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 IV, Adhyāya 1

1. We will separately explain the various penances for the several offences, both heavier and lighter ones.

2. Let him prescribe whatever may be befitting for each (case),--heavier (penances) for great (crimes) and easier ones for trivial (faults).

3. Let him perform the penances according to the rule given in the Institutes (of the Sacred Law in cases) where an offence has been committed with the organ or with the feet (and) the arms, through[1] thoughts or speech, through the ear, the skin, the nose or the eye.

4. Or, in (the case of) transgressions committed through the organ of vision, of hearing, of sensation, of smelling, and through thoughts, he also becomes pure by three suppressions of the breath.

5. In case (he commits the offences) of eating the food of a Śūdra or of cohabiting with a Śūdra female, severally, he must perform, during seven days, seven suppressions of the breath on each day.[2]

6. For partaking of food unfit for eating or drinking, and for selling forbidden merchandise, excepting honey, meat, clarified butter, oil, pungent condiments and bad food, and for similar (offences), he must perform, during twelve days, twelve suppressions of the breath on each day.[3]

7. For other transgressions excepting mortal sins (pātaka), crimes causing loss of caste (patanīya), and the minor faults (called upapātaka), he must perform, during half a month, twelve suppressions of the breath on each day.[4]

8. For other transgressions excepting mortal sins[5] and crimes causing loss of caste, he must perform, during twelve periods of twelve days, twelve suppressions of the breath on each day.

9. For other transgressions excepting mortal sins he must perform, during twelve half-months, twelve suppressions of the breath on each day.[6]

10. But for mortal sins he must perform, during a year, twelve suppressions of the breath on each day.

11. Let him give his daughter, while she still goes naked, to a man who has not broken the vow of chastity and who possesses good qualities, or even to one destitute of good qualities; let him not keep (the maiden) in (his house) after she has reached the age of puberty.[7]

12. He who does not give away a marriageable daughter during three years doubtlessly contracts a guilt equal to (that of) destroying an embryo.

13. Such will be the case if anybody asks her in marriage, and also if nobody demands her. Manu has declared that at each appearance of the menses (the father incurs the guilt of) a mortal sin.

14. Three years let a marriageable damsel wait for the order of her father. But after (that) time let her choose for herself in the fourth year a husband (of) equal (rank). If no man (of) equal (rank) be found, she may take even one destitute of good qualities.

15. If a damsel has been abducted by force, and has not been wedded with sacred texts, she may lawfully be given to another man; she is even like a maiden.[8]

16. If, after (a damsel) has been given away, or even after (the nuptial sacrifices) have been offered, the husband dies, she who (thus) has left (her father's house) and has returned, may be again wedded according to the rule applicable to second weddings, provided the marriage had not been consummated.[9]

17. He who does not approach, during three years, a wife who is marriageable, incurs, without doubt, a guilt equal to that of destroying an embryo.

18. But the ancestors of that man who does not approach his wife who bathed after her temporary uncleanness, though he dwells near her, lie during that month in the menstrual excretions (of the wife).

19. They declare that the guilt of the husband who does not approach his wife in due season, of him who approaches her during her temporary uncleanness, and of him who commits an unnatural crime (with her), is equally (great).

20. Let him proclaim in the village a wife who, being obdurate against her husband, makes herself sterile, as one who destroys embryos, and drive her from his house.

21. But for the transgression of that husband who does not approach a wife who bathed after temporary uncleanness, (the performance of) one hundred suppressions of the breath is prescribed (as a penance).[10]

22. Seated with Kuśa grass in his hands, let him repeatedly suppress his breath, and again and again recite purificatory texts, the Vyāhṛtis, the syllable Om, and the daily portion of the Veda.[11]

23. Always intent on the practice of Yoga, let him again and again suppress his breath. (Thus) he performs the highest austerity up to the ends of his hair and up to the ends of his nails.

24. Through the obstruction (of the respiration) air is generated, through air fire is produced, then through heat water is formed; hence he is internally purified by (those) three.

25. Through the practice of Yoga (true) knowledge is obtained, Yoga is the sum of the sacred law, all good qualities are gained through Yoga; therefore let him always be absorbed in the practice of Yoga.[12]

26. The Vedas likewise begin with the syllable Om, and they end with the syllable Om. The syllable Om and the Vyāhṛtis are the eternal, everlasting Brahman.[13]

27. For him who is constantly engaged in (reciting) the syllable Om, the seven Vyāhṛtis, and the three-footed Gāyatrī, no danger exists anywhere.[14]

28. If, restraining his breath, he thrice recites the Gāyatrī together with the syllable Om and with the (text called) Śiras, that is called one suppression of breath.[15]

29. But sixteen suppressions of breath, accompanied[16] by (the recitation of) the Vyāhṛtis and of the syllable Om, repeated daily, purify after a month even the slayer of a learned Brāhmaṇa.

30. That is the highest austerity, that is the best description of the sacred law. That, indeed, is the best means of removing all sin.

Footnotes and references:


The construction is certainly elliptical. I understand tatra with the first half-verse. Govinda separates the two half-verses, yad upasthakṛtam papaṃ, &c., from the first, and reads at the end p. 313 of the half-verse prāṇāyāmān samācaret, 'one should perform suppressions of the breath (in even or equal numbers).'


Govinda tries to reconcile this rule with the one given above, I, I, 2, 7, by assuming that the word Śūdra denotes here a Brāhmaṇa who lives like a Śūdra and neglects his sacred duties.


I read, conjecturally, dvādaśāham, 'twelve days.' The MSS. of the text have dvādaśa dvādaśāham, or corruptions pointing to this reading, and C. I. reads ardhamāsam. Regarding avarānna, 'bad food,' see note on Āpastamba II, 6, 15, 16.


I read, conjecturally, ardhamāsaṃ, 'half a month;' D. has ardhamāsān; K. dvādaśāhaṃ; M. dvādaśārdhamāsam; C. I. dvādaśārdhamāsān, which is explained by shaṇmāsān.


I read with M. dvādaśa dvādaśāhān. D. K. have dvādaśāham. The commentary omits the Sūtra altogether.


I read with D., K., and M., dvādaśārdhamāsān. The commentary omits also this Sūtra.


Vasiṣṭha XVII, 67-71, and above.


Vasiṣṭha XVII, 73.


Vasiṣṭha XVII, 74.


The MSS. of the text read, ṛtusnātāṃ to yo bhāryāṃ niyatāṃ brahmacāriṇīm | niyamātikrame tasya prāṇāyāmaśataṃ smṛtam. The commentary omits the first half of the verse altogether. The latter, as read in the MSS., gives no sense. It seems to me that p. 316 either its end must have been saṃnidhau nopagacchati (as in Sūtra 17), or that a whole half-verse has been lost.


-24. Vasiṣṭha XXV, 4-6.


Vasiṣṭha XXV, 8.


Vasiṣṭha XXV, 10.


Vasiṣṭha XXV, 9.


Vasiṣṭha XXV, 13.


Vasiṣṭha XXVI, 4.

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