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. Now, therefore, the duties of a Snātaka (will be explained).
2. Let him not beg from anybody except from a king and a pupil.
3. But let him ask, if pressed by hunger, for some (small gift) only, a cultivated or uncultivated field, a cow, a goat or a sheep, (or) at the last extremity, for gold, grain or food.
4. But the injunction (given by those who know the law) is, 'A Snātaka shall not be faint with hunger.'
5. Let him not dwell together with a person whose clothes are foul;
6. (Let him not cohabit) with a woman during her courses,
7. Nor with an unfit one.
8. Let him not be a stay-at-home.
9. Let him not step over a stretched rope to which a calf (or cow) is tied.
10. Let him not look at the sun when he rises or sets.
11. Let him not void excrements or urine in water,
12. Nor spit into it.
13. Let him ease himself, after wrapping up his head and covering the ground with grass that is not fit to be used at a sacrifice, and turning towards the north in the day-time, turning towards the south at night, sitting with his face towards the north in the twilight.
14. Now they quote also (the following verses): 'But Snātakas shall always wear a lower garment and an upper one, two sacrificial threads, (shall carry) a staff and a vessel filled with water.'
15. 'It is declared, that (a vessel becomes) pure (if cleaned) with water, or with the hand, or with a stick, or with fire: Therefore he shall clean (his) vessel with water and with his (right) hand.'
16. 'For Manu, the lord of created beings, calls (this mode of cleaning) encircling it-with fire.'
17. He who is perfectly acquainted with (the rules of) purification shall sip water (out of this vessel), after he has relieved the necessities of nature.'
18. Let him eat his food facing the east.
19. Silently let him swallow the entire mouthful, (introducing it into the mouth) with the four fingers and with the thumb;
20. And let him not make a noise (while eating).
21. Let him approach his wife in the proper season, except on the Parva days.
22. Let him not commit a crime against nature (with her).
23. Now they quote also (the following verse): 'The ancestors of a man-who commits an unnatural crime with a wedded wife, feed during that month on his semen. All unnatural intercourse is against the sacred law.'
24. It is also declared in the Kāṭhaka, '(When) the women (asked) Indra, "May even those among us, who are soon to be mothers, (be allowed to) cohabit with their husbands," he granted that wish.'
25. Let him not ascend a tree.
26. Let him not descend into a well.
27. Let him not blow the fire with his mouth.
28. Let him not pass between a fire and a Brāhmaṇa,
29. Nor between two fires;
30. Nor between two Brāhmaṇas; or (he may do it) after having asked for permission.
31. Let him not dine together with his wife. For it is declared in the Vājasaneyaka, His children will be destitute of manly vigour.'
32. Let him not point out (a rainbow calling it) by (its proper) name, 'Indra's bow.'
33. Let him call it 'the jewelled bow' (maṇidhanuḥ).
34. Let him avoid seats, clogs, sticks for cleaning the teeth, (and other implements) made of Palāśa wood.
35. Let him not eat (food placed) in his lap.
36. Let him not eat (food placed) on a chair.
37. Let him carry a staff of bamboo,
38. And (wear) two golden earrings.
39. Let him not wear any visible wreath excepting a golden one;
40. And let him disdain assemblies and crowds.
41. Now they quote also (the following verse): 'To deny the authority of the Vedas, to carp at the teaching of the Ṛṣis, to waver with respect to any (matter of duty), that is to destroy one's soul.'
42. Let him not go to a sacrifice except if he is chosen (to be an officiating priest. But) if he goes,. he must, on returning home, turn his right hand (towards the place).
43. Let him not set out on a journey when the sun stands over the trees.
44. Let him not ascend an unsafe boat, or (any unsafe conveyance).
45. Let him not cross a river, swimming.
46. When he has risen in the last watch (of the night) and has recited (the Veda) he shall not lie down again.
47. In the Muhūrta sacred to Prajāpati a Brāhmaṇa shall fulfil some sacred duties.
Footnotes and references:
XII. 'Now' marks the beginning of a new topic. 'Therefore,' i.e. because the duties of a Snātaka have to be taught after those of a student.
Manu IV, 33; Gautama IX, 63.
Manu X, 113-114.
Manu IV, 34; Viṣṇu III, 79.
Kṛṣṇapaṇḍita, whom I have followed in the translation of this Sūtra, thinks that it indicates the obligation of wearing clean clothes, see e.g. Viṣṇu LXXI, 9. It seems to me, however, probable that its real sense is, 'Let him not cohabit with a woman during her courses,' and that the next Sūtra has to be read nārajasvalayā., 'Nor with one of immature age.'
'An unfit one,' i.e.' one of low caste' (hīnā).--Kṛṣṇapaṇḍita, Probably a sick wife is meant, Gautama IX, 28.
Gautama IX, 53. Kṛṣṇapaṇḍita gives besides the above interpretation of the Sūtra from Haradatta's Gautamīyā Mitākṣarā, another one, according to which it means, 'Let him not forsake his own family and enter another one (by adoption and so forth).' A third p. 60 explanation is given by Nārāyaṇa on Sāṅkhāyana Gṛhya-sūtra IV, 12, II, who takes it to mean, 'Let him not go from one house to the other.'
Gautama IX, 52; Viṣṇu LXIII, 42.
Viṣṇu LXXI, 17-18.
-12. Viṣṇu LXXI, 35.
Gautama IX, 37-38, 41-43; Viṣṇu LX, 2-3.
Viṣṇu LXXI, 13-15.
Viṣṇu LXVIII, 40.
Kṛṣṇapaṇḍita thinks that this rule refers to the first five mouthfuls only.
Viṣṇu LXIX, 1. The Parva days are the eighth, fourteenth, and fifteenth of each half-month.
-27. Gautama IX, 32.
Āpastamba II, 5, 12, 6.
Āpastamba II, 5, 12, 7-8.
Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa X, 5, 2, 9; Viṣṇu LXVIII, 46.
-33. Gautama IX, 22.
Gautama IX, 44.
Viṣṇu LXVIII, 21.
Gautama IX, 32.
Viṣṇu LXXI, 13.
Viṣṇu LXXI, 16.
Gautama IX, 32.
I read sabhāsamavāyāṃścāvajayeta. The corrupt readings of Bh. samavāyāśca javīyan and of F. samavāyāṃśca vakṣīyanna point to this version, the sense of which agrees with the parallel passages of other Smṛtis, see e.g. Āpastamba I, 11, 32, 19.
Viṣṇu LXXI, 83.
Gautama IX, 54-55, 66.
Viṣṇu LXIII, 9. According to Kṛṣṇapaṇḍita the time intended is midday.
Viṣṇu LXIII, 47.
Viṣṇu LXIII, 46. Kṛṣṇapaṇḍita omits this Sūtra which is found in the majority of the MSS.
Āpastamba I, II, 32, 15; Viṣṇu XXX, 27.
Manu IV, 92; Viṣṇu LX, i. The Muhūrta sacred to Prajāpati is the same as the Brāhma-muhūrta, and falls in the last watch of the night.