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Special attention is given to kamyakarmas done for fulfillment of certain desires, such as desire for prosperity of cattle, achievement of glory, gaining favour of certain people, appease an angry person, and desire to become a king.   
 
Special attention is given to kamyakarmas done for fulfillment of certain desires, such as desire for prosperity of cattle, achievement of glory, gaining favour of certain people, appease an angry person, and desire to become a king.   
  
== References of Grhyasutras ==
+
== गृह्यकर्माणि Grhyakarmas ==
Like the Vedas, Grhyasutras are also handed down and preserved since ancient times through oral tradition. Transmission of what was studied, memorized and practiced manifested as the tradition or custom, which, was regarded as an authority of these rituals. This was the foundation of [[Sampradayas (सम्प्रदायाः)|Sampradayas]] which are the existing authorities in matters pertaining to Bharatiya culture and dharmas.  
+
While the Shrauta sutras are based on the Shrutis, the Grhyasutras are said to rest on the Smrti texts, thus these grhya-karmani are said to be "Smartha" karmas. The authors of the Grhyasutras treat the subject matter of "grhya" very specifically denoted by their typical expressions such as those of
 +
* Ashvalayana starts with उक्तानि वैतानिकानि गृह्याणि वक्ष्यामः १<ref>Ashvalayana Grhyasutras ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%86%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%B2%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%97%E0%A5%83%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D Full Text])</ref> meaning "the grhyani as distinguished from the vaitanikani (shrauta) are said"
 +
 
 +
* Shankhayana says अथातः पाकयज्ञान्व्याख्यास्यामः १<ref>Shankhayana Grhyasutras ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%B6%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%99%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%96%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%97%E0%A5%83%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D Full Text])</ref> meaning "now with the discussion of the pakayajnas"
 +
 
 +
* Paraskara says, अथातो गृह्यस्थालीपाकानां कर्म १<ref>Paraskara Grhyasutras ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%97%E0%A5%83%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D Full Text])</ref> meaning "now of the grhyasthalipakanam karma".
 +
* Baudhayana directly starts with the differentiation of the Pakayajnas into seven and naming them, यथो एतद्धुतः प्रहुत आहुतश्शूलगवो बलिहरणं प्रत्यवरोहणमष्टकाहोम इति सप्त पाकयज्ञसंस्था इति ।१।<ref>Baudhayana Grhyasutras ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%AC%E0%A5%8C%E0%A4%A7%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%97%E0%A5%83%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4% Prashna 1])</ref>
 +
* Apastamba states his purpose succinctly, अथ कर्माण्याचाराद्यानि गृह्यन्ते १<ref>Apastamba Grhyasutras ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%86%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AC%E0%A4%97%E0%A5%83%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D Patala 1 Khanda 1])</ref> meaning "now the karmani (ceremonies) derived from acharas (customs) and other practices"
 +
* Gobhila states अथातो गृह्यकर्माण्युपदेक्ष्यामः १<ref>Gobhila Grhyasutras ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%97%E0%A5%8B%E0%A4%AD%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%B2%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%97%E0%A5%83%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A5%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4% Prapathaka 1])</ref> meaning "now the grhya ceremonies are given"
 +
We see from the above that the grhyasutras treat their subject pertaining broadly to grhya-karmani in exactly the same style in which the shrauta yajnas have been treated by the shrautasutras.
 +
 
 +
Like the Vedas, Grhyasutras are also handed down and preserved since ancient times through oral tradition. Transmission of what was studied, memorized and practiced manifested as the tradition or custom, which, came to be regarded as an authority of these rituals. This was the foundation of [[Sampradayas (सम्प्रदायाः)|Sampradayas]] which are the present existing authorities in matters pertaining to Bharatiya culture and dharmas.  
  
 
=== Vedic References ===
 
=== Vedic References ===
 
The grhyasutras completely depend on the mantras from the [[Samhita (संहिता)|Samhitas]] of [[The Four Vedas (चतुर्वेदाः)|the four vedas]] on the occasion of the performance of the Grhya rituals.  
 
The grhyasutras completely depend on the mantras from the [[Samhita (संहिता)|Samhitas]] of [[The Four Vedas (चतुर्वेदाः)|the four vedas]] on the occasion of the performance of the Grhya rituals.  
 
* Mantras recited during marriage are seen from Rigveda (10.85).
 
* Mantras recited during marriage are seen from Rigveda (10.85).
* The term "Pakayajna" is referred to in Taittriya samhita.
+
* The term "Pakayajna" is referred to in Taittriya samhita and the Brahmanas.  
 
* Atharvaveda gives copious information about Grhya ritual described in Grhyasutras - marriage, Pumsavana, Jatakarma, Upanayana, Antyeshti, Godana, Astaka and so on.
 
* Atharvaveda gives copious information about Grhya ritual described in Grhyasutras - marriage, Pumsavana, Jatakarma, Upanayana, Antyeshti, Godana, Astaka and so on.
* Brahmana texts mention a number of rites and rituals found in Grhyasutras.
+
* Brahmana texts mention a number of rites and rituals found in Grhyasutras example, Agrahyana ceremony (Ait. Brah. 7.9, Kaus. Brah. 4.12, Tait. Samh. 5.7.2)
* The Grhyagni - the grhya fire, is mentioned in Aitereya Brahmana (8.10) <ref>Aitareya Brahmana ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%90%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%AF_%E0%A4%AC%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%A3%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%9E%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%9A%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%BE_%E0%A5%AE_(%E0%A4%85%E0 Panchika 8])</ref>गृहान्पश्चा'''द्गृह्यस्याग्ने'''रुपविष्टायान्वातब्धाय ऋत्विगन्ततः कंसेन चतुर्गृहीतस्तिस्र...।
 
* The Agrayana ceremony that finds description in the Grhyasutra is mentioned in the Brahmanas (Ait. Brah. 7.9, Kaus. Brah. 4.12, Tait. Samh. 5.7.2)
 
 
* Sathapatha Brahmana discusses the [[Panchamahayajnas (पञ्चमहायज्ञाः)|Panchamahayajnas]], and [[Upanayana (उपनयनम्)|Upanayana]], Garbhadhana, Namakarana (of the samskaras) and others such as Soshyantikarman, Ayushyakarman, and Medhajanana.
 
* Sathapatha Brahmana discusses the [[Panchamahayajnas (पञ्चमहायज्ञाः)|Panchamahayajnas]], and [[Upanayana (उपनयनम्)|Upanayana]], Garbhadhana, Namakarana (of the samskaras) and others such as Soshyantikarman, Ayushyakarman, and Medhajanana.
  
== Features of Grhyasutras ==
+
== Shrauta and Grhyasutras ==
Grhyasutras discuss about yajnas to be performed in domestic situations for short time periods, unlike the great yajnas like Asvamedha and Sattra yagas which are performed over a long time. According to Vachaspatya<ref>Vachaspatya (See explanation of the word [https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%9A%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%A8 Pakasanstha])</ref> Haarita describes the yajnas as a source of imperishable Dharma. <blockquote>पाकयज्ञान्यजेन्नित्यं हविर्यज्ञांश्च नित्यशः । सोमांश्च विधिपूर्वेण य इच्छेद्धर्ममव्ययम्।</blockquote>Pakayajnas have to be performed everyday, Haviryajnas constantly, Somayajnas are to be performed according to all vidhis (injunctions) prescribed, by one who desires Dharma in an imperishable form.
+
Grhyasutras discuss about yajnas to be performed in domestic situations for short time periods, unlike the great yajnas like Asvamedha and Sattra yagas which are performed over a long time. They differ from the Shrauta yajnas in many ways.  
 
+
{| class="wikitable"
=== '''पाकयज्ञः'''  Pakayajna ===
+
|+Differences between Shrauta and Grhya Karmas
The technical term Pakayajna is used to refer to Grhyayajnas to distinguish them from the Shrauta yajnas. This term has been mentioned in Brahmana texts of the Vedas in a similar sense.<ref name=":0" /><blockquote>...'''पाकयज्ञा''' इळामेवानु ये केच '''पाकयज्ञास्ते''' सर्वेऽग्निष्टोममपियन्ति सायम्प्रातरग्निहोत्रं जुह्वति सायम्प्रातर्व्रतम्प्रयछन्ति स्वाहाकारेणाग्निहोत्रं जुह्वति...। (Aite. Brah. 3.40)<ref>Aiteraya Brahmana ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%90%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%AF_%E0%A4%AC%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%A3%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%9E%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%9A%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%BE_%E0%A5%A9_(%E0%A4%A4%E0 Panchika 3])</ref> Sat. Brah. 1.4.2.10 </blockquote><blockquote>Tait. Samh. 1.7.1.3</blockquote>
+
!
 
+
!Shrauta
 +
!Grhya
 +
|-
 +
|1
 +
|Derived from Shrutis
 +
|Derived from Smrtis
 +
|-
 +
|2
 +
|Involve complex Shrauta yajnas
 +
|Involve simple Grhya yajnas
 +
|-
 +
|3
 +
|Entirely based on the Brahmanas
 +
|Founded on Brahmanas to a certain extent
 +
|-
 +
|4
 +
|Majority of shrauta yajnas extend over a long time period (years more than ten)
 +
|Grhya yajnas typically are of short duration (days)
 +
|-
 +
|5
 +
|Scope includes broad section of the society
 +
|Scope is limited to individual and his family
 +
|-
 +
|6
 +
|Ceremonies pertaining to welfare of the society at large
 +
|Ceremonies pertaining to welfare of the individual (samskaras)
 +
|-
 +
|7
 +
|Rtviks of upto sixteen are required for the conduct of these yajnas
 +
|Yajamana himself performs the grhyakarmas
 +
|-
 +
|8
 +
|These are mostly optional, kamyakarmas performed with an intent
 +
|These are mostly obligatory nityakarmas while some are kamya karmas.
 +
|}
 
== References ==
 
== References ==
 
<references />
 
<references />

Revision as of 22:05, 17 January 2020

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Grhyasutras (Samskrit: गृह्यसूत्राणि) belonging to Kalpa of the Vedangas, as their title suggests, deal with grhya-karmani (गृह्यकर्माणि), i.e., the domestic activities. Written in the sutra style, these treatises systematically describe the grhyakarmas as practiced in their respective schools. The number and order of these activities vary from one Grhyasutra to another. Since most of the ceremonies prescribed in the Grhyasutras are to be performed with the help of the Grhyaagni, i.e., grhya fire, the domestic fire, the description of the setting up of this fire finds an important place in the Grhyasutras.[1]

Introduction

Grhyasutras belong to the class of Kalpasutra texts. Kalpas are important texts of six vedangas, the ancilliary subjects which are required to understand Vedas and hence are one among the Chaturdasha Vidyas. They pertain to domestic rituals as known from the word Grhya. Thus the subject matter of grhyasutras involves the domestic life of a person. They are the oldest manuals on the samskaras and in the whole set of Kalpa texts, the Dharmasutras as a rule follow the Grhyasutras.

The origin of the Grhyasutras appear to be traceable to an oral tradition prevalent among the people of ancient times which preserved them till date. They employ many mantras from the veda samhita parts while performing the domestic rituals. So one can understand the antiquity of these ceremonies which are traced back to the time of the Vedas.

Subject-matter of Grhyasutras

Samskaras form an important subject of the Grhyasutras. They pertain to the activities surrounding an individual and fundamentally prescribe the procedural methods and specifical mantras to be recited at different stages of a particular samskara. Dharmasutras on the other hand rarely describe the procedural aspects of a ritual and delve upon the code of conduct of an individual. Broadly the topics treated in these texts include pre-birth ceremonies for the mother Pumsavana, Seemantonnayana etc) and post-birth ceremonies of the child starting from Namakarana, a detailed account of Upanayana, Upakarma, Samavartana, Snataka conduct, marriage followed by Antyeshti or the funeral ceremonies. The Grhyasutras give a detailed account of the ceremony of Upanayana and other education related samskaras which a child undergoes starting from initiation into the study of Veda. Being the pivot of all domestic ceremonies, the marriage with its diverse and diffuse details occupies a great deal of explanation in the Grhyasutras.

The daily obligatory activities of a grhastha such as Panchamahayajnas, Pakayajnas and the periodical yajnas, shraddha, monthly rituals to be performed on the new-moon and full-moon days, annual rituals among other information are extensively discussed. The yajnas that are performed annually include Sravana, the Indrayajna, the Asvayuji, the Agrahayani, the Ashtakas, the Phalguni, and the Chaitriyajna.

Apart from the above, these texts contain ceremonies connected with agricultural operations, cattle welfare and festivities associated with them. The ceremony of Vrshotsarga, wherein a stud-bull is left at liberty, is discussed, so also the Sulagava yajna for the prosperity of cattle. Mantras which are to be recited while driving cattle to and from from pasture find a mention. Ploughing the field is started with special ceremonies as is the method of worshipping the Sita (which literally means a furrow). Agrayana yajna is connected with agriculture wherein the first fruits of the crop are to be offered to the deities. All these activities have marginally reduced but are still followed by our farmers in the present day.

Next topic of importance discussed in the Grhyasutras includes the choice of land for building a house, the rites to be performed for laying the foundation and the main door or gate of the house, and when the pujas to be performed when the owner first enters the house after its completion.

Other topics discussed include ceremonies to be performed on the appearance of certain animals such as cats, birds such as pigeons, crows in the house. Other events such as bursting of the central pillar in the house and other inauspicious signs such as sight of a solitary jackal or a cat and the prayaschittas for the same are discussed. Expiating actions for the neglect of obligatory duties and rites are aptly discussed.[1]

Special attention is given to kamyakarmas done for fulfillment of certain desires, such as desire for prosperity of cattle, achievement of glory, gaining favour of certain people, appease an angry person, and desire to become a king.

गृह्यकर्माणि Grhyakarmas

While the Shrauta sutras are based on the Shrutis, the Grhyasutras are said to rest on the Smrti texts, thus these grhya-karmani are said to be "Smartha" karmas. The authors of the Grhyasutras treat the subject matter of "grhya" very specifically denoted by their typical expressions such as those of

  • Ashvalayana starts with उक्तानि वैतानिकानि गृह्याणि वक्ष्यामः १[2] meaning "the grhyani as distinguished from the vaitanikani (shrauta) are said"
  • Shankhayana says अथातः पाकयज्ञान्व्याख्यास्यामः १[3] meaning "now with the discussion of the pakayajnas"
  • Paraskara says, अथातो गृह्यस्थालीपाकानां कर्म १[4] meaning "now of the grhyasthalipakanam karma".
  • Baudhayana directly starts with the differentiation of the Pakayajnas into seven and naming them, यथो एतद्धुतः प्रहुत आहुतश्शूलगवो बलिहरणं प्रत्यवरोहणमष्टकाहोम इति सप्त पाकयज्ञसंस्था इति ।१।[5]
  • Apastamba states his purpose succinctly, अथ कर्माण्याचाराद्यानि गृह्यन्ते १[6] meaning "now the karmani (ceremonies) derived from acharas (customs) and other practices"
  • Gobhila states अथातो गृह्यकर्माण्युपदेक्ष्यामः १[7] meaning "now the grhya ceremonies are given"

We see from the above that the grhyasutras treat their subject pertaining broadly to grhya-karmani in exactly the same style in which the shrauta yajnas have been treated by the shrautasutras.

Like the Vedas, Grhyasutras are also handed down and preserved since ancient times through oral tradition. Transmission of what was studied, memorized and practiced manifested as the tradition or custom, which, came to be regarded as an authority of these rituals. This was the foundation of Sampradayas which are the present existing authorities in matters pertaining to Bharatiya culture and dharmas.

Vedic References

The grhyasutras completely depend on the mantras from the Samhitas of the four vedas on the occasion of the performance of the Grhya rituals.

  • Mantras recited during marriage are seen from Rigveda (10.85).
  • The term "Pakayajna" is referred to in Taittriya samhita and the Brahmanas.
  • Atharvaveda gives copious information about Grhya ritual described in Grhyasutras - marriage, Pumsavana, Jatakarma, Upanayana, Antyeshti, Godana, Astaka and so on.
  • Brahmana texts mention a number of rites and rituals found in Grhyasutras example, Agrahyana ceremony (Ait. Brah. 7.9, Kaus. Brah. 4.12, Tait. Samh. 5.7.2)
  • Sathapatha Brahmana discusses the Panchamahayajnas, and Upanayana, Garbhadhana, Namakarana (of the samskaras) and others such as Soshyantikarman, Ayushyakarman, and Medhajanana.

Shrauta and Grhyasutras

Grhyasutras discuss about yajnas to be performed in domestic situations for short time periods, unlike the great yajnas like Asvamedha and Sattra yagas which are performed over a long time. They differ from the Shrauta yajnas in many ways.

Differences between Shrauta and Grhya Karmas
Shrauta Grhya
1 Derived from Shrutis Derived from Smrtis
2 Involve complex Shrauta yajnas Involve simple Grhya yajnas
3 Entirely based on the Brahmanas Founded on Brahmanas to a certain extent
4 Majority of shrauta yajnas extend over a long time period (years more than ten) Grhya yajnas typically are of short duration (days)
5 Scope includes broad section of the society Scope is limited to individual and his family
6 Ceremonies pertaining to welfare of the society at large Ceremonies pertaining to welfare of the individual (samskaras)
7 Rtviks of upto sixteen are required for the conduct of these yajnas Yajamana himself performs the grhyakarmas
8 These are mostly optional, kamyakarmas performed with an intent These are mostly obligatory nityakarmas while some are kamya karmas.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gopal, Ram. (1959) India of Vedic Kalpasutras. Delhi : National Publishing House
  2. Ashvalayana Grhyasutras (Full Text)
  3. Shankhayana Grhyasutras (Full Text)
  4. Paraskara Grhyasutras (Full Text)
  5. Baudhayana Grhyasutras (Prashna 1)
  6. Apastamba Grhyasutras (Patala 1 Khanda 1)
  7. Gobhila Grhyasutras (Prapathaka 1)