by Hermann Oldenberg | 1886 | 37,785 words

The Grihya-sutra ascribed to Shankhayana, which has been edited and translated into German in the XVth volume of the "Indische Studien", is based on the first of the four Vedas, the Rig-veda in the Bashkala recension, and among the Brahmana texts, on the Kaushitaka. Alternative titles: Śāṅkhāyana-gṛhya-sūtra (शाङ्खायन-गृह्य-सूत्र), Shank...

Adhyāya I, Khaṇḍa 1

1[1]. Now henceforth we shall declare the Pākayajñas.

2[2]. When (a pupil) is going to return (from his teacher), let him keep that fire (as his domestic fire) on which he has put the last piece of wood (as required by the regulations for a student),

3. Or (he should keep) his nuptial fire.

4. Some declare (that the domestic fire should be kindled) at the time of the division of the inheritance.

5[3]. Or that after the death of the householder the eldest one himself (should kindle it).

6. (It should be kindled) on the day of the new moon of the month of Vaiśākha or on another (new moon day).

7. Some say (that the fire should be kindled) according to the (sacrificer's) wishes under the (corresponding) constellation.

8[4]. He should light his fire at one of the following places, viz. in the house of a Vaiśya who is rich in cattle, at a frying-pan, or (at the fire of) one who offers many sacrifices.

9[5]. Some say that (the fire should be fetched from one of the above-mentioned places) in the evening and in the morning.

10. The inauguration (of the fire) by an evening offering should be learnt from the Adhvaryus, according to (my) teacher.

11. In the morning he shall offer a full oblation with a verse sacred to Viṣṇu, or silently.

12[6]. The time for setting it (i.e. the domestic fire) in a blaze and for sacrificing on it has been explained by (the rules given with regard to) the Agnihotra.

13[7]. And 'invested with the sacrificial cord,' &c., all these rules, as far as they are applicable, should be applied (here also) in consequence of the unity of the ritual.

14. With regard to this they quote also (the following Śloka):

15[8]. 'The kinds of Pākayajñas, the kinds of Haviryajñas, and again the kinds of Soma sacrifices,

'Twenty-one by number, these are proclaimed to be the kinds of sacrifice.'

Footnotes and references:


I, 1. The ceremonies to be treated of are defined here as the Pākayajñas (i.e. oblations of cooked offerings) just as in the opening sentence of the Pāraskara-Gṛhya they are called gṛhyasthālīpākās. This is indeed the most characteristic form of offerings belonging to the domain of the Gṛhya ritual, though it would not be correct to state that the Gṛhya-sūtras treat exclusively of sacrificial ceremonies of this kind.


As to the duty of the Vedic student of putting every day a piece of wood on the sacred fire of his teacher, see below, II, 6, 8, and compare the Gṛhya-saṃgraha-pariśiṣṭa II, 58. According to a Kārikā given by Nārāyaṇa, and the Karmapradīpa (I, 6, 13). the prescription of this Sūtra regarding the time for the kindling of the sacred fire refers exclusively to the case of vāgdāna (betrothal). Comp. also Dr. Bloomfield's note on the Gṛhya-saṃgraha-pariśiṣṭa I, 76 (Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, XXXV, 560). In the Kārikā it is stated that if the betrothed girl dies after the fire has been kindled, but before the marriage, the sacrificer is not to forsake his fire, but to marry another girl; if he cannot find a bride, he should make the fire enter into himself according to the rules given by Śāṅkhāyana-Gṛhya V, 1, and himself become uttarāśramin, i.e. enter one of the two final Āśramas.


Nārāyaṇa: 'If the fire has not been kindled at the time stated above, then, after the householder . . . i.e. the father, even if he should not have performed the ādhāna, or the elder brother has died, the eldest son (or the son who after his elder brother's death has become the eldest), after he has performed the Sapiṇḍīkaraṇa (for the dead father or brother; see below, IV, 3, and the ninth chapter of the Pariśiṣṭa [book V]), even if he has not divided the inheritance with his younger brothers (so that the time stated in the fourth Sūtra would not have arrived), should kindle the fire himself, i.e. without an officiating priest (ṛtvij). . . . Or the Sūtra should be divided into two; prete vā gṛhapatau (or after the death of the householder), and svayaṃ jyāyān (the eminent one himself), i.e. of Brāhmaṇas, Kṣatriyas, and Vaiśyas a jyāyān, which means a most eminent person, a Brāhmaṇa, performs the Pākayajñas himself; for the two other castes the Pākayajñas have to be performed through an officiating priest: this is the meaning of this svayaṃ (himself).' I have given this note of Nārāyaṇa as a specimen of the entirely arbitrary and obviously misleading explanations which are unfortunately so frequently found in this author, as indeed in most of the other Sūtra commentators. As to the true meaning of this svayaṃ I still adhere to the explanation which I proposed in my German edition of the text (p. 118), that in case no division of the inheritance takes place, the sacred fire should be kindled on behalf of all the joint-proprietors, but that only the eldest brother should act personally (svayaṃ).


Or, 'at (the fire of) a person rich in cattle, in the house of a Vaiśya,' &c.? The commentators (see p. 118 of the German p. 14 edition) differ as to whether in purupaśu-viṭkula one or two alternatives are contained, and it is interesting to see that the Sūtra authors themselves differed in this respect; Pāraskara (I, 2, 3), when declaring from what place the fire should be fetched, speaks of the house of a Vaiśya rich in cattle; Āśvalāyana, on the contrary, who in the Gṛhya-sūtra does not expressly treat of the kindling of the domestic fire, in the corresponding passage of the Śrauta-sūtra (II, 2, 1), gives the rule that the dakṣiṇāgni is to be fetched from the house of a Vaiśya or from a rich person.'


9-11. I now differ from the opinion which I pronounced in my German edition with regard to the relation in which these three Sūtras stand to each other. I think they ought to be understood thus: 9. Some teachers say that the fetching of the fire from its yoni, as taught in Sūtra 8, ought to be done twice; in the evening, so that the fire, after the necessary rites have been performed, goes out, and then again in the morning. 10. But my (the author's) teacher (comp. as to acāryāḥ, Kātyāyana's Śrauta-sūtra I, 3, 7; Professor Garbe's note on Vaitāna-sūtra 1, 3) is of opinion that the fire should be fetched only once, and that with this fire the ceremonies which are taught by the Adhvaryus are to be performed in the evening (see, for instance, Kāty. IV, 7. 8, which passage is paraphrased here by Nārāyaṇa). 11. In the morning (according to the same teacher, not, as I once understood this passage, according to the eke referred to in Sūtra 9), a full oblation is to be offered, &c.


Śrauta-sūtra II, 6, 2 seq.


Śrauta-sūtra I, 1, 6. 7: yajñopavītī devakarmāṇi karoti, prācīnāvītī pitryāṇi, &c. The unity of the ritual of course means the unity of the two great domains of the Śrauta and Gṛhya ritual.


With regard to the twenty-one kinds of sacrifice compare, for instance, Gautama VIII, 18-20; Max Müller, ZḌṂJ. IX, p. lxxiii; Weber, Indische Studien, X, 326. The seven kinds of Pākayajñas are the Aṣṭakā sacrifices (see below, III, 12 seq.), the sacrifices offered at each Parvan (I, 3), the Śrāddha (or funeral) sacrifices (IV, 1 seq.), the sacrifice of the Śrāvaṇī full moon (IV, 19), of the Āgrahāyaṇī (IV, 17 seq.), of the Caitrī (IV, 19), and of the Āśvayujī (IV, 16). The seven Havis sacrifices (belonging, as is the case also with the third division of sacrifices, to the Śrauta ritual) are the Agnyādheya, the Agnihotra, the sacrifices of the full and new moon, the Āgrayaṇa, the three Cāturmāsya sacrifices, the Nirūḍhapaśubandha, and the Sautrāmaṇī. The seven kinds of Soma sacrifices (of which the more ancient texts mention only three or four saṃsthās, see Weber, Indische Studien, IX, 1 20) are the Agniṣṭoma, the Atyagniṣṭoma, the Ukthya, the Ṣoḍaśin, the Atirātra, the Aptoryāma.

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