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 18

1. Now the following vows are (to be kept by an ascetic):

2. Abstention from injuring living beings, truthfulness, abstention from appropriating the property of others, continence, (and) liberality.[1]

3. There are five minor vows, (viz.) abstention from anger, obedience towards the Guru, avoidance of rashness, cleanliness and purity in eating.[2]

4. Now (follows the rule for) begging. Let him[3] ask Brāhmaṇas, both those who have houses (śālīna) and those who lead a wandering life (yāyāvara), for alms, when the Vaiśvadeva offering has been finished.

5. Let him ask (for it), prefacing (his request with the word) Bhavat.

6. Let him stand begging no longer than the time required for milking a cow.

7. When he returns from begging, he lays (the alms) down in a pure place, washes his hands and feet, and announces (what he obtained) to the sun, (reciting the text), 'Ud u tyaṃ citram,' &c. He (also) announces it to Brahman (with the text), 'The first-born Brahman,' &c.[4]

8. It is declared in the Veda, 'After the Brahmādhāna the sacrificer himself (contains) the sacrificial fires. His respiration (prāṇa, represents) the Gārhapatya fire, the air that goes downwards (apāna, represents) the Anvāhāryapacana (or Dakṣiṇa) fire, the circulation in the body (vyāna, represents) the Āhavanīya fire, the cerebral circulation (udāna) and the abdominal circulation (samāna, represent) the Sabhya and Āvasathya fires. These five fires are abiding in 'the soul. He (therefore) offers (the oblations) in the soul alone.'[5]

9. 'This sacrifice, offered in the soul, which is located in and based on the soul, leads the soul to happiness.'

10. Giving, compassionately, portions (of his food) to the living beings, and sprinkling the remainder with water, he shall eat it as if it were a medicine.

11. After he has eaten and sipped water, he mutters (the texts), 'Out of darkness we,' &c., (and), My speech resides in the mouth,' &c., and worships the sun with the (verse called) Jyotishmatī.[6]

12. Let him eat food, given without asking, regarding which nothing has been settled before-hand and which has reached him accidentally, so much only as is sufficient to sustain life.[7]

13. Now they quote also (the following verses): 'Eight mouthfuls (make) the meal of an ascetic, sixteen (that) of a hermit in the woods, thirty-two (that) of a householder, an unlimited (quantity that) of a student.'[8]

14. 'Alms (may) either (be obtained) from (men

of) the three castes, or the food (given) by a single Brāhmaṇa (may be eaten); or (he may obtain food) from (men of) all castes, and not (eat) that given by a single Brāhmaṇa.'

15. Now they quote (the following special rules) for the case that the teachers explain (the doctrine) of the Upaniṣads: 'Diligently standing (in the day-time), keeping silence, sitting (at night) with crossed legs, bathing three times a day, and eating

at the fourth, sixth, or eighth (meal-time only), he shall subsist entirely on (rice) grains, oil-cake, food prepared from barley, sour milk, (and) milk.'

16. It is declared in the Veda, On that (occasion) he shall rigidly keep silence; pressing the teeth together he may converse, without opening his mouth, as much as is necessary with teachers deeply versed in the three Vedas (and) with ascetics possessing a great knowledge of the scriptures, not with women, nor when he would break (his vow).'

17. (Let him keep) only one of (the rules which enjoin) standing (in the day-time), rigid silence, and sitting (at night) with crossed legs; let him not keep all three together.

18. It is declared in the Veda, And he who has gone there may eat, in times of distress, a small quantity of the food prescribed by his vow after (having partaken of other dishes), provided he does not break (his vow).'[9]

19. 'Eight (things) do not cause him who is intent on standing (in the day-time), keeping rigid silence, sitting (at night) with crossed legs, bathing three times a day, and (eating) at the fourth, sixth, or eighth meal-time only, to break his vow, (viz.) water, roots, clarified butter, milk, sacrificial food, the wish of a Brāhmaṇa, an order of his teacher, and medicine.'[10]

20. Let him mutter the (Mantras which must be recited at the) Agnihotra, in the evening and in the morning,

21. After performing his evening devotions by (reciting the verses called) Vāruṇīs, and his morning devotions by (reciting the verses called) Maitrīs.[11]

22. An ascetic shall keep no fire, have no house, no home, and no protector. He may enter a village in order to collect alms, and emit speech at the private recitation of the Veda.'[12]

23. It is declared in the Veda,' Limited in number are the Ṛk-verses, limited in number are the Sāmans, limited is the answer (of the Adhvaryu priest):[13]

24. 'Thus (an ascetic) shall not give up the Veda, (but live), until he is liberated from the body, at the root of the tree.'[14]

25. 'The tree (is) the Veda; the syllable Om is its root; the syllable Om is the essence of the Veda.'

26. 'Meditating on the syllable Om, he becomes fit (to be united with) Brahman.' Thus spake the lord of created beings.

27. Let him cleanse the vessel of Brahman with the seven Vyāhṛtis.[15]

Footnotes and references:


18. The five vows (vratas) named here are the principal ones. As to the vow of 'liberality' Govinda remarks that though the ascetic possesses no 'store' and no property in the ordinary sense of the word, still he can have books and give those away.


'Avoidance of rashness,' i.e. committing any act which might destroy life.


'When the Vaiśvadeva offering has been finished,' i.e. when people. have had their dinner; see also Vasiṣṭha X, 7.


The second text occurs repeatedly in the Taittirīya-veda, ej. Taittirīya Āraṇyaka X, 1, 10.


Regarding the Brahmādhāna, see above, II, 10, 17, 19.


The first text occurs frequently in the Taittirīya-veda, e.g. Taittirīya Saṃhitā IV, i, 7, 4; the second, Taittirīya Āraṇyaka X, 72. The Gyotishmatī is, according to Govinda, the first of the two Mantras quoted.


According to Govinda this verse gives the opinion of 'some' teachers, not the author's. Asaṃkḷptam, 'regarding which nothing has been settled beforehand,' indicates, according to Govinda, that the ascetic must not even mentally determine what he is going to eat.


See above, II, 7, 13, 7.


'The meaning is, that in times of distress, having partaken at his pleasure (of other food), he may afterwards eat of one (of the substances mentioned above, viz.) rice-grains and the rest.'--Govinda.


All the MSS. except M. have snāna, 'bathing,' instead of sthāna, 'standing (in the day-time),' though the reading is clearly wrong.


The Maitrīs occur Taitt. Saṃhitā III, 4, 11, 5, and the Vāruṇīs follow them immediately.


Āpastamba II, 9, 21, 10.


This and the next Sūtras are intended to teach that ascetics may limit their private recitation to the repetition of the, praṇava, the syllable Om: According to Govinda the passage of the Veda quoted refers originally to the Caturhotāraḥ, which the Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa II, 2, I, 4, and III, 12, 5, I identifies with. the Brahman, and where the pratigara, the answer of the Adhvaryu priest, is 'Oṃ hotaḥ' (Aitareya Brāhmaṇa V, 25).


I have taken vṛkṣamūlikovedasaṃnyāsī to stand for vṛkṣamūliko avedasaṃnyasī. For the vedasaṃnyāsa, 'giving up the Veda,' is not permitted to an ascetic; see e.g. Vasiṣṭha X, 4. But even without the negative particle vedasaṃnyāsī may convey a sense not opposed to the general teaching of the Smṛtis. For it may be taken to mean 'abandoning (the recitation of other portions of) the Veda.'


Govinda is uncertain if the term brahmabhājana, 'the vessel of Brahman,' refers to the alms-bowl or to the body of the ascetic. Probably both are meant, and the Sūtra is intended to prescribe the frequent recitation of the Vyāhṛtis in addition to the syllable Om.

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