Khādira Gṛhyasutras

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Khadira Grhyasutras, KhAdira GRhyasutras, Khaadira Grrihyasutras


The gṛhyasutras and the dharmasutras form a part of the kalpasutras, the last of the six Vedāṅgas. They are the forerunners of the dharmaśāstra literature. The Khādira Gṛhyasutras belong to the tradition of the Rāṇāyanīya school of the Sāmaveda. It seems to be an abridgement and improvement of the earlier work Gobhila Gṛhyasutras. It has 580 sutras distributed over 19 khaṇḍas or sections. These sections have been accommodated in 4 paṭalas or chapters.

First Paṭala

The first paṭala deals with the following topics in details:

  • Samāvartana[1]
  • Vivāha or the marriage ceremonies

Second Paṭala

The second patala describes the following ceremonies:

  • Darśa sacrifice
  • Purṇamāsa sacrifice
  • Purhsavana ceremony
  • Sīmantonnayana ceremonie for a pregnant woman
  • Nāmakaraṇa or the naming ceremony of the child
  • Caula or tonsure of the hair in the third year
  • Upanayana sacrament
  • Godāna or the first shaving of the beard
  • Godānavrata
  • Ādityavrata
  • Upaniṣadvrata

Third Paṭala

The third paṭala deals with the ceremonies like:

  • Ceremony for the student who has completed his studies
  • Ceremony for a student on becoming a snātaka
  • Āgrayaṇa rite
  • Anvaṣṭakya rite
  • Piṇḍapitṛyajña rite

Fourth Paṭala

It is the last paṭala which gives instructions regarding:

  • Various kāmya (desire-motivated) rites to be performed by those desiring brahmavarcas (lustre of Brahman), cattle, wealth and property
  • Averting untimely or accidental death
  • Getting rid of misfortune
  • Instructions regarding building one’s house
  • Attaining long life
  • Undisturbed means of livelihood
  • Cure from the bites of poisonous animals
  • Honoring respectable persons like one’s teacher with madhuparka

References

  1. Samāvartana is returning from the house of the guru after education.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore