Smriti Mukta Phalam
Smriti Mukta Phalam
Varnasrama Dharma Kandam
Canto on Varnasrama Dharma*
By Sri Vaidyanatha Dikshitar
Translation by P. R. Kannan
Vedas are many, varied and difficult to comprehend for ordinary men. In order for humanity to understand and practise the injunctions of Vedas, Maharishis like Manu, Yagnavalkya, Parasara et al, filled with compassion, wrote Smritis. Again Smritis became numerous and sometimes had notable differences among themselves. Yudhishthira says in ‘Yaksha Prasna’ in Mahabharata that logic is uncertain, Srutis are contradictory and there is not one Rishi whose opinion is the final authority. Hence a need arose to compile and present in one place the various views of Rishis and arrive at a final conclusion suitable for practice in the present age. Such a ‘Nibandhana’ book was compiled by one Vaidyanatha Dikshitar and was titled ‘SMRITIMUKTAPHALAM’, meaning ‘Pearl of Smritis’. This great work, also called ‘Vaidyanatha Dikshitiyam’, is divided into six Kandams, the first being ‘Varnasrama Dharma Kandam’. Dharmas for people in the four Varnas and Asramas have been dealt with in great detail here, citing not only the views of various Rishis, but also Vedas, Puranas, Dharmasutras, previous Nibandhana books etc. together with the compiler’s own explanation as required. It is bewildering to note that in those early times when modern day facilities like printed books did not exist and sources of information were difficult to reach, one individual could have compiled so much from so many varied sources and presented such an easy - to - digest compilation.
Not much is known about this distinguished author’s personal life history. It appears that he lived about 300 years ago; was born in a place called Kandramanikkam in Chola country in Tamil Nadu in Vadula gotra in brahmana community.
A free translation in English of the original work in Samskrit is attempted in the following pages.
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* Duty pertaining to Varna and Asrama; Varna: - refers to the four basic castes - brahmana, kshatriya, vaisya and sudra; Asrama: - refers to the four stages of life - brahmacharya, garhastya, vanaprastha and sanyasa.
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2. Determination of the authorities for Dharma
3. Authority of Smritis
4. Determination of Dharma
5. Characteristics of the Virtuous
6. Fruits of practising Dharma
7. Praise of Achara (Good conduct)
8. Marks of Good Achara (conduct)
9. Praise of Smriti etc.
10. Determination of Fruits of Sruti, Smriti
11. Determination of the authors of Smritis
12. Determination of Dharmadesas (Areas appropriate for Dharma)
13. Censure of living in Prohibited areas
14. Yuga Dharmas
15. Benefits of describing the Efficacy of Yugas
16. Dharmas Prohibited in Kali Yuga
17. Definition of Karma
18. Process of Creation
19. Varna Dharmas
20. Performing Yagnam
21. Determination of Yaajanam (Performance of yagnas for others)
22. Study of Vedas
23. Teaching of Vedas
24. Discussion of Upakarma
25. Discussion of Anadhyaya (non - study of Vedas)
26. Danam (ceremonial giving with mantra)
27. Dana mantras
28. Persons suitable for Danam
29. Determination of persons Unsuitable for Danam
30. Determination of Acceptance of Danam (Ceremonial Gift)
31. Other means of livelihood
32. Livelihood in Adversity
33. Kshatriya dharmas
34. Discussion of Vysya dharmas
35. Discussion of Sudra dharmas
36. Glory of Brahmanas
37. Explanation of Anulomajati
38. Explanation of Castes like Kunda and Golaka
39. Explanation of Pratilomajati
40. Rise and Fall of Anuloma and Pratiloma Jatis
41. Forty Samskaras
42. Discussion of Garbhadhanam
47. Piercing the Ears
48. Nishkramanam (Taking baby out in open)
50. Discussion of Chowla
51. Jatakarma etc.of Women
52. Aksharabhyasam (Beginning of Study)
53. Dharmas prior to Upanayanam
54. Upanayanam - Proper Time
55. Upanayanam - Secondary Time
56. Upanayanam - Preparation of Sacred thread etc.
57. Upanayanam - Danda (Staff)
58. Upanayanam - Ajinam (Deerskin)
59. Upanayanam - Cloth
60. Upanayanam - Mekhala (Girdle)
61. Upanayanam - Bhikshacharanam
62. Upanayanam - Sandhyopakramam (Commencement of Sandhya)
63. Upanayanam - Samidhadhanam
64. Prayaschittas - Jatakarma etc. not done in time
65. Number of Brahmanas to be fed
66. No Upanayanam in certain conditions
67. Upanayana Kartas
68. Upanyanam of Twins etc.
69. Upanayanam of Dumb, Mad etc. boys
70. Determination of Sons like Aurasa (12) et al
71. Svikara (ceremonial adoption of son)
72. Determination of Guru et al
73. Reasons for Respect
74. Those fit to be given Way
75. Abhivadanam (Reverential Salutation)
76. Pratyabhivadanam (Returning of Salutation)
77. Dharmas of Brahmachari
78. Veda Vratas
79. Repeat Upanayanam
80. Duration of Period of Brahmacharya
81. Determination of Godanam
82. Rules for Snathaka
83. Dharma of Naishtika (Perpetual) Brahmachari
84. Dharmas of Snathaka
86. Marriage with Daughter of Mother’s Brother
87. Lineages to be Rejected in Marriage
88. Marriage with Girl not from same Varna
89. Characteristics of Vara (Bridegroom)
90. Time for Kanyadanam
91. Rules in case of Girl going into menses in the midst of Marriage
92. Persons Eligible for Kanyadanam
93. Types of Marriage like Braahma etc.
94. Two auspicious observances at the same time are forbidden
95. Determination of seniority in twins
96. Bar on marriage etc. for the first - born in Jyeshta month
97. Months in which Marriage is forbidden
98. Testing of Growth
99. Rules for time of Kanyadanam
100. Time for Commencement of Aupasana
101. Commencement of Sthalipakam
102. Adhivedanam (Marrying an additional Wife)
103. Parivedanam (Marriage of younger brother before the elder)
104. Method of Protecting Women
105. Dharma of Pregnant Woman
106. Widows’ Dharmas
107. Anugamanam (Joining Husband on Funeral Pyre)
108. Censure of unchaste woman
109. Dharmas of Grihasthas (Householders)
Let us take refuge at the wonderful elephant calf, which is satisfied with the mouthfuls consisting of hordes of obstacles of devotees and which plays always at the lap of Parvathi.
May Sarasvathi, who is the pigeon in the palaces which are Brahma’s faces, the swan in the Manasa saras consisting of the minds of men free from Maya and who is sought by great yogis, decorate my words with splendour.
I take refuge at that Deva (Sri Ramachndra), whose lotus feet annulled at once the separation of sage Gautama from his wife; who is worthy of worship of the virtuous and who is compassionate.
May the wavering bee that is my mind not go away from the gentle lotus that is the feet of Sri Ramachandra, whose dust, that is the powder meant to attract the woman called Mukthi (Liberation), is worn in their bodies by even those who are rid of rajoguna (passion).
I pay obeisance to Dasarathakumara (Rama), who broke the bow of Siva, who removes the shackles of samsara (cycle of births) and who is the enemy of Ravana.
Smritimuktaphalam, the compendium of the essence of Dharma sastras, being written by Vaidyanatha Dikshitar, the scion of Vadula lineage, the devotee of Rama, now begins.
The virtuous should pay heed only to this Smritimuktaphalam, the pearl discovered with great difficulty from the deep and wide ocean of Dharma sastra; of what avail are the rest?
Whither the Dharma sastras scattered here and there and whither my attempt to pick up from them. Yet the wise and virtuous readers should bear with my audacity.
2. Determination of the authorities for Dharma
1. I shall first explain the authorities for Dharma. Manu says: ‘The authorities for Dharma are the entire Vedas, Smritis given by knowers of Vedas and ‘seela’ (character), achara (conduct) and self - satisfaction of the virtuous. The term ‘Veda’ refers to the group and hence includes all the four Vedas - Rik, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana. The term ‘entire’ with reference to Veda refers not just to that portion of the Vedas, which are in the form of instructions, but also to mantras and explanatory remarks. Where direct evidence of Vedas is not available, one should follow the Smritis of knowers of Vedas and their character and conduct. The term ‘Smriti’ refers to Dharma sastras, Itihasas and Puranas.
2. “Seela’ is the ‘Atmaguna’ (virtue of the soul) held in esteem by the righteous.
3. In Mahabharata - ‘One should perform actions in such a way that he will be praised by the general public, O scion of the Kurus! I have briefly explained ‘seela’ to you.’ Example - Yudhishthira asked the yaksha, who was in fact Dharmadeva, for boon to bring Nakula back to life instead of his own brothers. The conduct of knowers of Vedas also constitutes the basis of Dharma. Purity, Achamana (sipping water uttering the mantras) all go to make ‘Achara’. The inner satisfaction of the good people is also the basis of Dharma. In the absence of other authorities, what appeals as dharma to the good people is indeed Dharma.
4. It is estimated that portions of Vedas, unavailable to people like us, were known to Manu and such sages. Aapasthambha - “Portions of Vedas which are extinct are deduced through usage.” Therefore all the Vedas which they knew were the authority for the great sages in the matter of Dharma. It means that for others Vedas and Smritis and the like are the authority.
5. Yagnavalkya - ‘Sruti (Vedas), Smriti, Achara of the good, that which appeals to oneself, desire arising from good thought are all authorities for Dharma. Here desire is that which is not against the injunctions of sastras. Like - ‘I must perform Jyotishtoma yagna as I desire heaven.’’
6. Vyasa - ‘it is said that the mass of Vedas not authored by any human being, Smriti given by knowers of Veda, character and conduct of the virtuous, that which appeals to oneself are all the basis of Dharma.’
7. Haaritha - ‘Vedas, Smritis, explanations in consonance with the intent of Dharma are all the basis of Dharma. Who will take as authority the words of one who does not take these as authority?’
8. Aapasthambha - ‘Opinions of knowers of Dharma and Vedas are the authorities.’
9. Gautama - “Vedas, Smriti given by knowers of Veda, ‘seela’ are all the authorities for Dharma.”
10. Hence, being based on the eternal and faultless Veda, Upanayanam etc. are Dharma; Chaityavandanam (worship at Buddhist temple), kesollunchanam (plucking of hair) and the like, based on agamas of Sakyas and the like, are not Dharma.
3. Authority of Smritis
1. Sankar - ‘Smritis have as their basis Vedas alone.’
2. Marichi - ‘As there are many branches of Vedas, some of the Vedic sounds are hidden and not directly known. Meanings of such sounds are understood by sages who have laid them down in Smritis.’
3. Manu - ‘Rishis make Smritis based on their direct perception of Veda. Hence these two are the authority in the world. The virtuous should boycott one who disrespects Veda and Smritis with the help of anti - scriptural logic, as he who criticises Veda is a non - believer in God.
4. Haaritha - ‘One, to whom Vedas, Dharma sastras, words of the virtuous are not authority, is sinner; blind, evil soul. To him even his own soul will not be authority.’
5. Devala - ‘Manu and other sages wrote the Dharma sastras. Authors of Grihya sutras brought out the contents of those Dharma sastras together with mantras (from relevant portions of Vedas).’
6. Angiras - ‘Knowers of authorities should protect those authorities with care. If not good authorities will be destroyed by untenable authorities.’
4. Determination of Dharma
1. Haradatta said: ‘That Atmaguna is called Dharma which is clear from words and deeds, is the cause of happiness in this world and the next and is rare to find.’
2. Manu - ‘Know that as Dharma which is followed by the righteous who are knowers of Vedas and free from likes and dislikes and is accepted whole heartedly by them.’
3. Manu again - ‘The conduct of the righteous, the words of Vedas and the words of Smritis indicate Dharma. Hence the brahmana desiring for good should be interested in all these three.’
4. Yagnavalkya - ‘Danam (gift) given in holy places like Kurukshetra, on holy occasions like Grahanam (eclipse), given with faith to proper persons in the manner laid down and yagas and the like are the root of Dharma.’
5. Visvamitra - ‘It is said that Dharma is the action which is praised by the knowers of Vedas and Adharma is that which is criticised by them.’
6. Vyasa - ‘Speaking truth, control of sense organs, tapas (austerity), saucham (purity), contentment, shyness, patience, straightforwardness, gnanam, control of mind, compassion, dhyanam (meditation) - these are eternal Dharma.’
7. Brihaspati - ‘Gnanm, yaga, worship of the virtuous, knowledge of Vedas, absence of deceit - know these as high Dharma capable of bearing good fruit in this world and the next. Sage Panchasikha says that constant detachment from enjoyments and Self knowledge (Atmagnanam) are very beneficial to humans.’
8. Yagnavalkya - ‘Seeing the Self through yoga (control of mind’s ways) is greater Dharma in comparison with actions like yaga, achara, control of sense organs, ahimsa (non - injury), danam (gift) and study of Vedas.’
9. Aapasthambha - ‘Dharmas and adharmas do not go about identifying themselves. Nor do Devas, Gandharvas, Pitrus point out Dharma and Adharma in person. Hence that which is praised by the high souled is Dharma and that which is criticised by them is Adharma.’
5. Characteristics of the Virtuous
1. Bodhayana - ‘The virtuous are those who are free from jealousy, conceit, desire, vanity, arrogance, greed, delusion and anger and store foodgrains in a jar only for six days.
2. Bodhayana again - ‘It is said that whatever is uttered even in play by brahmanas who are mounted on the chariot of Dharma sastras and wear the sword of Veda is high Dharma.’
3. Yagnavalkya - ‘Parishad is an assembly of brahmanas, four or so in number, who know Vedas and Dharma sastras. Whatever is pronounced by that Parishad is Dharma. Or, that which is pronounced by a brahmana, who is well versed in Dharma sastras and is also Atmagnani (knower of Self), is Dharma.’
4. Parasara - ‘Know that to be Dharma which is pronounced by four or three persons who know Vedas in entirety. Even if a thousand people who do not know Vedas say it will not become Dharma.’
5. Aapasthambha - ‘One should follow the conduct followed by the high souled, who possess humility, maturity and control of sense organs and are free from miserliness and vanity and which is practised uniformly in all provinces. One who practises Dharma in this manner gains control over this world as well as the next.’
6. Fruits of practising Dharma
1. Aapasthambha - ‘By practising one’s own Dharma, people of all varnas (castes) attain happiness of the high and inexhaustible swarga (heaven). In the next birth also, owing to the balance merit he gets high caste, appearance, colour, strength, intelligence, wisdom, wealth, opportunity to practise Dharma etc. Thus he lives in happiness in both worlds like a rotating wheel.’
2. Taittiriyopanishad - ‘All this universe is stable because of Dharma. It is not impossible to practise Dharma. Hence the righteous revel in Dharma.’
3. Taittiriyopanishad again - ‘Dharma is the foundation of the entire universe. People in the world approach only the one who is established in Dharma. With the dharma got by practising the karmas laid down, one gets rid of sin arising out of practice of prohibited acts. Hence knowers of Dharma speak highly of it.’
4. Chandrika - ‘The Dharma based on one’s varna alone is varnadharma, like Upanayanam. The Dharma which is based on one’s asrama is asramadharma, like bhiksha (living on alms) and dandam (staff). Dharma based on both varna and asrama is varnasramadharma, like the girdle made out of munja grass.
5. Manu - ‘One should accumulate dharma slowly like the termite collecting mud without hurting any being, for getting help in the next world. Nobody –father, mother, son, wife, relative - is available for help in the next world; Dharma alone is available. Man is born alone and dies alone; he enjoys swarga alone; he enjoys naraka (hell) alone. Relatives leave the dead body on the floor like a piece of wood or lump of clay and go indifferently. Dharma alone follows the dead. Hence one should accumulate dharma little by little for help (at a later date). He crosses distress like naraka with the help of dharma. Dharma leads quickly to the lofty worlds such a one, who practises dharma alone, gets rid of sin by penance, is wise and is verily like Brahman. One should practise without indolence good conduct, which is advised in Srutis and Smritis, is related to one’s works and is the basis of Dharma.
7. Praise of Achara (Good Conduct)
1. Manu - ‘Knowing thus the attainment of dharma through achara, sages absorbed achara which is the basis of all penance. A brahmana who has swerved from achara does not obtain the fruits mentioned in the Vedas. One who observes achara gets the fruits in entirety. Through achara, long life, agreeable children and copious wealth are obtained. Achara removes weakness born of bad signs in the body. Man of bad conduct is reviled in this world, ever distressed, diseased and is short lived. Even if a brahmana is devoid of all (good) signs (in the body), if he observes good achara, has faith and is free from jealousy,he will live for a hundred years.’
2. Vasishtha - ‘Vedas, even if learnt along with the six Vedangas, do not purify one who does not observe achara. Vedas abandon him in his last moments just like birds leave their nest as soon as they grow wings. Like water in a skull and milk in a bag of dog - skin, Veda in one who does not have achara becomes evil due to blemish of association. The body of a brahmana is not for the little enjoyments of this world. It is for going through great pain in this world and unending happiness in the next world.’
3. Parasara - ‘Achara alone protects the dharmas of the four varnas. Dharma is indifferent to one devoid of achara. It is said in Madhaveeyam that achara is good conduct which is accepted by the virtuous and is accompanied by compassion, pity etc.’
4. Brihaspati - ‘A kshatriya without valour and prowess, a vysya without money and a brahmana without austerity, gnanam and achara are said to be like the excrement of mother.’
5. Bhagavan - ‘I bless those who stick to the rules laid down by me for varnas and asramas.’
6. Bhagavan in Asvamedhaparva - ‘Sruti and Smriti are but my orders. One who transgresses them violates my orders and hence he is my traitor. Even if he is my devotee, he is not a Vaishnava.’
7. In another Smriti - ‘As the water used for irrigating sugarcane crop wets the adjacent grass and creepers, so also the man who follows the path of Dharma enjoys fame, fulfilment of desires and wealth.’
8. Narada - ‘Life without achara and respect should be destroyed. Even in a sudra, if achara is seen and in a brahmana if not seen, then the sudra becomes a brahmana; the brahmana becomes sudra. Even if one is a devotee of Siva or Vishnu, if he swerves from the achara pertaining to his asrama, then he is a fallen man. Veda and devotion to Vishnu and Siva do not purify the idiot with no achara. Pilgrimage to holy places, bathing in holy waters and many types of yagas do not protect the one without achara. Due to achara, heaven, pleasures and moksha are obtained. What is not obtained by achara?’
9. In Aanusanika parva in Mahabharata - ‘Man obtains long life, wealth and fame in this and the future worlds through achara. Those, who are non - believers in God, do not perform good deeds, transgress Guru and sastras, are unaware of Dharma and are of evil conduct, lose long life.’
10. In Parijatha - ‘Men obtain the qualities of Deva and Rishi through achara. Without achara men attain to detestable births.’
8. Marks of Good Achara (Conduct)
1. In Vishnupurana - ‘Both the worlds (the here and the hereafter) are won by men of good conduct. Unblemished men are called ‘sadhus’ (virtuous). The term ‘Sat’ refers to ‘Sadhus’ (the virtuous). The achara of ‘Sat’ is called ‘Sadachara’.’
2. In Samskaramanjari - ‘The achara, which, coming down from tradition in a particular area, is not opposed to Sruti and Smriti is called ‘Sadachara’ in that area.’
3. Manu - ‘In great men (sometimes) as transgression of Dharma is seen, audacity is also seen. Seeing that, if one in present times follows it, he will be destroyed because of lack of strength of tejas (spirit). The bodies and sense organs of the ancients were full of tejas. Hence they were not subject to blemishes like water on a lotus leaf.’
4. Kathaka and Bharadvaja exchanged their wives. Vasishtha united with Akshamali, a chandali (outcaste). The four - faced Brahma lusted after his daughter. Transgression of Dharma as in these instances is seen. On the direction of his father, Parasurama severed his mother’s head without a thought. Audacity like this is also seen. On seeing all this, if one were to follow them now, he will incur sin.
5. Aapasthambha, Gautama, Bodhayana - ‘That which is practised by Devas and sages is not to be practised by man. He should only follow what is laid down in Sruti and Smruti.’
6. Yagnavalkya - ‘Dharma should be practised with diligence with mind, speech and body. Even if an action is as per Dharma, if it is against the interest of the public, it should not be practised as it is not conducive to heaven.’
9. Praise of Smriti etc.
1. Manu - ‘If a brahmana is learned in this sastra and observes the prescribed austerities, he is not subject to blemishes from mind, speech and body. He is eligible for havya (offering made in fire to devas) and kavya (offering made in fire to pitrus). He is in fact capable of buying this earth. By learning Dharmasastras he reaches Brahmaloka. This should be learnt with effort by the wise brahmana. He should teach this to his disciples; nobody else should teach. This will bestow whatever is desired. This will sharpen intelligence. This will grant fame, long life and Moksha. The brahmana, kshatriya or vaisya, who learns Dharmasastra purifies seven generations before and after himself. To those who trod wrong path and have vacillating mind and sense organs, Dharma - sastra is the rectifying means like medicine for diseases. For Dvijas (brahmanas, kshatriyas and vaisyas) to proceed on the right path, Sruti and Smruti are like two eyes. People who do not have these eyes leave the path and get degraded.
2. Haaritha - ‘The brahmana who desires swarga should definitely learn this Dharmasastra like Veda.’
3. Sankha and Likhita - ‘To those who are burnt in the fire of desire and hatred and who have consumed the poison of Agnana (Ignorance), Dharmasastras are the treatment like medicine for diseases.’
4. In Smritiratnavali - ‘As objects are not seen in the absence of light, knowledge of Dharma is not available to anyone without knowing Smriti.’
5. Yagnavalkya - ‘Puranas, Nyaya (Logic),Mimamsa (Investigation), Dharmasatra, four Vedas and the six Vedangas - these fourteen are the sources of knowledge and the basis of Dharma. These should be learnt by the three varnas. Dharmasastra as a part of this should be learnt.’
6. Yama about sudra - ‘Hence he is not entitled to Vedas and Smritis.’
7. Manu - ‘He alone is entitled to this Dharmasastra for whom samskaras (purifying ceremonies) along with mantras are mandated from conception to death. None else is entitled.’
8. Angiras - ‘There is no more beneficial sastra than the high Dharmasastra propounded earlier by Manu. As Manu’s sastra has been taken from the Veda, it is supreme. Smriti contrary to Manusmriti is not eulogised.’
9. Sruti - ‘Whatever Manu said is medicine.’
10. Vyasa and Haaritha - ‘Brahmana should pay proper heed to Dharmasastras by Manu and other sages, rules in Vedas, rest of Vedas and Vedangas. Like Vedas, brahmanas should study and listen to Dharmasastras with pure mind. Danam, food etc. given to a brahmana not knowing Srutis and Smritis will destroy the lineage of the giver. Hence Dvija should learn Dharmasastras with immense effort. For brahmanas, Sruti and Smriti are two eyes. One who does not learn one of these two is one - eyed. If both are not learnt, he is blind.’
11. Vishnu - ‘Puranas, Manusastra, Vedas with parts, Vaidyasastra (ayurveda) - these four are born of God’s orders. Hence using anti - scriptural logic, one should not go against them.’
12. Vasishtha - ‘The cause of one’s destruction is lack of faith in the authority of Vedas, criticism of works of Rishis and absence of self - control in everything.’
13. Vyasa - ‘Hence for brahmanas desiring fruits of karmas, observance of karmas in Vedas without observance of karmas in Smritis is not possible.’
14. Prachetas - ‘One should not do as told by those who do not know Vedas, Mimamsa (philosophy of investigation) and Sastra. Dharma flows out of Veda only.’
15. In Chaturvimsatimatha - ‘The sayings of Aarhatas (Jainas), Charvakas (materialists), Buddhists and cheats are to be rejected totally.’
10. Determination of Fruits of Sruti, Smriti
1. Manu - ‘Maharshis say that in a karma where there is difference between two Srutis, both the implications are Dharma only.’ Manu himself gives an example - ‘Srutis variously declare that Agnihotram is to be performed before sunrise and after sunrise and in the time when stars have disappeared and Sun is yet to rise. All these rules are proper authorities as a time is assigned for each branch of Veda.
2. Sumantu - ‘O Bharata! In karmas laid down in Srutis, if there are differences in the rules, like sunrise (before and after) for homas, one should adopt the achara traditionally followed in his family. Traditional achara of the family is higher than what all the sastras say.’
3. Manu - ‘One should follow the path adopted by his ancestors. He will then not be caught by Adharma.’
4. In case of mutual differences between Smritis and acharas, it should be understood as ‘Vikalpa’ (uncertainty).’
5. Gautama - ‘When there is disagreement between two authorities of equal strength, it is ‘Vikalpa’. In case of differences among two Srutis or two Smritis, it is ‘Vikalpa’.
6. Lokakshi - ‘In case of disagreement between Sruti and Smriti, Sruti is stronger authority. If there is no disagreement in Sruti, one should do whatever is given in Smriti.’
7. It should be known that ‘Virodhadhikararananyayam’ in Mimamsa is beneficial. In yaga, in the ‘Mahavedi’ (altar), in the centre of ‘Sadas’ (hall), a piece of fig wood is buried like a column. It is called ‘Audumbari’. ‘Sarvaveshtanasmriti’ directs that ‘Audumbari’ should be covered completely by a cloth. This is based on ‘Anumitasruti’ (Extended Sruti) like the stipulation that Ashtakas should be performed in that. ‘Pratyakshasruti’ (Direct Sruti) stipulates that ‘UdgAadanam’ should be performed touching the Audumbari. If ‘Sarvaveshtanam’, completely covering with cloth is carried out, direct touch, ‘sparsa’ of Audumbari is not feasible. Here the stipulation of ‘Pratyakshasruti’ on ‘sparsa’ is to be followed. ‘Sarvaveshtanasmriti’ is to be discarded.
8. In Sangraha, in case of conflict between Sruti, Smriti and Purana, the former is stronger than the latter as authority - so say the wise. Sruti and Smriti are greater authority than Purana and Sruti is greater than Smriti and Puranas.
9. In Chaturvimsatimatha - ‘Like we discard the words of Smriti which are opposed to Sruti, we should discard common sayings which go counter to Smriti.’
10. Vyasa - ‘If one dharma affects another dharma, it is not dharma at all. The righteous say that dharma is that which does not contradict another dharma. Hence in case of differences, dharma should be determined with due consideration to higher and lower authority.’
11. Similarly in case of difference between Smriti and achara, Smriti is stronger. Vasishtha has said: ‘Dharma is that which is stipulated in Srutis and Smritis; if they are not available, the conduct of the virtuous is authority.’
12. If ‘Sadachara’ is of two kinds, one should follow principally the conduct of one in that area at that time, whom he holds as righteous and free from desire and hate. With this view Taittiriya Upanishad says in respect of teaching of Guru to his disciple - ‘If you get a doubt in karmas and acharas, you should adopt the achara of brahmanas who are wise, know sastras, are free from anger etc. and have faith in karmas.’
13. From whatever has been said here, in case of acharas of the righteous, one is held as more important than the other; not that the other is completely wrong achara. In this context the sutras of Bodhayana and Aapasthambha, though based on the same Taittiriya branch of Veda, are different. Here one should follow the achara traditionally adopted in his family. If in a rare case one is unable to follow his own achara, he should at least follow the achara of another group rather than abandoning the karma entirely.
11. Determination of the authors of Smritis
1. Parasara - ‘Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesvara are projected at the beginning of every Mahakalpam and reach their end at its close. Manu and other sages who determine Sruti, Smriti and Acharas are projected at the beginning of every Avantarakalpam (intermediate kalpam) and reach their end at its close. Dharma also is projected similarly at the beginning of such kalpa and reaches its end at the close of kalpa. This cycle has no beginning and no end.’
2. Parasara again - ‘There is no author of Veda. At the beginning of Mahakalpa, Brahma listens to Veda from Paramesvara and makes Smritis to convey Dharmas as in Vedas. In the same way at the beginning of each Avantarakalpa, Swayambhuva Manu writes down Smritis to convey Dharmas as in Vedas. Here ‘Manu’ includes Atri, Vishnu and other sages.
3. Yagnavalkya - ‘Manu, Atri, Vishnu, Haaritha, Yagnavalkya, Usanas, Angiras, Yama, Aapasthambha, Samvarta, Katyayana, Brihaspati, Parasara, Vyasa, Sankha, Likhita, Daksha, Gautama, Sathatapa and Vasishtha are the authors of Dharmasastras.
4. In Smritiratnam - ‘Manu, Brihaspati, Daksha, Gautama, Yama, Angiras, Yogisvara, Prachetas, Saatatapa, Parasara, Samvarta, Usanas, Sankha, Likhita, Atri, Vishnu, Aapasthambha and Haaritha - these 18 sages are the authors of Dharmasastras.’
5. Angiras - ‘Jabali, Nachiketa, Skanda, Lokakshi, Kasyapa, Vyasa, Sanatkumara, Santanu, Janaka, Vyaghra, Katyayana, Jatukarni, Kapinjala, Bodhayana, Ganada, Visvamitra, Paitinasi, Gobila – these are the authors of Upasmritis.’
6. Sankha - ‘Manu, Yama, Daksha, Vishnu, Angiras, Brihaspati, Usanas, Aapasthambha, Gautama, Samvarta, Atri, Haaritha, Katyayana, Sankha, Likhita, Parasara, Vyasa, Saatatapa, Prachetas, Yagnavalkya are all authors of Smritis. Further Vasishtha, Narada, Sumantu, Pitamaha, Babhru, Karshnajini, Satyavrata, Gargya, Devala, Jamadagni, Bharadvaja, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Atreya, Sakaleya, Marichi, Vatsa, Bhaskara, Risyasrunga, Paijavapa - these 21 sages are also known as authors of Smritis.’
7. In Sangraha - ‘Eighty eight thousand rishis born in each kalpa, who are the source of Dharma and who are Grihastas (householders) are initiators of Dharmasastras, which are authorities. These sastras should not be criticised using anti - scriptural logic. One who criticises thus will go to the naraka (hell) called ‘Andhatamas’.’
8. Agnivesya - ‘Bodhayanam, Aapasthambham, Satyashadam, Drahyayanam, Aagastyam, Sakalyam, Aasvalayanam, Sambhaviyam and Katyayanam are the nine Purvasutras (Earlier sets of rules). Vaikhanasam, Sounakiyam, Bharadvajam, Aagnivesyam, Jaiminiyam, Matunyam, Madhyandinam, Kaundinyam and Koushidakam are the nine Aparasutras (Latter sets of rules). Thus there are totally 18 sutras; samskaras are also 18.’
12. Determination of Dharmadesas (Areas appropriate for Dharma)
1. Yagnavalkya - ‘Know that the area where there is krishnamriga (black antelope) is suitable for pursuit of Dharma.’
2. Samvarta - ‘The area where krishnasaramriga (black spotted antelope) moves about naturally is Dharmadesa. It is suitable for karmas of dvijas.’
3. In Smritichandrika - ‘Dharmadesa is that area which is full of krishnasaramrigas, yava (barley), darbha (kind of grass - kusa) and people of all four varnas and asramas. The wise should resort to this area only.’
4. Manu - ‘The area between the divine rivers Saraswati and Drushadvati is called Brahmavartam created by gods. The achara traditionally practised there is regarded as ‘sadachara’ for the four varnas and those of mixed jatis.’
5. Kurukshetra, Mathsya, Panchala, Surasena - these are Brahmarishidesas - slightly lesser than Brahmavartam.
6. From the brahmana born in this Brahmavartam, all men on earth should learn their achara.
7. The area lying between the Himalayas and Vindhyas and east of Vinasana and west of Prayaga is called Madhyadesa. Vinasanam is the place where river Saraswati disappeared. It is said that the area lying between the eastern ocean, the western ocean, the Himalayas and the Vindhyas is Aryavartam. It is to be known that the area where krishnasaramriga lives naturally is suitable for yagnas; the rest is Mlechchadesa (area of the infidels). Dvijas should make effort to live in such areas only. Sudra with no means of livelihood may live anywhere.
8. Haaritha - ‘The brahmana who lives in an area where krishnamriga lives naturally will attain fulfilment of dharma.’
9. Vyasa - ‘Brahmavartadesa is superior. Rishidesa, Madhyadesa and Aryavartadesa come next in descending order of preference. Where the social structure of the four varnas is not maintained, know that area to be Mlechchadesa - lesser than Aryavartadesa.’
10. Vishnu - ‘Sraadham should not be performed in Mlechchadesa. One should not go to Mlechchadesa.’
11. In Adityapurana - ‘Even if one is a great brahmana and he performs many yagas in Adharmadesa, he will not tread the pathway to swarga.’
12. In Smritichandrika - ‘A brahmana, who leaves Aryavarta for purpose other than pilgrimage or who violates the orders of parents, becomes purified by Chandrayana (a Prayaschitta - expiation).’
13. Aapasthambha - ‘One should live in a village where firewood, water etc. are available in plenty. It is dharma for a brahmana to live in a place where purification with water after urination, evacuation of stools etc. is under his control.
14. Where water is available only in wells, even if a number of wells are available, one should not live in such a place. Bodhayana - ‘If a brahmana lives for twelve years in a place where well water is the prime source, he becomes equal to sudra like the husband of a sudra woman.’
15. In Sangraha - ‘A brahmana who bathes in well water alone for twelve years attains sudrahood; there is no doubt.’
16. One should not live in a village where there are no followers of Dharma and where many diseases are prevalent. One should not walk alone. One should not live long in a mountain. One should not live in the kingdom of sudras, in area occupied by those who do not follow Dharma and Pashandas (heretics) and in areas troubled by people like outcastes.
17. Vyasa - ‘By reaching provinces like Kalinga, areas occupied by sinners, areas where the meritorious do not live, one attains to all sins.’
18. In Chandrika - ‘Saurashtra, Sindhu, Sauvira, Avanti, Dakshinapadam, Kalinga - if a dvija goes to these places knowingly he becomes degraded. Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Andhra, mountainous areas, Kasha, Sindhu, Saurashtra, Sauvira, Bharata, Malava – in these provinces dvija should not live unless in adversity. A householder with no means of livelihood may live in these areas in adversity.’
19. Bodhayana - ‘Avanti, Anga, Magadha, Saurashtra, Dakshinapada, Uparvat, Sindhu, Sauvira - these are the areas where those of mixed castes are born. Sindhu, Sauvira, Saurashtra, areas of outcastes, Anga, Vanga, Kalinga - if one goes to these areas, he should perform Upanayanam for himself again. Aarattam, Bharaskaram, Pundra, Sauvira, Vanga, Kalinga, Pragyuna - if one goes to these areas knowingly, he should perform yaga called Punasthomam or Sarvaprushtya. Great people say - ‘One who goes to Kalinga incurs sin from his feet. Sages say that in expiation he should perform yaga to Vaisvanara.’
13. Censure of living in Prohibited areas
1. Vyasa - ‘Areas where the meritorious and the greatest river, Ganga flows are indeed provinces, towns, mountains, hermitages worthy of living. Prabhasa, Pushkara, Kashi, Naimisham, Narakantaka, the banks of Ganga and Sarayu rivers - man interested in Dharma should live in these areas. Antarvedi, Madhyadesa, Brahmavartam, Yagniyam, Misrakam, banks of Sarayu, Pushkara, Naimisham - dvijas should live in these places.’
2. In Dharmasatrasara - ‘Prayaschittas (expiatory rituals) of Chandrayana and Mahasantapana are advised only for those who live in places where Ganga does not flow. Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Krishnaveni, Gautami, Bhagirathi - these five famous rivers are called Ganga.’
3. Pitamaha - ‘A province where Ganga flows is worthy of living even if it is a kingdom of sudras and occupied by Anaryas (those who do not follow Dharmasastra).’
4. Gautama - ‘One should attempt to live in a place where firewood, water, grass, kusa (kind of grass), flower and areas for walking around are available in plenty, where people of three varnas are in large number, where people free from indolence and interested in Dharma live.’
14. Yuga Dharmas
1. Manu - ‘One year of men on earth is one day including one night of Devas. Uttarayanam is daytime for them; Dakshinayanam is their night. It is said that Krita yuga consists of 4000 Deva years. It has Sandhya lasting 400 years at the beginning and Sandhyamsa lasting another 400 years at the end.
2. The other three yugas are each 1000 years less than the previous yuga; their Sandhyas and Sandhyamsams are 100 years less than their corresponding periods of the previous yuga. Thus Treta yuga lasts 3000 years; its Sandhya and Sandhyamsam are each 300 years long. Dvapara yuga lasts 2000 years and its Sandhya and Sandhyamsam are 200 years each. Kali yuga lasts 1000 years and its Sandhya and Sandhyamsam are 100 years each.
3. Parasara - ‘Krita, Trea, Dvapara and Kali – these four yugas are together called Chaturyuga. It is said that Chaturyuga consists of 12000 Deva years.
4. Manu - ‘In Krita yuga, men are free from disease, adept in kamya karmas (karmas desiring fruit) and have a life of 400 years. In Treta and other yugas their lifespan decreases by a fourth. In Treta it is 300 years, in Dvapara it is 200 and in Kali it is only 100 years.
5. Where we find in Itihasas and Puranas that men have lived for thousands of years, know that it was achieved through their sraddha. In Mahabharata, it is said about men of Krita yuga: ‘As long as men had sraddha in retaining their bodies, they lived that long; they did not have fear of Yama.
6. Manu - ‘Men’s life, fruits of karmas, power of cursing and blessing are according to the yuga. They are in turn superior, inferior, more inferior and most inferior in the four yugas.
7. As the time spans of yugas reduce, Dharmas also differ. In Krita yuga Tapas (austerity) is supreme. In Treta it is Atmagnana (self knowledge). In Dvapara it is yagna and in Kali yuga, Danam (ceremonial gift) is supreme. By supreme is meant that it is the most fruitful; the dharmas of other yugas are not to be neglected.
8. Parasara - ‘In Krita yuga, Manu’s dharmas, in Treta, Gautama, in Dvapara Sankha and Likhita and in Kali Parasara’s dharmas are paramount. In Krita, danam is given by going to the place where the brahmana lives; in Treta the brahmana is called and given danam. In Dvapara, danam is given to one who seeks and in Kali, to one who serves. This is as per the nature of yuga and not a rule. Danam given at the place where the brahmana lives is the best; danam given by calling him is mediocre; danam given to the seeker is the worst. Danam given to the one who serves is fruitless. One should abandon the province where the fallen brahmana lives; in Treta, the village where he lives; in Dvapara, his family and in Kali, himself. Abandoning his family means avoidance of marriage, food etc. Abandoning the karta means avoiding talking etc. with him.
9. In Krita, one becomes fallen by even talking with a fallen one. In Treta it is by touch; in Dvapara it is by eating his food. In Kali one becomes fallen by performing a deed which is cause for falling. A cudse takes effect the same moment in Krita; after ten days in Treta; after a month in Dvapara. In Kali it takes effect after one year. Prana is dependent on bones in Krita; on flesh in Treta; on skin in Dvapara and on food in Kali.
10. Parasara expands on the efficacy of Kali yuga - In Kali yuga dharma is won over by adharma; truth by untruth; kings by thieves; women by men. In Kali Agnihotras disappear; Gurupuja is destroyed. Unmarried girls will deliver babies. Victory of adharma means that it moves about on three feet; victory to dharma means that it moves about on one foot.
11. In Parasara Madhaviyam - ‘In Krita with men the bull of dharma is complete and without deceit, on all four feet. In Treta it loses one foot and is on three feet. In Dvapara it loses two feet and in Kali it loses three feet, just surviving for name’s sake.
12. In Vishnu Purana, Parasara tells Maitreya - ‘As Kali begins, all will engage in Brahmavada (philosophical debate), but attached only to company of women and filling of one’s stomach. They will not perform karmas. Whenever there is shortage of the virtuous who follow the path of Veda, the wise should understand that during those times Kali is on the ascension. In Kali, when the brahmana’s mouth is burnt by the food of others, his hands by receiving danam and his mind by other women, how can his curse bear fruit? In Kali men will not be interested in following dharma of varnasrama as laid down in the three Vedas. There will not be marriages as per sastras. Formalities for guru, disciples and couples will not be found. The procedure for performing Puja of Agni, Devas will not be followed. Whatever one likes is sastra for him. All kinds of devatas will be worshipped. All asramas will be present in all varnas. Whatever one likes to do is dharma. One will feel conceited of wealth with very little money. Wives will abandon poor husbands. Only the rich will be husbands. All wealth will be used only or one’s own enjoyment. Women will desire sexual enjoyments and will become prostitutes. Brahmanas will eat food without bathing. They will not do Puja to Agni, devatas and guest. They will not perform sraadham and tarpanam. Grief - stricken people suffering from famine, fear and other troubles, will migrate to areas where only wheat and barley are available. The path of Vedas will disappear; heretics will increase; sins grow; hence lifespan of people will reduce. Man’s in - laws alone will be regarded as important; brothers - in - law alone will be friends. Men will go and tell father - in - law, ‘Father for whom? Mother for whom? Man is always product of karma.’ In a world devoid of study of Vedas, yaga, homa, sraadha etc., Dharma will be prevalent in a small way in some places. The high merit earned during Krita yuga by tapas (austerity) may be obtained in Kali by a little effort. This is the speciality of Kali yuga.’
13. In Kurma Purana - ‘Generally sudras will be kings. They will trouble brahmanas. Killing of foetus and neglect of domestic fire will happen among people. They will criticise Siva, Brahma, Vishnu, Veda, Dharmasatras, Puranas. Sudras will observe dharma, sporting white teeth, rosary, saffron cloth and shaven heads. Sudras who are close to kings will beat brahmanas. Brahmanas will look for opportunities for service and stand at the doors of sudras. When the sudras are seated in vehicles, brahmanas who are dependent on them will serve them; also praise them. Brahmanas will teach Vedas to sudras. Heretics will pronounce Vedic sounds. Brahmanas will sell off the fruits of tapas, yagas for money. Sanyasis will multiply in hundreds and thousands. Brahmanas will forget Vedas after learning them; some will not learn at all. They will pray to Devas using hymns in local languages. Brahmanas and kshatriyas will become Saktas, Pasupatas and Pancharatris. Brahmanas cursed by Dadhichi Maharishi in Dakshayaga In ancient times are born in the Kali age in families of brahmanas. Afflicted with tamoguna (inertia), they will be critical of Mahadeva. Some others burnt by the curse of Gautama are born in the families of brahmanas and criticise Vishnu and brahmagnanis.’
15. Benefits of describing the Efficacy of Yugas
1. Parasara - ‘One should not criticise dharmas which change during yugas and the dvijas who follow them as they act as per (the nature of) the yugas. They are under the power of time.
2. In Madhaviyam - ‘Oh! If one should not criticise the sinners in Kali yuga, all sastras which determine punyas and papas will be of no avail. The answer to this is: In Kali yuga if one, who has the ability to follow the laid down rules and avoid prohibited acts and atone for sins committed unknowingly, fails to do so, criticism in his case is called for. In case of one who lacks the required power, he should not be criticised. Thus the import of sastras is to be maintained.’
3. Parasara - ‘The power of each yuga has been described by Manu and others. The expiatory acts prescribed by Parasara are also followed. Hence criticising and not criticising depend on the ability and lack of it in the concerned person.
4. Vyasa - ‘The merit acquired by performing dharma for ten years in Krita yuga is obtained in one year during Treta, in one month in Dvapara and in one day in Kali yuga. The benefit obtained in Krita yuga by meditation is got by yagas in Treta, by poojas in dvapara and by Namasankeertanam of Kesava in Kali yuga. This is a great merit of Kali which is otherwise full of defects. The brahmana should therefore take refuge in Isvara. (With this one merit all defects may be removed.)
5. In Sivasarvasvam - ‘As long as one does not chant Rama nama, so long does one suffer from the fear of sins of Kali yuga; also the tendency to indulge in evil will persist.’
6. In Chyavanasmriti - ‘Rama nama has been prescribed in Sruti, Smritis and Puranas. Rama nama is capable of removing the threefold afflictions (adhyatmic, adhibhoutic and adhidaivic).’
7. Brihaspati - ‘The dharma performed in one year in Krita yuga is accomplished in six months in Treta, in three fortnights in dvapara and in one day in Kali yuga. In Kali yuga, good conduct is not there; pure materials are not available; purity of mind is not there; hence truth alone can help people.’
16. Dharmas Prohibited in Kali Yuga
1. In Parasaramadhaviyam - ‘Woman’s remarriage, greater share (of wealth) for the elder son, cow slaughter, uniting with the wife of one’s brother, kamandalu (waterpot) - these five are not to be practised in Kali yuga.
2. In Smrityarthasara - ‘Getting son through brother - in - law after death of one’s husband; adoption of vanaprastha asrama (the third asrama of the recluse); remarriage of a girl who has not attained puberty; travel across sea; carrying kamandalu; embarking on Mahaprasthanam (walking to heaven); use of cow as sacrificial animal; consumption of liquor in yaga; licking with tongue of Agnihotrahavani; intermarriage among the three varnas; limiting of pollution based on good conduct, study of Vedas etc.; touching the impure after the collection of Asthi (bones); prescription of expiation till death to brahmanas; association with those who commit grave sins (mahapatakas); cow slaughter prescribed in madhuparka; acceptance as son of one other than datta (ceremonially received) and aurasa (own); carrying out of ‘samitram’ (tying of cattle for sacrifice) by brahmanas; selling of soma; lifelong brahmacharya; conducting naramedha (human sacrifice) and aswamedha (horse sacrifice) - these dharmas are considered by the virtuous as fit to be avoided during Kali yuga.
3. In Dharmasastrasudhanidhi - ‘Marrying in the gotra of one’s mother; cow slaughter; getting son by a widow through her brother - in - law; killing in a dharmic war brahmanas who are ready to kill; admitting dvija back after expiation on travel across sea; performing ‘satrayaga’; carrying of kamandalu by everyone; undertaking Mahaprasthanam; cow slaughter in the yaga ‘gosavam’; consuming sura (liquor) in ‘soutramani’; committing the ‘great sin’ of joining those who commit ‘great sins’; expiatory acts for ‘great sins’; torture of cow for alliance, guest, Pitrus; joining ‘great sinners’ even after expiatory acts; abandoning the wife of guru for relation other than sexual; eating by brahmana of food of dasan, gopalan, kulamitran, ardhasiri among sudras; undertaking of long distance pilgrimage by grihastha; treating by disciple of the wife of guru like treating guru himself; causing increasing danger to dvijas; living without saving for the next day; travelling always; blowing Agni with mouth; acceptance of woman defiled by forceful molestation after expiatory acts; seeking of alms by sanyasi from all varnas; use of fresh water for first ten days; giving dakshina as desired by guru; preparation of food by sudra for the three varnas; death of old people by falling from mountain, falling in fire etc.; achamanam in water left after drinking by cow; punishing witnesses in disputes between father and son; staying at home by sanyasi in evenings - these are prohibited for the sake of social order at the beginning of Kali itself by learned and wise mahatmas. The conduct of the virtuous is as much authority as Veda.
4. Aapasthambha prohibits begetting of son through brother - in - law. One who is issueless should not entrust his wife or daughter - in - law to others who are not of same gotra. The ancients say that woman is given for growth of lineage; but it is prohibited in Kali. Being slaves of sense organs will lead to the sin of prostitution. Brother - in - law and such sapindas are not same as one’s husband; if one transgresses this limitation, the couple will go to naraka.
17. Definition of Karma
1. Katyayana - ‘Karma to be done in prescribed time, if not done, should at least be done in other time (gouna kala). Other secondary time is equal to the prescribed time.
2. In Smritiratnavali - ‘The time after the time prescribed for a karma is ‘gouna kala’ (secondary time). Some think that the prescribed time for the next karma should be treated as ‘gouna kala’ similar to the intermediate time. The prescribed karma should be done at least during these ‘gouna kalas’. Prayaschitta should then be done as specified. Without Prayaschitta, karma should not be done in ‘gouna kala’. If karma to be done during daytime has been neglected, it should be done in the first ‘yama’ of the night. In prescribed time, if required material is not available, is material important or time important? Taking time as important, karma should be done with ‘gouna’ (available substitute) material. For the sake of prescribed material, one should not resort to ‘gouna kala’.
3. In Skandam - ‘Self (Atma), son, Purohit, brother, wife, father, friend - these are representatives in yagas and dharmas. Karma done by them is same as done by oneself.
4. In Sangraham - ‘Karmas prescribed for daytime may be done till close of the first ‘yama’ of the night. But brahmayagnam and surya pooja cannot be done like this.’
5. Katyayana - ‘Where no body part has been specified for a karma, know that such karmas must be done with right hand.’
6. Manu - ‘In unclean acts like ‘soucham’(cleansing), left hand should be used and in pure karmas like achamanam, right hand shall be used. All karmas should be done in Pradakshina’ (circumambulatory) manner wearing yagnopavita. Where it is not specified that karma should be done standing, sitting or bending down, then it should done sitting only; not standing or bending.’
7. Katyayana - ‘Where direction is not specified for japa, homa etc., karma should be done facing east or north or northeast (Isana).’
8. In Chandrika - ‘Karma should be done after purifying oneself with clarity of mind, truth, tapas, bath, achamanam etc. Sankalpam is first prescribed for Vaidic karmas. Karma should be done after declaring that he is going to do such and such karma.’
9. Aasvalayana - ‘if prime karma has been missed, it should be done properly. Or Prayaschitta should be done. If karma begun has been changed midway due to negligence, it should be done properly from the place where the change took place. On completion of a karma, if one comes to know that he has done it incorrectly, the incorrect part should be done properly again. It is not necessary to repeat all karmas.’
10. Saatatapa - ‘Whether brief or detailed, if karma is done as specified in one’s Grihya sutra, it is deemed complete. In Srouta karmas, whatever is specified in all branches is appropriate for everyone. In Grihya karmas whatever is specified in all smritis is generally applicable to everyone. Just as the rules for Srouta karmas are compiled from all branches, Grihya karmas are specified by compiling from all smritis.
11. In Smrityarthasaram - ‘Where direction is not specified, one should choose east, north or northeast. If it is not specified that a karma should be done standing or bending down, it should be done sitting. In case one who has the ability to follow prime kalpa (rules) adopts instead ‘gouna kalpa’ (secondary rules), then he does not get the benefit of that karma, so say Srutis and smritis. Such a wrong - headed person will not get the benefit of that karma in the next world also. One should follow dharmas at all places as appropriate according to time, conduct, caste, family practices, village practices and yuga dharmas and dharmas not opposed to sastras.
12. Katyayana - ‘Learned persons may follow karmas like Agnihotram, not covered in one’s own branch of Veda, but covered in another branch, if not opposed to his own branch of Veda. Only if a karma is not covered in one’s own sutra, it can be taken from another sutra.’
13. Daksha finds fault with one who abandons karma covered in one’s own sutra, but does karma covered in another sutra. A dvija who does like this knowingly or unknowingly becomes a degraded (fallen) dvija as he has abandoned his own sutra.
14. Vriddhamanu - ‘If one’s own sutra is not available, karma should be done as per another sutra. If one follows Bodhayana sutra, he gets the benefit of following his own sutra. One who does karma not in accordance with sastras does not get even a little benefit; his effort is in vain.’
15. In another Smriti - ‘Karma done before the appointed time should be repeated during the appropriate time. Karma done after the appointed time should be considered as not done.’
16. Aasvalayana - ‘Where the words of Sruti, Smriti or Puranam are authoritative and clear, it does not lose strength by use of one’s logic or conjecture. Where the words are not quite strong and clear, logic and educated guess may be used. Where karma is specified, it should be done as instructed therein. Even a learned person should not change using his conjecture.’
17. Bharadvaja - ‘For performing japa etc., asana like Swastikam, Padma or Vira is laid down. Sitting erect with left foot in between right knee and thigh and right foot in between left knee and thigh is called Swastikasanam. Sitting erect with left foot on right thigh and right foot on left thigh is called Virasanam. While sitting in this posture holding the toe with the opposite hand is called Padmasanam. This is the best of asanas.’
18. In Smrityarthasara - ‘When karma with secondary material has been commenced owing to non - availability of primary material, the karma should be completed as it is even if the primary material becomes available in between. While doing karma with secondary material, if that material is lost, then new material equivalent to primary material and not to secondary material should be used. In case a primary material is lost during karma, then one should accept material equivalent or even not equivalent to that primary material; thus he gets the full benefit of that karma.’
19. Bharadvaja - ‘People of all the three varnas should wear upavitam etc. uttering Pranava (omkara) or vyahritis (Om bhur bhuva suvah) in case they do not know mantras given in their Grihyasutras. These two mantras are common to all.’
20. Sandilya - ‘During Pradakshinam, Namaskaram, Pooja, homam, japam, Darshan of Guru, Archana to Devatas, one should not wear cloth around neck.’
21. Bodhayana - ‘Study of Vedas, ceremonial suspension of study of Vedas, Danam, Bhojanam, Achamanam - in these five karmas, wearing uttariya (upper cloth) is a must. Homam, Bhojanam, Danam, Pooja, Pratigraham (acceptance of Danam), Achamanam - these should not be performed with hands outside knees.’
22. Bath, Achamanam, Homam, Bhojanam, Devapooja, Study of Vedas, Pitru tarpanam - these should not be performed being Proudhapada. One who has his feet on a seat or who has his knees or ankles tied with cloth is called Proudhapada.
23. Homam, Pratigraham, Danam, Bhojanam, Achamanam, japa - these should not be performed with hands extending outside knees; thumb should be included.
18. Process of Creation
1. Manu - ‘The one, who is established in the worlds, Vedas, Puranas etc., who can be grasped only with mind, is subtle, whose nature cannot be known, who has no beginning nor end, who is beyond comprehension - that Paramapurusha became himself manifest in the form of the worlds (not due to the orders of another, nor due to one’s own karma).’
2. That Pramatma, desirous of creating many types of beings, decided and created water first out of his own body. He made his virya enter into that water. He himself entered through a part, this is the meaning.
3. Water born out of the Paramatma called Nara is called ‘Naaram’. As that ‘Naaram’ is his Ayana (place), he is called Narayana.
4. That virya became bright like Surya and took the form of a golden egg. Therein Bhagavan himself became Brahma, the progenitor of all beings.
5. That which is established in the worlds and Vedas, beyond the ken of sense organs, eternal and is of the form of ‘Sat’ and ‘Asat’ is the causal substance, from which arose the Purusha called Brahma. Here the word ‘cause’ refers to Narayana; ‘Sat’ refers to Prakriti and such causes; ‘Asat’ means the world (Prapancha), which is the effect. ‘Purusha’ refers to the person subject to the control of Bhagavan.
6. That Bhagavan, Brahma lived for one year in that cosmic egg and through meditation he broke that egg into two parts by himself.
7. With those two parts, he created Swarga and such lokas, Bhuloka, Patala, Antarikshaloka (intermediate worlds), eight directions and ocean.
8. To that Hiranyagarbha, who wanted to create all beings, part of his own body became the material cause, so says Manu himself. Hiranyagarbha took out of himself the Mahat Principle consisting of Prakriti and Vikriti, then the Ahankara Principle, the gross Antahkarana, the threefold Tanmatras of the forms of Swarupa, Vishayarupa and Indriyarupa, the five sense organs of cognition to grasp sound etc., the five sense organs of action, the subtle aspects of Mahat, Ahankara, Tanmatras, mind, Gnanendriyas and karmendriyas and lodged them in Jivas who were his own part and created Devas, humans and other creatures. The aspects of his own six principles including Mahat became the material cause for all beings.
9. That Hiranyagarbha gave names and karmas and made arrangements for all the created beings based on the sounds of Vedas. He set out dharmas and adharmas to indicate actions to be performed and avoided. He united all beings with pairs of opposites like happiness and sorrow. For the development of worlds, he created brahmana from his face, kshatriya from arms, vaisya from thighs and sudra from feet. For the protection of all created beings, he established separate karmas for the four varnas born of his face etc.
10. In Subalopanishad - ‘Tamas came out of him. From Tamas came base elements, from base elements came Space, Vayu from Space, Agni from Vayu, Water from Agni, and Earth from Water. That earth became an egg. Purusha lived in that egg for one year and then split it into two halves. He made the lower half into Earth and the upper half into Space and stayed himself in between.’
11. In Taittiriya Sruti also - ‘Brahmana came from his face, kshatriya from arms, vaisya from thighs and sudra from feet.’
12. In Mahopanishad - ‘In the beginning Narayana alone was there. He meditated in order to create beings. Drops of sweat formed in his forehead during meditation. They became Water. He planted his virya in that Water. That became a golden egg. The four faced Brahma appeared therein.
13. In Narayanopanishad also - ‘Narayana who was known as Purusha desired to create beings. From him appeared Brahma.’
14. Haaritha - ‘First Narayana created worlds and slept on the bed of Adisesha in Water along with Lakshmi. Then a lotus flower emerged from his navel. In the midst of that lotus Brahma, adorned with Vedas and Vedangas, appeared. He was asked by Narayana to create the worlds. That Brahma created all worlds with Devas, Asuras, humans; he created brahmanas from his face for performing yagas, kshatriyas from arms, vaisyas from thighs and sudras from feet. He instructed them on their respective dharmas.
Differences in the accounts of creation between Srutis and Smritis is to be understood in the context of difference in kalpas (various times).
19. Varna Dharmas
1. Devala - ‘The son of a brahmana father born to a brahmana wife, who has undergone samskaras (purificatory ceremonies) like Jatakarma etc. is called a brahmana. Similarly children born of the father and mother of respective varnas will be kshatriya, vaisya and sudra.’
2. Saatatapa - ‘Tapas, control of sense organs, compassion, charity, truth, dharma, sastra, kindness, vidya, wisdom, belief in God - these are the characteristics of brahmanas.’
3. Yagnavalkya - ‘Children born of parents of same varna belong to that varna. Children born of blameless marriages like brahma go to develop the family.’
4. Haaritha - ‘A son born of brahmana parents is a brahmana. A brahmana has six duties to perform. If he spends his time in those acts, he develops comfortably. Study of Vedas, teaching of Vedas, performing yagas himself, performing yagas for others, giving danam, accepting danam - these six karmas are prescribed for brahmanas.
5. Manu - ‘Six karmas like study of Vedas etc. are meant for brahmanas.’
6. Yagnavalkya - ‘Yaga, study of Vedas and danam - these three karmas are meant for kshatriyas and vaisyas. In addition, performing yagas for others, teaching of Vedas and accepting danam - these three are meant for brahmanas.’
7. Out of the six karmas, the three like yaga are meant for preservation of dharma; the other three are meant for livelihood. Manu has mentioned that performing yagas for others, teaching of Vedas and accepting danam from pure persons are meant for livelihood.
8. Therefore the three karmas like yaga etc. must be definitely performed. The other three like acceptance of danam are not like that. Gautama - Study of Vedas, yaga and danam - these three are meant for all the three varnas. In addition, brahmana should do teaching of Vedas, performance of yagas for others and accepting danam. The first three must be certainly performed properly.
9. Aapasthambha - ‘Children born to woman of same caste, not married to anyone else, married as per sastras in braahma - type marriage, born of union in time favourable for conception are entitled to karmas.
10. He mentions the karmas also - study of Vedas, teaching of Vedas, performing yaga, performing yaga for others, giving danam, acceptance of danam, ‘dayatyam’ and ‘siloncham’ are eight karmas meant for brahmanas. ‘Dayatyam’ is accepting one’s due share. ‘Siloncham’: In fields foodgrains found dropped loosely are called ‘silam’; collecting such grains with fingers or nails is called ‘uncham’.
20. Performing Yagnam
1. Sruti on yagna - Yagna is for Devas. Devas attained swarga through yagna; they defeated Asuras through yagna. Even enemies become friends through yagna. Everything is in yagna. Hence yagna is regarded as great. Yagna is Aadanam, Agnihotram etc. (Aadanam is ceremonial acceptance of Sroutha Agni; this is basic starting point for yagas). As it leads to the state of devas, it is for devas. Sruti says elsewhere, ‘Devas attained swarga through yagna.’ Even enemies become friends through yagna as dakshina is given to ritwiks (priests) and sabhyas (assistants). Danam is like the abode of yagnas, as yagnas are in danam. Without danam, where is yagna? ‘Yagna without dakshina is lifeless’; ‘the yagna performed without giving dakshina is weak and lifeless’ - such passages show the necessity of danam in yagna. As all world is subject to the control of yagna, it is said that everything is in yagna. Hence great people talk highly of yagna, this is the import.
2. Vyasa in Bhagavadgita - ‘Earlier Brahmadeva created humans together with yagnas and said: ‘O men! You develop through these yagnas. Let the yagnas grant you desired enjoyments. With this yagna you worship Devas. Those Devas will also protect you. Thus helping each other you will reap much benefit. Devas pleased with yagnas will grant you desired enjoyments. One who consumes himself food given by them without offering to them is verily a thief.’
3. Bhagavan says yagna is of three types. That yaga is ‘satvika’ where it is performed as per sastras with a sense of duty with a firm mind without expectation of results. That yaga is ‘rajasic’ where it is performed with expectation of results or out of vanity. That yaga is ‘tamasic’ where it is performed without following the sastras, without Annadanam, mantra, dakshina and faith.
4. Haaritha - ‘With yagna pure worlds shine. With yagna Devas attained immortality. With yagna one gets freed of all sins and reaches the realms of the supreme Vishnu. One who does not do yagna has no world; he does not attain anything good. One who does not do yaga is a sinner and drops off like a ripe withered leaf.’
5. In Madhaviyam - ‘ One who has not performed Aadanam and yaga owing to disbelief or laziness will go to many narakas. Hence a brahmana should somehow do Aadanam and worship Paramesvara through yaga with pure mind.’
6. Karshnajini - ‘A brahmana should perform yaga after birth of son. If he gets money from a good person somehow, he should do Aadanam.
7. Prajapati - ‘Ahitagni is eligible for all yagas if he has money. Even if he has no money he should surely do at least Aadanam out of fear of incurring sin.’
8. Vasishtha - ‘A brahmana should certainly do Aadanam. He should also do Darsam, Purnamasam, Aagrayanam, Chaturmasyam, Pasubandham, Somayagam.’
9. Haaritha - ‘One who is interested in proper dharma should certainly do Pakayagnas, Haviryagnas and Soumikayagnas.’
10. They have been indicated by Gautama. Ashtaka, Parvanam, Sraadham, Sravani, Aagrahayani, Chaitri, Aasvayuji – these seven are Pakayagnas. Agnyodayam, Agnihotram, Darsa Purnamasams, Chaturmasyam, Aagrayanam, Pasubandham, Soutramani - these seven are Haviryagnas. Agnishtoma, Athyagnishtomam, Uktyam, Shodasi, Vajapeyam, Atiratram, Abdoryamam - these sven are Somayagnas. Of these, Ashtaka is sraadham performed on Krishna paksha Ashtami days in Hemantha and Sisira rutus. Parvanm is Sthalipakam. Sraadham is monthly sraadham. Sravani is Sarpabali done on Sravana Pournamasa. Aagrahayani is Uthsarga of Sarpabali and Hemantha Pratyavarohanam done on Margasirsha Pournami. Chaitri is Isanabali done on Chaitra Pournami. Aasvayuji, Aagrayanam, Agnyodayam etc. are yagnas famous in Vedas.
11. Bodhayana - ‘Sruti says that when the hair on the head is still black, one should do Aadanam. Families face downfall by non - performance of yagas, marrying in bad ways, not studying Vedas and by disgracing brahmana.’
12. Gargya - ‘Karma stipulated in Veda is primary. Others are ‘gouna’ (secondary). One who does ‘gouna’ karmas without doing primary karmas will face downfall. One who ignores Vedic karmas due to delusion and does karmas mentioned in smritis and itihasas does not get any merit. One who is not capable of doing Sroutha karma should do smartha karma. One who cannot do even smartha karma should at least follow proper Achara (conduct).’
13. Sruti on Agnihotra and Darsa Purnamasa - ‘Brahma created six yagas - Agnihotram, Agnishtomam, Pournamasa, Uktyam, Amavasya, Atiratram. Of these, Agnihotram, Pournamasa and Amavasya - these three require lesser mantras and kriyas and give lesser benefit. Uktyam, Atiratram and Agnishtomam - these three require greater mantras and kriyas and give greater benefit. Brahma considered this matter and blessed such that Agnihotra etc. have become equal to Agnishtomam etc. in conferring benefit.’
14. Sruti gives the fruit of knowing as above - ‘One who knows thus and performs Agnihotram gets the full benefit of Agnishtomam; similarly one who does Pournamasa gets the benefit of Uktyam; one who does Amavasya yaga gets the benefit of Atiratram.’
15. Sandokas say that karma performed with knowledge gets higher benefit. The karma done with knowledge becomes more powerful.
16. Sruti again praises Darsa Purnamasa yagas - ‘The four - faced Brahma performed Darsa Purnamasa in the previous kalpa. As he performed that yaga without expecting fruit in mode of surrender to Isvara, he got the state of Parameshti (Brahma). He made Prajapati (like Daksha) perform this yagna in his previous birth. Thus Prajapati got that position. Similarly Brahma made Indra perform this yaga and hence Indra got this high position. Similarly Brahma made Agnishomas perform this yaga and hence Agnishomas got their high position. One who performs Darsa Purnamasa yagas knowing thus certainly attains high position.
17. Sruti praises Agnihotram - ‘Agnihotram performed in morning and evening acts as Prayaschitta for sins for Grihasthas. Further it is the cause of good yagas and auspicious homas. It is the cause of yagnas like Darsa Purnamasa and kratus like Agnishtomam. It makes lokas like Brahmaloka shine brightly. Hence Agnihotram is considered very good.’
18. Sruti in another place - ‘Devas found that Agnihotram is the right Prayaschittam for Grihasthas. All yagas are based on Agnihotram only.’
19. Haaritha - ‘There is no dharma, tapas, sreyas (spiritual benefit), fame, attainment, goal, state and vow greater than Agnihotram. The three vyahritis (Bhur bhuvah suvah), svadha, swaha, namah, vashat - The Grihastha in whose home karmas with these sounds are done verily lives in Brahmaloka.
20. Satyavrata - ‘Brahmanas who perform Darsa Purnamasa yagas attain that dharma, that loka (realm) which is for those who live on ‘Silonchavritti’ (living on foodgrains found lying in fields) every day. They reach Brahmaloka, from where they never return.’
21. Vriddha Manu - ‘Nitya Agnihotram, Darsam, Purnamasam, Pitryu yagnam, worship of Atithi (guest), Vaisvadevam - these are the cause of the deathless Brahmaloka.’
22. Manu - ‘One who has resources to protect his dependents for three years is eligible for Somapanam. One who has faith can do punya karmas other than yagas with his senses under control. He should not do yagas with meagre dakshina. Yaga performed with meagre dakshina will destroy senses, fame, swarga, long life, good name, children and cattle wealth. Hence one with meagre resources should not do yaga. One who has the wealth, but out of miserliness does not give a horse as dakshina to Prajapati in Agnyadeyam does not get the benefit of Aadanam. He continues as Anahitagni (non - performer of yaga; one who has not done Aadanam).’
23. Vyasa - ‘Yaga where food is not served properly will destroy the country; where mantras are not proper it will destroy Ritviks (priests); where dakshina is less it will destroy the yajamana (performer of yaga). There is no enemy like yaga.’
24. Yagnavalkya - ‘One who has foodgrains etc. enough to last a year should do yagas before Somayaga.’
25. These statements of Manu and others refer to kamya yagas (yagas performed for fulfilling specific wishes). Bodhayana says that daily karma should not be neglected even if resource is not enough for dakshina. One who has not performed nitya (ordained to be performed compulsorily every day) and naimittika karmas (ordained to be performed compulsorily on specified occasions) will not go to swarga. He is ‘fallen’. Hence nitya karmas should be performed with at least bulbous and other roots, fruits, honey, juice etc.; they should not be neglected.’
26. In Smrityarthasaram - ‘After marriage, one should do Aadanam and Aagnihotram and perform in stages Darsam, Purnamasam, Aagrayanam, Somayagam. In order to rid oneself of serious faults like qualities of heretic and evil brahmana, he should somehow perform at least the first Somayaga (Agnishtomam) with maximum possible dakshina and completeness.’
27. In Sangraham - ‘A brahmana who does not perform Agnihotram, who buys and sells and who mixes with other varnas (in prohibited manner) is equal to sudra.’
28. Prajapati - ‘The fruit of Veda with six parts, Padam and Kramam is Agnihotram only. There has never been and there never will be dharma equal to Agnihotram. One who does not perform either of Darsam and Purnamasam becomes purified by Padakrichram (part Prayaschitta); one who does not perform both becomes purified by half krichram.’
29. Manu - ‘Even one who lives on ‘silonchavritti’ should perform Agnihotram without break and do daily Ishtis like Darsam, Purnamasam, Aagrayanam without expectation of fruit. This must be done; more than this is not compulsory, this is the meaning.’
30. Manu sets out the discipline for one who lives without any difficulty - ‘Agnihotram in morning and evening, Ishtis - Darsam and Purnamasam at the close of fortnights, Aagrayana Ishti on receipt of new foodgrains, Chaturmasyams at the close of Ritus, Pasubandham at the end of Ayanam and Somayagams at the close of year should be performed.’
31. Aapasthambha - ‘After marriage, it is necessary to perform Agnihotram, Pooja of guest etc.’
32. In Aatharvanam - ‘One whose Agnihotram does not have Darsam, Purnamasam, Aagrayanam, and Somayagam, who does not perform homa in time, who does not perform Vaisvadevam and who performs improperly – he troubles seven generations including his father, grandfather, great grandfather, himself, his son, grandson and great grandson and also the seven worlds.’
33. Yagnavalkya - ‘Somayaga every year, Pasubandham every Ayana, Aagrayaneshti, Chaturmasyam should be performed. If not possible the Ishti called Vaisvanari should be done.’
34. Manu - ‘Agnis not worshipped with Pasu (sacrificial animal) and new foodgrains, being desirous of them, wish to consume the very Pranas of the Ahitagni. Hence if not possible to perform the stipulated Pasuyaga, Somayaga etc., then Vaisvanari Ishti should at least be done at the end of year. If an Agnihotri brahmana neglects Agnihotram on his own, he should observe Chandrayanam (a Prayaschitta) for a month, as that sin is equal to killing of son (veera).’
35. Sruti also - ‘One who neglects Agni is the killer of the sons (veera) of Devas.’
36. In Smritibhaskaram - ‘One who has no money should earn even by theft or other means for the sake of daily yagas. In Solar eclipse at Kurukshetra, one should get goat, deerskin etc. even from a chandala (outcaste) and perform daily yagas. These two passages are meant to convey that daily yagas should somehow be performed by earning required money.’
37. Yama - ‘A brahmana who knows dharma should not take money from a sudra for the sake of yaga. One who performs yaga with money from a sudra will be born a chandala in next birth. One who performs Agnihotra with money from a sudra is called ‘sudraagnihotri’. He will be condemned by knowers of Veda.’
38. Vyasa - ‘Only for the sake of family requirement one can accept money from a good sudra. For himself and for yaga one should not ask sudra for money.’
39. Manu - ‘A brahmana who knows dharma should not ask sudra for money for yaga. If he performs yaga with sudra’s money he will be born a chandala in next birth. The sudra who gives money places his feet on the heads of those foolish persons who resort to sudraagni and crosses difficulties in the next world. Those who perform Agnihotram with sudra’s money are beggars of sudras and will be condemned by knowers of Veda.’
40. Sakaleya - ‘One who performs Agnihotram with sudra’s money goes to naraka. The sudra who gave money gets the fruit of the yaga.’
41. Yagnavalkya - ‘One who asks sudra for money for yagna is born a chandala.’
42. These passages critical of accepting sudra’s money refer to karmas other than nitya (daily) karmas. It is stated in texts like Smritiratnavali that nitya karmas are essential and hence one should accept money even from a chandala for essential yagas.
43. Yama - ‘The foolish one who has sought materials from others for yaga, but uses them for his personal use, will be born in chandala caste.’
44. Manu - ‘One who has kept for himself part of materials sought for yaga will live as a monkey or crow for many years.’
45. Yagnavalkya - ‘One who has not spent fully materials sought for yaga will be born a monkey or crow.’
46. In Smritibhaskaram - ‘Some are of the opinion that in Vajapeya yaga if one cannot give all dakshinas he should at least give 17 cows. Samavedis say that even if dakshina is given as per rules, 17 cows should also be given. If cows as dakshina are not available, at least one nishkam (gold coin) each or half of it, or quarter of it should be given. This rule is in regard to nitya (daily) yagas.’
47. Sankar - ‘Feeding of 1000 brahmanas in Somayaga, 100 in Pasubandham, 100 in each parva of Chaturmasya should be done. (Parva is the day of periodic change of moon).
48. In another Smriti - ‘Feeding of 1000 brahmanas in Somayaga, 100 in Pasubandham, 8 in Darsam should be done. If not capable at least Ritwiks should be fed in Ishti.’
49. In Smritibhaskaram - ‘One who is not capable of much Annadanam should perform daily Ishti and Somayaga with materials and dakshina which he is capable of. During the time of yaga, yajamana (the performer of yaga) should be there, sacrificing the fruit. If yajamana is not there, his wife should at least be there. Adhvaryu (one of the four main Ritwiks) should perform the yaga based on her instructions. In Darsa and Purnamasa Ishtis four Ritwiks should be there. If not available at least three Rikwiks or two or one at least should be there. In that case yajamana should do Prayaschitta for unknown transgression.’
50. In Akhandaadarsam - ‘One who is interested in his welfare should worship Vishnu with yaga with faith with moneys obtained as his share or from agriculture or as gift from persons of good conduct; not with other moneys.’
51. Vyasa - ‘It is certain that if the performer of yaga, Ritwiks, materials and tools are all pure, yaga can be done. Devas will feel happy with such a yaga. If Devas are happy the yajamana will get the benefit. Devas who are thus satisfied with yagas develop the worlds. With yagas everything is good in both the worlds – here and hereafter.’
52. The importance of those who do Aadanam is mentioned in Chaturvimsati matam. When the father without Aadanam is alive, the son should not do Aadanam. Similarly when the elder brother without Aadanam is alive, the younger brother should not do Aadanam. The younger brother should also not marry if the elder brother has not married.’
53. If father, grandfather, elder brother are alive and have not done Aadanam, in the matter of tapas, Agnihotram and mantram, there is no blemish of ‘Parivedana’ (that is, doing Aadanam when the elders have not done); the reference here is to the father who is widower, as it is stated that one can do Aadanam with the permission of elder brother; but not even if father permits.
54. Saatatapa - ‘When the elder brother has not married or has not done Aadanam, if the younger brother marries or does Aadanam, he is called ‘Parivetta’; the elder brother is called ‘Parivitti’. An idiot, one who resides abroad, a ‘fallen’ person, sanyasi, yogi, hunch - back, dwarf, eunuch, stammerer, one of slow learning, blind by birth, deaf, dumb - if one transgresses these persons and does marriage and Agnihotram, there is no blemish of ‘Parivedana’. The ‘Parivedana’ blemish applies only to brothers born of same mother. This is common to all four varnas, so said Manu. The Agni, Veda and tapas of ‘Parivetta’ are of no use.
55. Sumantu - ‘If the elder brother is of evil bent of mind (involved in activities like liquor, gambling, association with women, hunting etc.) or is a non - believer and if the younger brother is keen on dharma, he can do Aadanam. Sankar’s opinion is that he has right to Agnihotram.
56. VruddhaVasishtha - ‘Even if the elder brother has no Aadanam, the younger brother can do Agnihotram with his permission.’
57. Saatatapa - ‘Agnis, Vedas and Tapas do not become the cause of ‘Parivedana’ blemish.’
58. Haaritha - ‘’Parivedana’ happens only due to marriage and not due to Agnihotram and yaga.’
59. Parasara also - ‘Children of father’s elder or younger brother, brothers born of different mothers, sons who have been accepted as gift or bought - for these persons, there is no blemish of ‘Parivedana’ due to marriage and Agnihotram.’
60. Parasara again - ‘If elder brother has no Aadanam and is alive, the younger brother should not go for Aadanam. But Sankar says that he can do Aadanam if permitted by elder brother.’
61. In Madhaviyam - ‘The younger brother can do Aadanam with the permission of his elder even before him. But even with permission he should not do Aadanam before his father. If father and others have limitations like being widower, then he can do Aadanam.’
62. Vruddha Yagnavalkya says that even the elder brother will suffer the blemish of ‘Parivedana’ in a particular circumstance. That is, if he has done Aadanam in disregard of Aupasana Agni, but with ‘Nirmanthyagni’ (Agni freshly created out of firesticks by friction), then he remains ‘Anahitagni’ (one who has not done Aadanam) and is known as ‘Parivetta’.
63. Aadanam should be done by brahmana in vasantha (spring) rutu, by kshatriya in grishma (summer) and by Vaisya in sarad (autumn) as stipulated by Sruti in the prescribed time and at least in the prescribed star (asterism). Vyasa - Aadanam is important for brahmana in vasantha rutu, for kshatriya in grishma and for vaisya in sarad ritu.
64. Aapasthambha explains the background for ‘Punaraadanam’ (repeat Aadanam) - In the year in which Aadanam was done, if the yajamana has not progressed further, he should do ‘Punaraadanam’. The Agni taken in Aadanam wishes for Havirbhagam (share of oblations) and, not getting it, he troubles the yajamana’s family and cattle. Hence one should do ‘Udvasana Ishti’ (closing yaga) and do ‘Punaraadanam’. By doing like this the share for Agni is deemed to be given. It becomes a ‘Santi karma’ (auspicious) also.’
65. He also gives other reasons - ‘If after closing the Agni, the Arani sticks (firesticks) are lost; if the Garhapatya Agni (one of the three Sroutha Agnis) gets put off before commencing the rituals; if the Garhapatya and Ahavaniya (another of the three Sroutha Agnis) Agnis are put off after the rituals; if sun sets or rises when representative is not kept; then ‘Punaraadanam’ should be done.’
66. Some say that even in absence of representative if Garhapatya Agni is put off, there is no need for ‘Punaraadanam’.
67. Aasvalayana - ‘If sun sets or rises when all Agnis are put off, ‘Agnyadeyam’ or ‘Punarodayam’ should be done.’
68. Katyayana - ‘If one leaves the village with wife and does not return by the time of Homa, then ‘Punaraadanam’ is required.’
69. Sounaka - ‘If two occasions for Homa pass off after the Agni gets put off or if the couple are both out of station, the Agni becomes ‘loukika’ (non - Sroutha). If the wife has gone out of the village but returns by the time of Homa, there is still no problem. If she does not return in time, the Agni becomes ‘loukika’; so says Kataka Sruti. If both yajamana and his wife go out of the village and do not return by the time of Homa, ‘Punaraadanam’ is required.
70. In Sangraham - ‘They say that if the wife crosses the village during sunrise or sunset or, even at other times if she crosses a river which goes and meets the sea, then the Agni becomes ‘loukika’.
71. Sruti says that Agni where Homa is not performed for four days becomes ‘loukika’.
72. Aapasthambha - The Agnis should not be carried out of the village. If taken out, they become ‘loukika’. While crossing the boundaries of villages or rivers, the couple should do ‘Anvarambhanam’ (touching each other); otherwise the Agnis will become ‘loukika’.
73. Bodhayana - ‘Paka’ (cooking) and ‘Uddharanam’ done not as per rules will make Agni ‘loukika’. ‘Punaraadanam’ is required in that case. A brahmana with many wives should do Aadanam along with all of them. If all wives do not do ‘Anvarambham’ (touching the yajamana), then that Aadanam is as good as not done. When the senior wife is blemishless, if one does Aadanam only with junior wife, he suffers from the sin of ‘Brahmahatti’ (killing a brahmana) in every Parva.
74. Manu - ‘On the death of wife one should use the Agnis in her Apara kriya, then marry again and do Aadanam. A brahmana who knows dharma should cremate his dead wife, who is of same caste and is of good conduct, using Agnihotra Agni along with the yagna vessels.
75. Yagnavalkya - ‘A husband should cremate his dead wife of good conduct with Agnihotra Agni, marry again without delay and do Aadanam.’
76. Katyayana - ‘One can cremate with Agnihotra Agni the wife who is of dharmic conduct and chaste; not if she is otherwise. He should marry again. Know that the brahmana who cremates with Tretagnis (the three Sroutha Agnis) his dead second wife out of ignorance is ‘Brahmojja’ (one who has forgotten the Veda); no doubt in this. When the first wife is alive, cremating the dead second wife with Srouthaagnis is equivalent to consumption of liquor. ‘This is not there even in Aadanam’ - saus ‘Vignanesvariyam’.
77. Kapardi - ‘Out of many wives if one dies she should be cremated with ‘Mathitagni’ (fire made by churning of Arani sticks); Srouthaagni should be left untouched.
78. Out of many wives if one dies she should be cremated with ‘Smartaagni’; Bodhayana and others have referred to Smartaagni. If remarriage is possible, the Sroutha Agni may be used for the wife who dies earlier. If remarriage is not possible, the wife should be cremated with ‘Nirmanthyaagni’ and ‘Srouthaagni’ may be preserved till end of life or till sanyasa is taken up. Bahvruchas say - ‘Even a man without wife should perform Agnihotram; if not he is called ‘Anatta’; that is, one who does not worship Devas, Pitrus, humans. Hence even a man without wife should perform Agnihotram.’
79. Bharadvaja - ‘One who has lost his wife should be cremated with both Aupasana Agni and Agnihotra Agni; if wife dies the cremation will be with ‘Nirmanthyaagni’.
80. Jaimini - ‘Ahitaagni should cremate his dead wife with ‘Nirmanthyaagni’ or ‘Santapana Agni’.
81. Aasvalayana - ‘Aharyagni’ should be used for cremating Anaahitaagni and wife.’
82. Kapardi - ‘One who has lost his wife can do with Srouthaagnis his daily and occasional kriyas. As he is incomplete he should not do ‘kamya’ (special wishes) kriyas. Ahitaagni should cremate his dead wife with Srouthaagnis if remarriage is possible. If remarriage is not possible cremation should be with ‘Nirmanthyaagni’.
83. In this matter the conduct of virtuous ancients like Kanva, Vibhandaka and Bhagavan Sri Rama can also be seen. Hence even if wife is not there Agnihotra etc. should continue.
84. Vishnu - ‘Even after death of wife Vaidikaagni should not be deserted. Even with representative the karma should continue till end of one’s life. Some Grihasthas perform Agnihotram without let, till end of their lives with image of wife made in Kusa (darbha grass). Sri Rama also performed many yagas with a golden image of Sita as wife.
85. Maitrayani Sruti also –‘One who does post - death ceremonies of his wife with his Agnis will be born a woman in his next birth. The wife will be born a man.’
86. Trikandi - ‘If wife is away in a faroff place, is dead, is diseased, is disinterested or is adversely inclined, karmas can be done with her representative.’
87. The statement of Aapasthambha: ‘One who is not capable of marrying can do Aadanam, Agnihotram, Darsam, Purnamasam. Aagrayanam for self - benefit; not the rest’ is related to ‘Vichinnaagni’ before death of hs wife. Kapardi’s commentary also - If wife dies when there is ‘Vichinnaagni’, as Sruti enjoins ‘Agnihotram for whole life’, if remarriage is not possible, then for the sake of self - benefit Aadanam should be done. Kapardi also says: ‘If wife dies when there is ‘Nashtaagni’ or ‘Uthsrushtaagni’, then ‘Pretaadanam’ should not be done for cremation; only ‘Mathitaagni’ should be used for cremation. Then he should do Aadanam for himself. The yajamana alone has the Agnis from the time of Aadanam, as Sruti says ‘Yajamana alone is the cause of Agni’.
88. ‘In case one dies before Aadanam after he has used Agnis for his wife’s cremation, ‘Pretadanam’ should be done for him. If he is alive Agnyaadanam should be done. One who has used Agnis for cremating his wife is equal to ‘Vichinnaagni’; there is no need to bother about Rutu (season) and star (for ‘Punaraadanam’).’ - These words of Kapardi apply to one who has remarried. This is because Manu and others have said that remarriage and ‘Punaraadanam’ should be done. There is Sruti passage: ‘Aadanam should be practised for life.’ Hence the final principle is that one who can remarry should cremate his dead wife with (Sroutha) Agnis, remarry and do Aadanam immediately. One who cannot remarry should cremate dis dead wife with ‘Nirmanthyaagni’ and worship his Agnis till end of his life.
89. Some say that one who has used his (Sroutha) Agnis for cremating his dead wife should do Aadanam again and do Agnihotram till end of his life. That is, even without wife he can do Agnihotram; this is their view. The relevant Sruti passage refers to the one who uses his Agnis for cremating his dead wife expecting to remarry, but is unable to remarry later. Passages like ‘equal right to wife in karmas through Panigrahanam’ appear to confer mastership on wife equal to husband’s. However both are not equal. In some places the mastership rests primarily with yajamana; in passages like ‘Jyotishtomam should be done’ singular has been used; hence it is clear that yajamana has the complete power and wife is part as well as master. Sruti passages like ‘Wife alone is the owner of materials at home’ show that she is the master of some resources at home. Hence it is said that ‘With representative at least Agnihotram should be done for life’, mentioning the representative for wife. If wife is not part, but master, then with passage like ‘Mantra, yajamana, Devata, Agni, Karma - for these there is no representative’ negating the representative for master, it is not appropriate that ‘with representative Karma can be completed.’ On the strength of passages if it is possible to establish representative for wife, it is also possible to establish on the strength of passages that Agnihotra etc. should be performed even in absence of wife. Kapardi also says that mastership is small for wife and great for husband. Yajamana alone is important; all rules grant him only power.
90. With this logic on Aahitaagni, Anaahitaagni can cremate his dead wife with Aupasana Agni if remarriage is possible and remarry. Know that if not possible he can do the ceremonies to his wife with ‘Nirmanthyaagni’ and keep his Aupasanam.
91. Aasvalayana mentions special point here - Anaahitaagni should cremate his dead wife with half of his Aupasana Agni and use the balance half to perform Homas in morning and evening and Sthalipakas and use the same Agni for remarriage. Without remarriage also he can do Homas till the end of his life with that half Agni. Aahitaagni should cremate his dead wife with all three (sroutha) Agnis, remarry, do Aadanam and perform Homas. If remarriage is not possible he should cremate his dead wife with ‘Nirmanthyaagni’ and do Agnihotram and Ishtis during Parvas till end of his life.
92. Bharadvaja - If one among the married couple is dead, the survivor is called ‘Vidhura’. The Aupaasana Agni which was consecrated commonly to both at the time of marriage is equal to both of them. Hence the Agni reaches out and cremates the one who dies first - husband or wife and comes back to the survivor. Hence Anaahitaagni can use his Agni fully or partially for his dead wife and continue with Aupasanam till end of his life even if he does not remarry. Some say that the dead wife may be cremated with full Agni and the husband can produce fresh Agni and continue with Aupasana Homam.
93. The method of producing Agni is given in a book called ‘Kriyakalpakarika’ - First taking Agni with Pranava, bringing it down with the mantra ‘Anvagnih’, establishing with the mantra ‘Prushtodivi’, Homa should be done with four parts. ‘Ullekhanam’ etc. is not required. Mantras are: ’Tatsa, Tamsa, Visvanidhe, Adyanah’. Aaropanam and Avaropanam are also not here. This is the procedure for ‘Vidhuraagni’. Vidhura should do Nitya, Naimittika and Kamya karmas in this Agni. Producing Agni like this he should do Aupasana Homa in morning and evening. They say that at the end of Karma the Agni becomes ‘loukika’.
94. Bharadvaja in the same manner - ‘The husband or wife should do ‘Sandhanam’ as per rules and do Homas with ‘Oshadhis’ till end of life. In this Agni Sthalipakam, Aagrayanam should also be done. Till the end of life this Agni does not leave him. After his death the Vidhura should be cremated in this Vidhuraagni. After the death of husband, the wife should do Aupasanam in this manner.
95. In Saarvabhoumiyam - ‘In view of use of dual words in the sutra ‘Vrata (vow) of Grihasthas after Panigrahanam’, mentioning that in case of death of one of the couple the survivor does not have right to Smartha karmas; in view of the sankalpa (resolve) of both together at the beginning of marriage, ‘we both shall do the karmas’, the Vidhura (widower) should do only Sandhyavandanam for eligibility to enter the next asrama.’
96. Hence Sounaka, on the basis of absence of Agni for Vidhura, says of attainment of fruit of Aupasana Homa through mantrajapa - ‘He should chant the sukta ‘Mahattat’ daily five times. Thereby the blemish of non - performance of Aupasanam does not approach Vidhura. If he chants the Rik ‘Agnenaya’ five times every day he will attain the fruit of performing with Agni.’
97. Saatatapa - ‘If a brahmana has no Agni, but of good Acharas, he can be invited for all karmas like Sraadhas. For one without Agni, Veda is the Agni. Even with Agni if one has no Veda, he is same as the one without Agni. If one has son, he does not suffer the blemish of Vidhura. If he is also knower of Vedas, he is eligible for all karmas. If a Vidhura has son he is called ‘Saagnika’ (one with Agni). They say that son is himself Agni. Accepting a wife is for son only. In case of wife’s death the seen Agni is gone, but his own (internal) Agni is not destroyed. Hence he is eligible for all karmas.’
98. The question of Aupasanaagni being present or not present for Vidhura who is Anaahitaagni should thus be understood based on the conduct of the virtuous.