (sabhâkara)--14. To joking a timorous man--15. To fun (narma) a chatterer--16. To laughter (hasa) an artizan (kâri,? singer of praises)--17. To pleasure (ânanda) a woman's friend--18. To enjoyment a maiden's son--19. To skill a wheelwright--20. To perseverance a carpenter--21. To heat (tapas) a potter--22. To craft a mechanic--23. To handsome form a jeweller--24. To beauty a barber 3--25. To the arrow-shot an arrow-maker--26. To the weapon a bow-maker--27. To work a bowstring-maker--28. To fate a rope-maker--29. To death a huntsman--30. To the end (antaka) a dog-keeper--31. To rivers a fisherman (pauñgishtha)--32. To the ogress (of waste lands) a

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[paragraph continues] Nishâda 1--33. To the man-tiger (? werwolf) a mono-maniac--34. To the Gandharvas and Apsaras a roving outcast (vrâtya)--35. To the teams (? prayug) a madman--36. To serpents and demons a blockhead (? apratipad)--37. To dice a gambler--38. To impassibility 2 a non-gambler--39. To the devils (pisâkas) a female cane-worker (basket-maker)--40. To the hobgoblins (yâtudhâna) a female worker in thorns--41. To intercourse a gallant--42. To the house a paramour--43. To trouble an unmarried elder brother whose younger brother is married--44. To calamity a younger brother married before his elder brother--45. To failure 3 the husband of a younger sister whose elder sister is unmarried--46. To reparation an artiste in embroidery--47. To agreement a female practiser of love-spells--48. To garrulity (prakâmodya) an attendant.

II. 1. To colour a devoted adherent--2. To strength a giver of gifts--3. To excrescences 4 hunchback--4. To merriment a dwarf--5. To the doors a lame one 5--6. To sleep a blind one--7. To injustice a deaf one--8. To the means of purification (? purging) a physician--9. To knowledge a star-gazer--10. To desire of learning one who asks questions--11. To the desire of adding to one's knowledge one given to ask questions about (everything).

III. 1. To the bounds (of land or propriety) an arbitrator--2. To ruins an elephant-keeper--3. To speed a groom--4. To thrift a cowherd--5. To vigour a shepherd--6. To fiery mettle a goatherd--7. To refreshment (? food) a cultivator of the soil--8. To the sweet beverage (? nectar) the distiller of liquor--9. To happiness the guardian of a house--10. To prosperity a possessor of wealth--11. To superintendence an assistant doorkeeper 6.

IV. 1. To the light a gatherer of fire-wood--2: To brilliance

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a fire-kindler--3. To the sun's sphere a sprinkler (anointer of a king)--4. To the highest heaven a distributer (of portions)--5. To the world of the gods a carver (of portions)--6. To the world of men a scatterer (? seasoner 1)--7. To all the worlds a pourer out (of drink 2)--8. To decay and murder a churner 3--9. To the (animal) sacrifice (or, sacrificial essence) a washer-woman--10. To concupiscence a female dyer--11. To quarrelling one of a thievish disposition.

V. 1. To manslaughter an informer--2. To discrimination a doorkeeper--3. To oversight an assistant doorkeeper 4--4. To strength (cf. II, 2) an attendant--5. To plenty a servant--6. To the pleasant one speaking pleasantly--7. To security one mounted on a horse--8. To heaven (svarga loka) a dealer out of portions (cf. IV, 5)--9. To the highest heaven a distributer (of portions; cf. IV, 4)--10. To wrath one who makes iron red-hot--11. To anger an absconder (? a yielder, coward).

VI. 1. To application a yoker--2. To grief one ready to attack--3. To peaceful dwelling an unyoker--4. To up-hills and down-hills one standing on three legs (of firm character)--5. To bodily form a haughty one (?)--6. To virtue a woman who prepares unguents--7. To calamity (cf. I, 44) a woman who makes scabbards--8. To Yama (the god of death) a barren woman--9. To Yama 5 one who bears twins--10. To Atharvan one who has miscarried--11. To the samvatsara (the first year of the five years’ cycle) one in her courses.

VII. 1. To the parivatsara (the second year) tine who has not yet borne children--2. To the idâvatsara (the third year) one who transgresses (the matrimonial bonds)--3. To the idvatsara (the fourth year) one who oversteps (the bounds of propriety)--4. To the vatsara (the fifth year) one who is worn out--5. To the year a gray-haired one--6. To the Ribhus a furrier--7. To the Sâdhyas a tanner--8. To the lakes a fisherman (dhaivara)--9. To stagnant (waters) a boatsman--10. To pools a Bainda 6--11. To reed-marshes one living on dried meat (or fish).

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VIII. 1. To the opposite bank a 'mârgâra 1'--2. To the near bank a fisherman (kevarta)--3. To shallows an Ânda 2--4. To uneven (? deep) places a fisher (mainâla)--5. To sounds (svana) a Parnaka 3--6. To caverns a Kirâta (woodman)--7. To mountain-ridges a Gambhaka 4--8. To the mountains a Kimpurusha 5--9. To loathing a Paulkasa 6--10. To colour a worker in gold (cf. I, 23)--11. To the balance (pair of scales) a merchant.

IX. 1. To the latter part of the evening one exhausted--2. To all beings (spirits) a leper (sidhmala)--3. To good fortune a wakeful one--4. To ill-fortune a sleepy one--5. To trouble (cf. I, 43) a newsmonger--6. To adversity a spiritless one--7. To collapse a waster 7--8. To the king of dice a gambler (cf. I, 37)--9. To the Krita (-die) one who takes advantage of mistakes in the game 8--10. To the Tretâ (-die) one who plays on a (regular) plan 9--11. To the Dvâpara (-die) one who plans to over-reach 9 (his fellow-player).

X. 1. To the Âskanda 10 (-die) a post of the gaming-room 11--2. (cf. I, 29) one who 'approaches' a cow--3. To the end (antaka, cf. I, 30) a cow-slayer--4. To hunger one who goes begging of one cutting up a cow--5. To evil-doing a Karaka-teacher--6. To evil (cf. I, 7) a robber--7. To the echo a reviler--8. To the noise a

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growler--9. To the end (anta) a babbler--10. To the endless a dumb one--11. To articulate sound (sabda) a drum-beater.

XI. 1. To festive joy a lute-player--2. To the cry a flute-player--3. To the confused (noise) a conch-blower--4. To the forest a forester--5. To broken woodlands one who watches woods on fire--6. To fun (narma I, 15) a harlot (I, 9)--7. To laughter an artizan (I, 16)--8. To the sea-monster (?) a mottled woman 1 (?)--9-11. To power a village-headman, an astrologer, and a herald (? abhikrosaka).

XII. (Added to those at the second post):--1-3. To dancing (I, 11) a lute-player (XI, I), a hand-clapper, and a flute-player (XI, 2)--4. To pleasure (I, 17) a musician--5. To fire a fat man--6. To the earth a cripple--7. To the wind a Kândâla (outcast)--8. To the air a staff-dancer 2--9. To the sky a bald-headed one-to. To the sun a yellow-eyed one-11. To the stars one of variegated colour--12. To the moon a leprous one (kilâsa, cf. IX, 2)--13. To the day a light-coloured one with yellow eyes--14. To the night a black one with yellow eyes.--He then seizes these eight misshapen ones--15. One who is too tall--16. One too short--17. One too stout--18. One too lean--19. One too light-coloured--20. One too black--21. One too bald--22. One with too much hair:--these (are to be) neither Sûdras nor Brâhmanas, and are sacred to Pragâpati;--23. A minstrel (mâgadha, I, 10)--24. A harlot (pumskalî, cf. I, 9)--25. A gambler (I, 37)--26. A eunuch (I, 7):--these (also are to be) neither Sûdras nor Brâhmanas, and are sacred to Pragâpati.


407:1 That is, he (symbolically) immolates them.

407:2 The statement in paragraphs 3 and 4, according to which there are eleven decades of human victims, does not refer to the actual distribution of victims over the eleven stakes, but it is apparently made purely for symbolical reasons (viz. with reference to the Virâg and Trishtubh metres), and is probably based on the way in which the victims are enumerated in the Vâgasaneyi-samhitâ, XXX, 5-22 (see the Translation at the end of this chapter, where they are, however, numbered according to the stakes). There the first eleven Kandikâs (5-15) are made up of the names and deities of ten victims each, hence together of eleven decades; whilst of the subsequent Kandikâs--k. 16 consists of twelve, ks. 17-22 of ten each, and k. 22 of twelve victims. The actual mode of distribution over the several stakes is that referred to in paragraphs 5-8, viz. the first forty-eight victims are tied to the central stake, after which eleven victims are tied to each of the other ten stakes. After these, amounting to 258 victims, the Samhitâ p. 408 enumerates twenty-six additional victims, which, according to Mahîdhara (cf. Kâty. XXI, 1, so), are to be added to the eleven victims of the second stake,--viz. fourteen victims dedicated to various so-called deities; eight victims, sacred to Pragâpati and belonging neither to the Sûdra nor to the Brâhmana castes; and finally four more victims, characterised in exactly the same way as the eight preceding ones. It will be seen that of these twenty-six victims only the first set of (eight) Prâgâpatya victims are referred to in the Brâhmana, and that as the victims seized last of all. This circumstance clearly characterises the last four victims of the Samhitâ as not recognised by the Brâhmana; and seeing that all four of these are such as have already occurred amongst the previously enumerated victims (though there assigned to different divinities) they must be considered (as they are by Prof. Weber, Ind. Streifen, I, p. 68) as having been added to the list of the Samhitâ subsequently to the composition of the Brâhmana. A similar inference will probably apply to the fourteen victims preceding the eight Prâgâpatya ones, though all that can be urged against them is that they are not referred to in the Brâhmana.

408:1 Hardly,--and all food is virâg (widely ruling or shining). In double clauses with a middle term, such as this, the position of subject and predicate seems often reversed in the second clause (cf. for instance, XIII, 8, 1, 4),

408:2 See note 2 on p. 407.

409:1 That is, of the divine spirit, the world-soul, of which Pragâpati is, as it were, the personification, or phenomenal representative.

409:2 Or, he perfects, completes, the priesthood by (adding to it a member of) the priesthood.

410:1 For a complete translation of this hymn, the Purusha-sûkta, see J. Muir, Orig. Sanskrit Texts, vol. i, p. 9 seqq. Cp. also part iv, introduction, p. xiv.

410:2 'A bodiless voice,' comm.; cf. XI, 4, 2, 16 where likewise 'an invisible voice' is introduced censuring the priest who burns the oblations. Perhaps, however, Vâk may be intended from whom Pragâpati, in the beginning, produced the waters; cf. VI, 1, 1, 9.

411:1 Thus (i.e. do not go through with this human sacrifice) the commentator, probably correctly, interprets 'samsthâpaya' (instead of 'do not kill,' St. Petersb. Dict., though, practically, it would, of course, come to the same thing),--Purusha, etân purushapasûn mâ samtishtipah, udaṅnayâdikâny aṅgâny eshâm mâ krithâ ityarthah; yadi samsthâpayishyasi tatah seshabhakshânukârena lokepi purushah purusham bhakshayishyati tak kâyuktam ity abhiprâyah. In the same way the verse ought accordingly to have been translated in III, 7, 2, 8.

411:2 That is, he offers with the formulas 'To the Brahman, hail! to the Kshatra, hail!' &c., running through the whole series of so-called divinities of the released victims.

411:3 Viz. three for each of the first two deities, and five for Brihaspati.

412:1 Viz. as set forth V, 5, 5, 6 seqq.

412:2 Viz. by thrice inhaling the heat (or smoke) emitted by the fires, Cf. Mânava-Dh. VI, 38; Baudhâyana-Dharmas. II, 17, 26.

413:1 Comp. Prof. Weber's German translation (Zeitschr. D. M. G., XVIII, p. 262 seqq.; Indische Streifen, I, p. 76 seqq.), where the variants from the Taitt. Br. and the explanations of the commentaries are given. Not a few of the terms used (some of which are, indeed, explained in a different way by the commentators) are, however, still of doubtful meaning. Vâg. S. XXX, 5-22.

413:2 ? The patronymic, or matronymic, of this, 'âyobhava' is said to be the son of a Sûdra from a Vaisya woman.

413:3 Or, as Mahîdhara takes 'subhe vapam,' to well-being the seed-sower--einen Sämann dein Gedeihen, Weber.

414:1 One of the wild aboriginal tribesmen.

414:2 ? îryatâ, lit. the state of one requiring to be roused.

414:3 ? 'envy' St. Petersb. Dict. (arâddhi),

414:4 The meaning of 'utsâda' is doubtful; it might be 'removal,' only the etymological meaning of 'ut-sad' having probably suggested the combination.

414:5 Mahîdhara takes 'srâma' in the sense of one affected with ophthalmia (cf. srâva): in both senses the association of ideas is intelligible, though apparently (as in other cases) of a jocular nature.

414:6 Or, the assistant of a charioteer, according to Mah. and Sây. (cf. V, 3).

415:1 Mahîdhara takes 'prakaritri' in the sense of 'viksheptri'; Sây. in that of 'sower of discord.'

415:2 ? Sây. makes 'upasektri' a composer of feuds (!).

415:3 ? 'a stirrer up of discord,' Sây.

415:4 Thus also Mahîdhara; charioteer, Sây.; cf. III, 11.

415:5 Yamî, Taitt. Br.

415:6 According to Mahîdhara, a wild tribesman (inhabitant of the jungle); 'one living by the net,' Sây.

416:1 'The son of a mrigâri (? huntsman),' Mahîdhara; 'one who catches fish with his hands,' Sây.

416:2 According to Mahîdhara, the maker of 'bandhanâni (? strings, or dams);'--according to Sây., one who catches fish by means of dikes.

416:3 ? A Bhilla (Bheel, mountaineer, woodman);--one catching fish by means of feathers (parna), Sây.

416:4 Apparently a man of a voracious, flesh-eating tribe.

416:5 Apparently a low, despicable man.

416:6 Explained as one of very low birth, or more particularly, as the son of a Nishâda from a Kshatriya woman.

416:7 Lit. a cutter away (? a spendthrift).

416:8 Thus Mahîdhara explains 'âdinavadarsa'; 'one who works for his fellow-player's ruin,' St. Petersb. Dict.

416:9 The terms 'kalpin' and 'adhikalpin' are of doubtful meaning--'arranger' and 'head-arranger,' Weber.

416:10 Lit. 'the assailer,' apparently another name for the die usually called Kali. On these dice see part iii, p. 106, note 1.

416:11 Explained as a jocular expression for the habitual frequenter of the gambling-house.

417:1 St. Petersb. Dict. conjectures 'To lust a sportive woman (? dancer or singer).'

417:2 'Vamsanartin' explained by Mahîdhara as one who practises dancing by means of a bamboo-staff (vamsena nartanasîla); by Sây. as one who makes his living by dancing on the top of a bamboo-staff (vamsâgranrittagîvin); hardly a 'family-dancer,' Monier-Williams.

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