By Swami Harshananda
Gobhila was an ancient sage who belonged to the group of followers of the Sāmaveda. Nothing is known regarding him. Adherents of the Kauthuma and the Rānāyaniya schools of the Sāmaveda consider his works as highly authoritative. Three works are attributed to him:
- Gobhila Grhyasutras
- Gobhila Smṛti
- Gobhila Śrāddhakalpa
The text of Gobhila Grhyasutras has been fully recovered. It has four main sections called as ‘prapāṭhakas’. Each prapāṭhaka is divided into ‘kaṇḍikās’ (chapters). Each kaṇḍikās have individual sutras or aphorisms. The total number of sutras is 1089 accommodated in 39 kaṇḍikās.
It has three commentaries by:
- Bhaṭṭa Nārāyaṇa
- An unknown author
Being a gṛhyasutra work, it deals with the rites and rituals connected with the life of a gṛhastha or a house-holder. The topics dealt with include some sacrifices like:
- Pañca- mahāyajñas
It also deals with 13 samskāras like:
It has been identified with the Karmapradipa of Kātyāyana (4th cent. A. D.). It deals with the usual topics found in the smṛtis and dharmaśāstras like:
- Ācāra - daily routine and behavior
- Sandhyā ritual
- Japa of Vedic mantras
The work Gobhilīya Śrāddhakalpa has not been found till now. Portions from it have been quoted in the works of other authors like Raghunandana (A. D. 1510- 1580) in his Śrāddhatattva.
- The commentary is called Sarald.
- Pañca- mahāyajñas are the five daily sacrifices.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore