Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

p. 69


1. Now (follows the exposition) of the study of the Veda.

2. Both sit down to the north of the fire,

3. The teacher with his face to the east, the other one to the west.

4. After (the student) has reverentially saluted the teacher's feet and has sprinkled his (own) hands (with water),

5. And has kneeled down with his right knee on young Kusa shoots at their roots,

6. And has grasped round (those Kusa shoots) in 'heir middle with his hands, holding the right uppermost,

7. The teacher, having seized them at their tops

p. 70

with his left hand, and with his right hand sprinkling them with water, then makes the other say:

8. 'Recite the Sâvitrî, sir!' says the other.

9. 'I recite the Sâvitrî to thee!' says the teacher.

10 10. 'Recite the Gâyatrî, sir!' says the other.

'I recite the Gâyatrî to thee!' says the teacher.

11. 'Recite the verse of Visvâmitra, sir!' says the other.

'I recite the verse of Visvâmitra to thee!' says the teacher.

12. 'Recite the Rishis, sir!' says the other.

I recite the Rishis to thee!' says the teacher.

13. 'Recite the deities, sir!' says the other.

'I recite the deities to thee!' says the teacher.

14. 'Recite the metres, sir!' says the other.

'I recite the metres to thee!' says the teacher.

15. 'Recite the Sruti, sir!' says the other.

'I recite the Sruti to thee!' says the teacher.

16. 'Recite the Smriti, sir!' says the other.

'I recite the Smriti to thee!' says the teacher.

17 17. 'Recite faith and insight, sir!' says the other.

'I recite faith and insight to thee!' says the teacher.

p. 71

18 18-20. In that way, according to what Rishi each hymn belongs to and what its deity and its metre is, thus (with the corresponding indications of Rishi, &c.) let him recite each hymn;

19 19. Or also, if he does not know the Rishis, deities, and metres, the teacher recites this verse, 'That glorious (splendour) of Savitar' (Rig-veda III, 62, 10), pâda by pâda, hemistich by hemistich, (and finally) without a stop, and says, when he has finished, 'This (verse belongs to Savitar; it is a Gâyatrî; Visvâmitra is its Rishi).'

p. 72

20. Let him thus recite (the hymns belonging to) each Rishi, or (each) Anuvâka;

21 21. Of the short hymns (in the tenth Mandala) an Anuvâka,

22. Or as much as the master may think fit.

23. Or optionally he may recite the first and last hymn of (each) Rishi,

24 24. Or of (each) Anuvâka,

25. (Or) one (verse) of the beginning of each hymn.

26. The teacher may optionally say at the beginning of the hymn, 'This is the commencement.'

27 27. This has been (further) explained in (the treatise about) the Rishisvâdhyâya.

p. 73

28 28. When (the lesson) is finished, he takes the young Kusa shoots, makes of cow-dung a pit at their roots, and sprinkles water on the Kusa (shoots) for each hymn.

29 29. For the rest of the day standing and fasting.


69:1 7, 1. Nârâyana: 'Now (atha), i.e. after the observance of the Sukriya vrata,' &c. On the Sukriya vrata which has to be undergone before the Anuvakana treated of in this chapter can be performed, see the note on chap. 4, 1, and below, chap. II, 9. One would have expected that in the arrangement of Sâṅkhâyana the rites belonging to the Sukriya vrata would precede the exposition of the Anuvakana. Perhaps it was in consequence of the exact analogy of the Sukriya with the Sâkvara, Vrâtika, Aupanishada vratas, that the description of the former has been postponed till the latter had to be treated of.

Râmakandra's Paddhati has the following remark here, 'Now the way of studying the Veda, called Anuvakana, is set forth. This can be done only after the Sukriya vrata has been enjoined on the student; before that nothing but the Sâvitrî can be taught to him.'

69:2 2 seq. Comp. above, chap. 2, 8 seq.

69:4 The way in which this reverential salutation should be performed is described below, IV, 12, 1 seq.

69:6 On dakshinottarâbhyâm, see chap. 2, 11 and Nârâyana's note there.

70:8 8 seq. Comp. Weber's Indische Studien, vol. x, p. 131 seq.

70:10 Comp. the note on chap. 5, 4-6. Nârâyana states, in accordance with these Sûtras of the fifth chapter, that in case the student belongs to the second or third caste, an Ûha (i.e. a corresponding alteration of the formulas; from the Srauta-sûtra, VI, 1, 3 the definition is quoted here sabdavikâram ûham bruvate) takes place. If he is a Kshatriya, he has to say, 'Recite the Trishtubh, sir!'—'Recite the verse of Hiranyastûpa (Rig-veda I, 35, 2), sir!' A Vaisya has to say, 'Recite the Gagatî, sir!'—'Recite the verse of Hiranyastûpa (or, of Vâmadeva, Rig-veda I, 35, 9 or IV, 40, 5), sir!'

70:17 Comp. Indische Studien, X, 132, note 1.

71:18-20 I do not think that Professor Weber (Indische Studien, X, 132) has quite exactly rendered the meaning of these Sûtras when he says, 'The teacher then (i.e. after the formula of Sûtra 17 has been pronounced) teaches him first the Rishi, the deity, and the metre of each Mantra. In case he does not know them himself for a Mantra, he recites the holy Sâvitrî (tat Savitur varenyam). After this he teaches him in due order either (1) the single Rishis, i.e. the hymns belonging to each Rishi, or (2) the single Anuvâkas,' &C.—It does not seem quite probable to me that the student should have had to learn first the Rishis, deities, and metres of the whole Veda, before the text of the hymns was taught him; I rather believe that hymn by hymn the indication of the Rishis, &c. preceded the anuvakana of the text itself, and with this opinion the statement of Nârâyana agrees, 'Evam pûrvoktena prakârena rishidevatâkhandahpûrvakam tam tam Agnim îla ityâdikam mantramnavakâyâkâryonubrûyât.'

71:19 According to Nârâyana by esheti (literally, 'This [is the Rik]') it is meant that the teacher, after having recited the Sâvitrî in the three ways mentioned, should say to the student, 'This Rik is in the Gâyatrî metre. If recited pâda by pâda, it has three pâdas. Thus also this Rik, if recited hemistich by hemistich, has two Avasânas (pauses), the first at the end of the hemistich, the second at the end of the third karma (or pâda). Thus also this Rik is recited without stopping; at the end of the three karanas, or of the twenty-four syllables, the pause (avasâna) should be made. Thus I recite to thee the Sâvitrî; I recite to thee the Gâyatrî; I recite to thee the verse of Visvâmitra.' 'For,' adds Nârâyana, 'if the Gâyatrî has been recited, the whole complex of the Veda being of that very p. 72 substance, a complete knowledge thereof has been produced.' The commentator then indicates a shorter form for the teacher's words which our Sûtra prescribes by esheti, 'This verse belongs to Savitar; it is a Gâyatrî; its Rishi is Visvâmitra.'

72:21 The Kshudrasûktas are the hymns Rig-veda X, 129-191.

72:24 24 seq. This seems to be an abridged method by which students who had not the intention of becoming Vedic scholars, and probably chiefly students of the Kshatriya and Vaisya caste, could fulfil their duty of learning the Veda; a student who knew the first and last hymn of a Rishi, or of an Anuvâka, was, as would seem from these Sûtras, by a sort of fiction considered as though he had known the whole portion belonging to that Rishi, or the whole Anuvâka.

72:27 Nârâyana explains Rishisvâdhyâya by mantrasamhitâ. He says, The Anuvâkana which has been declared here, is to be understood also with regard to the svâdhyâya, i.e. to the Samhitâ of the Mantras.' I think there is a blunder in the MS., and instead of tad api svâdhyâye . . . gñeyam we ought to read tad rishisvâdhyâye . . . gñeyam. In this case we should have to translate the quoted passage, '. . . is to be understood with regard to the Rishisvâdhyâya, i.e. to, &c.'—I think, however, that the true meaning of the Sûtra is different from what Nârâyana believes it to be. The expression vyâkhyâtam apparently conveys a reference to another treatise in which the rules regarding the Rishisvâdhyâya would seem to have been fully set forth. The Srauta-sûtra contains p. 73 no passage which could be the one here referred to; we may suppose, therefore, that either a chapter of a Prâtisâkhya is quoted here, or a separate treatise on the special subject of the Rishisvâdhyâya. References to such treatises are found in the Sûtra texts in several instances, of which the most important is that in the Gobhila-Grihya I, 5, 13, 'On what day the moon becomes full, the knowledge thereof is contained in a special text; that one either should study or ascertain when the Parvan is from those who have studied it.'

73:28 Nârâyana: 'First stand the Mantras, then the Brâhmana, because it contains the viniyoga (the ritual use of the Mantras), then the Smriti texts such as Manu, &c. When he has repeated these texts to the student, after the end of the Anuvâkana, the teacher should take from the student the Kusa blades which had been taken up before for the sake of the Anuvâkana (see Sûtras 5 seq.),' &c.—The teacher is made the subject of this rule also by Râmakandra. On yathâsûktam Nârâyana observes that according to some teachers these water oblations were directed to the Rishis of the different hymns (rishîn uddisyeti kekit). This statement seems to be countenanced by IV, 6, 6. Comp. the note below on IV, 9, 1.

73:29 'This rule concerns the Brahmakârin.' Nârâyana. See also Âsvalâyana I, 22, 11.

Next: II, 8