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 XXIII

1. They shall pour hot spirituous liquor into the mouth of a Brāhmaṇa who has drunk such liquor; he will be purified after death.[1]

2. If he has drunk it unintentionally, (he shall drink) for three days hot milk, clarified butter, and water, and (inhale hot) air. That (penance is called the Tapta-)kṛcchra. Afterwards he shall be again initiated.[2]

3. And (the same penance must be performed) for swallowing urine, excrements, or semen,

4. And (for eating) any part of a carnivorous beast, of a camel or of an ass,[3]

5. And of tame cocks or tame pigs.

6. If he smells the fume (exhaled) by a man who has drunk spirituous liquor, (he shall) thrice restrain his breath and eat clarified butter,[4]

7. Also, if he has been bitten by (one of the animals mentioned) above (Sūtras 4-5).[5]

8. He who has defiled the bed of his Guru shall extend himself on a heated iron bed,[6]

9. Or he shall embrace the red-hot iron image of a woman.

10. Or he shall tear out his organ and testicles and, holding them in his hands, walk straight towards the south-west, until he falls down dead,

11. He will be purified after death.

12. (The guilt of him who has intercourse) with the wife of a friend, a sister, a female belonging to the same family, the wife of a pupil, a daughter-in-law, or with a cow, is as great as that of (him who violates his Guru's) bed.[7]

13. Some (declare, that the guilt of such a sinner is equal to) that of a student who breaks the vow of chastity.[8]

14. A woman who commits adultery with a man[9] of lower caste the king shall cause to be devoured by dogs in a public place.

15. He shall cause the adulterer to be killed (also).[10]

16. (Or he shall punish him in the manner) which has been declared (above).[11]

17. A student who has broken the vow of chastity shall offer an ass to Nirṛti on a cross-road.[12]

18. Putting on the skin of that (ass), with the hair turned outside, and holding a red (earthen) vessel in his hands, he shall beg in seven houses, proclaiming his deed.

19. He will be purified after a year.

20. For an involuntary discharge caused by fear or sickness, or happening during sleep, and if for seven days the fire-oblations and begging have been neglected, (a student) shall make an offering of clarified[13] butter or (place) two pieces of fuel (in the fire) reciting the two (verses called) Retasya.

21. Let him who was asleep when the sun rose remain standing during the day, continent and fasting, and him who was asleep when the sun set (remain in the same position) during the night, reciting the Gāyatrī.[14]

22. He who has looked at an impure (person), shall look at the sun and restrain his breath (once).[15]

23. Let him who has eaten forbidden food [or swallowed impure substances], (fast until) his entrails are empty.[16]

24. (In order to attain that), he must entirely abstain from food at least for three (days and) nights.

25. Or (he becomes pure) after eating during seven (days and) nights fruits that have become detached spontaneously, avoiding (all other food).

26. (If, he has eaten forbidden food mentioned above) before five-toed animals, he must throw it up and eat clarified butter.[17]

27. For abuse, speaking an untruth, and doing injury, (he shall practise) austerities for no longer period than three (days and) nights.[18]

28. If (the abuse) was merited, (he shall offer) burnt-oblations, reciting (the Mantras) addressed to Varuṇa and (the hymns) revealed by Manu.[19]

29. Some (declare, that) an untruth (spoken) at the time of marriage, during dalliance, in jest or while (one suffers severe) pain is venial.[20]

30. But (that is) certainly not (the case) when (the untruth) concerns a Guru.

31. For if he lies in his heart only to a Guru regarding small matters even, he destroys (himself), seven descendants, and seven ancestors.

32. For intercourse with a female (of one) of the lowest castes, he shall perform a Kṛcchra penance during one year.[21]

33. (For committing the same sin) undesignedly, (he shall perform the same penance) during twelve (days and) nights.

34. For connection with a woman during her courses, (he shall perform the same penance) for three (days and) nights.[22]

Footnotes and references:


XXIII. Āpastamba I, 9, 25, 3. Haradatta, remarks that other twice-born men also must perform the same penance in case they drink liquor forbidden to them, see above, II, 20 note. He also states that the offence must have been committed intentionally and repeatedly in order to justify so severe an expiation. Regarding the effect of the purification after death, see above, XX, 16.


-3. Manu XI, 151; Yājñavalkya III, 255; see also Āpastamba I, 9, 25, 10.


-5. Manu XI, 157.


Manu XI, 150.


Manu XI, 200; Yājñavalkya III, 277.


-10. Āpastamba I, 9, 25, 1-2. Haradatta asserts that Guru denotes here the father alone.


Manu XI, 171-172; Yājñavalkya III, 232-233.


'The penance also consists in the performance of the rites obligatory on an unchaste student (see Sūtras 17-19), and that for the violation of a Guru's bed need not be performed.'--Haradatta.


Manu VIII, 371.


Manu VIII, 372; Yājñavalkya III, 286; Āpastamba II, 10, 27, 9. My best MSS. read ghātayet, 'shall cause to be killed,' instead of Professor Stenzler's khādayet, 'shall cause to be devoured.' C. has khādayet, but its commentary, as well as that given in the other MSS., shows that ghātayet is the correct reading. The text of the commentary runs as follows: Anantaroktaviṣaye gataḥ pumān rājñā ghātayitvyo [khādayitavyo C.] vadhaprakāraścānantaram eva vasiṣṭhavacane darśitaḥ. The passages of Vasiṣṭha XXI, 1-3, which Haradatta has quoted in explanation of Sūtra 14, prescribe that the adulterer is to be burnt. Another objection to the reading khādayet is that the word would be superfluous. If Gautama had intended to prescribe the same punishment for the adulterer as for the woman, he would simply have said pumāṃsam.


Above, i.e. XII, 2, where the mutilation of the offender has been prescribed. See also Āpastamba II, 10, 26, 20.


-19. Āpastamba I, 9, 2 6, 8-9.


Manu II, 181, 187; Yājñavalkya III, 278, 281. The Retasyās are found Taittirīya Āraṇyaka I, 30.


Āpastamba II, 5,12, 22; Manu II, 220.


Manu V, 86. 'An impure person, i.e. a Cāṇḍāla and the like. This rule refers to a student (who sees such a person) while he recites the Veda.'--Haradatta.


-24. Āpastamba I, 9, 27, 3-4. My copies omit amedhyaprāśane vā, or has swallowed impure substances, and the words are not required, as another penance has been prescribed for the case above, Sūtra 3. But see also Sāmavidhāna I, 5, 13.


Manu XI, 161. The Sūtras referred to are XVII, 9-26.


Āpastamba I, 9, 26, 3. My copies read trirātraparamam instead of trirātram paramam. This reading, which seems preferable, p. 291 is also confirmed by the commentary, where the words are explained, trirātraparatayā pareṇa trirātram.


According to Haradatta the texts addressed to Varuṇa are yatkiṃ cedam, Taitt. Saṃh. III, 4, 11, 6; imam me varuṇa, tattvā yāmi, Taitt. Saṃh. II, i, 11, 6; and ava te heḷo, Taitt. Saṃh. I, 5, 11, 3. The hymns seen by Manu are Rig-veda VIII, 27-31.


Manu VII, 112.


Āpastamba I, 10, 28, 10-11. Regarding the Kṛcchra penance, see below, chapter XXVI.


Manu XI, 174; Yājñavalkya III, 288.

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