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 XXII

1. (Now follows the description of the) penances.[1]

2. He who has (intentionally) slain a Brāhmaṇa shall emaciate himself, and thrice throw himself into a fire,[2]

3. Or he may become in battle a target for armed men,[3]

4. Or, remaining chaste, he may, during twelve years, enter the village (only) for the purpose of begging, carrying the foot of a bedstead and a skull in his hand and proclaiming his deed.[4]

5. If be meets an Ārya, he shall step out of the road.[5]

6. Standing by day, sitting at night, and bathing in the morning, at noon, and in the evening, he may be purified (after twelve years),[6]

7. Or by saving the life of a Brāhmaṇa,[7]

8. Or if he is, at least, thrice vanquished in (trying to recover) the property (of a Brāhmaṇa) stolen (by robbers),[8]

9. Or by bathing (with the priests) at (the end of) a horse-sacrifice,[9]

10. Or at (the end of) any other (Vedic) sacrifice, provided that an Agniṣṭut (sacrifice) forms part of it.[10]

11. (The same penances must be performed) even if he has attempted the life of a Brāhmaṇa, but failed to kill him,[11]

12. Likewise if he has killed a female (of the Brāhmaṇa caste) who had bathed after temporary uncleanness,[12]

13. Also for (destroying) the embryo of a Brāhmaṇa, though (its sex) may be not distinguishable.[13]

14. For (intentionally) killing a Kṣatriya the normal vow of continence (must be kept) for six[14] years; and he shall give one thousand cows and one bull.

15. For (killing) a Vaiśya (the same penance must be performed) during three years; and he shall give one hundred cows and one bull.[15]

16. For (killing) a Śūdra (the same penance must be performed) during one year; and he shall give ten cows and one bull.[16]

17. And the same (rule applies) if a female (has been killed) who was not in the condition (described in Sūtra 12).[17]

18. (The penance for killing) a cow is the same as for (the murder of) a Vaiśya,[18]

19. And for injuring a frog, an ichneumon, a crow, a chameleon, a musk-rat, a mouse, and a dog,[19]

20. And for killing one thousand (small animals) that have bones,[20]

21. Also for (killing) an ox-load of (animals) that have no bones;[21]

22. Or he may also give something for (the destruction of) each animal that has bones.[22]

23. For (killing) a eunuch (he shall give) a load of straw and a māṣa of lead;[23]

24. For (killing) a boar, a pot of clarified butter;[24]

25. For (killing) a snake, a bar of iron;[25]

26. For (killing) an unchaste woman, who is merely in name a Brāhmaṇī, a leather bag;[26]

27. (For killing a woman who subsists) by harlotry, nothing at all.

28. For preventing that (a Brāhmaṇa) obtains a wife, food, or money, (he must) in each case (remain chaste) during a year,

29. For adultery two years,[27]

30. (For adultery with the wife) of a Śrotriya three years.

31. And if he has received a present (from the woman), he shall throw it away,

32. Or restore it to the giver.

33. If he has employed Vedic texts for people (with whom such intercourse is) forbidden, (he shall remain chaste for a year), provided (the portion of the Veda thus employed) contained one thousand words.[28]

34. And the same (penance must be performed) by him who extinguishes the (sacred) fires, who neglects the daily recitation of the Veda, or (who is guilty) of a minor offence (upapātaka),

35. Also by a wife who violates her duty (to her husband): but, being guarded, she shall receive food.[29]

36. For committing a bestial crime, excepting (the case of) a cow, (he shall offer) an oblation of clarified butter, (reciting) the Kūṣmāṇḍa texts.[30]

Footnotes and references:


XXII. The text of the Sūtra consists of the single word 'penance' in the singular, which, being the adhikāra or heading, must be taken with each of the following Sūtras down to the end of chapter XXIII.


Manu XI, 74.


Āpastamba I, 9, 25, 11.


Āpastamba I, 9, 24, 11-20. Haradatta says, 'the foot of a bedstead' (khaṭvāṅga) is known in the case of the Pāśupatas, and indicates thereby that he interprets the term to mean 'a club shaped like the foot of a bedstead,' which the Pāśupatas wear.


Āpastamba I, 9, 24, 13.


Āpastamba I, 9, 25, 10.


Manu XI, 80; Yājñavalkya III, 244-245.


Āpastamba I, 9, 25, 21.


Āpastamba I, 9, 25, 22.


Haradatta names the Pañcarātra sacrifice as an instance of a Śrauta yajña, of which an Agniṣṭut forms part. He adds that another commentator explain s the Sūtra to mean, 'or at any other sacrifice, provided that an Agniṣṭut sacrifice be its final ceremony.' Regarding the Agniṣṭut sacrifice, see also above, XIX, 10.


Yājñavalkya III, 252.


Āpastamba I, 9, 24, 9; Manu XI, 88; Yājñavalkya III, 251.


Āpastamba I, 9, 24, 8; Manu, Yājñavalkya, loc. cit.


Āpastamba I, 9, 24, 1, 4. 'Prākṛta (normal) means natural p. 285 (svābhāvika), i.e. not accompanied by the carrying of the foot of a bedstead and the rest.'--Haradatta.


Āpastamba I, 9, 24, 2, 4.


Āpastamba I, 9, 24, 3, 4.


Āpastamba I, 9, 24, 5; Yājñavalkya III, 269. Haradatta says that this rule refers to the expiation of the murder of a virtuous Brāhmaṇī.


Āpastamba, I, 9, 26, 5; Manu XI, 109-116; Yājñavalkya III, 263. Haradatta thinks that the Sūtra refers to the cow of a virtuous Śrotriya or of a poor Brāhmaṇa who has many children.


Āpastamba I, 9, 25, 13. Haradatta explains dahara to mean a small mouse, but gives the meaning assigned to it in the translation as the opinion of others. He states that all the animals named must have been intentionally injured and together.


Manu XI, 142; Yājñavalkya III, 275.


Āpastamba I, 9, 26, 2.


Haradatta quotes a verse showing that 'something' means eight handfuls (muṣṭi) of grain.


Manu XI, 134; Yājñavalkya III, 273.


Manu XI, 135.


Manu XI, 34; Yājñavalkya III, 273. Possibly daṇḍa, a bar, denotes here a particular measure, as a daṇḍa is said to be equal to four hastas or ninety-six aṅgulis.


Manu XI, 139.


-30. Āpastamba II, 110, 27, 11.


Haradatta says that by the employment of Vedic texts, teaching or sacrificing is meant, but that others refer the Sūtra p. 287 to the performance of these acts in the company of, not for unworthy people.


Manu XI, 189; Yājñavalkya III, 297.


Manu XI, 174. Regarding the Kūṣmāṇḍas, see XIX, 12.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: