The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Good Conduct (sadacara) which is chapter 5 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the fifth chapter of the Dharmaranya-khanda of the Brahma-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 5 - Good Conduct (sadācāra)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Vyāsa said:

1. Henceforth, I shall recount all religious rites to be performed by a man staying in Dharmāraṇya, while carrying out the duties of a householder.

2-3. Brāhmaṇas of pure noble birth who were born in Dharmāraṇya number eighteen thousand and are specially created by Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. They are Brāhmaṇas of pure, good conduct and are the foremost among those who know Brahman. One is rid of all great sins merely by their sight.

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

4. O son of Parāśara, O noble lord, describe practices of good men (Śiṣṭas) unto me. One acquires righteousness through good conduct. One attains all benefits through good conduct. One derives glory and prosperity through good conduct. Therefore, kindly proclaim to us (what constitutes) good conduct.

Vyāsa said:

5-6. Immobile beings, worms and insects, aquatic beings, birds, animals and men are to be considered (more and more) righteous in this order. Suras (gods) are more righteous than these. The latter ones are a thousand times more righteous than the former ones. All these noble beings can attain salvation by ridding themselves of sins.

7. Among the four categories of beings animals are very much superior. Among animals, all those who subsist by their intellectual capacity are superior.

8-11. Human beings are superior among the intelligent beings. Vāḍavas (Brāhmaṇas) are superior among them. Scholars are superior to ordinary Brāhmaṇas. Persons who are informed of their (religious) duties are superior to scholars. Persons who perform (sacred) rites are superior to such informed intelligent persons. Persons devoted to Brahman are superior to those who perform religious rites.

O descendant of Bharata, no one else is superior to them (devotees of Brahman) in all the three worlds. They revere one another due to their special proficiency in penance and learning. Since the Brāhmaṇa is created by Brahmā as the supreme lord of all living beings, it is only the Brāhmaṇa who deserves everything existing in the entire universe and none else. It is only the one whose conduct is pure that deserves everything and not one who deviates from it.

12-14a. Hence a Brāhmaṇa should always be a person of good conduct. O sage, learned men know good conduct[1] as being the source of all righteousness—that conduct which men of excellent intellect, men devoid of (misplaced) love and (unwarranted) hatred, perform regularly.

Even if a man is bereft of all good characteristics, he may live for a hundred years if he is careful in following good conduct and is faithful and free from jealousy.

14b-19a. Without the slightest lethargy, one should follow the source of righteousness i.e. the norms of good conduct and perform one’s respective duties as prescribed by Śrutis and Smṛtis.

A man addicted to evil deeds in this world deserves to be treated with contempt. He is sure to be assailed by ailments. He will not live long. He will be extremely miserable for ever. That rite which leads to dependence on others, should be avoided. That which is within one’s capacity should be pursued, because one who is dependent on others is miserable for ever, but one who is self-dependent is happy. If the inner soul (conscience) is elated and happy on the performance of a rite, that rite should be performed and not one that goes against it. Niyamas and Yamas have been proclaimed as Dharma in its entirety. Hence one who wishes to practise Dharma should endeavour to pursue them only.

19b-26. The ten Yamas[2] are: truthfulness, forbearance, straight forwardness, contemplation, avoidance of cruelty, non-violence, control, cheerfulness, sweet temper and gentleness.

The ten Niyamas are: cleanliness, regular bath, penance, liberal gifts, silence (as a vow), sacrificial rites, study of Vedas, sacred observances, fasting and suppression of sexual impulse.

One shall become successful everywhere after conquering these six enemies: lust, anger, pride, delusion, jealousy and covetousness.

One should acquire righteousness slowly and steadily like the white ant that steadily builds up the anthill. One should abstain from inflicting injury on others as it is adverse to our interests in the other world. If properly taken care of, Dharma alone should be of help (to us) hereafter.

Every living being (considers himself) more (important) than his father, mother, son, brother, wife and kinsmen. A living being is alone when he is born or when he dies. He singly (i.e. without sharing with others) enjoys his merits and suffers the consequences of his evil deeds. When the body disintegrates after being left alone like a clod or a piece of wood, the kinsmen turn their faces and go back. But Dharma (alone) shall follow the dying person who goes ahead. Hence one should accumulate Dharma which helps both here and hereafter.

27. After securing Dharma that helps, one shall go across the unfordable (abyss of) darkness. An intelligent man should always cultivate close association with excellent ones alone.

28. After abandoning the (company of) mean and ignoble ones, one should lead one’s family to prosperity. One should always be in contact with the best and excellent ones avoiding vile persons. Thus a Brāhmaṇa attains supremacy and by following the contrary course, he attains Śūdrahood.

29. The Destroyer (god of Death) harasses a Brāhmaṇa who habitually neglects study (of Vedas), who transgresses the code of good conduct, who partakes of the food offered by evil and wicked persons and who is (always) lazy.

30. Hence a twice-born one should always endeavour for the practice of good conduct. Even sacred shrines and holy spots desire association of a man of good conduct.

31. The later half of the Yāma (Yāma = a period of 3 Hrs.) towards the close of the night is called Brāhma period. A wise and intelligent person should always get up then and reflect on what is beneficial to him.[3]

32-37. At the outset he should remember[4] the Elephant-faced Lord (Gaṇeśa) and then Īśa (Śiva) along with Aṃbā (Mother Divine). Then Śrīraṅga (Lord Viṣṇu) accompanied by Śrī (Goddess Lakṣmī), then Brahmā born of the lotus, all the Devas beginning with Indra, the Sages beginning with Vasiṣṭha, all the rivers beginning with Gaṅgā, all the mountains beginning with Śrīśaila, all the oceans beginning with the Milk Ocean, the lakes like Mānasa etc., parks beginning with Nandana, cows beginning with Kāmadhenu, trees beginning with Kalpavṛkṣa, minerals with gold as the chief one, celestial damsels with Urvaśī as the chief one and the devotees of Viṣṇu beginning with Prahlāda (should be remembered).

With a delighted mind a wise person should remember the feet of his mother which can be considered the most excellent of all sacred Tīrthas and meditate on his father and preceptors.

Thereafter, for answering the calls of nature, he should go towards the South-West direction. If it is a village he should go at least a hundred Dhanus (four hundred Hastas, one Hasta = 30 Cms) and (in cases of a town) four times that distance from a town.

38-40. He should cover the ground with grass and wrap up his head with a cloth. The sacred thread should be placed on the (right) ear while easing himself at dawn, dusk or during the day time. He should face the North.

At the time of evacuating the bowels or the bladder he should be silent. During the night he should face the South while answering the calls of nature. He should not stand, nor should he do so in the presence of Brāhmaṇas, cows and fire, nor against the wind.

He should not ease himself in a ploughed field or in a piece of ground served by streets. He should not look towards different directions, nor at the luminaries or the sky or the faeces.

41-44. After easing himself completely, he should hold the penis with his left hand and get up with caution. Avoiding clay infested with worms or full of pebbles or that dug out by mice or full of hairs or that has become spoilt by being spit on it, he should apply clay once at the anus and wash it out with water.

Thus he should wash his anus five times repeatedly with the left hand. Then mud should be applied thrice to each of the feet and hands until the bad odour and stickiness disappear. This mode of cleansing, the householder shall adopt. In the three stages of life beginning with Brahmacarya (the life of celibacy) this should be followed in descending order.

45-50. At night one should perform the cleansing act to the extent of only half of what is ordained for the day time. In another village (i.e. out of one’s native village) half of the previous one will do and on the way (i.e. during travels) half of that. Half of that (be performed) in the case of sick persons. In the case of healthy individuals no deficiency (in the number of cleansing acts) should creep in.

A person may perform cleansing act thoroughly with the waters of all rivers or heaps of clay resembling mountains. Yet if he is mentally and morally depraved and vicious he will not become purified. Clay to be used in the cleansing act should be of the size of a succulent green Indian gooseberry (Embilic myrobalan). All ghee offerings and morsels during the Cāndrāyaṇa atonement rite shall also be of this size.

At the time of bathing/washing/rinsing the mouth/sipping (Upasparśa) a householder should sit facing the North or the East comfortably on a clean ground. The water should be free from husk, coal, bones or ash. It should be very clean and pure. It shall be sufficient to reach up to the heart. He shall not be in a hurry at this time.

Brāhmaṇas should sip the water purified by means of his glance. It shall be Brahmatīrtha (holy water). A king should become purified by means of the water reaching the throat and a Vaiśya by means of the water reaching the palate.

51-52. Women and Śūdras become pure by mere touch (of water). A person making sound on the head, or with the throat, or remaining in water with the tuft of hair loose, or not washing both the feet, is considered impure even if he conducts the ceremonial sipping of water. After sipping water thrice for the sake of purity, he should purify the limbs.

53-54. He should wipe off the lips with the lower portion of the thumb. After touching the heart with water, he should touch the head with all (the fingers). With the tips of the fingers, he should touch the shoulders entirely with water. Although he might have ceremonially sipped water, he should do so once again after traversing the street.

55-56. After taking bath, taking food and drinking water, at the beginning of an auspicious rite, after sleeping, changing clothes and seeing inauspicious things, after erroneously remembering impure things, one shall ceremonially sip water twice. He shall then become pure.

He should cleanse his teeth in the manner laid down in Dharmaśāstras (religious codes). Even if one ceremonially sips water, one is still impure, if one does not cleanse one’s teeth.

57. The contact of a twig-brush and the teeth on the new-moon day, first lunar day, the sixth and the ninth lunar days and on Sundays, might burn the family up to the seventh generation.

58. If a twig-brush is not available or on the days when it is forbidden, one should gargle twelve times for the sake of the purity of the mouth.

59. A twig for brushing the teeth should have the thickness of the tip of one’s small finger and twelve Aṅgulas (30 Cms. approximately) of length.[5] It should be green with the natural skin intact. It should not have any crack or fissure and should be free from decay.

60-61. One should bite off the twig inch by inch and chew it well, after (?) the daily morning bath especially in a sacred river or pool, for the sake of purity. It is only through the morning bath that our body which is always dirty, can become clean. By day as well as by night that dirt is excreted from our body through the nine outlets.

62-64. Authorities say that regular morning bath dispels even great sins. It is thus on a par with the holy rite of Prājāpatya. It increases enthusiasm, intellect, good fortune, beauty and wealth.

Regular morning bath removes sins and misfortunes, languor and impurity. It dispels (the effect of) bad dreams. It accords satisfaction and a flourishing state.

Defects and evils do not approach a person who bathes regularly every morning. Thus a regular morning bath has visible and invisible results. Hence one should practise it regularly.

65. Incidentally, O excellent kings(?), I shall recount the details of the rules regarding bath. They say that a bath following the procedural rules, is hundred times more efficacious than ordinary bath.

66. One should bring excellent clay, Kuśa grass, sesamum seeds, cow-dung and place them on a clean floor. Then one should ceremoniously sip water and perform the rite of holy bath.

67. One afflicted by bad Planets should tie up his tuft of hair and enter water. He should perform the rite of holy bath in accordance with the injunctions of his own branch of Veda.

68. After taking bath thus and having washed the clothes, one should wear washed clothes. After the Ācamana (ceremonious sipping of water), he should perform the morning Sandhyā (ritualistic prayer) with Kuśa grass in readiness at hand.

69. A Vipra (Brāhmaṇa) should keep his mind firmly under control and perform Prāṇāyāma (control of breath). He then instantaneously gets rid of all sins committed during the day and the night.

70. If he performs ten or twelve Prāṇāyāmas after controlling the mind, it is as good as a great penance performed by him.

71. Sixteen Prāṇāyāmas along with the Vyāhṛti and Praṇava Mantras, when performed everyday, will within a month purify even a person who has committed slaughter of a foetus.

72. Just as minerals taken out of the earth are burnt off by means of blowing (in the furnace), so also the evils committed by the sense-organs are burnt away through the control of breath.

73. The Supreme Brahman is one and imperishable. Prāṇāyāma is the greatest penance, O excellent king. There is nothing more sacred than the Gāyatrī Mantra.

74. Getting up early at dawn, one can dispel through Prāṇāyāmas the sin that one commits during the night physically, mentally and verbally.

75. Seated (for prayers) at the time of dusk, one dispels through Prāṇāyāma the sin that one commits during the day mentally, verbally and physically. He who performs prayers at dusk, dispels the sin committed during the day.

76. He who does not perform Sandhyā at dawn, he who does not perform Sandhyā at the time of dusk, must be excluded from all Brāhmaṇical rites like a Śūdra.

77. One should perform the daily (Sandhyā) rite in the vicinity of waters. Then he should perform duly the Ācamana rite (ceremonial sipping of water) in accordance with the injunctions.

78-79. Then he shall perform the Mārjana (wiping off) rite nine times repeating the three Mantras “āpo hi ṣṭhā” etc.[6] in this order dropping water on the ground, on the head, in the sky, (again) in the sky, on the ground, on the head, on the head, in the sky and on the ground. The word ‘ground’ indicates the feet, the word ‘sky’ indicates the heart and the ‘head’ is literally the head. This is the Mārjana rite.

80. This is called Brāhma Snāna (bath). It is superior to the other types of baths,[7] viz. Vāruṇa, Āgneya, Vāyavya, Indra and Mantra Snāna. He who takes the bath of Brāhma is pure within and without.

81-83. He becomes qualified for performing all types of holy rites such as the worship of gods etc. Are fishermen any the holier because they dive under water day and night? One who is defiled mentally and morally, cannot become pure, though one may take hundreds of baths. Vibhūti (holy ash) may sanctify further those who are mentally pure. Are donkeys proclaimed holy, if they are smeared with ash? He who is devoid of all types of impurities can claim to be one who has taken his holy dip in all sacred Tīrthas.

84. It is as good as he has performed hundred Kratus (sacrifices), if his mind is free from impurities. I shall now tell how the mind will be cleansed of impurities. Listen, O sage.

85. He can be (free from impurity) only when the Lord of the universe is pleased and not otherwise. Hence, one should resort to the Lord of Kāśī for the purity of the mind.

86-88. (He who resorts to Viśveśa) attains the Supreme Brahman after casting off this body.

After reciting the Mantra ending with ‘drupada’ the devotee should take water in the hand. Knowing the injunction, he should perform the rite of Aghamarṣaṇa with the Mantra beginning with ‘ṛtaṃ ca’ etc.[8] If a learned man goes under water and recites the Aghamarṣaṇa Mantra three times, if anyone performs the rite of Aghamarṣaṇa in water or on the ground, all the sins of his shall perish like darkness at sunrise.

89-91. Standing up and repeating the Gāyatrī Mantra without its head, but having the Praṇava in the beginning and the Mahāvyāhṛtis, at the outset (bhūr etc. are called Mahāvyāhṛtis), the devotee should pour out three handfuls of water (Vajrodaka). Without that adamantine water (Vajrodaka), the demons called Mandehas annihilate the splendour of the Sun, like the mountains, that of the solar sphere. In order to help the Sun and destroy the demons Mandehas, a Brāhmaṇa should offer the three handfuls of water. If he does not do so, he too shall attain the state of a Mandeha.

92. In the morning the devotee should repeat the Mantras standing till the sun becomes visible. In the evening, he should repeat the Mantras sitting and continue till the stars are visible.[9]

93. (The exact) time should not be transgressed by a twice-born, if he desires his own good. Hence when sunrise/sunset is half complete, one should offer the Vajrodaka (three handfuls of adamantive water as mentioned above in vv. 89-90).

94. Even if the Sandhyā rite is performed duly, but it exceeds the prescribed time limit, it shall be fruitless. To cite an example, it shall be as fruitless as sexual intercourse with a barren woman.

95. If water is taken in the left hand and the Sandhyā rite is performed by Brāhmaṇas, it (performance of Sandhyā) is Vṛṣalī (Śudra woman). It is conducive to the pleasure of Rākṣasas.

96-100. He should then perform the Upasthāna (getting up reverentially) rite in accordance with the injunctions in his branch of Veda. The Saurī (Solar) Upasthāna of the Goddess Gāyatrī may be performed by means of a thousand, a hundred or ten repetitions of the Gāyatrī Mantra. The repetitions should never be less than ten. An upper limit of a thousand may be fixed (for the purpose of convenience). A hundred repetitions may be a via media. A twice-born who repeats Gāyatrī thus is never tainted by sins.

The devotee should offer Arghya with water mixed with red sandal-paste as well as flowers and Darbha grass. The Mantras may be from the Vedas or Āgamas.

The three worlds are worshipped by that person by whom the Sun is worshipped.

The Sun who is worshipped gives sons, domestic animals and wealth. He dispels sickness, accords longevity and fulfils desires.

101. This Āditya (Sun) is Rudra; this Divākara (Sun) is Hari. This Ravi (Sun) is of the form of Gold; this Aryamā (Sun) is the three Vedas incarnate.

102-103. Thereafter, he should perform the Tarpaṇa rite in accordance with the injunctions of his own branch of Veda for all the Devas beginning with Brahmā and the Sages beginning with Marīci. He should offer libations with clean and pure water as well as sanḍalpaste, agallochum, camphor and fragrant flowers. He shall utter the word ‘tṛpyantu’ (‘May they be pleased’).

104-107. The Tarpaṇa rite for human beings, Sanaka and others should be performed by a twice-born with the sacred thread worn as Nivīta (i.e. like a garland round the neck). He should keep the straight Darbhas betwixt the two thumbs.

The Tarpaṇa rite for the Manes and celestial beings such as Kavyavāṭ, Anala etc. should be performed with the sacred thread worn as Prācīnāvīta[10]. Darbhas shall be twice in number and should be mixed with gingelly seeds.

A Brāhmaṇa desirous of prosperity and welfare should never perform libations with gingelly seeds on Sundays, the seventh and thirteenth days of the bright half of the month and in the nights or dusks. If at all he performs, it should be with white gingelly seeds. He shall then be happy and contented. Afterwards he should perform the Tarpaṇa rite for fourteen Yamas repeating the names.

108-112. Thereafter he should joyfully perform the Tarpaṇa rite for his Manes after uttering the name of his Gotra (spiritual lineage) kneeling on his left knee. The water should be let down on Pitṛ Tīrtha (the portion between the thumb and the forefinger) and the devotee should restrain his speech.

Devas desire one handful[11] of water libation; Sanaka and others desire two handfuls in succession. The Manes desire three handfuls in succession and women one handful after the other.

The libation for gods should be through the tips of the fingers; that for sages through the roots of the fingers. The libation for Brahmā shall be at the root of the thumb and that for Prajāpati in the middle of the hand.

They say that the portion between thumb and forefinger is the Pitrya Tīrtha. The Mantra should be: “May all the Devas, Sages, Manes and human beings beginning with Brahmā and ending with a blade of grass, be propitiated. May all the Manes including maternal grandfather and others also become propitiated.” Other Mantras taken from the Vedas or the Purāṇas are also prescribed for recitation.

113. The devotee should perform the Tarpaṇa rite with all the ancillaries. It is pleasing to the Manes. Thereafter he should perform the ritualistic activities concerning the sacred fire and after that he should recite the Vedas.

114-115. Recitation of the Vedas is of five types: (1) Svīkāra (i.e. learning from the preceptor), (2) Arthavicāraṇa (pondering over the meaning), (3) Abhyāsa (repeated recitation), (4) Tapas (penance) and (5) Expounding to disciples (teaching). O excellent king, this morning routine of activities of the twice-born has been thus recounted. It is for the purpose of preserving what is acquired and for acquiring what is not yet acquired.

116. Or, one should get up early in the morning and finish the necessary routine (i.e. nature’s call). After cleansing and ceremonial sipping of water, he should chew a twig for cleansing the teeth.

117. After washing clean all the limbs, he should perform the morning Sandhyā rite. He should try to understand the meanings of the Vedic texts and of the different Śāstra-texts.

118. He should teach well-disposed, intelligent disciples of good habits. He may approach a wealthy person for securing his Yogakṣema (welfare, getting the necessities of life etc.)

119. Thereafter, for the fulfilment of midday rites, he should take bath in the manner said before. A wise person should duly take his bath and perform the midday rites.

120. After worshipping the deities, he should perform the Naimittika rites (i.e. those rites which have to be performed on certain occasions). He should then kindle the sacred fire and perform the Vaiśvadeva rite of offering food to all gods.

121-122. In the Vaiśvadeva rite, Niṣpāva (a kind, of pulse), Kodrava (a species of grain), Māṣa (black gram), Caṇaka (Bengal gram), Kalāpa (a type of grass), foodstuff cooked in oil and all types of uncooked food containing salt should be avoided. One should avoid these also: cooked Āḍhakī (Cajanus Indicus Spreng) and Masūra (lentil), that from globular grains (?), the leavings of food eaten, stale food etc.

123. With Darbha grass in the hand, the devotee should perform the Ācamana rite and Prāṇāyāma. He should then recite the Mantra beginning with pṛṣo divi etc. and perform the rite of Paryukṣaṇa (sprinkling).

124. After sprinkling in a circle and spreading Kuśa grass twice, he should make the fire in his front with the Rāpordhadeva Mantra (?)

125. The wise devotee should worship Vaiśvānara (fire) with fragrant flowers and rice grains and perform the Homa rite in the manner mentioned in his own branch of Veda.

126. The following six are Dharmabhikṣakas (‘mendicants for a religious cause’): (1) a wayfarer, (2) one who has lost remunerative jobs, (3) a student, (4) one who maintains his preceptor, (5) a recluse and (6) a person on a vow of celibacy.

127. A traveller is to be considered a guest if he is an Anūcāna (‘student of Vedas’) or Śrutipāraga (‘one who has mastered the Vedas’). These two deserve the respect of householders who desire to attain the world of Brahmā.

128. Food given to even a Cāṇḍāla or a dog is never unproductive of good fruit. When a guest arrives one should not be wavering in the mind considering whether he is a deserving person or not.

129. Food is to be scattered outside for the sake of dogs, fallen persons, Cāṇḍālas, persons sick with sinful ailments (leprosy etc.), crows, worms etc.

130. “May the crows of the East, West, North-west, North and South-west accept this ball of rice offered by me on the ground.”

131-134a. After offering the oblations to living beings thus, the householder should wait for the arrival of a guest for a period of Godoha (i.e. time required for milking a cow). Thereafter, he should enter the dining hall. Even before offering the oblation to the crows, he should perform the Nityaśrāddha. In this Nityaśrāddha he should feed three, two or one Brāhmaṇa for the purpose of Pitṛyajña, he should take up water and offer it. Nityaśrāddha is one in which there is no (worship of) god nor is there any serious restriction. There is no Dakṣiṇā (monetary gift) (which is obligatory). It makes the giver and the receiver greatly pleased.

134b-136a. After performing the sacrifice to Manes (i.e. Śrāddha) he should be calm-minded and free from anxiety. He should occupy a seat free from all defects and enjoy food along with his children. He should apply fragrant scents; wear flower-garlands. He should wear two clean garments. Facing the East or the North, he should partake of food partaken by his Manes (i.e. food remaining after performance of Śrāddha).

136b-138. He should make the food (to be consumed) covered from above and below by means of a sip of water called āpośaṇa (when the food is served in the plate the eater is to sip some water and says “you are the seat of nectar—amṛtopastaraṇamasi “and at the end of the meals he sips water saying “You are the cover of nectar—amṛtapidhānamasi”). This is how food is covered from below and above.

After making the food ‘non-naked’ thus, the wise one should eat food. He should offer three pieces as oblation to Bhūtas (living beings) and offer water thereupon. He should hold Darbha grass in his hand and with a delighted mind he should sip water and offer the five offerings to five Prāṇas in the gastric fire in the stomach.

139. There can be no adverse effect in regard to one who takes food with the Darbha grass in his hand; no adverse effect arising from hairs, worms etc. Hence one should take food only with the Darbha grass in his hand.

140. Thereafter he should continue to take food silently. He should not rub the teeth with the bottom of the thumb of the right hand—the hand that has to be washed.

141. (Before the Ācamana rite, he should recite this Mantra:) “May everlasting result befall the residents of the nether worlds, in the hell named Raurava, the abode of inauspiciousness. Those residents crave even for the water left out after having been drunk.”

142-145. The wise devotee should sip water ceremoniously once again and endeavour to become pure and get the mouth cleaned.

He shall spend the remaining part of the day by listening to Purāṇa and other activities. Then he should perform Sandhyā rite.

The Sandhyā rite performed at home is efficacious but that performed in a cowpen is ten times more efficacious, that performed in a river is ten thousand times more efficacious, and that performed in the vicinity of Śiva is infinite times more efficacious.

The Sandhyā performed outside sanctifies one guilty of falsehood, bad odour of intoxicating beverages, sexual dalliance by day time and remaining with a Vṛṣala (Śūdra).

Thus the daily code of conduct has been explained generally. A Brāhmaṇa who conducts himself thus shall never suffer.

Footnotes and references:


Sadācāra: When conflict arises due to different statements of Śrutis, Smṛtis and actual practice of the Śiṣṭas (learned and respectable people), Manu says that the path followed by one’s ancestors should be followed:

yenāsya pitaro yātā, yena yātāḥ pitāmahāḥ /
tena yāyāt satām mārgaṃ tena gacchan na riṣyate // (Manu IV. 178)

Kumārila quotes this with approval with the proviso that this ancestral usage is not against express Vedic Texts and is followed by Śiṣṭas under the belief that it is part of Dharma (Tantravārtika).


According to V.S. Apte, Yama is ‘a great moral or religious observance’ while Niyama is ‘a lesser vow not so obligatory as Yama’. Yamas are ten but their names are given differently: Yāj. 3.313 enumerates “celibacy, mercy, forebearance, charity, truth, non-violence, non-stealing, sweetness, non-possession.” Patañjali gives a list of five. Similarly Niyamas are ten in number and worded differently. The verse here (20b-21a) is an echo of Atri Smṛti.


VV 31 ff give the model Time Table to be observed daily.


VV 32-37 are collectively called ‘Prātaḥsmaraṇa’. It is psychologically important for retaining a happy and balanced mood throughout the day.


Cf. Viṣṇu Dh. S.61.16-17.


These are the three verse in RV X.9.1-3, Yāj. Smṛ. 1.22 and others prescribe the Mārjana with these three verses only.


Different kinds of Snānas (Baths):

Vāruṇa: Bath with water;
Āgneya: Smearing the body with Bhasma;
Vāyavya: Taking on the body the dust raised by cow’s hoofs;
Indra or Divya: Bath in rain-shower;
Mantra: Sprinkling water with the verses āpo hi ṣṭhā etc. (RV X.9.1-3) (HD II. 1.667-668)


Agha-marṣaṇa means ‘driving out sins’. One is to take water in his right palm, in the shape of cow’s ear. Holding it near one’s nose breathing out from the nose (all sins) on the water while muttering the three verses ‘ṛtaṃ ca’ (RV X. 190.1-3) one should cast that water to one’s left on the ground.


Cf. Āśvalāyana Gṛhya Sūtra III.7.4-6; also Manu II. 101.


Wearing the sacred thread over the right shoulder and under the left arm.


Holding it in open hollowed palms placed side by side and then offered.

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