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Satapatha-Brahmana
(1st kanda, 1st Adhyaya, 1st Brahmana, extract from Vow of Abstinence)

1:1:1:11. He who is about to enter on the vow, touches water whilst standing between the Ahavaniya and Garhapatya fires, with his face turned towards east. The reason why he touches water is, that man is (sacrificially) impure on account of his speaking untruth; and because by that act an internal purification (is effected), for water is indeed (sacrificially) pure. 'After becoming sacrificially pure, I will enter on the vow,' thus (he thinks); for water is indeed purifying. 'Having become purified through the purifying one, I will enter on the vow,' thus (he thinks, and) this is the reason why he touches water.

1:1:1:22. Looking towards the (Ahavaniya) fire, he enters on the vow, with the text: 'O Agni, Lord of Vows! I will keep the vow! may I be equal to it, may I succeed in it!' For Agni is Lord of Vows to the gods, and it is to him therefore that he addresses these words. In the words, 'I will observe the vow; may I be equal to it; may I succeed in it,' there is nothing that requires explanation.

1:1:1:33. After the completion (of the sacrifice) he divests himself (of the vow), with the text, 'O Agni, Lord of Vows! I have kept the vow; I have been equal to it; I have succeeded in it;' for he who has attained the completion of the sacrifice, has indeed been equal to it; and he who has attained the completion of the sacrifice, has succeeded in it. It is in this way that most (sacrificers) will probably enter on the vow; but one may also enter on it in the following way.

1:1:1:44. Twofold, verily, is this, there is no third, viz. truth and untruth. And verily the gods are the truth, and man is the untruth. Therefore in saying, 'I now enter from untruth into truth,' he passes from the men to the gods.

1:1:1:55. Let him then only speak what is true; for this vow indeed the gods do keep, that they speak the truth; and for this reason they are glorious: glorious therefore is he who, knowing this, speaks the truth.

1:1:1:66. After the completion (of the sacrifice) he divests himself (of the vow), with the text: 'Now I am he who I really am.' For, in entering upon the vow, he becomes, as it were, nonhuman; and as it would not be becoming for him to say, 'I enter from truth into untruth;' and as, in fact, he now again becomes man, let him therefore divest himself (of the vow), with the text: 'Now I am he who I really am.'


 

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