Vasistha Dharmasutra

by Georg Bühler | 1882 | 44,713 words

The Dharmasutra of Vasistha forms an independent treatise and has no relationship with the Kalpasutra. The chapters of this text are divided in a way that resemble the practice of later Smritis. This Dharmasutra has a unique characteristic, it cites the opinions of Manu at many places. This led scholars like Bühler among others to form a hypothesis...

1. A hermit shall wear (his hair in) braids, and dress (in garments made of) bark and skins;[1]

2. And he shall not enter a village.[2]

3. He shall not step on ploughed (land).[3]

4. He shall gather wild growing roots and fruit (only).[4]

5. He shall remain chaste.[5]

6. His heart shall be full of meekness.[6]

7. He shall honour guests coming to his hermitage with alms (consisting of) roots and fruit.[7]

8. He shall only give, not receive (presents).

9. He shall bathe at morn, noon, and eve.[8]

10. Kindling a fire according to the (rule of the) Śrāmaṇaka (Sūtra), he shall offer the Agnihotra.[9]

11. After (living in this manner during) six months,[10] he shall dwell at the root of a tree, keeping no fire and having no house.

12. He (who in this manner) gives (their due) to gods, manes, and men, will attain endless (bliss in) heaven.

Footnotes and references:


IX. Viṣṇu XCIV, 8-9; Gautama III, 34. Kṛṣṇapaṇḍita takes cīra, 'bark,' to mean '(made of) grass,' e.g. of Muñja or Balvaja.


Gautama III, 33. The particle 'and' probably indicates that the hermit is not to enter any other inhabited place.


Gautama III, 32.


Viṣṇu XCV, 5.


Viṣṇu XCV, 7.


Manu VI, 8.


Gautama III, 30.


Viṣṇu XCV, 10.


Gautama III, 27. Kṛṣṇapaṇḍita and MSS. B. F. read śrāvaṇakena, and the rest āvarṇakena. I read śrāmaṇakena, 'according to the rule of the Śrāmaṇaka Sūtra,' in accordance with Gautama's text. Baudhāyana, too, uses the same word.


Manu VI, 25.

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