Apastamba Dharma-sutra

by Āpastamba | 1879 | 60,011 words

The Dharmasutra of Āpastamba forms a part of the larger Kalpasūtra of Āpastamba. It contains thirty praśnas, which literally means ‘questions’ or books. The subjects of this Dharmasūtra are well organized and preserved in good condition. These praśanas consist of the Śrautasūtra followed by Mantrapāṭha which is used in domestic rites and is a colle...

Praśna II, Paṭala 1, Khaṇḍa 1

1. After marriage the rites prescribed for a householder and his wife (must be performed).[1]

2. He shall eat at the two (appointed) times, (morning and evening)[2]

3. And he shall not eat to repletion.

4. And both (the householder and his wife) shall fast on (the days of) the new, and full moon,

5. To eat once (on those days in the morning) that also is called fasting.[3]

6. And they may eat (at that meal) until they are quite satisfied.

7. And on (the anniversary of) that (wedding)-day they may eat that food of which they are fond.[4]

8. And (on the night of that day) they shall sleep on the ground (on a raised heap of earth).[5]

9. And they shall avoid connubial intercourse.

10. And on the day after (that day) a Sthālīpāka must be offered.[6]

11. The manner in which that offering must be[7] performed has been declared by (the description of the Sthālīpāka) to be performed on the days of the new and full moon (the Pārvaṇa).

12. And they declare (that this rite which is known) amongst the people (must be performed) every (year).[8]

13. At every (burnt-offering), when he wishes to place the fire on the altar (called Sthaṇḍila), let him draw on that (altar) three lines from west to east and three lines from south to north, and sprinkle (the altar) with water, turning the palm of the hand downwards, and let him then make the fire burn brightly by adding (fuel).[9]

14. He shall pour out (the remainder of) this water used for sprinkling, to the north or to the east (of the altar), and take other (water into the vessel).

15. The water-vessels in the house shall never be empty; that is the duty to be observed by the householder and his wife.[10]

16. Let him not have connubial intercourse (with his wife) in the day-time.

17. But let him have connection with his wife at the proper time, according to the rules (of the law).[11]

18. Let him have connubial intercourse in the interval also, if his wife (desires it, observing the restrictions imposed by the law).[12]

19. (The duty of) connubial intercourse (follows from) the passage of a Brāhmaṇa, ('Let us dwell together until a son be born.')[13]

20. But during intercourse he shall be dressed in a particular dress kept for this purpose.

21. And during intercourse only they shall lie together,

22. Afterwards separate.

23. Then they both shall bathe;

Footnotes and references:


1. According to Haradatta, this rule is intended to refute the opinion of those who hold that the sacred household-fire may be kept, and the prescribed offerings therein may be performed, either from the time of the marriage, or after the division of the family estate. He also states that the use of the dual gṛhamedhinoḥ indicates that husband and wife must perform the rites conjointly. Manu III, 67.


Haradatta thinks that this Sūtra is intended to prevent householders from having more than two meals a day, and to keep them from gluttony. Others are of opinion that its object is to keep householders from excessive fasting, and to make them perform the Prāṇāgnihotra at either meal. At the Prāṇāgnihotra the sacrificer eats five mouthfuls invoking successively, whilst he p. 100 eats, the five vital airs. At the first mouthful he says, 'To Prāṇa svāhā;' at the second, 'To Apāna svāhā,' &c.


Āśv. Gṛ. Sū. I, 10, 2.


Haradatta holds that the words 'on that day' do not refer to the days of the new and full moon, the Parvan-days, mentioned in Sūtra 4. His reasons are, first, that the permission to eat food, of which the householder may be particularly fond, has already been given in Sūtra 6, by the term tṛpiḥ, 'satisfaction'; and, secondly, that the singular 'on this day' does not agree with the plural 'on the Parvan-days.' Hence he comes to the conclusion that the words 'on that day' must refer to the wedding-day, mentioned in Sūtra 1, as well as to its anniversary. Haradatta is, probably, right in his explanation, though the reasons adduced here are very weak. A stronger reason for detaching this Sūtra from Sūtra 4 will be brought forward below, under Sūtra 11. Mahādeva, the commentator of the Hiraṇyakeśidharma, adopts the view rejected by Haradatta.


Āśv. Gṛ. Sū. I, 3, 10.


A Sthālīpāka is an offering at which rice cooked in a pot, sthālī, is offered in the fire. A full description of this kind of sacrifice occurs, Āśv. Gṛ. Sū. I, 10, 1 seq.


The Pārvaṇa Sthālīpāka has been described by Āpastamba p. 101 in the Gṛhya-sūtra, III, 7. Again, Haradatta returns to the question whether the words on that day (Sūtra 7) refer to the Parvan-days, or the marriage-day and its anniversaries. He now adds, in favour of the latter view, that the word Pārvaṇena, 'by the rite to be performed on Parvan-days,' by which the Sthālīpāka on Parvan-days is intended, clearly proves the impossibility to refer he preceding rules to the Parvan-days. He adds that some, nevertheless, adopt the explanation rejected by himself.


They, i.e. the Śiṣṭas, those learned in the law. 'Another commentator says, the rite which will be taught (in the following Sūtra), and which is known from the usage of the learned, is constant, i.e. must be performed in every case. That it is what the "learned" declare.'--Haradatta. The latter explanation of the Sūtra is adopted by Mahādeva.


Āśv. Gṛ. Sū. I, 3, 1-3.


Haradatta states that the object of the repetition of the words 'the householder and his wife' is to show that they themselves must fill the water-vessels, and not employ others for this purpose. He adds that, according to another commentator, the object of the repetition is to show that Sūtras 13 and 14 apply not only to householders, but also to students, and that hence students, when they offer the daily oblations of sacred fuel (above, I, 1, 4, 14 seq.), should also perform the rites taught in the preceding Sūtras.


See Manu III, 46-48; Yājñ. I, 79, 80.


Manu III, 45; Yājñ. I, 81.


See Taittirīya Saṃhitā II, 5, 1, 5.

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