Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Grihya Sutras, Part 1 (SBE29), by Hermann Oldenberg, [1886], at


1. 'Here has come to us, protecting (us) from evil words, purifying our kin as a purifier, clothing herself, by (the power of) inhalation and exhalation, with strength, this friendly goddess, this blessed girdle'—with these words, three times repeated, he ties the girdle from left to right thrice round.

p. 62

2. (There should be) one knot, or also three, or also five.

3. He adjusts the sacrificial cord with (the words), 'The sacrificial cord art thou. With the cord of the sacrifice I invest thee.'

4. He fills the two hollows of (his own and the student's) joined hands (with water), and then says to him: 'What is thy name?'

5. 'I am N.N., sir,' says the other.

6-7. 'Descending from the same Rishis?' says the teacher.

7. 'Descending from the same Rishis, sir,' says the other.

p. 63

8. 'Declare (that thou art) a student, sir.'

9. 'I am a student, sir,' says the other.

10. With the words, 'Bhûr bhuvah svah' (the teacher) sprinkles thrice with his joined hands (water) on the joined hands (of the student),

11 11. And seizing (the student's) hands with (his own) hands, holding the right uppermost, he murmurs,

12. 'By the impulse of the god Savitar, with the arms of the two Asvins, with Pûshan's hands I initiate thee, N.N.'

13. Those who are desirous of a host (of adherents, he should initiate) with (the verse), 'Thee, (the lord) of hosts' (Rig-veda II, 23, 1).

14. Warriors with (the verse), 'Come here, do not come to harm' (Rig-veda VIII, 20, 1).

15. Sick persons with the Mahâvyâhritis.


62:2 2, 2. Râmakandra: 'Let him make one, or three, or five knots, according to (the student's) Ârsheya,' i.e. accordingly as he belongs to a family that invokes, in the Pravara ceremony, one, or three, or five Rishis as their ancestors. Comp. Weber, Indische Studien, vol. x, p. 79.

62:3 On the sacrificial cord (upavita) comp. the Grihya-samgraha-parisishta II, 48 seq.

62:4 Nârâyana: Âkârya âtmano mânavakasya kâñgalî udakena pûrayitvâ, &c.

62:6-7 6, 7. A similar dialogue between the teacher and the student at the Upanayana is given in the Kausika-sûtra (ap. Weber, Indische Studien, X, 71). The student there says, 'Make me an Ârsheya (a descendant of the Rishis) and one who has relations, and initiate me.' And the teacher replies, 'I make thee an Ârsheya and one who has relations, and I initiate thee.' As in this passage of the Kausika-sûtra the teacher is represented as having the power of making, by the Upanayana ceremony, an Ârsheya of the student, thus, according to the view expressed by Professor Weber (loc. cit., p. 72 seq.), Sâṅkhâyana would even give it into the teacher's power to make the student his samânârsheya, i.e. to extend his own Ârsheya on as many pupils as he likes. Professor Weber understands the sixth Sûtra so that the teacher would have to say, samânârsheyo bhavân brûhi (Nârâyana: bhavân brûhîti brahmakârî bhavân brûhîty atah [Sûtra 8] simhâvalokananyâyenâtrânushagyate. According to Râmakandra's Paddhati he is p. 63 only to say samânârsheyah). The student answers, samânârsheyo ’ham bho; Professor Weber, who supplies the imperative asâni, translates this, 'May I have the same Ârsheya, sir!'

I think it more natural to simply translate the teacher's question, 'Art thou samânârsheya?' (or, supplying bhavân brûhi from Sûtra 8, 'Declare that thou art samânârsheya'), and the student's reply, I am samânârsheya, sir!' Thus we ought possibly to consider these formulas, which state a fictitious, ideal samânârsheyatva of the teacher and the students as a trace, and as far as I can see as the only trace, of an ancient rule requiring a real samânârsheyatva of teacher and student. As long as the ritual differences between the different Gotras, of which, as is well known, only a few traces have survived in the Vedic tradition, had retained their full importance, it can indeed scarcely have been considered as admissible that a young Brâhmana should be confided to the guidance of a teacher who sacrificed and invoked the gods in another way than the customs of the pupil's own family required.

63:11 Nârâyana: dakshinottarâbhyâm dakshina uttara upari yayos tau dakshinottarau, &c.

Next: II, 3