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 19

1. For slaying a Kṣatriya (the offender) shall[1] give to the king one thousand cows and besides a bull in expiation of his sin,

2. For (slaying) a Vaiśya one hundred cows, for (slaying) a Śūdra ten; and a bull (must be) added (in each case).[2]

3. (The punishment for) the murder of a woman--excepting a (Brāhmaṇī) who had bathed after temporary uncleanness--and for the destruction of a cow have been explained by the (rule regarding the) murder of a Śūdra.[3]

4. If he has slain a milch-cow or a draught-ox, he shall perform a Cāndrāyaṇa (lunar penance) after (paying the prescribed fine).

5. The (punishment for the) murder of a (Brāhmaṇī) who had bathed after temporary uncleanness has been explained by (the rule regarding) the murder of a Kṣatriya.[4]

6. For killing a flamingo, a Bhāsa, a peacock, a Brāhmaṇī duck, a Pracalāka, a crow, an owl, a frog, a musk-rat, a dog, (the large ichneumon called) Babhru, a common ichneumon, and so forth, (the offender shall pay) the same (fine) as (for the murder of) a Śūdra.[5]

7. In order to gain the good opinion of men, a witness shall give evidence in accordance with what he has seen or heard.[6]

8. Of injustice (in decisions) one quarter falls on the party in the cause, one quarter on his witnesses, one quarter on all the judges, and one quarter on the king.[7]

But where he who deserves condemnation is condemned, the king is guiltless and the judges free from blame; the guilt falls on the offender (alone).

9. (Therefore) a wise man should ask an appointed witness in the following manner:[8]

10. 'The merit which thou hast acquired in the interval between the night in which thou wast born and that in which thou wilt die, all that will go to the king, if thou speakest an untruth.'[9]

11. 'A witness who speaks falsely, slays three fathers and three grandfathers and seven (descendants), both the born and the unborn.'[10]

12. 'By false testimony concerning gold he kills three ancestors; by false testimony regarding (small) cattle he kills five; by false testimony concerning kine he kills ten.'[11]

'He kills a hundred by false evidence regarding horses, (and) a thousand by false evidence concerning a man. A witness Who speaks falsely, destroys the whole (world) by false evidence concerning land.'

13. (Men of) the four castes (varṇa) who have sons may be witnesses excepting Śrotriyas, the king, ascetics, and those who are destitute of human (intellect).[12]

14. If (the witness rightly) recollects (the facts of) the case (he will receive) commendation from the most eminent men.[13]

15. In the contrary case (he will) fall into hell.[14]

16. Let him (who has given false evidence), drink hot milk during twelve (days and) nights or offer burnt oblations (reciting) the Kūṣmāṇḍa (texts).[15]

Footnotes and references:


19. Āpastamba I, 9, 24, I. Govinda explains vairaniryātanārtham p. 201 in two ways: 1. in expiation of his sin; 2. in order to remove the enmity of the relatives of the murdered man. He adds all these punishments are really penances (prāyaścittas) to be imposed by the king. Āpastamba has these Sūtras in the section on penances.


Āpastamba I, 9, 24, 2-4.


Āpastamba I, 9, 24, 5; I, 9, 26, I.


Vasiṣṭha XX, 34, 37.


Āpastamba I, 9, 25, 13.


Viṣṇu VIII, 13-14.


Manu VIII, 18-19.


I read, with the Telugu copy of the commentary, sākṣiṇaṃ tvevam uddiṣṭam. All the MSS. of the text and C. I. read sākṣiṇaṃ daivam uddiṣṭam. Govinda's explanation, adhunā nirdiṣṭān sākṣiṇa evam pricched iti padānvayaḥ, 'the construction of the words is, "let him now ask the appointed witnesses in the following manner," agrees with the reading adopted.


Vasiṣṭha XVI, 32-53.


'Three fathers and three grandfathers,' i.e. seven ancestors.


Vasiṣṭha XVI, 34. Regarding the explanation of the p. 204 words 'he kills,' see Manu VIII, 97, and Haradatta on Gautama XIII, 14.


Vasiṣṭha XVI, 28-30. The text has rājanya, 'members of the royal family.' But the parallel passages of other Dharma-sūtras, ej. Viṣṇu VIII, 2, make it probable that the king is meant.


Āpastamba II, 11, 29, 10. Govinda takes the Sūtra differently. His commentary runs as follows: sākṣidvaye sati rājñā, tatpuruṣaiś ca kiṃ kartavyam ity ata āha || srimṛtau pradhānataḥ pratipattiḥ || prādhānyatas taponirdiṣṭavidyādibhiḥ | tadvacanāt pratipattir niścayaḥ kārya ityadhyāhāraḥ kāryaḥ || 'What shall the king and his officers do, if there are two witnesses? In order to answer this question he says: "On recollection, according to pre-eminence, reliance." According to pre-eminence, i.e. on account of austerities, (being) appointed (as a witness), learning and the like; in accordance with the evidence of such person's conviction. i.e. the decision must be made. The latter word has to be understood.' Govinda then goes on to quote Manu VIII, 73.


Āpastamba II, It, 29, 9. Govinda and M. read kartṛpatyam for kartapatyam, the reading of the Dekhan and Gujarāt MSS. The explanation of the former term is said to be doṣaḥ, 'sin.' Regarding the ancient word kartapatya, which Govinda and the writer of M. have not understood, see Haradatta on Āpastamba I, 2, 5, 3.


In accordance with his explanation of Sūtra 14, Govinda thinks that this penance is to be performed by the king and the judges in case they fail to weigh the evidence properly. But p. 205 according to Manu VIII, 106, Viṣṇu VIII, 16, the oblations with the Kūṣmāṇḍas (Taitt. Ār. X, 3-5) are to be offered for uttering in evidence a venial falsehood. That is, no doubt, here, too, the real meaning.

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