1. Now follows (the rule regarding) the performance of ordeals.
[39. Nand. takes the term dvigottama, 'the best among the twice-born,' as an equivalent for 'Brâhmanas.' Kullûka (on M. VIII, 73) refers it to 'twice-born men, who are particularly active in the discharge of their religious duties.'
IX. 2. Y. II, 96, 99.--II. M. VIII, 114, 115; Y. II, 95.--20-22. Y. II, 95, 96, 99.--23. Y. II, 98.--33. Y. II, 97. The whole section on ordeals (IX-XIV) agrees very closely with the corresponding section of the Institutes of Nârada (5, 107-9, 8).]
2. In cases of a criminal action directed against the king, or of violence (they may be administered) indiscriminately.
3. In cases of (denial of) a deposit or of (alleged.)
theft or robbery they must be administered each according to the value (of the property claimed).
4. In all such cases the value (of the object claimed) must be estimated in gold.
5. Now if its value amounts to less than one Krishnala, a Sûdra must be made to swear by a blade of Dûrvâ grass, (which he must hold in his hand);
6. If it amounts to less than two Krishnala, by a blade of Tila;
7. If it amounts to less than three Krishnala, by a blade of silver;
8. If it amounts to less than four Krishnala, by a blade of gold;
9. If it amounts to less than five Krishnala, by a lump of earth taken from a furrow;
10. If it amounts to less than half a Suvarna, a Sûdra must be made to undergo the ordeal by sacred libation;
11. If it exceeds that amount, (the judge must administer to him) any one of the (other) ordeals, viz. the ordeal by, the balance, by fire, by water, or by poison, considering duly (the season, &c.)
12. If the amount (of the matter in contest) is twice as high (as in each of the last-mentioned cases), a Vaisya must (in each case) undergo that ordeal which has (just) been ordained (for a Sûdra);
13. A Kshatriya (must undergo the same ordeals), if the amount is thrice as high;
[2. 1 See VIII, 2, note.]
14. A Brâhmana, if it is four times as high. He is, however, not subject to the ordeal by sacred libation.
15. No judge must administer the (ordeal by) sacred libation to a Brâhmana;
16. Except if it be done as a preliminary proof of his dealing fairly in some future transaction.
17. Instead of (administering the ordeal by) sacred libation to a Brâhmana (in suits regarding an object, the value of which amounts to less than two Suvarnas), let the judge cause him to swear by a lump of earth taken from a furrow.
18. To one formerly convicted of a crime (or of perjury) he must administer one of the ordeals, even though the matter in contest be ever so trifling.
19. But to one who is known (and esteemed) among honest men and virtuous, he must not (administer any ordeal), even though the matter in contest be ever so important.
20. The claimant must declare his willingness to pay the fine (which is, due in case of his being defeated);
21. And the defendant must go through the ordeal.
22. In cases of a criminal action directed against the, king, or of violence (an ordeal may be administered) even without (the claimant) promising to pay the fine (due in case of defeat in ordinary suits).
23. To women, Brâhmanas, persons deficient in an organ of sense, infirm (old) men, and sick persons, the (ordeal by the) balance must be administered.
24. But it must not be administered to them while a wind is blowing.
25. The (ordeal by) fire must not be administered to lepers, to infirm persons, or to blacksmiths;
26. Nor must it ever be administered in autumn or summer.
27. The (ordeal by) poison must not be administered to lepers, bilious persons, or Brâhmanas;
28. Nor during the rainy season.
29. The (ordeal by) water must not be administered to persons afflicted with phlegm or (another) illness, to the timid, to the asthmatic, nor to those who gain their subsistence from water (such as fishermen and the like);
30. Nor during (the two cold seasons) Hemanta and Sisira (or from middle of November to middle of March);
31. The (ordeal by) sacred libation must not be administered to atheists;
32. Nor when the country is afflicted with disease or pestilence.
33. Let the judge summon the defendant at the time of sunrise, after having, fasted on the previous day and bathed in his clothes, and make him go through all the ordeals in the presence of (images of) the gods and of the (assessors and other) Brâhmanas.