Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


1. The bridegroom, who has bathed and for whom auspicious ceremonies have been performed, is escorted by happy young women, who are not widows, to the girl's house.

2. To these he shall not behave unobsequiously, except where forbidden food or a transgression is concerned.

3. Having obtained their permission, he then gives her the garment with (the verse), 'The Raibhî was' (Rig-veda X, 85, 6).

p. 33

4. With (the verse), 'Mind was the cushion' (ibid. 7) he takes up the salve-box.

5. The verse for the Anointing is, 'May the Visve devâs anoint (or, unite),' (ibid. 47.)

6. 'As this (has protected) Sakî the beloved one, and Aditi the mother of noble sons, and Apâlâ who was free from widowhood, nay it thus here protect thee, N.N.!'—with these words (the. bridegroom) gives her into her right hand the quill of a porcupine (and) a string of three twisted threads,

7. With the verse, 'Shape by shape' (Rig-veda VI, 47, 18) a mirror into the left.

8. Her relations tie (to her body) a red and black, woollen or linen cord with three (amulet) gems, with the verse, 'Dark-blue and red' (Rig. veda X, 85, 28).

9. With the verse, 'Full of honey the herbs' (Rig-veda IV, 57, 3), (the bridegroom) ties (to her body) Madhûka flowers.

p. 34

10 10. At the wedding one cow, when the Argha ceremony has been performed; in the house one cow: these are the two Madhuparka cows.

11 11. (The bridegroom) makes the girl sit down behind the fire, and while she takes hold of him he makes three oblations with the Mahâvyâhritis.

p. 35

12. A fourth (oblation) with (the three Mahâvyâhritis) together is to be understood from this rule.

13. In this way, where no express rule is stated, in all sacrifices that procure happiness, one is to sacrifice before and afterwards with these same (Mahâvyâhritis).


33:5 12, 5. On the ceremony of 'salving together' (samañgana), comp. Pâraskara I, 4, 14; Gobhila II, 2, &c. Professor Stenzler is certainly wrong in translating Pâraskara's samañgayati by 'heisst sie beide zusammentreten' (according to Gayarâma's explication, sammukhîkaroti). It is clear from Sâṅkhâyana, that a real anointing of bridegroom and bride took place. This was performed, according to Gobhila, by the 'audaka' (this seems to be the same person that is mentioned in Pâraskara I, 8, 3), of whom it is said, pânigrâham (i.e. the bridegroom) mûrdhadese ’vasiñkati, tathetarâm. Nârâyana, on the contrary, in his note on our passage, says that it is the bridegroom who anoints the eyes of the girl with the verse quoted. But the word sam-añgana, and the obvious meaning of the whole rite, make it rather probable that both were anointed, and that this was done by a third person.

33:6 Comp. below, chap. 22, 8, where the use of a porcupine's quill is prescribed at the sîmantonnayana ceremony; and see chap. 22, 10.

34:10 As to the meaning of arhayitvâ I differ from the opinion of Nârâyana (see his note on p. 127 of the German edition), who takes gâm as the object of this verb (gâm arhayitvâ pûgayitvâ mâtâ rudrânâm ity rikam gapitvâ [comp. Pâraskara I, 3, 27]). The real meaning of arhayati is, to perform the Argha ceremony for a guest. Evidently in this Sûtra two different occasions are stated on which the Argha reception, eventually with the killing of a cow, should be performed; firstly, the bridegroom should be so received in the house of the bride's father; secondly, when the newly-married people have arrived at their own house, an Argha reception should there be offered to them, perhaps, as the commentaries state, by the Âkârya.

34:11 According to Nârâyana it is the Âkârya who performs the rite prescribed in this Sûtra; Râmakandra, on the contrary, refers it to the bridegroom, which seems to me right. Comp. Gobhila II, 1.

In Sâṅkhâyana's description of the wedding ceremonies the point at which the bride passes over from the paternal power into that of her new husband is not expressly indicated. Pâraskara (I, 4, 15) clearly indicates it (pitrâ prattâm âdâya), and in the Parisishta of the Âsvalâyana-Grihya this act of handing over the girl is treated of in detail (I, 22). On this depends the description in the Prayogaratna, fol. 69; comp. also Colebrooke's Miscell. Essays, I, 210. The Paddhati of Râmakandra does not fail to mention the kanyâpradâna, but I do not think that the succession of the different rites is stated there correctly. According to the Paddhati the bridegroom goes to the house of the girl's father, and there, after the madhuparka has been offered, the bride is given over to him; he then (labdhavadhûkah) goes (chap. 12, 1), accompanied by young women, to the kautukâgâra, where the ceremonies described in chap. 12, 3 seq. take place. Pâraskara, on the contrary, describes the handing over of the garments, the anointing, &c., as preceding the giving over of the girl, and indeed it is scarcely possible to see in the acts of dressing, adorning the girl, &c., in which both the bridegroom and her relations p. 35 take part, anything but preparatory performances that precede the decisive moment. The sacrifice, on the contrary, which the bridegroom performs, according to chap. 12, 11, in common with his bride, seems to presuppose that he has already received her from her father; and the ceremonies described in chap. 13, the pânigrahana, the pronouncing of the Mantra, chap. 13, 4, which reminds one of the Roman formula ubi tu Gaius, the seven steps—all that should be understood not as intended to establish the power of the husband over his wife, but as presupposing that power and showing an exercise of it.

Next: I, 13