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


1. After (the student) has eaten something in the morning, in the afternoon, to the north-east—

p. 79

2. Having sacrificed, the teacher then asks him with regard to those deities to whom he has been given in charge (see above, chap. 3, 1), 'Hast thou fulfilled the duties of holiness before Agni, Indra, the Sun, and the Visve devâs?'

p. 80

3. If he answers, 'I have fulfilled them, sir!'—

4. The teacher three times envelops, from the left to the right, with a fresh garment the face (of the student) who is standing behind the fire, in front of the teacher, with his face to the east.

5. He turns the skirt (of that garment) upwards so that it cannot slip down,

6. (And says) 'Leaving off for three days the putting on of fuel, the going for alms, the sleeping on the ground, and the obedience to the teacher, fast in the forest, in a god's house or in a place where Agnihotra is performed, keeping silence, with earnest care.'

p. 81

7. Here some (teachers) prescribe the same observances only for one night, during which he is to stand.

8. The teacher refrains from eating flesh and from sexual intercourse.

9. When those three days or that night has elapsed, going out from the village he shall avoid to look at the following (persons or things) that form impediments for the study (of the Veda):

10 10. Raw flesh, a Kandâla, a woman that has lately been confined, or that has her courses, blood, persons whose hands have been cut off, cemeteries, and all sorts of corpse-like (animals?) which enter (their dens?) with the mouth first (?), keeping them away from the place where he dwells.

p. 82

11. Going out (from the village) in a north-eastern direction the teacher sits down on a clean spot. turning his face to the east.

12 12. When the sun has risen, he recites, in the way prescribed for the Veda-study, (the Âranyaka texts to the student) who is to keep silence and who wears a turban.

13 13. This rule is to be observed only for the Mahânâmnî verses.

14. At the sections however that follow (after the Mahânâmnîs) the other one hears while the teacher recites them for himself.

15. He gives (to the teacher) the turban, a vessel, a good cow.

16. (The teacher accepts the gifts) with the verses,

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[paragraph continues] 'Thou him' (Rig-veda I, 18, 5), and, 'High in the sky' (Rig-veda X, 107, 2), or (he accepts them) all with the Pranava (i.e. the syllable Om).

17. Here some prepare a mess of rice for the Visve devâs at all sections (of the Âranyaka);

18 18. For the gods to whom he has been given in charge, according to Mândûkeya.


78:1 12, 1 seq. The Indian tradition (with the exception only, as far as is known to me, of the Sâmbavya commentary) refers the ceremonies described in this chapter, like those treated of in chap. 11, as well to the Sukriya as to the Sâkvara and the other Vratas. This is not correct. The eleventh chapter gives the rites common to the four Vratas; the Sukriya vrata is connected with no special ceremonies beside those, so that the exposition of this Vrata is brought to an end in that chapter. The last Sûtra of chap. 11 marks the transition to the special rites which are peculiar to the three other Vratas, and are connected with the character of mystical secrecy attributed to the Âranyaka, and thus it is with the exclusion of the Sukriya that the twelfth chapter refers only to those Vratas. The difference which we have pointed out between the two chapters finds its characteristic expression in Sûtras 9 and 11 of chap. 11, compared with chap. 12, 13. 14; in the former Sûtras the statements there given are expressly extended to the Sukriya, the Sâkvara, the Vrâtika, and the Aupanishada, while in the latter passage mention is made first of the Mahânâmnîs, i.e. the text corresponding to the Sâkvara vrata, and then the uttarâni prakaranâni (the following sections) are referred to, i.e. the Mahâvrata and the Upanishad, so that the Sukriya vrata or the texts, the study of which is entered upon by that Vrata, are left out here.

There is a good deal of confusion in the several commentaries p. 79 with regard to the succession of the different ceremonies taught in this chapter. They all agree in stating that after the lapse of the year through which the Vrata is kept, a ceremony is performed called Uddîkshanikâ, i.e. the giving up of the Dîkshâ, or preparatory observance. This Uddîkshanikâ consists chiefly in the teacher's ascertaining whether the student has fulfilled the duties involved by the Vrata (see Sûtras 2 and 3). Besides that, there is no doubt that a repetition of the Upanayana (chap. 11, 2) also formed part of the preparatory rites for the study of the Âranyaka. As to the way in which these different ceremonies and the other rites described in this chapter would have to be arranged according to our text, it is perhaps best to follow the statements given in an epitome from the bâlâvabodhanârtham Rishidaivatakhandopaddhati (MS. Berol. Chambers, 199 a, fols. 13-16); the slight confusion therein is not difficult to get rid of. There we read, 'The Sâkvara, however, is to be kept one year (chap. 11, 11). When the Uddîkshanikâ has been performed, and three nights (chap. 12, 6) or one day and one night (ibid. 7) have elapsed, the Upanayana should be performed as above (chap. 11, 2), with this difference that at the end of the formula mama vrate, &c. (chap. 4, 1) one should say, "May Brihaspati join thee to me for the holy observance of the Sâkvara through one year, O Devadatta!" (On this formula, resting on a misunderstanding of chap. 4, Sûtra 2, see the Introduction, p. 8.) The rest is the same as at the Sukriya. Then, when the year (chap. 11, 11) has elapsed, and the Uddîkshanikâ has been performed, and the three days or the night have passed (chap. 12, 6. 7), he should go out of the village . . . and in the north-eastern direction,' &c. (here follows the description of how the secret doctrines should be taught to the student, according to Sâṅkh. VI). The confusion showing itself in the double mention of the Uddîkshanikâ, before and after the Upanayana, should no doubt be put to the account of the excerptor or perhaps even of the MS.; what the meaning of the original Paddhati was is sufficiently shown in the remarks on the following Vratas, for instance, on the Vrâtika (fol. 16), 'Now follows the Vrâtika vrata. It lasts one year (chap. p. 80 11, 12). When the Sâkvara has reached its end [here we find added at the margin of the MS.," After the Uddîkshanikâ has been performed." These words ought not to be received into the text; in the corresponding passage on the Aupanishada vrata they are not found] he performs the whole ceremony, beginning from the smearing (of the Sthandila with cow-dung), the drawing of the lines, &c., as at the Upanayana . . . and then, when one year has elapsed, he performs the Uddîkshanikâ, and the rules [given in chap. 12, 9 seq.] are observed as above.' I think that here the meaning of the text is correctly represented; first comes the Upanayana, then follows the Vrata lasting one year, then the Uddîkshanikâ. After this ceremony the teacher gives to the student the directions mentioned in chap. 12, 16; then follow the three days, or the one night (chap. 12, 6. 7), and finally they both go out of the village to the north-east, and in the forest they recite the Rahasya.

On the whole ceremonies connected with the study of the Âranyaka the sixth book should be compared.

80:5 Nârâyana: Vastrasya dasâh prântabhâga[m] uparishtât kritvâ tathâ badhnîyâd yathâ na sambhrasyeta adhastân na patati tathâ vidheyam.

80:6 The things which the student here is ordered to leave off for three days are the same that are mentioned above, chap. 6, 8, as his standing duties. According to Nârâyana this would be the Âdesa mentioned in chap. II, 13.

81:8 Comp. chap. II, 6.

81:10 With Sûtikâ is meant a woman during the first ten days after her confinement, for which period the asauka lasts.—Apahasta is rendered by Nârâyana by khinnahasta; the comment on the Sâmbavya-Grihya mentions âyudhâṅkitahastâms ka. The translation of the last words of this Sûtra (sarvâni ka savarûpâni yâny âsye na [or âsyena?] praviseyuh svasya vâsân nirasan) is absolutely uncertain. Nârâyana says that such animals as lions, serpents, &c. are designated in common use as savarûpâni. (This literally means, 'having the form of a corpse.' Immediately afterwards Nârâyana gives a nearly identical explanation of savarûpa as different from the one stated first. So perhaps we may conjecture that his first explanation rests on a reading sarparûpâni; comp. the reading sarvarûpa of Pâraskara.) Of these the animals entering their dwelling-places with the mouth first (âsyena) are to be understood here as forming, when looked at, an impediment for the study. Nârâyana then says that other authorities understand sava in the sense of a dead human body; then savarûpâni are beings having the form thereof (tadrûpâni), such as dogs, jackals, &c. The words yâny âsyena praviseyuh signify that the study is impeded also on the sight of lions, tigers, &c.; for these enter their dwelling-places with their faces first (? anumukhaih kritvâ). The words svasya vâsân nirasan mean, p. 82 according to Nâr., 'when he—i.e. the teacher—goes out of his dwelling-place.' Râmakandra says that savarûpa either means lions, snakes, and other dangerous animals, or nails, horns, and other such things that fall off or are severed from the body. The text of the Sâmbavya MS. is sarvâni ka syâmarûpâni yâvânyâ (?) praviseyuh, which the commentary explains, sarvâms ka bhakshyavargâms ka. I think there can be little doubt that the text of Sâṅkhâyana is correct (except that some doubt will remain as to âsyena or âsye na), the more so as the passage reoccurs, nearly identically, below at VI, 1, 4. 5. As to the translation we can only go so far as to venture the opinion that the Sâṅkhâyana text does not admit the interpretation given by Gayarâma, and accepted by Professor Stenzler (who compares Âpastamba I, 11, 27; Gautama XVI, 41) in Pâraskara II, 11, 3 for sarvarûpa, which consequently should, in our opinion, be rejected also in that passage of Pâraskara. For ascertaining the true meaning of savarûpa we shall have to wait until new parallel passages have been discovered.

82:12 The rules for the Anuvâkana have been given above in chap. 7.

82:13 The Mahânâmnî verses are given in the fourth Âranyaka of the Aitareyinas. See Sacred Books of the East, I, p. xliii.

83:18 Comp. the second Sûtra of this chapter.

Next: II, 13