On the sautrAmaNI
The celebrated sautrAmaNI rite, which is one of the rare shrauta rites in which oblations of beer are offered is a conservative one that goes back to the early vedic period. The key oblations are readied thus are prepared thus (the production of the vedic beer has already been described):
The cups for the ashvins
Material: ashvattha wood
Flavoring: wheat flour and juice/powder of red large jujube fruit (kuvala)
mantra: tejo asi.. . SYV vajasaneyi saMhitA 19.9
The cup for the sarasvati
Flavoring: coriander powder and juice/powder of yellow green large jujube fruit (badara)
mantra: vIryam asi … VS 19.9
The cup for indra
material: nygrodha wood
mantra: balam asi … VS 19.9
Flavoring: Barley powder and juice/powder of small red jujube (karkandhu).
Powder of wolf, tiger and lion hair are respectively added to the 3 sets of cups with the mantra ojo asi (VS19.9)
The total set of cups are 2 milk cups for ashvins; 2 beer cups for ashvins; 1 milk cup for sarasvati; 1 beer cup for sarasvati; 1 milk cup for indra; 1 beer cup for indra. The beer cups are filled by placing them on earthen sthAli saucepans.
These are for offerings in the AhavanIya. The adhvaryu then takes the 100-holed pitcher with a kusha grass filter and a gold ornament and offers the remaining beer into the dakShiNAgni with the mantras punantu mA (VS 19.37-44). In the charaka-sautrAmaNi it offered in the southern AhavanIya (without the raised altar) typical of this rite. In this case the pitcher may alternatively be 9-holed.
A variant of the sautramaNi is performed within the rAjasUya, the charaka sautrAmaNi as instituted by the kR^iShNa-yajurvedic charakas.
The structure of the sautrAmaNi ritual closely follows its oldest mention in the indra sutrAman sUktaM (RV 10.131):
yuvaM surAmam ashvinA namuchAvAsure sachA |
vipipAnAshubhas patI indraM karmasvAvatam ||
Young ashvins, auspicious lords, drank swigs of good beer, and refreshed indra in his work with the Asuric namuci.
putram iva pitarAv-ashvinobhendrAvathuH kAvyair-daMsanAbhiH |
yat surAmaM vyapibaH shachIbhiH sarasvatI tvA maghavan-nabhiShNak ||
As parents aid a son, the two Asvins, have helped you O indra, with their wondrous powers and mantras. When you, with glory had drunk the swigs of beer, sarasvati refreshed you maghavan.