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

p. 106


1. Let him offer (Srâddha oblations) every month to the fathers.

2. Having invited an uneven number of Brâhmanas, versed in the Veda, at least three, to sit down as (representing) the fathers,

p. 107

3. And having strewn sesamum into an uneven number of water-pots,

4. He shall pour them out over the hands of the Brâhmanas, assigning (this gift) to them with the words, 'N.N.! This to thee!'

5-7. After this they should be adorned;

6. And after he has (respectfully) spoken to them, and has put food into the fire,

7. Assigning (the food) to them with the words, 'N.N.! This to thee!' he shall cause them to eat.

8. While they are eating, he shall murmur the Mahâvyâhritis, the Sâvitrî, the Madhuvâtîya-verses (Rig-veda I, 90, 6 seq.), and verses addressed to the Manes and to (Soma) Pavamâna.

p. 108

9. When they have finished with eating, he shall offer the lumps (of flour).

10 10-11. Before (their dinner he shall offer) the lumps, according to some (teachers).

11. Behind (these he places the lumps) for their wives, putting something between (these and the preceding ones).

12. To the Brâhmanas he shall announce the remnants.

13 13. The rites of the putting (of food) into the fire (see Sûtra 6), &c. have been declared (in the Srauta-sûtra) by the Pindapitriyagña.


106:1 1, 1. Khandas 1-4 contain the rules regarding the Srâddha oblations directed to the Manes. The dinners offered in connection with these Srâddha sacrifices to Brâhmanas and also—though of this of course no notice is taken in Vedic texts—to Sramanas stood in the first line among the exhibitions of liberality of lay people towards priests and monks. Thus we find among the stock phrases that constantly reoccur in the Pâli Pitakas, the mention of Samanas and Brâhmanas 'who have eaten the food given to them out of faith' (saddhâdeyyâni bhoganâni bhuñgitvâ)—wherein the 'food given out of faith' (saddhâdeyya) either chiefly or exclusively means the Srâddha dinners, which are so called because the sacrificer gives them 'full of faith' (sraddhâsamanvita, Manu III, 275) to the Brâhmanas and through them to the Manes.

The principal form of Srâddha is that treated of in chap. 1, which is designated in other texts (see, for instance, Âsvalâyana-Grihya IV, 7, 1) as pârvana srâddha. There are, however, besides the parvan of the new moon, other times also considered as admissible for the performing of this monthly Srâddha; see Gautama XV, 2 seq.; Âpastamba II, 16, &c.; and comp. on the Srâddhas in general the passages quoted by Professor Jolly, Das Dharma-sûtra des Vishnu (Sitzung der Bair. Akademie, phil. Classe, 7 Juni, 1879), pp. 46 seq.; Max Müller, 'India, what can it teach us?' pp. 234 Seq., 374 seq.

106:2 '"As the fathers" means: he invites the youngest, middle-aged, and eldest Brâhmanas to sit down in the place of the father, the grandfather, and the great-grandfather' (Nârâyana). A similar explanation of pitrivat is mentioned by Nârâyana on Âsvalâyana-Grihya p. 107 IV, 7, 2. My German translation of this Sûtra ought to be altered accordingly.

Besides the Brâhmanas mentioned in this Sûtra, who represent the fathers, according to all the commentaries, other Brâhmanas had to be invited as representing the Visve devâs. Nârâyana gives detailed statements as to the number of the paitrika and of the daivika Brâhmanas to be invited, and though at first sight a European reader would rather be inclined to doubt whether at the Srâddha ceremony, as the author of the text intended to describe it, any Brâhmanas at all had to be present except the paitrikas, the Sûtra 2, 5 shows that the commentators are quite right in their statements regarding both categories of Brâhmanas.

107:5-7 It would be more natural to alter the division of the Sûtras, so as to bring âmantrya in the fifth, annañ ka in the seventh Sûtra. In this case we should have to translate: 5. After this, having (respectfully) spoken to them who have been adorned (by him with flowers, ornaments, &c.); 6. And having put (food) into the fire, 7. And having assigned the food to them, &c., he shall cause them to eat.—The respectful address mentioned in the fifth Sûtra consists, according to Nârâyana, in the announcement, 'Ye Brâhmanas, I will put (food) into the fire!' (comp. Âsv.-Grihya IV, 7, 18), which he subsequently does with the formulas, 'To Agni Kavyavâhana svâhâ! To Soma Pitrimat svâhâ! To Yama Aṅgirasvat Pitrimat svâhâ!' Comp. Baudhâyana II, 1 4, 8.

108:9 As to the way in which the Pindas should he offered, Nârâyana refers to the Srauta-sûtra (IV, 4).

108:10-11 10, 11. Pindân evidently belongs to the tenth Sûtra, not, as the Indian tradition takes it, to the eleventh. Between the Pindas of the fathers and those belonging to the mothers he puts, according to Nârâyana, for instance, Darbha grass.

108:13 Srauta-sûtra IV, 3 seq.

Next: IV, 2