Some mysteries of uchChiShTa
In extant atharvavedic shrauta practice the uchChiShTa sUkta (AV-vulgate 11.7; AV-P 16.82) is not deployed. However, sAyaNa correctly understands its deployment in the old AV-based shrauta ritual. He cites the taittirIya brAhmaNa 1.1.9 and states that this is the uchChiShTa of the offering to the goddess aditi made of rice. In the TB its stated that the uchChiShTa was assigned to aditi; earlier in the AV (AV-vulgate 11.3) there is a long recitation of yajuSh-s and 4 embedded R^iks that is used in the celebrated ritual of the bR^ihaspati sava in offering of odana or the rice dish. In this recitation itself the uchChiShTa is mentioned (AV-vul 11.3.21) and described in terms that are expanded in this sUkta. Thus in the old atharvavedic sava it is likely that the odana recitation mainly of yajuSh-s was first deployed while the odana was taken up and offered and its uchChiShTa was then used along with the eponymous sUkta.
Recently a discussion of a word nya, probably a hapax legomenon in the AV, which is found in this sUkta came to my attention.
dR^iDho dR^iMha sthiro nyo brahma vishva-dR^isho [[AV-vul: sR^ijo] dasha |
nAbhim iva sarvatash chakram uchChiShTe devatA AhitAH [AV-vul: shritAH] ||
What does the word nya/nyas in this R^ik mean?
At this stage I am unable to fully grasp this mantra. sAyaNa tells us that it is “netAras tatratyAH prANinaH”. So he derives it from the root nI. But is it actually derived from the root nyas in the sense of deposited. This might fight in well with the other constructs like dR^imha=firm up; sthira=fix and hence nya=deposit. If so this might give some clarity about the mantra.