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 7

1[1]. Now at a Śrāddha ceremony, at that which is celebrated on the Parvan day, or for the attainment of special wishes, or at the Ābhyudayika Śrāddha (i.e. the Śrāddha celebrated when some good luck has happened), or at the Ekoddiṣṭa Śrāddha (the Śrāddha directed to a single dead person)—

2. He causes Brāhmaṇas who are endowed with learning, moral character, and correct conduct, or with one of these (characteristics), who have been invited in time, who have taken a bath, washed their feet, and sipped water, to sit down, as representatives of the Fathers, with their faces turned to the north, one for each one of the Fathers, or two for each, or three for each.

3. The larger their number is, the greater is the reward (which the sacrificer is entitled to expect).

4. But in no case one (Brāhmaṇa) for all (the fathers).

5[2]. Optionally (he may invite only one Brāhmaṇa) except at the first (Śrāddha).

6[3]. By (the exposition of) the Piṇḍa sacrifice (the corresponding rules) have been declared (for the Śrāddha ceremonies also).

7. Having given water (to the Brāhmaṇas),

8[4]. Having given to them double-folded Darbha blades, and a seat,

9[5]. Having (again) given water (to them),

10. Having poured water into three vessels of metal, of stone, and of earthen-ware, or (into three vessels) made of the same substance, over which he has put Darbha grass,

And having recited over (that water the verse), 'For luck and help the divine waters' (Rig-veda X, 9, 4), he pours sesamum seeds into it with (the formula), 'Sesamum art thou; Soma is thy deity; at the Gosava sacrifice thou hast been created by the gods. By the ancients thou hast been offered. Through the funeral oblation render the Fathers and these worlds propitious to us. Svadhā! Adoration!'

12[6]. (The different rites are performed) from the right to the left.

13[7]. With (the part) of the other (i.e. left) hand between the thumb (and the fore-finger), because he wears the sacrificial cord over ḥis left shoulder, or with the right hand which he seizes with the left (he offers the Arghya water to the Fathers with the words), 'Father, this is thy Arghya. Grandfather, this is thy Arghya. Great-grandfather, this is thy Arghya'—having first offered (ordinary) water (to the Fathers).

14. When he is going to hand over that (Arghya water to the Brāhmaṇas who represent the Fathers, he says once each time), 'Svadhā! The Arghya water!'

15[8]. Over (the Arghya water) which has been poured out, he should recite the verse, 'The celestial waters which have been produced on the earth, the aerial waters and the waters which are terrestrial, the gold-coloured ones, apt for sacrifice, may these waters bring us luck and be kind to us.' Pouring together what has been left (in the three Arghya vessels) he moistens his face with that water, if he desires that a son should be born to him.

16[9]. 'He should not take up the first vessel, into which the Arghya water for the Fathers has been poured. Hidden the Fathers dwell therein: thus Śaunaka has said.'

17[10]. In that moment the gifts of perfumes, garlands, incense, lights, and clothes are offered (to the Brāhmaṇas).

18. Having taken some food (of the Sthālīpāka prepared for the Piṇḍapitṛyajña), and having besmeared it with ghee, he asks (the Brāhmaṇas) for their permission by saying, 'I shall offer it in the fire,' or, 'I will sacrifice my offering in the fire,' or, 'I will offer it in the fire.'

19. The permission (is given in the words), 'It may be offered,' or, 'Sacrifice thy offering,' or, Offer it.'

20[11]. He then sacrifices in the fire as stated above,

21[12]. Or, if they give their permission, in the hands (of the Brāhmaṇas).

22. 'The mouth of the gods verily is the fire, the mouth of the Fathers is the hand'—thus says the Brāhmaṇa.

23. If in the hands, he assigns to them other food, after they have sipped water.

24[13]. The food (is put together) with the food.

25[14]. It is said, 'What is given away and offered, that brings prosperity.'

26[15]. When he sees that they are satiated, he should recite (the verses) containing the word m a dh u, and (the verse), 'They have eaten, they have enjoyed themselves' (Rig-veda I, 82, 2).

27[16]. Having asked them, 'Relished?' and having taken the food, whatever food he has used, together with the Sthālīpāka, in order to make lumps thereof, he should offer the rest (to the Brāhmaṇas).

28. After they have either accepted (that rest of food), or left it (to him), and have finished eating, he should, before they have sipped water, put down the lumps for the Fathers.

29. After they have sipped water, according to some (teachers).

30[17]. Having strewn the food on the ground and suspended the sacrificial cord over his left shoulder, he should dismiss the Brāhmaṇas, (saying to them), 'Say Om! Svadhā!'

31. Or, 'So be it! Svadhā!'

Footnotes and references:


7, 1. Comp. on the Śrāddha ceremonies in general the note on Śāṅkhāyana-Gṛhya IV, 1, 1, and the quotations given there. The Pārvaṇa Śrāddha, which is celebrated on the new-moon day, is treated of by Śāṅkhāyana IV, 1, the Ābhyudayika Śrāddha, IV, 4, the Ekoddiṣṭa Śrāddha, IV, 2.


Anādye. Of the different interpretations of this word which Nārāyaṇa gives, it may suffice here to quote two. The first Śrāddha may either mean the Pārvaṇa Śrāddha, because this stands first among the different kinds of Śrāddha ceremonies enumerated in Sūtra 1; or it may mean the Sapiṇḍīkaraṇa (see Sāṅkhāyana IV, 3), for this is the first occasion on which a dead person receives Śrāddha oblations together with two others of the Fathers.


The sacrifice to the Manes, as forming part of the Śrauta ritual, is explained in the Śrauta-sūtra II, 6 seq.


Yājñavalkya I, 229.


Yājñavalkya I, 230. The reading of several words of the Mantra is doubtful, and the parallel texts, as Prof. Stenzler has not failed to observe, differ; especially the words pratnavadbhiḥ prattaḥ seem to me to be corrupt. The word pratnavat is only known to the Petersburg Dictionary as having the meaning, 'containing the word pratna,' which will not do here. Thus, I think that the reading pratnam adbhiḥ pṛktaḥ should be adopted; the translation would be, 'Anciently thou hast been mixed with water.'


Comp. Śāṅkhāyana-Gṛhya IV, 4, 6.


The part of the hand above the thumb is called the 'Tīrtha belonging to the Manes;' see, for instance, Baudhāyana's Dharma-sūtra I, 8, 16. The sacrificer is here understood to wear his sacrificial cord suspended over the left shoulder (he is 'yājñopavītin'). But as the oblation here treated of is directed to the Manes, it is required that he should be prācīnāvītin. Now he is considered as prācīnāvītin, according to Nārāyaṇa, not only if the cord is suspended over his right shoulder (which is the ordinary meaning of prācīnāvītin), but also if the hand with which he performs the rites, and the shoulder over which he wears the sacred cord, are either both right or both left. Thus here, acting with the left-hand and wearing the cord over the left shoulder, he becomes prācīnāvītin.


The sacrificer gives the water to the Brāhmaṇas, and these p. 253 pour it out. Instead of pṛthivī sambabhūvuḥ (pṛthivī being intended as a locative; see Lanman, Noun-inflection in the Veda, p. 389) we should read, no doubt, as the parallel texts have, payasā sambabhūvuḥ: 'The celestial waters which have united themselves with milk.'


This is a Śloka.


Manu III, 209; Yājñavalkya I, 231.


The oblations alluded to in this Sūtra are prescribed in the Śrauta-sūtra, II, 6, 12. They are directed to Soma pitṛmat and to Agni kavyavāhana.


According to Manu (III, 212) this is done only in case there is no fire. Possibly abhyanujñāyām belongs to Sūtra 20, so that we should have to translate, 'He then sacrifices . . . if they give their permission. Or in the hands.'


'The food which is left from the oblations he puts with the food (Sūtra 23) which is to be eaten by the Brāhmaṇas, and has been put into the vessels.' Nārāyaṇa.


Is sṛṣṭam to be understood in the sense of visṛṣṭam? Nārāyaṇa explains it by prabhūtam.


The verses containing the word madhu are Rig-veda I, 90, 6-8.


On the question, 'Relished?' compare Śāṅkhāyana-Gṛhya IV, 2, 5. For several kinds of Śrāddha ceremonies a Sthālīpāka is prescribed, for others it is not; for the Śrāddhas of the last kind the words 'Together with the Sthālīpāka' are not valid.


They reply, 'Om! Svadhā!'

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