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


1. Now the spit-ox (sacrificed to Rudra).

2. In autumn or in spring, under the (Nakshatra) Ârdrâ.

3. The best of his herd,

4. (An ox) which is neither leprous nor speckled;

5. One with black spots, according to some;

6. If he likes, a black one, if its colour inclines to copper-colour.

7. He sprinkles it with water, into which he has thrown rice and barley,

8. From head to tail,

9. With (the formula), 'Grow up, agreeable to Rudra the great god.'

10 10. He should let it grow up. When it has cut its teeth, or when it has become a bull—

11 11. To a quarter (of the horizon) which is sacrificially pure,

12. At a place which cannot be seen from the village,

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13. After midnight,

14. According to some, after sunrise.

15 15. Having caused a Brahman who is versed in learning and knows the practice (of this sacrifice), to sit down, having driven a fresh branch with leaves into the ground as a sacrificial post, (having taken) two creeping plants or two Kusa ropes as two girdles, and having wound the one round the sacrificial post, and tied the other round the middle of the animal's head, he binds it to the sacrificial post or to the girdle (which he had tied to that post) with (the formula), 'Agreeable to him to whom adoration (is brought), I bind thee.'

16 16. The sprinkling with water and what follows is the same as at the animal sacrifice.

17. We shall state what is different.

18. Let him sacrifice the omentum with the Pâtrî or with a leaf—thus it is understood (in the Sruti)—

19. With (the formulas), 'To Hara, Mrida, Sarva, Siva, Bhava, Mahâdeva, Ugra, Bhîma, Pasupati, Rudra, Saṅkara, Îsâna svâhâ!'

20. Or with the last six (parts of that formula),

21. Or with (the formula), 'To Rudra svâhâ!'

22 22. Let him make Bali offerings towards the four quarters (of the horizon), to each on four rings of Kusa net-work, with (the formulas), 'The hosts, Rudra, which thou hast towards the eastern direction,

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to them this (offering is brought). Adoration to thee! Do no harm to me!' In this way the assigning (of the offerings is performed) according to the different quarters (of the horizon).

23. With the following four hymns he should worship the four quarters, viz. 'What shall we to Rudra,' 'These prayers to Rudra,' 'To thee, O father,' 'These songs to Rudra with the strong bow' (Rig-veda I, 43, 114; II, 33; VII, 46).

24. (This) worship to the quarters (of the horizon) (is performed) at all sacrifices to Rudra.

25. The husks and chaff (of the rice), the tail, the skin, the head, the feet (of the sacrificial animal) he should throw into the fire.

26 26. He should turn the skin to some use, according to Sâmvatya.

27 27. To the north of the fire, on rows of Darbha grass, or on rings of Kusa net-work, he should pour out the blood (of the sacrificial animal) with (the formula), 'Hissing ones! Noisy ones! Searching ones! Seizing ones! Serpents! What here belongs to you, take that.'

28. Then, turning to the north, (he assigns it) to the serpents (in the words), 'Hissing ones! Noisy ones! Searching ones! Seizing ones! Serpents! What here belongs to you, take that.'

Then the serpents take whatever has flowed down there of blood or of the contents of stomach and entrails.

29. All names, all hosts, all exaltations belong

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to him;—to a sacrificer who knows that, he gives joy.

30. Even to a man who only with words sets forth (some part) of that (ceremony), he will do no harm; thus it is understood (in the Sruti).

31. He should not partake of that (sacrifice).

32 32. They should not take anything belonging to it into the village. For this god will do harm to (human) creatures.

33. He should keep away his people from the vicinity (of the place where he has sacrificed).

34. On an express injunction, however, he should partake (of that sacrificial food), for it will bring luck.

35. This spit-ox sacrifice procures wealth, (open) space, purity, sons, cattle, long life, splendour.

36 36. After he has sacrificed, he should let loose another (animal).

37. He should not be without such an animal.

38. Then he will not be without cattle—thus it is understood (in the Sruti).

39 39. Muttering the Santâtîya hymn, he should go to his house.

40. If disease befalls his cattle, he should sacrifice to that same god in the midst of his cow-stable—

41. A mess of cooked food, which he sacrifices in its entirety.

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42. Having thrown the sacrificial grass and the Âgya into the fire, he should lead his cows through the smoke.

43. Murmuring the Santâtîya hymn, he should go in the midst of his cattle.

44. Adoration to Saunaka! Adoration to Saunaka!

End of the Fourth Adhyâya.

End of the Âsvalâyana-Grihya-sûtra.


255:1 8, 1. According to Nârâyana, the 'spit-ox' sacrifice is so called because it is offered to Rudra the spit-wearer.

255:5 Kalmâsho nâma krishnabindukitah. Nârâyana.

255:10 This Sûtra should rather be divided into two.

255:11 I.e. to the east or the north.

256:15 Round the middle of the head means, between the two horns. Nârâyana.

256:16 See above, I, 11.

256:22 This Bali offering is performed, according to Nârâyana, before the Svishtakrit oblation of the chief sacrifice. On kusasûna the commentator has the note, 'Darbhastambais trinais ka kalpavad (or rather, as Prof. Stenzler writes, katakavad) grathitvâ sarveshâm agram grihîtvâ, ekîkritya grathitâh kusasûnâ ukyante.'

257:26 Perhaps Sâmvatya is a mis-spelling of the name of the well-known Grihya teacher Sâmbavya.

257:27 Darbhavîtâ is explained in the commentary by darbharâgi.

258:32 Instead of abhimâruka we ought to read abhimânuka. See Aitareya Brâhmana III, 34, and the Petersburg Dictionary s. v. abhimânuka.

258:36 He should destine another young animal in the way stated above (Sûtras 7 seqq.) to a new Sûlagava sacrifice.

258:39 Rig-veda VII, 35. Comp. above, II, 8, 11.

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