Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 42.djvu/64

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Ix HYMNS OF THE ATHARVA-VEDA.

��expressed contrast with udgatar, hotar, and adhvaryu (samaveda, r/gveda, ya^urveda). At Gop. Br. I, 2, 18 (end) the Brahman is described with the words, esha ha vai vidvan sarvavid brahma yad bhrzgvangirovid. The last statement is of especial interest as indicating the identifi- cation of the Atharvan with the sarvavidya which stands above the trayi vidya (cf. below, p. Ixiii). Especially at Gop. I, 3, r. 2 the futility of the sacrifice without a Brah- man skilled in the bhr/gvangirasa// is described vividly : a cow, a horse, a mule, a chariot cannot proceed with less than four feet, therefore the sacrifice, in order to succeed, must have four feet : the four Vedas, and the four priests. Especially characteristic is the following: At Tait. S. Ill, 5, 2, 1, &c. (cf. Ind. Stud. X, 34), the well-known legend is told, according to which Vasish///a ' saw Indra clearly, though the Ri'shls (in general) did not see him clearly.' Indra makes Vasish//^a his Brahman (purohita), and con- fides to him moreover a mystery, the stomabhaga-verses. Since then men have Vasish/Z/a for their purohita : there- fore a descendant of VasishMa is to be chosen as Brahman. The same legend is repeated almost verbatim Gop. Br. II, 2, 13, but the text demurs at the last clause. The Gop. Br. cannot say tasmad vasish///o brahma karya//, because it has previously stated emphatically that a bhr/gvaiigirovid is the only person fitted for that exalted office (I, 2, 18 ; 3, i ffi). At Vait. Su. 6, i the garhapatya-fire is personified as a steed which is prepared by the four Vedas for the Brah- man, and by Pra^apati for Atharvan : the equation brah- man =athai-van is implied. The passage, Vait. Su. ^/, 2, a brahmodya or theological contest between the Brahman and the Udgatar, betrays perhaps a certain insecurity and touchiness on the part of the Brahman in his assumed superiority to the other priests : ' Not art thou superior, better than I, goest not before me. . . . Thou speakest these words that are worthy of being learned, (but) shalt not become equal to me.' The superiority of the Brahman was occasionally disputed \ and possibly the Atharvanic

��Sec Hang, Brahma unci die Brahmanen, p. 10.

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