Author: H W BodewitzPublisher: Motilal BanarsidassYear: 2003Language: EnglishPages: 211ISBN/UPC (if available): 8120819519
After P.E. Dumont (Baltimore 1939) had presented a survey of the description of the Agnihotra ritual as found in the ritualistic sutras, this book offers a systematic treatment of the esoteric interpretations of this ritual as found in the Vedic prose texts.The Agnihotra formed the starting-point for several important doctrines which were further developed in later texts. Apart from its ritualistic relevance it is therefore also of great importance for the early history of ideas in India.The systematic arrangement of the sections translated here increases our knowledge about the network of parallel Vedic texts, their borrowings and relative chronology.
PrefaceAbbreviationsIntroductionMyths on the origin of the riteThe creation of Agni; the origin of the exclamation svaha, Prajapati rubs his forehead and produces an oblation to AgniThe agnihotra is a reduced primeval sacrifice of thousand years performed by PrajapatiThe agnihotra instituted by the gods by way of exchange between heaven and earthTransference of the agnihotra by the gods to the human beings.The primeval agnihotra and creation.The connection of Surya (and Vayu) with the Agnihotra. The origin of the milk oblation.The milk oblation is the seed of the sun (or the sun itself)The agnihotra is offered to SuryaParticipation of Aditya (sun) and Vayu (wind) in Agni’s oblation (agnihotra)The right time for the performance of the agnihotraThe ingredient of the oblation (milk)Systematic treatment of the ritualThe milking of the agnihotra cowTransference of the fire from the garhapatya to the ahavaniya and other preparatory actionsThe milk is put on the fire and cookedWater is poured on the hot milkThe pot is removed from the fire and the milk is ladled outThe settings-down IThe priest moves from the garhapatya to the ahavanyaThe setting-down IIThe function of the samidh (kindling-stick)The offering I: The first libationThe offering II: The state of the fire and the method of offering.The offering III: The second libation. The stumbling-block in the agnihotra ritual.The settings-down III. Looking back at the garhaptya and other actions between the two librationsThe views of the Praiyamedhas on the offeringThe agnihotra is connected with other gods and powersThrough actions after the offering(vaisvadeva)Actions after the offering which do not belong to the vaisvadevaShould there be sacrificed in firs other than the ahavaniya?The sacrificer (yajamana) and the performer of the agnihotraThe ksatriya and the agnihotraOnly the brahmin may consume the remains of the oblation.Should the brahmin perform the rite himself or should someone else?Should a sacrificer without a wife perform the agnihotra?The agnihotra has only one officiantThe keeping silent during the riteWhy the agnihotra has no fast (upavasa)The agnihotra is relation and equalization with other sacrificesSubstitution of the oblation, the fire or other ritual elementsSymbolical agnihotrasInterpretations of the agnihotraThe sun is offered into the fire, the fire into the sunProcreation and the agnihotraThe agnihotra and deliverance from evil and sinLiberation from death by the agnihotraThe agnihotra produces life (or immortality) in yonder world and in this worldReintegration of the dispersed sun by the performance of the agnihotraThe agnihotra avoids being eaten in return and other reversals in yonder world (story of Bhrgu)The daily food taken twice a day forms the remains of the agnihotra sacrificeOffering the two daily agnihotras means giving men to the gods as daksinas and converselyThe agnihotra provides foodThe agnihotra is a vajraAgnihotra, agnyadhana and cremationThe agnihotra perfomed after the agnyadhana (during twelve days)The vaisvadeva of the agnihotra milkThe tarpana in the agnihotraThe brahmodyas and the agnihotraAppendix: The agnihotra in the grhya ritualBibliographyGeneral IndexIndex of Sanskrit termsIndex of Sanskrit Text-Places