by Hermann Oldenberg | 1886 | 27,388 words

Most of the questions referring to the Grihya-sutra of Ashvalayana will be treated of more conveniently in connection with the different subjects which we shall have to discuss in our General Introduction to the Grihya-sutras. Alternative titles: Āśvalāyana-gṛhya-sūtra (आश्वलायन-गृह्य-सूत्र), Ashvalayana, grhya, Āśvalāyanagṛhyasūtra (आश्वलायनगृह्य...

Adhyāya IV, Kaṇḍikā 2

1[1]. (The relations of the dead person) now carry (his sacred) fires and (his) sacrificial vessels in that direction.

2. After them aged persons forming an odd number, men and women not going together, (carry) the dead body.

3. Some (say) that (the dead body should be carried) in a cart with a seat, drawn by cows.

4[2]. (Some prescribe) a she-animal for covering (the dead body with its limbs):

5. A cow,

6. Or a she-goat of one colour.

7. Some (take) a black one.

8. They tie (a rope) to its left fore-foot and lead it behind (the dead body).

9. Then follow the relations (of the dead person), wearing their sacrificial cords below (round their body), with the hair-locks untied, the older fines first, the younger ones last.

10[3]. When they have thus arrived at the place, the performer (of the rites) walks three times round the spot with his left side turned towards it, and with a Śamī branch sprinkles water on it, with (the verse), 'Go away, withdraw, and depart from here' (Rig-veda X, 14, 9).

11. To the south-east, on an elevated corner (of that place), he places the Āhavanīya fire,

12[4]. To the north-west the Gārhapatya fire,

13. To the south-west the Dakṣiṇa fire.

14[5]. After that a person that knows (how to do it), piles up between the fires a pile of fuel.

15. After sacrificial grass and a black antelope's skin with the hair outside has been spread out there, they place the dead body thereon, which they have carried so as to pass by the Gārhapatya fire on its north-side, turning its head towards the Āhavanīya.

16[6]. To the north (of the body they place) the wife (of the deceased),

17. And a bow for a Kṣatriya.

18[7]. Her brother-in-law, being a representative of her husband, or a pupil (of her husband), or an aged servant, should cause her to rise (from that place) with (the verse), 'Arise, O wife, to the world of life' (Rig-veda X, 18, 8).

19[8]. The performer (of the rites) should murmur (that verse), if a Śūdra (makes her rise from the pile).

20. With (the verse), 'Taking the bow out of the hand of the deceased' (Rig-veda X, 18, 9), (he takes away) the bow.

21. It has been stated (what is to be done) in case a Śūdra (should perform this act).

22[9]. Having bent the bow, he should, before the piling up (of the things mentioned below, which are put on the dead body) is done, break it to pieces, and throw it (on the pile).

Footnotes and references:


2, 1. In the direction stated above, chap. 1, 6.


See chap. 3, 20-25.


Kartodakena (i.e. kartā udakena) is evidently the right reading, not gartodakena.


12, 13. The words, 'on an elevated corner' (Sūtra 11) have to be supplied.


As to the pronoun enam, which refers, with an irregular p. 239 construction, to the dead person, comp Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa XII, 5, 2, 7.


The wife is made to lie down on the pile.


Possibly the words devaraḥ and patisthānīyaḥ refer to two different persons, so that we should have to translate, 'Her brother-in-law, (or some other) representative of her husband, &c.'


This refers to the case of the aged servant. The word for which we have put Śūdra here and in Sūtra 21, is vṛṣala.


See Sūtra 19.

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