The Apastamba Sutras - Prasna I
The Apastamba Sutras - Prasna II
FOR all students of Sanskrit philology and Indian history Âpastamba's aphorisms on the sacred law of the Aryan Hindus possess a special interest beyond that attaching to other works of the same class. Their discovery enabled Professor Max Müller, forty-seven years ago, to dispose finally of the Brahmanical legend according to which Hindu society was supposed to be governed by the codes of ancient sages, compiled for the express purpose of tying down each individual to his station, and of strictly regulating even the smallest acts of his daily life 1.
It enabled him not only to arrive at this negative result, but also to substitute a sounder theory the truth of which subsequent investigations have further confirmed, and to show that the sacred law of the Hindus has its source in the teaching of the Vedic schools, and that the so-called revealed law codes are, in most cases, but improved metrical editions of older prose works which latter, in the first instance, were destined to be committed to memory by the young Aryan students, and to teach them their duties. This circumstance, as well as the fact that Âpastamba's work is free from any suspicion of having been tampered with by sectarians or modern editors, and that its intimate connection with the manuals teaching the performance of the great and small sacrifices, the Srauta and Grihya-sûtras, which are attributed to the same author, is perfectly clear and indisputable, entitle it, in spite of its comparatively late origin, to the first place in a collection of Dharma-sûtras.
The Âpastambîya Dharma-sûtra forms part of an enormous Kalpa-sûtra or body of aphorisms, which digests the teaching of the Veda and of the ancient Rishis regarding the performance of sacrifices and the duties of twice-born men, Brâhmanas, Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas, and which, being chiefly based on the second of the four Vedas, the Yagur-veda in the Taittirîya recension, is primarily intended for the benefit of the Adhvaryu priests in whose families the study of the Yagur-veda is hereditary.
The entire Kalpa-sûtra of Âpastamba is divided into thirty sections, called Prasnas, literally questions 1. The first twenty-four of these teach the performance of the so-called Srauta or Vaitânika sacrifices, for which several sacred fires are required, beginning with the simplest rites, the new and full moon offerings, and ending with the complicated Sattras or sacrificial sessions, which last a whole year or even longer 2. The twenty-fifth Prasna contains the Paribhâshâs or general rules of interpretation 3, which are valid for the whole Kalpa-sûtra, the Pravara-khanda, the chapter enumerating the patriarchs of the various Brahmanical tribes, and finally the Hautraka, prayers to be recited by the Hotraka priests. The twenty-sixth section gives the Mantras or Vedic prayers and formulas for the Grihya rites, the ceremonies for which the sacred domestic or Grihya fire is required, and the twenty-seventh the rules for the performance of the latter 4. The aphorisms on the sacred law fill the next two Prasnas; and the Sulva-sûtra 5, teaching the geometrical principles, according to which the altars necessary for the Srauta sacrifices must be constructed, concludes the work with the thirtieth Prasna.
The position of the Dharma-sûtra in the middle of the collection at once raises the presumption that it originally formed an integral portion of the body of Sûtras and that it is not a later addition. Had it been added later, it would either stand at the end of the thirty Prasnas or altogether outside the collection, as is the case with some other treatises attributed to Âpastamba 6. The Hindus are, no doubt, unscrupulous in adding to the works of famous teachers. But such additions, if of considerable extent, are usually not embodied in the works themselves which they are intended to supplement. They are mostly given as seshas or parisishtas, tacked on at the end, and generally marked as such in the MSS.
In the case of the Âpastamba Dharma-sûtra it is, however, not necessary to rely on its position alone, in order to ascertain its genuineness. There are unmistakable indications that it is the work of the same author who wrote the remainder of the Kalpa-sûtra. One important argument in favour of this view is furnished by the fact that Prasna XXVII, the section on the Grihya ceremonies has evidently been made very short and concise with the intention of saving matter for the subsequent sections on the sacred law. The Âpastambîya Grihya-sûtra contains nothing beyond a bare outline of the domestic ceremonies, while most of the other Grihya-sûtras, e.g. those of Âsvalâyana, Sânkhâyana, Gobhila, and Pâraskara, include a great many rules which bear indirectly only on the performance of the offerings in the sacred domestic fire. Thus on the occasion of the description of the initiation of Aryan students, Âsvalâyana inserts directions regarding the dress and girdle to be worn, the length of the studentship, the manner of begging, the disposal of the alms collected, and other similar questions 1. The exclusion of such incidental remarks on subjects that are not immediately connected with the chief aim of the work, is almost complete in Âpastamba's Grihya-sûtra, and reduces its size to less than one half of the extent of the shorter ones among the works enumerated above. It seems impossible to explain this restriction of the scope of Prasna XXVII otherwise than by assuming that Âpastamba wished to reserve all rules bearing rather on the duties of men than on the performance of the domestic offerings, for his sections on the sacred law.
A second and no less important argument for the unity of the whole Kalpa-sûtra may be drawn from the cross-references which occur in several Prasnas. In the Dharma-sûtra we find that on various occasions, where the performance of a ceremony is prescribed, the expressions yathoktam, 'as has been stated,' yathopadesam, 'according to the injunction,' or yathâ purastât, 'as above,' are added. In four of these passages, Dh. I, 1, 4, 16; II, 2, 3, 17; 2, 5, 4; and 7, 17, 16, the Grihya-sûtra is doubtlessly referred to, and the commentator Haradatta has pointed out this fact. On the other hand, the Grihya-Sûtra refers to the Dharma-sûtra, employing the same expressions which have been quoted from the latter. Thus we read in the beginning of the chapter on funeral oblations, Grihya-sûtra VIII, 21, 1, mâsisrâddhasyâparapakshe yathopadesam kâlâh, 'the times for the monthly funeral sacrifice (fall) in the latter (dark) half of the month according to the injunction.' Now as neither the Grihya-sûtra itself nor any preceding portion of the Kalpa-sûtra contains any injunction on this point, it, follows that the long passage on this subject which occurs in the Dharma-sûtra II, 7, 16, 4-22 is referred to. The expression yathopadesam is also found in other passages of the Grihya-sûtra, and must be explained there in a like manner 1. There are further a certain number of Sûtras which occur in the same words both in the Prasna on domestic rites, and in that on the sacred law, e.g. Dh. I, 1, A; I, 1, 2, 38; I, 1, 4, 14. It seems that the author wished to call special attention to these rules by repeating them. Their recurrence and literal agreement may be considered an additional proof of the intimate connection of the two sections.
Through a similar repetition of, at least, one Sûtra it is possible to trace the connection of the Dharma-sûtra with the Srauta-sûtra. The rule ritve vâ gâyâm, 'or (he may have conjugal intercourse) with his wife in the proper season', is given, Dh. II, 2, 5, 17, with reference to a householder who teaches the Veda. In the Srauta-sûtra it occurs twice, in the sections on the new and full moon sacrifices III, 17, 8, and again in connection with the Kâturmâsya offerings, VIII, 4, 6, and it refers both times to the sacrificer. In the first passage the verb, upeyât, is added, which the sense requires; in the second it has the abbreviated form, which the best MSS. of the Dharma-sûtra offer. The occurrence of the irregular word, ritve for ritvye, in all the three passages, proves clearly that we have to deal with a self-quotation of the same author. If the Dharma-sûtra were the production of a different person and a later addition, the Pseudo-Âpastamba would most probably not have hit on this peculiar irregular form. Finally, the Grihya-sûtra, too, contains several cross-references to the Srauta-sûtra, and the close agreement of the Sûtras on the Vedic sacrifices, on the domestic rites, and on the sacred, both in language and style, conclusively prove that they are the compositions of one author 1.
Who this author really was, is a problem which cannot be solved for the present, and which probably will. always remain unsolved, because we know his family name only. For the form of the word itself shows that the name Âpastamba, just like those of most founders of Vedic schools, e.g. Bhâradvâga, Âsvalâyana, Gautama, is a patronymic. This circumstance is, of course, fatal to all attempts at an identification of the individual who holds so prominent a place among the teachers of the Black Yagur-veda.
But we are placed in a somewhat better position with respect to the history of the school which has been named after Âpastamba and of the works ascribed to him. Regarding both, some information has been preserved by tradition, and a little more can be obtained from inscriptions and later works, while some interesting details regarding the time when, and the place where the Sûtras were composed, may be elicited from the latter themselves. The data, obtainable from these sources, it is true, do not enable us to determine with certainty the year when the Âpastambîya school was founded, and when its Sûtras were composed. But they make it possible to ascertain the position of the school and of its Sûtras in Vedic literature, their relative priority or posteriority as compared with other Vedic schools and works, to show with some amount of probability in which part of India they had their origin, and to venture, at least, a not altogether unsupported conjecture as to their probable antiquity.
As regards the first point, the Karanavyûha, a supplement of the White Yagur-veda which gives the lists of the Vedic schools, informs us that the Âpastambîya school formed one of the five branches of the Khândikîya school, which in its turn was a subdivision of the Taittirîyas, one of the ancient sections of Brâhmanas who study, the Black Yagur-veda. Owing to the very unsatisfactory condition of the text of the Karanavyûha it is unfortunately not possible to ascertain what place that work really assigns to the Âpastambîyas among the five branches of the, Khândikîyas. Some MSS. name them first, and others, last. They give either the following list, 1. Kâleyas (Kâletas), 2. Sâtyâvanins, 3. Hiranyakesins, 4. Bhâradvâgins, and 5. Âpastambins, or, 1. Âpastambins, 2. Baudhâyanins or Bodhâyanins, 3. Satyâshâdhins, 4. Hiranyakesins, 5. Aukheyas 1. But this defect is remedied to, a certain extent by the now generally current, and probably ancient tradition that the Âpastambîyas are younger than, the school of Baudhâyana, and. older than that of Satyâshâdha Hiranyakesin. Baudhâyana, it is alleged, composed the first set of Sûtras connected with the Black Yagur-Veda, which bore the special title 'pravakana,' and he was succeeded by Bhâradvâga, Âpastamba, and Satyâshâdha Hiranyakesin, who all founded schools which bear their names 2.
This tradition has preserved two important pieces of in-formation. First, the Âpastamba school is what Professor Max Müller appropriately calls a Sûtrakarana, i.e. a school whose founder did not pretend to have received a revelation of Vedic Mantras or of a Brâhmana text, but merely gave a new systematic arrangement of the precepts regarding sacrifices and the sacred law. Secondly, the Sûtras of Âpastamba occupy an intermediate position between the works of Baudhâyana and Hiranyakesin. Both these statements are perfectly true, and capable of being supported by proofs, drawn from Âpastamba's own and from other works.
As regards the first point, Professor Max Müller has already pointed 1 out that, though we sometimes find a Brâhmana of the Âpastambîyas mentioned, the title Âpastamba-brâhmana is nothing but another name of the Taittirîya-brâhmana, and that this Brâhmana, in reality, is always attributed to Tittiri or to the pupils of Vaisampâyana, who are said to have picked up the Black Yagur-veda in the shape of partridges (tittiri). The same remark applies to the collection of the Mantras of the Black Yagur-veda, which, likewise, is sometimes named Âpastamba-Samhitâ. The Karanavyûha states explicitly that the five branches of the Khândîkîya school, to which the Âpastambîyas belong, possess one and the same recension of the revealed texts, consisting of 7 Kândas, 44 Prasnas, 651 Anuvâkas, 2198 Pannâsîs, 19290 Padas 2, and 253,868 syllables, and indicates thereby that all these five schools were Sûtrakaranas.
If we now turn to Âpastamba's own works, we find still clearer proof that he laid no claim to the title Rishi, or inspired seer of Vedic texts. For (Dharma-sûtra I, 2, 5, 4-5 says distinctly that on account of the prevalent transgression of the rules of studentship no Rishis are born, among the Avaras, the men of later ages or of modern times, but that some, by virtue of a residue of the merit which they acquired in former lives, become similar to Rishis by their knowledge of the Veda. A man who speaks in this manner, shows that he considers the holy ages during which the great saints saw with their mind's eye the uncreated and eternal texts of the Veda to be past, and that all he claims is a thorough acquaintance with the scriptures which had been handed down to him. The same spirit which dictated this passage is also observable in other portions of the Dharma-sûtra. For Âpastamba repeatedly contrasts the weakness and sinfulness of the Avaras, the men of his own times, with the holiness of the ancient sages, who, owing to the greatness of their 'lustre,' were able to commit various forbidden acts without diminishing their spiritual merit 1. These utterances prove that Âpastamba considered himself a child of the Kali Yuga, the age of sin, during which, according to Hindu notions, no Rishis can be born. If, therefore, in spite of this explicit disclaimer, the Samhitâ and the Brâhmana of the Black Yagur-veda are sometimes called Âpastamba or Âpastambîya, i.e. belonging to Âpastamba, the meaning of this expression can only be, that they were and are studied and handed down by the school of Âpastamba, not that its founder was their author, or, as the Hindus would say, saw them.
The fact that Âpastamba confined his activity to the composition of Sûtras is highly important for the determination of the period to which he belonged. It clearly shows that in his time the tertiary or Sûtra period of the Yagur-veda had begun. Whether we assume, with Professor Max Müller, that the Sûtra period was one and the same for all the four Vedas, and fix its limits with him between 600-200 B.C., or whether we believe, as I am inclined to do, that the date of the Sûtra period differed for each Veda, still the incontestable conclusion is that the origin of the Âpastambîya school cannot be placed in the early times of the Vedic period, and probably falls in the last six or seven centuries before the beginning of the Christian era.
The correctness of the traditional statement that Âpastamba is younger than Baudhâyana may be made very probable by the following considerations. First, Baudhâyana's and Âpastamba's works on Dharma have a considerable number of Sûtras in common. Thus in the chapter on Penances not less than seven consecutive Sûtras, prescribing the manner in which outcasts are to live and to obtain readmission into the Brahmanical community for their children, occur in both treatises 1. Besides this passage, there are a number of single Sûtras 2 which agree literally. Taken by itself this agreement does not prove much, as it may be explained in various ways. It may show either that Baudhâyana is older than Âpastamba, and that the latter borrowed from the former, or that the reverse was the case. It may also indicate that both authors drew from one common source. But if it is taken together with two other facts, it gains a considerable importance. First, Âpastamba holds in several cases doctrines which are of a later origin than those held by Baudhâyana. With respect to this point the puritan opinions which Âpastamba puts forward regarding the substitutes for legitimate sons and regarding the appointment of widows (niyoga), and his restriction of the number of marriage-rites, may be adduced as examples. Like many other ancient teachers, Baudhâyana permits childless Âryans to satisfy their craving for representatives bearing their name, and to allay their fears of falling after death into the regions of torment through a failure of the funeral oblations, by the affiliation of-eleven kinds of substitutes for a legitimate son. Illegitimate sons, the illegitimate sons of wives, the legitimate -and illegitimate offspring of daughters, and the children of relatives, or even of strangers who may be solemnly adopted, or received as members of the family without any ceremony, or be acquired by purchase, are all allowed to take the place and the rights of legitimate sons 1. Âpastamba declares his dissent from this doctrine. He allows legitimate sons alone to inherit their father's estate and to follow the occupations of his caste, and he explicitly forbids the sale and gift of children 2.
In like manner he protests against the custom of making over childless widows to brothers-in-law or other near relatives in order to obtain sons who are to offer the funeral oblations to the deceased husband's manes, while Baudhâyana has as yet no scruple on the subject 3. Finally, he omits from his list of the marriage-rites the Paisâka vivâha, where the bride is obtained by fraud 4; though it is reluctantly admitted by Baudhâyana and other ancient teachers. There can be no doubt that the law which placed the regular continuance of the funeral oblations above all other considerations, and which allowed, in order to secure this object, even a violation of the sanctity of the marriage-tie and other breaches of the principles of morality, belongs to an older order of ideas than the stricter views of Âpastamba. It is true that, according to Baudhâyana's own statement 5, before his time an ancient sage named Aupaganghani, who is also mentioned in the Satapatha-brâhmana, had opposed the old practice of taking substitute's for a legitimate son. It is also very probable that for a long time the opinions of the Brâhmana teachers, who lived in different parts of India and belonged to different schools, may have been divided on this subject. Still it seems very improbable that of two authors who both belong to the same Veda and to the same school, the earlier one should hold the later doctrine, and the later one the earlier opinion. The contrary appears the more probable assumption. The same remarks apply to the cases of the Niyoga and of the Paisâka marriage 1.
The second fact, which bears on the question how the identity of so many Sûtras in the two Dharma-sûtras is to be explained, affords a still stronger proof of Âpastamba's posteriority to Baudhâyana. For on several occasions, it appears, Âpastamba controverts opinions which Baudhâyana holds, or which may be defended with the help of the latter's Sûtras. The clearest case of this kind occurs in the chapter on Inheritance, where the treatment of the eldest son on the division of the estate by the father is discussed. There Âpastamba gives it as his own opinion that the father should make an equal division of his property 'after having gladdened the eldest son by some (choice portion of his) wealth,' i.e. after making him a present which should have some value, but should not be so valuable as to materially affect the equality of the shares 2. Further on he notices the opinions of other teachers on this subject, and states that the practice advocated by some, of allowing the eldest alone to inherit, as well as the custom prevailing in some countries, of allotting to the eldest all the father's gold, or the black cows, or the black iron and grain, is not in accordance with the precepts of the Vedas. In order to prove the latter assertion he quotes a passage of the Taittirîya Samhitâ, in which it is declared that 'Manu divided his wealth among his sons,' and no difference in the treatment of the eldest son is prescribed. He adds that a second passage occurs in the same Veda, which declares that 'they distinguish the eldest son by (a larger portion of) the heritage,' and which thus apparently countenances the partiality for the first-born. But this second passage, he contends, appealing to the opinion of the Mîmâmsists, is, like many similar ones, merely a statement of a fact which has not the authority of an injunction 1. If we now turn to Baudhâyana, we find that he allows of three different methods for the distribution of the paternal estate. According to him, either an equal share may be given to each son, or the eldest may receive the best part of the wealth, or, also, a preferential share of one tenth of the whole property. He further alleges that the cows, horses, goats, and sheep respectively go to the eldest sons of Brâhmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sûdras. As authority for the equal division he gives the first of the two Vedic passages quoted above; and for the doctrine that the eldest is to receive the best part of the estate, he quotes the second passage which Âpastamba considers to be without the force of an injunction 2. The fact that the two authors' opinions clash is manifest, and the manner in which Âpastamba tries to show that the second Vedic passage possesses no authority, clearly indicates that before his time it had been held to contain an injunction. As no other author of a Dharma-sûtra but Baudhâyana is known to have quoted it, the conclusion is that Âpastamba's remarks are directed against him. If Âpastamba does not mention Baudhâyana by name, the reason probably is that in olden times, just as in the present day, the Brahmanical etiquette forbad a direct opposition against doctrines propounded by an older teacher who belongs to the same spiritual family (vidyâvamsa) as oneself.
A similar case occurs in the chapter on Studentship 3 where Âpastamba, again appealing to the Mîmâmsists, combats the doctrine that pupils may eat forbidden food, such as honey, meat, and pungent condiments, if it is given to them as leavings by their teacher. Baudhâyana gives no explicit rule on this point, but the wording of his Sûtras is not opposed to the doctrine and practice, to which Âpastamba objects. Baudhâyana says that students shall avoid honey, meat, pungent condiments, &c.; he further enjoins that pupils are to obey their teachers except when ordered to commit crimes which cause loss of caste (patanîya); and he finally directs them to eat the fragments of food given to them by their teachers. As the eating of honey and other forbidden substances is not a crime causing loss of caste, it is possible that Baudhâyana himself may have considered it the duty of a pupil to eat any kind of food given by the teacher, even honey and meat. At all events the practice and doctrine which Âpastamba blames, may have been defended by the wording of Baudhâyana's rules 1.
The three points which have been just discussed, viz. the identity of a number of Sûtras in the works of the two authors, the fact that Âpastamba advocates on some points more refined or puritan opinions, and, especially, that he labours to controvert doctrines contained in Baudhâyana's Sûtras, give a powerful support to the traditional statement that he is younger than that teacher. It is, however, difficult to say how great the distance between the two really is. Mahâdeva, as stated above, places between them only Bhâradvâga, the author of a set of Sûtras, which as yet have not been completely recovered. But it seems to me not likely that the latter was his immediate predecessor in the vidyâvamsa or spiritual family to which both belonged. For it cannot be expected that two successive heads of the school should each have composed a Sûtra and thus founded a new branch-school. It is more probable that Baudhâyana and Bhâradvâga, as well as the latter and Âpastamba, were separated by several intervening generations of teachers, who contented themselves with explaining the works of their predecessors. The distance in years between the first and the last of the three Sûtrakâras must, therefore, I think, be measured rather by centuries than by decades 1.
As regards the priority of Âpastamba to the school of Satyâshâdha Hiranyakesin, there can be no doubt about the correctness of this statement. For either Hiranyakesin himself, or, at least, his immediate successors have appropriated Âpastamba's Dharma-sûtra and have inserted it with slight modifications in their own collection. The alterations consist chiefly in some not very important additions, and in the substitution of more intelligible and more modern expressions for difficult and antiquated words 2. But they do not extend so far as to make the language of the Dharma-sûtra fully agree with that of the other sections of the collection, especially with the Grihya-sûtra. Numerous discrepancies between these two parts are observable. Thus we read in the Hiranyakesi [paragraph continues] Grihya-sûtra that a Brâhmana must, ordinarily, be initiated in his seventh year, while the rule of the Dharma-sûtra, which is identical with Âp. Dh. I, 1, 1, 18, prescribes that the ceremony shall take place in the eighth year after conception. The commentators, Mâtridatta on the Grihya-sûtra and Mahâdeva on the Dharma-sûtra, both state that the rule of the Grihya-sûtra refers to the seventh year after birth, and, therefore, in substance agrees with the Dharma-sûtra. They are no doubt right. But the difference in the wording shows that the two sections do not belong to the same author. The same inference may be drawn from the fact that the Hiranyakesi Grihya-sûtra, which is much longer than Âpastamba's, includes a considerable amount of matter which refers to the sacred law, and which is repeated in the Dharma-sûtra. According to a statement which I have heard from several learned Brâhmanas, the followers of Hiranyakesin, when pronouncing the samkalpa or solemn pledge to perform a ceremony, declare themselves to be members of the Hiranyakesi school that forms a subdivision of Âpastamba's (âpastambântargatahiranyakesisâkhâdhyâyî . . . aham). But I have not been able to find these words in the books treating of the ritual of the Hiranyakesins, such as the Mahesabhattî. If this assertion could be further corroborated, it would be an additional strong proof of the priority of Âpastamba, which, however, even without it may be accepted as a fact 1. The distance in time between the two teachers is probably not so great as that between Âpastamba and Baudhâyana, as Mahâdeva mentions no intermediate Sûtrakâra between them. Still it is probably not less than 100, or 150 years.
The results of the above investigation which show that the origin of the Âpastamba school falls in the middle of the Sûtra period of the Black Yagur-veda, and that its Sûtras belong to the later, though not to the latest products of Vedic literature, are fully confirmed by an examination of the quotations from and references to Vedic and other books contained in Âpastamba's Sûtras, and especially in the Dharma-sûtra. We find that all the four Vedas are quoted or referred to. The three old ones, the Rik, Yagus, and Sâman, are mentioned both separately and collectively by the name trayî vidyâ, i.e. threefold sacred science, and the fourth is called not Atharvângirasah, as is done in most ancient Sûtras, but Atharva-veda 1. The quotations from the Rik and Sâman are not very numerous. But a passage from the ninth Mandala of the former, which is referred to Dh. I, 1, 2, 2, is of some extent, and shows that the recension which Âpastamba knew, did not differ from that which still exists. As Âpastamba was an adherent of the Black Yagur-veda, he quotes it, especially in the Srauta-sûtra, very frequently, and he adduces not only texts from the Mantra-Samhitâ, but also from the Taittirîya-Brâhmana and Âranyaka. The most important quotations from the latter work occur Dh. II, 2, 3, 16-II, 2, 4, 9, where all the Mantras to be recited during the performance of the Bali-offerings are enumerated. Their order agrees exactly with that in which they stand in the sixty-seventh Anuvâka of the tenth Prapâthaka of the recension of the Âranyaka which is current among the Ândhra Brâhmanas 2. This last point is of considerable importance, both for the history of the text of that book and, as we shall see further on, for the history of the Âpastambîya school.
The White Yagur-veda, too, is quoted frequently in the Srauta-sûtra and once in the section on Dharma by the title Vâgasaneyaka, while twice its Brâhmana, the Vâgasaneyi-brâhmana, is cited. The longer one of the two passages, taken from the latter work, Dh. I, 4, 12, 3, does, however, not fully agree with the published text of the Mâdhyandina recension. Its wording possesses just sufficient resemblance to allow us to identify the passage which Âpastamba meant, but differs from the Satapatha-brâhmana in many details 1. The cause of these discrepancies remains doubtful for the present 2. As regards the Atharva-veda, Âpastamba gives, besides the reference mentioned above and a second to the Ângirasa-pavitra 3, an abstract of a long passage from Atharva-veda XV, 10-13, regarding the treatment of a Vrâtya, i.e. a learned mendicant Brâhmana, who really deserves the title of an atithi, or guest 4. It is true that Âpastamba, in the passage referred to, does not say that his rule is based on the Atharva-veda. He merely says that a Brâhmana is his authority. But it seems, nevertheless, certain that by the expression a Brâhmana, the Brâhmana-like fifteenth book of the Atharva-veda is meant, as the sentences to be addressed by the host to his guest agree literally with those which the Atharva-veda prescribes for the reception of a Vrâtya. Haradatta too, in his commentary, expresses the same opinion. Actual quotations from the Atharva-veda are not frequent in Vedic literature, and the fact that Âpastamba's Dharma-sûtra contains one, is, therefore, of some interest.
Besides these Vedic texts 5, Âpastamba mentions, also, the Angas or auxiliary works, and enumerates six classes, viz. treatises on the ritual of the sacrifices, on grammar, astronomy, etymology, recitation of the Veda, and metrics 6. The number is the same as that which is considered the correct one in our days 7.
As the Dharma-sûtra names no less than nine teachers in connection with various topics of the sacred law, and frequently appeals to the opinion of some (eke), it follows that a great many such auxiliary treatises must have existed in Âpastamba's time. The Âkâryas mentioned are Eka, Kanva, Kânva, Kunika, Kutsa, Kautsa, Pushkarasâdi, [paragraph continues] Vârshyâyani, Svetaketu, and Hârita 1. Some of these persons, like Hârita and Kânva, are known to have composed Sûtras on the sacred law, and fragments or modified versions of their works are still in existence, while Kânva, Kautsa, Pushkarasâdi or Paushkarasâdi, as the grammatically correct form of the name is, and Vârshyâyani are quoted in the Nirukta, the Prâtisâkhyas, and the Vârttikas on Pânini as authorities on phonetics, etymology, and grammar 2. Kânva, finally, is considered the author of the still existing Kalpa-sûtras of the Kânva school connected with the White Yagur-veda. It seems not improbable that most of these teachers were authors of complete sets of Angas. Their position in Vedic literature, however, except as far as Kânva, Hârita, and Svetaketu are concerned, is difficult to define, and the occurrence of their names throws less light on the antiquity of the Âpastambîya school than might be expected. Regarding Hârita it must, however, be noticed that he is one of the oldest authors of Sûtras, that he was an adherent of the Maitrâyanîya Sâkhâ 3, and that he is quoted by Baudhâyana, Âpastamba's predecessor. The bearing of the occurrence of Svetaketu's name will be discussed below.
Of even greater interest than the names of the teachers are the indications which Âpastamba gives, that he knew two of the philosophical schools which still exist in India, viz. the Pûrvâ or Karma Mîmâmsâ and the Vedânta. As regards the former, he mentions it by its ancient name, Nyâya, which in later times and at present is usually applied to the doctrine of Gautama Akshapâda. In two passages 4 he settles contested points on the authority of those who know the Nyâya, i.e. the Pûrvâ Mîmâmsâ, and in several other cases he adopts a line of reasoning which fully agrees with that followed in Gaimini's Mîmâmsâ-sûtras. Thus the arguments 1, that 'a revealed text has greater weight than a custom from which a revealed text may be inferred,' and that 'no text can be inferred from a custom for which a worldly motive is apparent,' exactly correspond with the teaching of Gaimini's Mîmâmsâ-sûtras I, 3, 3-4. The wording of the passages in the two works does not agree so closely that the one could be called a quotation of the other. But it is evident, that if Âpastamba did not know the Mîmâmsâ-sûtras of Gaimini, he must have possessed some other very similar work. As to the Vedânta, Âpastamba does not mention the name of the school. But Khandas 22, 23 of the first Patala of the Dharma-sûtra unmistakably contain the chief tenets of the Vedântists, and recommend the acquisition of the knowledge of the Âtman as the best means for purifying the souls of sinners. Though these two Khandas are chiefly filled with quotations, which, as the commentator states, are taken from an Upanishad, still the manner of their selection, as well as Âpastamba's own words in the introductory and concluding Sûtras, indicates that he knew not merely the unsystematic speculations contained in the Upanishads and Âranyakas, but a well-defined system of Vedântic philosophy identical with that of Bâdarâyana's Brahma-sûtras. The fact that Âpastamba's Dharma-sûtra contains indications of the existence of these two schools of philosophy, is significant as the Pûrvâ Mîmâmsâ occurs in one other Dharma-sûtra only, that attributed to Vasishtha, and as the name of the Vedânta school is not found in any of the prose treatises on the sacred law.
Of non-Vedic works Âpastamba mentions the Purâna. The Dharma-sûtra not only several times quotes passages from 'a Purâna' as authorities for its rules 2, but names in one case the Bhavishyat-purâna as the particular Purâna from which the quotation is taken 3. References to the [paragraph continues] Purâna in general are not unfrequent in other Sûtras on the sacred law, and even in older Vedic works. But Âpastamba, as far as I know, is the only Sûrakâra who specifies the title of a particular Purâna, and names one which is nearly or quite identical with that of a work existing in the present day, and he is the only one, whose quotations can be shown to be, at least in part, genuine Paurânic utterances.
Among the so-called Upa-purânas we find one of considerable extent which bears the title Bhavishya-purâna or also Bhavishyat-purâna 1. It is true that the passage quoted in the Dharma-sûtra from the Bhavishyat-purâna is not to be found in the copy of the Bhavishya-purâna which I have seen. It is, therefore, not possible to assert positively that Âpastamba knew the present homonymous work. Still, considering the close resemblance of the two titles, and taking into account the generally admitted fact that most if not all Purânas have been remodelled and recast 2, it seems to me not unlikely that Âpastamba's authority was the original on which the existing Upa-purâna is based. And in favour of this view it may be urged that passages, similar to Âpastamba's quotation, actually occur in our Paurânic texts. In the Gyotishprakâra section of several of the chief Purânas we find, in connection with the description of the Path of the Manes (pitriyâna) 1, the assertion that the pious sages, who had offspring and performed the Agnihotra, reside there until the general destruction of created things (â bhûtasamplavât), as well as, that in the beginning of each new creation they are the propagators of the world (lokasya samtânakarâh) and, being re-born, re-establish the sacred law. Though the wording differs, these passages fully agree in sense with Âpastamba's Bhavishyat-purâna which says, 'They (the ancestors) live in heaven until the (next) general destruction of created things. At the new creation (of the world) they become the seed.' In other passages of the Purânas, which refer to the successive creations, we find even the identical terms used in the quotation. Thus the Vâyup., Adhy. 8, 23, declares that those beings, which have gone to the Ganaloka, 'become the seed at the new creation' (punah sarge . . . bîgârtham tâ bhavanti hi).
These facts prove at all events that Âpastamba took his quotation from a real Purâna, similar to those existing. If it is literal and exact, it shows, also, that the Purânas of his time contained both prose and verse.
Further, it is possible. to trace yet another of Âpastamba's quotations from 'a Purâna.' The three Purânas, mentioned above, give, immediately after the passages referred to, enlarged versions of the two verses 2 regarding the sages, who begot offspring and obtained 'burial-grounds,' and regarding those who, remaining chaste, gained immortality 1. In this case Âpastamba's quotation can be restored almost completely, if certain interpolations are cut out. And it is evident that Âpastamba has preserved genuine Paurânic verses in their ancient form. A closer study of the unfortunately much neglected Purânas, no doubt, will lead to further identifications of other quotations, which will be of considerable interest for the history of Indian literature.
There is yet another point on which Âpastamba shows a remarkable agreement with a theory which is prevalent in later Sanskrit literature. He says (Dh. II, 11, 29, 11-12), 'The knowledge which Sûdras and women possess, is the completion of all study,' and 'they declare that this knowledge is a supplement of the Atharva-veda.' The commentator remarks with reference to these two Sûtras, that 'the knowledge which Sûdras and women possess,' is the knowledge of dancing, acting, music, and other branches of the so-called Arthasâstra, the science of useful arts and of trades, and that the object of the Sûtras is to forbid the study of such matters before the acquisition of sacred learning. His interpretation is, without doubt, correct, as similar sentiments are expressed by other teachers in parallel passages. But, if it is accepted, Âpastamba's remark that 'the knowledge of Sûdras and women is a supplement of the Atharva-veda,' proves that he knew the division of Hindu learning which is taught in Madhusûdana Sarasvatî's Prasthânabheda 2. For Madhusûdana allots to each Veda an Upa-veda or supplementary Veda, and asserts that the Upa-veda of the Atharva-veda is the Arthasâstra. The agreement of Âpastamba with the modern writers on this point, furnishes, I think, an additional argument that he belongs to the later Vedic schoolmen.
In addition to this information regarding the relative position of the Âpastambîya school in ancient Sanskrit literature, we possess some further statements as to the part of India to which it belongs, and these, as it happens, are of great importance for fixing approximately the period in which the school arose. According to the Brahmanical tradition, which is supported by a hint contained in the Dharma-sûtra and by, information derivable from inscriptions and the actual state of things in modern India, the Âpastambîyas belong to Southern India and their founder probably was a native of or resided in the Ândhra country. The existence of this tradition, which to the present day prevails among the learned Brahmans of Western India and Benares, may be substantiated by a passage from the above-mentioned commentary of the Karanavyûha 1,which, though written in barbarous Sanskrit, and of quite modern origin, possesses great interest, because its description of the geographical distribution of the Vedas and Vedic schools is not mentioned elsewhere. The verses from a work entitled Mahârnava, which are quoted there, state that the earth, i.e. India, is divided into two equal halves by the river Narmadâ (Nerbudda). and that the school of Âpastamba prevails in the southern half (ver. 2). It is further alleged (ver. 6) that the Yagur-veda of Tittiri and the Âpastambîya school are established in the Ândhra country and other parts of the south and south-east up to the mouth of the Godâvarî (godâsâgara-âvadhi). According to the Mahârnava the latter river marks, therefore, the northern frontier of the territory occupied by the Âpastambîyas. which comprises the Marâtha and Kânara districts of the Bombay Presidency, the greater part of the Nizâm's dominions, Berar, and the Madras Presidency with the exception of the northern Sirkârs and the western coast. This assertion agrees, on the whole, with the actual facts which have fallen under my observation. A great number of the Desastha-brâhmanas in the Nâsik, Puna, Ahmadnagar, Sâtârâ, Sholâpur, and Kolhâpur districts, and of the Kânarâ or Karnâtaka-brâhmanas in the Belgâm, Dhârvâd, Kalâdghî, and Karvâd collectorates, as well as a smaller number among the Kittapâvanas of the Konkana are Âpastambîyas. Of the Nizâm's dominions and the Madras Presidency I possess no local knowledge. But I can say that I have met many followers of Âpastamba among the Telingana-brâhmanas settled in Bombay, and that the frequent occurrence of MSS. containing the Sûtras of the Âpastambîya school in the Madras Presidency proves that the Karana there must count many adherents. On the other hand, I have never met with any Âpastambîyas among the ancient indigenous subdivisions of the Brahmanical community dwelling north of the Marâthâ country and north of the Narmadâ. A few Brâhmanas of this school, no doubt, are scattered over Gugarât and Central India, and others are found in the great places of pilgrimage in Hindustan proper. The former mostly have immigrated during the last century, following the Marâthâ chieftains who conquered large portions of those countries, or have been imported in the present century by the Marâthâ rulers of Gwalior, Indor, and Baroda. The settlers in Benares, Mathurâ, and other sacred cities also, have chiefly come in modern times, and not unfrequently live on the bounty of the Marâthâ princes. But all of them consider themselves and are considered by the Brâhmanas, who are indigenous in those districts and towns, as aliens, with whom intermarriage and commensality are not permitted. The indigenous sections of the Brâhmanas of Gugarât, such as the Nâgaras, Khedâvals, Bhârgavas, Kapilas, and Motâlâs, belong, if they are adherents of the Yagur-veda, to the Mâdhyandina or Kânva schools of the White Yagur-veda. The same is the case with the Brâhmanas of Ragputâna, Hindustan, and the Pañgab. In Central India, too, the White Yagur-veda prevails; but, besides the two schools mentioned above, there are still some colonies of Maitrâyanîyas or Mânavas 1. It seems, also, that the restriction of the Âpastambîya school to the south of India, or rather to those subdivisions of the Brahmanical community which for a long time have been settled in the south and are generally considered as natives of the south, is not of recent date. For it is a significant fact that the numerous ancient landgrants which have been found all over India indicate exactly the same state of things. I am not aware that in any grant issued by a king of a northern dynasty to Brâhmanas who are natives of the northern half of India, an Âpastambîya is mentioned as donee. But among the southern landgrants there are several on which the name of the school appears. Thus in a sâsana of king Harihara of Vidyânagara, dated Sakasamvat 1317 or 1395 A.D., one of the recipients of the royal bounty is 'the learned Ananta Dîkshita, son of Râmabhatta, chief of the Âpastambya (read Âpastambîya) sâkhâ, a scion of the Vasishtha gotra 1.' Further, the eastern Kâlukya king Vigayâditya II 2, who ruled, according to Dr. Fleet, from A-D. 799-843, presented a village to six students of the Hiranyakesi-sûtra and to eighteen students of the Âpastamba, recte the Âpastamba-sûtra. Again, in the abovementioned earlier grant of the Pallava king Nandivarman, there are forty-two students of the Âpastamba-sûtra 3 among the 108 sharers of the village of Udayakandramangalam. Finally, on an ancient set of plates written in the characters which usually are called cave-characters, and issued by the Pallava king Simhavarman II, we find among the donees five Âpastambhîya Brâhmanas, who, together with a Hairanyakesa, a Vâgasaneya, and a Sâma-vedî, received the village of Mangadûr, in Vengŏrâshtra 4. This inscription is, to judge from the characters, thirteen to fourteen hundred years old, and on this account a very important witness for the early existence of the Âpastambîyas in Southern India.
Under the circumstances just mentioned, a casual remark made by Âpastamba, in describing the Srâddhas or funeral oblations, acquires considerable importance. He says (Dh. II, 7, 17, 17) that the custom of pouring water into the hands of Brâhmanas invited to a Srâddha prevails among the northerners, and he indicates thereby that he himself does not belong to the north of India. If this statement is taken together with the above-stated facts, which tend to show that the Âpastambîyas were and are restricted to the south of India, the most probable construction which can be put on it is that Âpastamba declares himself to be a southerner. There is yet another indication to the same effect contained in the Dharma-sûtra. It has been pointed out above that the recension of the Taittirîya Âranyaka which Âpastamba recognises is that called the Ândhra text or the version current in the Ândhra country, by which term the districts in the south-east of India between the Godâvarî and the Krishnâ have to be understood 1. Now it seems exceedingly improbable that a Vedic teacher would accept as authoritative any other version of a sacred work except that which was current in his native country. it would therefore follow, from the adoption of an Ândhra text by Âpastamba, that he was born in that country, or, at least, had resided there so long as to have become naturalised in it. With respect to this conclusion it must also be kept in mind that the above-quoted passage from the Mahârnava particularly specifies the Ândhra country (ândhrâdi) as the seat of the Âpastambîyas. It may be that this is due to an accident. But it seems to me more probable that the author of the Mahârnava wished to mark the Ândhra territory as the chief and perhaps as the original residence of the Âpastambîyas.
This discovery has, also, a most important bearing on the question of the antiquity of the school of Âpastamba. It fully confirms the result of the preceding enquiry, viz. that the Âpastambîyas are one of the later Karanas. For the south of India and the nations inhabiting it, such as Kalingas, Dravidas, Andhras, Kolas, and Pândyas, do not play any important part in the ancient Brahmanical traditions and in the earliest history of India, the centre of both of which lies in the north-west or at least north of the Vindhya range. Hitherto it has not been shown that the south and the southern nations are mentioned in any of the Vedic Samhitâs. In the Brâhmanas and in the Sûtras they do occur, though they are named rarely and in a not complimentary manner. Thus the Aitareya-brâhmana gives the names of certain degraded, barbarous tribes, and among them that of the Andhras 2, in whose country, as has been shown, the Âpastambîyas probably originated. Again, Baudhâyana, in his Dharma-sûtra I, i, quotes song verses in which it is said that he who visits the Kalingas must purify himself by the performance of certain sacrifices in order to become fit for again associating with Aryans. The same author, also, mentions distinctive forbidden practices (âkâra) prevailing in the south (loc. cit.). Further, Pânini's grammatical Sûtras and Kâtyâyana's Vârttikas thereon contain rules regarding several words which presuppose an acquaintance with the south and the kingdoms which flourished there. Thus Pânini, IV, 2, 98, teaches the formation of dâkshinâtya in the sense of 'belonging to or living in the south or the Dekhan,' and a Vârttika of Kâtyâyana on Pânini, IV, 1, 175, states that the words Kola and Pândya are used as names of the princes ruling over the Kola and Pândya countries, which, as is known from history, were situated in the extreme south of India. The other southern nations and a fuller description of the south occur first in the Mahâbhârata 1. While an acquaintance with the south can thus be proved only by a few books belonging to the later stages of Vedic literature, several of the southern kingdoms are named already in the oldest historical documents. Asoka in his edicts 2, which date from the second half of the third century B.C., calls the Kolas, Pândyas, and the Keralaputra or Ketalaputra his pratyantas (prakantâ) or neighbours. The same monarch informs us also that he conquered the province of Kalinga and annexed it to his kingdom 3, and his remarks on the condition of the province show that it was thoroughly imbued with the Aryan civilisation. 4. The same fact is attested still more clearly by the annals of the Keta king of Kalina, whose thirteenth year fell in the 165th year of the Maurya era, or about 150 B.C. 5 The early spread of the Aryan civilisation to the eastern coast-districts between the Godâvarî and the Krishnâ is proved by the inscriptions on the Bhattiprolu relic caskets, which probably belong to the period of 200 B.C. 1 Numerous inscriptions in the Buddhist caves of Western India 2, as well as coins, prove the existence during the last centuries before, and the first centuries after, the beginning of our era of a powerful empire of the Andhras, the capital of which was probably situated near the modern Amarâvati an the lower Krishnâ. The princes of the latter kingdom, though great patrons of the Buddhist monks, appear to have been Brahmanists or adherents of the ancient orthodox faith which is founded on the Vedas. For one of them is called Vedisiri (vedisrî), 'he whose glory is the Vedi,' and another Yañasiri (yagñasrî), 'he whose glory is the sacrifice,' and a very remarkable inscription on the Nânâghât 3 contains a curious catalogue of sacrificial fees paid to priests (dakshinâ) for the performance of Srauta sacrifices. For the third and the later centuries of our era the information regarding Southern India becomes fuller and fuller. Very numerous inscriptions, the accounts of the Buddhist chroniclers of Ceylon, of the Greek geographers, and of the Chinese pilgrims, reveal the existence and give fragments, at least, of the history of many kingdoms in the south, and show that their civilisation was an advanced one, and did not differ materially from that of Northern India.
There can be no doubt that the south of India has been conquered by the Aryans, and has been brought within the pale of Brahmanical civilisation much later than India north of the Vindhya range. During which century precisely that conquest took place, cannot be determined for the present. But it would seem that it happened a considerable time before the Vedic period came to an end, and it certainly was an accomplished fact, long before the authentic history of India begins, about 500 B.C., with the Persian conquest of the Pañgab and Sindh. It may be added that a not inconsiderable period must have elapsed after the conquest of the south, before the Aryan civilisation had so far taken root in the conquered territory, that, in its turn, it could become a centre of Brahmanical activity, and that it could produce new Vedic schools.
These remarks will suffice to show that a Vedic Karana which had its origin in the south, cannot rival in antiquity those whose seat is in the north, and that all southern schools must belong to a comparatively recent period of Vedic history. For this reason, and because the name of Âpastamba and of the Âpastambîyas is not mentioned in any Vedic work, not even in a Kalpa-sûtra, and its occurrence in the older grammatical books, written before the beginning of our era, is doubtful 1, it might be thought advisable to fix the terminus a quo for the composition of the Âpastambîya-sûtras about or shortly before the beginning of the era, when the Brahmanist Ândhra kings held the greater part of the south under their sway. It seems to me, however, that such a hypothesis is not tenable, as there are several points which indicate that the school and its writings possess a much higher antiquity. For, first, the Dharma-sûtra contains a remarkable passage in which its author states that Svetaketu, one of the Vedic teachers who is mentioned in the Satapatha-Brâhmana and in the Khândogya Upanishad, belongs to the Avaras, to the men of later, i.e. of his own times. The passage referred to, Dh. I, 2, 5, 4-6, has been partly quoted above in order to show that Âpastamba laid no claim to the title Rishi, or seer of revealed texts. It has been stated that according to Sûtra 4, 'No Rishis are born among the Avaras, the men of later ages, on account of the prevailing transgression of the rules of studentship;' and that according to Sûtra 5, [paragraph continues] 'Some in their new birth become similar to Rishis by their knowledge of the Veda (srutarshi) through a residue of merit acquired in former existences.' In order to give an illustration of the latter case, the author adds in Sûtra 6, 'Like Svetaketu.' The natural, and in my opinion, the only admissible interpretation of these words is that Âpastamba considers Svetaketu to be one of the Avaras, who by virtue of a residue of merit became a Srutarshi. This is also the view of the commentator Haradatta, who, in elucidation of Sûtra 6, quotes the following passage from the Khândogya Upanishad (VI, 1, 1-2):
'1. Verily, there lived Svetaketu, a descendant of Aruna. His father spake unto him, "O Svetaketu, dwell as a student (with a, teacher); for, verily, dear child, no one in our family must neglect the study of the Veda and become, as it were, a Brâhmana in name only."
'Verily, he (Svetaketu) was initiated at the age of twelve years, and when twenty-four years old be had learned all the Vedas; he thought highly of himself and was vain of his learning and arrogant.'
There can be no doubt that this is the person and the story referred to in the Dharma-sûtra. For the fact which the Upanishad mentions, that Svetaketu learned all the Vedas in twelve years, while, the Smritis declare forty-eight years to be necessary for the accomplishment of that task, makes Âpastamba's illustration intelligible and appropriate. A good deal more is told in the Khândogya Upanishad about this Svetaketu, who is said to have been the son of Uddâlaka and the grandson of Aruna (âruneya). The same person is also frequently mentioned in the Satapatha-Brâhmana. In one passage of the latter work, which has been translated by Professor Max Müller 1, it is alleged that he was a contemporary of Yâgñavalkya, the promulgator of the White Yagur-veda, and of the learned king Ganaka of Videha, who asked him about the meaning of the Agnihotra sacrifice, Now, as has been shown above, Âpastamba knew and quotes the White Yagur-veda and the Satapatha-brâhmana. The passage of the latter work, which he quotes, is even taken from the same book in which the story about Svetaketu and Ganaka occurs. The fact, therefore, that Âpastamba places a teacher whom he must have considered as a contemporary of the promulgator of the White Yagur-veda among the Avaras, is highly interesting and of some importance for the history of Vedic literature. On the one hand it indicates that Âpastamba cannot have considered the White Yagur-veda, such as it has been handed down in the schools of the Kânvas and Mâdhyandinas, to belong to a remote antiquity. On the other hand it makes the inference which otherwise might be drawn from the southern origin of the Âpastambîya school and from the non-occurrence: of its name in the early grammatical writings, viz. that its founder lived not long before the beginning of our era, extremely improbable. For even if the term Avara is not interpreted very strictly and allowed to mean not exactly a contemporary, but a person of comparatively recent times, it will not be possible to place between Svetaketu and Âpastamba a longer interval than, at the utmost, two or three hundred years. Svetaketu and Yâgñavalkya would accordingly, at the best, find their places in the fourth or fifth century B.C., and the Satapatha-Brâhmana as well as all other Vedic works, which narrate incidents from their lives, must have been composed or at least edited still later. Though little is known regarding the history of the Vedic texts, still it happens that we possess some information regarding the texts in question. For we know from a statement made by Kâtyâyana in a Vârttika on Pânini IV, 3, 105, and from Patañgali's commentary on his words that the Brâhmana proclaimed by Yâgñavalkya, i.e. the Satapatha-brâhmana of the White Yagur-veda, was considered to have been promulgated by one of the Ancients, in the times of these two writers, i.e. probably in the fourth and second centuries B.C. 1 These considerations will show that it is necessary to allow for Âpastamba a much higher antiquity than the first century B.C.
The same inference may also be drawn from another series of facts, viz. the peculiarities of the language of his Sûtras. The latter are very considerable and very remarkable. They may be classed under four heads. In the Âpastambîya Dharma-sûtra we have, first, archaic words and forms either occurring in other Vedic writings or formed according to the analogy of Vedic usage; secondly, ancient forms and words specially prescribed by Pânini, which have not been traced except in Âpastamba's Sûtras; thirdly, words and forms which are both against Vedic usage and against Pânini's rules, and which sometimes find their analogies in the ancient Prakrits; and fourthly, anomalies in the construction of sentences. To the first class belong, kravyâdas, I, 7, 21, 15, carnivorous, formed according to the analogy of risâdas; the frequent use of the singular dâra, e.g. II, 1, 1, 17-18, a wife, instead of the plural dârâh; salâvrikî, I, 3, 10, 19, for sâlavrikî; the substitution of l for r in plenkha, I, 11, 31, 14; occasional offences against the rules of internal and external Sandhi, e.g. in agrihyamânakâranah, I, 4, 12, 8; in skuptvâ, I, 11, 31, 22, the irregular absolutive of skubh or of sku; in pâdûna, I, 1, 2, 13; in adhâsanasâyin, I, 19, 2, 21 and in sarvatopeta, I, 6, 19, 8; the neglect of the rule requiring vriddhi in the first syllable of the name Pushkarasâdi, I, 10, 28, 1; the irregular instrumentals vidyâ, I, 11, 30, 3, for vidyayâ, and nihsreyasâ, II, 7, 16, 2, for nihsreyasena; the nominatives dual âvam, I, 7, 20, 6, for âvâm, and kruñkakrauñka, I, 5, 17, 36 for °krauñkau; and the potentials in îta, such as prakshâlayîta, I, 1, 2, 28; abhiprasârayîta, I, 25 6, 3, &c.
Among the words mentioned by Pânini, but not traced except in the Dharma-sûtra, may be enumerated the verb strih, to do damage, I, 11, 31, 9; the verb srinkh, to sneeze, from which srinkhânikâ, I, 5, 16, 14, and nihsrinkhana, II, 2, 5, 9, are derived; and the noun vedâdhyâya, I, 9, 24, 6; II, 4, 8, 5, in the sense of a student of the Veda. Words offending against rules given by Pânini, without being either archaic or Prakritic, are e.g. sarvânnin, I, 6, 18, 33, one who eats anybody's food, which, according to Pânini V, 2, 9, should be sarvânnîna; sarpasîrshin, I, 5, 17, 39; annasamskartri, a cook, II, 3, 6, 16; dhârmya, righteous, for dharmya, I, 2, 7, 21, and elsewhere; dîvitri, a gambler, II, 10, 2, 5, 13, for devitri, the very remarkable form prâsñâti, I, 1, 4, 1, for prâsnâti, finds an analogy in the Vedic snyaptre for snaptre 1 and in Pali, pañha from prasña for prasna; and the curious compounds avângagra, I, 1, 2, 38, parângâvritta, II, 5, 10, 11, where the first parts show the forms of the nominative instead of the base, and pratisûryamatsyah, I, 3, 11, 31, which as a copulative compound is wrong, though not without analogies in Prakrit and in later Sanskrit 2. The irregular forms caused by the same tendencies as those which effected the formation of the [paragraph continues] Prakrit languages, are, aviprakramina, II, 2, 5, 2, for aviprakramana, where an a standing in thesi has been changed to i; sâmvrittih, II, 3, 6, 13, sâmvartete, II, 5, 11, 20, and paryânta, I, 3, 9, 21, and I, 3, 11, 33 (compare Marâthi âmt for antah), in each of which a standing before a nasal has been lengthened; anika, I, 6, 19, 1, the initial a of which stands for ri, if it really has the meaning of rinika, as some commentators asserted; anulepana, I, 3, 11, 13; I, 11, 32, 5, with the Prakritic change of na to na; vyupagâva, I, 2, 8, 15, with va for pa; ritve for ritvye, where y seems to have been absorbed by the following e; apassayîta, I, 11, 32, 16, for apâsrayita, and bhatrivyatikrama, I, 10, 28, 20, where r has been assimilated to the preceding, or has been lost before the following consonant. The irregularities in the construction are less frequent. But in two Sûtras, I, 3, 10, 2, and I, 3, 11, 31, some words which ought to stand in the locative case have the terminations of the nominative, and it looks as if the author had changed his mind about the construction which he meant to use. In a third passage II, 10, 26, 20, sisnakkhedanam savrishanasya, the adjective which is intended to qualify the noun sisna has been placed in the genitive case, though the noun has been made the first part of a compound.
The occurrence of so many irregularities 1 in so small a treatise as the Dharma-sûtra is, proves clearly that the author did not follow Pânini's grammar, and makes it very unlikely that he knew it at all. If the anomalous forms used by Âpastamba all agreed with the usage of the other Sûtrakâras, known to us, it might be contended that, though acquainted with the rules of the great grammarian, he had elected to adopt by preference the language of the Vedic schools. But this is by no means the case. The majority of the irregular forms are peculiar to Âpastamba. As it is thus not probable that Âpastamba employed his peculiar expressions- in obedience to the tradition of the [paragraph continues] Vedic schools or of his particular school, he must have either been unacquainted with Pânini or have considered his teachings of no great importance. In other words, he must either have lived earlier than Pânini or before Pânini's grammar had acquired general fame throughout India, and become the standard authority for Sanskrit authors. In either case so late a date as 150 B. C. or the first century B.C. would not fit. For Patañgali's Mahâbhâshya furnishes abundant proof that at the time of its composition, in the second century B.C., Pânini's grammar occupied a position similar to that which it holds now, and has held since the beginning of our era in the estimation of the learned of India. On linguistic grounds it seems to me Âpastamba cannot be placed later than the third century B.C., and if his statement regarding Svetaketu is taken into account, the lower limit for the composition of his Sûtras must be put further back by 150-200 years.
But sufficient space has already been allotted to these attempts to assign a date to the founder of the Âpastambîya school, the result of which, in the present state of our knowledge of the ancient history of India, must remain, I fear, less certain and less precise than is desirable. It now is necessary to say, in conclusion, a few words about the history of the text of the Dharma-sûtra, and about its commentary, the Uggvalâ Vritti of Haradatta. The oldest writer with a known date who quotes the Âpastambîya Dharma-sûtra is Sankarâkârya 1, c. 800 A.D. Even somewhat earlier Kumârila, c. 750, refers repeatedly to a law-book by Âpastamba 2. But it is improbable that he had our Dharma-sûtra before him. For he says, p. 138, that Âpastamba expressly sanctions local usages, opposed to the teaching of the Vedas, for the natives of those districts where they had prevailed since ancient times. Now, that is just an opinion, which our Dharma-sûtra declares to be wrong and refutes repeatedly 3. As it seems hazardous to impute to a man, like Kumârila, ignorance or spite against Âpastamba, I am inclined to assume that the great Mîmâmsaka refers to some other work, attributed to Âpastamba, perhaps the metrical Âpastamba-smriti which Aparârka quotes very frequently 1. Among the commentators on Smritis the oldest, who quote the Dharma-sûtra, are Medhâtithi, the author of the Manubhâshya, and Vigñânesvara, who composed the Mitâksharâ, the well-known commentary on Yâgñavalkya's Dharma-sâstra during the reign of the Kâlukya king Vikramâditya VI, of Kâlukya towards the end of the eleventh century. From that time downwards Âpastamba is quoted by almost every writer on law. But the whole text, such as it is given in my edition 2, is vouched for only by the commentator Haradatta, who wrote his Uggvalâ Vritti, at the latest, in the fifteenth century A.D. or possibly 100 years earlier 3 . Haradatta was, however, not the first commentator of the Dharma-sûtra. He frequently quotes the opinions of several predecessors whom he designates by the general expressions anyah or aparah, i.e. another (writer). The fact that the Uggvalâ was preceded by earlier commentaries which protected the text from corruption, also speaks in favour of the authenticity of the latter, which is further attested by the close agreement of the Hiranyakesi Dharma-sûtra, mentioned above.
As regards the value of the Uggvalâ for the explanation of Âpastamba's text, it certainly belongs to the best commentaries existing. Haradatta possessed in the older Vrittis abundant and good materials on which he could draw; he himself apparently was, well versed in Hindu law and in Sanskrit grammar, and distinguished by sobriety and freedom from that vanity which induces many Indian commentators to load their works with endless and useless quotations. His explanations, therefore, can mostly be followed without hesitation, and, even when they appear unacceptable, they deserve careful consideration.
The Apastamba Sutras - Prasna I
The Apastamba Sutras - Prasna II