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 9, Kaṇḍikā 16

1. (Now follows some) advice for him who is desirous of offspring.

2. The two Aśvins have declared, that fame is gained by the procreation (of sons);

3. 'Performing acts which tend to prolong life and austerities, intent on the performance of the private recitation and of sacrifices, and keeping his organs in subjection, let him carefully beget offspring in his own caste.'

4. 'From his birth a Brāhmaṇa is loaded with three debts; these let him pay. A prudent man is free from doubts regarding the sacred law.'

5. 'If he worships the sages through the study of the Veda, Indra with Soma sacrifices, and the manes of his ancestors through (the procreation of) children, he will rejoice in heaven, free from debt.'

6. 'Through a son he conquers the worlds, through a grandson he obtains immortality, but through his son's grandson he ascends to the (highest) heaven.' (All that) has been declared in the Veda.[1]

7. The Veda shows the existence of the three debts in the following (passage): 'A Brāhmaṇa is born loaded with three debts; (he owes) the studentship to the sages, sacrifices to the gods, and a son to the manes;'[2]

8. Through the procreation of a virtuous son he saves himself.

9. He who obtains a virtuous son saves from the fear of sin seven in the descending line and seven in the ascending line, (viz.) six others (in each), himself being the seventh.

10. Therefore he obtains a reward if he begets issue.

11. Therefore he should sedulously beget offspring,[3]

12. Through the application of medicines and sacred texts.

13. The advice to him (who is intent on the procreation of children) is given in agreement with the revealed texts.[4]

14. For it produces results in the case of all the castes.

Footnotes and references:


Vasiṣṭha XVII, 5.


Vasiṣṭha XI, 48. After this Sūtra the MSS. of the text p. 272 insert the following corrupt passage: bandham riṇamokṣam prajāyāś cāyattam piṭṝnāṃ cānukarshaśabdaś ca prajāyāṃ darśayati | anutsannaḥ prajāvān bhavati | yā vad enaṃ prajānugṛhṇīte tāvad akṣayaṃ lokaṃ gayati. The commentary does not notice it, and it seems to me that it needlessly interrupts the context.


M. and K. add to this Sūtra, ātmanaḥ phalalābhāya, 'in order to gain a reward for himself.' The same two MSS., further, insert the following Sūtras: tasmāt putraṃ cotpādyātmānam evotpādayatīti | vijñāyate cātmā vai putranāmāsīti | evaṃ dvitīya ātmā jīvatā draṣṭavyo yaḥ putram utpādayati | sa tathā bhavati | tasmān nātmā kvacid akṣetra utsraṣṭavyaḥ | ātmānam avamanyate hi | yathātmānam utpādayati sa tathā bhavati | tasmād ādita eva kṣetram anvicchet sarvavarṇe saṃskṛtam upadeśena | tasmin dārasaṃyoge prajām utpādayed || 'Therefore (they say) that he who begets a son produces even his own self; and it is declared in the Veda, "Thou art self, called a son." Thus he who begets a son will see, during his lifetime, a second self. He becomes like him. Therefore one's own self must not be begotten on an unworthy female. For (he who does that) despises himself. He becomes even so, as he produces himself. Therefore (every man), each in his own caste, should first look out for a female who has been sanctified according to the injunction (of the sacred texts). Taking her to be his wedded wife, he shall beget a son.' It is possible that this passage really belongs to Baudhāyana, for it is written in the usual style of our Sūtra, and the last word of this passage as well as of Sūtra 11, as given in the Dekhan MSS., is utpādayet. But it is not absolutely required by the context, and the commentary too omits it.


I read with M., whose reading is confirmed by the explanation given in the commentary, tasyopadeśaḥ śrutisāmānyenopadiśyate. The other MS. reads tasyopadeśena, and in the text of the commentary the first word is left out.

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