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Their discovery enabled Professor Max Muller, 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 .
It enabled [1. The following letter, addressed to the late W. Morley, and published by him in his Digest of ludian Cases, , may be of interest as connected with the first discovery of the Apastamba-sutras:- 9, Park Place, Oxford, July 29, I have treated the subject fully in my introduction to the Veda, where I have given an outline of the different periods of Vaidik literature, and analysed the peculiarities in the style and language of each class of Vaidik works.
A hat I consider to be the sources of the Manava-dharma-sutra, the so-called Laws of Manu, are the Sutras. These Brahmanas, again, presuppose, not only the existence, but the collection and arrangement of the old hymns of the four Samhitas.
The Sutras are tberefore later than both these classes of Vaidik works, but they must be considered as belonging to the Vaidik period of literature, not only on account of their intimate connection with Vaidik subjects, but also because they still exhibit the irregularities of the old Vaidik language. They form indeed the last branch of Vaidik literature; and it will perhaps be possible to fix some of these works chronologically, as they are contemporary with the first spreading of Buddhism in India, Again, in the whole of Vaidik literature there is no work written like the Manava-dharma-sutra in the regular epic Sloka, and the continuous employment of this rnetre is a characteristic mark of post-Vaidik writings.
One of the principal classes of Sutras is known by the nameof Kalpa-sutras, or rules of ceremonies. These are avowedly composed by human authors, while, according to Indian orthodox theology, both the hymns and Brahmanas are to be considered as revelation. The great number of these writings is to be accounted for by the fact that there was not one body of Kalpa-sutras binding on all Brahmanic families, but that different old families had each their own Kalpa-sutras.
These works are still very frequent in our libraries, yet there is no doubt that many of them have been lost. Sutras are quoted which do not exist in Europe, and the loss of some is acknowledged by the Brahmans themselves. There are, however, lists of the old Brahmanic families which were in possession of their own redaction of Vaidik hymns Samhitas , of Brahmanas, and of Sutras.
Some-of these families followed the Rig-veda, some the Yagur-veda, the Sama-veda, and Atharva-veda; and thus the whole Vaidik literature becomes divided into four great classes of Brahmanas and Sutras, belonging to one or the other of the four principal Vedas. Now one of the families following the Yagur-veda was that of the Manava cf. There can be no doubt that that family, too, had its own Sutras. Quotations from Manava-sutras are to be met with in commentaries on other Sutras; and I have found, not long ago, a MS.
But these Sutras, the Srauta-sutras, treat only of a certain branch of ceremonies connected with the great sacrifices. Complete Sutra works are divided into three parts: 1.
The last two classes of Sutras seem to be lost in the Manava-sutra. This loss is. In the absence, therefore, of the Manava- samayakarika-sutras, I have taken another collection of Sutras, equally belonging to the Yagur-veda, the Sutras of Apastamba. In his family we have not only a Brahmana, but also Apastamba Srauta, Grihya, and Samayakarika-sutras. Now it is, of course, the third class of Sutras, on temporal duties, which are most likely to contain the sources of the later metrical Codes of Law, written in the classical Sloka.
They are paraphrases of verses of the Samhitas, or of passages of the Brahmanas, often retaining the same old words and archaic constructions which were in the original. This is indeed acknowledged by the author of the Manava-dharma-sastra, when he says B. II, v. Quite different is the question as to the old Manu from whom the family probably derived its origin, and who is said to have been the author of some very characteristic hymns in the Rig-veda-samhita.
He certainly cannot be considered as the author of a Manava-dharma-sutra, nor is there even any reason to suppose the author of this work to have had the same name. It is evident that the author of the metrical Code of Laws speaks of the old Manu as of a person different from himself, when he says B. The Apastamblya Dharma-sutra forms part of an enormous Kalpa-sutra 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, Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas.
The entire Kalpa-sutra of Apastamba is divided into thirty sections, called Prasnas, literally questions . The first twenty-four of these teach the performance of the so-called Srauta or Vaitanika 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 . The twenty-fifth Prasna contains the Paribhashas or general rules of interpretation , which are valid for the whole Kalpa-sutra, 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 . The aphorisms on the sacred law fill the next two Prasnas; and the Sulva-sutra, 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-sutra in the middle of the collection at once raises the presumption that it originally formed an integral portion of the body of Sutras and that it is not a later addition.
Had it been added later, it wouid either stand at the end of the thirty Prasnas or altogether outside the collection, as is the case with some other treatises attributed to Apastamba . 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 [1. Burnell, Indian Antiquary, 1, 5 seq. I-XV, has been edited by Professor R. The Grihya-sutra has been edited by Dr. Winternitz, Vienna, On the Sulva-sutras see G. Burnell, loc. In the case of the Apastamba Dharma-sutra 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-sutra. 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 Apastambiya Grihya-sutra contains noth ing beyond a bare outline of the domestic ceremonies, while most of the other Grihya-sutras, e. Thus on the occasion of the description of the initiation of Aryan students, Asvalayana 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 .
It seems impossible to explain this restriction of the scope of Prasna XXVII otherwise than by assuming that Apastamba 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-sutra may be drawn from the cross-references which occur in several Prasnas. In the Dharma-sutra we find that on various occasions, where the performance [1.
Asvalayana Grihya-sutra 1, 19, ed. In four of these passages, Dh. I, 1, 4, 16; II, 2, 3, 17; 2, 5, 4; and 7, 17, 16, the Grihya-sutra is doubtlessly referred to, and the commentator Haradatta has pointed out this fact. On the other hand, the Grihya-Sutra refers to the Dharma-sutra, employing the same expressions which have been quoted from the latter. The expression yathopadesam is also found in other passages of the Grihya-sutra, and must be explained there in a like manner.
There are further a certain number of Sutras which occur in the same words both in the Prasna on domestic rites, and in that on the sacred law, e. 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 Sutra it is possible to trace the connection of the Dharma-sutra with the Srauta-sutra.
II, 2, 5, 17, with reference to a householder who teaches the Veda. In the Srauta-sutra it occurs twice, in the sections on the new and full moon sacrifices III, 17, 8, and again in connection with the Katurmasya offerings, VIII, 4, 6, and it refers both times [1. See the details, given by Dr. Wintemitz in his essay, Das altindische Hochzeitsrituell, p.
Wiener Akadernie, Bd. In the first passage the verb, upeyat, is added, which the sense requires; in the second it has the abbreviated form, which the best MSS. 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-sutra were the production of a different person and a later addition, the Pseudo-Apastamba would most probably not have hit on this peculiar irregular form.
Finally, the Grihya-sutra, too, contains several crossreferences to the Srauta-sutra, and the close agreement of the Sutras 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.
Who this author really was, is a problem which cannot be solved for the present, and which probably will. For the form of the word itself shows that the name Apastamba, just like those of most founders of Vedic schools, e.
Bharadvaga, Asvalayana, 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 Apastamba 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 Sutras 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 Apastambiya school was founded, and when its Sutras were composed.
But they make it possible to ascertain the position of the school and of its Sutras in Vedic literature, [1. See Dr. Winternitz, loc. As regards the first point, the Karanavyuha, a supplement of the White Yagur-veda which gives the lists of the Vedic schools, informs us that the Apastambiya school formed one of the five branches of the Khandikiya school, which in its turn was a subdivision of the Taittiriyas, one of the ancient sections of Brahmanas who study, the Black Yagur-veda.
Owing to the very unsatisfactory condition of the text of the Karanavyuha it is unfortunately not possible to ascertain what place that work really assigns to the Apastambiyas among the five branches of the, Khandikiyas. Some MSS. They give either the following list, 1. Kaleyas Kaletas , 2. Satyavanins, 3. Hiranyakesins, 4. Bharadvagins, and 5. Apastambins, or, I. Apastambins, 2.
Baudhayanins or Bodhayanins, 3. Satyashadhins, 4. Hiranya-kesins, 5. But this defect is remedied to, a certain extent by the now generally current, and probably ancient tradition that theApastambiyas are younger than, the school of Baudhayana, and.