अहर्वा अश्वम् पुरस्तान्महिमान्वजायत, तस्य पूर्वे समुद्रे योनिः; रात्रिरेनम्
पश्चान्महिमान्वजायत, तस्यापरे समुद्रे योनिः; रेतौ वा अश्वम् महिमानावभितः
सम्बभूवतुः । हयो भूत्वा देवानवहत्, वाजी गन्धर्वान्, अर्वासुरान्, अश्वो
मनुष्यान्; समुद्र एवास्य बन्धुः, समुद्रो योनिः ॥ १ ॥
इति प्रथमं ब्राह्मणम् ॥
aharvā aśvam purastānmahimānvajāyata, tasya pūrve samudre yoniḥ; rātrirenam
paścānmahimānvajāyata, tasyāpare samudre yoniḥ; retau vā aśvam mahimānāvabhitaḥ
sambabhūvatuḥ | hayo bhūtvā devānavahat, vājī gandharvān, arvāsurān, aśvo
manuṣyān; samudra evāsya bandhuḥ, samudro yoniḥ || 2 ||
iti prathamaṃ brāhmaṇam ||
2. The (gold) vessel called Mahiman in front of the horse, which appeared about it (i.e. pointing it out), is the day. Its source is the eastern sea. The (silver) vessel called Mahiman behind the horse, which appeared about it, is the night Its source is the western sea. These two vessels called Mahiman appeared on either side of the horse. As a Hay a it carried the gods, as a Vājin the celestial minstrels, as an Arvan the Asuras, and as an Aśva men. The Supreme Self is its stable and the Supreme Self (or the sea) its source.
The vessel called Mahiman, etc. Two sacrificial vessels called Mahiman, made of gold and silver respectively, are placed before and behind the horse. This is a meditation regarding them. The gold vessel is the day, because both are bright. How is it that the vessel in front of the horse, which appeared about (lit. ‘after’) it, is the day? Because the horse is Prajāpati. And it is Prajāpati consisting of the sun etc. who is pointed out by the vessel that we are required to look upon as the day.—The preposition ‘anu’ here does not mean ‘after’ but points out something.—So the meaning is, the gold vessel (Mahiman) appeared pointing out the horse as Prajāpati, just as we say lightning flashes pointing out (Anu) the tree. Its source, the place from which the vessel is obtained, is the eastern sea. Literally translated, it would mean, ‘is in the eastern sea,’ but the locative case-ending should be changed into the nominative to give the required sense. Similarly the silver vessel behind the horse, which appeared about it, is the night, because both (‘Rājata’ and ‘Rātri’) begin with the same syllable (Rā), or because both are inferior to the previous set. Its source is the western sea. The vessels are called Mahiman, because they indicate greatness. It is to the glory of the horse that a gold and a silver vessel are placed on each side of it. These two vessels called Mahiman, as described above, appeared on either side of the horse. The repetition of the sentence is to glorify the horse, as much as to say that for the above reasons it is a wonderful horse. The words ‘As a Haya’ etc. are similarly eulogistic. ‘Haya’ comes from the root ‘hi,’ meaning, to move. Hence the word means ‘possessing great speed.’ Or it may mean a species of horse. It earned the gods, i.e. made them gods, since it was Prajāpati; or literally carried them. It may be urged that this act of carrying is rather a reproach. But the answer is that carrying is natural to a horse; so it is not derogatory. On the contrary, the act, by bringing the horse into contact with the gods, was a promotion for it. Hence the sentence is a eulogy. Similarly ‘Vājin’ and the other terms mean species of horses. As a Vājin it carried the celestial minstrels; the ellipsis must be supplied with the intermediate words. Similarly as an Arvan (it carried) the Asuras, and as an Aśva (it carried) men. The Supreme Self—‘Samudra’ here means that—is its stable, the place where it is tied. And the Supreme Self its source, the cause of its origin. Thus it has sprung from a pure source and lives in a pure spot. So it is a tribute to the horse. Or ‘Samudra’ may mean the familiar sea, for the Śruti says, ‘The horse has its source in water’ (Tai. S. II. iii. 12).