Long Vedic sacrifices?

Shrisha Rao shrao at NYX.NET
Sun Jun 18 01:28:36 UTC 2000

On Fri, 16 Jun 2000, Michael Witzel wrote:

> Found at the end of Pancavimsa Brahmana: long Sattras, of a 1000 years
> (VizvasRj?) , and a longer one by Prajapati....
> Engl. transl. by W. Caland, PB, Calcutta 1931

Thanks much; I'm aware of a reference in the Brhadaranyaka U., III.8.10
which however could be taken as a rhetorical statement; will need to check
out yours for something that's not presented as a counterfactual.

    yo vA etadaxaraM gArgyaviditvA asmi.Nlloke juhoti yajate
    tapastapyate bahUni varshhasahasrANyantavadevAsya tadbhavati  |
    yo vA etadaxaraM gArgyaviditvAsmAllokAtpraiti sa kR^ipaNaH  |
    atha ya etadaxaraM gArgi viditvAsmAllokAtpraiti sa
    brAhmaNaH  ||

Translation by S.C. Vasu (AMS Press, NY, 1974):

    Whosoever not seeing (knowing) this Aksara, O Gargi performs
    sacrifices, offers prayers to gods, or practices austerities for
    thousands of years, all that work of his is sure to come to an
    end.  An object of pity is surely he, who departs from this world,
    O Gargi, having no knowledge of this Aksara.  But he, O Gargi,
    who departs from this world having seen (known) this Aksara,
    becomes indeed a Mukta (Brahmana).


Shrisha Rao

> >The vArttika on the ashhTAdhyAyI of Panini, and its commentary by
> >Patanjali, contain a puzzling reference to certain Vedic rites that took
> >hundreds or thousands of years to perform:

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