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


1. Now the water libations (which are performed for deceased persons).

2. When (a child) that has not reached the age of two years dies, his father and mother become impure.

3. The other (relations) remain pure.

4. (The impurity lasts) through one night or three nights.

5. They bury the body without burning it.

6. If (a child dies) during the impurity of his mother (caused by the child's birth), the impurity lasts till the (mother's) getting up (from child-bed), in the same way as the impurity caused by a child's birth.

7. In this case (of the child being younger than two years) no water libations (are performed).

8. If a child of more than two years dies, all his relations should follow (the corpse) to the cemetery—

10_9. Singing the Yama song and murmuring the Yama hymn, according to some (teachers).

10 10_10. If (the dead person) has received the initiation,

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[paragraph continues] (the rites) from the election of the site (for the Smasâna) down to their descending into water (in order to bathe themselves) are the same as those prescribed for persons who have set up the (sacred Srauta) fires.

11. They burn him with his (sacred) domestic fire, if he has kept that;

12. Silently, with a common fire, other persons.

13. They should ask one who is related (to the deceased person) by blood or by marriage, for (his permission to perform) the water-libation, in the words, 'We shall perform the libation.'

14. (He replies), 'Do so now and never again,' if the deceased person was not a hundred years old.

15. (He says) only, 'Do so,' if he was.

16 16. All relations (of the deceased), to the seventh or to the tenth degree, descend into water.

17. If dwelling in the same village, (all) as far as they can trace their relationship.

18. They wear (only) one garment, and have the sacred cord suspended over the right shoulder.

19. With the fourth finger of the left hand they spirt away (the water) with (the words), 'May he drive evil away from us with his splendour' (Vâg. Samh. XXXV, 6).

20. Facing the south, they plunge (into the water).

21. They pour out with joined hands one libation of water to the deceased person with (the words), 'N.N.! This water to thee!'

22. When they have come out (of the water) and

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have sat down on a pure spot that is covered with grass, (those who are versed in ancient tales) should entertain them (by telling such tales).

23 23. They return to the village without looking back, in one row, the youngest walking in front.

24 24. In the doors of their houses they chew leaves of the Pikumanda (or Nimba) tree, sip water, touch water, fire, cowdung, white mustard seeds, and oil, tread upon a stone, and then they enter.

25 25-26. Through a period of three nights they should remain chaste, sleep on the ground, do no work and charge nobody (to do it for them).

26. Let them eat food which they have bought or received (from. others); (they should eat it) only in the day-time, (and should eat) no meat.

27 27. Having offered to the deceased person the Pinda, naming his name at the washing, at the offering (of the Pinda), and at the second washing—

28 28. They should that night put milk and water in an earthen vessel into the open air with (the words), 'Deceased one, bathe here!'

29 29-30. The impurity caused by death lasts through three nights;

30. Through ten nights, according to some (teachers).

31. (During that period they) should not perform Svâdhyâya (or study the Vedic texts for themselves).

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32. They should intermit the standing rites, except those performed with the three (Srauta) fires,

33. And (with the exception of those performed) with the (sacred) domestic fire, according to some (teachers).

34. Others should perform (those rites for them).

35. Those who have touched the dead body should not enter the village until the stars appear.

36. If (they have touched it) in the night-time, (they should not enter) till sunrise.

37 37. The entering and what follows after it is the same (for these persons) as for the others.

38. (Their) impurity lasts through one or two fortnights.

39. The same (rites should be performed) when the teacher (has died),

40. Or the maternal grandfather or grandmother,

41. Or unmarried females.

42 42. For those who were married, the others should do it,

43 43. And they for the (others).

44 44. If one dies while being absent on a journey, (his relations) shall sit (on the ground, as prescribed for impure persons) from the time when they have heard (of his death), performing the water libation

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[paragraph continues] (at that time), until the period (of their impurity) has expired;

45. If (that period has already) elapsed, through one night or three nights.

46. Optional is the water libation for an officiating priest, a father-in-law, a friend, for (distant) relations, for a maternal uncle, and for a sister's son;

47 47. And for married females.

48. On the eleventh day he should give to an uneven number of Brâhmanas a meal at which meat is served.

49. Some also kill a cow in honour of the deceased person.

50. When the Pindas are prepared, the deceased person, if he has sons, shall be considered as the first of the (three) Fathers (to whom Pindas are offered).

51 51. The fourth one should be left out.

52 52. Some (make Pinda offerings to a deceased person) separately through one year (before admitting him to a share in the common Pitriyagña).

53 53. But there is a rule, 'There can be no fourth Pinda'—for this is stated in the Sruti.

54 54. Every day he shall give food to him (i.e. to the deceased person), and if he was a Brâhmana, a vessel with water.

55. Some offer also a. Pinda.


355:2 10, 2. Manu V, 68; Yâgñavalkya III, 1.

355:7 Manu V, 68; Yâgñavalkya III, 1.

355:10_9 The Yama song is stated to be the second verse of Taittirîya Âranyaka VI, 5, 3 ('He who day by day leads away cows, horses, men, and everything that moves, Vivasvat's son Yama is insatiable of the five human tribes'); the Yama hymn is Rig-veda X, 14. Comp. Yâgñavalkya III, 2.

355:10_10 The bhûmigoshana (election of the site for the Smasâna) is p. 356 treated of in Satapatha Brâhmana XIII, 8, 1, 6 seqq.; Kâtyâyana Srauta-sûtra XXI, 3, 15 seqq. On the bath taken after the ceremony, see Satapatha Brâhmana XIII, 8,4,5; Kâtyâyana XXI, 4, 24.

356:16gñavalkya III, 3.

22. Yâgñavalkya III, 7: apavadeyus tan itihâsaih purâtanaih.

357:23gñavalkya III, 12.

357:24gñavalkya III, 12. 13.

357:25-26 25, 26. Yâgñavalkya III, 16; Manu V, 73; Vasishtha IV, 15.

357:27 See on the washing and on the offering of the Pinda, Kâtyâyana-Srauta-sûtra IV, 1, 10. 11. Comp. Weber, Indische Studien, X, 82.

357:28gñavalkya III, 17.

357:29-30 29, 30. Yâgñavalkya III, 18; Manu V, 59.

358:37 The position of this Sûtra after 35, 36 seems to me to indicate that it refers to those who have touched the dead body; comp. Yâgñavalkya III, 14: pravesanâdikam karma pretasamsparsinâm api. I believe that the same persons are concerned also in Sûtra 38.

358:42 I.e. the husband and his relatives. Comp. Vasishtha IV, 19.

358:43 A married female should perform the rites for her husband and his relatives. See Professor Bühler's note on Vasishtha IV, 19; S.B.E., XIV, 28.

358:44gñavalkya III, 21; Manu V, 75, 76. Comp. Gautama XIV, 37; Vasishtha IV, 14.

359:47 See above, § 42.

359:51 See Sâṅkhâyana-Grihya IV, 2, 8.

359:52 Sâṅkhâyana-Grihya VIII, 2. Comp. the description of the Sapindîkarana, ibid., chap. 3.

359:53 There would be four Pindas, if one were to be offered to the recently deceased person, and three others to those Fathers who had received Pinda offerings before his death. Therefore one of these three Fathers is omitted; see § 51.

359:54 Comp. Âpastamba I, 13, 1; Baudhâyana II, 11, 3.

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