Gautama Dharmasūtra

by Gautama | 1879 | 41,849 words

The topics in this Dharmasūtra are devoted to the student, the order of a person's life (āśramas), the householder, occupations of the four classes, the king, impurity, ancestral offerings, women and marriage, property, inheritance and penances. Gautama's Dharmasūtra is believed to be the oldest of the four Hindu Dharmasastras, It survives as an i...

1. Such (a man) shall bathe, after (having fulfilled) the, law (regarding studentship), take unto him a wife, and, fulfilling the duties of a householder which have been declared above, in addition obey the following ordinances[1]

2. (He shall be) always pure (and) sweet-smelling (and) bathe frequently.[2]

3. If he possesses wealth, he shall not be dressed in old or dirty clothes;[3]

4. Nor shall he wear dyed or sumptuous garments, nor such as have been worn (before) by others,

5. Nor a garland and shoes (that have been worn by others).[4]

6. (He may wear a cast-off garment) which has been washed, if he is unable (to afford a new one).[5]

7. He shall not allow his beard to grow without a (sufficient) reason.[6]

8. He shall not carry water and fire at the same time.[7]

9. He shall not drink out of his joined hands.[8]

10. He shall not sip water standing, nor (shall he sip) water drawn up (from a well),[9]

11. Nor (water) that is offered by a Śūdra or an impure man, or that has been taken up with one hand.[10]

12. Facing or within sight of wind, fire, Brāhmaṇas, the sun, water, (images of the) gods, and cows he shall not eject urine or fæces or other impurities.[11]

13. He shall not stretch out his feet towards those divine beings.[12]

14. He shall not remove urine or fæces with leaves, clods of earth, or stones.[13]

15. He shall not stand upon ashes, hair, nail (parings), husks (of grain), pot-sherds, or impure substances.[14]

16. He shall not converse with barbarians, impure or wicked men.[15]

17. If he has conversed (with such persons), he shall meditate on virtuous (men),

18. Or he may speak with a Brāhmaṇa.[16]

19. He shall call (a cow that is) not a milch-cow a cow that will become a milch-cow.[17]

20. (An event) that is not lucky (he shall call) lucky.

21. (In speaking of) a skull (he shall use the word) bhagāla instead of kapāla,

22. (And in speaking of) a rainbow, maṇidhanus (the jewelled bow) instead of indradhanus, (Indra's bow).[18]

23. Let him not announce it to others, if a cow suckles (her calf),[19]

24. Nor let him prevent her (from doing it).[20]

25. After conjugal intercourse he shall at once clean himself[21]

26. Let him not recite the daily portion of the Veda (lying) on that couch (on which he lies with his wife).[22]

27. And when he has studied during the third watch of the night, he shall not again retire to rest.[23]

28. Let him not have intercourse with his wife when she is ill,

29. Nor during her courses;[24]

30. Nor let him embrace her (during that period),

31. Nor an unmarried female.

32. He shall avoid to blow the fire with his mouth, to contend with words, to show himself covered with perfumed ointments or wearing garlands, to scratch himself with any impure (implement), to take his meals with his wife, to look at (a woman) who is anointing herself, to enter (his village) by a back-gate, to wash one foot with the other, to eat food deposited on a chair, to cross a river swimming, to ascend trees and dangerous (places), or to descend therefrom, and to imperil his life (in any other manner).[25]

33. Let him not ascend a ship (of) doubtful (solidity).[26]

34. He shall protect himself by all (possible) means.

35. In the day-time he shall not wrap up his head while walking about;[27]

36. But at night he shall cover it,

37. And while voiding urine and fæces.

38. (Let him) not (ease nature) without (first) covering the ground (with grass or the like),[28]

39. Nor close to his dwelling,[29]

40. Nor on ashes, on cow-dung, in a ploughed field, in the shade (of a tree), on a road, in beautiful (spots).[30]

41. Let him eject both urine and fæces, facing the north in the day-time,[31]

42. And in the twilight,

43. But at night, facing the south.[32]

44. Let him avoid to use a seat, clogs, a stick for cleaning the teeth (and other implements) made of Palāśa-wood.[33]

45. With shoes on (his feet), he shall not eat, sit down, salute, or worship (the gods).[34]

46. Let him not pass idly (any part of the day, be it) morning, midday, or evening; (but) according to his ability (he shall make each useful) by the acquisition of spiritual merit or of wealth, and by taking his pleasure.[35]

47. But among those (three aims of human life) he shall chiefly attend to the acquisition of spiritual merit.[36]

48. Let him not look at a naked woman wedded to another man.[37]

49. Let him not draw a seat towards himself with his foot.

50. He shall keep his organ, his stomach, his hands, his feet, his tongue, and his eyes under due restraint.[38]

51. Let him avoid to cut, to break, to scratch, and to crush (anything), or to make (his joints) crack, without a (sufficient) reason.[39]

52. Let him not step over a rope (to which) a calf (is tied).[40]

53. Let him not be a stay-at-home.

54. Let him not go to (perform) a sacrifice without being chosen (to officiate as priest).

55. But at his pleasure (he may go) to see it.

56. Let him not eat food (that he has placed) in his lap,[41]

57. Nor what has been brought at night by a servant.[42]

58. He shall not eat (substances) from which the fat has been extracted, Such as milk from which the cream has separated, butter, oil-cake, buttermilk, and the like.[43]

59. But he shall take his meals in the morning and in the evening, blessing his food, not grumbling at it.[44]

60. He shall never sleep naked at night;[45]

61. Nor shall he bathe (naked);[46]

62. And he shall perform whatever (else) aged (Brāhmaṇas), of subdued senses, who have been properly obedient (to their teachers), who are free from deceit, covetousness, and error, and who know the Vedas, declare (to be right).[47]

63. In order to acquire wealth and for the sake of security he may go to a ruling (king),[48]

64. (But) to no other (being) except the gods, his Gurus, and righteous (Brāhmaṇas).

65. He shall seek to dwell in a place where firewood, water, fodder, Kuśa grass, (materials for making) garlands and roads exist in abundance, which is chiefly inhabited by Āryans, which is rich in industrious (men), and which is governed by a righteous (ruler).[49]

66. He shall pass excellent (beings and things),[50] auspicious (objects), temples of the gods, crossroads, and the like with his right turned towards them.

67. The rule for times of distress (is, that) he shall mentally perform all (that is required by the rule of) conduct.[51]

68. He shall always speak the truth.[52]

69. He shall conduct himself (as becomes) an Āryan.

70. He shall instruct virtuous (men only).[53]

71. He shall follow the rules of purification taught (in the Śāstras).[54]

72. He shall take pleasure in the (study of the) Veda.[55]

73. He shall never hurt (any being), he shall be gentle, (yet) firm, ever restrain his senses, and be liberal.[56]

74. A Snātaka who conducts himself in this manner will liberate his parents, his ancestors, and descendants from evil, and never fall from Brahman's heaven.[57]

Footnotes and references:


IX. Āpastamba I, 11, 30. 1-4. Haradatta says that the expression sa, 'such (a man),' refers to the king, and to the Brāhmaṇa deeply versed in the Vedas, who have been described in the preceding chapter. My MSS. insert between this and the following one another Sūtra, which has been left out in Professor Stenzler's edition. It seems to me that it is absolutely required, and I therefore insert it here, together with Haradatta's comment, according to my best copy, P.


Manu IV, 35.


-4. Āpastamba I, 11, 30, 10-13.


Manu IV, 66.


According to Haradatta the same rule applies to garlands and shoes.


Manu IV, 35. 'The expression "his beard" includes by implication the nails and the rest. . . . . As he says "without a sufficient reason," he shall allow his beard to grow during the pregnancy of his wife and on other occasions. With respect to this matter they quote the following verse: "In the sixth year and in the sixteenth year, likewise in the year of his marriage and during the pregnancy p. 220 of his wife, he shall avoid the use of a razor."--Haradatta.


Āpastamba II, 5, 12, 9.


Manu IV, 63.


Āpastamba I, 5, 16, 1.


Āpastamba, I, 4, 21; I, 5, 15, 3.


Āpastamba I, 11, 30, 18-20.


Āpastamba I, 11, 30, 22.


Āpastamba I, 11, 30, 21. Haradatta remarks that some explain loṣṭha, 'a clod of earth,' by kapāla, 'a pot-sherd.'


Āpastamba II, 8, 20, 11-12. Kapāla, 'pot-sherds,' may also mean 'skull-bones.'


Manu IV, 57. Haradatta says that only a conversation, p. 221 properly so called, is forbidden, not to ask barbarians &c. about the road and similar matters.


Compare the analogous case, mentioned Āpastamba I, 3, 9, 13.


Āpastamba I, 11, 31, 11.


Āpastamba I, 11, 31, 16.


Āpastamba I, 11, 31, 10. Haradatta remarks that the prohibition does not extend to those cases where the Vedic ritual requires the fact to be pointed out. 'He is, of course, right in making this statement, as an express injunction of the Śruti always overrides the rules of the Smṛti.


Haradatta adds that this and the preceding Sūtras include by implication the cases where a cow does damage in a field; see Āpastamba I, 11, 31, 9.


Āpastamba II, 1, 1, 21-II, 1, 2, 1.


Āpastamba I, 11, 32, 3.


Āpastamba I, 11, 32, 15.


-30. Manu IV, 40.


Āpastamba I, 5, 15, 20; I, 11, 32, 5; Manu IV, 43; Āpastamba I, 11, 31, 21; Manu IV, 74; Āpastamba I, 11, 32, 26,


Āpastamba I, 11, 32, 27.


Āpastamba I, 11, 30, 14. Haradatta adds that he may wrap up his head while sitting down and in walking when the sun or rain annoys him.


Āpastamba I, 11, 30, 15.


Āpastamba I, 11, 31, 2.


Āpastamba I, 11, 30, 16-18.


Āpastamba I, 11, 31, 1.


Āpastamba I, 11, 31, 3.


Āpastamba I, 11, 32, 9.


Āpastamba I, 4, 14, 22.


Colebrooke, Mitākṣarā II, 1, 22. 'He shall use the morning, according to his ability, for acts tending to the acquisition of spiritual merit, such as reciting the Vedas; the middle part of the day for the acquisition of wealth; and the evening for scenting himself, adorning himself with garlands and the like acts giving pleasure.'--Haradatta.


Āpastamba I, 7, 20, 1-4.


Manu IV, 53.


Āpastamba II, 2, 5, 19; Manu IV, 175, 177.


Āpastamba I, 11, 32, 28; II, 8, 20, 16.


Āpastamba I, 11, 31, 13. Haradatta remarks that the word 'calf' is used to designate any animal of the bovine species.


Manu IV, 63.


Āpastamba I, 5, 16, 32.


Āpastamba II, 8, 18, 1; II, 8, 20, 10. Haradatta adds that this rule has been inserted here instead of in the chapter on forbidden food in order to indicate that its breach must be expiated by the penance prescribed for a breach of the Snātaka's vow, not by that prescribed for eating forbidden food.


Āpastamba II, 1, 1, 2; II, 2, 3, 11.


Manu IV, 75.


Manu IV, 61.


Āpastamba I, 11, 32, 29; I, 7, 20, 8. Haradatta adds that the plural is used in the above Sūtra in order to indicate that many Brāhmaṇas must be unanimous regarding the practices to be followed.


Manu IV, 33; X, 113. 'For the sake of these objects he may go to a ruler, i.e. a king without cringing, because the preposition adhi is used (in the text, and) adhi denotes mastership' (Pāṇini I, 4, 97). The meaning that he shall go (as becomes) an independent man.'--Haradatta.


Āpastamba I, 5, 15, 22; I, 11, 32, 18. Āryans i.e. Brāhmaṇas, Kṣatriyas, and Vaiśyas:


Manu IV, 39. 'A cow, a Brāhmaṇa, a well-known tree, p. 226 and the like are called excellent (beings or things). An auspicious (object), i.e. a filled jar and the like.'--Haradatta.


Haradatta observes that this rule refers to cases where, being in a hurry, one cannot show one's reverence in the manner described in the preceding Sūtra.


Manu IV, 138, 175, 236.


Manu IV, 80-81.


Purification is here again mentioned in order (to indicate that Snātaka must pay) particular attention to it.


Manu IV, 147-149.


Manu IV, 2, 238, 246.


Manu II, 260.

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