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 5, Kaṇḍikā 8

1. Now (follows the description of) the means of purification.

2. The body is purified by water, the understanding by knowledge, the soul by abstention from injuring living beings, the internal organ by truth.[1]

3. Purifying the internal organ (is called) internal purification.

4. We will explain (the rules of) external purification.

5. The sacrificial thread (shall be made) of Kuśa grass, or cotton, (and consist) of thrice three strings.

6. (It shall hang down) to the navel.

7. (In putting it on) he shall raise the right arm, lower the left, and lower the head.[2]

8. The contrary (is done at sacrifices) to the manes.

9. (If the thread is) suspended round the neck, (it is called) nivīta.

10. (If it is) suspended below (the navel, it is called) adhopavīta.

11. Let him perform (the rite of personal) purification, facing the east or the north, (and) seated in a pure place; (let him) place his right arm between his knees and wash both hands up to the wrist and both feet (up to the ankles).[3]

12. Let him not use for sipping the remainder of the water with which he has washed his feet.

13. But if he uses (that) for sipping, let him do it, after pouring (a portion of it) on the ground.

14. He shall sip out of the Tīrtha sacred to Brahman.[4]

15. The part (of the hand) at the root of the thumb (is called) the Tīrtha sacred to Brahman.

16. The part above the thumb (is called the Tīrtha) sacred to the manes, the part at the tips of the fingers that sacred to the gods, the part at the root of the fingers that sacred to the Ṛṣis.[5]

17. (Let him not use for sipping water that has trickled) from the fingers, nor (water) that is covered with bubbles or foam, nor (water that is) hot, or alkaline, or salt, or muddy, or discoloured, or has a bad smell or taste.[6]

18. (Let him not sip water) laughing, nor talking, nor standing, nor looking about, nor bending his head or his body forward, nor while the lock on his crown is untied, nor while his throat is wrapped up, nor while his head is covered, nor when he is in a hurry, nor without wearing the sacrificial thread, nor stretching his feet out, nor while his loins are girt (with a cloth), nor without holding his right arm between his knees, nor making a sound.[7]

19. Let him thrice drink water that reaches his heart.[8]

20. Let him wipe (his lips) thrice.

21. Some (declare that he shall do it) twice.[9]

22. A woman and a Śūdra (shall perform) both (acts) once (only).

23. Now they quote also (the following verse): A Brāhmaṇa is purified by water that reaches his heart, a Kṣatriya by (water) reaching his throat, a Vaiśya by (water barely) taken into the mouth, a woman and a Śūdra by touching (it) with the extremity (of the lips).[10]

24. 'If (drops) adhere to his teeth, (they must be considered pure) like the teeth, because they are fixed (in the mouth) like the teeth. Let him not sip water on their account in case they fall. If they flow out, he will be pure.'[11]

25. Now they quote also (the following verse): If anything adheres to the teeth, (it is pure) like the teeth; and if he swallows (it or) whatever else may be in the mouth (or) may remain after sipping water, (he will become) pure.'[12]

26. (After sipping) he shall touch the cavities (of the head) with water, the feet, the navel, the head, (and) lastly the left hand.[13]

27. If he becomes impure while holding (a vessel) made of metal, he shall put it down, sip water and sprinkle it, when he is going to take it up.

28. Now if he becomes impure (while he is occupied) with food, he shall put it down, sip water and sprinkle it, when he is going to take it up.[14]

29. Now if he becomes impure (while occupied) with water, he shall put it down, sip water and sprinkle it, when he is going to take it up

30. That is contrary (to the rule) in (the case of an earthen) vessel.[15]

31. In (the case of a vessel) made of wood there is an option.

32. Defiled (objects) made of metal must be scoured with cowdung, earth, and ashes, or with one of these (three).[16]

33. Copper, silver, and gold (must be cleaned) with acids.[17]

34. Earthen vessels must be heated.[18]

35. (Objects) made of wood must be planed.

36. (Objects) made of bamboo (must be cleaned) with cowdung,[19]

37. (Objects) made of fruits with a rope of cow-hair,[20]

38. Skins of black deer with (ground) Bel nut and rice,

39. Blankets (of the hair of the mountain goat) with Areka nuts,[21]

40. (Cloth) made of (sheep's) wool by the (rays of the) sun,

41. Linen (cloth) with a paste of yellow mustard,[22]

42. Cotton cloth with earth,[23]

43. Skins (other than deer-skins shall be treated) like cotton cloth,[24]

44. Stones and gems like (objects) made of metal,[25]

45. Bones like wood,[26]

46. Conch-shells, horn, pearl-shells, and ivory like linen cloth.[27]

47. Or (they may be cleaned) with milk.

48. (Objects) which have been defiled by urine, ordure, blood, semen, or a dead body, (but) are agreeable to the eye and the nose, shall be rubbed seven times with one of the substances mentioned above.

49. (Objects) not made of metal which are in the same condition must be thrown away.[28]

50. The cups and vessels (used) at a sacrifice (must be cleaned) according to the injunction (of the Veda).[29]

51. The Veda (declares), 'They do not become impure through Soma.'

52. 'Time, fire, purity of mind, water and the like (fluids), smearing with cowdung and ignorance (of defilement) are declared to be the sixfold (means of) purification for created beings.'[30]

53. Now they quote also (the following verse): 'A clever man, who knows (the rules of) purification and is desirous of righteousness, shall perform (the rites of) purification, after having fully considered the time, and the place (of the defilement), likewise himself, (as well as) the object (to be cleaned) and the substance (to be employed), the purpose of the object, the cause (of the defilement), and the condition (of the thing or person defiled).'

Footnotes and references:


8. Vasiṣṭha III, 60.


-9. Manu II, 63.


Vasiṣṭha III, 26. Govinda points out that the word śaucam, '(rite of) purification,' has here the meaning of ācamanam, 'sipping water.' He thinks that the ca, 'and,' which stands after pādau, 'both feet,' indicates that other portions of the body which have been defiled must be washed also.


Vasiṣṭha III, 26.


Viṣṇu LXII, 3-4. All the MSS. except M. place the Tīrtha sacred to the gods at the root of the fingers, and that sacred to the Ṛṣis at the tips of the fingers; and Govinda has the same erroneous reading.


Vasiṣṭha III, 36.


Vasiṣṭha III, 30.


-20. Vasiṣṭha III, 26; Āpastamba I, 5, 16, 3.


Vasiṣṭha III, 27; Āpastamba I, 5.16, 4.


Vasiṣṭha III, 31-34.


The MSS. read in the last pāda of this verse, teṣāṃ saṃsrāye [ya or va]-ccuciṭiti. I think saṃsrāvaṇācchucir iti is the correct reading.


Vasiṣṭha III, 41.


Vasiṣṭha III, 28-29.


Vasiṣṭha III, 43-44.


'(The word) amatram, literally "a vessel," denotes here an earthen vessel. The meaning is that such a one, if it is very much defiled, shall only be put down and not be taken back. Any other (earthen vessel) shall be heated.'--Govinda.


Vasiṣṭha III, 49.


Manu V, 114; Vasiṣṭha III, 63.


-35. Vasiṣṭha III, 49.


Vasiṣṭha III, 53.


Vasiṣṭha III, 54. Govinda thinks that the word rajju, 'a rope,' is used here in the sense of 'a conglomeration,' and merely indicates that a quantity of cowhair must be used.


Manu V, 120.


Vasiṣṭha III, 55.


Vasiṣṭha III, 49.


Vasiṣṭha III, 53.


Vasiṣṭha III, 50.


Vasiṣṭha III, 52.


Vasiṣṭha III, 51.


Vasiṣṭha III, 59.


Govinda explains this Sūtra differently. He says: 'The fault of defilement by remnants does not affect sacrificial cups and vessels. This must be understood. If they are defiled by urine and the like, they must be thrown away.' My explanation is based on the parallel passage of Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 13. See also below, I, 6, 13, 11 seq.


Viṣṇu XXII, 88.

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