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 2, Khaṇḍa 3

1. Pure men of the first three castes shall prepare the food (of a householder which is used) at the Vaiśvadeva ceremony.[1]

2. The (cook) shall not speak, nor cough, nor sneeze, while his face is turned towards the food.

3. He shall purify himself by touching water if he has touched his hair, his limbs, or his garment.

4. Or Śūdras may prepare the food, under the superintendence of men of the first three castes.

5. For them is prescribed the same rule of sipping water (as for their masters).[2]

6. Besides, the (Śūdra cooks) daily shall cause to be cut the hair of their heads, their beards, the hair on their bodies, and their nails.

7. And they shall bathe, keeping their clothes on.[3]

8. Or they may trim (their hair and nails) on the eighth day (of each half-month), or on the days of the full and. new moon.

9. He (the householder himself) shall place on the fire that food which has been prepared (by Śūdras) without supervision, and shall sprinkle it with water. Such food also they state to be fit for the gods.

10. When the food is ready, (the cook) shall place himself before his master and announce it to him (saying), 'It is ready.'

11. The answer (of the master) shall be, 'That well-prepared food is the means to obtain splendour; may it never fail!'[4]

12. The burnt-oblations and Bali-offerings made with the food which the husband and his wife are to eat, bring (as their reward) prosperity, (and the enjoyment of) heaven.[5]

13. Whilst learning the sacred formulas (to be recited during the performance) of those (burnt oblations and Bali-offerings, a householder) shall sleep on the ground, abstain from connubial intercourse and from eating pungent condiments and salt, during twelve days.[6]

14. (When he studies the Mantras) for the last (Bali offered to the goblins), he shall fast for one (day and) night.[7]

15. For each Bali-offering the ground must be prepared separately. (The performer) sweeps (the ground) with his (right) hand, sprinkles it with water, turning, the palm downwards, throws down (the offering), and afterwards sprinkles water around it.[8]

16. (At the Vaiśvadeva sacrifice) he shall offer the oblations with his hand, (throwing them) into the kitchen-fire or into the sacred (Gṛhya)-fire, and reciting (each time one of) the first six Mantras (prescribed in the Nārāyaṇī Upaniṣad).[9]

17. He shall sprinkle water all around both times (before and after the oblations), as (has been declared) above.[10]

18. In like manner water is sprinkled around once only after the performance of those Bali-offerings that are performed in one place.[11]

19. (If a seasoning) has been prepared, (the Bali-offering should consist of rice) mixed with that seasoning.

20. With the seventh and eighth Mantras (Balis[12] must be offered to Dharma and Adharma) behind the fire, and must be placed the one to the north of the other.

21. With the ninth (Mantra a Bali offered to the waters must be placed) near the water-vessel (in which the water for domestic purposes is kept).[13]

22. With the tenth and eleventh (Mantras, Balis, offered to the herbs and trees and to Rakṣodevajana, must be placed) in the centre of the house, and the one to the east of the other.[14]

23. With the following four (Mantras, Balis must be placed) in the north-eastern part of the house (and the one to the east of the other).[15]

Footnotes and references:


3. 'The food which is used at the Vaiśvadeva, i. e. the food prepared for the meals of the householder and of his wife.'--Haradatta.


This Sūtra is a Jñāpaka, as it indicates that Āpastamba also recognises the different rules which are usually prescribed in the Smṛtis for Brāhmaṇas, Kṣatriyas, Vaiśyas, and Śūdras. See above, I, 5, 16, 2.


Usually in bathing both Āryas and Śūdras wear no dress except the langoṭī.


Manu II, 54.


Balis are portions of food which are thrown before the door, or on the floor of the house. See below, Sūtra 16 seq.


Others explain this Sūtra thus: 'After having used for the first time these sacred formulas (which are to be recited in offering the burnt-oblation and the Balis, the householder and his wife) shall sleep,' &c.


Regarding the use of ekarātra in the sense of 'a (day and a) night,' see above. The 'last' Bali-offering is that described below, II ,2, 4, 5.


'They say that the word "afterwards" is used in order to indicate that perfumes, garlands, and other (Upacāras) must be, offered between (the last two acts).'--Haradatta.


It is a disputed point with the commentators whether every Brāhmaṇa may offer the Vaiśvadeva in the common kitchen-fire, or those persons only who do not keep a sacred domestic fire. The six Mantras, which are given Taitt. Ār. X, 67, 1, are: 1. Agnaye svāhā, 'to Agni svāhā'; 2. Somāya svāhā, 'to Soma svāhā'; 3. Viśvebhyo devebhyaḥ svāhā, 'to all the gods svāhā'; 4. Dhruvāya bhūmaya svāhā, 'to Dhruva Bhūma svāhā'; 5. Dhruvakṣitaye svāhā, 'to Dhruvakṣiti svāhā'; 6. Acyutakṣitaye svāhā, 'to Acyutakṣiti svāhā.' Haradatta adds that some add a seventh formula, addressed to Agni sviṣṭakṛt, 'to the fire which causes the proper performance of the sacrifice,' while others leave out the second Mantra and give that addressed to Agni sviṣṭakṛt the sixth place. This latter is the order given in the Calcutta edition of the Taittirīya Āraṇyaka.


'Above, i.e. Gṛhya-sūtra, I, 2, 3, 8.'--Haradatta. The Mantras recited are: 1. at the first sprinkling, Adite ’numanyasva, 'Aditi permit'; Anumate ’numanyasva, 'Anumati permit'; Sarasvaty anumanyasva, 'Sarasvatī permit'; Deva Savitaḥ prasuva, 'Divine Savitṛ permit'; 2. at the second sprinkling, the same as above, anvamaṃsthāḥ and prāsāvīḥ, 'thou hast permitted,' being substituted for anumanyasva and prasuva.


This Sūtra is a restriction of Sūtra 15.


The first six offerings constitute the Devayajña or Vaiśvadeva, which is offered in the fire. Now follow the Bali-offerings, which are merely placed on the ground. 'Behind the fire' means to the east of the fire'; for the sacrificer must face the east.


The Mantra is, Adbbyaḥ svāhā, 'to the Waters svāhā.'


The Mantras are, Osbadhivanaspatibbyaḥ svāhā, 'to the herbs and trees svāhā'; Raksbodevajanebhyaḥ svāhā, 'to the Rākṣasas and the servants of the gods svāhā.'


These four Balis are sacred to the Gṛhās, to the Avasānas, to the Avasānapatis, and to all creatures.

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