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 5

1. Now, therefore, I will proclaim by what rites, connected with the Sāman, Rik, Yajus, and Atharva-vedas,[1] (man) quickly attains the wishes of his heart.

2. Having purified his body by muttered prayers, burnt oblations, Iṣṭis, restraints, and the like, he will accomplish all his objects. He will not attain success in any other way.

3. A Brāhmaṇa, who is going to mutter prayers, to offer burnt oblations or Iṣṭis, or to practise restraints, shall, first, during the bright half of the month, on a lucky day and under a lucky constellation, cause his hair and beard to be cut.[2]

4. Let him bathe in the morning, at noon, and in the evening; let him beware of anger and untruth; let him not address women and Śūdras; let him be continent, and subsist solely on food fit for offerings.

5. Avoiding to sleep in the day-time, let him worship cows, Brāhmaṇas, manes, and gods. As long as he is engaged in muttering prayers, offering Homas and Iṣṭis, and practising restraints, let him stand during the day and sit during the night.

6. The Kṛcchra (penance) revealed by Prajāpati lasts twelve days, (which are divided into four separate) periods of three days; (during the first period of three days he eats) in the day-time (only, during the second) at night (only, during the third he subsists on) food given without asking, (and during the fourth) finally (he lives on) air.[3]

7. (If one eats on) one (day in) the morning (only), and (on the following day) at night (only, on the next day food) given without asking, (and on the fourth day) subsists on air, and repeats this three times, that is called the Kṛcchra (penance) of children.[4]

8. (If) one eats one mouthful only at each (meal), following, during (three) periods of three days, the rules given above, and subsists during another period of three days on air, that is called the Atikṛcchra penance.[5]

9. (If) during those (first) three periods of three days one partakes of water only, and subsists afterwards (during three days) on air, that third (variety) must be known to be the most efficacious Kṛcchrātikṛcchra penance.[6]

10. If one drinks hot milk, (hot) clarified butter, (and a hot) decoction of Kuśa grass, each during three days, and fasts during another three days, that is called the Taptakṛcchra.[7]

11. (If one lives during one day) on cow's urine, (during one day) on cowdung, (during one day) on milk, (during one day) on sour milk, (during one day) on clarified butter, (during one day) on a decoction of Kuśa grass, and during one (day and) night on air, that is called the Sāṃtāpana Kṛcchra.[8]

12. Let him take the cow's urine, reciting the Gāyatrī; the cowdung, (reciting the text), 'Gandhadvārām;'[9] the milk, (reciting the verse), 'Āpyāyasva;' the sour milk, reciting (the verse), 'Dadhikrāvṇā;' the clarified butter, (saying), 'Śukram asi;' the decoction of Kuśa grass (with the text), 'Devasya tvā;'

13. (And mix together) one part of cow's urine, half as much .cowdung, three parts of milk, two of sour milk, one part of clarified butter, and one part of water boiled with Kuśa grass;' a Sāṃtāpana Kṛcchra (performed) in this manner will purify even a Śvapāka.[10]

14. He who subsists during five (days and) nights on cow's urine, cowdung, milk, sour milk, and clarified butter will be purified by (that) Pañcagavya (the five products of the cow).[11]

15. If, self-restrained and attentive, he fasts during twelve days, that is called a Parāka Kṛcchra, which destroys all sin.[12]

16. If he subsists on cow's urine and the other (substances named above), one day on each, and continues (this mode of life) during thrice seven days, the theologians call that a Mahāsāṃtāpana Kṛcchra.[13]

17. If he daily adds to his food one mouthful during the bright (half of the month) and diminishes it daily by one mouthful during the dark (half of the month), and keeps two fasts in the two halves of the month, that is called a Cāndrāyaṇa.[14]

18. If, with concentrated mind, a Brāhmaṇa eats four mouthfuls in the morning and four mouthfuls when the sun has set, he will perform the Cāndrāyaṇa of children.[15]

19. If, self-restrained, he daily eats, during a month, at midday eight mouthfuls of food, fit for a sacrifice, he will perform the Cāndrāyaṇa of ascetics.[16]

20. But a Brāhmaṇa who eats anyhow, during a month, thrice eighty mouthfuls of food, fit for a sacrifice, goes to the world of the moon.[17]

21. As the rising moon frees the world from the fear of darkness, even so a Brāhmaṇa who performs a Cāndrāyaṇa removes the fear of sin.

22. He who lives one day on (rice)-grains, three days on oil-cakes, 'five days on buttermilk mixed with water, seven days on water, and (one day) on air, (performs) the guilt-destroying Tulāpuruṣa.[18]

23. Living on barley-gruel (yāvaka) removes the guilt of corporeal beings after seven days, and so does a fast of seven days; that has been recognised by wise men.

24. By dressing in wet clothes, by living in the open air, and by exposing himself to the sun during the light halves of the months Pauṣa (December-January), Bhādrapada (August-September), and Gyeṣṭha (May-June), a Brāhmaṇa is freed from (all) sin excepting crimes causing loss of caste (patanīya).[19]

25. (If one swallows) cows' urine, cowdung, milk,[20] sour milk, clarified butter, and a decoction of Kuśa grass, mixed with barley gruel, that is the most sanctifying Brahmakūrca.

26. He who fasts on the new moon day and eats sesamum grains on the full moon day, will be freed in the course of a year from the sins which he committed in the bright and the dark halves of the month.

27. He who lives on alms obtained from Agnihotrins is purified in one month; (he who obtains his food) from a Yāyāvara. in ten days; he who receives it from a hermit in the forest, in five days;

28. (He who lives) on food given by a person who has a store sufficient for one day only, will be purified in one day; he who drinks water given by a person subsisting by the Kapota-vṛtti (pigeon-life), is purified in three (days).[21]

29. If one recites the whole Ṛg-veda, Yajur-veda, and Sāma-veda, or thrice reads one of these Vedas and fasts, (that is) a most efficient means of purification.

30. Now if one is in haste to finish, one may live on air during a day, and pass the night standing in water, that is equal (in efficacy) to a Prājāpatya (Kṛcchra).[22]

31. He who at sunrise mutters the Gāyatrī one thousand and eight times, is free from all sin, provided he has not slain a learned Brāhmaṇa.

32. He who distributes food, speaks the truth, and has compassion on all living beings, is more (holy) than all those who have been purified by the restraints mentioned above.

Footnotes and references:


5. All the Dekhan MSS., including K., have been copied from p. 323 a MS. the leaves of which were out of order. After the first words of ver. 1, they have kṣīraṃ dadhisarpiḥ kusodakam, which belongs to ver. 26, and they go on with the text down to IV, 7, 7, after which the end of IV, 5, 1 and 2-25 given.--'Yantra, "restraints," i.e. Kṛcchras and the like, (which are called so) on account of the restraint of the senses (required for them).'--Govinda.


-5. Vasiṣṭha XXIV, 5.


Vasiṣṭha XXI, 20. Repeated, see above, II, 1, 2, 38.


Vasiṣṭha XXIII, 43; see above, II, 1, 2, 39.


Vasiṣṭha XXIV, 2-3; see above, II, 1, 2, 40.


See above, II, 1, 2, 41.


See above, II, 1, 2, 37.


Vasiṣṭha XXVII, 13; Viṣṇu XLVI, 19.


The texts quoted are found, Taitt. Āraṇyaka X, 10; III, 17; Taitt. Saṃhitā I, 5, 11,4, 7; I, 1, 10, 3; VII, 1, 11, 1.


Vasiṣṭha XXVII, 13.


Vasiṣṭha XXVII, 14.


Viṣṇu XLVI, 18.


Viṣṇu XLVI, 20.


Vasiṣṭha XXVII, 21; see above, III, 8.


Viṣṇu XLVII, 8.


Viṣṇu XLVII, 7.


Viṣṇu XLVII, 9. Govinda places this verse before Sūtra 19.


Viṣṇu XLVII, 22.


The meaning is that the performer is to stand in wet clothes during the first half of the month Pauṣa, in the cold season; to live in the open air during the first half of Bhādrapada, in the rainy season; and to allow himself to be broiled by the sun in Jyeṣṭha, the hottest time of the hot season.


I doubt if the reading of Govinda, yavācāmena (explained p. 327 by yavāgūḥ) saṃyuktam, 'mixed with barley-gruel,' is correct. All the MSS. of the text have yavānām ekasaṃyukto, which I do not understand. Govinda has Brahmakṛcchraḥ instead of Brahmakūrcaḥ. But see the Petersb. Diet. s. v. brahmakūrca.


Regarding the Kapota-vṛtti, see above, III, 2, 15.


Vasiṣṭha XXVII, 17. Govinda adds after kartum, 'to finish," the rites connected with the Vedas' (Sūtra 1).

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