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 9

1. Now, therefore, we will explain the rule of the Anaśnatpārāyaṇa (recitation of the whole Veda during a fast).

2. Let him wear a clean garment or a dress made of bark (or grass).[1]

3. Let him desire food, fit for a sacrifice, or water and fruit.[2]

4. Going forth from the village in an easterly or northerly direction, smearing a quadrangular sthaṇḍila, 'a bull's hide' in size, with cowdung, sprinkling it, drawing the marks on it, sprinkling it with water, heaping fuel on the fire and scattering (Kuśa grass) around it, he offers burnt oblations to the following deities, to Agni Svāhā, to Prajāpati[3] Svāhā, to Soma Svāhā, to all the gods Svāhā, to Svayaṃbhu, to the Ṛcas, to the Yajus, to the Sāmans, to the Atharvans, to faith, to right knowledge, to wisdom, to fortune, to modesty, to Savitṛ, to the Sāvitrī (verse), to Sadasaspati, and to Anumati.

5. Having offered (these oblations), he must begin with the beginning of the Veda and continuously recite (it).

6. Let him not interrupt (the recitation) by talking, nor by stopping,[4]

7. Now if he converses in between or stops, let him thrice suppress his breath, and begin just there where he left off.

8. If he has forgotten (a passage), he shall recite for as long a time as he does not recollect it, what (he may know, Ṛk-verses) for Ṛk-verses, (Yajus-formulas) for Yajus-formulas, (Sāmans) for Sāmans.

9. He may (also) recite the Brāhmaṇa of that (forgotten passage) or (the passage from the Anukramaṇī regarding) its metre and its deities.

10. Let him recite the Saṃhitā of (his) Veda twelve (times). He thereby removes (faults committed by) studying on forbidden (days, by) angering his teacher, (and through) improper acts. His (knowledge of the) Veda is sanctified, is purified.

11. (If he reads) more than that, a cumulation (of rewards will be the result).

12. If he recites the Saṃhitā of the Veda another twelve (times), he gains thereby the world of Uśanas.

13. If he recites the Saṃhitā of the Veda another twelve (times), he gains thereby the world of Bṛhaspati.

14. If he recites the Saṃhitā of the Veda another twelve (times), he gains thereby the world of Prajāpati.

15. If, fasting, he recites the Saṃhitā one thou-sand (times), he becomes one with Brahman, resplendent like Brahman (and) Brahman (itself).

16. If he subsists during a year on food obtained by begging, he gains (the power of) supernatural vision.

17. If during six months he subsists on barley-gruel, during four months on water and barley-flour, during two months on fruit, (and) during one month on water, or performs Kṛcchra penances of twelve days, he (obtains the power of) suddenly disappearing, and sanctifies seven descendants, seven ancestors, and himself as the fifteenth, and (any) company (of Brāhmaṇas) which he may enter.

18. They call that the ladder of the gods.[5]

19. By means of that the gods reached their divine station and the sages the position of Ṛṣis.

20. The periods for beginning this sacrifice, forsooth, are three, the time of the morning libation, the time of the midday libation, and the last part of the night, (the Muhūrta) sacred to Brahman.

21. Prajāpati, forsooth, proclaimed this (rite) to the seven Ṛṣis, the seven Ṛṣis to Mahājajñu, and Mahājajñu to the Brāhmaṇas.[6]

Footnotes and references:


9. M. and the MSS. of the commentary read ciravāsāḥ instead of cīravāsāḥ,' clad with a garment of bark or grass,' and Govinda explains the var. lect. by 'dressed in old clothes.'


This rule refers to the case only where the performer of the vow is unable to bear the prolonged fasting.


A sthaṇḍila is the raised mound, four fingers high, which is used as the altar for the Gṛhya ceremonies. Regarding the term, 'a bull's hide,' see Viṣṇu XCII, 2. The marks (lakṣaṇa) are the lines which must be drawn on the altar; see e.g. Āśvalāyana Gṛhya-sūtra I, 3, 1.


'By talking, i.e. by uttering words not connected with the Veda.'--Govinda.


Govinda explains niḥśreṇīm, 'the ladder,' by niḥśreyasahetum, 'a cause of supreme bliss.'


The name of the Ṛṣi who proclaimed it to the Brāhmans is not certain. The Dekhan MSS. read Mahājagru and Mahājagnu, M. Mahājajñu, the I. O. copy of the commentary Mahāyajñu and Mahājajñu, and the Telugu copy Mahājajñu.

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