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Aitareya Brahmana

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Title: Aitareya Brahmana  
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Language: English
Subject: Animal sacrifice in Hinduism, Indian astronomy, AB, Andhra Pradesh, Agni
Collection: Brahmanas
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Aitareya Brahmana

The Aitareya Brahmana (Sanskrit: ऐतरेय ब्राह्मण) is the Brahmana of the Shakala shakha of the Rigveda, an ancient Indian collection of sacred hymns. This work, according to the tradition, is ascribed to Mahidasa Aitareya.[1][2]


Forty adhyayas (chapters) of this work are grouped under eight pañcikās (group of five). The following is an overview of its contents:

  • Pañcikā I
    • Adhyāya I: The consecration rites
    • Adhyāya II: The introductory sacrifice
    • Adhyāya III: The buying and bringing of the Soma
    • Adhyāya IV: The Pravargya
    • Adhyāya V: The carrying forward of fire, Soma, and the offerings to the High Altar
  • Pañcikā II
    • Adhyāya I: The animal sacrifice
    • Adhyāya II: The animal sacrifice and morning litany
    • Adhyāya III: The Aponaptriya and other ceremonies
    • Adhyāya IV: The cups of Indra and Vayu, Mitra and Varuna and the Ashvins
    • Adhyāya V: The Ajya Shastra
  • Pañcikā III
    • Adhyāya I: The Prauga Shastra, the Vashat call and the Nivids
    • Adhyāya II: The Marutvatiya and the Nishkevalya Shastra
    • Adhyāya III: The Vaishvadeva and the Agnimaruta
    • Adhyāya IV: General considerations regarding the Agnishtoma
    • Adhyāya V: Certain details regarding the sacrifice
  • Pañcikā IV
    • Adhyāya I: The Shodashin and the Atiratra sacrifices
    • Adhyāya II: The Ashvina Shastra and Gavam Ayana
    • Adhyāya III: The Shadahas and the Vishuvant
    • Adhyāya IV: The Dvadashaha rite
    • Adhyāya V: The first two days of the Dvadashaha
  • Pañcikā V
    • Adhyāya I: The third and fourth days of the Dvadashaha
    • Adhyāya II: The fifth and sixth days of the Dvadashaha
    • Adhyāya III: The seventh and eighth days of the Dvadashaha
    • Adhyāya IV: The ninth and tenth days of the Dvadashaha
    • Adhyāya V: The Agnihotra and the Brahmana priest
  • Pañcikā VI
    • Adhyāya I: The office of the Gravastut and Subrahmanya
    • Adhyāya II: The Shastras of the Hotrakas at Satras and Ahinas
    • Adhyāya III: Miscellaneous points as to the Hotrakas
    • Adhyāya IV: The Sampata hymns, the Valakhilyas and the Durohana
    • Adhyāya V: The Shilpa Shastras of the third pressing
  • Pañcikā VII
    • Adhyāya I: The distribution of the portions of the victim of the sacrifice
    • Adhyāya II: Expiations of the errors in the sacrifice
    • Adhyāya III: The narrative of Shunahshepa
    • Adhyāya IV: The preparations for the royal consecretation
    • Adhyāya V: The sacrificial drink of the king
  • Pañcikā VIII
    • Adhyāya I: The Stotras and Shastras of the Soma day
    • Adhyāya II: The anointing of the king
    • Adhyāya III: The great anointing of Indra
    • Adhyāya IV: The great anointing of the king
    • Adhyāya V: The office of Purohita
  • the Aitareya Brahmana (3.44) declares:“The Sun does never set nor rise. When people think the Sun is setting it is not so. For after having arrived at the end of the day it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making night to what is below and day to what is on the other side. Having reached the end of the night, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making day to what is below and night to what is on the other side. In fact, the Sun never sets.”


  1. ^ Keith, Arthur Berriedale (1998) [1920]. Rigveda Brahmanas: the Aitareya and Kauṣītaki Brāhmaṇas of the Rigveda. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 28.  
  2. ^ Roman alphabet transliteration
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