Baudhayana Dharmasutra

by Georg Bühler | 1882 | 56,962 words

The prashnas of the Dharmasutra of Baudhayana consist of the Srautasutra and other ritual treatises, the Sulvasutra which deals with vedic geometry, and the Grihyasutra which deals with domestic rituals. The Dharmasutra of Baudhayana like that of Apastamba also forms a part of the larger Kalpasutra. Likewise, it is composed of prashnas which liter...


THE case of the Baudhāyana Dharma-sūtra is in many respects analogous to that of the Institutes of the Sacred Law, current in the schools of Āpastamba and Hiraṇyakeśin. Like the latter, it is the work of a teacher of the Black Yajur-veda, who composed manuals on all the various subdivisions of the Kalpa, and founded a Sūtra-caraṇa, which is said to exist to the present day[1]. The Brāhmanical tradition, too, acknowledges these facts, and, instead of surrounding Baudhāyana's work with a halo of myths, simply states that it was originally studied by and authoritative for the followers of the Taittirīya-veda alone, and later only became one of the sources of the Sacred Law for all Brāhmans[2]. Moreover, the position of Baudhāyana among the teachers of the Yajur-veda is well defined, and his home, or at least the home of his school, is known. But here the resemblance stops. For while the Sūtras of Āpastamba-and Hiraṇyakeśin have been preserved in care-fully and methodically arranged collections, where a certain place is assigned to each section of the Kalpa, no complete set of the Sutras of Baudhāyana's school has, as yet; been found, and the original position of the detached portions which are obtainable is not quite certain. Again, while the works of Āpastamba and Hiraṇyakeśin seem to have been kept free from extensive interpolations, several parts of Baudhāyana's Sūtras have clearly received considerable additions from later hands.

According to the researches of Dr. A. Burnell[3], whose long residence in Southern India and intimate acquaintance with its Brāhmanical libraries have made him the first authority on the literature of the schools of the Taittirīya-veda, the Sūtras of Baudhāyana consist of six sections, viz. 1. the Śrauta-sūtras, probably in nineteen Praśnas; 2. The Karmānta-sūtra in twenty Adhyāyas; 3. The Dvaidha-sūtra in four Praśnas; 4. The Gṛhya-sūtra in four Praśnas; 5. The Dharma-sūtra in four Praśnas; 6. The Śulva-sūtra in three Adhyāyas. The results of the search for Sanskrit MSS. in other parts of India, and especially in Western India, do not differ materially from those obtained by Dr. Burnell. The Gṛhya-sūtra, which in Western India occasionally bears the title Smārta-sūtra[4], contains, however, nine instead of four Praśnas. The MSS. of the Baudhāyana-sūtras, which contain the text alone, are all incomplete, mostly very corrupt and in bad order, and rarely give more than a small number of Praśnas on detached subjects. The copies in which the text is accompanied by a commentary are in a better condition. Thus the Kalpavivaraṇa of Bhavasvāmin[5] extends over the whole of the Śrauta-sūtra, and over the Karmānta and the Dvaidha-sūtras. It shows the proper sequence of the Praśnas on Śrauta sacrifices, and that probably the Karmānta and the Dvaidha immediately followed the Śrauta-sūtra. But there is no hint in the MSS. or in the commentaries how the Gṛhya, Dharma, and Śulva-sūtras were originally placed. With respect to these sections, it is only possible to judge from the analogy of the other extant sets of Kalpa-sūtras and from internal evidence. On these grounds it may be shown that the order, adopted by Dr. Burnell, is probably the correct one. For the beginning of the Gṛhya-sūtra[6] shows by its wording that it was not a separate treatise, but was immediately connected with some preceding Praśna. The analogy of the collections of the Āpastambīyas, the Hairaṇyakeśas, the Kaṭhas, and other schools permits us to infer that it stood after the Śrauta-sūtra. It is further clear that, in its turn, it was succeeded by the Dharma-sūtra. For two passages of the latter work, 1, 2, 3, 15, and II, 8, 15, 9, clearly contain references to the Gṛhya-sūtra. In the former, the author gives the rule regarding the length of the staff to be carried by a student, as well as the general principle that the staff must be cut from a tree fit for sacrificial purposes. With respect to the latter clause he adds that the details have been given above.' As the Dharma-sūtra contains nothing more on this subject, it follows that the expression 'above' must refer to Gṛhya-sūtra II, 7, where the usual detailed rules regarding the employment of particular woods for the several varṇas are given. In the second passage Baudhāyana says that the rules for the performance of funeral sacrifices have been fully explained in the section on the Aṣṭakāhoma, which occurs Gṛhya-sūtra II, 17-18. It is, therefore, perfectly certain that Baudhāyana, just like Āpastamba, placed the Praśnas on the Sacred Law after those on the domestic ceremonies, and that the Dharma-sūtra was not a separate work. Under these circumstances it becomes highly probable that the Śulva-sūtra formed, as is the case in other sets of Kalpa-sūtras, the conclusion of the whole. Thus the only treatise, whose position remains doubtful, is the Pravarakhaṇḍa, the list of the Brāhmanical gotras and of their deified ancestors[7]. Possibly it may have stood at the end of the Śrauta-sūtra.

The destruction of the continuity of Baudhāyana's Kalpa-sūtra has had the consequence which is commonly observable in other dismembered works, that several of its detached portions have received considerable additions from later and, as it would seem, from several hands. There can be no doubt that a small portion only of the nine Praśnas, found in the Western copies of the Gṛhya-sūtra, really belongs to Baudhāyana. For the description of the Gṛhya rites, which strictly follows the general plan laid down in the first Sūtra, is completed in two or three Praśnas[8]. Next follows a Praśna on the anukṛtis, rites resembling those comprised in the subdivisions treated before, and then a Praśna on prāyaścittas, or expiations of mistakes committed during, and of the neglect of, the performance of the Gṛhya-karmāṇi. The remaining Praśnas are filled with a medley of paribhāṣās, general rules, and of full descriptions of ceremonies, some of which have been given before, while others are added afresh. Many of the newly-added rites do not belong to the ancient Brāhmanical worship, but to the Paurānic religions, the service of Śiva, Skanda, Nārāyaṇa, and other deities, and some show an admixture of Tāntric elements. In some of the later Praśnas, especially IV and V, the language closely resembles that of the first three, and shows the same stereotyped phrases and the same Vedic anomalous forms. But in other sections, particularly VI-IX, we find, instead of Sūtras, the common Anuṣṭubh Śloka throughout, and expressions peculiar to the metrical Smṛtis and the Purāṇas. At the end of most Adhyāyas we read the phrase, ity āha Baudhāyanaḥ, or bhagavān Baudhāyanaḥ, 'thus speaks Baudhāyana, or the divine Baudhāyana.' Finally, while the first three Praśnas are divided into Kaṇḍikās or Khaṇḍas, the following ones consist of Adhyāyas or chapters. These differences, as well as the fact that the most important Gṛhya rites, arranged according to a special plan, are done with in the first three Praśnas, necessarily lead to the conclusion that the whole remainder does not belong to Baudhāyana, but consists of so-called Pariśiṣṭas, which were composed by the adherents of his school. Further, the fact that the last six Praśnas do not show everywhere the same style and language, makes it probable that the additions were made at different times and by different persons.

The Dharma-sūtra seems to have undergone exactly the same fate as the Gṛhya-sūtra. It will be obvious even to the readers of the translation that its fourth Praśna is a later addition. It consists of two parts. The first, which ends with the fourth Adhyāya, treats of penances, both public and secret ones. The second, Adhyāyas 5-8, describes the means of obtaining siddhi, the fulfilment of one's desires, and recommends for this purpose the offering of the Gaṇahomas after a previous sanctification of the worshipper by means of a course of austerities. The first part is perfectly superfluous, as the subject of penances has already been discussed in the first sections of the second Praśna, and again in chapters 4-10 of the third Praśna. Its rules sometimes contradict those given before, and in other cases, ej. IV, 2, 10-12, are mere repetitions of previous statements. The introduction of the means of gaining siddhi, on the other hand, is without a parallel in other Dharma-sūtras, and the subject is entirely foreign to the scope of such works. Its treatment, too, shows that chapters 5-8 do not belong to the author of the bulk of the Dharma-sūtra. For the description of the preparatory 'restraints' or austerities contains somewhat more detailed rules for a number of penances, e.g. the Kṛcchras and the Cāndrāyaṇa, which have already been described in the preceding Praśnas. Moreover, the style and the language of the whole fourth Praśna are very different from those of the three preceding ones, and the differences observable are exactly the same as those between the first five and the last four Praśnas of the Gṛhya-sūtra. The epic Śloka nearly throughout replaces the aphoristic prose, and the common slipshod Sanskrit of the Purāṇas appears instead of the archaic forms. Finally, the fourth Praśna is divided into Adhyāyas, not into the Kaṇḍikās or Khaṇḍas and Adhyāyas which are found in the first two Praśnas.

This latter peculiarity is also observable in the third Praśna, and raises a suspicion against the genuineness of that part also. For, though the third Praśna in style and language resembles the first two, it is hard to believe that the author should, for no apparent reason, suddenly have changed the manner of dividing his work towards its end. This suspicion is further strengthened by two other circumstances. First, Praśnas I-II really exhaust the discussion of the whole Dharma, and the third offers supplementary information only on some points which have been touched upon previously. Secondly, several Adhyāyas of Praśna III seem to have been borrowed from other works, or to be abstracts from them. Thus the tenth chapter has certainly been taken from the Gautamīya Dharmaśāstra, the sixth bears a very close and suspicious resemblance to Viṣṇu XLVIII[9], and the third looks very much like a short summary of the doctrine of Vikhanas, whose lost Sūtra contained the original rule of the order of the Vaikhānasas or hermits, living in the forest. These circumstances justify, it seems to me, the assumption that Baudhāyana's original Dharma-sūtra consisted, like Āpastamba's, of two Praśnas only, and that it received, through followers of his school, two separate additions, first in very ancient times Praśna III, where the style of the master is strictly followed, and later Praśna IV, where the language and phraseology of the metrical Smṛtis are adopted. It ought to be noted that Govindasvāmin, too, does not take the whole of the four Praśnas for Baudhāyana's composition. With respect to several passages[10] where Baudhāyana's name is introduced in order to give weight to the rules, he says that the Sūtras may belong to 'a pupil.' I do not think that the criterion which he uses can be relied on in every case, because oriental authors without doubt occasionally speak of themselves as of third persons. But the fact that the commentator, though an orthodox Hindu, had misgivings as to the genuineness of portions of the work, is not without significance. It seems also that even the first two Praśnas are not quite free from interpolations. Thus the Kaṇḍikās on the Tarpaṇa[11] are certainly much enlarged by additions, the verse at I, 5, 11, 36, a repetition of I, 5, 9, 5, and some prose quotations which are introduced by the words athāpy udāharanti, 'now they quote also,' standing usually before verses only, are at least suspicious. That the genuineness of many single passages should be doubtful, is no more than might be expected, not only on account of the separation of the Dharma-sūtra from the other parts of the Kalpa, but also because the work, as we shall see further on, remained for a long time without the protection of a commentary. The practical conclusion to be drawn from this state of things is that the greatest caution must be observed in using the Baudhāyana Dharma-sūtra for historical purposes, and that it will be advisable to draw no inferences regarding Baudhāyana's relation to other teachers and schools from the last two Praśnas, and not to trust too much to historical inferences drawn from single passages of the first two.

The position which Baudhāyana occupies among the teachers of the Taittirīya-veda has already been discussed in the Introduction to Āpastamba. It has been shown that according to the Brāhmanical tradition preserved by Mahādeva, the commentator of the Hiraṇyakeśi-sūtras, he composed the first Sūtra for the followers of his Śākhā. Internal and external evidence has also been adduced, proving that he certainly was more ancient than Āpastamba and Hiraṇyakeśin. It is now possible to bring forward some further facts bearing on these points. First, in the section on the Tarpaṇa, the libations of water offered to various deities, Ṛṣis, and the manes, II, 5, 9, 14, Kāṇva Baudhāyana receives his share immediately after the Ṛṣis of the Veda and before Āpastamba, the Sūtrakāra, and Satyāṣāḍha Hiraṇyakeśin. The same order is observed in the distribution of the offerings at the Sarpabali, described in the Gṛhya-sūtra[12], where the following teachers of the Yajur-veda are specially named, viz. Vaiśampāyana, Phuliṅgu, Tittiri, Ukha, Aukhya, Ātreya the author of the Pada-text, Kauṇḍinya the author of the commentary, Kāṇva Baudhāyana the author of the Pravacana, Āpastamba the author of the Sūtra, and Satyāṣāḍha Hiraṇyakeśin. Neither of these two passages belongs to Baudhāyana. They are both clearly interpolations. But they show that Mahādeva's statement, which makes Baudhāyana the first expounder of the Kalpa among the Taittirīyavedins, agrees with the tradition of the Baudhāyanīyas themselves. For not only the place allotted to Baudhāyana's name, but still more the title Pravacanakāra which he receives, show that the followers of his school placed him before and above all other teachers of the ritual. The term pravacana, which literally means 'proclaiming or recitation,' has frequently the technical sense of 'oral instruction,' and is applied both to the traditional lore contained in the Brāhmaṇas, and to the more systematic teaching of the Aṅgas[13]. If, therefore, a teacher is called the author of the Pravacana of a Śākhā, that can only mean that he is something more than a common Sūtrakāra, and is considered to be the originator of the whole 'system of instruction among its followers. The epithet Kāṇva, which Baudhāyana receives in both the passages quoted above, indicates that he belonged to the Vedic Gotra of the Kaṇvas. It deserves to be noted that Govindasvāmin, too, on I, 3, 5, 13, explains the name Baudhāyana by Kāṇvāyana[14].

The style of Baudhāyana's works furnishes, as Dr. Burnell has pointed out[15], another argument for their high antiquity. Compared with the Sūtras of Āpastamba and Hiraṇyakeśin they are much simpler in their arrangement, and the complete absence of that anxiety to save 'half a vowel' which characterises the fully developed Sūtra-style is very remarkable. The last point has been noticed by Govindasvāmin also. In commenting on I, 2, 3, 17-18, where Baudhāyana first permits students to beg food of men of all castes, and afterwards explains that he means Āryans who follow their lawful occupations, he says[16], '(If anybody should ask), "Why give two Sūtras, while one Sūtra, ('A student shall ask) Āryans who follow their lawful occupations,' would have sufficed?" (his objection will be) correct. For this teacher is not particularly anxious to make his book short.' In other cases we find a certain awkwardness in the distribution of the subject matter, which probably finds its explanation through the fact that Baudhāyana first attempted to- bring the teaching of the Taittirīyas on the Dharma into a systematic form. Thus the rules on the law of inheritance are given without any apparent necessity and against the custom of the other Sūtrakāras in two different chapters, I, 5, 11, 9-16 and II, 2, 3, 1-44. The section on purification, too, is divided into two separate portions, I, 4, 6-10 and I, 6, 13-15, and the second which treats of the purification of the vessels at sacrifices, properly ought to have been placed into the Śrauta-sūtra, not into the Dharma-sūtra. Again, the discussion of several topics is repeatedly interrupted by the introduction of rules belonging to different subjects, and Govindasvāmin's ingenuity is often taxed to the utmost in order to find the reason why certain Sūtras which apparently are unconnected with the main subject have been inserted. A third argument for the great antiquity of Baudhāyana's Sūtras, derived from the archaic character of some of his doctrines, has been discussed in the Introduction to Āpastamba[17]. The number of instances where Baudhāyana's rules are based on a more ancient order of ideas than Āpastamba's might be increased very considerably. But, as now the comparison of the two works is open to all students, I omit the cases contained in the two Dharma-sūtras, and content myself with adducing one more from the less accessible Gṛhya-sūtras. It is a well-known fact that the ancient Vedic ritual in certain cases admitted Śūdras, and particularly the Rathakāra or carpenter, who, according to all accounts, has Śūdra blood in his veins, to a participation in the Śrauta rites. The Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa even gives certain Mantras to be recited by the Rathakāra at the Agnyādhāna sacrifice[18]. Now Baudhāyana, who, Dh. S. I, 9, 17, 6, derives the origin of the Rathakāras from a Vaiśya male and Śūdra female, apparently reckons him amongst the twice-born, and explicitly allows him to receive the sacrament of the initiation. He says, Gṛhya-sūtra II, 5, 8-9, 'Let him initiate a Brāhmaṇa in spring; a Kṣatriya in summer, a Vaiśya in autumn, a Rathakāra in the rainy season; or all of them in spring[19].' But Āpastamba, who shows great hostility against the mixed castes, and emphatically denies the right of Śūdras to be initiated, gives the same rule regarding the seasons for the initiation both in his Gṛhya and Dharma-sūtras[20]. He, however, omits the Rathakāra in both cases. There can be no doubt that Āpastamba's exclusion of the carpenter, which agrees with the sentiments prevailing in modern Brāhmanical society, is an off-shoot of a later doctrine, and as both he and Baudhāyana belong to the same vidyāvaṃsa, or spiritual family, this difference may be used as an argument for his posteriority to Baudhāyana. In connexion with this rule of Baudhāyana's it ought to be mentioned that even in the present day certain subdivisions of the modern Sutārs or carpenters actually wear the Brāhmanical thread, and, in spite of the adverse teaching of the Śāstras, find Brāhmans willing to perform the ceremony of investiture for them.

While it thus appears not incredible that Baudhāyana really was the first Sūtrakāra of the Taittirīyas, the numerous quotations which his works contain, permit us to form an idea of the extent of the Vedic and profane literature known to him. Among the Vedic works which he adduces as authorities, or otherwise refers to, the three sections of the Taittirīya-veda, the Saṃhitā, the Brāhmaṇa, and the Āraṇyaka, naturally take the first place. For the Āraṇyaka he seems to have used the Andhra version, as Dh. S. II, 10, 18, 7, 11 references to the seventy-first Anuvāka of the tenth Prapāṭhaka occur. Two long passages, Dh. S. I, 2, 4, 3-8; II, 6, 11, 1-8, which apparently have been taken from the Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa, testify to his acquaintance with the White Yajur-veda. Baudhāyana does not say expressly that he quotes from the Brāhmaṇa of the Vājasaneyins, but Govinda has no hesitation in pointing to the Śatapatha as their source. It is remarkable that the fact noticeable in Āpastamba's quotation from the Śatapatha reappears here, and that the wording of the two quotations does not fully agree with the printed text of the Brāhmaṇa. The differences in the first passage are, no doubt, partly owing to corruptions and interpolations in Baudhāyana's text; but that cannot be said of the second[21]. References to the Sāma-veda and the Sāmans occur repeatedly, and the passage from the Nidāna of Bhāllavins regarding the geographical extent of true Brāhmanical learning, which Vasiṣṭha adduces, is given I, 1, 2, 11-12. From the Rig-veda a few expiatory hymns and verses, such as the Aghamarshaṇa and the Taratsamandīs, are quoted. The Atharva-veda is not referred to by name, but the existence of Ātharvaṇa schools may be inferred from the mention made of the vows called Śiras, II, 8, 14, 2. Among the authorities on the Sacred Law, mentioned in the Dharma-sūtra, Kātya I, 2, 3, 46, Maudgalya II, 2, 4, 8, and Aupajandhani II, 2, 3,33, do not occur in other works of the same class[22]. Hārīta, who is mentioned II, 1, 2, 21, and who probably was a teacher of the Maitrāyaṇīya school, is named by Vasiṣṭha and Āpastamba also. The Gautama who is quoted I, 1, 2, 7 and II, 2, 4, 17, is, as has been shown in the Introduction to Gautama, most probably the author of the still existing Institutes of Gautama. To the arguments for the latter view, adduced there, I may add that two other passages of the Dharma-sūtra, II, 6, 15 and 26, point to a close connexion between Baudhāyana's and Gautama's works. The former of the two Sutras contains, with the exception of one small clause in the beginning, exactly the same description of the duties of a hermit in the forest as that given by Gautama III, 26-35. The second Sutra states, just as Gautama's rule III, 36, that the venerable teacher (ācāryāḥ) prescribes one order only, that of the householders. The reason given for this opinion differs, however, according to Baudhāyana, from that adduced in Gautama's text. The almost literal identity of the first long passage makes it not improbable that Baudhāyana borrowed in this instance also from Gautama without noting the source from which he drew. On the other hand, the argument drawn from the fact that the tenth Adhyāya of Praśna III has been taken from Gautama's Sūtra loses its force since, as I have shown above, it is improbable that the third Praśna formed part of Baudhāyana's original work. A metrical work on the Sacred Law seems to be quoted II, 2, 4, 14-15. For, as the second verse, adduced there, says that the penance for one who violated his Guru's bed has been declared above, it seems impossible to assume that the two Ślokas belonged to the versified maxims of the Dharma current among the learned Brāhmans. If this quotation is not an interpolation, it proves that, side by side with the Dharma-sutras, metrical treatises on the Sacred Law existed in very early times[23]. One quotation, finally, which gives a verse from the dialogue of the daughters of Uśanas and Vṛṣaparvan seems to have been taken from an epic poem. The verse is actually found in the Mahābhārata I, 78, 10, and again 34, where the altercation between Sarmiṣṭhā and Devayānī forms part of the Yayātyupākhyāna. Considering what has been said above regarding the state of the text of the Dharma-sūtra, and our imperfect knowledge of the history of the Mahābhārata, it would be hazardous to assert that the verse proves Baudhāyana's acquaintance with Vyāsa's great epic. It will be safer to wait for further proofs that it was known to the Sūtrakāras, before one bases far-going speculations on this hitherto solitary quotation.

The arguments which maybe brought forward to show that Baudhāyana's home lay in Southern India are not as strong as those which permit us to determine the native country of Āpastamba. The portions of the Sutras, known to me, contain no direct mention of the south except in the deśanirṇaya or disquisition on the countries, Dharma-sūtra I, 1, 2, where certain peculiar customs of the southern Brāhmans are enumerated, and some districts of Southern India, ej. Kaliṅga, are referred to as barbarous countries which must not be visited by Āryans. These utterances show an acquaintance with the south, but by no means prove that Baudhāyana lived there. A more significant fact is that Baudhāyana declares, I, 1, 2, 4, 'going to sea' to be a custom prevailing among the northern Brāhmans, and afterwards, II, I, 22, places that act at the head of the Patanīyas, the more serious offences causing loss of caste. It is probable that by the latter rule he wished to show his stand-point as a southerner. But the most conclusive argument in favour of the southern origin of the Baudhāyanīyas is that they, like the Āpastambīyas and all other adherents of the Taittirīya schools, are entirely confined to the Dekhan, and are not found among the indigenous subdivisions of the Brāhmans in Central and Northern India. This fact is, if not explicitly stated, at least implied by the passage of the Mahārṇava quoted in the Introduction to Āpastamba[24]. It is proved by the present state of things, and by the evidence of the land grants of the southern dynasties, several of which have been made in favour of Baudhāyanīyas. Thus we find a grant of Bukkarāya, the well-known ruler of Vijayanagara[25], dated Sakasaṃvat 1276 or 1354-5 AḌ., in which a Brāhmaṇa, studying the Baudhāyanīya-sūtra, is mentioned as the donee of a village in Maisūr. Again, in an inscription of Nandivarman Pallavamalla, which its editor, the Rev. Mr. Foulkes, places in the ninth century A D.[26], a considerable number of Brāhmaṇas of the Pravacana-sūtra are named as recipients of the royal bounty, together with some followers of the Āpastambha[27] school. As we have seen that Baudhāyana is called in the Gṛhya-sūtra the Pravacanakāra, it is not doubtful that the Pravacana-sūtra of this inscription is the Sūtra of his school. The villages which the grantees received from Nandivarman were situated on the Pālār river in the Cittūr districts of the Madras Presidency. Besides, the interesting tradition which asserts that Mādhava-Sāyaṇa, the great commentator of the Vedas, was a Baudhāyanīya[28] is another point which may be brought forward as evidence for the location of the school in Southern India. Further, it must not be forgotten that most and the best MSS. of Baudhāyana's Sūtras are found in Southern India. There are also some faint indications that the Andhra country is the particular district to which Baudhāyana belonged. For his repeated references to voyages by sea and his rule regarding the duty payable on goods imported by sea show that he must have lived in a coast district where sea-borne trade flourished, and the fact that he uses the Andhra recension of the Taittirīya Āraṇyaka makes it probable that he was an inhabitant of the eastern coast.

My estimate of the distance between Baudhāyana and Āpastamba and of that between the latter and the historical period of India has been given in the Introduction to Āpastamba, pp. xxii and xliii, and I have nothing further to add on that subject. The oldest witness for the existence of the Śrauta-sūtra of Baudhāyana is its commentator Bhavasvāmin, whom Dr. Burnell places in the eighth century A. D. The Dharma-sūtra is first quoted by Vijñāneśvara, circiter 1080-1100 AḌ. Several of the passages adduced by him are, however, not traceable in the MSS.

As regards the materials on which the translation is based, I had at my disposal six MSS. of the text and two copies of Govindasvāmin's commentary, the Bodhāyanīya-dharmavivaraṇa[29], one of which (C. I.) gives the text also. These MSS. belong to two chief groups, a northern and a southern one. The northern group contains two subdivisions. The first comprises (1) D., a MS. bought by me for the Government of Bombay at Ahmadābād (no. 6 of the Dekhan College collection of 1868-69), and about one hundred or one hundred and fifty years old; (2) P., an old MS. of my own collection, bought in 1865 at Puṇa; (3, 4) B. and Bh., two modern transcripts, made for me in Baroda and Bombay, Among these, D. alone is of real value, as P., B., and Bh. faithfully reproduce all its clerical errors and add a good many new ones. The second subdivision of the northern group is represented by K., a modern transcript, made for the Government of Bombay at Kolhāpur in the southern Marāṭha country (Elphinstone College collection of 1867-68, Class VI, no. 2). The MSS. of the northern group, which give the vulgata current since the times of Nīlakaṇṭha.(1650 A. D.) and Mitramiśra (circiter 2 700 A. D.) in Western and Central India, can be easily recognised by the omission of the third Adhyāya of Praśna IV, and by their placing IV, 5, 1 b-25 after IV, 7, 7. One of the chief differences between K. and the other MSS. of the northern group is the omission of II, 5, 8, 4-II, 6, 11, 15 in the latter. The southern group of MSS. is formed by M., a slovenly Devanāgarī transcript of a Grantha MS., no. 610/1929 of the Madras Government collection[30], and by the text of C. L, a Devanāgarī copy of the MS. of Govindasvāmin's commentary, presented by Dr. Burnell to the India Office library[31], The second copy of the commentary, C. T., a Telugu paper MS. from Tanjore, I owe to the kindness of Dr. Burnell.

As might be expected, on account of the southern origin of the Baudhāyanīya school, M. gives on the whole the best form of the text. It also carefully marks the Kaṇḍikās[32] in the first two Praśnas, ignoring the Adhyāyas altogether, and contains at the end of each Praśna the first words of each Kaṇḍikā, beginning with the last and ending with the first, after the fashion which prevails in the MSS. of the Taittirīya Saṃhitā, Brāhmaṇa, and Āraṇyaka. Very close to M. comes Govinda's copy, where, however, as in most northern MSS., the Adhyāyas alone are marked. It is, however, perfectly certain that in some very difficult passages, which are disfigured by ancient corruptions, he corrected the text conjecturally[33] In a certain number of cases the northern MSS. present better and older readings than M. and C. I.[34] Under these circumstances it has not been possible to follow the commentary or M. throughout. Though they had to be made the basis, they had in many passages to be set aside in favour of readings of the northern group. In some cases I have also been obliged to make conjectural emendations, which have all been mentioned in the notes. Three Sūtras, I, 8, 16, 13-15, have been left untranslated, because the MSS. offer no safe basis for a conjectural restoration, and the commentary is defective.

Govinda, who, as Dr. Burnell informs me, is said to be a modern writer, seems to have composed his vivaraṇa without the aid of older vṛttis. Though he apparently was well acquainted with the writings belonging to the Taittirīya-veda, with the ritual and with the common law-books, he has not succeeded in explaining all the really difficult passages. Sometimes he is clearly mistaken, and frequently he passes by in silence words or whole Sūtras, the sense or the general bearing of which is by no means certain. Though it would be ungrateful on my part to underrate the importance of his work for my translation, I cannot place him in the same rank with Haradatta, the commentator of Āpastamba and Gautama, and can only regret that no older commentary based on the living tradition of the Baudhāyanīyas has been available. If such a work were found, better readings and better explanations of many difficult passages would probably come to light. With the materials at my disposal the translation has been a work of some difficulty, and in trying to settle the text I have often experienced the feeling of insecurity which comes over the decipherer of a difficult inscription when the facsimiles are bad. The short Adhyāya on adoption, given in the appendix to the Dharma-sūtra, has been taken from the Smārta or Gṛhya-sūtra. It does not belong to Baudhāyana, but is frequently quoted by the writers on civil law, who wrote in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries of our era.

Footnotes and references:


I must here state that during my residence in India I have never met with a follower of Baudhāyana's school, and cannot personally vouch for its existence. But many Paṇḍits have assured me that many Baudhāyanīyas are to be found among the Telingana and Karṇāṭaka Brāhmans.


See Govinda's statement, quoted. above, p. xiii.


See Burnell, Catalogue of a Collection of Sanskrit MS., pp. 24-26, 28, 34-35, and Tanjore Catalogue, pp. 18a-20b, and especially his remarks at pp. 18 b and 20 a.


This title is found in the best copy known to me, Elphinstone College Collection of 1867-68, Class B. I, no. 5, which has been prepared from the MS. of Mr. Limaye at Aṣṭe. The other copies of the work, found in Western India, ej. no. 4 of the same collection and my own copy, are in a bad state, as they are derived from a MS. the leaves of which were out of order.


Burnell, Catalogue of a Collection of Sanskrit MSS., no. LXXXVIII, and Tanjore Catalogue, no. CXVII.


According to the Elph. Coll. MS., Cl. I, B. 5, and my copy, it runs thus:


Burnell, Catalogue of a Collection of Sanskrit MSS., no. CXVIII.


Elphinstone College Collection, no. 5, according to which all quotations have been made, gives three Praśnas, my own MS. two Praśnas. The number of the Khaṇḍas is, however, the same.


See also Jolly, Sacred Books of the East, vol. vii, p. xix.


E.g. Dharma-sūtra III, 5, 7


Baudhāyana Dharma-sūtra II, 5, 8-9.


Baudhāyana Gṛhya-sūtra IV, 3 (fol. 29, B. 5, Elph. Coll. copy, no. 5),


See Max Müller, Hist. Anc. Sansk. Lit., p. 109.


The discovery that Baudhāyana bore also the name Kāṇva makes it possible p. xxxvii to refer Āpastamba's quotation of an opinion of a Kāṇva, I, 6, 19, 7, to Baudhāyana, instead of to a teacher of the white Yajur-veda, Sacred Books of the East, vol. ii, p. xxvi.


Tanjore Catalogue, p. 20b.



Sacred Books of the East, vol. ii, pp. xviii-xx.


See Weber, Indische Studien X, 12.



Gṛhya-sūtra II, 4, 10, 5; Dharma-sūtra I, 1, 1, 18.


Professor Eggeling has lately discussed the question of the discrepancies between Āpastamba's quotations from the Brāhmaṇa of the Vājasaneyins and the existing text. I can only agree with him that we must wait for a comparison of all those quoted, with both the recensions of the Śatapatha, before we draw further inferences from the fact. See Sacred Books of the East, vol. xii, p. xl.


Possibly Kāśyapa, whose name occurs in a Śloka, I, 11, 21, 2, may also be an ancient teacher to whom Baudhāyana refers. In the Gṛhya-sūtra a teacher called Śālīki is repeatedly quoted, and once, I, 11 (end), his opinion is contrasted with that of Baudhāyana and of Ācārya; i.e. Baudhāyana's teacher. The Gṛhya-sūtra refers also to Ātreya, Kāśakṛtsna, and Bādari.


See also West and Bühler, Digest of Hindu Law Cases, p. xxvii, 2nd ed.


Sacred Books of the East, vol. ii, p. xxx; see also L. von Schröder, Maitrāyaṇīya Saṃhitā, p. xxvii.


Journal of the Bombay Branch. of the Royal Asiatic Society, XII, 349-351.


Indian Antiquary, VIII, 273-284.


As all the older inscriptions hitherto published give Āpastambha instead of Āpastamba, I am now inclined to consider the former as the original form of the name.


Burnell, Tanjore Catalogue, p. 20 b, remarks on no. CCXXVI.


It ought to be noted that in the south of India the forms Bodhāyana and Bodhāyanīya are invariably used for Baudhāyana and Baudhāyanīya. But it seems to me that the southerners are in error, as the affix āyana requires vṛddhi in the first syllable.


Taylor, Catalogue Raisonnée (!), I, p. 190. The clerical errors in my transcript are exceedingly numerous, and mostly owing to the faulty rendering of the value of the Grantha characters, which seem not to have been familiar to the copyist. There are also some small lacunae, and the last leaf has been lost.


See Burnell, Catalogue of a Collection of MSS., p. 35, no, CXVII.


I alone am responsible for the title Kaṇḍikā, given to the small sections. M. marks only the figures. D. and the better northern MSS. show only breaks at the end of the Kaṇḍikās and their first words at the end of the Praśnas.


See ej. Dharma-sūtra I, 2, 3, 35, note.


See ej. Dharma-sūtra I, 5, 11, 35; II, I, 2, 36; II, 2, 3, 3; II, 2, 4, 10; II, 3, 6, 3; II, 7, 12, 5; III, 9, 2.

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