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 2

1. As regards (the mode of subsistence called) Shaṇṇivartanī, (that) is (as follows):

2. He cultivates six Nivartanas (of) fallow (land); he gives a share to the owner (of the soil), or solicits his permission (to keep the whole produce).[1]

3. Let him plough before breakfast with two bulls whose noses have not been pierced, not striking (them) with the goad, (but) frequently coaxing (them).[2]

4. If he cultivates six Nivartanas in this manner (and subsists thereby), that is (the mode of living called) Shaṇṇivartanī (subsistence on six Nivartanas).

5. (As regards the mode of subsistence called) Kauddālī, he digs up (the soil) near a water(-course or tank) with a spade, a ploughshare, or a pointed piece of wood, sows seed, (and) grows bulbs, roots, fruit, pot-herbs, and vegetables.

6. (If he thus) cultivates (land) with a spade (and lives on its produce), that is the (mode of life called) Kauddālī (subsistence by the spade).[3]

7. He who lives by the (mode of subsistence called) Dhruvā, wraps up his head in a white dress (saying), 'For the sake of welfare I wrap thee up, O head,' (and) takes the skin of a black antelope (with the words), '(Thou art) spiritual pre-eminence, (I take thee) for the sake of spiritual pre-eminence;' the Pavitra (reciting) the Abliṅga texts; the water-pot (saying), 'Thou art strength, (I take) thee for[4] the sake of strength;' the yoke for carrying burdens (saying), 'Thou art grain, (I take) thee for the sake of prosperity;' the staff (saying), '(Thou art) a friend, protect me.'

8. On leaving (his hut), he mutters the Vyāhṛtis, and (afterwards the verse used for) hallowing the quarters of the horizon, 'May the earth, the middle sphere, the sky, the constellations, and all the quarters of the horizon, fire, air, and sun, (may all these) deities protect me on my road.'

9. Because, after muttering the Mānastokīya (text) and entering the village, he shows himself with the yoke (on his shoulder) at the door of each house, they call it 'showing oneself.'

10. Because, if every (other) livelihood fails, he persistently (dhruvam) supports himself by this (mode of living), it is called Dhruvā (the unchangeable).[5]

11. (As regards the mode of life called) Samprakṣālanī, (if, in order to show that) there is no waste of the vegetable (substances) obtained nor[6] any hoarding, he turns the dishes, after washing them, upside down, (that is the livelihood called) Samprakṣālanī (living by washing).

12. As to the (mode of subsistence called) Samūhā, (if) he sweeps up (grain) with a broom in permitted places where (grain-bearing) plants are found, either on a road or in fields the access to which is not obstructed (by hedges), and lives on (what he has thus obtained), that (livelihood is called) Samūhā (living by sweeping).

13. As to the (mode of life called) Pālanī, it is also named Ahiṃsakā (not hurting), and the following (definition) is given. (If) he tries to obtain from virtuous men husked rice or seeds, and maintains (himself) thereby, that (is the mode of subsistence called) Pālanī.[7]

14. As to the (mode of life called) Siloñchā, (if) he gleans single ears in permitted places where (grain-bearing) plants grow, on a road or in fields the access to which is not obstructed, and supports himself by (these) gleanings, (collected) from time to time, that (is the mode of subsistence called) Siloñchā (gleaning).

15. As to the (livelihood called) Kapotā, (if) he picks up with two fingers single grains in permitted places, where (grain-bearing) plants grow, either on the road or in fields the access to which is not obstructed, that (is called), because he acts like a pigeon, Kapotā (pigeon-life).[8]

16. As to (the mode of life called) Siddhoñchā, (if) tired with the (other) ways of subsistence, he asks, because he has become old or diseased, virtuous men for cooked food, that (is the livelihood called) Siddhoñchā (gleaning cooked food).[9]

17. If (he adopts) the latter, he must reposit (the sacred fires) in his soul and behave like an ascetic, except (in using) the cloth for straining water and (wearing) a reddish-brown dress.

18. If he subsists on the produce of the forest, (the fruits) of trees, creepers. and lianas, and of grasses, such as wild millet (śyāmāka) and wild sesamum, that (is called) forest-life.

19. Now they quote also (the following verse): 'Moving about with the beasts, dwelling together with them, and maintaining oneself in a manner similar to theirs, that is clearly the road to heaven.'

Footnotes and references:


2. A Nivartana is a measure of 4000 square hastas, the ancient equivalent of the modern Bīghā.


Identical with II, 2, 4, 21.


Govinda says that according to some the following ceremonies need only be performed when one goes out begging for the first time, while others insist on their being performed daily.


The Mānastokīya, i.e. the text beginning 'mā nas toke,' p. 289 occurs repeatedly in the Taittirīya-veda, e.g. Taitt. Saṃhitā III, 4, 11, 2. Govinda adds that the beggar must remain silent, and rot stop longer at each door than the time required for milking a cow.


Both the text and the scanty commentary on this Sūtra are corrupt. K. reads, vṛtter vṛttair avārtāyāṃ tayaiva tasya dhruvaṃ varttayatīti dhruveti parikīrtitā; D. vṛtte vṛttair avārttāthā, &c.; M. vṛtte vṛtter avṛttāyām avṛttāyāṃ tathaiva tasyāḥ ddhṛvaṃ varttamānād iti, &c.; C. I. vṛtter vṛtter āvartāyām āvartāyām tathaiva tasyāṃ dhruvaṃ vartanād iti, &c. The Telugu copy omits the text. From the commentary it is clear that Govinda read at the beginning of the Sūtra vṛtter vṛtter,' and the Telugu copy proves that 'tayaiva' is the correct reading. I restore the Sūtra conjecturally; as follows, vṛtter vṛtter avārttāyāṃ tayaiva tasya dhruvaṃ vartanād it dhruveti parikīrtitā.


1 read, samprakṣālanīti | utpannānām oṣadhīnām prakṣepaṇaṃ p. 290 nāstīti nicayo vā bhājanāni saṃprakṣālya nyubjayatīti samprakṣālanī || M. has nāsti nicayo vā, and C. I. reads also nicayo and omits 'vā' The Dekhan MSS. have nāstīti cayo vā. The description is not very clear; but it seems that a person who lives by the Samprakṣālanī vṛtti must obtain grain and vegetables by begging in such quantities as will suffice for one meal, and prove by the way in which he treats his dishes that he has neither wasted his food nor any store remaining.


The translation of this Satin is merely tentative, as the two MSS. of the commentary omit the text, and contain only a fragment of Govinda's explanation. The latter seems to have differed from my interpretation. The text, as given by the other MSS., runs as follows: pālanīty [pāli°, MSS.] ahiṃsakety evedam uktam bhavati [°tīti, M.] tuṣavihīnāṃs taṇḍulān icchati sajjanebhyo bīgāni vā [cā, D.] pālayatīti pālanī [phāla°, phālani, M.; pālinō, K. D.]


Govinda mentions a varia lectio not found in our MSS., kapotavatsaṃdaṃśinī, 'because he pecks like a pigeon.'


Here as well as above, III, 1, 7, the Dekhan MSS. read siddhecchā,' begging cooked food,' instead of", siddhoñchā.

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