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 IV, Khaṇḍa 1

1[1]. Let him offer (Śrāddha oblations) every month to the fathers.

2[2]. Having invited an uneven number of Brāhmaṇas, versed in the Veda, at least three, to sit down as (representing) the fathers,

3. And having strewn sesamum into an uneven number of water-pots,

4. He shall pour them out over the hands of the Brāhmaṇas, assigning (this gift) to them with the words, 'N.N.! This to thee!'

5[3]. After this they should be adorned;

6. And after he has (respectfully) spoken to them, and has put food into the fire,

7. Assigning (the food) to them with the words, 'N.N.! This to thee!' he shall cause them to eat.

8. While they are eating, he shall murmur the Mahāvyāhṛtis, the Sāvitrī, the Madhuvātīya-verses (Rig-veda I, 90, 6 seq.), and verses addressed to the Manes and to (Soma) Pavamāna.

9[4]. When they have finished with eating, he shall offer the lumps (of flour).

10[5]. Before (their dinner he shall offer) the lumps, according to some (teachers).

11. Behind (these he places the lumps) for their wives, putting something between (these and the preceding ones).

12. To the Brāhmaṇas he shall announce the remnants.

13[6]. The rites of the putting (of food) into the fire (see Sūtra 6), &c. have been declared (in the Śrauta-sūtra) by the Piṇḍapitṛyajña.

Footnotes and references:


1, 1. Khaṇḍas 1-4 contain the rules regarding the Śrāddha oblations directed to the Manes. The dinners offered in connection with these Śrāddha sacrifices to Brāhmaṇas and also—though of this of course no notice is taken in Vedic texts—to Śramaṇas stood in the first line among the exhibitions of liberality of lay people towards priests and monks. Thus we find among the stock phrases that constantly reoccur in the Pāli Piṭakas, the mention of Samaṇas and Brāhmaṇas 'who have eaten the food given to them out of faith' (saddhādeyyāni bhojanāni bhuñjitvā)—wherein the 'food given out of faith' (saddhādeyya) either chiefly or exclusively means the Śrāddha dinners, which are so called because the sacrificer gives them 'full of faith' (śraddhāsamanvita, Manu III, 275) to the Brāhmaṇas and through them to the Manes.


'"As the fathers" means: he invites the youngest, middle-aged, and eldest Brāhmaṇas to sit down in the place of the father, the grandfather, and the great-grandfather' (Nārāyaṇa). A similar explanation of pitṛvat is mentioned by Nārāyaṇa on Āśvalāyana-Gṛhya p. 107 IV, 7, 2. My German translation of this Sūtra ought to be altered accordingly.


It would be more natural to alter the division of the Sūtras, so as to bring āmantrya in the fifth, annañ ca in the seventh Sūtra. In this case we should have to translate: 5. After this, having (respectfully) spoken to them who have been adorned (by him with flowers, ornaments, &c.); 6. And having put (food) into the fire, 7. And having assigned the food to them, &c., he shall cause them to eat.—The respectful address mentioned in the fifth Sūtra consists, according to Nārāyaṇa, in the announcement, 'Ye Brāhmaṇas, I will put (food) into the fire!' (comp. Āśv.-Gṛhya IV, 7, 18), which he subsequently does with the formulas, 'To Agni Kavyavāhana svāhā! To Soma Pitṛmat svāhā! To Yama Aṅgirasvat Pitṛmat svāhā!' Comp. Baudhāyana II, 1 4, 8.


As to the way in which the Piṇḍas should he offered, Nārāyaṇa refers to the Śrauta-sūtra (IV, 4).


10, 11. Piṇḍān evidently belongs to the tenth Sūtra, not, as the Indian tradition takes it, to the eleventh. Between the Piṇḍas of the fathers and those belonging to the mothers he puts, according to Nārāyaṇa, for instance, Darbha grass.


Śrauta-sūtra IV, 3 seq.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: