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...

Praśna I, Adhyāya 1, Kaṇḍikā 2

1. There is a dispute regarding five (practices) both in the south and in the north.[1]

2. We will explain those (peculiar) to the south.

3. They are, to eat in the company of an uninitiated person, to eat in the company of one's wife, to eat stale food, to marry the daughter of a maternal uncle or of a paternal aunt.[2]

4. Now (the customs peculiar) to the north are, to deal in wool, to drink rum, to sell animals that have teeth in the upper and in the lower jaws, to follow the trade of arms, to go to sea.[3]

5. He who follows (these practices) in any other country than where they prevail, commits sin.[4]

6. For each (of these customs) the (rule of the) country should be (considered) the authority.

7. Gautama declares that that is false.[5]

8. And one should not take heed of either (set of practices) because they are opposed to the tradition of the Śiṣṭas.

9. The country of the Āryas (Āryāvarta) lies to the east of the region where (the river Sarasvatī) disappears, to the west of the Black-forest (Kālakavana), to the north of the Pāripātra (mountains), to the south of the Himālaya. The rule of conduct which (prevails) there, is authoritative.[6]

10. Some (declare) the country between the (rivers) Yamunā and Ganges (to be the Āryāvarta).[7]

11. Now the Bhāllavins quote also the (following) verse:[8]

12. 'In the west the boundary-river, in the east the region where the sun rises,--as far as the black antelopes wander (between these two limits), so far spiritual pre-eminence (is found).'[9]

13. The inhabitants of Avantī, of Aṅga, of Magadha, of Surāṣṭra, of the Dekhan, of Upāvṛt, of Sindh, and the Sauvīrās are of mixed origin.[10]

14. He who has visited the (countries of the) Āraṭṭas, Kāraskaras, Puṇḍras, Sauvīras, Vaṅgas, Kaliṅgas, (or) Prānūnas shall offer a Punastoma or a Sarvapṛṣṭhā (iṣṭi).[11]

15. Now they quote also (the following verses): 'He commits sin through his feet, who travels to the (country of the) Kaliṅgas. The sages declare the Vaiśvānarī iṣṭi to be a purification for him.'[12]

16. 'Even if many offences have been committed, they recommend for the removal of the sin the Pavitreṣṭi. For that (sacrifice) is a most excellent means of purification.'

17. Now they quote also (the following verse): 'He who performs (by turns) in each season the Vaiśvānarī (iṣṭi), the Vrātapatī (iṣṭi), and the Pavitreṣṭi is freed from (all) sins.'[13]

Footnotes and references:


2. The boundary between the north and south of India is, as Govinda also points out, the river Narmadā.


Some of the customs mentioned here still prevail in parts of southern India. Thus the marriages between cousins occur among the Deśastha and Karhāḍā Brāhmaṇas of the Dekhan.


The first two customs mentioned still prevail in the north, especially in Kaśmīr, where Brāhmaṇas commonly deal in wool and woollen cloth. Spirituous liquor is not now drunk openly, but its use is sanctioned in the Kaśmīrian Nīlamata-purāṇa. Many Brāhmanical families in the north, especially in the North-western Provinces, subsist by enlisting as soldiers in the British and native armies.


-6. A similar argument is given by the Kaśmīrians for the lawfulness of the consumption of meat, which they justify by a deśaguṇa or 'virtue of their country.'


Gautama XI, 20.


Vasiṣṭha I, 8, 10. Many MSS., and among them the Telugu copy of the commentary, read Pāriyātra instead of Pāripātra, which latter I consider to be the correct form of the word.


Vasiṣṭha I, 12.


Vasiṣṭha I, 14. Govinda remarks that the Bhāllavins are a school studying the Sāma-veda. See also Max Müller, Hist. Anc. Sansk. Lit., pp. 193, 364.


Vasiṣṭha I, 15. There is a great uncertainty in the MSS. about the word following sindhuḥ. I have adopted the reading of p. 148 M., sindhur vidharaṇī, 'the boundary-river,' which occurs also in the parallel passage of Vasiṣṭha. The Dekhan and Gujarāt MSS. read vicaraṇī or vicaraṇā, and the two copies of the commentary visaraṇī. The sense of these various readings appears to be 'the river that vanishes or looses itself,' i.e. the Sarasvatī.


This and the following two Sūtras are intended to show that the customs prevailing in the countries named have no authority and must not be followed. Avantī corresponds to western Mālvā, Aṅga to western Bengal, Magadha to Bihar, and Surāṣṭra to southern Káṭhīāvāḍ. The Sauvīras, who are always associated with the Sindhians, probably dwelt in the south-west of the Pañjāb, near Multān. The Upāvṛts probably are the same as the Upāvṛttas mentioned Mahābhārata VI, 49. But I am unable to deter-mine their seats.


The Āraṭṭas dwelt in the Pañjāb (Lassen, Ind. Alth. I, p. 973, sec. ed.), and are greatly blamed, Mahābhārata VIII, 44, 36 seq. The Kāraskaras are named in the same chapter of the Mahābhārata as a degraded tribe, but seem to belong to the south of India. The Kaliṅgas are the inhabitants of the eastern coast of India, between Orissa and the mouth of the Kṛṣṇā river. The Puṇḍras, who are mentioned as a degraded tribe in the Aitareya-brāhmaṇa VII, 18, and occur frequently in the Mahābhārata, and the Vaṅgas belong to Bengal (see Lassen, Ind. Alth. I, 669, sec. ed.; Cunningham, Anc. Geog. p. 480). Regarding the Puṇa-stoma, see Gautama XIX, 7 note; and regarding the Sarvapṛṣṭhā iṣṭi, Taittirīya-saṃhitā II, 3, 7, 1-2.


Āpastamba I, 11, 32, 18.


Vasiṣṭha XXII, 10. The meaning is that in each of the three seasons of the year, Grīṣma, Varṣa, Hemanta, one of the three sacrifices is to be offered.

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