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

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p. 370 p. 371




AMONG the Grantha MSS. collected by the late Dr. Burnell and now belonging to the India Office Library, there are some MSS. (numbers CLXXII and following of the Catalogue) of a Grihya-sûtra hitherto unpublished, which is ascribed to Khâdirâkârya. It belongs to the Drâhyâyana school of the Sâma-veda, which prevails in the south of the Indian peninsula 1, and it is based on the Gobhilîya-sûtra, from which it has taken the greater number of its aphorisms, just as the Drâhyâyana-Srauta-sûtra, as far as we can judge at present, is nothing but a slightly altered redaction of Lâtyâyana 2. Like the Gobhila-Grihya it very seldom gives the Mantras in their full extent, but quotes them only with their Pratîkas, and it is easy to identify these quotations in the Mantrabrâhmana (published at Calcutta, 1873), which contains the texts prescribed by Gobhila for the Grihya ceremonies.

The Khâdira-Grihya has evidently been composed with the intention of abridging Gobhila's very detailed and somewhat lengthy treatise on the domestic rites. Digressions, such as, for instance, that introduced by the words tatraihad âhuh, Gobhila I, 2, 10-27, or such as Gobhila's explication of the terms paurnamâsî and amâvâsyâ, I, 5, 7 seqq., or most of the regulations concerning the Sakvaryas, III, 3, or the Slokas, IV, 7, are invariably left

p. 372

out, and in the descriptions of the single ceremonies throughout the principal points only are given, with the omission of all words and of all matter that it seemed possible to dispense with. On the other hand, the arrangement of the Sûtras has undergone frequent changes, in which the compiler clearly shows his intention of grouping together, more carefully than was done in the original text, the Sûtras which naturally belong to each other. Of the Sûtras of the Khâdira-Grihya which cannot be identified in Gobhila, several are to be traced back to Lâtyâyana, or we should perhaps rather say, to Drâhyâyana. Thus Khâd. I, 1, 14 mantrântam avyaktam parasyâdigrahanena vidyât evidently corresponds to Lâtyâyana I, 1, 3, uttarâdih pûrvântalakshanam, and Khâd. I, 1, 24 avyâvrittim yagñâṅgair avyavâyam kekhet is identical with Lâty. I, 2, 15, avyavâyovyâvrittis ka yagñâṅgaih.

Upon the whole, though certainly the Khâdira-Grihya does not contain much matter which is not known to us from other sources, it notwithstanding possesses a certain interest, since it shows by a very clear example how a Sûtrakâra of the later time would remodel the work of a more ancient author, trying to surpass him by a more correct arrangement, and especially by what became more and more appreciated as the chief accomplishment of Sûtra composition, the greatest possible succinctness and economising of words. To an interpreter of Gobhila the comparison of the Khâdira-Grihya no doubt will suggest in many instances a more correct understanding of his text than he would have been likely to arrive at without that aid, and perhaps even readings of Gobhila which seemed hitherto subject to no doubt, will have to give way to readings supplied by the Grantha MSS. of the Khâdira-Grihya. Thus, Gobhila III, 8, 16, I do not hesitate to correct asamsvâdam, on the authority of Khâd. III, 3, 13, into asamkhâdam or asamkhâdan 1.

p. 373

As the text of the Khâdira-Grihya is very short and has not yet been published, it has been printed at the foot of the page, together with references to the parallel passages of Gobhila. For further explanations of the single Sûtras, I refer to my translation of Gobhila which will form part of the second volume of the Grihya-sûtras, where I shall also hope to give some extracts from Rudraskanda's commentary on the Khâdira-Grihya.


371:1 See Dr. Burnell's Catalogue, p. 56.

371:2 Weber, Vorlesungen über indische Literaturgeschichte (2nd edition), p. 87: 'Almost the entire difference between this Sûtra and that of Lâtyâyana lies in the arrangement of the matter treated of, which is in itself very nearly the same in both texts, and is expressed in the same words.' Comp. Anandakandra Vedântavâgîsa's Introduction to his edition of Lâtyâyana (in the Bibliotheca Indica), pp. 2, 3, and his statements on Drâhyâyana in the notes of that edition.

372:1 Comp. Pâraskara II, so, 15, and the quotations given by Böhtlingk-Roth s. v. sam-khâd. Forms derived from the two roots, khâd and svad, are frequently interchanged in the MSS.; see the two articles in the Dictionary.

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