Monday, November 7, 2016

Apastamba Grihya Sutras - Part 1



1.  The knowledge of these ceremonies is derived from practice (and not from the Sruti).

2. They should be performed during the northern course of the sun, on days of the first fortnight (of the month), on auspicious days,

3. With the sacrificial cord suspended over (the sacrificer's) left shoulder.

4. (The rites should be performed) from left to right.

5. The beginning should be made on the east side or on the north side,

6. And also the end.

7. Ceremonies belonging to the Fathers (are performed) in the second fortnight (of the month),

8. With the sacrificial cord suspended over the right shoulder,

9. From right to left,

10. Ending in the south.

11. Ceremonies occasioned by special occurrences (are performed) according as their occasions demand.

12. Having set the fire in a blaze, he strews eastward-pointed Darbha grass around it,

13. Or eastward-pointed and northward-pointed (grass);

14. Southward-pointed at sacrifices to the Fathers,

15. Or southward-pointed and eastward-pointed.

16. To the north of the fire he strews Darbha grass and (on that) he places the vessels (required for sacrifice) upside-down, two by two, if referring to ceremonies directed to the gods,

17. All at once, if to men,

18. One by one, if to the Fathers.

19. The preparation of the (blades used as) 'purifiers,' the measure of their length, the preparation of the Prokshanî water, and the sprinkling of the vessels are the same here as at the sacrifices of the new and full moon, (but are performed) in silence.

20.  To the west of the fire he pours water into a vessel over which he has laid (two grass blades called) purifiers, purifies (the water) three times with two northward-pointed purifiers, holds it on a level with his nose and mouth, places it to the north of the fire on Darbha grass, and covers it with Darbha grass.

21. On the south side he causes a Brâhmana to sit down on Darbha grass.

22. He melts the Âgya, pours it, to the west of the fire, into the Âgya-pot, over which he has laid two purifiers, draws coals (out of the sacrificial fire) towards the mirth, puts (the Âgya) on them, throws
light on it by means of a burning (grass-blade), throws two Darbha points into it, moves a firebrand round it three times, takes it from the fire towards the north, sweeps the coals back (into the fire), purifies (the Âgya) three times with two northward-pointed purifiers, moving them backward and forward, and throws the purifiers into the fire.


1. He warms at the fire the implement with which he sacrifices, wipes it off with Darbha blades, warms it again, sprinkles it (with water), puts it down, touches the Darbha blades with water, and throws them into the fire.

2. As paridhis (or pieces of wood laid round the fire) yoke-pins are used at the marriage, the Upanayana, the Samâvartana, the parting of the (wife's) hair, the tonsure of the child's hair, the cutting of the beard, and at expiatory ceremonies.

3. He sprinkles water round the fire, on the south side from west to east with (the words), 'Aditi, give thy consent!' on the west side from south to north with 'Anumati, give thy consent!' on the north side from west to east with 'Sarasvatî [sic], give thy consent!' all around with 'God Sâvitrî, give thy impulse!'

4. At ceremonies belonging to the Fathers (water is sprinkled) only all round (the fire), silently.

5. Having put a piece of wood on the fire, he offers the two Âghâra oblations as at the sacrifices of the new and full moon, silently.

6. Then he offers the two Âgyabhâga oblations, over the easterly part of the northerly part (of the fire) with (the words), 'To Agni Svâhâ!' over the easterly part of the southerly part (another oblation) exactly like the preceding one, with (the words), 'To Soma Svâhâ!'

7. Having offered the chief oblations (belonging to each sacrifice) according to prescription, he adds the following oblations, viz. the Gaya, Abhyâtâna, Râshtrabhrit oblations, the oblation to Pragâpati, the Vyâhritis one by one, the oblation to (Agni) Svishtakrit with (the following formula), 'What I have done too much in this ceremony, or what I have done here too little, all that may Agni Svishtakrit, he who knows, make well sacrificed and well offered. Svâhâ!'

8. The sprinkling (of water) round (the fire is repeated) as above; the Mantras are altered so as to say, 'Thou hast given thy consent,' 'Thou hast given thy impulse.'

9. The designation 'Pâkayagña' is used of ceremonies connected with worldly life.

10. There the ritual based on the Brâhmana (holds good),

11. (To which the words allude), 'He sacrifices twice; he wipes off (his hand) twice; he partakes twice (of the sacrificial food); having gone away he sips (out of the Sruk) and licks off (the Sruk).'

12. All seasons are fit for marriage with the exception of the two months of the sisira season, and of the last summer month.

13. All Nakshatras which are stated to be pure, (are fit for marriage);

14. And all auspicious performances.

15. And one should learn from women what ceremonies (are required by custom).

16. Under the Invakâs (Nakshatra), (the wooers who go to the girl's father) are sent out: such wooers are welcome.


1. 1 Under the Maghâs (Nakshatra) cows are provided;

2. Under the Phalgunî (Nakshatra) marriage is celebrated.

3. 3 A daughter whom he wishes to be dear (to her husband), a father should give in marriage under the Nishtyâ (Nakshatra); thus she becomes dear (to her husband); she does not return (to her father's) house: this is an observance based on a Brâhmana.

4. The word Invakâs means Mrigasiras; the word Nishtyâ means Svâti.

5. 5 At the wedding one cow;

6. In the house one cow:

7. With the (first cow) he should prepare an Argha reception for the bridegroom as for a guest,

8. With the other (the bridegroom [?] should do so) for a person whom he reveres.

9. These are the occasions for killing a cow: (the arrival of) a guest, (the Ashtakâ sacrifice offered to) the Fathers, and marriage.

10. Let (the wooer) avoid in his wooing a girl that sleeps, or cries, or has left home.

11. 11 And let him avoid one who has been given (to another), and who is guarded (by her relations), and one who looks wicked (?), or who is a most excellent one (?), or (who is like the fabulous deer) sarabha (?), a hunch-back, a girl of monstrous appearance, a bald-headed girl, a girl whose skin is like a frog's (?), a girl who has gone over to another family (?), a girl given to sensual pleasures (?), or a herdess, or one who has too many friends, or who has a fine younger sister, or one whose age is too near to that of the bridegroom (?).

12. Girls who have the name of a Nakshatra, or of a river, or of a tree, are objectionable.

13. And all girls in whose names the last letter but one is r or l, one should avoid in wooing.

14. If possible, he should place (the following) objects hidden before the girl, and should say to her, 'Touch (one of these things).'

15. (The objects are), different kinds of seeds mixed together, loose earth from (the kind of sacrificial altar called) vedi, an earth-clod from a field, cow-dung, and an earth-clod from a cemetery.

16. If she touches one of the former (objects, this portends) prosperity as characterized (by the nature of what she has touched).

17. The last is regarded as objectionable.

18. Let him marry a girl of good family and character, with auspicious characteristics, and of good health.

19. Good family, a good character, auspicious characteristics, learning, and good health: these are the accomplishments of a bridegroom.

20. A girl who is pleasing to his mind and his eyes, will bring happiness to him; let him pay no attention to the other things: such is the opinion of some.

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