Āpastamba-gṛhya-sūtra

by Āpastamba | 1892 | 21,043 words

The short treatise of Āpastamba on the Gṛhya ritual forms one Praśna of the great corpus of the Āpastambīya-Kalpa-sūtra and stands, among the Gṛhya texts, in closest connection with the Hiraṇyakeśi-Gṛhya-sūtra....

Introduction To The Gṛhya Sūtras

We begin our introductory remarks on the literature of the Gṛhya-sūtras with the attempt to collect the more important data which throw light on the development of the Gṛhya ritual during the oldest period of Hindu antiquity.

There are, as it seems, no direct traces of the Gṛhya ceremonies in the most ancient portion of Vedic literature. It is certain indeed that a number of the most important of those ceremonies are contemporaneous with or even earlier than the most ancient hymns of the Ṛg-veda, as far as their fundamental elements and character are concerned, whatever their precise arrangement may have been. However, in the literature of the oldest period they play no part. It was another portion of the ritual that attracted the attention of the poets to whom we owe the hymns to Agni, Indra, and the other deities of the Vedic Olympus, viz. the offerings of the Śrauta-Ritual with their far superior pomp, or, to state the matter more precisely, among the offerings of the Śrauta-Ritual the Soma offering. In the Soma offering centred the thought, the poetry, and we may almost say the life of the Vasiṣṭhas, of the Viśvāmitras, &c., in whose families the poetry of the Ṛg-veda had its home. We may assume that the acts of the Gṛhya worship, being more limited in extent and simpler in their ritual construction than the great Soma offerings, were not yet at that time, so far as they existed at all, decked out with the reciting of the poetic texts, which we find later on connected with them, and which in the case of the Soma offering came early to be used. Probably they were celebrated in simple unadorned fashion; what the person making the offering had to say was doubtless limited to short, possibly prose formulas, so that these ceremonies remained free from the poetry of the above-mentioned families of priests {GL_NOTE::}1. We think that the character of the verses given in the Gṛhya-sūtras, which had to be repeated at the performance of the different ceremonies, justifies us in making these conjectures. Some of these verses indeed are old Vedic verses, but we have no proof that they were composed for the purposes of the Gṛhya ceremonies, and the connection in which we find them in the Ṛg-veda proves rather the contrary. Another portion of these verses and songs proves to have been composed indeed for the very Gṛhya ceremonies for which they are prescribed in the texts of the ritual: but these verses are more recent than the old parts of the Ṛg-veda. Part of them are found in the Ṛg-veda in a position which speaks for their more recent origin, others are not contained in the Ṛg-veda at all. Many of these verses are found in the more recent Vedic Saṃhitās, especially in the Atharva-veda Saṃhitā which may be regarded in the main as a treasure of Gṛhya verses; others finally have not as yet been traced to any Vedic Saṃhitā, and we know them from the Gṛhya-sūtras only. We may infer that, during the latter part of the Ṛg-veda period, ceremonies such as marriage and burial began to be decked out with poetry as had long been the case with the Soma offering. The principal collection of marriage sentences {GL_NOTE::}2 and the sentences for the burial of the dead {GL_NOTE::}1 are found in the tenth Maṇḍala of the Ṛg-veda, which, for the most part, is known to be of later origin than the preceding portions of the collections {GL_NOTE::}2. If we look into the character of the verses, which these long Gṛhya songs are composed of, we shall find additional grounds for assuming their early origin. A few remarks about their metrical character will make this clear {GL_NOTE::}3. There is no other metre in which the contrast between the early and later periods of Vedic literature manifests itself so clearly as in the Anuṣṭubh-metre {GL_NOTE::}4. The Anuṣṭubh hemistich consists of sixteen syllables, which are divided by the caesura into two halves of eight syllables each. The second of these halves has as a rule the iambic ending (  01100_1), though this rule was not so strictly carried out in the early as in the later period {GL_NOTE::}5. The iambic ending is also the rule in the older parts of the Veda for the close of the first half, i.e. for the four syllables before the caesura {GL_NOTE::}6. We know that the later prosody, as we see it in certain late parts of Vedic literature, in the Pāli Piṭakas of the Buddhists, and later in the great epic poems, not only departs from the usage of the older period, but adopts a directly contrary course, i.e. the iambic ending of the first pāda, which was formerly the rule, is not allowed at all later, and instead of it the prevailing ending is the antispast (  01101_1) It goes without saying that such a change in metrical usage, as the one just described, cannot have taken place at one jump. And accordingly a consideration of the Vedic texts reveals a transition period or rather a series of several transition periods between the old and the new standpoints. The first change is that every other ending of the first pāda is allowed by the side of the iambic ending. The two forms of the ending, the one prevailing in the earliest, and the one prevailing in the later period of the prosody, the iambic (  01200_1) and the antispastic (  01201_1), are those that occur most frequently in the intermediate period, but besides them all other possible forms are allowed {GL_NOTE::}1.

This is precisely the stage of metrical development which the great Gṛhya songs of the tenth Maṇḍala of the Ṛg-veda have reached. Let us consider, for instance, the marriage songs and the marriage sayings, X, 85, and see what kind of ending there is at the end of the first pāda. Of the first seventeen verses of this Sūkta sixteen are in Anuṣṭubh metre (verse 14 is Tṛṣṭubh); we have therefore thirty-two cases in which the metrical form of these syllables must be investigated. The quantity of the syllable immediately preceding the caesura being a matter of indifference, we have not sixteen but only eight a priori possible combinations for the form of the last four syllables of the pāda; I give each of these forms below, adding each time in how many of the thirty-two cases it is used:

 01202

8

 01203

5

 01204

5

 01205

4

 01206

3

 01207

3

 01208

3

 01209

 1

 

32

 

 

We see that all the possible combinations are actually represented in these thirty-two cases, and accordingly the metrical build of this Sūkta shows that it belongs to a period to which only the latest songs of the Ṛg-veda collection can be referred, but the peculiarities of which may be often noticed in the Atharva-veda and in the verses scattered throughout the Brāhmaṇa literature {GL_NOTE::}1.

A hasty glance suffices to show that those verses of the Gṛhya ritual which do not appear in the Saṃhitās, but which are quoted at full length in the Gṛhya-sūtras, are also in the same stage. For instance, the seven Anuṣṭubh verses which are quoted Śāṅkhāyana-Gṛhya I, 19, 5. 6, give us the following relations, if we investigate them as we did those in Ṛg-veda X, 85:

 01300

4

 01301

3

 01302

2

 01303

2

 01304

1

 01305

1

 01306

 1

 

14

 

 

Thus even the small number of fourteen hemistichs is enough to give us seven of the eight existing combinations, and no single one occurs at all often enough to allow us to call it predominant.

Or we may take the saying that accompanies the performance of the medhājanana on the new-born child. In the version of Āśvalāyana {GL_NOTE::}2 we have:

medhâ<I>m</I> to deva<I>h</I> Savitâ<br> medhâ<I>m</I> to A<I>s</I>vinau devau.

In the version adopted in the school of Gobhila {GL_NOTE::}3 the context of the first line is different, but the metre is the same:

medhâ<I>m</I> to Mitrâvaru<I>n</I>au.

Or the saying with which the pupil (brahmacārin) has to lay a log of wood on the fire of the teacher {GL_NOTE::}1:

Agnaye samidham âhârsham<br> tayâ tvam Agne vardhasva.

There would be no object in multiplying the number of examples; those here given are sufficient to prove our proposition, that the development of the Gṛhya rites in the form in which they are described to us in the Sūtras, that especially their being accompanied with verses, which were to be recited by their performance, is later than the time of the oldest Vedic poetry, and coincides rather with the transition period in the development of the Anuṣṭubh metre, a period which lies between the old Vedic and the later Buddhistic and epic form.

Besides the formulae intended to be recited during the performance of the various sacred acts, the Gṛhya-sūtras contain a second kind of verses, which differ essentially from the first kind in regard to metre; viz. verses of ritualistic character, which are inserted here and there between the prose Sūtras, and of which the subject-matter is similar to that of the surrounding prose. We shall have to consider these yajñagāthās, as they are occasionally called, later; at present let us go on looking for traces of the Gṛhya ritual and for the origin of Gṛhya literature in the literature which precedes the Sūtras.

The Brāhmaṇa texts, which, as a whole, have for their subject-matter the Vaitānika ceremonies celebrated with the three holy fires, furnish evidence that the Gṛhya fire, together with the holy acts accomplished in connection with it, were also already known. The Aitareya-Brāhmaṇa {GL_NOTE::}2 gives this fire the most usual name, the same name which is used for it in the Sūtras, gṛhya agni, and describes a ceremony to be performed over this fire with expressions which agree exactly with the style of the Gṛhya-sūtras {GL_NOTE::}1. We often find in the Brāhmaṇa texts also mention of the terminus technicus, which the Gṛhya-sūtras use many times as a comprehensive term for the offerings connected with Gṛhya ritual, the word pākayajña {GL_NOTE::}2. For instance, the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa {GL_NOTE::}3, in order to designate the whole body of offerings, uses the expression: all offerings, those that are Pākayajñas and the others. It is especially common to find the Pākayajñas mentioned in the Brāhmaṇa texts in connection with the myth of Manu. The Taittirīya Saṃhitā {GL_NOTE::}4 opposes the whole body of sacrifices to the Pākayajñas. The former belonged to the gods, who through it attained to the heavenly world; the latter concerned Manu: thus the goddess Iḍā turned to him. Similar remarks, bringing Manu or the goddess Iḍā into relation with the Pākayajñas, are to be found Taittirīya Saṃhitā VI, 2, 5, 4; Aitareya-Brāhmaṇa III, 40, 2. However, in this case as in many others, the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa contains the most detailed data, from which we see how the idea of Manu as the performer of Pākayajñas is connected with the history of the great deluge, out of which Manu alone was left. We read in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa {GL_NOTE::}5:

'Now the flood had carried away all these creatures, and thus Manu was left there alone. Then Manu went about singing praises and toiling, wishing for offspring. And he sacrificed there also with a Pāka-sacrifice. He poured clarified butter, thickened milk, whey, and curds in the water as a libation.' It is then told how the goddess Iḍā arose out of this offering. I presume that the story of the Pākayajña as the first offering made by Manu after the great flood, stands in a certain correlation to the idea of the introduction of the three sacrificial fires through Purūravas {GL_NOTE::}1. Purūravas is the son of Iḍā; the original man Manu, who brings forth Iḍā through his offering, cannot have made use of a form of offering which presupposes the existence of Iḍā, and which moreover is based on the triad of the sacred fires introduced by Purūravas; hence Manu's offering must have been a Pākayajña; we read in one of the Gṛhya-sūtras {GL_NOTE::}2: 'All Pākayajñas are performed without Iḍā.'

There are still other passages in the Brāhmaṇa texts showing that the Gṛhya offerings were already known; I will mention a saying of Yājñavalkya's reported in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa {GL_NOTE::}3: he would not allow that the daily morning and evening offering was a common offering, but said that, in a certain measure, it was a Pākayajña. Finally I would call attention to the offering prescribed in the last book of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa {GL_NOTE::}4 for the man 'who wishes that a learned son should be born to him;' it is there stated that the preparation of the Ājya (clarified butter) should be performed 'according to the rule of the Sthālīpāka (pot-boiling),' and the way in which the offering is to be performed is described by means of an expression, upaghātam {GL_NOTE::}1, which often occurs in the Gṛhya literature in a technical sense.

We thus see that the Brāhmaṇa books are acquainted with the Gṛhya fire, and know about the Gṛhya offerings and their permanent technical peculiarities; and it is not merely the later portions of the Brāhmaṇa works such as the fourteenth book of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, in which we meet with evidence of this kind; we find it also in portions against the antiquity of which no objections can be raised.

While therefore on the one hand the Brāhmaṇa texts prove the existence of the Gṛhya ceremonial, we see on the other hand, and first of all by means of the Brāhmaṇa texts themselves, that a literary treatment of this ritualistic subject-matter, as we find it in the Brāhmaṇas themselves with regard to the Śrauta offerings, cannot then have existed. If there had existed texts, similar to the Brāhmaṇa texts preserved to us, which treated of the Gṛhya ritual, then, even supposing the texts themselves had disappeared, we should still necessarily find traces of them in the Brāhmaṇas and Sūtras. He who will take the trouble to collect in the Brāhmaṇa texts the scattered references to the then existing literature, will be astonished at the great mass of notices of this kind that are preserved: but nowhere do we find traces of Gṛhya Brāhmaṇas. And besides, if such works had ever existed, we should be at a loss to understand the difference which the Hindus make between the Śrauta-sūtras based on Śruti (revelation), and the Gṛhya-sūtras resting on Smṛti (tradition) alone {GL_NOTE::}2. The sacred Gṛhya acts are regarded as 'smārta,' and when the question is raised with what right they can be considered as a duty resting on the sacrificer alongside of the Śrauta acts, the answer is given that they too are based on a Śākhā of the Veda, but that this Śākhā is hidden, so that its existence can only be demonstrated by reasoning {GL_NOTE::}1.

But the Brāhmaṇa texts furnish us still in another way the most decisive arguments to prove that there have been no expositions of the Gṛhya ritual in Brāhmaṇa form: they contain exceptionally and scattered through their mass sections, in which they treat of subjects which according to later custom would have been treated in the Gṛhya-sūtras. Precisely this sporadic appearance of Gṛhya chapters in the midst of expositions of a totally different contents leads us to draw the conclusion that literary compositions did not then exist, in which these chapters would have occupied their proper place as integral parts of a whole. Discussions of questions of Gṛhya ritual are found in the Brāhmaṇa literature, naturally enough in those appendices of various kinds which generally follow the exposition of the principal subject of the Śrauta ritual. Accordingly we find in the eleventh book of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa {GL_NOTE::}2, among the manifold additions to subjects previously treated, which make up the principal contents of this book {GL_NOTE::}3, an exposition of the Upanayana, i.e. the solemn reception of the pupil by the teacher, who is to teach him the Veda. The way in which the chapter on the Upanayana is joined to the preceding one, is eminently characteristic; it shows that it is the merest accident which has brought about in that place the discussion of a subject connected with the Gṛhya ritual, and that a ceremony such as the Upanayana is properly not in its proper place in the midst of the literature of Brāhmaṇa texts. A dialogue (brahmodya) between Uddālaka and Śauceya precedes; the two talk of the Agnihotra and of various expiations (prāyaścitta) connected with that sacrifice. At the end Śauceya, filled with astonishment at the wisdom of Uddālaka, declares that he wishes to come to him as a pupil (upāyāni bhagavantam), and Uddālaka accepts him as his pupil. It is the telling of this story and the decisive words upāyāni and upaninye which furnish the occasion for introducing the following section on the Upanayana {GL_NOTE::}1. The subject is there treated in the peculiar style of the Brāhmaṇa texts, a style which we need not characterize here. I shall only mention one point, viz. that into the description and explanation of the Upanayana ceremony has been inserted one of those Ślokas, such as we often find in the Gṛhya-sūtras also, as a sort of ornamental amplification of the prose exposition {GL_NOTE::}2. 'Here a Śloka is also sung,' says the Brāhmaṇa {GL_NOTE::}3:

 01900

ācāryo garbhī bhavati hastam ādhāya dakṣiṇam

 01901

tṛtīyasyāṃ sa jāyate sāvitryā saha brāhmaṇaḥ {GL_NOTE::}4.

From this passage we see, on the one hand, that the composition of such isolated {GL_NOTE::}5 Ślokas explaining certain points of the Gṛhya ritual goes back to quite an early period; on the other hand, we are compelled to assume that the Ślokas of this kind which are quoted in the Gṛhya-sūtras differ nevertheless from the analogous Ślokas of the early period, or at any rate that the old Ślokas must have undergone a change which modernized their structure, so as to be received into the Gṛhya-sūtras; for the metre of the Śloka just quoted, which has the antispast before the caesura in neither of its two halves, and which has even a double iambus before the caesura in one half, is decidedly of an older type than the one peculiar to the Ślokas quoted in the Gṛhya-sūtras {GL_NOTE::}6.

Another Gṛhya section in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa seems to have found its place there through a similar accidental kind of joining on to a preceding chapter as the above-mentioned passage. In XI, 5, 5 a story of the battle of the gods and Asuras is told: the gods beat the Asuras back by means of constantly larger Sattra celebrations and conquer for themselves the world of heaven. It seems to me that the description of the great Sattras celebrated by the gods is the occasion of the joining on of a section beginning with the words {GL_NOTE::}1: 'There are five great sacrifices (mahāyajñas); they are great Sattras: the offering to Beings, the offering to men, the offering to the Fathers (i.e. the Manes), the offering to the Gods, the offering to the Brahman.' After this introduction follows an account of one of the five great offerings, namely of the Brahmayajña, i.e. of the daily Veda recitation (svādhyāya). The third Adhyāya of Āśvalāyana's Gṛhya-sūtra begins in exactly the same way with the sentence: 'Now (follow) the five sacrifices: the sacrifice to the Gods, the sacrifice to the Beings, the sacrifice to the Fathers, the sacrifice to the Brahman, the sacrifice to men,' and then follows here also a discussion of the Brahmayajña, which is entirely analogous to that given in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa. Āśvalāyana here does not content himself with describing the actual course of ceremonies as is the rule in the Sūtra texts; he undertakes, quite in the way of the Brāhmaṇa texts, to explain their meaning: 'In that he recites the Ṛcas, he thereby satiates the gods with oblations of milk, in that (he recites) the Yajus, with oblations of ghee,' &c. It is plain that the mode of exposition adopted by Āśvalāyana in this passage, which is different from the usual Sūtra style, finds its explanation in the supposition that exceptionally in this case the author of the Gṛhya-sūtra had before him a Brāhmaṇa text, which he could take as his model, whether that text was the Śatapatha itself or another similar text.

Among the extremely various prescriptions which we find in the last sections of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, there is a rather long section, which also really belongs to the Gṛhya domain. To quote from this section {GL_NOTE::}1: 'If a man wishes that a learned son should be born to him, famous, a public man, a popular speaker, that he should know all the Vedas, and that he should live to his full age, then, after having prepared boiled rice with meat and butter, they should both eat, being fit to have offspring,' &c. Then follows a description of an Ājya offering, after which the marital cohabitation is to be performed with certain formulas. This, however, is not the last of the acts through which the father assures himself of the possession of such a distinguished son; certain rites follow, which are to be performed at birth and after birth, the Āyuṣya ceremony and the Medhājanana. These rites are here prescribed for the special case where the father has the above-mentioned wishes for the prosperity of his child; but the description agrees essentially with the description of the corresponding acts in the Gṛhya-sūtras {GL_NOTE::}2, which are inculcated for all cases, without reference to a determined wish of the father. It is a justifiable conjecture that, although this certainly does not apply to the whole of ceremonies described in the Gṛhya-sūtras, many portions of these ceremonies and verses that were used in connection with them, &c., were first developed, not as a universal rite or duty, but as the special possession of individuals, who hoped to attain special goods and advantages by performing the ceremony in this way.

It was only later, as I think, that such prescriptions assumed the character of universality, with which we find them propounded in the Gṛhya-sūtras.

It is scarcely necessary to go through the sections of the texts of other Vedic schools referring to the Gṛhya ritual in the same way in which we have done it in the case of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa. The data which we have produced from the great Brāhmaṇa of the white Yajur-veda, will be sufficient for our purpose, which is to give an idea of the stage in which the literary treatment of the Gṛhya ritual stood during the Brāhmaṇa period. As we see, there were then properly no Gṛhya texts; but many of the elements which we find later in the Gṛhya texts were either already formed or were in the process of formation. Most of the verses which are used for the Gṛhya acts—in so far as they are not verses composed in the oldest period for the Soma offering and transferred to the Gṛhya ceremonies—bear the formal imprint of the Brāhmaṇa period; the domestic sacrificial fire and the ritual peculiarities of the Pākayajñas which were to be performed at it, were known; descriptions of some such Pākayajñas were given in prose; there were also already Ślokas which gave in metrical form explanations about certain points of the Gṛhya ritual, just as we find in the Brāhmaṇa texts analogous Ślokas referring to subjects connected with the Śrauta ritual.

Thus was the next step which the literary development took in the Sūtra period prepared and rendered easy. The more systematic character which the exposition of the ritualistic discipline assumed in this period, necessarily led to the taking of this step: the domain of the Gṛhya sacrifices was recognised and expounded as a second great principal part of the ritual of sacrifices alongside of the Śrauta domain which was alone attended to in the earlier period. The Gṛhya-sūtras arose which treat, according to the expression of Āśvalāyana in his first sentence, of the gṛhyāṇi {GL_NOTE::}1 as distinguished from the vaitānikāni, or, as Śāṅkhāyana says, of the pākayajñās, or, as Pāraskara says, of the gṛhyasthālīpākānāṃ karma. The Gṛhya-sūtras treat their subject of course in exactly the same style in which the sacrifices of the Śrauta ritual had been treated by the Śrauta-sūtras, which they constantly assume to be known and which are the works of teachers of the same Vedic schools, and oftentimes even perhaps the works of the same authors. Only certain differences in the character of the two groups of texts are naturally conditioned on the one hand by the greater complexity of the Śrauta sacrifices and the comparative simplicity of the Gṛhya sacrifices, on the other hand by the fact that the Śrauta-sūtras are entirely based on Brāhmaṇa texts, in which the same subjects were treated, while the Gṛhya-sūtras, as we have seen, possessed such a foundation only for a very small portion of their contents.

It goes without saying that the above-mentioned statement that the subjects treated of in the Gṛhya-sūtras are Pākayajñas {GL_NOTE::}1 or Gṛhyasthālīpākas should not be pressed with the utmost strictness, as though nothing were treated in the Gṛhya-sūtras which does not come under these heads. First of all the term Sthālīpāka is too narrow, since it does not include the offerings of sacrificial butter which constituted a great number of ceremonies. But besides many ceremonies and observances are taught in the Gṛhya-sūtras, which cannot in any way be characterised as sacrifices at all, only possessing some inner resemblance to the group of sacrifices there treated of, or standing in more or less close connection with them {GL_NOTE::}2.

The Sūtra texts divide the Pākayajñas in various ways; either four or seven principal forms are taken up. The commonest division is that into the four classes of the hutas, ahutas, prahutas, prāśitas {GL_NOTE::}1. The division into seven classes is doubtless occasioned by the division of the Haviryajñas and of the Somayajñas, which also each include seven classes {GL_NOTE::}2; for the nature of the sacrifices in question would hardly of itself have led to such a division. The seven classes taken up are either those given by Gautama VIII, 15 {GL_NOTE::}3: 'The seven kinds of Pākayajñas, viz. the Aṣṭakā, the Pārvaṇa (Sthālīpāka, offered on the new and full moon days), the funeral oblations, the Śrāvaṇī, the Āgrahāyaṇī, the Caitrī, and the Āśvayujī.' Or else the seven classes are established as follows, the fourfold division being utilised to some extent {GL_NOTE::}4: 'Huta, Prahuta, Āhuta (sic, not Ahuta), the spit-ox sacrifice, the Bali offering, the re-descent (on the Āgrahāyaṇa day), the Aṣṭakā sacrifice.' According to the account of Prof. Bühler {GL_NOTE::}5, the exposition of Baudhāyana, who gives this division, keeps closely to the course which it prescribes. For the rest, however, the Gṛhya texts with which I am acquainted do not follow any of these divisions, and this is easily accounted for, if we consider the artificial character of these classifications, which are undertaken merely for the sake of having a complete scheme of the sacrifices. On the contrary, as a whole the texts give an arrangement which is based on the nature of the ceremonies they describe. In many instances we find considerable variations between the texts of the different schools; often enough, in a given text, the place which is assigned to a given chapter is not to be explained without assuming a certain arbitrariness on tlfe part of the author. But, as a whole, we cannot fail to recognise in the arrangement of the different texts a certain agreement, which we will here merely try to explain in its main traits; the points of detail, which would complete what we here say, will occur of themselves to any one who looks at the texts themselves.

The domestic life of the Hindus represents, so to speak, a circle, in which it is in a certain measure indifferent what point is selected as the starting-point. Two especially important epochs in this life are: on the one hand, the period of studentship of the young Brahmacārin devoted to the study of the Veda; at the beginning of this period comes the ceremony of the Upanayana, at the end that of the Samāvartana; on the other hand, marriage (vivāha), which besides has a special importance for the Gṛhya ritual, from the circumstance, that as a rule the cultus of the domestic sacrificial fire begins with marriage. One can just as well imagine an exposition of the Gṛhya ritual, which proceeds from the description of the studentship to that of the marriage, as one which proceeds from the description of the marriage to that of the studentship. The Samāvartana, which designates the end of the period of studentship, gives the Hindu the right and the duty to found a household {GL_NOTE::}1. On the other hand, if the exposition begins with the marriage, there follows naturally the series of ceremonies which are to be performed up to the birth of a child, and then the ceremonies for the young child, which finally lead up to the Upanayana and a description of the period of studentship. The Hiraṇyakeśi-sūtra alone, of the Sūtras treated of in these translations, follows the first of the two orders mentioned {GL_NOTE::}2; the other texts follow the other order, which has been already described by Prof. Max Müller almost thirty years ago, and we cannot do better than to give his description {GL_NOTE::}1: 'Then (i.e. after the marriage) follow the Saṃskāras, the rites to be performed at the conception of a child, at various periods before his birth, at the time of his birth, the ceremony of naming the child, of carrying him out to see the sun, of feeding him, of cutting his hair, and lastly of investing him as a student, and handing him to a Guru, under whose care he is to study the sacred writings, that is to say, to learn them by heart, and 'to perform all the offices of a Brahmacārin, or religious student.'

In this way we find, as a rule, in the foreground in the first part of the Gṛhya-sūtras this great group of acts which accompany the domestic life from marriage to the studentship and the Samāvartana of the child sprung from wedlock. We find, however, inserted into the description of these ceremonies, in various ways in the different Sūtras, the exposition of a few ritualistic matters which we have not yet mentioned. In the first place a description of the setting up of the sacred domestic fire, i.e. of the ceremony which in the domain of the Gṛhya ritual corresponds to the agnyādheya of the Śrauta ritual. The setting up of the fire forms the necessary preliminary to all sacred acts; the regular time for it is the wedding {GL_NOTE::}2, so that the fire used for the wedding acts accompanies the young couple to their home, and there forms the centre of their household worship. Accordingly in the Gṛhya-sūtras the description of the setting up of the fire stands, as a rule, at the beginning of the whole, not far from the description of the wedding.

Next the introductory sections of the Gṛhya-sūtras have to describe the type of the Gṛhya sacrifice, which is universally available and recurs at all household ceremonies. This can be done in such a way that this type is described for itself, without direct reference to a particular sacrifice. This is the case in Pāraskara, who in the first chapter of his Sūtra describes the rites recurring at each sacrifice, and then remarks: 'This ritual holds good, whenever a sacrifice is offered {GL_NOTE::}1.' Similarly Āśvalāyana, in one of the first chapters of his work, enumerates the rites which are to be performed 'whenever he intends to sacrifice {GL_NOTE::}2.' Other texts give a general description of the Gṛhya sacrifice by exemplifying it by one special sacrifice. Śāṅkhāyana {GL_NOTE::}3 chooses for this the sacrifice which the bridegroom has to offer, when a favourable answer has been granted to his wooing; Gobhila {GL_NOTE::}4 gives at least the greater part of the rules in question à propos of the full moon and of the new moon sacrifice; Hiraṇyakeśin {GL_NOTE::}5, who opens his account at the period of the studentship of the young Brāhmaṇa, describes the sacrificial type à propos of the Upanayana rite.

The sacrifices which are to be offered daily at morning and at evening, those which are celebrated monthly on the days of the new moon and of the full moon—the Gṛhya copies of the Agnihotra and of the Darśapūrṇamāsa sacrifices—and, thirdly, the daily distribution of the Bali offerings: these ceremonies are commonly described along with what we have called the first great group of the Gṛhya acts, immediately preceding or following the Vivāha.

We find, as a second group of sacred acts, a series of celebrations, which, if the man has founded his household, are to be performed regularly at certain times of the year at the household fire. So the Śravāṇa sacrifice, which is offered to the snakes at the time when, on account of the danger from snakes, a raised couch is necessary at night. At the end of this period the festival of the re-descent is celebrated: the exchanging of the high couch for the low couch on the ground. Between these two festivals comes the Pṛṣātaka offering on the full-moon day of the month Āśvayuja; it receives in the Gṛhya texts the place corresponding to that which actually belongs to it in the series of the festivals. As a rule {GL_NOTE::}1 the acts we have just mentioned are followed, in accordance with the natural series, by the Aṣṭakā festivals, which are celebrated during the last months of the year.

Alongside of these acts which are connected with fixed points of the year we find in the various Gṛhya texts an account of a series of other ceremonies, which, in accordance with their nature, have no such fixed position in the system of the ritual. Thus, for instance, the rites which refer to the choice of a piece of ground to build a house or to the building itself; further, the rites connected with agriculture and cattle raising. In many texts we find together with this group of acts also an account of the ceremonies, related to fixed points in the year, which stand in connection with the annual course of Vedic study: the description of the opening festival and of the closing festival of the school term, as well as a point which generally follows these descriptions, the rules as to the anadhyāya, i.e. as to the occasions which necessitate an intermission in the study of the Veda for a longer or for a shorter period. As a rule, the Gṛhya-sūtras bring the account of these things into the group of acts which refer to the household life of the Gṛhastha; for the Adhyāpana, i.e. the teaching of the Veda, held the first place among the rights and duties of the Brāhmaṇa who had completed his time at school. On the other hand these ceremonies can naturally also be considered as connected with the school life of the young Hindu, and accordingly they are placed in that division by Gobhila {GL_NOTE::}2, between the description of the Upanayana and that of the Samāvartana.

The sacred acts connected with the burial and the worship of the dead (the various kinds of Śrāddha rites) may be designated as a third group of the ceremonies which are described to us in the Gṛhya.-sūtras. Finally, a fourth group comprises the acts which are connected with the attainment of particular desires (kāmyāni). Among the texts here translated we find a somewhat detailed account of these ceremonies in the Gobhila-sūtra and in the Khādira-Gṛhya only {GL_NOTE::}1.

These remarks cannot claim to give a complete outline of the contents and arrangement of the Gṛhya texts; they only aim at giving an idea of the fundamental traits, which in each particular text are modified by manifold variations, but which nevertheless are to these variations as the rule is to the exceptions.

We must now speak of the relations of the Gṛhya-sūtras to the two other kinds of Sūtra texts, with which they have so many points of contact in the Śrauta-sūtras and the Dharma-sūtras.

Prof. Bühler, in several places of the excellent introductions which he has prefixed to his translations of the Dharma-sūtras, has called attention to the fact that the relation in which the Sūtra texts of the same school stand to each other is very different in different schools. Many schools possess a great corpus of Sūtras, the parts of which are the Śrauta-sūtra, the Gṛhya-sūtra, &c. This is, for instance, the case with the Āpastambīya school {GL_NOTE::}2; its Sūtra is divided into thirty Praśnas, the contents of which are divided as follows:

 

I-XXIV: Śrauta-sūtra.

XXV: Paribhāṣās, &c.

XXVI: Mantras for the Gṛhya-sūtra.

XXVII: Gṛhya-sūtra.

XXVIII-XXIX: Dharma-sūtra.

XXX: Śulva-sūtra.

In other cases the single Sūtra texts stand more independently side by side; they are not considered as parts of one and the same great work, but as different works. Of course it is the Dharma-sūtras above all which could be freed from the connection with the other Sūtra texts to such an extent, that even their belonging to a distinct Vedic school may be doubtful. The contents of this class of Sūtras indeed have hardly any connection with the subdivisions and differences of the Vedic texts handed down in the various schools; there was no reason why Brahmans, who studied various Śākhās of the Veda, should not learn the ordinances concerning law and morals given in these Sūtras as they were formulated in the same texts. The Gṛhya-sūtras are not so independent of the differences of the Vedic schools. The close analogy between the sacrificial ritual of the Gṛhya acts and that of the Śrauta acts, and the consequent necessity of taking into account the Śrauta ritual in the exposition of the Gṛhya ritual, necessarily brought the Gṛhya-sūtras into closer connection with and into greater dependence on the Śrauta-sūtras than in the case of the Dharma-sūtras {GL_NOTE::}1. But above all, the Gṛhya ceremonies demanded the knowledge of numerous Mantras, and accordingly as these Mantras were borrowed from the one or the ether Mantra Śākhā {GL_NOTE::}2, there followed in the case of the Gṛhya text in question an intimate connection with the corresponding Mantra school {GL_NOTE::}3. We find accordingly as a general rule, that each Gṛhya-sūtra presupposes a Vedic Saṃhitā, whose Mantras it quotes only in their Pratīkas {GL_NOTE::}4, and that besides each Gṛhya-sūtra presupposes a previous knowledge of the ritual which is acquired through the study of the proper Śrauta-sūtra {GL_NOTE::}1. It is not necessary to quote the numerous places where the Gṛhya-sūtras either expressly refer to the Śrauta-sūtras, or point to them by repeating the same phrases or often even whole Sūtras. It will be sufficient to quote one out of many places, the opening words of the Āśvalāyana-Gṛhya, which in a way characterise this work as a second part of the Śrauta-sūtra: 'The rites based on the spreading (of the three sacred fires) have been declared; we shall declare the Gṛhya rites {GL_NOTE::}2.'

Thus it is not difficult to perceive the dependence of the Gṛhya-sūtras on the Śrauta-sūtras; but there remains the much more difficult question whether in each particular case both texts are to be regarded as by the same author, or whether the Gṛhya-sūtra is an appendix to the Śrauta-sūtra composed by another author. Tradition accepts the one alternative for some Sūtras; for other Sūtras it accepts the other; thus in the domain of the Rig-Veda literature Āśvalāyana and Śāṅkhāyana are credited with the authorship of a Śrauta-sūtra as well as of a Gṛhya-sūtra; the same is true of Āpastamba, Hiraṇyakeśin, and other authors. On the other hand, the authorship of the Gṛhya-sūtras which follow the Śrauta-sūtras of Kātyāyana, Lāṭyāyana, Drāhyāyaṇa, is not ascribed to Kātyāyana, Lāṭyāyana, Drāhyāyaṇa, but to Pāraskara, Gobhila, and Khādirācārya.

It seems to me that we should consider the testimony of tradition as entirely trustworthy in the second class of cases. Tradition is very much inclined to ascribe to celebrated masters and heads of schools the origin of works which are acknowledged authorities in their schools, even though they are not the authors. But it is not likely that tradition should have made a mistake in the opposite direction, that e.g. it should designate Pāraskara as author when Kātyāyana himself was the author.

We shall not be able to trust so implicitly to tradition where it puts down the same author for the Gṛhya-sūtra as for the corresponding Śrauta-sūtra; the possibility that such data are false is so large that we have to treat them as doubtful so long as we have not discovered certain proofs of their correctness. At present, so far as I can see, we are just as little justified in considering that such a proof has been made as we are able to prove the opposite state of things. It is easy to find the many agreements in contents and expression which exist, for instance, between the Śrauta-sūtra and Gṛhya-sūtra of Śāṅkhāyana, or between the Śrauta-sūtra and the Gṛhya-sūtra of Āśvalāyana {GL_NOTE::}1. But these agreements cannot be considered as sufficient proof that in each case the Gṛhya-sūtra and the Śrauta-sūtra are by the same author. Even if the author of the Gṛhya-sūtra was not Āśvalāyana or Śāṅkhāyana in person, still he must have been at all events perfectly familiar with the works of those teachers, and must have intended to fit his work to theirs as closely as possible, so that agreements of this kind can in no way astonish us {GL_NOTE::}2. On the other hand, if the Śrauta-sūtras and Gṛhya-sūtras are read together, it is easy to discover small irregularities in the exposition, repetitions and such like, which might seem to indicate different authors. But the irregularities of this kind which have been detected up to the present are scarcely of such a character as not to be easily ascribable to mistakes and carelessness such as even a careful author may be guilty of in the course of a large work {GL_NOTE::}1. It seems to me then that until the discovery of further circumstances throwing light on the question of the identity of the authors of the Śrautas and of the Gṛhyas, it would be premature if we were to venture on a decision of this question in one direction or the other.

Prof. Bühler's investigations have made perfectly clear the relation in which the Gṛhya-sūtras and the Dharma-sūtras stand to each other in those cases, where we have texts of both kinds by the same school. In the case of the Gṛhya-sūtra and the Dharma-sūtra of the Āpastambīyas he has proved {GL_NOTE::}2 that both texts were the work of the same author according to a common plan, so that the Gṛhya-sūtra is as short and terse as possible, because Āpastamba had reserved for the Dharma-sūtra a portion of the subject-matter generally treated of in the Gṛhya-sūtras. Besides there are references in each of the two texts to the other which strengthen the proof of their being written by the same author. In the Sūtra collection of Hiraṇyakeśin the state of things is different. Here, as Prof. Bühler has also shown {GL_NOTE::}3, we find numerous discrepancies between the Gṛhya and the Dharma-sūtra, which are owing to the fact, that while this teacher took as Dharma-sūtra that of Āpastamba with some unessential changes, he composed a Gṛhya-sūtra of his own. Of the two Sūtras of Baudhāyana, the same distinguished scholar, to whom we owe the remarks we have just mentioned, has treated in the Sacred Books of the East, vol. xiv, p. xxxi.

I believe that every reader who compares the two kinds of texts will notice that the frame within which the exposition of the Dharma-sūtras is inclosed, is an essentially broader one than in the case of the Gṛhya-sūtras. We have here, I think, the same phenomenon that may also be observed, for instance, in the domain of the Buddhist Vinaya literature, where the exposition of the life of the community was at first given only in connection with the explanation of the list of sins (Pātimokkha) which was promulgated every half month at the meetings of the spiritual brethren. It was not till later that a more comprehensive exposition, touching all the sides of the life of the community was attempted {GL_NOTE::}1, an exposition which, on the one hand, no longer limited itself to the points discussed in the Pātimokkha, and which, on the other hand, necessarily had much in common with what was laid down in the Pātimokkha. The relation of the Gṛhya-sūtras and Dharma-sūtras seems to me to be of a similar nature. The Gṛhya-sūtras begin to treat of the events of the daily life of the household, but they do not yet undertake to exhaust the great mass of this subject-matter; on the contrary they confine themselves principally to the ritual or sacrificial side of household life, as is natural owing to their connection with the older ritualistic literature. Then the Dharma-sūtras take an important step further; their purpose is to describe the whole of the rights and customs which prevail in private, civic, and public life. They naturally among other things touch upon the ceremonies treated in the Gṛhya-sūtras, but they generally merely mention them and discuss the questions of law and custom which are connected with them, without undertaking to go into the technical ordinances as to the way in which these ceremonies are to be performed {GL_NOTE::}2.

Only in a few cases do portions treated of in the domain of the Dharma-sūtras happen to coincide with portions treated of in the Gṛhya-sūtras. Thus especially, apart from a few objects of less importance, the detailed rules for the behaviour of the Snātaka and the rules for the interruptions of the Veda study (anadhyāya) are generally treated in an exactly similar way in the texts of the one and those of the other category.

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We have spoken above of the metrical peculiarities of the Mantras quoted in the Gṛhya-sūtras, the metre of which clearly proves what is indubitable from other reasons, that most, if not all, of these verses were composed at a perceptibly older period than the descriptions of the sacred acts in the midst of which they are inserted {GL_NOTE::}1. A second kind of verses which are quoted in the Gṛhya-sūtras must be carefully distinguished from these. It is doubtful whether there are any to be found among them which the authors of the Sūtras have themselves composed; but they were composed at a period decidedly more recent than those Mantras {GL_NOTE::}2, and they therefore exhibit metrical peculiarities which are essentially different. The verses I mean are Ślokas of ritual contents, which are quoted to confirm or to complete what is stated in the prose, and which are introduced by such expressions as tad apy āhuḥ 'here they say also,' or tad api ślokāḥ 'here there are also Ślokas,' and other similar phrases {GL_NOTE::}3.

We called attention above (p. xix) to the fact that a verse of this kind occurs in one of the Gṛhya chapters of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, in a metre corresponding to the peculiarities of the older literary style. On the other hand, the verses appearing in the Gṛhya-sūtras differ only in a few cases from the standard of the later Śloka prosody, as we have it, e. g. in the Mahābhārata and in the laws of Manu. In the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländ. Gesellschaft, vol. xxxvii, p. 67, I have given tables for the verses in question out of the Śāṅkhāyana-Gṛhya, and these tables show that the characteristic ending of the first

Śloka Pāda for the later period  03600_1, which, for instance, in the Nalopākhyāna of the Mahābhārata covers precisely five-sixths of all the cases, occurs in Śāṅkhāyana in thirty cases out of thirty-nine, that is in about three quarters of the cases {GL_NOTE::}1; Śāṅkhāyana has still twice the ending  03601_1 which is the rule in the Ṛg-veda, but which is forbidden by the later prosody: prahutaḥ pitṛkarmaṇā, uktvā mantraṃ spṛśed apaḥ {GL_NOTE::}2. It may be observed that a similar treatment of the Śloka metre appears also in the Ṛg-veda Prātiśākhya of Śaunaka. Here too the modern form of the ending of the first pāda dominates, although sometimes the old iambic form is preserved, e. g. II, 5 antaḥpadaṃvivṛttayaḥ, III, 6 anudāttodaye punaḥ.

It seems evident that we have in this Śloka form of the Sūtra period, the last preparatory stage which the development of this metre had to traverse, before it arrived at the shape which it assumes in epic poetry; and it is to be hoped that more exhaustive observations on this point (account being especially taken of the numerous verses quoted in the Dharma-sūtras) will throw an important light on the chronology of the literature of this period lying between the Vedas and the post-Vedic age.

We add to these remarks on the Ślokas quoted in the Gṛhya-sūtras, that we come upon a number of passages in the midst of the prose of the Sūtras, which without being in any way externally designated as verses, have an unmistakable metrical character, being evidently verses which the authors of the Sūtras found ready made, and which they used for their own aphorisms, either without changing them at all, or with such slight changes that the original form remained clearly recognisable. Thus we read in Āśvalāyana (Gṛhya I, 6, 8), as a definition of the Rākṣasa marriage: hatvā bhittvā ca śīrṣāṇi rudatīṃ rudadbhyo haret: the approximation of these words to the Śloka metre cannot escape attention, and it is only necessary to make rudadbhyaḥ and rudatīṃ change places in order to obtain a regular Śloka hemistich. In Gobhila the Sūtras I, 2, 21-27 represent three hemistichs, which with one exception (na ca sopānatkaḥ kvacit) exactly conform to the laws of the Sloka metre. II, 4, 2 gives also a hemistich by slightly changing the order:

Mahāvṛkṣān śmaśānaṃ ca nadīś ca viṣamāṇi ca {GL_NOTE::}1.

Somewhat more remote from the original verses is the wording of the Sūtras I, 6, 8. 9 na pravasann upavased ity āhuḥ, patnyā vrataṃ bhavatīti; we have the metrical order in one of the Ślokas quoted by Śāṅkhāyana (Gṛhya II, 17): nopavāsaḥ pravāse syāt patnī dhārayate vratam.

The verses which are thus either expressly quoted, or at any rate made use of by the authors of the Gṛhya-sūtras, do not seem to be taken from connected metrical works any more than the yajñagāthās quoted in the Brāhmaṇas; on the contrary in a later period of literature, when texts similar to Manu's Code were composed, they evidently furnished these texts with some of their materials {GL_NOTE::}2.

 

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Leaving out of consideration the Khādira-Gṛhya, which is evidently a recast of the Gobhilīya-Gṛhya, and the Sūtra of Hiraṇyakeśin, which is, at least in part, based on that of Āpastamba {GL_NOTE::}3, we are not in regard to the other Gṛhya texts in a condition to prove that one of them borrowed from the other. It often happens that single Sūtras or whole rows of Sūtras agree so exactly in different texts that this agreement cannot be ascribed to chance; but this does not—so far at least—enable us to tell which text is to be looked upon as the source of the other, or whether they have a common source which has been lost.

I will content myself with mentioning two such cases of agreement, in the one of which we can at least prove that a certain Sūtra cannot originally spring from one of the texts in which we find it, while in the other case we are able by means of a possibly not too uncertain conjecture to reconstruct the opening Sūtras of a lost Gṛhya-sūtra.

The description of the vṛṣotsarga (i.e. of the setting a bull at liberty) agrees almost word for word in the Sūtras of Śāṅkhāyana (III, 11), Pāraskara (III, 9), and in the Kāṭhaka-Gṛhya. In Śāṅkhāyana we read:

§ 15: nabhyasthenumantrayate mayobhūr ity anuvākaśeṣeṇa.

('When the bull is in the midst of the cows, he recites over them the texts "mayobhūḥ, &c.," down to the end of the Anuvāka.')

On the other hand in Pāraskara we have:

§ 7: nabhyastham abhimantrayate mayobhūr ity anuvākaśeṣeṇa.

('When the bull is in the midst of the cows, he recites over it the texts "mayobhūḥ, &c.," down to the end of the Anuvāka.')

The quotation mayobhūḥ is clear, if we refer it to the Ṛg-veda. Hymn X, 169, which stands about in the middle of an Anuvāka, begins with this word {GL_NOTE::}1. On the other hand in the Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā there is no Mantra beginning with Mayobhūḥ; we find this word in the middle of the Mantra XVIII, 45, and there follow verses whose use at the vṛṣotsarga would seem in part extremely strange. There can thus be no doubt that Pāraskara here borrowed from a Sūtra text belonging to the Ṛg-veda, a Pratīka, which, when referred to the Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā, results in nonsense.

The other passage which I wish to discuss here is Pāraskara I, 4,1-5. Pāraskara, being just on the point of describing the marriage ritual, prefixes a few sentences, the position of which here it is not very easy to understand. A general division of all Pākayajñas—general remarks on the nature of the place for sacrificing: this looks very strange between a discussion of the Arghya and marriage ceremonies. Now these same sentences are found almost word for word and with the same passing on to the marriage ritual in Śāṅkhāyana also (Gṛhya I, 5, 1-5). Here, as in other cases, we have the borrowing word for word of such portions of text from an older text, and, closely related to this phenomenon, the fact that the sentences in question are awkwardly woven into the context of the Gṛhya where we read them, and are poorly connected with the surrounding parts. Unless we are much deceived, we have here a fragment from an older source inserted without connection and without change. It would seem that this fragment was the beginning of the original work; for the style and contents of these Sūtras are peculiarly appropriate for the beginning. Thus, if this conjecture is right, that old lost Gṛhya began with the main division of all the Pākayajñas into four classes, and then proceeded at once to the marriage ritual. Later, when the texts which we have, came into existence, the feeling evidently arose, that in this way an important part of the matter had been overlooked. The supplementary matter was then inserted before the old beginning, which then naturally, as is to be seen in our texts, joins on rather strangely and abruptly to these newly-added portions.

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