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 5

1[1]. Now (follows) the Upākaraṇa (i.e. the ceremony by which the annual course of study is opened).

2[2]. When the herbs appear, under the Nakṣatra Hasta or Śravaṇa,

3. Let him make oblations of the flour of fried barley and of grains, mixed with curds and ghee, with the (whole) Veda, verse by verse: thus say some (teachers).

4[3]. Or with the first verses of the Sūktas and Anuvākas.

5. With the first verses of the Adhyāyas and of the sections belonging to the (different) Ṛṣis, according to Māṇḍūkeya.

6. But Kauṣītaki has said:

7. 'I praise Agni the Purohita' (Rig-veda I, 1, 1), this one verse,

8. 'The Kuṣumbhaka (mungoose?) has said it;' 'If thou criest, O bird, announce luck to us;' 'Sung by Jamadagni;' 'In thy abode the whole world rests;'

'Come to our sacrifice, O you that are worthy of sacrifice, with care;' 'Whosoever, be he ours, be he alien;' 'Look on, look about;' 'Come here, Agni, the Maruts’ friend;' 'The oblation, O king, cooked for thee:' each time two verses,

9[4]. 'That blessing and bliss we choose'—this one verse (the first and last verse of each Maṇḍala).

10. (Taking something) of the remnants of the sacrificed (food) they partake of that sacrificial food with this (verse), 'I praised Dadhikrāvan' (Rig-veda IV, 39, 6).

11. They sip water, sit down,

12. Murmur the Mahāvyāhṛtis, the Sāvitrī, and the auspicious hymns commencing from the beginning of the Veda,

13. And cause the teacher to pronounce auspicious wishes.

14. Of this (ceremony) it is also said,

15. 'Desirous (of acquiring) for the hymns inexhaustible vigour, reverence, and also soundness, the Ṛṣis, by the power of their austerities, have discovered the Upākarman.

16[5]. 'Therefore a constant performer of the six kinds of works should, in order that his Mantras might be successful, perform the Upākarman—so they say—if he wishes for success of his (holy) works.

17[6]. 'At the time of the Upākarman and of the Utsarga an interruption (of the Veda-study) shall take place for (three days and) three nights, likewise at the Aṣṭakās for one day and one night, and so on the last night of each season.'

Footnotes and references:


5, 1. As to the Upākaraṇa, see the statements of Professor Weber in his second article on the Nakṣatras, Abhandlungen der Berliner Akademie, 1861, p. 338, and of Professor Bühler in his notes on Āpastamba, S.B.E., II, pp. 110, 111.


The Nakṣatra Śravaṇa is evidently considered as particularly fit for this occasion because of its name containing an allusion to śruti, &c.


I have followed Nārāyaṇa, but perhaps I ought to have translated, 'Sūktas or Anuvākas,' and in the fifth Sūtra, 'Adhyāyas or the sections, &c.'


According to Kauṣītaki, the oblations are made with the first and last ṛcas of each Maṇḍala. The last ṛc of the tenth Maṇḍala quoted here, tac chaṃ yor ā vṛṇīmahe, is different from the verse with which our Saṃhitā (the Śākala Saṃhitā of the Rig-veda) closes. It is well known that tac chaṃ yor ā vṛṇīmahe is the last verse in the Bāṣkala Śākhā which was adopted by the Śāṅkhāyana school (comp. Indische Studien, IV, 431; Weber, Verzeichniss der Berliner Sanskrit-Handschriften, p. 314, &c.; Indische Literaturgeschichte, second edition, Nachtrag, p. 2). It was also known long since that the Bāṣkala Sākhā of the Rig-veda contains eight hymns more than the Śākala Śākhā. The Caraṇavyūha Bhāṣya (comp. Dr. von Schroeder's Introduction to his excellent edition of the Maitrāyaṇī Saṃhitā, vol. i, p. xxiv), known to me through the kindness of Professor Weber, tells which eight hymns these are. There it is said (folio 22 of Professor Weber's MS.) that in the Bāṣkala Saṃhitā there followed after VIII, 48 the first two of the Vālakhilya hymns, after VIII, 94 the Vālakhilya hymns 3-7, and at the end of the whole collection the so-called saṃjñāna hymn (see Professor Max Müller's edition, vol. vi, p. 32), which ends with the very verse quoted in our Sūtra, tac chaṃ yor ā vṛṇīmahe.


The six kinds of works are, performing sacrifices (yajana), officiating at the sacrifices of others (yājana), studying the Veda (adhyayana), teaching the Veda to others (adhyāpana), giving (dāna), and accepting gifts (pratigraha). Nārāyaṇa.


Concerning the Utsarga, see chap. 6. This Śloka occurs also Manu IV, 119 with the reading kṣepaṇam instead of kṣapaṇam ('kṣapaṇaṃ chandasāṃ virāma anadhyāyaḥ,' Nārāyaṇa). Kṣapaṇam is correct.

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