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...

Chapter XXIX

1. Through liberality (man) obtains all his desires,

2. (Even) longevity, (and he is born again as) a student of the Veda, possessed of beauty.

3. He who abstains from injuring (sentient beings) obtains heaven.

4. By entering a fire the world of Brahman (is gained).[1]

5. By (a vow of) silence (he obtains) happiness.

6. By staying (constantly) in water he becomes a lord of elephants.

7. He who expends his hoard (in gifts) becomes free from disease.

8. A giver of water (becomes) rich by (the fulfilment of) all his desires.

9. A giver of food (will have) beautiful eyes and a good memory.[2]

10. He who gives a promise to protect (somebody) from all dangers (becomes) wise.

11. (To bestow gifts) for the use of cows (is equal to) bathing at all sacred places.

12. By giving a couch and a seat (the giver becomes) master of a harem.[3]

13. By giving an umbrella (the giver) obtains a house.

14. He who gives a house obtains a town.[4]

15. He who gives a pair of shoes obtains a vehicle.

16. Now they quote also (the following verses): Whatever sin a man distressed for livelihood commits, (from that) he is purified by giving land, (be it) even "a bull's hide."'[5]

17. 'He who gives to a Brāhmaṇa a vessel filled with water for sipping, will obtain after death complete freedom from thirst and be born again as a drinker of Soma.'[6]

18. 'If a gift of one thousand oxen fit to draw a carriage (has been bestowed) according to the rule on a perfectly worthy man, that is equal to giving a maiden.'[7]

19. 'They declare that cows, land, and learning are the three most excellent gifts. For to give learning is (to bestow) the greatest of all gifts, and it surpasses those (other gifts).'[8]

20. 'A learned man who, free from envy, follows this rule of conduct which procures endless rewards, and which through final liberation frees him from transmigration;'[9]

21. 'Or who, full of faith, pure, and subduing his senses, remembers or even hears it, will, freed from all sin, be exalted in the highest heaven.'

Footnotes and references:


XXIX. This Sūtra, which recommends self-cremation, is of some importance, as it confirms the teaching of the Purāṇas and explains the accounts of the Greeks regarding the self-immolation of Brāhmaṇas who visited Europe.


Viṣṇu XCII, 21.


Viṣṇu XCII, 27; Manu IV, 232. 'Master of a harem,' i.e. the possessor of many beautiful wives and concubines.


Viṣṇu XCII, 31. 15. Viṣṇu XCII, 28.


Viṣṇu XCII, 4. Kṛṣṇapaṇḍita quotes a passage of the Matsya-purāṇa according to which 'a bull's hide' is a, measure equal to 140 square hastas; see, however, notes to Viṣṇu loc. cit. and V, 183.


Manu IV, 229.


Read in the text vidhivaddānam kanyādānena tatsamam.


Kṛṣṇapaṇḍita wrongly makes two Sūtras out of this verse.


Kṛṣṇapaṇḍita and MS. B. read, against the metre and sense, yogināṃ sampūritam vidvān, another reading yogināṃ saṃmatam vidvān. F. reads yonasaṃyurimaṃ vidvān. I read yo ’nasūyurimaṃ vidvān.

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