There is an incident described in the Śatapatha Brahmana 1.7.4, where the devatas get angry with a certain behaviour of Prajāpati, and consequently Lord Shiva punishes him. The more one reads this incident, the more it matches with the destruction of Prajapati Daksha’s sacrifice. For example:

  1. The misbehaviour towards his daughter, Sati.
  2. The destruction of the yajna by Rudra.
  3. The blinding of Bhaga.
  4. Pusha becoming toothless.

The previous chapter even describes how Lord Rudra was excluded from a share in the yajna. However, currently, the beginning of this incident seems to be misrepresented (one can read the link above).

If one analyses the actual verses, except for verse 1b, it’s little different from the linked current translation. The relevant verses are:

प्रजापतिर्ह वै स्वां दुहितरमभिदध्यौ। दिवं वा उषसं वा मिथुन्येनया स्यामिति तां सम्बभूव॥१॥ तद्वै देवानामाग आस। य इत्थं स्वां दुहितरमस्माकं स्वसारं करोतीति॥२॥ ते ह देवा ऊचुः । योऽयं देवः पशूनामीष्टेऽतिसंधं वा अयं चरति य इत्थं स्वां दुहितरमस्माकं स्वसारं करोति विध्येममिति

Prajapati remembered/thought of his own daughter. [then comes verse 1b]. That was a sin for the devatas. (They thought) The one who acts towards his daughter, our sister such. The devatas said to Pashupati, “Pierce this one who acts in such a way crossing limits, towards his daughter, our sister.”

Keeping aside the earlier translation, if one reads the above, it sounds like Prajapati Daksha insulting his daughter, Sati in a very bad way and thus a sin towards her. (There’s no mention of the misrepresentation. They only say - behaving/ acting towards his daughter such etc, indicating high possibility of insult only).

The only translation which doesn’t make sense is of verse 1b - दिवं वा उषसं वा मिथुन्येनया स्यामिति तां सम्बभूव. Except for the word Mithuni there is nothing to indicate the supposed misrepresentation. Even if one does agree to mithuni, the words divam and Ushasam are not adequately explained and सम्बभूव means become/ be born (not sangama). Accordingly,

I would like to know the correct interpretation for the entire incident, especially verse 1b, explaining, the meaning of all words, and how it can be understood as the destruction of Daksha Yajna and verbal insult of Sati like the Puranic incident.

While answering, keep in mind the Kanva Satapatha Brahmana has a slight change where मिथुन्येनया (feminine) is replaced with मिथुन्येनम् (masculine), indicating further possibility of misrepresentation. And also the Krishna Yajurveda describes a similar sequence of events and that has been taken as referring to Daksha Yajna.

Note: I have referred to Sayanacharya’s Bhashya, but the way the bhashya has been framed isn’t convincing enough, especially considering the fact that Sayana was aware of puranic lore. Please provide a correct interpretation.


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