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

p. 301


1. When (the son) is one year old, the Kûdâkarana (i.e. the tonsure of his head, should be performed),

2. Or before the lapse of the third (year).

3. When he is sixteen years old, the Kesânta (i.e. the shaving of his beard, is to be done),

4. Or, according as it is considered auspicious by all (the different families).

5. After food has been distributed to the Brâhmanas, the mother takes the boy, bathes him, puts on him an under and an upper garment which have not yet been washed, and putting him on her lap, she sits down to the west of the fire.

6. The father taking hold (of his wife) sacrifices Âgya oblations, and after he has partaken of the (sacrificial) food, he pours warm water into cold water with (the words), 'With warm water come hither, Vâyu! Aditi, cut the hair.'

7. At the Kesânta ceremony (Sûtra 3), 'hair and beard' (instead of 'hair').

8. He throws a piece of fresh butter, or of ghee, or some curds into it (i.e. into the water, Sara 6).

9. Taking some (water) he moistens the hair near the right ear with (the formula), 'On the impulse of Savitri may the divine waters moisten

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thy body in order that long life and splendour may be thine.'

10 10. Having unravelled (the hair) with a porcupine's quill that has three white spots, he puts three young Kusa shoots into it with (the formula), 'Herb' (Vâg. Samh. IV, 1).

11 11. Taking up a copper razor with (the formula), 'Friendly by name' (Vâg. Samh. III, 63 a), he cuts (the hair) with (the formula), 'I cut off' (ibid. 63b), (and with the formula,) 'The razor with which Savitri, the knowing one, has shaven (the beard) of king Soma and Varuna, with that, ye Brâhmanas, shave his (head), in order that he may be blessed with long life and may reach old age.'

12. Cutting off (the Kusa shoots) together with the hair, he throws them on a lump of bull's dung which they keep northwards of the fire.

13. In the same way two other times silently.

14. The moistening and the other rites are repeated with the two other (tufts of hair).

15. Behind with (the verse), 'The threefold age' (Vâg. Samh. III, 62).

16 16. Then on the left side with (the verse), 'With that prayer by which mayst thou, a mighty one, go to heaven, and long mayst thou see the sun: with that prayer I shave thee for the sake of life, of existence, of glory, of welfare.'

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17. Three times he shaves round the head, from left to right;

18. Including the face, at the Kesânta ceremony.

19 19. (He recites the verse,) 'When the shaver shaves his hair with the razor, the wounding, the well-shaped, purify his head, but do not take away his life.'

20 20. He adds (the word), 'his face' at the Kesânta ceremony.

21. With that water (Sûtras 6, 8) he moistens his head, and gives the razor to the barber with (the words), 'Without wounding him, shave him.'

22. The locks of hair which are left over, are to be arranged as it is considered auspicious (in his family).

23 23. Having put away that lump of dung with the hair so that it is hidden in a cow-stable, or in a small pond, or in the vicinity of water; he gives an optional gift to the teacher;

24. A cow at the Kesânta ceremony.

25. After the Kesânta has been performed, (the youth) should observe chastity and should not be shaven through one year, or twelve nights, or six nights, or at least three nights.


301:1 1, 6. I see no reason why we should not take Aditi for the name of the goddess. Comp. Atharva-veda VI, 68, 2: Aditih smasru vapatu. Âsvalâyana-Grihya I, 17, 7. Stenzler translates: Ungebundener, die Haare schneide.

301:9 The text has, dakshinam godânam undati. The commentary on Kâtyâyana V, 2, 14 explains dakshina godâna: dakshinakarnasamîpavartinam sirahpradesam. Sâyana on Satapatha Brâhmana III, 1, 2, 4 (p. 323, ed. Weber): godânam nâma karnasyopari pradesah. The Mantra reoccurs in Kâtyâyana, loc. cit.—Savitrâ p. 302 prasûtâh should not be translated as Prof. Stenzler does: von Sav. erzeugt, but: von Say. angetrieben.

302:10 This Sûtra is identical with Kâtyâyana-Sraut. V, 2, 15.

302:11 Compare Kâtyâyana l.l. § 17. The Mantra, Vâg. Samh. III, 63 b, is that given by Kâtyâyana, the following one is that which the other Grihya texts prescribe.

302:16 See the various readings of the Mantra given by Professor Stenzler, p. 53 of his critical annotations, and compare Âsvalâyana-Grihya I, 17, 13.

303:19 Âsvalâyana l.l. § 16; Atharva-veda VIII, 2, 17.

303:20 He repeats the Mantra, given in Sûtra 19, in this form: When the shaver shaves his hair and his face,' &c.

303:23 See above, Sûtra 12.

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