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 XXVI

1. Now, therefore, we will describe three Kṛcchras (or difficult penances).[1]

2. (During three days) he shall eat at the morning-meal food fit for offerings, and fast in the evening.[2]

3. Next, he shall eat (food fit for offerings), during. another period of three days, in the evening (only).[3]

4. Next, during another period of three days, he shall not ask anybody (for food).

5. Next, he shall fast during another period of three days.

6. He who desires (to be purified) quickly, shall stand during the day, and sit during the night.[4]

7. He shall speak the truth.[5]

8. He shall not converse with anybody but Āryans.

9. He shall daily sing the two (Sāmans called) Raurava and Yaudhājaya.

10. He shall bathe in the morning, at noon, and in the evening reciting, the three (verses which begin) 'For ye waters are,' and he shall dry himself reciting the eight purificatory (verses which begin) 'The golden-coloured.'

11. Next (he shall offer) libations of water.

12. Adoration to him who creates self-consciousness, who creates matter, who gives gifts, who destroys (sin), who performs penance, to Punarvasu, adoration.[6]

Adoration to him who is worthy of (offerings)

consisting of Muñja grass, who is worth), of (offerings of) water, who conquers wealth, to him who conquers the universe, adoration.

Adoration to him who gives success, who gives full success, who gives great success, to him who carries (all undertakings) to a successful issue, adoration.

Adoration to Rudra, the lord of cattle, the great god, the triocular, solitary, supreme lord Hari, to dread Śarva, to Īśāna who carries the thunderbolt, to the fierce wearer of matted locks, adoration.

Adoration to the Sun, to Aditi's offspring, adoration.

Adoration to him. whose neck is blue, to him whose throat is dark-blue, adoration.

Adoration to the black one, to the brown one, adoration.

Adoration to Indra, the first-born, the best, the ancient, to chaste Harikeśa, adoration.

Adoration to the truthful purifier, to fire-coloured Kāma, who changes his form at pleasure, adoration.

Adoration to the brilliant one, to him whose form is brilliant, adoration.

Adoration to the fierce one, to him whose form is fierce, adoration.

Adoration to Sobhya, the beautiful, the great male, the middle male, the highest male, to the student of the Veda, adoration.

Adoration to him who wears the moon on his forehead, to him whose garment is a skin, adoration.

13. The worship of Āditya (the sun) must be performed with the same (texts).[7]

14. Offerings of clarified butter (must be made with the help of) the same (texts).

15. At the end of the period of twelve days he shall boil rice and. make offerings to the following deities,

16. (Viz.) to Agni svāhā, to Soma svāhā, to Agni and Soma (conjointly), to Indra and Agni (conjointly), to Indra, to all the gods, to Brahman, to Prajāpati, (and) to Agni Sviṣṭakṛt.

17. Afterwards (he must feed) Brāhmaṇas.

18. By the above (rules) the Aticr.ikchra (or exceedingly difficult) penance has been explained.[8]

19. (But when he performs that), he shall eat (only) as much as he can take at one (mouthful).[9]

20. The third (Kṛcchra) is that where water is the (only) food, and it is called Kṛcchrātikṛcchra (or the most difficult penance).[10]

21. He who has performed the first of these (three) becomes pure, sanctified, and worthy (to follow) the occupations (of his caste).[11]

22. He who has performed the second is freed from all sins which he commits, excepting mortal sins (mahāpātaka).

23. He who has performed the third, removes all guilt.

24. Now he who performs these three Kṛcchras becomes perfect in all the Vedas, and known to all the gods;[12]

25. Likewise he who knows this.

Footnotes and references:


XXVI. Sāmavidhāna I, 2, 1; Āpastamba I, 9, 27, 7. Haradatta states that ataḥ, 'therefore,' means 'because the Kṛcchras cannot be performed if they have not been described,' while Sāyaṇa, on the Sāmavidhāna, asserts that it means 'because unpurified persons who are unable to offer sacrifices cannot gain heavenly bliss without performing austerities such as Kṛcchras.' It is a remarkable fact that Haradatta does not seem to have been aware that the twenty-sixth chapter of Gautama is taken bodily from the Sāmavidhāna.


Sāmavidhāna I, 2, 2. 'Food fit for offerings, i.e. such as is not mixed with salt or pungent condiments.'


-5. Sāmavidhāna, I, 2, 3.


Sāmavidhāna I, 2-4.


-11. Sāmavidhāna I, 2, 5. Āryans, i.e. Brāhmaṇas, Kṣatriyas, and Vaiśyas. Regarding the Sāmans and Mantras, see notes to Burnell's edition of the Sāmavidhāna, and above, XXV, 7. Haradatta remarks that in the Taitt. Saṃh. (V, 6, 1) the Mantras beginning ' The golden-coloured' are ten in number, and adds that 'if in some other Śākhā eight are found, those must be taken.'


Sāmavidhāna I, 2, 5, where, however, only four Mantras are given instead of our thirteen. The epithets given to the deity in the Sāmavidhāna can all be referred to the Sun, provided he is identified with the universal soul, while in the above Sūtra, Rudra and Indra have been introduced. It cannot be doubtful that the Sāmavidhāna gives an older and more authentic form of the prayer. My translation of the epithets, which are found in the Sāmavidhāna also, follows Sāyaṇa's gloss. Haradatta does not explain them. About Sobhya in the twelfth Mantra, which possibly might mean, 'he who dwells in a mirage, i.e. the Saṃsāra,' I feel doubtful. My MSS. read somya, and the Sāmavidhāna has saumya in the second Mantra. But I am unwilling to alter the word, as Professor Stenzler's reading may have been derived from a South-Indian MS., where bhya and mya do not resemble each other so, much as in the Devanāgarī characters.


-17. Sāmavidhāna I, 2, 5.


Sāmavidhāna I, 2, 6.


Sāmavidhāna I, 2, 7; Manu XI, 214; Yājñavalkya III, 320.


Sāmavidhāna I, 2, 8; Yājñavalkya III, 321.


-23. Sāmavidhāna I, 2, 9.


-25. Sāmavidhāna I, 2, 10. Sarveshu vedeshu snātaḥ, 'perfect p. 300 in all the Vedas,' means, literally, equal to a student who has bathed after completing the study of all the four Vedas.

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