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 4, Kaṇḍikā 6

1. Now (those who know the law) prescribe the carrying of a waterpot.[1]

2. It is declared (in the Vedas) that fire (resides) in the right ear of a goat, in the right hand of a Brāhmaṇa, likewise in water (and) in a bundle of Kuśa grass. Therefore after personal purification let him wipe (his water-vessel) on all sides with his (right) hand, (reciting the mantra), 'Blaze up, O fire;' for that (is called) encircling it with fire and is preferable to heating (the pot on the fire).[2]

3. With reference to this matter they prescribe also (the following rules): 'If he thinks in his heart that (the pot) has been slightly defiled, let him light Kuśa or (other) grass and heat (the pot) on all sides, keeping his right hand turned towards it.'[3]

4. 'If (pots) have been touched by crows, dogs, or[4] other (unclean animals, they shall be heated, until they are of) the colour of fire, after the (paryagnikaraṇa has been performed).'

5. (Pots) which have been defiled by urine, ordure, blood, semen, and the like must be thrown away.[5]

6. If his waterpot has been broken, let him offer one hundred (oblations) reciting the Vyāhṛtis, or mutter (the Vyāhṛtis as often).[6]

7. (Reciting the text), 'Earth went to earth, the mother joined the mother; may we have sons and cattle; may he who hates us be destroyed,' he shall collect the fragments, throw them into water, repeat the Gāyatrī at least ten times and take again another (pot).[7]

8. Taking refuge with Varuṇa, (he shall recite the mantra), 'That (belongs) to thee, Varuṇa; again to me, Om,' (and) meditate on the indestructible.[8]

9. 'If he has received (the new vessel) from a Śūdra, let him recite (the Gāyatrī) one hundred (times). (If he has received it) from a Vaiśya, fifty (repetitions of the Gāyatrī) are prescribed, but (on receiving it) from a Kṣatriya twenty-five, (and on taking it) from a Brāhmaṇa ten.'[9]

10. Those who recite the Veda are doubtful whether he shall fetch water after the sun has, set or shall not fetch it.

11. The most excellent (opinion is) that he may fetch it.

12. Let him restrain his breath, while he fetches water.

13. Fire, forsooth, takes up water.[10]

14. It is declared (in the Veda), 'When he has washed his hands and feet with water from his water-vessel, he is impure for others, as long as the moisture (remains). He purifies himself only. Let him not perform other religious rites (with water from his pot).'[11]

15. Baudhāyana (says), 'Or if on the occasion of each personal purification (he washes himself with other water) up to the wrist, (he will become) pure.'[12]

16. Now they quote also (the following verses):

Footnotes and references:


6. As Govinda observes, the rules regarding the waterpot (kamaṇḍalu) are introduced here in connexion with I, 3, 5, 4.


Vasiṣṭha XII, 15-16. The mantra is found, Taittirīya Āraṇyaka X, 1, 4.


The word upadiśanti, 'they prescribe,' stands at the end of Sūtra 4, as it refers to both rules.


Vasiṣṭha III, 59. The paryagnikaraṇa is the rite prescribed in Sūtra 2.


Vasiṣṭha III, 59.


Regarding the Vyāhṛtis, see Gautama I, 51.


Govinda says that Vāmadeva is the Ṛṣi of the mantra. The fragments of the pot are to be thrown into a river or tank, in order to preserve them from defilement. See also Journ. Bo. Br. Roy. As. Soc., No. XXXIV A, p. 55 note.


'Taking refuge with Varuṇa, i.e. saying, "I flee for safety to Varuṇa." (The words), "That for thee, Varuṇa, again to me, Om," (are) the mantras (to be recited) on taking (a new vessel). Its meaning is this: "Those fragments which I have thrown into the water shall belong to thee, Varuṇa," (Saying), "Come, thou (who art) a lord of water-vessels, again to me, Om," he shall meditate on another visible pot as indestructible, i.e. at the end of the Vedic (word) "Om," let him meditate, (i.e.) recollect, that not everything will be turned topsy-turvy, (but that some things are) also indestructible, i.e. that that is not destroyed, does not peṛṣ.'--Govinda. The explanation of the last clause of our Sūtra seems to be that, on pronouncing the syllable (akṣara) Om, the reciter is p. 162 to recollect the etymological import of the word akṣara, 'indestructible,' and thus to guard the new vessel against the miṣap which befell the old one.


According to Govinda, either the praṇava, the syllable Om, or the Gāyatrī are the mantras to be recited, and the recitation is a penance to be performed when the vessel is received. The MSS. of the text mark the verse as quotation by adding the word 'iti,' which the commentary omits.


According to Govinda, a Brāhmaṇa who goes to fetch water at night, which he may want for personal purification, is ordered to restrain his breath, because thereby the air in the body becomes strong, and fire or heat (agni) is produced. Now as at night the sun is stated to enter the fire and to become subject to it, a Brāhmaṇa, who by restraining his breath has produced fire, has secured the presence of the sun, when he goes to fetch water.


Govinda expressly states that the word vie, vijñāyate, 'it is declared,'p. 163 literally, 'it is distinctly known,' always indicates that the passage quoted is taken from the Veda. The rites for which water from the waterpot is not to be used, are libations to the manes, the gods, and the fire. See also below, I, 4, 7, 5.


The words enclosed between parentheses are Govinda's.

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