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 4

1. He gives order, 'Light the fires together.'

2[1]. If the Āhavanīya fire reaches (the body) first, he should know, 'It has reached him in the heaven-world. He will live there in prosperity, and so will this one, i.e. his son, in this world.'

3[2]. If the Gārhapatya fire reaches (the body) first, he should know, 'It has reached him in the air-world. He will live there in prosperity, and so will this one, i.e. his son, in this world.'

4[3]. If the Dakṣiṇa fire reaches (the body) first, he should know, 'It has reached him in the world of men. He will live there in prosperity, and so will this one, i.e. his son, in this world.'

5[4]. If (the three fires) reach (the body) in the same moment, they say that this signifies the highest luck.

6[5]. While (the body) is burning, he recites over it the same texts, 'Go on, go on, on the ancient paths' (Rig-veda X, 14, 7).

7. Being burnt by a person who knows this, he goes to the heaven-world together with the smoke (of the funeral pile)—thus it is understood (in the Śruti).

8[6]. To the north-east of the Āhavanīya fire he should have a knee-deep pit dug and should have an Avakā, i.e. (the water-plant called) Śīpāla put down into it. From that (pit) he (i.e. the deceased) goes out and together with the smoke he goes up to the heaven-world—thus it is understood (in the Śruti).

9. After he has recited (the verse), 'These living ones have separated from the dead' (Rig-veda X, 18, 3), they turn round from right to left and go away without looking back.

10[7]. When they have come to a place where standing water is, having once (plunged into it and) emerged from it, they pour out one handful (of water), pronounce the Gotra name and the proper name (of the deceased), go out (of the water), put on other garments, wring out (the old garments) once, lay them away with their skirts to the north, and sit down until the stars appear.

11. Or they may enter (their houses), when still (a part) of the sun-disk is seen,

12[8]. The younger ones first, the older ones last.

13. When they have come to the houses, they touch a stone, the fire, cow's dung, fried barley, sesamum seeds, and water.

14. Let them not cook food during that night.

15[9]. Let them subsist on bought or ready-made food.

16. Let them eat no saline food for three nights.

17[10]. Let them optionally for twelve nights avoid the distribution of gifts and the study (of Vedic texts), if one of the chief Gurus (has died).

18[11]. Ten days after (the death of) Sapiṇḍas,

19. And of a Guru who is no Sapiṇḍa,

20. And of unmarried female relations.

21[12]. Three nights after (the death of) other teachers,

22. And of a relation who is no Sapiṇḍa,

23. And of married female relations,

24. Of a child that has no teeth,

25. And of a dead-born child.

26. One day, after (the death of) a fellow-pupil,

27. And of a Śrotriya of the same village.

Footnotes and references:


4, 2. Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa XII, 5, 2, 10.


Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa l.l. § 9.


Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa l.l. § 11.


Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa l.l. § 12.


'The same texts' means that the texts indicated in the Śrauta-sūtra VI, 10, 19 (twenty-four verses taken from the hymns X, 14, 16, 17, 18, 154) have to be recited.


Comp. above, II, 8, 14.


'All the Samānodaka relations (see Manu V, 60), men and women, should pour out one handful of water each. Pronouncing p. 244 the Gotra name and the proper name of the deceased, saying, for instance, "Devadatta, belonging to the Gotra of the Kāśyapas, this water is for thee!"—they sprinkle it out, with southward-turned faces.' Nārāyaṇa.


Possibly praviśeyuḥ (they should enter) belongs to this Sūtra. In Prof. Stenzler's edition and in the commentary of Nārāyaṇa it is taken as belonging to Sūtra 11.


Vasiṣṭha IV, 15. Nārāyaṇa here observes, 'Some authorities omit this Sūtra.'


'Father and mother and the teacher who, after having performed the Upanayana for him, has taught him the whole Veda, are the chief Gurus. When these have died, they should avoid giving gifts and studying the Veda either for twelve nights, or for ten nights, this rule standing in correlation with the following one.' Nārāyaṇa.


The Sapiṇḍa relationship is generally defined as the relationship within six degrees, though the statements in the different p. 245 texts do not exactly agree. See Āpastamba II, 15, -2; Manu V, 60; Gautama XIV, 13 (with Prof. Bühler's note, Sacred Books, vol. ii, p. 247, &c.).


Comp. Sūtras 17, 19.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: