by Śāṅkhāyana | 1886 | 37,785 words

The Gṛhya-sūtra ascribed to Śāṅkhāyana, which has been edited and translated into German in the XVth volume of the "Indische Studien", is based on the first of the four Vedas, the Rig-veda in the Bāshkala recension, and among the Brāhmaṇa texts, on the Kaushītaka....

Adhyāya I, Khaṇḍa 12

1. The bridegroom, who has bathed and for whom auspicious ceremonies have been performed, is escorted by happy young women, who are not widows, to the girl's house.

2. To these he shall not behave unobsequiously, except where forbidden food or a transgression is concerned.

3. Having obtained their permission, he then gives her the garment with (the verse), 'The Raibhī was' (Rig-veda X, 85, 6).

4. With (the verse), 'Mind was the cushion' (ibid. 7) he takes up the salve-box.

5[1]. The verse for the Anointing is, 'May the Viśve devās anoint (or, unite),' (ibid. 47.)

6[2]. 'As this (has protected) Śacī the beloved one, and Aditi the mother of noble sons, and Apālā who was free from widowhood, nay it thus here protect thee, N.N.!'—with these words (the. bridegroom) gives her into her right hand the quill of a porcupine (and) a string of three twisted threads,

7. With the verse, 'Shape by shape' (Rig-veda VI, 47, 18) a mirror into the left.

8. Her relations tie (to her body) a red and black, woollen or linen cord with three (amulet) gems, with the verse, 'Dark-blue and red' (Rig. veda X, 85, 28).

9. With the verse, 'Full of honey the herbs' (Rig-veda IV, 57, 3), (the bridegroom) ties (to her body) Madhūka flowers.

10[3]. At the wedding one cow, when the Argha ceremony has been performed; in the house one cow: these are the two Madhuparka cows.

11[4]. (The bridegroom) makes the girl sit down behind the fire, and while she takes hold of him he makes three oblations with the Mahāvyāhṛtis.

12. A fourth (oblation) with (the three Mahāvyāhṛtis) together is to be understood from this rule.

13. In this way, where no express rule is stated, in all sacrifices that procure happiness, one is to sacrifice before and afterwards with these same (Mahāvyāhṛtis).

Footnotes and references:


12, 5. On the ceremony of 'salving together' (samañjana), comp. Pāraskara I, 4, 14; Gobhila II, 2, &c. Professor Stenzler is certainly wrong in translating Pāraskara's samañjayati by 'heisst sie beide zusammentreten' (according to Jayarāma's explication, sammukhīkaroti). It is clear from Śāṅkhāyana, that a real anointing of bridegroom and bride took place. This was performed, according to Gobhila, by the 'audaka' (this seems to be the same person that is mentioned in Pāraskara I, 8, 3), of whom it is said, pāṇigrāhaṃ (i.e. the bridegroom) mūrdhadeśe ’vasiñcati, tathetarām. Nārāyaṇa, on the contrary, in his note on our passage, says that it is the bridegroom who anoints the eyes of the girl with the verse quoted. But the word sam-añjana, and the obvious meaning of the whole rite, make it rather probable that both were anointed, and that this was done by a third person.


Comp. below, chap. 22, 8, where the use of a porcupine's quill is prescribed at the sīmantonnayana ceremony; and see chap. 22, 10.


As to the meaning of arhayitvā I differ from the opinion of Nārāyaṇa (see his note on p. 127 of the German edition), who takes gām as the object of this verb (gām arhayitvā pūjayitvā mātā rudrāṇām ity ṛcaṃ japitvā [comp. Pāraskara I, 3, 27]). The real meaning of arhayati is, to perform the Argha ceremony for a guest. Evidently in this Sūtra two different occasions are stated on which the Argha reception, eventually with the killing of a cow, should be performed; firstly, the bridegroom should be so received in the house of the bride's father; secondly, when the newly-married people have arrived at their own house, an Argha reception should there be offered to them, perhaps, as the commentaries state, by the Ācārya.


According to Nārāyaṇa it is the Ācārya who performs the rite prescribed in this Sūtra; Rāmacandra, on the contrary, refers it to the bridegroom, which seems to me right. Comp. Gobhila II, 1.

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