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...

Chapter XVII

1. A Brāhmaṇa may eat the food given by twice-born men, who are praised for (the faithful performance of their) duties,[1]

2. And he may accept (other gifts from them).

3. Fire-wood, water, grass, roots, fruits, honey, (a promise of) safety, food brought unsolicited, a couch, a seat, shelter, a carriage, milk, sour milk, (roasted) grain, small fish, millet, a garland, venison, and vegetables, (spontaneously offered by a man) of any (caste) must not be refused,[2]

4. Nor anything else that may be required for providing for (the worship of the) Manes and gods, for Gurus and dependents.[3]

5. If the means for sustaining life cannot (be procured) otherwise, (they may be accepted) from a Śūdra.[4]

6. A herdsman, a husbandman, an acquaintance[5] of the family, a barber, and a servant are persons whose food may be eaten,

7. And a trader, who is not (at the same time) an artisan.[6]

8. (A householder) shall not eat every day (the food of strangers).[7]

9. Food into which a hair or an insect has fallen (must not be eaten),[8]

10. (Nor) what has been touched by a woman during her courses, by a black bird, or with the foot,[9]

11. (Nor) what has been looked at by the murderer of a learned Brāhmaṇa,[10]

12. (Nor) what has been smelt at by a cow,[11]

13. (Nor) what is naturally bad,[12]

14. Nor (food) that (has turned) sour by itself, excepting sour milk,[13]

15. (Nor) what has been cooked twice,[14]

16. (Nor) what (has become) stale (by being[15] kept), except vegetables, food that requires mastication, fatty and oily substances, meat and honey.

17. (Food given) by a person who has been cast off (by his parents), by a woman of bad character, an Abhiśasta, a hermaphrodite, a police-officer, a carpenter, a miser, a jailer, a surgeon, one who hunts without using the bow, a man who eats the leavings (of others), by a multitude (of men), and by an enemy (must not be eaten),[16]

18. Nor what is given by such men who defile the company at a funeral dinner, as have been enumerated before bald men;[17]

19. (A dinner) which is prepared for no (holy) purpose or where (the guests) sip water or rise against the rule,[18]

20. Or where (one's) equals are honoured in a different manner, and persons who are not (one's)[19] equals are honoured in the same manner (as oneself, must not be eaten),

21. Nor (food that is given) in a disrespectful manner.[20]

22. And the milk which a cow gives during the first ten days after calving (must not be drunk),[21]

23. Nor (that) of goats and buffalo-cows (under the same conditions).

24. (The milk) of sheep, camels, and of one-hoofed animals must not be drunk under any circumstances,[22]

25. Nor (that) of animals from whose udders the milk flows spontaneously, of those that bring forth twins, and of those giving milk while big with young,[23]

26. Nor the milk of a cow whose calf is dead or separated from her.[24]

27. And five-toed animals (must) not (be eaten) excepting the hedgehog, the hare, the porcupine, the iguana, the rhinoceros, and the tortoise,[25]

28. Nor animals which have a double row of teeth, those which are covered with an excessive quantity of hair, those which have no hair, one-hoofed animals, sparrows, the (heron called) Plava, Brāhmaṇī ducks, and swans,[26]

29. (Nor) crows, herons, vultures, and falcons, (birds) born in the water, (birds) with red feet and beaks, tame cocks and pigs,[27]

30. (Nor) milch-cows and draught-oxen,[28]

31. Nor the flesh of animals whose milk-teeth have not fallen out, which are diseased, nor the meat of those (which have been killed) for no (sacred) purpose,[29]

32. Nor young sprouts, mushrooms, garlic, and substances exuding (from trees),[30]

33. Nor red (juices) which issue from incisions.

34. Woodpeckers, egrets, ibis, parrots, cormorants, peewits, and flying foxes, (as well as birds) flying at night, (ought not to be eaten).[31]

35. Birds that feed striking with their beaks, or scratching with their feet, and are not web-footed may be eaten,[32]

36. And fishes that are not misshapen,[33]

37. And (animals) that must be slain for (the fulfilment of) the sacred law.[34]

38. Let him eat (the flesh of animals) killed by beasts of prey, after having washed it, if no blemish is visible, and if it is declared to be fit for use by the word (of a Brāhmaṇa).[35]

Footnotes and references:


XVII. Āpastamba, I, 6, 18, 13.


Āpastamba I, 6, 18, 1; I, 6, 19, 13; Manu IV, 247-250.


Manu IV, 251. Gurus, i.e. parents and other venerable persons.


Āpastamba I, 6, 18, 14.


Manu IV, 253; Yājñavalkya I, 166.


E.g. a man who sells pots, but does not make them.


Manu III, 104; Yājñavalkya I, 112.


Āpastamba I, 5, 16, 23, 26.


Āpastamba I, 5, 16, 27, 30. Haradatta explains 'a black bird' by 'a crow,' and no doubt the crow, as the Cāṇḍāla among birds, is intended in the first instance.


Manu IV, 208; Yājñavalkya I, 167.


Manu IV, 209; Yājñavalkya I, 168.


'What has been given in a contemptuous manner by the host, or what is not pleasing to the eater, that is called bhāvaduṣṭa, "naturally bad."'--Haradatta. The second seems to be the right explanation, as food falling under the first is mentioned below, Sūtra 21.


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 18, 20.


Haradatta states that this rule does not refer to dishes the preparation of which requires a double cooking, but to those which ordinarily are cooked once only.


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 17. Haradatta says that food prepared p. 267 for the morning meal and kept until supper is also called parvuṣita, 'stale.'


For this and the following Sūtras, see Āpastamba I, 6, 18, 16-1, 6, 19, 1; Manu IV, 205-217; Yājñavalkya I, 161-165. An Abhiśasta is a person who is wrongly or falsely accused of a heinous crime, see Āpastamba I, 91 24, 6-9. Haradatta adduces the explanation 'hermaphrodite' for anapadeśya as the opinion of others. He himself thinks that it means 'a person not worthy to be described or named.' 'One who hunts without using the bow' is a poacher who snares animals. Snaring animals is a favourite occupation of the non-Aryan tribes, such as Vāghrīs, Bhils, and Kolis.


See above, XV, 15-18, where 'bald men' occupy the fourteenth place in Sūtra 18.


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 3; Manu IV, 212. That is called 'food (prepared) for no (sacred) purpose which a man cooks only for himself, not for guests and the rest, see Āpastamba II, 4, 8, 4; Manu V, 7.


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 2.


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 4.


-23. Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 24


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 23.


Āpastamba, I, 5, 17, 23


Manu V, 8; Yājñavalkya I, 170.


Āpastamba. I, 5, 17, 37.


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 29, 33, 35. Haradatta gives as an example of 'animals covered with an excessive quantity of hair' the Yak or Bos grunniens, and of 'those that have no hair' snakes and the like.


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 29, 32, 34, 35; Yājñavalkya I, 173.


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 29-30.


Aitareya-brāhmaṇa VII, 14. For the explanation of vṛthā-māṃsa, 'the flesh (of animals killed) for no (sacred) purpose,' Haradatta refers back to Sūtra 19, but see also the Petersburg Dict. s. v. vṛthā.


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 26, 29; Manu V, 5, 6, 19.


Manu V, 12; Yājñavalkya I, 173, Haradatta explains māndhāla by vāgvada, which seems to be the same as the bird vāgguda, (Manu XII, 64). Māndhāla is not found in our dictionaries, but it apparently is a vicarious form for mānthāla, which occurs in the Vājasaneyi-Saṃhitā and is said to be the name of a kind of mouse or rat, It seems to me that the large herbivorous bat, usually called the flying fox (in Gujarātī vāgud or vāgul) is really meant, which, by an inaccurate observer, might be described both as a bird and as a kind of rat. See also Vasiṣṭha XIV, 48.


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 32-33.


Āpastamba I, 5, 17, 38-39.


I.e. animals offered at Śrāddhas and Śrauta-sacrifices, though under other circumstances forbidden, may be eaten both by the priests and other Brāhmaṇas.


Haradatta takes vyāla, 'beasts of prey,' to mean sporting dogs, which no doubt are also intended.

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