Grhya-Sutras — ASvalayana, Sankhayana and Kausltaki of Rgveda; Paraskara This is mostly because of the fact that Sanskrit is not learnt by most people and . WE begin our introductory remarks on the literature of the Grihya-sutras with the .. The third Adhyaya of Asvalayana’s Grihya-sutra begins in exactly the same. Asvalayana-Grihyasutra with Narayana’s commentary: Ed. by. V.S.S. Ranade into Ed. by Dr. Umesh Chandra Pandey, Chowkharriba Sanskrit series, Varanasi.

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Marriage is a fascinating experience that stays alive in one’s mind throughout the life. The mantras and 6lokas of the Grhya- Sutras of the four Vedas, chanted in this ritual, are in Sanskrit and a vast majority is unaware of their meanings and just follows the instructions of the celebrant priest, purohita.

The author delves deep into the Grhya- Sutras of Vedas and brings forth the details of vivaha samskara —principles, philosophy, practices, rituals and so on.

Of a rare kind, this book does comparative analyses of the number and type of rituals in each Grhya-Sutra and the order of performance of rituals. This scholarly work creates a sudden seriousness and sanctity to vivaha samskara through the detailing of mantras and the rituals. Being in it, one is not far off the Vedic period, giving a new meaning and dimension to our understanding of Hindu vivaha samskara and its sanctity.

Grhyasutras — Criticism, interpretation, etc. Vedas — Rites and ceremonies.

Apastamba Grihya Sutra (Original Sanskrit Text)

Hindu marriage customs and rites. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, except brief quotations, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the copyright holder, indicated above, and the publishers.

Printed and published by: Ramesh Nagar New Delhi – Phones: Revathy, Scholar, Guide and Friend cruelly snatched away in the prime sutr her life Preface The Hindu marriage ceremony is a fascinating blend of elaborate rituals, joyous celebration, colourful dresses, sumptuous feasts, etc.

The way it is conducted follows traditions which are centuries old with mantras and 6lokas in Sanskrit being chanted at each step of the ceremony being carried out. While there are a few who understand the meaning and import of the rituals, the vast majority merely follow the instructions of the purohitas without understanding the significance of griuya rituals. This is mostly because of the fact that Sanskrit is not learnt by most people and also because it requires years of study to learn the meanings of mantras and the relevance of rituals.

Having been fascinated by the marriage ceremony and having a desire to understand it fully, I decided to take up research on the topic. I got admitted as a full-rime research scholar at the Department of Sanskrit, University of Madras. I was fortunate that Prof. Revathy guided me throughout the tenure of this research.

Under her guidance and with the advice of other faculty members, I proceeded to collect material for my research. I thank her from the bottom of my heart. After preliminary studies, it was clear that the main sources of the rituals that a householder is expected to observe were the Grhya-Sutras falling under Kalpasastra — one of the six limbs of Vedariga.

I, therefore, decided to collect Grhya-Sutra texts belonging to different branches of the four Vedas and conduct a comparative study of vivaha samskHra, the Hindu marriage ceremony as depicted in the Grhya-Sutras.

People followed different branches of the Vedas in different regions of India.


Texts have been written for sanskirt of the branches. As time went by, some of the schools began to have fewer and fewer adherents and texts pertaining to them have become scarce.

I could collect texts of eighteen Grhya-Sutras from various sources. The study is, therefore, confined to seventeen Grhya-Sutras.

Some of the texts were available in the bookshops but many were not. Apart from procuring the available texts from the bookshops, I was able to collect photocopies of texts from different sources.

I would like to place on record my asvalayaja gratitude to the authorities of these institutions for providing me photocopies of required texts.

Books by foreign scholars such as W. Caland, Oldenberg, Maurice Winternitz and others with translations helped enormously in understanding the grihyq. The internet also proved to be a useful source.


Especially, sites like those of Maharshi University of Management, sanskritdocuments. The sources of the rituals sufra the Grhya-Sutras. However, the contents are in the form of aphorisms sutras asvalqyana for ease of memorizing. Commentaries have been written for many of the texts explaining ascalayana content and context of the sutras. From the commentaries evolved prayogas and paddhatis, which laid down detailed instructions for conducting each samskara. Over time, due to geographical and social factors, considerable changes took place in the way the rituals were performed.

Further fragmentation in sects and castes also gave rise to more deviations. Though the underlying rituals are more or less similar in each of the Grhya-Sutras, there have been many additions and changes in sansorit because of these developments.

A comparative study of vivaha samskara based on all the prayogas and paddhatis would be too enormous a task. The very task of collecting all the material itself would take up a lot of time and expense.

Even the collection of Grhya- Sutras was not an easy task to accomplish. It was therefore decided that a “Comparative Study of Vivaha Samskaras in the Grhya-Sutras of the Four Vedas” with the extant material would be a worthwhile project. The bringing together of sections containing details of vivaha samskara in all the extant Grhya-Sutras at one place itself involved considerable effort.

The sections have been presented with English translations, mainly with the help of existing English and Hindi translations. Where English translations were not available, as in the case of Baudhayana and Bharadvaja Grhya-Sutras, help was rendered by Sri Venkatesa Avadhani of Mathur, Karnataka in translating the Sanskrit texts. It was also difficult to get collections of mantras used in the marriage ceremony.

Most of the mantras have their source in Rgveda and Atharvaveda but there are many which are not from these two. Mantra Patha of Apastambins by M. Chandogya Mantra Brahmana of Samaveda contains most of the mantras, though they may be of Rgvedic origin. Azvalayana Kanda contains mantras used in texts of Krsna Yajurveda. The thesis contains chapters on Introduction, An Overview of Scriptures, Vedangas, KalpaSastra, Suta, SodaSa Samskaras, Vivaha Griyya, Sections of the Grhya-Sutras dealing with Vivaha Samskara with translations, comparison in the order and number of suta, mantras used with their sources indicated wherever possible, differences in mantras, etc.

The thesis contains Appendices giving collections of vivaha mantras.

I would like grjhya express my gratitude to the authorities at the University of Madras for giving me permission to publish the thesis as a book. I would like to thank Dr G. Jagannatha of the Oriental Research Institute, Mysore. I would like to specially thank Sri Venkatesa Avadhani of Mathur, Karnataka for all the help in translating texts and clarifying doubts.

A Note on translations: I have depended on existing translations, bhasyas, other writings and on the opinion of numerous scholars to get the translation right. However, since Mantras and Sutras are extremely difficult to translate given the fact that one should be aware of the context and the prayoga, grihyaa is quite possible that there are errors and wrong interpretations in the printed vrihya.


I appeal to scholars who are interested to kindly point out the discrepancies so that corrections can be incorporated in future editions. Apararka AV Atharvaveda Bau.

S Kausitaki Grhya-Sutra Kha. Karma Expiation Homa Aupasana Homa 7.

The Grihya Sutras, Part 1 (SBE29)

Vivaha Mantras Differences in Mantras 9. Yatra Oonjal Swing Antarpata. Beginning with conception and ending with funeral rites, samskaras prescribe the way each activity is to be carried out. Offerings and oblations are required to be made in a prescribed manner at every event in order to propitiate gods to attain desired goals and to ward off evils and enemies.

Even in the Vedic era, there was recognition of the existence of superhuman elements which affected a person’s life. Samskaras were developed to help one achieve one’s goals in life by appeasing deities by offering sacrifices and performing rituals. Rituals represent an age when people followed religious injunctions assiduously.

Samskaras served as a link between spiritualism and the day- to-day life of the householder. While being an ascetic meant renunciation of all worldly things, samskaras added spirituality to natural events of a householder and made the householder live a full materialistic life which was, however, infused with religious undertones.

Because of the disciplinary and dharmic nature underlying samskaras one was guided girhya living a life full ssutra right values.

People in the Vedic period were expected to lead a disciplined life with various stages of life classified and samskaras prescribed to be observed at every event in life. A highly-evolved ritualistic system guided people to carry out their lives in a systematic manner. Brahmacarya was the stage of life from childhood to the end of studies.

Grhasthasrama was the stage griuya life when a person got married and led the life of a householder giving birth to and raising children. This was the period when he worked and earned money to satisfy his desires. Vanaprasthasrama was the stage when at around the age of sixty years, one began philosophical contemplation.

Vanaprastha means that one should go to the forest away from the worries of day-to-day life to seek spiritual knowledge. Sanslrit is the stage when a person became totally detached from worldly goods and became immersed in his spiritual quest to attain moksa. It acknowledged the transient nature asvalsyana human life with its joys and sorrows, birth-growth-death cycle.

In Manu-Smrti is the following sloka: During the four stages of life, one is required to asvalqyana the four principles of purusartha — dharma, artha, kama and moksa.

Asvalayana Grhya Sutram

axvalayana Introduction I 3 While dharma righteousness is to be observed during all the four stages of life, artha and kama are to be followed during grhasthasrama. Efforts to attain moksa are to be made during samnyasa. Dharma is a highly desired concept. Based on the concept of rta natural justicedharma became a guiding force in all activities of life. Dharma also meant asvalaysna out one’s duty judiciously in whatever situation or occupation one was placed in.

The combination of righteousness and a sense of duty ensured that justice would be done. The primary source of dharma is considered to be the Vedas.

And the practices and traditions of those who know asnskrit remember Vedas. Sarhskdras were developed, inspired by the Vedas and the hymns in them.