The Grihya Sutras, Part 2 (SBE30), by Hermann Oldenberg, , at sacred-texts.com
It is the same with numbers.
If we read that, as in the case of fees to be given to priests, two, seven, eleven, twelve, twenty-one, sixty, or a hundred, this means that either one or the other, not that all should be given at the same time.
But accumulation is meant in the buying (of Soma), in the redemption, and in initiation.
When it is said that Soma is bought for a goat, gold, &c., that it is re-bought from the priests by means of a fee, or that at the time of the Dîkshâ, the purification and initiation of a sacrificer, clothes, gold, grain, &c., should be given, these are cases not of aut-aut but of et-et.
The Soma-plant, which is supposed to be bought from northern barbarians, is botanically described in an Âyur-vedic extract, quoted in the Dhûrtasvâmi-bhâshyatîkâ (MS. E.I.H. 531, p. 3b), as
syâmâlâmlâ ka nishpatrâ kshîrinî tvaki mâmsalâ, sleshmalâ vamanî vallî somâkhyâ khâgabhoganam. 'The creeper called Soma is dark, sour, without leaves, milky, fleshy on the surface, producing phlegm and vomiting, food for goats.'
This passage, quoted from some Âyur-vedic text, is still the only one which gives an approximative description of the Soma-plant. Dr. Hooker says that the predicates 'sour and milky' point to Sarcostemma, but the question is not decided yet. For further information see George Watt, The Soma Plant, an extract from the third volume of the Dictionary of Economic Products of India, and Hillebrandt, Vedische Mythologie, pp. 14 seq.
If one has performed an offering to Rudra, to the Râkshasas, to Nirriti, or to the Pitris, if one has cut or broken or thrown away anything, or rubbed oneself, &c., one should touch water.
The touching of water is for the sake of purification. Nirasana is left out in some MSS. The ka, inserted after abhimarsanâni, is explained, as usual, as including other acts also, corresponding to our etc.
All priestly performances take place on the northern side of the Vihâra.
Uttarata-upakârah has to be taken as a compound. Vihâra is explained as vihriyanteऽgnayah pâtrâni ka yasmin dese, i.e. the sacrificial ground. Upakâra is explained as adhvaryvâdînâm samkarah, and this samkara, according to Kâtyâyana I, 3, 42, is the path between the Kâtvâla and Utkara, the Utkara being on the west, the pranîtâs on the east of the Vihâra. Kâtyâyana I, 8, 26, expresses the same rule by uttarata-upakâro yagñah, the vihâra being the place where the yagña takes place.
The priest should never turn away from the fire, i.e. should never turn his back on the altar.
Nor from the Vihâra.
Sacrificial utensils should be turned inside, the performers being outside.
The meaning is that the priest should carry such things is spoons, vessels, &c., holding them towards the altar. The sacrificer and his wife should likewise be on the inside of the priest, and the priests should take precedence sideways according to their rank.
After a sacrificial object has been hallowed by a Mantra, the priest should not toss it about.
Sacrificial acts intended for the gods, should be performed by the priest towards the east or towards the north, after he has placed the Brahmanic cord over the left and under the right arm (yagñopavîtin), and turning towards the right.
Sacrificial acts intended for the Fathers should be performed by the priest towards the south, after he has placed the Brahmanic cord over the right and
under the left arm (prâkînâvîtin), and turning towards the left.
Ropes which have to be joined, should be joined by the priest from left to right, after having tied them from right to left.
Ropes which are not joined (single ropes), should be tied by the priest from left to right.
The exact process here intended is not quite clear. The ropes seem to have been made of vegetable fibres. See Katy. I, 3,15-17.
Let a man sacrifice with the Amâvâsyâ sacrifice at the time of the Amâvâsyâ, new moon.
Amâ-vâsyâ is the dwelling together, i.e. the conjunction, of sun and moon, an astronomical expression which was adopted in the common language of the people at a very early time. It does not occur, however, in the Rig-veda. In our Sûtra amâvâsyâ is used in the sense both of new moon and new-moon sacrifice.
And let a man sacrifice with the Paurnamâsyâ sacrifice at the time of the Paurnamâsî, full moon, thus it is said.
Here the full moon is called paurnamâsî, the sacrifice paurnamâsyâ. Satyavrata joins the two Sûtras in one, and leaves out yageteti, which may have belonged to the commentary.
Let a man observe that full-moon day as a day of abstinence on which the moon comes out full before.
The full moon (paurnamâsî) is really the very moment on which the moon is full and therefore begins to decrease. That moment on which sun and moon are, as the Hindus said, at the greatest distance from each other, is called the parva-sandhi, the juncture of the two phases of the moon. Thus the name of paurnamâsî belongs to the last day of the one and to the first day (pratipad) of the other phase, and both days might be called paurnamâsî. If therefore the moon is full on the afternoon, the evening, or the twilight of one day, that day should be observed as a fast-day, and the next day should be the day of sacrifice.
The meaning of purastâd, which I have translated by before, is doubtful. One commentator says it has no object, and should be dropped, purastâd ity etat padam asmin sûtra idânîm anvayam na labhate prayoganâbhâvât. Purastâd, before, may, however, mean before the second day, on which the real sacrifice takes place, and the commentator mentions purastât-paurnamâsî as a name of the katurdasî-yuktâ, i.e. the full moon beginning on the fourteenth day. The same kind of full moon is also called Anumati, Pûrvâ-paurnamâsî, and Sandhyâ-paurnamâsî, while that which takes place on the pratipad, the first day of the lunar phase, is called Râkâ, Uttarâ-paurnamâsî, Astamitoditâ, and Svahpûritâ.
Corresponding to these two kinds of Paurnamâsî there are also two kinds of Amâvâsyâ. That which falls on the fourteenth day is called Pûrvâ-amâvâsyâ, or Sinîvâlî, the ἕνη καὶ νέα; that which falls on the pratipad, the first day of the new phase, is called Kuhû, Uttarâ-amâvâsyâ. Svoyuktâ. See also Ait.-Brâhm. II, 4; Nir. XI, 31-32.
Or the day when one says, To-morrow it will be full.
In that case the day before should be observed as a day of abstinence. The real full moon would then take place in the fore-noon, pûrvâhne, of the next day. Abstinence, upavâsa, consists in abstaining from meat and from maithuna, in shaving beard and head, cutting the nails, and, what seems a curious provision, in speaking the truth. See Kâty.-Srauta-sûtras II, I, 8-12.
The Vâgasaneyins mention a third, the Kharvikâ full moon.
Kharva means small. If one divides the night into twelve parts, and if in a portion of the twelfth part the greatest distance of sun and moon takes place, then the full moon is called kharvikâ, also kshînâ. Or, if on the sixteenth day, the full moon takes place before noon, that also is called kharvikâ paurnamâsî. In that case abstinence or fasting takes place on the sixteenth day (tasyâm shodaseऽhany upavâsah). Both paurnamâsîs are also called sadyaskâlâ.
Let a man observe that new-moon day (amâvâsyâ) as a day of abstinence, on which the moon is not seen.
This Sûtra has to be connected with Sûtra LXV. The abstinence takes place on the day, if the actual new moon, the nearest approach of sun and moon, falls on the afternoon, at night, or at twilight. And this new moon, the junction of the fifteenth day and the pratipad, is called Kuhû. We should read amâvâsyâm.
Or the day when one says, To-morrow they will not see it.
In that case, when the real new moon takes place in the fore-noon, abstinence is observed on the day before, and the new moon is called Sinîvâlî. Satyavrata reads svo yukta iti vâ instead of svo na drashtâra iti vâ. Drashtârah should be explained as îkshitârah, 'they will not see it.' There is much difference of opinion on this subject among different Sâkhâs, Sûtrakâras, and their commentators; see Taitt. Samh. III, 4, 9; Weber, Ind. Stud., V, p. 228.
The principal acts (pradhâna), prescribed in one (typical) performance, follow the same special rules (vidhâna).
This Sûtra is variously explained: Satyavrata's commentary, which I have followed in the translation, explains pradhânâni as âgneyâdîni, i.e. the chief parts of such a sacrifice as the Darsa-pûrnamâsa; vidhânâni as aṅgâni. Kapardisvâmin's commentary also explains vidhânâni as the aṅgâni of a pradhânam; pradhânam as pûrnamâsa, &c. It would therefore mean that such ceremonies as the âgneya (ashta-kapâla), âgnîshomîya (ekâdasa-kapâla), and upâmsu, which form the pradhânas of the Darsapûrnamâsa, retain throughout the same vidhânas or aṅgas as prescribed in one Prakarana, viz. the Darsapûrnamâsa. The Aṅgas or members are all the things used for sacrificial purposes, milk, butter, grains, animals, &c.
The special rules are limited by (the purpose of) the (typical) performance (prakarana).
Here the rules (vidhis) are again the Aṅgas, which belong to a sacrifice, as the members belong to the body.
If no special instruction is given (in the Sruti), the acts are general.
If a special instruction is given, they are restricted.
Nirdesa is explained as visesha-sruti, and the meaning is supposed to be that unless such a special rule is given, the Aṅgas of all the Pradhâna acts remain the same, as, for instance, the Paryagnikarana, the Prayâgas, &c. Special instructions are when it is said: payasâ maitravarunam srînâti, sruvena purodâsam anakti, he cooks the Maitravaruna with milk, he anoints the Purodâsa with the spoon, &c.
The Ashtâ-kapâla for Agni, the Ekâdasa-kapâla for Agnî-Shomau, and the Upâmsuyâga (the muttered offering of butter), form the principal acts at the Paurnamâsî, the full moon.
The Ashtâ-kapâla is the cake baked in eight cups, the Ekâdasa-kapâla that baked in eleven cups, and respectively destined for Agni and Soma. What is meant are the sacrificial acts for which these cakes are used.
The other Homas are Aṅga.
The other acts, such as the prayâgas and anuyâgas, are auxiliary, and have no promise of reward by themselves.