[Advaita-l] The Greatness of Agnihotra- 'this is the Agnihotra, Yâgñavalkya, there is nothing higher than this.'
vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 14 23:20:40 CDT 2012
Satapatha Brahmana 11 Kanda 6 Adyaya 2 Brahmana in sacred texts archive
1. Now, Janaka of Videha once met some Brâhmanas who were travelling
about 1, to wit, Svetaketu Âruneya, Somasushma Sâtyayagñi, and
Yâgñavalkya. He said to them, 'How do ye each of you perform the
Svetaketu Âruneya replied, 'O great king, I make offering, in one
another, to two heats, never-failing and overflowing with
glory.'--'How is that?' asked the king.--'Well, Âditya (the sun) is
heat: to him I make offering in Agni in the evening; and Agni, indeed,
is heat: to him I make offering in the morning in Âditya 2.'--'What
becomes of him who offers in this way?' asked the king.--'He verily
becomes never-failing in prosperity and glory, and attains to 'the
fellowship of those two deities, and to an abode in their world.'
Then Somasushma Sâtyayagñi said, 'I, O king, make offering to light in
light.'--'How is that?' asked the king.--'Well, Âditya is light: to
him I make offering in Agni in the evening; and Agni, indeed, is
light: to him I make offering in Âditya in the morning.'--'What
becomes of him who offers in this way? He verily becomes lightsome,
and glorious, and prosperous; and attains to the fellowship of those
two deities, and to an abode in their world.'
Then Yâgñavalkya said, 'When I take out the fire (from the
Gârhapatya), it is the Agnihotra itself, I thereby raise 1 Now when
Âditya (the sun) sets, all the gods follow him; and when they see that
fire taken out by me, they turn back. Having then cleansed the
(sacrificial) vessels, and deposited them (on the Vedi), and having
milked the Agnihotra cow, I gladden them, when I see them, and when
they see me.'--'Thou, O Yâgñavalkya, hast inquired most closely into
the nature of the Agnihotra,' said the king; 'I bestow a hundred cows
on thee. But not even thou (knowest) either the uprising, or the
progress, or the support, or the contentment, or the return, or the
renascent world of those two (libations of the Agnihotra).' Thus
saying, he mounted his car and drove away.
They said, 'Surely, this fellow of a Râjanya has outtalked us: come,
let us challenge him to a theological disputation!' Yâgñavalkya said,
'We are Brâhmanas, and he is a Râjanya: if we were to vanquish him,
whom should we say we had vanquished? But if he were to vanquish us,
people would say of us that a Râjanya had vanquished Brâhmanas: do not
think of this!' They approved of his words. But Yâgñavalkya, mounting
his car, drove after (the king). He overtook him, and he (the king)
said, 'Is it to know the Agnihotra, Yâgñavalkya?'--'The Agnihotra, O
king!' he replied.
11:6:2:66. ‘Well, those two libations, when offered, rise upwards:
they enter the air, and make the air their offering-fire, the wind
their fuel, the sun-motes their pure libation: they satiate the air,
and rise upwards therefrom.
11:6:2:77. ‘They enter the sky, and make the sky their offering-fire,
the sun their fuel, and the moon their pure libation: they satiate the
sky, and return from there.
11:6:2:88. ‘They enter this (earth), and make this (earth) their
offering-fire, the fire their fuel, and the herbs their pure libation:
they satiate this (earth), and rise upwards therefrom.
11:6:2:99. ‘They enter man, and make his mouth their offering-fire,
his tongue their fuel, and food their pure libation: they satiate man;
and, verily, for him who, knowing this, eats food the Agnihotra comes
to be offered. They rise upwards from there.
11:6:2:1010. 'They enter woman, and make her genital Upastham their
offering-fire Ahavaniya, her womb the fuel,--for that (womb) is called
the bearer, because by it Pragâpati bore creatures,--and the man's
seed their pure libation: they satiate woman; and, verily, for him
who, knowing this, approaches his mate, the Agnihotra comes to be
offered. The son who is born therefrom is the renascent world: this is
the Agnihotra, Yâgñavalkya, there is nothing higher than this.' Thus
he spoke; and Yâgñavalkya granted him a boon. He said, 'Let mine be
the (privilege of) asking questions of thee when I list, Yâgñavalkya!'
Thenceforth Janaka was a Brahman.
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