jds10 at cus.cam.ac.uk
Thu Aug 28 11:52:38 UTC 1997
On Thu, 28 Aug 1997, Dominique.Thillaud wrote:
> Dear Indologists,
> Louis Renou, in L'Inde classique, I, ' 726, says, before the
> azvamedha, must be throwed a dog's corpse under the horse's legs.
> Does anyone know the meaning of this act ?
Satapatha Brahmana 188.8.131.52 (in Eggeling's transl: Part V, p. 279): "...
But his wicked enemy seeks to lay hold of him who performs the
horse-sacrifice, and the horse is a thunderbolt;-- having killed the
four-eyed dog, he -- with `Undone is the man! undone is the dog!' --
plunges it under the horse's feet: it is by means of the thunderbolt he
thus stamps him down; and the wicked enemy does not lay hold of him."
There are two lengthy footnotes to this passage, which I shan't type up,
and they also refer one on to other texts (Samhita and Sutra). It appears
that the sacrificial priest tells a mixed-caste woman or a lewd man to
kill the four-eyed dog before passing it below the horse. "If a four-eyed
dog is not available(!), a dog with marks about the eyes should be used."
Dr J. D. Smith * jds10 at cam.ac.uk
Faculty of Oriental Studies * Tel. 01223 335140 (Switchboard 01223 335106)
Sidgwick Avenue * Fax 01223 335110
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