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Cbrtetiau ^Literature Company










General Rules , . . . .... i

Initiation . . . . . . . . 2

Studentship . 7

A Student who has returned Home . . . .29

The Study of the Veda 32

A Student who has returned Home . . . .48

Saluting . . . 51

Purification . . . . , . . 54

Eating, and Forbidden Food . . . . . -59

Lawful Livelihood . , 71

Penance . -75

Rules for a Snataka 92

The Duties of a Householder . , . ., . 99

Inheritance . . . . . . . 130

Funeral Oblations -13?

The Four Orders . . . . , . . 153

The King . .',.- ... . . 161


Initiation . . . . . . . . . 175

Purification . . . . . . . . .179

Studentship .182

The Ascetic . ... . . . .192

The Hermit 195

The Householder 16


Transliteration of Oriental Alphabets adopted for the Trans-
lations of the Sacred Books of the East . . . -


Saluting ........ . 207

Times of Distress . . . . . . . .211

A King and Br&hmawa versed in the Vedas . . -214
The Duties of a Snatika . . . . . .218

Lawful Occupations and Livelihood . . . . .227

The Duties of a King 234

Civil and Criminal Law ... ... 238

Witnesses . . 246

Impurity ...... ... 249

Funeral Oblations . . 255

The Study of the Veda 259

Eating, and Forbidden Food . .... 265

Women 270

Penances . . 274

Inheritance . . . . . . . . . 302




FOR all students of Sanskrit philology and Indian history
Apastamba's aphorisms on the sacred law of the Aryan
Hindus possess a special interest beyond that attaching to
other works of the same class. Their discovery enabled
Professor Max Muller, forty-seven years ago, to dispose
finally of the Brahmanical legend according to which
Hindu society was supposed to be governed by the codes
of ancient sages, compiled for the express purpose of tying
down each individual to his station, and of strictly regu-
lating even the smallest acts of his daily life ] . It enabled

Max Miiller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 133 seq.

The following letter, addressed to the late W. H. Morley, and published
by him in his Digest of Indian Cases, 1850, may be of interest as connected
with the first discovery of the Apastamba-sutras :

9, Park Place, Oxford, July 29, 1849.

MY DEAR MORLEY, I have been looking again at the law literature, in
order to write you a note on the sources of Manu. I have treated the subject
fully io my introduction to the Veda, where I have given an outline of the dif-
ferent periods of Vaidik literature, and analysed the peculiarities in the style
and language of each class of Vaidik works. \\ hat I consider to be the sources
of the Manava-dharma-jastra, the so-called Laws of Manu, are the Sutras.
These are works which presuppose the development of the prose literature of
the Biahmawas (like the Aitareya-brahmawa, Taittiriya-brahmawa, &c.) These
Brahmawas, again, presuppose, not only the existence, but the collection and
arrangement of the old hymns of the four Sawhitas. The Sutras are therefore
later than both these classes of Vaidik works, but they must be considered as
belonging to the Vaidik period of literature, not only on account of their
intimate connection with Vaidik subjects, but also because they still exhibit the
irregularities of the old Vaidik language. They form indeed the last branch
of Vaidik literature ; and it will perhaps be possible to fix some of these works
chronologically, as they are contemporary with the first spreading of Buddhism
in India.

Again, in the whole of Vaidik literature there is no work written (like the
Manava-dharma-jastra) in the regular epic Sloka, and the continuous employ-
ment of this metre is a characteristic mark of post-Vaidik writings.

One of the principal classes of Sutras is known by the name of Kalpa-s&tras,


hini not only to arrive at this negative result, but also to
substitute a sounder theory the truth of which subsequent
investigations have further confirmed, and to show that the
sacred law of the Hindus has its source in the teaching of
the Vedic schools, and that the so-called revealed law codes
are, in most cases, but improved metrical editions of older

or rules of ceremonies. These are avowedly composed by human authors,
while, according to Indian orthodox theology, both the hymns and Brahmaas
nre to be considered as revelation. The Sutras generally bear the name of
their authors, like the Sutras of Ai'valayana, Katyayana, &c., or the name of the
family to which the Sfttras belonged. The great number of these writings is to
be accounted for by the fact that there was not one body of Kalpa-sulras bind-
ing on all Brahmanic families, but that different old families had each their own
Kalpa-sutras. These works are still very frequent in our libraries, yet there is
no doubt that many of them have been lost. Sutras are quoted which do not
exist in Europe, and the loss of some is acknowledged by the Brahmans them-
selves. There are, however, lists of the old Brahmanic families which were in
possession of their own redaction of Vaidik hymns (Sawhitas), of Brahrnawas,
and of Sutras. Some of these families followed the Rig-veda, some the Ya^ur-
veda, the Sama-veda, and Atharva-veda ; and thus the whole Vaidik literature
becomes divided into four great classes of Brahmawas and Sutras, belonging to
one or the other of the four principal Vedas.

Now one of the families following the Ya^ur-veda was that of the Manavas
(cf. A"araavyuha). There can be no doubt that that family, too, had its own
Sutras. Quotations from Manava-sutras are to be met with in commentaries on
other Sutras ; and I have found, not long ago. a MS. which contains the text of
the Minava-jrauta-sutras, though in a very fragmentary state. But these Sutras,
the .Srauta-stitras, treat only of a certain branch of ceremonies connected with
the great sacrifices. Complete SQtra works are divided into three parts : i . the
fiist (.Srauta), treating on the great sacrifices ; 2. the second (Gn'hya), treating
on the Sa/wskaras, or the purificatory sacraments ; 3. the third (Samaya/fcarika
or Dharma-su'tras), treating on temporal duties, customs, and punishments.
The last two classes of Sutras seem to be lost in the Manava-sutra. This loss is,
however, not so great with regard to tracing the sources of the MSnava-dharma-
fastra, because whenever we have an opportunity of comparing Sutras belonging
to different families, but following the same Veda, and treating on the same
subjects, the differences appear to be very slight, and only refer to less important
niceties of the ceremonial. In the absence, therefore, of the Manava-samayaH-
rika-s'ltras, I have taken another collection of Sutras, equally belonging to
the Ya^ur-Tcda, the Sfltras of Apastamba. In his family we have not only
a Brahmawa, but also Apastamba .Srauta. G/-hya, and SamaySMrika-sutras.
Now it is, of course, the third class of SQtras, on temporal duties, which are
most likely to contain the sources of the later metrical Codes of Law, written
in the classical i'loka. On a comparison of different subjects, such as the
duties of a Brahma/frarin, a Gr /hast ha, laws of inheritance, duties of a king,
forbidden fruit, &c., I find that the Sutras contain generally almost the same
words which have been brought into verse by the compiler of the Manava-


prose works which latter, in the first instance, were destined
to be committed to memory by the young Aryan students,
and to teach them their duties. This circumstance, as well
as the fact that Apastamba's work is free from any suspicion
of having been tampered with by sectarians or modern
editors, and that its intimate connection with the manuals
teaching the performance of the great and small sacrifices,
the 5rauta and Grrliya-sutras, which are attributed to the
same author, is perfectly clear and indisputable, entitle it,
in spite of its comparatively late origin, to the first place in
a collection of Dharma-sutras.

The Apastambfya Dharma-sutra forms part of an enor-
mous Kalpa-sutra or body of aphorisms, which digests the
teaching of the Veda and of the ancient Rishis regarding
the performance of sacrifices and the duties of twice-born
men, Brahma//as, Kshatriyas, and Vakyas, and which, being
chiefly based on the second of the four Vedas, the Ya^ur-
veda in the Taittiriya recension, is primarily intended for
the benefit of the Aclhvaryu priests in whose families the
study of the Ya^ur-veda is hereditary.

The entire Kalpa-sutra of Apastamba is divided into

dharma-.iastra. I consider, therefore, the Sfltras as the principal source of the
metrical Smr/tis, such as the Manava-dharma-jastra, yaf/Javalkya-dharma-
/astra, &c.. though there are also many other verses in these works which may
be traced to different sources. They are paraphrases of verses of the Sa/whitas,
or of passages of the Brahmawas, often retaining the same old words and
archaic constructions which were in the original. This is indeed acknowledged
by the author of the Manava dharma-.ra'stra, when he says (B. II, v. 6), 'The
roots of the Law are the whole Veda (Sa;nhitas and BrShmatfas), the customs
and traditions of those who knew the Veda (as laid down in the Sutras), the
conduct of good men, and one's own satisfaction.' The Manava-dharma-
jastra may thus be considered as the last redaction of the laws of the Manavas.
Quite different is the question as to the old Manu from whom the family
probably derived its origin, and who is said to have been the author of some
very characteristic hymns in the Rig-veda-sawhita. He certainly cannot be
considered as the author of a Manava-dharma-fastra, nor is there even any
reason to suppose the author of this work to have had the same name. It is
evident that the author of the metrical Code of Laws speaks of the old Manu
as of a person different from himself, when he says (B. X, v. 63), ' Not to kill,
not to lie, not to steal, to keep the body clean, and to restrain the senses,
this was the short law which Manu proclaimed amongst the four castes.'
Yours truly, M. M.


thirty sections, called Pra^nas, literally questions 1 . The
first twenty-four of these teach the performance of the so-
called .Srauta or Vaitanika sacrifices, for which several
sacred fires are required, beginning with the simplest rites,
the new and full moon offerings, and ending with the
complicated Sattras or sacrificial sessions, which last a whole
year or even longer 2 . The twenty-fifth Pra^na contains
the Paribhashas or general rules of interpretation 3 , which
are valid for the whole Kalpa-sutra, the Pravara-kha;^/a,
the chapter enumerating the patriarchs of the various
Brahmanical tribes, and finally the Hautraka, prayers to
be recited by the Hotraka priests. The twenty-sixth
section gives the Mantras or Vedic prayers and formulas
for the Grihya. rites, the ceremonies for which the sacred
domestic or Grthya. fire is required, and the twenty-seventh
the rules for the performance of the latter 4 . The aphorisms
on the sacred law fill the next two Prajnas ; and the Sulva-
sutra 5 , teaching the geometrical principles, according to
which the altars necessary for the Srauta sacrifices must be
constructed, concludes the work with the thirtieth Prajna.

The position of the Dharma-sutra in the middle of the
collection at once raises the presumption that it originally
formed an integral portion of the body of Sutras and that
it is not a later addition. Had it been added later, it would
either stand at the end of the thirty Prajnas or altogether
outside the collection, as is the case with some other
treatises attributed to Apastamba 6 . The Hindus are, no
doubt, unscrupulous in adding to the works of famous
teachers. But such additions, if of considerable extent,
are usually not embodied in the works themselves which
they are intended to supplement. They are mostly given

1 Burnell, Indian Antiquary, I, 5 seq.

a The ^Trauta-sfitra, Pr. 1-XV, has been edited by Professor R. Garbe in the
Bibliotheca Indica, and the remainder is in the press.

3 See Professor Max Muller's Translation in S. B. E., vol. xxx.

4 The Grzhya-sutra has been edited by Dr. Winternitz, Vienna, 1887.
* On the ^ulva-sfitras see G. Thibaut in ' the Pandit,' 1875, P- 2 9 a -

1 Burnell, loc. cit.


as jeshas or paruish/as, tacked on at the end, and generally
marked as such in the MSS.

In the case of the Apastamba Dharma-sutra it is, how-
ever, not necessary to rely on its position alone, in order
to ascertain its genuineness. There are unmistakable
indications that it is the work of the same author who
wrote the remainder of the Kalpa-sutra. One important
argument in favour of this view is furnished by the fact
that Praj-na XXVII, the section on the Grzhya ceremonies,
has evidently been made very short and concise with the
intention of saving matter for the subsequent sections on
the sacred law. The Apastambiya Grzhya-sutra contains
nothing beyond a bare outline of the domestic ceremonies,
while most of the other Gr/hya-sutras, e.g. those of
A^valayana, .Sankhayana, Gobhila, and Paraskara, include
a great many rules which bear indirectly only on the
performance of the offerings in the sacred domestic fire.
Thus on the occasion of the description of the initiation of
Aryan students, A^valayana inserts directions regarding
the dress and girdle to be worn, the length of the student-
ship, the manner of begging, the disposal of the alms
collected, and other similar questions l . The exclusion of
such incidental remarks on subjects that are not immedi-
ately connected with the chief aim of the work, is almost
complete in Apastamba's Grzhya-sutra, and reduces its
size to less than one half of the extent of the shorter ones
among the works enumerated above. It seems impossible
to explain this restriction of the scope of Pra^na XXVII
otherwise than by assuming that Apastamba wished to
reserve all rules bearing rather on the duties of men than
on the performance of the domestic offerings, for his
sections on the sacred law.

A second and no less important argument for the unity of
the whole Kalpa-sutra may be drawn from the cross-refer-
ences which occur in several Prajnas. In the Dharma-sutra
we find that on various occasions, where the performance

1 Arvaliyana Grihya-sutra I, 19, ed. Stenzler.


of a ceremony is prescribed, the expressions yathoktam, ' as
has been stated,' yathopadejam,' according to the injunction,'
or yatha purastat, ' as above,' are added. In four of these
passages, Dh. I, i, 4, 16 ; II, 2, 3, 17; 2, 5, 4; and 7, 17.
1 6, the Grzhya-sutra is doubtlessly referred to, and the
commentator Haradatta has pointed out this fact. On the
other hand, the Gr/hya-sutra refers to the Dharma-sutra,
employing the same expressions which have been quoted
from the latter. Thus we read in the beginning of the
chapter on funeral oblations, Grzhya-sutra VIII, 2i 3 i,
masuraddhasyaparapakshe yathopade^aw kala/z, ' the times
for the monthly funeral sacrifice (fall) in the latter (dark)
half of the month according to the injunction.' Now as
neither the Gr/hya-sutra itself nor any preceding portion
of the Kalpa-sutra contains any injunction on this point, it
follows that the long passage on this subject which occurs
in the Dharma-sutra II, 7, 16, 4-22 is referred to. The
expression yathopadejarn is also found in other passages
of the Gr/hya-sutra, and must be explained there in a like
manner 1 . There are further a certain number of Sutras
which occur in the same words both in the on
domestic rites, and in that on the sacred law, e.g. Dh. I, i,
i, 18 ; I, i, 2, 38; I, i, 4, 14. It seems that the author
wished to call special attention to these rules by repeating
them. Their recurrence and literal agreement may be
considered an additional proof of the intimate connection
of the two sections.

Through a similar repetition of, at least, one Sutra it is
possible to trace the connection of the Dharma-sutra with
the .Srauta-sutra. The rule r/tve v ^ayam, ' or (he may
have conjugal intercourse) with his wife in the proper
season,' is given, Dh. II, 2. 5, 17, with reference to a house-
holder who teaches the Veda. In the Srauta-sutra it
occurs twice, in the sections on the new and full moon
sacrifices III, 17, 8, and again in connection with the
Tifaturmasya offerings, VIII, 4, 6, and it refers both times

1 See the details, given by Dr. Wiotenutz in his essay, Das altindische
Hochzeitsrituell, p. 5 (Denkschr. Wiener Akademie, Bd. 40).


to the sacrificer. In the first passage the verb, upeyat, is
added, which the sense requires; in the second it has the
abbreviated form, which the best MSS. of the Dharma-
sQtra offer. The occurrence of the irregular word, rz'tve for
rz'tvye, in all the three passages, proves clearly that we
have to deal with a self-quotation of the same author. If
the Dharma-sOtra were the production of a different person
and a later addition, the Pseudo-Apastamba would most
probably not have hit on this peculiar irregular form.
Finally, the Gr/hya-sutra, too, contains several cross-
references to the 5Yauta-sutra, and the close agreement of
the Sutras on the Vedic sacrifices, on the domestic rites,
and on the sacred, both in language and style, conclusively
prove that they are the compositions of one author 1 .

Who this author really was, is a problem which cannot
be solved for the present, and which probably will always
remain unsolved, because we know his family name only.
For the form of the word itself shows that the name Apa-
stamba, just like those of most founders of Vedic schools,
e. g. Bharadva^a, A^valayana, Gautama, is a patronymic.
This circumstance is, of course, fatal to all attempts at an
identification of the individual who holds so prominent
a place among the teachers of the Black Ya^nr-veda.

But we are placed in a somewhat better position with
respect to the history of the school which has been named
after Apastamba and of the works ascribed to him. Re-
garding both, some information has been preserved by
tradition, and a little more can be obtained from inscrip-
tions and later works, while some interesting details re-
garding the time when, and the place where the Sutras
were composed, may be elicited from the latter themselves.
The data, obtainable from these sources, it is true, do not
enable us to determine with certainty the year when the
Apastambiya school was founded, and when its Sutras
were composed. But they make it possible to ascertain
the position of the school and of its Sutras in Vedic litera-

1 See Dr. Winternitz, loc. cit.


ture, their relative priority or posteriority as compared
with other Vedic schools and works, to show with some
amount of probability in which part of India they had
their origin, and to venture, at least, a not altogether
unsupported conjecture as to their probable antiquity.

As regards the first point, the A'ara/javyima, a supple-
ment of the White Ya^ur-veda which gives the lists of the
Vedic schools, informs us that the Apastambiya school
formed one of the five branches of the Kha/wfikiya school,
which in its turn was a subdivision of the Taittiriyas, one
of the ancient sections of Brahmawas who study the Black
Ya^ur-veda. Owing to the very unsatisfactory condition
of the text of the A'arawavyuha it is unfortunately not
possible to ascertain what place that work really assigns
to the Apastambiyas among the five branches of the
Kha^ikiyas. Some MSS. name them first, and others
last. They give either the following list, i. Kaleyas
(Kaletas), 2. Sa/yayanins, 3. Hirawyake^ins, 4. Bhara-
dva^ins, and 5. Apastambins, or, i. Apastambins, 2. Bau-
dhayanins or Bodhayanins, 3. Satyasha<///ins, 4. Hirawya-
ke^ins, 5. Aukheyas l . But this defect is remedied to
a certain extent by the now generally current, and probably
ancient tradition that the Apastambiyas are younger than
the school of Baudhayana, and older than that of Satya-
shad^a Hirayakejin. Baudhayana, it is alleged, composed
the first set of Sutras connected with the Black Ya^ur-
veda, which bore the special title ' prava^ana,' and he
was succeeded by Bharadva^a, Apastamba, and Satya-
sha^a Hirayakejin, who all founded schools which bear
their names 2 .

1 Max Miiller, Hist. Anc. Sansk. Lit , p. 371. A MS. of the Aaraavyuha
with an anonymous commentary, in my possession, has the following passage :


3 Max Miiller, Hist. Anc. Sansk. Lit., p. 194. These statements occur in
the introduction of Mahadeva's commentary on the 6'rauta-sfitra of Hirawya-
kc-jiii (Weber, Hist. Sansk. Lit., p. 1 10, 2nd ed.) and in an interpolated
passage of Bh&radva^a's Gr/hya-sfitra (Winternitz, op. cit., p. 8, note i), as
well as, with the omission of Bharadva^a's name, in interpolated passages of


This tradition has preserved two important pieces of
information. First, the Apastamba school is what Pro-
fessor Max Muller appropriately calls a Sutraaraa, i. e.
a school whose founder did not pretend to have received
a revelation of Vedic Mantras or of a Brahmawa text, but
merely gave a new systematic arrangement of the precepts
regarding sacrifices and the sacred law. Secondly, the
Sutras of Apastamba occupy an intermediate position be-
tween the works of Baudhayana and Hirayakejin. Both
these statements are perfectly true, and capable of being
supported by proofs, drawn from Apastamba's own and
from other works.

As regards the first point, Professor Max Muller has
already pointed l out fhat, though we sometimes find a
Brahmawa of the Apastambiyas mentioned, the title Apa-
stamba-brahmaa is nothing but another name of the
Taittiriya-brahmawa, and that this Brahma^a, in reality,
is always attributed to Tittiri or to the pupils of Vauam-
payana, who are said to have picked up the Black Yagoir-
veda in the shape of partridges (tittiri). The same remark
applies to the collection of the Mantras of the Black Ya^r-
veda, which, likewise, is sometimes named Apastamba-
sawhita. The A'arawavyuha states explicitly that the five
branches of the Kha/wfikiya school, to which the Apa-
stambiyas belong, possess one and the same recension of
the revealed texts, consisting of 7 Kawdfas, 44 Prajnas, 651
Anuvakas, 3198 Pannasis, 19290 Padas 2 , and 253,868
syllables, and indicates thereby that all these five schools
were Sutra^arawas.

If we now turn to Apastamba's own works, we find still

Baudhayana's Dharma-sutra (II, 5, 9, 14) and of the same author's Grfhya-
sutra (Sacred Books of the East, vol. xiv, p. xxxvi, note i). Adherents of
a Pravaana-sutra, no doubt identical with that of Baudhayana, the Prava-
anakarta (Sacred Books of the East, vol. xiv, p. xxxvi), are mentioned in
a land grant, originally issued by the Pallava king Xandivarman in the beginning
of the eighth century A. D., see Hultzsch, South Indian Inscriptions, vol. ii,
p. 361 seqq. ; see also Weber, Hist. Sansk. Lit., p. no, and ed.

1 Max Muller, op. cit, p. 195.

1 See also Weber, Ind. Lit., p. 98, and ed.


clearer proof that he laid no claim to the title Rishi, or
inspired seer of Vedic texts. For (Dharma-sdtra I, 2, 5,
4-5) he says distinctly that on account of the prevalent
transgression of the rules of studentship no Rishis are born
among the Avaras, the men of later ages or of modern
times, but that some, by virtue of a residue of the merit
which they acquired in former lives, become similar to
.A'zshis by their knowledge of the Veda. A man who
speaks in this manner, shows that he considers the holy
ages during which the great saints saw with their mind's
eye the uncreated and eternal texts of the Veda to be past,
and that all he claims is a thorough acquaintance with the
scriptures which had been handed down to him. The
same spirit which dictated this passage is also observable
in other portions of the Dharma-sutra. For Apastamba
repeatedly contrasts the weakness and sinfulness of the

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