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 III, Adhyāya 1

Now, therefore, (we will speak) of those who desire (to fulfil) the duties of Sālīnas (dwellers in houses), Yāyāvaras (wanderers), and Cakracaras (circle-goers), who subsist by nine (different) means of livelihood.

2. The term livelihood' (vṛtti) is used because they subsist thereby (tadvartanāt).

3. The word Sālīna (is used) because they dwell in houses (śālā).

4. To be a Yāyāvara (means that one) goes on by means of a most excellent livelihood (vṛttyā varayā yāti).

5. The term Cakracara is derived from going by turns (to the houses of rich men).[1]

6. We will explain those (above-mentioned means of livelihood) in their proper order.

7. They are nine, (viz.) Shaṇṇivartanī, Kauddāli, Dhruvā, Samprakṣālanī, Samūhā, Pālanī, Siloñchā, Kapotā, and Siddhoñchā.[2]

8. (In addition) to these there is a tenth way of living, viz. forest-life.

9. (If he desires to adopt) any of the nine ways of living,

10. He causes the hair of his head, his beard, the hair on his body, and his nails to be cut, and besides gets ready (the following objects),

11. (Viz.) the skin of a black antelope, a water-pot, a staff, a yoke for carrying burdens, (and) a sickle.[3]

12. He desires to go forth, after having offered a Traidhātavīya (offering) or a Vaiśvānarī (iṣṭi).[4]

13. Now on the (following) morning, after the sun has risen, he makes the sacred fires burn brightly, melts butter on the Gārhapatya fire, cleanses it (with Kuśa grass), heats the (spoons called) Sruc and Sruva, cleans (them), takes out four (spoonfuls of butter) in the Sruc, and offers the Vāstoṣpatīya (oblation) in the Āhavanīya fire according to (the rules of his) Sūtra.[5]

14. Having recited the Puronuvākyā (verse), 'O lord of the dwelling, permit us,' &c., he offers (the oblation) with the Yājyā verse, 'O lord of the dwelling, with thy kind company,' &c.[6]

15. Some (declare that) every person who has kindled the sacred fires (shall offer these Homas).

16. Others (say that) a Yāyāvara alone (shall do it).

17. After departing (from his house), he stops at the extremity of the village, or at the extremity of the boundary of the village, builds there a hut or a cottage, and enters that.[7]

18. Let him use the skin of the black antelope and the other (objects) which he has prepared for the several purposes which they are intended to serve.

19. Known (is) the (duty of) serving the fires; known (is) the (duty of) offering the new and full moon sacrifices; known (is) the successive performance of the five Mahāyajñas; it is seen that the vegetables, which have been produced, are offered.[8]

20. He hallows those (vegetables), either (reciting the text),' I offer what is agreeable to all the gods,' or silently, and cooks (them).[9]

21. For such (a man the duty of) teaching, sacrificing for others, accepting gifts, and (performing) other sacrifices (than those mentioned) ceases.[10]

22. (The use of) sacrificial food fit to be eaten during the performance of a vow is seen;

23. That is as follows: (his food may be) mixed with clarified butter or sour milk, (it must) not (contain) pungent condiments or salt, nor meat, nor (be) stale.

24: (He shall remain) chaste, or approach (his wife) in season.

25. (It is necessary) to have the hair of his head, his beard, the hair on his body, and his nails cut on each Parva day, and the rules of purification (are obligatory on him).

26. Now they quote also (the following verses): 'Two kinds of purification, which the Śiṣṭas reverentially practise, are mentioned in the Veda,--external (purification), which consists in the removal of impure stains and foul smells, and internal (purification), which consists in the abstention from injuring live creatures.'

27. 'The body is purified by water, the understanding by knowledge, the soul of beings by abstention from injuring, (and) the internal organ by truth.'[11]

Footnotes and references:


1. Govinda says that Cakracara is another name for Yāyāvara, and that anukramacaraṇa, 'going by turns,' means going successively to the houses of Brāhmaṇas, Kṣatriyas, and Vaiśyas.


The terms left untranslated are fully explained in the next p. 285 chapter. All the MSS. read kauntālī for kauddālī, which occurs in the commentary alone.


The vīvadha, 'a yoke for carrying burdens,' consists usually of a bamboo pole, to the ends of which two ropes are attached for fastening the loads. Kuthahārī, 'a sickle,' seems to be the name of a particular kind of sickle, since Govinda explains it by vāsavasāsanadātram. He adds that the term includes 'a spade' (kuddāla) and other implements.


The meaning is that on the evening before his departure from the old home he is to offer the Traidhātavīya-homa. According to the Śrauta-sūtras (see the Petersb. Dict. s. v. traidhātavī) the latter offering always occurs at the end of a great sacrifice. Hence it is appropriate for a person who wishes to begin a new mode of life.


This is the leave-taking from the old dwelling.


The two verses occur Taittirīya Saṃhitā III, 4, 10, I. It is specially mentioned by Sāyaṇa that the two verses have to be recited by an Agnihotrin on departing from his home.


Maṭha, 'a cottage,' is, according to Govinda, a house resting on many posts or pillars, while kuṭī is the simple shed with four posts and a roof of leaves.


The last clause, probably, is meant to prescribe a simpler form of the Vaiśvadeva.


Govinda adds that the meaning is that the sacrificer shall eat the boiled rice in silence.


Govinda adds that the obligation of performing other meritorious deeds, such as digging wells and tanks (pūrta), also ceases.


Vasiṣṭha III, 60.

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