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 10, Kaṇḍikā 17

1. Now we will explain the rule for entering the order of ascetics (saṃnyāsa).

2. Some (teachers say), 'He who has finished his studentship may become an ascetic immediately on (the completion of) that.'[1]

3. But (according to others, asceticism is befitting) for Sālīnas and Yāyāvaras who are childless;[2]

4. Or a widower (may become an ascetic).[3]

5. (In general) they prescribe the profession of asceticism after the completion of the seventieth year and after the children have been firmly settled in (the performance of) their sacred duties.

6. Or a hermit in the woods (may become an[4] ascetic) on finishing the (special) ceremonies (prescribed for him).

7. 'That eternal greatness of the Brāhmaṇa is neither increased nor diminished by works. The soul knows the nature of that (greatness). He who knows that, is not stained by evil deeds.'[5]

8. 'It leads to the cessation of births.'

9. 'The eternal one leads (him) to glory.' The greatness (of asceticism is declared by these passages).

10. After having caused the hair of his head, his beard, the hair on his body, and his nails to be cut, he prepares

11. Sticks, a rope, a cloth for straining water, a water vessel, and an alms-bowl.[6]

12. Taking these (implements, let him go) to the extremity of the village, or to- the extremity of the boundary (of the village), or to the house where the sacred fires are kept, partake of a threefold (mixture of) clarified butter, milk, (and) sour milk, and (afterwards) fast;

13. Or (he may partake of) water.

14. (Saying), 'Om, Bhūḥ, I enter the Sāvitrī, tat savitur vareṇyam; Om, Bhuvaḥ, I enter the Sāvitrī, bhargo devasya dhīmahi; Om, I enter the Sāvitrī, dhiyo yo naḥ pr.akodayāt;' (he shall recite the Sāvitrī) foot by foot, half-verse by half-verse, (and finish by repeating) the whole or the parts (of the verse).[7]

15. It is declared in the Veda, 'Entering order after order, (man) becomes (one with) Brahman.'

16. Now they quote also (the following verse) 'He who has passed from order to order, has offered burnt oblations and kept his organs in subjection, becomes afterwards, tired with (giving) alms and (making) offerings, an ascetic.'[8]

17. Such an ascetic (becomes one with) the infinite (Brahman).

18. Before the sun sets, he heaps fuel on the Gārhapatya fire, brings the Anvāhāryapacana fire (to the spot), takes the flaming Āhavanīya. fire out (of the Gārhapatya), melts butter on the Gārhapatya fire, cleanses it (with Kuśa grass), takes four times (portions of it) in the sacrificial spoon (called Sruc), and offers in the Āhavanīya fire on which sacred fuel has been heaped, (four times) a full oblation, (saying), 'Om, Svāhā!'[9]

19. It is declared in the Veda that this (offering is) the Brahmānvādhāna (putting fuel on the sacred fires for the sake of the universal soul).

20. Now in the evening, after the Agnihotra has been offered, he scatters grass to the north of the Gārhapatya fire, places the sacrificial vessels in pairs, the upper part turned downwards, on it, strews Darbha grass to the south of the Āhavanīya fire on the seat destined for the Brahman priest, covers it with the skin of a black antelope, and remains awake during that night.

21. A Brāhmaṇa who, knowing this, dies after fasting during the night of Brahman and repositing within himself the sacred fires, conquers all guilt, even (that of) killing a Brāhmaṇa.[10]

22. Then he rises in the muhūrta sacred to Brahman, and offers the early Agnihotra just at the (appointed) time.

23. Next, after covering the (part of the altar called) Pṛṣṭhyā and bringing water, he prepares (an offering) to (Agni) Vaiśvānara (which is cooked) in twelve potsherds. That (well-)known Iṣṭi is the last (which he performs).

24. Afterwards he throws the sacrificial vessels, which are neither made of earth nor of stone, into the Āhavanīya fire,

25. (And) throwing the two Araṇis into the Gārhapatya fire (with the words), 'May ye be of one mind with us,' he reposits the sacred fires in himself.[11]

26. (Reciting the sacred text), 'O Fire, that body of thine, which is fit for the sacrifice,' he inhales the smell of (the smoke of) each fire thrice three times.

27. Then, standing within the sacrificial enclosure, (he says) thrice in a low voice and thrice aloud, 'Om, Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ, Svaḥ, I have entered the order of ascetics, I have entered the order of ascetics, I have entered the order of ascetics,'

28. It is declared in the Veda, 'The gods are trebly true.'[12]

29. (Finally) he pours out as much water as will fill his joined hands, (saying), 'I promise not to injure any living being.'[13]

30. Now they quote also (the following verse) An ascetic who roams about after having given a promise of safety to all living beings, is not threatened with danger by any creature.'[14]

31. (Henceforth) he must restrain his speech.[15]

32. He grasps his staff, (saying), '(Thou art my) friend, protect me.'

33. He takes the rope, (reciting the verse), 'The brilliant light,' &c.[16]

34. He takes the cloth for straining water, (reciting the text), 'With which means of purification the gods,' &c.

35. He takes the waterpot, (reciting the verse), Through that light, by which the gods rose on high,' &c.[17]

36. He takes the alms-bowl, (reciting the Vyāhṛtis).

37. Taking with him the staves, the rope, the[18] cloth for straining water, the waterpot, (and) the alms-bowl, he goes where water (is to be obtained), bathes, sips water, (and) washes himself, (reciting the verses called) Surabhimatī, Abliṅgās, Vāruṇīs, Hiraṇyavarṇās, and Pāvamānīs. Entering the water, he performs sixteen suppressions of the breath, (mentally repeating) the Aghamarshaṇa hymn, ascends the bank, wrings out his dress, puts on another pure dress, sips water, takes the cloth for straining, (saying), 'Om, Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ, Svaḥ,' and performs the Tarpaṇa (with the following texts), 'Om, Bhūḥ, I satiate,' 'Om, Bhuvaḥ --, Om, Svaḥ --, Om, Mahaḥ --, Om, Ganaḥ --, Om, Tapaḥ --, Om, Satyam --.'

38. He takes up as much water as his joined hands will hold for the manes, (and satiates them[19]

with it) exactly in the same manner as the gods, (saying), 'Om, Bhūḥ Svadhā, Om, Bhuvaḥ Svadhā,' &c.

39. Then he worships the sun, (reciting) the two verses (which begin), 'Ud u tyaṃ citram,' &c.[20]

40. (Saying), 'Om, this (syllable Om), forsooth, is Brahman; this (syllable) which sheds warmth is light; this which gives warmth is the Veda; this must be known as that which sheds warmth;' he thus satiates the soul (and afterwards) worships the soul (with these texts), 'The soul (is) Brahman, (is) light.'

41. Let him repeat the Sāvitrī one thousand times, or one hundred times, or an unlimited number of times.

42. (Saying), 'Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ, Suvaḥ,' he takes up the cloth for straining, (and) fetches water.

43. Let him not, (at any period) after that (moment), sip water which has not been drawn up (from a well and the like), which has not been strained, and which has not been completely cleansed.[21]

44. Let him not wear any longer a white dress.

45. (He may carry) one staff or three staves.

Footnotes and references:


17. Gautama III, 1.


Regarding the two terms Sālīna and Yāyāvara, see below, III, I, 3.4.


Vidhura, translated, according to Govinda's explanation, by 'widower,' perhaps includes all persons who have been separated from their families.


Regarding the ceremonies to be performed by hermits in the wood, see above, II, 6, 11, 15, and below, III, 3.


See above, II, 6, 11, 30.


Yājñavalkya III, 58-60.


This part of the ceremony is called Sāvitrīpraveśa, 'entering the Sāvitrī: According to the Dharmasindhu, fol. 84 a, 1. 8, the last Mantra is 'Om, Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ, Svaḥ, I enter the Sāvitrī; we meditate on that adorable light of divine Savitṛ, who may impel our thoughts.'


Manu VI, 34.


Anvāhāryapacana is another name of the so-called Dakṣiṇāgni, in which the sacrificial viands are cooked. The cleansing of the butter (utpavana) is performed by taking hold of the ends of blades of Kuśa grass and dipping the bent middle part into the melted butter and then drawing it upwards. A full burnt oblation (pūrṇāhuti) consists of a whole spoonful. As four spoonfuls are to be taken out, it follows that four oblations are to be offered.


The night during which the ascetic keeps watch near the fires is called 'the night of Brahman.'


The Araṇis are the two pieces of wood used for producing fire by friction, Taittirīya Saṃhitā I, 3, 7, 1-2.


Taittirīya Āraṇyaka II, 18, 6.


All gifts must be confirmed by a libation of water, which ii other cases is poured into the hand of the recipient. The ceremony proves more clearly even than the numerous other passages of the Smṛtis, in which ascetic, are exhorted to abstain from injuring living beings, that the so-called ahiṃsā doctrine is not of Buddhistic, but of Brāhmanical origin.


Vasiṣṭha X, 1-2.


Gautama III, 27.


Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa III, 7, 8, 1.


Taittirīya Saṃhitā V, 7, 2, 2,


The Surabhimatī occurs Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa III, 9, 7, 5. For the other texts named, see above, II, 4, 7, 2. The Tarpaṇa has been fully described above, II, 5, 9-20.


'In he same manner as the gods,' i.e. without passing the sacred string over the right shoulder.--Govinda.


The Gujarāt and Dekhan MSS., including K., place after the first Om two additional Mantras, 'Brahman (is) Om; this universe (is) Om.' The object of the Mantras given in the Madras MSS. is to identify the Praṇava with the Brahman, the sun, and the Veda.


Manu VI, 46. Aparipūtābhiḥ, 'which has not been completely cleansed,' probably refers to the so-called dṛṣṭyā paripavana, 'carefully looking at it in order to see if any living being remains in it.'

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