by Hermann Oldenberg | 1892 | 44,344 words

The Sutra of Gobhila presupposes, beside the Samhita of the Sama-veda, another collection of Mantras which evidently was composed expressly with the purpose of being used at Grihya ceremonies. Alternative titles: Gobhila-gṛhya-sūtra (गोभिल-गृह्य-सूत्र), Grhya, Gobhilagṛhyasūtra (गोभिलगृह्यसूत्र), Gobhilagrihyasutra, Gobhilagrhyasutra....

Prapāṭhaka III, Kāṇḍikā 3

1.[1] On the full-moon day of Prauṣṭhapada (or) under (the Nakṣatra) Hasta the Upākaraṇa (or opening ceremony of the annual term of Veda-study, is performed).

2.[2] After (the teacher) has sacrificed with the Vyāhṛtis, he recites the Sāvitrī to the students as at the Upanayana;

3. And (he chants) the Sāvitrī with its Sāman melody,

4. And (the Bārhaspatya Sāman, with the text), 'Soma, the king, Varuṇa' (Sāma-veda I, 91).

5.[3] After they have recited (the first verses) of the Chandas book, from its beginning, they may do what they like.

6.[4] They eat fried barley-grains with (the verse), 'That which is accompanied by grains and by a karambha (i.e. curds with flour)' (Sāma-veda I, 2 10).

7. They partake of curds with (the verse), 'I have praised Dadhikrāvan' (Sāma-veda I, 358).

8.[5] After they have sipped water, (the teacher) should cause them to repeat the first (?) verses, and to sing the first (?) Sāmans, of the different sections (?).

9.[6] On the day sacred to Savitṛ they wait.

10.[7] And at (the beginning of) the northerly course of the sun (they wait) one night with one day before and one day after it,

11. (Or they interrupt their study for) a period of three nights before and afterwards, according to some (teachers).

12.[8] And both times water libations are offered to the Ācāryas.

13.[9] Some perform the Upākaraṇa on the full-moon day of Śrāvaṇa and wait (with studying) the time (from that day) till the day sacred to Savitṛ (Sūtra 9).

14.[10] On the full-moon day of Taiṣa they leave off (studying the Veda).

15.[11] They should go out of the village in an easterly or northerly direction, should go to water which reaches higher than to their secret parts, should touch water (in the way prescribed above, I, 2), and should satiate the metres, the Ṛṣis, and teachers (by libations of water).

16.[12] After this second Upākaraṇa, until the (chief) Upākaraṇa (has been performed) again for the Vedic texts, an interruption of the study (of the Veda takes place), if clouds rise.

17. If lightning (is observed), or if it thunders, or if it is drizzling, (he shall not study) until the same time next day.

18.[13] On the falling of a meteor, or after an earthquake, or an eclipse of the sun or of the moon (the study is interrupted until the same time next day),

19. And if a whirlwind occurs.

20. Let them not study on the Aṣṭakā days, and on the days of the new moon,

21. And on the days of the full moon—

22.[14] In the three months Kārttika, Phālguna, and Āṣāḍha.

23. And (the study is interrupted) for one day and one night,

24. If a fellow-pupil has died,

25. Or the sovereign of his country;

26. Three days, if his teacher (has died);

27. One day and one night, if somebody (has died) who has reverentially approached.

28. If singing, or the sound of a musical instrument, or weeping is heard, or if it is storming, (the study of the Veda is discontinued) as long as that (reason of the interruption) lasts.

29.[15] As regards other (cases in which the reading of the Veda should ne discontinued), the practice of the Śiṣṭas (should be followed).

30.[16] In the case of a prodigy an expiation (has to be performed) by the householder (or) by his wife.

31. If a spar of the roof or the middle (post of the house) breaks, or if the water-barrel bursts, let him sacrifice (Ājya oblations) with the Vyāhṛtis.

32. If he has seen bad dreams, let him murmur this verse, 'To-day, O god Savitṛ' (Sāma-veda I, 141).

33. Now (follows) another (expiation).

34.[17] If he has touched a piled-up (fire-altar) or a sacrificial post, or if he has humming in his ears, or if his eye palpitates, or if the sun rises or sets while he is sleeping, or if his organs of sense have been defiled by something bad, let him sacrifice two Ājya oblations with the two verses, 'May my strength return to me' (Mantra-Brāhmaṇa I, 6, 33. 34).

35. Or (let him sacrifice) two pieces of wood anointed with Ājya.

36. Or let him murmur (those two verses) at light offences.

Footnotes and references:


3, 1 seq. The Upākaraṇa ceremony; Khādira-Gṛhya III, 2, 16 seq. Regarding the different terms for this ceremony, comp. Śāṅkhāyana IV, 5, 2; Āśvalāyana III, 5, 3; Pāraskara II, 10, 2. Hiraṇyakeśin says: śravaṇāpakṣa oṣadhīṣu jātāsu hastena paurṇamāsyāṃ vādhyāyopākarma.—It seems impossible to me to adopt an explanation of this Sūtra, which gives to prauṣṭhapadī another meaning than that based on the constant use of these feminines derived from the names of Nakṣatras, i.e. the day of the full moon which falls under such or such a Nakṣatra. Hasten a, therefore, necessarily refers to another day besides the Prauṣṭhapadī, on which the Upākaraṇa may be celebrated. Perhaps we may conjecture, prauṣṭhapadīṃ hastena vopākaraṇam.


Comp. above, II, 10, 39.


The Chandas book is the first Sāmavedārcika in which the verses are arranged according to their metre.


It is not quite clear from the text, in what connection the rites described in Sūtras 6-8 stand with those treated of in the preceding Sūtras. The expression yathārtham used in Sūtra 5 ('yathārtham iti karmaṇaḥ parisamāptir ucyate,' Comm.; comp. above, I, 3, 12 note) clearly indicates the close of the ceremony; on the other hand the comparison of Pāraskara II, 10, 15 seq., Śāṅkhāyana IV, 5, 10 seq., Āśvalāyana III, 5, 10, seems to show that the acts stated in Sūtras 6-8 form part of the ceremony described before.


I do not try to translate this very obscure Sūtra according to the commentary, in which khāṇḍika is explained as 'the number (of pupils).' Perhaps the word is a misspelling for kaṇḍikā or the like, and means sections of the texts. Comp. Khādira-Gṛhya III, 2, 23. The construction (ācāntodakāḥ . . . kārayet) is quite irregular.


I.e. they do not continue their study. The day sacred to Savitṛ is the day under the constellation of Hasta, mentioned in Sūtra 1, for Savitṛ is the presiding deity over that Nakṣatra (comp. Śāṅkhāyana I, 26, 11).


Comp. the note on Sūtra 16.


Regarding the Tarpaṇa ceremony comp. Śāṅkhāyana 1V, 9, s note. From the word 'and' the commentator concludes that the libations are offered not only to the Ācāryas, but also to the Ṛṣis, &c. (Sūtra 15).


Comp. Gautama XVI, 1; Vasiṣṭha XIII, 1; Āpastamba I, 9, 1, &c.


Āpastamba I, 9, 2, &c.


This is a description of the Utsarga ceremony; comp. Śāṅkhāyana IV, 6, 6; Āśvalāyana III, 5, 21-23; Pāraskara II, 12.


The most natural way of interpreting the text would be, in my opinion, to assume that the 'second Upākaraṇa' (pratyupākaraṇa) is identical with the Utsarga. The second Upākaraṇa thus would in the same time conclude the first term for studying the p. 80 Veda, and open a second term. The distinction of two such periods, which may be called two terms, is frequently met with in other texts, for instance, in Vasiṣṭha XIII, 5-7 (S.B.E. XIV, 63); Manu IV, 98. According to the commentary, on the other hand, the second Upākaraṇa is performed at the beginning of the northerly course of the sun (comp. Sūtras 10-12); it is stated that after that ceremony the Uttara (i.e. the Uttarārcika?) and the Rahasya texts are studied. It deserves to be noticed that Manu (IV, 96) prescribes the performing of the Utsarga either under the Nakṣatra Puṣya (i.e. Tiṣya), or on the first day of the bright fortnight of Māgha, which is considered as coinciding, at least approximately, with the beginning of the northerly course of the sun.


Comp. Manu IV, 105.


These are the days of the ancient Vedic cāturmāsya sacrifices.


The definition of a Śiṣṭa, or instructed person, is given in Baudhāyana I, 1, 6 (S.B.E. XIV, 143).


30-36. Different expiations; comp. Khādira-Gṛhya II, 5, 35-37.


Citya means Citya agni, the piled-up fire-altar, the construction of which is treated of, for instance, in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa VI-X. Prof. Weber has devoted to the rites connected with the citya agni a very detailed paper, Indische Studien, XIII, 217 seq. That citya does not mean here anything different from citya agni is shown by the Mānava-Gṛhya I, 3: yadi . . . akṣi vā spandet karṇo vā krośed agniṃ vā cityam ārohet śmaśānaṃ vā gacched yūpaṃ vopaspṛśet, &c.

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