Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 

p. 55


1. Now follows the (rule regarding the ordeal by) balance.

[29. Nand. infers from a text of Nârada (not found in his Institutes), that the plural is made use of in this Sûtra in order to include women, children, sickly, old, and feeble persons.

32. According to Nand., the particle ka is used here in order to include fire, wind, grasshoppers, and other plagues.

X. 5, 6. Y. II, 100.]

p. 56

2; The transverse beam, by which the balance is to be suspended, should be fastened upon two posts, four Hastas above the ground (each), and should be made two Hastas long.

3. The beam of the balance should be made of strong wood (such as that of the Khadira or Tinduka trees), five Hastas long, and the two scales must be suspended on both sides of it, (and the whole suspended upon the transverse beam by means of an iron hook).

4. A man out of the guild of goldsmiths, or of braziers, should make it equal on both sides.

5. Into the one scale the person (who is to be tried by this ordeal) should be placed, and a stone (or earth or bricks) or some other (equivalent) of the same weight into the other.

6. The equivalent and the man having been made equal in weight and (the position of the scales) well marked, the man should be caused to descend from the balance.

[2. One Hasta, 'cubit,' the modern 'hath,' equals two Vitasti, 'spans,' and 24 Angulas, 'digits,' the modern Angul. See Prinsep, Useful Tables, p. 122.

3. See the plate of balance, according to the statements of Indian legislators, in Professor Stenzler's Essay, 'Über die ind. Gottesurtheile,' journal of the German Oriental Society, IX.

4. Nand. infers from the use of the plural number and from a passage of Pitâmaha and Nârada (see the Institutes of the latter, 5, 122), that merchants may also be appointed for this purpose.

6. Nand. refers the term sukihnitau kritvâ to the man and to the equivalent, both having to be marked 'with the king's seal or in some other way, in order that no one may suspect the weight of the equivalent or of the man to have been increased or lessened by the addition or removal of other objects, or of clothes, ornaments, and the like.' 'Others' explain the term in the way in which it has been rendered above.]

p. 57

7. Next (the judge) should adjure by (the following) imprecations the balance

8. And the person appointed to look after the weighing:

9. Those places of torture which have been prepared for the murderer of a Brâhmana, or for a false witness, the same places are ordained for a who person appointed to look after the weighing, who acts fraudulently in his office.

10. 'Thou, O balance (dhata), art called by the same name as holy law (dharma); thou, O balance, knowest what mortal., do not comprehend.

11. 'This man, being arraigned in a cause, is weighed upon thee. Therefore mayest thou deliver him lawfully from this perplexity.'

12. Thereupon the judge should have him placed, into the one scale again. If he rises in it, he is freed from the charge according to law.

13. In case of the strings bursting, or of the splitting of the transverse beam, the man should be placed in the scale once more. Thus the facts will be ascertained positively, and a just sentence be the result.

Next: XI.