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which are not marked as quotations, but occur in Bhngu's
metrical Manusawhita. Some of them present more or less
important variae lectiones. Moreover, there are four verses
which, though Vasish/$a attributes them to Harita and
Yama 2 , are included in our Manusmrzti and treated as
utterances of the father of mankind. The bearing of both
these facts on the history of the Manusm^'ti is obvious.
But the frequency of the references to or quotations from
Manu which Vasish/>&a makes, teaches another important
lesson. L,ike the fact that Manu is the only individual
author to whom Gautama refers 3 , it shows that in ancient
times Manu's name had as great a charm for the Brahman
teachers as it has for those of the present day, and that
the old Manava Dharma-sutra was one of the leading
works on the subject, or, perhaps, even held that dominant
position which the metrical Manusmn'ti actually occupied
in the Middle Ages and theoretically occupies in our days.
It is interesting to observe that precisely the same inference
can be drawn from the early Sanskrit inscriptions. If these
speak of individual authors of Smrztis, they invariably place
Manu's name first 4 .

Vasish//&a gives only one quotation from Harita, II, 6.
Harita was one of the ancient Sutrakaras of the Black
Ya^ur-veda, who is known also to Baudhdyana. From a
passage which Kr/shwapa^ita quotes in elucidation of

1 VasishfAa Dharmasastra I, 22 ; II, 3, 10, 27, 48 ; III, 5, 11, 60 ; V, a ; VI, 6,
8,11,13,19; VIII, 7, 15; X, 21-22; XI, 27-28,32, 35"; XIII, 48; XIV, 13,
16, 18; XVI, 18, 33-34; XVII, 5, 8; XVIII, 14, 15; XIX, 48; XX, 18 ;
XXV, 4-5, 7; XXVII, 3.

2 VasishCAa Dharmasastra II, 6 ; XVIII, 14-15 ; XIX, 48.
8 Sacred Books of the East, vol. ii, p. Ivii.

4 See e. g the grant of Dhruvasena I, dated Samvat, i.e. Guptasamvat 207.
PI. i, 1. 7; Ijid. Ant., vol. iv, p. 105.


Vasish/^a XXIV, 6, I conclude that Harita was a Maitra-
yawiya 1 . The relation of the Vasish/^a Dharma-sutra to
Gautama and Baudhayana has already been discussed in the
introduction to the translation of the former work 2 . To the
remarks on its connexion with Baudhayana it must be added
that the third Pra^na of the Baudhayana Dharma-sutra,
from which Vasish///a's twenty-second chapter seems to have
been borrowed, perhaps does not belong to the original work,
but is a later, though presumably a very ancient, addition to
the composition of the founder of the Baudhayana school.
The reasons for this opinion will be given below. If
Baudhayana's third Pra^na is not genuine, but has been
added by a later teacher of that school, the interval be-
tween Baudhayana and the author of the Vasish^a Dharma-
jastra .must be a very considerable one. I have, however,
to point out that the inference regarding the priority of
Baudhayana to Vasish//&a is permissible only on the sup-
position that Vasish^a's twenty-second chapter is not a
later addition to the latter work, and that, though it is
found in all our MSS., this fact is not sufficient to silence
all doubts which might be raised with respect to its genuine-
ness ; for we shall see presently that other chapters in the
section on penances have been tampered with by a later
hand. It will, therefore, be advisable not to insist too
strongly on the certainty of the conclusion that Vasish//fca
knew and used Baudhayana's work.

In the introduction to his translation of the Vishtfusmrzti 3 ,
Professor Jolly has pointed out two passages of Vasish/^a
which, as he thinks, have been borrowed from Vishwu, and
prove the posteriority of the VasishMa Dharma^astra, if not
to the Vishtfusmrz'ti, at least to its original, the Kanaka
Dharma-sutra. He contends that the passage Vasish/^a
XXVIII, 10-15 is a versification of the Sutras of Vishu
LVI, which, besides being clumsy, shows a number of

1 He says : JTW ** ^\T^iC I ^WfrSTCi: ^PI [Vt ^311 ?]

* Sacred Books of the East, vol. ii, pp. liii-lv.
8 Sacred Books of the East, vol. vii, p. xviii.


corruptions and grammatical mistakes, and that Vasish///a
XXVIII, 18-22 has been borrowed from Vishu LXXXVII.
Professor Jolly's assertion regarding the second passage in-
volves, however, a little mistake. For the first two 51okas,
Vasish//&a XXVIII, 18-19, describe not the gift of the skin
of a black antelope, which is mentioned in the first six
Sutras of Vishwu LXXXVII, but the rite of feeding
Brahmans with honey and sesamum grains, which occurs
Vish;m XC, 10. The three verses, Vasish/7/a XXVIII,
20-22, on the other hand, really are the same as those
given by Visrwu LXXXVII, 8- j o. It is, however, expressly
stated in the Vishmismrfti that they contain a quotation,
and are not the original composition of the author of
the Dharma-sutra. Hence no inference can be drawn
from the recurrence of the same stanzas in the Vasish/^a
Dharma-sutra. As regards the other passage, Vasish//fca
XXVIII, 10-15, Professor Jolly is quite right in saying that
it is a clumsy versification of Vishwu's Sutras, and it is not
at all improbable that Vasish^a's verses may have been im-
mediately derived from the Kanaka. The further inference
as to the priority of the ancient Ka^aka-sutra to VasishAfa,
which Professor Jolly draws from the comparison of the two
passages, would also be unimpeachable, if the genuineness of
Vasish/7/a's twenty-eighth chapter were certain. But that
is unfortunately not the case. Not only that chapter, but
the preceding ones, XXV-XXVII, in fact the whole section
on secret penances, are, in my opinion, not only suspicious,
but certainly betray the hand of a later restorer and cor-
rector. Everybody who carefully reads the Sanskrit text of
the Dharma-sutra will be struck by the change of the style and
the difference in the language which the four chapters dn
secret penances snow, as compared with the preceding and
following sections. Throughout the whole of the first
twenty-four chapters and in the last two chapters we find
a mixture of prose and" verse. With one exception in the
sixth chapter, where thirty-one verses form the beginning
of the section on the rule of conduct, the author follows
always one and the same plan in arranging his materials. His
own rules are given first in the form of aphorisms, and after


these follow the authorities for his doctrines, which consist
either ofVedic passages or of verses, the latter being partly
quotations taken from individual authors or works, partly
specimens of the versified maxims current among the
Brahmans, and sometimes memorial verses composed by
the author himself. But chapters XXV-XXVIII contain
not a single Sutrn. They are made up entirely of Anush/ubh
51okas, and the phrases l ' I will now declare,' ' Listen to my
words,' which arc so characteristic of the style oi the later
metrical SmMis and of" the Purawas, occur more frequently
than is absolutely necessary. Again, in the first twenty-four
and the last two chapters the language is archaic Sanskrit,
interspersed here and there with Vedic anomalous forms.
But in the four chapters on secret penances we have the
common Sanskrit of the metrical Smr/tis and Pura-^as, with
its incorrect forms, adopted in order to fit inconvenient
words into the metre. Nor is this all. The contents of a
portion of this suspicious section are merely useless repe-
titions of matters dealt with already in the preceding
chapters, while some verses contain fragmentary rules on
a subject which is treated more fully further on. Thus the
description of the Kr/HV/ra and ATandraya;/a penances,
which has been given XXI, 20 and XXIV, 4/5, is repeated
XXVII, 16, 21. Further, the enumeration of the purificatory
texts XXVIII, 10-15 is merely an enlargement of XXII, 9.
Finally, the verses XXVIII, 162-3 contain detached rules
on gifts, and in the next chapter, XXIX, the subject is
begun once more and treated at considerable length.
Though it would be unwise to assume that all genuine
productions of the old Sntrakaras must, throughout, show
regularity and consistency, the differences between the four
chapters and the remainder of the work, just pointed out.
are, it seems to me. sufficient to warrant the conclusion that
they do not belong to the author of the Institutes. Under
these circumstances it might be assumed that the whole
section is simply an interpolation. But that would be going
too far. For, as other Dharma-sutras show, one or even
several chapters on secret penances belonged to such works.

1 See XXV, i ; XXVII, 10 ; XXVIII, 10, 20.


Moreover, in the section on women, Vasish/^a V, 3-4, the
author makes a cross-reference to the rahasyas, the section
on secret penances, and quotes by anticipation half a .SJoka
which is actually found in chapter XXVIII. The inference
to be drawn from these facts is, that the section on secret
penances is not simply a later addition intended to supply
an omission of the first writer, but that, for some reason or
other, it has been remodelled. The answer to the question
why this was done is suggested, it seems to me, partly by
the state of the MSS. of the Va-sish///a Dharma^astra, and
partly by the facts connected with the treatment of ancient
works by the Paw^/its, which my examination of the libraries
of Northern India has brought to light 1 . MSS. of the
Vasish//a Dharmajastra are very rare, and among those
found only three are complete. Some stop with chapter X,
others with chapter XXI, and a few in the middle of the
thirtieth Adhyaya. Moreover, most of them are very cor-
rupt, and even the best exhibit some Sutras which are
hopeless. These circumstances show clearly that after the
extinction of the Vedic school, with which the work origi-
nated, the Sutra was for some time neglected, and existed
in a few copies only, perhaps even in a single MS. The
materials on which the ancient Hindus wrote, the birch bark
and the palm leaves, are so frail that especially the first and
last leaves of a Pothi are easily lost or badly damaged.
Instances of this kind are common enough in the Gaina and
Kasmir libraries, where the beginning and still more fre-
quently the end of many works have been irretrievably lost.
The fate of the Vasish///a Dharma^astra, it would seem, has
been similar. The facts related above make it probable
that the MS. or MSS. which came into the hands of the
Paw^its of the special law schools, who revived the study of
the work, was defective. Pieces of the last leaves which
remained, probably showed the extent of the damage done,
and the Paw^its set to work at the restoration of the lost
portions, just as the Kajmirian Sa.hebra.rn Pandit restored
the Nilamata-pura;/a for Maharaja Raavira.siwha. They,

1 See Report on a Tour in Kasmir, Journal of the Bombay Branch of the
Royal Asiatic Society, vol. xii, p. 33.


of course, used the verses which they still found on the
fragments, and cleverly supplied the remainder from their
knowledge of Manu and other Smr/tis, of the Mahabharata
and the Purawas. This theory, I think, explains all the
difficulties which the present state of the section on secret
penances raises. Perhaps it may be used also to account for
some incongruities observable in chapter XXX. The last two
verses, XXX, 9-10, are common-places which are frequently
quoted in the Mahabharata, the Harivaw^a, the Pa/7/atantra,
and modern anthologies. With their baldness of expression
and sentiment they present a strong contrast to the pre-
ceding solemn passages from the Veda, and look very much
like an unlucky attempt at filling up a break at the end of
the MS. In connexion with this subject it ought, however,
to be mentioned that this restoration of the last part of the
Vasish^a Dharma^astra must have happened in early times,
at least more than a thousand years ago. For the oldest
commentators and compilers of digests on law, such as
Vi^/iane^vara \ who lived at the end of the eleventh century
A. D., quote passages from the section on secret penances
as the genuine utterances of Vasish///a. These details
will suffice to show why I differ from Professor Jolly with
respect to his conclusion from the agreement of the verses
of Vasish///a XXVIII, 10-15 with the Sutras of Vishwu LVI.
With the exception of the quotations, the Vasish/^a
Dharma^astra contains no data which could be used either
to define its relative position in Sanskrit literature or to
connect it with the historical period of India. The occur-
rence of the word Romaka, XVIII, 4, in some MSS.,
as the name of a degraded caste of mixed origin, proves
nothing, as other MSS. read Ramaka, and tribes called
Rama and Rama//za are mentioned in the Puraas. It
would be wrong to assert on such evidence that the Sutra
belonged to the time when the Romans, or rather the
Byzantines (Romaioi), had political relations with India.
Nor will it be advisable to adduce the fact that VcsisaMa

1 Thus Vasish/Aa XXVIII, ^ is quoted in the Mitakshara on Ya^;*avalkya
III, 298; XXVIII, 10-15 on Yagvlavalkya III, ^QJ ; and XXVIII,' 18-19, 22

on Yzig-wavalkj'a III, 310.


XVI, io, 14, 15 mentions written documents as a means of
legal proof, in order to establish the ' comparatively late '
date of the Sutra. For though the other Dharma-sutras
do not give any hint that the art of writing was known or
in common use in their times, still the state of society which
they describe is so advanced that people could not have got
on without writing, and the proofs for the antiquity of the
Indian alphabets are now much stronger than they were
even a short time ago. The silence of Apastamba and the
other Sutrakdras regarding written documents is probably
due to their strict adherence to a general principle under-
lying the composition of the Dharma-sdtra?. Those points
only fall primarily within the scope of the Dharma-sutras
which have some immediate, close connexion with the
Dharma, the acquisition of spiritual merit. Hence it suf-
ficed for them to give some general maxims for the fulfil-
ment of the gu^adharma of kings, the impartial adminis-
tration of justice, and to give fuller rules regarding the
half-religious ceremony of the swearing in and the examin-
ation of witnesses. Judicial technicalities, like the deter-
mination of the legal value of written documents, had
less importance in their eyes, and were left either to the
de-ra/fcara, the custom of the country, or to the Niti and
Artha-^a.stras, the Institutes of Polity and of the Arts of
common life. It would, als >, be easy to rebut attempts
at assigning the Vasish///a Dharma-sutra to what is
usually ' a comparatively late period ' by other pieces
of so-called internal evidence tending to show that it is
an ancient work. Some of the doctrines of the Sutra
undoubtedly belong to an ancient order of ideas. This is
particularly observable in the rules res;; './ding the subsidiary
sons, which place the offspring even of illicit unions in the
class of heirs and members of the family, while adopted
sons are relegated to the division of members of the family
excluded from inheritance. The same remark applies to
the exclusion of all females, with the exception of putrikas
or appointed daughters, from the succession to the property
of males, to the permission to re-marry infant widow?, and
to the law of the Niyoga or the appointment of adult


widows, which Vasish/^a allows without hesitation, and
even extends to the wives of emigrants. But as most of
these opinions occur also in some of the decidedly later
metrical Smrztis, and disputes on these subjects seem to
have existed among the various Bralimanical schools down
to a late period, it would be hazardous to use them as
arguments for the antiquity of the Sutra.

The following points bear on the question where the
original home of the Vedic school, which produced the
Dharma-sutra, was situated. First, the author declares
India north of the Vindhyas, and especially those portions
now included in the North-western Provinces, to be the
country where holy men and pure customs are to be found,
I, 8-16. Secondly, he shows a predilection for those redac-
tions of the Veda and those Sutras which belong to the
northern half of India, viz. for the Kanaka, the Va^asaneyi-
j&kha, and^the Sutras of Manu and Harita. Faint as these
indications are, I think, they permit us to conclude that the
Sutra belongs to a /Tarawa settled in the north.

As regards the materials on which the subjoined
translation is based, I have chiefly relied on the Benares
edition of the text, with the commentary of Kr/sh#a-
pandita. Dharmadhikari, and on a rough edition with the
varietas lectionum from the two MSS. of the Bombay
Government Collection of 1874-75*, B. no. 29 and Bh. no.
30, a MS. of the Elphinstone College Collection of 1867-68,
E. no. 23 of Class VI, and an imperfect apograph F. in
my own collection, which was made in 1864 at Bombay.
The rough edition was prepared under my superintendence
by Vamana/tarya GY^alkikar, now teacher of Sanskrit in the
Dekhan College, Puna.. When I wrote the translation, the
Bombay Government MSS. were not accessible to me. i
could only use my own MS. and, thanks to the kindness of
Dr. Rost, Colebrooke's MS., I. O. no. 913, from which the
now worthless Calcutta editions have been derived either
immediately or mediately. These materials belong to two
groups. The Bombay MS. B., which comes from Benares,
closely agrees with Krzshapa<fita's text ; and E., though

1 See Report on Sanskrit MSS. 1874-75, p. n.


purchased at Puwa, does not differ much from the two. Bh.,
which comes from Bhuj in Ka/*, and my own MS. F. form
a second group, towards which Colebrooke's MS., I. O.
no. 913, also leans. Ultimately both groups are derived
from one codex archetypus.

The first group of MSS. gives a fuller and in general a
correcter text than the second. But it seems to me that
the text of B. s and still more Krzshwapaw^ita's, has in many
places been conjecturally restored, and that the real diffi-
culties have been rather veiled than solved. I have, there-
fore, frequently preferred the readings offered by the second
group, or based on them my conjectural emendations, which
have all been given in the notes. To give a translation
without having recourse to conjectural emendations was im-
possible, as a European philologist is unable to avail himself
of those wonderful tricks of interpretation which permit an
Indian Pandit to extract some kind of meaning from the
most desperate passages. In a few cases, where even the
best MSS. contain nothing but a conglomerate of meaning-
less syllables or unconnected words, I have thought it
advisable to refrain from all attempts at a restoration of
the text, and at a translation. A critical edition of the
Vasish///a Dharmasastra is very desirable, and I trust that
Dr. A. Fiihrer, of St. Xavier's College, Bombay, will soon
supply this want. K>/shapa#dfita's commentary, for which
he had not the aid of older vrittis, shows considerable
learning, and has been of great value to me. I have
followed him mostly in the division of the Sutras, and have
frequently given his opinions in the notes, both in cases
where I agree with him and in those where I differ from
him, but think his opinion worthy of consideration.

In conclusion, I have to thank Professors R. von Roth,
Weber, and Jolly, as well as Dr. L. von Schroder, for the
verification of a number of Vedic quotations, which they
kindly undertook for me, as I was unable to use my own
books of reference during the translation of the work.





THE case of the Baudhayana Dharma-sutra is in many
respects analogous to that of the Institutes of the Sacred
Law, current in the schools of Apastamba and Hirawya-
ke^in. Like the latter, it is the work of a teacher of the
Black Ya^ur-veda, who composed manuals on all the various
subdivisions of the Kalpa, and founded a Sutra-araa,
which is said to exist to the present day 1 . The Brahma-
nical tradition, too, acknowledges these facts, and, instead
of surrounding Baudhayana's work with a halo of myths,
simply states that it was originally studied by and autho-
ritative for the followers of the Taittiriya-veda alone, and
later only became one of the sources of the Sacred Law
for all Brahmans 2 . Moreover, the position of Baudhayana
among the teachers of the Ya^-ur-veda is well defined, and
his home, or at least the home of his school, is known.
But here the resemblance stops. For while the Sutras of
Apastamba and Hirayakejin have been preserved in care-
fully and methodically arranged collections, where a certain
place is assigned to each section of the Kalpa, no complete
set of the Sutras of Baudhayana's school has, as yet, been
found, and the original position of the detached portions
which are obtainable is not quite certain. Again, while the
works of Apastamba and Hirayakejin seem to have been
kept free from extensive interpolations, several parts of

1 I must here state that during my residence in India I have never met with
a follower of Baudhayana's school, and cannot personally vouch for its existence.
But many Pandits have assured me that many'Baudhayaniyas are to be found
among the Telingana and Kara/aka BrShmans.

2 See Govinda's statement, quoted above, p xiii.


Baudhayana's Sutras have clearly received considerable
additions from later hands.

According to the researches of Dr. A. Burnell 1 , whose
long residence in Southern India and intimate acquaint-
ance with its Brahrnanical libraries have made him the
first authority on the literature 6f the schools of the Tait-
tiriya-veda, the Sutras of Baudhayana consist of six
sections, viz. i. the .Srauta-sutras, probably in nineteen
Pra^nas ; 2. The Karnictnta-sutra in twenty Adhyayas ; 3.
The Dvaidha-sutra in four Pr&mas ; 4. The Grzhya-sutra
in four Prajnas ; 5. The Dharma-sutra in four Prajnas ;
6. The 6\iivn-sutra in three Adhyayas. The results of
the search for Sanskrit MSS. in other parts of India, and
especially in Western India, do not differ materially from
those obtained by Dr. Burnell. The Grzhya-sutra, which
in Western India occasionally bears the title Smarta-sutra -,
contains, however, nine instead of four Pra^nas. The MSS.
of the Baudhciyana-sutras, which contain the text alone,
are all incomplete, mostly very corrupt and in bad order,
and rarely give more than a small number of Prajnas on
detached subjects. The copies in which the text is accom-
panied by a commentary are in a better condition. Thus
the Kalpavivarawa of Bhavasvimin 3 extends over the whole
of the Srauta-sutra, and over the Karmanta and the Dvaidha-
sutras. It shows the proper sequence of the Pramas on
5rauta sacrifices, and that probably the Karmanta and the
Dvaidha immediately followed the .SYauta-sQtra. But there
is no hint in the MSS. or in the commentaries how the
Gn'hya, Dharma, and .Sulva-sutras were originally placed.
With respect to these sections, it is only possible to judge
from the analogy of the other extant sets of Kalpa-sutras

1 See Burnell, Catalogue of a Collection of Sanskrit MS., pp. 24-26, 28, 34-
35, andTanjore Catalogue, pp. i8a-aob, and especially his remarks at pp. iSb
and 20 a.

3 This title is found in the best copy known to me, Elphinstone College Col-
lection of 1867-68, Class B. I, no. 5, which has been prepared from the MS. of
Mr. Limaye at Ashte. The other copies of the work, found in Western India,
e. g. no. 4 of the same collection and my own copy, are in a bad state, as they
are derived from a MS. the leaves of which were out of order.

3 Burnell, Catalogue of a Collection of Sanskrit MSS., no. LXXXVIII, and
Tanjore Catalogue, no. CXVII.


and from internal evidence. OR these grounds it may be
shown that the order, adopted by Dr. Burnell, is probably
the correct one. For the beginning of the Gr/hya-sutra 1
shows by its wording that it was not a separate treatise,
but was immediately connected with some preceding Prajna.
The analogy of the collections of the Apastambtyas, the
Hairawyak&ras, the Ka/$as, and other schools permits us
to infer that it stood after the .Srauta-sutra. It is further
clear that, in its turn, it was succeeded by the Dharma-
sutra. For two passages of the latter work, I, 2, 3, 15,
and II. 8, 15, 9, clearly contain references to the Grthya-
sutra. In the former, the author gives the rule regarding
the iength of the staff to be carried by a student, as well as
the general principle that the staff must be cut from a tree

Online LibraryGeorg BühlerThe sacred laws of the Aryas : as taught in the schools of Apastamba, Gautama, Vasishtha and Baudhayana → online text (page 28 of 55)