Apastamba-yajna-paribhasa-sutras

by Hermann Oldenberg | 1892 | 12,023 words

These Sutras give some general information about the performance of sacrifices, and may prove useful to the students both of the Shrauta and the Grihya sacrifices. Paribhasha is defined as a general rule or definition applicable throughout a whole system, and more binding than any particular rule. Alternative titles: Āpastamba-yajña-paribhāṣā-sūtr...

Sūtras 26-50

SŪTRA XXVI.

If the juhū has been elsewhere employed, let it be done with a ladle (sruva).

Commentary.

The juhū is a sruc, a spoon, the sruva, a ladle.

 

SŪTRA XXVII.

The offering is made in the Āhavanīya fire.

 

SŪTRA XXVIII.

The sacrificial vessels are kept from the first laying of the fires (ādhāna) for the whole life.

Commentary.

All sacrificial vessels and instruments are to be kept, and most of them are burnt with the sacrificer at his death.

 

SŪTRA XXIX.

At every sacrifice these vessels are to be purified.

 

SŪTRA XXX.

The rule for the sacrifice are the Mantras and Brāhmaṇas.

 

SŪTRA XXXI.

The name Veda belongs both to the Mantras and Brāhmaṇas.

 

SŪTRA XXXII.

The Brāhmaṇas are the precepts for the sacrifice.

 

SŪTRA XXXIII.

The rest of the Brāhmaṇa, that which does not contain precepts, consists of explanations, i.e. reproof, praise, stories, and traditions.

Commentary.

It is difficult to find words corresponding to technical terms in Sanskrit. Arthavāda, which I have translated by explanation, means not only the telling of the meaning, but likewise the telling of the object; parakṛti, story, means literally the action of another; purākalpa, traditions, means the former state. The difference between the two is stated to be that parakṛti refers to the act of one person, purākalpa to that of several. This subject is fully treated in the Pūrva-mīmāṃsā. Satyavrata begins a new Sūtra with 'reproof' (nindā).

 

SŪTRA XXXIV.

All the rest are Mantras.

 

SŪTRA XXXV.

But passages which are not handed down, are not to be classed as Mantras, as, for instance, the pravara, the words used in choosing priests, divine or human; ūha, substitution of one word for another; and nāmadheya-grahaṇa, the mentioning of the names of particular sacrificers.

Commentary.

The reason why such passages are not to be treated as Mantras is that they should not be subject to some of the preceding rules, as, for instance, the murmuring, enjoined in Sūtra IX. Those passages naturally vary in each sacrifice. With regard to the names a distinction is made between the gārhyam nāma, the domestic name of a person, such as Yajñaśarman, and the astrological name, such as Rauhiṇa, derived from the star Rohiṇī.

 

SŪTRA XXXVI.

Likewise the sound of a carriage and the sound of a drum.

Commentary.

These sounds, though serving for the sacrifice, are not to be considered as liable to the rules given for the recitation of Mantras.

 

SŪTRA XXXVII.

The prohibition of reciting Mantras in the Svādhyāya does not apply to the sacrifice, because there is then a different object.

Commentary.

Svādhyāya, i.e. self-reading, is the name given to the study of the Veda, both in first learning and in afterwards repeating it. This study is under several restrictions, but these restrictions cease when the Veda is used for sacrificial purposes.

 

SŪTRA XXXVIII.

Sacrificial acts are accompanied by one Mantra.

Commentary.

If it is said that the priest cuts the plants with fourteen verses, that means that there are fourteen plants to be cut and that one verse is used for each plant.

 

SŪTRA XXXIX.

This applies also to sacrificial acts which have a number and are to be carried out by separate (repeated) acts.

Commentary.

If a rule is given, such as triḥ prokṣati, he sprinkles thrice, the mantra which accompanies the act, is recited once only. Again in the case of acts that require repetitions, such as rubbing, pounding, &c., the hymns are recited once only.

 

SŪTRA XL.

The same applies to rubbing, sleeping, crossing a river, down-pours of rain, the conjuring of unlucky omens, unless they happened some time ago.

Commentary.

If several members of the body are to be rubbed, the verses required for the purpose are recited once only. A prayer is enjoined if one wakes during the night. If one wakes more than once that prayer is. not to be repeated. In crossing a river the necessary verse is not to be repeated at every wave, nor during a down-pour, at every drop of rain. If some unlucky sight has to be conjured, the conjuring verse is spoken once and not repeated, unless some time has elapsed and a new unlucky sight presents itself.

 

SŪTRA XLI.

In case of a journey, however, one hymn is used till the object (of the journey) has been accomplished.

Commentary.

I read prayāṇe tu-ā-arthanirvṛtteḥ. Another reading is arthanivrittiḥ.

 

SŪTRA XLII.

It is the same also with regard to acts which do not produce an immediate effect.

Commentary.

The commentators distinguish between acts which produce a visible effect, such as pounding or sprinkling, and acts which do not, such as addressing, approaching, looking. The latter are called asaṃnipātin. Thus when the stones used for the preparation of Soma are addressed, the hymn which is used for addressing them, is not repeated for each single stone, the same as in Sūtra XL. Sūtras XLI and XLII are sometimes joined.

 

SŪTRA XLIII.

Repetition takes place in the case of the Havishkṛt, Adhrigu, Puronuvākyā, and Manotā hymns, (because they have to be used) at different times.

Commentary.

Havishkṛt-adhrigu-puronuvākyā-manotam is to be taken as a Dvandva compound.

The Havishkṛt hymn is an invocation when the havis is made. The Adhrigu hymn is 'Daivyāḥ śamitāraḥ,' &c. The Puronuvākyā hymn is that which precedes the Yājyā, immediately after the Sampraiṣa. The Manotā hymn is 'Tvaṃ hy agne prathamo manotā,' &c. These hymns are to be repeated, if the act which they accompany has to be repeated after a certain interval.

 

SŪTRA XLIV.

When it is expressly stated, one sacrificial act may be accompanied by many hymns.

Commentary.

Thus we read, 'He takes the Abhri, the hoe, with four Mantras.'

 

SŪTRA XLV.

One ought to let the beginnings of a sacrificial act coincide with the end of the Mantras.

Commentary.

The mantra which indicates the nature and purpose of a sacrificial act should come first, and as soon as it has been finished the act should follow. See Katy. I, 3, 5.

 

SŪTRA XLVI.

In the case of the āghāra, sprinkling of clarified butter, and of dhārā, pouring out of Soma, the beginning of the mantra and the act takes place at the same time.

 

SŪTRA XLVII.

Mantras are indicated by their first words.

Commentary.

These first words are often called Pratīkas, and rules are given in Āśvalāyana's Śrauta-sūtras I, 1, 17-19, as to the number of words that should form such a pratīka, if it is meant for one verse, for three verses, or for a whole hymn. According to Āśvalāyana, if one foot is quoted, it is meant for a verse; if an imperfect foot of an initial verse is quoted, it is meant for a whole hymn; if more than a foot is quoted, it is meant for three verses.

 

SŪTRA XLVIII.

One should know that with the beginning of a following mantra, the former mantra is finished.

 

SŪTRA XLIX.

In the case of Hotrā and Yājamāna-mantras, an aggregation takes place.

Commentary.

Hotrās are mantras recited by the Hotṛ-priest. Yājamānās are mantras recited by the sacrificer himself. They are hymns which accompany, but do not enjoin any sacrificial act.

 

SŪTRA L.

In the case of the Yājyās and Anuvākyās this (the aggregation) is optional.

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