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 3

1. Now the hermits in the wood belong to two classes,[1]

2. Those who cook (their food), and those who do not cook it.

3. Among them, those who cook (their food are divided) into five subdivisions, (viz.) those who eat everything which the forest contains, those who live on unhusked (wild-growing grain), those who eat bulbs and roots, those who eat fruit, and those who eat pot-herbs.

4. Those who eat everything which the forest produces are, again, of two kinds: they either subsist on forest-produce generated by Indra, or on that which has been generated from semen.

5. Among these, that which has been generated by Indra (is the produce) of lianas, shrubs, creepers, and trees. Fetching (that) and cooking it, they offer the Agnihotra in the evening and in the morning, give (food) to ascetics, guests, and students, and eat the remainder.

6. That which is generated from semen is the flesh (of animals) slain by tigers, wolves, falcons, and other (carnivorous beasts), or by one of them. Fetching (that) and cooking it, they offer the Agnihotra in the evening and in the morning, give (shares) to ascetics, guests, and students, and eat the remainder.

7. Those who eat unhusked grain only, fetch rice, avoiding (husked) corn, boil it, offer the Agnihotra both in the evening and in the morning, give (food) to ascetics, guests, and students, and eat the remainder.

8. Those who eat bulbs and roots, or fruit, or pot-herbs, (act) exactly in the same manner.

9. Those (hermits) who do not cook (their food are divided into) five (classes), Unmajjakas, Pravṛttāśins, Mukhenādāyins, Toyāhāras, and Vāyubhakṣas.

10. Among these, the Unmajjakas (collect and prepare their food), avoiding (the use of) iron and stone implements,

11. The Pravṛttāśins take it with the hand,[2]

12. The Mukhenādāyins take it with the mouth (only, like beasts),

13. The Toyāhāras subsist on water only,

14. And the Vāyubhakṣas (air-eaters) eat nothing.

15. In this manner ten (different) initiations are prescribed for hermits who follow the rule of Vikhanas (vaikhānasa).[3]

16. He who has agreed (to obey) the Institutes of his (order, shall wear) a staff, (shall keep) rigid silence, and (shall) abstain from rash acts.

17. Hermits following the rule of Vikhanas (vaikhānasa) are purified (from sin), and (especially) those who abstain from food.

18. The sum of the rules applicable to all Brahma-Vaikhānasas (is as follows):[4]

19. 'Let him not injure (even) gadflies or gnats; let him bear cold and perform austerities; let him constantly reside in the forest, be contented, and delight in (dresses made of) bark and skins, (and in carrying) water (in his pot).'

20. 'A devotee shall first honour the guests who have come to his hermitage at (dinner) time; he shall be sedulous in (worshipping) gods and Brāhmaṇas, in (offering) the Agnihotra, and in practising austerities.'

21. "A Brāhmaṇa who has taken to forest-life, and who has adopted this difficult (but) pure mode of existence, which keeps him apart from wicked men, which must never be given up, which is similar to (that of the) beasts and birds, which allows the collection of the necessaries of life for one day only, and which necessitates the consumption of astringent and bitter (food), never sinks low.'

22. '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.'[5]

Footnotes and references:


3. Compare for the whole Adhyāya, Āpastamba II, 9, 21, 20-23, 2.


Pravṛttāśin, i.e. he who eats food only which comes to him accidentally.


-17. These three Sūtras are omitted in the commentary, but found in all the MSS. of the text.


Govinda proposes two explanations for the term brahmavaikhānasa; he thinks that it may mean either brahmaṇā dṛṣṭā vaikhānasāḥ, 'hermits seen by Brahman,' i.e. whose duties have been revealed by Brahman, or 'hermits who are Brāhmaṇas by caste.' The true sense, however, is probably 'a hermit (who strives) to (become one with) Brahman' (brahmārthaṃ valikhānasa).


See above, III, 2, 19.

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