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The sacred laws of the Aryas : as taught in the schools of Apastamba, Gautama, Vasishtha and Baudhayana online

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sutra of this inscription is the Sutra of his school. The
villages which the grantees received from Nandivarman
were situated on the Palar river in the ATittur districts
of the Madras Presidency. Besides, the interesting tradi-
tion which asserts that Madhava-Sayaa, the great com-
mentator of the Vedas, was a Baudhayaniya 5 is another
point which may be brought forward as evidence for
the location of the school in Southern India. Further,

1 Sacred Books of the East, vol. ii, p. xxx ; see also L. von Schroder, Maitra-
yaxtya Samhita 1 , p. xxvii.

* Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, XII, 349-35 1.

* Indian Antiquary, VIII, 273-284.

* As all the older inscriptions hitherto published give Apastambha instead of
Apastamba, I am now inclined to consider the former as the original form
of the name.

3 Burnell, Tanjore Catalogue, p. 20 b, remarks on no. CCXXVI.


it must not be forgotten that most and the best MSS. of
Baudhayana's Sutras are found in Southern India. There
are also some faint indications that the Andhra country is
the particular district to which Baudhayana belonged. For
his repeated references to voyages by sea and his rule
regarding the duty payable on goods imported by sea
show that he must have lived in a coast district where
sea-borne trade flourished, and the fact that he uses the
Andhra recension of the Taittiriya Arawyaka makes it
probable that he was an inhabitant of the eastern coast.

My estimate of the distance between Baudhayana and
Apastamba and of that between the latter and the historical
period of India has been given in the Introduction to Apa-
stamba, pp. xxii and xliii, and I have nothing further to
add on that subject. The oldest witness for the existence
of the ^Srauta-sutra of Baudhayana is its commentator Bha-
vasvamin, whom Dr. Burnell places in the eighth century
A. D. The Dharma-sutra is first quoted by Vi^anejvara,
circiter 1080-1100 A.D. Several of the passages adduced
by him are, however, not traceable in the MSS.

As regards the materials on which the translation is based,
I had at my disposal six MSS. of the text and two copies
of Govindasvamin's commentary, the Bodhayaniya-dhar-
mavivarawa 1 , one of which (C. I.) gives the text also. These
MSS. belong to two chief groups, a northern and a southern
one. The northern group contains two subdivisions. The
first comprises (i) D., a MS. bought by me for the Govern-
ment of Bombay at Ahmadabad (no. 6 of the Dekhan Col-
lege collection of 1868-69), and about one hundred or one
hundred and fifty years old ; (2) P., an old MS. of my own
collection, bought in 1865 at Pua; (3, 4) B. and Bh., two
modern transcripts, made for me in Baroda and Bombay.
Among these, D. alone is of real value, as P., B., and Bh.
faithfully reproduce all its clerical errors and add a good
many new ones. The second subdivision of the northern
group is represented by K., a modern transcript, made for

1 It ought to be noted, that in the south of India the forms Bodhayana and
Bodhayamya are invariably used for Baudhayana and Baudhayaniya. But it
seems to me that the southerners are in error, as the affix ayana requires
vriddhi in the first syllable.


the Government of Bombay at Kolhapur in the southern
MaraMa country (Elphinstone College collection of 1867-
68, Class VI, no. 2). The MSS. of the northern group, which
give the vulgata current since the times of NilakawAfca (1650
A.D.) and Mitramura (circiter 1700 A.D.) in Western and
Central India, can be easily recognised by the omission of
the third Adhyaya of Pragma IV, and by their placing IV,
5, i b-25 after IV, 7, 7. One of the chief differences between
K. and the other MSS. of the northern group is the omis-
sion of II, 5, 8, 4-II, 6, n, 15 in the latter. The southern
group of h'SS. is formed by M., a slovenly Devanagari tran-
script of a Gra tha MS., no. T y/ u of the Madras Government
collection 1 , and uy the text of C. I., a Devanagari copy of
the MS. of Govindasvamin's commentary, presented by
Dr. Burnell to the India Office library 2 . The second copy of
the commentary, C. T., a Telugu paper MS. from Tanjore,
I owe to the kindness of Dr. Burnell.

As might be expected, on account of the southern origin
of the Baudhayaniya school, M. gives on the whole the best
form of the text. It also carefully marks the Ka#</ikas 3 in
the first two Prajnas, ignoring the Adhyayas altogether, and
contains at the end of each Pra^na the first words of each
Ka;/</ika, beginning with the last and ending with the first,
after the fashion which prevails in the MSS. of the Taittiriya
Sawhita, Brahmawa, and Arawyaka. Very close to M. comes
Govinda's copy, where, however, as in most northern MSS.,
the Adhyayas alone are marked. It is, however, perfectly cer-
tain that in some very difficult passages, which are disfigured
by ancient corruptions, he corrected the text conjecturally 4 .
In a certain number of cases the northern MSS. present
better and older readings than M. and C. I. 6 Under these

1 Taylor, Catalogue Raisonnee (!), I, p. 190. The clerical errors in my tran-
script are exceedingly numerous, and mostly owing to the faulty rendering of
the value of the Grantha characters, which seem not to have been familiar to
the copyist. There are also some small lacunae, and the last leaf has been lost.

1 See Burnell, Catalogue of a Collection of MSS., p. 35, no. CXVII.

* I alone am responsible for the title Kawt/ika, given to the small sections.
M. marks only the figures. D. and the better northern MSS. show only breaks
at the end of the KaJikas and their first words at the end of the Prasnas.

* See e.g. Dharma-sutra I, 2, 3, 35, note.

* See e.g. Dhanna-siitra I, 5, ir, 35 ; II, i, 2, 36; II, 2, 3, 3 ; II, a, 4, 10;
II, 3, 6 ?3 ; 11,7,13,5; 111,9,3.


circumstances it has not been possible to follow the commen-
tary or M. throughout. Though they had to be made the
basis, they had in many passages to be set aside in favour of
readings of the northern group. In some cases I have also
been obliged to make conjectural emendations, which have
all been mentioned in the notes. Three Sutras, I, 8, 16,
13-15, have been left untranslated, because the MSS. offer no
safe basis for a conjectural restoration, and the commentary
is defective.

Govinda, who, as Dr. Burnell informs me, is said to be a
modern writer, seems to have composed his vivarawa with-
out the aid of older vrittis. Though he apparently was
well acquainted with the writings belonging to the Taitti-
riya-veda, with the ritual and with the common law-books,
he has not succeeded in explaining all the really difficult pas-
sages. Sometimes he is clearly mistaken, and frequently
he passes by in silence words or whole Sutras, the sense or
the general bearing of which is by no means certain. Though
it would be ungrateful on my part to underrate the import-
ance of his work for my translation, I cannot place him in
the same rank with Haradatta, the commentator of Apa-
stamba and Gautama, and can only regret that no older
commentary based on the living tradition of the Baudha-
yaniyas has been available. If such a work were found,
better readings and better explanations of many difficult
passages would probably come to light. With the materials
at my disposal the translation has been a work of some
difficulty, and in trying to settle the text I have often expe-
rienced the feeling of insecurity which comes over the
decipherer of a difficult inscription when the facsimiles are
bad. The short Adhyaya on adoption, given in the appendix
to the Dharma-sutra, has been taken from the Smarta or
Grzhya-sutra. It does not belong to Baudhayana, but is
frequently quoted by the writers on civil law, who wrote in
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries of our era.




1. Now, therefore, the desire to know the sacred
law for their welfare (should arise) in (initiated) men.

2. He who knows and follows the (sacred law is
called) a righteous man.

3. He becomes most worthy of praise in this
world and after death gains heaven.

4. The sacred law has been settled by the re-
vealed texts and by the tradition (of the sages).

5. On failure of (rules given in) these (two
sources) the practice of the .5ish/as (has) authority.

6. But he whose heart is free from desire (is
called) a *Sish/a.

7. (Acts sanctioned by) the sacred law (are those)
for which no (worldly) cause is perceptible.

I. i. The word 'now* serves, in this as in analogous cases,
various purposes. It marks the beginning of the book, serves as
an auspicious invocation (mangala), and indicates that something
else, the initiation, must precede the study of the sacred law.
'Therefore' means 'because, after initiation, the neophyte is to be
taught the presciibed rules regarding personal purification.'
Kr/shflapawdftta. For the wording of the Sutra compare the be-
ginning of Gaimini's Mima'ffjsa'-sutras.

3-6. Gautama I, 1-4 ; XXVIII, 48.

7. The Sutra contains a limitation of Sutra 5. It indicates that
the customs of the .Sish/as, for which worldly motives are per-
ceptible, have no authority, and are not to be followed. The
principle enunciated is one inculcated by the Mtma/nsakas (P. M. S.
[14] B

1, 8.

8. The country of the Aryas (Aryavarta) lies to
the east of the region where (the river Saras vat!)
disappears, to the west of the Black-forest, to the
north of the Paripatra (mountains), to the south of
the Himalaya.

9. (According to others it lies to the south of the
Himalaya) and to the north of the Vindhya range
(being limited east and west by the two oceans).

10. Acts productive of spiritual merit, and customs
which (are approved of) in that country, must be
everywhere acknowledged (as authoritative) ;

T i . But not different ones, (i.e. those) of (countries
where) laws opposed (to those of Aryavarta prevail).

I, 3, 3-4). See also Apastamba I, i, 4, 5-10; I, 4, 12, 8; and
Introduction, p. xxvii. Krzshapa</ita has misunderstood the
Sutra. He reads, against the MSS., agrzhyamawakarawo 'dharma/*,
' unlawful acts are those for which no motive, i. e. no sacred source
such as the Vedas, is perceptible.'

8. The region where the river Sarasvatt disappears is the Pat-
tiala district in the Pang-ab. The Paripatra mountains belong to
the great Vindhya range, and are probably the hills in Malva. The
position of the Kalakavana or Black-forest is not accurately known.
But it must probably be sought in BMr. All the MSS. as well as
Kr:shapaw^ta read in this Sutra pr&gadanranat instead of pra-
gadaryanat, 'to the east of the region where the river Sarasvati
disappears.' This circumstance gains some importance by the fact
that the Mah&bhashya on Pamni II, 4, 10, quotes the same defini-
tion of the Aryavarta, giving, however, instead of adawanat pra"-
gadarja't, 'to the east of Adam, i.e. the Adawa mountains.' It seems
to me not improbable that our Sutra, too, had originally pragadarrat,
and that some Pandit who knew nothing about the Adanra hills,
but remembered Manu II, 21, and Baudhayana I, r, 25, where the
word vinajana't, ' the disappearance of the Sarasvati,' undoubtedly
occurs, added the syllable na and forgot to correct the a, after

9. The translation follows Krz'shapa<fita's commentary, which
recommends itself on account of the analogous definition of Arya-
varta given by Manu II, 22.

11. My translation follows the text given by Kr/shapa</ita and


1 2. Some (declare the country of the Aryas to be
situated) between the (rivers) Ganga and Yamuna,

1 3. Others (state as) an alternative, that spiritual
pre-eminence (is found) as far as the black antelope

14. Now the Bhallavins quote also (the following)
verse in the Nidana :

15. 'In the west the boundary-river, in the east

B., and the explanation of the former, because it seems to me
that the general sense which they give, is the correct one. I feel,
however, not certain that the word pratilomakadharmawa'm, 'of
those countries where opposite laws prevail,' is more than a care-
Jess correction. The :najority of the MSS. read pratilomakaksha-
dharmawaA (kalpadharmawa^), which by itself is difficult of expla-
nation. But, as the text of the next Sutra contains an apparently
superfluous phrase, I fear, we shall have to admit that the text is
here disfigured by corruptions, which with our present MSS. it
is impossible to remove with certainty.

12. Kr/shapa^ita reads this Sutra 'etad aryavartam itya^a-
kshate gangayamunayor antaretyeke/ and takes it as one sentence,
the subject of which is ' eke/ I feel no doubt that this explanation
is utterly untenable, and that the first four words have nothing to do
with this Sutra, the second part of which occurs also in the Bau-
dhayana Dharma-sutra I, i, 27. My opinion is that they originally
belonged to Sutra n, though the state of the MSS. at my disposal
does not allow me to say how Sutra 1 1 has to be corrected. The
general sense of Sutra 12 is, however, perfectly certain.

13. Manu II, 23 ; Ya^wavalkya I, 2. It deserves to be noted
that the black antelope (black-buck), Oryx cervicapra, selects for
its home the well-cultivated, rich plains of India only, and is entirely
wanting in the sandy, mountainous or forest districts, which are now,
just as in ancient times, the portion of the aboriginal tribes.

14. Regarding the Bhallavin?, see Max Miiller, History of
Ancient Sanskrit Literature, pp. 193, 364. Kn'shapa</ita thinks
that Nidana means de^aniraya, ' the disquisition on the countries,'
which is the title of a section which occurs in most modern com-
pilations on law. But it will be safer to take it as the name of a
Vedic work, identical with or similar to that quoted in vSaunaka's
BrrhaddevatS, Weber, Hist. Ind. Lit., p. 81.

15. Sindhur vidhra#i or vidhara/ri, as B. reads, cannot be

B 2

i, 1 6.

the region where the sun rises, as far as the black
antelope wanders (between these two limits), so far
spiritual pre-eminence (is found)'.'

1 6. ' Those religious acts which men, deeply
versed in the knowledge of the three Vedas and
acquainted with the sacred law, declare to be lawful,
(are efficient) for purifying oneself and others.'

1 7. Manu has declared that the (peculiar) laws of
countries, castes, and families (may be followed) in
the absence of (rules of) the revealed texts.

18. Sinful men are, he who sleeps at sunrise or
at sunset, he who has deformed nails or black teeth,
he whose younger brother was married first, he who
married before his elder brother, the husband of a
younger sister married before the elder, the husband
of an elder sister whose younger sister was married
first, he who extinguishes the sacred fires, (and) he
who forgets the Veda through neglect of the daily

taken with Knsh#apa<fita, as ' the ocean,' because in the latter
sense sindhu is a masculine. It must be a boundary-river, pro-
bably the Sarasvati. By suryasyodana, 'the region where the
sun rises/ the udayagiri or ' mountain of the east ' may possibly
be meant.

1 6. This verse, too, is marked as a quotation by the concluding
word iti, though it is not necessary that it should be taken as a
quotation from the Niddna. Here, and in the sequel verses ending
in iti are marked as quotations by hyphens.

17. Manu VII, 203 ; VIII, 4 1 ; Gautama XI, 20. G3ti, ' castes/
which sometimes, and perhaps as appropriately, has been translated
by ' tribes/ denotes in my opinion those numerous subdivisions of
the four great varas, which we now find all over India, and which
can be shown to have existed for a very long time. Usually the
word ' caste ' is also applied to them.

1 8. Kr/'shwapa^ita explains viraha 1 , 'he who extinguishes the
sacred fires/ by ' the destroyer of his sons or of his spiritual clients '


19. They state that there are five mortal sins

20. (Viz. violating) a Guru's bed, drinking (the
spirituous liquor called) surd, slaying a learned
Brahmawa, stealing the gold of a Brahmawa, and
associating with outcasts,

21. Either by (entering into) spiritual or matri-
monial (connexion with them).

2 2. Now they quote also (the following verse) : ' He
who during a year associates with an outcast becomes
(likewise) an outcast ; not by sacrificing for him, by
teaching him or by (forming) a matrimonial (alliance
with him), but by using the same carriage or seat.'

23. A minor offence causing loss of caste (upa-
p&taka, is committed by him) who (after beginning
an Agnihotra sacrifice) forsakes the sacred fires, and
by him who offends a Guru, by an atheist, by him
who takes his livelihood from atheists, and by him
who sells the Soma (plant).

24. Three wives (are permitted) to a Brahma^a
according to the order of the castes, two to a
Kshatriya, one to a Vaitya and to a -Sttdra.

(yagama'na) ; but the rules given below, XX, 1 1, and XXI, 27, in the
section on penances, confirm the explanation given above.

20. Vishmi XXXV, 1-2. Guru means here the father, see
below, XX, 15.

21. Visrwu XXXV, 3-5. Spiritual connexion, i.e. becoming
the teacher or priest of an outcast, or his pupil or spiritual client

22. Identical with Manu XI, 181. It must be understood that
spiritual or matrimonial connexion with an outcast causes immediate
degradation, as Vishmi states expressly.

23. Vishmi XXXVII, 6,31; Gautama XXI, r i. Regarding the
precise meaning of prati^ahnuyat, ' offends/ see below, XXI, 27.

24-25. Manu III,i3; Ya^fiavalkya I, 57; PaVaskara Gnhya-
sutra I, 4, 8-11.

VASISH77TA. I, 25.

25. Some declare (that twice-born men may
marry) even a female of the -Sttdra caste, like
those (other wives), without (the recitation of)
Vedic texts.

26. Let him not act thus.

2 7. For in consequence of such (a marriage) the
degradation of the family certainly ensues, and after
death the loss of heaven.

28. There are six marriage-rites,

29. (Viz.) that of Brahman (brahma), that of the
gods (daiva), that of the /^'shis (arsha), that of the
Gandharvas (gandharva), that of the Kshatriyas
(kshatra), and that of men (manusha).

30. If the father, pouring out a libation of water,
gives his (daughter) to a suitor, that (is called) the

31. If (the father) gives his daughter, decking her
with ornaments, to an officiating priest, whilst a sacri-
fice is being performed, that is called the Daiva-rite.

32. And (if the father gives his daughter) for a
cow and a bull, (that is called) the Arsha-rite.

33. If a lover takes a loving female of equal
caste, that (is called) the Gandharva-rite.

34. If they forcibly abduct (a damsel), destroying
(her relatives) by strength (of arms), that (is called)
the Kshatra-rite.

35. If, after making a bargain (with the father, a

26-27. ManuIII, 14-19. 28. Apastamba II, 5, u, 17-20.

30. Vishmi XXIV, 19; Asvalayana Grzliya-sfitra I, 6, i.

31. Vish/m XXIV, 20; A^valayana Gnhya-stitra I, 6, 2.

32. Vishnu XXIV, 21; Arvalayana Gr/hya-sfitra I, 6, 3.

33. Vishu XXIV, 23 ; Ajvalayana Grj'hya-sfitra I, 6, 5.

34. Vishmi XXIV, 25 ; A-yvalayana Grz'hya-sfitra I, 6, 8.

35. Vishwu XXIV, 24 ; Asvalayana Grz'hya-sdtra I, 6, 6.


suitor) marries (a damsel) purchased for money, that
(is called) the Manusha-rite.

36. The purchase (of a wife) is mentioned in the
following passage of the Veda, ' Therefore one
hundred (cows) besides a chariot should be given
to the father of the bride.'

37. (It is stated) in (the following passage of) the
jfifaturmisyas, 'She (forsooth) who has been bought
by her husband (commits sin, as) afterwards she
unites herself with strangers.'

38. Now they quote also (the following verse):
' Lost learning comes back ; when the family is lost
all is lost. Even a horse becomes estimable on
account of its pedigree ; therefore men marry wives
descended from an (unblemished) family.

39. The three (lower) castes shall live according
to the teaching of the Brahmaa.

36. .Sahkhayana Gr/hya-sutra I, 14; Paraskara Gr*hya-sutra
1, 8, 1 8 ; Apastamba II, 6, 13, 12. Though VasishMa's quotation is
less complete than Apastamba's, still the following Sutras show
that he knew the conclusion of the passage, and does not take it as
an authority for the sale of a daughter.

37. Krzshapa</Ua makes a mistake by connecting the word
' Hturmasyeshu ' with the next Sutra. He is right in saying that
' the A'&turmasyas ' is the name of a book. It is, however, not a
separate work, but the ka</a or section of a Vedic work treating
of the .Saturmasya sacrifices (see Max Miiller, Hist. Anc. Sansk.
Lit., p. 355). The particular work from which our quotation has
been taken, is either the Maitraya^iya Sawhita, or the Ka/Aaka.
For, as Dr. von Schroeder informs me, Maitrayiya Sawzhita' I,
10, ii reads 'anrz'taw va esha karoti yd patyuA krita satyathanyau
/fcarati,' and the title of the ka</a is A'aturma'sya'ni. Professor
Weber, Ind. Stud. V, 407, has found the same words in the ^Tatur-
mdsya section of the Ka/Aaka XXXVI, 5. In the translation I have
added the beginning of the passage which Vasish/Aa omits, accord-
ing to the Maitrayawiya SawhitS.

39-41. Gautama XI, 25-27.

8 VASISH7V7A. I, 40.

40. The Brahmawa shall declare their duties,

41. And the king shall govern them accordingly.

42. But a king who rules in accordance with the
sacred law, may take the sixth part of the wealth (of
his subjects),

43. Except from Brahmawas.

44. It has been declared in the Veda, ' But he
obtains the sixth part of (the merit which Br^hmanas
gain by) sacrifices and charitable works/

45. (It is further stated in the Veda), ' The Brah-
mawa makes the Veda rich ; the Brahmawa saves
from misfortune ; therefore the Brahmawa shall not
be made a source of subsistence. Soma is his king.'

46. Further (another passage says), * After death
bliss (awaits the king who does not oppress Brah-

42. Vishmi III, 22-25. Though the ambiguous word dhana,
1 wealth/ is used in the text, it seems not doubtful that VasishJfta
alludes to the land-tax, which generally consists of one sixth of the

43. Vishnu III, 26.

44. Vishmi III, 27-38. Purta, 'the merit gained by charitable
works,' i. e. by planting trees, digging wells, and so forth. The
words ' iti ha,' placed at the end of the Sutra, indicate that it is a
quotation, and that vi^fiayate, ' it is declared in the Veda,' has to
be understood from Sutra 46. Gautama XI, n, too, alleges that
the rule is based on a Vedic passage.

45. Satapatha-brahmaa V, 4, 2, 3. Kr/shapa</ita's division
of the quotation into several Sutras is unnecessary. His explana-
tion of anadya, which he takes to mean ' the first of all,' is wrong.
He asserts that the Brahmawa is said 'to make the Veda rich,'
because by sacrificing and so forth he fulfils its object and protects
it. But the phrase is probably corrupt. If it is said that Soma is
the king of the Brahmawas, the object is to indicate that an earthly
king is not their master, see Gautama XI, i.



1. There are four castes (vara), Brdhmawas,
Kshatriyas, VaLryas, and .Sudras.

2. Three castes, Brahma^as, Kshatriyas, and
Vai^yas, (are called) twice-born.

3. Their first birth is from their mother; the
second from the investiture with the sacred girdle.
In that (second birth) the Savitrl is the mother, but
the teacher is said to be the father.

4. They call the teacher father, because he gives
instruction in the Veda.

5. They quote also (the following passage from
the Veda) to the same (effect) : ' Of two kinds,
forsooth, is the virile energy of a man learned in
the Vedas, that which (resides) above the navel and
the other which below (the navel) descends down-
wards. Through that which (resides) above the
navel, his offspring is produced, when he initiates
Brahmawas, when he teaches them, when he causes
them to offer oblations, when he makes them holy.
By that which resides below the navel the children
of his body are produced. Therefore they never
say to a .Srotriya, who teaches the Veda, "Thou art
destitute of offspring." '

II. 1-2. Vishmi II, 1-2 ; Manu X, 4.

3. Identical with Manu II, 169*, 170"*, and Vishmi XXVIII, 37-
38. The S&vitri or the verse addressed to Savitr* is found Rig-veda
III, 62, 10.

4. Gautama 1, 10 ; Manu II, 171.

5. The reading tathapyud&haranti, which several of rny MSS.
give, seems to me preferable to KrzshnapaWita's udaharati.
KnsrmapaWita explains sadhu karoti, 'makes them holy/ by

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