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 10

1. Now the water libations (which are performed for deceased persons).

2[1]. When (a child) that has not reached the age of two years dies, his father and mother become impure.

3. The other (relations) remain pure.

4. (The impurity lasts) through one night or three nights.

5. They bury the body without burning it.

6. If (a child dies) during the impurity of his mother (caused by the child's birth), the impurity lasts till the (mother's) getting up (from child-bed), in the same way as the impurity caused by a child's birth.

7[2]. In this case (of the child being younger than two years) no water libations (are performed).

8. If a child of more than two years dies, all his relations should follow (the corpse) to the cemetery—

9[3]. Singing the Yama song and murmuring the Yama hymn, according to some (teachers).

10[4]. If (the dead person) has received the initiation, (the rites) from the election of the site (for the Śmaśāna) down to their descending into water (in order to bathe themselves) are the same as those prescribed for persons who have set up the (sacred Śrauta) fires.

11. They burn him with his (sacred) domestic fire, if he has kept that;

12. Silently, with a common fire, other persons.

13. They should ask one who is related (to the deceased person) by blood or by marriage, for (his permission to perform) the water-libation, in the words, 'We shall perform the libation.'

14. (He replies), 'Do so now and never again,' if the deceased person was not a hundred years old.

15. (He says) only, 'Do so,' if he was.

16[5]. All relations (of the deceased), to the seventh or to the tenth degree, descend into water.

17. If dwelling in the same village, (all) as far as they can trace their relationship.

18. They wear (only) one garment, and have the sacred cord suspended over the right shoulder.

19. With the fourth finger of the left hand they spirt away (the water) with (the words), 'May he drive evil away from us with his splendour' (Vāj. Saṃh. XXXV, 6).

20. Facing the south, they plunge (into the water).

21. They pour out with joined hands one libation of water to the deceased person with (the words), 'N.N.! This water to thee!'

22. When they have come out (of the water) and have sat down on a pure spot that is covered with grass, (those who are versed in ancient tales) should entertain them (by telling such tales).

23[6]. They return to the village without looking back, in one row, the youngest walking in front.

24[7]. In the doors of their houses they chew leaves of the Picumanda (or Nimba) tree, sip water, touch water, fire, cowdung, white mustard seeds, and oil, tread upon a stone, and then they enter.

25[8]. Through a period of three nights they should remain chaste, sleep on the ground, do no work and charge nobody (to do it for them).

26. Let them eat food which they have bought or received (from. others); (they should eat it) only in the day-time, (and should eat) no meat.

27[9]. Having offered to the deceased person the Piṇḍa, naming his name at the washing, at the offering (of the Piṇḍa), and at the second washing—

28[10]. They should that night put milk and water in an earthen vessel into the open air with (the words), 'Deceased one, bathe here!'

29[11]. The impurity caused by death lasts through three nights;

30. Through ten nights, according to some (teachers).

31. (During that period they) should not perform Svādhyāya (or study the Vedic texts for themselves).

32. They should intermit the standing rites, except those performed with the three (Śrauta) fires,

33. And (with the exception of those performed) with the (sacred) domestic fire, according to some (teachers).

34. Others should perform (those rites for them).

35. Those who have touched the dead body should not enter the village until the stars appear.

36. If (they have touched it) in the night-time, (they should not enter) till sunrise.

37[12]. The entering and what follows after it is the same (for these persons) as for the others.

38. (Their) impurity lasts through one or two fortnights.

39. The same (rites should be performed) when the teacher (has died),

40. Or the maternal grandfather or grandmother,

41. Or unmarried females.

42[13]. For those who were married, the others should do it,

43[14]. And they for the (others).

44[15]. If one dies while being absent on a journey, (his relations) shall sit (on the ground, as prescribed for impure persons) from the time when they have heard (of his death), performing the water libation (at that time), until the period (of their impurity) has expired;

45. If (that period has already) elapsed, through one night or three nights.

46. Optional is the water libation for an officiating priest, a father-in-law, a friend, for (distant) relations, for a maternal uncle, and for a sister's son;

47[16]. And for married females.

48. On the eleventh day he should give to an uneven number of Brāhmaṇas a meal at which meat is served.

49. Some also kill a cow in honour of the deceased person.

50. When the Piṇḍas are prepared, the deceased person, if he has sons, shall be considered as the first of the (three) Fathers (to whom Piṇḍas are offered).

51[17]. The fourth one should be left out.

52[18]. Some (make Piṇḍa offerings to a deceased person) separately through one year (before admitting him to a share in the common Pitṛyajña).

53[19]. But there is a rule, 'There can be no fourth Piṇḍa'—for this is stated in the Śruti.

54[20]. Every day he shall give food to him (i.e. to the deceased person), and if he was a Brāhmaṇa, a vessel with water.

55. Some offer also a. Piṇḍa.

Footnotes and references:


10, 2. Manu V, 68; Yājñavalkya III, 1.


Manu V, 68; Yājñavalkya III, 1.


The Yama song is stated to be the second verse of Taittirīya Āraṇyaka VI, 5, 3 ('He who day by day leads away cows, horses, men, and everything that moves, Vivasvat's son Yama is insatiable of the five human tribes'); the Yama hymn is Rig-veda X, 14. Comp. Yājñavalkya III, 2.


The bhūmijoṣaṇa (election of the site for the Smaśāna) is p. 356 treated of in Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa XIII, 8, 1, 6 seqq.; Kātyāyana Śrauta-sūtra XXI, 3, 15 seqq. On the bath taken after the ceremony, see Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa XIII, 8,4,5; Kātyāyana XXI, 4, 24.


Yājñavalkya III, 3.


Yājñavalkya III, 12.


Yājñavalkya III, 12. 13.


25, 26. Yājñavalkya III, 16; Manu V, 73; Vasiṣṭha IV, 15.


See on the washing and on the offering of the Piṇḍa, Kātyāyana-Śrauta-sūtra IV, 1, 10. 11. Comp. Weber, Indische Studien, X, 82.


Yājñavalkya III, 17.


29, 30. Yājñavalkya III, 18; Manu V, 59.


The position of this Sūtra after 35, 36 seems to me to indicate that it refers to those who have touched the dead body; comp. Yājñavalkya III, 14: praveśanādikaṃ karma pretasaṃsparśinām api. I believe that the same persons are concerned also in Sūtra 38.


I.e. the husband and his relatives. Comp. Vasiṣṭha IV, 19.


A married female should perform the rites for her husband and his relatives. See Professor Bühler's note on Vasiṣṭha IV, 19; S.B.E., XIV, 28.


Yājñavalkya III, 21; Manu V, 75, 76. Comp. Gautama XIV, 37; Vasiṣṭha IV, 14.


See above, § 42.


See Śāṅkhāyana-Gṛhya IV, 2, 8.


Śāṅkhāyana-Gṛhya VIII, 2. Comp. the description of the Sapiṇḍīkaraṇa, ibid., chap. 3.


There would be four Piṇḍas, if one were to be offered to the recently deceased person, and three others to those Fathers who had received Piṇḍa offerings before his death. Therefore one of these three Fathers is omitted; see § 51.


Comp. Āpastamba I, 13, 1; Baudhāyana II, 11, 3.

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