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 10, Kaṇḍikā 18

1. Let the king protect (his) subjects, receiving as his pay a sixth part (of their incomes or spiritual merit).[1]

2. Brahman, forsooth, placed its majesty in the Brāhmaṇas, together with (the duties and privileges of) studying, teaching, sacrificing for themselves, sacrificing for others, liberality, and accepting (gifts), for the protection of the Vedas;[2]

3. In the Kṣatriyas (it placed) strength, together with (the duties and privileges of) studying, sacrificing, liberality, (using) weapons, and protecting the treasure (and the life of) created beings, for the growth of (good) government;[3]

4. In the Vaiśyas (it placed the power of work), together with (the duties of) studying, sacrificing, liberality, cultivating (the soil), trading, and tending cattle, for the growth of (productive) labour.[4]

5. On the Śūdras (it imposed the duty of) serving the three higher (castes).[5]

6. For (the Veda states), 'they were created from the feet (of Brahman).'[6]

7. Let (the king) choose a domestic priest (who shall be) foremost in all (transactions).[7]

8. Let him act according to his instructions.[8]

9. Let him not turn back in battle.[9]

10. Let him not strike with barbed or poisoned (weapons).[10]

11. Let him not fight with those who are in fear, intoxicated, insane or out of their minds, (nor with those) who have lost their armour, (nor with) women, infants, aged men, and Brāhmaṇas,[11]

12. Excepting assassins (ātatāyin).[12]

13. Now they quote also (the following verse): 'He who slays an assassin, able to teach (the Veda) and born in a (noble) family, does not (incur) by that (act the guilt of) the murderer of a learned Brāhmaṇa; (in) that (case) fury recoils upon fury.'

14. The duty on goods imported by sea is, after deducting a choice article, ten Paṇas in the hundred.[13]

15. Let him also lay just (duties) on other (marketable goods) according to their intrinsic value without oppressing (the traders).[14]

16. Let the king guard the property of men belonging to a non-Brāhmanical caste, the owner of which has disappeared, during a year, and afterwards take it (for himself).[15]

17. A Brāhmaṇa, forsooth, shall not suffer corporal punishment for any offence.[16]

18. In case (a Brāhmaṇa) has slain a Brāhmaṇa, has violated his Guru's bed, has stolen the gold (of a Brāhmaṇa), or has drunk (the spirituous liquor called) Surā, (the king) shall cause to be impressed with a heated iron the mark of a headless trunk, a female part, a jackal, (or) the sign of a tavern on the forehead (of the offender) and banish him from his realm.[17]

19. If a Kṣatriya or (a man of any) other (lower caste) has murdered a Brāhmaṇa, death and the confiscation of all his property (shall be his punishment).

20. If those same (persons) slay men of equal or lower castes, (the king) shall fix suitable punishments in accordance with their ability.[18]

Footnotes and references:


18. Vasiṣṭha I, 42-44. Learned Brāhmaṇas do not pay taxes, but the king obtains a sixth part of the spiritual merit which they acquire. Hence Baudhāyana uses the general term, 'a sixth share.'


Vasiṣṭha II, 13-14.


Vasiṣṭha II, 15-17.


Vasiṣṭha II, 18-19. The words 'the power of work' are inserted by Govinda.


Vasiṣṭha II, 20.


Rig-veda X, 90, 12; Taittirīya Āraṇyaka III, 12, 6.


Vasiṣṭha XIX, 3-6. Govinda explains sarvatodhuram, 'foremost in all,' by sarvajñam, 'omniscient.'


Vasiṣṭha I, 40-41. The rule, of course, refers primarily to advice in spiritual matters.


Gautama X, 16.


Manu VII, 90.


Gautama X, 18. The meaning is that such persons shall not be slain in battle.


-13. Vasiṣṭha III, 18.


I take this to mean that the king may take one article which particularly pleases him out of each consignment, and impose on the rest an ad valorem duty of ten per cent. Regarding the tribute in kind to be paid to Indian kings by foreign merchants, see Periplus maris Erythraei, par. 49.


Viṣṇu III, 29-30. Govinda interprets anupahatya, 'without' p. 201 oppressing the traders,' by 'without deducting (anuddhṛtya) a choice article.'


Vasiṣṭha XVI, 19-20. As stated above, I, 5, II, 15, the king must not take the property of a Brāhmaṇa.


Viṣṇu V, 2. 'Corporal punishment,' i.e. capital punishment, mutilation, &c., except branding.


Viṣṇu V, 3-7. 19. Āpastamba II, 10, 27, 16.


Vasiṣṭha XIX, 9. 'Those same persons,' I.e. Kṣatriyas, Vaiśyas, or Śūdras.

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