by Hermann Oldenberg | 1886 | 27,910 words

The Grihya-sutra of Paraskara, which belongs to the White Yajurveda and forms an appendix to Katyayana's Shrauta-sutra, has been edited, with a German translation. Alternative titles: Pāraskara-gṛhya-sūtra (पारस्कर-गृह्य-सूत्र), Grhya, Pāraskaragṛhyasūtra (पारस्करगृह्यसूत्र), Paraskaragrihyasutra, Paraskaragrhyasutra....

Adhyāya III, Kaṇḍikā 3

1[1]. After the Āgrahāyaṇī (full moon follow) the three Aṣṭakās.

2[2]. (The Aṣṭakā is) sacred to Indra, to the Viśve devās, to Prajāpati, and to the Fathers.

3[3]. (The oblations are made) with cakes, flesh, and vegetables, according to the order (of the three Aṣṭakās).

4. The first Aṣṭakā (is celebrated) on the eighth day of the fortnight.

5[4]. Having cooked a mess of sacrificial food and having sacrificed the two Ājya portions, he sacrifices Ājya oblations with (the texts):

(a[5]) 'Thirty sisters go to the appointed place, putting on the same badge. They spread out the seasons, the knowing sages; having the metres in their midst they walk around, the brilliant ones. Svāhā!

(b) 'The shining one clothes herself with clouds, with the ways of the sun, the divine night: manifold animals which are born, look about in this mother's lap. Svāhā!

(c) 'The Ekāṣṭakā, devoting herself to austerities, has given birth to a child, to the majesty of Indra. Through him the gods have conquered the hostile tribes; he became the killer of the Asuras through his (divine) powers. Svāhā!

(d[6]) 'You have made me who am not the younger (sister), the younger; speaking the truth I desire this: may I be in his (i.e. the sacrificer's?) favour, as you are; may none of you supplant the other in her work.

(e) 'In my favour dwelt the omniscient one; he has found a firm standing; he has got a footing. May I be in his (i.e. the sacrificer's?) favour, as you are; may none of you supplant the other in her work.

(f[7]) 'On the five dawns follows the fivefold milking; on the cow with the five names, the rive seasons. The five regions (of the sky) are established through the fifteenfold (Stoma); with one common face (they look over) the one world. Svāhā!

(g) 'She who shone forth as the first, is the child of truth. One (of them) bears the majesty of the waters; one wanders in the courses of the sun; one (in those) of the heat; Savitṛ shall govern one. Svāhā!

(h) 'She who shone forth as the first has become a cow in Yama's realm. Give us milk, thou who art rich in milk, year by year. Svāhā!

(i[8]) 'She, the owner of bright bulls, has come to us with clouds and with light, she who has all shapes, the motley one, whose banner is fire. Carrying on the common work, leading us to old age, come to us thou who art exempt from old age, Uṣas! Svāhā!

(k) 'The consort of the seasons, the first one has come to us, the leader of days, the producer of offspring. Being one, thou shinest manifold, Uṣas. Being free from old age, thou leadest to old age everything else. Svāhā!'

6[9]. He makes offerings of the mess of cooked food with (the verses):

'May the earth be peaceful, the air friendly to us; may the heavens give us bliss and safety. May the points (of the horizon), the intermediate points, the upper points give us bliss, and may day and night create long life for us. Svāhā!

'May the waters, the rays protect us from all sides; may the creator, may the ocean turn away evil. The present and the future, may all be safe for me. Protected by Brahman, may I be well guarded. Svāhā!

'May all Ādityas and the divine Vasus, may the Rudras and Maruts be our protectors. May Prajāpati, the highest lord, bestow on us vigour, offspring, immortality, long life. Svāhā!'

7. And with (the formula), 'To the Aṣṭakā Svāhā!'

8. The middle Aṣṭakā (is celebrated) with (the sacrifice of) a cow.

9. He sacrifices the omentum of that (cow) with (the verse), 'Carry the omentum, O Jātavedas, to the fathers' (Vāj. Saṃh. XXXV, 20).

10. On the day following each (Aṣṭakā), the Anvaṣṭakā day, (he brings a sacrifice) with the left ribs and the left thigh, in an enclosure, according to (the ritual of) the Piṇḍapitṛyajña.

11. Also to the female (ancestors he makes Piṇḍa offerings) and pours (for them) strong liquor and water oblations into pits, and (offers) collyrium, salves, and garlands.

12. (He may also make oblations), if he likes, to the teacher and to the pupils who have no children.

13[10]. And in the middle of the rainy season (there is) a fourth Aṣṭakā on which vegetables are offered.

Footnotes and references:


3, 1. On the Aṣṭakās, celebrated on the eighth days of the three dark fortnights following after the Āgrahāyaṇī full moon, see Śāṅkhāyana III, 12 seqq.; Āśvalāyana II, 4; Gobhila III, 10.


As there are four deities named, I think it probable that they are referred to all Aṣṭakās indiscriminately; comp. Āśvalāyana II, 4, 12. Thus in the Mantras prescribed for the first Aṣṭakā (Sūtras 5 and 6), Indra, the Viśve devās, and Prajāpati are named; to the Fathers belongs the Anvaṣṭakya ceremony.


With regard to the order of these substances the Gṛhya texts differ.


Comp. Taitt. Saṃhitā IV, 3, 11; Atharva-veda III, 10.


(a) The thirty sisters seem to be the days of the month. As to p. 342 madhyechandas, comp. Taitt. Saṃh. loc. cit. § 1: chandasvatī uṣasā pepiśāne; § 2: catuṣṭomo abhavad yā turīyā yajñasya pakṣāv ṛṣayo bhavantī, gāyatrīṃ tṛṣṭubhaṃ jagatīm anuṣṭubham bṛhad arkaṃ yuñjānāḥ suvar ābharann idam.


(d) Probably one Aṣṭakā addresses the others, her sisters, as Jayarāma explains this verse.


(f) The explanation by which the 'fivefold milking' is referred to what is called in Taitt. Brāhmaṇa II, 2, 9, 'the milkings of Prajāpati,' seems to me more than doubtful, for 'the milkings p. 342 of Prajāpati' are only four: viz. the dark night, the moonlight, the twilight, and the day.


(i) Sukra-ṛṣabhā cannot be translated, as Professor Stenzler does, 'die schönste unter den Lichtern' (Mādhava: śukreshu nakṣatrādishu śreṣṭhā), for this meaning of ṛṣabhā occurs only in later texts. The word is a Bahuvrīhi compound, as the Petersburg Dictionary explains it.


In the first verse I have omitted vyaśnavai, which impedes the construction and violates the metre. The word has found its way into the text, no doubt, in consequence of the phrase dīrgham āyur vyaśnavai occurring in chap. 2, 2. In the second verse p. 344 akṛtad is corrupt. I have translated abhayam; comp. Āśvalāyana II, 4, 14. In the third verse I have left out mayi, as Professor Stenzler has done in his translation.


I have stated in the note on Śāṅkhāyana III, 13, 1 my reasons for believing that the true reading of this Sūtra is not madhyāvarṣe (in the middle of the rainy season), but māghyavarṣe (the festival celebrated during the rainy season under the Nakṣatra Maghās). There are no express rules given with regard to the third Aṣṭakā, but I think we should understand this Sūtra as involving a statement on that Aṣṭakā: (The third Aṣṭakā) and the fourth, on the Māghyavarṣa day, are Sākāṣṭakās (Aṣṭakās on which vegetables are offered). Śāṅkhāyana (Gṛhya III, 13, 1) declares that the ritual of the fourth Aṣṭakā is identical with that of the second.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: