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 II, Adhyāya 6, Kaṇḍikā 11

1. Now these five great sacrifices, which are also called the great sacrificial sessions, are the sacrifice to be offered to the gods, the sacrifice to be offered to the manes, the sacrifice to be offered to all beings, the sacrifice to be offered to men, (and) the sacrifice to be offered to Brahman,[1]

2. Let him daily offer (something to the gods with the exclamation) Svāhā, be it only a piece of fuel. Thereby he performs that sacrifice to the gods.

3. Let him daily offer (something to the manes with the exclamation) Svadhā, be it only a vessel filled with water. Thereby he performs that sacrifice to the manes.

4. Let him daily pay reverence to (all beings) endowed with life. Thereby he performs that sacrifice to the beings.[2]

5. Let him daily give food to Brāhmaṇas, be it only roots, fruit, or vegetables. Thereby he performs that sacrifice to men.

6. Let him daily recite the Veda privately, be it only the syllable Om or the Vyāhṛtis. Thereby he performs that sacrifice to be offered to Brahman.

7. 'The private recitation of the Veda is, indeed, the sacrifice to Brahman. At that sacrifice to Brahman speech, forsooth, (takes the place of) the Juhū, the internal organ (that of) the Upabhṛt, the eye (that of) the Dhruvā, the understanding (that of) the Sruva, truth (that of) the final bath, heaven (is) the conclusion of the sacrifice. He who, knowing this, daily recites the Veda to himself, gains as much heavenly bliss as, and more than, he who gives away this whole earth that is filled with wealth, and imperishable (beatitude), and conquers death. Therefore the Veda should be recited in private. Thus speaks the Brāhmaṇa.'[3]

8. Now they quote also (the following passage): 'If, well anointed, well fed, and lying on a comfortable couch, one recites (the portion of the Veda referring to) any sacrifice, one has offered it thereby.'[4]

9. Some (teachers) declare (that there is a text) which teaches a fourfold division of these sacred duties. (But) as no (other meaning is) perceptible, (the text) 'Four paths,' &c., refers to sacrificial rites.[5]

10. (Viz.) to Iṣṭis, animal sacrifices, Soma sacrifices, and Darvīhomas.

11. The following (Rik) declares that, 'Four paths, leading to the world of. the gods, go severally from the earth to heaven. All ye gods, place us on that among them which will gain us undecaying prosperity.'[6]

12. The student, the householder, the hermit in the woods, the ascetic (constitute the four orders).[7]

13. A student (shall) obey his teacher until death.

14. A hermit is he who regulates his conduct entirely according to the Institutes proclaimed by Vikhanas.

15. A Vaikhānasa (shall live) in the forest, subsisting on roots and fruit, practising austerities and bathing at morn, noon, and eve; he shall kindle a fire according to the Śrāmaṇaka (rule); he shall eat wild-growing (vegetables and grain) only; he shall worship gods, manes, Bhūtas, men, and Ṛṣis; he shall receive hospitably (men of) all (castes) except those (with whom intercourse is) forbidden; he may even use the flesh of animals killed by carnivorous beasts; he shall not step on ploughed (land); and he shall not enter a village; he shall wear his hair in braids, and dress in (garments made of) bark or skins; he shall not eat anything that has been hoarded for more than a year.[8]

16. An ascetic shall leave his relatives and, not attended by any one nor procuring any property, depart (from his house performing the customary ceremony) according to the rule.[9]

17. He shall go into the forest (and live there).

18. He shall shave his hair excepting the top-lock.[10]

19. He shall wear a cloth to cover his nakedness.

20. He shall reside in one place during the rainy season.[11]

21. He shall wear a dress dyed yellowish-red.

22. He shall go to beg when the pestle lies motionless, when the embers have been extinguished, and when the cleaning of the dishes has been finished.

23. With the three means of punishment, (viz.) words, thoughts, and acts, he shall not injure created beings.

24. He shall carry a cloth for straining water for the sake of purification.[12]

25. He shall perform the necessary purifications with water which has been taken out (of a well or tank) and has been strained.[13]

26. (Ascetics shall) say, 'Renouncing the works taught in the Veda, cut off from both (worlds), we attach ourselves to the central sphere (Brahman).'[14]

27. But the venerable teacher (declares) that there is one order only, because the others do not beget offspring.[15]

28. With reference to this matter they quote also (the following passage): 'There was, forsooth, an Āsura, Kapila by name, the son of Prahlāda.

Striving with the gods, he made these divisions. A wise man should not take heed of them.'

29. Because no (other meaning is) perceptible, (the text) 'Four paths,' &c., refers to sacrificial rites, (viz.) to Iṣṭis, animal sacrifices, Soma sacrifices, Darvīhomas.

30. With respect to this (question the following verse also) is quoted: 'That eternal greatness of the Brāhmaṇa is neither increased by works, nor diminished. The soul knows the nature of that (greatness); knowing that, he is not stained by evil deeds.'[16]

31. If he says that, (let him reflect on the following verse): 'He who knows not the Veda, does not at death think of that great, all-perceiving soul, through which the sun, resplendent with brilliancy, gives warmth, and the father has a father through the son at his birth from the womb.'

32. (Moreover), 'Those who, being neither true Brāhmaṇas nor performers of Soma sacrifices, work not for that which is near, nor for that which is far, take hold of the word and with sinful (speech) ignorantly perform the rites.'[17]

33. There are innumerable (passages in the Veda) which refer to the debts (to be paid by a Brāhmaṇa), such as, 'May I obtain, O Agni, immortality[18] through offspring;' 'A Brāhmaṇa on being born, (owes) a son to his ancestors,' &c.

34. 'Those dwell with us, who fulfil the following (duties), the study of the three Vedas, the studentship, the procreation of offspring, faith, austerity, sacrificing, and giving gifts; he who praises other (duties) becomes dust and peṛṣes.'

Footnotes and references:


11. This and the next four Sūtras agree almost literally with Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa XI, 5, 6, 1. See also Taitt. Āraṇyaka II, 10; Āpastamba I, 4, 12, 15-13, 1.


Govinda says that the Mantra is to be 'bhūtebhyo namaḥ, adoration to all beings,' and adds that some consider the first three p. 257 Mahāyajñas to be performed by the Vaiśvadeva and the Bali-offering, while others enjoin their separate performance.


Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa XI, 5, 6, z. See also Taitt. Āraṇyaka II, 17. K. reads dhṛtir dhruvā, 'the firm resolve (takes the place of) the Dhruvā,' which is apparently a correction made according to the Āraṇyaka. According to the commentary the text of the last portion of the quotation runs thus, 'yāvantaṃ ha vā imāṃ vittasya purṇāṃ dadat svargaṃ lokaṃ jayati tāvantaṃ lokaṃ jayati bhūyāṃsaṃ cākṣayyaṃ cāpa mṛtyum jayati ya evaṃ vidvān,' &c. M. and K. do not give the whole passage. The published text of the Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa slightly differs from Govinda's version.


Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa XI, 5, 7, 3-4.


I read the text as follows, 'tasya ha vā etasya dharmasya caturdhā bhedam eka āhuḥ.' M. has bhedakam, the I. O. copy of the commentary bhedaśaṅkām, and K. tasya ha vā etasya yajñasyācaturdhā bhūtam eka āhuḥ. Below in the commentary on Sūtra 27, Govinda repeats the latter part of this Sūtra in the form which I have adopted. The discussion which begins here is the same as that which occurs Āpastamba II, 9, 23, 3-24, 15.


Taittirīya Saṃhitā V, 7, 2, 3.


K. omits this Sūtra. After it M. and K. have the following passage: 'brahmacāriṇo ’tyantam ātmānam upasaṃgṛhya ’cāryān bruvate vane śrāmyantyeke [yāṃtyete, K.] savaneshvapa upaspṛśanto vanyenānnenaikāgniṃ [nyenānnena naikāgniṃ, K.; vānyenaikānañ, M.] juhvānāḥ [juhvās, M.] satyasyaike karmāṇi [karmaṇi, M.] anagnayo ’niketanāḥ [tvāḥ kaṃ, K.] kaupīnācchādanā varṣāsv ekasthā uddhṛtaparipūtābhir adbhiḥ kāryaṃ [apakāryaṃ, M.] kurvānāḥ [kurvāṇās tatrodāharanti, K.] sannamusale vyaṅgāre nivṛttasarāvasampāte bhikṣantaḥ sarvataḥ parimokṣam [parimeke, M.] apavidhya vaidikāni karmāṇy abhayataḥ paricchinnā madhyamam padam upaślishyāmaha iti vadanto,' The commentary gives a few portions of this passage further on. Irrespective of minor corruptions, it gives no sense in the place where it stands, and it seems probable that we have to deal with a confused and badly corrupted text, which Govinda arranged either as seemed good to him, or on the authority of better MSS.


This passage, which Govinda gives as one Sūtra, agrees word for word with Gautama III, 26-35, except in the beginning, where Gautama omits 'bathing at morn, noon, and eve.' The MSS. all read bhaikṣam, 'begged food,' instead of baiṣkam, 'the flesh of animals slain by carnivorous beasts.' But Govinda's explanation leaves no doubt as to the correctness of the latter reading. The Dekhan and Gujarāt MSS., including K., read agrāmyabhojī || agrāmyabhojī.


I adopt the readings of the Dekhan MSS., aparigrahaḥ (for apratigrahaḥ) and pravrajet (for parivrajet). The rule for the ceremony is given below, II, 10, 17.


This is Govinda's explanation of śikhāmuṇḍaḥ, the reading of all MSS.


and 22. These two Sūtras are omitted in K. and M., which give them in the passage following Sūtra 12, as well as in the Dekhan and Gujarāt MSS.


See below, II, 10, 17, 11. Govinda explains pavitra, 'a cloth for straining water,' by 'a bunch of Kuśa grass for removing insects from the road.'


According to Govinda such water is to be used for washing off the stains of urine &c., not for drinking.


This Sūtra is again omitted in the MSS, of the text. M. and K. give it in the passage following Sūtra 12.


Gautama III, 36.


-31. Taitt. Brāhmaṇa III, 12, 9, 7.


Rig-veda X, 71, 9. My rendering of the difficult verse is merely tentative, and I have left out the word sirīḥ, for which I am as little able as other Sanskritists to offer a safe explanation, The general meaning of the verse, I think, has been rightly understood by Sāyaṇa and Govinda, who both say that it contains a reproach, addressed to those Brāhmaṇas who, contented with the letter of the Veda, do not master its meaning.


-34. The commentary omits these two Sūtras, which, however, seem necessary for the completion of the discussion. The p. 262 second occurs also Āpastamba II, 9, 24, 8. Though Baudhāyana does not express himself as clearly as Āpastamba, he disapproves, as it would seem, like the latter, of the opinion of those who gave an undue preference to asceticism at the expense of married life, the order of the householders.

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