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 7

1. 'Formerly (the use of) a waterpot has been prescribed by Brahman and the chief sages for the purification of twice-born men. Therefore he shall always carry one.'[1]

'He who desires his own welfare, shall use it without hesitation, for purifying (his person), for drinking, and for performing his twilight devotions.'

2. Let him do it with a believing heart; a wise man must not corrupt his mind. The self-existent[2] (Brahman) came into existence with a water-vessel. Therefore let him perform (his rites) with a water-vessel.

3. Let him hold it in his right hand when he voids urine and excrements, in the left when he sips water. That is (a) settled (rule) for all good men.

4. For as the sacrificial cusp (camasa) is declared to be pure on account of its contact with the Soma-juice, even so the water-vessel is constantly pure through its contact with water.

5. Therefore let him avoid (to use) it for the worship of the manes, the gods, and the fire.[3]

6. Therefore let him not go on a journey without a waterpot, nor to the boundary of the village, nor from one house to the other.

7. Some (declare that he must not go without it) a step further than the length of an arrow.

8. Baudhāyana (says that he shall not go without it) if he wishes to fulfil his duties constantly.

9. (The divine) Word declares that (this is con-firmed) by a Ṛk-shaped (passage).[4]

Footnotes and references:


7. The division of this chapter into two sections occurs in the M. manuscript only. The Dekhan MSS., which give the division into Kaṇḍikās, do not note it, and have at the end of the Praśna the figure 20, while M. has 21 and in words ekaviṃśatiḥ after the enumeration of the Pratīkas.


'A wise man must not corrupt his mind,' i.e. must not doubt or adopt erroneous views regarding the teaching of the Śāstras with respect to the waterpot. It seems to me that this passage indicates the existence of an opposition to the constant carrying of the waterpot in Baudhāyana's times. This is so much more probable, as the custom is now obsolete, and is mentioned in some Purāṇas and versified Smṛtis as one of the practices forbidden in the Kali age; see ej. the general note appended to Sir W. Jones' translation of Manu.


According to Govinda the word 'therefore' refers back to Sūtra I, 4, 6, 14.


'Ṛgvidham, "a Ṛk-shaped (passage)," means Ṛgvidhānam, "a prescription consisting of a Ṛk." The Brāhmaṇa is indicated by (the word) vāk, ("the goddess of) speech." The meaning is, "The Brāhmaṇa says that there is also a Ṛk-verse to this effect. That is as follows, tasyaiṣā bhavati yat te śilpam ityādi' (Taittirīya-Āraṇyaka I, 7, a).--Govinda.

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