Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 15.djvu/91

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by the new-moon and full-moon sacrifices, by the four-months' sacrifices, and by the harvest sacrifice, if it is unattended by guests, not offered at all, or without the Vaisvadeva ceremony, or not offered according to rule, then it destroys his seven worlds[1].

4. Kâlî (black), Karâlî (terrific), Manogavâ (swift as thought), Sulohitâ (very red), Sudhûmravarnâ (purple), Sphulinginî (sparkling), and the brilliant Visvarûtpî[2] (having all forms), all these playing about are called the seven tongues (of fire).

5. If a man performs his sacred works when these flames are shining, and the oblations follow at the right time, then they lead him as sun-rays to where the one Lord of the Devas dwells.

6. Come hither, come hither! the brilliant oblations say to him, and carry the sacrificer on the rays of the sun, while they utter pleasant speech and praise him, saying: "This is thy holy Brahma-world (Svarga), gained by thy good works."

7. But frail, in truth, are those boats, the sacrifices, the eighteen, in which this lower ceremonial has been told[3]. Fools who praise this as the highest good, are subject again and again to old age and death.

  1. The seven worlds form the rewards of a pious sacrificer, the first is Bhuh, the last Satya. The seven worlds may also be explained as the worlds of the father, grandfather, and great-grand-father, of the son, the grandson, and great-grandson, and of the sacrificer himself.
  2. Or Visvarukî, if there is any authority for this reading in Mahîdhara's commentary to the Vâgas. Samhitâ XVII, 79. The Râjah of Besmah's edition has visvarukî, which is also the reading adopted by Rammohun Roy, see Complete Works, vol. i, p. 579.
  3. The commentator takes the eighteen for the sixteen priests, the sacrificer, and his wife. But such an explanation hardly yields a satisfactory meaning, nor does plava mean perishable.