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The Grihya Sutras, Part 1 (SBE29), by Hermann Oldenberg, [1886], at


1. On the eighth days of the four dark fortnights of (the two seasons of) winter and Sisira the Ashtakâs (are celebrated).

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2. Or on one (of these days).

3. The day before, he should offer to the Fathers (i.e. Manes)—

4. Boiled rice, boiled rice with sesamum seeds, rice-milk—

5. Or cakes made of four Sarâvas (of ground grain)—

6. Sacrificing with the eight (verses), 'May the lower (Fathers) and the higher arise' (Rig-veda X, 15, 1 seqq.), or with as many (verses) as he likes.

7. Then on the next day the Ashtakâs (are celebrated) with an animal (sacrifice) and with a mess of cooked food.

8. He may also give grass to an ox,

9. Or he may burn down brushwood with fire—

10. With (the words), 'This is my Ashtakâ.'

11. But he should not omit celebrating the Ashtakâ.

12. This (Ashtakâ) some state to be sacred to the Visve devâs, some to Agni, some to the Sun, some to Pragâpati, some state that the Night is its deity, some that the Nakshatras are, some that the Seasons are, some that the Fathers are, some that cattle is.

13 13. Having killed the animal according to the

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ritual of the animal sacrifice, omitting the sprinkling (with water) and the touching of the animal with a fresh branch, he should draw out the omentum and sacrifice it with (the verse), 'Carry the omentum, Gâtavedas, to the Fathers, where thou knowest them resting afar. May streams of fat flow to them; may all these wishes be fulfilled. Svâhâ!'

14 14. Then (follow oblations) of the Avadâna portions and the cooked food, two with (the two verses), 'Agni, lead us on a good path to wealth' (Rig-veda I, 189, 1 seq.), (and other oblations with the texts), 'May summer, winter, the seasons be happy to us, happy the rainy season, safe to us the autumn. The year be our lord who gives breath to us; may days and nights produce long life. Svâhâ!

'Peaceful be the earth, happy the air, may the goddess Heaven give us safety. Happy be the quarters (of the horizon), the intermediate quarters, the upper quarters; may the waters, the lightnings protect us from all sides. Svâhâ!

'May the waters, the rays carry our prayers (to the gods); may the creator, may the ocean turn away evil; may the past and the future, (may) all be safe to me. Protected by Brahman may I pour forth songs. Svâhâ!

'May all the Âdityas and the divine Vasus, the Rudras, the protectors, the Maruts sit down (here). May Pragâpati, the abounding one, the highest ruler, bestow vigour, offspring, immortality on me. Svâhâ!

'Pragâpati, no other one than Thou (Rig-veda X, 121, 10).'

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15. The eighth (oblation) is that to (Agni) Svishtakrit.

16 16. He should give to the Brâhmanas to eat: this has been said.


205:1 4, 1. Comp. Sâṅkhâyana-Grihya III, 12 seqq. The four p. 206 months of Hemanta and Sisira are Mârgasîrsha, Pausha, Mâgha, and Phâlguna.

206:2 The statement of the Prayogaratna that in case the sacrificer should celebrate only one Ashtakâ festival, the Ashtakâ of the Mâgha month is to be selected, well agrees with the designation of this Ashtakâ as 'the one Ashtakâ' (ekâshtakâ); see Weber, Naxatra II, 341 seq.; Indische Studien, XV, 145.

206:7 7 seqq. Comp. the nearly identical passage in Sâṅkhâyana-Grihya III, 14, 3 seqq. and the note there. Âsvalâyana evidently gives these rules not as regarding one special Ashtakâ but all of them.

206:13 Comp. above, I, 11, 1. 2. 10. As to the Mantra, comp. Sâṅkhâyana III, 13, 3.

207:14 I read, as Prof. Stenzler and the Petersburg Dictionary do, svârâ ksharâni. Comp. Pâraskara III, 3, 6.

208:16 See above, chap. 3, 13.

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