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 151-159


From the end there takes place omission or addition.


This refers again to the same subject, namely what has to be done if there are either more or less mantras than there are acts which they are to accompany. In that case it is here allowed to use as many mantras as there are acts, and to drop the rest of the mantras. Or, if there are less mantras than there are acts, then, after the mantras have been equally divided, the last verse is to be multiplied. For instance, in the Dvikapāla sacrifice for the two Aśvins, the placing of the two kapālas is accompanied by two mantras. The rest of the mantras enjoined in the prakṛti is left out. But if there are, for instance, twelve or more iṣṭakās, bricks, to be placed, while there are only ten mantras, then the mantras are equally divided, and the fifth and tenth to be repeated, as many times as is necessary to equal the number of the iṣṭakās.



As the Prakṛti has been told before, anything that has not been told before, should be at the end.


This seems to mean that anything new, peculiar to a Vikṛti, and not mentioned in the Prakṛti, should come in at the end, that is, after those portions of the sacrifice which are enjoined in the Prakṛti.



The rule should stand on account of the fitness of the Kumbhi, a large pot, the Śūla, the spit for boiling the heart, and the two Vapāśrapaṇīs, the spits for roasting the vapā.


Kumbhī is explained by sroṇyādipākasamarthā

bṛhatī sthālī; Śūla by hṛdayapākārthā yaṣṭiḥ, and Vapāśrapaṇī by vapāśrapaṇārthe yaṣṭī dve. The exact object of the Sūtra is not quite clear. Prabhutva is explained by samarthatva, that is, fitness. This would mean, that on account of their fitness, or because they can be used for the object for which they are intended, or, so long as they can be used, the rule applying to them should remain. The commentary explains tantram by tantratā or ekatā. It may mean that the same pots and spits should be used, so long as they fulfil their purpose. The next Sūtra would then form a natural limitation.



But if there is a different kind of animal, there is difference (in pots and spits), owing to the diversity of cooking.


If different animals are to be cooked, then there must be different pots for each (pratipaśum), because each requires a different kind of cooking. The commentary adds that, as the reason for using different pots is given, that reason applies also to young and old animals of the same kind (jāti), i, e. the young and small animal would require a different pot and a different kind of cooking.



At the Vanaspati sacrifice, which is a modification (vikāra) of the Sviṣṭakṛt, the addresses (nigama) of the deities should take place in the Yājyā, because they are included in the Prakṛti.


These nigamas of the deities are not mentioned in the rules of the Vanaspati sacrifice, but they are mentioned in the rules for the Sviṣṭakṛt sacrifice of the Darśapūrṇamāsa, which is the Prakṛti, and should therefore be taken over. Here again, because a reason is given, it is understood that the same reason would apply to other portions of Sviṣṭakṛt also, such as the Dvir abhighāraṇa, which is to be retained in the Vanaspati sacrifice.



The Anvārambhaṇīyā or initiatory ceremony does not take place in a Vikṛti, because the Vikṛtis would fall within the time of the Prakṛti, and the Anvārambhaṇīyā has but one object, namely (the initiation of) the Darśa-pūrṇamāsa sacrifice.


The Anvārambhaṇīyā ceremony has to be performed by those who begin the Darśa-pūrṇamāsa sacrifice. It has thus one object only, and is never enjoined for any other cause. It is not therefore transferred to any Vikṛti, such as the Saurya ceremony, &c. The Darśa-pūrṇamāsa sacrifice having to be performed during the whole of life, or during thirty years, the Vikṛtis would necessarily fall within the same space of time. The initiatory ceremony has reference to the Darśa-pūrṇamāsa sacrifice only, and thus serves as an introduction to all the Vikṛtis, without having to be repeated for each.



Or (according to others) the Anvārambhaṇīyā should take place (in the Vikṛtis also), because the time (of the Darśa-pūrṇamāsa) does not form an essential part.


This Sūtra is not quite clear. It shows clearly enough that, according to some authorities, the Anvārambhaṇīyā or initiatory ceremony of the Darśa-pūrṇamāsa sacrifice should take place in the Vikṛtis also; but why? Because the time has not the character of a śeṣa, which is said to be a synonym of aṅga, an essential part of a sacrifice.

When it is said that the Darśa-pūrṇamāsa should be performed during life, this is not meant as determining the time of the sacrifice. It only means that so long as there is life a man should perform these sacrifices, and that their non-performance would constitute a sin. The former argument, therefore, that the time of the Vikṛti sacrifices would fall within the time of the Prakṛti sacrifice is not tenable.



And again, because there is difference in the undertaking.


Ārambha, the beginning, is explained as the determination to perform a certain sacrifice (darśapūrṇamāsābhyāyṃ yakṣya iti niścayapuraḥsaraḥ saṅkalpaḥ). The object of the undertaking in the case of the Darśa-pūrṇamāsa sacrifice, as the Prakṛti, is simply svarga, in the Vikṛtis it may be any kind of desire. Therefore the Anvārambhaṇīyā ceremony of the Darśa-pūrṇamāsas should be transferred to its Vikṛtis. This seems to have been the opinion of the same authorities who are referred to in Sūtra CLVII. The final outcome of the whole controversy, however, is clearly that our Ācārya is in favour of omitting the Anvārambhaṇīyā in the Vikṛtis. Anayoḥ pakṣayor anvārambhaṇīyābhāvapakṣasyaiva balavattvam ācāryābhilaṣitam iti manyāmahe. The Anvārambhaṇīyā is not to be considered as an ordinary Aṅga, but as a special act to fit the sacrificer to perform the Darśa-pūrṇamāsa and to perform it through the whole of his life.



For every object (new sacrifice) let him bring forward the fire (let him perform the Agnipraṇayana, the fetching of the Āhavanīya from the Gārhapatya fire). When the sacrifice is finished the fire becomes again ordinary fire, as when the (divine) fire has returned (to the firesticks).

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