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 11, Kaṇḍikā 21

1. The Veda declares, The quality of the offspring depends on the quality of the marriage rite.'[1]

2. Now they quote also (the following verses): 'It is declared that a female who has been purchased for money is not a wife. She cannot (assist) at sacrifices offered to the gods or the manes. Kāśyapa has stated that she is a slave.'[2]

3. 'Those wicked men who, seduced by greed, give away a daughter for a fee, who (thus) sell themselves and commit a great crime, fall (after death) into a dreadful place of punishment and destroy their family down to the seventh (generation). Moreover they will repeatedly die and be born again. All (this) is declared (to happen), if a fee (is taken).'

4. On the day of the full moon, on the eighth day (of each half month), on the day of the new moon, on the appearance of a meteor, on the occasion of an earthquake, on visiting a burial-ground, and on the death of the king of the country, of a Śrotriya or of one who has the same Guru (satīrthya), the study of the Veda must be discontinued for a day and a night.[3]

5. (The study of the Veda must be interrupted) while (a strong) wind (blows), a foul smell (is perceptible), or hoar-frost (lies on the ground), when dancing (is going on), and while the sounds of singing, musical instruments, weeping, or of the Sāman (melodies are audible).[4]

6. When thunder, lightning, and rain come together, (the interruption shall last) three days except in the rainy season.[5]

7. In the rainy season, too, (the reading must be interrupted) until the same hour of the (next) day or night, (if thunder and lightning come together), not on account of rain.[6]

8. If (he has) received anything or dined on the occasion of a sacrifice in honour of the manes, (he shall not read) during the remainder of the day,[7]

9. (Nor) after meals until (the food) has been digested.[8]

10. For the hand of a Brāhmaṇa is his mouth.[9]

11. Now they quote also (the following verse): According to the revealed texts there is no difference whether one has eaten or received (a present at a Śrāddha).'

12. (A student shall discontinue the study of the Veda) during three days in case his father has died.[10]

13. 'Of two kinds, forsooth, is the virile energy of a famous Brāhmaṇa who is learned in the Vedas, (that which resides) above the navel and the other (that resides) below the' navel. Through that which[11] (resides) above the navel, his offspring is produced when he initiates Brāhmaṇas, when he teaches them, when he causes them to offer sacrifices, when he makes them holy. All these are his children. But through that which resides below the navel the children of his body are produced. Therefore they never say to a Śrotriya who is versed in the Vedas, 'Thou art destitute of offspring.'

14. 'Therefore a Brāhmaṇa has two names, two mouths, two kinds of virile energy, and two births.'

15. (Let him discontinue the recitation of the Veda) as long as he is within hearing or sight of Śūdras and Apapātras.[12]

16. When at night the howl of a solitary jackal is heard, he shall not study until he has slept.[13]

17. Let him not study in the evening and morning twilights nor on the Parva-days.[14]

18. He shall not eat meat nor approach his wife (on those days).[15]

19. It is declared in the Veda, 'For on the Parva-days the Rākṣasas and the Piśācas roam about (in order to injure men).'

20. And on (the appearance of) other omens and portents (he shall not repeat the Veda), except mentally, during a day and a night.

21. The mental recitation of the Veda must also be interrupted on births and deaths (occurring in the family).

22. Now they quote also (the following verse): 'The eighth day destroys the teacher, the fourteenth destroys the pupil, the fifteenth destroys learning; therefore let him avoid (studying the Veda) on the Parva-days.'[16]

Footnotes and references:


21. Āpastamba II, 5, 12, 4.


Vasiṣṭha I, 36-38. Govinda inserts after the words 'Now they quote also,' two Sūtras in prose: 1. 'Ten virtuous sons and daughters (spring) from a Daiva marriage, ten from a Prājāpatya marriage. It is declared in the Veda that the son of a wife wedded according to the Brāhma rite (sanctifies) ten ancestors, ten descendants, and oneself.' 2. 'The power of learning the Veda also p. 208 belongs to such sons.' None of my MSS. of the text has these words, and they are suspicious, because the phrase 'Now they quote also' usually precedes verses only. The Dekhan and Gujarāt MSS., except K., omit these and the next Sūtra too.


Vasiṣṭha XIII, 22, 32-35; Viṣṇu XXX, 23. Govinda explains agnyutpāta, 'on the appearance of meteor,' by 'if a fire breaks out in the village.'


Vasiṣṭha XIII, 17, 30; Viṣṇu XXX, 7, 13; Āpastamba I, 3, 11, 31; I, 3, 10, 17.


Gautama XVI, 41.


Govinda takes ahorātrayoś ca tatkālam to mean until the end of the day or night.


Vasiṣṭha XIII, 15. Govinda adds that the recitation must be stopped as soon as the invitation to a Śrāddha is received.


Vasiṣṭha XIII, 31.


Vasiṣṭha XIII, 16. The word 'for' used in this Sūtra gives the reason for the rule in Sūtra 8.


'This (rule) refers to a student who has not returned home. But on one who has returned home it is obligatory to interrupt the Veda-study until he becomes pure. Here he calls the sub-teacher (upādhyāya) "father," because he gives the Veda. For (an interruption of) twelve days' duration is prescribed on (the death of) a real father (by the Sūtra); "on the death of the mother, the father, and the teacher twelve days."'--Govinda.


Vasiṣṭha II, 5. This Sūtra is intended to show how the p. 210 Upādhyāya can be called a father. Govinda states that the precise meaning of anūcāna, 'versed or learned in the Veda,' is 'one who knows the Veda, its meaning, and the Aṅgas: See also Baudhāyana Gṛhya-sūtra I, 10, 5.


Vasiṣṭha XVIII, 12. Regarding the term Apapātras, see Āpastamba I, 1, 3, 25 note.


Āpastamba I, 3, 10, 17.


Vasiṣṭha XIII, 22. The explanation of the term Parvaday is given below, Sūtra 22.


Viṣṇu LXIX, 1.


Viṣṇu XXX, 29-30. In accordance with the practice usual in Vedic works the best MSS. of the text repeat the beginning of each Kaṇḍikā at the end of the Praśna, giving the last first.

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