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1. INTRODUCTION It has a long time been acknowledged that a fLxed scheme lies at the basis of the fi~prf hymns.1 This has led to a detailed discussion about the origin and the function of these hymns. In the preface to his edition of the Nirukta of Ygska Roth 2 has qualified them as prayers or invocation hymns. Miiller 3 pointed to their artificial character and found a resemblance with the character of the hymns of the Shma- and Yajur-veda. From this he inferred that these hymns were composed for sacrificial purposes and he agreed with Burnouf 4 that they should be recited by the hotar prior to the slaughtering of certain sacrificial animals. He was completely in the dark as to their original meaning, but on the basis of the old Indian tradition he thought it quite possible: "that the Aprf hymns may have been songs of reconciliation, and that they were called dprL i.e. appeasing hymns not from their appeasing of the anger of the gods, but the enmities of members of the same or different families." 5 Together with Schwab, 6 Hillebrandt 7 saw the Apr~ hymns as the invocations for the various deities and sacrificial objects accompanying the preliminary offerings (prayd]a) of the animal sacrifice, which were handed down by the various priestly families of the RV. This opinion was shared by Oldenberg s who maintained: "The fi.pr1-hymns,consisting of eleven or twelve verses, were destined for the Pray~ija-offerings of the animal sacrifice, such as the sacrificial grass, the divine gates through which the gods had to pass on their way to the sacrifice, etc." Keith 9 also considered these hymns as the litanies accompanying the preliminary offerings of the animal sacrifice. Bergaigne 10 was one of the first who drew attention to the fact that the dprisuktas belonged to an early stage of Vedic ritual. According to him they were formed before the compilation of the R.V. samhitd and inserted in the group of Agni hymns on account of assimilation and according to the metrical and numerical principles which were usually applied. From a different point of view the dprf stanzas were studied by Hertel. n He was kindled with enthusiasm by a monograph on the god Janus, in which the

Indo-Iranian Journal 28 (1985) 95 -122. 0019-7246/85.10 9 1985 by D. ReideI Publishing Company.



author, Otto Huth, tried to reconstruct the Indo-European New Year cult with the help of Italic and German sources. Janus had a central place in this cult and his name was connected by Huth with the I.E. stem of the word *idno-, i.e. "course" (in German: Gang). He was therefore regarded as the god of the year who presided over the two courses of the sun towards the northern and southern solstice, or, to say it in German, as "der Jahrgott der G~nge". Huth has given an enumeration of the characteristics of this Janus cult, 12 and Hertel claimed to have found them in the dprisaktas as well. Hertel argued against the opinion of Oldenberg and accused him of having obscured the real knowledge of the 'Ariertum', not only by using Vedic concepts for the interpretation of these hymns, but also by applying concepts of his own inherited religion. 13 Hertel, for instance, preferred to render the term deva by "Himmelslichterstrahler", instead of by "god", as Oldenberg usually did. He claimed that these sacrificial hymns were connected with the ancient I.E. New Year cult at the time of the winter-solstice 9 and that they were addressed to Agui, respectively Indra, the sacred fire, which would correspond to Janus. 14 This New Year cult formed a good illustration of the author's doctrine of light, in which the celestial fire ("Himmelsfeuer,) had a central place. He regarded the fixed deities of each dpri stanza, which were referred to by 'keywords', as partial aspects of the collective person Agni. is According to him the supposed connection between these hymns and the animal sacrifice was an error. They were inserted in this sacrifice due to the activities of the theologians who were also responsible for the brdhmanas. These people incorporated stanzas of the ,~pr~ hymns in the liturgy of the animal sacrifice as praydjas. 16 This vision, which he expounded with a lot of fantasy, to say the least, has been rightly critizised by - among others - Gonda, 17 whose critical remarks I share in broad outline. More recently the Apr~ hymns were discussed by Potdar in connection with several interpretations in two detailed articles, is The set pattern of these hymns together with their distribution in most of the family books of the R V. brought him to the following conclusion: "This rather unusual popularity of the .~pri hymns, apparently must have been due to a sort of family ritual that must have become associated with them in early stages. It is this ritual that we have to try to ascertain on the basis of internal evidence." 19 From a closer examination of each of these stanzas Potdar learnt that they were not dedicated to eleven deities which should be glorified. The hymns could be relieved, therefore, of their artificial connection with the praydja offerings of the animal sacrifice (nirad.hapagubandha). Originally they had reference to a simple family ritual, in which Agni as god of the sacred fire had a central place. 2~ The view of Potdar is shared in the main by Gonda, 21 who states that there



can be no doubt that these hymns were composed for ritual purposes in connection with Agni, because he is predominantly praised in at least four stanzas out of eleven. According to this author, the connection with the prayd/a offerings is obviously secondary, because no ~prf stanza makes mention of a sacrificial victim. Against the views of Hertel, Potdar and Gonda, a principally different opinion was recently formulated by Schmidt in an article on the Vedic word pdthas, in which he investigated the occurrence of the term in the dpri stanzas. In that context the author stated: "I think that there is evidence to show that the Apris were composed for the animal sacrifice..." 22 Summarizing the various view-points mentioned above one can say that the older authors have given an explanation of the dpri stanzas in close connection with the preliminary offerings o f the animal sacrifice as described in the brdhmanas and the irautasatras. This explanation has been rejected by most of the later scholars who claim that these hymns refer to a simple family ritual circling round Agni. These authors do not give, however, a satisfactory explanation of why these hymns were connected by the theologians with the animal sacrifice, 23 although it may be tree that their insertion in this sacrifice is artificial. A reexamination of the arguments in relation to the texts, therefore, seems to be justified.

2. THE STRUCTURE OF THE APRI HYMNS The Aprf hymns of the R.V are characterized by a scheme expressing itself by fixed keywords in corresponding stanzas. 24 In chapter 4, I shall give a short analysis of each of these stanzas and their keywords. Their usual number is eleven 2s and a variation of the keywords is only found in the second (resp. the third) stanza, where the name Tanfmapfit sometimes occurs instead of the usual term Nar~gam.sa. 26 Potdar considered the occurrence of Tantinapgt in the dpri stanzas as an innovation of the older conception incorporated in the name Narfigam.sa. According to him, this innovation was introduced by the family of the VigvSmitras in R.V. 3.4.2. He compared this Aprr hymn with that of the Vasi.s.thas (R.V. 7.2.1. ff.), because both hymns have the last four stanzas in common. 27 He concluded that the hymn of the Vigv~mitras was clearly more artificial in composition and he regarded the name Tangnap~t, i.e. "Son o f Himself" or "the Selfgenerated One", 28 as a new theological description of Agni. In R.V. 3.29.1 1 the relation between Nar~am. sa, Tanfinap~t and Agni is more clearly defined by the Vigv~mitras: "He (viz. Agni) is called Tantinap~t as a germ relating to the Asuras; he becomes Narg~am.sa when he is born."



Although it seems likely that the term Tangnapgt as a qualification of Agni is a specific innovation of the Vigvgmitras, because none of the other family books of the RV. make mention of it, it is not correct to conclude that Narggam. sa must also have been one of the names of Agni, true as it may be that this name frequently occurs in a context relating to Agni. On etymological grounds Oldenberg 29 was of the opinion that the name should be interpreted as "the genius incorporating the praise of man". He regarded him as a god who was expanding his activities within the sphere of sacrifice. In this context he referred to his Iranian counterpart Nairy6sanha, who in the ancient texts is not reckoned among the five sacred fires and does not get the qualification dtar-. 3~ With this he made a stand against Hillebrandt and all those scholars who saw in Nar~gam. sa a god of the fire? 1 The fact that the second stanza never mentions Agni, while his name frequently occurs in the first and the third, corroborates the view of Oldenberg that this stanza was not originally addressed to Agni, but to Nar~gam. sa. 32 Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that in the context of the sacrificial worship Nar~gam.sa was gradually identified with Agni by the theologians of the R.V. As Agni, the god of the sacrificial fire mediating between gods and men, was the divine prototype of the officiating priest, so Narggam. sa incorporated another essential aspect of this priestly class. He may be viewed in the light of this as having an affinity with this class as close as B.rhaspati, another 'Lord of Prayer'. Because Agni and Narggam. sa both were closely connected with the activities of the priests they became intermingled. This found expression in the texts by the way in which certain qualifications, which were characteristic of Agni, were applied to Nar~gam. sa as well; cf. e.g.R.V. 2.3.2. In the course of time Narfigamsa came to be regarded as one of the names of Agni, 33 and instead of this name the Vigv~mitras introduced the term Tant~napgt? 4 The relation of both names with respect to Agni was defined by them in RV. 3.29.11, as we have seen before. 3s Recapitulating one can say that the original structure of the Aprf hymns consisted of eleven stanzas, each of which was characterized by a fixed keyword. The \ keyword of the second stanza was originally Nar~gam.sa, but this term was replaced by the new name Tan~napgt in the tradition of the Vigvgmitras. In some later versions the scheme of the hymns is extended with one stanza, so that both concepts could be incorporated in it.

3. SOME METHODOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS ON THE ANALYSIS OF THE ,~PR] HYMNS AND THEIR INTERPRETATION In the various view-points mentioned in the introduction often no distinction is made between the keywords constituting the scheme of the ~,pr~ hymns and the other data found in them. This distinction is important because the fixed



keywords show that the poets belonging to the different priestly families somehow were committed to them; or, to say it in other words, the fact that this scheme returns in all the hymns of the R.V. shows that there must have been a general consensus with reference to its meaning, notwithstanding the large variety of forms of the stanzas. The importance of these fixed keywords for the interpretation can be corroborated, moreover, by their occurrence in the Aprf hymns of the AV. Further the prai.sddhydya of the R.V. Khil~ni contains a collection of mantras (viz. 5.7.1 a sqq.) of the dpri type in accordance with the fixed scheme, although Tan~nap~t and Nar~am. sa are both mentioned in a seperate mantra? 6 It seems, therefore, reasonable to suppose that this fixed scheme is essential for the understanding of these texts. Moreover, it may have been considerably older than the texts of the hymns themselves, although these too contain ancient forms. The statement of Gonda and Potdar 37 that these hymns originally had reference to a ritual ~8 which must have been rather popular considering its wide diffusion, is very plausible. The fixed keywords embody important characteristics of this popular ritual and they give us valuable information with regard to its structure. Because this ritual was fairly popular, it must not have been easy to make structural alterations to it which would change its basic meaning fundamentally. It seems to me that the public opinion would object to structural innovations in a ritual which was handed down from generation to generation. 39 To say this does not exclude the possibility that there always may have been variations in the performance of this ritual depending upon certain circumstances relating to time and place, because there was not one centralized authority superintending the doctrine, ritual, etc. Nothwithstanding this, the priestly poets in their creation of the liturgical formulations for this ritual were bound to its structure and this was expressed by means of the fixed schem e in all the Apr~ hymns. This commitment did not prevent the poets t o create new formulations within the limits of the purpose of the ritual. In this respect they could give expression to the field of dynamics between tradition and innovation. Certain concepts, which originally were not of fundamental importance with reference to its structure and purpose, could be inserted in the stanzas, because they were popular. This applies as well to new concepts which came in vogue in the course of time and were interwoven in the pattern of the ancient liturgy without affecting its structure. This field of dynamics, to which a concrete form was given in the free scope of the poets, can be illustrated by many examples. The following two illustrations may serve as an elucidation. Indra, the greatest god of the R.V., is not mentioned at all in three of its ,~pri hymns; 4~ in other hymns his name does not occur in the same fixed stanza, but his position changes. The conclusion seems to be justified, therefore, that the mentioning of his name is a secondary fact with reference to the scheme. This



brings me to the question why he is sometimes connected with the liturgy of this ritual. It seems that the poets have given expression to the belief of certain groups that Indra somehow had to do something with this ritual, although this was not the general opinion. That is the reason why they introduced him into their liturgical phraseology, 41 although in a secondary place. With other words, the priestly poets have connected this ritual with ideological concepts which were fashionable with their client61e at a certain time and in certain groups, and which probably will have reinforced the effectivity of this ritual according to the feelings of that group. The incorporation of Indra's name in some stanzas might therefore have its own importance within the psychology of communication between the priestly poets and the other participants. By this 'embellishment' the poets adapted the liturgy of this ritual to the demands of their own time, though its structure may have been much older. 42 By this adaptation they kept in touch with their public. However, the introduction of this god as such does not infringe upon the original structure of this ritual, as is apparent from the strict preservation of the scheme. 4a Besides this example, I would like to draw attention to the various points of time which are mentioned in the stanzas with reference to the performance of certain ritual acts. Two dprf stanzas speak about the fact that the ritual should be performed three times a day; R.V. 1.142.3 and 3.4.2. Potdar, basing himself upon these stanzas, concluded that this popular ritual "is to be performed thrice a day at times at least. ''44 The stanzas run as follows: RV. 1.142.3 g(tcih, pdvak6 ddbhuto mddhvd yajgdm mirniks.ati / ndrd~am, sah. tr{r ~ div6 dev6 dev~su ya]afyah. // "The bright, purifying, wonderful Nar~arn.sa mixes the sacrifice with honey three times a day, the god worthy of worship among the gods." R.V. 3.4.2 ydm. devdsas trir dhann dydjante dive-dive vdruno mitt6 agnlh. / sdmdm, yaj~dm mddhumantam kr.dh Tnas tdnftnapdd ghr.tdyonim, vidhdntam // "Thou to whom the gods, (viz.) Varuna, Mitra and Agni, three times a day bring offerings, day by day, o Tantinap~t, make this, our sacrifice sweet as honey, (the sacrifice) which has its abode in ghee and which serves to worship the gods." On reading these stanzas carefully one may ask oneself whether the sacrifice mentioned in them is the same as the ritual underlying the scheme of the ~_prf hymns. In the first stanza it is simply said that the god Narggamsa mixes the sacrifice with honey three times a day. The second text makes mention of the fact that Varun.a, Mitra and Agni bring offerings to Tantinap~t three times a day. 4s According to these texts the gods themselves perform certain offerings, and not



the human priests. It seems, therefore, that in a general sense these statements can be very well regarded as a eulogy of Nar~igam.sa, resp. Tantinap~t, and do not apply specifically to the ancient dprf ritual. This view is corroborated by the fact that the fixed keywords in the sixth dprf stanza (cf. chapter 4.6) always refer to two other periods, dawn and dusk (night). These two periods are personified as goddesses and invited to be present during the sacrificial performance. 46 According to Gonda dawn and dusk "usually refer to the right moments for sacrificing in the RV. and as such they must be the basis, or form the substructure, on which the gods are received for worship". 47 In the course of time a third period was introduced. R.V. 4.12.1, for instance, speaks about Agni who is worshipped with offerings three times a day. This third period may have been inserted on the analogy of the soma ritual consisting of three pressings. 48 From these examples it may be clear that in the explanation of these stanzas and the ritual at their basis a distinction should be made between the various levels in the texts. The keywords constituting the fixed scheme of all the hymns belong to a level different from that of the varying data. To state this does not imply that the varying data are necessarily later, though this may be sometimes the case, but their connection with this ritual is, according to my opinion, not intrinsic without more ado. That is why the keywords should have the priority in the explanation of the texts and in the reconstruction of the ritual. This implies that I object to the method followed by Potdar, because he does not make this distinction in his inventarisation and explanation of the facts. 49 As the keywords in the texts all belong to the same level, they should be placed in a meaningful relationship and explained as a coherent whole. In my opinion, the other data are subordinate to the keywords and may contain additional information with reference to this ritual. From this point of view I share the criticism against the interpretations of those who regard these hymns as merely a collection of stanzas used as prayers accompanying the preliminary offerings of the animal sacrifice to eleven deities, s~ In this context I should like to point out that some of the hymns under consideration contain expressions which can be qualified as fossilized from the point of view of 'philological archeology'. These expressions sometimes give us valuable information about the ritual which underlies these hymns. The word miyedha which occurs in R V. 10.70.2 sl can be conceived as such an expression. According to the Vedic Word Concordance s2 the word only occurs in the R.V., while the adjective miyedhya is only mentioned in the KS., the MS. and the TS., besides the R.V. In the brdhmana, the upani.sad and the veddnga literature both terms are no longer found. S~yan.a s3 was of the opinion that the term miyedha originated from medha and was formed by the insertion of a vowel. Since it is only found at the end of a pdda, like the adjective miyedhya, he concluded that



it could have been formed under the influence of the metre. However, it is more probable that both words were preserved on account of that metre, because they do not occur again in the later literature. The Petr. Dict. translates miyedha by "die den G6ttern vorgesetzte Speise, Opfermahl, vielleicht ganz besonders das Opferfleisch oder auch ganz gleichbedeutend mit medha". Mayrhofer in his Etym. Dict. sa rendered it by "Opfergabe, Opfermahl / Sacrificial Oblation", and Renou ss by "repas communiel". The term has its counterpart in the Avestan word myazda-, which was often used for a blood sacrifice. According to Boyce, the semantic development was presumably that from remote antiquity it was not only used for liquids, but also for substances which liquify in heat, such as animal fat, and hence by degrees it came to be applied also to oblations generally, s6 This author also states that "the term comprised both solid and liquid offerings and could be qualified as being of 'flesh and wine' ,,.sT WackernagelS8 translated miyedha by "Fleischsaft". As has been rightly observed by Grassmann s9 the term miyedha in the R.V. has the broader meaning of "offering, oblation". Therefore it can be rendered very well by "sacrificial meal", in which both men and gods can participate, 6~ and in which they enjoy the prepared portions of meat. The fact that this fossilized expression is preserved in one of the Aprf hymns is an important expedient for the understanding of the ancient ritual which is at its basis.

4. AN ANALYSIS OF THE /~PRI STANZAS After the preceding preliminary remarks I would like to summarize the data of the various dprf stanzas. These data will be related to the keywords of each stanza. Because the stanzas relating to the three goddesses, Tva.s.tar and the sacrificial post Vanaspati are important for the understanding of the original ritual I will deal with them more extensively. 4.1. The first stanza is dedicated to the kindling of the sacrificial fire; the stereotyped expressions, used for this activity, are derived from the verb inddhe with the preposition sam, which denotes: "he sets fire to, he kindles". 61 Agni is invoked in this connection as the god of the sacred fire and as the officiating priest who mediates between the world of the gods and that of man. This mediating role is expressed in the stanzas by various concepts. Besides the idea of Agni bringing the gods to the place of the sacrificial worship, 62 there are expressions which state that he takes the sacrifice to the world of the gods. 63 He is described as messenger 64 and called officiating priest (hotar) 65 o r the sage (kavi), 66 who performs the real sacrificial worship for the gods. 67 Because man is dependent on Agni for the successful performance of this sacrificial worship, a good burning fire is a prime requisite. Agni is kindled by means of sacrificial fuel (kindling-sticks)



and hot clarified butter, 6s so that he reaches the vault of heaven with his flames. 69 The kindling of the fire for the performance of sacrificial worship takes place in the household of man, 7~ early in the morning, 71 when the sun spreads its rays. 72 R.V. Khila 5.7.1 eulogizes the place where Agni is kindled and worshipped as the centre of the earth, the meeting-place of hail, the height of heaven and the place of the sacrificial libation. 4.2. The keyword of the second stanza is Narh~am.sa or Tantinap~it. 73 Oldenberg has observed that Agni is not explicitly mentioned in it. 74 However, he admitted that Nar~gam.sa was a genius who had close connections with the sacrificial worship. Since the sacred words uttered by the priests were as important as the actions performed in sacrificial worship, because they gave these actions the correct meaning, Nar~gam.sa expressed an important aspect of the activities of the officiating priests, who had Agni as their divine prototype. Epithets of Agni could therefore easily be applied to Narggam.sa. In the texts he is described as the honeytongued preparer of the sacrificial food, 7s the brilliant and purifying one, the god worthy of worship among the gods, etc. 76 Because the sacred actions and words were closely connected during the sacrificial worship, Nar~gamsa came to be regarded as the hotar, who anoints the abodes of the sacrifice and moistens the offerings. 77 This connection is expressed most clearly in R.V. 7.2.2, where the greatness of Nar~gam.sa is praised. He is reckoned among those gods who by their 'resourcefulness' (kratu) 7s and by their dedication to poetical and religious inspiration (dh 0 make wholesome and beneficial both kinds of offerings, viz. the sacrificial food and the prayer. 79 Because Nar~igam.sa was closely associated with Agni and gradually became identified with him, he could be replaced by another name of Agni, viz. Tantinap~t, which was introduced as a theological innovation in the Agni mythology, as mentioned above. 4.3. The third stanza is characterized by the praising of Agni. He is praised so and considered to be worthy of being praised 81 and is requested to bring the gods to the place of the sacrifice on his chariot. He is called the messenger between heaven and earth and is invoked as the hotar s2 who has been appointed by Manu, the first sacrificer, s3 RV 7.2.3. cd manus,vdd agnim mdnund, sdmiddham sdm adhvar@a sddam in mahema / "Just like Manu (in the beginning), we always want to glorify Agni who has been kindled by Manu for the sake of the sacrificial performance." Although the various aspects relating to the sacrificial fire and its worship in the first three or four stanzas are rather intermingled, the original sequence



seems to be the kindling of the fire, the invocation of Nar~gam. sa as the genius incorporating the praise of the priests, followed by the laudatio of Agni. 4.4 In the fourth stanza attention is focused on the barhis, the sacred grass, which is strewn on the sacrificial ground. It functions as a litter or a sacred surface on which the gods are invited to seat themselves during the ceremony. 84 This barhis is described as being as soft as wool; 8s it is spread out in an eastward direction s6 early in the morning at dawn, 87 and it is anointed with ghee. 8s In one of the stanzas mention is made of the vedi, which is usually applied to the sacrificial bed strewn with grass upon which gods are requested to seat. 89 The stanzas do not always mention the gods, and when they invite the gods to sit upon the barhis it is not a fixed group, but the names may vary. 9~ According to the later Vedic tradition mostly darbha or kuJa grass is used as barhis, 91 and these are considered to be 'res faustae'. This qualification may be due to the importance of grass for the live-stock of the cattle-breeding Aryan population, though it should be added that they must have known some agriculture. 92 In the Apr[ hymns, barhis is qualified as divine, 93 it is requested to Perform the sacrificial worship for the gods, and it is asked not to be angry. 94 This personification of the divine barhis is also expressed in passages like: "be of assistance to us." 95 The request not to be angry is comprehensable in the light of R.V. 1.142.5, where the sacred grass is said to be trimmed and consequently, to be hurt. Summarizing one can say that the term barhis is used for the sacred grass, which functions as a cushion or a litter for the gods during the sacrificial worship. On account of its beneficial qualities it is sometimes deified 96 and implored for help. 97 However, it seems plausible to me that the qualification divine (deva) for barhis refers to the distinction between the sacred grass which is used for the worship of the gods, and that which is employed in the worship for the deceased ancestors. In the first case, the grass should be cut off with one stroke (sakr.ddchinna), 98 in the second case it should be employed together with its roots. This distinction is frequently found in the later Vedic tradition. 4.5. In the fifth stanza the divine doors (devih. dvdrah.) have a central place. They form a problem of interpretation because it is not clear which doors are intended. Ludwig following Sfiyan.a in his interpretation of R.V. 7.2.5 saw in them the door(s) of the sacrificial enclosure. 99 Grassman 10o and Oldenberg lol share the same opinion. The last author suggested that the terms virdj and sam.rdj in R.V. 1.188.6 were the names of the two door-panels. Max Mtiller lo2 thought that in this context the doors of heaven were meant. All these views have been critizised by Potdar. 1o3 He arrived at the conclusion that these divine doors mainly refer to the flames of the sacrificial fire. However, in some of the passages they seem to be associated



with the two fire-sticks (aran.i), according to him. Herte1104 thought they were connected with the sun, the moon and the stars, which he considered to be the gates between the heaven of light and the world of man. These heavenly doors had their counterpart in the special gates which were erected during the New Year ritual. According to him, the Apri hymns contained the liturgy of this ancient Indo-European ceremony. An important stage in it was the moment during which the warriors passed through the gates to become invincible. He regarded this lustration ceremony as the central part of this ritual. Although it cannot be denied that Hertel makes some sharp observations, he mingles facts and fantasies. The data relating to the divine doors are rather divergent, but according to most texts they are implored to open themselves, or to be opened, so that the gods can pass through them on their cars to the place of the sacrificial worship? ~ RV. 7.2.5 gives a slightly different version: RV. 7.2.5 svddhyO vi d(tro devaydnt6

'~igrayti rathaytlr devdtdtd / p~rv~ .sisum. nd mdtdrd rihdn, d sdm agr~vo nd sdmanes, vag/an//
"Devout people, who love the gods, have opened the doors which are desirous of the chariots for the sake of divine worship; they have anointed the many (doors), like two cows licking their calves, like (one anoints) virgin maids for their bridal festivals." lo6 According to this text people have an active share in the opening of the doors. However, the doors also have a power which transcends human activity. It is for this reason that they are called divine 107 and eulogized as 'far extending' (virdj) and 'universally extending' (sam. rdj). ao8 The fact that the many doors are spoken about - the plural is always used - excludes the possibility that the door of the sacrificial enclosure is the one referred to in the later Vedic texts. A passage like: "Touch the surface of the sky", 1~ becomes meaningless if the doors of heaven are meant. Potdar's solution of the problem seems attractive because it explains many expressions in the texts, but he does not make clear why the flames of the sacrificial fire are intended when the doors are mentioned. His argument that the expression devih, dvdrah, is used as a metaphor is contradicted by the fact that it functions in the stanzas as the fixed keyword. This implies that the poets were not free in the verbalization o f their imagination in this respect. Therefore, it seems more likely to me that special gates were erected for this sacrificial performance, u~ These gates were anointed with butter 111 and strengthened by r.ta. 112 Some expressions seem to indicate that they were adorned with butter-lamps or torches, because they are called bright shining, purifying and not subject to decay, just like the fire, and golden, m These gates form the entrance to the place of sacrificial worship. The people who pass them are brought to a purified state, 114 they are sacralized and invigorated? is From



this point of view, the expression that the divine doors make the sacrifice complete becomes comprehensible, t16 By passing them all the persons and objects involved in the sacrificial performance are sacralized, or brought in the correct ritual condition. This implies that a lustration is not impossible, but the data are too few and too vague for absolute certainty in this respect. 4.6. The next stanza is dedicated to the dual deity Dawn-and-Dusk, or Dawnand-Night. Since Gonda 117 has made a detailed study o f them I need only to deal with them briefly. He considers Dawn-and-Dusk (Night) as another 'requisite' for the successful performance o f the fire ritual, t~8 Whereas U.sas represents Dawn, the term nakt- is used for the whole period between sunset and sunrise, but in a ritual context it especially denotes the period of nighfall or dusk. 119 Both U.sas and Nakt have something to do with the regular or traditional moments during which the sacrificial worship is performed. In the dpr~ stanzas they are personified and invoked as two divine women and they are requested to sit down on the barhis 12o for the welfare o f all those persons who are present at the performance. Gonda states in this context: "It would appear to me that this oft-repeated invitation is most appropriate to the poet's purpose if it figuratively conveys the meaning: 'be present at this sacrificial rite which is now being performed and which requires your presence.' We can hardly imagine the words ugdsdv dhd s~datdm, 'take place here', in 1.88.6 referring to something other than the bed of sacred grass on a sacrificial place which is actually used at the beginning or end of the day." 121 Dawn-and-Dusk representing the two points o f junction in daytime create the web o f structured time. Therefore, they are called 'mothers o f rta' 122 and they are compared with two women ' who weave, turned towards each other, the stretched-out warp, the ornamented form o f sacrifice." m Within this time structured by Dawn-and-Dusk, all living beings have to live, or according to Geldner: "Die Nacht treibt die Wesen heim, der Morgen hinaus." ~24 The presence of Dawn-and-Dusk at this sacrifice forms as it were a guarantee for the continuity of a structured life-time and well-being. 12s 4.7. The two divine hotars, officiating priests, are the subject of the seventh dprf stanza. According to modern scholars they represent either the hotar and another priest, 126 or the human officiating priest and his fire, which is considered to be the divine hotar. 127 On account of the contraction of b o t h figures in one fixed expression, epithets and characterizations used in connection with one were also applied to the other. Therefore, the qualification divine (daivya), which is always used in the keywords to characterize Agni also became applicable to the mortal hotar. 128 The two divine hotars are invoked to perform the sacrificial rite. 1~9 In that capacity they have a mediating function and b y their knowledge



and skill 230 make the sacrifice successful, so that it attains the world of heaven. T M With this sacrifice its institutor hopes to gain excellent things (R.V. 7.2.7) and wealth or abundance of live-stock (R.V. 10.70.7). 4.8. In the eight dpri stanza attention is drawn to the three goddesses (tisro dev?r). They are called Sarasvatf, Ilg and BhgratL or Mahf. 132 They are invited to come to the place of sacrifice, to sit down and to participate in the sacrificial performance, but it does not become very clear why they are invited and what kind of function they have. 133 In R.V. 1.13.9 they are described as mayobh~, i.e. as "giving comfort" or "causing pleasure", and as asridh, i.e. as "non failing". Mayrhofer, 134 following others, drew attention to the fact that the term mayas, i.e. "refreshment, enjoyment, pleasure", has its parallel in the Avestan word mayah-, i.e. "copulation". This meaning of the term has also been preserved in RV. 10.40.10. It seems, therefore, that the three goddesses are connected with sexual and life-promoting activities. This opinion is corroborated by the fact that they are implored to promote grf, i.e. "prosperity, well-being", 13s and to be o f good protection. 136 Moreover they are called skilful (svapas) in R.V. 10.1 10.8, or apasdm apastamd in R.V. Khila 7.5.1 i, qualifications which are often used in connection with Tvas.tar, the god who releases ('unties') the seminal fluid and who moulds the form. Of the three goddesses Sarasvatf is most frequently mentioned. Three hymns of the RV. are addressed to her and her male counterpart Sarasvat. 137 As goddess she is considered to be a personification of the river of the same name, which is said to be of heavenly origin. Her name has in all probability the meaning of "she who is connected with lakes (or ponds)". 13s In this quality Sarasvati is often addressed together with the waters and the other rivers, a39 Sometimes she is represented as a cow yielding milk and butter, 14~ but she is especially invoked in connection with fertility and procreation. She is called a mother and requested to impart offspring;142 her generosity is widely praised. 142 In the Atharvaveda she is invoked for procreation as well and in a charm to promote virility she is requested to stiffen the membrum virile like a bent bow, together with the gods Agni and Savitar. 143 Sarasvati is often addressed with R~k~, SinNaff and Kuht~, goddesses who all are concerned with procreation and a good birth. 144 Besides this the goddess is renowned for her heroism. 14s In the Avesta Sarasvatf has her counterpart in Arodvr Stir~ Anghit~, i.e. "the moist, the strong, the immaculate", to whom the fifth Yagt is dedicated. Boyce 146 agrees with Lommel that the original name must have been *Harahuatf 147 which is preserved in the Indian name Sarasvatf. She localizes the river of the same name in a region rich in rivers and lakes, which was known to the Greeks as Arachosia. This geographical name is to all probability derived from local East-Iranian ,haraxVatf.148 In the Avesta this goddess is mostly called Arodvf and has close



connections with fertility, just like her Indian counterpart. She unfolds her activities within the sphere of procreation and pregnancy, a happy birth and breastfeeding. She is said to prepare the sperm of all men, to help women when they give birth to children and to bestow milk on them at the right time. 149 In the Avesta the beaver is said to be her sacred animal, but this animal is not found in Central Asia according to Ghirshman. is~ This statement is corroborated by Grzimek whose encyclopedia contains a map with the distribution of the beaver nowadays and in former times, lsl It shows that the animal is not found in the area south of the Aral Lake nor in Iran. The assertion that the name of the river originally should refer to the Oxus or Jaxartes is therefore highly improbable, ls2 The same applies to Boyce's supposition that the river should be localized in Arachosia. Ghirshman pleads for an identification of this river with the Volga, because the beaver is frequently found in this area. Moreover, the seed of the beaver is considered to be one of the most mighty aphrodiasacs in the popular Russian pharmacopees. This would explain why the beaver is the sacred animal of this river goddess, whose main sphere of influence is that of fertility and procreation. Besides this, there are other good reasons to think of the Volga as Indo-Iranian homeland. 1s3 To say this does not exclude the possibility that also names of other rivers may have been derived from *SarasuatL The application of ancient names to other places and rivers by migrating people is very well known. Hans Krahe ls4 has drawn attention to the conservative character of topographic and hydronymic names showing that an ancient fund of names was spread in Europe over a large area. The application of the ancient name *Sarasuatf to many other rivers by the migrating Indo-Iranian tribes is therefore highly probable. Summarizing one can say that the promotion of fertility and procreation are important characteristics of the Indo-Iranian goddess * SarasuatL It is for this reason that she is invoked in the aprT stanzas. The information on the two other goddesses of this triad in the R.V. is scanty. I!~, however, is called a 'mother' of herds in R.V. 5.41.19. According to Macdonell lss she is the personification of the offering of milk and butter; as such she represents the abundance derived from the cow. In a broader sense, however, she can be conceived as the personification of the essence of all sacrificial food which is offered. Boyce remarks in this context with reference to Gonda that "an essential part of rituals i s . . . the communal eating of the i.d~, that is, an especial part of the sacrificial food regarded as the 'blessing of the sacrifice' ,,.1s6 The Avestan counterpart of I!~, viz. i ~ , who occurs in similar expressions, 157 stands for the same conception. Bh~ratf, sometimes also called Hotr~ Bhfiratf, can be conceived as a personification of 'the offering of the tribe of the Bharatas'. ~s8 Sometimes, however, Mah~, the goddess of the earth, is mentioned instead of her. Compared with



Sarasvatf, the two other goddesses have a very weak personification. In my o p i n i o n they should be regarded as hieratical conceptions in which the commitment of the stock-breeding Aryan tribes towards their cattle and its food products, as well as to the earth, is expressed. Another possibility is that Bh~irat f should be conceived as the goddess who ruled over the territory of the tribe o f the Bharatas. This goddess was closely associated with the earth. Because Sarasvatf was very dominant in this triad, characteristics belonging to her became applied to all three of them.iS9 In later times the conception of the three goddesses being engaged in the process of procreation and fertility seems to have been replaced by that of the 'wives of the gods' (devapatnO, also shortly called 'the wives' (gngs). These wives of the gods are requested to help at procreation and childbirth and maintain a close connection with the waters? 6~ Moreover, they are associated with Tva.s.tar ~6~ who is said to be 'the lord of the wives' and who is also described as 'fond of wives'. 162 In some expressions of the R.V., and also in the later ritual texts, this combination of Tva.s.tar and the 'wives of the gods' is a fixed datum. The god and his wives receive together in one offering their sacrificial share during the patn~samydja section at the end of the later Vedic rituals. 163 4.9. In the ninth stanza attention is focused on Tva.s.tar, the god who "carves, or shapes"? 64 Hertel is of the opinion that this god 165 should be conceived as the procreation fire, a partial aspect of Agni. He combines this view with the conception that the three goddesses represent the female aspect of the fire. 166 The other data in these stanzas are adjusted to his light/fire doctrine, which has been critized above. Potdar states that Tva.s.tar is a god of the rain, but his metaphorical interpretation of the texts in which mention is made o f the scattering of seed is not supported by the texts themselves, because they do not contain any allusion to the falling of rain. 167 The following data relating to Tva.s.tar can be found in the texts. Just like the three goddesses he is invited (R.V. 1.13.10) to come to the place of sacrificial worship; 168 he is personally addressed in the second person. R.V. 3.4.9 tdn nas tur~pam ddha pos.ayitnfi

ddva tvas..tarvi rardndh, syasva / ydto vTrdh, karman.ydh, suddks.o yuktdgrdvd fdyate devdkdmah. //
"This stream of sperm which is to thrive indeed, o god Tvas.tar, thou should 'untie', showing thyself generous; (the stream) from which a manly son is born, able and skilful, who sets to work the pressing stones and who loves the gods." The reason why Tvas.tar is invoked is explicitly mentioned in most of the stanzas. It is for progeny, for manly and healthy sons, for the increase of cattle, for movable



property (dravin.a-), that is children and cattle, for prosperity and well-being.169 The god is requested to come to the place of sacrifice of his own free will and to grant all these goods, which are so vital for the well-being of a householder and his family in a mainly pastoral society. The fact that he is invited to come to this place (iha) implies that he is thought to be present on the barhis. R.V. 5.5.9 ~ivds tva.s.tarihd gahi

vibhfih, p6.sa utd 'tmdnd / yafn~-yal'ae na rid ava //

"Friendly (to us), O Tvas.tar, thou should come to this place, O mighty (god) for the well-being (of us), and also thou (should come) by thyself; thou should help us at every sacrifice." Tva.s.tar is invited to be present on the sacrificial place and he is implored to help at every sacrifice by sacrificing his own goods. The reciprocity between the two parties in the sacrificial performance becomes especially clear in RV. 1.188.9. .RV. 1.188.9 tvds..tdrgtpdnihi prabh6h. /

pa~n vigvdn samdna.id / tdsdm nah. sphdtim ~ yaja //

"Tvastar, the eminent (god), has shaped all forms indeed, all cattle. Do thou 170 through sacrifice procure their greasy abundance." Also in R.V. 10.70.9 the god is invited to sacrifice his goods. .RV. 10.70.9 ddva tvas.tarydd dha cdrutvdm ~nad

ydd dhgirasam dbhavah, sacdbh{th. / sd devdnffm pdtha fipa prd vidvgn usdn yaksi dravinodah, surdtnah. //
"O god Tva.s.tar, because thou hast brought about the beauty (of the forms), because thou hast become the companion of the Afigiras, this (offering) should come within the abode of the gods, O sage. Thou shouldst eagerly sacrifice, O bestower of wealth and owner of treasures." In this stanza a correlation is suggested between the fact that Tvas.tar has brought forth the beauty of forms, and the offering which is performed. The Fashioner of forms is requested to sacrifice as a bestower of wealth, that is, to grant children and cattle, because by this, wealth is expressed in a mainly pastoral society. Moreover: mention should be made of the fact that Tva.s.tar is the companion of the Afigiras, an ancient priestly family. Because of this relationship the An.giras seem to be able to act upon the god in a special way. They are mediators between the institutor and Tvas.tar and they are qualified, therefore, to officiate in this sacrificial performance. In an other context the Afigiras are called "the sons of heaven" and maintain a close relationship with Agni, who is frequently called an Afigiras. a71 In RV. 10.110.9 the connection between Tvas.tar and Agni is further elucidated:



.RV. 10.110.9 yd im~ dydvdprthiv~ fdnitr~ rupair dpim.gad bhfivandni vigvd / tdm adyd hotar isit6 ydfiydn devdm tvd.stdram ihd yak.si vidv~n // "(To Tvas.tar) who has shaped Heaven and Earth, the two progenitors, by carving them with forms, (and who has shaped) all other beings, to this god Tvas.tar thou should perform today at this place sacrificial worship, O hotar (Agni), (thou) who art impelled (to sacrifice) as the best sacrificer, endowed with knowledge." In this stanza, the hotar, i.e. Agni, performs the sacrificial worship for Tva.s.tar, who has shaped heaven and earth and all living beings within them by carving their forms. Agni is the hotar and in this role mediates between the human priest and this god. The poet describes Tva.s.tar, in this context, as the god who encompasses heaven and earth, the two progenitors. The biomorphic model for the explanation of the cosmos in which heaven and earth together form the primeval pair is combined in this stanza with a technomorphic model in which the god Tva.s.tar, by his skill, intentionally created the world. 17z From this point of view he can be called a creator god, although he does not create ex nihilo. He gives form to that which is without form by carving or fashioning it so that it gets a concrete manifestation. Tva.s.tar is praised because he has brought forth the beauty of the forms. In this context, attention may be drawn to two verbs which are used to describe the creating activities of Tva.s.tar, viz. pim.~ati (R.V. 10.110.9 = AV 5.12.9) and samanakti (R.V. 1.188.9). According to Mayrhofer, pim. gati denotes: "he hews out, he carves out (esp. meat), he prepares, he adorns, he joints, he unites." 173 It is often used in connection with Tva.s.tar and the R.bhus, the deified artisans, to describe their carving activities. In a riddle hymn Tva.s.tar is characterized as the god with a sharp knife in his hand (R.V. 8.29.3). His shaping activities as an artisan are also expressed in his name, an agent noun, denoting "carver, fashioner or shaper". TM In a prayer for good conception and good birth (R.V. 10.184.1 = AV. 5.25.5) the god is implored to 'carve' (pimgati) the forms of the embryo. The verb samanakti is used to describe another aspect of the shaping activities of Tva.s.tar. It denotes: "he anoints, he adorns, he joints or he unites". 17s According to Geldner, its proper meaning is "to melt together." 176 As we have seen in R.V. 1.188.9, the god has melted together or has united the forms, and in the same line, all animals are mentioned. This aspect of his shaping activities can be combined very well with the idea of carving. The god carves the forms and he melts them together so that they become a whole. In this manner he has shaped all animals. Because the god has fashioned the forms of all living beings he is sometimes called vi~var~pa, i.e. "he who contains all forms." 17, In R.V. 3.55.19-20 this idea is formulated as follows: .RV. 3.55.19-20

devds tvd.s.tdsavit~ vigvdrftpah. pup6.sa prajdh, purudh~ jajdna /



imd ca vigvd bh(tvandny asya mahdd devJndm asuratvdm dkam // mahr sdm airac camvd samfc{ ubh~ t~ asya vdsund ny.fs.t.e / ~rnvd v~r6 vinddmdno vdsfmi mahdd devdndm asuratvdm dkam // "The god Tva.s.tar, the impeller, containing all forms, has multiplied progeny and has brought it forth in abundance, and these are all his creatures; unique is the great asura might of the gods./St. 19 He has joined together (sdm airad) the two combined vessels (i.e. heaven and earth) and these two are filled with his goods; he is renowned as the hero who finds the beneficial goods; unique is the great asura might of the gods./St. 20 Here, Tva.s.tar is not only connected with the multiplication and progeny (prajti), but also with the creation of the world, because he joins together the two combined vessels, viz. heaven and earth. In stanza 19 the relation between the god and all living beings is expressed by words such as e.g. jajana and prajd. The verb janati, "he begets, generates, gives birth to" and the noun prajd, "progeny", belong to the sphere of procreation between male and female. They refer, in this context, to a biomorphic model for the explanation of the cosmos, but this is, in the next stanza, complemented by a technomorphic model. The poet does not conceive heaven and earth as the primeval parents or progenitors as in R.V. 10.110.9, but he describes them both as two wooden vessels which are combined. The relation between Tva.s.tar and the cosmos is expressed here in terms of an artisan who combines the two carved vessels. In this respect Tva.s.tar transcends the duality of heaven and earth. The two models used here for the explanation of the cosmos are not always clearly distinguished in the imagination of the poets of the R.V., true as it may be that the etymological meaning of the term tva.st.ar in the first place refers to a technomorphic model in which the god intentionally shapes the cosmos. The consequence of this contamination of models is that Tva.s.tar, just like heaven, is sometimes imagined as the male progenitor of all living beings, but he seems to distinguish himself from heaven by the fact that he intentionally creates them. He has the power to bestow offspring by 'untying' the sperm of male beings. The idea of an intentional intervention in the reproduction of living beings by Tva.s.tar is frequently found in the @ri stanzas. The mainly cattle-breeding population believed that the success in the multiplication of man and beast was dependent on the shaping and life-promoting activities of this god. These activities also refer to the idea that the god 'unties' or sends forth the seminal fluid. 17s R.V. 1.142.10 tdn nas tur[pam ddbhutam pun vdram pun 'tmdnd / tvd.s.tdp6s.dya vl syatu rdyd ndbhd no asmaygth. //

THE APRi HYMNS OF THE R.V "May Tvastar, inclined towards us, untie for us in our navel the stream of sperm, abundant in treasures, abundant by itself, for the sake of prosperity and wealth." RV. 2.3.9 pis.dhgargtpahsubhdro vayodhdh.


srus.t[ Hr6 ]dyate devdkdmah / prajdm tvds..tdvi .syatu ndbhtm asm~ dthd dev~ndm dpy etu pgthah. //
"Through the hearing (of our prayer by the god Tvas.tar) a healthy son is born (to us), bronze coloured and strong, seething in vitality, loving the gods. Tvas.tar should untie for us the navel, (that is to say) progeny. And may he (viz. the sacrificial victim) enter the abode of the gods." The interpretation of these stanzas is slightly problematic, 179 because it is not clear what is exactly meant with the untying of the navel. Bergaigne 180 drew attention to the fact that in the .Rgveda the navel is conceived as a symbol of the connection between father and son. The navel is used in this context to indicate the place of origin of a child. In R.V. 1.1 64.33 this idea is formulated as follows: .RV. 1.164.33 dyafir me pitd fanitd ndbhir dtra

bdndhur me mdt~ prthiv[ maMydm /

"Heaven (Sky) is my father, my begetter; there is my'navel' (place of origin); this great earth is my 'navel string' (bandhu), my mother." / The paternal affiliation is expressed in this stanza by means of the terms ndbhi, i.e. 'navel'. The term bandhu in this stanza denotes the bond with the mother, the maternal affiliation, or also the umbilical cord by means of which the embryo is fed. TM In the well known name N~ibh~nedi.s.tha, i.e. "nearest to the navel" or "related to the navel", this idea of paternal affiliation is also expressed. According to R.V. 2.3.9 progeny is created by the untying of the navel of man. This idea is supplemented by the concept that the seminal fluid is untied in the navel of man. This untying implicates an ejaculation during which the sperm is sent forth within the womb of the female. In a prayer accompanying a ceremony for a conception of a boy it is stated that the embryo is placed by the man. "Let the virile organ, seedplacer of the embryo, set it like a feather on the shaft." / AV. 5.25.1 182 The man is conceived here as the placer of the seed, the begetter, and the woman is the receptacle in which the seed is placed and fed. In this activity he is assisted by Tva.s.tar and some other gods. "O Dh~tar (resp. Tvas.tar, Savitar, Praj~pati) with best forms, in the two groins of this woman do thou set a male son, to be born in the tenth month." / AV. 5.25.10-14 183 From the few examples given here it may be clear that progeny finds its origin in the navel of man. For the sake of prosperity and abundance Tva.s.tar should untie the seminal fluid in the navel (cf. R V. 1.142.10). By this action he secures



the continuity of the family and prosperity. He is called, therefore, in the later Vedic texts "the bestower of sperm" (retodhd) and "he who has excellent sperm" (suretas). 184 Women have a passive function in the process of procreation, because they are only receptacles in which man places his seed. In fact, they do not really count, because the continuity of the family is only guaranteed by male offspring. 18s In the prayers of the R.V., the gods are implored for healthy and strong sons, as the lack of offspring in the male line means poverty and insecurity. Daughters have no active share in the continuity of the family and are not qualified to sacrifice. They are regarded as objects of exchange. The concept of Tva.s.tar as the 'carver' or the 'fashioner' of living beings has its parallel in the Avesta. In Yasna 29.6 Ahura Mazdg speaks to the cow which protests against the rude sacrifices in which so many animals are slaughtered: "The fashioner (O~6rO~ta-)has fashioned (tatagd) thee for the cattlebreeder and the herdsman (f~uyanta~cd vdstrydicd)." / 186 This fashioner is also described as gSuJ taJan, i.e. "the shaper of the cow", and sometimes he is identified with Sp0ntg Mainyti. 187 This idea of Tva.s.tar as the fashioner has been maintained in the R.V. in similar expressions, e.g. "Tvastar has fashioned (tataks.a) the thunderbolt." 188 When we summarize the facts in the group of dpri stanzas under consideration we can distinguish two concepts relating to Tva.s.tar which are closely connected. The first one is that of Tva.s.tar as the fashioner of the living beings. He is the god who shapes heaven and earth and all living beings within them by 'carving' and 'combining' until they get their specific forms. This concept of the creation of man and beast is also found in many hunting cultures 189 and may have been very archaic. The second concept of Tva.s.tar, viz. as the 'untier' of the male seminal fluid, is closely interwoven with the first one. In this concept, the god has an active share in the procreation of man and animal, and is regarded as the bestower of wealth, i.e. of cattle and children, esp. sons. It does not seem improbable that this concept originated during a cultural stage of the Indo-Aryans which can be described as mainly pastoral nomadism, since cattlebreeding and herding were predominant. Because the main purpose of the ritual underlying the Apr~ hymns is the realization of wealth in the future, the god Tva.s.tar must have an important place in it. Before analyzing the next stanza, I would like to call attention to the fact that there is a very close connection between the stanzas dedicated to Tva,s.tar and those in which Vanaspati functions as keyword. In R.V. 2.3.9. and expressions are used which are characteristic of the next stanza. In the first text Tva.s.tar is invoked to untie the navel for the sake of progeny. Immediately after

THE 2~PR] HYMNS OF THE RV this prayer, the e x h o r t a t i o n is f o r m u l a t e d in pdda d: " M a y he c o m e within the


fold o f the gods." 19o In the second t e x t the god is praised because he has brought a b o u t the b e a u t y o f the forms and along w i t h this it is said in pdda c: " T h i s (sa) (offering) (should c o m e within) the fold o f the gods." 191 In the stanzas relating to Vanaspati the c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n the offering which is p e r f o r m e d and the realm o f the gods is m a d e m o r e explicit. This justifies the conclusion that there must be a close link b e t w e e n the invocation o f Tva.s.tar and the sacrificial injunction in the n e x t stanza. The specification o f this offering in R V. 10.70.9 b y a masculine demonstrative p r o n o u n , viz. sa, implies that n o t a neutral oblation is meant, but a male sacrificial victim; see also the arguments in 4.10. Owing to its extent, the remainder of this article will be continued in the next issue, Vol. 28, No. 3.

State University o f Groningen The Netherlands

1 R V. 1.13; 1.142; 1.188; 2.3; 5.5; 7.2; 10.70; 10.110. R.V. 9.5 is a soma hymn following the pattern of the ,~prf hymns; it is characterized by the same keywords. See also RV. Khilgni (ed, Scheftelowitz, I., Die Apokryphen des R.gveda, Hildesheim 1966, repr. ed. 1906) 5.7.1-5, which are however partly later, as they include the third pressing of the soma ritual, but ancient forms, such as conj. aor. karat in 5.7.2, have been preserved in them. Further AV. 5.12 and 27 should be mentioned. See further Gonda, J., Vedic Literature, Wiesbaden 1975, p. 104. 2 Roth, R., Ydska Nirukta, G6ttingen 1852, repr. Darmstadt 1976, p. XXXIII ff. 3 Miiller, F. M., History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, repr. Varanasi 1968, pp. 423-427. 4 Bumouf, E., JournalAsiatique 1850, p. 249. s Miiller, F. M., o.c., p. 427. 6 Schwab, J., Das Altindisches Thieropfer, Erlangen 1886, p. 90 ft. 7 Hillebrandt, A., Rituallitteratur, Strassburg 1897, p. 16. 80ldenberg, H., Vedic Hymns, part II, Oxford 1897, p. 16 (S.B.E. XLVI). 9 Keith, A. B., The Religion and Philosophy of the Veda and the Upanis.ads, repr. Varanasi 1970 (H.O.S. 31 and 32), p. 325. 10 Bergaigne, A., 'Histoire de la Liturgie V~dique', J.A. 13 (1889), p. 19. 11 Hertel, J., Das Indogermanisches Neujahrsopfer im Veda, Leipzig 1938 (Berichte tiber die Verh. der S~chsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Phil. Hist. Klasse 90, Band 1938, Heft I). 12 Cf. Hertel, o.c., p. 3: "Als wichtigste Ziige des Januskultes... hebe ich hervor: das L6schen der Feuer am Jahresende, ihre Neuerzeugung am Jahresbeginn dutch Drillung einer Spindel mittels eines Strickes, die Opferfeuer der Wintersonnenwende, Janus als Fiihrer der Lichtm~ichte, als Sch6pfer alles Lebens, seine Verbindung mit den Miittern (Geburtsg6ttinnen), den Durchzug des Heeres durch das freistehende, mit keinem Gebgude verbundene Tor, das besonders ge6ffnet wird zum Zweck der Lustration des Heeres, und die Beziehung dieses Tores zu den Quellen, endlich in deutscher Oberlieferung das Erscheinen Wodans mit seinem wilden Heere zur Zeit Wintersonnewende."



13 Hertel, o.c., p. 13. 14 Hertel, o.c., p. 4. 15 Hertel, o.c., p. 5: "Die Redaktoren des R.V. wussten also noch dass alle diese Wesen Teilpersonen der Kollektivperson Agni sind." 16 Hertel, o.c., p. 9-10. 17 Gonda, J., Dual Deities in the Religion o f the Veda, Amsterdam 1974 (Royal Academy, N.R., 81), pp. 124 ff., esp. note 5. 18 Potdar, K. R., The ,4prf Hymns o f the R.gveda, a Study and a Theory, Journal of the University of Bombay, Sept. 1945 (I), pp. 26-43, and Sept. 1946 (II), pp. 29-57. 19 Potdar, o.c., II, p. 39. 20 Potdar, o.c., II, pp. 40-42. 21 Gonda, o.c., pp. 126-127. 22 See Schmidt, H. P., Vedic p~thas, IIJ, 15 (1973), esp. p. 35-37. 23 Cf., Gonda, o.c., p. 127: "Whatever should be n o t i c e d . . , is that the fore offerings of the animal sacrifice are eleven in number and that therefore the Apri hymns, which in most cases have exactly the same number of stanzas, could have been more or less mechanically adapted to their new ritual purpose mainly on the strength of numerical considerations. See also Potdar, o.c., II, pp. 4 8 - 4 9 for the 'magic' of the number. 24 See note 1. 25 RV. 1.13 has twelve stanzas and 1.142 thirteen. AV. 5.27 has numerous subdivisions and corruptions; it contains twelve stanzas, just like R.V. Khila 5.7.1, which has twelve mantras. Potdar is doubtless right in considering this extension of the scheme as a later development; cf. o.c., II, pp. 4 4 - 4 6 ; cf. Y~ska, Nit. 8.22. 26 In R.V. 1.13 ; 142 and R.V. Khila 5.7.1 a stanza dedicated to Tanfmap~t is inserted in the scheme. 27 Potdar, o.c., I, pp. 35-36 and II, p. 46. 28 See also Renou, L., Etudes V~diques etPaninbennes (E.V.P.), XIV (1965), p. 111. 29 Oldenberg, H., Kleine Schriften, I, Wiesbaden 1967 (=Z.D.M.G., 54, 1900, pp. 49-57): "Nara~ar0.sa ist der yon der Priestern vorgetragene Preis, die yon ihnen recitierte, mit heiligen Zauberkr~ifte ges~ittigte Litanei, so wie der Genius, welchen diesen Preis v e r k 6 r p e r t . . . Wit haben einen Gott, der in der Sphare des Opfers sein Wesen treibt." (p. 44). See also Oldenberg, H., Methodologisches zur Vedamythologie, B.rhaspati, Nara~am.sa, Kleine Schriften, I, pp. 363-397, esp. 383. 3o Oldenberg, H., Kleine Schriften, I, p. 389. For a recent position see Boyce, M., A History o f Zoroastrianism, I, Leiden 1975, pp. 60-61 (Handbuch der Orientalistik). al Hillebrandt, A., Vedische Mythologie, I, Breslau 1929, repr. Hildesheim 1965, pp. 108 ff. See also Keith, o.c. (n. 9), p. 164. 32 Oldenberg, H., Kleine Schriften, I, p. 392: "Der vorangehende und folgende Vers nennt in allen Apri Liedern des R.V. fast ausdriicklich den Agni; der in der Mitre s t e h e n d e . . , tut es nie. Also handelt es sich um eine Gottheit, die far die Liedverfasser yon Agni verschieden Wal'." 33 Cf. Potdar, o.c., II. pp. 44-45. 34 See also Gonda, J., Some Observations on the Relations between "Gods" and "Powers" in the Veda, apropos o f the Phrase sfmuh, sahasah. The Hague 1957, p. 57. as For similar kinds of identifications see also e.g.R.V. 2.1.1 ft. and SB. if, 36 Cf. Scheftelowitz, o.c. (n. 1), p. 142 sqq. The praisddhydya collection of the R.V. Khil~ni seems to have formed, together with the nivids and purorucas of the preceding chapter, a short ritual handbook for the offering priest; Scheftelowitz, o.c., p. 131, note 10. This handbook contains old, even pre-R.V. forms; for the nivids see Hoffmann, K., Aufs~itze, p. 381 ann. 9; for the prais.as see e.g. the old meaning of the verb ya/-, "to worship": h6tdyaksad agnim . . . hbtd yaks.ad tanfmdpdtam . . .; etc. On yak.sat and yaks.atdm see Narten, J., Die sigmatische Aoristus im Veda, Wiesbaden 1964, p. 201 sq.



37 Gonda, o.c. (n. 17), pp. 125-126;Potdar, o.c., II (n. 18), p. 39. 38 The term ritual is used here in a neutral sense. In the course of this paper it will be specified. 39 Although the priests were the first qualified persons for the maintenance of this tradition, it is very likely that the interested party itself also watched over their family tradition. 40 R.V. 1.188; 7.2; 10.110. Indra is however mentioned in a more or less central position in R.V. Khila 5.7.4 a sqq., but these formulas function within the context of the soma sacrifice. Only R.V. Khila 5.7.1 follows the pattern of the fi,pr~ hymns. 41 Cf. R.V. 1.13.12; 142.4, 5 ; 2.3.3; 3.4.6;5.5.3, 11; 10.70.11;R.V. Khila 5.7.1.e,g.,;AV. 5.27.12. 42 The fact that the scheme occurs in all the Apri hymns shows that it must have been standardized already in an early stage of the Vedic times; cf. also Bergaigne, o.c. (n. 10). Moreover, the fixed keywords contain deities, such as e.g. Nar~amsa, Sarasvati and Tvas.tar, who also occur in the Avesta with corresponding characteristics. Besides this, mention should be made of the parallel between the term dprf and the Avestic dfr~-; cf. Mayrhofer, M., A Concise EtyrnologicalDictionary, Vol. I, Heidelberg 1956, p. 76. For the Afffnag~n rituals see further e.g. Haug, M., Essays on the Sacred Language, Writingsand Religion of the Parsees, London 18843, pp. 224-225; 284 and 408-409;Boyce, M.,A History of Zoroastrianism, Vol. I, Leiden 1975 (Handbuch der Orientalistik), p. 168. All these data point to a pre-R,gvedic antiquity of this ritual; see also note 36. 43 The same argument applies to Varuna, Mitra and all the other gods, who do not belong to the fixed scheme. To avoid misunderstandings, this statement only implies that these gods are not essential for the explanation of the ritual at the basis of the Apr~ hymns, though they may be very old. 44 Potdar, o.c. (n. 18), II, p. 41. 45 Tant~napfit is distinguished in this stanza from Agni. This pleads against the view of Potdar (o.c., I, p. 35) and Gonda (0.c., pp. 127 ff.) that Agni and Tantinap~t should be identified with each other. 46 For a detailed study about Dawn-and-Dusk (Night) see Gonda, o.c. (n. 17), pp. 124-144. For the interpretation of nakt- as the whole period between sunset and sunrise see p. 134. The author is however inclined to conceive the term in the dvandva under consideration as dusk (nightfall). "So there can be no doubt whatever that these expressions were often used in connection with the moments at which the customary observances, the attendance of Agni and the worship of the other gods, had to take place. It is moreover sufficiently clear that in addition to dawn and nightfall a third ceremony could be performed between these moments." (pp. 134-135) 47 Gonda, o.c., p. 139. 48 See the index of Nobel, J., on Der Rigveda iibersetzt von K. F. Geldner, vierter Tell, Namen und Sachregister, Cambridge (Mass.) 1957, p. 249 sub Soma, ritual. On the threefold character of Agni see also Macdonell, A. A., Vedic Mythology, Strassburg 1897, p. 93. 49 This does not exclude that I agree with many of his opinions, e.g. the fact that these hymns should not be explained primarily within the context of the pa~ubandha ritual. so Cf. Hertel. o.c. (n. 11), pp. 9-14;Potdar, o.c., II, pp. 39-40;Gonda, o.c., pp. 135-136. 51 d devdndm agraydvehd ydtu ndrdgdmso vi~vdrftpebhir dgvaih. / rtdsya patha ndmasd miyddho devdbhyo devdtarnah, susadat / / R V. 10.70.2 52 Cf. Vishva Bandhu in coll. with Bhim Dev, R., and Nath, A., Vaidikdnukrarnakoga, A 9 Vedic Word-concordance, Shantikuti Vedic (Research) Series, vol. 1-15, Hoshiapur 19651975. s3 Cf. Petrograd Dictionary, sub voce. s4 Mayrhofer, M., A Concise Etymological Sanskrit Dictionary, Heidelberg 1963, Vol. II,

sub voce.
ss Renou, L., E.V.P., Vol. XIV (1965), p. 47 and 118. s6 Boyce, M., o.c. (n. 30), pp. 148-149. 57 ibidem.



58 Wackernagel, J.,Altindische Grammatik, 1.1, G6ttingen 1896, p. 37 f. s9 Grassmann, H., WOrterbueh zum Rigveda, Wiesbaden 19644, sub voee. 6o According to Prof. Dr. F.B.J. Kuiper "sacrificial meal" would suffice as meaning (personal communication). For the occurrence of the term see further R.V. 3.19.1, 5; 3.32.12; 6.51.12; 7.1.17 (each time at the end of a pdda). 6a R.V. 1.13.1: susamiddho;R.V. 1.142.1; 188.1; 2.3.1; 10.110.1;(9.5.1): samiddho;R.V. 3.4.1 : samit-samit ; R.V. 5.5.1: susamiddhdya ; R.V. 7.2.1; 10.70.1 : samidham. 62 e.g.R.V. 1.13.1; 142.1, 4;3.4.1; 10.110.2. 63 R.V. 1.188.1. See also R V. 1.13.2 and 10.110.2. 64 R V. 10.110.1;AV. 5.12.t. See also R V. 7.2.3. 6s R.V. 1.13.1 ; 3.4.1. See further the seventh or eight stanza of the dpfisftktas. 66 RV. 1.188.1;2.3.1;10.110.1. 67 RV. 1.13.1;3.4.1; 10.110.1. 68 For the kindling-sticks see R.V. 3.4.1 ; 7.2.1 ; 10.70.1. For ghee (ghrta) see R.V. 5.5.1 ; 10.70.1. 69 R.V. 7.2.1. 70 R.V. 10.110.1 ; manus.o duron, e. Cf. also AV. 5.12.1. 7a R V. 7.2.1. 72 Although I share the view of Potdar, o.c., I, p. 35 in the main, I disagree with his opinion that the kindling of the fire in the household of the patron would be an indication of a very simple offering. Such a vision may be true in the light of the highly intricate rituals described in the brdhmanas and the drautasfttras, but the fact that the householder needed a special officiating priest to perform this offering three times a day argues against the supposed simplicity. Hertel's view about a New Year Cult characterized by the extinguishing of the old fires and the production of a new fire by means of a fire-drill is not corroborated by the facts mentioned in the stanzas; cf. o.c. (n. 11), pp. 4 5 - 4 7 . 73 Nar~amsa: .RV. 2.3.2; 5.5.2; 7.2.2; 10.70.2. Tanfinap~t: RV. 1.188.2; 3.4.2; 10.110.2; AV. 5.12.2. A combination of both names occurs in R.V. 1.13.2, 3; 1.142.2, 3; RV. Khila. 5.7.1 b, c. 74 See note 29. 7s RV. 1.13.3. 76 R.V. 1.142, 3. "77 R.V. 2.3.2. Cf. R.V. Khila. 5.7.1 b. 78 Cf. Gonda, J. OldIndian, Leiden 1971, pp. 182-183 (Handbuch der Orientalistik). 79 Cf. R.V. 7.2.2. Transl. Renou, L., E.V.P., X W (1965), p. 46: "La grandeur de Nar~amsa, (dieu) adorable, nous allons la louer par des sacrifices, (sa grandeur) parmis ces dieux qui, dou6s du pouvoir-spirituel, purs, disposant sur la vision-po6tique rendent savoureuses l'une et l'autre offrande (nourriture et chant)." 80 RV. 1.13.4; 142.4; 2.3.3;5.5.3; 10.70.3: ffita. 81 R.V. 1.188.3; 10.110.3: ~d.yo. R.V. 7.2.3: ~l.enya. RV. 3.4.3 changes the meaning by the introduction of the term il.a, i.e. sacrificial food (i.d). 82 R.V. 7.2.3; 10.70.3: dftta;R.V. 1.13.3; 10.70.3; 110.3: hotr. 83 RV. 1.13.4;7.2.3. Cf. also RV. 10.70.8. 84 For barhis see Van den Bosch, L. P., Atharvaveda-pari~i.s.ta, ch. 21-29, Thesis lett., Utrecht 1978 (Groningen 1978), p. 61 note 83. 8s R.V. 5.5.4;RV. Khila 5.7.1 m. 86 RV. 1.188.4; 10.110.4;see also 9.5.4. 87 R.V. 10.110.4;cf. AV. 5.27.4. 88 R.V. 1.13.5; t42.5; 2.3.4; 7.2.4. 89 RV. 2.3.4. 9o R.V. 1.13.5: the world of the gods. R V. 1.142.5: Indra and the gods. R.V. 1.188.4: the Adityas. R.V. 2.3.4: the vis.ve devds and the Adityas. R.V. 10.70.4: the gods with Indra as



their leader. R.V. 10.110.4: the gods and Aditi (see also AV. 5.12.4). R V. 3.4.4 ; 5.5.4 and 7.2.4 do not explicitly invite the gods in this stanza. RV. Khila 5.7.1 m mentions, besides the Vasus, the Rudras and the Adityas, Indra in a more or less central position. 91 See Van den Bosch, o.c. (n. 84), p. 12 note 3. 92 Old words as sftd and sird are an indication for this; cf. also the importance ofyava among the sacrificial materials in ritual. 93 RV. 2.3.4; 10.70.4. 94 R.V. 10.70.4. 9s R.V. 5.5.4. 96 R.V. 2.3.4. 97 Potdar's opinion that the barhis is not deified is contrary to the facts; cf. o.c., I, pp. 39-40. Gonda observes in this context that the concept of 'deity' is in the Veda very wide, any powerful being or entity able to help by its own power, could he addressed and conceived as a deva; cf. o.c. (n. 17), pp. 126 ff. See also R.V. 2.3.4: barhis . . . rich in valiant men . . . . rich in gain, ready for wealth. 98 Cf. Van den Bosch, o.c., p. 59 note 60. 99 S~yana on RV. 7.2.5: yaj~agr.hadvdrdni ityarthah.. 100 Grassmann, Wtb. zum R.V., sub voce. lol Oldenberg, H., Vedic Hymns, part II, Oxford 1897, p. 180. (S.B.E.). lo2 Mailer, F. M., o.c. (n. 2), p. 424. lO3 Potdar, o.c. (n. 18), I, pp. 38-42. lo4 Hertel, o.c. (n. 11), pp. 124-135: "Die Form des Janus-Tores entspricht den TOrCh beim Apri-opfer, und diesen entsprechen den Himmelstoren, welche den Durchgang yon der sterblichen Welt in die unsterbliche bilden." (p. 125) . . . . "So bedeutet dieser Dutchzug dutch die Himmelstore zu Anfang des Jahres zugleich den Einzug der Himmlischen Krieger in die Menschenwelt. . . . Dieser Durchzug durch die Himmelstore erfiillt die deva- saint ihren Heeren mit Siegesfeuer, ist eine lustratio (zu lat. l u x ) . . . " (p. 1 2 6 ) . . . "Wenn ein Heer durch diese Tore gezogen ist, so ist ihm der Sieg gewiss; unwiderstehlich wird es tiberall bin ziehen, wird alles erbeuten, was es begehrt," (p. 127) Facts and fantasies are closely intermingled by this author and his conclusions are not corroborated in the least by the facts themselves. lOS The doors should go open for sacrificial worship (R.V. 1.13.6); for the entrance of the gods (RV. i. 14 2.6 ; 2.3.5 ; 5.5.5); for the traverse of the gods at the religious ceremonies to the place of sacrifice (R.V. 3.4.5) ; for the entrance of the gods for the help of us (R.V. 5.5.5); to be a good entrance of the gods (R.V. 10.70.5); to purify the respected class (yarn.a) rich in heroes (RV. 2.3.5). lo6 The translation of R V. 7.2.5 by Potdar, o.c., II, pp. 5 6 - 5 7 is rightly critizised by Renou; cf. E.V.P., XIV (1965), p. 117. 107 R.V. 1.13.6; 142.6; 2.3.5;5.5.5; 10.110.5; (9.9.5). lo8 R.V. 1.188.5 ; cf. also Geldner, R.V. iibersetzt, Vol. I, p. 269: Vir~j (Herrscherin), Samr~j (Allbeherrscherin); Renou, E.V.P. XIV (1965), p. 42: "(La porte) r6gnant s~par~ment, (la porte) r~gnant c o n j o i n t e m e n t . . . " . lo9 RV. 10.70.5. 110 RV. 3.4.5. 111 R.V. 7.2.5. Cf. also 1.188.5. 112 R.V. 1.13.6 ; 1.142.6 and R.V. Khila 5.7.1 f. For rtdvrdh see Liiders, H., Varuna II, G6ttingen 1959, p. 5 6 7 : . . . "Sicherlieh oft im Hinblick auf die Wahrheit des Kultliedcs gebraucht ;" 113 Cf. e.g. R V. 1.142.6; 2.3.5; 9.5.5. 114 R.V. 2.3.5. 11s RV. 10.110.5;cf. also 3.4.5. 116 R.V. 5.5.5. 117 Gonda, o.c. (n. 17), pp. 142-144.



118 ibidem, p. 129. 119 ibidem, pp. 134-135. See also R.V. 5.5.6 where the term dos.a is used instead of nakt.
12o R.V. 1.13.7; 142.7; 1.188.6; 10.70.6; 10.110.6. 121 See Gonda, o.c., p. 138. His translation probably has a slip: "Dawn-and-Dusk should take place here." 122 R.V. 1.142.7; 5.5.6: rtasya mdtard. 12a R.V. 2.3.6. 124 Cf. Geldner, RV. iibeisetzt, I, p. 315 note 2. See also Gonda, o.c., p. 140: "Here also 'night' means 'dusk'." The activity which is attributed to Dawn-and-Dusk is quite often described in connection with Savitar; cf. RV. 4.53.3, 6;6.71.2;7.45.1. 125 See also RV. 5.5.6 where they are called 'increasors of vital strength' (vayovrdh); 7.2.6 where they are implored for welfare, prosperity and fortune (cf. R.V. Khila 5.7.1 ~') and 2.3.6 where they are described as milking well or bountiful (sudugha) or rich in milk (payasvin). 126 Oldenberg, H., Vedic Hymns, II, Oxford 1897, p. 11: hotar and maitravarun.a. 127 Geldner, note on 1.13.8: "Die beideng~Sttlichen Hot.r sindwohl mit bekannter Breviloquenz der mensehliche und der g~Sttliche Hot.r, d.h. Agni, und da sie oft als die ersten bezeichnet werden ( . . . ) deren Urbilder, der erste menschliche Hotr und das erste Opferfeuer." See also Potdar, o.c., II, p. 29 and Renou, L., E.V.P., XIV (1965), p. 117. 128 Gonda, o.c. (n. 17), p. 57. 129 RV. 1.13.8; 188.7;2.3.7;etc. 13o They are called kavi (R.V. 1.13.8; 1.142.8; 1.188.7;R.V. Khila 5.7.1 h) or vipra (R.V. 7.2.7). For their skill see also the last mentioned stanza. 131 R.V. 1.142.8 and R.V. Kh~la 5.7.1 h. 132 Bh~rati: R.V. 1.142.9; 1.188.8; 3.4.8; 10.110.8; (9.5.8). Mahi: R.V. 1.13.9; 5.5.8. 133 Cf. Potdar, o.c., II, p. 30: "As a result we see no sacrificial functions are associated with t h e m . " . . , p. 31: "there is very little evidence to decide as to what those deities indicate." la4 Mayrhofer, M., A Concise Etymological Dictionary, Vol. II, p. 585 (Wiesbaden 1963). See also Oldenberg, H., 'Textkritische Noten on R.V. 10.40.10 and Bloomfield', M., in A.J.Ph., Vol. 21, p. 411 sqq. ad loc. 135 R.V. 1.188.8. For ~rf see also Gonda, J., Old Indian, Leiden 1971, p. 179. 136 R.V. 3.2.8. 137 R.V. 6.61; 7.95-96. 138 Cf. Mayrhofer, M., o.c., Vol. III, sub sarah.;Boyce, o.c. (n. 30), p. 71 wrongly followed the suggestion of Lommel by translating the term by "she who possesses the waters". 139 Cf. Lommel, H., Kleine Schriften, Wiesbaden 1978, pp. 305 ft. 14o R.V. 1.164.49;6.61.14. See also 5.43.11. 141 R.V. 2.41.16-17; 6.61.1; 10.184.2. See further 10.30.12 and 7.96.6. 142 R.V. 6.61.1 ; 7.96.3; 8.21.17; 10.141.5. 14a See AV. 4.4.6-7. Cf. also Lommel, o.c. (n. 139), p. 310. 144 Cf. Oldenberg, H., Die Religion des Veda, Stuttgart 19173, repr. Darmstadt 1970, p. 244. 145 Cf. e.g.R.V. 2.1.11; 2.30.8;6.61.9, 11. 146 Boyce, M., o.c. (n. 30), pp. 71-72. 147 Boyce uses the term Harahvatf, but the (proto-) Iranian form is *HarahuatL 14a See K. Hoffmann, Aufs. zurlndo-Iranistik, p. 327 ann. 2, 641. 149 Lommel, o.c., p. 310: "Anahita ist diejenige, 'die den Samen yon allen M~innern bereitet, die Weiber leicht geb~iren macht, den Weibern zur rechten Zeit Milch verschaft" (Yt. 5.2.5 ; Y. 65.2; V. 7.16). See also Nyberg, H. S., Die Religionen des alten Iran, repr. Osnabriick 1966, pp. 260 sqq. lS0 See Ghirshman, R., L 7ran et la migration des Indo-Aryens et des Iraniens, Leiden 1977, pp. 74-76.



151 See Grzimek, B., Het leven der dieren, Encyclopedie van het dierenrijk, Vol. XI, Utrecht 1969, p. 308. 152 Cf. Nyberg, o.c., p. 260. 153 This subject goes beyond the scope of this article; for a survey see e.g. Mallory, J. P., 'A History of the Indo-European Problem', Journal of Indo-European Studies, Vol. I (1973), pp. 21 sqq. lS4 Cf. Krahe, H., 'Indogermanisch und Alteurop//isch', in Saeculum, Vol. VIII (1957), Heft 1, pp. 1 - 1 6 . 155 Macdonell, A. A., Vedic Mythology, Strassburg 1897, pp. 124-125. 156 Boyce, o.c. (n. 30), p. 164. See also Gonda, J., Die Religionen lndiens, I, Stuttgart 19782, p. 106. 157 Boyce, o.c., p. 164. 158 Oldenberg, H., Vedic Hymns, part II, Oxford 1897, p. 156. See also Gonda, J., Triads in the Veda, Amsterdam 1976, p. 76 (Royal Academy, N.R., afd. Lett. 91). 159 Words as gr~ and svapas are especially meaningful in relation with Sarasvati. 16o R.V. 5 . 4 6 . 7 - 8 ; 6.49.7. In R.V. 1.61.8 the words gnds and devapatn~ are used as indication o f the divine waters which are released; cf. also R.V. 4.18.6. For these divine waters with their beneficial qualities see also Narten, J., Vedisch aghnya- und die Wasser, in Acta Orientalia Neerlandica, Leiden 1971, p. 120 sqq., esp. p. 131 sqq. 161 R V. 1.15.3 ; 1.22.9; 2.26.3 ; 2.31.4 ; 7.35.6 ; 10.66.3. 162 R.V. 2.1.5. 163 See Hillebrandt, A., Vedische Mythologie, Vol. II, Breslau 19292, repr. Hildesheim 1965, pp. 3 8 0 - 3 8 3 . 164 Cf. Mayrhofer, M., Concise Dictionary (Etym. Wtb.), II, sub voce. 165 As is mentioned above Hertel translated the term deva consequently by "Himmelslichterstrahler". 166 Hertel, o.c., pp. 90 ff. and 119 ft. 167 I cannot follow Potdar in his statement that Tvas.tar seems to represent the atmospherieal phenomenon which makes the rain to fall. There does not exist a connection between the expression vigvarftpa and the sky. That the god Tvas.tar as the source of nourishment seems to refer to I!~ ("Nourishment"), which occurs in the midst of the three goddesses, should be left to the opinion of the author, as well as his statement that the source o f nourishment is rainfall; cf. o.c., II, pp. 3 3 - 3 5 , 51. 168 See also R.V. 5.5.9 and 10.110.10. Explicitly mention is made o f iha, i.e. "here". Tvastar is addressed in the second person in RV. 1.142.19; 1.188.9; etc. 169 Cf. R.V. 1.142.10; 1.188.9; 2.3.9;etc. !70 Geldner, R.V. iibersetzt, I, p. 269 translates pdda c: "Erbitte uns deren Gedeihen!" He is o f the opinion that the hotar or Agni is addressed; cf. note on 9 c. The text does not make this clear. See also Renou, L., E.V.P., XIV (1965), p. 42. 171 Cf. Macdonell, A. A., Vedic Mythology, Strassburg 1897, p. 142. 172 For the terms biomorphic and technomorphic see Topitsch, E., Vom Ursprung und Ende derMetaphysik, Wien 1958, p. 5 sqq. 173 See Mayrhofer, A Concise Etymological Sanskrit Dictionary, three vols., Heidelberg 1 9 5 6 - 1 9 7 6 , sub voce. .,\ 174 See also Mayrhofer, M., t)ber Kontaminationen der indo-arischen Sippen yon a.i. tak.s-, tvak.s-, *tvarg-. Published in Indo-Iranica, M~langes pr~sent6s fi G. Morgenstierne, Wiesbaden 1964, pp. 1 4 1 - 1 4 8 . 175 Cf. Grassmann, H., Wtb. zum R V., sub voce. 176 See also Geldner, R.V. tibersetzt, I, p. 2 7 9 - 2 8 0 note on 2.3.2 d: "Die Bedeutung von sam-aKj wie 10.85.47, eigentlich: verschmelzen." 177 RV. 1.13.9;3.55.19. 178 R.V. 1.142.10;2.3.9;3.4.9;7.2.9.



179 For the problems connected with these stanzas see Renou, E.V.P., XIV (1965), p. 113. See also Oldenberg, Vedic Hymns, II, Oxford 1897, p. 156 (SBE). 18o See Bergaigne, A., La Religion du R.gveda, Vol. I, Paris 1878, pp. 35-36. 181 Cf. Gonda, J., o.c. (n. 78), p. 181. See further Gonda, J.,Aspects of Early Vis.nuism, Utrecht 1954, p. 84 sqq. 182 Transl. Whitney, W. D., Atharvaveda, I, repr. 1972 (H.O.S.), p. 265. 183 ibidem, p. 267. 184 Cf. Hillebrandt, o.c. (n. 163), p. 381. 18s For the conception of a child see also Zimmer, H., Altindisches Leben, Berlin 1879, p. 318 sqq. 186 See also Boyce, M., o.c. (n. 30), pp. 81-82. 187 ibidem, pp. 195-196. See further Gershevitch, J., The Avestan Hymn to Mithra, Cambridge 1959, pp. 5 5 - 5 7 . 188 R.V. 1.32.2; 1.52.7; 1.85.9; 1.121.12;etc. 189 See Harva, U., Die relig~6sen Vorstellungen der altaischen V61ker, Helsinki 1938, pp. 434 sqq. ; Eliade, M., Schamanismus und archaische Ekstasetechnik, Ziirich 1957, p. 161. 19o Renou translates p~da d of R.V. 2.3.9: "Et que (la victime animale) aille au pacage des dieux." His interpretation of this passage is: "Pacage des dieux: vers la zone off ils assurent la s~curit6"; cf. E.V.P., XIV (1965), pp. 43 and 114. See also Schmidt, H. P., 'Vedic pdthas', IIJ, Vol. XV (1973), p. 1 sqq. He renders the passage: "And let (the oblation) enter the fold of the gods!" (p. 37). 191 For the expressions with pdthas see also Oldenberg, H., Kleine Schriften, I, pp. 99-108, esp. 102 (= ZDMG. 54 (1900), pp. 598-608). Schmidt, o.c., p. 36 translates: "(convey the oblation) forth to the gods, you who know". However sa is subject in this elliptic construction.



4.10. In the tenth (resp. the eleventh) stanza Vanaspati, i.e. "the lord o f the forest", has a central place. Vanaspati is in these stanzas frequently connected with the verb s.~ati or upa (ava) s.~ati, i.e. "he sends forth, he dismisses towards, he reaches over". 192 This Vanaspati is in the later Vedic tradition often identified with the sacrificial post (yapa) to which the victim is fastened. 19a According to Potdar 194 the combination o f the ~,prf hymns with the animal sacrifice is mainly due to this identification. However, he came to the conclusion that Vanaspati could only be correctly understood in close association with Agni. He pleaded, therefore, for an identification between these two in the

"Because it is 'wood' that is kindled and continues to burn that can be described both as binding the oblations and releasing them in the fire, who is almost identical with it and it is this identity that has been hinted at by passages above referred to where epithets and functions of Agni are ascribed to Vanaspati." 19s In the light o f this insight he deals with the inconveniences in the texts. Also Hertel considered Vanaspati as a partial aspect o f Agni and gave an interpretation of him within the context o f his light/fire doctrine. The identification with the sacrificial post was a misinterpretation of the theologians o f the brahmanas. This was the main reason why the hymns were incorporated in the liturgy o f the animal sacrifice. 196 Oldenberg, Getdner and Renou, 197 however, came to the conclusion that Vanaspati should be conceived as the sacrificial post. Oldenberg has given the following arguments for this opinion: (A) Not only in the later Vedic texts (cf. e.g. TS., but also in the R.V. itself Vanaspati is identified with the sacrificial post. In R.V. 3.8.1,3,6,9,11 the sacrificial post (svaru) is called Vanaspati. (B) In R.V. 9.5.10 (a pseudo dprisftkta) Vanaspati is called sahasravalga;a similar expression also occurs in R.V. 3.8.11 as a description of Vanaspati, which in that context is identified with the sacrificial post: "O Vanaspati, rise with a hundred offshoots; may we rise with a thousand offshoots

* Continued from IIJ, 28, pp. 95-122.

lndo-Iranian Journal 28 (1985) 169-189. 0019-7246/85.10. 9 1985 by D. Reidel Publishing Company.



(C) Mention is made of a rope (ragana-)by which Vanaspati should tie the victim (R.V. 10.70.10). Vanaspati is frequently invoked to unite the sacrifice; in this context also the term gamitar, i.e. "the slaughterer, the butcher", is found; cf..RV. 2.3.10; 7.2.10; 10.110.10. Against these arguments Potdar objected that a sacrificial victim is nowhere explicitly mentioned. However, this objection is not convincing, because the term havis, which is frequently mentioned in this context, not only denotes a simple oblation such as offerings consisting of ghee, etc., but also a blood sacrifice. This meaning becomes clear from places such as R.V. 10.90.6, where the sacrificial victim is qualified as havis. In R.V. 1.162.4 the sacrificial horse is called havya and in R.V. 6.16.47 the term havis is used in connection with bullocks and cows. 19s Therefore, the conclusion must be that in the RV. the term havis is used to denote a broad variety of sacrificial materials to which animals also belong. The expressions with the verb (upa) avas.~ati become meaningful in these stanzas when the sacrificial victims are intended. Renou 199 drew attention to the special connotation of the verb in R.V. 1.24.3, where it is used for the releasing of the victim temporarily or definitively. Another interesting passage is R.V., where bullocks, cows and horses are said to be released for the sacrifice. By this releasing the sacrificial victim comes within the abode of the gods. Accordingly devdndm pdthas was described by Renou 2~176 as "le pacage des dieux; vers la zone off ils assurent la s6curit6", i.e. the heavenly pastures. Schmidt proposed to render this expression by "the fold belonging to the gods", especially with reference to the Vanaspati stanzas of the ~,prf hymns. 2~ Although the dpr~ stanzas do not give a description of the slaughtering of the sacrificial animal, this act is implied in them by the use of such words as gamitar 2~ and ra~and2~ in connection with the name Vanaspati and the expressions mentioned above. These covert allusions to the killing of the sacrificial victim seem to indicate that this act was not wholly unproblematic. The idea that the animal does not really die, although it is slaughtered, but goes to the herds of the gods, is attested in the R.V. In brdhman.a texts it is often stated that the sacrificial victim is substituted by a figure made ofyava, but it is admitted that the animal 'formerly' was killed. 2~ In many hunting and nomadic cultures the killing of animals arouses feelings of guilt; this act is therefore denied or extenuated in rituals? ~ The fact that the person who performs the slaughtering of the animal is called ~amitar, i.e. "he who quiets, calms or appeases" (the animal), in m y opinion points to these feelings of guilt. 2~ Notwithstanding the aversion to use words which explicitly refer to the killing of the victim, one can get a good impression of the sacrificial performance in which a horse is slaughtered; see R V. 1.162.1 ft. The animal, bound at the sacrificial post, was beheaded with an axe (st. 9). Then the ~amitar



should bone the flesh carefully and he should prepare it with attention (st. 10). The thirty-four ribs of the horse should be cleaned with a special knife and they should not be d a m a g e d ) ~ These bones get the same care as the human corpse in a funeral ceremony. 2~ The act of killing is in fact denied when the victim is addressed with the words: " T h o u are not really killed by this, nor hurt; to the gods thou goest along paths easy to go." (st. 21). This sacrificial horse is brought in connection with Tva.s.tar, the shaper o f the living beings, and it is called his animal (st. 19). Special portions o f the flesh are grilled and offered to the gods, other parts of it are cooked in water and these parts together with the broth form the share of the priests (st. 5, 1 0 - 1 3 ) . Because the horse belongs to Tvastar, its fashioner, its essential parts are given back to him, so that he can reconstruct a new animal with the help o f the old bones. In the Sataphatha Brghman.a an interesting passage is found relating to the remnants o f the sacrificial victim. Tvas.tar here works together with Indra in the renewing of the animal. The translation runs as follows: 209 "(Vhj. S. VI. 20), 'To India belongeth the out-breathing: may it attend to every limb! To India belongeth the in-breathing: it is attended to in every limb.' Where as it has been cut up limb by limb, there he heals it by means of out-breathing and in-breathing. - 'O divine Tvas.tar, let thine ample (forms) closely unite together, that it he uniform what is of different shape', whereby he makes it completely enclosed (in its limbs and flesh). 'May thy friends, thy father and mother, to please thee, joyfully welcome thee going to the gods!' Thus having made it whole wherever he has offered (a piece oQ it, he afterwards unites it firmly, and that body (self) of it is complete in yonder world. / SB. The sacrificial victim will be complete in yonder world without defects. It will live in the heavenly pastures or the abode of the gods. 21~ The idea that the bones o f the victim shovld not be damaged, but carefully collected, is also found in AV. 9.5.23: "He should not split its bones; he should not suck out its marrow; taking it all together he should cause it to enter here and here." (transl. Whitney). This injunction has reference to a s a r a ritual in which a goat is slaughtered to 'yield' b y its virtue food, greatness and refreshment to the sacrificer (st. 24), after it has entered various places in heaven. According to Go:~da this is another example o f the ritual fiction that the victim should not be destroyed. 211 The prohibition to split the bones and to suck out the marrow is associated with Tva.s.tar in SB. "For when the gods, at First, seized an animal (to sacrifice), Tva.s.tarfirst spat upon its head, thinking, 'Surely, thus they will not touch it!' for animals belong to Tvas.tar. That (spittle became) the brain in the head and the marrow in the neck-bone: hence that (substance) is like spittle, for Tva.s.tarspat it. Let him therefore not eat that, since it was spitten by Tvas.tar." (transl. Eggeling).



By spitting upon the animal Tva.s.tar prohibited to eat the marrow which might damage its bones, so that he could reconstruct it. 212 It is not impossible that the ideas relating to the preservation of the bones go back to an archaic stage in which hunting was an important source of subsistence, though the R.gveda does not contain expressions which connect Tva.s.tar as lord of the wild animals with hunting. He is invoked by the cattle-breeding Aryan tribes to help in the process of procreation. In many hunting rituals of Siberian 2x3 and other 2~4 tribes the bones of the hunted and killed animals are carefully gathered and treated according to local custom. Eliade 21s explains that these customs have their origin in the concept that the bones of man and beast represent the last source of life. The killed animals will be born again from their bones and that is the main reason why they should not be damaged. Harva 2~6 states that many of these ideas are incorporated in the belief system of the pastoral peoples. It is comprehensible, according to him, that these archaic concepts have been preserved, because domestic animals are tamed from wild ones. Many of the ideas mentioned above are found in the R.gveda and the later Vedic texts. The poets of the Aprf hymns frequently refer implicitly to these concepts by their choice of words, and on these grounds it becomes clear that the sacrificial animal must have had an important place among the sacrificial materials. This sacrificial animal is indicated in R.V. 10.70.9 by sa, as we have mentioned above; by means of this the neutral noun havis is specified: "this should come within the fold of the gods. ''217 As already has been observed by Hertel and Potdar, there is a close connection between Agni and Vanaspati, "the lord of the forest". According to R.V. 10.110.10 both work together in the preparation of the sacrificial material: R.V. 10.110.10 upavasr]a tmdnya samaajhn devdndm pgtha rtuthg havfms.i / vdnaspdtih, gamitd dev6 agn ih. svddantu havydm m~dhund ghr.tdna // "Release by thyself the oblations (viz. the sacrificial victims), anointing them, (that they may go) to the fold of the gods at the proper (ritual) time. Vanaspati, the divine slaughterer, Agni shall make the offering savoury with honey and ghee." In this text both prepare the offerings, but frequently this task is attributed to Agni alone, in which circumstances he is qualified as ~amitar. So for instance in R.V. 3.4.10: R.V. 3.4.10 vdnaspat~ 'va sri6pa devon agnir havlh. ~amitg sftdaydti / sdd u h6td satydtaro ya/dti ydthd devgndm jdnirndni vdda //

THE APRI HYMNS OF THE R.V "O Vanaspati, release the oblation (viz. the sacrificial victim) (that it may go) towards the gods. May Agni, the slaughterer, prepare it. May he, indeed, the very true officiating priest, perform the sacrificial worship, as he knows the generation of the gods." Agni is connected here with the preparation of the sacrificial victim during the sacrificial performance. As we have seen above, parts o f it are boiled in water and other parts are roasted on the fire. It is, however, Vanaspati who releases the sacrificial victim and conveys it to the fold o f the gods. In R.V. 2.3.10 the idea o f the divine slaughterer may refer to Vanaspati as well as to Agni, though it seems more likely that Agni is intended. RV. 2.3.10


vdnaspdtiravasrfdnn fipa sthdd agnt'r havt~ sftdaydti prd dMbMh. / tr:dhd sdmaktam, nayatu prajdndn dev3bhyo daivyah, gamitdpa havydm //

"Vanaspati who releases (the oblation) should be present. Agni should make the oblations savoury through (poetic) visions. Let the divine slaughterer, who is knowing, lead the offering, which is anointed three times, to (the fold of) the gods." The position o f Vanaspati as a mediator between the world of the gods and that of man is more accentuated in RV. 1.13.11 ; 5.5.10 and 10.70.10. The last mentioned text runs as follows: RV. 10.70.10 vdnaspate ragandyd niyuyd

devdndrn pdtha fipa vak.sividvdn / svddffti devdh, kr.ndvaddhav[m..sy dvatd.m dydvdpr,thiv[ hdvam me//
"O Vauaspati, when thou has bound (the sacrificial victim) with a rope, thou should bring it towards the fold of the gods, thou who art wise. May the god prepare the offerings and make them palatable. May heaven and earth be favourable towards my invocation." The interweaving o f the functions of Agni and Vanaspati in the stanzas under consideration becomes comprehensible when one considers that b o t h deities are mediators who connect this world with that of the gods. Agni is invited to perform as hotar the sacrificial worship in the 'navel' or centre of the earth according to R.V. 2.3.7. The oblations offered into the fire are brought by Agni to the world o f the gods. His mediating function is, however, somewhat more complicated in the case o f a sacrificial animal, because it is not offered in its totality in the sacrificial fire. As we have seen above, portions o f its flesh are cooked in a pot upon the fire; other parts are roasted on a spit above the fire. After these parts have been prepared b y Agni some small portions are offered to the gods within the fire, while the rest is eaten b y the officiating priests and all those persons who are qualified to participate in this sacrificial meal. It does not become very clear in this context what happens with the remnants o f the



animal, namely the bones which represent the immortal part of the victim. They are not offered in the sacred fire, and in this respect Agni has no mediating function in the transportation of the victim to the hereafter. Vanaspati is the sacrificial post at which the victim is bound; it is killed there by beheading (see note 224). In the dpri stanzas this post is implored as a mediator and it is asked to convey the victim to the fold belonging to the gods for eternal bliss. Hence the post can be conceived as the cosmic pillar connecting this world with that of the gods. In this context Vanaspati is personified and asked to bind the victim with a rope and lead it to the gods. 218 The idea of binding the victim for its journey to the hereafter is in some of the stanzas substituted by that of the untying or releasing of the animal from the sacrificial post for its trip to the gods which begins after its killing. Vanaspati, "the lord of the forest", is also mentioned in the context of the funeral ceremonies. After the bones of the deceased are 'cooked' or purified by the cremation fire, 219 they are carefully gathered in an earthenware jar. This jar is placed in a gami tree, or also buried near a pald~a tree. These trees function as an 'axis mundi' connecting this world with that of the gods and the ancestors. 22~ Along these trees the deceased goes to the regions in the hereafter. In one of the funeral hymns of the Atharvaveda Vanaspati is invoked in a ceremony for the second burial with the words: "Give back, O forest tree (Vanaspati), him who is deposited with thee, that in Yama's seat he may sit speaking counsels." AV. 18.3.70 (transl. Whitney) Although the cremation fire has an important function in the funeral ceremonies because it mediates between this world and the hereafter, it is supplemented by the archaic conception of Vanaspati. He conveys the deceased to the place of destination. The practice to deposit the dead at the roots of a huge forest tree or to place them in its branches (cf. AV. 18.2.34) is very old 221 and has its parallels in many other religions. However, no Vedic texts are found which prescribe that the bones of the sacrificial victim should be deposited in this way. An interesting place in this context is SB. ft. It describes how to act when it becomes clear that the sacrificial cow, which is killed, goes with an embryo. A special expiation-rite is performed to make the embryo fit for the sacrifice and to connect it with his mother. "Him whose limbs are unbroken, I have brought together with his mother, Hail!" SB. (transl. Eggeling) After this expiation-rite the embryo is exposed on a tree, thrown into the water, buried in a mole-hill or offered to the Maruts. Because this rite refers to a special situation, it is not clear that the bones of the sacrificial victim were treated in a



similar way. Nevertheless, it does not seem very probable to me that the 'immortal parts' of the sacrificial victim, the bones, were just thrown away. The injunctions of R.V. 1.162.18-20 (cf. also AV. 9.5.23-24) show that the bones, or at least parts of it, were carefully treated, evidently in view of the reconstruction in the hereafter. In my opinion, this implies that the bones of the sacrificial victim originally will have been dealt with similarly to that of the human corpse. 222 Recapitulating one can say that Vanaspati has a clear function as 'axis mundi' in the sacrifice underlying the Apri hymns. He conveys the sacrificial victim, which is killed by beheading at the post, to the fold of the gods. It is not clear what is done with the immortal parts of the animal, its bones, though there are indications that they might have been buried near a big tree, or exposed in its branches. Agni, however, also has a mediating function. He is not only the preparer of the portions of meat, which are boiled and grilled, 223 but he also conveys the offerings, made of these portions, to the realm of the gods. The relation between Agni and Vanaspati seems to have been that the first conveyed the mortal parts of the victim to the gods, while the latter did the same with the immortal parts. Because both deities had a mediating function, concepts relating to Vanaspati became applied to Agni, and concepts relating to Agni became connected with Vanaspati. The Vanaspati stanzas of the Apri hymns provide many examples of this. 4.11. The last stanza of the Aprf hymns is characterized by the word svdhd. This exclamation denoting 'hail' is used to indicate the end of a liturgical sequence. T M In this context, the sacrificial performance is terminated by it. After the invitation of the three goddesses and Tva.s.tar to the place of sacrifice, they are implored for prosperity, especially for an abundance of cattle and children. Then the main offering is performed and the sacrifice is concluded with the exclamation svdhd, according to Gonda: "may the blessing rest on it". 22s In R.V. 1.13.12 it is explicitly mentioned that the gods are invited in the house of the sacrificer (cf. also 10.110.1), but there is not the slightest unanimity among the poets with respect to these gods, so that they were apparently free in the choice of them. As we have mentioned before, one should make a distinction between those gods which vary in the Apri hymns and the functional gods who have a fixed place in its scheme.


5.1. The Popularity of Aprf Hymns

As mentioned above, one should make a distinction between the keywords of the Aprf hymns and the other information found in them. The keywords should



have the priority in the explanation of the texts as well as in the reconstruction of the sacrifice, which is at their basis. This sacrifice must have been widespread and popular among the priests, because all the priestly families of the R.V. with the exception of the V~madevas and the Bhgradv~jas 226 composed their own liturgical texts for it in accordance with the fixed keywords. For its performance at least one sacrificial priest is required, viz. the hotar. This word is used as a fixed keyword in the seventh stanza (cf. Chapter 4.7), which indicates that the priests must have been an interested party from an early stage. 227 The sacrifice with its liturgical formulas must have been popular as well among the common people, because two Apr~ hymns are incorporated in the Atharvaveda, the sam hita, which contains the more popular traditions of the Aryan tribes) 2a The Aryan householder was the institutor of the sacrifice and had it performed by means of a priest. Another ancient collection of dpri stanzas has been preserved in the prai.sddhydya of the R V. Khil~ni (5.7.1). This version, which to all probability belonged to 'another' recension of the R.V. according to Scheftelowitz and which is lost, 229 must have been quite popular, because Ygska quotes some of its stanzas in his Nirukta. 23~ This popularity among the common people explains the interest of the various priestly families, who each transmitted their own collection of dprT stanzas. Therefore it seems reasonable to suppose that a close relationship existed between the priest and the householder, in which the latter acknowledged the former as a sacrificial specialist, who could realize the desired purposes. As such the householder must have been willing to honour the officiating priest with gifts for his service. Because the priests on their parts must have been interested in getting their authority acknowledged because of the material interest, they will have taken- full account of the ideas which were vivid among their clients. These ideas have influenced the form of the priestly liturgy in such a manner that the people could recognize themselves in the sacrificial performance and its purposes) al For this reason one should bear in mind that archaic folk traditions may have been incorporated in the priestly liturgy. In the Aprf hymns the stanzas relating to Tva.s.tar and Vanaspati contain, among others, ideas which point to this direction; see Chapters 4.9 and 10.

5.2. The Participants of the Sacrifice

In the sacrifice underlying the Apr~ hymns three interested parties can be distinguished, viz. the householder on whose instigation the sacrifice is performed, the gods who are implored to offer wealth and prosperity, and the priests who mediate between these two parties. Although no reference is made to the householder (paterfamilias) in the keywords, two stanzas make clear that the sacrifice is performed in the house



of the sacrificer. 232 This indicates that a private sacrifice is meant rather than a public one. The householder has with the help of an officiating priest, a sacrifice performed for the well-being of his whole household. All the members of the house of the sacrificer are involved in this sacrifice and its results. In the stanzas frequently mention is made of "our sacrifice" and "this our sacrifice", as is observed by Potdar) 33 It seems to me, therefore, that this sacrifice can be characterized as a family or a community sacrifice, if one restricts the community to the house of the householder. The aim of the sacrifice is to guarantee that there will be abundant multiplication of cattle and children, esp. sons. The fact that the well-being of the householder and his family is safeguarded by this livestock justifies the conclusion that it is regarded as the private property of him and his family. Therefore, in this sacrifice the householder represents his family as a socio-economic unit which material and spiritual well-being should be furthered. The prayer for a multitude of healthy and strong sons becomes comprehensible if one considers that the continuity of the family is only guaranteed by them; cf. Chapter 4.9. The sons of the householder must have been the most reliable herdsman of the cattle representing the wealth of the family, willing to fight when circumstances required and therefore of vital importance for the safety of the whole family. The second party involved in this sacrifice is the group of gods mentioned in the texts. The dpr~ stanzas speak about many gods and goddesses who are invited to participate in the sacrificial worship. This led Potdar and Gonda to the conclusion that the offerings were destined for the generality of the gods) 34 However, it seems better to make a distinction between those deities who have a fixed position in all the hymns, and those who are only occasionally mentioned in them. This last group does not have a clear function with reference to the purpose of this sacrifice; cf. Chapter 3. For the 'fixed deities' a subdivision can be made into the sacrificial objects which are deified and implored for assistance, such as the barhis, the divine doors and the sacrificial post Vanaspati on the one hand, and the following gods on the other: Agni, Narggam.sa resp. Tanfinapht, Dawn-and-Dusk, the three goddesses SarasvatL II.gand Bh~ratf [resp. Mahi], and finally Tva.s.tar. Each of these gods has a clear function with reference to the purpose of this sacrifice) as Agni, is invoked with the kindling of the fire and is invited to come to the place of sacrifice together with the other gods. He is described as a messenger and the priest who officiates for the gods. In the stanzas he is the god who prepares the sacrificial food. He especially functions as a mediator between the world of the gods and that of men. In this quality he represents the divine prototype of the human priest; he is the divine hotar. The human hotar and his divine counterpart should earn together the beneficial goods for the patron and his family. :a6 Agni represents



an important aspect of the priestly class, but he is supplemented by Narh~am.sa, the genius incorporating the solemn hieratical word which gives a correct meaning to the ritual actions and its purpose. 237 In the Aprf hymns the human and the divine hotar are eulogized primarily because they are mediators who help in the realization of these desired purposes, but they do not realize these purposes themselves. This implies that Agni is not the central deity in this sacrifice, as is suggested by many scholars. 23s The main address is directed to the god Tva.s.tar; he is implored for prosperity and wealth, viz. an abundance of cattle and children. The three goddesses have an important supporting task in the realization of these purposes. They are connected with sexual and life-promoting activities. They help with procreation and childbirth and in this respect form as it were the female counterpart of Tva.s.tar. Tva.s.tar releases the seminal fluid in the navel and he shapes the embryos; the three goddesses feed them, so that they become strong and healthy. 239 After the prayer to Tva.s.tar the victim is killed, prepared and the main offering is performed. Vanaspati 24~ is requested to release the sacrificial animal and to convey it to the realm of the gods. The essential parts of the animal are given back to its 'shaper', Tva.s.tar. This corroborates my opinion that he is the central deity from a functional point of view. Vanaspati and Agni both have a mediating function. The main offering will have been destined in the first place for those gods who had an active share in the realization of an abundance of offspring and cattle, although in the course of time other gods also acquired a place in the liturgy on account of their qualities. 241 The priestly class is the third party interested in the sacrificial performance. The mortal hotar, as mediator, has his divine counterpart in Agni. The glorification of Agni in the dpri stanzas can be regarded, therefore, as an exaltation of the priests themselves. This close connection between the two parties finds expression in the ritual orientation of the hotar towards the sacrificial fire. In R.V. 2.3.7. the two hotars, Agni and the human officiating priest, perform the sacrificial worship in the 'navel' of the earth. 242 The sacrificial fire must have been regarded by the priests as a sacred centre connecting this world with that of the gods. Many examples can be found making it clear that the sacred fire was of vital importance for their hieratical activities. The close connection between Agni and the priests is also expressed in the name of the priestly family in R.V. 10.70.9, viz. Afigiras. The Afigiras found Agni hidden in the wood. In many texts of the RV. Agni is described as the first of the Afigiras and the most perfect Afigiras. 243

5.3. The Sacrificial Material

Hertel, Potdar and Gonda 244 objected to the idea that a sacrificial victim was slaughtered, because the dpri stanzas do not explicitly mention it. They were



of the opinion that ghee and madhu, i.e. honey- or soma-juice, were the main sacrificial materials. Ghee and madhu are frequently mentioned in the stanzas; therefore it is very probable that they have had a place among the sacrificial materials. This does not, however, exclude the fact that animals were slaughtered as well. In the analysis of the stanzas it is made clear that the term havis also is used to denote a sacrificial victim. 24s Certain expressions which are used in this context 246 corroborate this interpretation. The arguments of Potdar in this respect are far from convincing. Moreover, I fail to see why a prayer is directed to Vanaspati as personification of the cosmic pillar, when ghee is poured out as offering into the sacrificial fire. In R.V. 10.110.10 it is made clear that the main offering is distinguished from ghee and madhu. Vanaspati and Agni, the divine preparer, should sweeten the sacrificial victim (havyam) with ghee and madhu. The prayer to Vanaspati and the expressions used in the tenth stanza become perfectly clear when a sacrificial animal is slaughtered and its meat is used as sacrificial material. As I have already mentioned, the sacrifice is instituted by the householder for the well-being of his house;it is a sacrifice in which all persons participate who belong to his household. The priest performs the sacrifice and the meat is prepared for consumption by the gods and the community. This opinion is strengthened by the occurrence of the archaic expression miyedha. 247 The sacrifice is an act of community during which the bonds between the gods and men are renewed and the well-being of the householder and his house is guaranteed.

5.4. The Time of the Sacrificial Performance

As is stated in chapter three there are some problems concerning the periods during which this sacrifice should be performed. Potdar came to the conclusion that it should be performed "three times a day at times at least". 248 If this was correct, it would imply that the patron needed a sacrificial specialist three times a day for the performance of this sacrifice. The active participation of such a sacrificial specialist as a prerequisite for the realization of the desired purposes argues against the view that this sacrifice is just a very simple ceremony. 249 The dprf stanzas do not contain any clear information at what time and how many times a year the sacrifice should be performed. In the keywords themselves mention is made of the dual deity Dawn-and-Dusk. These two goddesses are invited, because they represent those two periods of the day which are regarded as points of junction and therefore, of vital importance for the continuity of time and life. This is the main reason why they are requested to come to the place of sacrifice and are implored for help. Because the principal purpose of this sacrifice is to secure the well-being of the householder and his family by means of offspring



and cattle in future, it seems quite natural that Dawn-and-Dusk, who create the web of structured time, have an important place in it. 2s~ For the realization of this continuity the householder is faced, however, with the requirement that he must be able at least to maintain the size of his herd, as well as to beget heirs. 251 That is why he addresses himself to the god Tva.s.tar, who 'unties' the seminal fluid and fashions man and animal. In this context attention may be drawn to the term .rtuthd, which occurs in three dprT stanzas, viz. R.V. 2.3.7; 10.110.10 (is AV. and R.V. Khila 5.7.11. It denotes the right time for ritual action, or the time appointed for a sacrifice. Renou made an analysis of it and came to the conclusion that rtu is: "facteur de r6paration, l'616ment qui sectionne ainsi dire une continuit~ ou la portion ainsi sectionn6e"; hence rtu is a term for "division darts la sacr6e, dans un continuum temporal". As such it denotes, inter alia, season. Moreover, "rtu est la fonction distributive en vertu laquelle officiants et dieux sont li6s les uns les autres, suivant un syst~me stable ~ des fins d6termin6es". 2s2 This idea of distribution between gods and men by means of a sacrifice with clear purposes is also expressed in the Apri hymns, although it is not said during which season it should be performed. The main purpose, however, is the realization of well-being and continuity by means of a multitude of cattle and children. Because the god Tva.s.tar is implored to release the seminal fluid for the sake of procreation, it is reasonable to suppose that this sacrifice was performed during that period of the year in which insemination was of current interest. 2s3 In the texts the time for this sacrifice and the time for insemination are closely connected; cf. R.V. 1.142.10; 2.3.9; 3.4.9; 7.2.9. This especially concerns the insemination of children and cattle. Because cows and bulls were of vital importance for the .~ryan cattle breeders, it will be justified to think, in the first place, of bovine animals. The period of pregnancy of women and cows is, broadly speaking, nine months. In the pastoral cycle of the Aryan tribes, which migrated from areas with cold winters, the most suitable time for the procreation of both is springtime.if we take, for instance, the month May as most appropriate - the wife could help then after a few months with haying and harvesting - this would imply that the period of insemination approximately was in September. If this suggestion is correct, this would be an indication that the sacrifice was performed during that period. To say this does not exclude the possibility that this period gradually may have been changed as a result of the climatic conditions, because the tribes migrated, in the course of time, from their original homeland to the Punjab, and from there to the region between the Ganges and the YamunL This supposition can be strengthened if the argumention, developed in Chapter 5.6. and 7, is correct that there is a continuity between this sacrifice and the later nirO.dhapagubandha ritual. According to the grautasatras this ritual should be performed in the rainy



season, the autumn or the spring-time) s4 In a passage the SB., viz. 1 1.7.1 .I sqq., prescribes this ritual at least once a year in the season o f abundant grass. This statement also points to the rainy season or the autumn. The fact that some texts prescibe that the ritual should be performed two times, viz. in autumn and spring-time, is indicative o f an extension. 2ss This extension may be due to the fact that sheep give birth to their young two times a year, although other motives are mentioned in the texts as well. Recapitulating, one can say that there are certain indications that the sacrifice, forming the basis of the A p r i hymns, was performed in the rainy season, resp. the autumn ( S e p t e m b e r / O c t o b e r ) y sa but certainty is not yet in sight.

5.5. Characterization of the Sacrifice

In the preceding pages some observations have been made concerning the main characteristics of the sacrifice. It was a family sacrifice, in which the householder performed a ritual by means of a sacrificial specialist, in which a sacrificial victim was slaughtered and prepared for the sake of well-being and continuity of the whole family. During the sacrificial meal (miyedha) the human and divine participants consumed the portions of the sacrificial victim, which were especially prepared for them. The life-promoting gods and men were connected with each other by means of this sacrificial session and the balance between the two parties was restored. The householder offered a gift to the gods on behalf of his family; with this act he gave back to them what he had received from them, and as such he acknowledge their might. Moreover, he created by this sacrificial act a basis for a new generation of men and animals, which secured the continuity and security of life. In addition to this, the mutual relations between the human participants were renewed. A solid basis for the community was recreated for the coming period o f time. The authority o f the householder was consolidated b y the priest, because, as institutor o f the sacrifice, he represented his whole family as a socio-economic unit in the presence o f the life-giving and promoting gods. By the consumption o f the slaughtered victim all the human participants in fact shared in its death and as such they were strongly bound together b y guilt. They had killed a victim, which, from a metaphysical point o f view, belonged to Tva.s.tar, the 'fashioner' of man and animal. In the light o f the preceding, the euphemistic expressions used in the texts for the killing of the sacrificial victim become meaningful, and also the fact that this animal is only indicated by the general word havis, which is applied to a broad variety of offering materials, as we have seen in 4.9. When one looks to the purpose o f this sacrifice, viz. the realization o f material well-being and continuity o f the family, one can say that this is actualized in a twofold way. The restoration of the equilibrium with the life-promoting god results in continuity of life. The seminal fluid is 'untied'. Moreover, the community



is reunited and renewed; it is firmly bound together with its pater familias. Internal cohesion, which is necessary for the continuity and for the survival o f the family, is strengthened.

5.6. The Term cgpriand Its Interpretation in the brdhmana Texts

The term dpri is not found in the R.V. or the R.V. Khihini, but it occurs, for the first time, in AV. 11.7.19 in connection with other groups of liturgical formulas, such as e.g. the nivids. In the brdhmanas the term is regularly used to qualify the 'hymns' under consideration. The term is related to the verb dprin~ti, which denotes "to satisfy, to propitiate, to please". 2s6 Therefore it is reasonable to suggest that the dpr~ stanzas accompanied sacrificial acts in which the gods were worshipped or propitiated. In the course of time the collections o f stanzas were regarded as hymns of propitiation and acquired the name .~prL 2s7 The theologians of the brdhmanas, however, also saw a connection between the term dprf and the verb dpr.n.dti denoting "to fill up, to satiate". 2s8 By connecting these meanings they specified the way in which the propitiation was realized. In KB. 10.3. (10.5.16 ff.) it is said: "He propitiates with the dpr~stanzas. The one who sacrifices prepares the sacrifice with his whole self, his whole mind. His self becomes empty as it were. He (the officiant) satisfies, satiates it (fills it up) for him with these (stanzas). In that he satiates (fills up), therefore are they called dpr~s."259 In the brdhmana texts the dprT stanzas are employed within the context of the animal sacrifice, as has occasionally been mentioned above. 26~ A number o f them refer to a special connection with Praj~pati, the Lord of the creatures. The god felt exhausted or emptied after his creative activities,261 and is strengthened or filled up b y means o f the dpri stanzas. In PB. 15.8.2, for instance, it is stated: "Praj~pati created the creatures; he thought himself milked and emptied out; he saw these

dprT stanzas as ~jya (laud)s and by means of these he satisfied (dpr~.nat)himself. 262
In SB ff. another explanation of the apri stanzas is given: "When Agni restored the relaxed Prajapati he said to him: 'propitiate (pr~n~hi)me with those dpr~ stanzas which correspond to me (matsammitdh.)" (31) . . . . These (stanzas) have one and the same explanation, viz. how one would make him (Agni-Praj~pati) complete, how one would restore and produce him. They relate to Agni and Praj~pati; to Agni, inasmuch as Agni saw them; to Praj~pati, inasmuch as he (Agni) propitiated Praj~ipati." 263 In all these passages the idea is formulated that the dpri stanzas should be employed in the case of propitiation. By means o f them the disturbed equilibrium is restored and filled up. In this respect the theologians o f the brdhmanas embroider on the ideas which are implied in the sacrifice underlying the .~prf hymns, because this



ritual aimed to realize the restoration of the balance between men and the lifepromoting gods, as well as regeneration by means of propitiation. It goes beyond the scope of this paper to deal extensively with all the places in the brdhmanas in which the Aprf hymns are mentioned, but some observations may be useful in this context. It is quite often Praj~pati, the Lord of the creatures, who is satisfied by means of an (animal) sacrifice so that he is strengthened again in order to perform his creative and life-promoting activities. It is generally acknowledged that the figure of Praj~pati does not go back to an early period, although he is mentioned a few times in the R.V. He is invoked to grant abundant offspring 264 and to bring the cows to the stable and to make them prolific. 26s In the AV. Praj~pati is also invoked as a protector of generation and of living beings. 266 This implies that he has a number of characteristics which are peculiar to Tva.s.tar and in some places of the R.V. he is mentioned in close association with him. 267 In the MBh., Tva.s.tar is even identified with Praj~pati. 268 In that context Tva.s.tar Praj~pati is the father of Vi~varfipa who was killed by Indra. To revenge the murder on his son he created V.rtra. The ancient myth concerning the incest of Tva.s.tar/ Dyaus with his daughter 269 is, in the later traditions, transmitted to Praj~pati who is said to have been enamoured of his daughter. 27~ In the brdhmanas Praj~pati is eulogized as the chief god. He is regarded as the father of the gods, who existed alone in the beginning. Moreover, he created the Asuras, the enemies of the gods. 27~ It seems to me that the figure of Praj~pati as a product of sublime hieratical thinking has incorporated many aspects of Tva.s.tar, who in the brdhman.as mainly occurs in fixed expressions and does not form the object of priestly speculations. Hence, it is not surprising that Praj~pati is placed in a special connection with the dpri stanzas. The archaic idea at the basis of the liturgy of this popular sacrifice, viz. the restoration of the balance between gods and men by the exchange of 'goods' for mutual benefit, 272 is integrated by the priests in their theological speculations on Prajgpati and the creation.

5.7. The Apri Hymns and the nir~dhapa~ubandhu Sacrifice

As was mentioned in the introduction, the dprf stanzas are incorporated in the liturgy of the pa~ubandha sacrifice. The principal part of this sacrifice, during which the victim is slaughtered, starts with the ten preliminary offerings (praydja), which are accompanied by the proclamation of the first ten dpr~ stanzas. Then the sacrificial animal is killed by strangulation. It is carefully slaughtered by the butcher and the omentum is removed from it. This is prepared on the sacrificial fire and then placed as an offering upon the vedi, where the gods have been invited to seat themselves during the sacrificial session. According to TB. II.5.5.1 the patron should then speak the words:




This sacrifice should increase my cows, my horses; numerous offspring should gather round the vedi, numerous heroes. This sacrificial grass should be superior to that which is strewn (on the sacrificial places) of other (sacrificers); all the gods should support this sacrifice.27s

After the offering of the omenturn the eleventh pray@jatakes place and the eleventh stanza is proclaimed with W&Z@ as keyword. By this stanza the end of the liturgical sequence is indicated. The central part of the paSubandha sacrifice, viz. the killing of the sacrificial animal, its preparation and the offering of its essenceto the gods, is enclosed in its liturgy by the ancient @pri stanzas and as such it coincides with the sacrifice at their basis. Therefore the conclusion is justified that this ancient family sacrifice, in which an animal was slaughtered for the sake of well-being and continuity, has been incorporated in the padubandha .. sacrifice, and formed, as rt were, its~e~T%~~~&n~ CZUl --be illustrated by the following bnihmana text:
He should perform the animal sacrifice. Now the animal sacrifice means cattle: thus, when he performs the animal sacrifice (. . .), it is in order that he may be possessedof cattle. Let him perform it at his home, thinking: I will bind (attach) cattle to my home. He should perform it in the seasonin which there is abundant grass, thinking: I will bind to myself cattle in the seasonof abundant grass . . . And when he performs the animal sacrifice, he should renew his fires, and so, along with the renewal of his fires, the sacrificer renews himself, and along with the sacrificer his house and cattle (are renewed). . . . Let not a year pass by him without his offering; for the year means life: it is thus immortal life he thereby confers upon himself. parts of SB. ff.274

The ideas relating to prosperity, regeneration and continuity by means of this padubandha sacrifice will in all probability have their origin in the ancient sacrifice which is at the basis of the Apri hymns. Because of this continuity in the tradition, it is reasonable to suppose that the injunctions concerning the season in which this sacrifice should be performed have not been changed fundamentally; cf. 5.4.

After the preceding observations the following conclusions can be drawn. The stanzas of the Apri hymns, handed down by the various priestly families of the I$V., have functioned as a collection of texts used by the priest (hotar) as liturgical formulas in a popular ancient family sacrifice. The fixed scheme of these collections, expressed in the keywords, shows its structure from the beginning to the end. It was a sacrifice in which the householder offered a sacrificial victim to the god Tvastar, the shaper of man and animal, and to the three fertility goddessesSarasvati, 11% and Bharati (resp. Mahi) for the sake of well-being and continuity of the family, which was realised by means of an abundance of children



(esp. sons) and cattle. These gods were the principal deities in this sacrifice, but Agni and Vanaspati each had an important supporting task, because they mediated between this world and that of the gods. Vanaspati functioned as the divine personification of the 'axis mundi'; he conveyed the victim - in all probability killed as the sacrificial post - to the fold of the gods; see 4.10. Agni, the god of the sacrificial fire, was invoked as the messenger between heaven and earth. In his function of divine officiating priest he should prepare the oblations and bring them to the gods. Because Agni was the divine counterpart of the human officiating priest, he was very popular in hieratical circles and his position was stressed by the priestly poets. This explains why he had such an important place in this sacrifice and in consequence, in its liturgical formulations. The fact that the term hotar is used as a fixed keyword in the ~.prf hymns - the divine and the human hotar are always mentioned in the seventh, resp. eight stanza - implies that the scheme at the basis of all Aprf hymns probably originated from hieratical circles, though the fundamental ideas expressed in them may have had their "Sitz im Leben" in the ordinary tradition of the cattle breeding Aryan householders. The fi,prf hymns were incorporated in the R.V. in the collection of Agni hymns, because Agni was frequently mentioned in the stanzas. Moreover, Tva.s.tar was at the time of the compilation of the R.V., already an obscure god, 27s while Agni, the embodiment of the divine priest, was very popular in hieratical circles. In the course of time the liturgy of the ancient animal sacrifice gradually changed and became more complex, New concepts were introduced in iL by which the position of the hieratical class was consolidated. In the pagubandha sacrifice, Indra and Agni, St~rya or Praj~pati were the main deities. The dprf stanzas found new applications as formulas accompanying the preliminary offerings, although the offering of the omentum of the sacrificial victim was performed before the proclamation of the last stanza with svghd, by means of which the end of the liturgical sequence was indicated. In this respect there was a continuity in the tradition of the animal sacrifice, in spite of all the changes introduced in the course of time. One can say, therefore, that the dprf stanzas form, as it were, a fossilized layer in the complex pa~ubandha ritual. The statement of Potdar and Gonda that the .~prf hymns became associated with the animal sacrifice on the strength of numerical considerations as there were eleven preliminary offerings, 276 is, in the light of the preceding investigation, highly improbable. Moreover, their hypothesis that these hymns were originally destined for a comparitively simple ritual with oblations such as madhu and ghee, in which Agni was the predominant deity and the generality of the gods was to receive the oblations, are untenable.

State University of Groningen, The Netherlands



192 R.V. 1.13.11; 142.11; 1.188.10; 2.3.10; 3.4.10; 10.110.10. For the translation see also Renou, E.V.P., XIV (1965), p. 122: "ava-sr]-, se dit de la victime qui on 'lib~re' (temporairement ou d~finitivement)." 19a For the y~pa in the brdhman.as see Thite, G. U., Sacrifice in the Brdhmana-texts, Poona 1975, pp. 132 ff. 194 Potdar, o.c. (n. 18), II, pp. 3 5 - 3 7 . 19s ibidem. The text of Potdax seems to have a fault. 196 Hertel, o.c. (n. 11), pp. 73 ff. 197 Oldenberg, H., Vedie Hymns, II, p. 12; Geldner, K., Der Rigveda iibersetzt, I, p. 14, note on 1.13.11. Renou, E.V.P., XIV (1965), pp. 39 ff. always translates Vanaspati with "grand arbre", but he places this tree always in connection with the sacrificial victim. 198 Cf. also R.V. 1.163.9; 10.16.9. 199 Cf. note 192. 200 See note 190. 2ol Cf. Schmidt, o.c. (note 190), esp. 35 sqq. 202 See Schmidt, H. P., The origin ofdhimsd, pp. 646 sqq., in M~langes d'Indianisme d la Mbmoire de Louis Renou, Paris 1968 (Publications de l'Institute de Ci~lisation Indienne, fascicule 28). For the meaning of the term gamitar in the grautasfttras see Renou, L., Vocabulaire du Rituel V~dique, Paris 1954, sub voce. 203 RV. 10.70.10. 204 Cf. Schmidt, o.c. (note 190); see also Witzel, M., Materialien zu den Vedischen Schulen, StlI., vol. 8/9 (1982-1983), p. 173, note 117. 2os See Van Baaren, Th.P., Het Offer, Inleiding tot een Complex Religieus Verschi]nsel, Utrecht 1975, Chapters 3 and 4. Cf. also Burkert, W., Homo Necans, lnterpretationen altgriechischer Opferriten und Mythen, Berlin/New York 1973, p. 9 sqq. 206 Cf. also Thite, o.c. (note 193), p. 147 sqq. for the attitude towards killing of animal in the brdhmana texts. 207 Cf. also Van Baaren, o.c., p. 82 sqq. for the treatment of the bones among some hunting peoples. 208 Cf. R V. 10.16.1 ff. The offering ofpind.as as described in R.V. 1.162.19 is also found in the funeral ceremonies. 209 Transl. Eggeling, J., The Satapatha Brdhmana, Vol. II, p. 210 (SBE., XXVI). See further e.g. TS. ; Bh~rgS. 7.19.15. 210 See also R.V. 1.162.21 and 163.13. 211 See Gonda, J., The Savaya]aas (Kaugika Sfttra 60-68), Royal Academy, N. R., afd. lett. LXXI No. 2, Amsterdam 1965, p. 93 and the commentary on p. 256. 212 Cf. SB.;;TS. 213 See e.g. Harva, o.c. (note 189), p. 434 sqq.; Eliade, o.c., p. 161; Paulson, I., 'Die Tierknochen im Jagdritual der nordeurasischen V61ker', Zeitschrift far Ethnologie, Vol. 83 (1958), p. 270 sqq., (Braunschweig). 214 Cf. Eliade, o.c., p. 161 ; Meuli, K., 'Griechische Opferbr~iuche', Ges. Schriften, Vol. II, hrsg. Th. Gelzer, Basel 1975 ; Paulson, I., Zur A ufbewahrung der Tierknochen im n6rdlichen Nordamerikas, Amerikanische Miseellen, Festband Franz Termer, Hamburg 1959, p. 182 sqq. (Mitteilungen aus dem Museum ftir V61kerkunde in Hamburg). 21s Eliade, o.c., p. 164. 216 Harva, o.c., pp. 446-447. 217 See also Schmidt, o.c. (note 190), p. 37 sqq. "We must now ask why it is Vanaspati, the sacrificial post, who is asked to convey the animal to the fold Of the gods, and why the post is so closely associated with the divine butcher. From the standpoint of the later ritual this is not easy explicable since the animal is killed in a shed at some distance from the post. In R.gvedic times, however, this was different: the animal was killed by beheading at the post. For this 1.16 2.9 is ample evidence ydd ddvasya kraviso.., svdrau sv[lditau ript[Im [zsti 'what of the



horse's flesh is smeared on the post, on the a x e . . . ' . It is then clear that the post which, as the cosmic pillar, connects heaven and earth, is predestined to be the conducter of the victim to the other world." 218 See also Lommel, H., 'Baumsymbolik beim altindischen Opfer', Kleine Schriften, Wiesbaden 1978, pp. 3 8 9 - 3 9 9 (= Paideuma VI (1955-1958), p. 490 sqq.). 219 Cf. Oldenberg, H., Die Religion des Veda, Stuttgart 1917, repr. Darmstadt 1970, 571 with notes. See also Caland, W., Die altindische Todten- und Bestattungsgebriiuche, Amsterdam 1896, p. 107 (Royal Academy, afd. lett., I, 6). 220 For the plak.sa as 'axis mundi' see TS. ; it is especially connected with the animal sacrifice. See also Caland, W., Das r des .4pastamba, I, GSttinge 1921, p. 260, note 2 on .~p~S. 7.23.12. 221 See Oldenberg, o.c., p. 571. 222 Harva, o.c. (note 189) drew attention to the fact that many concepts of hunting people are also found among pastoral tribes. See also Paulson, o.c. (note 213), esp. p. 287 sqq. 2z3 R.V. 1.162.10-11 and 13. 224 Cf. Renou, L., E.V.P., XIV (1965),p. 122. 22s See Gonda, J., The Savaya]aas (Kaugika SOtra 60-68), Amsterdam 1965, p. 422. (Royal Academy, afd. lett., N. R., LXXI, 2); cf. also Mayrhofer, o.c. (n. 173), sub voce. 226 Book 4 and 6 of the R.V. 227 RV. 10.110.7 speaks about two divine hotars as eulogists (ka-ru); cf. also Gonda, Dual Deities (note 17), pp. 5 6 - 5 7 . 228 See AV. 5.12 and 5.27. 229 Cf. Scheftelowitz, J., DieApokryphen des .Rgveda, Hildesheim 1966 (repr. ed. 1906), p. 2 sqq. 230 ibidem, p. 16 sq. 231 See Chapter 3. 232 Cf. RV. 1.13.12 and 10.110.1. 233 Potdar, o.c. (note 18), pp. 4 0 - 4 1 . Cf. RV. 1.13.8; 142.8; 188.7; 3.4.8; 5.5.7; 9.5.8: imam nah. yaf~tam. See RV. 1.13.2; 7.2.7; 10.110.8 for: nah. yafaam. 234 Potdar, o.e., p. 40 and 49;Gonda, o.c. (note 17), pp. 135-136. 235 They are functional with reference to the realization of its purpose; this can not be said of the gods who are only mentioned occasionally; see also Chapter 3. 2a6 So e.g.R.V. 2.3.7. 237 See Chapter 4.2. 23s So Potdar, Hertel and Gonda. 239 For the three goddesses see Chapter 4.8. In R.V. 3.4.9 Tvas.tar is implored for strong and healthy sons. 240 For Vanaspati as cosmic tree connecting this world with that of the gods see also R.V. 3.8.1 ft. 241 See also Chapter 3. 242 See R.V. 3.4.4 where it is said that the hotar has placed himself in the 'navel' of heaven. 24a See e.g. Macdonell, o.c. (note 171), pp. 1 4 1 - 1 4 2 . In R.V. 10.70.9 it is implicitly said that the Afigiras were elected by Tva.s.tar as companions. This implies that Tvas.tar acknowledged their sacrificial activities and legitimated them. In the fragments of the Indo-Iranian mythology these Afigiras closely seem to be connected with Tva.s.tar and Agni. An exploration of their relationship goes beyond the scope of this article. 24,* Hertel, o.c. (note 11), p. 7; Potdar, o.c., II, pp. 4 1 - 4 2; Gonda, o.c. (note 17), p. 126. 245 See Chapter 4.10. Cf. also Renou, L., E.V.P., XIV (1965), p. 112. Schmidt, o.c. (note 190), p. 37. 246 See Chapter 4.10 247 See Chapter 3. 24s Cf. Potdar, o.c. (n. 18) II, p. 41.



249 ibidem, pp. 40 and 49. Gonda speaks about a comparatively simple ritual; cf. Dual Deities (n. 17), p. 135. 2so See also Chapter 3. 2Sl For a general introduction to nomadic pastoralism see e.g. Lef~bure, C., 'Introduction: the specificity of nomadic pastoralism', in PastoralProduction and Society, Proceedings of the International Meeting on Nomadic Pastoralism, 1976, Cambridge 1979, p. 1 sqq. ;see also Krader, L., Pastoralism, in The International Encyclopedia of the social sciences, Vol. 11, 1968, p. 453 sqq. 2s~ See Renou, L., E.V.P., Vol. III, p. 3; the same author in Axchiv Orientalni, 18, p. 431 sqq. See also Gonda, J., Savayajfias (n. 225), pp. 160-161. 2s3 Cf. Falk, H., 'Zur Tierzucht im alten Indien', IIJ 24 (1982), p. 169 sqq. I doubt whether all his conclusions are correct, because he presupposes a form of intensive cattle breeding, which is characteristic of more advanced societies. The comparison with countries as Germany and the Sovyet Union are not appropriate, because most traditional nomadic societies are faced with a natural ceiling on nourishment for the stock. It seems more probably to me that stock breeding was placed in the fixed pattern of the pastoral year cycle. 2s4 See Hillebrandt, A., Ritualliteratur, Strassburg 1897, p. 121. 2ss See Schwab, J., Das altindisches Thieropfer, Erlangen 1886, p. XIV sq. 2ssa It would lead beyond the scope of this article and my competence to deal extensively with the old Iranian traditions, but some observations may be useful in this context. Boyce gives a description of the 'pagan' conceptions of the world, which were incorporated in the complicated Zoroastrian tradition; cf. o.c. (n. 30), p. 131 sqq. According to this tradition the cosmos was brought forth through a series of creations. During the fifth creation the animals were shaped. The Avesta employs the verb OflarOs-and taN-for the 'fashioning' or 'carving' of animate beings. GSu~ Ta~an, 'the creator of the Cow (or Bull)', who is identified with Ot3&~tar, is closely connected with this fifth creation; cf. Boyce, o.c., p. 81 ; see also Leumann, Der Indoiranische Bildnergott Twar~tar, Asiatische Studien, IV (1954), p. 79 sqq. According to Boyce (o.c., p. 138 sq.) the creation of the benificent animals took place when the first animal to live on earth, 'the Uniquely-created Bull', was killed. By means of his sperm, which was purified in the moon, all the species of animals were created9 This creation act was commemorated in one of the ancient Afrinag~n rituals, which was incorporated by Zarathustra as one of the gdhdnbffr feasts; cf. Boyce, o.c., p. 223. The name of this festival was called Ay~ima and took place in the autumn, when the herds were brought back from the summer grazing-lands;ibidem, p. 174. This seasonal feast of 'coming home' marked also the beginning of the winter. The AyaOrima festival seems to have been closely linked with - or identified with - the feast of the autumn equinox, known as Mitgrak~na from Achaemaenian times. Each household offered then an animal as thank-offering, but it is also possible that it was offered in reenactment of the death of the mythical 'uniquely-created Bull'; cf. Boyce, o.c., p. 172 sq. See further the Avesta, transl. F. Wolff, Strassburg 1910, sub Afrinak~n i G~h~nb~r, esp. Chapter 3.10. It seems to me that there are striking parallels between the ancient Iranian and the Vedic traditions, though there are also differences due to a seperate historical development. The ancient Iranian tradition of an Afrinag~n ritual in the autumn in commemoration of the creation of animals from the sperm of the 'Uniquely-created Bull', which was released when it was slain, is significant, but the creator of the Bull, tgj36r~tar (Tvas.tar), is in the MiOrak~na replaced by Mithra. 256 See Mayrhofer, Etym. Wtb. (n. 173), sub dprL 257 Cf. Gonda, J., Vedic Literature, Wiesbaden 1975, p. 104. 2s8 Cf. Hertel, o.c. (n. 11), pp. 10-11 ; Potdar, o.c. (n. 18), II, p. 48; Gonda, J., Dual Deities (n. 17), pp. 128-129. 259 Transl. Gonda, o.c. (n. 17), p. 128. 260 See also ~B. and AiB. 2.4. 261 So e.g. PB. 15.8.2; 16.8.23; LB. ff., esp. 28 ft. See also LB. ff.



262 Cf. Caland, W., Pa~cavimga Brdhmana, Calcutta 1931. 263 See Gonda, o.c. (n. 17), pp. 128-129. 264 R.V. 10.85.4. 26s R.V. 10.169.4. 266 See Pert. Diet., sub voce: prajdpati. 267 So e.g.R.V. 10.184.1. See also R.V. 9.5.9. 268 Mbh. 5.9.3, 40. 269 R V. 1.71.5 ff.; 1.164.33-35; 3.31.1 f.; 10.65.5-8 in which Dyaus is supposed to be the father. In RV. 5.42.13 Tva.star seems to be intended. 270 So e.g. AiB. 3.33 and 34. 271 See Macdonell, A. A., Vedic Mythology, Strassburg, pp. 118-119. 272 See Chapter 5.5. 273 For this section see also Schwab, o.c. (n. 6), pp. 90 ff. and 115 ff. 274 See Eggeling, J., The ~atapatha Brdhmana, part 5, pp. 118-119 (S.B.E. XLIV) 275 Cf. Macdonell, o.c., pp. 115-118; Hillebrandt, o.c. (n. 31), II, pp. 372-385 ; More recently Ammer, K., 'Tva.s.tar, ein altindischer Sch6pferqott', in Die Sprache, I, Wien 1949, pp. 6 8 - 7 7 ; Leumann, M., Der Indoiranische Bildnergott Twarstar, in Asiatische Studien, IV (1954), pp. 7 9 - 8 4 . See also Van den Bosch, L. P., 'Tvas.tar. Some Reflections on the History of an ancient Indian God', in: Kippenberg, H. G. (ed.), Struggles o f Gods, Berlin/New York 1984, pp. 1 3 - 6 4 (Religion and Reason 31). 276 See note 22.

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