by Hermann Oldenberg | 1886 | 14,135 words

The Khadira-Grihya has evidently been composed with the intention of abridging Gobhila’s very detailed and somewhat lengthy treatise on the domestic rites The Grihya-sutra ascribed to Khadiracarya belongs to the Drahyayana school of the Sama-veda, which prevails in the south of the Indian peninsula, and it is based on the Gobhiliya-sutra. Alterna...


AMONG the Grantha MSS. collected by the late Dr. Burnell and now belonging to the India Office Library, there are some MSS. (numbers CLXXII and following of the Catalogue) of a Gṛhya-sūtra hitherto unpublished, which is ascribed to Khādirācārya. It belongs to the Drāhyāyaṇa school of the Sāma-veda, which prevails in the south of the Indian peninsula[1], and it is based on the Gobhilīya-sūtra, from which it has taken the greater number of its aphorisms, just as the Drāhyāyaṇa-Śrauta-sūtra, as far as we can judge at present, is nothing but a slightly altered redaction of Lāṭyāyana[2]. Like the Gobhila-Gṛhya it very seldom gives the Mantras in their full extent, but quotes them only with their Pratīkas, and it is easy to identify these quotations in the Mantrabrāhmaṇa (published at Calcutta, 1873), which contains the texts prescribed by Gobhila for the Gṛhya ceremonies.

The Khādira-Gṛhya has evidently been composed with the intention of abridging Gobhila's very detailed and somewhat lengthy treatise on the domestic rites. Digressions, such as, for instance, that introduced by the words tatraihad āhuḥ, Gobhila I, 2, 10-27, or such as Gobhila's explication of the terms paurṇamāsī and amāvāsyā, I, 5, 7 seqq., or most of the regulations concerning the Śakvaryas, III, 3, or the Ślokas, IV, 7, are invariably left out, and in the descriptions of the single ceremonies throughout the principal points only are given, with the omission of all words and of all matter that it seemed possible to dispense with. On the other hand, the arrangement of the Sūtras has undergone frequent changes, in which the compiler clearly shows his intention of grouping together, more carefully than was done in the original text, the Sūtras which naturally belong to each other. Of the Sūtras of the Khādira-Gṛhya which cannot be identified in Gobhila, several are to be traced back to Lāṭyāyana, or we should perhaps rather say, to Drāhyāyaṇa. Thus Khād. I, 1, 14 mantrāntam avyaktaṃ parasyādigrahaṇena vidyāt evidently corresponds to Lāṭyāyana I, 1, 3, uttarādiḥ pūrvāntalakṣaṇam, and Khād. I, 1, 24 avyāvṛttiṃ yajñāṅgair avyavāyaṃ cechet is identical with Lāṭy. I, 2, 15, avyavāyovyāvṛttiś ca yagñāṅgaiḥ.

Upon the whole, though certainly the Khādira-Gṛhya does not contain much matter which is not known to us from other sources, it notwithstanding possesses a certain interest, since it shows by a very clear example how a Sūtrakāra of the later time would remodel the work of a more ancient author, trying to surpass him by a more correct arrangement, and especially by what became more and more appreciated as the chief accomplishment of Sūtra composition, the greatest possible succinctness and economising of words. To an interpreter of Gobhila the comparison of the Khādira-Gṛhya no doubt will suggest in many instances a more correct understanding of his text than he would have been likely to arrive at without that aid, and perhaps even readings of Gobhila which seemed hitherto subject to no doubt, will have to give way to readings supplied by the Grantha MSS. of the Khādira-Gṛhya. Thus, Gobhila III, 8, 16, I do not hesitate to correct asaṃsvādam, on the authority of Khād. III, 3, 13, into asaṃkhādam or asaṃkhādan[3].

As the text of the Khādira-Gṛhya is very short and has not yet been published, it has been printed at the foot of the page, together with references to the parallel passages of Gobhila. For further explanations of the single Sūtras, I refer to my translation of Gobhila which will form part of the second volume of the Gṛhya-sūtras, where I shall also hope to give some extracts from Rudraskanda's commentary on the Khādira-Gṛhya.

Footnotes and references:


See Dr. Burnell's Catalogue, p. 56.


Weber, Vorlesungen über indische Literaturgeschichte (2nd edition), p. 87: 'Almost the entire difference between this Sūtra and that of Lāṭyāyana lies in the arrangement of the matter treated of, which is in itself very nearly the same in both texts, and is expressed in the same words.' Comp. Anandacandra Vedāntavāgīśa's Introduction to his edition of Lāṭyāyana (in the Bibliotheca Indica), pp. 2, 3, and his statements on Drāhyāyaṇa in the notes of that edition.


Comp. Pāraskara II, so, 15, and the quotations given by Böhtlingk-Roth s. v. saṃ-khād. Forms derived from the two roots, khād and svad, are frequently interchanged in the MSS.; see the two articles in the Dictionary.

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