Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Grihya Sutras, Part 2 (SBE30), by Hermann Oldenberg, [1892], at


1. 1 On the full-moon day of Praushthapada (or) under (the Nakshatra) Hasta the Upâkarana (or opening ceremony of the annual term of Veda-study, is performed).

2. 2 After (the teacher) has sacrificed with the Vyâhritis, he recites the Sâvitrî to the students as at the Upanayana;

3. And (he chants) the Sâvitrî with its Sâman melody,

p. 78

4. And (the Bârhaspatya Sâman, with the text), 'Soma, the king, Varuna' (Sâma-veda I, 91).

5. 5 After they have recited (the first verses) of the Khandas book, from its beginning, they may do what they like.

6. 6 They eat fried barley-grains with (the verse), 'That which is accompanied by grains and by a karambha (i.e. curds with flour)' (Sâma-veda I, 2 10).

7. They partake of curds with (the verse), 'I have praised Dadhikrâvan' (Sâma-veda I, 358).

8. 8 After they have sipped water, (the teacher) should cause them to repeat the first (?) verses, and to sing the first (?) Sâmans, of the different sections (?).

9. 9 On the day sacred to Savitri they wait.

10. 10 And at (the beginning of) the northerly

p. 79

course of the sun (they wait) one night with one day before and one day after it,

11. (Or they interrupt their study for) a period of three nights before and afterwards, according to some (teachers).

12. 12 And both times water libations are offered to the Âkâryas.

13. 13 Some perform the Upâkarana on the full-moon day of Srâvana and wait (with studying) the time (from that day) till the day sacred to Savitri (Sûtra 9).

14. 14 On the full-moon day of Taisha they leave off (studying the Veda).

15. 15 They should go out of the village in an easterly or northerly direction, should go to water which reaches higher than to their secret parts, should touch water (in the way prescribed above, I, 2), and should satiate the metres, the Rishis, and teachers (by libations of water).

16. 16 After this second Upâkarana, until the (chief) Upâkarana (has been performed) again for the Vedic texts, an interruption of the study (of the Veda takes place), if clouds rise.

p. 80

17. If lightning (is observed), or if it thunders, or if it is drizzling, (he shall not study) until the same time next day.

18. 18 On the falling of a meteor, or after an earthquake, or an eclipse of the sun or of the moon (the study is interrupted until the same time next day),

19. And if a whirlwind occurs.

20. Let them not study on the Ashtakâ days, and on the days of the new moon,

21. And on the days of the full moon—

22. 22 In the three months Kârttika, Phâlguna, and Âshâdha.

23. And (the study is interrupted) for one day and one night,

24. If a fellow-pupil has died,

25. Or the sovereign of his country;

26. Three days, if his teacher (has died);

27. One day and one night, if somebody (has died) who has reverentially approached.

28. If singing, or the sound of a musical instrument, or weeping is heard, or if it is storming, (the

p. 81

study of the Veda is discontinued) as long as that (reason of the interruption) lasts.

29. 29 As regards other (cases in which the reading of the Veda should ne discontinued), the practice of the Sishtas (should be followed).

30. 30 In the case of a prodigy an expiation (has to be performed) by the householder (or) by his wife.

31. If a spar of the roof or the middle (post of the house) breaks, or if the water-barrel bursts, let him sacrifice (Âgya oblations) with the Vyâhritis.

32. If he has seen bad dreams, let him murmur this verse, 'To-day, O god Savitri' (Sâma-veda I, 141).

33. Now (follows) another (expiation).

34. 34 If he has touched a piled-up (fire-altar) or a sacrificial post, or if he has humming in his ears, or if his eye palpitates, or if the sun rises or sets while he is sleeping, or if his organs of sense have been defiled by something bad, let him sacrifice two Âgya oblations with the two verses, 'May my strength return to me' (Mantra-Brâhmana I, 6, 33. 34).

35. Or (let him sacrifice) two pieces of wood anointed with Âgya.

36. Or let him murmur (those two verses) at light offences.


77:1 3, 1 seq. The Upâkarana ceremony; Khâdira-Grihya III, 2, 16 seq. Regarding the different terms for this ceremony, comp. Sâṅkhâyana IV, 5, 2; Âsvalâyana III, 5, 3; Pâraskara II, 10, 2. Hiranyakesin says: sravanâpaksha oshadhîshu gâtâsu hastena paurnamâsyâm vâdhyâyopâkarma.—It seems impossible to me to adopt an explanation of this Sûtra, which gives to praushthapadî another meaning than that based on the constant use of these feminines derived from the names of Nakshatras, i.e. the day of the full moon which falls under such or such a Nakshatra. Hasten a, therefore, necessarily refers to another day besides the Praushthapadî, on which the Upâkarana may be celebrated. Perhaps we may conjecture, praushthapadîm hastena vopâkaranam.

77:2 Comp. above, II, 10, 39.

78:5 The Khandas book is the first Sâmavedârkika in which the verses are arranged according to their metre.

78:6 It is not quite clear from the text, in what connection the rites described in Sûtras 6-8 stand with those treated of in the preceding Sûtras. The expression yathârtham used in Sûtra 5 ('yathârtham iti karmanah parisamâptir ukyate,' Comm.; comp. above, I, 3, 12 note) clearly indicates the close of the ceremony; on the other hand the comparison of Pâraskara II, 10, 15 seq., Sâṅkhâyana IV, 5, 10 seq., Âsvalâyana III, 5, 10, seems to show that the acts stated in Sûtras 6-8 form part of the ceremony described before.

78:8 I do not try to translate this very obscure Sûtra according to the commentary, in which khândika is explained as 'the number (of pupils).' Perhaps the word is a misspelling for kandikâ or the like, and means sections of the texts. Comp. Khâdira-Grihya III, 2, 23. The construction (âkântodakâh . . . kârayet) is quite irregular.

78:9 I.e. they do not continue their study. The day sacred to Savitri is the day under the constellation of Hasta, mentioned in Sûtra 1, for Savitri is the presiding deity over that Nakshatra (comp. Sâṅkhâyana I, 26, 11).

78:10 Comp. the note on Sûtra 16.

79:12 Regarding the Tarpana ceremony comp. Sâṅkhâyana 1V, 9, s note. From the word 'and' the commentator concludes that the libations are offered not only to the Âkâryas, but also to the Rishis, &c. (Sûtra 15).

79:13 Comp. Gautama XVI, 1; Vasishtha XIII, 1; Âpastamba I, 9, 1, &c.

79:14 Âpastamba I, 9, 2, &c.

79:15 This is a description of the Utsarga ceremony; comp. Sâṅkhâyana IV, 6, 6; Âsvalâyana III, 5, 21-23; Pâraskara II, 12.

79:16 The most natural way of interpreting the text would be, in my opinion, to assume that the 'second Upâkarana' (pratyupâkarana) is identical with the Utsarga. The second Upâkarana thus would in the same time conclude the first term for studying the p. 80 Veda, and open a second term. The distinction of two such periods, which may be called two terms, is frequently met with in other texts, for instance, in Vasishtha XIII, 5-7 (S.B.E. XIV, 63); Manu IV, 98. According to the commentary, on the other hand, the second Upâkarana is performed at the beginning of the northerly course of the sun (comp. Sûtras 10-12); it is stated that after that ceremony the Uttara (i.e. the Uttarârkika?) and the Rahasya texts are studied. It deserves to be noticed that Manu (IV, 96) prescribes the performing of the Utsarga either under the Nakshatra Pushya (i.e. Tishya), or on the first day of the bright fortnight of Mâgha, which is considered as coinciding, at least approximately, with the beginning of the northerly course of the sun.

80:18 Comp. Manu IV, 105.

80:22 These are the days of the ancient Vedic kâturmâsya sacrifices.

81:29 The definition of a Sishta, or instructed person, is given in Baudhâyana I, 1, 6 (S.B.E. XIV, 143).

81:30 30-36. Different expiations; comp. Khâdira-Grihya II, 5, 35-37.

81:34 Kitya means Kitya agni, the piled-up fire-altar, the construction of which is treated of, for instance, in the Satapatha Brâhmana VI-X. Prof. Weber has devoted to the rites connected with the kitya agni a very detailed paper, Indische Studien, XIII, 217 seq. That kitya does not mean here anything different from kitya agni is shown by the Mânava-Grihya I, 3: yadi . . . akshi vâ spandet karno vâ krosed agnimkityam ârohet smasânam vâ gakkhed yûpam vopaspriset, &c.

Next: III, 4