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 2, Kaṇḍikā 4

1. If merit and wealth are not (obtained by teaching), nor (at least) the due obedience, one should die with one's learning; one should not sow it on barren soil.[1]

2. As fire consumes dry grass, even so the Veda, asked for, (but) not honoured, (destroys the enquirer). Therefore let him not proclaim the Veda to those who do not show him honour according to their ability.[2]

3. They proclaim to him a command to the following effect;[3]

4. 'Brahman, forsooth, made the created beings over to Death. The student alone it did not make over to him.' He (Death) spake, 'Let me have a share in him.' (Brahman answered), 'That night in which he may neglect to offer a piece of sacred fuel (shall belong to thee),'[4]

5. 'Therefore a student who passes a night without offering a piece of sacred fuel, cuts it off from the length of his life, Therefore let the student offer a piece of sacred fuel, lest he spend a night, shortening his life.'

6. 'A long sacrificial session begins he who commences his studentship. That (night) in which, after being initiated, he (first) offers a piece of sacred fuel corresponds to the Prāyaṇīya (Atirātra of a sacrificial session); that night in which (he offers it last), intending to take the final bath, corresponds to the Udayanīya (Atirātra), Those nights which (lie) between (these two terms correspond) just to the nights of his sacrificial session.'[5]

7. 'A Brāhmaṇa who becomes a student of the Veda, enters existent beings in a fourfold manner, (viz.) with one quarter (he enters) Fire, with one quarter Death, with one quarter the Teacher, the fourth quarter remains in the Soul. When he offers to Fire a piece of sacred fuel, he thereby buys back even that quarter which (resides) in Fire, hallowing it, he places it in himself; that enters into him. Now when making himself poor and, becoming shameless, he asks for alms (and) lives as a student of the Veda, he thereby buys back the quarter which (resides) in Death; hallowing it, he places it in himself; that enters into him. Now when he obeys the orders of his Teacher, he thereby buys back that quarter which (resides) in the Teacher; hallowing it, he places it in himself; that enters into him. [Now when he recites the Veda, he thereby buys back the quarter which resides in the Soul. Hallowing it, he places it in himself; that enters into him.] Let him not go to beg, after he has bathed (on finishing his studentship). . . . If he does not find another woman whom he can ask for alms,, let him beg even from his own teacher's wife or from his own mother. The seventh (night) shall not pass without his asking for alms. [(He commits) sin if he does not go out to ask for alms and does not place fuel on the fire. If he neglects that during seven (days and) nights, he must perform the[6] penance prescribed for one who has broken the vow of studentship.] All the Vedas come to him who knows that and acts thus.'

8. 'As a blazing fire shines, even so shines he who, knowing this, thus fulfils the duties of studentship, after he has bathed (on leaving his teacher).' Thus speaks the Brāhmaṇa.

Footnotes and references:


4. Manu II, 112.


Vasiṣṭha II, 12.


'They, i.e. the Vājasaneyins; to him, i.e. to the student'--Govinda.


The quotation, which begins here and ends with the end of the section, is taken from Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa XI, 2, 6. In the text the word Brahman is a neuter.


MSS. M. and K., as well as the commentary, read dīrghasattram p. 157 ha vā eṣa upaiti, while the MSS. from the Dekhan and Gujarāt, like the printed edition of the Sat. Br., omit the particle 'ha.' Prāyaṇīya means, literally, 'initial,' and udayanīya, 'final.' Each sattra or sacrificial session begins and ends with an Atirātra sacrifice.


This portion of the quotation shows, besides some minor deviations from the published text of the Mādhyandinas, several p. 158 interpolations and corruptions. The minor discrepancies are, 'brāhmaṇo vai brahmacaryam upayan' (upayacchan, C. I. and T.); padātmanyeva caturthaḥ pādaḥ; yadagnaye samidham ādadhāti; atha yad ātmānaṃ daridrīkṛtyāhrīr bhūtvā bhikṣate brahmacaryaṃ carati; atha yad ācāryavacaḥ karoti ya evisyācārye. In the second passage the Dekhan MSS. read, however, like the printed text. The interpolations are, 'Now when he recites the Veda,' &c., and the verse, 'He commits sin if he neglects,' &c. The former passage entirely destroys the sense of the whole and the connexion of the parts. Both have, however, been retained, as they occur in all the MSS. and the two copies of the commentary, and have been enclosed in brackets. The corrupt passage is so had that it makes no sense at all. The best MSS. read as follows: 'api hi vai snātvā bhikṣāṃ caratyavijñānanāśanāyayā pitrīṇāmanyabhyaḥ kriyābhyaḥ' sa yadanyām, &c., D.; 'api ha vai snātvā bhiṣṭāṃ carasapi jñāni nāśanāya yā [v3. sec. m.] pitṝṇām anyābhyaḥ kriyābhyaḥ,' K.; api ha vai snātvā bhikṣāṃ carati--pajñāti--nāṃ śanāyāpi pitṛṇām anyābhyaḥ kriyāsas, M.; api ha vai snātvā bhikṣāṃ caratyavijñātināmaśanayāpi pitṛṇām anyābhya kriyābhyaḥ, C. I. As it is by no means certain that Baudhāyana's reading agreed with that of the printed text, I have left the passage out.

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