by Hermann Oldenberg | 1892 | 37,649 words

Hiranyakeshin (Hiranyakeshi) was the founder of a ritual and scholastic tradition belonging to the Taittiriya branch of the Black Yajurveda. Alternative titles: Hiraṇyakeśin-gṛhya-sūtra (हिरण्यकेशिन्-गृह्य-सूत्र), Hiranyakeshin, Hiraṇyakeśī (हिरण्यकेशी), Hiranyakeshi, Hiranyakesin, Grhya, Hiraṇyakeśīgṛhyasūtra (हिरण्यकेशीगृह्यसूत्र), Hiranyakesigr...

Praśna I, Paṭala 3, Section 9

1. After he has studied the Veda, the bath (which signifies the end of his studentship, is taken by him).

2. We shall explain that (bath).

3. During the northern course of the sun, in the time of the increasing moon, under (the Nakṣatra) Rohiṇī, (or) Mṛgaśiras, (or) Tiṣya, (or) Uttarā

Phalgunī, (or) Hasta, (or) Citrā, or the two Viśākhās: under these (Nakṣatras) he may take the bath.

4.[1] He goes to a place near which water is, puts wood on the fire, performs the rites down to the oblations made with the Vyāhṛtis, and puts a piece of Palāśa wood on (the fire) with (the verse), 'Let us prepare this song like a chariot, for Jātavedas who deserves it, with our prayer. For his foresight in this assembly is a bliss to us. Agni! Dwelling in thy friendship may we not suffer harm. Svāhā!'

5. Then he sacrifices with the Vyāhṛtis as above,

6.[2] (And another oblation with the verse), 'The threefold age of Jamadagni, Kaśyapa's threefold age, the threefold age that belongs to the gods: may that threefold age be mine. Svāhā!'

7. (Then follow oblations with the verses), 'This, O Varuṇa,' &c. (see above, I, 2, 8, 16, down to the end of the Sūtra).

8.[3] After he has served food to the Brāhmaṇas, and has caused them to say, 'An auspicious day! Hail! Good luck!' he discharges himself of his vow by (repeating) these (Mantras), 'Agni, lord of the vow, I have kept the vow.'

9. Having (thus) discharged himself of his vow, he worships the sun with the two (verses), 'Upwards that (Jātavedas)' (Taitt. Saṃh. I, 4, 43, 1), and, 'The bright' (ibid.).

10.[4] With (the words), '(Loosen) from us thy highest band, Varuṇa,' he takes off the upper garment which he has worn during his studentship, and puts on another (garment). With (the words), '(Loosen) the lowest (fetter),' (he takes off) the under garment; with (the words), '(Take) away the middle (fetter),' the girdle. With (the words), 'And may we, O Āditya, under thy law (&c.),' (he deposes) his staff. The girdle, the staff, and the black antelope's skin he throws into water, sits down to the west of the fire, facing the east, and touches the razor (with which he is going to be shaven), with (the formula), 'Razor is thy name; the axe is thy father. Adoration to thee! Do no harm to me!'

11.[5] Having handed over (that razor) to the barber, he touches the water with which his hair is to be moistened, with (the formula), 'Be blissful, (O waters), when we touch you.' [(The barber) then pours together warm and cold water. Having poured warm (water) into cold (water)—]

12.[6] (The barber) moistens the hair near the right ear with (the words), 'May the waters moisten thee for life, for old age and splendour' (Taitt. Saṃhitā I, 2, 1, 1).

13.[7] With (the words), 'Herb! protect him' (Taitt. Saṃh., loc. cit.), he puts an herb with the point upwards into (the hair).

14.[8] With (the words), 'Axe! do no harm to him!' (Taitt. Saṃh., loc. cit.), he touches (that herb) with the razor.

15. With (the words), 'Heard by the gods, I shave that (hair)' (Taitt. Saṃh., loc. cit.), he shaves him.

16.[9] With (the formula), 'If thou shavest, O shaver, my hair and my beard with the razor, the wounding, the well-shaped, make our face resplendent, but do not take away our life'—(the student who is going to take the bath), looks at the barber.

17. He has the beard shaven first, then the hair in his arm-pits, then the hair (on his head), then the hair of his body, then (he has) his nails (cut).

18. A person who is kindly disposed (towards the student), gathers the hair, the beard, the hair of the body, and the nails (that have been cut off), in a lump of bull's dung, and buries (that lump of dung) in a cow-stable, or near an Udumbara tree, or in a clump of Darbha grass, with (the words), 'Thus I hide the sin of N.N., who belongs to the Gotra N.N.'

19. Having rubbed himself with powder such as is used in bathing, he cleanses his teeth with a stick of Udumbara wood—

Footnotes and references:


9, 4. Comp. I, 1, 3, 4; Ṛg-veda I, 94, 1. 'Where the words are used, "He puts wood on the fire" (agnim upasamādhāya), he should prepare the ground by raising it, &c., should carry the fire to that place, should put wood on it, and then he should sacrifice in the fire. Where those words are not used, he should (only) strew grass round the fire which is (already) established in its proper place, and should thus perform the sacrifice.' Mātṛdatta.


Śāṅkhāyana I, 28, 9.


Comp. I, 2, 7, 25; 8, 7.


The words quoted in this Sūtra are the parts of a Ṛc which is found in Taittirīya Saṃhitā I, 5, 11, 3.


The words which I have included in brackets are wanting in some of the MSS., and are not explained in the commentaries. They are doubtless a spurious addition. Comp. Āśvalāyana I, 57, 6, &c.


Pāraskara II, 1, 9. The same expression dakṣiṇaṃ godānam, of which I have treated there in the note, is used in this Sūtra. Comp., besides, Śāṅkhāyana-Gṛhya I, 28, 9; Āpastamba-Śrauta-sūtra p. 164 X, 5, 8; Śatapatha-Br. III, 1, 2, 6. According to Mātṛdatta, there is some difference of opinion between the different teachers as to whether the Mantras for the moistening of the hair and the following rites are to be repeated by the teacher or by the barber.


Āśvalāyana I, 17, 8; Pāraskara II, 1, 10; Āpastamba-Śraut., loc. cit.; Kātyāyana-Sraut. VII, 2, 10. The parallel texts prescribe that one Kuśa blade, or three Kuśa blades, should be put into the hair.


Yājñikadeva in his commentary on Kātyāyana (loc. cit.) says, kṣureṇābhinidhāya kṣuradhārām antarhitatṛṇasyopari nidhāya.


Āśvalāyana I, 17, 16. Comp. also Ṛg-veda I, 24, 11.

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