I’m looking at Snp 1.4, with its sowing ritual and the curious water-sizzling at the end. I’ve looked for similar rituals in the Vedic and later traditions, and can’t find anything closely corresponding. There is an idea of “scattering” (vapa) grains during Vedic sacrifice, but that’s about all I’ve found.
It seems to me the procedure must be connected with sympathetic magic: giving away food to people like giving to the ground, and in both cases expecting something back.
But I’m wondering if there’s any scholarship or connections I’ve missed.
Ahh thanks! So this quotes from the Rig 4.57. I’ve found a few other passages, so I think I have enough context now.
Hymns for farming are found as far back as the old Vedic tradition, many centuries before the Upaniṣads. The Vedic hymns focus on the celebration of abundance and prosperity in life, and that includes agriculture. Early Vedic hymns include invocations to the “Lord of the Field” to bless the ploughing and the crops (Rig Veda 4.57.4). These invocations did not remain merely as dead letters, for they are cited in much later ritual texts, which say that a brahmin should recite them when touching the plough (Saṅkhāyana Grihya Sūtra 4.13). Such verses, and others (eg. Rig Veda 10.101.3), invoke the different parts of the ploughing—goad, plough, seed, furrow—in a way not dissimilar to the Kasibhāradvājasutta. The Atharvaveda (6.142.3) says that the “givers” of the grain shall be inexhaustible, perhaps suggesting a food distribution practice.