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


1. Here (follows the student's) going the rounds for alms.

2-4. A Brâhmana should beg, addressing (the woman from whom he begs alms) with the word 'Lady' put at the beginning (of his request),

3. A Râganya, with the word 'Lady' inserted in the middle,

4. A Vaisya, with the word 'Lady' put at the end.

5. (He should beg) from three women who will not refuse;

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6. From six, twelve, or an indefinite number.

7. From his own mother first, according to some (teachers).

8. Having announced the alms received to his teacher, he should stand, keeping silence, through the rest of the day, according to some.

9. Having fetched fire-wood out of the forest without damaging (trees), he should put them on that fire as above, and should abandon his silence.

10. He should sleep on the ground and eat no pungent or saline food.

11. Wearing the staff, worshipping the fire, being obedient to his Guru, going the rounds for alms—(these are the standing duties of students).

12 12. He should avoid honey or flesh, bathing (for pleasure), sitting on high seats, going to women, falsehood, and taking what is not given to him.

13 13-15. Let him live forty-eight years as a student for the (four) Vedas,

14. Or twelve years for each Veda,

15. Or until he has learnt it.

16. The garment (of a student) should be made of hemp, flax, or wool (accordingly as he is a Brâhmana, a Kshatriya, or a Vaisya).

17. The upper garment of a Brâhmana should be an antelope-skin,

18. That of a Râganya the skin of a spotted deer,

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19. That of a Vaisya a goat's or cow's skin.

20. Or if (the prescribed sort of garment) is not to be had, a cow's hide (should be worn) by all, because to that belongs the first place (among all kinds of garments).

21. The girdle of a Brâhmana should be of Muñga grass,

22. That of a Kshatriya should be a bowstring,

23. That of a Vaisya, made of Mûrvâ (i.e. Sanseveria Roxburghiana).

24 24. If there is no Muñga (or the other articles prescribed in §§ 22, 23, the girdles should be made) of Kusa grass, of the plant Asmantaka, or of Balbaga grass (respectively).

25. The staff of a Brâhmana is of Palâsa wood,

26. That of a Râganya of Bilva wood,

27. That of a Vaisya of Udumbara wood.

28. Or all (sorts of staffs may be used) by all.

29. If the teacher calls him, he shall rise and then answer..

30. If (the teacher calls him) while he is lying down, (he should answer) sitting; if sitting, standing; if standing, walking up (to the teacher); if walking up, running up.

31. If he behaves thus, his fame when he has become a Snâtaka (i.e. when he has taken the bath at the end of his studentship) will be (such that people will say of him), 'To-day he stays there; to-day he stays there.'

32 32-35. There are three (kinds of) Snâtakas: a Vidyâ-snâtaka (i.e. a Snâtaka by knowledge), a Vrata-snâtaka

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[paragraph continues] (i.e. a Snâtaka by the completion of his vows), and a Vidyâ-vrata-snâtaka (i.e. a Snâtaka both by knowledge and by the completion of his vows).

33. He who performs the Samâvartana ceremony, after having finished the study of the Veda, but before the time of his vows has expired, is a Vidyâ-snâtaka.

34. He who performs the Samâvartana, after his vows have expired, but before he has finished the study of the Veda, is a Vrata-snâtaka.

35. He who performs the Samâvartana, after having finished both, is a Vidyâ-vrata-snâtaka.

36 36-40. Until the sixteenth year the time (for being initiated) has not passed for a Brâhmana,

37. Until the twenty-second for a Râganya,

38. Until the twenty-fourth for a Vaisya.

39. After that (time has passed), they become patitasâvitrîka (or persons who have lost the right of learning the Sâvitrî).

40. No one should initiate such men, nor teach them, nor perform sacrifices for them, nor have intercourse with them.

41 41. After the time has passed, (they should do) as has been prescribed.

42 42. A person whose ancestors through three generations have been patitasâvitrîkas, is excluded

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from the sacrament (of initiation) and from being taught the Veda.

43 43. Of such persons those who desire to receive the sacrament, may perform the sacrifice of Vrâtyastoma and then study the Veda, if they like. For (of persons who have done that) it is said, 'Intercourse with them is permitted.'


308:2-4 5, 2-4. Comp. Âpastamba I, 3, 28 seqq. (S.B.E., II, p. 12); Manu II, 49, &c. The Brâhmana says, 'Lady, give alms;' the Kshatriya, 'Give, lady, alms;' the Vaisya, 'Give alms, lady.'

308:5 Âsvalâyana-Grihya I, 22, 7.

309:8 Âsvalâyana l.l. §§ 10, 11.

309:9 The meaning is, he should not break off branches, but only gather such as have fallen off. The words 'as above' refer to chap. 4.

309:12 Gautama II, 13; Âpastamba I, 2, 23. 28-30. 21. 26.

309:13-15 Comp. Âpastamba I, 2, 12 seqq.; Âsvalâyana I, 22, 3.

310:24 Manu II, 43.

310:32-35 Comp. Âpastamba I, 30, 1-3; Manu IV, 31. The term of the vows extends through forty-eight (or thirty-six, &c.) p. 311 years; see above, Sûtras 13 and 14, and below, chap. 6, 2. 3. The Samâvartana is the returning home of the student at the end of his studentship.

311:36-40 Âsvalâyana-Grihya I, 19, 5 seqq. &c.

311:41 The general rule here alluded to is, according to the commentators, that given by Kâtyâyana, Srauta-sûtra XXV, 1, 12. 13. There it is stated which expiatory oblations have to precede, when a rite that has not been performed, or that has been incorrectly performed, is to be performed for good.

311:42 Those who have not been initiated in due time, may act as p. 312 stated in Sûtra 41. But if the omission has been perpetuated through three generations, the descendant of such persons is subject to the rules stated in Sûtras 42 and 43.

312:43 Kâtyâyana, after having given the rules on the Vrâtyastoma sacrifice (see Weber, Indische Literaturgeschichte, 2nd edition, pp. 73 seq.), says: 'Intercourse with them (who have performed that sacrifice) is permitted' (Sraut. XXII, 4, 28).

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