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Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford : 

Correspondant de l'Institut Imperial de France ; Foreign Member of the Royal Bavarian Academy ; 

Honorary Member of the Royal Society of Literature ; Corresponding Member of the Asiatic Society of 

Bengal, and of the American Oriental Society ; Member of the Asiatic Society of Paris, and of 

the Oriental Society of Germany ; and Taylorian Professor in the University of Oxford. 












&|jb WJLoxk h gnacrifob 




A few words of personal explanation are due to 
those who may have seen, in the Preface to the 
First Volume of my edition of the Rig- Veda*, a note 
announcing as ready for publication an Introductory 
Memoir on the Literature of the Veda. Ten sheets 
of this Memoir were printed when, in the beginning 
of the year 1851, 1 was appointed Deputy Professor, 
and, after the death of my lamented friend, Francis 
Trithen, in the year 1854, Professor of Modern Euro- 
pean Languages and Literature in the University of 
Oxford. In compliance with the statutes for the 
Foundation of Sir Robert Taylor, I had to write 
" Three Courses of Lectures in every year, on the 
Philology or Literature of some of the principal 
Languages of Europe." These new and unexpected 
duties rendered it necessary for me to discontinue 
for a time my favourite studies. And when, after 
the first years of my new office, I was able to employ 

* Rig- Veda- Sanhita, the sacred songs of the Brahmans, together 
with the Commentary of Sayanacharya, edited by Max Muller, 
Vol. I, 1849; Vol. II., 1854; Vol. III., 1856. There will be 
three more volumes, the first of which is to be published next year. 
The first volume of Professor Wilson's Translation was published 
1850; the second, 1854; the third, 1857; and he is carrying 
on, at the present moment, his valuable translation of the next 

a 3 


a greater amount of leisure on the prosecution of 

Sanskrit studies, I felt that I should better serve the 


interests of Sanskrit Philology by devoting all my 
spare time to editing the text and commentary of the 
Veda, than by publishing the results, more or less 
fragmentary, of my own researches into the. language, 
literature, and religion of the ancient Brahmans. 

In resuming now, after the lapse of nearly ten 
years, the publication of these Essays, I may regret 
that on many points I have been anticipated by others, 
who during the interval have made the Veda the 
special subject of their studies. But this regret is 
fully balanced by the satisfaction I feel in finding 
that, in the main, my original views on the literature 
and religion of the Vedic age have not been shaken, 
either by my own continued researches or by the re- 
searches of others ; and that the greater part of this 
work could be printed, as it now stands, from the 
original manuscript. It will be seen, however, that 
in the notes, as well as in the body of the work, I have 
availed myself, to the best of my ability, of all the 
really important and solid information that could be 
gathered from the latest works of Sanskrit philologists. 
The frequent references to the works of Wilson, 
Burnouf, Lassen, Benfey, Roth, Boehtlingk, Kuhn, 
Regnier, Weber, Aufrecht, Whitney, and others, will 
show where I have either derived new light from the 
labours of these eminent scholars, or found my own 
conclusions confirmed by their independent testimony. 
Believing, as I do, that literary controversy is more 
apt to impede than to advance the cause of truth, I 


have throughout carefully abstained from it. Where it 
seemed necessary to controvert unfounded statements 
or hasty conclusions, I have endeavoured to do so by 
stating the true facts of the case, and the legitimate 
conclusions that may be drawn from these facts. 

My readers have to thank Dr. Biihler, a pupil of 
Professor Benfey of Gottingen, for the alphabetical 
index at the end of this volume. The same industri- 
ous scholar has supplied me with a list of errata, 
to which some remarks of his own are appended. 


Ray Lodge, Maidenhead, 
Aug. 3, 1859. 

A 4 


Page 36. line 




45. line 




110. line 




160. line 




181. line 




200. line 




227. line 



^TrT line 30. f%f Ibid. VEft' 

247. line 


kripitam, kiritam. 

284. line 



364. line 




382. line 


Kakshivateti ; line 16., Dirgha. 

499. line 




573. line 


576. line 




585. line 




Page 252. line 26. The Kratusangraha is frequently quoted by Sayann, 
in his Commentary on the Tandya-brahmana in elucidation of obscure 
passages. P. 252. 1. 27. The Viniyoga-sangraha is likewise quoted by 
Sayana as containing explanations of the Mantras employed in the 

, Page 325. line 22. There was no space left for printing the list of the 
Upanishads ; it will be published in one of the Oriental Journals. 

Page 580. line 3. The statement of Ajigarta intending to devour his 
own son is clearly a modern addition of the Sankhayanas. 


Preface ....... v. 







Origin and Progress of Sanskrit Philology . 
The true Object of Sanskrit Philology . . 

The Veda is the basis of Sanskrit Literature 
The Veda represents the Vedic Age 
Necessity of establishing the Antiquity of the Veda 
Absence of Synchronistic Dates in the early History of the 
Aryan Family . . . . . .11 

The earliest History of the Aryan Family . . .12 

Separation of the Northern and Southern Branches of the 
Aryan Family . . . . . .12 

Their distinctive character . . . . .14 

Comparison between the early Histories of India and Greece 17 
The peculiarities of the early Colonists of India . . 18 

Their neglect of the Real and Historical Elements of Life . 18 
Their interest in Supernatural Problems . . .19 

The meaning of Atman or Self . . . .20 

Dialogue between Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi . . 22 

The character of the Indians at the time of Alexander's ex- 
pedition . . . . . . ,25 

The Indians have no place in the Political History of the 
Ancient World . . . . . .29 

Their place in the Intellectual History of the World . 32 

The influence of India on the Religious History of Asia . 32 
The origin of Buddhism . . . . .33 

The Buddhistic Era and its importance for the Chronology 
ofludia ....... 34 


Traces of the Buddhistic crisis in the latest productions of 
the Vedic Literature . . . . .35 

Distinction between Vedic and non -Vedic works . . 36 

The Epic Poems, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, no au- 
thority for the History of the Vedic Age . 36 
Traces of earlier Epic Poetry . . . .37 

Extract from the &ankhayana-sutras . . .37 

Meaning of Gatha, Narasansi, Itihasa, Akhyana, Purana, 
Kalpa, Vidya, Upanishad, 6loka, Sutra, Vyakbyana, and 
Anuvy akhyana, as titles of Vedic Literature . . 40 

Supposed quotation of the Bharata or Mahabharata, in the 
Sutras of Asvalayana . . . . .42 

The war between the Kurus and Pandavas, unknown in the 

Vedic Age . . . . .44 

The original Epic Traditions of India were remodelled by 

the Brahmans . . . * . .46 

The Five Husbands of Draupadi . . . .46 

The Two Wives of Pandu, and the Burning of M&dri at 
his Death . . . . . .48 

King Dasaratha killing the Son of a Brahman . 49 

The relation between Parasu-Rama and Rama . . 49 

Variety of Local Customs during the Vedic Age . . 49 

Family-laws and Traditions . . . .51 

Vedic customs differing from the later Brahmanic Law . 56 
The Story of Kakshivat . . . . .56 

The Story of Kavasha Ailusha . . . .58 

The Puranas, no authority for the History of the Vedic Age 61 
The so-called Laws of Manu, no authority for the History of 
the Vedic Age . . . . . .61 

The Veda the only safe basis of Indian History . . 62 

Importance of the Veda in the History of the World . 63 

Importance of the Veda in the History of India . . 63 

The Veda, the most Ancient Book of the Aryan Family . 65 


External criteria for distinguishing between Vedic and non- 
Vedic Works ...... 67 

Metre, as an external Criterion . . . . (58 

No wo: k written in continuous Anushtubh-slokas belongs to 
the Vedic age . . . . . .68 


Division of the Vedic Age . . . . 70 

The Chhandas, Mantra, Brahmana, and Sutra Periods . 70 



The peculiarities of the Sutras . . . .71 

The Paribhasha or key to the Sutras . . .72 

The Law of Anuvritti and Nirvritti . . .73 

The system of Purva-paksha, Uttara-paksha, and Siddha'nta 73 
The Sutras belong to the Smriti or non-revealed Literature 
of the Brahmans . . . . . .74 

The distinction between &ruti (revelation) and Smriti (tradi- 
tion) was made by the Brahmans after their ascendancy 
was established . . . . . .76 

It preceded the Schism of Buddha . . . .77 

Attacks on the Brahmans before Buddha's time . . 80 

Visvamitra, Janaka, Buddha, all Kshatriyas . . 80 

Arguments used by the Brahmans against the Buddhists . 82 
The Brahmans appeal to the absolute authority of the 6ruti 
or revelation . . . . . .82 

A similar argument adopted in later times by the Buddhists 

themselves . . . . .83 

Extract from Kumarila . . . . .84 

The Admission of a human Authorship for the Sutras shows, 
that at the time of the Buddhistic Controversy the 
Sutras were works of recent origin . . .86 

Smriti and Smritis . . . . . .86 

The Authority of the Smriti defended . . .87 

Extract from Sayana's Commentary on Parasara's Smriti . 87 
The Sutras are not classed as 6ruti, though they treat on 

subjects connected with the Veda . . .95 

Extract from Kumarila . . . . .95 

The Sutras divided into Srauta and Smarta . . .99 

The Admission of Lost akhas discussed . . . 100 

Extract from Haradatta's Commentary on the Samaya- 
charika-sutras . . . . . .100 

Extract from Apastamba ..... 105 

Probability of the loss of Sakhas .... 106 

The distinction betweeji 6ruti and. Smriti known to the 
authors of the Sutras ..... 107 



The Six Vedangas, or Branches of Vedic Exegesis . 

The Name of the Vedangas .... 

The Number of the Vedangas 

The First Vedanga, Siksha or Pronunciation 

It formed part of the Aranyakas 

It became the principal Subject of the Pratisakhyas 

Origin of the Pratisakhyas .... 

Numerous Authors quoted in the Pratisakhyas 

Pratisakhyas attached to the different Sakhas of each 
Veda . ,\ . . 

The proper meaning of Sakha and Pratisakhya 

Difference between Sakha and Charana 

Difference between Charana and Parishad . 

Character of Parishads, in ancient and modern Times 

Legal Sutras, belonging to the Charanas 

The original sources of the " Laws of Manu," &c. . 

The threefold Division of Law 

The Pratisakhya of the Sakala-sakha of the Rig-veda by 
Saunaka ...... 

The Pratisakhya of some Sakha of the Taittiriya-veda 
The Pratisakhya of the Madhyandina-sakha of the Yajur 
veda by Katy&yana .... 

The Pratisakhya of some Sakha of the Atharva-veda 
List of Teachers quoted in the Pratisakhyas, the Nirukta 
and Panini .... 

No Pratisakhya required for the Sama-veda 

General character of the Pratisakhyas 

The metrical Vedanga on Siksha 

The Manduki-siksha 

The Second Vedanga, Chhandas or Metre . 

Treatise by Saunaka 

Treatise by Katyayana 

The Nidana-sutra of the Sama-veda 

The Treatise ascribed to Pingala 

Lost Works on Metre, by Yaska, and Saitava 

Nomenclature of Metres 

The Third Vedanga, Vyakarana or Grammar 

Panini and his predecessors . 

The Unadi-sutras .... 

The Phitsutras of Santana . 

The Fourth Vedanga, Nirukfa or Etymology 


Yaska and his predecessors . . . . .153 

Distinction between Yaska's Nirukta, and the Commentary 

on the Nirukta 
Both works divided into three parts 
Naighantuka, Naigama (Aikapadika), Daivata 
History of the Science of Language in India and Greece 
The Fifth Vedanga, Kalpa or the Ceremonial 
The Kalpa-sutras, based on the Brahmanas . 
Some Brahmanas resembling Sutras, some Sutras resembling 

Distinction between Brahmanas and Sutras . 
Origin of the Brahmanas .... 
System of their collection 
The threefold division of the ceremonial leads to the threefold 

division of the Brahmanas 
The Adhvaryu priests, and the Taittiriyaka 
The modern Sakha of the Vajasaneyins and their Sanhita 
The Udgatri priests and their Sanhita 
The Hotri priests ..... 
The Rig-veda-sanhita .... 

The three collections of Brahmanas . 
The Kalpa-sutras presuppose the existence of Brahmana- 

sakhas ...... 

They are intended for more than one Charana 

They lead to the establishment of new Charanas 

They have no authorised various readings, like theBrahmanas 

They were handed down in a different manner 

Difference between ancient and modern Sutras 

No Kalpa-sutras quoted in the nominative plural 

The Kalpa-sutras cause the extinction of the Brahmanas 

They absorb the ancient Sakhas 

The three classes of Charanas 


Brahmana-charanas ..... 

Sutra-charanas ..... 

Modern character of the Sutras 

List of Kalpa-sutras .... 

The Smarta-sutras ..... 

The Grihya-sutras different from the Samayacharika-sutras 
Meaning of Grihya ..... 

Meaning of Pakayajna * 



Character of the Grihya sacrifices .... 204 

The Samayacharika, or Dharma-sutras . . . 206 

Their modern date ...... 208 

The Four Castes, the degradation of the 6udras . . 207 

The Ten Sutras of the Sama-veda .... 209 

The Sixth Vedanga, Jyotisha, or Astronomy. . .210 

No Work on Astronomy written in Sutras . .211 

The metricalJyotisha . . . . .211 

Astronomical elements in the Hymns, Brahmanas, and 
Sutras ....... 212 

General character of the Vedangas . . . .214 

Their practical object . . . . .214 

Their Authors do not claim to be inspired . . .214 

Their peculiar style . . . ..-,.. .214 

Their position as intermediate between the Vedic and non- 
Vedic literature . . . . . .215 

How to fix their date . . . . .215 

The Works ascribed to Saunaka and his School . .215 

Katyayana's Sarvanukrama to the Rig-veda . .216 

Five previous Anukramanis, ascribed to &aunaka . .216 

Their style . . . . . . .217 

The Brihaddevata and its Authors . . . .218 

Number of Hymns, Verses, and Words, according to different 
Anukramanis . . . . . .219 

The three Anukramanis of the Yajur-veda . . . 222 

The Anukramanis of the Sama-veda ; two classes . . 226 

The Brihatsarvanukramani to the Atharvana . . 228 

How to fix the age of 6aunaka and Katyayana as Authors 
of the Anukramanis ..... 229 

The peculiarities of style in Saunaka and Katyayana . 229 

Shadgurusishya's account of &aunaka and his Pupils . 230 

Their Works . . . . . .233 

Five generations of Teachers . . . . 239 

Katyayana, the same as Vararuchi .... 239 

Somadeva's account of Katyayana and Panini . . 240 

Indian tradition places Katyayana and Panini contempora- 
neous with King Nanda ..... 242 

Nanda, the successor of Chandragupta, the contemporary 
of Alexander ...... 242 

Date of Katyayana in the second half of tbe Fourth Century, 
B.C 243 


Abhimanyu adopts the commentary of Katyayana in the First 

Century, A.D. . . . . . .243 

Sutra period from 600 to 200, B.C. . . . .244 

Objections. Date of Unadi-sutras . . . .245 

The words dinara, tirita, stupa, Jina . . . 245 

The Parisishtas, the latest branch of Vedic literature . 249 

Parisishtas of theRig-veda, Sama-veda, Yajur-veda, Atharva- 

veda . . . . . . .252 

Gradual Rise of the Brahmanic Literature . . .257 

The Parisishtas mark the decline of Brahmanism . .257 

They are contemporary with the Political Ascendancy of 

Buddhism. . . . . .257 

Buddhism, before Asoka, was but modified Brahmanism . 260 
The Chronology of the earlier Period of Buddhism is purely 

theoretical . . . . . . 262 

The Northern Chronology, and its rationale . . 263 

The Southern Chronology and its rationale . . . 266 

Both Chronologies irreconcileable with Greek Chronology . 275 
The date of Chandragupta, the basis of Indian Chronology . 275 
Classical Accounts of Sandrocyptus . . . 275 

Indian Accounts of Chandragupta .... 278 

Coincidences between the two . . . . 278 

Apparent differences explained . . . .279 

Buddhist Fables invented to exalt Chandragupta's descent . 280 
Brahmanic Fables invented to lower Chandragupta's descent 295 
Chandragupta's real Date brings the real beginning of the 

Ceylonese Era to 477, B.C. .... 298 

All dates before Chandragupta are merely hypothetical . 299 
The compromise between the different systems of Chronology 

proposed by Lassen . . . . . 299 

Katyayana's real Date ..... 300 

Other Arguments in support of Katyayana's Date considered 301 
Sutra "Works that cannot be fixed chronologically . .310 

Sutras quoted, some lost, others never committed to writing 311 
Gradual change of Style in the Sutras . . .311 



Aranyakas intermediate between Sutras and Brahmanas . 313 
Meaning of Aranyaka . . . . .313 



Aranyakas considered as 6ruti, but some of them ascribed 
to human Authors . . . . .314 

Aranyakas presuppose Brahmanas . . . .315 

The Upanishads, the principal Portion of the Aranyakas . 316 
The Upanishads quoted as the highest Authority by various 
Philosophers . . . . . .316 

New Upanishads supplied when required . . .317 

Upanishads in the Sanhitas ... . . .317 

Upanishads in Aranyakas and Brahmanas . . .317 

Later Upanishads unattached . . . .318 

Etymology of Upanishad . . . . .318 

The Upanishads Regarded as the repositories of the Highest 
Knowledge . . . . . .319 

Great Variety of Opinion in the Upanishads . . 320 

Growing Number of Upanishads .... 324 

The Names of the Authors of the principal Upanishads un- 
known ....... 327 

The Aranyakas and their Reputed Authors . . 329 

The Brihadaranyaka and Yajnavalkya . . . 329 

Attempts at fixing the age of Yajnavalkya . . . 330 

The Taittiriyaranyaka ..... 334 

The Aitareyaranyaka ..... 335 

The Kaushitaki-aranyaka . . . . .337 

Modern form, but ancient matter .... 338 

Literary Works alluded to in the Aranyakas . . 340 

Aranyakas, intermediate between Brahmanas and Sutras . 341 
The Brahmanas ... . . . . 342 

Definition of the word Brahmana .... 342 

Sayana's definition ...... 342 

Madhusudana's definition . . . . . 344 

Origin of the Brahmanas, &c, &c. .... 345 

The Brahmanas of the Bahvrichas . . . . 346 

The Brahmanas of the Aitareyins and Asvalayaniyas . 347 

The Brahmanas of the Kaushitakins and 6ankhayaniyas . 347 
The Brahmanas of the Chhandogas . . . 347 

The Brahmanas of the Adhvaryus . . . 349 

The Ancient School of the Charakas . . . 350 

The Modern School of the Vajasaneyins . . . 350 

Yajnavalkya's Authorship ..... 353 

Table of Contents of the Vajasaneyi-sanhita . . 354 

Correspondence between the Sanhita and Brahmana . 356 


Distinction between Ancient and Modern Brahmanas . 360 

Panini's Rules on the Formation of the Titles of Ancient 
and Modern Brahmanas . . . . .361 

The Brahmana-charanas reduced in number by the introduc- 
tion of Sutras ...... 365 

List of Charanas from the Charanavyiiha . . . 367 

Its Authority for the Sutra-charanas, not for Brahmana and 

Sanhita-charanas ..... 367 

How to distinguish between Sutra, Brahmana, and Sanhita- 
charanas . .. . . . . 375 

Difference between Charana3 and Gotras . . . 378 

List of Gotras . . . . . . 380 

The Rules of Pravara . . . . .386 

The general Character of the Brahmanas . . . 389 

Extract from the Aitareya-brahmana (the Diksha) . . 390 

Extract from the Kaushitaki-brahmaiia . . . 406 

Extract from the Aitareya-brahmana (the Story of &unah- 
sepha) . . . . . . .408 

On the Character of Human Sacrifices . . .419 

Extract from the atapatha-brahmana (the Story of Janaka) 421 
Extract from the Aitareya-brahmana (the Story of Nabha- 
nedishtha) . . . . . .423 

Extract from the 6atapatha-brahmana (the Story of the 
Deluge) . . . . . . .425 

The Mimansa Method of discussion in the Brahmanas . 427 

What is presupposed by the Brahmanas ? . . . 428 

The Threefold Division of the Ceremonial completed before 
the Brahmanas ...... 430 

The Vedic Hymns misinterpreted .... 432 

Duration of the Brahmana period .... 435 

Lists of Teachers ...... 435 

The Gopatha-brahmana ..... 445 



Its Character . . . . . . 456 

The Rig-veda-sanhita, the only Document in which it can be 

studied . . . . . . 457 

Difference between the Rig-veda-sanhita. and the other 

Sanhitas . . . . . . . - . 457 




Sayana's Remarks on this point .... 458 

Principles of collection followed in the Rig-veda-sanhita . 468 
The order of the Hymns according to the Deities . . 46 1 

The Apri Hymn3 . . . . . 463 

Traces of Priestly influence in the Rig-veda-sanhita . 467 

Was the Rig-veda-sanhita collected for the benefit of the 
Brahman priests? ..... 468 

The Offices of the Four Classes of Priests . . .468 

The Adhvaryu Priests . . . . .471 

The Udgatri Priests . . . . .472 

The Hotri Priests . . . . . .473 

The Brahman Priests ..... 475 

The Rig-veda-sanhita, not intended for any Class of Priests . 477 
Old Hymns collected during the Mantra period . . 477 

New Hymns composed during the Mantra period . . 478 

Distinction between ancient and modern Hymns . . 480 

Allusions to the Ceremonial .... 484 

The Purohitas . . . . . .485 

The Professional Priests ..... 489 

The Natural Sacrifices ..... 490 

The Artificial Sacrifices . . . . .491 

The Panegyrics or Danastutis .... 493 

Satirical Hymn ...... 494 

The Character of the Mantra period . . . 496 

The introduction of Writing, an epoch in the History of San- 
skrit Literature ...... 497 



Character of the Chhandas period 

Antecedent Elements 

Specimens of primitive Vedic Poetry 

Hymn to the Visve Devas . 

Gods invoked collectively 

Each God conceived as supreme 

Hymn to Varuna . . 

Moral Truths 

The primary Elements of Religion 

Hymn to Varuna 




Law and Mercy 


The Conception of Sin and Forgiven 

ess . 540 

Hymn to Indra 

. 542 

Hymns to Agni 

. 547 

Hymn to Ushas 

. 551 

Modern Hymns . 

. 552 

Hymn to the Horse . 

. 553 

Philosophical Hymns 

. 556 

The idea of one God 

. 558 

The idea of a Creation 

. 559 

Antiquity of Philosophy 

. 564 

Hymn to the Supreme God 

. 569 

Date of the Chhandas Period 

. 570 

Appendix. The Story of Sunahsepl 

ha 573 


. 589 


Full seventy years have passed since Sir William 
Jones published his translation of Sakuntala \ a work 
which may fairly be considered as the starting point 
of Sanskrit philology. The first appearance of this 
beautiful specimen of dramatic art created at the 
time a sensation throughout Europe, and the most 
rapturous praise was bestowed upon it by men of 
high authority in matters of taste. 2 At the same 
time the attention of the historian, the philologist, 
and the philosopher was roused to the fact that 

1 " Sacontala or the Fatal Ring, an Indian drama, translated 
from the original Sanskrit and Prakrit. Calcutta, 1789." There 
have since appeared three editions of the Sanskrit text, and trans- 
lations in French, German, Italian, Danish, and Swedish. 

A new and very elegant English version has lately been published 
by Professor Williams. Hertford, 1856. 

2 Goethe was one of the greatest admirers of 6akuntala, as may 
be seen from the lines written in his Italian Travels at Naples, 
and from his well-known Epigram : 

" Willt Du die Bliithe des fruhen, die Friichte des spateren Jahres, 
Willt Du, was reizt und entziickt, willt Du was sattigt und nahrt, 
Willt Du den Himmel, die Erde mit einem Namen begreifen, 
Nenn ich, Sacontala, Dich, und so ist Alles gesagt." 

" Wilt thou the blossoms of spring and the fruits that are later in season, 
Wilt thou have charms and delights, wilt thou have strength and support, 
Wilt thou with one short word encompass the earth and the heaven, 
All is said if I name only, Sacontala, thee." 



a complete literature had been preserved in India, 
which promised to open a new leaf in the ancient 
history of mankind, and deserved to become the 
object of serious study. And although the en- 
thusiasm with which works like Sakuntala were at 
first received by all who took an interest in literary 
curiosities could scarcely be expected to last, the real 
and scientific interest excited by the language, the 
literature, the philosophy, and antiquities of India has 
lasted, and has been increasing ever since. England, 
France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, 
and Greece have each contributed their share towards 
the advancement of Sanskrit philology, and names like 
those of Sir W. Jones, Colebrooke, Wilson, in England, 
Burnouf in France, the two Schlegels, W. von Hum- 
boldt, Bopp, and Lassen, in Germany, have secured 
to this branch of modern scholarship a firm standing 
and a universal reputation. The number of books 
that have been published by Sanskrit scholars in the 
course of the last seventy years is but small. 1 Those 
works, however, represent large and definite results, 
important not only in their bearing on Indian anti- 
quities, but, as giving birth to a new system of Com- 
parative Philology, of the highest possible importance 
to philology in general. 2 In little more than half a 

1 Professor Gildemeister in his most laborious and accurate 
work, " Bibliothecse SanscritaB Specimen, Bonnse, 1847," brings 
the number of books that have been published up to that time in 
Sanskrit philology to 803, exclusive of all works on Indian anti- 
quities and Comparative Philology. During the last twelve years 
that number has been considerably raised. 

2 Professor Lassen, in his work on Indian Antiquities, now in 
course of publication, is giving a resume of the combined labours 
of Indian philologists during the last seventy years, sifted critically 


century, Sanskrit has gained its proper place in the 
republic of learning, side by side with Greek and 
Latin. The privileges which these two languages 
enjoy in the educational system of modern Europe 
will scarcely ever be shared by Sanskrit. But no one 
who wishes to acquire a thorough knowledge of these 
or any other of the Indo-European languages, no 
one who takes an interest in the philosophy and the 
historical growth of human speech, no one who 
desires to study the history of that branch of man- 
kind to which we ourselves belong, and to discover in 
the first germs of the language, religion, and my- 
thology of our forefathers, the wisdom of Him who is 
not the God of the Jews only, can, for the future, 
dispense with some knowledge of the language and 
ancient literature of India. 

And yet Indian philology is still in its infancy, and 
the difficulties with which it has had to contend have 
been great, much greater, indeed, than those which 
lay in the way of Greek philology after its revival in 
the fifteenth century. Seventy years after the fall of 
Constantinople, the classical works of Greek literature 
were not only studied from manuscripts: they had 
been edited and printed. There were men like 
Keuchlin, Erasmus, and Melanchthon, who had inves- 
tigated the most important documents in the different 
periods of Greek literature, and possessed a general 
knowledge of the historical growth of the Greek 

and arranged scientifically by a man of the most extensive learning, 
and of the soundest principles of criticism. His work may indeed 
be considered as bringing to its conclusion an important period of 
Sanskrit philology, which had taken its beginning with Sir W. 
Jones's translation of 6akuntala. Indische Alterthums-Kunde, 
von Christian Lassen. Bonn, 1847 1858. 

b 2 


mind. Learned Greeks who were taking refuge in 
the west of Europe, particularly in Italy, had brought 
with them a sufficient knowledge to teach their lan- 
guage and literature ; and they were able and ready 
to guide the studies of those who were afterwards to 
contribute to the revival of classical learning in 
Europe. Men began where they ought to begin, 
namely, with Homer, Herodotus, and Thucydides, and 
not with Anacreontic poetry or Neo-Platonist philo- 
sophy. But when our earliest Sanskrit scholars 
directed their attention to Indian literature, the dif- 
ficulties they had to struggle with were far greater. 
Not to mention the burning and enervating sky of 
India, and the burden of their official occupations, 
men like Halhed, Wilkins, and Sir W. Jones could 
hardly find a single Brahman who would undertake 
to teach them his sacred idiom. When, after some 
time, learned Pandits became more willing to impart 
their knowledge to Europeans, their own views of 
Indian history and literature were more apt to mislead 
their pupils than to guide them, in a truly historical 
direction. Thus it happened that, at the beginning 
of Sanskrit philology, preference was given either to 
works which still enjoyed amongst the Hindus them- 
selves a great, but frequently undeserved, popularity, 
or to those which by their poetical beauty attracted 
the attention of men of taste. Everything Indian, 
whether Manu's Code of Laws, the Bhagavadgita, 
Sakuntala, or the Hitopadesa, was at that time con- 
sidered to be of great and extravagant antiquity, and 
it was extremely difficult for European scholars to 
form a right opinion on the real merits of Indian 
literature. The literary specimens received from 
India were generally fragments only of larger works : 


or, if not, they had been chosen so indiscriminately 
from different and widely distant periods, that it was 
impossible to derive from them an adequate know- 
ledge of the rise and fall of the national literature of 

Herder, in other respects an excellent judge of 
ancient national poetry, committed himself to some 
extraordinary remarks on Indian literature. In his 
criticism on oakuntala, written in the form of letters 
to a friend, he says : " Do you not wish with me, 
that instead of these endless religious books of the 
Vedas, Upavedas, and Upangas, they would give us 
the more useful and more agreeable works of the 
Indians, and especially their best poetry of every 
kind ? It is here the mind and character of a nation 
is best brought to life before us, and I gladly admit, 
that I have received a truer and more real notion of 
the manner of thinking among the ancient Indians 
from this one Sakuntala, than from all their Upnekats 
and Bagavedams." 1 The fact is that at that time 
Herder's view on the endless religious books of the 
Vedas, could only have been formed from a wretched 
translation of the Bagavedam, as he calls it, that 
is, the Bh&gavatapur&na, a Sanskrit work composed 
as many centuries after as the Vedas were before 
Christ ; or from the Ezour-vedam, a very coarse for- 
gery, if, indeed, it was intended as such, written, as 
it appears, by a native servant, for the use of the 
famous Jesuit missionary in India, Roberto de No- 
bilibus. 2 

1 Herder's Schriften, vol. ix. p. 226, Zur schonen Literatur und 
Kunst. Tubingen, 1807. 

2 Cf. Account of a Discovery of a Modern Imitation of the 

B 3 


Even at a much later time, men who possessed the 
true tact of an historian, like Niebuhr, have abstained 
from passing sentence on the history of a nation 
whose literature had only just been recovered, and 
had not yet passed through the ordeal of philological 
criticism. In his Lectures on Ancient History, 
Niebuhr leaves a place open for India, to be filled up 
when the pure metal of history should have been 
extracted from the ore of Brahmanic exaggeration 
and superstition. 

Other historians, however, thought they could do 
what Niebuhr had left undone; and after perusing 
some poems of Kalidasa, some fables of the Hitopadesa, 
some verses of the Ananda-lahari, or the mystic poetry 
of the Bhagavadgita, they gave, with the aid of Mega- 
sthenes and Apollonius of Tyana, a so-called historical 
account of the Indian nation, without being aware 
that they were using as contemporary witnesses, 
authors as distant from each other as Dante and 
Virgil. No nation has, in this respect, been more 
unjustly treated than the Indian. Not only have 
general conclusions been drawn from the most scanty 
materials, but the most questionable and spurious 
authorities have been employed without the least 
historical investigation or the exercise of that critical 
ingenuity, which, from its peculiar character, Indian 
literature requires more than any other. 1 

Vedas, with Remarks on the genuine works, by Fr. Ellis ; Asiatic 
Researches, xiv. p. 1 59: Calcutta, 1822. 

1 Professor H. H. Wilson, in the preface to his translation of 
the Vishnu-Purana, remarks : " It is the boast of inductive philo- 
sophy t'lat it draws its conclusions from the careful observation 
and accumulation of facts; and it is equally the business of all 
philosophical research to determine its facts before it ventures 


There is another circumstance which has retarded 
the progress of Sanskrit philology : an affectation of 
that learned pedantry which has done so much mis- 
chief to Greek and Latin scholarship. We have much 
to learn, no doubt, from classical scholars, and nothing 
can be a better preparation for a Sanskrit student 
than to have passed through the school of a Bentley 
or a Hermann. But in Greek and Latin scholarship 
the distinction between useful and useless knowledge 
has almost disappeared, and the real objects of the 
study of these ancient languages have been well nigh 
forgotten. More than half of the publications of clas- 
sical scholars have tended only to impede our access 
to the master- works of the ancients ; and a sanction 
has been given to a kind of learning, which, however 
creditable to the individual, is of no benefit to the 
public at large. A similar spirit has infected Sanskrit 
philology. Sanskrit texts have been edited, on which 
no rational man ought to waste his time. Essays 
have been written on subjects on which it is folly to 
be wise. These remarks are not intended to disparage 
critical scholarship or to depreciate the results which 
have been obtained by minute and abstruse erudition. 
But scholars who devote all their time to critical nice- 
ties and recondite subtleties are apt to forget that 
these are but accessories. Knowledge which has no 
object beyond itself is, in most cases, but a pretext 
for vanity. It is so easy, even for the most superfi- 

upon speculation. This procedure has not been observed in the 
investigation of the mythology and traditions of the Hindus. 
Impatience to generalise has availed itself greedily of whatever 
promised to afford materials for generalisation ; and the most erro- 
neous views have been confidently advocated, because the guides 
to which their authors trusted were ignorant or insufficient." 

b 4 


cial scholar, to bring together a vast mass of informa- 
tion, bearing more or less remotely on questions of no 
importance whatsoever. The test of a true scholar is 
to be able to find out what is really important, to 
state with precision and clearness the results of long 
and tedious researches, and to suppress altogether lu- 
cubrations, which, though they might display the 
laboriousness of the writer, would but encumber his 
subject with needless difficulty. 

The object and aim of philology, in its highest 
sense, is but one, to learn what man is, by learning 
what man has been. With this principle for our 
pole-star, we shall never lose ourselves, though en- 
gaged in the most minute and abstruse inquiries. 
Our own studies may seemingly refer to matters that 
are but secondary and preparatory, to the clearance, 
so to say, of the rubbish which passing ages have left 
on the monuments of the human mind. But we shall 
never mistake that rubbish for the monuments which 
it covers. And if, after years of tiresome labour, we 
do not arrive at the results which we expected, if 
we find but spurious and unimportant fabrications of 
individuals, where we thought to place ourselves face 
to face with the heroes of an ancient world, and 
among ruins that should teach us the lessons of former 
ages, we need not be discouraged nor ashamed, for 
in true science even a disappointment is a result. 

If, then, it is the aim of Sanskrit philology to sup- 
ply one of the earliest and most important links in 
the history of mankind, we must go to work histo- 
rically; that is, we must begin, as far as Ave can, with 
the beginning, and then trace gradually the growth 
of the Indian mind, in its various manifestations, as 
far as the remaining literary monuments allow us to 


follow this course. What has been said with regard 
to philosophy, that " we must acquire a knowledge of 
the beginning and first principles, because then we 
say that we understand any thing when we believe 
we know its real beginnings," applies with equal force 
to history. Now every one acquainted with Indian 
literature, must have observed how impossible it is to 
open any book on Indian subjects without being 
thrown back upon an earlier authority, which is ge- 
nerally acknowledged by the Indians as the basis of 
all their knowledge, whether sacred or profane. This 
earlier authority, which we find alluded to in theolo- 
gical and philosophical works, as well as in poetry, in 
codes of law, in astronomical, grammatical, metri- 
cal, and lexicographic compositions, is called by one 
comprehensive name, the Veda. 

It is with the Yeda, therefore, that Indian philo- 
logy ought to begin if it is to follow a natural and 
historical course. So great an influence has the Vedic 
age (the historical period to which we are justified 
in referring the formation of the sacred texts) exer- 
cised upon all succeeding periods of Indian history, 
so closely is every branch of literature connected with 
Vedic traditions, so deeply have the religious and moral 
ideas of that primitive era taken root in the mind of 
the Indian nation, so minutely has almost every private 
and public act of Indian life been regulated by old 
traditionary precepts, that it is impossible to find the 
right point of view for judging of Indian religion, 
morals, and literature without a knowledge of the 
literary remains of the Vedic age. No one could 
fairly say that those men who first began to study 
Sanskrit, now seventy years ago, ought to have begun 
with reading the Veda. The difficulties connected 


with the study of the Veda would have made such a 
course utterly impossible and useless. But since the 
combined labours of Sanskrit scholars have now ren- 
dered the study of that language of more easy access, 
since the terminology of Indian grammarians and 
commentators, which not long ago was considered un- 
intelligible, has become more familiar to us, and manu- 
scripts can be more readily procured at the principal 
public libraries of Europe, Sanskrit philology has no 
longer an excuse for ignoring the Vedic age. 

It might be inferred from the very variety of sub- 
jects upon which, as has been just observed, the Veda 
is quoted as the last and highest authority, that by 
Veda must be understood something more than a 
single work. It would be, indeed, much nearer the 
truth to take " Veda" as a collective name for the 
sacred literature of the Vedic age, which forms, so to 
speak, the background of the whole Indian world. 
Many of the works which belonged to that period of 
literature have been irrecoverably lost. With regard 
to many of them, though their existence cannot be 
doubted, it is even uncertain whether they were ever 
committed to writing. A large number, however, of 
Vedic works does still exist ; and it will require 
many years before they can be edited together with 
their commentaries. Till then it will be impossible 
to arrive at definite results on many questions con- 
nected with Vedic literature, and it would not be safe 
to take a comprehensive view of the whole Vedic age 
before all the sources have been exhausted from 
which its history and character can be studied. 
Nothing could be farther from the purpose of this 
historical essay than to attempt anything of this kind 
at present. What I have to offer are but Prolego- 


mena to the Veda, or treatises on some preliminary 
questions connected with the history of the Vedic 
age. There are points which can be settled with 
complete certainty, though it may be impossible to 
bring, as yet, the whole weight of evidence to bear 
upon them ; and the general question as to the au- 
thenticity, the antiquity, and the different periods of 
Vedic literature, ought to be answered even before 
beginning an edition of Vedic works. Again, there 
are many questions of special interest for Sanskrit 
literature, in which even now, with the materials 
that have been published, and with the help of manu- 
scripts that are accessible in the public libraries of 
Europe, it is possible to arrive at certain results; 
while other points are such that even after the com- 
plete publication of all Vedic texts and commentaries, 
they will remain open to different views, and will 
necessarily become the subject of literary discussions. 
The principal object of the following essays will be to 
put the antiquity of the Veda in its proper light. By 
antiquity, however, is meant, not only the chrono- 
logical distance of the Vedic age from our own, mea- 
sured by the revolutions and the progress of the 
heavenly bodies, but also and still more, the distance 
between the intellectual, moral, and religious state of 
men as represented to us during the Vedic age, com- 
pared with that of other periods of history, a dis- 
tance which can only be measured by the revolutions 
and the progress of the human mind. 

No one who is at all acquainted with the position 
which India occupies in the history of the world, would 
expect to find many synchronisms between the his- 
tory of the Brahmans and that of other nations before 
the date of the origin of Buddhism in India. Al- 


though the Brahmans of India belong to the same 
family, the Aryan or Indo-European family, which 
civilised the whole of Europe, the two great branches 
of that primitive race were kept asunder for centuries 
after their first separation. The main stream of the 
Aryan nations has always flowed towards the north- 
west. No historian can tell us by what impulse 
those adventurous Nomads were driven on through 
Asia towards the isles and shores of Europe. The 
first start of this world-wide migration belongs to a 
period far beyond the reach of documentary history ; 
to times when the soil of Europe had not been trodden 
by either Celts, Germans, Slavonians, Romans, or 
Greeks. But whatever it was, the impulse was as 
irresistible as the spell which, in our own times, sends 
the Celtic tribes towards the prairies or the regions 
of gold across the Atlantic. It requires a strong will, 
or a great amount of inertness, to be able to withstand 
the impetus of such national, or rather ethnical move- 
ments. Few will stay behind when all are going. 
But to let one's friends depart, and then to set out 
ourselves to take a road which, lead where it may, 
can never lead us to join those again who speak our 
language and worship our gods is a course which 
only men of strong individuality and great self-de- 
pendence are capable of pursuing. It was the course 
adopted by the southern branch of the Aryan family, 
the Brahmanic Aryas of India and the Zoroastrians 
of Iran. 

At the first dawn of traditional history we see 
these Aryan tribes migrating across the snow of the 
Himalaya southward toward the " Seven Rivers " 
(the Indus, the five rivers of the Panjab and the 
Sarasvati), and ever since India has been called their 


home. That before that time they had been living 
in more northern regions, within the same precincts 
with the ancestors of the Greeks, the Italians, Slavo- 
nians, Germans, and Celts, is a fact as firmly esta- 
blished as that the Normans of William the Conqueror 
were the Northmen of Scandinavia. The evidence of 
language is irrefragable, and it is the only evidence 
worth listening to with regard to ante-historical 
periods. It would have been next to impossible to 
discover any traces of relationship between the 
swarthy natives of India and their conquerors, 
whether Alexander or Clive, but for the testimony 
borne by language. What other evidence could have 
reached back to times when Greece was not peopled 
by Greeks, nor India by Hindus ? Yet these are the 
times of which we are speaking. W^hat authority 
would have been strong enough to persuade the 
Grecian army, that their gods and their hero ancestors 
were the same as those of King Porus, or to convince 
the English soldier that the same blood was running 
in his veins and in the veins of the dark Bengalese ? 
And yet there is not an English jury now a days, 
which, after examining the hoary documents of lan- 
guage; would reject the claim of a common descent 
and a legitimate relationship between Hindu, Greek, 
and Teuton. Many words still live in India and 
in England, that have witnessed the first separation of 
the northern and southern Aryans, and these are 
witnesses not to be shaken by crpss-examination. 
The terms for God, for house, for father, mother, son, 
daughter, for dog and cow, for heart and tears, for 
axe and tree, identical in all the Indo-European 
idioms, are like the watchwords of soldiers. We 
challenge the seeming stranger; and whether he 


answer with the lips of a Greek, a German, or an 
Indian, we recognise him as one of ourselves. Though 
the historian may shake his head, though the physio- 
logist may doubt, and the poet scorn the idea, all 
must yield before the facts furnished by language. 
There was a time when the ancestors of the Celts, the 
Germans, the Slavonians, the Greeks, and Italians, 
the Persians, and Hindus, were living together with- 
in the same fences, separate from the ancestors of 
the Semitic and Turanian races. 

It is more difficult to prove that the Hindu was 
the last to leave this common home, that he saw his 
brothers all depart towards the setting sun, and that 
then, turning towards the south and the east, he 
started alone in search of a new world. But as in 
his language and in his grammar he has preserved 
something of what seems peculiar to each of the 
northern dialects singly, as he agrees with the Greek 
and the German where the Greek and the German 
seem to differ from all the rest, and as no other lan- 
guage has carried off so large a share of the common 
Aryan heirloom whether roots, grammar, words, 
myth\s, or legends it is natural to suppose that, 
though perhaps the eldest brother, the Hindu was 
the last to leave the central home of the Aryan 

The Aryan nations who pursued a north-westerly 
direction, stand before us in history as the principal 
nations of north-western Asia and Europe. They 
have been the prominent actors in the great drama of 
history, and have carried to their fullest growth all 
the elements of active life with which our nature is 
endowed. They have perfected society and morals, 
and we learn from their literature and works of art 


the elements of science, the laws of art, and the 
principles of philosophy. In continual struggle with 
each other and with Semitic and Turanian races, these 
Aryan nations have become the rulers of history, and 
it seems to be their mission to link all parts of the 
world together by the chains of civilisation, com- 
merce, and religion. In a word, they represent the 
Aryan man in his historical character. 

But while most of the members of the Aryan family 
followed this glorious path, the southern tribes were 
slowly migrating towards the mountains which gird 
the north of India. After crossing the narrow passes 
of the Hindukush or the Himalaya, they conquered 
or drove before them, as it seems without much 
effort, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Trans-Hima- 
layan countries. They took for their guides the prin- 
cipal rivers of Northern India, and were led by them 
to new homes in their beautiful and fertile valleys. 
It seems as if the great mountains in the north had 
afterwards closed for centuries their Cyclopean gates 
against new immigrations, while, at the same time, 
the waves of the Indian Ocean kept watch over the 
southern borders of the peninsula. None of the great 
conquerors of antiquity Sesostris, Semiramis, Ne- 
buchadnezzar, or Cyrus, who waged a kind of half- 
nomadic warfare over Asia, Africa, and Europe, and 
whose names, traced in characters of blood, are still 
legible on the threshold of history 1 , disturbed the 

1 Thus Strabo says, xv. 1.6.: 'H/x7j> U rig av ditcala yevoiro 
nioTiQ nepl tojv "IvdiKoJv ek rfjg TOiavrrfg arpareiaQ rov Kvpov rj rfjg Se- 
[iipafxidog ; 2vva7ro0cuvrcu Sc 7ro> kcu Meyaadevrjg rw Xoyo) tovtu), 
keXevwv a.7ri(TTE~iv tcuq apyaiatg TTEpl 'IvSwv taTopiaig ' ovte yap Trap 
'IvSwv ew ffraXrjvai ttote ot par ih.v ovt iirE\QE~iv e,u)Qev koX Kparrjffai, 
Tr\r\v Ttjg /*0' 'HpatcXiovg ical Awvvcrov, fcai ttjq vvv \xeto. MaKE^ovojy. 


peaceful seats of these Aryan settlers. Left to them- 
selves in a world of their own, without a past, and 
without a future before them, they had nothing but 
themselves to ponder on. Struggles there must have 
been in India also. Old dynasties were destroyed, 
whole families annihilated, and new empires founded. 
Yet the inward life of the Hindu was not changed by 
these convulsions. His mind was like the lotus leaf 
after a shower of rain has passed over it ; his cha- 
racter remained the same, passive, meditative, quiet, 
and full of faith. 

The chief elements of discord amongst the peaceful 
inhabitants of this rich country were, the struggle 
for supremacy between the different classes of so- 
ciety, the subjugation of the uncivilised inhabitants, 
particularly in the south of India, and the pressure 
of the latest comers in the north upon the possessors 
of the more fertile countries in the south. 

These three struggles took place in India at an 
early period, and were sufficiently important to have 
called forth the active faculties of any but the Indian 

Ka/roi 2cru)ffrpiv fiEV tov Alyv-rrriov Kal TeapKwva tov AWloira Ewg 
'EvpunrTjQ TrpoiXQelv. Naj3oKohp6aopov $e tov irapa XaXdaioig ev- 
ZoKifit]aavTa 'UpatcXiovg fiaXXov Kal Etog "LTrjkibv kXaaat' fiE^pt. ^ v fy 
Sevpo Kal TeapKiova cKpiKeadat' ekeivov $e kuI ek rrjg 'Ifirjplag elg Trjv 
QpoiKrfv Kal tov Hovtov ciyayetv rrjv arpariav. 'iSavdvpoov ce tov 
2ikv6t}v iTTi^pafxelv rfjg 'Aaiag fiiyjpL AlyyirToV rrjg Se 'LvdiKrjg firfdiva 
tovtuv cu//ac0tt(. Kat 2iEfiipafiiv <T cnrodavElv Trpb rfjg E7ri-)^Eipr]a0jg. 
Ylipaag 3e fiiaQotyopovg fiEV ek rfjg 'IvdiKrjg f^ETa7^fl^pa(r^al"Yc*paKag^ 
ekeI $e fit) (TTparEvaai, d\\' kyyvg eXOeiv fiovov, fjviKa Kvpog ijXavvEV 
E7rl MaaaayiTag. With regard to the expeditions of Herakles and 
Dionysos, Strabo adds : Kat to. trspl 'HpaKXiovg Se Kal Autvvaov 
MEyaadEvyg /jlev fiET oXiyiov iriara //yetrat* t&v <T aXXwv oi TrXsiovg, 
utv e<ttl Kal 'JLpaToaQivrjg, aViara Kal /ivflai^?/, KadcnrEp /cat tcl irapa 
ro'tg "EXXrjcriv, k.t.X. Cf. Megasthenis Indica, ed. Schwanbeck. 
Bonnse, 1846. 


nation. In these struggles we may recognise almost 
the same elements by which the Greek character 
was perfected and matured. But how different 
have been the results upon the Indian mind ! The 
struggle for supremacy between the different classes, 
which in Greece ended with the downfall of the 
tyrannies and the rising of well- organised republics, 
has its counterpart in India in the extirpation of the 
Kshatriya race and the triumph of the Brahmans 
through Parasu-Rama. 1 

The second struggle, or the war against the un- 
civilised inhabitants of the South, is represented by 
the Indian poet of the Ramayana as the battle of a 
divine hero against evil spirits and uncouth giants. 
What this is to India, the war of Persia was to 
Greece ; the victory of patriotic valour over brute 
force. The Muses of Herodotus are the Ramayana 
of Hellas. 

In the third of these parallel struggles the contrast 
is no less striking. We follow, with a mournful 
interest, the narrative of international jealousies be- 
tween the different states of Greece ; we see how one 

1 " Parasu-Rama cleared the earth thrice seven times of the 
Kshatriya caste, and filled with their blood the five large lakes of 
Samanta-panchaka, from which he offered libations to the race of 
Bhrigu. Offering a solemn sacrifice to the king of the gods, 
Parasu-Rama presented the earth to the ministering priests. 
Having given the earth to Kasyapa, the hero of immeasurable 
prowess retired to the Mahendra mountain, where he still resides ; 
and in this manner was there enmity between him and the race 
of the Kshatriyas, and thus was the whole earth conquered by 
Parasu-Rama." (Vishnu-Purana, p. 403.) In the Mahabharata 
the earth is made to say, " The fathers and grandfathers of these 
Kshatriyas have been killed by the remorseless Rama in warfare 
on my account." 



tries to crush the power of the other, while all are 
preparing the common ruin of the country. But 
what characters are here presented to our analysis, 
what statesmanship, what eloquence, what bravery! 
In India the war of the Mahabharata was, perhaps, 
more bloody than the Peloponnesian war: but in 
the hands of the Brahmans the ancient epic has been 
changed into a didactic legend. 

Greece and India are, indeed, the two opposite 
poles in the historical development of the Aryan man. 
To the Greek, existence is full of life and reality ; to 
the Hindu it is a dream, an illusion. The Greek is 
at home where he is born ; all his energies belong to 
his country : he stands and falls with his party, and 
is ready to sacrifice even his life to the glory and 
independence of Hellas. The Hindu enters this world 
as a stranger ; all his thoughts are directed to another 
world ; he takes no part even where he is driven 
to act ; and when he sacrifices his life, it is but to be 
delivered from it. 

No wonder that a nation like the Indian cared so 
little for history ; no wonder that social and political 
virtues were little cultivated, and the ideas of the 
Useful and the Beautiful scarcely known to them. 
With all this, however, they had what the Greek was 
as little capable of imagining as they were of realising 
the elements of Grecian life. They shut their eyes 
to this world of outward seeming and activity, to 
open them full on the world of thought and rest. 
Their life was a yearning after eternity ; their activity 
a struggle to return into that divine essence from which 
this life seemed to have severed them. Believing as 
they did in a divine and really existing eternal Being 
(to ovTcog 6v), they could not believe in the existence 
of this passing world. If the one existed, the other 


could only seem to exist ; if they lived in the one, 
they could not live in the other. Their existence on 
earth was to them a problem, their eternal life a 
certainty. The highest object of their religion was 
to restore that bond 1 by which their own self (atman) 
was linked to the eternal Self (paramatman) ; to re- 
cover that unity which had been clouded and ob- 
scured by the magical illusions of reality, by the 
so-called Maya of creation. It scarcely entered their 
mind either to doubt or to affirm the immortality of 
the soul 2 , except in later times, and then only for 
philosophical and controversial purposes. 3 Not only 
their religion and literature, but their very language, 
reminded them daily of that relation between the real 

1 In one of the old hymns of the Rig-veda this thought seems to 
weigh upon the mind of the poet, when he says : 

*reT srwrefTr fHf^pfs ffr stffc* 3>^ft wftvx 

" Poets discovered in their heart, through meditation, the bond of 
the existing in the non-existing." Rv. x. 129. 4. 

2 In the Veda life after death is not frequently alluded to, and 
it is more for the goods of this world, for strength, long life, a 
large family, food, and cattle, that the favour of the gods is im- 
plored. One of the rewards for a pious life, however, consists in 
being admitted after death to the seat of the gods. Thus Kakshivan 
says, Rv. i. 125. 5.: "He who gives alms goes and stands on the 
highest place in heaven, he goes to the gods." Thus Dirghatamas 
(Rv. i. 150. 3.), after having rebuked those who are rich, and do 
not give alms, nor worship the gods, exclaims, " The kind mortal, 
O Sage, is greater than the great in heaven ; let us worship thee, 
O Agni, for ever and ever!" 

3 The technical term " pretyabhava," which occurs so frequently 
in Indian philosophy, and has generally been rendered by " con- 
dition of the soul after death," means really the state in which we 
are while living on earth. Our present life, according to Indian 
notions, is " bhava," birth and growth, " pretya," after a previous 

c 2 

20 ATMAN. 

and the seeming world. The word dtman, for instance, 
which in the Veda occurs often as tman, means life, 
particularly animal life. Thus we read, Rv. i. 63. 8., 
" Increase, bright Indra ! this our manifold food, 
like water all over the earth ; by which, Hero ! thou 
givest us life, like sap, to move every where." Here 
tman means the vital principle, and is compared with 
the juice that circulates in plants. In another hymn, 
addressed to the horse which is to be sacrificed (Rv. 
i. 162. 20.), the poet says, " Ma tva tapat priya atma- 
piyantam," literally, " Let not thy dear self burn or 
afflict thee as thou approachest the sacrifice." Here 
priya dtmd corresponds to the Greek <pl\ov ^rop. But 
we find dtman used, also, in a higher sense in the Veda. 
For instance, Rv. i. 115. 1., " Surya atm& jagatas 
tasthushas cha:" " the sun is the soul of all that 
moves and rests." l Most frequently, however, tman 
and dtman are employed for self, just as we say, My 
soul praises, rejoices, for I praise, I myself rejoice. 
This is the most usual signification of dtman in the 
later Sanskrit, where it is used like a pronoun. Yet 
dtman means there also the soul of the universe, the 
highest soul or Self (paramatman) of which all other 

1 In the same sense the sun is called jivo asuh, " the vital 
spirit," cf. Rv. i. 113. 16.: 

" Rise ! our life, our spirit, came ; the darkness went off; the light 
approaches!" Rv. ii. 3. 14. : 

#r tt^ to*? ^t^tot^ot^^ ^wt firofifi 

" Who has seen the first born, when he who has no bones (t. e, 
form) bore him who had bones ? Where was the life, the 
blood, the soul (self) of the world ? Who went to ask this 
from any that knew it ? " 

ATMAN. 21 

souls partake, from which all reality in this created 
world emanates, and into which every thing will re- 
turn. Thus a Hindu speaking of himself (atman) 
spoke also, though unconsciously, of the soul of the 
universe (atman) ; and to know himself was to him to 
know both his own self and the universal Self, or to 
know himself in the divine Self. The Sanskrit, " at- 
manam atmana pasya," " see (thy) self by (thy) 
self," had a deeper signification than the Greek yva>0L 
o-eavTov 1 , because it has not only a moral, but also a 

1 It is difficult to find a satisfactory etymology for atma (nomin.), 
particularly in its older, and possibly more original, form, tma. 
Bopp (Comp. Grammar, i. 140.) says, "if atmd stand for ahma, 
and be derived from a lost root, ah, to think (when it must be re- 
membered that the root nah also changes its final h sometimes into 
t, upanah and upanat), it might be compared with the Gothic 
ahma, soul." This root, ah, is afterwards traced by Bopp in the 
Sanskrit aha, "he said;" and he observes that to speak and to 
think are in the Indo-European languages sometimes expressed by 
one and the same word. The last observation, however, is not 
quite proved by the example taken by Bopp from the Zend, man- 
thra, speech. For although the Sanskrit mantra is derived from 
man, to think, it receives its causal meaning by the termination 
tra, and has therefore the signification of prayer, hymn, advice, 
speech (i. e. what makes us think). If atma, come from a root ah, 
the meaning of this root is more likely that of breathing, which 
would account for Gothic ahma {tzvev^xo), as well as for Sanskrit 
aha, Greek r) and nyjo, Latin ajo and nego, and similar words. If 
we derive atmd, spirit, soul, self, from this root ah, we may also 
derive from it a-ham, I (cuneiform inscript. adam, ego, !yu>, ich). 
But there always remains a difficulty as regards the elision of a in 
the old Vedic form tma, instead of atma, and the Zend thma- 
nangh, which, according to Prof. Burnouf's conjecture, is the 
Sansk. tmanas (Commentaire sur le Yasna, p. 509.) ; a diffi- 
culty which neither European etymologists (Pott, Etymologische 
Forschungen, i. 196.; Benfey, Griechisches Wurzellexicon, i. 265.) 
nor Indian A.unadik scholars (Unadi Sutras, 4. 152.) have yet 

c 3 

22 yajnavalkya and maitr^yI. 

metaphysical meaning. How largely this idea of the 
Atman, as the Divine Spirit, entered into the early 
religious and philosophical speculations of the Indians, 
may be seen from the following dialogue between 
Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi, which forms part of the 

"Maitreyi 1 ," sa id Yajnavalkya, "I am going away 
from this my house (into the forest). Forsooth, I 
must make a settlement between thee and my other 
wife Katyayani." 

Maitreyi said, " My Lord, if this whole earth full 
of wealth belonged to me, should I be immortal by 

" No," replied Yajnavalkya; "like the happy life 
of rich people will be thy life. But there is no hope 
of immortality by wealth." 

And Maitreyi said, " What should I do with that 
by which I do not become immortal? What my 
Lord knoweth (of immortality) may he tell that to 

Yajnavalkya replied, " Thou, who art truly dear 
to me 2 , thou speakest dear words. Sit down, I will 
explain it to thee, and listen well to what I say." 
And he said, "A husband is loved, not because you 
love the husband, but because you love (in him) the 

1 Brihadaranyaka, 2d Adhyaya, 4th Brahmana, p. 28. edit. 
Poley ; 4th Prapathaka, 4th Brahmana, p. 444. edit. Roer. 

2 Instead of fjfsn" ejrjl^ W* Writ Dr. Poley reads fjfcjT- 
c|fti^ H ^nff which he may have meant for "thou Avatar, 

or incarnation of our love." Not to speak, however, of the gram- 
matics 1 difficulties of this construction, the Commentary leaves no 

doubt that we ought to read, flf^TT (^TT) ^7f (TW^^f" 


Divine Spirit (at ma, the absolute Self). A wife is 
loved, not because we love the wife, but because we 
love (in her) the Divine Spirit. Children are loved, 
not because we love the children, but because we love 
the Divine Spirit in them. This spirit it is which we 
love when we (seem to) love wealth, Brahmans, 
Kshatriyas, this world, the gods, all beings, this uni- 
verse. The Divine Spirit, beloved wife, is to be 
seen, to be heard, to be perceived, and to be medi- 
tated upon. If we see, hear, perceive, and know 
him, Maitreyi, then this whole universe is known 
to us." 

" Whosoever looks for Brahmahood elsewhere than 
in the Divine Spirit, should be abandoned by the 
Brahmans. Whosoever looks for the Kshatra-power 
elsewhere than in the Divine Spirit, should be aban- 
doned by the Kshatras. Whosoever looks for this 
world, for the gods, for all beings, for this universe, 
elsewhere than in the Divine Spirit, should be aban- 
doned by them all. This Brahmahood, this Kshatra- 
power, this world, these gods, these beings, this uni- 
verse, all is the Divine Spirit." 

" Now, as we cannot seize the sounds of a drum 
externally by themselves, but seize the sound by seizing 
the drum, or the beating of it, as we cannot seize 
the sounds of a conch-shell by themselves, but seize 
the sound by seizing the conch-shell, or the shell- 
blower, as we cannot seize the sounds of a lute by 
themselves, but seize the sound by seizing the lute, 
or the lutanist, so is it with the Divine Spirit." 

11 As clouds of smoke rise out of a fire kindled 
with dry fuel, thus, Maitreyi, have all the holy 
words been breathed out of that Great Being." 

" As all the waters find their centre in the sea, 

c 4 


so all sensations find their centre in the skin, all 
tastes in the tongue, all smells in the nose, all colours 
in the eye, all sounds in the ear, all thoughts in the 
mind, all knowledge in the heart, all actions in the 
hands, and all the Holy Scriptures in speech." 

"It is with us, when we enter into the Divine 
Spirit, as if a lump of salt was thrown into the sea ; it 
becomes dissolved into the water (from which it was 
produced), and is not to be taken out again. But 
wherever you take the water and taste it, it is salt. 
Thus is this great, endless, and boundless Being but 
one mass of knowledge. As the water becomes salt, 
and the salt becomes water again, thus has the Divine 
Spirit appeared from out the elements and disappears 
again into them. When we have passed away, there 
is no longer any name. This, I tell thee, my wife," 
said Yajnavalkya. 

Maitreyi said, " My Lord, here thou hast bewildered 
me, saying that there is no longer any name when we 
have passed away." 

And Yajnavalkya replied, " My wife, what I say is 
not bewildering, it is sufficient for the highest know- 
ledge. For if there be as it were two beings, then 
the one sees the other, the one hears, perceives, and 
knows the other. But if the one Divine Self be the 
whole of all this, whom or through whom should he 
see, hear, perceive, or know ? How should he know 
(himself), by whom he knows every thing (himself) ? 
How, my wife, should he know (himself) the 
knower? 1 Thus thou hast been taught, Maitreyi; 

1 This last sentence is taken from the fifth Brahmana of the 
fourth Adhyaya, where the same story is told again with slight 
modifications and additions. 


this is immortality." Having said this Yajnavalkya 
left his wife for ever, and went into the solitude of 
the forests. 

It must be observed that the work from which this 
dialogue is taken belongs to a later period of Vedic 
literature. In the earlier times which are represented 
to us in the hymns of the Veda, these mystic ten- 
dencies are not yet so strongly developed. In the 
songs of the Rig-veda we find but little of philosophy, 
but we do occasionally meet with wars of kings, with 
rivalries of ministers, with triumphs and defeats, with 
war-songs and imprecations. The active side of life 
is still prominent in the genuine poetry of the Rishis, 
and there still exists a certain equilibrium between 
the two scales of human nature. It is only after 
the Aryan tribes had advanced southward, and taken 
quiet possession of the rich plains and beautiful groves 
of Central India, that they seem to have turned all their 
energies and thoughts from the world without them 
to that more wonderful nature which they perceived 

Such was their state when the Greeks first became 
acquainted with them after the discovery of India 
by Alexander. What did these men, according to 
Megasthenes, most think and speak about ? Their 
most frequent conversations, he says, were about life 
and death. This life they considered as the life of an 
embryo in the womb ; but death as the birth to a real 
and happy life for those who had thought, and had 
prepared themselves to be ready to die. 1 Good and 

1 Strabo, XV. 59. : HXeicrrovQ h' avroig elvai \6yovg 7rep\ tov 
Savarov' vo[j.ieiv yap Srj tov fiev kvdaZe @iov ojq av a.K/Ai)v Kvofiivwv 
elvai' tov he Savarov yeveaiv elg tov ovtwq (d'lov kol tov evcalfiova 
toIq <pi\ooo(p7i<Ta(ri ' Sio Trj uaKi)aet TrXttorp ^prjadcu irpog to Itoi^.0' 


bad was nothing to them ; not that they denied the 
distinction between good and bad in a moral sense. 
They recognised law and virtue, as we see in their 
sacred poetry 1 , as well as in their codes of law. But 
they denied that anything that happened to men in 
this life could be called either good or bad, and they 
maintained that philosophy consisted in removing the 
affections of pleasure as well as of pain. Liking pain 
and hating pleasure was what they considered the 
highest state of indifference that man could arrive at. 2 

Oavarov. " Nay, for aught we know of ourselves, of our present 
life, and of death ; death may immediately, in the natural course 
of things, put us into a higher and more enlarged state of life, as 
our birth does." Bishop Butler. 

1 The notion of sin is clearly expressed, for instance, in a song 
of Gritsamada's (Rv. ii. 28. 5.) : 

" Deliver me from sin, as from a rope ; let us obtain thy path of 
righteousness. May the thread not be torn while I am 
weaving my prayer ; may the form of my pious work not decay 
before its season. 

" Varuna, take all fear away from me; be kind to me, O just 
king! Take away my sin like a rope from a calf; for afar 1 
from thee 1 am not the master even of a twinkling of the 

And again, Rv. ii. 29. 1. : 

" You quick Adityas, ye who never fail in your works, carry 
aw~y from me all sin, as a woman does who has given birth 
to a child in secret." 

2 Strabo, XV. 59.: 'Ayadov c>, r/ kci/coj', fxrjhey elvcu rwv ovfxfiai- 


We are told by the same author that the Indians 
did not communicate their metaphysical doctrines to 
women ; thinking that, if their wives understood these 
doctrines, and learned to be indifferent to* pleasure 
and pain, and to consider life and death as the same, 
they would no longer continue to be the slaves of 
others: or, if they failed to understand them, they 
would be talkative, and communicate their knowledge 
to those who had no right to it. This statement of 
the Greek author is fully borne out by the later 
Sanskrit authorities. We find, for instance, in the 
ceremonial Sutras (srauta and grihya-sutras), that 
women were not allowed to learn the sacred songs 
of the Yedas, the knowledge of which constituted 
one of the principal requirements for a Brahman 
before he was admitted to the performance of the 
sacrifices. Indeed, the whole education of a Brah- 
man consisted in learning the old sacred literature 
by heart, and many years were spent for this purpose 
by every Brahmach&rin in the house and under the 
severe discipline of his Guru, or of an Acharya. As 
it was necessary 1 , however, for a husband to perform 

vovtojv avdpd)7roLS' ov yap av Tolg avrolg Tovg jxev ayQetxQai, rovg de 
"Xaipeiv, kvvKViw^EiQ viroXri^Eig t^ovrac, Kal tovq aWovg roig avrolg 
tote }xev a^8e<r0at, tote b* av "^aipEiv fj.ETaj3aXXofxipovg. Ibid. xv. 
65. i Ta yovv Xe^0vra Elg tovt* E<prj ovvteiveiv, wg e'it) \6yog dptarog 
og rfiovijv Kal Xvirriv \pv\fjg a.(f>aiprj(TETai* Kal on Xinrr) Kal irovog 
ZiatyipEi' to fxkv yap TroXifxiov, to Se <plXov avroig* to. ce trw/xara 
cLffKOvcn Trpog irovoVf Xv ai yva> pwvvvotvTO, d^' wv Kal ordccic; 
TravoiEPf Kal avfj,j3ovXoi ira<nv dya0wv TrapEiE v, Kal kolvt} Kal iSia. 

1 Sayana, in his commentary on the Rig-veda, i. 131. 3., ex- 
plaining the words f% ^J 7\7F3 f*{V5Hl ^Rl^t " Couples 

wishing for protection have magnified thee, O Indra!" quotes 
passages from the Brahmanas, the Sutras, and the Smritis, in 


sacrifices together with his lawful wife, and as pas- 
sages of the hymns 1 , as well as of the Brahmanas, 
speak clearly of man and wife as performing sacrifices 
in common, it was laid down in the Sutras that the 
husband or the priest should, at the sacrifice itself, 
make his wife recite those hymns which were neces- 
sary for the ceremony. But although women were 
thus allowed to participate in the sacrifices of their 
husbands, they were not initiated, still less were they 
admitted to the highest knowledge, the knowledge of 
the Atman or the Brahman. 2 Cases like that of 
Maitreyi were exceptions, not the rule. 

Thus the account which Megasthenes gives of the 
Indians shows us the same abstract and passive 

support of the law laid down in the Purvamimansa, that man and 
wife should perform sacrifices in common. From the Brahmanas 
he quotes the beginning of the Agnyadhana, where it is said that 

man and wife are to place the sacred fire in common : ^STI^IMff^" 

^5f fy^TT^'^fY'fl^rf I Froin the Sutras he quotes a rule, ij^f 

TT^J JJ^T^I ^T^JfTI This seems to mean, " Let him, after 
giving the Veda to his wife, make her recite it." The passage is 
taken from the Asvalayana 6rauta-sutras, i. 11. If the word veda, 
used by Asvalayana, meant the Veda, this passage would be most 
important, as proving the existence of the Veda, as a written book, 
at the time of Asvalayana. Veda, however, is used here in the 
sense of " a bundle of grass," and is connected with vedih, an altar 
made of grass (Root ve, Lat. viere). Lastly, Say ana quotes from the 
Smritis, Manu, v. 155., " Women cannot sacrifice without their hus- 
bands : : ifTf% ^twf PUVWM 

1 The piety and happiness of a married couple is well described 
in a hymn ascribed to Manu Vaivasoata, Rv. viii. 31. 5 9. 

2 Manu, ix. 18., translated by Sir W. Jones. " Women have no 
business with the texts of the Veda, thus is the law fully settled ; 
having, therefore, no evidence of law, and no knowledge of expia- 
tory texts, sinful women must be as foul as falsehood itself; and 
this is a fixed rule." 


character which we find throughout the whole classi- 
cal or post-vedic literature of the Brahmans, and 
which, to a great extent, explains the absence of any- 
thing like historical literature among this nation of 

A people of this peculiar stamp of mind was never 
destined to act a prominent part in what is called the 
history of the world. This exhausting atmosphere 
of transcendental ideas could not but exercise a de- 
trimental influence on the active and moral cha- 
racter of the Indians. But if we admire in classical 
history even those heroes in whom the love of country 
was driven to the highest pitch of fanaticism, we have 
scarcely a right to despise a nation, in whom the love 
of a purer and higher life degenerated sometimes 
into reckless self-sacrifice. No people certainly made 
a more favourable impression upon the Greeks than 
the Indians. And when we read the account of their 
moral and intellectual condition at the time of Alex- 
ander, we are obliged to admit that if some of their 
good qualities are no longer to be met with among 
the Indians of later times, this is owing, not entirely 
to an original defect of character, but to that con- 
tinual system of oppression exercised upon them by 
foreign conquerors, to whose physical power they 
submitted, while they could not help despising their 
masters as barbarians. Of the demoralising influ- 
ence of a foreign occupation we have an instance in 
the time of Alexander, in the story of Kalanas 
(Kalyana), who yielded to the flattering offers 
of the European conqueror, and left his sacred 
home to follow his royal master as a piece of curi- 
osity. But Megasthenes was afterwards informed that 
the behaviour of Kalanas was strongly disapproved of 
by his friends, as ambitious and servile ; while Man- 


danis was praised for his manly answer to Alexander's 
messengers, not only by his countrymen, but by 
Alexander himself. It was not long before Kalanas 
repented his unworthy ambition, for he burnt him- 
self soon after at Pasargada, in the same manner 
as the only other Brahman who reached Europe 
in ancient times, burned himself at Athens, to 
the astonishment of the Greeks, who erected a tomb 
to him, with the inscription, a Here lies the Indian 
Sarman Cheya (Sarman Acharya ?), from Barygaza, 
who sought immortality after the' old custom of the 

The genius of the Greek nation owes its happy 
and healthy growth to liberty and national indepen- 
dence. The Homeric songs were addressed to a 
people, proud of his heroes, whether real or legen- 
dary. If Persia had crushed the chivalry of Greece, 
we should never have heard the names of Herodotus, 
iEschylus, Sophocles, Phidias, and Pericles. Where 
the feeling of nationality has been roused, the poet is 
proud to be listened to by his nation, and a nation is 
proud to listen to her poet. But in times of national 
degradation the genius of great men turns away 
from the realities of life, and finds its only con- 
solation in the search after truth, in science and 
philosophy. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle arose 
when the Greek nation began to decline ; and, under 
the heavy grasp first of Macedonian sway, then of 
Eoman tyranny, the life of the Greek genius ebbed 
away, while its immortal productions lived on in the 
memory of other and freer nations. The Indian 
never knew the feeling of nationality, and his heart 
never trembled in the expectation of national ap- 
plause. There were no heroes to inspire a poet, no 
history to call forth a historian. The only sphere 


where the Indian mind found itself at liberty to act, 
to create, and to worship, was the sphere of religion 
and philosophy ; and nowhere have religious and 
metaphysical ideas struck roots so deep in the mind 
of a nation as in India. The Hindus were a nation 
of philosophers. Their struggles were the struggles 
of thought ; their past, the problem of creation ; their 
future, the problem of existence. The present alone, 
which is the real and living solution of the problems 
of the past and the future, seems never to have at- 
tracted their thoughts or to have called out their 
energies. The shape which metaphysical ideas take 
amongst the different classes of society, and at dif- 
ferent periods of civilisation, naturally varies from 
coarse superstition to sublime spiritualism. But, 
taken as a whole, history supplies no second instance 
where the inward life of the soul has so completely 
absorbed all the practical faculties of a whole people, 
and, in fact, almost destroyed those qualities by 
which a nation gains its place in history. 

It might therefore be justly said that India has 
no place in the political history of the world. While 
other nations, as the Egyptians, the Jews, the Baby- 
lonians, Assyrians, Persians, the Greeks, the Komans, 
and the Teutonic races, have, during certain periods, 
culminated on the political horizon of the world, 
India has moved in such a small and degraded circle 
of political existence that it remained almost invisible 
to the eyes of other nations. An expedition like 
that of Alexander could never have been conceived 
by an Indian king, and the ambition of native con- 
querors, in those few cases where it existed, never 
went beyond the limits of India itself. 

But if India has no place in the political history 
of the world, it certainly has a right to claim its 

32 India's place in history. 

place in the intellectual history of mankind. The 
less the Indian nation has taken part in the political 
struggles of the world, and expended its energies in 
the exploits of war and the formation of empires, 
the more it has fitted itself and concentrated all its 
powers for the fulfilment of the important mission 
reserved to it in the history of the East. History 
seems to teach that the whole human race required a 
gradual education before, in the fulness of time, 
it could be admitted to the truths of Christianity. 
All the fallacies of human reason had to be exhausted, 
before the light of a higher truth could meet with 
ready acceptance. The ancient religions of the world 
were but the milk of nature, which was in due time 
to be succeeded by the bread of life. After the pri- 
meval physiolatry, which was common to all the mem- 
bers of the Aryan family, had, in the hands of a wily 
priesthood, been changed into an empty idolatry, the 
Indian alone, of all the Aryan nations, produced 
a new form of religion, which has well been called 
subjective, as opposed to the more objective worship 
of nature. That religion, the religion of Buddha, 
has spread, far beyond the limits of the Aryan world, 
and, to our limited vision, it may seem to have re- 
tarded the advent of Christianity among a large por- 
tion of the human race. But in the sight of Him 
with whom a thousand years are but as one day, that 
religion, like all the ancient religions of the world, 
may have but served to prepare the way of Christ, by 
helping, through its very errors, to strengthen and 
to deepen the ineradicable yearning of the human 
heart after the truth of God. 

Though the religion of Buddha be of all religions 
the most hostile to the old belief of the Brahmans, 
the Buddhists standing to the Brahmans in about the 


same relation as the early Protestants to the Church 
of Rome, yet the very bitterness of this opposition 
proves that Buddhism is peculiarly Indian. Similar 
ideas to those proclaimed by Buddha were current long 
before his time, and traces of them may be found even 
in other countries. But for the impressive manner in 
which these ideas were first proclaimed and preached 
throughout India, for the hold which they took on 
the Indian mind, for the readiness with which they 
were received, particularly by the lower classes, till 
at last they were adopted by the sovereign as the 
religion of state, in a word, for the historical and 
universal character which this doctrine there as- 
sumed, the cause must be sought in the previous 
history of the Indian nation. There is something in 
the doctrines of Buddhism that is common to all 
systems of philosophy or religion, which break with 
the traditions of an effete idol- worship and a tyranni- 
cal hierarchy. There is some truth in Buddhism as 
there is in every one of the false religions of the world. 
But it was only in India, where people had been 
prepared by centuries of thought and meditation, as 
well as by the very corruption of the old Brahmanical 
system, to embrace and nurture the religious ideas of 
Buddha Sakya Muni ; it was only in India, that those 
new doctrines took an historical shape, and grew into 
a religion which, if truth depended on majorities, 
would be the truest of all forms of faith. 

Up to the present day there is no religion of the 
world more extensively prevalent than the religion 
of Buddha J ; and though it has been banished from 

1 M. Troyer, in his valuable edition of the Badjatarangini (ii. 
399.), gives the following data as to the extent of the Buddhistic 



the soil of India, and no living follower of this 
creed is now to be met with in that country l , yet 
it has found a refuge and second home in Ceylon, 
Siam, Ava, Pegu, the Birman Empire, China, Tibet, 
Tatary, Mongolia and Siberia, and is, even in its 
present corruption, looked upon and practised as the 
only true system of faith and worship by many 
millions of human beings. Truly, then, the moment 
when this religious doctrine took its origin in India 
is an era in the intellectual history of the world ; and, 
from an historical point of view, India may be con- 
sidered, at that time, as passing through the meridian 
of history. The most accurate observers of the 
progress of the Indian mind have, therefore, chosen 
this moment as the most favourable for fixing, his- 
torically and chronologically, the position of India: 
Professor Wilson in his " Vislinu-Purana," Professor 
Burnouf in his " Introduction to the History of 
Buddhism," and Professor Lassen in his " Indian 

It would be out of place to discuss at present all 
the arguments by which the historical origin of the 
Buddhistic religion has been fixed chronologically in 
the works here mentioned. The date of Buddha's 

religion : " La population de la terre est evaluee par M. Hassel a 
921 millions; par Malte-Brun, a 642 millions; par d'autres, a 737 
millions d'habitants. Le Buddhisme est professe dans presque 
tout l'empire de la Chine, qui seul, d'apres differents computs, 
contient de 184 a 300 millions d'habitants. Ajoutons-y les 
Buddhistes de plusieurs iles de l'Est, de la Cochinchine, du Siam, 
du pays des Birmans, del'Inde, du Nepal, du Tibet, et de la majeure 
partie de la Tartarie, etc., et Ton trouvera que je n'exagere pas 
trop le nombre des Buddhistes actuels." 

1 See J. Bird, Historical Researches on the Origin and Prin- 
ciples of the Buddha and Jaina Religion. Bombay, 1847. 


death, in the middle of the sixth century b. c, and 
the beginning of the Ceylonese era, 543 b. c, will 
have to be considered hereafter. For the present it 
will be sufficient to keep in mind that the Buddhistic 
era divides the whole history of India into two parts, 
in the same manner as the Christian era divides the 
history of the world. It is therefore of the greatest 
importance, with regard to the history of Yedic 
literature. The rise of a new religion so hostile 
to the hierarchical system of the Brahmans is most 
likely to have produced a visible effect on their 
sacred and theological writings. If traces of this 
kind can be discovered in the ancient literature of 
India, an important point will be gained, and it 
will be possible perhaps to restore to this vast mass 
of Brahmanic lore a certain historical connection. 
After the rise of a new religious doctrine in the first 
centuries after Buddha, it could not be expected that 
the Brahmanic literature should cease at once. On 
the contrary, we should expect at first a powerful 
reaction and a last effort to counteract the influence 
of the rising doctrine. And, as in India the religion 
of Buddha addressed itself more especially to the 
lower classes of the people, and found its strongest 
support amongst those who had to suffer from the 
exclusiveness of the Brahmanic system, a period of 
transition would most likely be marked by a more 
popular style of literature, by an attempt to sim- 
plify the old complicated system of the Brahmanic 
ceremonial, till at last the political ascendency, se- 
cured to the new doctrine through its adoption by 
the reigning princes, like Asoka, would cause this 
effort also to slacken. 

Before it can be shown, however, that this really 

D 2 


took place in India, and that traces of this religious 
crisis exist in the Yedic literature of the Brahmans, 
it seems necessary to point out what Sanskrit works 
can be included within that literature, and what 
other books are to be excluded altogether when we 
look for evidence with regard to the true history of 
the Yedic age. 

Let us begin by the negative process, and endeavour 
to separate and reject those works which do not 
belong to the genuine Yedic cycle. If we examine 
the two epic poems of India, the Ramayana and 
Mahabharata, we shall find it impossible to use them 
as authorities for the Yedic age, because we are not 
yet able to decide critically which parts of these 
poems are ancient, and which are modern and post- 
Buddhistic, or at least retouched by the hands of late 
compilers and editors. There are certainly very 
ancient traditions and really Yedic legends in both of 
these poems. Some of their heroes are taken from 
the same epic cycle in which the Yedic poetry moves. 
These, however, only form subjects for episodes in the 
two poems, while their principal heroes are essentially 
different in their character and manners. In fact, 
though there are remains of the Yedic age to be 
found in the epic poems, like the stories of Urvasi 
and Pururavas, of Sakuntala and Dushmanta, of 
Uddalaka, Sunahsepha, Janaka Yaideha, and parti- 
cularly of the Yedic Rishis, like Yasishtha, Yisva- 
mitra, Yajnavalkya, Dirghatamas, Kakshivat, Kava- 
sha, and many others, yet this would only prove that 
the traditions of the Yedic age were still in the 
mouth of the people at the time when the epic poetry 
of the Hindus was first composed, or that they were 
not yet forgotten in after times, when the Brahmans 


began to collect all the remains of epic songs into one 
large body, called the Mahabharata. If we compare 
the same legends as exhibited in the hymns and 
Brahmanas of the Veda, and as related in the Maha- 
bharata, Ramayana, or the Puranas, the Yedic ver- 
sion of them will mostly be found to be more simple, 
more primitive, and more intelligible than those of 
the epic and pauranic poems. This is not meant as 
a denial, that real epic poetry, that is to say, a mass 
of popular songs, celebrating the power and exploits 
of gods and heroes, existed at a very early period in 
India, as well as among the other Aryan nations ; but 
it shows, that, if yet existing, it is not in the Maha- 
bharata and Ramayana we have to look for these old 
songs, but rather in the Yeda itself. In the collec- 
tion of the Yedic hymns, there are some which may 
be called epic, and may be compared with the short 
hymns ascribed to Homer. In the Brahmanas pas- 
sages occur, in prose and verse, celebrating the ac- 
tions of old kings. 

The following extract from the Sankhayana-sutras 
(xvi. 1.), throws some light on the literature which 
the Brahmans possessed, in addition to what we are 
accustomed to call the Yeda * : 

" At the Horse-sacrifice, the Adhvaryu calls upon 
singers who sing to the lute (vinaganaginas), and in- 
vites them to celebrate the king, who then performs 
the sacrifice, together with other virtuous kings of 
old. On the first day of the sacrifice, the priest tells 
the story which begins with Manu Vaivasvata. As 
the people of Manu were men, and there are men pre- 
sent at the sacrifice, the priest teaches these, the 

1 The same account is given in the Asvalayana-sutras, x. 7, 
and in the 6atapatha-brahmana, xiii. 3, 1, 1. 

D 3 


householders, by telling this story. He then says, 
1 The Rich- verses are the Veda, this is the Veda/ and 
recites a hymn. 

" On the second day he tells the story which begins 
with Yama Vaivasvata (from the iSatapatha). As 
the people of Yama were the fathers, and there are 
fathers present, he teaches the elders by this story. 
He then says, ' The Yajurveda is the Veda ; this is 
the Veda/ and recites an Anuvaka (asvamedhika) 
of the Yajush. 

" On the third day he tells the story which begins 
with Varuna Aditya. As the people of Varuna were 
the Gandharvas, and as they are present, he teaches 
the young and fair youths by this story. He then 
says, ' The Atharva-veda is the Veda ; this is the 
Veda,' and recites the Bhishaja 1 , a work on medicine. 

" On the fourth day he tells the story which begins 
with Soma Vaishnava (from the Satapatha). As the 
people of Soma were the Apsaras, and as these are 
present, he teaches the young and fair maids by this 
story. He then says, ' The Angirasa-veda is the 
Veda; this is the Veda,' and recites the Ghora 2 , 
another work of the Atharvanikas. 

" On the fifth day he tells the story which begins 

1 The commentator insists on tins being a distinct book of the 
Atharvanikas, and not a hymn. ^J ^U^^fTT^PT^rfl 

The 6atapatha says ^TSJ^WTW? *R II Asvalayana, ^T^^^T 

2 ^T^TRWl" VW II The 6'atapatha says ^fr^T^T 


with Arbuda Kadraveya. As the people of Arbuda 
were the Sarpas (snakes), and as these are present, he 
teaches the Sarpas, or the snake-charmers, by this 
story. He then says, ' The Sarpavidya is the Yeda ; 
this is the Yeda,' and recites the Sarpavidya. 1 

" On the sixth day he tells the story which begins 
with Kuvera VaisravancC. As the people of Kuvera 
were Rakshas, and as these are present, he teaches 
Selagas, or evil-doers, by this story. He then says, 
4 The Rakshovidya is the Veda, this is the Yeda, 7 
and recites the Rakshovidya\. 2 

" On the seventh day he tells the story which be- 
gins with Asita Dhanvana. 3 As his men were the 
Asuras, and as these are present, he teaches the 
usurers (Kusidin) by this story. He then says, ' The 
Asuravidya is the Veda, this is the Veda,' and per- 
forms a trick by slight of hand. 4 

11 On the eighth day he tells the story which begins 
with Matsya Sdmmada. As his men were the crea- 
tures of the water, and as these are present, he 
teaches the Matsyas (fishes), or the fishermen by this 

1 *TT^T ^Npffaf 3TII TheSatapatha: ^tjf^iqr 

2 3n>3r^TT T^f^^TT II According to the 6atapatha 
^*^^f*Tf%^jr^T T^fi ^itl according to Asvalayana, f^ITT^- 


3 Asita Dhanva, 6atapatha and Asvalayana. 


D 4 


story. He then says, * The Itihasa-veda is the Veda 
this is the Veda/ and recites an Itihasa. 1 

" On the ninth day he tells the story which begins 
with Tdrkshya Vaipasyata. 2 As his men were the 
birds, and as these are present, he teaches the birds, 
or the young students (brahmacharin) 3 , by this story. 
He then says, ' The Purana-veda is the Veda, this is 
the Veda/ and recites the Purana. 4 

" On the tenth day he tells the story which begins 
with Dharma Indra (from the Satapatha). As his 
men were the gods, and as these are present, he 
teaches the young, learned, and poor priests by this 
story. 5 He then says, ' The Samaveda is the Veda, 
this is the Veda/ and sings the Sama. 6 " 

This extract shows that epic poetry, traditional as 
well as improvised on the spur of the moment, existed 
during the Vedic age. 

In several parts of the Brahmanas and Aran- 
yakas, when an account is given of the literature, 
known to the ancient Hindus, we meet with the 
names of Gatha, Narasansi, Itihasa, and Akhyana 7 
(songs, legends, epic poems, and stories) as parts 

2 Vaipaschita, according to Asvalayana. 

3 ^nStfiff^rT: II Satapatha. 

4 ^^TW ^T^TTl WfV^i HsM^l I The Vayu-purana has a 
more ancient appearance than the other Puranas. 

5 ^r s-Rf^rr^TT^ifrf%^PT N ii 

6 ^TW^lpTII Satapatha. 

7 Cf. Taittiriya-Aranyaka, ii. 9.: "^TlfWRtfd ^ I ^ I "M < l"- 
WTt% 3TWR TRrr *nTTsWt:|| Brihadaranyaka, ii. 4. 10.: 


of the Yedic literature. The occurrence of titles 
of literary works like these, has been made use of 
to prove the existence, at that early period, of the 
writings which afterwards were designated by the 
same names. But though the Mahabharata is called 
an Itihasa, and the Ramayana an Akhyana, and 
though many works have in later times become fa- 
mous under the name of Puranas, yet these enume- 
rations of literary works in the Brahmanas do not 
refer to them. 1 They contain only general names or 

WTTrf% ^TT*sM I lU^ ll ^id. iv. 1, 2., iv. 5. 9.; 6atap. Brahm. 

xi. 7. 1.; Atharv. Sanhita, xv. 6.: ^f^T^nf ^TTW "^ 

TTSTT^f TnC^I^t'^' II Cf. Aufrecht, Indische Studien, p. 133. 
Sayana himself is sometimes doubtful, and in his Commentary on 
the Taittiriya-aranyaka, for instance, he says that, by purana 
might be meant the Brahmanda, &c. ; and by itihasa, the Maha- 
bharata. This, however, is a mistake, and it would bring Sayana 
into contradiction with himself. He has fully proved in his 
Introduction to the Rig-veda that in this passage of the Taittiri- 
yaranyaka, no works separate from the Veda could be understood. 
Cf. Rig-veda sanhita, p. 23. Dr. Weber, in his extracts from 
Panini (iv. 2. 60.), shows that vyakhyana, akhyana, katha, akhya- 
yika, itihasa, and purana, were titles of literary works known at 
the time of Katyayana. But he inclines to the opinion that Ka- 
tyayana did not mean the Mahabharata, Ramayana, and the Pur- 
anas, as we now possess them, by these general names. Cf. Indische 
Studien, i. p. 147. 

1 In the later literature also, names like Itihasa, Akhyana, and 
Purana are by no means restricted to the Mahabharata, Ramayana, 
and the Puranas. The Mahabharata is called Purana, Akhyana, 
and Itihasa. Cf. M. Bh. i. 17 19. Vyasa himself calls his 
poem, the Mahabharata, a Kavya ; and Brahma sanctions this as 
its proper title. Cf. M. Bh. i. 72. This passage modifies Pro- 
fessor Lassen's opinion as to Kavya being the distinctive title of 
the Ramayana. Cf. Indian Antiquities, i. 48o. The Mahabharata 

42 epic toems. 

titles, which have been applied to certain parts of the 
sacred literature, containing either stories of gods or 
men, or cosmogonic traditions. 1 There is no allusion 
to any of the titles of the Puranas or to the Rama- 
yana in Yedic works, whether Brahmanas or Sutras. 
But as in the Sutras of Asvalayana 2 the name of the 

is also called the fifth Veda, or the Karshna-veda ; that is, the 
Veda composed by Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa. Cf. M. Bh. i. 2300. 
Burnouf, Bhag. in. pref. xxi. Lassen, Ind. Antiq. I. 789. 

1 Cf. Sayana, Introduction to the Rig-veda- sanhita, p. 23. 

2 Grihy a- Sutras, iii. 4. MS. 1978, E. I. H., reads, *TR7T- 

^T^T^r: instead of ^TT^TWTTrfWr^T^r: the read- 
ing adopted by Dr. Roth (Zur Literatur, p. 27). Unfortunately 
the Commentary to this passage is very scanty, which is so much 
the more to be regretted, as the text itself seems to contain 
spurious additions. According to the MSS. the passage reads, 

^ro ^ra: ipTf^r TTSTW *T<^f>* f^TfSHY 

JfTcft^ ^THT ^4t ^Tt^f ^r^trT^ ^^T^lrftfT^ 

According to the commentator we have first, 12 Rishis, who, as 
Rishis, are to be invoked, when the Brahmanical thread is sus- 
pended round the neck (nivita). These are indeed the Rishis 
of the Rig-veda : first the 6atarchins, the common title of the 
poets of the first Mandala ; then Gritsamada (2d Mandala"), Vis- 
vamitra (3d M.), Vamadeva (4th M.), Atri (5th M.), Bharadvaja 
(6th M.), Vasishtha (7th M.); then follow the poets of the Pra- 


Bharata, and according to some MSS. even the name 
of the Mahabharata, is mentioned, this may be consi- 
dered as the earliest trace, not merely of single epic 
poems, but of a collection of them. The age of 
Asvalayana, which will be approximately fixed after- 
wards, would, therefore, if we can rely on our MSS., 
furnish a limit below which the first attempt at a col- 
lection of a Bharata or Mahabharata ought not to be 
placed. But there is no hope that we shall ever suc- 
ceed by critical researches in restoring the Bharata to 
that primitive form and shape in which it may have 
existed before or at the time of Asvalayana. Much 
has indeed been done by Professor Lassen, who, in his 
Indian Antiquities, has pointed out characteristic 
marks by which the modern parts of the Mahabharata 
can be distinguished from the more ancient ; and we 
may soon expect to see his principles still farther 
carried out in a translation of the whole Mahabharata, 
which, with the help of all the Sanskrit comment- 
aries, has been most carefully prepared by one of 
the most learned and laborious scholars of Germany. 
If it were possible to sift out from the huge mass of 
Indian epic poetry, as we now possess it in the Maha- 
bharata and Ramayana, those old stories and songs 

gatha hymns (8th M.), the poets of the Pavamanis (9th M.), and 
finally, the authors of the 10th and last Mandala, who are called 
Kshudrasuktas and Mahasuktas, authors of short and long hymns. 
The next class comprises twenty-three invocations, according to 
the Commentary, and they are to be made, when the Brahmanical 
cord is suspended over the right shoulder (prachinaviti). The text, 
however, contains more than twenty-three names, and it is likely 
that some of them have been added afterwards, while others are 

perhaps to be taken collectively. ^U^ri^JTMl^K ma J a ^ s0 
be taken as one word, in the sense of the legal authorities of the 


which must have been' living for a long time in the 
mouth of the people before they were collected, 
enlarged, arranged, and dressed up by later hands, a 
rich mine of information would be opened for the 
ancient times of India, and very likely also for the 
Vedic age. But the whole frame of the two epic 
poems as they now stand, their language and metre, 
as well as the moral and religious system they 
contain, show that they were put together at a period 
when the world of the Veda was living by tradition 
only, and, moreover, partly misunderstood, and partly 
forgotten. The war between the Kurus and Pandavas, 
which forms the principal object of our Mahabharata, 
is unknown in the Veda. The names of the Kurus 
and Bharatas are common in the Vedic literature, but 
the names of the Pandavas have never been met with. 
It has been observed l , that even in Panini's grammar 
the name Pandu. or Pandava does not occur, while the 
Kurus and Bharatas are frequently mentioned, parti- 
cularly in rules treating of the formation of patro- 
nymics and similar words. 2 If, then, Asvalayana 

1 Dr. Weber, Indische Studien, p. 148. Katyayana, however, 
the immediate successor of Panini, knows not only Pandu, but 
also his descendants, the Pandyas. 

2 The names of the two wives of Pandu, Kunti and Madri, occur 
in the commentary on Panini. (Cf. i. 2. 49., iv. 1. 65., iv. 1. 176. 
(text) for Kunti, and iv. 1. 177. for Madri). But both these names 
are geographical appellatives, Kunti signifying a woman from the 
country of the Kuntas, Madri a Madra-woman. Prithd, another 
name of Kunti, stands in the Gana sivadi. As to the proper 
names of the Pandava princes, we find Yudhishthira, Pan. vi. 1. 
134., vi. 3. 9., viii. 3. 95. (text); Arjuna, Pan. iii. 1. 119., iv. 3. 
64., v. 4. 48., vi, 2. 131.; Bhima, Pan. vi. 1. 205.; Ndkula, Pan. 
vi. 3. 75. The name of Sahadeva does not occur ; but his de- 
scendants, the Sahadevas, are mentioned as belonging to the race 
of Kuru, together with the Nakulas, Pan. iv. 1. 114. In the same 


can be shown to have been a contemporary, or at 
least an immediate successor, of Panini, the Bharata 
which he is speaking of must have been very 
different from the epic poem which is known to us 

way we find the descendants of Yudhishthira and Arjuna men- 
tioned as members of the eastern Bharatas, Pan. ii. 4. 66. Drau- 
padVs name does not occur in Panini, but Subhadra the sister of 
Krishna and the wife of Arjuna, is distinctly mentioned, Pan. iv. 
2. 56. Another passage in the commentary on Panini (iv. 3. 87.) 
proves even the existence of a poem in praise of Subhadra, which, 
if we remember the former mention of a war about Subhadra (iv. 
2. 56.), seems most likely to have celebrated this very conquest of 
Subhadra by Arjuna. In the Mahabharata this story forms a 
separate chapter, the Subhadra-harana-parva (Adiparva, p. 288.), 
which may be the very work which Panini, according to his com- 
mentator, is alluding to. That the chapter in the Mahabharata 
belongs to the oldest parts of this epic, may be seen from its 
being mentioned in the Anukramani of Dhritarashtra (i. 149.). 
" When I heard that Subhadra, of the race of Madhu, had been 
forcibly seized in the city of Dvaraka, and carried away by Arjuna, 
and that the two heroes of the race of Vrislmi had repaired to 
Indraprastha, I then, O Sanjaya, had no hope of success." The 
Mahabhashya, however, does not explain the former Sutra, (iv. 2. 
56.), and for the latter it gives examples for the exceptions only, 
but not for the rule. The word grantha, used in the Sutra, 
(iv. 3. 87.), is always somewhat suspicious. That some of the 
Sutras which now form part of Panini 's grammar, did not proceed 
from him, is acknowledged by Kaiyyata, (cf. iv. 3. 131, 132.) 

^Tf%^Tf^<*J 3 l M l fW^ft^f^T^ Tfa t"5re::il Krishna 

Vasudeva, who is considered as peculiarly connected with the tra- 
dition of the Pandavas, is quoted as Vasudeva, of the race of 
Vrishni (Pan. iv. 1. 114.); as Vasudeva, together with Siva 
and Aditya (Pan. v. 3. 99.) ; as Vasudeva, together with Arjuna 
(iv. 3. 98. text). In the commentary to Pan. iii. 3. 156., and 
ii. 3. 72., we have proof of Krishna's being worshipped as a god ; 
in i. 4. 92. he is mentioned as a hero. His residence, Dvaraka, 
however, does not occur in Panini. 


under the name of the Mahabharata, celebrating the 
war of the Kurus and Pandavas. 1 

In the form in which we now possess the Mahabha- 
rata it shows clear traces that the poets who collected 
and finished it, breathed an intellectual and religious 
atmosphere, very different from that in which the 
heroes of the poem moved. The epic character of the 
story has throughout been changed and almost oblite- 
rated by the didactic tendencies of the latest editors, 
who were clearly Brahmans, brought up in the strict 
school of the Laws of Manu. But the original tradi- 
tions of the Pandavas break through now and then, 
and we can clearly discern that the races among 
whom the five principal heroes of the Mahabharata 
were born and fostered, were by no means completely 
under the sway of the Brahmanical law. How is it, 
for instance, that the five Pandava princes, who are 
at first represented as receiving so strictly Brahmanic 
an education, who, if we are to believe the poet, 
were versed in all the sacred literature, grammar, 
metre, astronomy, and law of the Brahmans, could 
afterwards have been married to one wife ? This is in 

1 That Panini knew the war of the Bharatas, has been rendered 
highly probable by Prof. Lassen (Ind. Alterthumskunde, i. 691. 
837.). The words which called forth Panini's special rule, (iv. 2. 56.), 
can scarcely be imagined to have been different from those in the 
Mahabhashya ; viz., Bharatah sangramah, saubhadrah sangramah. 
It was impossible to teach or to use Panini's Sutras without 
examples, which necessarily formed part of the traditional gram- 
matical literature long before the great Commentary was written, 
and are, therefore, of a much higher historical value than is com- 
monly supposed. The coincidences between the examples used in 
the Pratisakhyas and in Panini, show that these examples were by 
no means selected at random, but that they had long formed part 
of the traditional teaching. See also Pan. vi. 2. 38., where the 
word " mahabharata " occurs, but not as the title of a poem. 


plain opposition to the Brahmanic law, where it is said, 
" they are many wives of one man ; not many husbands 
of one wife." * Such a contradiction can only be ac- 
counted for by the admission, that, in this case, epic 
tradition in the mouth of the people was too strong to 
allow this essential and curious feature in the life of 
its heroes to be changed. However, the Brahmanic 
editors of the Mahabharata, seeing that they could not 
alter tradition on this point, have at least endeavoured 
to excuse and mitigate it. Thus we are told in the 
poem itself, that at one time the five brothers came 
home, and informed their mother that they had found 
something extremely precious. Without listening 
further, their mother at once told them they ought to 
divide it as brothers. The command of a parent must 
always be literally obeyed ; and as Draupadi was 
their newly discovered treasure, they were obliged, 
according to the views of the Brahmans, to obey, and 
to have her as their common wife. Indian lawgivers 
call this a knotty point 2 ; they defend the fact, but 
refuse to regard it as a precedent. 

1 ^ s^H snsm Jf^m TfjY wpst Prefer %3t^t 

Tjcr qrfen TTrre: *if?Tll 

2 w f%f^*: ^^r: mw%\ v^fafarft ^N 

Cf. Sayana's Com. on Parasara. MS. Bodl. 172, 173. Another 
explanation is given by Kumarila : 


Neither does the fact that Pandu is lawfully married 
to two wives, harmonise with the Brahmanic law. 
That law does not prohibit polygamy, but it regards 
no second marriage as legal, and it reserves the privi- 
lege of being burnt together with the husband to the 
eldest and only lawful wife. Such passages in the 
ancient epics are of the greatest interest. We see in 
them the tradition of the people too far developed, to 
allow itself to be remodelled by Brahmanic Diaskeu- 
astes. There can be little doubt that polygamy, as we 
find it among the early races in their transition from 
the pastoral to the agricultural life, was customary in 
India. We read in Herodotus (v. 5.), that amongst 
the Thracians it was usual, after the death of a man, 
to find out who had been the most beloved of 
his wives, and to sacrifice her upon his tomb. Mela 
(ii. 2.) gives the same as the general custom of the 
Getie. Herodotus (iv. 71.) asserts a similar fact of 
the Scythians, and Pausanias (iv. 2.) of the Greeks, 
while our own Teutonic mythology is full of instances 
of the same feeling. 1 And thus the customs of these 
cognate nations explain what at first seemed to be 
anomalous in the epic tradition of the Mahabharata, 
that at the death of Pandu, it is not Kunti, his lawful 
wife, but Madri, his most beloved wife, in whose arms 
the old king dies, and who successfully claims the 
privilege of being burnt with him, and following her 
husband to another life. 2 

1 Cf. Grimm, History of the German Language, p. 139. 

2 Other instances of Dharmavyatikrama are : 


The same remark applies to the Ram ay ana. In 
this second epic also, we see that the latest editors 
were shocked by the anomalies of the popular tradi- 
tions, and endeavoured to impart a more Brahmanic 
polish to the materials handed down to them from an 
earlier age. Thus king Dasaratha kills the son of a 
Brahman, which would be a crime so horrible in the 
eyes of the Brahmans, that scarcely any penance 
could expiate it. 1 This is the reason why the young 
Brahman is represented as the son of a Sudra 
woman, and tells the king so himself, in order to 
relieve him from the fear of having killed the son of 
a Brahman- The singular relation, too, between 
Rama and Parasu-Rama, was probably remodelled 
by the influence of the Brahmans, who could not 
bear the idea of their great hero, the destroyer of all 
the Kshatriyas, being in turn vanquished by Rama, 
who was himself a Kshatriya. 

The Vedic literature, by the very sacredness of its 
character, has fortunately escaped from the remo- 
delling puritanism of the later Brahmans. There 
must, from the first, have been as great a variety 
in the intellectual, religious, and moral character 
of the Indians, as there is in the geographical 
and physical character of India. If we look at 
Greece, and consider the immense diversity of local 
worship, tradition, and customs, which co-existed 
within that small tract of country, and then turn 

T$n^*| mf<l!!*Hll Kumarila Bhatta. 

1 Cf. Manu, viii. 381. "No greater crime is known on earth 
than slaying a Brahman, and the king, therefore, must not even 
form in his mind an idea of killing a priest." 



our eyes to the map of India, barred as it is by 
mountain-ranges and rivers, it becomes clear that 
the past ages of such a country cannot be represented 
in their fulness and reality by the traditions of the 
later Brahmans, which as we now possess them in 
the epic and pauranic poetry of the Hindus, are 
all tinged with the same monotonous colouring. 
Such a uniformity is always the result of an arti- 
ficial system, and not of a natural and unimpeded 
development. It is indeed acknowledged by the Brah- 
mans themselves that different customs prevailed in 
different parts of India, Some were even sanctioned 
by them, notwithstanding their policy of monopolising 
and (so to speak) bralimanishitj the whole Indian 
mind. Although, for instance, in the liturgic works 
annexed to the Vedas (Srauta-sutras), an attempt 
was made to establish a certain unity in the sacrifices 
of the people all over India, yet in the performance 
of these sacrifices there existed certain discrepancies, 
based on the traditionary authority of the wise of old, 
between family and family. This is still more the case 
in the so-called domestic ceremonies of baptism, con- 
firmation, marriage, &c, described in the Grihya- 
sutras, which, connected as they were with the daily 
life of the people, give us much more real information 
on the ancient customs of India than those grand 
public or private sacrifices which are prescribed in the 
Srauta-sutras, and could only have been kept up by 
sacerdotal influence. In these domestic ceremonies 
everybody is allowed, as a general law, to follow the 
customs of the family * to which he belongs, or of 

1 Thus it is said, for instance, in the Commentary to Paras- 
kara's Grihya-sutras, that it is wrong to give up the customs of 
one's own family and to adopt those of others : 


his village and country, provided these customs do not 
too grossly insult the moral and religious feelings of 
the Brahmans. 

Although these domestic ceremonies were fully 
sanctioned by the Brahmanic law, the authority upon 

ftfanhfaii ^i<3i^rg<f3$T Mw<sir5psj <s v:\ 

" Vasishtha declares that it is wrong to follow the rules of another 
Jsakha. He says, ' A wise person will certainly not perform 
the duties prescribed by another 6akha ; he that does is called 
a traitor to his 6akha. Whosoever leaves the law of his 
Sakha, and adopts that of another, he sinks into blind dark- 
ness, having degraded a sacred Rishi.' And in another law- 
book it is said : * If a man gives up his own customs and 
performs others, whether out of ignorance or covetousness, he 
will fall and be destroyed.' A.nd again, in the Parisishta of 
the Chhandogas : * A fool who ceases to follow his own &akha, 
wishing to adopt another one, his work will be in vain/ " 
Only in case no special rule is laid down for certain observances 

in some Grihyas, it is lawful to adopt those of other families : 

f^f^r ^i^fHWif^fo rr N 11 ^rr rTCT*J Ttwfa 

E 2 


which they are founded does not lie directly in the 
sacred revelation of the Brahmans (Sruti), but 
in tradition (Smriti), a difference, the historical im- 
portance of which will have to be pointed out here- 
after. As to the customs of countries and villages, 
there can, be no doubt that in many cases they were 
not only not founded upon Brahmanic authority, but 
frequently decidedly against it. The Brahmanic law, 
however, is obliged to recognise and allow those 
customs, with the general reservation that they must 
not be in open opposition to the law. Thus Asva- 
layana in his Grihya-sutras, says: " Now the cus- 
toms of countries and places are certainly manifold. 
One must know them as far as marriage is concerned. 
But we shall explain what is the general custom.*" 1 

Here the commentator adds : " If there be con- 
tradiction between the customs of countries, &c., and 
those customs which we are going to describe, one 
must adopt the custom as laid down by us, not those 
of the country. What we shall say is the general 
law, this is our meaning. Amongst the Vaidehas, for 
instance, one sees at once that loose habits prevail. 
But in the domestic laws continence is prescribed ; 
therefore there is no doubt that the domestic and not 
the national customs are to be observed." 2 

i Asv. S. i. 7., 

to w*pf tt*t -sm^^T ^rronfcg ?TTf^^T% T??rt- 


In the Sutras of Gautama, too, a similar line of con- 
duct is traced out. After it has been said that the 
highest authority by which a government ought to be 
guided consists in the Yedas, Vedangas, Sastras, and 
old traditions, it is added (Adhy. 11. Sutra 20.), that 
in cases where the customs of countries, classes, and 
families are not expressly founded upon a passage of 
the Veda, they are, notwithstanding, to be observed, 
if they are not clearly against the principles of the 
sacred writings, such as would be, for instance, marry- 
ing the daughter of a maternal uncle. 1 

There is an interesting passage in the Grihya-san- 
graha-pari&ishta, composed by the son of Gobhila, 
which Dr. Roth quotes in his Essays on the Yeda, 
p. 120. : " The Yasishthas wear a braid on the right 
side, the Atreyas wear three braids, the Angiras wear 

1 The commentator Haradatta here mentions the following as 
customs that prevailed in certain territories, and which had no 
sanction in the Veda: When the sun stands in Aries (mesha), 
the young girls would paint the Sun with his retinue, on the soil, 
with coloured dust, and worship this in the morning and evening. 
And in the month Margasirsha (November-December) they roam 
about the village, nicely dressed, and whatever they receive as 
presents they give to the god. When the sun stands in Cancer 
(karkata) in Purva Phalguni (February), they worship Uma, and 
distribute sprouting kidney-beans and salt. When the suns stands 
in Aries in Uttara Phalguni (?), they worship the goddess Sri. 

As customs of classes he mentions that at the marriage of 611- 
dras, they fix posts in the ground, put thousands of reflecting lamps 
upon them, and lead the bride round by the hand. 

As customs of families, again, he remarks, that some wear the 
sikha (lock of hair) in front, some behind, and that passages of the 
Veda (pravachanas) allow both according to different times. 

e 3 


five locks, the Bhrigus have their head quite shaved, 
others have a lock of hair on the top of the head." l 

Another peculiarity ascribed to the V&sishthas is 
that they exclude meat from their sacrifices. 2 

A similar notice of the customs of neighbouring 
nations, is found in Raghunand ana's quotation from 
the Harivansa, that the Sakas (Scythians) have 
half their head shorn, the Yavanas (Greeks ?) and 
Kambojas the whole, that the Paradas (inhabitants of 
Paradene) wear their hair free, and the Pahlavas 
(Persians) wear beards. 3 

In the same way, then, as different traditions were 
current in India relative to such observances, it is 
probable that different families had their own heroes, 
perhaps their own deities, and that they kept up the 
memory of them by their own poetic traditions. It 
is true that such a view is merely conjectural. But 
when we see that in some parts of the Veda, which are 
represented as belonging to different illustrious and 

2 This we learn from the Karma-pradipa, a supplement to the 
Sutras of Gobhila, i. 18. : ^f%iY^T ftfa: ITc^T ^E^IS^ 


See also Pan. gana mayuravyansakadi. 


noble families, certain gods are more exclusively 
celebrated ! ; that names which in Yedic poetry 

1 In later times, when the sects of Vishnu and 6iva had sprung 
up, and the Indian world was divided between them, it seems as if 
different deities had been ascribed to different castes. Thus it is 
said in the first Adhyaya of the Vasishtha-smriti : 

*pj ^st*H vtw gnwg wffrsErfaii 
wn| f%Jt RrtwI ^ *rre gPwfnir: 11 

" A Brahman versed in the four Vedas, who does not find Vasu- 
deva, is a donkey of a Brahman, trembling for the heavy 
burden of the Veda. Therefore, unless a man be a Vaish- 
nava, his Brahmahood will be lost ; by being a Vaishnava 
one obtains perfection, there is no doubt. For Naiayana 
(Vishnu) the highest Brahma, is the deity of the Brahmans ; 
Soma, Surya, and the rest, are the gods of Kshatriyas and 
Vaisyas ; while Rudra and similar gods ought to be sedu- 
lously worshipped by the 6udras. Where the worship of 
Rudra is enjoined in the Puranas and law-books, it has no 
reference to Brahmans, as Prajapati declared. The worship 
of Rudra and the Tripundra (the three horizontal marks 
across the forehead) are celebrated in the Puranas, but only 
e 4 


are known as those of heroes and poets (Puru- 
ravas, Kutsa) are afterwards considered as names of 
infidels and heretics, we have a right to infer that 
we have here the traces of a widely extended 

In the hymns of the Big-veda we meet with al- 
lusions to several legendary stories afterwards more 
fully developed by the Brahmans in their Brahmanas 
by which laws that were in later times acknow- 
ledged as generally binding, and as based upon the 
authority of the Yeda, are manifestly violated. It is 
an essential doctrine of the Brahmans, that the reli- 
gious education, and the administration of sacrifices, 
as well as the receiving of rewards for these offices, 
.belong exclusively to their own caste. Kakshivat, 
however, whose hymns are found in the first and 
ninth mandala of the Rig-veda, and who, whether on 
account of his name or for some better reason, is said 
to have been a Kshatriya, or of royal extraction, is 
represented as receiving from King Svanaya presents, 
which, according to Manu 1 , it would have been un- 
lawful for him to accept. In order to explain this 

for the castes of the Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and 6udras, and 
not for the others. Therefore, ye excellent Munis, the Tri- 
pundra must not be worn by Brahmans." 

1 Cf. Manu, x. 76. ; and Rig-veda-bhasbya, ii. p. 30. Rosen, 

who has quoted this passage to Rv. i. 18. L, reads CfT^fTl ^TRT 

"^W t^^^TW 3|f^nj[TcF which he translates by " abstinere 
jubet a dirigendis sacrificiis, ab institutione sacra et ab impuris 
donis," referring to Manu, x. 103 110. fcj^JX^I however, does 

not mean impure, but pure. The reading of the commentary 
ought to be fwiJ^TW irfJfajp for thus the very words 
of Manu, x. 76., are restored. 


away, a story is told, that although Kakshivat was 
the son of King Kalinga, yet his real father was 
the old Rishi Dirghatamas, whose hymns have like- 
wise been preserved in the first mandala of the Rig- 
veda. This poet had been asked by the king to 
beget offspring for him, according to ancient Indian 
custom. The queen, however, refused to see the old 
sage, and sent her servant-maid instead. The son of 
this servant and the Rishi Dirghatamas was Kakshi- 
vat, and as the son of a Rishi he was allowed 
to perform sacrifices and to receive presents. This 
story shows its purpose very clearly, and there can 
be little doubt that it owes its origin to the tender 
conscience of the Brahman s, who could not bear to 
see their laws violated by one of their own sacred 
Rishis. It is a gratuitous assumption to suppose 
that the poets of the Veda should have been perfect in 
the observance of the Brahmanic law. That law did 
not exist when they lived and composed their songs, 
for which in later times they were raised to the rank of 
saints. Whether Kakshivat was the son of a Brah- 
man or a Kshatriya, of a servant-maid or of a queen, 
is impossible to determine. But it is certain that in 
the times in which he lived, he would not have 
scrupled to act both as a warrior and priest, if cir- 
cumstances required it. This becomes still more 
evident,- if we accept Professor Lassen's view, who 
considers Dirghatamas, the father of Kakshivat, as one 
of the earliest Brahmanic missionaries in the southern 
parts of Bengal, among the Angas and Kalingas. 1 

1 In this case, the name of the queen also, Sudeshna, would be 
significant, for Sudeshna is the name of one of the nations in 


Now, under circumstances of this kind, when the 
Brahmans were still labouring to establish their su- 
premacy over different parts of India, it can hardly be 
believed that the different castes and their respective 
duties and privileges should have been established as 
strictly as in later times. In later times it is con- 
sidered a grievous sin to recite the hymns of the 
Veda in places where a iSudra might be able to hear 
them. In the Rig-veda we find hymns which the 
Brahmans themselves allow to be the compositions 
of the son of a slave. Kavasha Ailusha is the author 
of several hymns in the tenth Book of the Rig-veda ; 
yet this same Kavasha was expelled from the sacrifice 
as an impostor and as the son of a slave (da\syah 
putra), and he was readmitted only because the gods 
had shown him special favour. This is acknow- 
ledged by the Brahmanas of the Aitareyins 2 and 

Bengal. See Vishnu-Purana, p. 1 88. The word " godharma," 
which occurs in the story of Dirghatamas, in the Mahabharata, i. 
4195., and which Prof. Lassen translates by " pastoral law," must 
have an opprobrious sense, and Indian Pandits explain it by " open 
and indiscriminate concupiscence." 
2 Aitareya-Brahmana, II. 19. : 

qTf^tl ^ ^f%Wt^*f: fw^TTfrT ^fTT^^ft- 

*h*mwit \^rt sr^r Tnjrf^fni floret fN 


Kaushitakins, and in the Mahabharata also Kavasha 
is called a Nishada. 

The marked difference between the Yedic and epic 
poetry of India has been well pointed out by Pro- 
fessor Koth of Tubingen, who for many years has 
devoted much time and attention to the study of 
the Veda. According to him, the Mahabharata, 
even in its first elements, is later than the time 
of Buddha. 1 " In the epic poems," he says, " the 

K^<it wm ^frwn;ii ?r ^t ^swr swr N f^fr 

Kaushitaki-Brahmana, XI. : 

*rrsmT: wwwt ^toton rr^rfa ^inrcY *t^ 
$?N ^^T fJ^T^I ft wt^ttoi rm ^ %^ f%TT- 
*rf ^j^ra ^Vp4 faf*Rj:i ^ ipr ^n*w^ *rfwr 

^fv^T ^M^cTTll 

Comment : ^T^t Wf ^TT^fT: II f^RJTT fTO^T 

WT ^: *<?1w ^5: II 

1 Zur Litteratur und Geschichte des Veda. Drei Abhandlun<*en 
von R. Roth, Doctor der Philosophic. Stuttgart, 1846. 


Veda is but imperfectly known ; the ceremonial is 
no longer developing, it is complete. The Vedic 
legends have been plucked from their native soil, and 
the religion of Agni, Indra, Mitra, and Varuna has 
been replaced by an altogether different worship. 
The last fact," he says, " ought to be the most con- 
vincing. There is a contradiction running through- 
out the religious life of India, from the time of 
the Eamayana to the present day. The outer form 
of the worship is Vedic, and exclusively so * ; but the 
eye of religious adoration is turned upon quite 
different regions. 2 The secondary formation, the 
religion of Vishnu and Brahma, began with the epic 
poetry, and remained afterwards as the only living 

1 The worship of the Hindus at the present day cannot be 
called exclusively Vedic, though Vedic remains may be traced 
in it. In the Introduction to the edition of the Rig-veda, by the 
Tattvabodhini-sabha, it is said, on the contrary, 

WftS <?tfa<> brfw *CCTf? ?rf^3 ^Hl^l^M Jrf5T3 ttfrfj ft- 

" the difference between the present received law and the early 
Vedic law, will clearly be perceived by this edition." And again. 

" It will be seen exactly what difference there is between the 
Pauranic worship of the gods, who, according to the Puranas, are 
exhibited with the different bodies of men, animals, birds, serpents, 
and fishes ; the widely spread custom of tantric ceremonies, which 
are the most modern and famous on earth ; and the performance of 
sacrifices as prescribed in the Veda." 

2 Professor Burnouf has treated the same subject in his Review 
of Prof Wilson's Translation of the Vishnupurana, Journal des 
Savants, 1840, May, p. 296. 


one, but without having the power to break through 
the walls of the Vedic ceremonial, and take the place 
of the old ritual." 

And if it be unsafe to use the epic poems as autho- 
rities for the Vedic age, it will readily be admitted 
that the same objection applies with still greater 
force to the Puranas. Although one only of the 
eighteen Puranas has as yet been completely pub- 
lished, enough is known of their character, partly by 
Professor Burnouf 's edition of the Bhagavat-purana, 
partly by extracts given from other Puranas by Pro- 
fessor Wilson, to justify our discarding their evidence 
with reference to the primitive period of Vedic lite- 
rature. Even the Manava-dharmasastra, the law- 
book of the Manavas, a sub-division of the sect of the 
Taittiriyas, or, as it is commonly called, the Laws of 
Manu, cannot be used as an independent authority. 
It cannot be said that the compilers of these laws 
were ignorant of the traditions of the Vedic age. 
Many of their verses contain a mere paraphrase of 
passages from the hymns, Brahmanas, and Sutras ; 
but they likewise admitted the rules and customs of 
a later age, and their authority is therefore valid 
only where it has been checked by more original 
and genuine texts. 

The Code of Manu is almost the only work in San- 
skrit literature which, as yet, has not been assailed 
by those who doubt the antiquity of everything 
Indian. No historian has disputed its claim to that 
early date which had, from the first, been assigned to 
it by Sir William Jones. It must be confessed, how- 
ever, that Sir William Jones's proofs of the antiquity 
of this code cannot be considered as conclusive, and 


no sufficient arguments have been brought forward to 
substantiate any of the different dates ascribed to 
Manu, as the author of our Law-book, which vary, 
according to different writers, from 880 to 1280 B.C. 

If the age of Manu or of the epic poems could be 
fixed, so as to exclude all possible doubt, our task 
with regard to the age of the Veda would be an 
easy one. The Veda is demonstrably earlier than 
the epic poetry and the legal codes of India. We 
do not, however, advance one step by saying that 
the Veda is older than the author of the Manava- 
dharma-sastra, whose date is altogether unknown, or 
even than the Mahabharata, if it can be doubted 
whether that poem in its first elements be anterior to 
the Buddhistic religion or not ; while it is said, at 
the same time, that the last elements which have 
been incorporated into this huge work allude to 
historical events later than the Christian era. 1 Here, 
then, we must adopt a new course of procedure. 
We must try to fix the age of the Veda, which forms 
the natural basis of Indian history ; and we must 
derive our knowledge of the Vedic age from none 
but Vedic works, discarding altogether such addi- 
tional evidence as might be obtained from the 

1 That the principal part of the Mahabharata belongs to a period 
previous to the political establishment of Buddhism, has been 
proved by Prof. Lassen, Ind. Ant. i. 489 491. Much has been said 
since to controvert his views with regard to the age of the Maha- 
bharata, but nothing that is really valuable has been added to Prof. 
Lassen's facts or reasonings. "It is not at all difficult," as Prof. 
Lassen remarks, " to look at this question from one single point of 
view, and to start a confident assertion. But in doing this, many 
persons commit themselves to inconsiderate judgments, and show 
an ignorance of the very points which ha\e to be considered." 


later literature of India. Let some Vedic dates be 
once established, and it will probably be possible 
to draw lines of connection between the Vedic and 
the rest of the Indian literature. But the world of 
the Yeda is a world by itself; and its relation to 
all the other Sanskrit literature is such, that the 
Yeda ought not to receive but ought to throw light 
over the whole historical development of the Indian 

The Yeda has a two-fold interest : it belongs to 
the history of the world and to the history of India. 
In the history of the world the Yeda fills a gap which 
no literary work in any other language could fill. 
It carries us back to times of which we have no re- 
cords anywhere, and gives us the very words of a 
generation of men, of whom otherwise we could form 
but the vaguest estimate by means of conjectures and 
inferences. As long as man continues to take an in- 
terest in the history of his race, and as long as we 
collect in libraries and museums the relics of former 
ages, the first place in that long row of books which 
contains the records of the Aryan branch of mankind, 
will belong for ever to the Rig-veda. 

But in the history of India, too, the Yeda is of the 
greatest importance. It has been a standing reproach 
against our studies that it is impossible to find any- 
thing historical in Indian literature. 1 To a certain 
extent that reproach is well-founded ; and this ac- 
counts no doubt for the indifference with which San- 
skrit literature is regarded by the public at large. 

We may admire the delicate poetry of Ealidasa, the 

1 See Burnouf, Introduction a FHistoire du Buddhisme, p. iii. 


philosophical vigour of Kapila, the voluptuous mys- 
ticism of Jayadeva, and the epic simplicity of Yyasa 
and Yalmiki, but as long as their works float before 
our eyes like the mirage of a desert, as long as we 
are unable to tell what real life, what period in the 
history of a nation they reflect, there is something 
wanting to engage our sympathies in the same man- 
ner as they are engaged by the tragedies of iEs- 
chylus, or the philosophical essays of Cicero. We 
value the most imperfect statues of Lycia and jEgina, 
because they throw light on the history of Greek art, 
but we should pass by unnoticed the most perfect 
mouldings of the human frame, if we could not tell 
whether they had been prepared in the studio of a 
Phidias, or in the dissecting-room of a London hos- 

In the following sketch of the history of Vedic 
literature, I cannot promise to give dates, such as we 
are accustomed to find in the literary histories of 
other nations. But I hope I shall be able to prove 
that there exist in that large mass of literature which 
belongs to the Yedic age, clear traces of an original 
historical articulation ; and that it is possible to re- 
store something like chronological continuity in the 
four periods of the Yedic literature. If this can be 
achieved, if we can discover different classes of lite- 
rary works, and vindicate to them something of a 
truly historical character, the reproach that there is 
nothing historical to be found in India will be 
removed, as far as the peculiar nature of that litera- 
ture allows. 

The modern literature of India, though not yet 
grouped in chronological order, will find in the lite- 


rat lire of the Yedic age something like a past, some 
testimony to prove that it did not spring up in a day, 
but clings by its roots to the earliest strata of Indian 
thought. The Laws of the Manavas, though no 
longer the composition of a primeval sage, will at 
least be safe against the charge of being the invention 
of some unemployed Indian lawgiver. Plays like 
Sakuntala and Urvasi, though no longer regarded as 
the productions of a Periclean age, will be classed 
among the productions of what may properly be 
called the Alexandrian period of Sanskrit literature. 
But whatever we may have to surrender with regard 
to the antiquity claimed by these and other Sanskrit 
works, that portion of the literature of India which 
alone can claim a place in the history of the world, 
and which alone can command the attention of those 
who survey the summits of human intellect, not only 
in the East but over the whole civilised world, will, 
we hope, for the future, be safe against the doubts 
which I myself have shared for many years. It is 
difficult, no doubt, to believe that the most ancient 
literary work of the Aryan race, a work more ancient 
than the Zenda vesta and Homer, should, after a lapse 
of at least three thousand years, have been discovered, 
and for the first time published in its entirety, not in 
one of the Parishads on the borders of the Ganges, 
but in one of the colleges of an English University. 
It is difficult to believe that sufficient MSS. should 
have been preserved, in spite of the perishable nature 
of the material on which they are written, to enable 
an editor to publish the collection of the Yedic hymns 
in exactly that form in which they existed at least 
800 years before the Christian era ; and, still more, 
that this collection, which was completed at the time 



of Lycurgus, should contain the poetical relics of a 
pre-Horneric age ; an age in which the names of the 
Greek gods and heroes had not yet lost their original 
sense, and in which the simple worship of the Divine 
powers of nature was not yet supplanted by a worship 
of personal gods. It is difficult to believe this ; and 
we have a right to be sceptical. But it is likewise 
our duty to inquire into the value of what has been 
preserved for us in so extraordinary a manner, and to 
extract from it those lessons which the study of man- 
kind was intended to teach to man. 



In taking a survey of the works which belong to the 
Vedic literature of India, our task would be greatly- 
facilitated if general and characteristic features could 
be pointed out by which Vedic and non-Yedic works 
might at once be distinguished. Without entering 
into a minute analysis of the individual character of 
a work, a mode of criticism which, with our present 
knowledge of the earliest Indian literature, must be 
very uncertain, it will often happen that some ex- 
ternal mark presents itself, determining at once the 
age or class of writing to which it belongs. It is 
true that there are certain grammatical forms and 
orthographical peculiarities which Indian gramma- 
rians Restrict to the Yeda, and which, therefore, might 
be used as distinguishing marks of works belonging 
to that era. But Manu, or rather the author of the 
Manava-dharma-sastra, has also employed several 
Vedic forms ; because in transforming Vedic verses 
into epic Slokas, he is sometimes obliged to retain 
words and forms which are not in strict accordance 
with the general character of his language ; a fact 
which accounts in some degree for the strange ap- 
pearance of many of his verses, which are stiff and 
artificial, and very inferior in fluency to the older 
strains which they paraphrase. 

There is a strongly marked character in Vedic 
prose, and no attempt has been made to imitate it in 
later times. But in order to distinguish Vedic from 

F 2 


non-Vedic poetry, we must attend more closely to the 
metre. Several Yedie metres have been imitated by 
later poets, but there are metres which never occur in 
Vedic works, and which may be used as criteria for 
distinguishing ancient from more modern poetry. 

That difference of metre should form a broad line 
of demarcation between two periods of literature, is 
not at all without an analogy in the literary history 
of other nations, particularly in older times. If once 
a new form of metre begins to grow popular by the 
influence of a poet who succeeds in collecting a school 
of other poets around him, this new mode of utterance 
is very apt to supersede the other more ancient forms 
altogether. People become accustomed to the new 
rhythm sometimes to such a degree, that they lose 
entirely the taste for their old poetry on account of 
its obsolete measure. No poet, therefore, who writes 
for the people, would think of employing those old- 
fashioned metres; and we find that early popular 
poems have had to be transfused into modern verse 
in order to make them generally readable once 

Now it seems that the regular and continuous 
Anushtubh-sloka is a metre unknown during the 
Yedic age, and every work written in it may at once 
be put down as post- Vedic. It is no valid objection 
that this epic Sloka occurs also in Yedic hymns, that 
Anushtubh verses are frequently quoted in the Brah- 
manas, and that in some of the Sutras the Anushtubh- 
sloka occurs intermixed with Trishtubhs, and is used 
for the purpose of recapitulating * what had been 
explained before in prose. For it is only the uniform 

1 Sangraha-slokas. Cf. Weber, Indische Studien, i. p. 47. 

METRE. 69 

employment of that metre 1 which constitutes the 
characteristic mark of a new period of literature. 
Thus rhyme occasionally occurs in English poetry 
before the Norman period ; yet, when we find whole 
poems written in rhyme and without the old Teutonic 
system of alliteration, we are sure that they cannot 
have been composed in an Ante-Norman period. The 
elegiac measure seems to have been used before 
Callinus ; yet Callinus and Archilochus are always 
mentioned as the inventors of it: that is, they 
were the first to sanction the uniform employment 
of this metre for entire poetical compositions. Hence 
no elegiac poem can be previous to the close of 
the 8th century B.C. The same applies to the 
iambus, the invention of which is commonly ascribed 
to Archilochus ; although iambics occur interspersed 
in the Margites, a poem ascribed to Homer by no less 
an authority than Aristotle. 2 In the history of 
German literature we have several instances where 

1 It is remarkable that in Panini also, the word sloka is always 
used in opposition to Vedic literature (Pan. iv. 1. 66., iv. 3. 103. 
1., iv. 3. 107.). Slokas, even if ascribed by Indian tradition to 
the same author, who is considered as the Rishi of Vedic hymns 
or Brahmanas, are quoted by a name different from that of his 
other works. The hymns or Brahmanas ascribed to Katha, for 
instance, are always to be quoted as " Kathah " (ol irepl Kdrdov) ; 
an expression which could never apply to poetical compositions 
ascribed to the same Katha, if written in 6lokas. Verses written 
in this modern style of poetry must be quoted as " Kathic Slokas" 
(Kathah slokah). The Brahmana promulgated by Tittiri, and 
kept up in the tradition of the Taittiriyas, is quoted by the name 
of " the Taittiriyas," but 6lokas composed by Tittiri are never 
included under this title. Pan. ii. 4. 21. Valmiki-slokas are 

2 See Mure's Critical History, vol. iii. ch. i. 

r 3 


poems of the 12th century * had to be recast as early 
as the 13th, on account of their metre and language ; 
which, during this period of rapid transition, had 
already become obsolete and unreadable. 

Excluding, then, from the Vedic period the Ma- 
habharata, Ramayana, Manu, the Puranas, and all 
the &stras and Darsanas, we have now to see what 
remains of literary works belonging to the Vedic 

There are in that age four distinct periods, which 
can be established with sufficient evidence. They 
may be called the Chhandas period, Mantra period, 
Brdhmana period, and Sutra period, according to the 
general form of the literary productions which give 
to each of them its peculiar historical character. 

In order to prove that these four periods follow 
each other in historical order, it is necessary to show 
that the composition of Sutra works presupposes 
the existence of a Brahmana literature ; that the 
Br&hmana literature again is only possible with the 
presupposition of a Mantra literature ; and lastly, that 
the form in which we possess the Mantra literature 
presupposes a period of Vedic history preceding 
the collection and final arrangement of the ancient 
Mantras or hymns. 

1 For instance, " Reinhard the Fox," an old High-German 
poem of the 13th century, is a new edition of the same poem 
written in the 12th century, of which fragments have been found 
by Grimm. Other poems which are supposed to have been re- 
modelled in the 13th century are " Crescentia," "Duke Ernst," 
and the " Roland Song." Lachmann supposed the same to have 
taken place with the " Nibelungen Klage." 




The Sutra period, with which we have to begin, 
is of peculiar importance to the history of Indian 
literature, inasmuch as it forms the connecting link 
between the Yedic and the later Sanskrit. While 
on the one hand we must place several works written 
in Sutras under the head of the post-Vedic or modern 
Sanskrit, we shall also find others which, although 
written in continuous Anushtubh-slokas, or, more 
frequently, intermixed with Trishtubh and other 
verses (as, for instance, some of the Pratisakhyas 
and Anukramanis, and the still more modern Paris- 
ishtas), must be considered as the last productions of 
the Yedic age, trespassing in a certain degree upon 
the frontier of the later Sanskrit. 

It is difficult to explain the peculiarities of the 
style of the Sutra literature to any#one who has not 
worked his way through the Sutras themselves. It 
is impossible to give anything like a literal transla- 
tion of these works, written as they are in the most 
artificial, elaborate, and enigmatical form. Sutra 
means string ; and all the works written in this 
style, on subjects the most various, are nothing but 
one uninterrupted string of short sentences, twisted 
together into the most concise form. Shortness is 
the great object of this style of composition, and it is 
a proverbial saying (taken from the Mahabhashya) 

V 4 

72 sIjtra style. 

amongst the Pandits 1 , that " an author rejoiceth in the 
economising of half a short vowel as much as in the 
birth of a son." Every doctrine thus propounded, 
whether grammar, metre, law, or philosophy, is re- 
duced to a mere skeleton. All the important points 
and joints of a system are laid open with the greatest 
precision and clearness, but there is nothing in these 
works like connection or development of ideas. " Even 
the apparent simplicity of the design vanishes," as 
Colebrooke remarks, " in the perplexity of the struc- 
ture. The endless pursuit of exceptions and limi- 
tations so disjoins the general precepts, that the 
reader cannot keep in view their intended connection 
and mutual relation. He wanders in an intricate 
maze, and the clew of the labyrinth is continually 
slipping from his hands." There is no life and no 
spirit in these Sutras, except what either a teacher 
or a running commentary, by which these works are 
usually accompanied, may impart to them. 

Many of these works go even further : they not 
only express their fundamental doctrines in this con- 
cise form of language, but they coin a new kind of 
language, if language it can be called, by which they 
succeed in reducing the whole system of their tenets 
to mere algebraic formulas. To understand these 
is quite impossible without finding first what each 
algebraic x, y, and z, is meant to represent, and 
without having the key to the whole system. This 
key is generally given in separate Sutras, called 
Paribhdshd, which a pupil must know by heart, or 
always have present before his eyes, if he is to ad- 
vance one step in the reading of such works. But 

1 Benares Magazine, Oct. 1849. 


even then it would be impossible to arrive at any 
real understanding of the subject, without being also 
in possession of the laws of the so-called Anuvritti 
and Nirvritti. To explain the meaning of these 
technical words, we must remember that the Sutras 
generally begin by putting forward one proposition 
(Adhikara), which is afterwards never repeated, but 
always to be understood, till a new subject of the 
same kind is introduced. After the statement of a sub- 
ject, the author goes on by giving a first rule, which 
may extend its influence over the next following rules, 
whether these be restrictions or amplifications of it. 
These restrictive rules exercise again their influence 
to a certain extent over other rules, so that the whole 
becomes one continuous chain, each link held and 
modified by the others, and itself holding to and 
modifying the rest. The influence of one rule over 
the others is called Anuvritti, its cessation, Nirvritti. 
Without knowing the working of these two laws, which 
can only be learnt from commentaries, the Sutras 
become very much confused. This is particularly 
the case in those works where the so-called Mimansa 
method of Purva-paksha (reasons contra), Uttara- 
paksha (reasons pro), and Siddhanta (conclusion), is 
adopted. Here the concatenation of pros and cons is 
often so complicated, and the reasons on both sides 
defended by the same author with such seriousness, 
that we sometimes remain doubtful to which side 
the author himself leans, till we arrive at the end of 
the whole chapter. It is indeed one of the most 
curious kinds of literary composition that the hu- 
man mind ever conceived ; and though altogether 
worthless in an artistic point of view, it is wonderful 
that the Indians should have invented and mastered 

74 StiTllA STYLE. 

this difficult form, so as to have made it the vehicle of 
expression for every kind of learning. To introduce 
and to maintain such a species of literature was 
only possible with the Indian system of education, 
which consisted in little else except implanting these 
Sutras and other works into the tender memory of 
children, and afterwards explaining them by com- 
mentaries and glosses. An Indian pupil learns these 
Sutras of grammar, philosophy, or theology by the 
same mechanical method which fixes in our minds 
the alphabet and the multiplication-table ; and those 
who enter into a learned career spend half their life in 
acquiring and practising them, until their memory is 
strengthened to such an unnatural degree, that they 
know by heart not only these Sutras, but also their 
commentaries, and commentaries upon commentaries. 
Instances of this are found among the learned in 
India up to the present day. 

These numerous Sutra works which we still possess, 
contain the quintessence of all the knowledge which 
the Brahmans had accumulated during many cen- 
turies of study and meditation. Though they are the 
work of individuals, they owe to their authors little 
more than their form ; and even that form was, most 
likely, the result of a long-continued system of tradi- 
tional teaching, and not the invention of a few indi- 

There is a great difference, according to the notions 
of the Hindus themselves, between a work composed 
previous to the Sutra period, and a Sutra composi- 
tion. The difference of style between a Brahmana 
and a Sutra work (with the exception of some Kalpa- 
Siitras, to be mentioned hereafter) would strike every 


body at first sight, although, as regards the gram- 
matical forms, Vedic irregularities are, according to 
Sanskrit grammarians, allowed in Sutras also. 1 But 
there is another, and more important difference. Li- 
terary works, belonging to the preceding periods, the 
Brahmanas as well as the Mantras, are considered by 
Indian theologians as forming the Sruti, or divine 
revelation, in contra-distinction to the Sutras and all 
the rest of their literature. In the dogmatical lan- 
guage of orthodox Hindus, the works, which contain 
the Sruti, have not been composed, but have only been 
seen or perceived by men, i. e., they have been revealed 
to men. The Sutras, on the contrary, although based 
upon the Sruti, and therefore in some instances also 
called Srauta Sutras, are yet avowedly composed by 
human authors. Whenever they appear to be in con- 
tradiction with the Sruti, their authority is at once 
overruled, and only in cases where anterior evidence 

1 Vedic forms occur in the Pratisakhya- Sutras, and are pointed 
out as such by the commentators. For instance, I. Pratisakhya, 

iv. 33. ffT ST3f*TOTf% instead of fflf% TaPTOTftl The 

Commentator says, dlPi^^^I'Rt &<*<* I 3^3<|f^TfW 

*nrfrN The same applies also to the Samayacharika- Sutras, 
for instance, those of Apastamba, i. 53., where we read ^R^JT- 
*Jnn"sft I The Commentator explains this irregular form by 

^rotn^r w^^sk*?T swiY *rn Again, i. 93. 

we find ^N<j|4^ explained by the Commentary as 7f^T*T?$rP['~ 
qiWhrW: I ^MMl<Tt ^T I Gautama-Sutras, p. 40. 1. 20. 
we read WPCfW? *?TPf ' ^WT ^^W TWTf^lS 


is wanting from the Sruti, can they have any claim to 
independent authority. 

Now, even if we had no other means of proving 
that the Sutras could have been composed only after 
the composition of the Brahmanas, there would be no 
reason to consider this distinction, drawn by the In- 
dians themselves between their sacred and profane 
literature, as altogether artificial and devoid of his- 
torical meaning, particularly if it can be shown how 
great an influence that very distinction has exercised 
on the religious struggles of India. 

It is clear that this distinction has ever been the 
stronghold of the hierarchical pretensions of the 
Brahmans. We can understand how a nation might 
be led to ascribe a superhuman origin to their ancient 
national poetry, particularly if that poetry consisted 
chiefly of prayers and hymns addressed to their gods. 
But it is different with the prose compositions of the 
Brahmanas. The reason why the Brahmanas, which are 
evidently so much more modern than the Mantras, 
were allowed to participate in the name of Sruti, could 
only have been because it was from these theological 
compositions, and not from the simple old poetry of 
the hymns, that a supposed divine authority could be 
derived for the greater number of the ambitious claims 
of the Brahmans. But, although we need not ascribe 
any weight to the arguments by which the Brahmans 
endeavoured to establish the contemporaneous origin 
of the Mantras and Brahmanas, there seems to be no 
reason why we should reject as equally worthless the 
general opinion with regard to the more ancient date 
of both the Brahmanas and Mantras, if contrasted with 
the Sutras and the profane literature of India. It 


may easily happen, where there is a canon of sacred 
books, that later compositions become incorporated 
together with more ancient works, as was the case with 
the Brahmanas. But we can hardly imagine that old 
and genuine parts should ever have been excluded 
from a body of sacred writings, and a more modern 
date ascribed to them, unless it be in the interest of a 
party to deny the authority of certain doctrines con- 
tained in these rejected documents. There is nothing 
in the later literature of the Sutras to warrant a sup- 
position of this kind. We can find no reason why 
the Sutras should not have been ranked as Sruti, 
except the lateness of their date, if compared with 
the Brahmanas, and still more with the Mantras. 
Whether the Brahman s themselves were aware that 
ages must have elapsed between the period during 
which most of the poems of their Rishis were com- 
posed, and the times which gave rise to the Brah- 
manas, is a question which we need hardly hesitate to 
answer in the affirmative. But the recklessness with 
which Indian theologians claim for these Brahmanas 
the same title and the same age as for the Mantras, 
shows that the reasons must have been peculiarly 
strong which deterred them from claiming the same 
divine authority for the Sutras. 

To ascribe to literary compositions such as the 
Mantras and Brahmanas a divine origin, and to claim 
for them a divine and absolute authority, is a step 
which can hardly pass unnoticed in the intellectual 
history of a nation, whether for the circumstances 
which led to it, or for the results which it produced. 
Now, in India the results of that fatal step are pal- 
pable. It may have been intended as a check on re- 
ligious reforms, but it led to a religious revolution. 


Buddhism would be unintelligible, unless as the over- 
throw of a system which had tried to maintain its 
position by an appeal to a divine revelation ; and we 
may be certain that the distinction between Sruti and 
Smriti, between revealed and profane literature, was 
established by the Brahmans, previous to the schism of 

If the belief was once established, that not only the 
simple effusions of the Rishis, but the pointed doc- 
trines of the Brahmanas also, emanated from a divine 
source, and could not therefore be attacked by human 
reasoning, it is clear that every opposition to the pri- 
vileges which the Brahmans claimed for themselves, 
on the sacred authority of the Veda, became heresy ; 
and where the doctrines of the Brahmans were the 
religion of the people, or rather of the king, such op- 
position was amenable to the hierarchical laws of the 
state. The Brahmans themselves cared much more 
to see the divine authority of the Sruti as such im- 
plicitly acknowledged, than to maintain the doctrines 
of the Rishis in their original simplicity and purity. 
In philosophical discussions, they allowed the greatest 
possible freedom ; and, although at first three philo- 
sophical systems only were admitted as orthodox (the 
two Mimansas and the Nyaya), their number was 
soon raised to six, so as to include the Yaiseshika, 
Sankhya, and Yoga-schools. 1 The most conflicting 
views on points of vital importance were tolerated as 

1 Kumarila quotes Sankhya and Yoga, together with other 
heretical systems. ^f^^^lM! Tj<J^M|^M<iyj|cfcjf%ij^J* 

T rf< 'I ^fa V?TfcJ*?f^R^RTf% II As to the Vaiseshikas, see 
page 84. 


long as their advocates succeeded, no matter by what 
means, in bringing their doctrines into harmony with 
passages of the Yeda, strained and twisted in every 
possible sense. If it was only admitted that, besides 
the perception of the senses and the induction of rea- 
son, revelation also, as contained in the Yeda, fur- 
nished a true basis for human knowledge, all other 
points seemed to be of minor importance. Philo- 
sophical minds were allowed to exhaust all possible 
views on the relation between the real and transcen- 
dental world, the Creator and the created, the divine 
and the human nature. It was not from such lucu- 
brations that danger was likely to accrue to the caste 
of the Brahmans. Nor was the heresy of Buddha 
Sakya Muni found so much in his philosophical doc- 
trines, many of which may be traced in the orthodox 
atheism of Kapila. His real crime lay in his opposi- 
tion to the exclusive privileges and abuses of the 
Brahmans. These abuses were sanctioned by the 
divine authority of the Yeda 1 , and particularly of the 
Brahmanas. In attacking the abuses, Buddha at- 
tacked the divine authority on which they were 
founded, and the argument was short : he is a heretic ; 
anathema esto. 

Buddha was a Kshatriya. 2 He was of princely 

1 The Buddhists say that the three Vedas were propounded 
originally by Maha Brahma, at which time they were perfect 
truth ; but they have since been corrupted by the Brahmans and 
now contain many errors. Cf. R. Spence Hardy, Eastern Mona- 
chism, p. 185. 

2 Kumarila always speaks of Buddha as a Kshatriya who tried 
to become a Brahman. For instance, 

And again, W^J^l g*i<^*i^lf^^^" $*W<l^fY f%rn I 


origin, and belonged to the nobility of the land. He 
was not the first of his caste who opposed the ambition 
of the Brahman s. Several centuries before Buddha, 
Visvamitra, who, like Buddha, was a member of the 
royal caste, had to struggle against the exclusiveness 
of the priests. At that early time, however, the posi- 
tion of the Brahmans was not yet impregnable ; and 
Visvamitra, although a Kshatriya, succeeded in gain- 
ing for himself and his family the rights for which he 
struggled, and which the Brahmans had previously 
withheld from all but their own caste. King Janaka 
of Videha again, whose story is given in the Brah- 
manas, refused to submit to the hierarchical preten- 
sions of the Brahmans, and asserted his right of per- 
forming sacrifices without the intercession of priests. 
However great the difference may have been between 
the personal character of these two men and of Buddha, 

^t*irs ^f^^treKTTfa *rrf% *rHff *?fa fwtrj 

" And this very transgression of Buddha and his followers is re- 
presented as if it did him honour. For he is praised because 
he said, ' Let all the sins that have been committed in this 
world fall on me, that the world may be delivered.' It is 
said that if he thus transgressed the duty of a Kshatriya, 
and entered the life of a Brahman and preached, it was merely 
for the good of mankind ; and that in adopting for the instruc- 
tion of excluded people a law which had not been taught by 
the. Brahmans, he took the sin upon himself and was benefit- 
ting others." 


the first principle of their opposition was the same. 
All three were equally struggling against the over- 
weening pretensions of a selfish priesthood. 

But while VisvaMnitra contented himself with main- 
taining the rights of his tribe or family, and became 
reconciled as soon as he was allowed to share in the 
profits of the priestly power, while King Janaka 
expressed himself satisfied with the homage paid to 
him by Yajnavalkya and other Brahmans, while, in 
short, successive reformers as they appeared were 
either defeated or gained over to the cause of the 
Brahmans, the seeds of discontent were growing up 
in the "minds of the people. There is a dark chapter 
in the history of India, the reported destruction of all 
the Kshatriyas by Parasu-rama. It marks the be- 
ginning of the hierarchical supremacy of the Brahmans. 
Though the Brahmans seem never to have aspired to 
the royal power, their caste, as far as we know the 
history and traditions of India, has always been in 
reality the ruling caste. Their ministry was courted 
as the only means of winning divine favour, their 
doctrines were admitted as infallible, their gods were 
worshipped as the only true gods, and their voice was 
powerful enough to stamp the simple strains of the 
Rishis, and the absurd lucubrations of the authors of 
the Brahmanas, with a divine authority. After this last 
step, however, the triumph of Brahmanism was prepar- 
ing its fall. In India, less than in any other country 
would people submit to a monopoly of truth ; and the 
same millions who were patiently bearing the yoke 
of a political despotism threw off the fetters of an 
intellectual tyranny. In order to overthrow one of 
the oldest religions of the world, it was sufficient 



that one man should challenge the authority of the 
Brahmans, the gods of the earth, (bhudeva), and 
preach among the scorned and degraded creatures of 
God the simple truth that salvation was possible 
without the mediation of priests, and without a 
belief in books to which these very priests had given 
the title of revelation. This man was Buddha Sakya 

Now if we inquire how Buddha's doctrines were 
met by the Brahmans, it is true that here and there 
in their philosophical works they have endeavoured to 
overthrow some of his metaphysical axioms by an 
appeal to reason. An attempt of this kind we have, 
for instance, in Vachaspati Misra's commentary on the 
Vedanta Sutras. In commenting on the tenet of 
Buddha, that " ideas like those of being, and not- 
being, &c, do not admit of discussion," l Vachaspati 
observes that the very fact of speaking of these ideas, 
includes the possibility of their conception ; nay, that 
to affirm they do not admit of reasoning involves 
an actual reasoning on them, and proves that the 
mind can conceive the idea of being as different from 
that of not-being. 

Such, however, were not the usual weapons with 
which Brahmanism fought against Buddhism. The 
principal objection has always been, that Buddha's 
teaching could not be true, because it did not derive 
its sanction from Sruti or revelation. The Brah- 
mans, as a caste, would readily have allowed being 
and not-being, and the whole of Buddha's philoso- 
phy, as they did the Sankhya philosophy, which 


on the most important points is in open opposition 
to the Vedanta. But while Kapila, the founder of 
the Sankhya school, conformed to the Brahmanic 
test by openly proclaiming the authority of revelation 
as paramount to reasoning and experience, Buddha 
would not submit to this, either for his philosophi- 
cal (abhidharma), or for his much more important 
moral and religious doctrines (vinaya). No doubt 
it would have been easy for him to show how some 
of his doctrines harmonised with passages of the 
Veda, as in the Veda all possible shades of the human 
mind have found their natural reflection. If he had 
done so only for some of his precepts, such, for 
instance, as, " Thou shalt not murder," l " Thou shalt 
not drink," 2 "Thou shalt eat standing," 3 the Brah- 
mans would readily have passed over other doctrines, 
even such as came into practice after Buddha's death, 
like " Who longs for heaven, shall worship the holy 
sepulchre," 4 "He shall pull out his hair," 5 &c. As 
he refused to do so, the line of argument taken by the 
Brahmans was simply confined to an appeal to reve- 
lation, in disproof of the possibility of the truth of 
Buddha's doctrines. 

There must be something very tempting in this 
line of argument, for we see that in later times the 

2 1 f*fac(J fc e - "thou shalt not drink intoxicating liquors." 



Buddhists also endeavoured to claim the same divine 
character for their sacred writings which the Brah- 
mans had established for the Veda. A curious in- 
stance of this is given in the following discussion, 
from Kumarila's Tantra-varttika. Here the opponent 
(purva-paksha) observes, that the same arguments 
which prove that the Veda is not the work of human 
authors, apply with equal force to (Sakya's teaching. 
His authority, he says, cannot be questioned, because 
his precepts are clear and intelligible ; and as Sakya 
is not the inventor, but only the teacher of these pre- 
cepts, and no name of an author is given for Sakya's 
doctrines, the frailties inherent in human authors affect 
them as little as the Veda. 1 Everything, in fact, he 
concludes, which has been brought forward by the 
Mimansakas to prove the authority of the Yeda, 
proves in the same way the authority of Buddha's doc- 
trine. Upon this, the orthodox Kumarila grows very 
wroth, and says : " These Sakyas, Vaiseshikas, and 
other heretics, who have been frightened out of their 
wits by the faithful Mimansakas, prattle away with 
our own words as if trying to lay hold of a shadow. 
They say that their sacred works are eternal; but 
they are of empty minds, and only out of hatred they 
wish to deny that the Yeda is the most ancient book. 

to3 f^^T^rof^iN *remn 


And these would-be logicians declare even that some 
of their precepts (which they have stolen from us), 
like that of universal benevolence, are not derived 
from the Veda, because most of Buddha's other say- 
ings are altogether against the Veda. Wishing, 
therefore, to keep true on this point also, and seeing 
that no merely human precept could have any au- 
thority on moral and supernatural subjects, they try 
to veil their difficulty by aping our own arguments 
for the eternal existence of the Yeda. They know 
that the Mimansakas have proved that no sayings of 
men can have any authority on supernatural sub- 
jects ; they know also that the authority of the Veda 
cannot be controverted, because they can bring for- 
ward nothing against the proofs adduced for its 
divine origin, by which all supposition of a human 
source has been removed. Therefore, their hearts 
being gnawed by their own words, which are like 
the smattering of children, and having themselves 
nothing to answer, because the deception of their 
illogical arguments has been destroyed, they begin 
to speak like a foolish suitor who came to ask for a 
bride, saying, ' My family is as good as your family/ 
In the same manner they now maintain the eternal 
existence of their books, aping the speeches of others. 
And if they are challenged and told that this is our 
argument, they brawl, and say that we, the Miman- 
sakas, have heard and stolen it from them. For a 
man who has lost all shame, who can talk away 
without any sense, and tries to cheat his opponent, 
will never get tired, and will never be put down ! " 
Towards the end of this harangue, Kumarila adds, 
what is more to the point, that the Bauddhas, who 

G 3 


ascribe to everything a merely temporary existence, 
have no business to talk of an eternal revelation. 

Now, it ought not to be overlooked, that in all 
these discussions the distinction between &ruti (Man- 
tras and Brahmanas) and Smriti (Sutras) is always 
taken for granted. If, at the time of the first con- 
troversies between Bauddhas and Mimansakas, the 
authors of the Mantras or Brahmanas, and particu- 
larly the founders of the so-called ancient Brahmanas, 
had still been alive, or their names generally known, 
even a Brahman could not have ventured to stand up 
for the divine and eternal origin of this part of the 
Sruti. On the other hand, nothing could have pre- 
vented the Brahmans from ascribing the same super- 
natural origin to the Sutras, if at the time of the 
rising power of Buddhism their authors also had been 
lost in oblivion. The distinction, therefore, between 
Sruti (revelation) and Smriti (tradition) which is a 
point of such vital importance for the whole Brah- 
manic system, will also be found significant in an his- 
torical point of view. 

It must be observed, however, before we proceed 
farther, that what is called Smriti includes not only 
Sutras, but also Sloka works, such as the laws of 
Manu, Yajnavalkya, and Parasara (the Manava, Ya- 
jnavalkya, and Parasara- dharma-sastras), which some- 
times are called the Smritis, in the plural. Most of 
these, if not all, are founded on Sutras ; but the texts 
of the Sutras have mostly been superseded by these, 
later metrical paraphrases. 

How then did the Brahmans, after they had esta- 
blished the distinction between &ruti and Smriti, 
defend the authority of the Smriti, including Sutras 
and the later Sloka works ? 


That the Smriti has no claim to an independent 
authority, but derives its sanction from its intimate 
connection with the Sruti, is implied by its very name, 
which means recollection. For, as Rumania remarks 
(in the purva-paksha), " Recollection is knowledge, 
the object of which is some previous knowledge ; and if 
Manu and other authors of Smritis had not originally 
been in possession of an authoritative knowledge, it 
would be impossible to appeal to their recollection as 
an authority. 1 It would be as if a man, omitting his 
son or daughter, was to appeal to the son of a barren 
daughter. For the original knowledge of Manu 
might be compared to his son, but his recollection 
-would only be like a grandson. Now as people, if 
they have reason to doubt the existence of a daughter, 
would disbelieve every mention of the son of a daughter, 
thus the recollection (smriti) of Manu would be futile, 
if he himself had not possessed some means of au- 
thoritative knowledge." 

The following extract from Sayana's Commentary 
on Parasara's Code 2 will show the use which the 

<mr: w*um trvt^ii And again, ?reT<0i!nf5 

<* H <J *i alT^S^Tf^TW f*nsf?T TTrT^TII 
2 MS. Bodl. 172, 173. 

o 4 



Brahmans made of this argument, in order to sub- 
stantiate the authority of their legal text-books. 

" Does it not seem after all," he says, " as if this 
Smriti (containing as it does the laws of men) hardly 
deserved a commentary of its own, inasmuch as it is 
difficult to make out on what grounds it claims any 
authority ? For if we appeal to a Sutra of Jaimini's 
(the founder of the Purva-miinansa) where he has 
proved that the Veda possesses an authority irrespec- 
tive of anything else, these arguments can hardly ap- 
ply to books which are evidently the work of men, and 
entirely dependent on the authority of their sources. 
These sources again, if they be considered as the life 
and strength of that authority, are often very in- 
distinct. First, they could never fall under the cog- 
nizance of the senses, because the very nature of duty 
or law is transcendental. Nor can this ultimate reason 
or source be found in induction, inasmuch as induc- 
tion is only possible after observation. Neither can 
it be looked for in the sayings of other men, because 
man is exposed to error, and cannot even express 
things as he has really perceived them. But even if 
man was free from error, there would always be room 
for doubt and opposition. And as to finding the 
authority for these laws in direct precepts of the 
Sruti (Mantras and Brahmanas) this is out of the 
question, because such precepts are not to be found 
there. We have never seen a passage in the Veda 
where precepts like those of the Smriti, to keep the 
body clean, &c, are given. To admit the right of 
induction for laws of this kind would be most dan- 
gerous, for it would apply with equal force to the pre- 
cepts of Buddha, to worship the holy sepulchre, &c. 
a However, there is an answer to all these doubts. 


A great difference exists between the Smritis of 
Manu and the Smritis of Buddha, because Manu's 
authority is asserted by the undeniable Veda itself. 
It is said in the Veda, 'Whatever Manu said, was 
medicine ;' but there is no passage there in any 
way favourable to the Smriti of Buddha, and there- 
fore the right of applying induction cannot be con- 
sidered dangerous, because it never could be extended 
to Buddha's doctrines. 

11 Quod non," says the opponent. " This passage of 
the Veda, ' Whatever Manu said, was medicine/ is 
only an Arthavada (an explanatory remark), and has 
no evidence by itself. It only serves to illustrate or 
recommend another precept, viz., that two verses of 
Manu's are to be used at a certain sacrifice. 1 There- 
fore, there is no passage in the Veda to warrant the 
authority of the Smriti ; and if &kya's, i. e. Buddha's, 
Smriti be exceptionable, the same applies to the 
Smriti of Manu. Thus it is said, ' As men speak 
often untruth and are exposed to error, as no divine 
precept is given, faith only can be authority.' But 

1 As dhayyas at the Somaraudra Cham, in the middle of the 
Samidheni, or fire-kindling hymns. The same argument occurs in 
Kumarila's Tantra-varttika, i. 3., 

ff^t ^ *mY^: ^sT^ra^rr *re?ftf^ fa^iraq^ 
wr *tpr *rf^f^ c^TiSr^ irc^mT^rr Tt^rn 

Mahadeva, in his Commentary on the Hiranyakesi-sutras, says 
that the 6ruti bears witness to the authority of the Smritis by de- 
claring that whatever Manu said was medicine. 



further, even admitting that there was a shadow of 
authority for Manu, what could be said in favour of 
Parasara's Smriti, which is now to be explained ? 
For, although the Yeda may praise Manu, it never 
does the same for Parasara, and thus Parasara's 
authority at least can hardly be defended. 

" Against all this our answer is : the Smritis are an 
authority, because that they should have authority 
is understood by itself ; and there is no reason why 
they should not be considered as having authority. 
Three reasons are given why Manu and the rest 
could not claim any authority, viz. i that men speak 
untruth, that they are exposed to error, and that 
no divine precept is given.' These objections, how- 
ever, are entirely out of order, because nobody would 
ever think that Manu and Parasara, who have been 
perfect from their very birth, could have spoken 
untruth, and could have erred. So much for the 
first two objections. And who ever denied that 
these sages were perfect from their very birth, as 
Mantras, Arthavadas, Itihasas, and Puranas, prove 
distinctly not only the existence of Parasara and 
others, but also their perfection ? Nay, even if we 
had not the testimony of the Mantras, how could 
the perfection of Parasara and others be denied, 
which is involved in their very existence ? A dif- 
ference of opinion is quite impossible. And has it 
not been proved in the chapter on the gods l in the 
Uttara-mimansa, that the Mantras do not require 

1 If this refers to the Sankarshanakanda, which is ascribed to 
Jaimini, and forms an appendix to the Karmamimansa-sutras 
(cf. Prasthanabheda), we ought to read Purva-mimansa instead of 


any further proof for what they say ? It is true 
that in the chapter on the Arthavadas it has been 
admitted that what the Arthavadas contain is not 
always to be believed. But this is only on account 
of some impossible things which are occasionally 
mentioned therein. Therefore an Arthavada like 
this, ' Whatever Manu says is medicine/ although 
it only serves to recommend another rule, must yet 
be considered as true in itself. With regard to 
Sakya, nothing similar can be brought forward ; and 
thus it is well said elsewhere, l May a man scorn 
all the erroneous doctrines of Arhat, Ch&rvaka, and 
Buddha.' As regards Parasara in particular, it is 
wrong to say that his fame is not equally founded 
on the Yeda, for it is said in the Sruti, ! Thus spoke 
Vyasa, the son of Parasara/ If, therefore, the 
famous Veda-Vyasa is praised as the son of Para- 
sara, how much more famous must not Parasara, 
his father, have been! In the genealogical Brah- 
mana of the Vajasaneyi-sakha, the son also and the 
grandson of Parasara are mentioned in the suc- 
cession of pupils and teachers who handed down the 
Yeda 1 , ' Ghritakausika received from Parasaryayana, 
Parasaryayana from Parasarya, P&rasarya from Ja- 
tukarnya, &c.' Therefore Par&sara stands quite on 
a level with Manu ; and the same applies to all the 
other Rishis, like Vasishtha and Yajnavalkya, who 
are authors of Smritis, and are mentioned in the 
Sruti. Thus we read, ' The Rishis did not see 
Indra clearly, but Vasishtha saw him clearly.' 2 

1 Brihadaranyaka, 5. 6. 3. 

2 Taittiriya-Sanhita, 3. 5. 2. 


4 Atri gave his children to Aurva, who longed for a 
son. 7 * l Yajnavalkya had two wives/ 2 Therefore 
one must not think of attacking the Smritis of Manu 
and others by any means. 

" The third reason also which was brought forward 
against the authority of the Smriti, viz. that the 

f The Rishis did not see Indra clearly, but Vasishtha saw him 
clearly. Indra said, * I shall tell you a Brahmana, so that all 
men that are born will have thee for Purohita ; but do not tell 
of me to the other Rishis.' Thus he told him these parts of 
the hymns ; and ever since, men were born having Vasishtha 
for their Purohita. Therefore a Vasishtha is to be chosen as 
Cf. Tandya Brahmana, xv. 5., where it is said of the Bharalas 
that they will always have a Vasishtha as Purohita. The Com- 
mentator there observes, that Bharata may either mean the kings 
of that name, or men in general. 

1 Taittiriya-Sanhita, 7. 1. 8. 

f^H: farfwr *rid^mi * tjct ^n^ro^Twr- 
W^trn ^^TfTT ^*Hb ^*5fcr: II 

" Atri gave his children to the son of Urva, who longed for a son. 
Then he felt lonely, and saw that he was without power, 
weak, and decrepit. He saw this Chatxiratra ; he took it and 
sacrificed with it. Four sons were born to him from it, a 
good Hotri, a good Udgatri, a good Adhvaryu, and a good 

2 6atapatha-brahmana, xvii. 4. 5. 


precepts given there are not based upon passages of 
the Sruti, does not hold good, because passages are 
met with which are the source of all the laws given 
in the Smriti. Thus we read, ' These five great 
sacrifices are every day commenced and every day 
performed: the Devayajna (to the gods), the Pi- 
triyajna (to the fathers, the manes), the Bhutayajna 
(to all beings), the Manushyayajna (to men), the 
Brahmayajna (to Brahman, the divine Self)/ l 
And although there is no distinct precept in the 
Veda for ablutions, &c, yet all this is implied. Thus 
the Bhattaoharyas say, * It is right to respect the 
Smritis, because they are delivered by Vedic au- 
thors, because their origin is well established, and 
because they derive their authority from the Yeda, 
if but rightly understood.' The Munis see the 
Sruti, and they deliver the Smriti ; therefore the 
authority of both is proved on earth by full evidence. 
A man who despises these two, and adopts fallacious 
doctrines, is to be avoided by good men as a heretic 
and Veda-blasphemer. 

" But one might object that if these precepts can 
be learnt from the Sruti, the Smriti would be un- 
necessary, because that only which cannot be learnt 
from other sources forms a fit object for a new 
work. Here then we say that these precepts, though 
they can be learnt from the Veda, are nevertheless 
put together in the Smritis for the purpose of 
making the order of their performance more easy, 
by leaving out the Arthavadas, and by taking from 
some &akhas of the Veda particular facts omitted 
in others. Now it might again be objected that this 

1 Taittiriya-aranyaka, ii. 10. 


is done in the Kalpa-sutras, and that therefore there 
was no necessity for the Smritis. But this is wrong, 
because there are two different kinds of duties to 
be performed, called Srauta (based on Sruti) and 
Smdrta (based on Smriti). The Srauta ceremonies 
consist in sacrifices like the Darsa-purnamasa, &c, 
which can only be performed after the sacred fire 
has been placed in the house, and they are clearly 
based upon the Yeda, as we read it. The Smdrta 
sacraments and traditional customs, on the contrary, 
consist in ablutions, rinsing the mouth, &c, and 
they are to be considered as based upon a Sakha of 
the Yeda which is hidden, but the existence of 
which must be inferred. Although, therefore, those 
precepts which regard the placing of the sacred fire, 
&c, are put together in the Kalpa-sutras, yet as 
other duties, such as ablutions, rinsing, &c, are not 
included in them, the Smritis have still their legiti- 
mate object." 

This discussion has been given here at full length 
because it is a genuine specimen of Indian ortho- 
dox dialectics. Whatever may be thought of this 
style of argument, we see at all events how great 
an importance has always been attached by the Brah- 
mans to the distinction between Sruti and Smriti. 

It may also have been observed in this extract, 
that it is not quite in accordance with the language 
of Sayana to speak of Sutra works as Smritis in the 
plural. He applies this term to metrical codes only, 
like Manu, Yajnavalkya, and Parasara, but not to 
Sutras or Yedangas. 1 This, however, does not affect 

1 Kumarila remarks that, although the six Vedangas are not 
called by the name of Smriti, they are Smriti in the same sense 


our present question, because even Sayana, though 
he does not call the Sutras by the name of Smritis, 
places them notwithstanding in the same category 
with the codes of law, and separates them from the 
Sruti, upon which they are founded, but with which 
they are not to be confounded. The Kalpa-sutras 
are called by him srauta, i. e. based on revelation, 
but not Sruti (revelation), because although they 
treat of the same subjects as the Sruti, they are 
themselves extracts only from the sacred writings. 
They are arranged by authors whose names are 
given, while, according to Indian notions, Mantras 
and Brahmanas were only seen by the Rishis, but 
neither composed nor arranged by them. 1 

That Sutras, even where they contain Yedanga- 
doctrines, are distinctly excluded from the Sruti, may 
be seen from the following passage. In the Tantra- 
varttika (1. 3.), Kumarila says, "There is a great 

as the Dharma-sutras, i. 3. 9. ^frJH B i'IT*lf ^IT^^TWf 
^Tf%fl[^ll *T?lfa wf?nr%T *l HIM I *rfa$^fTTI ^ J ^' 
WT cf ^^^3{^n^n^f^TTf%^Tll Mahadeva, in his Com- 
mentary on the Hiranyakesi-sutras, says distinctly, f^^^ WT^T^ 

1 " When we spoke of this (the authorship of Madhuchhan- 
das) to a learned Hindu friend, he exhibited very marked dis- 
satisfaction and distress,, begging us to write and tell Professor 
Wilson that the hymn had no author; that it had existed from 
everlasting ; and that Madhuchhandas was only the fortunate seer 
to whom, on the last occasion of its revelation, it had been re- 
vealed." Benares Magazine for June 1851, i( On Miiller's Edition 
and Wilson's Version of the Risr-Veda." 


difference between the Kalpa-sutras, which teach the 
performance of sacrifices enjoined by the Yedas, such 
as we now possess them, and the Smritis, which de- 
rive their authority from parts of the Veda that have 
either disappeared or are dispersed, or the existence 
of which can be proved by induction only. It is 
easier, therefore, to establish the authority of the 
Kalpa-sutras than that of the Smritis. The objec- 
tions which have been raised against the authority 
of the Smritis, and which had to be removed by us 
before, cannot be thought of with regard to the 
Kalpa-sutras, not even if it were only for argument's 
sake. 1 The question, therefore, is only this, whether 
the Kalpa-sutras have the same authority as the 
Veda, or whether they merely derive their authority 
from it. As the Yeda is called 4 shadanga,' i having 
six members/ these six members, and amongst 
them the Kalpa-sutras, might seem to be implied by 
the common name of Veda. This, however, would 
be wrong 2 ; for the Kalpa-sutras, as is well-known, are 
composed by human authors like Masaka, &c. They 
do not take their names, like the Kathaka and other 
Sakhas of the Yeda, from those by whom they were 
proclaimed, but from their real authors. It is true r 
no doubt, that the authors of the Kalpa-sutras have 
the name of Rishis, and it might be said that as Sisu 

^ Uc2TfTT*pi ST* Tp^m ^f%WTII 


Angirasa was not the author of the Saisava hymns in 
the Samaveda, the Kalpa-sutras too were not com- 
posed, but only proclaimed, by those whose names 
they bear, particularly as there are even Brahmanas, 
for instance those of the Aruna and Parasara-sakha, 
which have nearly the same form as the Kalpa-sutras. 
Nevertheless, nothing can be more mistaken than the 
opinion of those who would put the Kalpa-sutras on 
the same footing as the Yeda, because people who 
teach and learn the Kalpa-sutras know that there 
was a time when these works did not exist, and 
that they were composed by certain authors like 
Masaka, Baudhayana, Apastamba, Asvalayana, 
Katyayana, and others." 1 They are drawn, as he 

1 Kumarila expressly observes that these names signify certain 
individuals, and not Charanas (sects), like those of Katha, by which 
certain &akhas of the Veda were promulgated. 

u The branches of the Veda which were proclaimed by the sects of 
Katha and others from all eternity, have a fair claim to be 
called eternal. But this does not apply to works handed down 
by the sects or families of Masaka and others, however lono* 
they may have been established. For names like Masaka, 
Baudhayana, and Apastamba, imply an individual being which 
had a beginning, and therefore it is impossible that a title 
derived from these names should ever belong to an eternal 
And again : 



observes in another place, partly from the Veda, but 
partly also from other sources ; and the same applies, 
according to him, to all the Vedangas and Smritis ; 
nay, even to later works, such as the epic and pauranic 
poems. 1 

" For teachers and pupils do not only know by heart the Kalpa- 
sutra books, and the other Vedanga and Smriti compositions, 
but they also remember Asvalayana, Baudhayana, Apastamba, 
Katyayana, and others, as the authors of these books." 

rprf *rf?r:ii 

M All that has reference to virtue and final beatitude is taken from 

the Veda, while other matters 3 the purpose of which consists 

in pleasure and gain, are according to the customs of men. 

This distinction applies not only to the Vedangas, but also to 

authoritative passages in the Puranas and Itihasas." 

Uvata, in his commentary on the 6akala pratisakya, takes the 

same view. He says, u that as the Veda was too difficult to be used 

by itself, learned men have extracted from it different doctrines 

on the ceremonial, the metre, and grammar, and brought them 

into a more intelligible form in the Sutras." 

^TWT f^Ef5T 3f*frs? WT^Hft"*HMl*ilf% f^SJTOT- 

And again : 
*l ^T^f *m *N* ***fK **** 


It might therefore be best to distinguish between 
Smriti or tradition in general, and the Smritis or law- 
books in particular. We might then speak of srauta- 
and swarfa-sutras, comprehending by the former name 
all Sutras, the source of which can be traced in the Sruti ; 
by the latter those of which no such source exists, or at 
least, is known to exist. 1 The title of Smritis in the 
plural (or Smriti-prabandhas) might be left, for conve- 
nience sake, to such works as Sayana is speaking of, 
which are composed not in Sutras but in Slokas. It 
ought to be remembered, however, that the same sub- 
jects which are treated in the metrical Smritis of 
Manu and others, had similarly been treated in Sutras 
(srauta, grihya, and s&mayacharika), and that the 
principal difference between the two lies, not in their 
matter, but in their age, and their style. 

1 Thus, smdrtam karma is well defined by Shadgurusishya in 
the Sarvanukramanibhashya, as 'nishekadi smasanantam smriti- 
grihyavihitam karma.' In the Commentary on Asvalayana's 
6rauta-sutras, it is said, that, if observances, like rinsing the 
mouth, &c., are prescribed in the 6rauta-sutras (as they are for 
instance Asval. i. 1. 3.), this is only done in order to show that 
such observances are acknowledged and presupposed by the Srauta- 
sutras, though they belong to the province of the Grihya cere- 

H 2 


An objection against this division and terminology, 
not unknown to the Brahraans themselves, is that it 
is difficult to say whether certain Smarta-sutras may 
not be based upon some lost S&kha of the Yeda. The 
Srauta portions of the Kalpa-sutras, there can be no 
doubt, are founded on Sruti, if by this name we 
understand not only the hymns, but also the Brah- 
manas of the Yeda. But there are only few allusions, 
even in the Brahmanas, to the ceremonies described 
in the Grihya-sutras ; and the few passages which are 
quoted from the Sruti in their support, are chiefly 
taken from the Aranyakas and Upanishads, the latest 
branches of Yedic literature. As to the Ach&ras, or 
the established rules of conduct with regard to particu- 
lar temporal duties, even Indian writers admit that 
there are only very vague allusions to them in the 
Sruti, and they try to prove that these laws are based 
on parts of the Yeda which no longer exist. This 
is a view which is taken for instance by Haradatta 
in his Commentary on Apastamba's Samayach&rika- 
sutras, and it deserves to be examined more closely. 
On the first Sutra 1 , " Therefore let us now explain 
the Sdmaydchdrika duties" he makes the following 

" The word c therefore 1 implies a reason, which is that 
as the srauta (sacrificial) and gdrhya (domestic) cere- 
monies have been explained, and as these ceremonies 
presuppose other observances, these other observances 
must now be explained too. For when it was said 
before (in the iSrauta and Grihya-sutras), that such 
and such an act was to be performed by a man after 

1 ^wr: * ^ i ^ i ft^T^^T^T w^t*t: 11 \ w 


he had rinsed his mouth, by a man who is clean, 
who holds a pavitra in his hand, who is invested 
with the sacred thread, &c, an acquaintance with 
all these things, such as rinsing, &c, is presupposed. 
The twilight prayers, too, are referred to in the 
preceding Sutras, when it is said, that a man who 
does not perform his twilight prayers is impure, 
and unworthy of every sacrifice. Several other 
instances occur; and it is therefore necessary to 
explain now immediately those other precepts called 
samayacharika (temporal). Sdmaydchdrika is de- 
rived from samaya (agreement) and d'chdra 
(custom). Samaya, a human agreement, is of three 
kinds : vidhi, injunction ; niyama, restriction ; pra- 
tishedha, prohibition. Rules founded upon samaya 
are called samaydchdras, from which the adjective 
samayacharika. Dharma (virtue) is the quality of 
the individual self, which arises from action, leads to 
happiness and final beatitude, and is called apiwva, 
supernatural. But, in our Sutra, dharma means 
law, and has for its object dharma as well as 
adharma: things to be done and things to be 

" It might be said, however," continues the Com- 
mentator Haradatta, alluding to the same controversy 
which we saw before treated of by Say ana, "that if 
samaya (human agreement) be the authority for the 
law, it would be difficult to deny the same authority 
to the Bauddhas and their laws, to worship the holy 
sepulchre, &c; and therefore Apastamba has added 
the next Sutra : ] 

H 3 


" ' Those agreements are of authority which were 
made by men who knew the law.' 

" We do not say," Haradatta remarks, with regard 
to these words, " that every agreement becomes of 
authority, but those only made by men like Manu, &c, 
who knew the law. But then, it might be asked, 
how it can be found out that Manu knew the law, 
and Buddha did not ? People answer, that Buddha 
could not have had a knowledge of the divine law. 
But the same might be said also of Manu ; and if a 
knowledge of divine things be ascribed to Manu, on 
account of the excellence which he acquired by his 
virtue, then, again, it would be the same for Buddha. 
There is a known verse 1 : c If Buddha know the 
law, and Kapila does not, what is truth ? If they 

Dr. Weber, in his dissertation on the Upanishads, thinks it is 
not impossible that Kapila, the founder of the Sankhya, and Buddha 
were in fact one and the same person. (Indische Studien, i. 436.) 
He afterwards qualifies this conjecture, and calls it not very pro- 
bable. It is true that the Indians themselves observed a certain 
similarity between the doctrines of Kapila and Buddha. But this 
would rather show that the two were different person's. Nor 
would the legend that Buddha was born at Kapila-vastu, the town 
of Kapila, or rather of the Kapilas, seem to prove the identity of 
Kapila and Buddha. By another conjecture, the same ingenious 
scholar makes the founder of the Sankhya (Panchasikha Kapileya) 
the same person with Kapya Patanchala, who occurs in the 6ata- 
patha-brahmana ; while, in a former article (i. 84.), both Kapila 
and Patanchali together, the former as the founder of the Sankhya, 
the latter as the author of the Yoga system, are merged into Kapya 
Patanchala. Afterwards, however, this opinion also is retracted, 
because Dr. Weber thinks that the Yoga system might be a later 
development of the Sankhya. 


were both omniscient, how could there be difference 
of opinion between them?' If this be not so, a 
distinction must be made ; and this has been done 
by Apastamba in his next Sutra: ..* And the Vedas 
(are of authority).' * 

This Sutra is explained by Haradatta in the fol- 
lowing manner: "The Vedas are the highest au- 
thority for good and bad ; and none of the objections 
made before could apply to the Yedas, which are 
faultless from all eternity, evident by themselves, 
and, as they were revealed, unaffected by the faults 
of human authors. Therefore, while to us those 
agreements are of authority which were made by men 
who knew the law, the Vedas, again, were the au- 
thority for those men themselves, like Manu, &c. 
And although we have not before our eyes a Veda, 
which is the source of these laws, we must still con- 
clude that Manu and the rest had." 2 

2 Somesvara, who calls himself a son of Madhava, and of whose 
work " Tantra-varttikatika " there is a manuscript at the E. I. H. 
(No. 1030.), dated Sam vat, 1552, goes even a step farther, and 
says that, although rules of the Smritis may be against the sacred 
law, the Veda must notwithstanding be considered as their 
source, because the Smritis themselves maintain that the Veda 
is the highest authority, an admission which the followers of 

Buddha protest against. Cf. p. 80. JT ^11 tM ^^^TTf^f^TfR 

H 4 


It is a matter of considerable interest to know 
whether this opinion of Haradatta's, as to the previous 
existence of a larger number of Vedic works, deserves 
credit or not. The opponent of the orthodox Kuma- 
rila in the Tantra-varttika remarks very truly, that to 
invoke the testimony of lost parts of the Veda is like 
calling a dead person as a witness. 1 And if we had 
no better authority for this opinion than so late a 
commentator as Haradatta, we should hardly be justi- 
fied in mentioning it as an argument. Anybody, 
however, who is acquainted with the character of 
Indian commentators, will admit that they seldom 

f^jT ^: TTTVT^f ^<^Hlf5T^rRTrT s &c Cf. Yajna- 
Talkya, ed. Stenzler, i. 56., i. 40.; Manu, iii. 12, 13., where the 
Commentator mentions Vasishtha as having spoken of the marriage 
of a Brahman with a 6udra, the ceremony not being accompanied 
by sacred hymns, as a kind of morganatic marriage, kamato 

vivahah, cfTfwrsfa "Jf^T^TO^ *H^faf?T *H^ft 

"If a man maintain a lost tradition to have been a source, he may 
prove what he pleases, for it is like appealing to a dead 
witness." And again : 

" Why has a divine precept not been established by Manu and 
the others as the source of their teaching, which would not 
have cost them more labour than to proclaim their own doc- 
trine ? Anybody may throw whatever he likes into the skull 
of a lost tradition, and then invoke it as an authority." 


commit themselves to novel theories, but almost 
always repeat what existed before in the tradition of 
their schools; a fact which at once increases and 
diminishes the usefulness of their works. Thus we 
find in the case before us, that Apastamba himself, 
whose Sutras Haradatta explains, entertained a simi- 
lar opinion on this subject. In the twelfth section 
of his Sutras, when speaking of some rules on the Sva- 
dhyaya (praying), he says 1 , " that certain rules must 
be considered as given in Brahmanas of which the 
tradition or reading has been destroyed. Their 
.former existence," he says, "must be inferred from 

The Commentator says : ^^T:tJTCTT ^<^4^TfTJ! 

* The original passages were lost by the negligence of the 

Kumarila observes: J[T^fTTT f^^fRftflfM^qi^f TTTTT- 

"The original text from which the Smriti was derived cannot 
always be found, because the Sakhas are scattered about, 
students are negligent, and because these rules stand under 
different heads." 

And again: ^^ 1H^ S^f^RTW ^^THT^ II 

" As if we did not see in our own time that subjects are forgotten 
and works lost." 

u And it must not be said that their destruction is impossible, for 
we see it take place every day, whether by negligence, 
idleness, or by the death of men." 


the simple fact, that these rules are still followed by 
men; the only exception being where customs can be 
proved to depend on selfish motives. In this case, a 
man who follows such unauthorised customs, shall go 
to hell." 

With regard to the hymns, it is in itself very un- 
likely that no more should have existed than those 
which happen to be collected in the Rig-veda ; and 
even in the Rig-veda we see that the number of hymns 
varied in different communities. The ancient poetry 
of India, however, would hardly have furnished autho- 
ritative passages for legal and ceremonial questions ; 
and there is no doubt that the lost tradition which is 
appealed to by later writers, refers only to Brahmanas. 
A number of these dogmatic works are still in exist- 
ence ; but others, which are always quoted along with 
them, are now lost, or known by extracts only. 
There existed a considerable number of ancient sages 
who embodied their doctrines, whether on philosophi- 
cal or ceremonial, on metrical or grammatical ques- 
tions, in independent works, which were handed down 
by tradition among their descendants. But, as Ku- 
marila observes, through the carelessness and forget- 
fulness of men, and also by the extinction of families, 
these works were necessarily lost ; and it is, indeed, 
less surprising that many of these Brahmanas should 
have been lost, than that so many should still have 
been saved, if we remember for how long a time oral 
tradition was in India the only means of preserving 
them. Kumarila, however, was too keen-sighted not to 
perceive the danger of admitting lost Sakhas of the 
Yeda as authorities, and he makes several reservations 
in order to guard against a promiscuous use of this 
argument. The Buddhists also might appeal to a lost 


akh&, and thus upset all the arguments of the or- 
thodox philosophers. But in spite of the bug-bear of 
the Buddhists, the general fact that some Sakhas had 
perished was admitted by Kumarila, as well as by 
Apastamba, both endeavouring to prop up the autho- 
rity of the Smriti by the broken pillars of the Sruti. 1 
The evidence which has been brought together is 
sufficient to establish the fact, that the distinction 
between Sruti and Smriti, revelation and tradition, 
had been established by the Brahmans previous to the 
rise of Buddhism, or, at all events, previous to the 
time when the Sutra style began to be adopted in In- 
dian literature. There existed, previous to the Sutra 
period, a body of literary works propagated by oral 
tradition, which formed the basis of all later writings 
on sacred subjects, and which by the Brahmans was 
believed to be of divine origin. The idea expressed 
by the verb sru, to hear, i. e. to receive by inspiration, 
is known in the Brahmanas. The name of Smriti 
seems to occur for the first time in the Taittiriya- 
aranyaka 2 , though it is said to be used there in the 

* Taitt. Ar. i. 1,2.: ^f^t W^f^^ j^H^C^ H 
The Commentator explains Smriti by ^i*Ji|^f?fiT^f 1T*3T- 


sense of Sruti. In the Sutras, however, the distinc- 
tion between Sruti and Smriti is distinctly stated. 
We find it in the Anupada-sutras 1 , which we have 
reason to reckon amongst the earliest specimens of 
this class of literature. In the Nidana-siitras also, 
ancient tradition is mentioned by the name of Smriti 2 ; 
and although in Panini the technical distinction be- 
tween Sruti and Smriti is not mentioned, it would be 
wrong to draw any conclusions from this, as there can 
be little doubt that Panini is later than the Anupada- 

The Six Veddngas. 

We shall now proceed to an examination of those 
works which belong to the Sutra-literature of India, 
as far as they have reference to the Veda. 

f^UJUsi I " tne laws of Man u and others whose source is a revelation 
the existence of which must be inferred." Pratyaksha (sensuous 
impression) is, according to Sayana, ^fo(9TOt ^Vf^^T 'JJT^J 

3?3PV|i " tue word of the Veda which all men can perceive in 

their teacher." Aitihya (tradition) is explained by ^fr|^Tf! l 4'(J- 

U!^^MI<r|5<l^|^Tf^f> " legends, Puranas, the Mahabharata, 

and the Brahmanas." Lastly Anumana, if we believe Sayana, does 
not here mean inference, but customs of good men, by which or from 
which the existence of an authority, that is, of 6ruti and Smriti, as 

the source of these customs, is inferred. ^5JT^TTT f^OTT^n^ I 

1 Anupada-sutra, ii. 4. ^fd^ifrl^ ^^^T I Cf. Indische 
Studien, i. p. 44. 

2 Nidana-sutra, ii. 1. ^M^WdHll Trf^T^fT: WffTI 
Cf. Indische Studien, i. p. 45. 


The Brahmans say that there are six members of 
the Veda, the six Vedangas. This name does not 
imply the existence of six distinct books or treatises 
intimately connected with their sacred writings, but 
merely the admission of six subjects the study of 
which was necessary " either for the reading, the 
understanding, or the proper sacrificial employment 
of the Yeda. Manu calls the Vedangas by the name 
of Pravachanas x , which is a title not unusually ap- 
plied to the Brahmanas. 2 And indeed, instead of 

1 Manu, iii. 184. : ^RZJT: ^g ^TJ l^rR^^J ^| 

"Those priests must be considered as the purifiers of a company 
who are most learned in all the Vedas and all their Angas." 
Sir W. Jones. 

Kulluka: ^W^f^ ^T*f ^frf^T 3Fr^TT^TTf% II 

" Because the meaning of the Veda is proclaimed by them, therefore 
are the Angas called Pravachanas." 

2 3n^nrf^rT*rfa ju^I^t: ^: ^rrsjrei com. 

'* Among the Kalabavins also the accent exists in the perusal of 
the Veda enjoined by the Pravachanas. Com. By the word 
pravachana is meant the Brahmana, and it is called so because 
it is proclaimed." 
There is a passage in the Prasthanabheda, 

" For each Veda there are several 6akhas the difference of which 

arises from different Pravachanas." 
Here pravachana means Brahmana, because the difference of the 
Brahmana-sakhas does arise from Brahmanas peculiar to each. It 
is possible, however, that Madhusudana used pravachana in the 
sense of pronunciation, the difference of pronunciation being the 
chief cause of the Sanhita-sakhas. Pravachana is used in the Ka- 
thopanishad, ii. 23., in the sense of " reading." 


looking for the Vedangas to those small and barren 
tracts which are now known by this name, it is in the 
Brahmanas and Sutras that we have to look for the 
Vedanga-doctrines in their original and authentic 
form. The short Vedangas which are generally added 
to the manuscripts of the Veda, and which by several 
scholars were mistaken for the real Vedangas, re- 
present only the last unsuccessful attempts to bring 
the complicated and unintelligible doctrines of former 
sages into an easy and popular form, and to preserve 
at the same time the names which had been sanc- 
tioned by antiquity. 

A very clear and rational statement as to the 
character of the Vedangas in early times, is given 
in the Brihadaranyaka and its commentary. Accord- 
ing to them the different doctrines of the Vedangas 
are to be considered as integral parts of the Brah- 
manas, in the same manner as the Puranas and Iti- 
hasas. These, as we saw before, were to be taken in 
the sense of epic or pauranic stories, incorporated 
in the Brahmanas, as illustrations of ceremonial 
questions. By Itihasa, as the commentator says, 
(Brih. Arany. ii.4.) we have to understand stories like 
those of Urvasi and Puriiravas in the Satapatha-brah- 
mana ; by Purdna, passages on creation and the like, 
for instance, " in the beginning there was nothing," 
&c. He then proceeds to quote passages from the 
Brahmanas which he calls Upanishads (mysteries), 
Slokas (verses), Sutras (rules), Anuvyakhyas (ex- 
planations), and Vyakhyas (comments). It is under 
these heads that the Vedangas had their original 

It is more difficult to determine where and when 


the Vedangas were first mentioned as six. In the 
Mundaka-upanishad the number of the Vedangas is 
given as six, but in a line which is not unlikely 
to have been interpolated. Yaska (Nir. i. 20.) 
quotes only the Vedangas, but not the six Ve- 
dangas. The number of six occurs in the Cha- 
ranavyuha, where we meet with the well-known 
versus memorialis, containing the titles of the six 
Vedangas. 1 The same number occurs in Manu (iii. 
185). There is a passage in the Chhandogya-Upani- 

stamba, who occasionally quotes 6lokas in his Sutras, does not seem 
to have known this verse. His words are (ii. 4. 8.), tr^TT W^l 

#jr: cir^ft ^T^n^r ^T^ f%^?ri fSr^ri what follows, in 

the only MS. I know, is eaten away by worms ; but then comes the 
word ^TTf%n?f^> which was the title of a metrical treatise, and 
is quoted as such before Pingala, in the 'abda-Kalpa-druma, s. v. 

fffH One of the Parisishtas of the Samaveda begins with the 

words ^IJTcP^N^t fT^SJ EH '<3( I <$U *J ! I The Parisish- 
tas, however, are later than Apastamba and Pingala; for the 
author of the Parisishta declares that he made use of Pingala's work : 

WTW WT^t TT*nj^?*ll The title ^ftfaf%f?T refers, 
therefore, most likely to the Nidana-sutra, which also begins 
with ^mrP^T^f f^TO ^T^T^nT: I Cf. MS. Berol. 

95. In the Commentary on the ^akala-pratisakhya, at the end of 
the 14th Book, the Vedangas are enumerated as follows : 


shad where a mention of the six Vedangas might be 
expected, at the beginning of the ninth Prapathaka. 
The number six, however, does not occur there, al- 
though Vedanga doctrines are clearly implied under 
somewhat unusual names. 1 The earliest mention of 
the number six in reference to the Vedangas seems 
to be contained in one of the Brahmanas of the 
Sama-veda. But there again, though the number six 
is given, the titles of the several Vedangas are not 
mentioned. It is said there (Shadvinsa-Br. iv. 7.) of 

1 This passage has heen pointed out and translated by Cole- 
brooke (Miscellaneous Essays, i. 12.). "Narada, having solicited 
instruction from Sanatkumara, and being interrogated by him as 
to the extent of his previous knowledge, says, ' I have learnt the 
Rig-veda, the Yaj ur-veda, the Sama-veda, the Atharvana (which is) 
the fourth, the Itihasa and Purana (which are) a fifth, and (gram- 
mar, or) the Veda of Vedas, the obsequies of the manes (f^cEf), 

the art of computation ("^TfiX)> tne knowledge of omens (<^4)> 
the revolution of periods (f%f^f, com. IT^T^T^f^f%fV'3rnf )> 
the intention of speech (or art of reasoning) (^T^FT^T^f)? 
the maxims of ethics (TT3Tiql), the divine science (or construc- 
tion of scriptures) (^^fif^T, com. fcj^rjt), the sciences append- 
ant on holy writ (or accentuation, prosody, and religious rites) 
/^TjffiNlt), the adjuration of spirits (?37Tf%^jt> com - ^iTT^"^)* 
the art of the soldier (^T^fcj Q \ , com. ^Tcj^), the science of as- 
tronomy ( *r^T^fi *Q i )> tne charming of serpents (WhI^^I)* tne 

science of demigods (or music and mechanical arts, ^TT^^" see 

page 39.): all this I have studied; yet do I only know the text, 
and have no knowledge of the soul." 

S1KSII A. 113 

Svaha, that her body consists of the four Vedas, and 
that her limbs are the six Angas, or members of the 
Veda. 1 It is possible, however, that more ancient 
Brahmanas allude to the number of six ; at all events 
we see that it was sanctioned for the Vedangas before 
the end of the Brahmana period. 

The six doctrines commonly comprehended under 
the title of Vedangas, are Siksha (pronunciation), 
Chhandas (metre), Vyakarana (grammar), Nirukta 
(explanation of words), Jyotisha (astronomy), and 
Kalpa (ceremonial). The first two are considered 
necessary for reading the Veda, the two next for 
understanding it, and the last two for employing it 
at sacrifices. 

&iksha, or Phonetics. 

Sayana, in his Commentary on the Rig-veda, de- 
fines Siksha as the science of the pronunciation of 
letters, accents, &c. ; and he quotes from a work of 
the Taittiriyas, who have devoted a chapter of their 
Aranyaka to this subject. Now in the seventh book 
of the Taittiriya- Aranyaka we still find the following 
headings: "Let us explain the&iksha," 2 " On Letters," 

cFTf ^Y*TTf%ll " The four Vedas are her body; the six Angas 
her limbs; herbs and trees her hair." See also the text frequently 
quoted from the Veda, 5Hl|psN ^#5ft 3^ fSr^TWl" S^^ft 
Tf^RJII " The Veda, with its six members, ought to be known 
and understood by a Brahman without any further inducement." 

2 "Sffat ^JTWnrra: The i in 6iksha is short (hrasva), 
though it is strong (guru). It is only in the Aranyaka that 6iksha 

114 SIKSHA. 

M On Accents," " On Quantity," " On the Organs of 
Pronunciation," a On Delivery," "On Euphonic Laws." 
Unless we admit that the rules on Siksha had 
formerly their place in this chapter of the Taittiriya- 
Aranyaka, it would be difficult to explain why all the 
principal subjects of the Siksha should be mentioned 
here, why the whole chapter should be called the 
Siksha chapter (ityuktah sikshadhyayah), and why 
it should begin with the words " Let us now explain 
the Siksha." Sayana, who was certainly acquainted 
with the Vedic tradition, takes the same view in his 
Commentary on the Sanhiti-upanishad. 1 He states 
that the Taittiriya-upanishad consists of three parts 2 , 
of the Sanhiti, Yajniki, and Yaruni-upanishad. Of 

occurs instead of &iksha. 6iksha is derived from sak, to be able, 
and means originally a desire to know. From the same root we 
have sakta, a teacher (Rv. vii. 103. 5.) ; sikshamana, a pupil (Rv. 
vii. 103. 5.). Sishya, a pupil, comes from a different root. Sa- 
yana says, far^ ^^rr^qf^asm ^rtjwt^tt *nrniY 

flT^Tl ^3 "aft^TH The other headings are, ^TJj: | ^R^t I 

1 I owe a copy of this Commentary of Sayana's to the kindness 
of Dr. RiSer, at Calcutta. Seeing, in the catalogue of manuscripts 
published by the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, a work of Sayana's, 
called 6ikshabhashya, and imagining this to be a commentary on 
the 6iksha-vedanga or one of the Pratisakhyas, I wrote to Dr. Roer 
for a copy of it. Though I was ultimately disappointed when I 
found that it had nothing to do with the Pratisakhyas, I still con- 
sider the Commentary of great interest, particularly Sayana's in- 
troduction to the Vedanta-system in it. Dr. Roer has since pub- 
lished the whole Taittiriya-upanishad, with the Commentaries of 
&ankara and Ananda Giri, in No. 22. of the Bibliotheca Indica. 

&KSHA. 115 

these the last is the most important, because it 
teaches the knowledge of the Divine Self. The first 
serves as an introduction or preparation, in order to 
bring the mind of the pupil into a proper state for 
receiving the doctrines on the highest subjects. Now 
immediately after the first invocation, the Upanishad 
begins with the Siksha chapter ; and in order to ex- 
plain this, Sayana remarks that this doctrine is ne- 
cessary here, in order to enable the pupil to read and 
pronounce the sacred texts correctly, and thus to un- 
derstand their real meaning. 1 It might be objected, 
Sayana remarks, that as a correct pronunciation is 
equally required for the earlier ceremonial portion of 
the Veda (Karma-kanda), the Siksha ought to have 
been inserted there. But then, he says, this chapter 
in its present place stands between the ceremonial 
and the philosophical portion of the Veda, like a 
lamp on the threshold of a door giving light to both, 
lie adds, that a right pronunciation and understand- 
ing is of greater importance for the philosophical 
part ; because mistakes in the sacrifices and the cere- 
monial can be made good by penance, while there is 
no penance for a wrong understanding of philo- 
sophical principles. 

If then there is reason to believe that the doctrine 

ire^Tf?nr4 f^Trs*^ fir^rsn^r sfSnffaftii 11 ?m 

i 2 


of the Siksha was formerly embodied in the Aranya- 
kas, perhaps even in the Brahmanas 1 , the question 
is, why it afterwards lost this place. This can 
only be accounted for by the appearance of more 
scientific treatises, which embraced the same subjects, 
but in a much more systematic style than anything 
which we could expect to meet with in the Brahmanas 
and Aranyakas. 

These were the Pratisakhyas, a branch of litera- 
ture which will claim our particular attention for 
more than one reason. If we compare the Prati- 
sakhyas with Brahmanas and Aranyakas, they evi- 
dently indicate a considerable progress of the Indian 
mind. They were written for practical purposes ; 
their style is free from cumbrous ornaments, and 
unnecessary subtleties. It is their object to teach 
and not to edify ; to explain, not to discuss. Where 
the Brahmanas or Aranyakas allude to grammatical, 
metrical, or etymological questions, they give nothing 
but theological and mystical dreams. So far from 
receiving elucidation, the points in question generally 
become involved in still greater darkness. It is not 
unlikely that teachers appealed to these passages 
of the Brahmanas in order to derive from them the 
highest possible sanction for their doctrines. But 
these doctrines, if they were intended for use and 
instruction, must have been delivered in a more 
homely and more intelligible form. The origin of the 
Pratisakhyas may therefore be accounted for in the 

1 The passage from the Pushpa-siitras (viii. 8.) which was quoted 
before, cffreRf^TTOft W^Tfcf%rn ^: WWTC, does 
not prove that the rules on the accent were laid down in the 
Brahmana of the Kalabavins, because it may also mean that the 
accented delivery of sacred texts was enjoined in the Brahmana. 


following manner : During the Brahrnana period the 
songs of the Yeda were preserved by oral tradition 
only : and as the spoken language of India had ad- 
vanced and left the idiom of the Yeda behind as a 
kind of antique and sacred utterance, it was difficult 
to preserve the proper pronunciation of the sacred 
hymns without laying down a certain number of rules 
on metre, accent, and pronunciation in general. The 
necessity, however, of such a provision could hardly 
have been felt until certain differences had actually 
arisen in different seats of Brahmanic learning. Thus, 
when the attempt was made to prevent a further cor- 
ruption, a certain number of local varieties in accent 
and pronunciation, and in the recital of the hymns, 
had actually crept in and become sanctioned by the 
tradition of different families or schools. These could 
not be given up, nor was there any means of de- 
termining which was the ancient and most correct 
way of reciting the sacred songs of the Veda. Dis- 
cussions having arisen on this subject, we find in the 
Brahmanas occasional mention of verses which, if 
improperly pronounced, become changed in their 
meaning. But even where the sense of the Yeda was 
not affected, the respect paid by each teacher, by 
each family, and by each Brahmanic community to 
its own established oral tradition, was sufficient to 
give an imaginary value to the slightest peculiarities 
of pronunciation, accent, or metre. 

A twofold advantage was gained when the rules 
and exceptions of the old sacred dialect were first re- 
duced to a system. First, ancient dialectical dif- 
ferences, many of which are not so much attributable 
to corruptions as to the freedom of the old spoken 
language, were carefully preserved, and even apparent 


irregularities and exceptions were handed down as 
such, instead of being eliminated and forgotten. 
Secondly, a start was made towards a scientific study 
of language ; by the collection of a large number of 
similar passages, general laws were elicited which 
afterwards served as the phonetic basis of a grammar 
like that of Panini; a work which, although ascribed 
to one author, must have required ages of observation 
and collection before its plan could be conceived or 
carried out by one individual. Even the Pratisakhyas, 
though they do not refer to grammar properly so called, 
but principally to the phonetic laws of language, 
presuppose a long-continued study of grammatical 
subjects previous to the time of their composition. 
The best proof of this lies in the great number of au- 
thors quoted in the Pratisakhyas, whose opinions are 
frequently at variance with the precepts contained in 
the Pratisakhyas themselves. Though we are not 
now in possession of the works of these earlier authors, 
yet we have a right to assume that their doctrines 
existed formerly in the shape of Pratisakhyas. In 
the same way as one only of the different Sakhas or 
recensions of the Rig-veda has been preserved to us in 
manuscript, the Sakala-sakha, which was followed by 
Saunaka, we may understand how one only of the 
Pratisakhyas of the Rig-veda has come down to us ; 
particularly as its composition is ascribed to the same 
Saunaka who is said to have united the Bashkala and 
the Sakala-sakhas, and who, as far as the Sanhita is 
concerned, was a follower of the Saisira-sakha. 6au- 
naka's Pratisakhya of the iSakalas, being one of the 
latest compositions of this kind, was probably also 
the most perfect and complete. As Saunaka states 
the different opinions of Sakala grammarians on im- 


portant points, where he himself differs from them, 
his work was the more likely to supersede previous 
Pratisakhyas, particularly at the time when the Vedic 
religion was on its decline, and Brahmanic doctrines 
daily losing in influence. Though it is true that 
as yet only one Pratisakhya belonging to each Yeda 
has been found in manuscript, yet they all belong 
not to one of the four Yedas in general, but to one 
Sakha of each of them. Pratisakhya, therefore, does 
not mean, as has been supposed, a treatise on the 
phonetic peculiarities of each Veda, but a collection 
of phonetic rules peculiar to one of the different 
branches of the four Yedas, i. e. to one of those dif- 
ferent texts in which each of the Yedas had been 
handed down for ages in different families and dif- 
ferent parts of India. The differences between the 
Sakhas of the same Yeda, as far as the words of the 
hymns are concerned, seem certainly not to have been 
very great, if we may judge from the few instances in 
which different Sakhas of the same Yeda have been 
preserved in manuscripts. Most Sakhas do not differ 
in the general arrangement of the Sanhitas, or collec- 
tions of hymns, but merely in single words or verses. 
In a few cases only one Sakha contains some hymns 
more than another. The Sakhas were not indepen- 
dent collections of the old hymns, but different edi- 
tions of one and the same original collection, which 
in the course of a long continued oral tradition had 
become modified by slight degrees. The texts of 
the Yeda as they existed and lived in the oral tra- 
dition of various sets of people became Sakhas dif- 
fering from other Sakhas somewhat in the same way 
as the MSS. of the New Testament differ from each 
other. The Pratisakhyas, besides giving general 

i 4 


rules for the proper pronunciation of the Vedic 
language in general, were intended to record what 
was peculiar in the pronunciation of certain teachers 
and their schools. Even in cases where these schools 
had become extinct, we find the names of their 
founders, preserved as authorities on matters con- 
nected with the pronunciation of certain letters or 

The real object of the Pratisakhyas, as shown be- 
fore, was not to teach the grammar of the old sacred 
language, to lay down the rules of declension and 
conjugation, or the principles of the formation of 
words. This is a doctrine which, though it could not 
have been unknown during the Vedic period, has not 
been embodied, as far as we know, in any ancient 
work. The Pratisakhyas are never called Vyakaranas, 
grammars 1 , and it is only incidentally that they 
allude to strictly grammatical questions. The perfect 
phonetic system on which Panini's grammar is built, 
is no doubt taken from the Pratisakhyas; but the 
sources of Panini's strictly grammatical doctrines 
must be looked for elsewhere. 

Although, then, there is no necessity to suppose that 
every one of the numerous Vedic Sakhas possessed 
full and complete Pratisakhyas, like that belonging 

1 According to the first Pratisakhya, i. 58., IJT^T^^f^ WI 
their rules would seem to affect passages of the Brahmanas too, like 
TtffT ^JfT i &c. : and the Commentator adds, ^^J ^^^T|f 

fffJJ^^fq | Most of these Praishas, however, are taken from the 

hymns; as, for instance, the words ^tffT ^Tsjfl^l R v * 139. 10. 

This is different for the Yajur-veda where the general rules of the 
Pratisakhya extend their influence to the sacrificial invocations. 


to the Sakala-sakha, which was finally collected by 
Saunaka, yet the great number of previous autho- 
rities quoted in our Pratisakhyas makes it likely 
that a large number of similar works did actually 
exist for the principal Sakhas that are mentioned in 
earlier writings. In the Pratijnaparisishta 1 it is stated 
that there were fifteen codes of law for the fifteen 
Sakhas of the Vajasaneyins : and Kumarila says that 
the text of these Codes of law and of the Grihyas was 
peculiar in each Charana, in the same manner as the 
formal rules of the Pratisakhyas. 2 Madhusudana 
Sarasvati's definition of Pratisakhya is perfectly in 
accordance with this view of the subject. He says : 
" The Yeda 3 consists of two parts : one teaching 
the sacrifice, the other teaching Brahman, or the Su- 

MS. Bodl. W. 510. : 

^wf M^<ai *tot^t JfffreT: Jrf^n ^ spwfr: I 

The meaning of u Yathasvaram pratishthas" is doubtful. Should it 
mean " rules with reference to accents ?" If so, they would be the 
rules of Pratisakhyas. That the 6akhas differed about the accents is 
seen in the case of the Mandukeyas and 6akalas. Pratisakhya 1. 200. 

Katyayana, as the author of a Pratisakhya, is called ^fTW^KT** 

2 Tantra V. I. 3. (MS. Bodl. W. 325. p. 15 b.) 

3 Veda is taken here in the general sense of sacred literature, 
as Uvata says, 


u Every single collection of hymns which existed at anytime, and 
in any place, without reference to the divisions in each Charana 
(sect), is called Veda." 


preme Being. As there are three different branches 
of the ceremonial, the Veda is, for the better per- 
formance of the sacrifices, divided into three: the 
Eig-Yeda, Yajur-Veda, and Sama-Veda. The cere- 
monial of the Hotri priests is performed with the 
.Rig- Veda; that of the Adhvaryu priests with the 
Yajur-Veda; that of the Udgatri priests with the 
S&ma-Veda. The duties of the Brahman priests, and 
of him for whom the sacrifice is offered, are also con- 
tained in these three Vedas. The Atharva-Veda is 
not used for solemn sacrifices, and is very different 
from the others, as it teaches only expiatory, pre- 
servative, or imprecatory rites. For each Veda 
there are several Sakhas, and their differences arise 
from various readings." x Afterwards he goes on to 
observe that " the rules of pronunciation (siksha), 
which apply to all the Vedas in general, have been 
explained by Panini, but that the same rules, as they 
apply to the Sakhas of each Veda, have been taught 
by other sages under the title of Pratisakhyas." 2 If 

1 According to Madhusudana, the Brahman part of the Veda, by 
which he can only mean the Upanishads, is not affected by the 
peculiarities of the Sakhas. If this were true, it would only prove 
the late origin of the Upanishads. Some Upanishads, however, 
show traces of various readings, which must properly be attributed 
to various Sakhas. This is admitted, for instance, by Sayana, in 
his Commentary on the Yajniki or Narayaniya-upanishad. " Ta- 
diyapathasampradayo desavisesheshu bahuvidho drisyate ; tatra 
yadyapi sakhabhedah karanam tathapi Taittiriyadhyayakais tat- 
taddesanivasibhih sishtair adritatvat, sarvo'pi patha upadeya eva." 
Ind. Stud. i. 76. ' 

2 See also Somesvara's Tantra-varttikatika. (MS. E. I. II. 
1030. p. 95.) 


we here take the word sakhas (branches) in the sense 
of different traditionary texts of the four Yedas, 
Madhusiidana's words do not require any alteration ; 
they would become obscure if, as has been proposed, 
we took sakha either in the sense of " a school " or 
of " a portion of the Veda." 

The word sakha is used, however, by some writers 
in so vague a manner that we need not wonder if its 
meaning has sometimes been misapprehended. " Tra- 
ditional text (recension) of the Yeda " is perhaps the 
nearest approach to its real meaning. 

The word is sometimes applied to the three original 
Sanhitas, the Rig-veda-sanhita, Yajur-veda-sanhita, 
and Sama-veda-sanhita 1 , in their relation to one an- 
other, and without any reference to subordinate sakhas 

ttctct: irfw^ Trf?nT< tTwttw f%*r^WT to^t- 

" There are two kinds of Siksha, a general and one which has 
regard to particulars. It is true that the authority of the 
general Siksha, is established, on account of its belonging to 
the Vedangas ; but in order to remove all doubt as to the 
authority of the particular 6ikshas, published by Katyayana 
and others, which determine the pronunciation of each 
sentence and each word, it is clear that it is not different 
from the other, inasmuch as both are one by their common 
character of Siksha, although they are spoken of separately. 
1 It is said of Sayana that he wrote commentaries on each of 

the 6akhas of the Rich, Yajush and Sama. 

Ekaika could hardly mean " one from among the Sakhas of each 


belonging to each of them. They may be called the 
original branches or the three stems of the Veda-tree, 
each of them branching off again in a number of other 
sakhas. The " branches," as Kumarila says, have all 
the same root, revelation (sruti), and they bear all 
the same fruit, the sacrifice (karma). If otherwise, 
they would be different trees, not different branches. 1 
In the same acceptation the word is used for instance 
by Apastamba, where he is giving rules as to 
the time and place where the Veda ought not to 
be read. He says there (Sam. Sutra, 3. 44, 45,) that 
it ought not to be rehearsed where music or Sama- 
hymns are performed, and he adds, that Sama- 
hymns ought not to be practised in the neighbour- 
hood of another sakh&, that is, as the commentator 
observes, of another Veda. 2 

More frequently, however, sakh& is used to signify 
the various editions, or, more properly, the various 
traditions, that branched off from each of the three 
original branches of the Veda. In this latter sense 
sakha seems sometimes synonymous with charana. 
But there was originally an important difference in 
the meaning of these two terms. 

3Tni ^TITT TPSftTII The first Sutra is paraphrased by the 
Manavas, iv. 123., r*r^TT|^sft infWfa ^?T^I 


In order to appreciate the difference between sakha 
and charana, it need only be remembered that we 
find " sakham adhite," "he reads a certain recension of 
the Veda," but never "charanam adhite," still less "pa- 
rishadam adhite," "he reads a Charana or a Parishad." 
Hence it is clear that sakha means originally a lite- 
rary work, and that Charana does not. If sakha is 
sometimes used in the sense of charana or sect, this is 
because in India the sakhas existed in reality not as 
written books, but only in the tradition of the 
Charanas, each member of a Charana representing 
what, in our modern times, we should call the copy 
of a book. 

The Brahmans themselves were fully aware of this 
difference between sakha and charana. In a Yarttika 
to Panini, iv. 1. 63., we find charana explained by 
sakhadhyetri, &c, " the readers of a sakM." In a 
passage of Jagaddhara's Commentary on Malatima- 
dhava, Charana is said to mean " a number of men 
who are pledged to the reading of a certain sakhd of 
the Yeda, and who have in this manner become one 
body." 1 Panini 2 speaks of Charanas as constituting 
a multitude, that is to say, as comprising a number 
of followers. In Apastamba's Samayacharika-siitras, 
where rules are given as to the relative age of persons 
who ought to be saluted, the Charanas or members of 
the same Charana are mentioned immediately after 
the Paurasakhyam, or town acquaintances ; and in 

Cf. Zur Litteratur, p. 57 

2 Pan. iv. 2. 46. ^R^faiV ^*foff N scil. ^^T^. 


the third place stand the Srotriya-Brahmans. 1 
Panini speaks of the Kathaka and Kalapaka as 
works belonging to the Charanas of the Kathas and 
Kalapas. 2 In a Yarttika to iv. 1. 63., women are 
mentioned as belonging to a Charana; for Kathi 
is the wife or daughter of a Brahman who belongs 
to the Charana, or reads the Sakha, of the Kathas. 
A sakha, which is always a portion of the Sruti, 
cannot properly include law books. But followers of 
certain Sakhas might well, in the course of time, 
adopt a code of laws, which, as it was binding on their 
Charana only, would naturally go by the name of 
their Charana. That this actually took place may be 
seen from a Yarttika to Pan. iv. 3. 120., where it is 
said that Kathaka may be used not only for the sacred 
traditions, but also for the laws of the Kathas. Thus 
the Pratisakhyas also were called by the name of the 
Charanas, because they were the exclusive property 
of the readers of certain sakhas, and even more 
so than the Kuladharmas or family-laws. 

As a sakh& consisted of a Sanhita as well as a 
Brahmana, at all events in later times, differences in 
the text of the hymns, as well as discrepancies in 
the Brahmanas, might lead to the establishment of 
new Charanas, founded as they were on sacred texts 
peculiar to themselves. 3 Sakhas of this kind, which 

1 Ap. i. 4. 4. The Commentator says that "^T^W^^* "3TT" 
Vminj ^*^ I Charana, therefore, means a member of a 
Charana. Lassen (Ind. Alterthumsk. i. 640.) takes Charana in the 
sense of wandering poets, so named still in Western India. 

2 Pan. iv. 3. 126. "jflr^^TWT^^T scil. TT^TO- 

3 Mahadeva's Hiranyakesibhashya : 


differed through the various readings of the Sruti, 
were considered by the Brahmans as eternal sakhas, 
and the Charanas, to which they belonged, were not 
supposed to have been founded by human authors. 1 
It will be seen hereafter that the Brahmans ad- 
mitted another class of sakhas, which were founded 
on Sutras 2 and derived their names from historical 
personages. They were confessedly of a later date. 

But although, after a careful examination of these 
passages, we cannot doubt that there was an ori- 
ginal difference between sakha and charana, it is not 
the less certain that these two words were frequently 
used synonymously 3 ; in the same way as we may 
speak of the Jews when we mean the Old Testament, 
or of the Koran when we mean the Mohammedans. 


" Any portion of oral tradition consisting of Mantras and Brah- 
manas is called a sakha, and it is clear that differences of 
either the Mantras or Brahmanas will necessarily lead, in the 
Veda, to a variety of subordinate sakhas." 

1 ^psrSIW^ I ^T^tJ^T STTf^:i " The various sakhas 
which arise from various readings are eternal." 

TTTT ^"^TfW I Mahadeva's Commentary on the Hiranyakesi- 

3 Cf. Nirukta, i. 17., where IJe^^TjrrcfT is explained by 

^SlUslirKlWI and Pan. ii. 4. 3. ^R^: TTnsTTI P&nu vi. 



After having established the difference between sa- 
kha and charana, we have still to inquire how both dif- 
fer from parishad, in order to determine the meaning 
of Parshada, another title which is frequently applied 
to the Pratisakhyas. Here it is important to observe 
that although every Pratisakhya may be called a 
Parshada 1 , I. e. a work belonging to a Parishad, not 
every Parshada can be called a Pratisakhya, but 
those only which contain the rules of pronunciation 
for a particular sakha or text of the Vedic hymns, 
studied and taught in certain Parishads. 2 Amara 
explains parishad by sabha or goshthi, an assembly ; 
but the codes of law lay down more accurately the 
number, age, and qualifications of the Brahman s, 
necessary to form such an assembly as should be 
competent to give decisions on all points on which 
the people, or, if we may say so, the parishioners, 
might demand advice. That such Parishads or 
Brahmanic settlements existed in old times, we see in 
the Brihadaranyaka 3 , where it is said that Svetaketu 

1 Parshada, instead of Parishada. Cf. Pan. iv. 3. 123. 

2 I doubt the existence of a word like "JTH^f^/T'Tnif^fj which 
Dr. Roth mentions (Zur Litteratur, p. 16.). One may speak of 
M^IHllt ITftN^ or ^IQrPft tff^Cj^ &c, and a Pratisakhya 
current in one of these Parishads may, perhaps, be called 
^JtPTPvT* But TP2rf^r*T is not the name of a Parishad, but of 
a 6akha ; and therefore the Commentary on Gobhila speaks of a 
^TP^f^ *l 3^ I *sTl *4 Hjf^^T^l I Dut cou ld not we H nave spoken 

of a W3Tn!t^TfTOTT3ill 

3 Lrih. Ar. vi. 2. ipfVcff wt ^rr^fa: *HT*rrrf *rfr- 


went to the Parishad of the Panchalas, and many 
similar passages. The character of a Parishad is 
described in Manu's Code of Laws, xii. 110 113., 
and by Yajnavalkya, i. 9., where we have the con- 
tracted form Parshad instead of Parishad. According 
to the ideas of these modern writers a Parishad ought 
to consist of twenty-one Brahmans well versed in 
philosophy, theology, and law. 1 This number, how- 
ever, can be reduced according to circumstances, as 
will be seen from passages of Parasara's Dharmasastra. 
It must not be supposed that the rules laid down in 
these law-books have always been observed in the 
formation of a Parishad, particularly as regards the 
early times of India ; yet we may be able to form 
some conception of their original character, by seeing 
what has become of them in later times. Parasara 
says 2 : " Four, or even three able men from amongst 
the Brahmans in a village, (gramamadhye) who 
know the Veda, and keep the sacrificial fire, form a 

130 pkatisakiiyas. 

M Or, if they do not keep the sacrificial fire, five or 
three who have studied the Vedas and Vedangas, 
and know the law, may well form a Parishad. 

" Of old sages who possess the highest knowledge of 
the Divine Self, who are twice-born, perform sacri- 
fices, and have purified themselves in the duties of 
the Yeda, one, also, may be considered as a Parishad. 

u Thus, iive kinds of Parishads have been described 
by me ; but if they all fail, three independent men 
may form a Parishad." 

Madhava, in his Commentary on Parasara, quotes 
a similar passage 1 from Brihaspati's Code : " Where 
seven, live, or three Brahmans, who know the customs 
of the world, the Vedangas (or the Vedas and the 
Angas), and the law, have settled, that assembly is 
like a sacrifice." The real difference, therefore, be- 
tween a Charana and a Parishad, seems to be that the 
former signifies an ideal succession of teachers and 
pupils who learn and teach a certain branch of the 
Veda ; while the latter means a settlement of 
Brahmans, a community or college to which members 
of any Charana might belong. Thus members of 
the same Charana might be fellows of different 
Parishads, and fellows of the same Parishad might 
be members of different Charanas. 2 

2 See Goblrilabhashya, MS. W. 72. p. 71. a. WTT*5 ^jft^r^ 

^Y^^r^Tf^gti com. tts uRt^t fspsR^N 


Now as Parshada may be used as the title of any 
work that belonged to a Parishad, or formed, so to 
say, the traditional library of the Parishadyas, it is 
clear that this title could not be confined to the Pra- 
tisakhyas, though it would necessarily include them. 
If a follower of the 6 akala- charana was a fellow of the 
Vatsa-parishad, the Sakala-pratisakhya would neces- 
sarily be one of the Parshada works of the Yatsas, 
and the Parishad of the Yatsas would through this 
fellow be connected with the Sakala- charana. This is 
what Durga means when in the Commentary on the 
Nirukta 1 he says "that those Parshadas only are called 
Pratisakhyas which are adopted in a Parishad of one's 
own Charana for teaching certain grammatical doc- 
trines connected with the reading of the Yeda ac- 
cording to one or the other Sakha." The Pratisakhyas 
are in fact a subdivision of the Parshada books, and 

Sf^nft^TfT I) The expression Tf^T^ " thus say some," which 
occurs frequently in the Sutras, is stated to refer to different 
Sakhas, \JTHjfaJ%|| Com. "S^faifV ?nf%*f ^TTl?: I 

*T*4of T *nf*Rr Tf^Hh I Narayana's Commentary on Gobhila, 
MS. W. 72. page 23. b. 

i Nir. i. i7. f% qT^rrt^i ^twRN ^: iffitsrra 

" Those Parshada books by which in a Parishad (parish or college) 
of one's own Charana (sect), the peculiarities of accent, Sanhita 
and Krama-reading, of Pragrihya-vowels and separation of 
words, are laid down as enjoined for and restricted to certain 
6akhas (branches or recensions of the Veda), are called Pra- 

K 2 


in this sense it might well be said that Pratisakhya 
is an adjective to Parshada. 1 

After the true meaning of Sakha, Charana, and 
Parishad, of Pratisakhya and Parshada, has thus 
been determined, we have still to inquire about those 
other works, which together with the Pratisakhyas 
were mentioned as the peculiar property of the 
Charanas. I mean the Kula-dharmas, or law books. 
They of course could not be called Pratisakhyas, but 
they might claim the title of Charanas, (a name 
which has not been met with,) or Parshadas. Now 
we saw before that Apastamba actually refers to the 
Parishads in his Samayacharika-sutras (1. 11.), 
where, after having pointed out the days on 
which the Veda ought not to be repeated, he re- 
marks, that farther particulars on this point are to 
be found in the Parishads. 2 What does this mean ? 
All that Haradatta has to say in the commen- 
tary on this very passage, is that by Parishads 
must here be understood the Manava, Vasishtha, 
and other Dharmasastras. 3 These Dharmasastras, 
however, as we now possess them, betray their 
comparatively modern origin by their form and metre, 
and occasionally by their matter also. As many of 
them have been printed at Calcutta, it may be seen 
that the majority of these small &loka works are 
utterly worthless. They were probably made up only 

1 See Dr. Roth, Zur Litteratur, p. 58. 


in order to fill the gap which had been occasioned by 
the loss of ancient legal works. This loss was felt the 
more severely because the names of the old authors 
retained their celebrity, and were still quoted in 
common practice and courts of law. I have suc- 
ceeded, however, in recovering in manuscript large 
portions of the Kula-dharmas, which are written in 
Sutras, as might be expected in works contempo- 
raneous with the Pratisakhyas. It has been thought 
that the sources of Manu and other Dharmasastras 
must be looked for in the Grihya-sutras. This is not 
quite correct. The Grihya-sutras are concerned 
chiefly with the Sanskaras, or domestic sacraments, ex- 
tending from the birth to the marriage of a man, and 
in so far only as these sacraments form a portion of 
the subjects treated in the Dharmasastras, the Grihya- 
sutras might be considered as their original sources. 
But then the same might be said of the Srauta-sutras, 
because the solemn sacrifices prescribed by them are 
likewise alluded to in the Codes of Law. By far 
the greater portion, however, of these codes is taken 
up with Ach&ra, i. e. laws, manners, and customs. 
The difference between these observances and the 
ceremonies laid down in the other two branches of 
Sutras is this : the domestic sacraments (grihya), as 
well as the solemn sacrifices (srauta), are administered 
by parents or priests for the good of their children 
and pupils, while the Achara comprises all the duties 
which are to be performed by an individual on his 
own behalf.' These duties refer to the different castes, 

i * The threefold division of Dharma is pointed out by the Prayo- 
gavaijayanti. (MS. Bodl. W. 68, p. 16. a.) ^: Ifi^ fafft 

K 3 


and to the respective occupations of each. The rules 
of discipline for the young student, the occupations of 
the married man, the law of inheritance, the duties of 
the king, the administration of the law, are accurately 
detailed in these Sutras. They are of great im- 
portance for forming a correct view of the old state 
of society in India, and the loss of the larger num- 
ber of them is greatly to be regretted. Their general 
title is Samayacharika-sutras, or Dharmasutras, and 
they form the third part to the Srauta and Grihya- 
sutras. Thus we have, besides the Srauta and 
Grihya-sutras of Apastamba, a collection of Sama- 
yacharika-sutras belonging to the same Charana of 
the Apastambas, the members of which, as Kumarila 
tells us, followed one of the Sakhas of the Taittiriya- 
veda. Another collection of Dharmasutras, which, 
however, is liable to critical doubts, belongs to the 
Gautamas, a Charana of the Sama-veda. It has 
been printed at Calcutta. A third one bears the 
name of Vishnu, and has been printed at Calcutta, 
enlarged by modern additions written in Slokas. 
The Yasishtha-dharma-sastra, printed at Calcutta, 
belongs likewise, at least in part, to this class of Dhar- 
masutras. Whether we shall succeed in finding still 
more of these Sutra works is questionable, though 
prose quotations from other Dharmasastras would 
justify this expectation. There can be no doubt, how- 
ever, that all the genuine metrical Dharmasastras 

*r:i wtfk;i\ *nf: yftfet wtt sftwwto: ( sic -)i 
writ fWtai fiterfrsa ^ N xfiU 

" B ludhayaiia says, the highest law is that contained in each 
Veda, which we shall follow in our explanation ; the second is 
the traditional law ; the third, the customs of eminent sages." 


which we possess now, are, without any exception, 
nothing but more modern texts of earlier Sutra- works 
or Kula-dharmas belonging originally to certain Vedic 
Charanas. 1 

To return to those works of the Parshada litera- 
ture which are known by the name of Pratisakhyas, 
I may refer for further particulars to Dr. Roth's 
valuable observations on this branch of literature. 
To him belongs the merit of having first pointed out 
in manuscript four of these works. The first is 
ascribed to Saunaka, and belongs to the Sakala-sakhft 
of the Rig-veda. I call it the Sakala-pratisakhya, 
not the Saisira-pratisakhya, though it pretends to 
follow, like Saunaka's Anukramani, the Sanhita of 
the Saisiriya-sakh&, which is itself a subordinate 
branch of the Sakala-sakha. 2 Sisira, however, is 
never mentioned in this or any other Pratisakhya, 
as an authority on grammatical questions. 

It is doubtful how far the rules given by Saunaka 

1 See Prof. Stenzler's Introduction to his edition of Yajna- 
valkya, and his remarks on Indian Law-books in Indische Studien, 
i. 232. 

tot g^TO ^i *pr^T 'rr^^r Ttm* fifsp*;: 
farfaw^i ^^ ttttot: f^-srr: in^rrH^TT^ff^T 
Tfiti tot ^ ^t^t fifoffarai *jfl<iT*nf*Tf?tl tot 

^7^ MKlJUJl*l3 ^T^% fffscfta^fafft ^Tl The 

verses to which the commentary refers are not in the MS. See 
also Vishnu Parana, p. 277. n.^nf^ ?lftnf^|*H ^f%rn^?t 

k 4 


in his Pratisakhya, can be considered as representing 
the general opinion of the Sakalas. Saunaka, no 
doubt, wrote for the Sakalas, to whom he likewise 
addresses his Anukramani. But the author of the 
Pratisakhya occasionally quotes the opinions of the 
Sakalas, as different from his own, and speaks of 
them in the same manner as he alludes to the 
opinions of other grammarians. He mentions (i. 
65.) the iSakalas as observing a certain peculiar 
pronunciation out of respect for their master, who 
seems to have sanctioned it in his own rules. Who 
this master was is difficult to say. But it is most 
likely the same who (i. 52.) is called the Master, 
Yedamitra (friend of the Veda), and who (i. 223.) 
is called SakalyapitEi, the father of S&kalya. His 
opinions, if we may judge by i. 232., differed from 
those of the younger Sakalya. In i. 185. we meet 
with him again under the name of Sakalya Sthavira, 
S&kalya the elder, and he is there represented as ad- 
vocating a pronunciation from which Saunaka, the 
author of the Pratisakhya, dissents. In i. 199. 
Saunaka adopts the opinion of !akalya, and in i. 208. 
he likewise mentions him with approbation. But all 
this would only tend to show that Saunaka does not 
consider himself bound to follow either Sakalya or 
the father of Sakalya, implicitly. 1 

There is not a single MS. at present existing of the 
Kig-veda in which the rules of our Pratisakhya are 
uniformly observed, and the same applies to the MSS. 

*r*rnrti Jmnro^niMi K^i^fw ^t^^tt:!! com. 

1 In xiii. 12. Sakalya is mentioned as one of three Acharyas, 
Vyali, 6akalya, Gargya. 


of the other Vedas. The rules of the Pratisakhyas 
were not intended for written literature, they were 
only to serve as a guide in the instruction of pupils 
who had to learn the text of the Veda by heart, and 
to repeat it, as part of their daily devotions. As Sau- 
naka was himself a member of the Sakalas, we may 
quote his Pratisakhya as the Sakala-pratisakhya. But 
strictly speaking it could only be called one of the 
Sakala-pratisakhyas, preserved by the pupils of 
Saunaka, who, soon after, formed themselves into a 
new Charana, under the name of Saunakiyas. 1 

The second Pratisakhya belongs to the ancient 
text of the Yajur-veda. There is only one MS. of it 
at the Bodleian Library, together with a considerable 
portion of the Commentary, the Tribhashyaratna. 
Professor Wilson, in his catalogue of the Mackenzie 
Collection (i. 7, No. xxxiii.) mentions another MS., 
" The Pratisakhya of the Yajur-veda, with a Bh&- 
shya or comment, entitled Tribhashyaratna, from 
its being said to be the substance of the works of 
three celebrated sages, Atreya, Mahisha, and Ya- 
raruchi." To what particular Sakha of the Black 
Yajur-veda this Pratisakhya belonged it is difficult to 
determine. It quotes several of the Charanas, be- 
longing to the Black Yajur-veda, such as Taittiriyakas, 
Ahvarakas, Ukhya, the founder of the Aukhiyas, and 
Bharadvaja, the founder of the Bharadvajins. It also 
alludes to Mimansakas, a school of philosophers, men- 
tioned in none of the other Pratisakhyas. Until we 
receive some more complete MSS. of this work we can 
only say that it belongs to some Sakha of the Tait- 
tiriya or Black Yajur-veda. Its grammatical termi- 

1 This Pratisakhya has lately been edited by M. A. Regnier, in 
the " Journal Asiatique." 


nology, as might be expected, is less advanced and 
less artificial than that of the Pratisakhya of the 
modern or White Yajur-veda. 

The third Pratisakhya is ascribed to the Sakha of 
the M&dhyandinas, one of the subdivisions of the 
Yajasaneyins 1 ; though, perhaps, on the same grounds 
as those stated above with regard to the iSakala-prati- 
sakhya, it might seem more correct to call it the Pra- 
tisakhya of the Katyayaniyas, a subdivision of the 
IMadhyandinas. It was composed by Katyayana, and 
shows a considerable advance in grammatical techni- 
calities. There is nothing in its style that could be 
used as a tenable argument why Katyayana, the 
author of the Pratisakhya should not be the same as 
Katyayana, the contemporary and critic of Panini. 
It is true that Panini's rules are intended for a lan- 
guage which was no longer the pure Sanskrit of the 
Yedas. The Vedic idiom is treated by him as an ex- 
ception, whereas Katyayana's Pratisakhya seems to 
belong to a period when there existed but one recog- 
nised literature, that of the Rishis. This, however, 
is not quite the case. Katyayana himself alludes to 
the fact that there were at least two languages. 
" There are two words," he says (i. 17.) 2 , " om and 
atha, both used in the beginning of a chapter ; but om 
is used in the Yedas, atha in the Bh&shyas." As Ka- 
tyayana himself writes in the Bhashya or the common 
language, there is no reason why he should not have 
composed rules on the grammar of the profane San- 
skrit, as well as on the pronunciation of the Yedic 
Some of Katyayana's Sutras are now found re- 

1 It has been edited by Prof. Weber, Indischo Studien, vol. iv. 

2 Indische Studien, iv. p. 103. 

A A 


pcated ipsissimis verbis in Panini's grammar. This 
might seem strange ; but we know that not all the 
Sutras now incorporated in his grammar came from 
Panini himself, and it is most likely that Katyayana, 
in writing his supplementary notes to Panini, simply 
repeated some of his Pratisakhya-sutras, and that, at 
a later time, some of these so-called Varttikas became 
part of the text of Panini. 

The fourth Pratisakhya belongs to the Atharva- 
veda. It is called Saunakiya Chaturadhyayika, and 
was, therefore, no doubt the property of the Sauna- 
kiyas, a Charana of the Atharva-veda. The name of 
the author is unknown, and we possess as yet but one 
MS., and that a very imperfect one, in the Koyal 
Library at Berlin. That it belongs to a Sakha of the 
Atharvana, is indicated by its very beginning 1 , and 
one of its first rules is quoted by the commentator on 
the Sakala-pratisakhya as belonging to an Atharvana- 
pratisakhya. 2 Besides, in the fourth chapter of the 
fourth and last book special reference is made to 
Atharvana sacrifices. 3 We can hardly sjuppose that 
iSaunaka, the author of the Pratisakhya of the Rig- 
veda, was at the same time the author of this Sau- 
nakiya Chaturadhyayika. iSaunaka, whose name 
never occurs in the Sakala- pratisakhya 4 , is quoted in 

4 I still doubt the genuineness of the first verse of the 6akala- 
pratisakhya where &uunaka's name has been foisted in at the end. 
The emendation which I proposed in my edition of the 6akala- 
prfitisfikhya, requires the admission of a so-called ij adipurana in 


the Chaturadhyayika, i. 1. 8. 1 The grammatical ter- 
minology of this little tract is far in advance of the 
technical terms used by Saunaka. Yet there is a cer- 
tain connection between the two books, and it is most 
likely that the author of the Chaturadhyayika was a 
member of the Saunakiya-charana, founded by the 
author of the Sakala-pratisakhya. Nay it seems as if 
its author had retained something of the allegiance 
which Saunaka owed to Sakalya and the iSakalas. 
In one instance, where Panini quotes the opinions of 
Sakalya, the original is found in the Chaturadhyayika, 
and not in the Jakala-pratisakhya. We are told by 
Panini, that Sakalya pronounced the o of the voca- 
tive to be unchangeable (pragrihya), if followed by 
the particle iti? Exactly the same rule, and in the 
very same words, is given in the Atharvana-prati- 
sakhya 3 , whereas the Sakala-pratisakhya teaches first, 
that the o of the vocative is pragrihya (i. 69) 4 ; se- 
condly, that it is liable to certain changes (i. 132, 
135) ; and lastly, that all pragrihya vowels are un- 
changeable,, if followed by iti (i. 155). In none of 
these Sutras do we find the exact words which Panini 
quotes, and which are found in the Atharvana-prati- 
sakhya. Again, Panini (viii. 3, 19.) ascribes the 
dropping of y and v in vishna iha instead of vishnav 
iha, in hara ehi instead of haray ehi, to Sakalya. 
Now it is true that this process is not unknown in the 
Sakala-pratisakhya, but it there assumes quite a dif- 

1 The quotation refers to 6akala-pr. i. 114. 

^ l 1. 16. *N^fV in^r^^ffT^n^ii 

3 I- 3. 19. ^T^f^rff^rTTwill 

i. 69. ^cjth wff^cra: mm: i 


ferent aspect (i. 129. 132. 135) ; whereas, in the Cha- 
turadhyayika the explanation is very much the same 
as in Panini. 1 Panini quotes in the same place (viii. 
3. 18.) the spelling adopted in these cases by Sakata- 
yana. 2 This is mentioned likewise in 'immediate con- 
nection with the rules which precede it in the Athar- 
vana-pratisakhya ; it is not mentioned at all in the Sa- 
kala- pratisakhya. It has been supposed 3 that a rule, 
which in Katy ay ana's Pratisakhya is ascribed to &au- 
naka, was taken from the Chaturadhyayika, and that 
therefore Katyayana' s Pratisakhya was later than that 
of the Atharva-veda. But the rule ascribed to Saunaka 
by Katyayana is, that a final tenuis, if followed by a 
sibilant of a different class, is changed into the aspirate, 
whereas according to the Chaturadhyayika (II. 1.6.) a 
tenuis, followed by a sibilant of its own class, would 
have to be aspirated. 4 It must be admitted, however, 
that no such rule as that ascribed by Katyayana to 
Saunaka is found in the Sakala-pratisakhya, and, 
in other respects, the Pratisakhya of Katyayana shows 
traces of more modern origin than the Chatura- 

i ii. i. 2i. ^kih3i: ^trr^T: n ttt x&i *xm: 11 

ii. 1. 22. HchKl 3 <ftK< a l| ^TTf^Tll . I- 23. l\f^J 

TT^^TJT ^f^T tJ|| Forms like ubha u, instead of ubhav u, sanc- 
tioned by the &akala-pr. i. 129, would offend against the rule of 
the Atharvana-pratisakhya. 

2 ^^frKfW33 TTT3Tdl*M^II 

3 Indische Studien, iv. 249. 

4 Katyayana would write "^"^TT *TRJ> f=Kld" W\ the 

Chaturadhyayika, "^fW^ *TTO f^<li5 W\\ 



The following list gives the names of the principal 
authorities quoted in the gakala-pratisakhya, the 
Taittiriya-pratisakhya, the Katyayaniya-pratisakhya, 
the Chaturadhyayika, the Nirukta, and Panini. I 
have availed myself of the lists given by 1 loth, Weber, 
and Bbhtlingk ; and though I do not pretend that my 
own list is complete, it will be sufficient to show 
the active interest which was taken in grammatical 
subjects at that early period: 

1. Agnivesya. T. 

2. Agnivesyayana. T. 

3. Agrayana. N. 

4. Atreya. T. 

5. Anyatareya. g. Ch. 

6. Apisali. P. 

7. Ahvarakas. T. 

8. TJkhya. T. 

9. Uttamottariyas.(?)T. 

10. Udichyas. P. 

11. Audumbarayana. N. 

12. Aupamanyava. N. 

13. Aupasivi. K. 

14. Aurnavabha. N. 

15. Kandamayana, T. 

16. Kanva. K. 

17. Katthakya. N. 

18. Kasyapa. K. P. 

19. Kaundinya. T. 

20. Kautsa. N. 

21. Kauhaliputra. T. 

22. Kraushtuki. N. 

23. Gargya* g. K. N. P. 

24. Galava. N. P. 

25. Gautama. T. 

26. Charm asiras. N. 

27. Chakravarmana. P. 

28. Jatukarnya. K. 

29. Taitiki. N. 

30. Taittiriyakas. T. 

31. Dalbhya. K. 

32. Panchalas. S. 

33. Paushkarasadi. T. P. 


34. Praxihyas. g. P. 

35. Plakshi. T. 

36. Plakshayana. T. 

37. Babhravya (Krama- 

krit). g.- 

38. Bharadvaja. T. P. 

39. Mandukeya. g. 

40. MasYkiy&. T. 

41. Mimansakas. T. 

42. Yaska. g. 

43. Yatabhikcara. T. 

44. Yatsapra. T. 

45. Yatsya. Ch. (?) 

46. Yarshyayani. N. 


47. Yaliniki. T. 56. Jakalya-pitri (stha- 

48. Vedamitra. 6. vira). 8. 

49. Vyali. S. 57. &ankhayana. T. ; 

50. Satabalaksha Maud- 58. Saityayana. T. 

galya. N. 59. &aunaka, g (?). K. 

51. Sakatayana. S. K. Ch. Ch. 

Jj/P. 60. Sankritya. T. 

52. S&kapuni. N. 61. Senaka. P. 

53. 6akala (padakrit). . 62. Sthaulashthivi. N. 

54. Sakalas. 6. 63. Sphotayana. P. 

55. Sakalya. &. K. P. 64. Harita. T. 

For the Saraa-veda no Pratisakhya has as yet been 
discovered. There is a small treatise which I found in 
the same manuscript of the Bodleian Library which 
contains the Taittiriy a- pratisakhya, and which might 
be called a Pratisakhya of the Sama-veda. But it is 
so badly written, and so unintelligible without a com- 
mentary, that little use can be made of it at present. 
It is called Sama-tantra \ and evidently treats of 
the same subjects which usually occur in the Prati- 

1 It begins (MS. Bodl. W. 505.) ^TW^TT^ *\WA\ W^tf- 

f^t^i w^i wethii ^Tin wi *rai f^ffa- 
f%i fwi Xf^fi<y4u ^ttt w ^i ^m i^rrei 

^<2J| 7[fTT I f^JTT II &c. From my notes taken in the Royal 
Library of Berlin, I see that the same work exists there with a 
commentary (?) in 13 Prapathakas. ^^rUFf^F^ st^fYT^Nf^T 
^TTft^Tf5T^T*f ^TT3fTW I- Tli e same work I find mentioned 


sakhyas. Its authenticity is supported by the Charana- 
vyiiha, where a Sama-tantra is mentioned, but without 
any further particulars. 

If it be asked now why all these works, so dif- 
ferent in appearance, are to be ascribed to one period 
of literature, the Sutra-period, the reasons for it are 
as follows : first, that the style of the majority of 
these works is the old Sutra style, for instance, in the 
Taittiriya-pratisakhya, the Katyayaniya-pratisakhya, 
and the Chaturadhyayika 1 ; secondly, that the ma- 
nuscripts call these works Sutras; thirdly, that 
even works, written in mixed Slokas, like those of 
Saunaka, are quoted as Sutras 2 , a title which would 
never be given to works like the Manava-dharma- 
sastra, &c. ; and fourthly, that the same men to whom 
these works are ascribed are known to have com- 
posed other works, generally written in the style of 

in Dr. Weber's interesting article on the Sama-veda. (Indische 
Studien, i. 48.) It is curious that this Samatantra is called Vya- 
karana, grammar. The same name is also given to the Rik- 
tantra, a imall Siksha treatise, MS. Bodl. W. 375. This MS. 
contains several small treatises on 6iksha matters connected with 
the Sama-veda, but more in the form of Parisishtas : one on 
Avagraha, or division of words; another called Samasankhya; 
and a third called Stobhanusanhara, beginning with the words 

1 The title put at the end of the chapters of the Taittiriya- 
pratisakhya is u iti pratisakhya-sutre prathamah prasnah samaptah, 

2 Shadgurusishya, in his Commentary on the Anukramani, says 
that 6aunaka first composed a Kalpa-sutra, consisting of 1000 parts 
and resembling a Brahmana. ^^ftcf^ ^^rf ~^k ^V^W^" 
f%*f. This was afterwards destroyed by himself; but his few 
remaining works, which are written in verse, are equally called 
Sutras, ^pl^3F*l 


Sutras. That the Pratisakhya of the Sakalas should be 
written in Slokas and yet be ascribed to Saunaka, 
the teacher of Katyayana, is no objection. It would 
have to be excluded from the Sutra period, if written 
in regular Anushtubh-slokas like those of Manu. 
But the mixture of the Sloka with other ancient 
metres indicates better than anything else the trans- 
ition from one period to another, and is quite in ac- 
cordance with that position which, as will be seen, 
Saunaka occupies in the literary history of India. 

By comparing Saunaka's chapters on Siksha in his 
first Pratisakhya with the small Sloka compilation 
which is generally quoted as the Yedanga, the dif- 
ference of old and modern Slokas will at once be 
perceived. This modern tract which has been 
printed in India, contains scarcely more than the 
matter of the Siva or Samkara-sutras brought 
into Slokas. It mentions the Prakrit dialects, and 
represents itself as written after Panini, but not, as 
Madhusudana Sarasvati pretends, by Panini. 1 Yet 
it is curious to see how great a reputation this small 
work must have gained, because Sayana, who knows 
the Pratisakhyas and quotes both from the Sakala 
and Taittiriya-pratisakhya, regards this small tract 
as the real Vedanga. In a Mimansa work, which 
has been mentioned before, Somesvara's Tantra- 

and again : 


varttika-tika, it seems even as if greater authority 
had been attributed to this short Siksha tract than to 
the more developed and evidently older works of Sau- 
naka, Katyayana, and others. 

Besides these works on Siksha which have been 
enumerated, from the Taittiriyaranyaka down to the 
so-called Vedanga, we possess another tract on Siksha, 
called the Manduki-siksha. 1 But this also is probably 
a production later than the Sutra period, and it is 
important only in so far as it bears the name of 
another Charana of the Rig-veda, theMandukayanas 2 , 
and thus confirms what was pointed out before, that 
each of the old Sakhas had originally its own Pratisa- 
khya, although the greater number of them, as well as 

1 Another work on 6iksha is mentioned by Raja Radhakanta 
in the article which he has dedicated to the Vedangas in his 
6abda-ka1pa-drumn, and for which Amara and Bharata are quoted 

as authorities, rp^ ^^CTf^WTTf WHTTWT?^'Y- 

f^TT ^ of TT ^ fwsHfaT: 3fhlT T<4|lR*T far^T 

The Commentary on the &akala-pratisakhya also seems to speak 
of two Sikshas. ^JT fTT^f^^T^lf ^"*T^?T ^?^TT* 

2 Mandukeya is quoted in the &akala-pratisakhya, I. 200. 


their Mantra texts, are now lost or preserved only 
under a more modern form, as may be seen in the case 
of this Manduki-siksha. 

Chhandas, or Metre. 

The second Yedanga doctrine, Chhandas or metre, 
stands very much in the same position as the Siksha. 
Some names which have been afterwards adopted as 
the technical designations of metres, occur in some of 
the Mantras of the Rig-veda, and there are frequent 
allusions to metres in the Brahmanas. What is 
said, however, in the Brahmanas with reference to 
metres, is generally so full of dogmatic and mystical 
ingredients as to be of scarcely any practical use. 
In the Aranyakas and Upanishads whole chapters 
are devoted to this subject. Yet it is again in 
the Sutras only that a real attempt has been made 
to arrange these archaic metres systematically. We 
have some chapters on metres at the end of the 
Sakala-pratisakhya, written in Saunaka's usual style 
of mixed Slokas. This treatise is anterior to that 
of Katyayana which we find in the introduction 
to his Sarvanukrama, because Katyayana is the 
pupil of Saunaka, as we shall see hereafter. For 
the metres of the Sama-veda we have the Ni- 
dana-sutra in ten prapathakas, which, after ex- 
plaining the nature and different names of all the 
Vedic metres, gives a kind of index (anukramani) 
to the metres as they occur in the hymns em- 
ployed at the Ekaha, Ahina, and Sattra sacrifices. 
As to Pingalanaga's work on Chhandas, which is 
most frequently quoted under the title of Yedanga, 
it does not pretend to be of greater antiquity than 

L 2 


the Mahabhashya, supposing it were admitted that 
Patanjali, the author of this famous commentary 
on Panini, was the same as Pingala. 1 There would 
be nothing extraordinary in the fact that Pingala 
treats of Prakrit as well as Sanskrit metres. For 
we have the instance of Katyayana-Yararuchi, who 
wrote the Yarttikas on Panini and lived before Pa- 
tanjali, and is said to be the same who wrote a gram- 
mar of the Prakrit dialects. It must be admitted, 
however, that Pingalanaga's Metric is one of the last 
works that could possibly be included in the Sutra 
period ; though there is no sufficient ground for exclud- 
ing it from this period altogether, merely because those 
rules which refer to metres not yet employed in the 
Veda are ascribed to the same Pingala. Besides, Pin- 
gala is quoted as an authority on metres in the Pa- 
risishtas 2 , a class of literature which does not seem to 
be separated from the Sutra period by a long interval. 
To the same class of Chhandas works to which Pin- 
gala's treatise belongs, and which are not restricted 
to certain Sakhas, but are intended for the Veda in 
general, two other works are added by the com- 
mentator on the Sakala-pratisakhya, the one ascribed 
to Yaska, the other to Saitava. 3 Both these works, 
however, seem to be lost at present. 

1 Colebrooke, Miscellaneous Essays, ii. 63. 

2 MS. Bodl. W. 466. *T*TTTTT W^l I sn^WTTff^lp* 

^NjTTrT^HYw ^T^W I- See Dr. Roth's preface to the Nirukta, 


The difference between aChhandas work belonging 
to one of the Sakhas, and those treatises which are 
occupied with metre in general, may be seen from 
the following instance. 

According to Pingala's Sutras, a metre of seventy- 
six syllables is called Atidhriti, a metre of sixty- 
eight syllables Atyashti. Now Ev. i. 127, 6. a verse 
occurs of sixty-eight syllables which ought therefore 
to be called an Atyashti. According to Pingala him- 
self, however, some syllables may be pronounced as 
two *, and if we follow his rules on this point, the same 
verse consists of seventy-six instead of sixty-eight syl- 
lables. In order, therefore, to remove the uncertainty 
attached to the metre of this verse, the Chhandas chapter 
in the Sakala-pratisakhya (towards the end of the 16th 
Patala) declares that according to the tradition of the 
Sakala or Saisira-sakha, this verse is to be pronounced 
as an Atidhriti, i. e. with seventy-six syllables. The 
same direction is given in Katyayana's index to the 

p. 10. ; and quaere whether in the akala-pratis. xvii. 25. one might 
read ^f^f ^ ^J^Ft instead of "^frf ^FSTRsRI as the com- 
mentator proposes. Saitava is the pupil of Parasarya and divided 
by thirteen teachers from Yaska. Cf. Brih. Arany. Kanva. ii. 6. 
2, 3.; Indische Studien, i. p. 156. n. 

i Pingala, 3. 1. X(J^ T^TTf^TW: II T^Tf^": ^ft 

^Rfw^fofir f^r 1^ "^r: ^ 

L 3 


Yyakarana, or Grammar. 

The third Vedanga is Vyakarana or Grammar. 
According to the account which Indian authors give 
of their literature, this branch of Yedic learning 
would be represented by the Grammar of Panini. 
Here the contradiction becomes even more glaring. 
In Pingala's Sutras the Yedic metres were at least 
treated in the same way as the non-Vedic. But in 
Panini, the rules which refer to Yedic grammar in 
particular, form only the exceptions to all the other 
rules which treat of the regular or classical lan- 
guage. Instead, therefore, of considering the third 
Yedanga doctrine as represented by the grammarians 
beginning with Panini (Paninyadayah), as Indian 
authors do, it would be more correct to say that it is 
represented by the grammarians ending with Panini 
(Paninyantah). It unfortunately happened that Pa- 
nini's work acquired by its great merits such a cele- 
brity as to supersede almost all that had been written 
on grammar before him, so that, except the names 
and some particular rules of former grammarians, 
we have little left of this branch of literature, except 
what occurs occasionally in the Pratisakhyas, That 
Panini knew the Pratisakhyas had been indicated long 
ago by Professor Bohtlingk ; and it can be proved 
now by a comparison of Panini's Sutras with those of 
the Pratisakhyas, that Panini largely availed himself 
of the works of his predecessors, frequently adopting 
their very expressions, though he quotes their names 
only in cases where they have to serve as authorities 
for certain rules. 

There are two separate treatises on grammatical 

vyAkahana. 151 

subjects, which belong to a period anterior to Panini : 
the Sutras on the Unadi affixes, and the Sutras of 
Santanacharya on accents. The Unadi affixes are 
those by which nouns are formed from roots, the 
nouns being used in a conventional sense, and not in 
strict accordance with their radical meaning. They 
are called Unadi, because, in the Sutras as we now pos- 
sess them, uji is the first-mentioned affix. That 
Panini was acquainted with the same arrangement of 
these formative affixes cannot be doubted, because 
he uses the same technical name (unadi) for them. 
We do not know by whom these Unadi affixes 
were first collected, nor by whom the Unadi-sutras, 
as we now possess them, were first composed. All 
we can say is, that, as Panini mentions them, and 
gives several general rules with regard to them, they 
must have existed before his time. But how many 
of the Sutras existed before the time of Panini, 
and how many were added afterwards, is a question 
that can hardly be solved. In their present form the 
Sutras seem to treat the Vedic words as exceptions, 
at least they give now and then a hint that a certain 
derivation applies to the Chhandas only. Neverthe- 
less it is curious to observe that the greater number 
of words, explained by the genuine Unadi-sutras, are 
Vedic, some of them exclusively so. If the author of 
the Sutras had intended his rules for the Bhasha, there 
would have been no reason why he should have paid 
such prominent regard to words of a purely Vedic 
character. In fact, I believe, that originally the 
Unadi-sutras were intended for the Veda only, and 
that they were afterwards enlarged by adding rules 
on the formation of non- Vedic words. At last the 
non- Vedic or laukika words assumed such a prepon- 

i. 4 


derance that some rules, affecting Vedic words only, 
had actually to be inserted as exceptions. If a clear 
line could be drawn between words purely Vedic, and 
words never used in the Yeda, and if the Sutras 
referring to the former were separated from those of 
the latter class, we might perhaps arrive at the ori- 
ginal text of this interesting work. This, however, 
is an undertaking which would require a more com- 
prehensive and more critical knowledge of the history 
of the languages of India, than any scholar at present 
is likely to command. 

As to Santana's Phitsutras, we know with less cer- 
tainty to what period they belong. A knowledge 
of them is not presupposed by Panini, and the 
grammatical terms "used by Santana are different 
from those employed by Panini, a fact from which 
Professor Bbhtlingk has ingeniously concluded, that 
Santana must have belonged to the eastern school of 
grammarians. 1 As, however, these Sutras treat only 
of the accent, and the accent is used in the Vedic lan- 
guage only, the subject of Santana's work would lead 
us to suppose that he was anterior to Panini, though 
it would be unsafe to draw any further conclusions 
from this. 

Nirukta, or Etymology. 

The fourth Vedanga is Nirukta or Etymology. In 
the same way as, according to Indian authors, Gram- 
mar, as a Vedanga, was represented by Panini's 
Grammar, we find Nirukta also represented by but 
one work, generally known by the name of Yaska's 

1 Cf. Bohtlingk, Ein erster Versuch iiber den Accent im San- 
skrit, p. 64. ; and Panini, page xii. 


Nirukta. Nirukta, however, has had this advan- 
tage over Vyakarana, that Yaska's work applies 
itself exclusively to Vedic etymologies. In the 
same way as we considered Panini's Grammar as 
the work where Vyakarana, as a Vedanga, took its 
final shape, so Yaska also would seem to be one of 
the last authors who embodied the etymological lexico- 
graphy of Vedic terms in one separate work. Niruk- 
takaras, or authors of Niruktas, are mentioned by 
Yaska ; and some of them must have been as famous 
as Yaska himself, because we find that their merits 
in this respect were not forgotten even at the time of 
the compilation of the Puranas. 1 For explanations 
of old Vedic words, for etymologies and synony- 
mous expressions, the Brahmanas contain very rich 
materials, and, with the exception of the Kalpa, no 
other Vedanga has a better claim than the Nirukta 
to be considered as founded upon the Brahmanas. 
Whole verses and hymns are shortly explained there ; 
and the Aranyakas and Upanishads, if included, 
would furnish richer sources for Vedic etymologies 
than even the Nirukta itself. The beginning of the 
Aitareya-aranyaka is in fact a commentary on the 

1 Thus 6akapurni is mentioned as a Niruktakrit in the Vishnu- 
purana (p. 277. n. 9.) ; but this is no reason why 6akapurni should 
be the same as Yaska, as Colebrooke supposed. (Miscell. Essays, 
i. 15.) In fact 6akapuni is quoted by Yaska himself, for there 
can be no doubt that Sakapurni is the same name as Sakapuni. 
In later times, also, Yaska and 6akapuni are regarded as distinct 
persons ; for instance, in a verse ascribed to Parasara (Anukr. Bh. 

iv. 5. 7.), which occurs in the Brihaddevata, JJA*H f%^f^?F 

*ttw^ ^ ^fiff <s *rair m^fwfrfir win:: i 

Another Niruktakrit mentioned by Sayana is the son of Sthula- 
shthivi, or, as Yaska calls him, Sthaulashthivi. 


beginning of the Kig-veda ; and if all the passages 
of the Brahmanas were collected where one word is 
explained by another with which it is joined merely 
bv the particle vai, they would even now give a rich 
harvest for a new Nirukta. It is important, however, 
not to confound Yaska' s Nirukta with Yaska' s Com- 
mentary on the Nirukta, although it has become usual, 
after the fashion of modern manuscripts, to call that 
commentary Nirukta, and to distinguish the text of the 
Nirukta by the name of Nighantu. The* original 
Niruktas that formed an integral part of the Vedanga 
literature, known to Yaska himself, can have con- 
sisted only of lists of words arranged according to their 
meaning, like that upon which Yaska's Commentary 
is based. Whether the same Yaska who wrote 
the Commentary had some part in the arrange- 
ment of the lists of words, is unknown ; probably 
these lists existed in his family long before his 
time, as Yaska implies himself (Nir. i. 20.). But, 
as he preserved them by his Commentary, it was 
natural that their authorship, too, should have 
been ascribed to him. Sayana gives the following 
account of this matter: " Nirukta is a work 
where a number of words is given, without any 
intention to connect them in a sentence. In that 
book, where a traditional number of words is taught, 
which begin with Gauh, gma, and end with Va- 
savah, Vajinah, Devapatnyah, there is no intention 
to state things which are to be understood *, because 

1 If Sayana means to give in these lines an etymology in- 
stead of a simple definition of Nirukta, the attempt would be 
very unsuccessful. Nirukta comes from nirvach, to explain. His 
definition, however, is right, in so far as the Nirukta does not 


it is only said there that l so many are the names of 
earth/ ' so many the names of gold,' " &c. 

This Nirukta consists of three parts, as may be seen 
from the Commentary on the Anukramanika. Here 
we read : 

" The first part is the Naighantuka, the second 
the Naigama, and the third the Dai vat a, and thus 
must this traditional doctrine be considered as con- 
sisting of three parts. 

" The Naighantuka begins with Gaah, and goes as 
far as Ap&re. 1 The Naigama begins with Jahci, and 
goes as far as Ulbam Ribisam. 2 The third, or Deity- 
chapter, begins with Agni and ends with the Deva- 
patnis. 3 Here the gods from Agni to Devi Urjahuti 4 
are gods of the earth ; from Vayu to Bhaga 5 , gods 
of the air ; from Surya to the Devapatnis 6 , gods of 

contain a connected string of ideas, but merely an enumeration 
of words. There is another definition of Nirukta, which is quoted 
by Radhakant in his 6abdakalpadruma, and occurs as one of the 
Karikas in the Kasikavritti (Pan. vi. 3. 109.): 

" A Nirukta contains the doctrine of five things ; of the addition, 
transposition, change, and dropping of letters, and of the 
use of one particular meaning of a root." 
Instances of this are given in another verse : 

" Hansa is formed by an addition, Sinha by a transposition, Gu- 
dhotma by a change, Prishodara by a dropping of letters." 
1 1 3 Adhyaya. 2 4 Adhyaya. 

3 5 Adhyaya. 4 13. 

5 46. 6 6. 


the sky. People learn the whole traditional number 
of words, from Gauh to Devapatnyah. 

u The word Nighantu applies to works where, 
for the most part, synonymous words are taught. 
Thus, ten Nighantus are usually mentioned; and 
this title has been applied to such works as Amara- 
sinha, Vaijayanti, Halayudha, &c. Therefore 1 , the 
first part of this work also has been called Naighan- 
tuka, because synonymous words are taught there. 
In this part there are three lectures : in the first, we 
have words connected with things of time and space 
in this and the other worlds ; in the second, we have 
words connected with men and human affairs ; and, 
in the third, words expressing qualities of the 
preceding objects, such as thinness, multitude, short- 
ness, &c. 

" Nigama means Veda. As Yaska has quoted many 
passages from the Veda, which he usually introduces 
by the words, ' For this there is also a Nigama ; ' and 
as, in the second part, consisting of the fourth Adh- 
yaya, words are taught which usually occur in the 
Veda only, this part is called Naigama. 

"Why the third part, consisting of the fifth Adhyaya, 
is called Daivata is clear. The whole work, consisting 
of ^wq Adhyayas and three parts, is called Nirukta, 
because the meaning of words is given there irre- 
spective of anything else. A commentary on this 

1 Sayana inverts here the historical order of things, because 
Yaska' s Nighantu must have been called by this name before the 
time of Amara's Dictionary. Several Koshas are quoted which 
have not yet been met with in manuscript : 6arva Kosha, Ranti or 
Rantideva Kosha, Yadava Kosha, Bhaguri Kosha, Bala Kosha, all 
of which must have been in existence as late as the Commentary 
on the Meghaduta. 


has been composed by Yaska in twenty Adhyayas. 
This also is called Nirukta, because the real meaning 
conveyed by each word is fully given therein." 1 
The Nirukta, together with the Pratisakhyas and 

1 I have translated this passage of Sayana, because Dr. Roth 
has adopted a different division of the Nirukta in his edition, 
where he calls the first five books, containing the list of words, Nai- 
ghantuka; the first six books of Yaska's Commentary, Naigama; 
and the rest Daivata. It would have been better to preserve the 
old divisions, which are based not only upon the authority of 
Yaska himself, but also of his commentators, with this exception 
only that, according to them, the Naigama may also be called the 
Aikapadika. Thus Durga says, 

Again, after having defined the third part, the Daivata, Durga 
goes on saying : 

And further on : 

*m% 3^^^Tf% i^rf% tnmTft wftf% 

He afterwards seems to imply that the whole may also be called 


Paiiini's Grammar, supply the most interesting and 
important information on the growth of grammatical 
science in India. It would be out of place to enter 
here into this subject, but I cannot pass it over with- 
out at least pointing out the valuable materials 
preserved in these works, for tracing the origin of 
one of the most ancient branches of philosophy, 

There are only two nations in the whole history of 
the world which have conceived independently, and 
without any suggestions from others, the two sciences 
of Logic and Grammar, the Hindus and the Greeks. 
Although the Arabs and Jews, among the Semitic 
nations, have elaborated their own system of grammar, 
in accordance with the peculiar character of their 
language, they owe to the Greeks the broad outlines 
of grammatical science, and they received from Aris- 
totle the primary impulse to a study of the categories 

Nighantu, but there is no authority whatever for calling the first 
part of Yaska's Commentary, as Dr. Roth does, Naigama. Deva- 
raja also takes the same view when he says, 

^TT^rrr *rr^FT wrere %^^r*i *\ i^ <* m * f ^ w 

7TTf% ^rf^ "sr^gmTTC fovwft Tfwf% f^TT- 


of thought and speech. Our own grammatical terms 
came to us from the Greeks ; and their history is 
curious enough, if we trace them back through the 
clumsy and frequently erroneous translations of the 
literary statesmen of Rome, to the scholars and critics 
of Alexandria, and finally to the early philosophers of 
Greece, the Stoics, Aristotle, Protagoras and Pytha- 
goras. But it is still more instructive to compare 
this development of the grammatical categories in 
Greece with the parallel, yet quite independent, history 
of grammatical science in India. It is only by means 
of such a comparison that we can learn to understand 
what is organic, and what is merely accidental, in the 
growth of this science, and appreciate the real diffi- 
culties which had to be overcome in the classification 
of words and the arrangement of grammatical forms. 
The Greeks and Hindus started from opposite points. 
The Greeks began with philosophy, and endeavoured 
to transfer their philosophical terminology to the 
facts of language. The Hindus began with collecting 
the facts of language, and their generalisations never 
went beyond the external forms of speech. Thus the 
Hindus excel in accuracy, the Greeks in grasp. The 
grammar of the former has ended in a colossal 
pedantry; that of the latter still invigorates the 
mind of every rising generation throughout the civil- 
ised world. 

Language had become with the Hindus an object of 
wonder and meditation at a very early period. In the 
hymns of the Veda we meet with poetical and philo- 
sophical speculations on speech, and Sarasvati, the god- 
dess of speech, is invoked as one of the most powerful 
deities. The scientific interest in language, however, 
dates from a later period. It was called forth, no 


doubt, by the careful study of a sacred literature, 
which in India, as elsewhere, called into life many an 
ancient science. In India the sacred strains of the 
Rishis were handed down with the greatest care, the 
knowledge of these songs constituted the only claim 
and hope of man for a higher life, and from a very 
early time they were looked upon with such a super- 
stitious awe, that a mere error of pronunciation was 
supposed to mar their miraculous power. 1 We need 
not wonder, therefore, that the minutest rules were 
laid down as to the pronunciation of these hymns, and 
that the thoughts of the early teachers were led to 
dwell on the nature of language and its grammatical 
organisation. Where so much depended on letters, it 
was natural that words also and their grammatical vari- 
ations should attract attention. A number of letters, 
or even a single letter, as Katyayana says, may form a 
syllable (akshara), a number of syllables or even a 
single syllable may form a word (pada). 2 There are 
many lucubrations on letters, syllables, and words in 
the Brahmanas, and there are numerous expressions, 
occurring in the Brahmanas, which mark a certain 
advance of grammatical knowledge. 3 In the Br&h- 
mana of the Vajasaneyins (xiii. 5. 1. 18) we meet 
with the names for Singular, Dual, and Plural. In 
the Chhandogya-upanishad (p. 135, ed. Roer) we find 
a classification of letters, and technical terms such as 
sparsa, consonants ; svara, vowels ; ashman, sibilants. 
However, we must not expect in those treatises to find 
anything sound and scientific. It is in the Sutra lite- 

1 An analogous feeling^unong the Polynesians is mentioned in 
Sir 0-. Grey's Polynesian Mythology, p. 32. 

2 Kat.-pr. viii. 98. 

3 Ind. Studien, iv. p. 76. 


rature that we meet with discussions on language of a 
purely scientific character ; and what we do find in 
the Pratisakhya, in the Nirukta and Pa\nini, is quite 
sufficient to show that at their time the science of lan- 
guage was not of recent origin. I can only touch upon 
one point. It is well known how long it took before 
the Greeks arrived at a complete nomenclature for 
the parts of speech. Plato knew only of Noun (ovofxa) 
and Yerb (p%,a), as the two component parts of 
speech, and for philosophical purposes Aristotle too 
did not go beyond that number. It is only in dis- 
cussing the rules of rhetoric that he is led to the 
admission of two more parts of speech, the a-w^so-poi 
(conjunctions) and dpQpot (articles). The pronoun 
dvTMvvfjLioL does not come in before Zenodotos, and the 
preposition (7rp66s<ng) occurs first in Aristarchos. 
In the Pratisakhya, on the contrary, we meet at once 
with the following exhaustive classification of the 
parts of speech (xii. 5.) 

" The noun (nama), the verb (akhyata), the prepo- 
sition (upasarga), and the particle (nipata) are called 
by grammarians the four classes of words. 1 The 

rr^nr ^Tfa^rrfa w crcererTfT ^^^ ^Trj: 11 
^m*hit f^arfd<^n<*T: ^%fTTrwrrfaf?T foreran 11 

WBH! : is if f^fa: ; it means ^Tfii^Til Hlf^H) 



noun is that by which we mark a being, a verb that 
by which we mark being ; the latter is called a root 
(dhatu). There are twenty prepositions, and these 
have a meaning, if joined with nouns or verbs. The 
rest of the words are called particles. The verb ex- 
presses an action ; the preposition defines it ; the noun 
marks a being ; particles are but expletives. There 
are, however, besides the particles which have no 
meaning, others which have, for we see that some par- 
ticles are used on account of their sense : but it is 
impossible to say how many there are of each class, 
whether they are used in measured or in prose 
diction." 1 

The same division is adopted by most grammarians, 
and it is more fully explained by the author of the 
Nirukta. After stating that there are four kinds of 
words, Yaska says that the verb is chiefly concerned 
with being, nouns with beings. He then brings in a 
new definition which reminds us of the first introduc- 
tion of the 7rpoo-rj7op/a, as distinct from the oi/o^aa, by 
the Stoics. u The verb," he says, " when it expresses 
being, expresses a kind of being which lasts from an 
earlier to a later time, such as " he walks," " he cooks" ; 
the nouns, if they express being (and not a being), 
express a kind of being that has become embodied in 
one, from beginning to end, such as " a walking," 
" a cooking." Here the chief difference between the 
verb and the noun appellative, is established on a 
similar ground to that on which Aristotle ascribes to 
the verb a temporal character, and denies it to the 
noun. 2 

1 The name for pronoun, sarvanaman, occurs in the Nirukta, 
vii. 2, and in the Chaturadhyayika. 

2 Poet. C. 20. ovofxa & earl <pu>vt] (Tvvdirr), arj^xavriKri avev xpotov, 


The distinction of the numbers was first pointed 
out by Aristotle, but the technical terms for singular 
and plural (aptQ[JLog svixog, TrXySuvTixog) date from a 
later time. In India the terms for the three num- 
bers, Singular, Plural, and Dual, were known in the 
Brahmana period. 

Aristotle had no clear conception of cases, in the 
grammatical sense of the word. Ptosis, with him, 
refers to verbs as well as nouns. The introduction 
of the five cases, in our sense of the word, is due to 
the Stoics. In the Pratisakhyas we find not only a 
name for case, restricted to nouns (vibhakti, i. e. 
x^'uris) but the number of cases also is fixed at seven. 

The distinction of the genders is the only point 
on which the Greeks may claim a priority to the 
Hindus. It was known in Greece to Protagoras; 
whereas in India the Pratisakhyas seem to have 
passed it over, and it appears first in Panini. 1 

There are some discussions in the beginning of the 
Nirukta which are of the highest interest with regard 
to etymology. While in Greece the notions of one 
of her greatest thinkers, as expressed in the Cratylus, 
represent the very infancy of etymological science, 
the Brahman s of India had treated some of the vital 
problems of etymology with the utmost sobriety. In 
the Pratisakhya of K&tyayana we find, besides the 
philosophical division of speech into nouns, verbs, 
prepositions and particles, another division of a 
purely grammatical nature, and expressed in the most 
strictly technical language. " Verbs with their con- 

r/e fiipoQ oi/Ser earl tcad' avro irrjfxavriKoy ' prjfia $e tyiavri vvvdirr}, arj- 
fxavTLKri fiETU )(p6vov, rig ovSev fxepOQ arifxaivEL KCL& aVTOy WffTTEp KCtl 


1 Katyayaniya Pratisakhya, iv. 170. 


jugational terminations, Nouns, derived from verbs 
by means of krit-suffixes, Nouns, derived from nouns 
by means of taddhita-suffixes, and four kinds of Com- 
pounds, these constitute language." * 

In the Nirukta this division is no longer considered 
sufficient. A new problem has been started, one of 
the most important problems in the philosophy of 
language, whether all nouns are derived from verbs? 
No one would deny that certain nouns, or the majority 
of nouns, were derived from verbs. The early gram- 
marians of India were fully agreed that kartri, a doer, 
was derived from kri, to do ; pdchaka, a cook, from 
pach, to cook. But did the same apply to all words ? 
Sakatayana, an ancient grammarian and philosopher, 
answered the question boldly in the affirmative, and 
he became the founder of a large school, called the 
Nairuktas (or Etymologists), who made the verbal 
origin of all words the leading principle of all their 
researches. They were opposed, and not without 
violence, by another school, emphatically called the 
Vaiydkaranas or Analysers, who, following the lead 
of Gargya, the etymologist 2 , admitted the verbal 
origin of those words only for which an adequate 
grammatical analysis could be given. The rest they 
left unexplained. Let us hear how Yaska states the 
arguments on both sides. After having explained the 
characteristics of the four classes of words, he says : 
u Sakatayana maintains that nouns are derived from 
verbs, and there is an universal agreement of all Ety- 
mologists (Nairukta) on this point. Gargya, on the 
contrary, and some of the grammarians say, not all 

> i.27. ft^Trf%?!^?jg*ro*Tm: ^^rr^ii 

2 WfiTg Iffltftfl Durga. 


(nouns are derived from verbs). For first, if the 
accent and formation were regular in all nouns and 
agreed entirely with the appellative power (of the 
root), nouns such as go (cow), asva (horse), purusha 
(man), would be in themselves intelligible. 1 Se- 
condly, if all nouns were derived from verbs, then if 
any one performed a certain action, he would, as a 
subject, be called in the same manner. For instance, if 
asva, horse, were derived from as, to get through, then 
any one who got through a certain distance, would 
have to be called as'va, horse. If trina, grass, were 
derived from trid, to pierce, then whatever pierces 
would have to be called trina. Thirdly, if all nouns 
were derived from verbs, then everything would take 
as many names as there are qualities belonging to it. 
A pillar, for instance, which is now called sthuna, might 
be called daresay a, hole-rest, because it rests in a hole; 
or sanjani, joiner, because there are beams joined to it. 
Fourthly, people would call things in such a manner 
that the meaning of nouns might be at least intelli- 
gible, whatever the regular formation may be by 
which the actions of these things are supposed to be 
expressed. Instead of purusha, man, which is sup- 
posed to be formed from purisaya, dwelling in the 
body, they would say purisaya, body-dweller ; instead 
of asva, horse, ashtri, pervader; instead of trina, 
grass, tardana, piercer. Fifthly, after a noun has 
been formed, these etymologists begin to discuss it, 
and say for instance that the earth is called prithivi, 
broad, from prathana, stretching. But, who stretched 
it, and what was his resting-place while he stretched 

1 This construction is against the Commentary, but, if the 
MS. such as we have it, is correct, it seems to me the only 
possible construction. 

m 8 


the earth ? Sixthly, where the meaning cannot be 
discovered, no modification of the root yielding 
any proper signification, Sakatayana has actually 
taken whole verbs, and put together the halves of 
two distinct words. For instance, in order to form 
satya, true, he puts together the causal of i, to 
go, which begins with ya, as the latter half, and 
the participle of as, to be, which begins with sa. 
Lastly, it is well known, that beings come before 
being, and it is therefore impossible to derive the 
names of beings which come first, from being, which 
comes after. 

" Now all this arguing," Yaska continues, " is 
totally wrong. For however all this may be, first, 
with regard to what was said, namely that, if Sakata- 
yana's opinion were right, all words would be signi- 
ficative, this we consider no objection l , because we 
shall show that they are all significative. With 
regard to the second point, our answer is, that we 
see as a matter of fact that it is not so, but that of 
a number of people who perform the same action, 
some only take a certain name, and others do not. 
Not every one that shapes a thing is called takshan, 
a shaper, but only the carpenter. Not every one 
that walks about is called a parivrdjaka, but only 
a religious mendicant. Not everything that enlivens 
is called jivana, but only the sap of the sugar- 
cane. Not everything that is born of Bhumi (earth) 
is called Bhumija, but only the planet Mars (an- 
garaka). 2 And the same remark serves also as an 

1 The Commentator translates, " even if it were so, even if some 
remained inexplicable, this would be no objection ; " for boni gram- 
matici est nonnulla etiam nescire. 

8 The remarks of the Commentator on this passage are so 


answer to the third objection. With regard to the 
fourth objection, we reply, We did not make these 
words, we only have to explain them ; and there are 
also some nouns of rare occurrence, which you, gram- 
marians, derive by means of krit-sufiixes, and which 
are liable to exactly the same objection. For who 
could tell, without some help from etymologists, that 
some of the words mentioned in the Aikapadika- 
chapter mean what they do mean ? Vratati is derived 
by you from vrinati, he elects, but it signifies a 
garland. The same applies to your grammatical 
derivations of such words as damunas, jatya, dtndra, 

curious, that they deserve to be copied. " You may well ask, (he 
says) why this is so. But, my friend, go and ask the world. 
Quarrel with the world, for it is not I who made this law. For 
although all nouns are derived from verbs, yet the choice of one 
action (which is to be predicated in preference to others) is 
beyond any control. Or it may be that there is a certain law 
with regard to those who perform certain actions more exclusively. 
A man who performs one particular action more exclusively,what- 
ever other actions he may perform, will have his name from that 
particular action. Nor do we say that he who at one time and 
in one place shapes things is a carpenter, but he who at any time 
or any place is a carpenter, him we always call carpenter. This 
is not a predicate restricted to one, it may freely be given to 
others. Now and then there may be other actions, more peculiar 
to such persons, and they may take other names accordingly, yet 
their proper name remains carpenter." And with regard to the 
next problem the Commentator says : " A carpenter may well 
perform other actions, but he need not therefore take his name 
from them. If it is said, several things might have one and the 
same name, and one and the same thing might have different 
names, all we can answer is, that this is not proved by the 
language such as it is. Words are fixed in the world we cannot 
say how (svabhavatah, by nature)." This, together with the 
text, shows a clearer insight into the nature of Homonyma and 
Synonyma, or, as the Peripatetics called the latter, Polyonyma, 
than anything we find in Aristotle. 

M 4 


jctgaruka, darvihomin. In answer to the fifth objec- 
tion we say, Of course we can discuss the etymolo- 
gical meaning of such words only as have been 
formed. And as to the questions, who stretched the 
earth, and what was his resting-place, all we can say 
is, that our eyes tell us that the earth is broad, and 
even though it has not been stretched out by others, yet 
all men speak as they see. With respect to the sixth 
objection, we admit, that he who combines words 
without thereby arriving at their proper meaning, is to 
be blamed. But this blame attaches to the individual 
etymologist, not to the science of etymology. As to 
the last objection, we must again appeal to the facts 
of the case. Some words are derived from qualities, 
though qualities maybe later than subjects, others not." 
I doubt whether even at present, with all the new 
light which Comparative Philology has shed on the 
origin of words, questions like these could be dis- 
cussed more satisfactorily than they were by Yaska. 
Like Yaska, we maintain that all nouns have their de- 
rivation, but, like Yaska, we must confess that this is 
a matter of belief rather than of proof. We admit 
with Yaska that every noun was originally an appel- 
lative, and, in strict logic, we are bound to admit that 
language knows neither of homonymes nor synonymes. 
But granting that there are such words in the history 
of every language, granting that several objects, 
sharing in the same predicate, may be called by the 
same name, and that the same object, possessing 
various predicates, may be called by different names, 
we shall find it as impossible as Yaska to lay down 
any rule why one of the many appellatives became 
fixed in every dialect as the proper name of the 
sun, the moon, or any other object ; or why generic 

KALPA. 169 

words (homonymes) were founded on one predicate 
rather than another. All we can say is what Yaska 
says, it was so svabhavatah, by itself, from accident, 
through the influence of individuals, of poets or law- 
givers. It is the very point in the history of language 
where languages are not amenable to organic laws, 
where the science of language ceases to be a strict 
science, and enters into the domain of history. 

We leave this subject not without reluctance, and 
hope to return to it in some more appropriate place. 

Kalpa, or the Ceremonial. 

The most complete Vedanga is the fifth, the Kalpa, 
for which we have not only the Brahmanas of the 
different Yedas, but also their- respective Sutras. 
The Sutras contain the rules referring to the sacri- 
fices 1 , with the omission of all things which are not 
immediately connected with the performance of the 
ceremonial. They are more practical than the Brah- 
manas, which for the most part are taken up with 
mystical, historical, mythological, etymological, and 

1 Kumarila Tantravarttika, i. 3. 1. 

fw: II 

" Thus the real sense has been ascertained in the Sutras by means 
of collecting the commandments which were to be obtained 
systematically as they were dispersed in different 6akhas and 
mixed up with Arthavadas, &c. One or the other authority 
was selected, and, to afford greater facility, some performances 
of the priests which are connected with worldly matters were 
also taken in." 

170 KALPA. 

theological discussions. Thus Sayana says, in his 
Commentary on the Baudhayana-sutras : " The whole 
mass of Yedic literature consists of three parts: 
Mantras, Yidhis, and Arthavadas. The Vidhis en- 
join an act, the Arthavadas recommend it, the 
Mantras record it. In order to make the under- 
standing of the prescribed ceremonies more easy, the 
Reverend Baudhayana composed the Kalpa. For 
the Brahmanas are endless, and difficult to under- 
stand, and therefore have old masters adopted tjie 
Kalpa-sutras according to different Sakhas. These 
Kalpa-sutras have the advantage of being clear, 
short, complete, and correct." * 

^^T^^l<^M*<Ui^^|f^f5r: T^f^^^T &c. MS. 
E. I. H. 104. In the beginning of the Commentary on Apastamba's 
Sutras, it is said that the author is going to explain the Yaj urvaidika 
performance of the whole vaitanika sacrifice, which is detached in 
many 6akhas and scattered in different parts of the Veda. 

TTftw^ncTf^fT ^ f^r^t^TW ^tw*ti 

" To explain means to separate, for instance, the new moon and 
the full moon sacrifices, which in the Veda are thrown to- 
gether, and to make them intelligible by comprehending dif- 
ferent &akhas." 

KALPA. 171 

It is true that some of the Brahmanas also have a 
more practical tendency, and might almost betaken for 
productions of the Sutra period. We saw before that 
Kumarila in his Tantravarttika spoke of some Brah- 
manas, for instance those of the Aruna and Parasara- 
sakhas \ as having the form of Kalpa works. Nay, 
there are passages in the Brahmanas which, though 
properly they ought to be called Kalpa or vidhi, are 
quoted by the Commentators, under the name of 
Sutra. 2 The same name is used, in the late books of 
the Satapatha-brahmana, as the title of literary com- 
positions, which must then have formed part of the 
Brahmana literature. 3 

On the other hand, the Sutras, composed by Sau- 
naka, were called Brahmana-sannibha, " having the 
appearance of a Brahmana," an assertion, which, to a 
certain extent, is true, as may be seen by comparing 
the Bigvidhana, which is ascribed to Saunaka, with the 
Samavidh ana- brahmana. The same might be said of 
the Sankhayana-sutras, particularly of the last books, 
where we sometimes meet with considerable portions 
identically the same as in the Aitareya-brahmana. 
But no orthodox Brahman would for a moment admit 
that Brahmanas and Sutras belonged to the same class 
of literature. They fear the danger of such an ad- 

1 ^IT^^J M < 1 *K ^T^TT^TU 1 ^^! ^fr^^MHI See also Sa- 
yana's Introduction to the Aitareya-brahmana, where he says, 

3f^rtSrT ^f ^T ^fiH T^f3"f?U Might not the name 

^H^lKl^ft, Pan. iv. 3. 105., be meant for ^||^ U JM<[3iO ? 

2 Indische Studien, i. 149. n. 

3 See &atapatha-brahmana, xiv. 4. 4. 10. The word is not 
used in a similar passage, xi. 3. 8. 8. See page 40, note 7. 

172 KALPA. 

mission, because, as Kumarila says, If the name of 
Sruti were once granted to the Sutras, it would with 
difficulty be denied to the sacred writings of Bud- 
dhists arid other heretics. It would be, as he ex- 
presses himself in his graphic language, " Like letting 
in the heretics on the high road, after having driven 
them out of the village with sticks and fists." 

Originally a Brahrnana was a theological tract, and 
it was called br&hmana, not because it treated of the 
Brahman, the Supreme Spirit, or of sacrificial prayers, 
sometimes called brahmani, but because it was com- 
posed by and for Brahmans. These Brahmanas or 
dicta theologica, were gradually collected in different 
families or Parishads, and gave rise to greater works, 
which were equally called by the name of Brahrnana. 
Such a collection became a more or less comprehen- 
sive repository of theological lore, and no consider- 
ation as to practical usefulness seems to have influ- 
enced either the original contributors or the later 
collectors. In the course of time, however, and par- 
ticularly during periods of theological controversy, 
these works began to assume a practical importance, 
and it was then that the want of proper arrange- 
ment was felt as a serious inconvenience. Hence, 
when new additions were made to the ancient stock 
of Brahmanic learning, or when, as in the case of a 
controversy or a schism, the founders of a new com- 
munity were called upon to compose a Brahmanic 
code different from that which belonged to their 
adversaries, a more systematic and business-like spirit, 
such as afterwards led to the composition of Sutras, 
began to show itself in the arrangement of these later 

There was, however, a certain general system 

KALPA. 173 

which regulated the composition of the Brahmanas 
from the very first. Long before the different Brah- 
manas were composed, the sacrificial system, which 
they were chiefly intended to illustrate, had been 
definitely arranged, and the duties of the three or 
four classes of priests engaged at the great sacrifices, 
had been finally agreed upon. This division of priests 
and the general order of the sacrifices must have been 
settled previously even to the composition of the San- 
hitas of the Sama and Yajur-vedas; for both follow the 
established order of the sacrifices, and are neither more 
nor less than collections, containing the verses which 
the second and third classes of priests, the Chhandogas 
and Adhvaryus, had to employ at various sacrifices. 
They are liturgical song-books, adapted to an already- 
existing sacrificial canon. The case is different with 
the Eig-veda. The Rig-veda-sanhita was collected 
without any reference to sacrificial purposes. The 
Brahmanas, however, of all the three Yedas, the Rig- 
veda as well as the Sama and Yajur-vedas, pre-sup- 
pose the final division of the three classes of priests. 
This division, to which we shall have to revert 
hereafter, may be shortly described as follows : The 
chief part, or, as the Brahman s say, the body of each 
sacrifice, had to be performed by the Adhvaryu- 
priests. The preparing of the sacrificial ground, the 
adjustment of the vessels, the procuring of the 
animals, and other sacrificial oblations, the lighting of 
the fire, the killing of the animal, in short, all that 
required manual labour, was the province of the 
Adhvaryu priests. They stood lowest in the estima- 
tion of the Brahmans, and, as the proper pronuncia- 
tion of the sacred texts required considerable study, 
they were allowed simply to mutter the verses which 

174 KALPA. 

they used during the sacrifice. The recitation of 
Vedic verses was considered as so subordinate a part 
of their duty, that their Sanhita, at least the most 
ancient Sanhita 1 of the Adhvaryu-veda priests, is not 
a collection of hymns, but rather a complete descrip- 
tion of the sacrifice, as performed by the Adhvaryus, 
interspersed with such verses and formulas as had to 
be muttered by the officiating priests. It was at a 

1 According to some commentaries, this ancient collection of the 
Adhvaryu priests was called Krishna, or the dark Yajur-veda. 
owing to its motley character, whereas the more recent version of 
the Yajur-veda was called hikla or bright, on account of the 
clear separation of hymns and rules, or, according to others, on 
account of its enabling the reader to distinguish clearly between 
the offices belonging to the Hotri and the Adhvaryu. A more 
popular explanation is given by Colebrooke from Mahidhara's 
Commentary on the Vajasaneyi-sanhita. It occurs also in the 
Puranas : " The Yajush, in its original form, was at first taught 
by Vai&ampayana to twenty-seven pupils. At this time, having 
instructed Yajnavalkya, he appointed him to teach the Veda to 
other disciples. Being afterwards offended by the refusal of 
Yajnavalkya to take on himself a share of the sin incurred by 
Vaisampayana, who had unintentionally killed his own sister's 
son, the resentful preceptor bade Yajnavalkya relinquish the 
science which he had learnt. He instantly disgorged it in a 
tangible form. The rest of Vaisampay ana's disciples receiving 
his command to pick up the disgorged Veda, assumed the form 
of partridges, and swallowed the texts which were soiled, and for 
this reason termed u black ; " they are also denominated Taittiriya, 
from tittiri, the name of a partridge. Yajnavalkya, overwhelmed 
with sorrow, had recourse to the sun ; and through the favour of 
that luminary, obtained a new revelation of the Yajush which is 
called " white " or pure, in contradistinction to the other, and is 
likewise named Vajasaneyin, from a patronymic, as it should seem, 
of Yajnavalkya himself ; for the Veda declares, " these purer 
texts, revealed by the sun, are published by Yajnavalkya, the 
offspring of Vajasani? But, according to the Vishnu-purana, the 
priests who studied the Yajush are called Vajins, because the 
sun, who revealed it, assumed the form of a horse (vajin)." It is 

KALPA. 17') 

much later time, and probably in imitation of the 
Sama-veda-sanhita, that a separate collection of the 
hymns of the Adhvaryu priests was made, and this 
we possess in the various Sakhas of the Vajasaneyins, 
who have embodied the rules and the description of 
the sacrifice in a separate Brahmana, known by the 
name of the Satapatha. According to the same me- 
taphor, which assigns to the Adhvaryu priests the 
body of the sacrifice, its two most essential limbs fall 
to the lot of two other classes, the Hotri and Udgatri 
priests ; or, as Say ana says, in his introduction to the 
Taittiriya-sanhita : " The E-ig-veda and Sama-veda 
are like fresco-paintings whereas the Yajur-veda is the 
wall on which they stand." The Udgatri priests have 
little to do with the actual performance of the sacrifice. 
Their chief duty is to chant their hymns in a loud 
melodious voice, and these hymns, in the order in 
which they had to be chanted, were collected in a 
book of songs, called the Sama-veda-sanhita. The 
third class of priests, who were equally free from 
purely manual labour, had to recite the sacrificial 
hymns, according to the strict and difficult rules of 
the ancient pronunciation and accentuation, but with- 
out chanting. No collection, however, was made for 
them, containing the hymns in their sacrificial order ; 
because the Hotri priests were supposed to be so 
thoroughly versed in the ancient Vedic poetry, as 
contained in the Rig-veda-sanhita, that they were 

clear that these are nothing but late etymological legends. Tittiri 
and Vajin were proper names. Tittiri was the pupil of Yaska, 
the pupil of Vaisampayana, and it is through them that the old 
or dark Yajur-veda was handed down. Yajnavalkya, of the 
family of the Vajasaneyins, was the founder of the more modern 
or bright Yajur-veda. 

176 KALPA. 

expected to know the whole of it, and to be able to 
repeat readily, without the help of a manual, whatever 
hymn was enjoined at any part of the sacrifice. 

This distribution of the ceremonial between the three 
classes of priests, which, after the collection of the 
ancient Sanhita of the Rig-veda, called forth the two 
Sanhitas of the Sama- andYajur-vedas, regulated from 
the first the composition of the Brahmanas. Instead 
of one code of theology, we find three collections of 
Brahmanas, treating respectively of the performance 
of those rites, which each of the three classes of priests 
was more particularly concerned with. The Adhvar- 
yu priests had originally, as we saw, no Brahmana in 
the usual sense of the word, and what is called their 
Brahmana is in reality a mere supplement and conti- 
nuation of their Sanhita ; originally, therefore, neither 
of these names was correctly applicable to the Yajur- 
veda of the Charakas. In later times, however, the 
duties of the Adhvaryu were incorporated in a se- 
parate Br&hmana, the Satapatha, at the same time 
that their hymns were collected in a small manual, 
the later SanhitA, of the Yajur-veda. In a similar 
manner the sacrificial duties of the Hotri priests were 
discussed in the Bahvricha-brahmanas, and those of 
the Udgatri priests, in the Chhandoga-brahmana. 

Thus we see that the collection, if not the original 
composition, of the Brahmanas, was not entirely with- 
out system ; and that the remarks on certain parts of 
the sacrifice, although sometimes extremely diffuse, 
and mixed up with extraneous matter, were not 
thrown together at random. As most of the sacrifices 
were to be performed by two or three classes of priests 
in common, the same ceremony may be described in 
different Brahmanas. The Agnishtoma, for instance, 
begins with the ceremony of the Ritvig-varana, the 

KALPA. 177 

election of priests. This ceremony is performed by 
the Adhvaryu priests alone, and it was not necessary 
to explain it in the Brahmana of the Hotri priests. 
It is wanting therefore in the Bahvricha-brahmanas. 
The next following ceremony, the Dikshaniyeshti, is 
likewise performed by the Adhvaryus together with 
the Chhandoga priests ; but as here the Hotri priests 
also have to take a part (the yajyas and anuvakyas), 
it is described in the beginning of the Aitareya- 
brahmana. 1 

The Kalpa-sutras, with which we are at present 
concerned, follow the same system as the Brahmanas. 
They presuppose, however, not only the existence of 

1 " The Aitareya- brahmana consists of forty Adhyayas ; the 
Aranyaka also is reckoned part of the Aitareya, and is equally 
ascribed to Mahidasa, the son of Itara. 

" In the Brahmana, the first subject is the Jyotishtoma (cha- 
tuhsamstha) ; then the Gavam-ayana, the Adityanam-ayana, the 
Angirasam-ayana, and the Dvadasaha. The Jyotishtoma 
stands first among the Somayagas, (such as the Goshtoma and 
Ayushtoma), and it comprises seven sacrifices (saptasamstha.) 
Four of these are the Agnishtoma, Ukthya, Shodasin, and Atiratra ; 
and among these four the Agnishtoma is the model, the whole 
ceremony being here fully detailed, while for the other sacrifices 
the peculiar rules only are given, the rest being supplied from the 
model. The Agnishtoma ought therefore to be explained first. 
Now it is very true, that at the beginning of the Agnishtoma the 
Ritvij priests are to be elected, for Apas'tamba says in his Sutras, 
* he who is going to sacrifice with Soma, let him choose Arsheya- 
brahmans for Ritvij ; ' but as the Hotri priests have nothing 
to do in the ceremony of this election, and as the Rig-veda is only 
concerned with rules for the Hotri priests, the Dikshaniyeshti is 
explained first. For although the Ishti, or the sacrifice itself, is 
performed by Adhvaryus, yet the Yajyas and Anuvakyas belong 
to the Hotri priests. In the Rig-veda we find the Yajyas, Puronu- 
vakyas, &c. ; in the Yajur-veda the Dohanas, Nirvapas, &c. ; in 
the Saraa-veda the Ajyastotras, Prishthastotras, &c." Say ana. 


178 KALPA. 

three distinct collections of Brahmanas, but of dif- 
ferent Sakhas or recensions, which, in the course of 
time, had branched off from each of them. 

It is a characteristic peculiarity of the Sutras, 
that they were intended by their authors for more 
than one Charana, or adapted to more than one 
Sakha. This is remarked upon by Kumarila, when 
he says: " All authors of Kalpa-sutras join with the 
rules of their own Sakha, the optional command- 
ments of other Sakhas, a proceeding approved of by 
Jaimini." 1 Or again, " Not one of the Sutrakaras 
was satisfied with comprehending his own Sakha 
only." 2 The same is maintained still more strongly 
by the author of the Hiranyakesi-bhashya. " No 
single Sakha," he says, " contains a complete account 
of the ceremonial, and a reference to other Sakhas is 
absolutely necessary." 3 That this means a reference to 
other Sakhas of the same Yeda, and not a reference to 
other Yedas, may be seen from a passage of Kausika 
Rama 4 , where he establishes the general principle, 

1 Kumarila, i. 3. ^au<STf^frs<1^lf? 'StrTWirnT^T- 

f^ffaj snsranrT f^nrfir *# t^c f^rf%raT\n 

2 Kumarila, ii. 4. 2. ^ "^ ^^TTTWTOfa ^f^ 

3 wn ^ ^refaftw^TTT s^t%?r:i r 9^t 

KALPA. 179 

that in a Sutra a quotation from a different Sakha 
makes a rule optional, whereas a quotation from a 
different Veda confirms it as generally binding. It 
was not usual that a common Brahman knew more 
than one Sakha. He might, if he liked, study each of 
the three Vedas, but, as Kumarila says : " It is not 
necessary that one man should read different Sakhas, 
because one Sakha only is comprehended in that 
study of the sacred texts which every Brahman is 
bound to pass through. Therefore, if a very clever 
man should read different Sakhas of one Yeda, he 
may do so, but he might as well, if very rich, 
sacrifice at the same time with rice and barley." l 
But, even if a Brahman had studied the Sanhitas 
and Brahmanas of the three Vedas, according to their 
various Sakhas, he would still have found it extremely 
difficult to learn from them the correct performance 
of every sacrifice. It was, therefore, in order to 

1 Kumarila, T. V. ii. ; Jainiini Sutra, ii. 4. 2. 34 [ *o| ( r\ i^ [ "^^f 

^"^fq f^-^qoirt II This does not exclude, however, the obli- 
gation of reading different Vedas. f (Efcj c|<^ M^^I^T^T T 
TW%rf T T^^Trftw TrfFnT^RTf^l ^PSJT ^fT %T" 
$f*T cHST ^^T^ftcq" ^^fl" ^f?t WT3II See also Mitak- 
shara, p. 17. a. b. T^aunrSTER^t ^<MI< J K I) 

N 2 

180 KALPA. 

obviate this difficulty, that the Sutras were called into 
existence, as a kind of grammar of the Yedic cere- 
monial, useful for members of all Charanas. 

The Kalpa-sutras for the Hotri priests, which were 
composed by Asvalayana, were intended both for 
the Sakala- and Bashkala-sakhas \ and they contain 
occasional references to other Charanas also. Sa- 
yana, in his introduction to the Rig-veda (i. p. 34.) 
says distinctly, that Asvalayana teaches the employ- 
ment of hymns, which do not occur in the Sakala- 
sakha. " These," he says, " have been taken from an- 
other oakha, and their employment, therefore, rests on 
the authority of a different Brahmana, although the 
sacrifice itself (karma) must be considered as one and 
the same for all Sakhas, in spite of some differences 
in its performance (prayoga)." 2 

There is a second, and more ancient, collection of 
Sutras for the Hotri priests, written by Sankhayana. 
They were intended for members of the Kaushitaki- 
sakha, a Sakha of which we still possess the Brahmana 
and the Aranyaka. The Brahmana is sometimes 
quoted under the name of the Sankhayana-brahmana, 
in the same manner as the Aitareya is sometimes 

T&f%W ^T^^RT cTTfcch^^l ^TOT^ *|^d4l WT^T- 

"311^ *\\H TpEHT'SJ'Plh Narayana Gargya's Commentary 
on Asvalayana. 

2 Hiranyakesi-bhashya : ^4aU<Sm<3^nN7 3iT?f^ 3T- 

*rf% ii^tfTTTfTfiT: wtw: 3fiwfr$f%ii 

KALPA. 181 

quoted as Asvalayana-brahmana. This Sankhayana 
text of the Kaushitaki-brahmana may be more mo- 
dern than the Aitareya-brahmana, but the Sutras of 
Sankhayana are more ancient than the Sutras of As- 

The Sutras for the Adhvaryu priests were composed 
by Katyayana, and adopted by the Kanva and Ma- 
dhyandina-S&khas. 1 

The ceremonial of the Udgatri priests who followed 
the Sama-veda, was likewise composed by authors 
who were free from the exclusive influence of one par- 
ticular Sakha. The Latyayana-sutras were not origi- 
nally the Sutras of a Latyayana-sakha, but they were 
written by Latyayana, and afterwards adopted by the 
numerous branches of the Kauthuma-sakha. Another 
collection of Sutras, almost identical with the former, 
was composed by Drahyayana, and was adopted by the 
different Charanas of the Eanayaniyas. 2 Both Sutras 
follow the same authority, the Tandya-brahmana, its 
old as well as its more modern portion, and they 
quote not only the traditional literature of various 
Charanas, such as the Satyayanins, SaMankayanins, but 
the works of individuals also, such as Sandilya, han- 
dily ayana, Dhananjaya, Kautsa, Kshairakalambhin, 
two Gautamas, Bhanditayana, Ranayaniputra, Lama- 
k ay an a, Sauchivrikshi, &c. 3 

^K^^^"* "^rn^nT^T^H II Mahadeva's Commentary on the 

2 In a MS. of the Drahyayana-sutras, E. I. H. 363. they are 

called ^WT^irnrH ^T^TW^II 

3 See Weber, Vorlesungen, p. 74. The Kauthumas seem to be 
a later Charana than the Ranayaniyas. Latyayana quotes a 
Eunayaniputra ; Kauthumas are quoted in the Pushpa-sutra. 

n 3 

182 KALPA. 

But although the Sutras were adopted by dif- 
ferent Charanas, existing previous to the composition 
of the Sutras, and although the author of a new code 
of Sutras might himself become the founder of a new 
Charana or sect, the text of these short rules seems 
never to have changed. The text of the Asvalayana- 
sutras was one and the same for a follower of the old 
Sakala, Bashkala or Aitareyi-sakhas. We meet with 
no authorized varice lectiones as we do in the Brah- 
manas. As late as the time of Sayana the various 
readings of the Brahmanas were known, and he refers 
to them frequently in his Commentary on the Aita- 
reyi-brahmana. Nothing of the kind ever occurs 
in the commentaries on the Sutras ; still less were 
the Sutras liable to those more important changes 
which the Brahmanas underwent, as they became the 
property of distinct Charanas or sects. 

Kumarila's argument, therefore, by which he en- 
deavoured to establish a distinction between the 
Brahmanas and Sutras 1 , is fully confirmed by those 
traces which can still be discovered by philological 
criticism. We have only to translate what he calls 
sruti, or revelation, by " ancient literature handed down 
by oral tradition/' and the distinction between Brah- 
manas, as sruti, and Sutras, as smriti, holds perfectly 
good. There is no doubt a distinction to be made 
between the manner in which the hymns and the 
Brahmanas, both included under the name of sruti, 

1 Kumarila i. 3. 7. ^13^1 T ^ifa^^Wf "^f WT^fTt I 

H\i, ^l^l^|U!^tf^4ld<4*iM*ll^dll "The mistake of sup- 
posing the Sutras to be Brahmanas, which arose from their iden- 
tity of object and occasional literal coincidences, has thus been 

KALPA. 183 

were preserved. But, in spite of Wolf's maxim, that 
prose literature marks everywhere the introduction 
of writing, we must claim for the Brahmanas, as well 
as for the hymns, a certain period during which they 
were preserved by means of oral tradition only. With- 
out the admission of an oral tradition, carried on for 
several generations and in several places by different 
families and Brahmanic colonies, it would seem im- 
possible to account for the numerous recensions of 
the same Brahmana, and for the various readings 
of each recension. How the changes, the additions, 
the rearrangements of the original collections of the 
Brahmanas were effected, we have no means of ascer- 
taining ; but we can see, that the Kanva and Madhy- 
andina recensions of the Sathapata-brahmana pre- 
suppose some point from whence they both started 
in common. The same applies to the Bahvricha- 
brahmana in the widely differing recensions of the 
Aitareyins, the Sankhayanins or the Kaushitakins. 
There is a common stock in the Brahmanas of each 
Veda. The same ceremonial is described, the same 
doubts are raised, similar solutions are proposed, and 
many chapters are repeated in the same words. 
Before each recension took its present shape and 
few only of these numerous recensions have been pre- 
served to us they must have rolled from hand to 
hand, sometimes losing old, sometimes gathering new 
matter ; now broken to pieces, now rearranged, till at 
last the name of their author became merged in the 
name of the Charana that preserved his work. No 
traces of this kind can be discovered in the Sutras. 
We probably read them in our MSS. exactly as they 
were written down at first by Katyayana, Asvalayana 
and others. They are evidently the works of indivi- 

K 4 

184 KALPA. 

dual writers, the result of careful and systematic re- 
search. They presuppose the Sanhitas and the Sakhas 
of the Sanhitas ; they presuppose the Brahmanas and 
the Sakhas of the Brahmanas. And they also refer 
to individual writers, whether they had become the 
founders of Charanas, or whether they enjoyed an 
authority as teachers of law and other subjects con- 
nected with the intellectual pursuits of the early 

There is, however, one fact that seems to militate 
against the distinction between the Brahmanas and 
Sutras, in so far as it assigns a very early origin, 
and a traditionary character, to at least some works 
which were written in Sutras. At the time of 
Katyayana, if not at the time of Panini, there ex- 
isted Sutras, which were not then considered as 
the works of modern or at least well-known au- 
thors, like Asvalayana or Katyayana, but indicated 
by their very name, that they had formed, for a time, 
part of the traditional literary property of a Charana, 
or of some learned school. Their titles are formed 
on the same principle as the titles of ancient Brah- 
manas. The affix in (nini) is added to the names 
of their reputed authors, and this, as we know, is a 
mark that their authors were considered as Rishis or 
inspired writers. 1 Their works are not quoted in 
the singular, like all modern Sutras (for instance, 
" this is the ceremonial of Asmaratha," iti kalpa as- 
marathah), but, and this is a characteristic feature 
of the ancient traditional literature of India in the 
masculine plural, the literary works being supposed 

1 Cf. Pan. iv. 3. 103110. The Sutras from 106 are not ex- 
plained in the Mahabhashya according to the Calcutta edition. 

KALPA. 185 

to have their only substantial existence in the minds 
or memories of those persons who read or taught 
them. We find, for instance, " thus say the Para- 
larins, the Sailalins, the Karmandins, the Krisasvins," 
whereas the work even of Panini himself is quoted 
as " the Paniniyam," as it were " Panineum," not as 
" the Panineyins." * But although these quotations 
refer to Sutras, it ought to be observed that not one 
of them refers to Kalpa, or ceremonial Sutras. Where 
P&nini (iv. 3. 105.), or rather his commentator, 
quotes works on Kalpa in a similar, though not in ex- 
actly the same manner, we must bear in mind that 
expressions like " Paingi kalpah," " the ceremonial 
taught by the old sage Pinga, " Kausiki kalpah," 
" the ceremonial taught by the old sage Kusika," 
may refer to portions of the Brahmanas which are 
called kalpa, ceremonial, in contradistinction to the 
brahmana or the purely theological discussions 2 ; and 
it is nowhere said that these old Kalpas were written in 

1 Kalpa-sutras were composed contemporaneously with Panini, 
and even after his time, as, for instance, the Sutras of Asvalayana 
and Katyayana, which we still possess, and those of Asmarathya, 
which are lost. The last are quoted in the commentary to Panini 
(iv. 3. 105.), as a modern work on Kalpa ; yet Asvalayana in his 
Sutras, v. 13., refers to Asmarathya as an authority, whom he 
follows in opposition to other teachers whose opinion he rejects. 
Cf. Asv. Sutra, v. 13. ; Indische Studien, i. 45. 

2 The wording of the Sutra, "Puranaprokteshu brahmanakal- 
peshu" seems to confirm this interpretation. The Paingins must 
be considered as a Brahmana-charana, for there is a Paingyam, the 
work of a Paingin, quoted in the Kaushitaki-brahmana, and in a 
doubtful passage of the Aitareya-brahmana. It is difficult to say 
anything equally positive about the Kausiki kalpah, an"? expres- 
sion which may possibly refer to the Kausika-sutras of the 

186 KALPA. 

Sutras. Unless, therefore, a quotation can be brought 
forward previous to Katyayana, and referring to a 
collection of Kalpa-sutras, such quotation calling the 
Sutras not by the name of their author, but by the 
name of a Charana, not in the singular, but in the 
masculine plural, Kumarila's distinction between 
Brahmanas and Sutras remains unshaken, and we are 
justified in maintaining that the Kalpa-sutras, in spite 
of some apparent similarity with the later Brahmanas, 
belong to a period of literature different in form and 
character from that which preceded it, and which 
gave rise to the traditionary literature of the Brah- 

The Kalpa-sutras are important in the history of 
Vedic literature for more than one reason. They 
not only mark a new period of literature, and a new 
purpose in the literary and religious life of India, 
but they contributed to the gradual extinction of the 
numerous Brahmanas, which to us are therefore only 
known by name. The introduction of a Kalpa-sutra 
was the introduction of a new book of liturgy. If it was 
adopted by different Charanas, smaller differences in 
the ceremonial and its allegorical interpretation, which 
had been kept up by the Brahmanas of each Charana, 
would gradually be merged in one common ceremonial; 
or, if they were considered of sufficient importance, a 
short mention, such as we find here and there in the 
Sutras, would suffice, and render the tedious discus- 
sions of the Brahmanas on the same points, super- 
fluous. If the Sutras were once acknowledged as 
authoritative, they became the most important part 
of the sacred literature which a Brahman had to 
study. Those who had to perform the sacrifices 
might do so without the Veda, simply by means 

KALPA. 187 

of the Kalpa-sutras ; but no one could learn the 
ceremonial from the hymns and Brahmanas alone, 
without the help of the Sutras. 1 There remained, 
indeed, the duty of every Brahman to learn his Sva- 
dhyaya, which comprised the hymns and the Brah- 
manas. But complaints were made, at least at a 
later time, that the hymns and the Brahmanas were 
neglected on account of the Sutras, and one of the 
reasons why the Hotri priests were never allowed 
to have a prayer-book, such as the hymn-books of 
the Yajur-veda and Sama-veda, was the fear that they 
would then neglect their Svadhyaya, and learn only 
those hymns which were enjoined for the sacrifices 
by the Kalpa-sutras. We need not wonder, there- 
fore, if, after a short time, the authors of Kalpa- 
sutras became themselves the founders of new Chara- 
nas, in which the Sutras were considered the most 
essential portion of the sacred literature ; so that 
the hymns and Brahmanas were either neglected, or 
kept up under the name of " the hymns and Brah- 
manas of the new Charana," having ceased to form by 
themselves the foundation of an independent tradi- 
tion or school. 

In order to make quite clear the influence which 
the Sutras exercised on the final constitution of the 
Vedic Charanas we ought to distinguish between 
three classes of Charanas: 1. Those which originated 
with the texts of Sanhit&s; 2. Those which originated 
with the texts of Brahmanas ; 3. Those which ori- 
ginated with the Sutras. 

Sr^rf^TT ^f^^JW^Uj^MchldLJI Kumarila. 

188 KALPA. 

We need not enter here into the question, whether 
originally there was but one Veda, and whether this 
original Veda became afterwards divided into three 
branches or Sakhas, the Rig-veda, Yajur-veda, and 
Sama-veda. This is the view adopted by the Brah- 
mans, and they consider these three divisions as the 
three most ancient Sakhas, and their propagators or 
pravartakas as the three most ancient Charanas. This 
is a natural mistake. It is the same mistake which 
leads to the assumption of a common literary lan- 
guage previous to the existence of the spoken dia- 
lects, whereas in fact the various dialects existed 
previous to the establishment of the classical lan- 
guage. The first collection of Vedic hymns is that 
which we have in the Rig-veda, a collection, not 
made with any reference to the threefold division 
of the later ceremonial, and therefore not one of three 
branches, but the original stock, to which the other 
two, the Yajur-veda and Sama-veda, were added at a 
much later period. 

The most ancient Sakhas and Charanas of which 
we have any knowledge are those which arose from 
differences in the text of the Rig-veda-sanhita, such 
as the Bashkalas and Sakalas. We never hear of 
either Brahmanas or Sutras peculiar to these sakhas, 
and the natural conclusion, confirmed besides by 
native authority, is that they diverged and became 
separated on the strength of various readings and 
other peculiarities, affecting the texts of their San- 
hitas. There is no evidence as to the existence of 
similar Sanhita-sakhas for the Yajur-veda or Sama- 
veda. If we take the two sakhas of the Yajur-veda- 
sanhita, that of the Kanvas and that of the Madhy- 
andinas, both presuppose the existence of a Vaja- 

KALPA. 189 

saneyi-sanhita, and this Vajasaneyi-sanhita would have 
been perfectly useless without a Brahmana. It was 
not the Sanhita, but the Brahmana of the Vajasa- 
neyins, handed down as it was in various texts, which 
gave rise to the fifteen Charanas of the Vajasaneyins, 
and among them to the Kanva and Madhyandina- 
charanas. Their Sanhitas were of secondary im- 
portance, and startling as such an opinion might 
sound to an orthodox Brahman, were probably not 
put together till after the composition of the Vaja- 
saneyi-brahmana in its original and primitive form. 
The peculiar differences in the text of the Mantras of 
the Kanvas and Madhyandinas depend on the differ- 
ences occurring in their respective Brahmanas, and 
not vice versd. On the same ground we must doubt 
the existence of ancient Sanhita-sakhas for the Sama- 

The next step which led to the formation of Chara- 
nas was the adoption of a Brahmana, and we therefore 
call this second class the Brahmana-charanas. When 
the growth of a more complicated ceremonial led to 
the establishment of three or four classes of priests, 
each performing peculiar duties, and requiring a 
special training for their sacerdotal office, there must 
have been a floating stock of Brahmanas, or dicta theo- 
logica, peculiar to each class of priests. They treated 
of the general arrangement of the sacrifice. They 
handed down the authoritative opinions of famous 
sages : they gave the objections raised against such 
opinions by other persons : and gradually they clothed 
these contradictory statements in the form of a 
logical argument. Occasionally an allegorical inter- 
pretation was given of the meaning of certain rites, 
the simple and natural import of which had been for- 

190 KALPA. 

gotten. Kewards were vouchsafed to the pious wor- 
shipper, and instances were recorded of such rewards 
having been obtained by the faithful of former ages. 
All these sayings and discussions were afterwards col- 
lected as three distinct Brahmanas, belonging to the 
three classes of priests. We still meet with the general 
names of Bahvricha-brahmanas for the Rig-veda, of 
Adhvaryu- brahmanas for the Yajur-veda, and of 
Chhandoga-brahmanas for the Sama-veda, without any 
further reference to particular Charanas by which these 
Brahmanas were collected or adopted. But those 
Brahmanas are no longer met with in their original 
form. They have come down to us, without excep- 
tion, as the Brahmanas of certain Charanas of each 
Veda. Instead of one Bahvricha-brahmana of the Rig- 
veda, we only find the Bahvricha-brahmana of the 
Aitareyins, or the Kaushitakins, or the Sankhayanins. 
Instead of one Chhandoga-brahmana or Chhandogyam, 
we have the Chhandoga-brahmana of the T&ndins or 
the Tandya, and we find quotations from other 
Charanas, such as the Satyayanins 1 or the Kauthumas. 

1 In one of the most interesting Brahmanas of the Chhandogas, 
the Samavidhana-brahmana, we see how the two last in a series 
of teachers became the founders of a Charana, by teaching this 
Brahmana, which had been handed down to them through a suc- 
cession of nine or at least six masters, to a multitude of followers. 

KALPA. 191 

Instead of one Adhvaryu-brahmana, we have the dark 
code of the old Charakas, or the Taittiriyas and the 
kathas, and the new Brahmana of the Vajasaneyins, 
and their descendants, the Kanvas and Madhyandi- 
nas. We nowhere find the original collection from 
which the various recensions might be supposed to 
have branched off and deviated in time. In most cases, 
where we possess the texts of a Brahmana, preserved 
by different iSakhas, the variations are but small, 
and they point clearly to one and the same original 
from which they descended. Sometimes, however, 
the variations are of a different kind, so much so that 
we are inclined to admit several independent collec- 
tions of that floating stock of Brahmanic lore, which 
went on accumulating in different places and through 
various generations. If we compare the Brahmanas 
of the Aitareyins and the Kaushitakins, we find their 
wording, even where they treat of the same matters, 
very different. The order in which the sacrifices are 
described is not always the same, nor are the ceremo- 
nial rules always identical. Illustrations and legends 
are interspersed in the Brahmana of the Kaushitakins 
of which no trace can be found in the Brahmana of 
the Aitareyins. And yet, with all these differences, 
the literal coincidence of whole chapters, the frequent 
occurrence of the same sentences, the same compari- 
sons and illustrations, render it impossible to ascribe 
to each of these Brahmanas a perfectly independent 
origin. The two Brahmanas of the Kanvas and 
Madhyandinas, in spite of their differences, in spite of 

f^Wfl rrff%arr^l*jfaiY ^jPSf: II On the &atyayanins and 
their relation to the Saraa-veda, see Indische Studien, i. 49. 

192 KALPA. 

additions and omissions that have been pointed out in 
either, compel us to admit that they had a common 
starting-point. To judge from frequent quotations, 
the number of Brahmanas, differing from each other 
more or less considerably, and the number of Charanas, 
founded on these Brahmanas, must have been very 
large. We can easily imagine how this happened. The 
name of a famous teacher, who gathered a number 
of students around himself in a village, or who lived 
under the protection of some small Raja, was preserved 
by his pupils for generations. The sacred litera- 
ture which he was, perhaps, the first to teach in a 
newly-founded colony, was afterwards handed down 
under the sanction of his name, though differing but 
slightly from the traditional texts kept up in the 
community from which he himself had started. He 
might, perhaps, add a few chapters of his own compo- 
sition, a change quite sufficient, in the eyes of the 
Brahmans to constitute a new work, or at least to 
disqualify it for claiming any longer its original title. 
When these new Charanas had once been founded, it 
was but natural, though they originated chiefly with 
a Brahmana of their own, that the text of their 
Sanhitas also should be slightly modified. This 
was not the case necessarily. The Aitareyins, for 
instance, and the Kaushitakins, though they differed 
in their Brahmanas, preserved, as far as we know, the 
same sakha of the Sanhita, and preserved it each with 
the same minute accuracy. No Sanhita peculiar to the 
Kaushitakins and Aitareyins is ever mentioned, and 
the points on which they differed were, from the very 
first, connected with the subject matter of the Brah- 
manas. Students following different sakhas, as far 
as their Brahmana was concerned, might very well 

KALPA. 193 

follow one and the same Sakha of the Sanhita, 
though they would no longer call it by its own ori- 
ginal name. In most cases, however, and particularly 
in the Charanas of the Yajur-veda, a difference in the 
Brahmanas would necessitate, or, at least, naturally 
lead to, corresponding differences in the Sanhita, such 
as we find, for instance, in the hymns of the Kanvas 
and Madhyandinas. 1 

These Brahmana-charanas existed previous to the 
first composition of the Sutras, and in the Sutras 
belonging to the Sama-veda, which are the earliest 
Sutras we possess, they are quoted. No Sutra is ever 
quoted in any of the Brahmanas, but there is no 
collection of Sutras in which the various Sakhas of 
the Brahmanas are not referred to by name. The 
authorities quoted in the Sutras on doubtful points 
of the Vedic ceremonial, are invariably taken from 
the Brahmana-charanas. In the commentary on Pa- 
nini, such names as " the Aitareyins, the Satyayanins, 
and Bhallavins " are distinctly explained as sup- 
porters of ancient Brahmanas ; and the antiquity of the 
two last is still further confirmed by the fact of their 
being quoted as Brahmanic authorities in the Sata- 
patha brahmana. 2 

The third and most modern class of Charanas con- 
sists of those which derive their origin from the in- 
troduction of a new body of Sutras, such as the Asva- 
layaniyas, the Katyayaniyas, and many of the subdi- 
visions of the Taittiriyas. It is not always possible 
to determine with certainty whether a Charana dates 

1 The differences of these schools may be seen in Weber's 
edition of the Yajur-veda at the end of each Adhyaya. 

2 See Weber's Indische Studien, ii. 44. 


194 KALPA. 

from the Brahmana period, or from the Sutra period, 
because so many of the Brahmanas and Sutras have 
been lost, and some of the Brahmanas have been 
handed down to us under the names of more modern 
Sutra-charanas, by which they were adopted. It is 
easy to determine that the Kaushitakins date from the 
Brahmana period, because there is neither a Kaushi- 
taki-sutra nor a Kaushitaki-sanhita, but only a Kaushi- 
taki-brahmana ; but in other instances our knowledge 
of the ancient literature of India is too fragmentary 
to enable us to ^x the age of the numerous Charanas 
which are quoted by later authorities. Some of the 
Sutras again, as we saw before, are older than others, 
and seem almost to trespass on the frontiers of the 
Brahmana period. How are we to determine, for in- 
stance, whether the Sankhayanas were originally a 
Brahman a-charana, and had their Sutras written by 
one of their own sect, or whether the foundation of 
their Charana rested on the text of the Sutras 1 , a new 
text of the original Brahmana of the Bahvrichas being 
adopted by them in later times, and thenceforth quoted 
as the JSankhayana-brahmana ? In some instances 
the relative age of certain Sutras has been preserved 
by the tradition of the schools. Thus the most 
ancient Sutra of the Taittiriyas is said to have been 
that of Baudhayana, who was succeeded by Bhara 
dvaja, Apastamba, Satyashadha Hiranyakesin, Va- 
dhuna, and Vaikhanasa ; all of whom, with the ex- 
ception of the two last, have lent their names to dif- 
ferent Charanas of the dark Yajur-veda. 

1 It should be observed, that in some MSS. of the Charana vyuha 
the two Charanas, which belong most likely to the Sautra period, 
those of Asvalayana and &ankhayana, are not mentioned. 

KALPA. 195 

Although none of the Sutras seem to have been 
written with the distinct purpose of founding a new 
Charana, it can easily be imagined how different 
communities, after adopting a collection of Sutras as 
the highest authority for their ceremonial, became 
inclined to waive minor points of difference in the 
Sanhitas and Brahmanas, and thus coalesced into a new 
Charana under the name and sanction of their Sutra- 
kara. After these new Sautra-charanas had once been 
started, we find that the Sanhitas and Brahmanas, cur- 
rent among their members, were designated by the 
name of the new Charanas. Thus we may explain the 
title of Asvalayana-brahmana given to the Aitareya- 
brahmana in one of the MSS. of the Bodleian library 1 ; 
and we shall not hesitate to ascribe the same meaning 
to an Asvalayana-brahmana, said to be quoted by 
Yajnikadeva in his commentary on Katyayana. 2 Why 
such a Brahmana should not be quoted by early 
writers, such as the authors of Sutras, is easily un- 
derstood. Its title was necessarily of late origin, and 
it is important as marking the progressive changes in 
the nomenclature of Indian literature. We have a 
similar and still better authenticated instance in the 
so-called Apastamba-brahmana, which is but a dif- 
ferent title of the Taittiriya-brahmana, as adopted by 
the followers of the Apastamba-sutras. It is in this 
manner that the Sutras may be said to have contri- 
buted partly to the formation of new Charanas, some of 
which are not mentioned in the ancient lists, as, for 
instance, the K&tyayaniyas ; partly to the extinction of 

1 MS. Wilson, 473. The title is ^TOCTlFrar sflipr ( sic ) J 
it contains the fifth Book of the Aitareya-brahmana. 

2 Katyayana, ii. 5. 18.; vi. 6. 5. Indische Studien, i. 230. 

o 2 

196 KALPA. 

the more ancient Brahmana-charanas and Sanhita cha- 
ranas, many of which are now known to us by name 

That the introduction of the Sutras and the founda- 
tion of Sutra- charanas was felt as an innovation by 
the Brahmans themselves, we perceive from the man- 
ner in which even modern writers speak of them ; 
half objecting to their authority, yet glad to admit 
and even to defend what could no longer be prevented. 
The Sutras were not, indeed, admitted as part of the 
Sruti, yet they were made part of the Svadhyaya, 
and had to be learned by heart by the young student. 
They might, therefore, like the Sanhitas and Brah- 
manas, claim a kind of sacred character, and in time 
become the charter of a new Charana. Thus we read 
in Mahadeva's Commentary on the Hiranyakesi-su- 
tras l : ." The Kalpa-sutra is sometimes different for 
different Sakhas, sometimes it is not. The difference 
of the Sakhas arises partly from a difference of the 
sacred texts (adhyayana being used in the sense of 
svddhyaya, perhaps with reference to the peculiar 
pronunciation taught in the Pratisakhyas), partly 
from a difference in the Sutras. The Sutras of Asva- 
layana and Katyayana, for instance, are the same for 

KALPA. 197 

two Sakhas whose respective texts are different, while 
in the Taittiriya-veda we find Sakhas with different 
Sutras, but no differences in their sacred texts. Hence 
it may be said l , that sometimes, where there is a dif- 
ference in the Sutras, there is also a difference of 
6akha ; and, on the other hand, where there is a dif- 
ference of Sakha, there may be a difference in the 
Sutras." Mahadeva goes even further, and tries to 
show that, like all the revealed literature of the Brah- 
mans, the Sutras also existed previous to the beginning 
of time and had no historical origin. 2 "As the various 
Sakhas," he says, " which arise from various readings 
of the sacred texts are without a beginning, or eternal, 
so are also the various oakhas which arise from dif- 
ferent Sutras. For the titles of certain Sutras, derived 
from their authors, are not modern ; but being eternal, 
as inherent in individual Rishis, whose names occur in 
certain Kalpas or ceremonials, and retaining the same 
character when applied to the Sutras, which have been 
promulgated by the Rishis, they hold good as titles for 

1 Afterwards he says again : ff^Tr ^3^1 ^rfrTCfalU <o|| ( i 

^"fSTrf t II "It has been shown in the Charanavyuha, that in 

the Taittiriya-sakha, where there is but one and the same sacred 
text, subordinate Sakhas arise from different Sutras." 

" Nanakalpa-gatasu " cannot refer to the chronological Kalpas, 
because these are after the beginning of time. 

o 3 

198 KALPA. 

Sakhas, which apparently are marked by the names 
of men." l We may now understand in what sense 
the same Mahadeva gives to the word Charana the 
meaning both of Sakha and Sutra. " It is true," he 
says, "that sakha means a part of the sacred tradition, 
consisting of Mantras and Brahmanas, and that the 
subordinate sakhas of the Yeda owe their origin to 
the differences of either Mantras or Brahmanas. 
Nevertheless, as Veda means the sacred tradition, 
together with the Angas or subsidiary doctrines, a 
sakha may include the Angas and yet remain Yeda, 
and as such become different from other sakhas, owing 
to a difference in the Angas. If, therefore, the Sutra, 
which is an Anga, differs, there will be difference in 
the sacred tradition; and thus a difference in the 
Sutras may well become the cause of a different name 
of a Sakha." 2 

The following list, though far from being complete, 
contains some of the Kalpa-sutras which are best 
known to us either from MSS. or otherwise : 

1 Cf. p. 97, n. 

2 ^^m^:i thtstt: ^t^tt: ^rcf% ^i ^ft f%- 

ww^;: ^Tf^fnr ^j top *tot *rhr: ^rrsmsft 
^n^^msT t^ "arn^rTf^r *f*N ^f^r m^rtrTT^ 

ft^u% *re?s ^tw^t <W ^TWH^refr ^ i ?tot 
^f *tot nT^rsr^ turner rf^T ^^pg^mf^ii 



I. Yajur-veda. 
A. Old, or Dark Text 

1. Apastamba, text and commentary existing. 

2. Baudhayana, text and commentary existing. 

3. Satyashadha Hiranyakesin, text and commen- 

tary existing. 

4. Manava-sutra, large fragments of text existing. 

5. Bharadvaja-sutra, quoted. 

6. Yadhuna-sutra, quoted. 

7. Yaikhanasa-sutra, quoted. 

8. Laugakshi-sutra, quoted. 

9. Maitra-sutra, quoted. 

10. Katha-sutra, quoted. 

11. Varaha-sutra, quoted. 

B. New, or Bright Text. 
1. Katyayana, text and commentary existing. 

II. Sama-veda. 

1. Masaka's Arsheya-kalpa, text and commentary 

2. Latyayana-sutra (Kauthuma), ditto. 

3. Drahyayana-sutra (Ranayaniya), ditto. 

III. Eig-veda. 

1. Asvalayana-sutra, text and commentary existing. 

2. Sankhayana-sutra, ditto. 

3. Saunaka-sutra, quoted. 

IY. Atharva-veda. 
1. Kusika-sutra, text existing. 

o 4 

200 GRIHYA, 

Two other classes of Sutras have already been men- 
tioned as belonging to the same branch of literature 
with the Srauta-sutras, viz. the Grihya, and Sama- 
yacharika-sutras. Both are included under the common 
title of Sinarta-sutras, in contradistinction totheSrau- 
ta~sutfas ; the latter deriving their authority from the 
Sruti (the Mantras and Brahmanas), the former from 
Smriti, or immemorial tradition. The Grihya and Sa- 
niayacharika-sutras have frequently been confounded 
by European scholars ; but the Brahmans distinguish 
strictly between the Grihya ceremonies, performed by 
the married house-holder, chiefly for the benefit of his 
family, and the Samayacharika rules, which are to be 
observed by the rising generation, and which regulate 
the various relations of every-day life. It is chiefly in 
the Samayacharikn,- or, as they are sometimes called, 
Dharma-sutras, that we have to look for the originals 
of the later metrical law-books, such as Manu, Yajna- 
valkya, and the rest ; and the statement of Mega- 
sthenes, that the Hindus at his time administered 
law from memory (dwro jav^Tj^) 1 can only refer to the 
Smarta-sutras of the Charanas, and not to the modern 
Smriti- sanh it as of Manu, Yajnavalkya, Parasara, &c. 

1 Strabo, xv. 1. 53, seq., quotes Megasthenes: Tevofievovg cT olv 
kv Tto ^avZpoKOTTOv (TTpaToneco), <j)ri<j\v 6 Meyaadevrjg, TtTTapaKovra 
ixvpiadwv -rrXrjdovQ idpvfxivov, firjdefilav fj^iipav Idea' avr]veyfxiva KXifi- 
fiara 7r\ei6vi*)V ij ZiaKoaioJV Zpay^jiibv ciia, aypa<f>oiQ kcu ravra vo- 
fxoiQ yjpionivoiq. Ovde yap ypafifxara eldivai avrov<;, aW cnrb [Avi'ifxrjQ 
EKaara ZioikeloQcli. Schwanbeck suggests that only the last words 
ct/ro f.iy))fir)Q iKaoTa dioiKtladai contain the truth, fivrjfxr} being a 
vague interpretation of smriti, memory or tradition ; and that the 
first part was a wrong conclusion of the Greeks. The question 
whether the Hindus possessed a knowledge of the art of writing 
during the Sutra period, will have to be discussed hereafter. 

GRIHYA. 201 

The Grihya-sutras, belonging to the old Yajur-veda, 
are numerous. Quotations have been met with from 
Baudhayana, Bharadvaja, Hiranyakesin,the Kathaka 1 , 
and the Maitrayaniyas 2 , all names connected with the 
Taittiriya-veda, and proving the existence of distinct 
collections of Grihya-sutras. The number of similar 
Sutras for the bright Yajur-veda seems to have been 
still more considerable. Every one of the fifteen 
Charanas of the Vajasaneyins is said to have been pos- 
sessed of Kula dharrnas, which may have been either 
Grihya or Dharma-siitras. 3 The only collection, how- 
ever, which has come down to us, is that of Paras- 
kara. 4 Another, ascribed to Yaijavapin, is quoted, 
but has not yet been discovered in manuscript. Con- 
nected with the Sama-veda, the Grihya-sutras of Go- 
bhila, adopted both by the Banayaniyas and the Kau- 
thumas, seem to have obtained the greatest celebrity, 
there being but one other collection, the Khadira- 
grihya, which is sometimes quoted as a parallel au- 
thority of the Chhandogas. 5 The Grihya-sutras of the 
Big-veda or the Bahvrichas were written by Saunaka, 
and he is quoted as an authority on legal subjects by 
as late a writer as the author of the Manava-dharma- 
sastra (iii. 16.) The only two collections, however, 
which have been preserved in MS. are those of Asva- 
layana and Sankhayana. 

1 See Stenzler " On Indian Law Books," Ind. Stud. i. 232, and 
iii. 159. 

2 Weber, Vorlesungen, p. 97. 

3 See p. 121, n. 1. 

4 In a MS. (Wilson, 451.) Paraskara's Grihya-sutras are as- 
cribed to the Madhyandini-sakha. 

5 See Asaditya in his " Commentary on the Karma- pradipa," 
Ind. Stud. i. 58. This Karma-pradipa, a work ascribed to Ka- 
tyayana, is intended as a supplement to Gobhila. 

202 GRIHYA. 

Various opinions are expressed by the Brahmans 
themselves as to the meaning of grihya. Griha, ac- 
cording to the commentary on Asvalayana, signifies 
not only house, but also wife. In support of the 
latter meaning he quotes a passage, sagriho griliam 
dgatah, " he is gone to the house with his wife." 
According to this derivation the grihya ceremonies 
would be those which are performed with the sacred 
fire, first lighted by a husband on the day of his 
marriage. This fire, or the altar on which it is kept, 
is called grihya, and the grihya sacrifices are all 
performed on that altar. But it is doubtful whether 
griha can ever mean wife. In the passage quoted 
above, it rather means house or family. Besides, as 
the Hindus themselves admit, this domestic fire has 
sometimes to be lighted by a Brahman } before his 
marriage, in case his father should die prematurely. 2 
Grihya, therefore, probably meant originally the house 
or the family-hearth, from griha, house ; and it was 
in opposition to the great sacrifices for which several 
hearths were required, and which were therefore 
called vaitaniha 3 , that the domestic ceremonies were 

1 W^Tf^Tf^TT^Tf^T ^^WTOtfa 'falU: I This 
is taken from Gautama, v. 1. 

2 A Brahmacharin who has not yet finished his religious educa- 
tion, possesses no sacred fires of his own, and if he is obliged to 
perform ceremonies with burnt-offerings, he must do so with com- 
mon fire and without sacred vessels. Thus the Katyayana-sutra- 

paddhati says : ^V^^<=l^fMJV34^ ^rf%$S^V H^" 

GRIHYA. 203 

called grihya, as performed by means of the one do- 
mestic fire. It should be stated, however, in favour 
of the former interpretation, that in Gobhila's Sutra 
these domestic ceremonies are not called grihya, but 
grihya-karmani, and that here also the commentator 
admits grihya in the sense of housewife or tradition. 1 
The general name of the sacrifices performed, ac- 
cording to the Grihya-sutras, is Pakayajna, where 
pdka is not to be taken in the sense of cooking, 
but signifies, according to Indian authorities, either 
small or good. That pdka is used in the first sense 
appears from such expressions as " yo'smatpakatarah," 
" he who is smaller than we." But the more likely 
meaning is good or excellent or perfect; because, as 
the commentators remark, these ceremonies impart 
to every man that peculiar fitness without which 
he would be excluded from the sacrifices, and from 
all the benefits of his religion. As it is neces- 
sary that the marriage ceremonies should be rightly 
performed, that the choice of the bride should be made 
according to sacred rules, prescribed in the Sutras or 
established by independent tradition in various fa- 
milies and localities, the first ceremony described in 

^5?f?RTSn1% 3f*TrT$fteHh ll Narayana on Asv. Grihya- 
sutra. The three fires are the Garhapatya, Ahavaniya, and Da- 
kshina ; the one fire is the Avasathya or Grihya. 

^ ^t^jii ^^a wt wf^:\ rrerf *jTf*r grwfwii 

^F*T TUT vtft\ <TOT *f%<TO *nf% ^Tfwil 

204 GRIHYA. 

the Grihya-sutras is Marriage. Then follow the Sans- 
karas, the rites to be performed at the conception 
of a child, at various periods before his birth, at 
the time of his birth, the ceremony of naming the 
child, of carrying him out to see the sun, of feeding 
him, of cutting his hair, and lastly of investing him 
as a student, and handing him to a Guru, under 
whose care he is to study the sacred writings, that is 
to say, to learn them by heart, and to perform all the 
offices of a Brahmacharin, or religious student. It is 
only after he has served his apprenticeship and grown 
up to manhood, that he is allowed to marry, to light 
the sacrificial fire for himself, to choose his priests, 
and to perform year after year the solemn sacrifices, 
prescribed by the Sruti and the Smriti. The latter 
are described in the later books of the Grihya-sutras, 
and the last book contains a full account of the 
funeral ceremonies and of the sacrifices offered to 
the spirits of the departed. 

There is certainly more of human interest in these 
domestic rites than in the great sacrifices described 
in the Srauta-sutras. The offerings themselves are 
generally of a simple nature, and the ceremonial is 
such that it does not require the assistance of a large 
class of professional priests. A log of wood placed 
on the fire of the hearth, an oblation poured out to 
the gods, or alms given to the Brahmans, this is 
what constitutes a paka-yajna. Asvalayana quotes 
several passages from the Yeda, in order to show 
that the gods do not despise those simple offerings, 
nay, that a mere prayer will secure their favour, 
and that a hymn of praise is as good as bulls and 
cows. He quotes from Rv. viii. 19. 5. and 6. : " The 
mortal who sacrifices to Agni with a log of wood, with 

GRIHYA. 205 

an oblation, with a bundle of grass l with a reverence, 
careful in his performance, his horses will press on 
quickly, his fame will be the brightest ; nowhere 
will mischief, whether wrought by the gods or 
wrought by men, reach him." Another verse is 
quoted from Rv. viii. 24. 20., where men are called 
upon " to speak a mighty speech which is sweeter 
to Indra than milk (ghrita, ghee) and honey." And 
lastly, reference is made to a passage (Rv. vi. 16. 47.), 
where the poet says : " With this hymn of praise, 
Agni, we bring thee a sacrifice that is fashioned 
by the heart ; may these be thy bulls, thy oxen, and 
thy cows." All these passages are more applicable to 
the Grihya than to the Srauta ceremonies, and though 
the latter may seem of greater importance to the 
Brahmans, to us the former will be more deeply inter- 
esting, as disclosing that deep-rooted tendency in the 
heart of man to bring the chief events of human life 
in connection with a higher power, and to give to our 
joys and sufferings a deeper significance and a re- 
ligious sanctification. 2 

1 The Commentator explains veda as the sacred code. Such a 
code wa3 not known to the authors of the hymns. On the mean- 
ing of veda, see page 27. note 1 . 

2 In addition to a list of literary names quoted in the Grihya- 
sutras of Asvalayana (see p. 42), I subjoin a larger list of a similar 
character from the 6ankhayana-grihya-sutras, of which a copy 
exists at Berlin. (Weber, " Catalogue of Sanskrit MSS." p. 33.) 
Sumantuh, Jaimini - Vaisampayana-Pailasiitrabhashya- Gargya- 
Babhru-Babhravya-Mandu-Mandavyah, Gargi Vachaknavi, Va- 
dava Pratitheyi, Sulabha Maitreyi; Kaholam, Kaushitakim, 
Mahakaushitakim, Suyajnam, ^ankhayanam, Asvalayanam, Aita- 
reyam, Mahaitareyam, Bharadvajam, Jatukarnyam, Paingyam, 
Mahapaingyam, Bashkalam, Gargyam, 6akalyam, Mandukeyam, 
Mahadamatram, Audavahim, Mahaudavahim, Sauyamim, Sau- 


The third class of the Sutras, the Samayaeharika or 
Dharma-sutras, are equally interesting on account of 
the light which they throw on the every day life of 
the early Brahmans. According to the commenta- 
ries on these works, the existence of the Dharma- 
sutras is presupposed by the Srauta and Grihya-sutras. 
It is said, for instance, in the former, that a certain 
act of the sacrifice is to be performed by a man, after 
he has adjusted his sacrificial cord (yajnopavitin) : 
but in what peculiar manner a man ought to adjust that 
cord is not stated, but is supposed to be known from 
the Dharma-sutras. The same remark is made with 
reference to the exact manner of rinsing the mouth 
(achanta), and of performing the morning and even- 
ing prayers (sandhyavandana). These matters are 
spoken of as generally known from the Sutras, and, 
according to Hindu commentators, they could only 
be known from the Dharma-sutras. This argument, 
however, can hardly be considered conclusive as to 
the historical priority of the Dharma-sutras. On the 
contrary, it seems more likely that these matters, 
such as adjusting the sacrificial cord, &c., were sup- 
posed to be so well known at the time when the 
iSrauta and Grihya-sutras were first composed, that 
they required no elucidation. Instead, therefore, of 
considering the Dharma-sutras as earlier in time, the 
evidence, as far as it is known at present, would 
rather point in the opposite direction, and make us 
look upon these Dharma-sutras as the latest of the 
three branches of Sutras. This impression is con- 
firmed by other reflections. In neither of the other 
Sutras is the position of the Siidra so definitely 

nakim, Gautaraim, Sakapunim, ye chanya acharyas, te sarve 
tripyantv iti. See also Karmapradipa, MS. W. 465. p. 16. b. 

sAmayacharika. 207 

marked as in the Dharma-sutras. Apastamba, in his 
Samayacharika-sutras, declares distinctly that there 
are four Varnas, the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the 
Vaisya, the Sudra, but that the initiatory rites, the 
Upanayana in particular, are only intended for the 
three first classes. The same is implied, no doubt, 
in the other Sutras, which give the rules as to the 
proper time when a young Brahman, a young Ksha- 
triya, or a young Vaisya should be apprenticed with 
their spiritual tutors, but never say at what age 
this or similar ceremonies should be performed for one 
not belonging to these three Varnas. Yet they never 
exclude the Sudra expressly \ nor do they represent 
him as the born slave or client of the other castes. In 
the Dharma-sutras the social degradation of the Sudra 
is as great as in the later Law-books, and the same 
crime, if committed by a Brahman and a iSudra, is 
visited with very different punishments. Thus, if a 
member of the three Varnas commits adultery with 
the wife of a Sudra, he is to be banished ; if a iSudra 
commits adultery with the wife of a member of the 
three Varnas, he is to be executed. 2 If a Sudra 

I Apast. i. 6. ^^WT^^WW^R W^rSTSH- 

3WT*rril In later works, such as the Sanskara-ganapati, this 
Sutra of Apastamba, which excludes the 6udras from initiation, 
has been so altered as to admit them. MS. E. I. H. 912, p. 16. 

ms. p. 163. b. crro ^t*i: spr^rf wc j$% ^rr- 


abuses an honest member of the three Varnas, his 
tongue is to be cut out. 1 He is to be flogged for not 
keeping at a respectful distance. For murder, theft, 
and pillage the Sudra is executed ; the Brahman, if 
caught in the same offences, is only deprived of his 
eye-sight. This is the same iniquitous law, which we 
find in the later Law-books. But although the dis- 
tinction between the Siidras and the other Varnas is 
so sharply drawn by Apastamba, he admits that a 
Sudra, if he obeys the law, may be born again as a 
Vaisya, the Vaisya as a Kshatriya, and the Kshatriya 
as a Brahman 2 ; and that a Brahman, if he disre- 
gards the law, will be born again as a Kshatriya, the 
Kshatriya as a Vaisya, and the Vaisya as a iSudra. 

It might be supposed that the Dharma-sutras 
formed merely an appendix to the Srauta and Grihya- 
sutras, and that they should be classed with the 
Parisishta literature. But such a supposition is con- 
tradicted by the fact, that the Dharma-sutras occa- 
sionally treat of the same subjects as the Grihya- 
sutras,and employ almost the same words in explaining 
some of the initiatory rites, the Sanskaras. They 
must, therefore, be considered as independent collec- 
tions of Sutras, later perhaps than the Srauta and 

ms. P . 164*. f^n-i^i s^st^ vf^*?wr*mYi 
2 ms. p. 125*. wgw *?wr sw: ^n*5 tot- 

sAMA-StJTKAS. 209 

Gyihya-sutras, but enjoying the same authority on 
matters belonging to Smriti or tradition, as theGrihya- 

We have still to mention the Ten Sutras of the 
Sama-veda. 1 These Sutras 2 do not all, strictly speak- 
ing, treat of the Kalpa, or the ceremonial. Some 
of them are little more than lists, such as we find in 
the Anukramanis or Indices, appended to the other 
Vedas. Their style, however, approaches the style 
of the Sutras ; and, as they are quoted together as 
the Ten Sutras, and as some of them belong decidedly 
to the earliest productions of the Sutra literature, it 
will be more convenient to place them here, than to 
refer them to the Parisishta literature, with which 
they have little or nothing in common. They are : 

I. The Kalpa-sutra, or Arsheya-kalpa of Masaka, 
an index of the hymns used by the Chhandoga priests, 
in the order in which the sacrifices are described in 
the Tandya-brahmana. Eleven Prapathakas: 1 5, 
on the sacrifices called Ekdha ; 6 9, on the sacri- 

1 The most important among them were first noticed and de- 
scribed by Dr. Weber, on whose authority some of our statements 
must rest. 

2 ms. chamb. ioo. ^rT^rr^m^ 1 ^ f^R 3r^m3 "^l 

Varadaraja, in his Commentary on Katyayana's Pratihara (MS. 

Bodl. W. 394.). tVm ^mW^^^TT^IJTW: I 
and again : \^% Tcf^f vj U<j Vqch^g^T^JT^^Tcff o^tf^- 


fices called Ahina; 10 12, on the sacrifices called 
Sattra. Commentary by Varadaraja. 

II. The Anupada-siitra, a gloss to the Tandya- 
brahniana, in ten Prapathakas. 

III. The Kalpa-sutra, already mentioned, either of 
Latyayana or Drahyayana. Latyayana quotes Ma- 
saka, and follows the order of the Tandya-brahmana. 

IV. The Nidana-sutra, on Metres, in ten Prapa- 

V. The Upagrantha-sutra, a treatise on the per- 
formance of some of the Sama-veda sacrifices, com- 
monly ascribed to Katyayana. 1 

VI. The Kshudra-sutra or Kshaudra, in three Pra- 
pathakas, equally treating of the ceremonial of the 
Sama-veda. 2 

VII. The Tandalakshana-sutra. 

VIII. The Panchavidha-sutra 3 , in two Prapathakas. 

IX. The Kalpanupada, and 

X. The Anustotra-sutra 4 , in two Prapathakas. 
"We miss in this list the Pushpa-sutra, ascribed to 

Gobhila, and containing rules on the adaptation of 
the text of the hymns to their musical performance. 

Jyotisha, or Astronomy. 
The last of the Vedangas is called Jyotisha, or 

1 Cf. Ind. Studien, i. 43. 54. 56. 58 ; MS. E. I. H. 121. m+^K 
\d Mil ^4^4 copied Samvat, 1586=1530 a.d. by Pandita Sri La- 

kshmidhara, son of griBhima, ^rfJMJJ^^"^ ^TJ^J: W \'6<%l II 

2 MS. Bodl. W. 375. 

3 MS. Bodl. W. 375. Begins WT^llfteref ^ 1 M^ ^f %- 

^mPr wf&: fTrcrNt^ wH ^tw^tomi one of 

these five Bhaktis, the Pratihara, is described in the Pratihara- 
sutra, ascribed to Katyayana, and explained by Varadaraja. 

4 MS. Bodl. W. 375. 


Astronomy. Its literature is very scanty, and the 
small treatise, generally quoted as the Jyotisha, be- 
longs to the same class of works as the Siksha. 
Colebrooke speaks of different Jyotishas for each 
Veda, and he calls one, which has a commentary, the 
Jyotisha of the Rig-veda. Among his MSS., how- 
ever, which are now deposited at the East India 
House, there is but one work of this kind. It exists 
in various MSS. (Nos. 1378, 1743, 1520), and the 
differences between these MSS. are so small that we 
could hardly consider them as distinct works. This 
tract is later than the Sutra period, and we possess as 
yet no work on ancient astronomy, composed in the 
style of the early Sutras. Notwithstanding its 
modern form, however, the doctrines which are pro- 
pounded in this small treatise represent the earliest 
stage of Hindu astronomy. The theories on which 
it is founded, and the rules which it lays down, are 
more simple, less scientific, than anything we find 
in other astronomical treatises. Nor is it the object 
of this small tract to teach astronomy. It has a 
practical object, which is to convey such knowledge 
of the heavenly bodies as is necessary for fixing the 
days and hours of the Vedic sacrifices. It was the 
establishment of a sacred Calendar, which in India, 
as elsewhere, gave the first impulse to astronomical 
studies. Thus we meet in the Brahmanas and 
Aranyakas with frequent allusions to astronomical 
subjects, and even in the hymns we find traces which 
indicate a certain advance in the observation of the 
moon, as the measurer of time. The fact that the 
name of the moon is the same in Sanskrit, Greek, 
and German ; and that it is derived from a root which 

p 2 


originally means to measure, shows that even before 
the separation of the Indo-European family, the moon 
had been looked upon as the chief means of measuring 
time. And the close connection between the names 
of moon and month proves that a certain knowledge 
of lunar chronology existed during the same early 
period. In one passage of the Rig-veda l the moon is 
mentioned in connection with the Nakshatras, and we 
can hardly doubt that this is an allusion to the 
Nakshatras, the well-known name of the Lunar Man- 
sions or the Lunar Zodiac. In the hymns 2 the 
phases of the moon have not only received proper 
names, but they have been personified, and are in- 
voked as deities to grant progeny to their wor- 
shippers. Again, there is a passage in the first book 
of the Rig-veda, where, in addition to the twelve 
months, a thirteenth or intercalary month is men- 
tioned. The poet says there (Rv. i. 25. 8.), " He 
( Yaruna), firm in his work, knows the twelve months 
with their offspring, and knows the month which is 
produced in addition. " It has been objected that 
the idea of an intercalary month was too scientific 
for the early poets of the Veda, and a different trans- 
lation has been proposed : " Varuna, who knows the 
twelve months, and knows those which are to come." 
But the poet would not have used the singular of the 
verb, if he meant the plural. He could not have 

1 Rv. viii. 3. 20 : " atho nakshatranam esha m upasthe soma 
a'hitah," " Soma is placed in the lap of these Nakshatras." 

2 Rv. ii. 32. Raka, the full moon ; Sinivali, the last day before 
the new moon ; and Gungu, the new moon, are mentioned. Rv. 
v. 42. 12, Raka occurs again ; and x. 48. 8. we read Gungubhyah. 
In both these passages, however, the poet is speaking of rivers, and 
not of the moon. 


said, " the twelve months and those which are to 
come," if he meant to say, " the past months and 
those which are to come." No doubt the acquaint 
ance with an intercalary month presupposes a certain 
knowledge of lunar and solar astronomy, but not 
more than what a shepherd or a sailor might gain in 
the course of his life. The whole idea expressed by 
the poet is, that Varuna maintains the established 
order of the world, and therefore knows the twelve 
months and also the thirteenth. In the hymns of 
the Yajur-veda the thirteenth month is changed al- 
ready into a deity. Oblations are offered (Vajasan.- 
sanhita, vii. 30., xxii. 31.) to each of the twelve 
months, and at the end one oblation is made to An- 
hasaspati, the deity of the intercalary month. In 
the Brahmanas 1 likewise the thirteenth month is 
mentioned, and in the Jyotisha the theory of inter- 
calation is fully explained. Two names for " an astro- 
nomer," Nakshatra-darsa and Ganaka, occur as early 
as the Taittiriyaka and the Sanhita of the Yajur- 
veda 2 ; and among the sciences of the early Brah- 
mans, Nakshatra-vidya or Astronomy is mentioned in 
the Chhandogyopanishad. In the Ganapatha, ap- 
pended to Panini's Grammar 3 , the title of Jyotisha 
occurs together with the titles of other Yedic works ; 
and in the Charanavyuha we meet not only with the 
Jyotisha, but with an Upajyotisha, or a supplemen- 

1 Sayana, in his Commentary on Rv. ii. 40. 3, says, that the 
thirteenth month was called the seventh season, and he quotes 
from a Brahmana a passage : asti trayodaso masa iti sruteh. 

2 Taitt.-brahm. iv. 5 ; Vaj.-sanh. xxx. 10; 20. 

3 Gana ukthadi. Pan. iii. 1. 143, graha, planet, is mentioned as 
different from graha. 

p 3 


tary treatise on astronomy. This supplementary 
treatise is one of the Parisishtas, and in the same 
class of writings we meet with other tracts on astro- 
nomical subjects, such as the Gobhiliya Navagraha- 
santi-parisishta 1 belonging to the Sama-veda, and 
several more belonging to the Atharva-veda. 2 

If now we take a comprehensive view of that class 
of literature which we have just examined, we find 
some characteristic features throughout. All these 
works were written with a practical object, quite a 
new phase in the literature of such a nation as the 
ancient Hindus. The only authority which the Sutra- 
karas, the authors of the Sutras, claimed for their 
works was the authority of that ancient, and, as it 
was then already considered, revealed literature on 
which their works were founded. These men claimed 
no inspiration for themselves. They had made a 
scientific study of the literature handed down to 
them by former generations, and they wished to 
make that study easier to their contemporaries and 
to future generations. The style which they adopted 
for that purpose was business-like in the extreme. 
It was the curt and dry style of the Sutras, a style 
peculiar to India, which can only be compared with 
the elaborate tables of contents, or the marginal 
notes, of some of our own early writers. It has its 
first beginnings in the Brahmanas, where some sub- 
jects, particularly those which had given rise to early 
controversy, are stated with all the conciseness and 
neatness of the Sutra style. But whereas the authors 

1 MS. Chambers, 404. 

2 Nakshatrakalpa, Grahayuddha, Rahuchara, Ketuchara, Rituke- 
tulakshana, Nakshatragrahotpatalakshana. "Weber, Ind. Stud, 
i. 87. 100. 


of the Brahmanas screened their poverty behind a 
constant display of the most inane verbosity, the 
writers of the Sutras gloried in every word they could 
save without endangering the practical usefulness of 
their manuals. In some instances they adopted a 
poetical form, and they succeeded in combining the 
conciseness of their prose with the rhythm of their 
early metres, the mixed &lokas. Thus their position 
is marked by the very form of their works, as inter- 
mediate between the antique style of the Brahmanas, 
and the modern style of the metrical Sastras. Their 
works form a distinct and compact class of literature, 
and if we succeed in fixing the relative age of any one 
of these Sutrakaras or writers of Sutras, we shall have 
fixed the age of a period of literature which forms a 
transition between the Vedic and the classical litera- 
ture of India. 


Several of the works mentioned before were 
ascribed to Saunaka and his two pupils, Katyayana 
and Asvalayana. But we have not yet mentioned a 
number of treatises, ascribed to the same authors, 
and belonging to the same sphere of literature as the 
Sutras, which, however, on account of their technical 
character, could not lay claim to the title of Vedanga, 
or " member of the Veda." They are known by the 
name of the Anukramanis, from anu, along, and Jcram, 
to step. They are systematic indices to various por- 
tions of the ancient Yedic literature. 

The most perfect Anukramani is that of the Sanhita 
of the Rig-veda. It is ascribed to Katyayana, an 
author chiefly known by his works on the Yajur- 
veda and Sama-veda. Its name is Sarvanukramani 

p 4 

216 anukramanIs. 

or Sarvanukrama, i. e. the index of all things. 1 It 
gives the first words of each hymn, the number of 
verses, the name and family of the poets, the names 
of the deities, and the metres of every verse. Before 
the time of Katyayana, there had been separate 
indices for each of these subjects, and it was with 
reference to them that Katyayana called his own 
index the general or comprehensive index. Our au- 
thority for this is Shadgurusishya, the author of a 
commentary on the Index of Katyayana ; a man who 
like Devarajayajvan, the author of a commentary on 
the Nighantu, was not without a certain apprecia- 
tion of the historical progress of Indian literature. 
He tells us in his Yedarthadipika, that before Katya- 
yana, there existed one index of the poets, one of the 
metres, one of the deities, one of the Anuvakas, the 
old chapters of the Rig-veda, and one of the hymns ; 2 
and that these indices were composed by Saunaka. 
Now we know the style of Saunaka, and as by a 
happy accident some of these former indices have 
been preserved, some complete, others in fragments, 
we are able to test Shadgurusishya's accuracy. 

We remarked before, as a distinctive peculiarity 
of the style of Saunaka, as contrasted with that of 
Katyayana, that the Pratisakhja ascribed to the 
former is composed in mixed Slokas, whereas the 
Pratisakhya of Katyayana is written in prose or in 
Sutras. The same observation applies to the Anu- 


kramanis. Those ascribed to Saunaka are com- 
posed in mixed metres, as far as we can judge from 
quotations ; the Anukramani of his pupil Katyayana 
is in prose, and exhibits all the artificial appliances 
of a Sutra composition. There is one of Saunaka's 
Anukramanis, the Anuvaka-anukramani, which can 
be restored completely from MSS. 1 ; and this work 
bears the most manifest traces of Saunaka's style, 
partly in the mixture, partly in a peculiar rude- 
ness, of its metres. The other Anukramanis as- 
cribed to Saunaka are lost to us, but they must have 
existed at the time of Shadgurusishya. He quotes 
not only from the Anuvaka-anukramani (Bhashya, 
viii. 1.), but also from the Deva-anukrama (Bha- 
shya, viii. 4.), and he distinguishes this work from 
the Brihaddevata, another work attributed to Sau- 
naka, of which there is one MS. in Europe at the 
Eoyal Library of Berlin. 2 Sayana also, though later 
than Shadgurusishya, was still in possession of Sau- 
naka's works, and he quotes particularly the Bri- 

1 Several MSS. contain portions of the Anuvakanukramani ; 
and with the help of Shadgurusishya' s Commentary, contained in 
the introduction to his commentary on Katyayana's Sarvanukrama, 
(MS. Bodl. "Wilson, 379.), the text might be published in a 
critical edition. 

2 Dr. Kuhn gives the following description of this MS. in 
Haupt's " Zeitschrift fur Deutsches Alterthum." The Brihadde- 
vata (Chambers, 192.) composed in epical metre, is ascribed to 
6aunaka, and contains an enumeration of the deities invoked in 
each hymn of the Rig-veda. It gives much mythological and 
other information as to the character of the gods of the Veda. 
The text of the MS. is so corrupt that we can scarcely think of 
restoring it without the help of other MSS." Another MS. has 
since been found in India, and a distinguished Sanskrit scholar is 
preparing an edition of it. 


haddevata, in several of his own commentaries. Sau- 
naka's Arsha-anukramani is quoted by Sayana in his 
Commentary on the Rig-veda, i. 100. 1. If we add 
to these quotations a reference to Saunaka's Chhando- 
'nukramani, which is found in Shadgurusishya's 
Vedarthadipika (MS. E.I.H. 1823, p. 7.' a.), we may 
consider the authenticity of these works sufficiently 
established ; and it is hardly unreasonable to suppose 
that the fifth Anukramani also, of which no quota- 
tions have as yet been met' with, the Suktanukramani, 
was in existence as late as Sayana' s time. 1 

This would give us for the Rig-veda five Anukra- 
manis by Saunaka, one by Katyayana, and one by an 
unknown author. The Brihaddevata is a work of 
too large a compass to be called an Anukramani, and 
it is even doubtful whether we possess this work in 
the same form in which iSaunaka left it. To judge 
from Dr. Kuhn's extracts, the author of the Brihad- 
devata follows indeed the Sakala-sakha, but his text 
must have differed from that of our MSS. The 
author may have followed one of the subdivisions of 
the Sakalas, the Saisira-sakha, for instance, which we 
know was followed by Saunaka. The division of the 
Sanhita which is adopted in the Brihaddevata, is that 
of Mandalas, Anuvakas, and Suktas ; but the other 
division into Ashtakas is equally known, and even 
the Khilas are taken into account, whereas both iau- 
naka and Katyayana exclude these later hymns dis- 

1 Another Anukramani, containing the last verses of each 
Mandala, is quoted by Shadgurusishya (Anukr. Bh. viii. 1.). 

Cf. Iiv. Mand. vii. 6. 15 ; Asht. v. 7. 9. 


tinctly from their indices. Dr. Kuhn concludes 
from a passage in Shadgurusishya's Commentary, to 
which we shall revert hereafter, that not Saunaka, 
but Asvalayana, was the author of our Brihaddevata. 
This conclusion, however, is not borne out by suf- 
ficient evidence, nor is the fact that Saunaka is 
quoted by name in the work itself a sufficient argu- 
ment against (Saunaka's authorship. According to 
the line of argument adopted by Dr. Kuhn, it would 
be equally objectionable to ascribe the Brihaddevata 
to Asvalayana; for in one passage, according to 
Dr. Kuhn's own emendations, the name of Asva- 
layana also occurs in it. Other authorities which 
are quoted in this curious work are the Aitareyaka, 
the Kaushitakins, the Bhallavi-brahmana, the Ni- 
dana (nidanasanjnake granthe), Sakalas, Bashkalas, 
Madhuka, Svetaketu, Galava, Gargya, Rathitara, 
Rathantarin, iSakatayana, Sandilya, Romakayana 
Sthavira, Kathakya, Bhagurin, Sakapuni, Bharm- 
yasva Mudgala, Aurnavabha, Kraushtukin, Matrin, 
and Yaska. The last is most frequently mentioned, 
and the whole book is dedicated to him. To judge 
from the style of the Brihaddevata, the work as we 
now possess it, though originally written by Saunaka, 
seems to have been recast by a later writer. 

The following figures, taken from Saunaka's Anu- 
kramanis, will serve to give an idea of the minute- 
ness with which the Yeda was studied at his time. 
According to iSaunaka, the Sakala-sakha of the Rig- 
veda-sanhita consists of 10 Mandalas, or 64 Adhya- 






The 1st 

contains 24 and 








5 i, 








6 i, 
















7 i, 






The 10 have 

85 and 

1017+11 = 1028. 

The Bashkala-sakha had 8 hymns more=1025 hymns. 
The 64 Adhyayas have 2006 Vargas. These are 

arranged as follows: 




msisting of 1 

= 1 = 



= 2 = 



= 97 = 



= 174 = 


ii ^ 

= 1207 = 



= 346*= 


n 7 

= 119 = 



= 59 = 



= 1 = 


64 Adhyayas = 2,006 = 10,417 

Here we have to observe a difference between the 
number of verses, as deduced from the Vargas, and 
the number stated by Saunaka. The latter gives the 

1 Trim satani shatkanam chatvarinsat shat cha vargah. 


sum total of verses=10,580|, but, immediately after- 
wards, the sum total of half verses=21,232i= 10,616 

How this difference arose it is difficult to say ; but 
it should be observed that, if we divide the sum total 
of half verses, 21,232, by 2, we get 10,616 verses, 
and this number comes very near to 10,622, which 
the Charanavyuha gives as the sum total of the 
verses of the Rig-veda. According to the Charana- 
vyuha (MS. Ch. 785.) the 64 Adhyayas of the Rig- 
veda have : 

Yargas consisting of 





=83 1 = 



= 2 = 



= 93 = 



= 176 = 



== 1228 = 



== 357 = 



= 129 = 



=== 55 = 



== 1 = 


2042 10,622 

The number of padas or words in the Rig-veda- 
sanhita is stated as 153,826, which gives an average 
of between 14 to 15 words to each verse. Another 
computation brings the number of the charcha-padas 
(i.e. words which are used in the Kramapatha, omit- 
ting the repeated passages or galitas) to 110,704, 
and the number of syllables to 432,000. 

In another Anukramani, Saunaka gives a list of 
verses, arranged according to the metres in which 
they are written ; and at the end he states the sum 



total of verses as 10,402 ; but here again, if we cast 
up the number of verses in each metre, according to 
his own statement, we get 10,409 instead of 10,402. 
These differences are startling if we consider the 
general accuracy of the exegetical works of the 
Brahmans; but they may arise either from faults 
in the MSS. of the Anukramanis, or from the fact 
that some of the Khilas were included, though, ac- 
cording to their own professions, both Saunaka and 
Katyayana would seem to exclude these later hymns 
from their Anukramanis. The following table will 
show the distribution of metres according to Sau- 
naka : 



Brought forward 






Anushtubh - 


Atyashti - 








Atidhriti - 


Trishtubh - 


Ekapada - 




Dvipada - 




Pragatha Barhata 194 



Kakubha - 


Atisakvari - 



- 251 

Carried forward 


For the Yajur-veda we have three Anukramanis, 
one for the Atreyi-sakha of the Taittiriyas, the other 
for the Sakha of the Charayaniyas, the third for 
the Madhyandina-sakh& of the Vajasaneyins. The 
former x differs from other Anukramanis in so far as 
it contains an index not of the Sanhita only, but 

1 MS. E. I. H. 1623, 965. 


also of the Brahmana and the Aranyaka. Its object 
is not simply to enumerate the Kandas (Ashtakas), 
Prasnas, Anuvakas, and Kandikas as they follow in 
the text, but rather to indicate the chief subjects of 
this Yeda, and to bring together the different pas- 
sages where the same sacrifice with its supplements 
is treated. Though we do not possess a MS. of the 
Atreyi-sakha, it is possible to identify nearly the 
whole of the Index with the text of the Sanhita l , 
the Brahmana 2 , and the Aranyaka 3 which we pos- 
sess. The Atreyi-sakha, though not mentioned in 
the Charanavyuha, must be considered as a sub- 
division of the Aukhiya-sakha ; and the Anukramani 
says that Vaisampayana handed it down to Yaska 
Paingi, Y&ska to Tittiri, Tittiri to Ukha, and Ukha 
to Atreya, who was the author of a Pada-text 4 , 
while Kundina composed a commentary (vritti) on 
the same Sakha. The Apastamba-sakha, of which 
we possess the complete Brahmana, is a subdivision 
of the Khandikeyas. 

There is a curious tradition, preserved in the Ivan- 
danukrama, that, although the greater portion of the 
Atreyi-sakha was originally taught by Tittiri, some 
chapters of it owed their origin to Katha, the founder 
of the Kathaka-sakha. This assertion is confirmed 
by Sayana in his Commentary on the Taittiriy aran- 
yaka. The chapters ascribed to Katha and called 
the Kathakam, are found at the end of the Brahmana 
and the beginning of the Aranyaka. They contain 

1 MS. E. I. H. 1701, 1702; name of Sakha unknown. 

2 MS. E. I. H. 293, containing the three books of the Apastam- 

3 MS. E. I. H. 1690, &c. 

4 See MS. Bodl. Wilson, 361. 


1. The Savitragnichayana with the Brahmana, 
Tait.-brahm. iii. 10. 

2. The Nachiketachayana, Tait.-br. iii. 11. 

3. Divahsyenaya ishtayah. Tait.-br. iii. 12. 
1 &2. 

4. Apadya ishtayah. Tait.-br. iii. 12. 3 & 4. 

5. Chaturhotrachiti. Tait.-br. iii. 12. 5. 

6. Yaisvasrijachiti. Tait.-br. iii. 12. 6 9, end of 

7. Arunaketukachiti. Tait.-aranyaka, i. 1. 

8 Svadhyaya-brahmana. Tait.-aranyaka, i. 2. 

They are given here as they follow one another in 
the text of the Apastamba-Sakha, and this order is con- 
firmed in every particular by Say ana's Commentary 
(MS. E. I. H. 1145), which is in fact a commentary 
intended for the Apastamba-sakha of the Taittiriya- 
brahmana. According to his introductory remarks 
prefixed to each Anuvaka, the Savitrachiti occupies the 
tenth, the Nachiketachiti the eleventh Prapathaka. In 
the twelfth Prapathaka, he remarks, the Chaturhotra 
and Yaisvasrija should be explained. But as the 
ishtis, called the Divahsyenis and Apadyas, form part 
of the complete Chaturhotra (they stand either in the 
middle or at the end of it), they are explained first. 
Thus we find in the beginning of the twelfth Prapa- 
thaka (iii. 12. 1.), the pratikas of the Yajyanuvakyas 
of the Divahsyenis ; in iii. 12.2. the rules for the same 
ishtis ; and in the same manner, the Yajyanuvakyas 
of the Apadyas in iii. 12. 3., and the rules in iii. 
12. 4. Then follows the Chaturhotra-chayana in iii. 
12. 5 , and in the last four Anuvakas the Yaisvasrija- 

A different order seems to have been observed in 
the Atreyi-sakha of the Taittiriya-brahmana, for, 
although the same chapters are here ascribed to 


Katha, their arrangement must have differed, unless 
we suppose that the author of the Kandanukrama in- 
troduced an alteration. He writes : " Tavat Tittirih 
provacha. (Tittiris Taittiriyasakhapravartako 'nye- 
bhyo munibhyah sishyebhyah provacha.) Athashtau 
Kathakani (athanantaram KathakasakMpravartakena 
Kathakamunina proktany uchyante) : 

1. Savitra, Taittiriya-brahmana, iii. 10. 

2. Mchiketa iii. 11. 

3. Chaturhotra iii. 12. 5. 

4. Yaisvasrija iii. 12. 6 9. 

5. Aruna, Taittiriya-aranyaka, i. 1. 

6. Divahsyenis, Taittiriya-brahmana, iii. 12. 1 2. 

7. Apadyas iii. 12. 3 4. 

8. Svadhy&ya-br&hmana, Taittiriya-aranyaka, i. 2." 
The second Anukramani of the Yajur-veda which 

we possess, belongs to the Charayaniya-sakha, and is 
called the Mantrarshadhyaya. 1 The only copy which 
we have of it is found in the same MS. which con- 
tains the Charaka-sakha, 2 and it is evidently intended 
as an index to this sakha. Nor is there anything 
anomalous in this, if we remember that the Cha- 
rayaniya-sakh& is a subdivision of the Charaka-sakha. 
But what is less intelligible is the title given to the 
text, which instead of Yajur-veda, is called in the MS. 
Yajur-veda-kathaka. This title, Kathaka, cannot well 
refer to the sakha of the Kathas, for this is itself a 
subdivision of the Charakas. It must most likely be 
taken in the same sense in which Kathaka was explained 
before, L e. " Kathakamunina proktam ; " though it is 
strange that the very chapters which in theApastamba- 

1 See Catalogue of the Berlin MSS., No. 142. 

2 The title is " Ekottarasatadhvaryusakhaprabhedabhinne 
Yaj urvedakat hake Charakasakha." 


sakha of the Taittiriyaka are ascribed to Katha, are 
wanting in our Sakha, while all the other sacrifices 
which are described in the Taittiriya-sanhita and Brah- 
mana, are laid down in very much the same order. 

The third Anukramani, that of the Madhyandina- 
sakha of the Vajasaneyaka, is ascribed to Katya- 
yana, who is mentioned also as the author of an 
Anuvakanukramani. It gives the names of the poets, 
the deities, and the metres, for all the verses of the 
Sanhita, including the Khila (Adhyaya 26-35.) and 
the Sukriya portions. (Adhy. 36-40.) 

For the Sama-veda we have two classes of Anukra- 
manis, the former more ancient, the latter more modern 
than those of the other Vedas which we have hitherto 
examined. One index to the hymns of the Sama-veda 
(following the order of the Veyagana and Aranyagana) 
has been preserved under the name of Arsheya-brah- 
mana l , a title by which this work is admitted within 
the pale of the revealed literature of the Brahmans. 
Allusions to the names of poets and deities of different 
hymns occur in the Brahmanas of other Yedas also ; 
but in none, except the Sama-veda, have these scat- 
tered observations been arranged into regular Anukra- 
manis before the beginning of the Sutra period, or 
been incorporated in the body of their revealed lite- 
rature. What the Brahmans call Sruti or revelation, 
signifies, as we saw, what is more ancient than the 
Sutras ; and that the Arsheya-brahmana is earlier at 
least than Katyayana, can be proved by the fact of 
Katyayana's quoting passages from it. 2 It has been 
pointed out as a distinguishing mark of the Brah- 

1 See Benfey, Saina-veda, p. vii. 

2 In the first chapter of the Arsheya-brahmana , we read : 


manas of the Sama-veda that they are never ac- 
cented, but it is doubtful whether any conclusion 
could be drawn from this as to their being of later 
origin than the Brahmanas of the other Vedas. 1 

But while the existence of an Arsheya-brahmana 
shows that the Chhandogas were the first to compose 
an index to their sacred literature, we find that their 
regular Anukramanis are more modern than those of 
the Rig-veda, and must be referred to a class of 
works known by the name of Parisishtas. They 
are contained in MS. Bodl. Wilson 466, where they 
form the fifth and sixth of the twenty Parisishtas 
attached to the Sama-veda. Their title is, " Nai- 
geyanam rikshv arsham," and " Naigeyanam rikshu 
daivatam," and they give respectively the names of 
the poets and the deities for the verses composing the 
Archika of the Chhandogas according to the Sakha 

wrf?i wrtTVFifa 3T ^t^ *HH?r *m wiwak (ms. 

689. *T7T c||M^d) IT 3T *ffa?T M I Ml *4 1 -*T^f^T M\<\M\- 

*il*JtJ l5^tf% H^f?T I This passage is referred to by Ka- 
tyayana, when he says: ^^Hlf^V ^M*JI**l(% ^^tf% 

| i -<h c| r|^f^" H^Ql|(Y| See also Katyayana's Introduction 

to his Anukramani of the Madhyandina-sakha, and Rig-veda- 
bhashya, p. 40. 

1 Kumarila says : ^ *?1^<*K*U <$K I *f H | f^ <tj qf^pEf- 

Q 2 


of the Naigeyas, a subdivision of the Kauthumas. 
It agrees on the whole, but not in all particulars \ 
with the Sakha published by Stevenson and Benfey, 
and it has been supposed that their text is taken 
from MSS. belonging to the Ranayaniya Sakha. The 
most characteristic difference between these Parisish- 
tas and the Arsheya-brahmana seems to lie in this, 
that the latter refers to the original prayer-books of 
the Chhandogas, the Yeyagana, and Aranyagana, 
while the former follow the Sanhitii, including Archika 
and Staubhika, or as they are also called, Purvarchika 
and Uttararchika. 

For the fourth Veda, the Atharvana, or Brahma- 
veda, an Anukramani has been discovered by Pro- 
fessor Whitney in a MS. of the British Museum, 
prepared for Col. Polier. A copy of this MS. is 
found in MS, 2142 of the East India House. It is a 
complete index to the Sanhita in 10 Patalas, written 
in a simple and intelligible style. Its title is Brihat- 

It is evident, that if it was possible to determine 
the age of the Anukramanis, we should have a ter- 
minus ad quern for the Vedic age. The index of the 
Rig-veda enables us to check almost every syllable 
of the hymns ; and we may safely say that we possess 
exactly the same number of verses, and words, and 
syllables in our MSS. of the Rig-veda as existed at 
the time of Katyayana. The index of the Atreyi- 
sakh& (by Laugakshi ?) authenticates our MSS. not 
only of the Sanhita, but also of the Brahmana and 
Aranyaka of the Taittiriya-veda, and the index to 
the Kathaka refers to a work exactly the same as that 
of which we possess the text in MS. The Arsheya- 

1 Cf. Sama-veda, ed. Benfey, p. xx. 


brahmana presupposes the existence of the Ganas of 
the Sama-veda, and the Anukramanis of the Naigeyas 
could only have been written after the text of the 
more modern Archika had branched off into diffe- 
rent Sakhas. 

The only Anukramanis of which the authors are 
known are, the Anukramanis of Saunaka to the Rig- 
veda, and the two Sarvanukramas of Katyayana, one 
to the Rig-veda, the other to the white Yajur-veda. 
We shall see whether it is possible to fix the age of 
these two writers. 

We remarked before, that the Anukramani of 
Katyayana, if compared with the Anuvakanukraraani 
of Saunaka, shows the same progress in style which 
we may always observe between these two writers. 
Saunaka writes in mixed Slokas, and takes great 
liberties with the metre ; Katyayana writes in prose, 
and introduces the artificial contrivances of the later 
Sutras. Again, Saunaka's index follows the origi- 
nal division of the Rig-veda into Mandalas, Anuva- 
kas, and Suktas ; Katyayana has adopted the more 
practical and more modern division into Ashtakas, 
Adhyayas, and Vargas. The number of hymns is the 
same in Saunaka and Katyayana. They both follow 
the united Sakha of the Sakalas and Bashkalas, and 
bring the number of hymns, exclusive of all Khilas, 
to 1017. Before this union took place, the Bash- 
kalas counted eight hymns more than the &&ka- 
las, t. e. 1025 instead of 1017 ; and they read some of 
the hymns in the first Mandala in a different order. 1 

1 In the 6akala-sakha, the hymns of Gotama are followed by 
those of Kutsa, Kakshivat, Paruchchhepa, and Dirghatamas ; in 
the Bashkala-sakha their order was, Gotama, Kakshivat, Paruch- 
chhepa, Kutsa, Dirghatamas. 

q 3 


The Khilas, or supplementary hymns, are omitted in 
the Anukramanis of Saunaka and Katyayana, though 
they were known to both; Saunaka, however, ex- 
cludes them more strictly than Katyayana. * The 
latter has admitted the eleven Valakhilya-hymns, 
and thus brings the total number of hymns to 1028. 

From all these indications we should naturally be 
led to expect that the relation between Saunaka and 
Katyayana was very intimate, that both belonged to 
the same Sakha, and that Saunaka was anterior to 
Katyayana. We know of only one other writer 
whose works are equally intended for the united 
Sakha of the Sakalas and Bashkalas ; this is Asva- 
layana, the author of twelve books of Srauta-sutras, 
of four books of Grihya-sutras, and of some chapters 
in the Aitareyaranyaka. 2 

Let us see now, whether these indications can be 
supported by other evidence. 

Shadgurusishya in his Commentary on Katyayana's 
Sarvanukrama, says : 

" fSunahotra, the great Muni, was born of Bharad- 
vaja, and of him was born Saunahotra, all the world 
being a witness. Indra himself went to the sacrifice 
of the Rishi in order to please him. The great 
Asuras, thinking that Indra was alone, and wishing 

1 ^f%^TRTTr^f^fl"Sf%T^raS^l 1 <* 1 1 i > or, according 

to MS. o02., S^RT^T^Tftpf Wrr: II 

2 Thus it is said: -QTp^ (^TT^TW) T^TST^" f^~ 

IT^Tirr^f^3TW'Rf%^ ^hrf^ifa ^TfT^fnll ^rauta- 
sutra-bbasbya, i. 1. 


to take him, surrounded the sacrificial inclosure. 
Indra, however, perceived it, and taking the guise of 
the Rishi, he went away. The Asuras seeing the sa- 
crificer again, seized Saunahotra, taking him for Indra. 
He saw the god that is to be worshipped, and saying, 
1 I am not Indra, there he is, ye fools, not 1/ he 
was released by the Asuras. Indra called and spake 
to him : i Because thou delightest in praising, there- 
fore thou art called Gritsamada, Rishi ; thy hymn 
will be called by the name of Indrasya indriyam, the 
might of Indra. And thou, being born in the race of 
Bhrigu, shalt be Saunaka, the descendant of Sunaka, 
and thou shalt see again the second Mandala, together 
with that hymn.' He, the Muni Gritsamada, was 
born again, as commanded by Indra. It was he who 
saw the great second Mandala of the Rig-veda as 
it was revealed to him together with the hymn ja- 
janiya ; it was he, the great Rishi, to whom at the 
twelve years' sacrifice, Ugrasravas, the son of Rorna- 
harshana, the pupil of Vyasa, recited, in the midst of 
the sacrifice, the story of the Mahabharata, together 
with the tale of the Harivansa, a story to be learnt 
from Vyasa alone, full of every kind of excellence, 
dear to Hari, sweet to hear, endowed with great 
blessing. It was he who was the lord of the sages, 
dwelling in the Naimishiya forest ; he, who to the 
King Satanika, the son of Janamejaya, brought the 
laws of Vishnu, which declare the powers of Hari. 
That Saunaka, celebrated among the Rishis as the 
glorious, having seen the second Mandala, and heard 
the collection of the Mahabharata, being also the 
propagator of the laws of Vishnu, the great boat 
on the ocean of existence, w T as looked upon by the 
great Rishis as the only vessel in which worshippers 

q 4 


might get over the Bahvricha, with its twenty-one 
iSakhas, like one who had crossed the Rig-veda. 
There was one Sakha of iSakala, another of Bashkala : 
taking these two Sanhitas, and the twenty-one Brah- 
manas, the Aitareyaka, and completing it with others, 
Saunaka, revered by numbers of great Rishis, com- 
posed the first Kalpa-sutra." 

It need hardly be pointed out that this passage 
contains a strange and startling mixture of legendary 
and historical matter, and that it is only the last 
portion which can be of interest to us. The story of 
Saunahotra, the son of Sunahotra, and grandson of 
Bharadvaja, being born again as Gritsamada-Sau- 
naka, may have some historical foundation, and the 
only way in which it can be interpreted, is, that 
the second Mandala, being originally seen by Grit- 
samada, of the family of Bhrigu, was afterwards 
preserved by Saunahotra, a descendant of Bharadvaja, 
of the race of Angiras, who entered the family of 
Bhrigu, took the name of Saunaka, and added one 
hymn, the twelfth, in praise of Indra. This is partly 
confirmed by Katyayana's Anukramani 1 , and by 
the Rishyanukramani of Saunaka. 2 It would by 
no means follow that Saunaka was the author of the 
hymns of the second Mandala. The hymns of that 
Mandala belong to Gritsamada of the Bhrigu race. 
But Saunaka may have adopted that Mandala, and 


by adding one hymn, may have been said to have 
made it his own. Again, it does not concern us at 
present whether Saunaka, the author of the Kalpa- 
sutra, was the same as Saunaka, the chief of the sages 
in the Naimishiya forest, to whom, during the great 
twelve-years' sacrifice, Ugrasravas related the Ma- 
habharata, and who became the teacher of Sat&nika, 
the son of Janamejaya. If this identity could be 
established, a most important link would be gained, 
connecting Saunaka and his literary activity with 
another period of Indian literature. This point must 
be reserved for further consideration. At present we 
are only concerned with Saunaka, the 'author of the 
Kalpa-sutras and other works composed with a view of 
facilitating the study of the Rig-veda. 

Shadgurusishya continues : 

" The pupil of Saunaka was the Reverend Asvala- 
yana. He, having learned from Saunaka all sacred 
knowledge, made also a Sutra and taught it, thinking 
it would improve the understanding and please < 
Saunaka. Then, in order to please his pupil, Saunaka 
destroyed his own Sutra 1 , which consisted of a thou- 
sand parts and was more like a Brahmana. ' This 
Sutra,' he said, which Asvalayana has made and 
taught, shall be the Sutra for this Veda.' There are 

1 fircrff^Tf means "torn," and corresponds with Sutra, "a 

thread." A similar expression is f^f^gj^, which is applied, for 

instance, to the Mahabhashya, when it fell into disuse in Kashmir. 
See Rajatarangini, Histoire des Rois du Kashmire, traduite et 
commentee par M.. A. Troyer, iv. 487. ; and Bohtlingk, Panini, 
p. xvi. The true sense seems to be that in which Devarajayajvan 

uses f^f^"^ in such passages as rf qfPST^R 3ff%PSJ?T "RT^F 

f%f^*5FTO<^ I ^ <HT*ft<\ II A work was lost when the chain of 
the oral tradition was broken. 


altogether ten books of Saunaka, written for the pre- 
servation of the Big-veda ; 1. The index of the 
Rishis ; 2. The index of the Metres ; 3. The index 
of the Deities ; 4. The index of the Anuvakas ; 5. 
The index of the Suktas ; 6. The Vidhana (employ- 
ment) of the Rich-verses ; 7. The employment of the 
Padas 1 ; 8. The Barhaddaivata ; 9. The Pratisakhya 2 
of the Saunakas; 10. His Smarta work on matters of 
law. 3 Asval&yana having learnt all these ten Sutras, 
and knowing also the Gotras, (genealogies 4 ), became 
versed in all the sacrifices by the favour of Saunaka. 
The sage Katyayana had thirteen books before him : 
ten of Saunaka and three of his pupil Asvalayana. 5 
The latter consisted of the Sutras in twelve chapters, 

1 I read f^VT^ ^ because these must be two different 
works, the Rigvidhfma and Padavidhana, in order to complete the 
number of ten. The Rigvidhana exists in MS. (E. I. H. 1723), 
and is not only written in Saunaka's mixed 6lokas, but distinctly 

ascribed to him in the second verse : q> *i ^ [ *if?f^~"T*rf f^f^l 
JpfaT^ "3flr*ran I The book ends with the words ^cfcfT"^ 

fjj; | Nevertheless, in the form in which we have it, it is later 

than 6aunaka. The term Rigvidhana is mentioned in the Taitti- 

2 This must be the Pratisakhya of the Rig-veda, and not of the 
Atharva-veda, which is likewise ascribed to 6aunaka, the Cbatu- 
radhyayikam Saunakiyam. 

3 See Stenzler, Indische Studien, i. p. 243. 

4 *n*rH?f^K is unintelligible. Should it be ^n'A'rT'u"- 

1 All the works of Asvalayana still exist, as Shadgurusishya 
describes them. Instead of "^fJ'^'^'^J) it would be better to read 


(Srauta-sutra), the Grihya-sutras in four chapters, 
and the fourth Aranyaka (of the A itarey aranyaka) 
by Asvalayana. The sage Katyayana, having mas- 
tered the thirteen 1 books of Saunaka and of his pupil, 
composed several works himself; the Sutras of the 
Vajins 2 , the Upagrantha 3 of the Sama-veda, the 
Slokas 4 of the Smriti (the Karmapradipa), the Brahma- 
Karikas of the Atharvans 5 , and the Mahavarttika 6 , 
which was like a boat on the great ocean of Panini's 
Grammar. The rules promulgated by him were ex- 
plained by the Reverend Patanjali 7 , the teacher of the 
Yoga-philosophy, himself the author of the Yoga-sastra 
and the Nidana, a man highly pleased by the great 
commentary, the work of the descendant of Santanu. 
Now it was Katyayana, the great sage, endowed with 
these numerous excellencies, who composed, by great 
exertion, this Sarvanukramani. And because it gives 
the substance of all the works composed by Saunaka 
and his pupils, therefore the chief among the Bahvri- 
chas have called it the General Index." 

1 If this number is right, 6aunaka's Srauta-sutra could not have 
been destroyed at the time of Katyayana. 

2 The Kalpa-sutras of the Yajur-veda. On the Vajins or 
Vajasaneyins, see Colebrooke, Essays, i. 16. 

3 See page 210. Upagrantha is not to be taken in the sense of 

4 Bhrajamana, is unintelligible ; it may be Parshada. 
' 6 These Karikas have not yet been met with. 

6 The Varttikas to Panini. 

7 Patanjali, the author of the Mahabhashya, according to tradi- 
tion called by the name of Bhartrihari also, was the reputed 
author of the Yoga-sutras. On these a commentary was written 
by Vyasa, who might be called a descendant of 6antanu. The 
reading may not be quite correct, and Mahabhashya is more 
likely to refer to Pat an j all's own work ; but the dental n of the 
MSS. speaks rather in favour of the reading mahabhagyeua. 


' t^rsfa ^*ihm^ ^Vritc f^pfcr: 11 
irsmri j^t^t wzwm t^tt: i 

^W^^f^" ^T^Nw^ ^11 

*o;dr^^^ft w fttfrl *re*r to ii 
^ t?^rf^?Y ^tttt: j^r^^Y *rf%: i 
^sfcftWr *rr % fefffa *re*r ^r^ii 
^nr ^ ^Rir ^ 4143] ^f^i 

1 ^r^Sffi Ch. 192. Weber, Catalogue, p. 12. 

2 ^ Ch. 192., W. 379. %jf ? 

3 ^^ Ch., W. 

4 fT ^TW Ch., W. 

5 Rv. II. 12., the Sukta with the refrain, " sa janasa indrah. 

*^nrir ch, w. 


* NMKd+fl W^ ^R^<*vyif^?t 
^^TR^%^ ^HJUHRTTf^rn 
^f^frr^ ^f?f^ ^WHS ^Tff^^ll 
^rtt^Pftwl % ^f^TCKWlftdll 

* ^> *rf*m<?Y ^wwV ^r^snn: n 
f%3te #s*r t^t ^KruiRfi: I 

WTTTf^TU^dfa^4iHT?<*: II 

ITT^^ra *fed<*l <Nlt*h*ra d^!M<ll 
^ ^f%^ wrf%3T jrr^WT^iqifi^fTnil 

^nar^ ^cjnrrei *r^TO^farT: II 

i ^ <$ Ch., w. 

3 ^rrf ch., w. f-^T w. 

5 cTT W., Ch. * ?3TO W, Ch. 

7 n w. 8 ^j ch., w. 

9 *nir ch., w. ,o ^ ch., w. 


1 ^ ?r w. ch. 2 7f ^ T w . C h. 
3 wrarr^rH^: w., ^rarRV^^r ch. 


^5[^ftrTTf% 3T^fl1% WT^Nf ^t%: I 

If we accept this statement of Shadgurusishya, 
and it certainly seems to agree in the main with what 
we might have guessed from the character of the 
works, ascribed respectively to Saunaka, Asvalayana 
and Katyayana, we should have to admit at least 
five generations of teachers and pupils : first Saunaka; 
after him Asvalayana, in whose favour Saunaka is 
said to have destroyed one of his works ; thirdly, 
Katyayana, who studied the works both of Saunaka 
and Asvalayana; fourthly Patanjali, who wrote a 
commentary on one of Katy&yana's works ; and 
lastly Vyasa, who commented on a work of Patanjali. 
It does not follow that Katyayana was a pupil of 
Asvalayana, or that Patanjali lived immediately after 
Katyayana, but the smallest interval which we can 
admit between every two of these names is that be- 
tween teacher and pupil, an interval as large as that 
between father and son, or rather larger. The ques- 
tion now arises : Can the date of any one of these 
authors be fixed chronologically ? 

Before we attempt to answer this question, it will 
be necessary to establish the identity of Katyayana 

1 7T^Tf%: Ch. W. ^ ^frpEpfi^TT W., ^ffTC^T Ch. 

3 wN or *mifa? 


and Vararuchi. Katyayana was the author of the 
Sarvanukramani, and the same work is quoted as the 
Sarvanukramani of Vararuchi \ the compiler of the 
doctrines of (Saunaka. In Professor Wilson's Cata- 
logue of the Mackenzie Collection, a Pratisakhya is 
ascribed to Vararuchi, and this can hardly be anything 
else but the Madhyandina-pratibakhya of Katyayana. 
Hemachandra in his Dictionary gives Yararuchi as a 
synonyme of Katyayana without any further com- 
ment, just as he gives Sala-turiya as a synonyme of 

Let us now consider the information which we re- 
ceive about Katyayana Vararuchi from Brahmanic 
sources. Somadevabhatta of Kashmir collected the 
popular stories current in his time, and published 
them towards the beginning of the twelfth century 
under the title of Katha-sarit-sagara 2 , the Ocean of 
the Rivers of Stories. Here we read that Katyayana 

1 MS. E. I. H. 576. contains a commentary on the Rig-veda, 
where a passage from the Sarvanukramani is quoted as ^ET^ 
"aft^rf< ^ d ^ il ^ fP^^^T*pfi*U%3n" ll This commentary 
of Atmananda seems anterior to Sayana. In the introduction 
different works and commentaries, connected with the Veda are 
quoted, but Madhava and Sayana are never mentioned. We find 
the Skandabhashya, and commentators such as Udgitha-bhaskara, 

mentioned (^ri^TTSJTf^g W^^f^lftsiW^r^f^lSf:) 

by Atmananda, and the same works were known also to Devara- 
jayajvan. Devarajayajvan, however, quotes not only Skanda- 
svamin and Bhatta-bhaskara-misra, but also Madhava. He there- 
fore was later than Madhava. Skandasvamin, and Bhaskara, on 
the contrary, were anterior to Madhava, being quoted in his com- 
mentary. Atmananda, though not quoted by Madhava, seems 
anterior to Madhava, and the authorities which he quotes are 
such as rfaunaka, Vedamitra (6akalya), the Brihaddevata, Vishnu- 
dharmottara, and Yaska. 

2 Katha-sarit-sagara, edited by Dr. Hermann Brockhaus. Leip- 
sig, 1839. 


Vararuchi, being cursed by the wife of Siva, was born 
at Kausambi, the capital of Vatsa. He was a boy of 
great talent and extraordinary powers of memory. 
He was able to repeat to his mother an entire play, 
after hearing it once at the theatre ; and before he was 
even initiated he was able to repeat the Pratisakhya 
which he had heard from Vyali. He was afterwards 
the pupil of Varsha, became proficient in all sacred 
knowledge, and actually defeated Panini in a gram- 
matical controversy. By the interference of Siva, 
however, the final victory fell to Panini. Katyayana 
had to appease the anger of Siva, became himself a 
student of Panini's Grammar, and completed and 
corrected it. He afterwards is said to have become 
minister of King Nanda and his mysterious successor 
Yogananda at Pataliputra. 

We know that Katyayana completed and corrected 
Panini's Grammar, such as we now possess it. 1 His 
Varttikas are supplementary rules, which show a more 
extensive and accurate knowledge of Sanskrit than 
even the work of Panini. The story of the contest 
between them was most likely intended as a mythical 
way of explaining this fact. Again we know that 
Katyayana was himself the author of one of the 
Pratisakhyas, and Yyali is quoted by the authors of 
the Pratisakhyas as an earlier authority on the same 
subject. 2 So far the story of Somadeva agrees with 
the account of Shadgurusishya and with the facts as 

1 The same question with regard to the probable age of Panini, 
has been discussed by Prof. Bohtlingk in his edition of Panini. 
Objections to Prof. Bohtlingk's arguments have been raised by- 
Prof. Weber in his Indische Studien. See also Rig-yeda, Leipzig, 
1857, Introduction. 

2 Cf. Rig-veda, Leipzig, 1857, p. lxvii. 



we still find them in the works of Katyayana. It 
would be wrong to expect in a work like that of 
Somadeva historical and chronological facts in the 
strict sense of the word ; yet the mention of King 
Nanda, who is an historical personage, in connection 
with our grammarian, may, if properly interpreted, 
help to fix approximately the date of Katyayana 
and his predecessors, Saunaka and Asvalayana. If 
Somadeva followed the same chronological system as 
his contemporary and countryman, Kalhana Pandita, 
the author of the Rajatarangini or History of Kashmir, 
he would, in calling Panini and Katyayana, the con- 
temporaries of Nanda and Chandragupta, have placed 
them long before the times which we are wont to call 
historical. 1 But the name of Chandragupta fortunately 
enables us to check the extravagant systems of Indian 
chronology. Chandragupta, of Pataliputra, the suc- 
cessor of the Nandas, is Sandrocottus, of Palibothra, 
to whom Megasthenes was sent as ambassador from 
Seleucus Nicator ; and, if our classical chronology is 
right, he must have been king at the turning point of 
the fourth and third centuries B.C. We shall have to 
examine hereafter the different accounts which the 
Buddhists and Brahmans give of Chandragupta and 
his relation to the preceding dynasty of the Nandas. 
Suffice it for the present that if Chandragupta was 
king in 315, Katyayana may be placed, according to 
our interpretation of Somadeva's story, in the second 
half of the fourth century B.C. We may disregard 
the story of Somadeva, which actually makes Katya- 
yana himself minister of Nanda, and thus would make 
him an old man at the time of Chandragupta's ac- 
cession to the throne. This is, according to its own 

1 Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde, ii. 18. 


showing, a mere episode in a ghost story 1 , and had to 
be inserted in order to connect Katyayana's story 
with other fables of the Katha-sarit-sagara. But 
there still remains this one fact, however slender it 
may appear, that as late as the twelfth century a.d., 
the popular tradition of the Brahmans connected the 
famous grammarians Katyayana and Panini with that 
period of their history which immediately preceded 
the rise of Chandragupta and his Sudra dynasty ; and 
this, from an European point of view, we must place 
in the second half of the fourth century B.C. 

The question now arises, can this conjectural date, 
assigned to Katyayana, be strengthened by additional 
evidence ? Professor Bohtlingk thought that this 
was possible ; and he endeavoured to show that the 
great Commentary of Patanjali, which embraces both 
the Varttikas of Katyayana and the Sutras of Panini, 
was known in the middle of the second century B.C. 
It is said in the history of Kashmir, that Abhimanyu, 
the king of Kashmir, sent for Brahmans to teach the 
Mahabhashya in his kingdom. Abhimanyu, it is true, 
did not reign, as Professor Bohtlingk supposed, in 
the second century B.C., but, as has been proved from 
coins by Professor Lassen, in the first century A. d. 
But even thus this argument is important. In the 
history of Indian literature dates are mostly so pre- 
carious that a confirmation even within a century or 
two is not to be despised. The fact that Patanjali's 
immense commentary on Panini and Katyayana had 
become so famous as to be imported by royal autho- 
rity into Kashmir in the first half of the first century 

1 According to the southern Buddhists it was Chandragupta, and 
not Nanda, whose corpse was reanimated. As. Res. xx. p. 167. 

r 2 


A.D., shows at least that we cannot be very far wrong 
in placing the composition of the original grammar 
and of the supplementary rules of Katyayana on the 
threshold of the third century B.C. At what time 
the Mahabhashya was first composed it is impossible to 
say. Patanjali, the author of the Great Commentary, 
is sometimes identified with Pingala ; and on this view, 
as Pingala is called the younger brother, or at least 
the descendant of Panini 1 , it might be supposed that 
the original composition of the Mahabhashya belonged 
to the third century. But the identity of Pingala 
and Patanjali is far from probable, and it would be 
rash to use it as a foundation for other calculations. 

It will readily be seen how entirely hypothetical 
all these arguments are. If they possess any force 
it is this, that in spite of the conflicting statements 
of Brahmanical, Buddhist, and European scholars, 
nothing has been brought forward as yet that would 
render the date here assigned to Katyayana impos- 
sible. Nay more ; if we place Katyayana in the 
second half of the fourth century, Asvalayana, the 
predecessor of Katyayana, about 350, and Saunaka, 
the teacher of Asvalayana, about 400 ; and if then, 
considering the writers of Sutras anterior to Saunaka 
and posterior to Katyayana, we extend the limits of 
the Sautra period of literature from 600 to 200, we 
are still able to say, that there is no fact in history 
or literature that would interfere with such an ar- 
rangement. As an experiment, therefore, though as 
no more than an experiment, we propose to fix the 
years 600 and 200 b.c. as the limits of that age 

! Shadgurusishya: r^T ^ ^Pf f% ^T^ffT fifTOR 


during which the Brahmanic literature was carried on 
in the strange style of Sutras. 

In order to try the strength of our supposition we 
shall ourselves attempt the first attack upon it. 

There is a work called the Unadi-sutras, which, as 
it is quoted under this name by Panini, must have 
existed previous to his time. The author is not 
known. Among the words the formation of which 
is taught in the Unadi-sutras, 1 we find (iii. 140) di- 
ndrakj a golden ornament ; (iii. 2) Jinah, synony- 
mous with Arhat, a Buddhist saint; (iv. 184) liri- 
tam, a golden diadem; (iii. 25) stupah, a pile of 

The first of these words, dindra, is derived by the 
author of the Unadi-sutras from a Sanskrit root, din. 
By other grammarians it is derived from dina, poor, 
and n, to go, what goes or is given to the poor. It 
is used sometimes in the sense of ornaments and seals 
of gold. These derivations, however, are clearly fan- 
ciful, and the Sanskrit dmdra is in reality the Latin 
denarius. 2 Now, if Panini lived in the middle of the 
fourth century B.C., and if the Unadi-sutras were an- 
terior to Panini, how could this Roman word have 
found its way into the Unadi-sutras ? The word de- 

1 A new and more correct edition of the Unadi-sutras has lately 
been published by Dr. Aufrecht, Bonn, 1859. 

2 J. Prinsep says : " The Roman denarius, from which Dinar 
was derived, was itself of silver, while the Persian Dirhem (a 
silver coin) represents the Drachma, or dram weight, of the 
Greeks. The weight allowed to the Dinar of 32 ratis, or 64 
grains, agrees so closely with the Roman and Greek unit of 60 
grains, that its identity cannot be doubted, especially when we have 
before us the actual gold coins of Chandragupta (?) (didrachmas), 
weighing from 120 to 130 grains, and indubitably copied from 
Greek originals, in device as well as weight." 

r 3 


narius is not of so late a date in India as is generally- 
supposed. Yet the earliest document where it occurs 
is the Sanchi inscription JSTo. I. 1 Burnouf remarked 
that he never found the word dindra used in what he 
considered the ancient Buddhist Sutras. It occurs 
in the Avadana-sataka, and in the Divyavadana. It 
would seem to follow, therefore, either that the Una- 
di-sutras and Panini must be placed later than Chan- 
dragupta, or that the Sutra in which this word is 
explained is spurious. It would not be right to 
adopt the latter supposition without showing some 
cause for it. It is well known that in a literature 
which is chiefly preserved by oral tradition, correc- 
tions and additions are more easily admitted than in 
works existing in MS. The ancient literature of 
India was continually learnt by heart ; and even at 
the present day, when MSS. have become so common, 
some of its more sacred portions must still be ac- 
quired by the pupil from the mouth of a teacher, and 
not from MSS. If new words, therefore, had been 
added to the language of India after the first com- 
position of the Unadi- sutras, there would be nothing 
surprising in a Sutra being added to explain such 
words. Happily, however, we are not left in this 
instance to mere hypothesis. Ujjvaladatta, the 
author of a commentary on the Unadi-sutras, forms 
a favourable exception to most Sanskrit commen- 
tators, in so far as he gives us in his Commentary 
some critical remarks on the readings of MSS. which 
he consulted. He states in his introduction that he had 
consulted old MSS. and commentaries, and he evi- 
dently feels conscious of the merit of his work, when 

i Journal A. S. B., vol. vi. p. 455. Notes on the facsimiles 
of the inscriptions from Sanchi near Bhilsa, by James Prinsep. 


he says, " If anybody, after having studied this com- 
mentary of mine, suppresses my name in order to 
put forth his own power, his virtuous deeds will 
perish." 1 Now in his remarks on our Sutra, Ujjvala- 
datta says, " Dinara means a gold ornament, but this 
Sutra is not to be found in the Sutivritti and Deva- 
Vl*itti3 a If, therefore, the presence of this word in 
the Unadi-sutras would have overthrown our calcu- 
lations as to the age of Panini and his predecessor 
who wrote the Sutras, the absence of it except in one 
Sutra, which is proved to be of later date, must serve 
to confirm our opinion. Cosmas Indicopleustes re- 
marked that the Roman denarius was received all 
over the world ; and how the denarius came to mean 
in India a gold ornament we may learn from a pas- 
sage in the " Life of Mahavira." 3 There it is said 
that a lady had around her neck a string of grains and 
golden dinars, and Stevenson adds that the custom 
of stringing coins together, and adorning with them 
children especially, is still very common in India. 

That Ujjvaladatta may be depended upon when he 
makes such statements with regard to MSS. or com- 
mentaries, collated by himself, can be proved by 
another instance. In the Unadi-Sutras IV. 184, we 
read: " kritrikripibhyah kitan." Out of the three 
words of which the etymology is given in this Sutra, 
Icripitam, water, and kiritam, a crest, are known as 
ancient words. The former occurs in the Gana 

2 w^fot 3?fanft (*mterh ?)\^rr^r ^ *r t 7 ^ ii 

3 Kalpa-sutra, translated by Stevenson, p. 45. 

k 4 


Kripanadi (Pan. VIII. 2. 18. 1.); the other in the 
Gana arddharchadi. The third word, however, tirita, 
a tiara, has never been met with in works previous to 
Panini. Now, with regard to this word, Ujjvaladatta 
observes that it is left out in the Nyasa. 1 The au- 
thority of this work, a commentary by Jinendra 
on the K&sikavritti, would, by itself, be hardly of 
sufficient weight ; but on referring to the MS. of 
Mahabhashya at the Bodleian Library, I find that 
there also the Sutra is quoted exactly as Ujjva- 
ladatta said, l; e. without the root from which tirita 
is derived. Having thus found Ujjvaladatta trust- 
worthy and accurate in his critical remarks, we feel 
inclined to accept his word, even where we cannot 
control him, or where the presence of certain words 
in the Sutras might be explained without having 
recourse to later interpolations. Thus stupah, which 
occurs III. 25, might be explained as simply meaning 
a heap of earth. Nay, it is a word which, in its more 
general sense, is found in the Veda. Yet the most 
common meaning of stupa is a Buddhist monument, 
and as we are told by Ujjvala, that this word does 
not occur in the Sativritti, and that in the Sarvasva 
it is derived in a different manner, we can have little 
doubt that it was not added till after the general 

Colebrooke, Miscellaneous Essays, ii. 40, mentions this work in 
his list of Sanskrit grammars : " Nyasa or Kasika vritti pan- 
jika by Jinendra : another exposition of the Kasika vritti, with 
explanatory notes by Rakshita." He adds, however, with his 
usual caution : " I state this with some distrust, not having yet 
seen the book. The Nyasa is universally cited ; and the Bo- 
dhinyasa is frequently so. Vopadeva's Kavyakamadhenu quotes the 
Nyasa of Jinendra and that of Jinendrabuddhi." 


spreading of Buddhism and the erection of Topes in 
India ; a negative argument which gives additional 
strength to the supposition that the original Unadi- 
sutras were composed before that period. 1 

To add one more instance. In all the editions 
of the Unadi-sutras, Jina occurs as the name of 
the founder of a Bauddha sect. As many scholars 
have assigned to Jina and the Jains a very modern 
date, the presence of this name might seem to throw 
considerable doubt on the antiquity ascribed to the 
Unadi-sutras. In a passage of Say ana, however (Rv. 
i. 61. 4.), where he has occasion to quote the Sutra 
containing, among other words, the etymology of 
Jina, all the MSS. omit the root ji, from which Jina 
is said to be derived. It is equally omitted in Nrisinha's 

The test which has thus been applied to our chrono- 
logical arrangement of the Sutra literature in general, 
in the case of the Unadi-sutras, so far from invali- 
dating, has rather strengthened our argument for 
placing the whole literature of the Sutras, at least of 
those which are connected with the Vedas, between the 
years 600 and 200 B.C. 


There is one class of works which must be men- 
tioned before we leave the Sutra period, the so-called 
Parisishtas. They are evidently later than the Sutras, 
and their very name, Paralipomena, marks their 
secondary importance. They have, however, a cha- 
racter of their own, and they represent a distinct 
period of Hindu literature, which, though it is of 

1 The word stupa does not occur in Panini or the Ganapatha. 
Sayana to Rv. i. 24. 7. does not quote the Unadi-siitra, but de- 
rives stupa from a root styai, affix pa. 


less interest to the student, and though it shows clear 
traces of intellectual and literary degeneracy, is not 
on that account to be overlooked by the historian. 
Some of the more substantial Parisishtas profess to 
be composed by authors whose names belong to the 
Sutra period. Thus iSaunaka is called the author of 
the Charanavyuha by the commentator of Paraskara's 
Grihya-sutras, Rama-krishna 1 (MS. E.T.H. 440. 577. 
912.) ; a writer no doubt quite untrustworthy where 
he gives his own opinions, but yet of some import- 
ance where he quotes the opinions of others. Ka- 
tyayana is quoted as the author of the Chhandoga- 
parisishta. 2 The same Kusika, who is known as the 
author of the Sutras for the Atharvana, is mentioned 
as the author of the Atharvana-parisishtas also. 
Other Parisishtas, though not ascribed to Katyayana, 
are said to be composed in accordance with his opi- 
nions. 3 Again, while the Grihya-sutras of the 
Chhandogas are acknowledged as the work of Go- 
bhila, a Parisishta on the same subject is ascribed to 
the son of Gobhila. 4 The names of Saunaka and 
Katyayana are frequently invoked at the beginning 
or end of these works, and though some of them ap- 

3 MS. Bodl. W. 510. ^"gT^TI T tftftlTf% Tf^V^t *Tq*f- 
* MS. Bodl. W. 504. ^^ ?TT*T ^RfW ^rtf*T- 



pear to us simply useless and insipid, it is not to be 
denied that others contain information which we 
should look for in vain in the Sutras. Their style is 
less concise than that of the Sutras. The simple 
Anushtubh Sloka preponderates, and the metre is 
more regular than that of the genuine Anushtubh 
compositions of Saunaka. Their style resembles that 
of the Barhaddaivata and Rig-vidh&na, works ori- 
ginally composed by Saunaka, but handed down to 
us, as it would seem, in a more modern form. But 
on the other side the Parisishtas have not yet fallen 
into that monotonous uniformity which we find in 
works like the Manava-dharma-s&stra, the Paddhatis, 
or the later Puranas ; and passages from them are 
literally quoted in the Pur&nas. The Parisishtas, 
therefore, may be considered the very last outskirts 
of Vedic literature, but they are Yedic in their cha- 
racter, and it would be difficult to account for their 
origin at any time except the expiring moments of 
the Yedic age. 

The following argument may serve to confirm the 
favourable view which I take of some of the Pari- 
sishtas. Besides the MSS. of the Charanavyuha, 
there is a printed edition of it in Raja RMhakanta 
Deva's Sabdakalpadruma. This printed text is evi- 
dently taken from more modern MSS. It quotes seven- 
teen instead of fifteen Sakh&s of the Yajasaneyins ; 
whereas the original number of fifteen is confirmed by 
our MSS. of the Charanavyuha, by the Pratijna-pari- 
sishta, and even by so late a work as theYishnu-purana 
(p. 281.). We may therefore suppose that at the 
time when the Parisishta, called the Charanavyuha, 
was originally composed, these two additional Sakhas 
did not yet exist. Now one of them is the Sakha of 
the Katyayaniyas, a Sakha, like many of those men- 


tioned in the Puranas, founded on Sutras, not on 
Brahmanas. The fact, therefore, of this modern Sakha 
not being mentioned in the original Charanavyuha 
serves as an indication that at the time of the original 
composition of that Parisishta, sufficient time had 
not yet elapsed to give to Katyayana the celebrity of 
being the founder of a new Sakha. 

On the other hand it should be stated that Panini 
does not seem to have known literary works called 
Parisishtas. 1 

The number of Parisishtas is frequently stated at 
eighteen. This may have been their number at some 
time, or for one particular Veda, but it is now 
considerably exceeded. The Charanavyuha, itself a 
Parisishta, gives the same number; but it seems to 
speak of the Parisishtas of the Yajur-veda only. There 
is a collection of Parisishtas for each Veda. Works, 
such as the Bahvricha-parisishta, Sankhayana-pari- 
sishta, Asvalayana-grihya-parisishta, must be ascribed 
to the Rig-veda. A MS, (Bodl. 466.) contains a 
collection of Parisishtas which belong to the Sama- 
veda. At the end of the first treatise it is said : " iti 
Samaganam chhandah samaptam," " here end the 
metres of the Sama-singers." 2 Other treatises be- 
gin with the invocation, " Namah Samavedaya." The 
second is called Kratusangraha, on sacrifices; the 
third, Viniyoga-sangraha, on the employment of 
hymns ; the fourth, Somotpattih, on the origin of 
Soma. The fifth and sixth treatises contain the index 
to the Archika of the Sama-veda after the Naigeya- 
sakha. As no pointed allusions to other Yedas occur 

1 Parisishta occurs only as a pratyudaharana in Pan. iv. 1. 48, 
but it is used there as a feminine, and in quite a different sense. 

2 It is also called chhandasain vichayah, and contains quotations 
from the Tandya-brahmana, Pingala,the Nidana, and Ukthasastra. 


in these tracts, there can be little doubt that the 
whole collection of these Parisishtas may be classed 
as Sama-veda literature. The Chhandoga-parisishta, 
however, which is commonly ascribed to Katyayana, 
is not found in this MS. The Parisishtas of the Yajur- 
veda are enumerated in the Charanavyuha, and will 
have to be examined presently. Those of the Athar- 
vana are estimated by Professor Weber at seventy- 
four 1 , and are said to be written in the form of 
dialogues, in a style similar to that of the Puranas, 
and sometimes, we are told, agreeing literally with 
chapters of the astrological Sanhitas. 

According to the Charanavyuha 2 the following are 
the eighteen Parisishtas of the Yajur-veda: 

1. The Yupalakshanam ; according to Yyasa's 
Charanavyuha, the Upajyotisham. 

2. The Chhagalakshanam ; Mangalalakshanam, 

3. ThePratijna; Pratijnanuvakyam ? (Yyasa). 

4. The Anuvakasankhya\ ; Parisankhya (Yyasa). 

5. The Charanavyuhah ; Charanavyiihah (Yyasa). 

6. The Sraddhakalpah ; Sraddhakalpah (7yasa). 

7. The Sulvikani or SuMni. 

8. The Parshadam. 

1 According to a passage in the Charanavyuha, belonging to the 
Atharvana, the number of the Kausikoktani Parisishtani would 
amount to 70. 

2 Besides the MS. of the E. I. H., and collations of some of the 
MSS. at Berlin, I have used the printed edition of the Charana- 
vyuha in Radhakanta's Sanskrit Encyclopaedia. The MSS. differ 
so much that it would be hazardous to correct the one by the 
other. They probably represent different versions of the same 
text. The name of the author varies likewise. Sometimes he is 
called 6aunaka, sometimes Katyayana, and in Radhakanta's edi- 
tion, Vyasa. The last is, perhaps, meant for the same whom we 
found mentioned before as the author of a Commentary on Patan- 
j ali's Yoga. The text has since been published by Prof. Weber. 


9. The Rigyajunshi. 

10. The Ishtakapuranam. 

11. The Pravaradhy ayah ; Pravaradhayah (Vyasa, 
No. 7.) 

12. The Uktha-sastram ; Sastram (Vyasa, No. 8). 

13. The Kratusankhya; Kratu (Vyasa, No. 9). 

14. The Nigamah ; Agamah (Vyasa, No. 10). 

15. The Yajnaparsve or parsvam ; Yajnam (Vyasa, 
No. 11) ; Parsvan (Vyasa, No. 12). 

16. The Hautrakam; Hautrakam (Vyasa, No. 13). 

17. The Prasavotthanam ; Pasavah (Vyasa, No. 
14); Ukthani, (Vyasa, No. 15). 

18. The Kurmalakshanam ; Kurmalakshanam, 
(Vyasa, No. 16). 

A similar order has evidently been followed in a 
collection of the Parisishtas, forming part of Professor 
Wilson's valuable collection of MSS., now deposited 
in the Bodleian Library. The MS., however, is 
incomplete, and seems to have been copied by a 
person ignorant of Sanskrit from another MS., the 
leaves of which had been in confusion. Most of the 
MSS. of these Parisishtas are carelessly copied, whereas 
the MSS. of the Sutras are generally in excellent 
condition. The MSS. which Raja Radhakantadeva 
used seem to have been in an equally bad state, if 
we may judge from the various readings which he 
occasionally mentions. 1 But although the Bodleian 
MS. leaves much to desire, it serves at least to support 
the authenticity of the titles given in the MS. of the 
Charanavyuha against the blunders of the printed 
text. We find there : 

1 For instance M K ^ I H^V^fTjf^ V\~<51 I instead of TJT- 


1. The Yupalakshanam, 1 a short treatise on the 
manner of preparing the sacrificial post. 

2. The Chhagalakshanam, 2 on animals fit for sacri- 

3. The Pratijna, 3 begins with giving some defini- 
tion of sacrificial terms, but breaks off with the fourth 
leaf, whereas the Pravaradhyaya (No. 11) had already 
been commenced on the third, and is afterwards 
carried on on the fifth leaf. Thus we lose from the 
fourth to the eleventh Parisishta, which formed part 
of the original MS. if we may judge from the fact 
that the Pravaradhyaya is here also called the 
eleventh Parisishta. 

4. The Anuvakasankhya exists in MS. E.I.H. 965. 

5. The Charanavyuhah is found in numerous copies. 

6. The Sraddhakalpah exists in MS. E. I. H. 1201, 
and MS. Chambers 66. It is there ascribed to Katya- 
yana. There is also among the Chambers MSS. at 
Berlin (292 294) a Sraddha-kalpa-bhashya ascribed 
to Gobhila. 

7. The Sulvikani are found in MS. Chambers 66, 
and a gulvadipika, MS. E. I. H. 1678. 

8. The Parshadam. This must not be mistaken 
for a Pratisakhya, nor would it be right to call the 
Pratisakhyas Parisishtas. The Parshada is a much 
smaller work, as may be seen from a MS. in the 
Royal Library at Berlin, Chambers 378. 

9. The Rigyajiinshi is the only Parisishta that can- 
not be verified in MS. ; there is no reason for sup- 
posing that it was an Anukramani either of the 
Yajur-veda or Rig-veda. 

10. The Ishtakapuranam has been preserved in 

1 MS. Chambers, 66. 

2 MS. Chambers, 66. 

3 Called Pratishthalakshanam in MS. Chambers, 66. 


MS. Chambers 389 with a commentary by Karka, 
and in MS. Chambers 392, with a commentary by 
Yaj nikadeva. 

11. The Pravaradhyayah is found again in our own 
MS., and is followed by a small tract, the Gotranir- 
nayah. The seven principal Pravaras are those of 
the Bhrigus, Angiras, Visvamitras, Vasishthas, Kasya- 
pas, Atris, and Agastis. The eight founders of Gotras 
or families are Jamadagni, Bharadvaja, Visvamitra, 
Atri, Gautama, Vasishtha, Kasyapa and Agastya. 1 
The whole treatise, of which more hereafter, is 
ascribed to Katyayana. 2 

12. The Uktha-astram is found in our MS. So is 

13. The Kratusankhya, which gives an enumeration 
of the principal sacrifices. 

14. The Nigama-parisishta is the last in our MS. 
It contains a number of Yedic words with their ex- 
planations, and forms a useful appendix to Yaska's 
Nirukta. It alludes not only to the four castes, but 
the names of the mixed castes also, according to the 
Anuloma and Pratiloma order, are mentioned. 

The four last Parisishtas are wanting in our MS. 

The fifteenth, however, the Yajnaparsvam is found 
in MS. E. I. H. 1729, Chambers, 358 ; the sixteenth, 
the Hautrakam, exists with a commentary in MS. 
Chambers 669. The two last Parisishtas have not 
yet been met with in MS., but we may probably 


form some idea of the last, the Kurmalakshanam, from 
some chapters of Varahamihira's Brihatsanhita, where 
we find both a Kurrnavibhagah. and a Kurmala- 
kshanam, the last being there followed by a chapter, 
called by the same name as the second Parisishta, 

Although there is little of real importance to be 
learned from these Parisishtas, the fact of their exist- 
ence is important in the history of the progress and 
decay of the Hindu mind. As in the first or Chhandas 
period, we see the Aryan settlers of India giving free 
utterance to their thoughts and feelings, and thus 
creating unconsciously a whole world of religious, 
moral, and political ideas ; as we find them again 
during the second or Mantra period, carefully collect- 
ing their harvest ; and during the third or Brahmana 
period busily occupied in systematising and interpret- 
ing the strains of their forefathers, which had already 
become unintelligible and sacred ; as in the fourth or 
Sutra period we see their whole energy employed in 
simplifying the complicated system of the theology and 
the ceremonial of the Brahmanas ; so we shall have to 
recognise in these Parisishtas a new phase of the Indian 
mind, marked by a distinct character, which must 
admit of historical explanation. The object of the 
Parisishtas is to supply information on theological or 
ceremonial points which had been passed over in the 
Sutras, most likely because they were not deemed of 
sufficient importance, or because they were supposed 
to be well known to those more immediately concerned. 
But what most distinguishes the Parisishtas from the 
Sutras is this, that they treat everything in a popular 
and superficial manner : as if the time was gone, when 
students would spend ten or twenty years of their lives 



in fathoming the mysteries and mastering the intrica- 
cies of the Brahmana literature. A party driven to 
such publications as the Parisishtas, is a party fighting 
a losing battle. We see no longer that self-compla- 
cent spirit which pervades the Brahmanas. The 
authors of the Brahmanas felt that whatever they 
said must be believed, whatever they ordained must 
be obeyed. They are frightened by no absurdity, and 
the word " impossible " seems to have been banished 
from their dictionary. In the Sutras we see that a 
change has taken place. Their authors seem to feel 
that the public which they address will no longer 
listen to endless theological swaggering. There may 
have been deep wisdom in the Brahmanas, and their 
authors may have sincerely believed in all they said ; 
but they evidently calculated on a submissiveness 
on the part of their pupils or readers, which only 
exists in countries domineered over by priests or pro* 
fessors. The authors of the Sutras have learned that 
people will not listen to wisdom unless it is clothed in 
a garb of clear argument and communicated in in- 
telligible language. Their works contain all that is 
essential in the Brahmanas, but they give it in a 
practical, concise and definite form. These works 
were written at a time when the Brahman s were 
fighting their first battles against the popular doctrines 
of Buddha. They were not yet afraid. Their lan- 
guage is firm, though it is no longer inflated. 
" Buddhism," as Burnouf says, 1 " soon grew into a 
system of easy devotion, and found numerous recruits 
among those who were frightened by the difficulties 
of Brahmanical science. At the same time that 

1 Burnouf, Introduction a l'Histoire du Buddhisme. Roth, 
Abhandlungen, p. 22. 


Buddhism attracted the ignorant among theBrahmans, 
it received with open arms the poor and the miserable 
of all classes." It was to remove, or at least to sim- 
plify, the difficulties of their teaching, that men like 
Saunaka and Katyayana adopted the novel style of 
the Sutras. Such changes in the sacred literature of 
a people are not made without an object, and the ob- 
ject of the Sutras, as distinct from that of the Brah- 
manas, could be no other than to offer practical 
manuals to those who were discouraged by too elabo- 
rate treatises, and who had found a shorter way to 
salvation opened to them by the heretical preaching 
of Buddha. After the Sutras there is no literature 
of a purely Yedic character except the Parisishtas. 
They still presuppose the laws of the Sutras and the 
faith of the Brahmanas. There is as yet no trace of 
any definite supremacy being accorded to Siva or 
Vishnu or Brahman. New gods, however, are men- 
tioned ; vulgar or popular ceremonies are alluded to. 
The castes have become more marked and multiplied. 
The whole intellectual atmosphere is still Yedic, and 
the Vedic ceremonial, the Yedic theology, the Yedic 
language seem still to absorb the thoughts of the 
authors of the Parisishtas. Any small matter that 
had been overlooked by the authors of the Sutras is 
noted down as a matter of grave importance. Subjects 
on which general instructions were formerly con- 
sidered sufficient, are now treated in special treatises, 
intended for men who would no longer take the 
trouble of reading the whole system of the Brah- 
manic ceremonial. The technical and severe lan- 
guage of the Sutras was exchanged for a free and 
easy style, whether in prose or metre ; and however 
near in time the Brahmans may place the authors of 

s 2 


the Sutras and some of the Parisishtas, certain it is 
that no man who had mastered the Sutra style would 
ever have condescended to employ the slovenly dic- 
tion of the Parisishtas. The change in the position 
and the characters of the Brahman s, such as we find 
them in the Sutras, and such as we find them again 
in the Parisishtas, has been rapid and decisive. The 
men who could write such works were aware of their 
own weakness, and had probably suffered many de- 
feats. The world around them was moving in a new 
direction, and the old Vedic age died away in im- 
potent twaddle. 

Considerations like these, in addition to what we 
found before in inquiring into the age of Katyayana, 
tend to fix the Sutra period, as a phase in the literary 
history of India, as about contemporaneous with the 
first rise of Buddhism ; and they would lead us to 
recognise in the Parisishtas the exponents of a later 
age, that had witnessed the triumphs of Buddhism 
and the temporary decay of Brahmanic learning and 
power. The real political triumph of Buddhism dates 
from Asoka and his council, about the middle of the 
third century B.C., and while most of the Yedic Sutras 
belong to this and the preceding centuries, none of 
the Parisishta were probably written before that time. 

Before the Council of Pataliputra the Buddhists 
place, indeed, 300 years of Buddhist history, but that 
history was clearly supplied from their own heads and 
not from authentic documents. Buddhism, up to the 
time of Asoka, was but one out of many sects esta- 
blished in India. There had been as yet no schism, 
but only controversy, such as we find in the Brah- 
manas themselves between different schools and par- 
ties. There were as yet no Brahmans as opposed to 


Buddhists, in the later serfse of the word. No separa- 
tion had as yet taken place, and the greatest reformers 
at the time of Buddha were reforming Brahmans. This 
is acknowledged in the Buddhist writings, though 
they probably were not written down before Asoka's 
Council. But even then Buddha is represented as 
the pupil of the Brahmans, and no slur is cast on the 
gods and the songs of the Yeda. Buddha, according 
to his own canonical biographer, learned the Kig- 
veda and was a proficient in all the branches of 
Brahmanic lore. His pupils were many of them 
Brahmans, and no hostile feeling against the Brah- 
mans finds utterance in the Buddhist Canon. This 
forms a striking contrast with the sacred literature of 
the Jains. The Jains, who are supposed to have made 
their peace with the Brahmans, yet in their sacred 
works, written towards the beginning of the fifth cen- 
tury a.d, treat their opponents with marked disrespect. 
Their great hero Mahavira, though at first conceived 
by a Brahman woman, is removed from her womb 
and transferred to the womb of a Kshatriya woman, 
for "surely," as Sakko (Indra) says 1 , "such a thing 
as this has never happened in past, happens not in 
present, nor will happen in future time, that an 
Arhat, a Chakravarti, a Baladeva, or a Yasudeva 
should be born in a low caste family, a servile family, 
a degraded family, a poor family, a mean family, a 
beggar's family, or a Brahman's family ; but, on the 
contrary, in all time, past, present, and to come, an 
Arhat, a Chakravarti, a Yasudeva, receives birth in 
a noble family, an honourable family, a royal family, 
a Kshatriya family, as in the family of Ikshvaku, or 
the Harivansa, or some such family of pure descent." 
1 Kalpa-sutra, p. 35. 
s 3 


Now this is mere party insolence, intelligible in the 
fifth century a. d., when the Brahmans, as a party, 
were re-establishing their hierarchical sway. Nothing 
of the kind is to be found in the canonical books of the 
Buddhists. Buddha had his opponents, and among 
them chiefly the Tirthakas ; but so had all eminent 
sages of whom we read in the Brahmanas. But Buddha 
had also his friends and followers, and they likewise 
were Brahmans and Rishis ; some of them accepted 
his doctrines, not excluding the abolition of caste. 
Buddhism, in its original form, was only a modifica- 
tion of Brahmanism. It grew up slowly and imper- 
ceptibly, and its very founder could hardly have been 
aware of the final results of his doctrines. Before 
the time that Buddhism became a political power, it 
had no history, no chronology, it hardly had a name. 
We hear nothing of Bauddhas in the Brahmanas, 
though we meet there with doctrines decidedly Bud- 
dhistic. The historical existence of Buddhism be- 
gins with Asoka, and the only way to fix the real 
date of Asoka is by connecting him with Chandra- 
gupta, his second predecessor, the Sandrocottus of 
the Greeks. To try to fix it according to the early 
Buddhist chronology would be as hopeless as fixing 
the date of Alexander according to the chronology of 
the Puranas. 

It is possible to discover in the decaying literature 
of Vedic Brahmanism the contemporaneous rise of a 
new religion, of Buddhism. Every attempt to go 
beyond, and to bring the chronology of the Buddhists 
and Brahmans into harmony has proved a failure. 
The reason, I believe, is obvious. The Brahmans had 
a kind of vague chronology in the different capitals of 
their country. They remembered the names of their 
kings, and they endeavoured to remember the years 


of their reigns. But to note the year in which an 
individual, such as Gautama iSakyasinha, was born, 
however famous he may have been in his own neigh- 
bourhood or even in more distant Parishads, would 
have entered as little into their thoughts as the 
Romans, or even the Jews, thought of preserving the 
date of the birth of Jesus before he had become the 
founder of a religion. Buddha's immediate followers 
may have recollected and handed down, by oral com- 
munication, the age at which Buddha died ; the age 
of his disciples too may have been recollected, to- 
gether with the names of some local Rajas who pa- 
tronised Buddha and his friends; but never, until 
the adoption of Buddhism as the state religion by 
Asoka, could there have been any object in connect- 
ing the lives of Buddha and his disciples with the 
chronology of the Solar or Lunar Dynasties of India. 
When, at the time of Asoka, it became necessary to 
give an account of the previous history of Buddhism, 
the chronology then adopted for the early centuries 
of that faith was necessarily of a purely theoretical 
kind. We possess more than one system of Bud- 
dhist chronology, but none of them can be considered 
authentic with regard to the times previous to Asoka, 
the second successor of Chandragupta. There is the 
system of the Southern Buddhists, framed in Ceylon ; 
there are the various systems of the Northern Bud- 
dhists, prevalent in Nepal, Tibet, and China ; and the 
system of the Puranas, if system it can be called, in 
which &akya is made the father of his father, and 
grandfather of his son. To try to find out which of 
these chronological systems is the most plausible 
seems useless, and it can only make confusion worse 
confounded if we attempt a combination of the 

s 4 


three. It has been usual to prefer the chronology of 
Ceylon, which places Buddha's death in 543 B.C. 
But the principal argument in favour of this date is 
extremely weak. It is said that the fact of the Cey- 
lon ese era being used as an era for practical purposes 
speaks in favour of its correctness. This may be 
true with regard to the times after the reign of 
Asoka. In historical times any era, however fabu- 
lous its beginning, will be practically useful ; but no 
conclusion can be drawn from this, its later use, as to 
the correctness of its beginning. As a conventional 
era, that of Ceylon may be retained, but until new 
evidence can be brought forward to substantiate the 
authenticity of the early history of Buddhism as told 
by the Ceylonese priests, it would be rash to use 
the dates of the Southern Buddhists as a corrective 
standard for those of the Northern Buddhists or of 
the Brahmans. Each of these chronological systems 
must be left to itself. They start from different pre- 
mises, and necessarily arrive at different results. 
The Northern Buddhists founded their chronology 
on a reported prophecy of Buddha, that " a thousand 
years after his death his doctrines would reach the 
Northern countries." l Buddhism was definitely in- 
troduced into China in the year 61 a.d. ; hence the 
Chinese fix the date of Buddha's death about one thou- 
sand years anterior to the Christian era. The varia- 
tions of the date, according to different Chinese au- 
thorities, are not considerable, and may easily be 
explained by the uncertainty of the time at which 
Buddhism found its way successively into the various 
countries north of India, and at last into China. 

1 Lassen, Indian Antiquities, ii., p. 58. Schiefner, Melanges 
Asiatiques, i. 436. 


Besides 950 or 949 B.C. 1 , which are the usual dates 
assigned to Buddha's death by Chinese authorities, 
we may mention the years 1130, 1045, 767, for each 
of which the same claim has been set up. The 
year 1130 rests on the authority of Tchao-chi, as 
quoted by Matouanlin in the annals of the Sou!. 2 
Fabian, also, seems to have known this date ; for, 
according to his editor, he placed the death of Buddha 
towards the beginning of the dynasty Tcheu, and 
this, according to Chinese chronology, took place in 
1122. 3 In another place, however, Fahian, speaking 
of the spreading of Buddhism towards the north, places 
this event 300 years after Buddha's Nirvana, or in 
the reign of the Emperor Phing-Wang. As this em- 
peror reigned 770 720, Fahian would seem to have 
dated the Nirvana somewhere between 1070 and 
1020. The date 767 rests on the authority of Ma- 
touanlin. 4 From Tibetan books no less than fourteen 
dates have been collected 5 ; and the Chinese pilgrims 
who visited India found it impossible to fix on any 
one date as established on solid evidence. The list of 
the thirty-three Buddhist patriarchs, first published 
by "Remusat (Melanges Asiatiques, i. p. 113), gives 
the date of their deaths from Chakia-mouni, who 
died 950 B.C., to Soui-neng, who died 713 a.d., and 
bears, like everything Chinese, the character of the 
most exact chronological accuracy. The first link, 

1 Lassen, ii. 52. Foucaux, Rgya Tcher Rol Pa, p. xi. 

2 Foucaux, 1. c. note communicated by Stan. Julien. 

3 Neumann, Zeitschrift fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes, ii. 117; 
Lassen, ii. 54. 

4 Foucaux, 1. c. According to Klaproth Matouanlin places 
Buddha 688 to 609. 

s Csoma, Tibetan Grammar, p. 199201. They are: 2422, 2148, 
2139, 2135, 1310, 1060, 884, 882, 880, 837, 752, 653, 576, 546. 


however, in this long chain of patriarchs is of doubt- 
ful character, and the lifetime of Buddha, from 1029 
to 950, rests on his own prophecy, that a Millennium 
would elapse from his death to the conversion of 
China. If, therefore, Buddha was a true prophet he 
must have lived about 1000 B.C., and this date once 
established, everything else had to give way before 
it. Thus Nagarjuna, called by the Chinese Naga 
Ivoshuna, or Loung-chou, is placed in their own tradi- 
tional chronology, which they borrowed from the Bud- 
dhists in Northern India, 400 years after the Nirvana. 1 
The Tibetans assign the same date to him. 2 In the 
list of the patriarchs, however, he occupies the four- 
teenth place, and dies 738 years after Buddha. The 
twelfth patriarch, Maning (Deva Bodhisatva), is tra- 
ditionally placed by the Chinese 300 years after 
Buddha. In the list of the patriarchs he dies 618 
years after the Nirvana. 

But if in this manner the starting point of the 
Northern Buddhist chronology turns out to be merely 
hypothetical, based as it is on a prophecy of Buddha, 
it will be difficult to avoid the same conclusion with 
regard to the date assigned to Buddha's death by the 
Buddhists of Ceylon and of Burmah and other coun- 
tries which received their canonical books from Cey- 
lon. The Ceylonese possess a trustworthy and intel- 
ligible chronology beginning with the year 161 B.C. 3 
Before that time their chronology is traditional, and 
full of absurdities. According to Professor Lassen, 
we ought to suppose that the Ceylonese, by some 

1 Lassen ii. 58. Burnouf, Introduction, i. p. 350. n. 51. 

2 As they place Vasumitra more than 400 after Buddha, the 
date for Nagarjuna ought to be about 450. 

3 Tumour, Examination of the Pali Buddhistical Annals, 
Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vi. p. 721. 


means or other, were in possession of the right date 
of Buddha's death ; and as there was a prophecy 
of Buddha that Vijaya should land in Ceylon on the 
same day on which Buddha entered the Mrvana, 1 
we are further asked to believe that the Ceylonese 
historians placed the founder of the Vijayan dynasty 
of Ceylon in the year 543, in accordance with their 
sacred chronology. "We are not told, however, 
through what channel the Ceylonese could have re- 
ceived their information as to the exact date of 
Buddha's death, and although Professor Lassen's hy- 
pothesis would be extremely convenient, and has 
been acquiesced in by most Sanskrit scholars, it 
would not be honest were we to conceal from our- 
selves or from others that the first and most impor- 
tant link in the Ceylonese, as well as in the Chinese 
chronology, is extremely weak. All we know for 
certain is, that the Ceylonese had an historical chro- 

1 Mahavanso, p. 46. The Mahavansa was written in Pali by 
Mahanama. He was a priest and uncle of king Dasenkelleya or 
Dhatusena, who reigned from a.d. 459 to 477. Mahanama made use 
of earlier histories, and mentions among them the Dipavansa. 
This work, also called Mahavansa, and written in Pali, is supposed 
to be still in existence, and carries the history to the reign of 
Mahasena, who died a. d. S02. Mahanama, though he lived 
more than a hundred years after Mahasena's death, does not seem 
to have carried the history much further. His work ends with 
the account of Mahasena's reign. It terminates with the 48th verse 
of the 37th chapter of what is now known as the Mahavansa, and 
it is only from conjecture that Tumour, the editor and translator 
of the first 38 chapters of the Mahavansa, ascribes the end of 
the 37th, and the whole of the 38th chapter, to the pen of Ma- 
hanama. Mahanama' s work was afterwards continued by dif- 
ferent writers. It now consists of 100 chapters, and carries the 
history of Ceylon to the middle of the 18th century. He is 
likewise the author of a commentary on his own work, which 
commentary ends at the 48th verse of the 37th chapter. 


nology after the year 161 B.C., that is to say, long 
before the Brahman s or Buddhists of the North can 
show anything but tradition. If, then, the exact 
Ceylonese chronology begins with 161 B.C., it is but 
reasonable to suppose that there existed in Ceylon 
a traditional native chronology extending beyond 
that date ; and that, at all events, the first conquest 
of Ceylon, the establishment of the first dynasty, had 
some date, whether true or false, assigned to it in the 
annals of the country. Vijaya, the founder of the 
first dynasty, means Conquest, and such a person 
most likely never existed. But his name and fame 
belong to Ceylon ; and even the latest traditions have 
never connected him with the Buddhist dynasties of 
India. He is called in the Mahavansa, the son of 
Sinhabahu, the sovereign of Lala (supposed to be a 
subdivision of Magadha, near the Gandaki river), and 
he is connected by a miraculous genealogy with the 
kings of Banga (Bengal) and Kalinga (Northern 
Circars), but not with the Buddhist dynasties of 
Magadha. The only trace of Buddhism that can be 
discovered in the legends of Vijaya consists in the 
fact that his head, and the heads of his seven hundred 
companions, were shaved when they were sent adrift 
in a ship that was ultimately to bring them to Ceylon. 
But the author of the Mahavansa takes care to say 
that this shaving of their heads was part of the pun- 
ishment inflicted on Vijaya by his father, who, when 
asked by the people to execute his own son for num- 
berless acts of fraud and violence, preferred to send 
him and his companions adrift on the ocean, after their 
heads had been shaved. Supposing then that before 
Dushtagamani, i. e. before 161 B.C., the Ceylonese 
possessed a number of royal names, and that by as- 


signing to each of them a more or less fabulous reign, 
they had arrived at the year 543 as the probable 
date of the Conquest, we can well understand how, 
under the influence of the later Buddhists, exactly the 
same thing took place in Ceylon which took place 
in China. Various temples in Ceylon had their le- 
gends, by which their first foundation was ascribed 
to Buddha himself. Hence the Mahavansa begins 
with relating three miraculous visits which Buddha, 
during his lifetime, paid to Ceylon. At that time, 
however, it is said that Ceylon was still inhabited by 
Yakshas. If thus the very earliest history of the 
island had been brought in connection with Buddha, 
it is but natural that some sanction of a similar kind 
should have been thought necessary with regard to 
the Conquest. A prophecy was, therefore, invented. 
" The ruler of the world, Buddha," so says the Maha- 
vansa, " having conferred blessings on the whole 
world, and attained the exalted, unchangeable Nir- 
vana, seated on the throne on which Nirvana is 
achieved, in the midst of a great assembly of devatas, 
the great divine sage addressed this celebrated in- 
junction to Sakra, who stood near him : ( One Vijaya, 
the son of Sinhabahu, king of the land of Lala, to- 
gether with seven hundred officers of state, has 
landed on Lanka. Lord of Devas ! my religion will 
be established in Lanka. On that account thoroughly 
protect, together with his retinue, him and Lanka.' 
The devoted King of Devas having heard these in- 
junctions of the successor (of former Buddhas), as- 
signed the protection of Lanka to the Deva Utpala- 
varna (Vishnu). He, in conformity to the command 
of Sakra, instantly repaired to Lanka, and in the 
character of a parivrajaka (devotee) took his station 
at the foot of a tree. 


" With Vijaya at their head the whole party ap- 
proaching him, inquired, ' Pray, devotee, what land 
is this ? ' he replied, ' The land Lanka/ Having 
thus spoken, he blessed them by sprinkling water on 
thern out of his jug, and having tied (charmed) 
threads on their arms, departed through the air." 

At the end of the preceding chapter, the date of 
the event is still more accurately fixed. " This 
prince named Vijaya," we read there, " who had then 
attained the wisdom of experience, landed in the di- 
vision Tamraparni of this land Lanka, on the day 
that the successor of former Buddhas reclined in the 
arbour of the two delightful sal-trees, to attain Nir- 
vana." In this manner the conquest of Ceylon was 
invested with a religious character, and at the same 
time a connection was established between the tra- 
ditional chronology of Ceylon and the sacred history 
of Buddha. If Buddha was a true prophet, the Cey- 
lonese argue quite rightly that he must have died in 
the year of the Conquest, or 543 b. c. 

This synchronism once established, it became ne- 
cessary to accommodate to it, as well as possible, the 
rest of the legendary history of the Buddhists. It con- 
tained but few historical elements previous to Asoka's 
Council, but that council had again to be connected 
with the history of Ceylon. Asoka was the cotem- 
porary of Devanampriya Tishya, King of Ceylon. 
This king adopted Buddhism, and made it, like Asoka, 
the state religion of the island. Now, according to 
the traditional chronology of Ceylon, Devanampriya 
Tishya came to the throne 236 years after the landing 
of Vijaya 1 , and he reigned forty years (307 267 B.C. ) 
He was intimately connected with Asoka, as we shall 

1 Mahavanso, Pref. p. lii. 


see, and it was necessary that the same interval 
which in the historical traditions of Ceylon separated 
Devanampriya Tishya from Vijaya should separate 
Asoka from Buddha. This was achieved in the fol- 
lowing manner : One Asoka is supposed to have 
come to the throne ninety years after Buddha, and 
a council (the second, as it is called) is supposed 
to have taken place in the tenth year of his reign, 
or just one hundred years after Buddha. At that 
second council a prophecy was uttered that in 118 
years a calamity would befall the Buddhist religion. 
This refers to the reign of the so-called second Asoka, 
who was at first a great enemy to religion. Now 
the first Asoka is represented to have reigned 18 
years after the Council (100 anno Buddhse), and if 
we cast up these 118 years, the 22 years of Asoka's 
sons, the 22 years of the Nine, the 24 years 1 of 
Chandragupta, the 28 years of Bindusara, and the 4 
years which elapsed before Asoka's inauguration 2 , 
we find that Asoka's inauguration would fall just 
118 years after the second Council, 218 years after 
Buddha, or 325 B. c. The Council of this real 
Asoka was held in the 17th year of his reign, or 235 
after Buddha. Mahendra, the son of Asoka, pro- 
ceeded to Ceylon in the next year, or 236 years after 
Buddha ; and in this manner the arrival of Mahendra 
in Ceylon, and the inauguration of Devanampriya 
Tishya as King of Ceylon, are brought together in 
the same year. It is true that in order to achieve 
this, it has become necessary to add a first Asoka 3 , 

1 Not thirty-four years as printed in the Mahavanso. See 
Lassen, ii. 62. n. 

2 As. Res., xx. p. 167. 

3 This first Asoka is called Kalasoka, a name which it would be 
too bold to explain as the chronological Asoka. 


of whom the Northern Buddhists know nothing ; it 
has become necessary to admit another Moggali- 
putto, and another Council, all equally unknown ex- 
cept in the traditional chronology of Ceylon. The 
Northern Buddhists know but one Asoka, the grand- 
son of Chandragupta ; they know but one Council, 
besides the Assembly following immediately on the 
death of Buddha, viz. the Council of Pataliputra 
under Dharmasoka, and this they place 110 years 
after Buddha's Nirvana. 1 Pindola, a contemporary of 
of Buddha, was seen as an old man by Asoka. But 
who was to contradict the Ceylonese historians? They 
possessed, what the Buddhists of Magadha did not 
possess, a history of their island and their sovereigns. 
They valued historical chronology for its own sake, 
forming an exception in this respect to all other 
nations of India. They were a colony, and like most 
colonies, they valued the traditions of the past. The 
Buddhists of Magadha, as far as we are able to 
judge, preserved but a few historical recollections, 
frequently in the form of prophecies, which they 
afterwards forced into the loose frame of the Brah- 
manic chronology. The Buddhists of Ceylon did not 
borrow the outlines of their history either from the 
Brahmans or from the Buddhists of Magadha ; and 
this is a point which has never been sufficiently 
considered. Their outlines of history were not con- 
structed originally in order to hold the Buddhist 
traditions of the North. They may have been 
slightly modified, so as to avoid glaring inconsisten- 

1 In some instances that date is changed to 200 a.b., by 
means of a reaction exercised by the literature of Ceylon on 
the chronology of the Continental Buddhists. Burnouf, Introduc- 
tion, p. 436. 578. 


cies between the profane history of Ceylon and the 
sacred history of Buddhism. But there is evidence to 
show that, on the other hand, the historical legends of 
Magadha had to yield much more considerably, the 
framers of the final chronology finding it impossible 
to ignore the annals of their island and the reigns of 
their ancient half-fabulous kings. The chronology 
of the Mahavansa is a compromise between the chro- 
nology of Ceylon and that of Magadha, but the latter 
was the more pliant of the two. There is nothing 
to prove that the terminus a quo of the chronology of 
Ceylon, the date of Vijaya's landing was borrowed 
from the North. There w r ere Buddhist traditions 
connecting Vijaya's landing with the death of Bud- 
dha, but the date 543 B. c. is never found in the 
sacred chronology of Buddhism, before it was bor- 
rowed from the profane chronology of Ceylon. There 
were similar, and, as it would seem, better founded 
traditions, connecting Devanampriya Tishya with the 
great Asoka ; but the date of Devanampriya Tishya 
was not determined by the date of the great Asoka, 
nor was the date of Asoka' s Council, as 110 after 
Buddha, accepted in Ceylon. On the contrary, the 
interval between Vijaya and Devanampriya Tishya 
was allowed to remain as it stood in the Ceylonese 
annals, and the Buddhist traditions were stretched in 
order to suit that interval. An intermediate Asoka 
and an intermediate Council were admitted, which 
were unknown to the Northern Buddhists. The pro- 
phecy that Nagarjuna should live 400 years after Bud- 
dha \ had been altered by the Chinese so as to suit 
their chronology. They placed him 800 years after 

1 As. Res. xx. 513. 


Buddha. In like manner the Ceylonese Buddhists, 
having fixed Buddha's death at 543 B.C., changed the 
traditional date of Nagarjuna from 400 to 500 after 
Buddha. 1 All this is constructive chronology, and 
whether we follow the Chinese or Ceylonese date of 
Buddha, we must always remember that in both the 
terminus a quo is purely hypothetical. This does not 
interfere with the correctness of minor details, such 
as the number of years assigned to each king, and in 
particular the chronological distance between certain 
events. These may have formed part of popular 
tradition, long before any system of chronology was 
established. A very old man, Pindola, was repre- 
sented in a popular legend to have been a contem- 
porary both of Buddha and of Dharm&soka. Hence 
the interval between the founder and the royal patron 
of Buddhism would naturally be fixed at about 100 
years. This is a tradition which may be used for 
historical purposes. Again, when we see that a date 
like that of Nagarjuna fixed in the North of India at 
400 after Buddha, is altered to 800 and 500, so as to 
suit the requirements of two different systems of 
chronology, we may feel inclined to look upon the 
unsystematic date as the most plausible. But in 
order to make use of such indications we must first 
of all establish a 7rou ctco, and this can only be found 
in Chandragupta. Everything in Indian chronology 
depends on the date of Chandragupta. Chandragupta 
was the grandfather of Asoka, and the contemporary 
of Seleucus Nicator. Now, according to Chinese 
chronology, Asoka would have lived, to waive minor 

1 Tumour, Examination of some points of Buddhist Chro- 
nology, Journal of the As. S. B., v. 530. Lassen, ii. 58. 


differences, 850 or 750 B.C., according to Ceylonese 
chronology, 315 B.C. Either of these dates is im- 
possible, because it does not agree with the chrono- 
logy of Greece, and hence both the Chinese and 
Ceylonese dates of Buddha's death must be given up 
as equally valueless for historical calculations. 

There is but one means through which the history 
of India can be connected with that of Greece, and 
its chronology be reduced to its proper limits. 
Although we look in vain in the literature of the 
Brahmans or Buddhists for any allusion to Alexander's 
conquest, and although it is impossible to identify 
any of the historical events, related by Alexander's 
companions, with the historical traditions of India, 
one name has fortunately been preserved by classical 
writers who describe the events immediately follow- 
ing Alexander's conquest, to form a connecting link 
between the history of the East and the West. This 
is the name of Sandracottus or Sandrocyptus, the 
Sanskrit Chandragupta. 

We learn from classical writers, Justin, Arrian, 
Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Quintus Curtius and Plu- 
tarch, that in Alexander's time there was on the 
Ganges a powerful king of the name of Xandrames, 
and that soon after Alexander's invasion, a new empire 
was founded there by Sandracottus or Sandrocyptus. 
Justin says : " Sandracottus gave liberty to India 
after Alexander's retreat, but soon converted the name 
of liberty into servitude after his success, subjecting 
those whom he had rescued from foreign dominion to 
his own authority. This prince was of humble origin, 
but was called to royalty by the power of the gods ; 
for, having offended Alexander by his impertinent lan- 

T 2 


guage, 1 he was ordered to be put to death, and escaped 
only by flight. Fatigued with his journey he lay down 
to rest, when a lion of large size came and licked off 
the sweat that poured from him with his tongue, and 
retired without doing him any harm. The prodigy 
inspired him with ambitious hopes, and collecting 
bands of robbers he roused the Indians to rebellion. 
When he prepared for war against the captains of 
Alexander, a wild elephant of enormous size ap- 
proached him, and received him on his back as if he 
had been tamed. He was a distinguished general and a 
brave soldier. Having thus acquired power, Sandra- 
cottus reigned over India at the time when Seleucus 
was laying the foundation of his greatness, and Seleucus 
entered into a treaty with him, and settling affairs on 
the side of India directed his march against Anti- 
gonus." 2 

Besides this we may gather from classical writers 
the following statements, bearing on Xandrames and 
Sandrocyptus : " When Alexander made inquiries 
about the interior of India, he was told that beyond 
the Indus there was a vast desert of 12 (or 11, accord- 
ing to Curtius,) days' journey, and that at the farthest 
borders thereof ran the Ganges. Beyond that river, 
he was told, the Prasii (Prachyas) dwelt, and the Gan- 
garidas. Their king was named Xandrames, who could 
bring into the field 20,000 horse, 200,000 foot, 2,000 
chariots, and 4,000 (or 3,000, Curtius,) elephants. 
Alexander who did not at first believe this, inquired 
from king Porus whether this account of the power 

1 Flutarch, Vita Alex. c. 62, says that Sandracottus saw 
Alexander when he was a fxtipaKiou. 

2 Justini Hist. Philipp. Lib. xv. cap. iv. 


of Xandrames was true; and he was told by Poms 
that it was true, but that the king was but of mean 
and obscure extraction, accounted to be a barber's 
son ; that the queen, however, had fallen in love with 
the barber, had murdered her husband, and that 
the kingdom had thus devolved upon Xandrames." } 
Quintus Curtius says 2 , " that the father of Xandrames 
had murdered the king, and under pretence of acting 
as guardian to his sons, got them into his power and 
put them to death ; that after their extermination he 
begot the son who was then king, and who, more 
worthy of his father's condition than his own, was 
odious and contemptible to his subjects." Strabo 
adds 3 , " that the capital of the Prasii was called Pali- 
bothra, situated at the confluence of the Ganges and 
another river," which Arrian 4 specifies as the Eran- 
noboas. Their king, besides his birth-name, had to take 
the name of the city, and was called the Palibothrian. 
This was the case with Sandracottus to whom Mega- 
sthenes was sent frequently. It was the same king with 
whom Seleucus Nicator contracted an alliance, ceding 
to him the country beyond the Indus, and receiving in 
its stead 500 elephants. 5 Megasthenes visited his court 
several times 6 ; and the same king, as Plutarch says 7 , 

1 Diodorus Siculus, xvii. 93. The statement in Photii Biblioth. 
p. 1579, that Porus was the son of a barber, repeated by Libanius, 
torn. ii. 632., is evidently a mistake. Plutarch, Vita Alexandri, 
c. 62, speaks of 80,000 horse, 8,000 chariots, and 6,000 elephants. 

2 Quintus Curtius, ix. 2. 

3 Strabo, xv. 1. 36. 

4 Arrian, Indica, x. 5. 
6 Strabo, xv. 2. 9. 

6 Arrian, Exped. v. 6, Indica, v. 3. 

7 Plutarch, Vita Alexandri, c. 62. 

t 3 


" traversed India with an army of 600,000 men, and 
conquered the whole." 

These accounts of the classical writers contain a 
number of distinct statements which could leave very- 
little doubt as to the king to whom they referred. 
Indian historians, it is true, are generally so vague 
and so much given to exaggeration, that their kings 
are all very much alike, either all black or all bright. 
But nevertheless, if there ever was such a king as the 
king of the Prasii, an usurper, residing at Pataliputra, 
called Sandrocyptus or Sandracottus, it is hardly 
possible that he should not be recognized in the his- 
torical traditions of India. There is in the lists of 
the kings of India the name of Chandragupta, and the 
resemblance of this name with the name of Sandra- 
cottus or Sandrocyptus was first, I believe, pointed 
out by Sir William Jones. 1 Wilford, Professor Wilson, 
and Professor Lassen have afterwards added further 
evidence in confirmation of Sir W. Jones's conjecture ; 
and although other scholars, and particularly M. 
Troyer, in his edition of the Rajatarangini, have 
raised objections, we shall see that the evidence in 
favour of the identity of Chandragupta and Sandro- 
cyptus is such as to admit of no reasonable doubt. 
It is objected that the Greeks called the king of the 
powerful empire beyond the Indus, Xandrames, or 
Aggramen. Now the last name is evidently a mere 
misspelling for Xandrames, and this Xandrames is not 
the same as Sandracottus. Xandrames, if we under- 
stand the Greek accounts rightly, is the predecessor 
of Chandragupta or rather the last king of the empire 
conquered by Sandracottus. If, however, it should be 

1 Asiatic Researches, vol. iv. p. 11. 


maintained, that these two names were intended for 
one and the same king, the explanation would still be 
very easy. For Chandragupta (the protected of the 
moon), is also called Chandra 1 , the Moon ; and Chandra- 
mas, in Sanskrit, is a synonyme of Chandra. Xandra- 
mes, however, was no doubt intended as different 
from Chandragupta. Xandrames must have been 
king of the Prasii before Sandracottus, and during 
the time of Alexander's wars. If this Xandrames is 
the same as the last Nanda, the agreement between 
the Greek account of his mean extraction, and the 
Hindu account of Nanda being a Siidra, would be 
very striking. It is not, however, quite clear whether 
the same person is meant in the Greek and Hindu 
accounts. At the time of Alexander's invasion 
Sandracottus was very young, and being obliged to 
fly before Alexander, whom he had offended, it is 
said that he collected bands of robbers, and with their 
help succeeded in establishing the freedom of India. 
Plutarch says distinctly that Sandracottus reigned 
soon after, that is soon after Xandrames, and we 
know from Justin, that it was Sandracottus, and not 
Xandrames, who waged wars with the captains of 
Alexander. Another objection against the identifica- 
tion of Chandragupta and Sandracottus was the site 
of their respective capitals. The capital of Chandra- 
gupta, Pataliputra, was no doubt the same as the Pali- 
bothra of Sandracottus, the modern Patna. But ex- 
ception was taken on the ground that Patna is not 
situated near the confluence of the Ganges and the 
Sone or Erannoboas, where the ancient Palibothra 
stood. This, however, has been explained by a change 

1 See Wilson's notes on the Mudra Rakshasa, p. 132. 
t 4 



in the bed of the river Sone, which is established on 
the best geographical evidence. 

There are several other points on which the his- 
tories of Chandragupta and Sandracottus agree. San- 
dracottus founded a new empire at Palibothra. Chan- 
dragupta was the founder of a new dynasty, the 
Mauryas 1 at Pataliputra. Sandracottus gained the 
throne by collecting bands of robbers. Chandragupta 
did the same. Sandracottus was called to royalty by 
the power of the gods and by prodigies. So was 
Chandragupta, although the prodigy related by Jus- 
tin is not exactly the same as the prodigies related 
by Hindu authors. So far, therefore, there is 
nothing in the Greek accounts that is not confirmed 
by Hindu tradition. That there should be a great 
deal more in Hindu tradition than was known to the 
Greeks is but natural, particularly as many of the 
Hindu stories were evidently invented at a later time 
and with a certain object. As the grandson of Chan- 
dragupta was the great patron of the Buddhists, 
attempts were naturally made by Buddhist writers to 
prove that Chandragupta belonged to the same race 
as Buddha; while on the other hand the Brahmanic 
writers would be no less fertile in inventing fables 
that would throw discredit on the ancestor of the 
Buddhist sovereigns of India. Some extracts from 
the writings of these hostile parties will best show 

1 The name of Maurya seems to have been known to the Greeks. 
See Cunningham, Journal of the As. Soc. of Bengal, xxiii. p. 680. 

The wooden houses in which the tribe of the Morieis are said 
to have lived, may refer to the story of the Mauryas living in a 
forest. See Mahavanso, p. xxxix. 

The statement of Wilford, that Maurya meant in Sanskrit 
the offspring of a barber and a 6udra-woman, has never been 


how this was achieved. In the Mahavanso 1 we read : 
"Kalasoko had ten sons: these brothers (conjointly) 
ruled the empire righteously for twenty- two years. 
Subsequently there were nine brothers : they also ac- 
cording to their seniority reigned for twenty-two 
years. Thereafter the Brahman Chanakko, in grati- 
fication of an implacable hatred borne towards the 
ninth surviving brother, called Dhana-nando, having 
put him to death, installed in the sovereignty over 
the whole of Jambudipo, a descendant of the dynasty 
of Moriyan sovereigns, endowed with illustrious and 
beneficent attributes, and surnamed Chandagutto. He 
reigned 24 (not 34) years." 

The commentary on this passage adds the following 
details 2 : " Subsequent to Kal&soko, who patronised 
those who held the second convocation, the royal line 
is stated to have consisted of twelve monarchs to the 
reign of Dhammasoko, when they (the priests) held 
the third convocation. Kal&soko's own sons were ten 
brothers. Their names are specified in the Attha- 
katha. The appellation of l the nine Nandos ' origi- 
nates in nine of them bearing that patronymic title. 

" The Atthakatha of the Uttaraviharo priests sets 
forth that the eldest of these was of an extraction 
(maternally) not allied (inferior) to the royal family; 
and that he dwelt in one of the provinces 3 ; it gives 

1 Mahavanso, p. 21. The Pali orthography has been preserved 
in the following extracts. 

2 Mahav., p. 38. 

3 It would seem that the eldest son of Asoka did not participate 
in the general government of the country, but received a pro- 
vincial vice-royalty. But in the Burmese histories it is stated 
distinctly that the eldest son, named Bhadrasena, reigned with 
nine of his brothers during a period of twenty-two years. 


also the history of the other nine. I also will give 
their history succinctly, but without prejudice to its 

" In aforetime, during the conjoint administration 
of the (nine) sons of Kalasoko, a certain provincial 
person appeared in the character of a marauder, 
and raising a considerable force, was laying the 
country waste by pillage. His people, who committed 
these depredations on towns, whenever a town might 
be sacked, seized and compelled its own inhabitants 
to carry the spoil to a wilderness, and there securing 
the plunder, drove them away. On a certain day, 
the banditti who were leading this predatory life 
having employed a daring, powerful, and enterprizing 
individual to commit a robbery, were retreating to 
the wilderness, making him carry the plunder. He 
who was thus associated with them, inquired: 'By 
what means do you find your livelihood ? ' ' Thou 
slave' (they replied) 'we are not men who submit 
to the toils of tillage, or cattle tending. By a pro- 
ceeding precisely like the present one, pillaging towns 
and villages, and laying up stores of riches and grain, 
and providing ourselves with fish and flesh, toddy 
and other beverage, we pass our lives jovially in 
feasting and drinking.' On being told this, he 
thought : ' This mode of life of these thieves is surely 
excellent ; shall I, also, joining them, lead a similar 
life ? ' and then said, ' I also will join you, I will be- 
come a confederate of yours. Admitting me among 
you, take me (in your marauding excursions).' 
They replying ' sadhu,' received him among them. 

" On a subsequent occasion, they attacked a town 
which was defended by well armed and vigilant inha- 
bitants. As soon as they entered the town the people 


rose upon and surrounded them, and seizing their 
leader, and hewing him with a sword, put him to 
death. The robbers dispersing in all directions re- 
paired to, and reassembled in the wilderness. Dis- 
covering that he (their leader) had been slain; and 
saying, l In his death the extinction of our prosperity- 
is evident; having been deprived of him, under whose 
control can the sacking of villages be carried on ? 
even to remain here is imprudent ; thus our disunion 
and destruction are inevitable:' they resigned them- 
selves to desponding grief. The individual above 
mentioned, approaching them, asked : ' What are ye 
weeping for ? ' On being answered by them, f We are 
lamenting the want of a valiant leader, to direct us 
in the hour of attack and retreat in our village sacks/ 
! In that case, my friends,' (said he) ' ye need not 
make yourselves unhappy ; if there be no other person 
able to undertake that post, I can myself perform it 
for you : from henceforth give not a thought about the 
matter.' This and more he said to them. They, 
relieved from their perplexity by this speech, joyfully 
replied, ' sadhu,' and conferred on hirn the post of 

"From that period proclaiming himself to be Nando, 
and adopting the course followed formerly (by his 
predecessor), he wandered about, pillaging the country. 
Having induced his brothers also to co-operate with 
him, by them also he was supported in his marauding 
excursions. Subsequently assembling his gang, he 
thus addressed them : ? My men ! this is not a career 
in which valiant men should be engaged ; it is not 
worthy of such as we are; this course is only befitting 
base wretches. What advantage is there in persever- 
ing in this career, let us aim at supreme sovereignty ? ' 


They assented. On having received their acquies- 
cence, attended by his troops and equipped for war, 
he attacked a provincial town, calling upon (its in- 
habitants) either to acknowledge him as sovereign, or 
to give him battle. They on receiving this demand all 
assembled, and having duly weighed the message, by 
sending an appropriate answer, formed a treaty of 
alliance with them. By this means reducing under 
his authority the people of Jambudipo in great num- 
bers, he finally attacked Patiliputta 1 (the capital of 
the Indian empire), and usurping the sovereignty, 
died there a short time afterwards, while governing 
the empire. 

" His brothers next succeeded to the empire in the 
order of their seniority. They altogether reigned 
twenty-two years. It was on this account that (in 
the Mahavanso) it is stated that there were nine 

11 Their ninth youngest brother was called Dhana- 
nando, from his being addicted to hoarding treasure. 
As soon as he was inaugurated, actuated by miserly 
desires the most inveterate, he resolved within him- 
self, * It is proper that I should devote myself to 
hoarding treasure ; ' and collecting riches to the 
amount of eighty kotis, and superintending the trans- 
port thereof himself, and repairing to the banks of the 
Ganges, by means of a barrier constructed of branches 
and leaves interrupting the course of the main stream, 
and forming a canal, he diverted its waters into a 
different channel ; and in a rock in the bed of the 

1 Pataliputra was then governed by the youngest son of Asoka, 
called Pinjamakh, and the robber-king, who first called himself 
Nanda, is said to have reigned a short time under the title of 
Ugrasena. As. Res. xx. p. 170. 


river having caused a great excavation to be made, 
he buried the treasure there. Over this cave he laid 
a layer of stones, and to prevent the admission of 
water, poured molten lead on it. Over that again 
he laid another layer of stones, and passing a stream 
of molten lead (over it), which made it like a solid 
rock, he restored the river to its former course. 
Levying taxes even on skins, gums, trees, and stones, 
among other articles, he amassed further treasures, 
which he disposed of similarly. It is stated that he 
did so repeatedly. On this account we call this ninth 
brother of theirs, as he personally devoted himself 
to the hoarding of treasure, * Dhananando.' 

" The appellation of ! Moriyan sovereigns' is de- 
rived from the auspicious circumstances under which 
their capital, which obtained the name of Moriya, 
was called into existence. 

" While Buddha yet lived, driven by the misfortunes 
produced by the war of (prince) Vidhudhabo, cer- 
tain members of the Sakya line retreating to Hima- 
vanto, discovered a delightful and beautiful location, 
well watered, and situated in the midst of a forest of 
lofty bo and other trees, Influenced by the desire of 
settling there, they founded a town at a place where 
several great roads met, surrounded by durable ram- 
parts, having gates of defence therein, and embel- 
lished with delightful edifices and pleasure gardens. 
Moreover that (city), having a row of buildings 
covered with tiles, which were arranged in the pat- 
tern of the plumage of a peacock's neck, and as it 
resounded with the notes of flocks of l konchos ' 
and * mayuros ' (pea-fowls), was so called. From this 
circumstance these Sakya lords of this town, and their 
children and descendants, were renowned throughout 


Jambudipo by the title of ' Moriya.' From this time 
that dynasty has been called the Moriyan dynasty." 

After a few isolated remarks, the Tika thus pro- 
ceeds in its account of Chanakko and Chandagutto : 

" It is proper that in this place a sketch of these 
two characters should be given. Of these, if I am 
asked in the first place, ' Where did this Chanakko 
dwell ? Whose son was he ? ' I answer, ' he lived at 
the city of Takkasila. He was the son of a certain 
Brahman at that place, and a man who had achieved 
the knowledge of the three Vedas; could rehearse 
the mantos ; skilful in stratagems ; and dexterous in 
intrigue as well as policy. At the period of his 
father's death he was already well known as the 
dutiful maintainor of his mother, and as a highly 
gifted individual worthy of swaying the chhatta. 

" On a certain occasion, approaching his mother, 
who was weeping, he inquired, * My dear mother, 
why dost thou weep ? ' On being answered by her, 
1 My child, thou art gifted to sway a chhatta. Do 
not, my boy, endeavour by raising the chhatta, to 
become a sovereign. Princes everywhere are un- 
stable in their attachments. Thou also, my child, 
wilt forget the affection thou owest me. In that case, 
I should be reduced to the deepest distress. I weep 
under these apprehensions.' He exclaimed: 4 My 
mother, what is that gift that I possess ? On what 
part of my person is it indicated ? ' and on her re- 
plying, c My dear, on thy teeth,' smashing his own 
teeth, and becoming ' Kandhadatto ' (a tooth-broken 
man) he devoted himself to the protection of his 
mother. Thus it was that he became celebrated 
as the filial protector of his mother. He was not 
only a tooth-broken man, but he was disfigured by a 


disgusting complexion, and by deformity of legs and 
other members prejudicial to manly comeliness. 

" In his quest of disputation, repairing to Puppha- 
pura, the capital of the monarch Dhana-nando, (who, 
abandoning his passion for hoarding, becoming im- 
bued with the desire of giving alms, relinquishing 
also his miserly habits, and delighting in hearing the 
fruits that resulted from benevolence, had built a 
hall of alms-offering in the midst of his palace, and 
was making an offering to the chief of the Brahmans 
worth a hundred kotis, and to the most junior Brah- 
man an offering worth a lac,) this Brahman (Ch&- 
nakko) entered the said apartment, and taking 
possession of the seat of the chief Brahman, sat him- 
self down in that alms hall. 

11 At that instant Dhana-nando himself decked in 
regal attire, and attended by many thousands of 
' siwaka ' (state palanquins), glittering with their 
various ornaments, and escorted by a suite of a hun- 
dred royal personages, with their martial array of 
the four hosts, of cavalry, elephants, chariots, and 
infantry, and accompanied by dancing-girls, lovely 
as the attendants on the devos, himself a person- 
ification of majesty, and bearing the white parasol 
of dominion, having a golden staff and golden tassels, 
with this superb retinue repairing thither, and 
entering the hall of alms-offering, beheld the Brah- 
man Chanakko seated. On seeing him, this thought 
occurred to him (Nando) : ' Surely it cannot be 
proper that he should assume the seat of the chief 
Brahman.' Becoming displeased with him, he thus 
evinced his displeasure. He inquired: ' Who art 
thou, that thou hast taken the seat of the chief 
Brahman?' and being answered (simply), 'It is I;' 


4 Cast from hence this cripple Brahman ; allow him 
not to be seated,' exclaimed Nando; and although 
the courtiers again and again implored of him, say- 
ing, l Devo ! let it not be so done by a person pre- 
pared to make offerings as thou art, extend thy 
forgiveness to this Brahman ; ' he insisted upon his 
ejection. On the courtiers approaching Chanakko, 
and saying, ' Achariyo ! we come, by the command 
of the raja, to remove thee from hence ; but in- 
capable of uttering the words, " Achariyo, depart 
hence/' we now stand before thee abashed.' En- 
raged against him (Nando), rising from his seat to 
depart, he snapt asunder his Brahmanical cord, and 
dashed down his jug on the threshold, and thus in- 
voking malediction : l Kings are impious : may this 
whole earth, bounded by the four oceans, withhold 
its gifts from Nando,' he departed. On his sallying 
out, the officers reported this proceeding to the 
raja. The king, furious with indignation, roared, 
4 Catch, catch, the slave.' The fugitive, stripping 
himself naked, and assuming the character of an aji- 
vako, and running into the centre of the palace, con- 
cealed himself in an unfrequented place, at the San- 
kharathanan. The pursuers, not having discovered 
him, returned and reported that he was not to be 

" In the night he repaired to a more frequented part 
of the palace, and meeting some of the suite of the 
royal prince Pabbato, admitted them into his con- 
fidence. By their assistance he had an interview 
with the prince. Gaining him over by holding out 
hopes of securing the sovereignty for him, and at- 
taching him by that expedient, he began to search 
the means of getting out of the palace. Discovering 


that in a certain place there was a ladder leading to 
a secret passage, he consulted with the prince, and 
sent a message to his (the prince's) mother for the 
key of the passage. Opening the door with the ut- 
most secresy, he escaped with the prince, and they 
fled to the wilderness of Vinjjh& (Vindhya). 

"While dwelling there, with the. view of raising 
resources, he converted (by recoining) each kah&- 
pana into eight, and amassed eighty kotis of kaha- 
panas. Having buried this treasure, he commenced 
to search for a second individual entitled (by birth) 
to be raised to sovereign power, and met with the 
aforesaid prince of the Moriyan dynasty called 

M His mother, the queen consort of the monarch of 
Moriya-nagara, the city before mentioned, was preg- 
nant at the time that a certain powerful provincial 
raja conquered that kingdom, and put the Moriyan 
king to death. In her anxiety to preserve the child 
in her womb, she departed for the capital of Puppha- 
pura under the protection of her elder brothers, and 
under disguise she dwelt there. At the completion of 
the ordinary term of pregnancy she gave birth to a 
son, and relinquishing him to the protection of the 
devos, she placed him in a vase, and deposited him 
at the door of a cattle pen. A bull named Chando 
stationed himself by him, to protect him ; in the same 
manner that Prince Ghoso, by the interposition of 
the devata, was watched over by a bull. In the 
same manner, also, that the herdsman in the instance 
of that Prince Ghoso repaired to the spot where that 
bull planted himself, a herdsman, on observing this 
prince, moved by affection, like that borne to his own 
child, took charge of and tenderly reared him; and 



in giving him a name, in reference to his having been 
watched by the bull Chando, he called him i Chan- 
dagutto,' and brought him up. When he had at- 
tained an age to be able to tend cattle, a certain wild 
huntsman, a friend of the herdsman, becoming ac- 
quainted with the boy, and attached to him, took him 
from (the herdsman) to his own dwelling, and esta- 
blished him there. He continued to dwell in that 

" Subsequently, on a certain occasion, w r hile tending 
cattle with other children in the village, he joined 
them in a game called ' the game of royalty.' He 
himself was named Raja ; to others he gave the offices 
of sub-king, &c. Some being appointed judges, were 
placed in a judgment hall; some he made officers of 
the king's household ; and others, outlaws or robbers. 
Having thus constituted a court of justice, he sat in 
judgment. On culprits being brought up, when they 
had been regularly impeached and tried, on their guilt 
being clearly proved to his satisfaction, according to the 
sentence awarded by his judicial ministers, he ordered 
the officers of the court to chop off their hands and 
feet. On their replying, * Devo! we have no axes;' 
he answered : ' It is the order of Chandagutto that ye 
should chop off their hands and feet, making axes with 
the horns of goats for blades, and sticks for handles.' 
They acted accordingly ; and on striking with the 
axe, the hands and feet were lopped off. On the 
same person commanding, l Let them be reunited,' the 
hands and feet were restored to their former condition. 

" Chanakko happening to come to that spot, was 
amazed at the proceeding he beheld. Accompanying 
(the boy) to the village, and presenting the huntsman 
with a thousand kahapanas, he applied for him ; say- 
ing, ' I will teach your son every accomplishment ; 


consign him to me.' Accordingly, conducting him 
to his own dwelling, he encircled his neck with a 
single fold of a woollen cord, twisted with gold thread, 
worth a lac. 

" The discovery of this person is thus stated (in 
the former works) : ' He discovered this prince de- 
scended from the Moriyan line.' 

" He (Chanakko) invested Prince Pabbato, also, 
with a similar woollen cord. While these youths 
were living with him, each had a dream, which 
they separately imparted to him. As soon as he 
heard each (dream), he knew that of these Prince 
Pabbato would not attain royalty ; and that Chan- 
dagutto would, without loss of time, become para- 
mount monarch in Jambudipo. Although he made 
this discovery, he disclosed nothing to them. 

"On a certain occasion having partaken of some 
milk-rice prepared in butter, which had been received 
as an offering at a brahmanical disputation, they re- 
tired from the main road, and lying down in a shady 
place, protected by the deep foliage of trees, fell asleep. 
Among them the Achariyo awakening first, rose, and 
for the purpose of putting prince Pabbato' s qualifica- 
tions to the test, he gave him a sword, and telling 
him : l Bring me the woollen thread on Chandagutto's 
neck, without either cutting or untying it,' sent him 
off. He started on the mission, and failing to accom- 
plish it, he returned. On a subsequent day, he sent 
Chandagutto on a similar mission. He repairing to 
the spot where Pabbato was sleeping, and considering 
how it was to be effected, decided : ' There is no 
other way of doing it ; it can only be got possession 
of, by cutting his head off.' Accordingly chopping 
his head off, and bringing away the woollen thread, he 

u l 


presented himself to the Brahman, who received him 
in profound silence. Pleased with him, however, on 
account of this (exploit), he rendered him in the 
course of six or seven years highly accomplished, 
and profoundly learned. 

" Thereafter, on his attaining manhood, he decided : 
* From henceforth this individual is capable of form- 
ing and controlling an army ; ' so he repaired to 
the spot where his treasure was buried, and took 
possession of it, and employed it, enlisting forces 
from all quarters, and distributing money among 
them ; and having thus formed a powerful army, he 
entrusted it to him. From that time throwing off all 
disguise, and invading the inhabited parts of the 
country, he commenced his campaign by attacking 
towns and villages. In the course of their (Chanak- 
ko and Chandagutto's) warfare, the population rose 
to a man, and surrounding them, and hewing their 
army with their weapons, vanquished them. Dispers- 
ing, they re-united in the wilderness ; and consulting 
together, they thus decided : ' As yet no advantage 
has resulted from war ; relinquishing military opera- 
tions, let us acquire a knowledge of the sentiments of 
the people.' Thenceforth, in disguise, they travelled 
about the country. While thus roaming about, after 
sunset retiring to some town or other, they were in 
the habit of attending to the conversation of the in- 
habitants of those places. 

" In one of these villages, a woman having baked 
some ' appalapuva ' (pancakes) was giving them to 
her child, who leaving the edges would only eat the 
centre. On his asking for another cake, she remark- 
ed : ' This boy's conduct is like Chandagutto's in his 
attempt to take possession of the kingdom.' On his 
inquiring : ' Mother, . why, what am I doing ; and 


what has Chandagutto done ?' i Thou, my boy,' said 
she, ' throwing away the outside of the cake, eatest the 
middle only. Chandagutto also in his ambition to 
be a monarch, without subduing the frontiers, before 
he attacked the towns, invaded the heart of the 
country, and laid towns waste. On that account, 
both the inhabitants of the town and others, rising, 
closed in upon him, from the frontiers to the centre, 
and destroyed his army. That was his folly/ 

" They, on hearing this story of hers, taking due 
notice thereof, from that time again raised an army. 
On resuming their attack on the provinces and towns, 
commencing from the frontiers, reducing towns, and 
stationing troops in the intervals, they proceeded in 
their invasion. After a respite, adopting the same 
system, and marshalling a great army, and in regular 
course reducing each kingdom and province, then 
assailing Patiliputta and putting Dhana-nando to 
death, they seized that sovereignty. 

" Although this had been brought about, Chanakko 
did not at once raise Chandagutto to the throne ; but 
for the purpose of discovering Dhana-nando's hidden 
treasure, sent for a certain fisherman (of the river) ; 
and after deluding him with the promise of raising 
the chhatta for him, and securing the hidden trea- 
sure, within a month from that date, put him also to 
death 1 , and inaugurated Chandagutto monarch. 

" Hence the expression (in the Mahavanso) ' a de- 
scendant of the dynasty of Moriyan sovereigns ; ' as 
well as the expression ' installed in the sovereignty.' 
All the particulars connected with Chandagutto, both 
before his installation and after, are recorded in the 

1 This is probably the Kaivarta-nanla of the Rajaratnakara. 

u 3 


Atthakatha of the Uttaraviharo priests. Let that 
(work) be referred to, by those who are desirous of 
more detailed information. We compile this work in 
an abridged form, without prejudice however to its 

" His (Chandagutto's) son was Bindusaro. After 
his father had assumed the administration, (the said 
father) sent for a former acquaintance of his, a Jati- 
lian, named Maniyatappo, and conferred a commission 
on him. c My friend, (said he) do thou restore order 
into the country; suppressing the lawless proceedings 
that prevail.' He replying * sadhu,' and accepting 
the commission, by his judicious measures, reduced the 
country to order. 

" Chanakko, determined that to Chandagutto a 
monarch, who by the instrumentality of him (the 
aforesaid Maniyatappo) had conferred the blessings 
of peace on the country, by extirpating marauders 
who were like unto thorns (in a cultivated land) 
no calamity should befall from poison, decided on 
inuring his body to the effects of poison. Without 
imparting the secret to any one, commencing with 
the smallest particle possible, and gradually increasing 
the dose, by mixing poison in his food and beverage, 
he (at last) fed him on poison, at the same time 
taking steps to prevent any other person participating 
in his poisoned repasts. 

"At a subsequent period his queen consort was pro- 
nounced to be pregnant. Who was she ? Whose 
daughter was she ? ' She was the daughter of the 
eldest of the maternal uncles who accompanied the 
raja's mother to Pupphapura.' * Chandagutto wed- 
ding this daughter of his maternal uncle, raised her 
to the dignity of queen consort. 
1 See page 289. 


" About this time, Chanakko, on a certain day 
having prepared the monarch's repast sent it to him, 
himself accidentally remaining behind for a moment. 
On recollecting himself, in an agony of distress, he ex- 
claimed, ' I must hasten thither, short as the interval 
is, before he begins his meal ; ' and precipitately 
rushed into the king's apartment, at the instant that 
the queen who was within seven days of her confine- 
ment, was in the act, in the raja's presence, of placing 
the first handful of the repast in her mouth. On 
beholding this, and finding that there was not even 
time to ejaculate * Don't swallow it,' with his sword 
he struck her head off ; and then ripping open her 
womb, extricated the child with its caul, and placed 
it in the stomach of a goat. In this manner, by 
placing it for seven days in the stomach of seven dif- 
ferent goats, having completed the full term of gesta- 
tion, he delivered the infant over to the female slaves. 
He caused him to be reared by them, and when a 
name was conferred on him in reference to a spot, 
(Bindu) which the blood of the goats had left he 
was called Bindusaro." 

This Bindusara succeeded his father as king, and, 
after a reign of 28 years, he was succeeded by the 
great Asoka. In this manner the Buddhists prove that 
through the Mauryas, Asoka belonged to the same 
family as Buddha, to the royal family of the Sakyas. 

The Brahmans, on the contrary, endeavour to 
show that Chandragupta belonged to the same con- 
temptible race as the Nandas. Thus we read in 
the Vishnu-purana 1 : 

" The last of the Brihadratha dynasty, Ripunjaya, 
will have a minister named Sunika (Sunaka, Bh. PA 

1 Vishnu-purana, translated by H. H. Wilson, p. 466. . 
u 4 


who having killed his sovereign, will place his son 
Pradyota upon the throne (for 23 years, Yayu and 
Matsya P.). His son will be Palaka (24 years, V. ; 
Tilaka or Balaka, 28 years, M.P.). His son will be 
Yisakhayupa (50 years V. ; 53 M.P.). His son will 
be Janaka (Ajaka, 21 years V. ; Suryaka, 21 years 
M. ; Rajaka, Bh. P.). And his son will be Nandi- 
vardhana (20 years Y. and M. P.). These five kings 
of the house of Pradyota will reign over the earth for 
138 years (the same number in Y. and Bh. P.). 

" The next prince will be Sisunaga 1 ; his son will 
be Kakavarna (36 years Y. and M.) ; his son will be 
Kshemadharman (Kshemakarman, 20 years V., 
Kshemadharman, 36 years M.); his son will be 
Kshatraujas (40 years Y. ; Kshemajit or Kshe- 
marchis, 36 years M. ; Kshetrajna, Bh. P.); his son 
will be Yidmisara (Yimbisara, 28 years Y. ; Yin- 
dusena or Vindhyasena, 28 years M. ; Yidhisara, 
Bh.); his son will be Ajatasatru 2 ; his son will be 
Dharbaka (Harshaka, 25 years Y. ; Yansaka, 24 
years M.) ; his son will be Udayasva (33 years Y. ; 
Udibhi or Udasin, 33 years M.) 3 ; his son also will 
be Nandivardhana ; and his son will be Mahananda 
(42 and 43 years Y. ; 40 and 43 years M.). These 
ten Saisunagas will be kings of the earth for 362 years. 

u The son of Mahananda will be born of a woman 
of the Sudra-class; his name will be Nanda, called 
Mahapadma, for he will be exceedingly avaricious. 
Like another Parasu-rama, he will be the annihilator 

1 6isunaka, who, according to the Vayu and Matsya Purana, 
relinquished Benares to his son, and established himself at 
Girivraja or Rajagriha in Behar, reigned 40 years, V. and M. P. 

2 25 years V. ; 27 years M. : the latter inserts ' a Kanvayana, 
9 years, and Bhumimitra or Bhumiputra, 14 years, before him. 

3 According to the Vayu, Udaya or Udayasva founded Patali- 
putra, on the southern angle of the Ganges. 


of the Kshatriya race, for after him the kings of the 
earth will be JSudras. He will bring the whole earth 
under one umbrella, he will have eight sons, Sumalya, 
and others, who will reign after Mahapadma ; and he 
and his sons will govern for a hundred years. The 
Brahman Kautilya will root out the nine Nandas. 

" Upon the cessation of the race of Nanda, the 
Mauryas will possess the earth. Kautilya will place 
Chandragupta * on the throne ; his son will be Vin- 
dusara 2 ; his son will be Asokavardhana ; his son 
will be Suyasas ; his son will be Dasaratha ; his son 
will be Sangata ; his son will be iSalisuka ; his son 
will be Somasarrnan ; his son will be Sasadharman, 
and his successor will be Vrihadratha. These are 
the ten Mauryas who will reign over the earth for 
137 years." 

The title of Maurya, which by the Buddhists was 
used as a proof of Asoka's royal descent, is explained 
by the Brahmans 3 as a metronymic, Mura being 
given as the name of one of Nanda's wives. 

If now, we survey the information here brought to- 
gether from Buddhist, Brahmanic, and Greek sources, 
we shall feel bound to confess that all we really know 
is this : 

1 The length of this monarch's reign is given uniformly by the 
Puranas and the Buddhist histories, as 24 years. The number is 
given by the Vayu-Purana, the Dipavansa, the Mahavansa (where 
34 is a mistake for 24), and in Buddhaghosha's Arthakatha. Cf. 
Mahav. p. lii. 

2 The Vayu-Purana calls him Bhadrasara, and assign 25 years 
to his reign. 

a Vishnu-purana, p. 468. n. 21. This rests only on the autho- 
rity of the commentator on the Vishnu-purana; but Chandra- 
gupta's relationship with Nanda is confirmed by the Mudra- 


Chandragupta is the same person as Sandrocyptus, 
or Sandracottus. This Sandracottus, according to 
Justin (xv. 4.), had seized the throne of India after 
the prefects of Alexander had been murdered (317 
B.C.). Seleucus found him as sovereign of India 
when, after the taking of Babylon and the conquest 
of the Bactrians, he passed on into India. Seleucus, 
however, did not conquer Sandracottus, but after 
concluding a league with him, marched on to make 
war against Antigonus. This must have taken place 
before 312, for in that year, the beginning of the 
Seleucidan era, Seleucus had returned to Babylon. 

We may suppose that Chandragupta became king 
about 315, and as both the Buddhist and Brahmanic 
writers allow him a reign of 24 years, the reign of Bin- 
dusara would begin 291 B.C. This Bindusara again had 
according to both Brahmanic and Buddhistic authors, 
a long reign of either twenty-five or twenty-eight 
years. Taking the latter statement as the better au- 
thenticated, we find that the probable beginning of 
Asoka's reign took place 263 B.C. ; his inauguration 259 
B. c ; his Council either 246 or 242 b. c. At the time 
of Asoka's inauguration, 218 years had elapsed since 
the conventional date of the death of Buddha. Hence 
if we translate the language of Buddhist chronology 
into that of Greek chronology, Buddha was really sup- 
posed to have died 477 B.C., and not 543 B.C. Again, 
at the time of Chandragupta' s accession, 162 years were 
believed to have elapsed since the conventional date of 
Buddha's death. Hence Buddha was supposed to have 
died 315+162 = 477 B.C. Or, to adopt a different line 
of argument, Kanishka, according to the evidence of 
coins, 1 must have reigned before and after the Christian 

1 Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde, ii. 413. 


era. In the Stupa of Maniky ala, which was built by Ka- 
nishka 1 , Roman coins have been found of as late a date 
as 33 B.C. How long before that date this Turushka or 
Indoscythian king may have assumed the sovereignty 
of India it is difficult to determine. But under him the 
Northern Buddhists place a new Council which was 
presided over by Vasumitra 2 , and the date of which is 
fixed at more than 400 after Buddha's Nirvana. 3 If 
we add 400 and 33, and take into account that the 
Council took place more than 400 years after Buddha, 
and that Kanishka must have reigned some years 
before he built his Stupa, we find again that 477 B. c. 
far more likely than 543, as the conventional date of 
Buddha's death. All the dates, however, before 
Chandragupta are to be considered only as hypotheti- 
cal. The second council under Kalasoka is extremely 
problematical, and the date of Buddha's death, as 218 
before Asoka, is worth no more than the date of 
Vijaya's landing in Ceylon, fixed 218 before Deva- 
nampriya Tishya. Professor Lassen, in order to give 
an historical value to the date of 543 assigned to the 
death of Buddha, adds 66 years to the 22 years of the 
reign of the Nandas, and he quotes in support of this 
the authority of the Puranas which ascribe 88 years 
to the first Nanda. The Puranas, however, if taken 
in their true meaning, are entirely at variance with 
the Buddhist chronology before Chandragupta, and it 
is not allowable to use them as a corrective. As to 

1 A. Cunningham in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal, xviii. p. 20. 

2 Asiatic Researches, xx. 297. 

3 Nagarjuna, who must be somewhat later than Vasumitra, is 
roughly placed 400 years after Buddha by the Northern, 500 after 
Buddha by the Southern Buddhists. 


the chronology of the Ceylonese Buddhists, so far 
from becoming more perfect by the addition of those 
sixty-six years, it would really lose all consistency. 
The most useful portions of that chronology are the 
prophecies of Buddha and others, as to the number 
of years intervening between certain events. All 
these dates would have to be surrendered if we 
adopted Professor Lassen's correction. The great 
Council would not fall 218 years after Buddha's 
death, Chandragupta would not come to the throne 
162 years after the Nirvana : Buddha, in fact, as well 
as his apostles, would be convicted as false prophets 
by their very disciples. 

Whatever changes may have to be introduced into 
the earlier chronology of India, nothing will ever 
shake the date of Chandragupta, the illegitimate 
successor of the Nandas, the ally of Seleucus, the 
grandfather of Asoka. That date is the sheet- 
anchor of Indian chronology, and it is sufficient 
for the solution of the problem which occupies us at 
present. It enables us to place Katyayana before 
Chandragupta, the successor of the Nandas, or, at all 
events, the founder of a new dynasty, subsequent to 
the collapse of Alexander's empire. It enables us to 
fix chronologically an important period in the litera- 
ture of India, the Sutra period, and to extend its 
limits to at least three generations after Katyayana, 
to about 200 b. c. In doing so, I am far from main- 
taining that the evidence which connects the names of 
Katyayana and Nanda is unexceptionable. Nowhere 
except in Indian history should we feel justified in 
ascribing any weight to the vague traditions con- 
tained in popular stories which were written down 
more than a thousand years after the event. The most 
that can be said in favour of these traditions is, first, 


that there was no object in inventing them ; secondly, 
that they are not in contradiction with anything we 
know of the early history of India from other sources ; 
and thirdly, that the date which from their sugges- 
tions we assign to the literary works of Katyayana 
and his predecessors and successors, harmonises with 
the conclusions derived from the literature of the 
Brahmans, as to the probable growth and decay 
of the Hindu mind previous to the beginning of 
our era. 

Although these chronological discussions have oc- 
cupied so much of our space, it is necessary to add 
a few words of explanation. It might seem as if, in 
brinsfmp; together all the evidence available for our 
purpose, certain authorities had been overlooked 
which might have confirmed our conclusions. Pro- 
fessor Bohtlingk, whose researches with regard to 
the age of Panini deserve the highest credit, has 
endeavoured to fortify his conclusions by some ad- 
ditional evidence, derived from the works of Chinese 
travellers; and other writers on the same subject have 
followed his example, though they have given a dif- 
ferent interpretation to the statements of those tra- 
vellers, and have arrived at different results as to the 
probable date of Panini. The evidence of these Bud- 
dhist pilgrims, however, yields no real results, either 
for or against the date assigned to Panini and Katya- 
yana, and it is for this reason that it has been entirely 
discarded in the preceding pages. Professor Bohtlingk 
relied on the testimony of Hiouen-thsang, a Buddhist 
pilgrim who travelled through India in the years 629 
645 after Christ, and whose travels have lately been 
translated by M. Stanislas Julien. There we read * : 

1 Memoires sur les Contrees occidentals par Hiouen-thsang, 
liv. iv. p. 200. 


" Apres avoir fait environ cinq cent li, au sud-est de 
la capitale (de Chinapati), il arriva au couvent ap- 
pele Ta-mo-sou-fa-na-seng-kia-lan ( Tamasavana-san- 
gharama), ou le couvent de la Foret Sombre. On y 
comptait environ trois cent religieux qui suivaient 
les principes de l'ecole des Sarvastivadas. lis avaient 
un exterieur grave et imposant, et se distinguaient 
par la purete de leur vertu et l'elevation de leur carac- 
tere. lis approfondissaient surtout l'etude du petit 
Vehicule. Les mille Buddha s du Kalpa des Sages 
(Bhadrakalpa) doivent, dans ce lieu, rassembler la 
multitude des Devas et leur expliquer la sublime 
loi. Dans la trois centieme annee apres le Nir- 
vana de Sakya Tathagata, il y eut un maitre des 
Sastras, nomine* Katyayana, qui composa, dans 
ce couvent, le Fa-tchi-lun (Abhidharma-jnana-pra- 
sthana).' , 

At first sight this might seem a very definite state- 
ment as to the age of Katyayana, placing him, if we 
accept the conventional date of Buddha's death, about 
243 b. c. But how can we prove that Hiouen-thsang 
was speaking of Katyayana Vararuchi ? It might be 
said that the Katyayana, so simply mentioned by 
Hiouen-thsang, must be a person of note. Hiouen- 
thsang does not mention ancient authors except men 
of note, and the Katyayana whose dates he gives in 
this place, cannot be a chance person of that name, 
but must be some well-known author. 1 It could hardly 
be meant for Mahakatyayana, because he was the 
pupil of Buddha, and could not be placed 300 years 
after his Nirvana. Besides Mahakatyayana, there is 
certainly no person of the same name of greater 

1 Foucaux, Lalitavistara, pp. 3. 415. 417. 


literary fame than Katyayana Vararuchi. But the 
Katyayana of whom Hiouen-thsang speaks was a 
Buddhist, and the author of a work on metaphysics, 
which Hiouen-thsang himself translated from San- 
skrit into Chinese. Making all possible allowance for 
the tendency of later Buddhist writers to refer the 
authorship of certain works to names famous in 
ancient Brahmanic history, we can hardly build much 
on the supposition that the author meant by the 
Chinese traveller was the old Katyayana Vararuchi, 
the contemporary of Panini. But, even if all these 
objections could be removed, what use could Ave 
make of Hiouen-thsang's chronology, who follows the 
system of the Northern, and not of the Ceylonese, 
Buddhists, who makes Asoka to reign 100 years 
after Buddha, Kanishka 400, the king of Himatala 
600, and so on ? We should first have to deter- 
mine what, according to Hiouen-thsang, was the real 
date of Buddha's Nirvana, and what was the era 
used at his time in the monasteries of Northern 
India ; whether he altered the dates, assigned by the 
Buddhists of India to the various events of their 
traditional history, according to the standard of the 
Chinese Buddhist chronology, or whether he simply 
repeated the dates, such as they were communicated 
to him in the different places which he visited. All 
these questions would have to be answered, and if 
they could be answered, we should in the end only 
arrive at the date of a Katyayana, but not of the 
Katyayana with whom we are concerned. 

There is another passage in Hiouen-thsang which 
has been frequently discussed, and according to 
which it would seem that we should have to place 
Panini much later, and that Katyayana, the critic of 


Panini, could not have lived before the first century 
after Christ. 

M. Reinaud, in his excellent work, " Memoire 
Geographique, Historique et Scientifique sur Nnde, 
anterieurement au milieu du XI e . siecle, d'apres les 
ecrivains arabes, persans et chinois (Paris, 1849)," 
was the first to call attention to this passage. He says 
(p. 88. ) : " Ainsi que pour plusieurs autres personnages 
notables du bouddhisme, Hiouen-thsang attribue a 
Panini deux existences, la premiere a une epoque ou 
la vie de Thomme etait plus longue qu'a present, et 
la seconde vers l'an 500 apres la mort de Bouddha, 
c'est-a-dire au temps du second Vikramaditya, un 
siecle environ apres le regne de Kanika. Dans sa 
premiere existence, Panini professait le brahmanisme; 
mais dans la seconde il se convertit avec son pere au 
bouddhisme." M. Reinaud pointed out with great 
sagacity the various consequences which would follow 
from such a statement, and he remarked besides that 
the fact of the Yavanani (lipi), the writing of the 
Ionians or the Greeks, being mentioned in Panini, 
would likewise tend to place that grammarian rather 
later than was commonly supposed. 

The same legend, thus partially translated from 
Hiouen-thsang, was made by Professor Weber the 
key-stone of a new system of Indian chronology. 
Admitting the double existence of Panini, he says 
that his second existence falls 500 years after Buddha, 
or 100 after Kanishka, whom Hiouen-thsang places 
400 after Buddha. The date assigned by Hiouen- 
thsang to Kanishka is rejected by Professor Weber. 
He takes, however, the real date of Kanishka, as es- 
tablished on numismatic evidence, about 40 a. d. ; 
he then adds to it the hundred years, which, ac- 


cording to the constructive chronology of the Northern 
Buddhists, elapsed between Kanishka and Panini, 
and thus deduces 140 a.d. as a new date for Panini. 

Without entering into the merits of these calcula- 
tions, we are enabled by the publication of the com- 
plete translation of Hiouen-thsang to show that, in 
reality, the Chinese pilgrim never placed Panini so 
late as 500 after Buddha. On the contrary, he re- 
presents the reputation of that old grammarian as 
firmly established at that time, and his grammar as 
the grammar then taught to all children. I subjoin 
the extracts from Hiouen-thsang : 

" Apres avoir fait environ vingt li au nord-ouest de 
la ville de Ou-to-kia-han-tfcha (Udakhanda ?), il 
arriva a la ville de P 'o-lo-tou-lo (Salatura) qui donna 
le jour au Rishi Po-ni-ni (Panini), auteur du Traite 
Ching-ming-lun (Vyakaranam). 

" Dans la haute antiquite, les mots de la langue 
etaient extremement nombreux ; mais quand le 
monde eut ete detruit, l'univers se trouva vide et 
desert. Des dieux d'une longevity extraordinaire 
descendirent sur la terre pour servir de guides aux 
peuples. Telle fut Torigine des lettres et des livres. 
A partir de cette epoque, leur source s'agrandit et 
depassa les bornes. Le dieu Fan (Brahman) et le roi 
du ciel (Indra) etablirent des regies et se confor- 
merent au temps. Des Rishis heretiques compo- 
serent chacun des mots. Les hommes les prirent pour 
modeles, continue rent leur oeuvre, et travaillerent a 
l'envi pour en conserver la tradition ; mais les tudi- 
ants faisaient de vains efforts, et il leur etait difficile 
d'en approfondir le sens. 

" A l'epoque oil la vie des hommes etait reduite a 
cent ans, on vit paraitre le Rishi Po-ni-ni (Panini), 

306 PANlNl'S DATE. 

qui etait instruit des sa naissance et possedait un 
vaste savoir. Afflige de l'ignorance du siecle, il 
voulut retrancher les notions vagues et fausses, de- 
barrasser la langue des mots superflus et en fixer les 
lois. Comme il voyageait pour faire des recherches et 
s'instruire, il rencontra le dieu Tseu-thsdi (lsvara 
Deva), et lui exposa le plan de l'ouvrage qu'il me- 

" c A merveille !' lui dit le dieu Tseu-Thsdi (lsvara 
Deva) ; l vous pouvez compter sur mon secours.' 

M Apres avoir re9u ses instructions, le Rishi se 
retira. II se livra alors a des recherches profondes, 
et d^ploya toute la vigueur de son esprit. II re- 
cueillit une multitude d'expressions, et composa un 
livre de mots 1 qui renfermait mille slokas ; chaque 
sloka etait de trente-deux syllabes. 11 sonda, jusqu'a 
leurs dernieres limites, les connaissances anciennes et 
nouvelles, et ay ant rassemble, dans cet ouvrage, les 
lettres et les mots, il le init sous une enveloppe 
cachet^e et le pr^senta au roi, qui en con cut autant 
d'estime que d'admiration. II rendit un decret qui 
ordonnait a tous ses sujets de l'etudier et de Ten- 
seigner aux autres. II ajouta que quiconque pourrait 
le reciter, d'un bout a Tautre, recevrait, pour recom- 
pense, mille pieces d'or. De la vient que, grace aux 
lecons successives des maitres, cet ouvrage est encore 
aujourd'hui en grand honneur. C'est pourquoi les 
Brahmanes de cette ville ont une science solide et des 
talents eleves, et se distinguent a la fois par l'etendue 

1 " Livre de mots " is intended as the title of Panini's grammar, 
which was "Sabdanusasanam." This title is left out in the Calcutta 
edition, and likewise in Professor Bohtlingk's edition of Panini. 
See Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, vii. 

pAnini's date. 307 

Je leurs connaissances et la riehesse de leur 

"Dans la ville de Po-lo-tou-lo (lisez So-lo-tou-lo 
Salatura), il y a un Stupa. Ce fut en cet endroit 
qu'un Lo-han (un Arhat) convertit un disciple de 
Po-ni-ni (Panini). Cinq cents ans apres que Jou-lai 
(le Tathagata) eut quitte le monde, il y eut un grand 
'O-lo-han (Arhat) qui, venant du royaume de Kia- 
chi-mi-lo (Cachemire), voyageait pour convertir les 
hommes. Quand il fut arrive dans ce pays, il vit un 
Fan-tchi (un Brahmacharin) occupe a foqetter un 
petit garcon qu'il instruisait. ' Pourquoi maltraitez- 
vous cet enfant?' dit Y Arhat au Fan-tchi (Brah- 

" ' Je lui fais etudier,' repondit-il, l le Traite de la 
Science des Sons (Ching-ming Vy&karanam), mais 
il ne fait aucun progres.' 

11 V Arhat se derida et laissa echapper un sourire. 
Le vieux Fan-tchi (Brahmacharin) lui dit: ' Les 
Cha-men (Sramanas) ont un coeur affectueux et com- 
patissant, et s'apitoient sur les creatures qui souffrent. 
L'homme plein d'humanite vient de sourire tout a 
Theure ; je desirerais en connaitre la cause.' 

" ' 11 n'est pas difficile de vous l'apprendre,' repon- 
dit 1' Arhat, 'mais je crains de faire naitre en vous un 
doute d'incredulite. Vous avez, sans doute, entendu 
dire qu'un Rishi, nomrae Po-ni-ni (Panini) a compose 
le Traite* Ching-ming-lun (Vyakaranam), et qu'il l'a 
laisse, apres lui, pour l'instruction du monde.' Le 
Po-lo-men (le Brahmane) lui dit : ' Les enfants de 
cette ville, qui sont tous ses disciples, reverent sa 
vertu, et la statue, 61eve en son honneur, subsiste 
encore aujourd'hui.' 

* ' Eh bien ! ' repartit V Arhat, c cet enfant, a qui 


vous avez donne le jour, est precisement ce Rishi. 
(Dans sa vie anterieure,) il employait sa forte me- 
moire a etudier les livres profanes ; il ne parlait que 
. des trails heretiques et ne cherchait point la verite. 
Son esprit et sa science deperirent, et il parcourut, 
sans s'arreter, le cercle de la vie et de la mort, Grace 
a un reste de vertu, il a obtenu de devenir votre fils 
bien-aime. Mais les livres profanes et l'eloquence du 
siecle ne donnent que des peines inutiles. Pourrait- 
on les comparer aux saintes instructions de Jou-la'i 
(du TatMgata), qui, par une influence secrete pro- 
curent l'intelligence et le bonheur ? 

" ' Jadis, sur les bords de la mer du midi, il y avait 
un arbre desseche dont le tronc -creux donnait asile a 
cinq cents chauves-souris. Des marchands s'arre- 
terent un jour au pied de cet arbre. Comme il regnait 
alors un vent glacial, ces hommes, qui taient tour- 
mentes par la faim et le froid, amasserent du bois et 
des broussailles et allumerent du feu au pied de 
Tarbre. La fiamme s^ccrut par degres et embrasa 
bientftt Tarbre desseche. 

" i Dans ce moment, il y eut un des marchands qui, 
apres le milieu de la nuit, se mit a lire, a haute voix, 
le Kecueil de V O-pi-ta-mo (de TAbhidharma). Les 
c auves-souris, quoique tourmentees par l'ardeur du 
feu, e'couterent avec amour les accents de la loi, 
supporterent la douleur sans sortir de leur retraite, 
et y terminerent leur vie. En consequence de cette 
conduite vertueuse, elles obtinrent de renaitre dans 
la classe des hommes. Elles quitterent la famille, se 
livrerent a l'etude, et, grace aux accents de la loi, 
qu'elles avaient jadis entendus, elles acquirent une 
rare intelligence, obtinrent toutes ensemble la dignite 
d'Arhat, et cultiverent, de siecle en siecle, le champ 


du bonheur. Dans ces derniers temps, le roiKia-ni- 
se-kia (Kanishka) etl'honorable Hie (Arya Parsvika) 
con voque rent cinq cents sages dans le royaume de 
Kia-chi-mi-lo (Cachemire), et composerent le Pi-po- 
cha-lun (le VibMsha-sastra). Tous ces sages etaient 
les cinq cents chauves-souris qui habitaient jadis le 
creux de l'arbre desseche. Quoique j'aie un esprit 
borne, j'etais moi-meme l r une d'elles. Mais les hom- 
ines different entre eux par la superiorite ou la m6- 
diocrite de leur esprit; les uns prennent leur essor, 
tandis que les autres rampent dans Tobscurite. Main- 
tenant, 6 homme plein d'humanite, il faut que vous 
permettiez a votre fils bien-aime de quitter la famille. 
En quittant la famille (en embrassant la vie reli- 
gieuse), on acquiert des merites ineffables.' 

a Lorsque VArhat eut acheve ces paroles, il donna 
une preuve de sa puissance divine en disparaissant a 
l'instant meme. 

" Le Brahmane se sentit penetre de foi et de 
respect, et apres avoir fait clater son admiration, il 
alia raconter cet evenement dans tout le voisinage. 
II permit aussitot a son fils d'embrasser la vie re- 
ligieuse et de se livrer a Tetude. Lui-meme se con- 
vertit immediatement, et montra la plus grande 
estime pour les trois Precieux. Les hommes de son 
village suivirent son exemple, et, aujourd'hui encore, 
les habitants s'affermissent de jour en jour dans la foi. 

" En partant au nord de la ville de Ou-to-kia-han- 
fcha ( Udakhanda ?), il franchit des montagnes, 
traversa des vallees, et, apres avoir fait environ six 
cents li, il arriva au royaume de Ou-tchang-na 1 
(Udyana). 2 

Inde du nord. 

les contrees 

x 3 

2 Memoires sur les contrees occidentales, traduits du Sanscrit 


Whatever the historical value of this legend may 
be, it is quite clear that it lends no support of any 
kind to the opinion of those who would place the 
grammarian Panini 500 years after Buddha, or 100 
years after Kanishka. 

It is possible that the inquiries into the ancient 
literature of Buddhism, particularly in China, may 
bring to light some new dates, and help us in un- 
ravelling the chronological traditions of the Brah- 
mans of India. The services already .rendered to 
Sanskrit archaeology by the publications of M. Stanis- 
las Julien are of the highest value, and they hold out 
the promise of a still larger harvest; but for the 
present we must be satisfied with what we possess, 
and we must guard most carefully against rash con- 
clusions, derived from evidence that would break 
down under the slightest pressure. Even without the 
support which it was attempted to derive from 
Hiouen-thsang, Katyayana's date is as safe as any date 
is likely to be in ancient Oriental chronology ; and the 
connection between Katyayana and his predecessors 
and successors, supported as it is not only by tradi- 
tion but by the character of their works which we 
still possess, supplies the strongest confirmation of 
our chronological calculations. As to other works 
of the Sutra period, there are no doubt many, 
the date of which cannot be fixed by any external 
evidence. Tradition is completely silent as to the 
age of many of their authors. With regard to them 

en Chinois, en Tan 648, par Hiouen-thsang, et du Chinois en 
Francais par M. Stanislas Julien, Membre de l'lnstitut ; tome i. p. 
125 ; Voyages des Pelerins Bouddhistes, vol. ii. See also the 
author's edition of the Rig-veda and Pratisakhya, Introduction, 
p. 12. 

RESUME. 311 

we must trust, at least for the present, to the simi- 
larity of their style and character with the writings 
of those authors whose age has been fixed. It is 
possible that the works of earlier authors quoted by 
Yaska and Panini and others might still come to light, 
if any systematic search for ancient MSS. was made 
in different parts of India. Many works are quoted 
by Sayana, Devaraja, Ujjvaladatta, and other modern 
writers, which are not to be found in any European 
Library. Some of them may still be recovered. 1 We 
must not, however, expect too much. Vast as the 
ancient literature of India has been, we must bear in 
mind that part of it existed in oral tradition only, 
and was never consigned to writing. In India, where 
before the time of Panini we have no evidence of 
any written literature, it by no means follows that, 
because an early Rishi is quoted in support of a 
theory, whether philosophical or grammatical, there 
ever existed a work written by him with pen and ink. 
His doctrines were handed down from generation 
to generation ; but, once erased from the tablets 
of memory, they could never be recovered. 

In the Sutras which we still possess, it is most 
important to observe the gradual change of style, 
oaunaka's style, when compared with that of his 
successors, is natural, both in prose and verse. His 
prose more particularly runs sometimes so easily and 
is so free from the artificial contrivances of the later 
Sutras, that it seems a mistake to apply to it the 

1 According to the opinion of M. Fitz-Edward Hall, a scholar 
of the most extensive acquaintance with Sanskrit literature, the 
number of distinct Sanskrit works in existence is, probably, not 
less than ten thousand. (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 
1858, p. 305.) 

x 4 

312 RESUME. 

name of Sutra. It is not unlikely that this title was 
assigned to his works at a time when its meaning had 
not yet been restricted either to the long " yarns " 
of the Buddhists or to the compendious paragraphs 
of the Brahman s, and we may well believe the state- 
ment that Saunaka's works on the ceremonial re- 
sembled more the Brahmanas than the later Sutras. 
Asvalayana's style is still intelligible, and less 
cramped by far than the style of the Nirukta, a work 
commonly ascribed to Yaska, the collector of the 
Nighantus. Panini is more artificial. He is no 
longer writing and composing, but he squeezes and 
distils his thoughts, and puts them before us in a form 
which hardly deserves the name of style. Katyayana 
is still more algebraic; but it is in Pingala that the 
absurdity of the Sutras becomes complete. If any 
writers succeeded him, they could hardly have ex- 
celled him in enigmatic obscurity, and we may well 
believe that he was one of the last writers of Sutras. 
The authors of the Parisishtas, unwilling to wear 
the strait-jacket of the Sutrakaras, and unable to 
invent a more appropriate dress, adopted the slovenly 
metre of epic poetry, well adapted for legendary 
narration, but unfit for scientific discussion. 




Having assigned to the Sutra literature of India 
the wide limits of a period extending from 600 to 
200 B.C., we have now to examine another and con- 
fessedly more ancient class of Vedic writings, differ- 
ing in style both from the Sutras, which are posterior, 
and from the Mantras, which are anterior to them. 
These are called by the comprehensive name of 
Brahmanas. But as between the Sutras and the 
later Sanskrit literature we discovered a connecting 
link in the writings known under the name of Pari- 
sishtas, so we meet on the frontier between the Brah- 
mana and the Sutra literature, with a class of works, 
intermediate between the Brahmanas and Sutras, 
which claim to be considered first. These are the 
Aranyakas, or " The Treatises of the Forest." 

The Aranyakas. 

The Aranyakas are so called, as Sayana informs 
us, because they had to be read in the forest. 1 It 

1 Sayana on the Taittiriyaranyaka. ^Sf< U|l >g T*H f^ rte l * 

And again, HrKKWJ *f TTspft ^Y?S^tf^ll Parts of 
the Taittiriyaranyaka are exempted from the restriction that they 


might almost seem as if they were intended for the 
Vanaprasthas only, people who, after having per- 
formed all the duties of a student and a householder, 
retire from the world to the forest to end their days 
in the contemplation of the deity. Thus it is said 
in the Arunikopanishad, that the Sannydsin, the man 
who no longer recites the Mantras and no longer 
performs sacrifices, is bound to read, out of all the 
Vedas, only the Aranyaka or the Upanishad. In 
several instances the Aranyakas form part of the 
Br&hmanas, and they are thus made to share the 
authority of Sruti or revelation. We have seen, 
however, that part of an Aranyaka was ascribed to 
a human author, to Asvalayana. Another part is 
quoted by Sayana, in his Commentary on the Eig- 
veda l , as being a Sutra work of Saunaka's. Cole- 
brooke found, in one transcript of this Aranyaka, 
that it was ascribed to Asvalayana ; but he remarks, 
" probably by an error of the transcriber." This is 
not the case; and it is a good proof of a certain 
critical conscience even amongst the orthodox dog- 
should be read in the forest only: *J [ ^ HgT^ftf^rf^fT * *TTf%- 
^Tf^T^fJ'g^T I ' an( l nence tue y are ran ged with the Brahmanas, 

i p. 112. MHWKgqr ^fc'M4i4Mftftf4 ^ ift- 

ftf^ ^ Tt^T I These words occur in the Aitareyaranyaka, v. 2. 

ii. ^crensj^^ Tf?r a$% *TRfi Tfafafa ^ i 

Other passages quoted by Sayana from this Aranyaka can always 
be identified in the Aitareyaranyaka. Cf. Colebrooke, Misc. 
Essays, i. 46. 


matists of the Hindus, that they acknowledged a cer- 
tain difference between the Brahmanas and Aran- 
yakas, although it was of great importance to them, 
particularly in their orthodox philosophy, to be able 
to appeal to passages from the Aranyakas as in- 
vested with a sacred authority. The most important 
Upanishads, which are full of philosophy and theo- 
sophy, form part of the Aranyakas,' and particularly 
in later times the Aranyaka was considered the quint- 
essence of the Vedas. 1 Nevertheless it is acknow- 
ledged by Indian authors 2 that a mistake may be 
made, and the work of a human author may be er- 
roneously received as a part of the sacred book by 
those who are unacquainted with its true origin. 
An instance, they say, occurs among those who use 
the Bahvrich, a sakha of the Rig-veda, by whom a 
ritual of Asvalayana has been admitted, under the 
title of the fifth Aranyaka, as a part of the Rig-veda. 
That the Aranyakas presuppose the existence of 
the Brahmanas may be clearly seen from the Bri- 
hadaranyaka, of which we possess now a complete 
edition by Dr. Roer, of Calcutta, together with two 

1 Mahabharata i. 258. : " This body of the Mahabharata (the 
index) is truth and immortality ; it is like new butter from curds, 
like the Brahman among men, like the Aranyaka from the Vedas, 
like nectar from medicinal plants, like the sea, the best among lakes, 
like the cow, the highest among animals." Thus the Upanishad 
is called the essence of the Veda; 6atap.-brahm. x. 3. 5. 12. 

TO 3T T?TO *^Y T* T^Hprt^l 

2 This is taken from Colebrooke's extracts from the Purva- 
mimansa ; a system of philosophy of which it would be most 
desirable to have a complete edition. (Miscellaneous Essays, i. 
307.) Dr. Goldstiicker, of Konigsberg, has collected large ma- 
terials for such a work ; and I trust he will shortly find an op- 
portunity of publishing the important results of his studies. 


Sanskrit commentaries. If we take for instance the 
story of Janaka, who promised a large prize to the 
wisest Brahman at his sacrifice, and compare this 
story, as it is given in the Satapatha-brahmana (xi. 
4. 6.) with the third Adhyaya of the Brihadaraiiyaka 
where the same subject occurs, we find in the Aran- 
yaka all the details given almost in the same words 
as in the Brahmana, but enlarged with so many addi- 
tions, particularly with respect to the philosophical 
disputations which take place between Yajnavalkya 
and the other Brahmans, that we cannot hesitate for a 
moment to consider the Aranyaka as an enlargement 
upon the Brahmana. 

The chief interest which the Aranyakas possess at 
the present moment consists in their philosophy. 
The philosophical chapters well known under the 
name of Upanishads are almost the only portion of 
Vedic literature which is extensively read to this day. 
They contain, or are supposed to contain, the highest 
authority on which the various systems of philosophy 
in India rest. Not only the Vedanta philosopher, 
who, by his very name, professes his faith in the ends 
and objects of the Veda, 1 but the Sankhya, the Vaise- 
shika, the Nyaya, and Yoga philosophers, all pretend 
to find in the Upanishads some warranty for their 
tenets, however antagonistic in their bearing. The 
same applies to the numerous sects that have existed 
and still exist in India. Their founders, if they have 

1 Vedanta is used, but not yet in its technical sense, Taittiriya- 
aranyaka, x. 12. ; a verse frequently repeated elsewhere. 

ft ^u^fg ircm^T^ M<njdi : irf^p^r *"in 


any pretensions to orthodoxy, invariably appeal to 
some passage in the Upanishads in order to substan- 
tiate their own reasonings. Now it is true that in 
the Upanishads themselves there is so much freedom 
and breadth of thought that it is not difficult to find 
in them some authority for almost any shade of phi- 
losophical opinion. The old Upanishads did not pre- 
tend to give more than u guesses at truth," and 
when, in course of time, they became invested with 
an inspired character, they allowed great latitude to 
those who professed to believe in them as revelation. 
Yet this was not sufficient for the rank growth of 
philosophical doctrines during the latter ages of In- 
dian history ; and when none of the ancient Upa- 
nishads could be found to suit the purpose, the 
founders of new sects had no scruple and no diffi- 
culty in composing new Upanishads of their own. 
This accounts for the large and ever growing number 
of these treatises. Every new collection of MSS., 
every new list of Upanishads given by native writers, 
adds to the number of those which were known be- 
fore; and the most modern compilations seem now 
to enjoy the same authority as the really genuine 

The original Upanishads had their place in the 
Aranyakas and Brahmanas. There is only one in- 
stance of a Sanhita containing Upanishads the 
Vajasaneyi-sanhita, which comprises the Isa-upa- 
nishad, forming the 40th book, and the Sivasankalpa, 
forming part of the 34th book. This, however, so 
far from proving the greater antiquity of that Upa- 
nishad, only serves to confirm the modern date of the 
whole collection known under the name of Vajasa- 


neyi-sanhita. 1 But though the proper place of the 
genuine Upanishads was in the Brahmanas, and here 
chiefly in those secondary portions commonly called 
Aranyakas, yet in later times, the Upanishads ob- 
tained a more independent position, and though they 
still professed to belong more particularly to one or 
the other of the four Yedas, that relationship became 
very lax and changeable. 

The true etymological meaning of the word Upa- 
nishad had been forgotten in India. It is generally 
explained by rahasya, or guhyd ddesdh, mystery ; and 
an artificial etymology is given, according to which 
Upanishad would mean u destruction of passion or 
ignorance, by means of divine revelation." 2 The ori- 
ginal signification of the word, however, must have 
been that of sitting down near somebody in order to 
listen, or in order to meditate and worship. Thus 
we find up + sad used in the sense of sitting and 
worshipping : 

Kv. ix. 11. 6. Namasa it lipa sidata, " Approach 
him with praise." 

Ev. x. 73. 11. Vayali suparna/h lipa sedur Fn- 
dram priyamedhah rishayah na/dhamanah, " The 
poets with good thoughts have approached Indra 
begging, like birds with beautiful wings." 

The root ds, which has the same meaning as sad, 
to sit, if joined with the preposition upa, expresses 
the same idea as upa sad, i. e. to approach respect- 
fully, to worship (Rv. x. 153. 1). It is frequently 
used to express the position which the pupil occupies 

1 Mahidhara maintains that some parts of the Upanishad were 
aimed at the Buddhists, who denied the existence of an intelligent 
Self, called life a water bubble, and knowledge intoxication. 

2 Colebrooke, Essays, i. 92. 


when listening to his teacher, 1 and it clearly expresses 
a position of inferiority in such passages as, Sat.- 
br&hmana, i. 3. 4. 15 : "tasmad upary&sinam ksha- 
triyam adhastad imah praja upasate," " therefore 
those people below (the Vis or Vaisyas) sit under, or 
pay respect to the Kshatriya who sits above. ,, Still 
more decisive is another passage in the same work 
(ix. 4. 3. 3), where upanishddin is used in the sense 
of subject : " kshatraya tad visam adhastad upanisha- 
dinim karoti," " he thus makes the Vis below subject 
to the Kshatriya." There can be little doubt there- 
fore that Upanishad meant originally the act of 
sitting down near a teacher, 2 of submissively listening 
to him ; and it is easy to trace the steps by which it 
came to mean implicit faith, 3 and, at last, truth or 
divine revelation. 

The songs of the Veda contained but little of 
philosophy or theosophy, and what the Brahmans 
call the higher knowledge is not to be sought for in 
the hymns of the Rishis. "What," 4 says the author 
of the Svetasvatara-upanishad, " what shall a man 
do with the hymns, who does not know that eternal 
word of the hymns in the highest heaven, that in 
which all the gods are absorbed ? Those who know 
it, they are blessed." The same sentiment is fre- 

1 Pan. iii. 4. 72. comment. : Upasito gurum bhavan ; and upa- 
sito gurur bhavata. 

2 In this sense Upanishad is frequently used in the plural, and 
signifies sessions. 

3 Chhandogya-upanishad, i. 1. 9. '4J^'c| fifpfl RT^"fW 

^nnJfafa^l <T^ efHlTK I " What a man performs 
with knowledge, trust, and faith, that is effectual." 

4 Svetasvatara-upanishad, ed. Roer, Bibliotheca Indica, vii. 


quently expressed, but nowhere with greater force 
than in a passage of the Katha-upanishad 1 , a passage 
most remarkable in many respects. " That divine 
Self," the poet says, " is not to be grasped by tra- 
dition 2 , nor by understanding, nor by all revelation ; 
by him whom He himself chooses, by him alone is 
He to be grasped ; that Self chooses his body as his 
own," Kammohun Roy when he visited the British 
Museum and found the late Dr. Rosen engaged in 
preparing an edition of the hymns of the Yeda, ex- 
pressed his surprise at so useless an undertaking. 
But the same philosopher looked upon the Upani- 
shads as worthy to become the foundation of a new 
religion, and he published several of them himself 
with notes and translations. " The adoration of the 
invisible Supreme Being," he writes, " is exclusively 
prescribed by the Upanishads or the principal parts 
of the Veda, and also by the Vedant," and if other 
portions of the Veda seem to be in contradiction with 
the pure doctrine of the Upanishads, he hints that 
the whole work must not only be stripped of its autho- 
rity, but looked upon as altogether unintelligible. 3 

The early Hindus did not find any difficulty in 
reconciling the most different and sometimes con- 
tradictory opinions in their search after truth ; and a 
most extraordinary medley of oracular sayings might 
.be collected from the Upanishads, even from those 
which are genuine and comparatively ancient, all 
tending to elucidate the darkest points of philosophy 
and religion, the creation of the world, the nature of 

1 II. 23. It is also found in the Mundaka. 

* Pravachana, tradition, the Brahmanas ; see p. 109. Commen- 
tary : " ekavedasvikaranena," " by learning one Veda." 

3 Translation of the Kena-upanishad by Rammohun Roy, Cal- 
cutta, 1816, p. 6. 


God, the relation of man to God, and similar subjects. 
That one statement should be contradicted by another 
seems never to have been felt as any serious difficulty. 
Thus we read in the first verse of the Svetasvatara- 
upanishad : " Is Brahman the cause ? Whence are we 
born ? By what do we live ? Where do we go ? 
At whose command do we walk after the Law, in 
happiness and misery ? Is Time the cause, or Na- 
ture, or Law, or Chance, or the Elements ? Is Man 
to be taken as the source of all ? Nor is it their 
union, because there must be an independent Self, 
and even that independent Self has no power over 
that which causes happiness and pain." ! The an- 
swers returned to such questions are naturally vague 
and various. Thus Madhava in his Commentary on 
Parasara, quotes first from the Bahvricha-upanishad. 
" In the beginning this (world) was Self alone, there 
was nothing else winking. He thought, Let me create 
the worlds, Bnd he created these worlds." From this 
it would follow that the absolute Self was supposed 
to have created everything out of nothing. But im- 
mediately afterwards Madhava quotes from another 
Upanishad, the iSvetasvatara (IV. 10.), where Maya 
or delusion is called the principle, and the Great 
Lord himself, the deluded. 2 This is evidently an 

'srfvfefTT: 5N ^%n^5 snfro% "sTuf^fr ^nsrfli 



allusion to Sankhya doctrines, but Madhava explains 
it in a different sense. He maintains that here also 
the Divine Self is meant by the Great Lord, and that 
Delusion is only one of his powers, as heat is a power 
of fire. 1 And he appeals to another passage in the 
same Upanishad (I. 3.), where it is said " that sages 
endowed with meditation and intuition, saw the 
power of the Divine Self, concealed by his own 
qualities." This same interpretation is adopted in 
the Sutras of the Vedanta- philosophy, but it by no 
means follows that therefore it is the true one. 
The principal interest of the older Upanishads con- 
sists in the absence of that systematic uniformity 
which we find in the later systems of philosophy, and 
it is to be regretted that nearly all scholars who have 
translated portions of the Upanishads have allowed 
themselves to be guided by the Brahmanic commen- 
tators. The commentators wrote all, more or less, 
under the influence of philosophical systems, and 
thought themselves justified in explaining the Upani- 
shads in such a manner that they should agree, even 
in the most minute points, with the Sutras of the 
philosophical schools. But the authors of the Upani- 
shads were poets rather than philosophers. Truth 
itself assumed, in their eyes, an aspect varying ac- 


cording to their own feelings and misgivings. We saw- 
that the Bahvricha-upanishad placed Atman or the 
Self at the beginning of all things. The Taittiriya- 
upanishad 1 speaks of Brahman the true, omniscient, 
and infinite, and derives from it the ether, the air, 
fire, water, earth, plants, food, seed, and body. 2 This, 
in the eyes of the later commentators, may appear 
substantially the same doctrine as that of the Bahv- 
richa-upanishad. But to us it is of interest to mark 
the difference, and to watch the various attempts 
which were made to express the idea* of a creator. 
The Bahvrichas, by calling him Atman in the mascu- 
line, showed that they were impressed more strongly 
with the idea of a, personal Being; the Taittiriyas, 
speaking of Brahman as neuter, gave more promi- 
nence to the idea of a Power. It was an epoch in 
the history of the human mind when the identity of 
the masculine Self and the neutral Brahman was for 
the first time perceived, and the name of the dis- 
coverer has not been forgotten. It was Sandilya 
who declared that the Self within our heart is Brah- 
man (Chhand.-up. iii. 4. 14. p. 208.), and this tenet, 
somewhat amplified, is quoted as "Sandilya's wis- 
dom " by the author of the Satapatha-brahmana (x. 
6. 3.). Other sages among the Chhandogas 3 again 

Bibl. Ind. vii. 56. 

2 Purusha is body rather than man. Madhava says: cT^f 

3 Chhand.-up. vi. 2. ; Bibl. Ind. iii. 394. ^q^ T p)^ ^ 

Y 2 


speak simply of a Sat, or a Being, which desired to be 
many, and created the light, the light flowing into 
water, the water into food, and so on. The Athar- 
vanikas speak of the Creator as Akshara, and it must 
remain doubtful whether they connected with this 
word the idea of the Indestructible or of Element. 1 
The term used by the Vajasaneyins is Avydkrita, or 
the Undeveloped. Every one of these terms had 
originally a meaning of its own, and though in later 
times they may all be used synonymously, they ought 
to be kept distinct when we are tracing the history 
of the human mind. Some of the ancient sages, 
after having arrived at the idea of Avyakrita, Un- 
developed, went even beyond, and instead of the Sat 
or to oj/, they postulated an Asat, to pr) ov, as the 
beginning of all things. Thus we read in the 
Chhandogya-upanishad 2 : " And some say, in the 
beginning there was Asat (not being), alone, without 
a second; and from this Asat might the Sat be 

But in spite of the great variety of philosophical 
thought on this and similar subjects that was to be 
found in the Upanishads, the want of new Upanishads 
was felt by the sects which sprang up in every part of 

fT^S^rrn fT%5T XN?T *T1? fit T^rT^fw <T^"- 

1 See Gold stacker's Dictionary, s. v. Madhava says : ^C^Tf 

2 Chhand.-up. vi. 1. ?T^f ^l3K<i\^*TO ^mff^m- 
^Tf^rfN WITUfT: ^^TT^rTI 


India. 1 The old Upanishads, however, were not re- 
jected, and to the present day the ten which are chiefly 
studied in Bengal are the Brihadaranyaka, the Aitareya, 
Chhandogya, Taittiriya, Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, 
Mundaka and Mandukya-upanishads. Every one of 
these has been published, and we possess an excellent 
edition both of text and commentary by Dr. Roer in 
the volumes of the Bibliotheca Indica. The whole 
number of Upanishads, however, known to be or to 
have been in existence, is much larger. It was com- 
monly stated at 62 2 , but it has lately been brought as 
high as 108 3 , and even higher. Some of the titles 
given in various lists belong most likely to smaller 
portions of certain Upanishads, and these extracts, 
adopted by some sect or other, were afterwards quoted 
as independent treatises. 4 Many are of very modern 
origin, and have no right to be mentioned in connec- 
tion with Vedic literature. In order, however, to 
have this whole mass of literature together, every work 
that claims the title of Upanishad on any ground 
whatsoever, has been incorporated in an alphabetical 
list, which will be printed as an Appendix. There are 
several works which had to be consulted in drawing 
up this list. First, Anquetil Duperron's Oupnekhat 5 , a 

1 Ward, A View of the History, Literature, and Mythology of 
the Hindus, ii. 61. 

2 Ward, loc. cit. p. 61. 

3 W. Elliot, Journal of the As. Soc. of Bengal, 1851, p. 607. 

4 The Maitreyi-upanishad (29. 89.) is probably meant for the 
Dialogue between Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi in the Brihadaran- 
yaka. The 6andilya-upanishad (57. 105.) seems to be a portion of 
the Chhandogya-upanishad. 

5 Oupnekhat, id est, Secretum tegendum : opus ipsa in India 
rarissimum continens antiquam et arcanam, seu theologicam et 
philosophicam doctrinam, e quatuor sacris Indorum libris, Kak 

y 3 


work which contains the translation of fifty Upani- 
shads from Persian into Latin. [The author of this 
Persian translation is supposed to be Ddrd ShaJcoh, 
the eldest son of Shah Jehan, and pupil of Babu Lai ; 
but in reality the work seems to have been per- 
formed by several Pandits, whom that enlightened 
prince called from Benares to Delhi, ordering them 
to translate some of their sacred works into Persian. 
Three years after the accomplishment of their work, 
their patron was put to death by his brother Aurung- 

beid, Djedjer baid, Sam baid, Athrban baid, excerptara ; ad ver- 
bum, e Persico idiomate, Samskreticis vocabulis intermixto, in 
Latinum conversum ; Dissertationibus et Annotationibus diffici- 
liora explanantibus, illustratum : studio et opera Anquetil Du- 
perron, Indicopleustse. Argentorat*, typis et impensis fratrum 
Levrault, vol. i. 1801 : vol. ii. 1802. 

Duperron received a MS. of the Persian translation of the 
Upanishads from M. Gentil, the French resident at the court of 
Soudjaeddaulah. It was brought from Bengal to France by M. 
Bernier, in the year 1775. Duperron, after receiving another 
MS., collated the two, and translated the Persian into French (not 
published) and into literal Latin. 

The Persian translation, of which several other MSS. exist, 
bears the following title in Duperron's translation: " Hanc inter- 
pretationem rwv Oupneknathai quorumvis quatuor librorum Beid, 
quod, designatum cum secreto magno (per secretum magnum) est, 
et integram cognitionem luminis luminum, hie Fakir sine tristitia 
(Sultan) Mohammed Dara Schakoh ipse, cum significatione recta, 
cum sinceritate, in tempore sex mensium, (postremo die, secundo 
rov Schonbeh, vigesimo,) sexto mensis rov Ramazzan, anno 1067 
tov Hedjri (Christi, 1657) in urbe Delhi, in mansione nakhe nou- 
deh, cum absolutione ad finem fecit pervenire." 

The MS. was copied by Atma Ram in the year 1767 a.d. 
Duperron adds : Absolutum est hoc Apographum versionis Latina3 
tG)v quinquaginta Oupnekhatha, ad verbum, e Persico idiomate, 
Samscreticis vocabulis intermixto, factaa, die 9 Octobris, 1795, 
18 Brumaire, anni 4, Reipubl. Gall. Parisiis. 


zeb. 1 ] Secondly, there is Colebrooke's Essay on the 
Vedas, which gives a more complete enumeration of 
the Upanishads. Thirdly, Weber's Analysis of Duper- 
ron's translation of the Upanishads, in his " Indian 
Studies." Fourthly, an article by Mr. W. Elliot in 
the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1851, 
giving an account of Upanishads known in the South 
of India, among the Telugu Brahmans. Fifthly, 
Dr. Eoer's introductions to the various Upanishads, 
edited and translated by him in the volumes of the 
Bibliotheca Indica. There are other works, the well- 
known pamphlets of Rammohun Roy, the Essays of 
Pauthier, Poley, d'Eckstein, Windischmann, and the 
publications of the Tattvabodhini Society, ' all of 
which had to be consulted in drawing up our own 
alphabetical list. 

The names of the authors of the principal Upa- 
nishads 2 are unknown. This is owing to the very 
character of these works. They contain authorita- 
tive statements on the highest questions, and such 
statements would lose all authority if they were re- 
presented to the people at large as the result of 
human reasoning and imagination. They, in a 
higher degree than any other part of the Vedas, must 

1 Elphinstone, History of India, ii. 446. An earlier instance 
of a translation of the Upanishads is mentioned in Elliot's His- 
torians of India, i. 260. " Abdul Kadir, author of the Tarikh- 
badaum, who died at the close of the 16th century, says that he 
was called upon to translate the Atharvana-veda from the Hindi, 
which he excused himself from doing on account of the exceeding 
difficulty of the style and abstruseness of meaning ; upon which 
the task devolved on Haji Ibrahim Sirhindi, who accomplished it 

2 Some of the most modern Upanishads are confessedly the 
works of Gaudapada, 6ankara, and other more recent philosophers. 

Y 4 


have been considered from the very beginning as re- 
velation, and as directly communicated to the world 
by the Supreme Spirit. This sentiment is clearly 
expressed in the beginning of the Mundaka-upanishad: 
" Brahman (masc), the creator of the universe, the 
preserver of the world, appeared first among the gods. 
He taught the knowledge of Brahman (neuter), the 
foundation of all knowledge, to Atharvan, his eldest 
son. Atharvan long ago imparted the knowledge of 
Brahman, which Brahman had explained to him, to 
Angis; he told it to Satyavaha Bharadvaja, Bharad- 
vaja in succession to Angiras. Saunaka, the great 
lord, approached Angiras respectfully, and asked : 
i What is it through which, if known, all this becomes 
known ? ' " l It is stated that the text of the Upa- 
nishads, after it had once been revealed, was never 
affected by differences, arising from the oral tradition 
of various Sakhas ; and in one instance where various 
texts of the same Upanishad have been noted by the 
Brahmans, they are ascribed to various localities, but 
not to various Sakhas. Each Sakha, however, was 
supposed to be possessed of an Upanishad, and the 
Muktika states boldly that, as there are 1180 Sakhas, 
there ought properly to be as many Upanishad s. 

Another reason why we never hear of the authors 
of Upanishads as we hear of the Rishis of hymns is 
that in many instances the Upanishads are mere 
compilations from other works. Verses from the 
hymns are incorporated into various Upanishads, 
and stories originally propounded in the Brahmanas, 
are enlarged upon by the compilers of these philo- 
sophical tracts. 

1 See Mimdaka-up. ed. Roer. 


In cases only where the Upanishads form part of 
an Aranyaka, the reputed authors of the larger 
works might likewise be considered as the authors of 
the Upanishads. This authorship, however, is dif- 
ferent from the authorship of a Gaudapada and iSan- 
kara. As the Brihadaranyaka forms part of the 
Satapatha-brahmana, Yajnavalkya, the reputed au- 
thor of the Brahmana, might well be considered as 
the author of the Upanishad known by the name of 
Brihadaranyaka. It forms the last five Prapathakas 
of the 14th book of the Satapatha-brahmana in the 
Madhyandina-sakha, whereas in the Kanva-sakha\ the 
whole of the 17th book is comprised under the name 
of Upanishad. Yajnavalkya Vajasaneya is mentioned 
towards the end of the Brihadaranyaka as the person 
who received the whole of the White Yajur-veda 
from Aditya or the Sun. His influential position at 
the court of Janaka, king of Yideha, is alluded to 
several times, and one portion of the Brihadaranyaka 
is called the Yajnavalkiyam Kandam, as specially 
celebrating the victories gained by that sage over all 
his rivals. But even if we accept the traditional 
opinion that Yajnavalkya was the author of the 
Brahmana and the Aranyaka, such a supposition 
would be of very little help to us in determining 
the probable age of the Upanishad portion of the 
Satapatha-brahmana. We need not enter at present 
into the question whether the supposed authorship 
of Yajnavalkya implies that he actually composed, or 
only that he collected and arranged the sacred code 
of the Yajasaneyins. That code is, no doubt, in 
some peculiar sense, considered as Yajnavalkya's 
own work. At the time of Panini it was called by a 
name which, by its very character, indicated that the 


Satapatha-brahmana was a work due to the exertion 
of one individual, and that it was not, like other 
Br&hmanas, simply proclaimed by him (prokta), or 
formed the traditional property of an ancient Vedic 
Sakha bearing his name. This, together with a re- 
mark in the Varttika to Panini, iv. 3. 105., may be 
interpreted as indicating the more modern date of 
this Brahmana and its Aranyaka, as compared with 
the Brahmanas and Aranyakas of other Vedas. But 
beyond this, the name of Vajasaneya Yajnavalkya, 
as the reputed author of these works, will not help 
us in fixing the age of the Yajasaneyi-brahmana- 

Attempts have been made to fix the age of Ya- 
jnavalkya, as the author of a Law-book, and to trans- 
fer this date to the author of the Vedic works, just 
mentioned. The versifier, however, of these laws is as 
distinct from the original Yajnavalkya, as the poetical 
editor of the Laws of the Manavas is from the mythic 
Manu, the founder of the Manava-sakha. 

Although the poetical editor of this code of laws 
speaks of the Aranyaka 1 as his own work, nobody 
will be misled by an assertion of this kind. 2 But 

1 This can only mean the Brihadaranyaka, as the commentator 
also observes. 

2 Yajn. Dh. iii. 110. 

^mvm ^ wr# iN ^wft^rTTii 

" He who wishes to attain Yoga (union with the Divine Spirit) 
must know the Aranyaka, which I have received from Aditya, 
and the Yoga-sastra, which I have taught." I thought, at first, 
that there might have been old Dharina-sutras of Yajnavalkya, 
and that the versifier of these Sutras took this sentence simply 


even the age of the versifier of the Yajnavalkiya 
code of laws is difficult to determine. Professor 
"Wilson, in his "Ariana Antiqua" (page 364), ob- 
serves that the word Nanaka, a gold or silver coin 
having upon it the figure of Siva, may be derived from 
Nana, a term which occurs on the coins of Kanerki, 
and is supposed to be a the name of a goddess ; 
probably the same as the Anaitis or Anahid of the 
Persians, or the tutelary goddess of Armenia, Anaia, 
or Nanaca." If so (and I think the explanation ex- 
tremely doubtful) the age of Yajnavalkya's legal dicta 
in which the word Nanaka occurs, would be subse- 
quent to the era of Kanerki, and, as Professor Stenz- 
ler remarks in his edition of Yajnavalkya, the second 
century after Christ would be the earliest date that 
could be assigned to Yajnavalkya. Now the identi- 
fication of Nanaka and Nana (Nanaia, Nana Rao,) is 
a very ingenious conjecture, but no more. Even if 
admitted to be true, we should still have to prove that 
the same goddess did not occur in the same way on 
more ancient oriental coins. As the Hindus derived 

from the Sutras. I have not yet found, however, Yajnavalkya- 
sutras on Achara. The so-called Vaishnava-dharma-sastra, or Sri- 
bhagavad-Vishnu-sanhita, which has been printed at Calcutta, 
contains large portions of Sutras which have been worked up in 
a very crude manner into a law treatise. The whole chapter on 
the anatomy of the human body, which in the Yajnavalkiya Code 
precedes the verse in question (Hi. 110.), a chapter which does not 
stand in the Manava code, exists, still in prose, in the Vishnu-sanhita 
(fol. 28. a. line 11.). The simile of the lamp, also, representing 
the mind in the middle of the body, is borrowed by the editor of 
the Yajnavalkiya Code from the Vishnu-sanhita (fol. 29. a. line 1.). 
Yet, although the Vishnu-sanhita, like the Code of Yajnavalkya, 
goes on describing the Yoga, no mention is made here of the Aran- 
yaka, nor does the author speak of himself in the first person, as 
the author of the metrical Code does. 


their knowledge of coined money from foreign nations, 
Nanakas may have been current in India long before 
the time of Kanerki, though the Nanakas of Kanerki 
may be the first known to us as coined in India. 
The occurrence of a word like Nanaka 1 , therefore, is 
not sufficient by itself to prove that the second cen- 
tury after Christ is the earliest date of the Yajnaval- 
kiya Code, still less of Yajnavalkya, as Professor 
Stenzler supposes. But whatever date may be as- 
signed to this Sloka work, the date of Yajnavalkya, 
the author of the Aranyaka and the Satapatha-brah- 
mana, would not be affected by it in any way, and 

1 In the same way it might be said that the Rig-veda-sanhita 
could not have been collected before the second century after 
Christ, because the word Nishka occurs in the hymns. Nishka is 
a weight of gold, or gold in general, and it certainly has no satis- 
factory etymology in Sanskrit. Nothing seems to be more likely 
than that it should be derived from Kanishka, the Sanskrit name 
of Kanerki, as we speak of a " Sovereign," the French of a 
" Louis." The first syllable Ka may be taken as the usual royal 
prefix, particularly as Fahian calls the same king Kanika and 
Nika. (Cf. Reinaud, Memoire sur l'lnde, p. 76.) Yet nobody 
would draw from this the conclusion that the Veda was written 
after the time of Kanishka. If Nishka be really derived from the 
name of Ka-Nishka, Kanishka must have been the name or title 
of more ancient kings, whose money became known in India, 
But Nishka may have a very different etymology, and at all 
events it does not furnish any solid basis for chronological conclu- 
sions. Nishka does once occur in Panini's Sutras, v. 2. 119.; 
and it is frequently quoted as an example. Pan. iv. 3. 156. 

f^^Tjr sftfi trfe^ i f%rfi^ f^FTr: ^fs&^: i f%rnzfi: i 

f^f^M Pan. i. 4. 87. ^XJ f%^ ^TCTW I v. 2. 119. 

%T*&*rf?far:i vi. 2. 55. f^^rrem ^. 3. 153. ^tzsTY 
f^n cf. v. 1. 37. 


the Satapatha-brahmana is the only work from which 
we may expect information on this point. 

Another attempt has been made to fix the ag of 
Yajnavalkya, or, at least, to assign certain chronolo- 
gical limits to the first origin of the Sakha of the 
Madhyandinas, a subdivision of the Vajasaneyins. 
Arrian, when speaking of the course of the Ganges, 
mentions among the rivers falling into the Ganges, 
the "Andomatis, flowing from the country of the 
Mandiadini, an Indian' people." l Lassen thought he 
discovered in this the Sanskrit word Madhyandina, 
meridional ; and, as a mere conjecture, such a re- 
mark was valuable. Professor Weber, however, went 
beyond this, and, taking for granted the identity of 
Mandiadini and Madhyandina, taking for granted also 
the identity of this Indian people with the Madhyan- 
dina, a subdivision of the Sakha of the Vajasaneyins, 
he concluded that the text of this Sakha, i. e. the 
Sanhitaand Brahmana of the White Yajur-veda, pub- 
lished by himself, must have existed in the third cen- 
tury B.C. Such rapid conclusions are rarely safe. 
There may have been such a people as the Madhyan- 
dinas at any time before or after Christ, and there may 
have been such a Sakha as that of the Madhyandinas 
at any time before or after Christ, but the people 
need not have had any connection with that Sakha, as 
little as the Prachyas or Prasii had anything in com- 
mon with the Sakha of the Prachya-Kathas, or the 
KaixGlo-QoKoi, another Indian people, mentioned by 
Greek writers, with the Sakha of the Kapishthalas. 
Granted, however, that the Sakha was formed in the 
country of the Madhyandinas, and derived its name 

1 Indische Alterthumskunde, i. 130.; Schwanbeck, Megasthenis 
Indica, p. 106. 


from it, nothing whatever would follow from this as 
to the exact date when this was effected. 

A second Aranyaka is that of the Taittiriyas. As 
the Taittiriya-veda (or the Black Yajur-veda) is 
always represented as anterior to the White Yajur- 
veda, the Taittiriya-aranyaka also might be expected 
to be older than the Brih ad aranyaka. It is more 
likely, however, that the Taittiriya-aranyaka did not 
yet exist at the time when Yajnavalkya, after seceding 
from his master, founded a new school, and endowed 
it with a new Sanhita and Brahmana. The Aranyaka 
of the Taittiriyas may have been added to their 
Brahmanas subsequently to this schism, in the same 
way as the Brihadaranyaka is certainly later than 
many portions of the Satapatha-brahmana. At 
all events the Taittiriya-aranyaka represents the 
latest period in the development of the Yedic reli- 
gion, and shows a strong admixture of post-vedic 
ideas and names. The same applies also to several 
parts of the Taittiriya-brahmana, the last part of 
which does not belong to Tittiri, but is ascribed to 
Katha, the same Muni to whom the beginning of the 
Aranyaka is said to have been revealed. 1 There 
are some traces which would lead to the supposition 
that the Taittiriya-veda had been studied, particu- 
larly in the south of India, and even among people 
which are still considered as un-Aryan in the 
Brahmana of the Rig-veda, In the Taittiriya-aran- 
yaka different readings are mentioned, which are 
no longer ascribed to different iSakhas but to certain 
countries in the south of India, like those of the Dra- 
vidas, Andhras, and Karnatakas. This fact by itself 

1 See page 224. 


would throw some doubt on the antiquity and gen- 
uineness of this class of Vedic writings \ at least 
in that form in which we now possess them. 

The Taittiriya-aranyaka consists of ten books, of 
which the four last are devoted to Upanishad doctrines. 
No author is mentioned, and Tittiri, who might seem to 
hold the same position for the Taittiriyaranyaka which 
Yajnavalkya holds for the Brihadaranyaka, is repre- 
sented by the Brahmans themselves neither as the 
author nor as the first teacher. He received the tra- 
dition from Yaska Paingi, who received it from Vai- 
sampayana. Tittiri himself handed it on to Ukha, 
and he to Atreya. Tittiri, therefore, was believed to 
be the founder of a Sakha, but not the author of the 

A third Aranyaka is the Aitareya-aranyaka, be- 
longing to the Eig-veda. It forms a work by itself, 
and is not counted as part of the Aitareya-brahmana. 
This is an important point. The work consists of five 
books or Aranyakas 2 , the second and third of which 

1 I find that Harisvamin also, in his commentary on the 6ata- 
patha-brahmana, quotes the Dakshinatyas and Saurashtras, to- 
gether with the Kanvas, as authorities on Vedic subjects. See 
Dr. Weber's Ind. Studien, i. 77. In the same place Dr. "Weber 
attempts to prove the late origin of this work by the contraction 
of sa indrah into sendrah. This contraction, however, occurs 
already in the Rig-veda-sanhita. See also Pan. vi. 1. 134. 

2 The first Aranyaka consists of five Adhyayas and twenty-two 
Khandas. The second Aranyaka consists of seven Adhyayas and 
twenty-six Khandas. The Upanishad begins with the fourth 
Adhyaya and the twenty-first Khanda. The third Aranyaka 
consists of two Adhyayas and twelve Khandas. The fourth Ara- 
nyaka consists of one Adhyaya and one Khanda (ascribed to 
Asvalayana in Shadgurusishya's commentary on the Sarvanu- 
krama). The fifth Aranyaka consists of three Adhyayas and 
fourteen Khandas (ascribed to 6aunaka). 


form the Bahvricha-upanishad, if by this name we like 
to distinguish the complete Upanishad from a portion 
of it, viz. : Adhyayas 4 6, of the second Aranyaka, 
commonly quoted as the Aitareyopanishad. If we ask 
for the name of the author, we find again the same un- 
certainty as in the Brihadaranyaka and the Taittiri- 
y aranyaka. All we know for certain is that there 
was a Sakha, of the Aitareyins, which was in the pos- 
session of a Brahmana and an Aranyaka. Both these 
works were afterwards adopted by the later Sakhas of 
the Rig-veda, so that we actually hear of an Asvalayana 
text of the Aitareyakam. We also know from the 
Chhandogya-upanishad (iii. 16.) that there was a 
Mahidasa Aitareya, who, by means of his sacred know- 
ledge was supposed to have defied death for 1,600 
years ; and in the Aitareya-aranyaka, not in the Brah- 
mana, he is several times quoted by the same name 
as an authority. In the later commentaries, a story 
is mentioned according to which the Brahmana and 
Aranyaka of the Rig-veda were originally revealed 
to one Aitareya, the son of Itara. This story, how- 
ever, sounds very apocryphal, and had a merely 
etymological origin. Itara, in Sanskrit, means not 
only the other of two, but also low, rejected. Thus, 
if the patronymic Aitareya was to be accounted 
for, it was extremely easy to turn it into a me- 
tronymic, and to make Aitareya the son of an Itara, 
a rejected wife. Thus Sayana, in his introduc- 
tion to the Aitareya-brahmana, tells us that there 
was once a great Rishi who had many wives. One 
of them was called Itara, and she had a son called 
Mahidasa. His father preferred the sons of his other 
wives to Mahidasa, and once he insulted him in the 
sacrificial hall, by placing all his other sons 


oh his lap. Mahidasa's mother, seeing her son 
with tears in his eyes, prayed to her own tutelary 
goddess, the Earth (sviyakuladevata Bhumih), and 
the goddess in her heavenly form appeared in the 
midst of the assembly, placed Mahidasa on a throne, 
and gave him on account of his learning the gift of 
knowing the Brahmana, consisting of forty Adhya- 
yas, and, as Say ana calls it, another Brahmana, treat- 
ing " of the Aranyaka duties." 

This, and similar stories mentioned by Colebrooke 1 , 
are not calculated to inspire much confidence. On 
the contrary we feel inclined to attach more value 
to the accidental admissions of the Brahmans who 
ascribe the later portions of the Aitareyaranyaka to 
such well known authors as Saunaka and Asvalayana. 
There may have been an Aitareya, the founder of the 
Sakha of the Aitareyins, and himself the expounder 
of those ceremonial, philological, and philosophical 
tracts which are incorporated in the Brahmana and 
the Aranyaka of the Aitareyins. He is quoted him- 
self as an authority in those works, but nothing is 
said in them of his degraded descent, nor of the eru- 
dition granted to him by the goddess of the earth. 

Another Aranyaka, belonging to another Sakha of 
the Rig-veda, is the Kaushitaki-aranyaka. Colebrooke 
stated in his Essay on the Yeda that " the original 
of the Kaushitakam was among the portions of the 
Veda which Sir Robert Chambers collected at Be- 
nares, according to a list which he sent to me some 
time before his departure from India." According 
to the catalogue of Sir Robert's MSS. which are now 
at the Royal Library at Berlin, there is in that col- 

1 Miscellaneous Essays, i. 16. n. 


lection not only the text and commentary of the 
Kaushitaki-brahmana, but likewise the Aranyaka, in 
three Adhyayas, of which the third constitutes the 
Kaushitaki-upanishad. Here again w r e know nothing 
as to the name of an author, Kaushitakin being 
simply the name of that sect in which the text of 
these works was handed down from teacher to pupil. 

There are no Aranyakas for the Sama-veda, nor for 
the so-called fourth Veda, the Atharvana. 

Traces of modern ideas are not wanting in the 
Aranyakas, and the very fact that they are destined 
for a class of men who had retired from the world 
in order to give themselves up to the contempla- 
tion of the highest problems, shows an advanced, 
and already declining and decaying society, not un- 
like the monastic age of the Christian world. The 
problems, indeed, which are discussed in the Aran- 
yakas and the old Upanishads are not in them- 
selves modern. They had formed the conversation 
of the old and the young, of warriors and poets, for 
ages. But in a healthy state of society these ques- 
tions were discussed in courts and camps: priests 
were contradicted by kings, sages confounded by 
children, women were listened to when they were 
moved by an unknown spirit. 1 This time, which is 
represented to us by the early legends of the Aran- 
yakas, was very different from that which gave rise 
to professional anchorites, and to a literature composed 
exclusively for their benefit. As sacrifices were per- 
formed long before a word of any Brahmana or Sutra 

1 A Kumari gandharvagrihita is quoted as an authority in the 
Kaushitaki-brahmana, and it is explained by " viseshabhijna." 
Kaush.-br. ii. 9.; Ait-br. v. 29. Ind. Studien, i. 84. 217. 


had been uttered, so metaphysical speculations were 
carried on in the forests of India long before the names 
of Aranyaka or Upanishad were thought of. We 
must carefully distinguish between a period of growth, 
and a period which tried to reduce that growth to 
rules and formulas. In one sense the Aranyakas are 
old, for they reflect the very dawn of thought ; in 
another, they are modern, for they speak of that 
dawn with all the experience of a past day. There 
are passages in these works, unequalled in any lan- 
guage for grandeur, boldness, and simplicity. These 
passages are the relics of a better age. But the ge- 
neration which became the chronicler of those Titanic 
wars of thought, was a small race : they were dwarfs, 
measuring the footprints of departed giants. 

Chronologically we can see with great clearness 
that the Aranyakas are anterior to the Sutras. It 
is only in their latest portions that they show traces 
of the style of Sutra compositions. We can likewise 
see that they are later than the Brahmanas, to which 
they themselves, in several instances, form a kind of 
appendix. Beyond this we cannot go, and an im- 
partial consideration of the arguments adduced in 
favour of a much earlier or a much later date for 
this class of Vedic literature, will show a complete 
absence of facts and arguments, such as are required 
for historical inductions. Whether Panini knew 
the Aranyakas as a branch of sacred literature is 
uncertain. Although he mentions the word " aran- 
yaka," he only uses it in the sense of " living in the 
forest;' 7 and it is the author of the Varttikas 1 who 
first remarks that the same word is also used in the 

1 IV. 2. 129. 

z 2 


sense of " read in the forest/' The word Upanishad, 
besides being used in the Upanishads themselves 1 , 
occurs in the Sutras of Panini (i. 4. 79), but there is 
nothing to prove that Panini knew Upanishad as the 
name of a class of sacred writings. 

It is hardly necessary to remark that at the time 
when the Aranyakas were written, the hymns of the 
Sanhitas were not only known, but known in the 
same form in which we now possess them. 2 The 
Rig-veda is quoted as a whole, and as consisting of 
ten Mandalas. Though the name of Mandala is not 
used, the names assigned to each of the ten books 
are the same as those used in the Anukramanis, and 
they follow each other in the same succession. Nay, 
these names had evidently been current for some 
time before, for the author of the Aranyaka assigns 
the most extraordinary etymologies to them, and 
uses them in support of the wildest speculations. 
He first mentions the Satarchins or the poets of the 
first Mandala. He then comprehends the poets of 
Mandala II. to IX. under the common name of the M&- 
dhyamas, assigning to the poets of the tenth and last 
Mandala the name of Kshudrasiiktas and Mahasuktas. 
The middle books are enumerated more in detail under 
their usual names, Gritsamada, (ii.), Yisvamitra (iii.)> 
Yamadeva (iv.), the Atris (v.), Bharadvaja (vi.), 
Yasishtha (vii.), the Pragathas (viii. j, the Pavamanis 
(ix.) The names also of Rig-veda, Yajur-veda, and 
Saina-veda occur as literary titles in this Aranyaka. 3 

1 Ait.-ar. iii. ].; ibid, i. 11. Upanishasada. 

2 Ait.-ar. ii. 9. 

3 Ait.-ar. i. 10. : Bhur bhuvah svar ityeta vava vyahritaya 
irae trayo veda, bhur ityeva Rig-veda, bhuva iti Yajur-vedah, 
svar iti Sama-vedah. 


The etymologies assigned to these names are not 
perhaps more absurd than those which we find in 
the Brahmanas. But there are other etymological 
explanations in the Aranyakas such as we scarcely 
find in any genuine Brahmana. Part of the first 
Aranyaka (i. 4.) reads almost like a commentary on 
the first hymns of the Rig-veda, and the short glosses 
scattered about in these books of the forest might well 
be considered as the first elements of a Nirukta. 

The grammatical study of the hymns of the Yeda 
was evidently far advanced, and scholastic pedantry 
had long taken the place of sound erudition, when the 
early portions of the Aranyaka were composed. Not 
only the ten books of the Rig-veda are mentioned, but 
likewise their subdivisions, the hymns (siikta), verses 
(rich), half- verses (arddharcha), feet (pada), and syl- 
lables (akshara). Sometimes the syllables of certain 
hymns and classes of hymns are counted, and their 
number is supposed to possess a mysterious signifi- 
cance. In one passage (ii. 12.) speculations are 
propounded on the division of letters into consonants 
(vyanjana), vowels (ghosha), and sibilants (ushman). 

Admitting, therefore, that the Aranyakas repre- 
sent the latest productions of the Brahmana period, 
and that in some cases their authors belong to the age 
of Saunaka, in others even to a more modern age, 
we have now to consider the character of the genuine 
Brahmanas, in order to point out the differences 
which distinguish the Brahmanas from the Sutras 
by which they are followed, and from the Mantras by 
which they are preceded. 

z 3 



The difficulty of giving an exhaustive definition of 
what a Brahmana is, has been felt by the Brahmans 
themselves. The name given to this class of litera- 
ture does not teach us more than that these works 
belonged to the Brahmans. They were brahman ic, 
t. e. theological tracts, comprising the knowledge 
most valued by the Brahmans, bearing partly on 
their sacred hymns, partly on the traditions and 
customs of the people. They profess to teach the 
performance of the sacrifice ; but for the greater 
part they are occupied with additional matter ; with 
explanations and illustrations of things more or less 
distantly connected with their original faith and 
their ancient ceremonial. 

Say ana, in his introduction to the Rig-veda l , has 
given such extracts from the Purva-mimansa philo- 
sophy as may furnish a pretty correct idea of the 
Brahmanas, and he has treated the same subject 
again in his Introduction to the Aitareya-brahmana. 

" A Brahmana," he says, " is twofold, containing 
either commandments (vidhi), or additional explana- 
tions (arthavada). This is confirmed by Apastamba, 
saying : ' The Brahmanas are commandments for 
the sacrifices ; all the rest consists of additional 
explanations.' The commandments, too, are of two 
kinds, either causing something to be done, which 
was not done before, or making something known 
which was not known before. Of the former kind 
are all those commandments occurring in the prac- 

1 Rig-veda-bhashya, p. 11. 


tical part, such as, f At the Dikshaniya ceremony he 
presents a purodasa oblation to Agni and Vishnu.' 
Of the latter kind are all philosophical passages, 
such as, ' Self was all this alone in the beginning.' 

" But how can it be said," Sayana goes on, " that 
the Veda consists of Mantras and Brahmanas, as the 
essential qualities neither of the one nor of the other 
part can be satisfactorily defined ? For if it be said 
that a Mantra alludes to those things which are com- 
manded, this definition would not comprehend all 
Mantras, because there are some which are them- 
selves commandments, as, for instance, c He takes 
Kapinjalas for the Spring.' Again, if it be said that 
a Mantra is what makes one think (man, to think), 
this definition would comprehend the Brahmanas 
also. Other definitions have been given, that a Mantra 
ends with the word ' thou art,' or that it ends with 
the first person plural ; but none of these definitions 
can be considered as exhaustive. The only means, 
then, by which Mantras can be distinguished from 
Brahmanas lies in their general sacrificial appellation, 
which comprehends the most different things under 
the one common name of Mantras. There are some 
recording the performance of sacrifices; some contain 
praises, some end with the word thee (tva), some are 
invocations, some are directions, some contain deliber- 
ations, some contain complaints, some are questions, 
some are answers, &c. All these attributes are so 
heterogeneous, that none of them can be used for a 
definition. Knowing, however, that the Veda consists 
only of two parts, we may say that whatever does not 
come under the name of Mantra is Brahmana, whether 
it contain reasons, explanations, censures, recommen- 
dations, doubts, commandments, relations, old stories, 

z 4 


or particular determinations. Not one of these sub- 
jects belongs to the Brahmanas exclusively, but they 
occur more or less frequently in the Mantras also, and 
could therefore not be used as definitions of the Brah- 
manas. The same objection applies to all other defi- 
nitions which have been attempted. Some have said 
that the frequent occurrence of the particle iti (thus) 
constitutes a Brahmana ; others, that a Brahmana 
closes with the words itydha (thus he said) ; others 
that a Brahmana contains stories, &c. ; but all this 
would apply with equal force to some of the Man- 
tras. The only division therefore of the Yeda that 
holds good consists in comprehending one part under 
the old traditional appellation of Mantra, and con- 
sidering all the rest as Brahmanas. 

"But it might be objected," Sayana continues, "that 
for instance in the chapter on the Brahmayajna, other 
parts of the Veda are mentioned besides the Brahma- 
nas and Mantras, under the title of Itihasas, (epic 
stories) Puranas (cosmogonic stories), Kalpas (cere- 
monial rules), Gathas (songs), Narasansis, (heroic 
poems). This however would be the same mistake, 
as if we should place a Brahman coordinate with a 
Brahman who is a mendicant. For all these titles, 
like Itihasa, &c, apply only to subdivisions of the 
Brahmanas. Thus, passages from the Brahmanas, 
like l The gods and the Asuras were fighting,' &c., 
would be called Itihasas ; other passages like c In the 
beginning there was nothing,' would be called Pura- 
nas; therefore we may safely say, that the Veda 
consists of two parts only, of Mantras and Brah- 
manas" l 

1 According to Madhusiidana's view, the Brahmanas consist of 
three pares ; of commandments, additional explanations, and Ve- 


If after these not very satisfactory definitions of 
what a Brahmana is, and how it differs from a 
Mantra, we turn to the Brahmanas themselves, such 
as we possess them in MS., we find that their number 
is much smaller than we should have expected. 

If every Sakha consisted of a Sanhita and a Brah- 
mana, the number of the old Brahmanas must have 
been very considerable. It must not be supposed, how- 
ever, that the Brahmanas which belonged to different 
Sakhas, were works composed independently by dif- 
ferent authors. On the contrary, as the Sanhitas of 
different Sakhas were nothing but different recensions 
of one and the same original collection of hymns, and 
could be distinguished from each other only by a number 
of authorised varies lectiones or by the addition and 
omission of certain hymns, the Brahmanas also, which 
were adopted by different Charanas of the same Veda, 
must be considered not as so many independent 
works, but in most instances as different recensions 
of one and the same original. There was originally 
but one body of Brahmanas for each of the three 
Yedas ; for the Rig-veda, the Brabmanas of the 
Bahvrichas, for the Sama-veda the Brahmanas of the 
Chhandogas, and for the Yajur-veda in its two forms, 
the Brahmanas of the Taittiriyas, and the Satapatha- 
brahmana. These works were not written in metre, 
like the Sanhitas, and were therefore more exposed to 

danta doctrines, the latter being more particularly represented by 
theUpanishads. The sameauthor speaks of four classes of command- 
ments. " A commandment may consist," he says, "either in a sim- 
ple definition ('the oblation to Agni is given in eight cups,') ; or it 
may include the aim ('he who wishes for life in heaven may 
perform the sacrifices of the new and full moon ') ; or it may 
detail the means by which the sacrifice is performed ('let him 
sacrifice with rice ') ; or it may contain all this together." 


alteration in the course of a long continued oral tra- 

We possess the Brahmana of the Bahvrichas, in the 
iSakhas of the Aitareyins and the Kaushitakins. The 
various readings of other Sakhas, quoted by the 
commentator on the Aitareya-brahmana, show evi- 
dently that there were other Sakhas of the Bahvri- 
chas, which differed but little in the wording of 
their Brahmanas. But even the Brahmana of the 
Kaushitakins which has been preserved to us as 
a distinct work, different from the Brahmana of the 
Aitareyins, can only be considered as a branch of 
the original stock of Brahmana literature, current 
among the Bahvrichas. Its arrangement differs con- 
siderably from that of the Aitareya-brahmana. The 
sacrifice described in the beginning of the Aitareya- 
brahmana forms the seventh Adhyaya of the Kaushi- 
taki-brahmana 1 , and most of the other sacrifices are 
equally displaced. Others which are discussed in 
the Aitareya-brahmana are altogether wanting in the 
Kaushitaki-brahmana, and must be supplied from the 
Sutras of the 6ankhayana-sakha, a subdivision of the 
Kaushitakins. But whenever parallel passages occur, 
it becomes clear that the coincidences in the descrip- 
tion of sacrifices and the wording of legends cannot 
be accidental. 

Most of the Brabmanas which are left to us are 
collective works. A tradition has been preserved in 
confirmation of this fact. The Brahmana of the 

1 Aitareya-br. i. 1. ^rftjcf \tRT*TWI" f^K *PC^*> &c - 

Kaush.-br. vii. i. ^rt^l \^T^rra=i < i ^1 f^: ^rgh, 

&c. Ait -brahra. ii. 2. = Kaush.-br. x. 2. ; ii. 6. = x. 4. (&ankh.- 
sutra, v. 17.) ; ii. 3.=xii. 1. 


Taittiriyas, in the Sakhas both of the Apastambiyas 
and the Atreyas, contains some portions which bear 
the name of Katha, and were formerly the property of 
his followers. The component parts are frequently 
called Brahmanas, instead of chapters or sections. 
The same applies to the Aranyakas and Upanishads. 
In some cases, these smaller Brahmanas are quoted 
by their special titles 1 ; and in their collected form 
they are handed down, not always by the name of the 
Charana by which they were adopted, but more fre- 
quently by that of the Charana in which their original 
collection took place. Thus the Aitareya-brahmana, 
though adopted by the Asvalayamyas, is more fre- 
quently quoted by its original name than by that of 
Asvalayana-brahmana. 2 The Brahmana of Kaushi- 
takin or the Kaushitakins is more usually referred 
to by this name than by that of the later Charana of 
the Sankhayanas. 

In the Brahmana of the Chhandogas it is evident 
that, after the principal collection was finished (called 
the praudha or panchavinsa-brahmana, i. e. consisting 
of twenty-five sections), a twenty-sixth Brahmana 
was added which is known by the name of Shadvinsa- 
brahmana. This Brahmana together with the Ad- 
bhuta-brahmana must be of very modern date. It 

1 Maitreyi-brahmana is the title given to that portion of the 
Brihadaranyaka which contains the dialogue between Yajnavalkya 
and Maitreyi. The Saulabhani brahrnanani, quoted by Asvala- 
yana and Panini as modern compositions, may refer to sections con- 
taining a dialogue similar to that between Janaka and Sulabha, 
which exists in the Mahabharata, III. v. 11,854, Cf. Lasso a, Jnd. 
Alterth. xv. note. According to Panini, however, they ought to be 
taken as Brahmanas composed by Sulabha. 

2 Quoted as such by Yajnikadeva on Katy. 2. 5. IS. ; 6. 6. 25. 
Weber, Ind. Stud. i. 230. 

348 brIiimanas of the chhandogas. 

mentions not only temples (Devayatanani),but images 
of gods (daivata-pratima) which are said to laugh, 
to cry, to sing, to dance, to burst, to sweat, and to 
twinkle. These two have long been supposed to be 
the only Brahmanas of the Chhandogas, and they 
constitute, no doubt, the most important part of that 
class of literature. It is curious, however, that when- 
ever the Brahmanas of the Chhandogas are quoted, 
their number is invariably fixed at eight. Kumarila 
Bhatta, i. 3 1 , says, "in the eight Brahmanas, together 
with the Upanishads, which the Chhandogas read, no 
single accent is fixed." Still more explicit is a state- 
ment by Sayana which I quoted in the introduction 
to the first volume of my edition of the Rig-veda. 2 
Here Sayana says: "There are eight Brahmanas ; the 
Praudha is the first, (this means the large Brahmana, 
or the Panchavinsa) ; the one called Shadvinsa or 
Shadvinsad-brahmana, is the second; then follows the 
Samavidhi; then the Arsheya-brahmana, the Devata- 
dhyaya-brahmana, and the Upanishad. These with the 
Sanhitopanishad and the Yansa are called the eight 
books." Of these the Samavidhana-brahmana was 
well known, the very quotation of Sayana being taken 
from his commentary on this very curious work. It 
might have been difficult, however, to identify the 
other five works if there had not been among the 
MSS. of Professor Wilson's collection at the Bod- 
leian Library, one (No. 451) containing four of these 
small tracts, the Sanhitopanishadam-brahmanam, the 
Devatadhyayah, the Vansa-brahmanam, and the 

1 Brahmanani hi yany ashtau sarahasyany adhiyate Chhandogas 
teshu sarveshu na kaschin niyatah svarah. 

2 P. xxvii. note. 


Arsheya-brahmanam. 1 The only Brahmana, there- 
fore, on which any doubt could remain, was the 
Upanishad, and here we shall probably not be wrong 
if we adopt one of Professor Weber's less bold 
conjectures, that Sayana intended this for the Chhan- 
dogya- upanishad. 2 With the exception of this and 
the Samavidhana, which contains most important in- 
formation on questions connected with Achara or cus- 
toms, all the other tracts are of comparatively small 

It is in the !atapatha-brahmana, however, that we 
can best observe the gradual accumulation of various 
theological and ceremonial tracts which were to form 
the sacred code of a new Charana. The text of this 
work has been edited by Professor Weber, and we 
can likewise avail ourselves of several essays on this 
branch of Vedic literature, published from time to 
time by that industrious scholar. According to In- 
dian traditions, Yajnavalkya Vajasaneya, the founder 
of the new Charana of the Vajasaneyins is himself, 
if not the author, at least the first who proclaimed 
the Sanhita and Brahmana of the Vajasaneyins. We 
can see clearly that the composition of both the San- 
hita and Brahmana was guided by the same spirit, 
and it is not at all unlikely that in this, the most 
modern of all Yedas, the final arrangement of the 
Sanhita may have been contemporaneous with, or 
even later than, the composition of the Brahmana. 

First of all, it ought to be remarked that the story 

1 See also "A Catalogue Raisonee (sic) of Oriental Manuscripts 
in the Library of the late College Fort St. George," by the Rev. 
W. Taylor, Madras, 1857, p. 69. 

2 The Vansa-brahmana has lately been printed, with some 
valuable remarks, by Prof. A. Weber, Ind. Stud. iv. 371. 


which has been preserved by tradition of the schism 
introduced by Yajnavalkya among the followers of 
the Adhvaryu or Yajur-veda is confirmed by internal 
evidence. The general name of the ancient iSakhas 
of the Yajur-veda is Charaka, and the Taittiriyas, 
therefore, together with the Kathas, and others are 
called by a general name, Charaka-sakhas. This name 
Charaka is used in one of the Khilas of the Ya- 
jasaneyi-sanhita as a term of reproach. In the 
30th Adhyaya a list of people is given who are 
to be sacrificed at the Purushamedha, and among 
them we find the Charakacharya, the teacher of the 
Charakas, as the proper victim to be offered to Dush- 
krita or Sin. This passage, together with similar 
hostile expressions in the Satapatha-brahmana, were 
evidently dictated by a feeling of animosity against 
the ancient schools of the Adhvaryus, whose sacred 
texts we possess in the Taittiriya-veda, and from 
whom Yajnavalkya seceded in order to become him- 
self the founder of the new Charanas of the Vajasa- 

If we compare the Sanhita and Brahmana of the 
Yajasaneyins with those of the Charakas, we see that 
the order of the sacrifices is on the whole the same, 
and that the chief difference between the two consists 
in the division of Mantras and Brahmanas, which is 
carried out more strictly by Yajnavalkya than in the 
ancient text of the Taittiriyas. This was most likely 
the reason why the text of Yajnavalkya was called 
Sukla Yajur-veda, which is generally translated by 
the White Yajur-veda. But some commentators ex- 
plain iSukla more correctly by suddha 1 , and translate 

1 Dvivrdaganga explains SpftTf^T ^*ff% b 7 3J^Tf% ^H5T 


it by "cleared," because in this new text the Mantras 
had been cleared and separated from the Brahmanas, 
and thus the whole had been rendered more lucid 
and intelligible. In opposition to this they suppose 
that the old text was called Krishna or dark, because 
in it the verses and rules are mixed together, and 
less intelligible; or because, as Vidyaranya says, it 
contained the rules of the Hotri as well as of the 
Adhvaryu priests, and thus bewildered the mind of 
the student. 1 

It was in the nature of the duties which the 
Adhvaryus had to perform at the sacrifices, that 
their hymns and invocations could hardly be sepa- 
rated from the rules (vidhi), contained in the Brah- 
manas. It was not a mere accident therefore that in 
the Yeda of the ancient Adhvaryus the hymns and rules 
were mixed up, and it must be considered as a mere 
innovation if what is now called the Sanhita of the 
Black Yajur-veda is distinguished by this name from 
the Brahmana, which in reality is a continuation of 
the same work. It is not unlikely that it was the very 
wish to have, like the Bahvrichas and Chhandogas, a 
Sanhita, i. e. a collection of hymns distinct from the ce- 
remonial rules, which led to the secession of the Vaja- 
saneyins, and, by a kind of reaction, to the absurd adop- 
tion of the titles of Sanhita and Brahmana among 
the Taittiriyas. In the new code of the Vajasaneyins 
the most important part was nevertheless the Brah- 
mana, the Sanhita being a mere collection of verses, 

makrishna's Sanskaraganapati. Weber, Ind. Stud. i. 27. 84. 


extracted and collected for the convenience of the 
officiating priest. The differences in the text of these 
verses and formulas would be marked in the Brah- 
mana, and transferred from the Brahmana into the 
SanhitA. This is, therefore, the very opposite of what 
happened with the text of the Sanhit& and Brah- 
mana of the Bahvrichas. Here the Sanhita existed 
long before the Brahmana, and it had diverged into 
different Sakhas, before the Brahmana of the Aita- 
reyins was composed. The Vajasaneyi-sanhita may 
possibly represent various readings which existed in 
the ISakhas of the Taittiriyas ; but these verses were 
collected and formed into a Sanhita only as an ap- 
pendix to the Satapatha brahmana, the real code of 
the Yajasaneyins. Where the sacrificial invocations of 
the Yajasaneyins differ from those of the Taittiriyas, 
we ought to recognise in those differences the last traces 
of Sakhas which existed previous to the establishment 
of the Vajasaneyins. In the beginning, for instance, 
of the Darsa-purnamasa sacrifice, the Adhvaryu 
priest, having called the cows and calves together, 
has to touch the calves with a branch. This act of 
the sacrifice was originally accompanied by the words 
" vayava stha, upayava stha," " you are like the 
winds," and the whole ceremony, together with 
these invocations, is contained in the Taittiriya- 
sanhita. In the Madhyandina-sakha, on the con- 
trary, not only are the words " upayava stha " 
omitted in the Sanhita, but a distinct warning is 
given in the Brahmana not to use these words, be- 
longing to a different Sakha. 1 

1 Cf. Sayana, Rig-veda-bliashya, p. 12.; &atapatha-brahmana, 


A comparison of the texts of the Taittiriyas and 
Vajasaneyins shows that it would be a mistake to 
call Yajnavalkya the author, in our sense of the 
word, of the Yajasaneyi-sanhita and the Satapatha- 
brahmana. But we have no reason to doubt that 
it was Yajnavalkya who brought the ancient Man- 
tras and Brahmanas into their present form, and, 
considering the differences between the old and new 
text, we must admit that he had a greater right 
to be called an author than the founders of the 
Charanas of other Yedas whose texts we possess. 
In this sense, Katyayana says, in his Anukramani, 
that Yajnavalkya received the Yajur-veda from the 
Sun. 1 In the same sense the Satapatha-brahmana 
ends with the assertion that the White Yajur-veda was 
proclaimed by Yajnavalkya Vajasaneya 2 ; and in the 
same sense P&nini, or rather his editor, says in the 
first Varttika to iv. 3. 105. that there were modern 

Rrn^tS^rftf^ ff^ fTST T ^^rnrTjl In the commentary 
on Baudhayana's Sutras, a passage from a Brahmana is quoted, 
which may have belonged to the Baudhayanlya-sakha. X^f ^M% 

TJT^n^lf^r II The Baudhayana-siitras enjoin the first sentence for 
male calves, the second for female ones, ^T^ ^f^f T faj ^W^T 


A A 


Brahmanas proclaimed by Yajnavalkya, and that 
their title differed by its formation from the title 
given to more ancient Brahmanas. At the time when 
these titles were framed Yajnavalkya was still alive ; 
and his work, therefore, was not yet considered as one 
handed down by tradition through several genera- 
tions. There might seem to be some difficulty in 
making Yajnavalkya the author or editor of the 
whole Yajur-veda, because there are several portions 
of the Brahmana where Yajnavalkya himself is intro- 
duced as one of the chief interlocutors, so much so 
that part of the Brihadaranyaka, the last book of the 
datapath a-brahmana, is designated by the name of 
Yajnavalkiyam kandam. But similar instances occur 
in several of the traditional works of the Brahmans, 
and in this case the decided traces of a later origin 
which are to be found in the Brihadaranyaka, would 
justify us in supposing that these portions were 
added after Yajnavalkya's decease, particularly as it 
is called Yajnavalkiya, not Yajnavalkya-kanda. 1 

That Yajnavalkya, though deserting the Charakas, 
derived great advantage from their Yeda, is seen at 
once by the whole arrangement of his work. I give 
a list of the various subjects' treated in the Yajasa- 
neyi-sanhita, according to Mahidhara. The Sanhita 
of the Yajasaneyins begins with 
The Darsapurnamasamantras, Adhyaya, i. ii. 28. 

Then follow': 
Pitriyajnamantras, ii. 29 34. 
Agnyadheyamantras, iii. 1 8. 
Agnihotram, iii. 9 10. 
Agnyupasthanam, iii. 11 43. 

1 See Pan. v. 4. 105, on the purport of this difference. 


Chaturmasyani, iii. 44 63. 

Soma. Agnishtomas, iv. 1 viii. 23. 
Salapravesas, iv. 1 37. 
Atithyeshtau havirgrahanadimantras, (yupanirma- 

nara), v. 1 fin. 
Yiipasanskara (agnishomiyapasu) -somabhishavaman- 

tras, vi. 1 fin. 
Grahagrahanamantras (upansvadi-pradananta), vii. 

1 fin. ^ 
Tritiyasavanagata adityagrahadimantras, viii. 1 23. 
Prasangikas, viii. 24 63. 
Yajapeyas, ix. 1 34. 
Rajasuyas, ix. 35 40. 
Rajasuya abhishekarthajaladanadirajasuyaseshas, Cha- 

rakasautramani cha, x. 1 fin. 

Agnichayanam, ix. xviii. 
Ukhasambharanadimantras, xi. 
Ukhadharana, garhapatyachayana, kshetrakarshana, 

aushadhavapanadi, xii. 
Pushkaraparnadyupadhanamantras (prathama chitih), 

Dvitiyadichititrayam, xiv. 
Panchamachitih, xv. 
iSatarudriyakhyahomamantras, xvi. 
Chityaparishekadimantras, xvii. 
Vasordharadimantras, xviii. 

Sautrdman% xix. xxi. 
Suradindrabhishekantam, xix. 
Sekasandyadi-hautrantam, xx. 
Yajyadi-preshanantam, xxi. 

Asvamedhas, xxii. xxv. 
Homamantras, xxii. 
Sishtam asvamedhikam, xxiii. 1 

1 According to the forty-eighth Atharvaparisishta, the thirty* 

aa 2 


Srutirupamantra asvamedhikanam pasunam, xxiv. 

Khildni, xxvi. xxxv. 
Anuktamantrakathanam, xxvi. 
Panchachitikamantras, xxvii. 

nam, xxviii. 
Sishtasvamedhamantras, xxix. 
Purushamedhas, xxx xxxi. 
Sarvamedhas, xxxii. xxxiii. 54. 
Brahmayajnas, xxxiii. 55 xxxiv. fin. 
Pitrimedhas, xxxv. 

Suhriyam (panchadhy&yi), xxxvi. xl. 1 
Pravargya Santipathas, xxxvi. 
Abhryadi-rauhinantam, xxxvii. 
Mahaviraniriipanam, xxxviii. 
Gharmadinishkritis, lxi. 

Jndnakdndam, xl. 

According to this list the Vajasaneyi-sanhita may 
be divided into different sections. The first section 
comprises the Darsapurnamasa, &c, i. iii. ; the 
second the Soma sacrifices, iv. x. ; the third the 
Agnichayanas, xi. xviii. 

These eighteen Adhyayas, which correspond to 
the Taittiriya-sanhita, are explained in the first 
nine books of the Satapatha-brahmana and the first 
eighteen chapters of Katyayana's Sutras. They form, 
no doubt, the most important part of the Adhvaryu- 
veda, but there is no evidence to show that they ever 
existed in a separate form. It has been well re- 
second verse of the twenty-third Adhyaya the last verse 
of the Sanhita. See Weber, Ind. Stud. iv. p. 432. 

1 According to the Mitakshara commentary on Yajnavalkya's 
Dharma-sastra, xxxvi. 1. forms the beginning of an Aranyaka. 
Weber, Vorlesungen, p. 103. 


marked, however, by the editor of the Satapatha- 
brahmana, that the first nine books consist altogether 
of sixty Adhyayas 1 , and that the name of Shashti- 
patha, the Sixty Paths, which is mentioned in the 
V&rttika to Pan. iv. 2. 60., may refer to this portion, 
whereas the whole Brahmana, consisting of one hun- 
dred Adhyayas, received the title of Satapatha, the 
Hundred Paths. 

The Sautramani ceremony, which begins with the 
19th Adhyaya, has nothing corresponding to it in the 
Taittiriya-sanhita, but, like the following sacrifices, 
it has been incorporated in the Taittiriya-brahmana. 
There is a difference also in the treatment which 
this sacrifice receives in the Satapatha-brahmana. 
Adhyaya xix. and xx. are indeed explained there, 
in the 12th book, but they do not receive the same 
careful explanation which was given to the preceding 
sacrifices. The last Adhyaya, containing verses of 
the Hotri, is not explained at all. K&tyayana treats 
these three Adhyayas in the 19th book of his Sutras. 

The Asvamedha, which fills Books xxii. xxv. of 
the Vajasaneyi-sanhita, is but partially contained in 
the Taittiriya-sanhita; and the Satapatha also, though 
it devotes to this ceremony a considerable part of the 
13th book, treats it in a much more superficial manner 
than the former sacrifices. Katyayana explains it in 
his 20th book. 

1 A similar ingenious remark has been made by the same 
savant with regard to the Aitareya and Kaushitaki, or, as he calls 
it, 6aukhayana-brahmana. The former consists of forty, the latter 
of thirty Adhyayas, and it is not unlikely that the rule in Panini, 
v. 1. 62, how to form the names of Brahmanas, consisting of 
thirty and forty Adhyayas, had special reference to these works. 
The names are "trainsani and chatvarinsani brahraanani;" the 
explanation, "trinsad adhyayah parimanam esham brahmananam." 


The Adhyayas, which follow the Asvamedha, are 
distinctly called Khilas or supplements by Katyayana. 
They are relegated to the Brahmana by the Taitti- 
riyas, and explained with less detail in the oatapatha- 
brahmana. Adhyaya xxvi xxix. contain some 
hymns belonging to sacrifices previously explained, 
and they are passed over entirely by the Satapatha- 
brahmana and by Katyayana. Adhyaya xxx. and 
xxxi. contain the Purushamedha, which the Taitti- 
riyas treat in their Brahmana. The Satapatha-brah- 
mana devotes but a short space to it in its 13th book, 
and Katyayana explains Adhyaya xxxi. in his 21st 

The ceremonies comprised in the three following 
Adhyayas, xxxii. to xxxiv., Sarvamedha and Brahma- 
yajna, are passed over by the Satapatha-brahmana 
and Katyayana. The Taittiriyas allow them no 
place in their Brahmana, but include them in their 

The Pitrimedha which follows in the xxxvth 
Adhyaya, finds its place in the Brahmana of the 
Taittiriyas. The oatapatha and Katyayana explain 
it, the former in the 13th, the latter in the 21st book. 

The Sukriya portion of the Vajasaneyi-sanhita, 

xxxvi xl., is excluded from the Brahmana of the 

Taittiriyas, and treated in their Aranyaka. The Sa- 
tapatha-brahmana explains three of these Adhyayas, 
xxxvii. xxxix., in full detail in its 17th Kanda, and 
Katyayana devotes to them the Sutras of his last book. 

Those who only take into account the general object 
of the Satapatha-brahmana, have called it a running 
commentary on the Yajasaneyi-sanhita. But this ap- 
plies strictly to the first nine books only, and with 
the tenth book the Brahmana assumes a new and more 


independent character. The tenth book is called the 
Agnirahasyam, the mystery of the fire, and it refers 
to no particular portion of the Sanhita, but enlarges 
on the ceremonies which have been described in the 
four preceding books. Towards the end (x. 4. 6.), 
it contains two chapters, which, in the Kanvasakha, 
form the beginning of the Brihadaranyaka-upanishad, 
and are there followed by the Madhu-kanda, the Ya- 
jnavalkiya-kanda, and Khila-kanda of the 14th book of 
the Madhyandina-sakha. The tenth book or Agnira- 
hasyam closes with its own genealogy or Vansa. 

With the 11th book begins, according to Sayana, 
the second part of the oatapatha-brahmana. It is 
called Ashtadhyayi, and gives additional information 
on all the sacrifices mentioned before, beginning with 
the Agnyadhana. 

The 12th book, which is called Sautramani, treats 
of prayaschitta, or penance in general, and it is only 
in its last portion that it refers to the text of the 
Sanhita, and to that ceremony in particular from 
which it has derived its name. Besides this name of 
Sautramani, the 12th book is also known by the name 
of Madhyama or the middle book, and this title can 
only be explained if we begin the second part of the 
Satapatha, not, as Sayana suggests, with the 11th, 
but with the 10th book. 

The 13th book is chiefly concerned with the Asva- 
medha, and its first three Adhyayas may again be 
considered as a kind of commentary on the Sanhita. 
Towards the end some sacrifices, beginning with the 
Purushamedha, which the Sanhita treats in its Khila 
portion, are explained, but other ceremonies also are 
mentioned, for which there is no precedent in the 
Sanhita. The Brihadaranyaka, the last book of the 

A A 4 


Satapatha, contains in its first three Adhyayas, a 
close commentary on the Pravargya of the Sanhita, 
but becomes quite independent afterwards. Its ob- 
ject is no longer the sacrifice, but the knowledge of 
Brahman, without any particular reference, however, 
to the last Adhyaya of the Sanhita, which, as we saw, 
was equally devoted to the doctrine of the Upanishads. 
It is clear, therefore, that the iSatapatha-brahmana 
was not simply a running commentary on the San- 
hita ; nay there is nothing to prove that the hymn- 
book of the Vajasaneyins existed previous to their 
Brahmana. The Satapatha-brahmana may have been 
edited by Yajnavalkya, but its component parts, like 
the component parts of the other Brahmanas, must 
have been growing up during a long period of time 
in different localities before they were collected. The 
collection of ancient *Brahmanas must always have 
been the work of individual teachers, and their Brah- 
manas, in their new and complete form, were at first 
the exclusive property of that one Charana to 
which the collectors belonged, or of which they became 
the founders. Afterwards these collective Brahmanas 
were adopted by the members of other Charanas, 
who either added some chapters of their own, or 
introduced certain modifications, by which we now 
find that different texts of one and the same Brah- 
mana differ from one another. We must distin- 
guish, therefore, between old and new Brahmanas, 
the former being those wmich from time immemorial 
had been living in the oral tradition of various 
Charanas, the latter comprising the great collective 
-works. Some of the latter vary slightly in the edi- 
tions adopted in various Charanas ; others, and these 
the most modern, show the distinct influence of 


individual editors. Panini, whose views are not 
shackled by the inspiration-doctrine which blinded 
and misled all the followers of the orthodox Mimansa 
school, broadly states the fact, that there are old and 
new Brahmanas ; whereas, according to the doctrine 
of later divines, the Brahmanas are neither old nor 
new, but eternal, and of divine origin. Panini, who 
is a grammarian, rests his opinion as to the different 
dates of the Brahmanas on the evidence of language. 
"A book," he says, "composed by a certain author, may 
be called by an adjective derived from the author's 
name." 1 For instance, a book composed by Yararuchi, 
may be called " Yararucho granthah." A work, on the 
contrary, which has only been taught and promul- 
gated 2 by a person, is not to be called his book 
(grantha), but bears its own title, such as "gram- 
mar," or, whatever else it may be, together with an 
adjective, derived from the author's name. Panini's 
grammar, for instance, is not to be called " Paniniyo 
granthah," but "Paniniyam vyakaranam" ; because it 
is a canonical work, revealed to Panini, but not invented 
by him. It may also be called " Paniniyam," in the 
singular neuter ; i. e. Panineum. 3 In the same way 
it is perfectly correct to speak of an " Apisalam," a 
work composed by Apisala, of a " Paingi Kalpah," an 
old ceremonial of Pinga's, of a " Madhuri Yrittih," a 
commentary of Madhura 4 , and of "Charakah Slokah," 

1 Pan. iv. 3. 116. ^ffi TTOH Kaiyyata says that this Sutra 
does not belong to Panini. See page 184. 

2 Pdn. iv. 3. 115. W^l Bhashya: fi^H^N ^Tftll 
iv. 3. 101. ^if ^Vjri Bhashya: ^*f lft# f ^ ^rf fHTII 

3 Cf. iv. 3. 101 ; iv. 2. 64. 

4 Cf. Pan. iv. 3. 108. 


verses composed by Charaka. " But," says Panini, "if 
the work referred to consists either of Vedic hymns 
(Chhandas), or of old Brahmanas (puranaprokteshu 
Brahmaneshu), then it is not correct to use these 
derivative adjectives in the singular (unless we employ 
secondary derivatives, such as Taittiriyakam, Katha- 
kam), but it is necessary to use the masculine 
plural." It is wrong to use the word Katham 
as an adjective from Katha, in the sense of hymns 
promulgated by Katha ; or to use Taittiriyam 
(from Tittiri, like Paniniyam from Panini), or 
Taittiriyam Brahmanam, in the sense of a Brahmana 
promulgated by Tittiri. Even Kalpas and Sutras like 
the Kalpas of Kasyapa, and Kausika, or the Sutras of 
Parasarya, Silala, Karmanda, and Krisasva, are better 
quoted as u the Kasyapins" &c. if they are old works. 1 
According to Panini, we must speak of " the Kathas," 
i. e. those who study and know the hymns promulgated 
by Katha 2 ; of " the Taittiriyas," those who study 
and know the Brahmana promulgated by Tittiri. 
This peculiarity of the Sanskrit language, which re- 
minds us of the Greek expression of ol 7rsp), admits 
of a very natural explanation, if we remember that 
in these old times literary works did not exist in 
writing, but were handed down by oral tradition in 
different communities, which represented, so to say, 
different works, or even different recensions of one 
and the same work, like so many manuscripts in 

Cf. Pan. iv. 2. 66. ^ff% JTTHWTf^ ^ ^T^^C^^t^T- 

2 That the Kathas were an old Charana, possessing their own 
tradition and laws, is seen from the 11th Varttika to Pan. iv. 
3. 120. and from Pan. iv. 3. 126. 


later times. It was much more natural, therefore, 
to say, " the Taittiriyas relate," than to speak of a 
Taittiriyam, a work proclaimed by Tittiri, who was 
perhaps a merely nominal ancestor of the Taittiriyas, 
or to refer to a Taittiriya grantha, i. e. Tittiri's book, 
which in reality never existed. That this is the real 
ground for this Sanskrit idiom becomes more evi- 
dent by the exceptions mentioned by Panini himself. 
There are no exceptions with regard to the names of 
hymns, or rather of the supporters of their texts; 
but" there are Brahmanas, Kalpas, and Sutras spoken 
of in the same way as Panini' s own work. It is 
wrong, for instance, to speak of the Yajnavalkyas in 
the same sense as we speak of the Taittiriyas, and the 
works promulgated by Yajnavalkya, although they are 
Brahmanas, are called Yajnavalkyani Brahmanani. 1 
"And why? "says Katyayana; "because they are of 
too recent an origin ; that is to say, they are almost 
contemporaneous with ourselves." Here, then, we see 
that as early as Panini and Katyayana a distinction 
was made, not only by learned men, but in common 
language, between old and modern Brahmanas. We 
see that the Brahmanas of Yajnavalkya, whose works, 
as those of a seceder, we had reason to consider as 
modern, are by their very name classed as modern. 
What other Brahmanas belong to the same class, it is 
not so easy to say 2 , because the only other instance 
quoted, besides the Brahmanas of Yajnavalkya, are 
the Saulabhani Brahmanani ; and they have not yet 
been met with. It is not unlikely, however, that 

i Pan. iv. 3. 105. 1. ^H^R^TTf^TSi: ITf^W^T^^^FT^f- 
2 There is no Gana, Yajnavalkyadili. 


the so-called Anubrahmanani l , or supplementary 
Brahmanas, which we have, for instance, in the 
Sama-veda 2 , may come under this category. 3 

That different Brahmanas existed at the time when 
the great collective Brahmanas were composed, might 
be proved, even without the testimony of Panini, by 
quotations occurring in the Brahmanas themselves. 
The original Charanas were not all rival sects, and it 
was natural that one Charana should be ready to ac- 
cept Brahmanas of another, if they contained any 
additional traditions or precepts which seemed to be 
valuable. Thus we find the Brahmanas of the 
Kathas added to the Brahmanas of the Taittiriyas. 
In other cases we find that one Brahmana quotes 
the opinion of another Sakha, not in support of 
its own doctrines, but in order to refute it. Thus 
the Kaushitakins are frequently attacked in the 
Tandya-brahmana. Now, if these quotations of diffe- 
rent authorities, which we meet with in Brahmanas, 
alluded only to the opinions of certain individuals 
we might still be doubtful whether these opinions 
had formerly been laid down in separate Brahmana 

1 Cf. Pan. iv. 2. 62. 

2 The Anubrahmaninah are mentioned in the Nidana-sutra 
belonging to the Sama-veda. Cf. Ind. Stud. i. 45. 

3 Ancient Chhandas (Sanhita-sakhas) are those of the Kathas, 
Charakas, Maudas, and Paippaladas, Saunakins, Vajasaneyins, &c, 
iv. 2. 66. Ancient Brahmanas are those of the Bhallavins, 
Taittiriyas, Varatantaviyas, Khandikiyas, Aukhiyas ; the Alambins, 
Palangins, Kamalins, Archabhins, Arunins, Tandins, 6yamayanins, 
Kathas, and Kalapas (these descended from the nine pupils of Vai- 
sampayana); the Haridravins, Taumburavins, Aulapins, and 
Chhagaleyins (these derived their origin from the four pupils of 
Kalapin); the ^atyayanins. Old Kalpas are those of the Kasyapins, 
Kausikins, the Paingi and Arunaparaji Kalpah. Old Sutras 
those of the Parasarins, 6ailalins, Karmandins, and Krisasvins. 


works. But when we see quotations like " iti Kau- 
shitakam," " iti Paingyam," " so says the work of the 
Kaushitakins or Paingins," there can be little doubt 
that separate Brahmanas, propagated by separate 
Charanas, are here intended, whatever commentators 
may say to the contrary. 1 

What became of these numerous Brahmana-charanas 
which are quoted both in the Brahmanas and in the 
Sutras, is not quite clear. Most likely they were 
absorbed or replaced by a more modern class of Cha- 
ranas, the Sutra-charanas. When the Sutras once 
came to be regarded as part of the sacred canon, 
they gave rise to a large number of new Charanas. 2 
Their members would preserve the text of the 
Sanhita and Brahmana of an earlier Charana from 
which they originally branched off. 3 The ground 
of division being in the Sutras, the minor dif- 
ferences between the texts of the Sanhitas and 

1 Indische Studien, i. 393. 

2 Colebrooke has taken a different view with respect to the 
Sutras. He says, " But those numerous 6akhas did not differ so 
widely from each other as might be inferred from the mention of 
an equal number of Sanhitas, or distinct collections of texts. In 
general, the various schools of the same Veda seem to have used 
the same assemblage of prayers ; they differed more in their 
copies of the precepts or Brahmanas ; and some received into 
their canon of scripture portions which do not appear to have 
been acknowledged by others. Yet the chief difference seems 
always to have been the use of particular rituals taught in apho- 
risms (sutras) adopted by each school ; and these do not consti- 
tute a portion of the Veda, but, like grammar and astronomy, are 
placed among its appendages." Misc. Essays, i. 18. 


Brahmanas might be waived in these modern 
Charanas, and this would gradually lead to the loss 
of many of the old Sakhas. We saw before, in the 
case of the Sakalas and Bashkalas, that at the time 
when Sutras began to be composed there was a ten- 
dency to reunite different Sakhas into one. That the 
introduction of Sutras encroached on the study of the 
Brahmanas and Sanhitas in the schools of the Brah- 
mans, becomes evident from passages in which the 
custom of performing sacrifices after the prescriptions 
of Sutras only is declared to be without merit and 
without effect. Kumarila in one passage simply 
states the fact that priests perform sacrifices by means 
of the Kalpa-sutras only, and without the Veda, but 
that they could not do the same by means of the 
Mantras and Brahmanas, and without the Kalpas. 1 
In another place 2 he declares that the reason why the 

1 Kumarila, i. 3. 

2 Kumarila, i. 3. 1. ^tT f%^ ^^TlW^fa ^TW^- 

CHARANA-VYdflA. 367 

Smritis or law-books, which he considers to be 
founded on the Yeda, had not been made up of 
literal extracts, was because this would have endan- 
gered the sacred study of the whole Yeda. The 
Yeda would thus have been read in a different order, 
or small extracts only would have been studied in- 
stead of the whole Veda. Now this is what seems to 
have happened to a certain extent by the introduction 
of the Sutras, and it would account for the loss of many 
of the old Sakhas, Sanhitas as well as Brahmanas. 

In order to show more clearly to how great an 
extent the Yedic literature was fostered by means 
of the Charanas, I shall give a list from the Chara- 
navyuha. This Parisishta is a document of a com- 
paratively late period, though it may be one of the 
oldest works belonging to this class of literature. 1 
It is, therefore, no good authority as to the number 
of the old Sanhita-charanas and Brahmana-charanas, 
many of which were lost or merged into others 
during the Sutra period ; but it is of interest as the 
first attempt at a complete enumeration of all Chara- 
nas, and may be trusted particularly with regard to 
the Sutra-charanas, which, at the time of its composi- 
tion, were still of recent origin. The number of the old 
Charanas would, no doubt, have to be increased con- 
siderably, if the quotations of different Sakhas were 

1 It has been printed by Prof. Weber in his Indische Studien. 
I possess the collation of some of the Berlin MSS., but not of all. 
In addition to the MSS. collated by Prof. Weber, I have used the 
text and various readings given in Radhakantadeva's 6abdakalpa- 


taken into account, which occur in the Brahmanas as 
well as in the Sutras. But at the same time we may- 
conclude from the lists given in the Charanavyuha 
that most of these old Charanas were extinct shortly 
after the Sutra-period, and that their works as well 
as their names, began to be forgotten. 

Of the Rig-veda five Charanas are mentioned : 

1. The Sakalas. 1 

2. Bashkalas. 2 

3. Asvalayanas. 3 

4. Sankhayanas. 4 

5. Mandukayanas. 5 

We miss the names of several old Sakh&s such as 
the Aitareyins, Saisiras 6 , Kaushitakins, Paingins, 

1 Pan. iv. 3. 128.: iv. 2. 117. 

2 Bashkala. Not mentioned in Panini. As to its etymology, 
cf. Pan. ii. 1. 65. 

3 Pan. iv. 1. 99. : Gana nadadi. 

4 This 6akha is spelt Sankhyayana, Sankhyayana, Sankha- 
yana and Sankhayana. The last, however, is the most correct 
spelling. See Panini, Ganapatha, asvadi, and kunjadi. This 
6akha is omitted by accident in MS. E. I. H. 

6 Pan. iv. 1. 19 (text). Manduka ; derivative, Mandukayana. 
See also Pan. iv. 1. 119. 

6 The Saisira sakba, however, may perhaps be considered as a 
subdivision of the Sakala-sakha. Saisira, or Sisira, is mentioned 
in the Puranas as one of the five 6akala pupils, who propagated 
different Sakhas of the Rig-veda, all of them derived from the 
original recension of Sakalya Vedamitra. In the Vishnu-purana 
these five pupils or descendants of Sakalya Vedamitra are called 
Mudgala, Gosvalu, Vatsya, Saliya, and 6isira. (Vishnu-pur. 277.) 
In the Vayu-purana their names are Mudgala, Golaka, Khaliya, 
Matsya, Saisireya. In the commentary on the Sakala-pratisakhya 
they are called Mudgala, Gokula, Vatsya, Saisira, and Sisira, 
according to the Paris MS. ; or Mudgala, Gokhula, Vatsya, Sarira, 
and Saisira, according to the MS. at the E. I. H, 


while the Asvalayanas, who are mentioned, must be 
considered as the founders of one of the latest Sakhas 
of the Rig-veda. . 

The number of Sakhas of the Yajur-veda is stated 
at eighty-six. We have first the twelve Charanas 
comprehended under the common name of Charakas. 
They are, according to the MS. of the Charanavyuha : 

1. Charakas. 1 

2. Ahvarakas. 2 

3. Kathas. 3 

4. Prachya-kathas. 4 

5. Kapishthala-kathas. 5 

6. Charayaniyas. 6 

^ret ^f%fTT^Tf^r^^: i frfirct ^fiWT ffrfoTTS^Trrj 
?tot jt?:tw ^i *j?rft ?rr^rY ^n^n frfinc: 

The verses to which this commentary refers are not in the 

1 Pan. iv. 3. 107. text; v. 1. 11. text. Gana Kshipakadi. 

2 Ahvarakas, 6. K. D. Ahurakas, Sansk. G. P. Hvarakas, 
MS. Berol. 785. Cf. Pan. ii. 4. 20. ; vi. 2. 124. ; iii. 2. 135. 
comment. Several of these names are very problematical. 

3 Pan. iv. 3. 107. text; ii. 1. 65. com.; vii. 4. 38. text; vi. 
3. 42. com. ; ii. 4. 3. com. ; i. 3. 49. com. ; ii. 1. 163. com. 

Cf. Pan. vi. 2. 10. 

5 Pan. viii. 3. 91. Kapishthalah and Kapisthalam. Gana krau- 
dyadi and upakadi. As to Ka/x&VJo\ot, see Megasthenes, edit. 
Schwanbeck, p. 33. note, and p. 108. 

6 Pan. iv. 1. 89. com.; iv. 1. 63. com. ; iv. 1. 99. com. ; iv. 3. 
80. com. Gana nadadi. 




7. Yaratantaviyas. 1 

8. Svetasvataras. 2 

9. Aupamanyavas. 3 

10. Patas. 4 

11. Aindineyas. 5 

12. Maitrayaniyas. 6 

The Maitrayaniyas are subdivided into seven Cha- 
ranas : 

13. Manavas. 7 

14. Yarahas. 8 

15. Dundubhas. 

16. Chhagaleyas. 9 

17. Haridraviyas. 10 

18. Syamas. 11 

1 Vartantaviya, MSS. See, however, Pan. iv. 3. 102. 

2 A different reading is mentioned in the 6. K. D., namely, 
6veta 6vetatarah. MS. Chamb. 785., has Svetah Svetantarah ; 
376. 6veta Asvatarah. Sansk. G. P., &vetah &vetatarah. 

3 See Gana Vidadi. 

4 Ashthalakathas, &. K. D. Patandiniyas, Chamb. 785. 

5 Varayaniyas, 3. K. D. 

6 See Ganapatha, arihanadi. 

7 Pan. iv. 1. 105. Gana Gargadi, unless the reading be 

8 Pan. iv. 2. 80. Gana Varahadi. Pan. iv. 1. 78. 

9 Chaikeyas & K. D. MSS. Chamb. 376. 785, have Chhageyas. 
MS. 785. places the Haridraviyas at the end, adding five new- 
divisions, rnr ^if<4faT ?rra x^ i^r *r4f%i ^rft- 

SfRJ^nrn I Pan. iv. 1. 117, Chhagala, atreyas" chet, chhagalir 
anyah ; iv. 3. 109, Chhagaleyinah ; vii. 1. 2, Gana takshasiladi. 
Chhagaleyah, Pan. iv. 2. 30, Gana Sakhyadi. 

10 Pan. iv. 3. 104, Haridru and haridravinah ; iv. 4. 53, Gana 

11 Gana asvadi. 


19. Syamayaniyas. 1 
Then follow 

20. Taittiriyas, subdivided into 

21. Aukhiyas 2 and 

22. Khandikiyas. 3 

The Khandikiyas are again subdivided into: 

23. Kaleyas. 4 

24. Satyayanins. 

25. Hiranyakesins. 

26. Bharadvajins. 

27. Apastambins. 

This gives altogether twenty-seven jSakhas, the same 
number which is mentioned in the Yishnu-purana 5 , 
although the manner of computing them is different. 

Then follow the fifteen Sakhas of the Yajasaneyins, 
a number which is confirmed by the Pratijna-pari- 
sishta, and has also been preserved in the Vishnu- 
purana, while the Charanavyuha of the Sabda- 
kalpa-druma brings their number to seventeen. 
They are : 

28. Jabalas. 6 

1 Pan. iv. 3. 104. 

2 Aukshyas and Aukhyas, 6. K. D. ; Aukhiyas, Ch. 785. ; Au- 
sheyas, Ch. 376. Cf. Pan. iv. 3. 102. 

3 Khandikiyas, Ch. 785. ; Shandikeyas, Ch. 376. ; Pan. iv. 3. 

4 The Charanavyuha of the 6. K. D. has, 23. Apastambins ; 
24. Baudhayanins ; 25. Satyashadhins ; 26. Hiranyakesins ; 27. 
Aukheyas or Audheyins. MS. Ch. 785. has, 23. Kaleyas (Ka- 
leyah, Pan. iv. 2. 8.); 24. &atyayanas (Pan. iv. 3. 105.); 25. Hiran- 
yakesas ; 26. Bharadvajas ; 27. Apastambiyas. MS. 376., Ka- 
letas, Satyayinins, Hiranyakesins, Bharadvajins, Apastambins. 

5 P. 279. " Of the tree of the Yajur-veda there are twenty-seven 
branches, which Vaisampayana, the pupil of Vyasa, compiled and 
taught to as many disciples." 

Pan. vi. 2. 38. text ; ii. 4. 58. 1. 

BB 2 


29. Baudheyas. 1 

30. Kanvas. 2 

31. Madhyandinas. 3 

32. Sapheyas. 4 

33. Tapaniyas. 5 

34. Kapolas. 6 

35. Paundravatsas. 7 

36. Avatikas. 8 

37. Paramavatikas. 9 

38. P&rasaryas. 10 

39. Yaineyas. 11 

40. Vaidheyas. 12 

41. Audheyas. 13 

42. Mauneyas. 14 

Though the number of the Sakhas of the Yajur- 
veda is stated as eighty-six by the Charanavyuha, 

1 Baudheyas, P.-p. Ch. 785. ; Augheyas, 6. K. D. ; Gaudheyas, 
S. G. P. ; Baudhayanas, Ch. 376. E. I. H. ; Baudhih, Pan. ii. 4. 
58. 1. 

2 Pan. iv. 2. 111. text. 

3 Madhyandineyas, Ch. 376. See Gana utsadi. 

4 &apeyas, P.-p. ; 6apiyas, 6. K. D. ; 6apeya, Gana saunakadi. 

5 Tapayaniyas, 6. K. D. ; Ch. 376. ; Tapayanas, Ch. 785. 

6 Kalapas, P.-p. ; Kapalas, 6. K. D. ; Ch. 785. ; Kapolas, Ch. 


7 Paundravachhas, P.-p. ; Ch. 376. Cf. Pan. vii. 3. 24. 

8 Cf. Gana gargadi, Pan. iv. 1. 17.; iv. 1. 75, text. 

9 Pamavatikas or Paramavatikas, 6. K. D. 

10 Parasaras, P.-p. ; Ch. 785. 376. ; Parasariyas, 6. K. D.; Gana 
krisasvadi ; gargadi. 

' Vaidheyas, Ch. 785. ; Vaineyas, Ch. 376. 

12 Vaidheyas, Ch. 376. ; Vaineyas, Ch. 785. 

Aukhyas, P.-p. ; Addhas, Ch. 376. ; Ugheyas, 6. K. D. ; See 
Pan. ii. 4. 7. ; Aukhiyas, Ch. 785. 

14 Baudhyasvas, P.-p. ; Mauneyas, Ch. 785. ; Bodheyas, Ch. 376. 
The . K. D. adds here, 42. Galavas; 43. Vaijaras ; 44. Katya- 


the names given, including the Vajasaneyins, amount 
only to forty-three, exactly half the number expected. 1 
It is difficult to account for this, for although some 
other names are mentioned, for instance the Prachya, 
Udichya and Nairritya Kathas, yet this would not in- 
crease the number of Sakhas sufficiently. 

The largest number of Sakhas is ascribed to the 
Sama-veda. It is said to have been a thousand. The 
author of the Charanavyuha, however, confesses that 
the greater part of them no longer exist. Those 
remaining at the time when the Charanavyuha was 
composed were the seven Sakhas of the 

1. Ranayaniyas. 2 

2. Satyamugryas. 3 

3. Kalapas. 4 ' 

4. Mahakalopas. 5 

5. Langalayanas. 6 

6. Sardulas. 7 

7. Kauthumas. 8 

The Kauthumas are again subdivided into the 

8. Asurayanas. 9 

9. Vatayanas. 10 

1 In a MS. of the Charaka-sakha of the Kathaka, 101 &akhas 
of the Yajur-veda are mentioned. Catalogue of the Berlin MSS., p. 
38. "Ekottarasatadhvaryusakhaprabhedabhinneyajurvedakathake." 

2 Gana pailadi. 

3 Satyamurgyas and 6atyamurgryas, Ch. 785. ; 6atyamurgryas, 
Ch. 376.; Pan. iv. 1.81. " 

4 Kalopas, Ch. 785. 376. , Pan. iv. 3. 108. 

5 Mahakalopas, Ch. 785. 376. ; probably Mahakalapas. 

6 Langalas, Ch. 785. 

7 &irdulas, Ch. 376. ; wanting in Ch. 785. 

8 Gana Kartakaujapadi. 

9 Kauthumas, Ch. 785. ; Gana taulvalyadi. 

10 Sardulas, Ch. 785. 

BB 3 


10. Pranjalidvaitabhrits. 1 

11. Prachinayogyas. 2 

12. Naigeya-Kauthnmas. 3 

The account given by the S. K. D. is very different 
and in many places corrupt. Here we have, 1. the 
Asurayaniyas or Surayaniyas, 2. Vartantaveyas, 
3. Pranjalas, 4. Rigvarnabhedas, 5. Prachinayogyas, 
6. Jnanayogyas, 7. Ranayaniyas. The Ranayaniyas 
are subdivided into nine ; Ranayaniyas, 8. Sathyaya- 
niyas (or Sarayaniyas, Sathyamugryas), 9. Satvalas 
(or Satyamudbhavas), 10. Maudgalas (not mentioned 
in the Bhashya), 11. Khallalas, 12. Mahakhallavas, 
13. Langalas, 14. Kauthumas, 15. Gautamas, 16. 

Of the Atharva-veda nine divisions are mentioned, 
but the names given are incomplete and corrupt. 
They are given here, with some conjectural emenda- 
tions from the MSS. 4 

1. Paippaladas. 5 

1 Surfmayaniyas, Ch. 785. 

2 Prajvalanadvaitabhrits, Ch. 785. ; Prtinjalidvenabhrits, Ch. 
376. Gana Gargadi. 

3 Prachinayogyas and Naigeyas. 

4 The text in the 6. K. D. has thWH I ^"frfTI I Tf^frTT: I 

^Hft^ft ^ft Tfa *tt^ ^rnrffTtii MS - Ch - 785. 

reads ^f^T ^T?fan" t^tU^T ^TT^T^fT sf^WT 
^*T Wt \sRpff ^TTWf^JT%f^l MS. Ch. 376. reads, 

5 Pan. iv. 2. 66. 


2. Saunakas. 1 

3. Damodas. 

4. Tottayanas. 

5. Jay alas. 

6. Brahmapaliisas. 

7. Kaunakhins. 

8. Devadarsanins. 2 

9. Charanavidyas. 

This list makes no distinction between old and new 
Charanas. If we had the whole Vedic literature 
before us, as it was living during ancient times in the 
tradition of numerous Brahmanic families, it would be 
possible to determine which of these Charanas owe 
their origin to Sutras, which to Brahmanas or San- 
hitas. As it is. we can only infer that some Charanas, 
like those of the Asvalayanas, Hiranyakesins, Bhara- 
dvajins, Apastambins, Baudhayanas, Parasaryas, &c, 
are in all probability of modern origin, because the 
only works ascribed to their founders are Sutra com- 
pilations. Their Sanhitas and Brahmanas, when- 
ever they are mentioned, seem to be the same as 
those of older Charanas, with but small modifications. 
Other Charanas, like those of the Paingins, Kaushita- 
kins, Aitareyins, Satyayanins, &c, are not mentioned 
in connection with any Sutras composed by authors 
bearing these names ; and it is most likely, therefore, 
that they derive their origin from authors whose 
names have been perpetuated in the titles of certain 
Brahmanas. Whether these Charanas were in posses- 
sion of Sutras is doubtful, nor have we any means of 
determining whether, for instance, a member of the 
Aitareyi-charana, after adopting the Kalpa-sutras of 
1 Pan. iv. 3. 106. 2 ana j^aunakadi. 

B B 4 


Saunaka, would retain his allegiance to the Aitareyins 
or not. The ancient Sanhitas used in these Brahmana- 
charanas, and originally adopted from older Cha- 
ranas, were not likely to be affected by considerable 
differences after their adoption. The fact that we 
never find a Kaushitaki-sanhita or Paingi-sanhita 
quoted tends to show that the Charanas, which owe 
their independent constitution to the introduction 
of a Brahmana, retained in most instances the 
original text of their Sanhitas. Charanas, lastly, 
like those of the Sakalas, Bashkalas, Saisiras, &c, 
whose names are connected neither with Sutras nor 
Brahmanas, but with Sanhitas only, must be referred 
to the earliest period of the formation of Vedic 
communities, and must have existed, as the bearers 
of their own traditional collection of hymns, before 
the composition of either Brahmanas or Sutras. With 
regard to many Charanas, however, it will remain 
doubtful to which of these three classes they belong, 
until a larger number of Vedic works peculiar to 
each Charana becomes available. Charanas like 
those of the Madhyandinas and Kanvas must be re- 
ferred to the Brahmana period, because their San- 
hitas and Brahmanas are ascribed to one and the 
same teacher. This teacher, Yajnavalkya, is repre- 
sented as the author of modern Brahmanas, and we 
saw that, in all* probability, his Sanhit4 was even 
more modern than his Brahmanas. The fact, how- 
ever, that the Sutras adopted by the Madhyandina 
and K an va- charanas are ascribed to Katyayana, 
shows that these Charanas existed certainly previous 
to the Sutra period. With regard to the Sanhita- 
charanas it will always be difficult to determine how 
far the-'r differences were fixed, if not originally 


called forth by the introduction of the Brahmanas. 
Most likely the Sanhita-charanas are restricted to 
the Rig-veda. It is certain, at least, that no Brah- 
mana belonging to any Veda was composed before 
the division of priests into Hotris, Udgatris, and 
Adhvaryus, had taken place. Before that division 
there was but one collection of hymns, that of the 
Bahvrichas, and it is among the Bahvrichas only 
that we have any distinct traces of Sanhita-charanas. 
It will always be very difficult to assign a distinct 
meaning to such terms as Charana and Sakha, because 
we have nothing that exactly corresponds to them in 
our own experience. Literary works, such as the 
Sakhas were, have assumed with us a much more 
tangible shape. They exist as books, and not merely 
as a body of thought handed down in schools, or 
in families. To read a sakha meant not only to go 
over it, but to take possession of it, to guard it in the 
memory, and to enable others to read it by repeating 
it to them. A man who had read a book was him- 
self the book : the song of a poet had no outward 
existence except through those who heard and re- 
membered it. A work, once composed, might either 
wither for want of an audience, or grow, like a tree, of 
which every new listener would become a new branch. 
The idea of representing what we should call an 
edition of a hundred copies, by the simile of a branch, 
was a very natural one, and if we once adopt it and 
enter into the spirit of this Sanskrit idiom, we see that 
it is difficult to distinguish between the branch, as 
the book, and the branch, as the reader ; between 
the trust, and the trustee. It would be well, how- 
ever, to speak of the former only as sakha, and of 
the latter as the reader of a sakha, while we should 


reserve the name of Charana for those ideal succes- 
sions or fellowships to which all those belonged who 
read the same sakha. 

If it is difficult to describe what a Sakha and a 
Charana were, it is all the more necessary to state 
what they were not. Now a Charana was not the 
same as a Gotra or Kula. Gotra or Kula means a 
family, and the number of families that had a right to 
figure in the Brahmanic Peerage of India was very 
considerable. The Brahmans were proud of their 
ancestors, and preserved their memory with the most 
scrupulous care, as may be seen by the numerous 
treatises on the subject which are preserved to the 
present day. Madhava, for instance, after stating 
who his father, mother, and brothers were, what 
Sakha he followed, what Sutra he had adopted, adds at 
the end that his family descended from Bharadvaja. 1 
Gotras, or families existed among Kshatriyas and 
Vaisyas as well as among Brahmans. 2 Charanas were 
confined to the priestly caste. Gotras depended on a 
real or imaginary community of blood, and thus cor- 
respond to what we call families. Charanas de- 
pended on the community of sacred texts. They 
were ideal fellowships, held together by ties, more 
sacred in the eyes of a Brahman than the mere 
ties of blood. They were the living depositaries of 
the most sacred texts, and with the extinction of a 

1 ^t^nft sMt to ^ftfSWrour: fqrTTi 
WT^> HtiUfRW *H>pTr ^1 
*rer *rr*rT*R $r* ^Hstt to ^ *rr^fti 

2 Baudhayana-sutra-bhashya. MS. E.I. H. 104, p. 91. 

GOTRAS. 379 

Charana, the words which were believed to be the 
breath of God would have been lost without the 
hope of recovery. Members of different Gotras 
might belong to the same Charana. Where the 
member of a Gotra became the founder of a new 
Charana, the new Charana might bear the name of 
its founder, and thus become synonymous, but not 
identical, with a Gotra. 

The names of the Charanas were naturally pre- 
served as long as the texts which they embodied con- 
tinued to be studied. The names of the Gotras were 
liable to confusion, particularly in later times, when 
their number had become very considerable. But 
the respect which the Brahmans, from the very earliest 
time, paid to their ancestors, and the strictness with 
which they prohibited marriages between members of 
the same family, lead us to suppose that the gene- 
alogical lists, such as we find in the Brahmanas, *in 
the Sutras, in the Mahabharata, in the Puranas, and 
even at the present day, present in their general 
outlines a correct account of the priestly families of 
India. All Brahmanic families who keep the sacred 
fires are supposed to descend from the Seven Rishis. 
These are: Bhrigu, Angiras, Visvamitra, Vasishtha, 
Kasyapa, Atri, Agasti. The real ancestors, however, 
are eight in number : Jamadagni, Gautama and 
Bharadvdja, Vwvamitra, Vasishtha, Kasyapa, Atri, 
Agastya. The eight Gotras, which descend from 
these Rishis, are again subdivided into forty-nine 
Gotras, and these forty-nine branch off into a still 
larger number of families. The names gotra, vansa, 
varga, paksha, and gana are all used in the same 
sense, to express the larger as well as the smaller 
families, descended from the eight Rishis. 

380 GOTRAS. 

A Brahman, who keeps the sacrificial fire, is obliged 
by law to know to which of the forty-nine Gotras his 
own family belongs, and in consecrating his own fire 
he must invoke the ancestors who founded the Gotra 
to which he belongs. Each of the forty-nine Gotras 
claims one, or two, or three, or five ancestors, and the 
names of these ancestors constitute the distinctive 
character of each Gotra. 1 A list of these forms part of 
most of the Kalpa-sutras, and I here give one of them 
from the 12th Book of Asvalayana's Srauta-siitras. 2 

List of the Forty-nine Gotras, according to 
Asvalayana, xii. 10. seq. 

1. The Bhrigus. 

Name of Gotra. No. of Ancestors. Invocation of Ancestors. 

1. Jamadagna Vatsah 5 Bhargava, Chy&vana, 

Apnavana, Aurva, J&- 

2. Jamadagnyah or 5 Bhargava, Chyavana, 

Jamadagnah. Apnavana, Arshtishe- 

na, Aniipeti. 

2 These lists vary considerably in the different Sutras. Puru- 
shottama, in his Pravaramanjari, has made an attempt at collect- 
ing and explaining them. He uses the Kalpa-sutras of Baudhayana, 
Apastamba, Satyashadha, Kundina, Bharadvaja, Laugakshi, Ka- 
tyayana, and Asvalayana ; the Matsya-purana, the Bharata, Manu's 
Law-book and their commentaries. For Baudhayana he quotes a 
commentary by Amala ; for Apastamba, Dlmrtasvamin, Kapar- 
disvamin, Gurudevasvamin ; for Asvalayana, Devasvamin. 



Bhargava, Vaitahavya, 

Name of Gotra. No. of Ancestors. Invocation of Ancestors. 

3. Bidah 5 Bhargava, Chyavana, 

Apnavana, Aurva, Bai- 

4. Yaska 

5. Syaitah 3 Bhargava, Yainya, Par- 

1 Badhryasveti. 
3 Bhargava, Daivodasa, 

1 Gartsamadeti. 
3 Bhargava, Saunahotra, 


II. The Angirasas. 
II. a. The Gotamas. 

8. Gotaraah 3 Angirasa, Ayasya, Gau- 


9. Uchathyah 3 Angirasa, Auchathya, 


10. Rahuganah 3 Angirasa, Rahuganya, 


11. Somarajakayah 3 Angirasa, Somarajya, 


6. Mitrayuvah 

7. Sunakah 


Name of Gotra. 

12. Yamadevah 

13. Brihadukthah 

14. Prishadasvah 

15. Rikshah 

16. Kakshivantah 

17. Dirghatamasah 


No. of Ancestors. Invocation of Ancestors. 

3 Angirasa, Yamadevya, 

3 Angirasa, Barhaduk- 

thya, Gautameti. 
' 3 Angirasa, Parshadasva, 
or Yairupeti. 
3 Ashtadanshtra, Parsha- 
dasva, Yairupeti. 
5 Angirasa, Barhaspatya, 

Bharadvaja, Vandana, 

5 Angirasa, Auchathya, 

Gautama, Ausija, Kak- 

3 Angirasa, Auchathya, 


II. b. The Bharadvajas. 

19. Mudgalah 

20. Yishnuvriddhah 

18. Bharadvajagnive- 1 3 Angirasa, Barhaspatya, 
syah Bharadvajeti. 

3 Angirasa, Bharmyasva, 

or Maudgalyeti. 

3 Tarkshya, Bharmyasva, 

3 Angirasa, Paurukutsya, 

5 Angirasa, Barhaspatya, 

Bharadvaja, G&rgya, 

3 Angirasa, Sainya, Gar- 


21. Gargah 

Name of Gotra. 

22. Harita 

23. Sankriti 

24. Kanvah 

25. Kapayak 

gotras. 383 

No. of Ancestors. Invocation of Ancestors. 

3 Angirasa, Ambarisha, 
or Yauvanasveti. 
3 M&ndhatra, Ambarisha, 



or Sankrityeti. 
"3 Saktya, Gaurivita, San- 

" 3 Arigirasa, Ajamilha, 
or Kanveti. 

3 Angirasa, Ghaura, Kan- 
3 Angirasa, Mahiyava, 

5 Angirasa, Barhaspatya, 

26. Saunga-Saisirayali -! or Bharadvaja, Katya, At- 


III. The Atris. 

27. Atrayah 

28. Gavishthirah 

3 Atreya, Archananasa, 

3 Atreya, Gavishthira, 


IV. The Visvamitras. 

29. Chikita- 

Yaisvaniitra, Devarata, 



Name of Gotra. No. of Ancestors. Invocation of Ancestors. 

30. Sraumata-kamaka- ) 3 Vaisvamitra, Devasrava- 

yanah J sa, Daivataraseti. 

31. Dhananjayah 3 Vaisvamitra, Madhu- 

chhandasa, Dhananjay- 

32. Ajah 3 Vaisvamitra, Madhu- 

chhandasa, Ajyeti. 

33. Rohinah 3 Vaisvamitra, Madhu- 

chhandasa, Rauhineti. 

34. Ashtakah 3 Vaisvamitra, Madhu- 

chhandasa, Ashtaketi. 

35. Purana-Varidhapa- 1 3 Vaisvamitra, Devarata, 


36. Katah 

37. Aghamarshanah 

38. Renavah 

39. Venavah 

40. Salankayana- 

3 Vaisvamitra, Katya, At- 

3 Vaisvamitra, Aghamar- 

shana, Kausiketi. 
3 Vaisvamitra, Gathina, 

3 Vaisvamitra, Gathina- 


3 Vaisvamitra, Salanka- 
yana, Kausiketi. 

V. The Kasyapas. 

41. Kasyapah 3 Kasyapa, Avatsara, Asi- 


42. Nidhruvah 3 Kasyapa, Avatsara, 


43. Rebhah 3 Kasyapa, Avatsara, Rai- 


GOTRAS. 385 

Name of Got ra. No. of Ancestors. Invocation of Ancestors. 

3 Sandila, Asita, Daivaleti. 

44. &andil&h 


3 Kasyapa, Asita, Daiva- 

VI. The Vasishthas. 

45. Vasishthah 1 Vasishtheti. 

46. Upamanyavah 3 Vasishtha,Abharadvasu, 


47. Parasarah 3 Vasishtha, Saktya, Pa- 


48. Kundinah 3 Vasishtha, Maitravaru- 

na, Kaundinyeti. 

VII. The Agastis. 

{3 Agastya, Dardhacliyuta, 
or Idhmavaheti. 
3 Agastya, Dardhachyuta, 

There are other lists of much greater extent, which 
may become useful in time for chronological calcula- 
tions. In them the first branch of the Bhrigus, the 
Vatsas, count 73 names ; among them such names as 
Saunakayanah (8), Pailah (13), Paingalayanah (14), 
Paninih (29), Valmikayah (30). The Vidas com- 
prise 13, the Arshtishenas 8, the Yaskas 20, the Mi- 
trayus 11, the Vainyas 3, and the Sunakas 9 names. 
It would occupy too much space to print these lists 

In order to prove that these lists were not merely 
arbitrary compositions, their practical bearing on two 
very important acts of the ancient Brahmanic society, 

c c 

386 GOTRAS. 

the consecrating of the sacrificial fires, and marriage, 
should be borne in mind. 

When the fire is to be consecrated, Agni Havya- 
vahana, the god who carries the libations to heaven, 
must be invoked. This invocation or invitation of 
Agni, is called pravara. 1 Agni himself or the fire is 
called Arsheya, the offspring of the Rishis, because the 
Rishis first lighted him at their sacrifices. He is the 
Hotri as well as the Adhvaryu among the gods. 
Like the Hotri and Adhvaryu priests, he is supposed 
to invite the gods to the sacrifice, and to carry him- 
self the oblation to the seat of the immortals. When 
therefore a Brahman has his own fire consecrated, he 
wishes to declare that he is as worthy as his ancestors 
to offer sacrifices, and he invites Agni to carry his 
oblations to the gods as he did for his ancestors. The 
names of these ancestors must then be added to his 
invitation, and thus the invitation or invocation of 
the ancestors came to be called pravara. For in- 
stance, if a Brahman belongs to the family of the Man- 
dukeyas, he must know that the Mandukeyas belong 
to the Vatsas, and that the Yatsas are descended from 
Bhrigu, and invoke five ancestors. He must, therefore, 
like all members of the Vatsa-gotra, invoke Agni by 
the names of Bhargava, Chyavana, Apnavana, Aurva, 
and Jamadgna. If he belong to the family of 
Yajnavalkya, a branch of the Kusikas, descendants 
of Visvamitra, he must invoke Agni by the name of 
Visvamitra, Devarata and Udala. This, at least, is 

GOTRAS. 387 

the rule laid down in the Baudhayana-sutra, with 
which the Asvalayana-sutra coincides, except that it 
does not mention the Yajnavalkyas as a subdivision 
of the Kusikas. This custom was known at the time 
of the composition of the Brahmanas, and we have no 
reason to doubt that ever since the first establish- 
ment of Vedic sacrifices, the forty-nine families pre- 
served the tradition of their sacred pedigree, and that 
their genealogies possess a certain historical value. 1 

This is confirmed still further if we consider the 
ancient Brahmanic marriage laws. To marry a 
woman belonging to the same Gotra, or having the 
same Pravara, was considered incest, and visited with 
severe penance. Asvalayana (xii. 15.) says : " Asa- 
manapravarair vivahah." "Marriage takes place with 
persons who have not the same Pravara, i. e. who do 
not invoke the same Rishis as their ancestors." 
Apastamba says: "Sagotraya duhitaram na prayach- 
chhet," " Thou shalt not give thy daughter to a man 
belonging to the same Gotra or 'family." Yajnavalkya 
says : " Aroginim bhratrimatirn asamanarshagotrajam 
udvahet." " Let a man marry a woman who is free 
from disease, who has brothers, and who is not 
the daughter of a man having the same ancestors 
and belonging to the same Gotra as himself." In 
each case severe punishments are threatened if a man 

1 Thus we read in the Srauta-sutras of the Manavas, that the 
Dikshita must say his name, the name of his Gotra, of his father, 
grandfather, and great grandfather ; a custom which, if observed 
as a sacred law, must have preserved a genealogical knowledge for 

many generations. ^tf%rfrS*nTCTf%f7f ^T*T "^WTf^l ^T~ 

c c 2 

388 GOTRAS. 

transgress these rules knowingly, or even unknow- 
ingly. There are some special rules with regard to 
marriage, which differ again according to different 
Sutras; of which the following, taken from Asva- 
layana, may serve as a specimen : 

1. Persons who have the same Pravara must not 
intermarry. Hence a Parasara must not marry the 
daughter of a Parasara. 

2. Persons belonging to the same Gotra must not 
intermarry. Hence a Visvamitra must not marry 
the daughter of a Visvamitra. 

3. There are exceptions to this rule among the 
Bhrigus and Angi rasas. As a general rule, persons 
are called sagotra, if but one of the Rishis whom they 
invoke is the same. Hence an Upamanyu must not 
marry the daughter of a Parasara, because the name 
of Vasishtha occurs in the tryarsheya pravara of both. 
But the three Gotras of the Bhrigus, from the Syaitas 
to the &unakas, may intermarry. The first four 
Gotras of the Bhrigus must not, neither the six first 
Gotras of the Gotamas. The Prishadasvas, Mudgalas, 
Yishnuvriddhas, Kanvas, Agastyas, Haritas, San- 
kritis, Kapis and Yaskas may intermarry among 
themselves, and with the Jamadagnyas, &c. Dhir- 
ghatamas', on the contrary, Auchathyas and Kak- 
shivats are to be considered as members of one Gotra, 
nor are marriages allowed between the Bharadvajag- 
nivesis, Rikshas, unga-&aisiris, (or Sungas, Saisiris), 
Katas, and, according to some, the Gargas. 

It is clear from this that the science of genealogy, 
being so intimately connected with the social and 
ecclesiastical system of the Brahmans, must have been 
studied with great care in India, and that the 


genealogical lists which have been preserved to us 
in ancient works represent something real and his- 

After we have thus gained an insight into the 
system by which the Brahmanas were handed down 
from generation to generation, we now return to 
a consideration of the literary merits of these works. 
The Brahmanas represent no doubt a most interest- 
ing phase in the history of the Indian mind, but 
judged by themselves, as literary productions, they 
are most disappointing. No one would have supposed 
that at so early a period, and in so primitive a state 
of society, there could have risen up a literature 
which for pedantry and downright absurdity can 
hardly be matched anywhere. There is no lack of 
striking thoughts, of bold expressions, of sound reason- 
ing, and curious traditions in these collections. But 
these are only like the fragments of a torso, like pre- 
cious gems set in brass and lead. The general cha- 
racter of these works is marked by shallow and insipid 
grandiloquence, by priestly conceit, and antiquarian 
pedantry. It is most important to the historian 
that he should know how soon the fresh and healthy 
growth of a nation can be blighted by priestcraft 
and superstition. It is most important that we 
should know that nations are liable to these epidemics 
in their youth as well as in their dotage. These 
works deserve to be studied as the physician studies 
the twaddle of idiots, and the raving of madmen. 
They will disclose to a thoughtful eye the ruins of 
faded grandeur, the memories of noble aspirations. 
But let us only try to translate these works into our 
own language, and we shall feel astonished that 

c c 3 


human language and human thought should ever 
have been used for such purposes. The following 
is a small specimen, and it has not been chosen to 
give an unfavourable idea of the Brahmanas. It 
is the beginning of the Aitareya-brahmana, and ex- 
plains a sacrificial act in itself full of meaning. Ori- 
ginally the Dikshaniya, as this ceremony is called, 
was meant to represent, by simple and natural emblems, 
the new birth through which a man, on his first ad- 
mission to the sacrifice, was believed to enter a new 
life. Let us see what became of this act in the hands 
of the Brahmans. 

Aitareya-brahmana. Dikshaniya. 

Agni is the first among the Gods, Vishnu the 
last. 1 Between them stand all the other deities. 

They offer a Purolasa to Agni and Vishnu which 
has been prepared for the Dikshaniya in eleven jars. 2 


The commentator says that the gods among whom Agni and 
Vishnu are the first and last, are the gods to whom prayers are 
offered at the ceremonies belonging to the Agnishtoma. There are 
12 prayers (sastra), and the first is addressed to Agni (bhiir 
Agnir jyotih) ; the last, which is an agnimaruta, contains a verse 
in praise of Vishnu (Vishnor nu kam). See Kaushitaki-brahmana, 
viii. 1. This passage proves nothing as to the relative dignity of 
Agni and Vishnu. In the Kaush.-br. Agni is called avararddhya, 
Vishnu pararddhyas, and the Com. explains these terms as signi- 
fying the first in the former, and the first in the latter half. 

A pui ojasa is a baked flour cake (pakvah pishtapindah), and 
nirvap, to strew, means originally to take four handfuls of rice 


They offer it indeed to all the deities of this cere- 
mony, without any difference. 1 

For Agni is all the deities, Vishnu is all the dei- 
ties. 2 

They are the two extremities of the sacrifice, Agni 
and Vishnu. Thus when men offer the Purolasa to 
Agni and Vishnu, they worship the deities at both 
ends. 3 

Here they say, if there be a Purojasa prepared in 
eleven jars, and there be two gods, Agni and Vishnu, 
what rule is there for the two, or what division ? 4 

The Puro]asa of eight jars belongs to Agni, for the 
Gayatri verse consists of eight syllables, and the 
Gayatri is Agni's metre. That of three jars belongs 
to Vishnu, for Vishnu strode thrice through this 
universe. This is their rule here, and this the 
division. 5 

from the cart and throw them into a winnowing basket. Here, 
however, it means the offering of the oblation which has been 
prepared in that manner. The original meaning of Diksha is said 
to be " shaving or cleansing." 

^^f%3rwr %^f%ffcf f^^ff^^^rr l^r^r^ 

c c 4 


He who thinks himself without wealth, may offer 
a Charu in ghee (clarified butter). 1 

On this earth no one succeeds who has no wealth. 2 
The ghee in the Charu, is the milk of the woman, 
the grains belong to the man ; both together are a 
pair. Thus the Charu increases him by this very pair 
with progeny and cattle, so that he may prosper. 3 
He who knows this is increased with progeny. 4 
He who performs the New-moon and Full-moon sa- 
crifices, has commenced with the sacrifice and with the 
gods. 5 After having sacrificed with the new moon 
or full-moon oblation, he may perform the Diksha 
on the same oblation and the same sacrificial seat. 6 

^hWI^t rpR^rr mjfir: "R^reffr wraN 

The commentator tries to show that the Darsa-piirna-masa 
sacrifices are connected with all other rites. Although the Soma 
sacrifice is not a modification of the Dai sa-purna-masa. still the 
Ishtis, as, for instance, the Dikshaniya and PrayanJya, are, and 
they form part of the Soma sacrifice. The Agnihotra also, with 
all its parts, does not follow the rule of the D. P., but it has 
reference to the Ahavaniya and the other sacred fires, and these 
fires must be placed by means of the Pavamana-ishti. Now, as 
all the Ishtis are modifications of the D. P., the relation is esta- 
blished ; and therefore the D. P. may be called the beginning of 



The commentator says: havih means the sacrifice, and barhih 


This is one Diksha. 1 

The Hotri must recite seventeen Samidheni verses. 2 

The Prajapati, the Lord of the World, is seventeen- 
fold, the months are twelve, and the seasons five, by 
putting the Hemanta and Sisira seasons as one. So 
much is the year, and the year is Prajapati. 3 

He who knows this prospers by those verses which 
reside in Prajapati. 4 

The sacrifice went away from the gods. They 
wished to find it by means of the Ishtis. The Ishtis 
are called Ishtis because with them they wished (ish, 
to wish) to find it. 5 They found it. 6 

means the same, and he takes the two locatives in the sense of 
"after this new moon and full moon sacrifice has been performed." 

1 The last words, " this is one Diksha," indicate that there is an- 
other ; that is to say, some allow the Soma sacrifice, which begins 
with the Diksha, before the Darsa-purna-masa. 

The number is stated, because generally the Samidhenis are 
only fifteen in number. These fifteen were originally but eleven 
verses, of which the first and last are repeated three times. 

5 The Brahmana gives here three fanciful etymologies of ishti, 
the technical name of the sacrifice ; ofahuti, the oblations enjoined 
at the sacrifice ; and of uti, another name for the same. The real 
etymology of ishti is not ish, to wish, but yaj, to sacrifice ; of 
ahuti, not hvayati, to call, but juhoti, to offer ; of uti, not ayati, 
to come, but avati, to protect. 

6 ^rsft V^>s ^T^TOTrfafsft: ^m^^frfsfa: 


He who knows this prospers after having found 
the sacrifice. 1 

What are called oblations (ahuti) are invocations 
(ahuti) ; with them the sacrificer calls the gods, 
this is why they are called ahutis. 2 

They are called tltis, for by their means the gods 
come to the calling of the sacrificer (dyanti, they 
come). Or because they are the paths and the ways, 
they are called utis ; for they are the way to heaven 
for the sacrificer. 3 

There they say, as another priest makes the obla- 
tion (scil. the Adhvaryu), then why do they call him 
the Hotri (the offerer), who recites the prayers and 
formulas ? 4 

Because he causes the deities to be brought near 

The commentator says, that the proper name for the Hotri 
would seem to be Anuvaktri or Yashtri, because TJTt'RTWf 


according to their station, saying, " Bring him, bring 
him," this is the reason why he is called Hotri ; he is 
a Hotri (from dvah, to bring near.) x 

He who knows this, is called a Hotri. 2 

He whom the priests initiate (by means of the 
Diksha ceremony), he is made again to be an embryo 
(he is born again.) 3 

They sprinkle him with water. 4 

Water is seed ; having thus given this to him, 
they initiate him. 5 

They anoint him with fresh butter (navanita). 
Clarified butter for the gods is (called) Ajya ; for 
men Surabhighrita ; for the manes Ayuta ; for the 
embryos Navanita. Therefore by anointing him with 
navanita, they increase him with his own portion. 6 

4 ^rftfiNfaii 

The commentator quotes a verse to the effect that molten ghee 
is called ajya ; hardened, it is called ghrita ; slightly molten, it is 
called ayuta; and well seasoned, it is called surabhi. But the 
Taittiriyas say, "ghrita is for the gods, astu for the manes, nish- 
pakva for men." Astu is here the same as ayuta, slightly molten, 
and nishpakva, quite liquid. 


They anoint his eyes with a collyrium. 1 

Anointing is light for the eyes. Having thus im- 
parted light to him, they initiate him. 2 

They rub him clean with twenty-one handfuls of 
Kusa grass. 3 

Him who is pure and has thus been cleaned, they 
initiate. 4 

They take him to the hall. 5 

The hall is the womb for the pupil (dikshita). 
By taking him to the hall they take him (who 
was before represented as an embryo) into his 
womb. 6 

In this true womb he sits, and hence he departs. 7 

Therefore the fruit is borne in the true womb and 
brought forth from it. 8 

Therefore let not the sun shine upon him in its 

1 ^rnraNii 

3 T^fa^T <T^f^t: ^Tq^ftll 

5 ftf%rrf%f*m W^f?Tll 

The hall is called Dikshita-vimita, because it was made (vi- 
mita) for the initiated (dikshita). It is commonly called Piachi- 


8 WT^T^^Mt Vfap ^ * ^ smwil 



rising or setting away from the hall, nor let the 
priests speak to him. 1 

They cover him with a cloth. 2 

This cloth is the caul in which the pupil is to be 
born ; thus they cover him with the caul. 3 

The skin of a black antelope is his next cloak. 4 

Next to the caul is the Jarayu; thus they cover 
him with the Jarayu. 5 

He closes his hands. 6 

With closed hands the embryo lies, with closed 
hands the child is born. As he closes his hands, he 
holds the sacrifice, and all its gods between his 
hands. 7 

They say, there is no confusion for him who has 
first finished his Diksha ; for his sacrifice is held fast 
(between his hands), and the gods are so likewise. 
Therefore there can be no loss for him, like that 
which falls on him whose Diksha was finished later. 8 

5 ^rrrt ^t ^^T^rTra ^n:rew%*T rrsfHhffirii 
8 ct^ti^ ^hftfaw: *nHYsf% ^f^ftrrt ^t 


After having put off his cloak, he descends to the 
bath. Therefore an embryo is born after he is sepa- 
rated from the Jarayu. 1 

He descends together with his cloth therefore a 
child is born together with the caul. 2 

For him who has not offered a sacrifice before, let 
(the Hotri) recite two puronuvakyas, " tvam agne 
sapratha asi," (v. 13. 4.) for the first, "soma yas te 
mayobhuvah" (i. 9L 9.) for the second portion of 
the ghee. 3 

(The third line of the first verse is) "through thee 
they carry out the sacrifice ; " and by reciting this 
line the Hotri carries out the sacrifice for the pupil. 4 

It is said by the commentator that if two or more Brahmans 
perform the Soma sacrifice on the same spot and at the same time, 
they commit a sin, which is called sansava, confusion of libations. 
They ought to be separated by a river or a mountain. He, how- 
ever, who has finished his Diksha first and holds the gods between 
his closed hands, is not exposed to the consequences of the san- 
sava, because the gods will be with him and not with the other 
man whose Diksha was finished later. 

*n?t: ^rrV^T^r ^fW^i: n^brfterR: wtpItii 

After the general remarks on the Dikshaniyeshti which were 
given in the first three sections, without any particular regard to 
the offices of the Hotri, the fourth section begins with the cere- 
monial rules for the Hotri. The Hotri has to recite certain verses 
on being ordered to do so by the Adhvaryu. 


For him who has offered a sacrifice before, let the 
Hotri recite instead "Agnih pratnena manmana," 
(viii. 44. 12.) and "soma girbhish tva vayam " 
(i. 91. II.) 1 

By saying " pratnam n (former) a word which oc- 
curs in the first verse, he alludes to the former 
sacrifice. 2 

Both these rules (of using certain verses for a man 
who has not, and for a man who has, sacrificed before) 
are not to be observed. 3 

Let him rather use the two verses on the destruc- 
tion of Vritra "Agnirvritranijanghanat," (vi. 16. 24.) 
and " tvam Somasi satpatih " (i. 91. 5.) 4 

For he whom the sacrifice approaches destroys 
Vritra ; therefore verses on the destruction of Vritra 
are to be used. 5 

Having enjoined these two verses for the introduc- 
tory ceremony of the offering of ghee, the Brahmana 
now proceeds to detail the yajyanuvakyas for the 
principal offering. 

^hftwnr: wrrtiii 
3 frrrwTWH 

5 t^ 3T ipr Ufa % 5* ^RHf^r rrw^wr^ 

The reason which the commentator gives for this extraordinary 
proceeding is, that in each of the two couples of verses which 
were first recommended, the first verse only contained an allusion 
to the peculiarities of the sacrifices, while the two verses now 
enjoined both treat of the destruction of Vritra. 


" Agnir mukham prathamo devatanam," &c., is the 
Puronuvakya, " Agnis cha Vishno tapa uttamam 
mahah," etc. the Yajya verse. These two verses on 
Agni and Vishnu are correct in form. The correctness 
of a sacrifice consists in its correctness of form ; it 
consists in this that the verse recited alludes to the 
act performed. 1 

Agni and Vishnu are the guardians of the Diksha 
among the gods. They are the lords of the Diksha. 
Therefore as the oblation is to Agni and Vishnu, they 
who are the lords of the Diksha are pleased and grant 
the Diksha, saying, Let those who perform this rite 
be initiated. 2 

They are Trishtubhs (by their metre), in order 
that they may give bodily strength. 3 

Having explained the verses used by the Hotri at 
the principal part of the sacrifice, the Brahmana adds 
some rules on the Svishtakrit verses. 

%mwt ^w*j% tjtt% *rsre w*?^ ij^to^i ^^^ 

Instead of saying " anuvakyayajye," because the anuvakya 
comes before the yajya, the compound yajyanuvakye is formed, the 
shorter word, according to grammar, standing first in a Dvandva 
compound. The verses are not in the 6akala-sakha of the 

t*rT?r crornn^ri ^fwrfir *rr ^^tct turn 


BliAUMANAS. 401 

He who wishes for beauty and for wisdom, let him 
use the two Gayatri verses * of the Svishtakrit. 2 

The Gayatri is beauty, full of wisdom. 3 

He who knowing this uses the two Gayatris be- 
comes possessed of beauty and wisdom. 4 

He who desires long life, let him use two Ushnih 
verses. 5 

Ushnih is life. 6 

He who knowing this uses the two Ushnihs, arrives 
at any age. 7 

He who desires heaven, let him use two Anush- 
tubhs. 8 

There are sixty-four syllables in the two Anush- 
tubhs, and three are these worlds, (earth, sky and 
heaven) each of twenty-one parts. With each 
twenty-one syllables he ascends to these worlds, and 
with the sixty-fourth he stands firm in heaven. 9 

1 They are " Sa havyaval amartyah," (iii. 11. 2.) and " Agnir 
liota purohitah." (iii. 11. 1.) 

They are "Agne vajasya gomatah," (i. 79. 4.) and "Sa idhano 
vasush kavih." (i. 79. 5.) 

8 ^*Pg*?Y ^^TO: ^ffrfll 

They are "Tvam Agne vasun." (i. 45. 1.) 



He who knowing this uses the two Anushtubhs 
stands firm. 1 

He who desires wealth and glory, let him use two 
Brihatis. 2 

The Brihati is wealth and glory. 3 

He who knowing this uses two Brihatis, gives him- 
self wealth and glory. 4 

He who loves the sacrifice, let him use two 
Panktis. 5 

The sacrifice is like a Pankti. 6 

The sacrifice comes to him who, knowing this, uses 
two Panktis. 7 

Let him who desires strength, use two Trishtubhs. 8 

Trishtubh is strength, which is vigour and power. 9 

He who knowing this uses two Trishtubhs, becomes 
strong, vigorous and powerful. 10 

1 irf?rf?ref% ^ Tr^T*Tjwt 3^11 

2 ^wr ^sPfanft *nrw*r: ^faii 

They are "Ena vo agnim (vii. 16. 1.), and Udasya sochih." (vii. 
16. 3.) 

They are " Agnim tam manye." (v. 6. 1.) 

6 Trnrr % *rsi:ii 

7 ^t wr TRft ^ iwfH'i^ ^tft ^^ii 

8 f*wr ft^T^R: ^ffrTll 

They are "Dve virupe charatah." (i. 95. 1.) 


Let him who desires cattle, use two Jagatis. 1 

Cattle is Jagati-like. 2 

He who knowing this uses two Jagatis, becomes 
rich in cattle. 3 

Let him who desires food, use two Viraj verses. 4 

Viraj is food. 5 (vir&j, to shine.) 

Therefore he who has the largest food here shines 
most on earth ; this is the reason why it is called 
Vir&j (shining). 6 

He who knows this shines forth among his own 
people; he is the best of his friends. 7 

All these are voluntary verses. We now come to 
those which are always to be used. 

Now the metre Viraj possesses five powers. 

Because it has three lines, therefore it is Gayatri 
and Ushnih (which also have three lines). Because 
its lines have each eleven syllables, therefore it is 
Trishtubh. Because it has thirty- three syllables, 
therefore it is Anushtubh. ( If it be said that the two 
Viraj verses in question, i. e. " preddho agne," &c. 
and " imo agne," &c., have only thirty-one and thirty- 

They are " Janasya gopa." (v. 11. 1.) 

2 srFTfTT % wr: ii 

They are "Preddho agne" (vii. 1. 3.), "Imo agne." (vii. 1. 18.) 
5 ^%f^TJII 

f^TT^ffH fTf%TT^T f^TT^^H 

7 fa % TT^fir ^f: wr*n *rcf?t v q# ^11 hji 

DD 2 


two syllables, it must be remembered that) metres do 
not change by one syllable or by two. The fifth power 
is that it is Yiraj (shining). 1 

He who knowing this uses the two Yiraj verses, ob- 
tains the power of all metres, retains the power of all 
metres, obtains union, uniformity and unison with 
all metres, eats and has to eat, has food together with 
his family. 2 

Therefore the two Yiraj verses are certainly to be 
used, those which begin with " Preddho agne " and 
" Imo agne." 3 

Diksha is right, Diksha is truth, therefore a man 
who performs the Diksha must speak the truth. 4 

Now they say, what man can speak all truth ? 
Gods are full of truth, men are full of falsehood. 5 

2 wit w^f ^t^FR^ir wrf w^f ^Nrspr w- 
"iwt ^^wt hvq&\ w^Pft ^r^rn^^s^rfts^rfn- 

Right (rita) and truth (satya) are said to differ, inasmuch as 
rita means a true conception, satya, a true speech. 


Let him make each speech with the word " Vicha- 
kshana." (which means, let him put " vichakshana ? at 
the end of the name of a person whom he addresses.) 1 

The eye is vichakshana, for with it he sees clearly 
(vi-chaksh, to perceive.) 2 

The eye is established as truth among men. 3 

Therefore people say to a man who tells something, 
" Hast thou seen it ? " And if he says " I saw it," 
then they believe him. And if one sees a thing one- 
self, one does not believe others, even many. 4 

Therefore let a man make each speech with the 
word "Vichakshana"; then his uttered speech be- 
comes full of truth. 5 

For instance, instead of saying, " Devadatta, bring the cow ; " 
let him say, " Devadatta, vichakshana, bring the cow." According 
to Apastamba, vichakshana ought to be used after the names of a 
Kshatriya and Vaisya, but "chanasita" after the name of a Brah- 

2 ^g| fa^W f% %^T trcnftfftll Kaush.-br. ^^ 

DD 3 


The next extract is from the Kaushitaki-brah- 
mana (xxvi. 5.). It will show how completely the true 
character of the sacrifice had been forgotten, and how 
much importance was attached to mere trifles. 1 It is 
intelligible, wherever there is an established ceremo- 
nial, and priests appointed to watch over it, that cer- 
tain rules should be laid down for remedying any 
mistake that may have occurred in the performance 
of a sacrifice. The chapter of accidents is a large 
one, and the Brahmans have spared no pains in laying 
down the most complicated rules, how to counteract 
the consequences* of a real mistake. The rules of pe- 

vfrim* flftflrut *m ^rd^frr^ *n^> wt- 

^TT^lt 3T M'$ I ^\wk rf^^T "sreTf^rfTT TOWfTf^Wl rfT- 
fTTf^W "3?<crf?T d<d ^l^jf^TTII 


nance or prayaschitta occupy, in several instances, one 
third of the whole collections of ceremonial rules. 
But this was not enough. Discussions were raised, 
not only how to remedy mistakes, that had been ob- 
served at the time ; but how to counteract the effects 
of mistakes, unobserved during the performance of 
the sacrifice. To settle this question, the Kaushita- 
kins quote the following story: 

" And then Pratardana, the son of Divodasa, (a 
famous king) having gone to the sacrifice of the 
Rishis of Nimisha, sat down in their presence and asked 
the question: ' If the Saclasya (the superintending 
priest, according to the ceremonial of the Kaushita- 
kins) should make known a past blunder, or any one of 
the priests should observe it, how would you be free 
from sin ? ' The priests were silent. Their Brahman 
was Alikayu, the descendant of Vachaspati. He said, ' I 
do not know this, alas! Let us ask the teacher of our 
fathers, the elder Jatukarnya.' He asked him : l If 
the performer himself should observe a past blunder, 
or some one else should make it known, how could 
that blunder become not a blunder ? by saying the 
passage again, or by an offering ? ' Jatukarnya said, 
4 The passage must be said again.' Alikayu asked 
him again : l Should he say again the Sastra, the 
Anuvachana, the Nigada, the Yajya, or whatever else 
it may be, from beginning to end ? ' Jatukarnya 
said : c As far as the blunder extends, so far let him 
say it again, whether a verse, a half verse, a foot, a 
word, or a letter.' Then said Kaushitaki: 'Let him 
not say the passage again, nor let him perform a pe- 
nance offering (Kaush.-br. vi. 11.). It is not a 
blunder,' so said Kaushitaki ; * for, whatever blunder 
the Hotris commit at the sacrifice without being 

D D 4 


aware of it, all that, Agni, the divine Hotri, makes 
whole ; and this is confirmed by a verse from the 
Rig-veda.' " 

There are, however, other passages in the Br&h- 
manas, full of genuine thought and feeling, and most 
valuable as pictures of life, and as records of early 
struggles, which have left no trace in the literature 
of other nations. The story of Sunahsepha, for in- 
stance, which we find in the Aitareya-brahmana, and 
in the Sankhayana-sutras is interesting in many 
respects. It shows that, at that early time, the Brah- 
mans were familiar with the idea of human sacrifices, 
and that men who were supposed to belong to the 
caste of the Brahmans were ready to sell their sons 
for that purpose. The text of this story, together 
with the various readings, as gathered from the 
Sankhayana-sutras will be printed in the appendix. 1 

"Harischandra 2 , the son of Vedhas, of the family 
of the Ikshvakus, was a king without a son. He had 
a hundred wives, but had no son by them. In his 
house lived Parvata and Narada. He asked Narada : 
' Tell me, Narada, what do people gain by a 
son, whom they all wish for, as well those who reason 
as those who do not reason ? ' 

Being asked by one verse, Narada 3 replied in ten 
verses : 

1 See Professor Wilson's Essay on Human Sacrifices in the 
Veda, and Professor Roth, in Weber's Ind. Studien, i. p. 457. 

2 Harischandra was, according to the Puranas, the son of Tri- 
sanku, king of Ayodhya, whom Vasishtha had cursed, and who 
made Visvamitra his Purohita. Visvamitra in the Brahmana is 
represented as one of Harischandra's priests, but the office of 
Brahman is held by Vasishtha. In the Ramayana, the sacrifice 
of Sunahsepha takes place under King Ambarisha. 

3 Narada is known as a frequent interlocutor in the epic 


'If a father sees the face of a son, born alive, 
he pays a debt in him, and goes to immortality. 

1 The pleasure which a father has in his son is 
greater than all the pleasures that are from the earth, 
from the fire, and from the waters. 

'Always have the fathers overcome the great 
darkness by a son ; for a Self is born from his Self ; 
it (the new-born Self, the son) is like a ship, full of 
food, to carry him over. 

1 What is the flesh ? What is the skin ? What 
are the hairs ? What the heat ? Try to get a sou, 
you Brahmans ; he is undoubtedly the world. 

' Food is life for men, clothing his protection, gold 
his beauty, cattle his strength. His wife is a friend, 
his daughter is a pity 1 ; but the son is his light in the 
highest world. 

4 As husband he embraces a wife, who becomes 

and puranic poetry, particularly in dialogues where moral and 
legal precepts are given. Cf. Burnouf, Bhagavat-purana, vol. iii. 

1 The commentator gives a very different version of this line. 
He takes mala, which usually means matter, or mud, to signify 
the state of life of a Grihastha, or householder. Ajina, the skin, 
particularly of the antelope (aja), he takes as a symbol of the 
Brahmachdrin state, because the pupil wears a skin. Smasruni, 
used in the singular for beard, he takes as a symbol for the Vana- 
prastha, because he does not shave any more ; and tapas he ex- 
plains to mean the penance practised by the Parivrajaka. 

Why the birth of a daughter was considered a pity we learn 
from the following verse (metre Rathoddhata) : 


his mother, when he becomes her child. Having been 
renewed in her, he is born in the tenth month. 

1 A wife is a wife (jaya) because man is born 
(jayate) again in her. She is a mother (abhuti) 
because she brings forth (abhuti) ; a germ is hidden 
in her. 

1 The gods and the old ages brought great light 
unto her. The gods said to men : " In her you will 
be born again." 

' There is no life for him who has no son, this the 
animals also know. 

1 The path which those follow who have sons and 
no sorrows, is widely praised and happy. Beasts 
and birds know it, and they have young ones every- 
where. 7 

Having thus spoken, he said to him : * Go to Va- 
runa the king, and say : May a son be born to me, 
and I shall sacrifice him to you. 7 The king assented, 
he went to Varuna the king, and said : 4 May a son 
be born to me and I shall sacrifice him to you. 7 
Varuna said, ' Yes. 7 A son was born to him, called 
Rohita. Then Varuna said to Harischandra : ' A son 
is born to thee, sacrifice him to me. 7 Harischandra 
said : ' When an animal is more than ten days old, 
it can be sacrificed. May he be older than ten days 
and I shall sacrifice him to you. 7 

Varuna assented. The boy was more than ten days 
old, and Varuna said : ' He is older now than ten days, 
sacrifice him to me. 7 Harischandra said : ' When 
an animal 7 s teeth come, then it can be sacrificed. May 
his teeth now come, and I shall sacrifice him to you.' 

Varuna assented. His teeth came, and Varuna 
said : ' His teeth have come, sacrifice him to me. 7 
Harischandra said : c W T hen an animal's teeth fall 


out, then it can be sacrificed. May his teeth fall out, 
and I shall sacrifice him to you.' 

Varuna assented; his teeth fell out, and Varuna 
said : l His teeth have fallen out, sacrifice him to 
me.' Harischandra replied : ' When an animal's 
teeth come again, then it can be sacrificed. May his 
teeth come again, and I shall sacrifice him to you/ 

Varuna assented. His teeth came again, and 
Varuna said : ' His teeth have come again, sacrifice 
him to me.' Harischandra said : ' When a warrior 
(kshatriya) is girt with his armour, then he can be 
sacrificed. May he be girt, and I shall sacrifice him 
to you.' 

Varuna assented. He was girt, and Varuna said : 
1 He has been girt, let him be sacrificed to me.' 

Harischandra assented. He addressed his son and 
said : ' Child, he gave you to me ; Death ! that I 
sacrifice you to him.' The son said, ' No ! ' took his 
bow, and went to the forest, and lived there for a 

And Varuna seized Harischandra, and his belly 
swelled. This Rohita heard and went from the 
forest to the village (grama). Indra, in the form of 
a man, went round him, and said : ' For a man who 
does not travel about there is no happiness, thus we 
have heard, Rohita ! A good man who stays at 
home is a bad man. Indra is the friend of him who 
travels. Travel.' 

Rohita thought, a Brahman has told me to travel, 
and thus he travelled a second year in the forest. 
When he went from the forest to the village, Indra, 
in the form of a man, went round him, and said : 

' A traveller's legs are like blossoming branches, 

412 brahmanas. 

he himself grows and gathers the fruit. All his 
wrongs vanish, destroyed by his exertion on the road. 
Travel ! ' 

Rohita thought, a Brahman has told me to travel, 
and thus he travelled a third year in the forest. 
When he went from the forest to the town, Indra, in 
the form of a man, went round him, and said : 

i The fortune of a man who sits, sits also ; it rises, 
when he rises ; it sleeps, when he sleeps ; it moves 
well when he moves. Travel ! ' 

Rohita thought, a Brahman has told me to travel, 
and thus he travelled a fourth year in the forest. 
When he went from the forest to the town, Indra, in 
the form of a man, went round him, and said : 

1 A man who sleeps is like the Kali age * ; a man 
who awakes is like the Dvapara age ; a man who rises 
is like the Treta age ; a man who travels is like the 
Krita age. Travel ! ' 

Rohita thought, a Brahman has told me to travel, 
and thus he travelled a fifth year in the forest. 
When he went from the forest to the town, Indra, in 
the form of a man, went round him, and said : 

1 A traveller finds honey, a traveller finds sweet 
figs. Look at the happiness of the sun, who travel- 
ling never tires. Travel ! ' 

Rohita thought, a Brahman has told me to travel, 
and thus he travelled a sixth year. He met in the 
forest a starving Rishi, Ajigarta, the son of Suyavasa. 
He had three sons, Sunahpuchha, Sunahsepha, and 
SunolangCda. Rohita said to him : ' Rishi, I give 
you a hundred cows, I ransom myself with one 

1 This is one of the earliest allusions to the four ages of the 


of these thy sons.' The father embraced the eldest 
son, and said : c Not him.* ' Nor him/ said the 
mother, embracing the youngest. And the parents 
bargained to give Sunahsepha, the middle son. 
Eohita gave a hundred, took him, and went from the 
forest to the village. And he came to his father, and 
said : ' Father, Death ! I ransom myself by him.' 
The father went to Varuna, and said : 1 1 shall sacri- 
fice this man to you/ Varuna said, c Yes, for a 
Brahman is better than a Kshatriya/ And he told 
him to perform a Rajasu} r a sacrifice. Harischandra 
took him to be the victim for the day, when the 
Soma is spent to the gods. 

Visvdmitra was his Hotri priest, Jamadagni his 
Adhvaryu priest, Vasishtha, the Brahman, Ayasya, the 
Udgatri priest. When Sunahsepha had been pre- 
pared, they found nobody to bind him to the sacri- 
ficial post. And Ajigarta, the son of Suyavasa said : 
1 Give me another hundred, and I shall bind him.' 1 
They gave him another hundred, and he bound him. 
When he had been prepared and bound, when the 
Apri hymns had been sung, and he had been led 
round the fire, they found nobody to kill him. And 
Ajigarta, the son of Suyavasa said : ' Give me an- 
other hundred, and I shall kill him. , They gave 
him another hundred, and he came whetting his 
sword. Then Sunahsepha thought, ' They will really 
kill me, as if I was not a man. 2 Death ! I shall pray 

1 Langlois, in his translation of the Harivansa (i. 124.), takes a 
different view of this circumstance. According to his translation 
6unahsepha " avait ete dans une autre existence un des coursiers 
atteles au char du soleil." Langlois reads in the text Haridasva, 
which he takes as a name of the sun with green horses. 

2 The commentator observes here, that although at a sacrifice 
men and wild beasts were bound to the post, yet both beasts 


to the gods.' He went with a hymn to Prajdpati 
(Lord of the World), the first of gods. Prajapati 
said to him : * Agni (fire) is the nearest of gods, go 
to him.' He went with a hymn to Agni, and Agni 
said to him : ' Savitri (the progenitor) rules all 
creatures, go to him.' He went with a hymn to 
Savitri, and Savitri said to him : ' Thou art bound 
for Varuna the king, go to him.' He went with a 
hymn to Varuna the king, and Varuna said to him : 

* Agni is the mouth of the gods, the kindest god, 
praise him, and we shall set thee free.' Thus he 
praised Agni, and Agni said to him : ' Praise the 
Visve Devah, and we shall set thee free.' Thus he 
praised the Visve Devah, and they said to him : 

* Indra is the greatest, mightiest, strongest, and 
friendliest of the gods, praise him, and we shall set 
thee free/ Thus he praised Indra, and Indra was 
pleased, and gave him in his mind a golden car, which 
Sunahsepha acknowledged by another verse. Indra 
said to him ; l Praise the A&vinau, and we shall set 
thee free/ Thus he praised the Asvinau, and they 
said to him : l Praise Ushas (dawn), and we shall 
set thee free.' Thus he praised Ushas with three 
verses. While each verse was delivered, his fetters 
were loosed, and Harischandra's belly grew smaller, 
and when the last verse was said, his fetters were 
loosed, and Harischandra well again." 

This story is chiefly interesting as revealing to 
us three distinct elements in the early social life 
of India. These are represented by the royal or 

and men were set free immediately after the Paryagni-karanam 
(purification by fire, carried round), and only animals like sheep, 
&c, were killed. 


reigning family of the Ikshvakus, by their priests 
or ministers belonging to several famous Brah- 
manical races, and by a third class of men, living in 
the forests, such as Ajigarta and his three sons. It 
is true that Ajigarta is called a Rishi, and one of 
his sons a Brahman. But even if we accept the 
Aryan origin of Ajigarta, the seller and butcher of 
his own son, it is important to remark how great a 
difference there must have been between the various 
Aryan settlers in India. Whether we ascribe this 
difference to a difference in the time of immigration, 
or whatever other reason we may assign to it, yet 
there remains the fact, that, with all the vaunted 
civilisation of the higher Aryan classes, there were 
Aryan people in India to whom not only a young 
prince could make the offer of buying their children, 
but where the father offered himself to bind and kill 
the son, whom he had sold for a hundred cows. This 
was a case so startling to the later Brahman s, that the 
author of the Laws of Manu was obliged to allude to 
it, in order to defend the dignity of his caste. 1 Manu 
says, that hunger is an excuse for many things, and 
that Ajigarta, although he went to kill his own son, was 
not guilty of a crime, because he did so to appease 
his hunger. Now the author of the Aitareya-brah- 
mana certainly does not adopt this view, for Ajigarta 
is there, as we shall see, severely abused for his 
cruelty, so much so, that his son, whom he has sold, 
considers himself at liberty to leave the family of his 
parents, and to accept the offer made by Visvamitra 
of being adopted into his family. So revolting, in- 
deed, is the description given of Ajigarta's behaviour 

1 Manu, x. 105. 


in the Brahmana, that we should rather recognise in 
him a specimen of the un- Aryan population of India. 
Such a supposition, however, would be in contradic- 
tion with several of the most essential points of the 
legend, particularly in what regards the adoption of 
Sunahsepha by Visvamitra. Visvamitra, though 
arrived at the dignity of a Brahman, clearly considers 
the adoption of Sunahsepha Devarata, of the famous 
Brahmanic family of the Angirasas, as an advantage 
for himself and for his descendants ; and the Deva- 
ratas are indeed mentioned as a famous branch of 
the Visvamitras. (Y.-P. p. 405, 23.). Sunahsepha is 
made his eldest son, and the leader of his brothers, 
evidently as the defender and voucher of their 
Brahmahood, which must have been then of very 
recent date, because Visvamitra himself is still ad- 
dressed by Sunahsepha as Rdja-putra, and Bharata- 

The Aitareya-brahmana goes on to state that the 
priests asked Sunahsepha to perform the sacrifice of the 
day. (Sunahsepha then invented the ceremony called 
Anjahsava, and prepared the Soma, accompanied by 
four verses. 1 He poured the Soma into the Drona-ka- 
lasa vessel with one verse, and made the libations with 
the four first verses of the same hymn, accompanied 
by Svaha exclamations, as the sacrifice had been 
begun by Harischandra. Afterwards he carried out 
all the things belonging to the Avabritha ceremony, 
employing two verses, and made Harischandra go to 
the Ahavaniya fire with another hymn. 

" When the sacrifice had thus been performed Su- 
nahsepha sat down on the lap of Visvamitra. Ajigarta, 

1 These verses are to be found in the sixth Anuvaka of the 
first Mandala of the Ricr-veda. 


the son of Suyavasa, said : u Rishi, give me back my 
son." Visvamitra said, " No ; for the gods have 
given him to me." He became Devarata (Theodotus) 
the son of Visvamitra, and the members of the fami- 
lies of Kapila and Babhru became his relations. 
Ajigarta the son of Siiyavasa said : H Come thou, 
son, we, both I and thy mother call thee away." 
Ajigarta the son of Siiyavasa said : u Thou art by 
birth an Angirasa, the son of Ajigarta, celebrated as 
a poet. Rishi, go not away from the line of thy 
grandfather, come back to me." Sunahsepha replied : 
" They have seen thee with a knife in thy hand, a thing 
that men have never found even amongst Sudras ; thou 
hast taken three hundred cows for me, Angiras." 
Ajigarta the son of Suyavasa said: " My old so, it 
grieves me for the wrong that I have done ; I throw 
it away, may these hundred cows belong to thee." 
ounahsepha replied : " Who once commits a sin will 
commit also another sin ; thou wilt not abstain from 
the ways of Sudras; what thou hast committed 
cannot be redressed." " Cannot be redressed," Visva- 
mitra repeated. " Dreadful stood the son of Suyavasa 
when he went to kill with his knife. Be not his 
son, come and be my son." Sunahsepha said: " Tell 
us thyself, son of a king, thus as thou art known to 
us, how I, who am an Angirasa, shall become thy 
son." Visvamitra replied : " Thou shalt be the eldest 
of my sons, thy offspring shall be the first, thou shalt 
receive the heritage which the gods have given me, 
thus I address thee." Sunalisepha replied : " May 
the leader of the Bharatas say so, in the presence of 
his agreeing sons, for friendship's and happiness' sake, 
that I shall become thy son." Then Visvamitra ad- 

E E 


dressed his sons : u Hear me, Madhuchhandas, Rishabha, 
Renu, Ashtaka, and all ye brothers that you are, 
believe in his seniority." 

This Visvamitra had a hundred sons, fifty older than 
Madhuchhandas, and fifty younger. The elder did not 
like this, and Visvamitra pronounced a curse upon 
them, that they should become outcasts. They 
became Andhras, Pundras, Sabaras, Pulindas, Miiti- 
bas, and many other outcast tribes, so that the 
descendants of Visramitra became the worst of the 
Dasyus. But Madhuchhandas, together with the 
other fifty sons, said : " What our father tells us, in 
that we abide; we place thee before us and follow thee." 
When Visvamitra heard this, he praised his sons and 
said : " You sons will have good children and cattle, 
because you have accepted my will, and have made 
me rich in brave sons. You, descendants of Gathin *, 
are to be honoured by all, you brave sons, led by 
Devarata ; he will be to you good counsel. You, 
descendants of Kusika, follow Devarata, he is your 
hero, he will give you my riches, and whatever know- 
ledge I possess. You are wise, all you sons of Vis- 
vamitra together ; you are rich, you stood to uphold 
Devarata, and to make him your eldest, descendants of 
Gathin. Devarata 2 (Sunahsepha) is mentioned as a 

1 Pururavas 
. . . . x Gathin Kausika (Bhrigus) 

J I I 

Visvamitra. Satyavati x Richika (Ikshvakus) 

Jamadagni x Renuka 

Parasu-rama. . 
2 This last verse, which is also attributed to Visvamitra, ought 


Rislii of both families, in the chiefdom of the Jahnus, 
and in the divine Veda of the Gathins." 

The same chapter of the Aitareya-brahmana, where 
this story of Sunahsepha is told, contains many cu- 
rious details on the mutual relation of the Brahmans 
and the Kshatriyas. The story of Sunahsepha is said to 
form a part of the inauguration of a king, to whom it 
is related by the Hotri priests, the Adhvaryu priest 
acting the second part ; perhaps an early attempt at 
dramatic representation. 

It does not necessarily follow from this legend that 
the Rishis, the authors of the Vedic hymns, offered 
human sacrifices. No one would conclude from the 
willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his own son in 
obedience to a supposed command from Jehovah, that 
the Jews had been in the habit of offering their sons 
as victims. It is not, however, because human sacri- 
fices seem to belong only to the most savage races of 
men, that we doubt the prevalence of this custom 
among the ancient Hindus. Human sacrifices are 
not incompatible with a higher stage of civilization, 
particularly among people who never doubted the 
immortality of the soul, and at the same time felt a 
craving to offer whatever seemed most valuable on 
earth to the gods in whom they believed. There are 
few nations in the history of the world whose early 
traditions do not exhibit some traces of human sacri- 
fices. And though I doubt the continuance of that , 
custom during the Chhandas period, I see no reason 

to be taken rather as a recapitulation of the whole story. Jahnu 
is one of the ancestors of Visvamitra, belonging to the Lunar 
Dynasty ; Gathin is considered as Visvamitra's father. The com- 
mentator gives Jahnu as a Rishi of the family of Ajigarta, which 
seems better to agree with the Vedic story. 


to doubt its previous existence. A passage from the 
Aitareya-brahmana offers a striking confirmation of 
this opinion. It is said there (Ait.-br. 6. 8.) that 
the gods took man for their victim. " As he was taken, 
medha, (the sacrifice or the spirit,) went out of him. 
It entered the horse. Therefore the horse became the 
sacrificial animal. Then the gods took the horse, 
but as it was taken, the medha went out of him. It 
entered the ox. Therefore the ox became the sacrifi- 
cial animal. The same happened with the ox. After- 
wards the sheep, then the goat, and at last the earth 
became the victim. From the earth rice was produced 
and rice was offered in the form of purolasa, in lieu 
of the sacrificial animal. The other beings which had 
formerly been offered and then been dismissed, are 
supposed to have become changed into animals unfit 
for sacrifice : man into a savage, the horse into a 
Bos Gaurus, the ox into a Gayal ox, the sheep into a 
camel (ushtra), the goat into a sarabha. All these 
animals are amedhya or unclean, and should not be 

The drift of this story is most likely that in former 
times all these victims had been offered. We know 
it for certain in the case of horses and oxen, though 
afterwards these sacrifices were discontinued. As to 
sheep and goats they were considered proper victims 
to a still later time. When vegetable offerings took 
the place of bloody victims, it was clearly the wish of 
the author of our passage to show that, for certain 
sacrifices, these rice-cakes were as efficient as the 
flesh of animals. He carries out his argument still 
further, and tries to show that in the rice the beard 
corresponds to the hair of animals ; the husk. to the 


skin ; the phalikaranas to the blood ; the meal to the 
flesh ; the straw to the bones. 

The next story, from the Satapatha-brahmana 1 
serves to illustrate the relations between the priestly 
and royal families in the early history of India, 
and allows us an insight into the policy of the Brah- 
mans in their struggle for political influence. 

" Janaka of Videha once met with some Brahmans 
who had just arrived. They were Svetaketu Aru- 
neya, Somasushma Satyayajni, and Yajnavalkya. He 
said to them : i How do you perform the Agnihotra V 
Svetaketu replied : ' king, I sacrifice to two heats 
in one another, which are ever shining, and pervading 
the world with their splendour.' ' How is that ? ! said 
the king. Svetaketu replied : c Aditya (the sun) is 
heat ; to him do I sacrifice in the evening in the 
fire (Agni). Agni is heat ; to him do I sacrifice in 
the morning in the sun (Aditya).' ' What becomes 
of him who sacrifices thus ? ' said the king. The 
Brahman replied : 4 He becomes evershining with 
happiness and splendour, and has his dwelling with 
these two gods and is one with them.' 

Then Somasushma began : 4 king, I sacrifice to 
light in light.' ' How is that ? ' said the king. Soma- 
sushma replied: } Aditya is light, to him do I sacrifice 
in the evening in Agni. Agni is light, to him do I 
sacrifice in the morning in Aditya.' i What becomes 
of him who sacrifices thus ? ' said the king. The 
Brahman replied : * He becomes full of light and 
splendour in this life, and has his dwelling with 
these two gods and is one with them.' 

1 Satapatha-brahmana, Madhyandina-sakha, xi. 4. 5. The same 
story is alluded to in the Brihadaranyaka, iv. 3. 1. 

e e 3 


Tqen said Yajnavalkya: 'I offer the Agnihotra 
in taking out the fire (from the house-altar) ; for 
when Aditya sets, all the gods follow him, and if they 
see that I take out the fire, they come back, and, 
after having cleaned the sacrificial vessels, having 
filled them again, and after having milked also the 
sacred cow, I shall delight them, when I see them 
again, and they see me.' 

Janaka said: -Thou, Yajnavalkya, hast come 
very near to the Agnihotra; I shall give thee a hundred 
cows. But thou dost not know what becomes after- 
wards of these two libations (in the morning and 
evening). , So he said, then mounted his car and 
went away. 

The priests said : ( This fellow of a Raj any a has 
insulted us; let us call him out for a Brahman-dis- 
pute.' Yajnavalkya observed, l We are Brahmans, 
lie a fellow of a Rajanya. If we vanquished him, 
whom should we say we had vanquished ? But if he 
vanquished us, people would say of us that a Rajanya 
had vanquished Brahmans. Do not think of this.' 
They allowed what he said, and Yajnavalkya mounted 
his car, and followed the king. He reached the king, 
and the king said to him, * Yajnavalkya, dost thou 
come to know the Agnihotra ?' l The Agnihotra, 
king,' replied Yajnavalkya." 

Here the king begins to explain to Yajnavalkya his 
own view of the two morning and evening libations, 
called Agnihotra. He says, that these two sacrifices 
rise into the air, and are there again performed ; the 
wind being the fuel, and the rays the bright libation. 
Then he goes on explaining how these two sacrifices, 
after having delighted the air, enter the sky, where 
they are performed by sun and moon; how they 


come back to the earth, and are performed by fire 
(warmth) and plants ; how they enter the man, and 
are performed by his tongue and food ; how they enter 
the woman, and a son is born. "'This is the true 
Agnihotra, Yajnavalkya,' said the king ; ' there is 
nothing higher than this.' Yajnavalkya granted 
him a boon ; and the king said, i May I be allowed, 
Yajnavalkya, to ask thee what I wish.' Since then 
Janaka became a Brahman." 

The two following stories are of a more mytho- 
logical character, and contain curious traditions about 
Manu, the supposed ancestor of mankind. The first 
is from the Aitareya-brahmana, v. 14. 

" Nabhanedishtha, the son of Manu, had been de- 
prived of his paternal share by his brothers, while he 
was pursuing his studies (in the house of his Guru). 
When he came home, he said, f What is my share ?' 
They replied (pointing to Manu), ' The father, who 
is our governor and arbitrator.' (Therefore sons 
call now their father, governor (nishthava 1 ) and ar- 
bitrator (avavaditri) ). He went to his father and 
said, ' Father, they have made thee to be my share.' 
The father replied, l Do not believe it, my son, by 

1 The commentary explains, f%ITRt by ^Jrff^HIl^^^- 

S 4 

424 # BRA HM ANAS. 

any means. The Angiras' there perform a sacrifice 
in order to go to heaven, but every time they come 
to the sixth day, they get confused. Let them recite 
these two hymns (of thine 1 ) on the sixth day, and 
when they go to heaven they will give thee all the 
great riches which they have brought together for 
the sacrifice. , The son said, 4 Yes ;' went to them, 
and spoke : * Ye sages, receive me, the son of Manu.' 2 
They replied, * What is thy wish that thou speakest 
thus ?! He answered, ' I shall teach you this sixth 
day, and you shall give me, when you go to heaven, all 
these great riches which you have brought together 
for the sacrifice.' They agreed, and he recited for 
them these two hymns on the sixth day. Thus the 
Angiras' understood the sacrifice and the life in 
heaven. Therefore, when the Hotri priest recites 
these two hymns on the sixth day, it leads to an un- 
derstanding of the sacrifice and of the life in heaven. 
When the Angiras' were going to heaven they 
said, " All these great riches are thine, Brah- 
man." 3 W r hile he was putting them together, a 
man 4 in dark dress came up from the north, and said, 

1 Two hymns ascribed to Nabhanedishtha, occur in the Rig- 
veda, Mandala, x. 5. 1. & 2. 

2 These words are taken from the second hymn of Nabha- 

3 The text is T^rf t{ WT^fW *nHlff*u% 1 but tne commentator 
says, it is to be understood of a thousand cows or animals, left on the 
spot of the sacrifice, and that in a different 6akha of this Brah- 

mana the text is r{ ^i\ Wtift ^fff ^ TJT^f TJTT^ ^T~ 

4 The commentator says, that this is Rudra, the lord of animals, 
and that this is clearly indicated in a different &akha, where the 

text is ?f xnjfirgtH ^rn^T^r ^5- ^T*r^ftf?tii 


4 This is mine, mine is what is left on the sacred 
spot/ Nabhanedishtha replied, * They gave it to 
me.' The man said, c Then let us ask thy father 
about it.' He went to his father, and the father said, 
'Have they given thee nothing, my son V Nabhane- 
dishtha replied, ' They gave me a portion, but then a 
man in dark dress came up from the north, and said, 
" This is mine ; mine is what is left on the sacred spot," 
and took it.' The father said, t It belongs to him, in- 
deed, my son, but he will give it to thee/ There- 
upon Nabhanedishtha went back, and said, i This is 
thine indeed, reverend sir ; thus spoke my father.' 
1 This I give to thee/ replied the man, 4 who hast 
spoken the truth. Therefore the truth must be 
spoken by a man who knows it. These verses of 
Nabhanedishtha give great riches. They give great 
riches ; and he understands on the sixth day the life 
in heaven who knows this.' " 

The next extract is taken from the Satapatha- 
brahmana, i. 8. 1. 1. (Prap. vi. 3. 1.): 

" To Manu they brought in the morning water to 
wash. As they bring it with their hands for the 
washing, a fish comes into the hands of Manu as soon 
as he has washed himself. 

He spoke to Manu the word : c Keep me, I 
shall preserve thee.' Manu said, ' From what wilt 
thou preserve me ? ' The fish said, f The flood will 
carry away all these creatures. I shall preserve 
thee from it.' \ How canst thou be kept V said 

The fish replied, c As long as we are small there 
is much destruction for us ; fish swallows fish. First, 
then, thou must keep me in a jar. If I outgrow it 
dig a hole, and keep rne in it. If I outgrow this, 



take me to the sea, and I shall be saved from de- 
struction. J 

He became soon a large fish. He said to Manu, 
' When I am full-grown, in the same year the flood 
will come. Build a ship then, and worship me, and 
w T hen the flood rises go into the ship, and I shall pre- 
serve thee from it. 7 

Manu brought the fish to the sea, after he had 
kept him thus. And in the year which the fish had 
pointed out Manu had built a ship, and worshipped 
the fish. Then when the flood had risen, he went 
into the ship. The fish came swimming to him, and 
Manu fastened the rope of the ship to a horn of the 
fish. The fish carried him by it over the northern 

The fish said, ' I have preserved thee. Bind the 
ship to a tree. May the water not cut thee asunder 
while thou art on the mountain. As the water will 
sink, thou wilt slide down.' Manu slid down with 
the water ; and this is called the Slope of Manu on 
the northern mountain. The flood had carried away 
all these creatures, and thus Manu was left there 

He went along meditating a hymn, and wishing 
for offspring. And he sacrificed there also (a paka- 
yajna). Taking clarified butter, coagulated milk, 
whey and curds, be made an offering to the waters. 
In a year a woman was brought forth from it. She 
rose unctuous and trickling ; and where she stood 
there was clarified butter. Mitra and Varuna came 
to meet her. 

They said to her, 'Who art thou?' She said, 
' The daughter of Manu.' ' Say thou art ours,' they 
said. i No,' she replied ; ' he who has begotten me 



to him I belong.' Then they asked her to be their 
sister, and she half agreed and half did not agree. 
She went off and came to Manu. 

Manu said to her, * Who art thou V She said, 
* I am thy daughter.' l How art thou my daughter V 
he asked. She replied, ' The oblations which thou 
hast thrown into the waters, clarified butter, coagu- 
lated milk, whey and curds, by them thou hast be- 
gotten me. I am a blessing. Praise me at the sacri- 
fice. If thou praise me at the sacrifice, thou wilt be 
rich in offspring and cattle. Whatever blessing thou 
wilt ask by me, will all be given to thee.' Thus he 
praised her in the middle of this sacrifice; for the 
middle of the sacrifice is that which comes between 
the introductory and the final prayers (prayajas and 

Manu went along with her, meditating a hymn, 
and wishing for offspring ; and by her he begat this 
offspring, which is called the offspring of Manu, 
and whatever blessing he asked was all given to 

She is indeed Ida. Whoever knows this, and 
goes with Ida, he begets the offspring which Manu 
begat ; and whatever blessing he asks by her, is all 
given to him." 

These extracts from the Brahmanas will be suffi- 
cient to show that there is much curious information 
to be gathered from these compilations. In spite of 
their general dreariness, the Br&hmanas well deserve 
to be preserved from destruction, which can only be 
done by the help of European editors. It is true 
that the ceremonial, the vidhis, can be better studied 
in the Sutras, but if we want to know what meaning 
was assigned to every act of the sacrifice, such as it 


had been handed down and become fixed in the 
Brahmanic society of India, long before the composi- 
tion of any Brahmana, we must consult these works. 
Though their professed object is to teach the sacrifice, 
they allow a much larger space to dogmatical, exege- 
tical, mystical and philosophical speculations, than to 
the ceremonial itself. They appeal continually to 
earlier authorities, and in some of them, particularly 
in the Kaushitaki-brahmana, the conflicting opinions 
of ancient sages, are so well confronted, and theii> 
respective merits so closely discussed, that we some- 
times imagine ourselves reading the dogmatic philo- 
sophy of Jaiinini. According to the views of native 
commentators, the characteristic feature of the Brah- 
mana s consists in doubt, deliberation, and discussion, 
and the word Mimans&, which afterwards became the 
title of Jaimini's philosophy, is frequently used in the 
Brahmanas to introduce the very problems which 
occupy the attention of Jaimini and his followers. 
Of course the discussion is not a bond fide discussion. 
The two sides of every question are stated, but they 
only serve to lead us on to the conclusion which the 
author of the Brahmana considers in the light of a 
divine revelation. AVe are reminded of the disputa- 
tions of two Doctors of Theology who defend for a 
time the most heretical propositions with the sharpest 
weapons of logic and rhetoric, though they would 
extremely regret the final victory of that cause which, 
for argument's sake, they are called upon to maintain. 
Never was dogmatism more successfully veiled under 
the mask of free discussion than in the Mim&nsa or 
discussion of the Brahmanas. 

The fact of so many authorities being quoted by 


name in these works shows that the Brahmanas ex- 
hibit the accumulated thoughts of a long succes- 
sion of early theologians and philosophers. But the 
very earliest of these sages follow a train of thought 
which gives clear evidence of a decaying religion. 
The Brahmanas presuppose, not only a complete col- 
lection of the ten Mandalas of the Rig-veda, not only 
the establishment of a most complicated ceremonial, 
not only the distribution of the ceremonial offices 
among three or four classes of priests, but a complete 
break in the primitive tradition of the Aryan settlers 
of India. At the time when the law was laid down 
about the employment of certain hymns at certain 
parts of the sacrifice, the original meaning of these 
hymns, and the true conception of the gods to whom 
they were addressed, had been lost. The meaning 
also of the old and sacred customs by which their 
forefathers had hallowed the most critical epochs of 
life and the principal divisions of the year, had faded 
away from the memory of those whose lucubrations 
on the purport of the sacrifices have been embalmed 
in the so-called Arthavadas of the Brahmanas. It is 
difficult to determine whether, before the beginning 
of the Brahmana period, there existed various Sakhas 
among the Bahvrichas. The collection of the Rig- 
vedasanhita must no doubt have been completed 
long before the age which led to the composition of 
Brahmanas. Various readings also may have found 
their way into that collection before the Brahmana 
period. But the scrupulous preservation of such 
variations, which were the natural result of oral tra- 
dition, seems more akin to the spirit of the Brah- 
manas than to that of an earlier age. There is less 


room for doubt as to the date of the Sakhas of the 
Adhvaryus and Chhandogas. They belong to the 
Brahmana period. What is called the Taittiriya- 
sanhita is no Sanhita, in the usual sense of the word, 
but was originally the Brahmana of the ancient 
Adhvaryus. It contains the description of the sacri- 
fice, such as it would be required by the Adhvaryus. 
The composition of a separate Sanhita in their be- 
half, the so-called Sanhita of the White Yajur- 
veda, is contemporaneous with, if not later than, the 
collection of the Satapatha-brahmana. We therefore 
consider all the Sakhas of the Adhvaryus, with the 
exception of their Sutra-fcakhas, as Brahmana-fcakhas 
which had grown up during the Brahmana period. 
And if we feel more hesitation with regard to the 
Sanhita of the Chhandogas, it is not with reference 
to what is usually called the Sama-veda- sanhita, but 
with regard to the Ganas. These collections of hymns, 
though they have a purely ceremonial object, have an 
air of antiquity, and we could hardly understand how 
the Tandy a- brahmana, even in its original component 
parts, could have arisen, unless we suppose that there 
existed previously collections and groups of hymns, 
comprised under special names, such as we find in the 
Ganas. Without, therefore, pronouncing a definite 
opinion on the existence of any Sakhas of the two 
minor Vedas, previous to the first appearance of Brah- 
mana literature, we confine ourselves to the assertion, 
that not one line of any of the Bi ahmanas which we 
possess could have been composed, until after the com- 
plete collection of the Rig-veda, and after the three- 
fold division of the ceremonial. Not one of the Brah- 
manas was composed by a Brahman who was not 
either a Bahvricha, an Adhvaryu, or Chhandoga. 


There was a fourth class of superintending priests, 
who were supposed to be cognisant of the duties 
of all the three other classes: but there was, as 
we shall see, neither Brahmana nor Sanhita for 
their special benefit. According to the opinion of 
some, the superintendent or Brahman might indeed 
be an Adhvaryu, or even a Chhandoga, but the gene- 
ral rule is that he should be a Bahvricha 1 , because 
the Bahvricha had the widest knowledge of Yedic 
hymns. There must have been a time when every 
Brahman who had to act as a priest, whatever offices 
he had to perform at the sacrifice, was acquainted with 
the complete body of the sacred hymns, collected in the 
Rig-veda. But of that time no traces are left in our 
Brahmanas. Our Brahmanas know of no hymns 
which are not the property of Hotri, Adhvaryu, or 
Udgatri ; they know of no priests, except the four 
classes which have divided between themselves all the 
sacrifices, and have distinct duties assigned to them, 
whether they officiate singly or jointly. Such a 
system could only have been carried out by a power- 
ful and united priesthood ; its origin and continuance 
can hardly be conceived, without the admission of 
early councils and canons. Originally every sacrifice 
was a spontaneous act, and as such had a meaning. 
When the sacrifices fell into the hands of priests, the 
priest was at first the minister, afterwards the repre- 

i Kaush.-br. vi, 11. fT^Tl?: ffife? f*^K^ "^pTW ^ft<T 

Tar^ftraj^ * trf^fWTwt %^ifr ^recftfTT WKto- 

^jr^f^jf^" ^^ f%<TI Some allowance must be made for the 
fact that the Kaushitakins are Bahvrichas. 


sentative, of those who offered the sacrifice. But it 
is only in the last stage of priestcraft that the spoils 
are divided, and certain acts made the monopoly 
of certain priests. All this had taken place before 
the rising of what we call the Brahmana literature, 
and we may well conceive that but few traces are 
left in these works of the thoughts and feelings which 
had suggested the first spontaneous acts of the early 
worshippers of India. 

The transition from a natural worship to an arti- 
ficial ceremonial may take place gradually. It had 
taken place long before the beginning of the Brah- 
mana period, and the process of corruption continued 
during this and the succeeding periods, till at last the 
very corruption became a principle of new life. 
But there is throughout the Brahmanas such a com- 
plete misunderstanding of the original intention of 
the Vedic hymns, that we can hardly understand 
how such an estrangement could have taken place, 
unless there had been at some time or other a 
sudden and violent break in the chain of tradi- 
tion. The author of the Brahmanas evidently 
imagined that those ancient hymns w T ere written 
simply for the sake of their sacrifices, and whatever 
interpretation they thought fit to assign to these acts, 
the same, they supposed, had to be borne out by the 
hymns. This idea has vitiated the whole system of 
Indian exegesis. It might be justified, perhaps, if it 
had only been applied to the purely sacrificial hymns, 
particularly to those which are found in the Sanhitas 
of the Sama-veda and Yajur-veda. But the Rig- 
veda too has experienced the same treatment at the 
hands of Indian commentators, and the stream of 
tradition, flowing from the fountain-head of the ori- 

ka. 433 

ginal poets, has, like the waters of the Sarasvati, dis- 
appeared in the sands of a desert. Not only was the 
true nature of the gods, as conceived by the early 
poets, completely lost sight of, but new gods were 
actually created out of words which were never 
intended as names of divine beings. There are 
several hymns in the Rig-veda containing questions 
as to who is the true or the most powerful god. One 
in particular is well known, in which each verse 
ends with the inquiring exclamation of the poet; 
" Kasmai devaya havisha vidhema ?" " To which god 
shall we sacrifice with our offering?" This, and 
similar hymns, in which the interrogative pronoun 
occurred, were employed at various sacrifices. A 
rule had been laid down, that in every sacrificial 
hymn, there must be a deity addressed by the poet. 
In order to discover a deity where no deity existed, 
the most extraordinary objects, such as a present, a 
drum, stones, plants, were raised to the artificial 
rank of deities. In accordance with the same system, 
Ave find that the authors of the Brahmanas had so 
completely broken with the past, that, forgetful of 
the poetical character of the hymns, and the yearning 
of the poets after the unknown god, they exalted the 
interrogative pronoun itself into a deity, and acknow- 
ledged a god Ka or Who ? In the Taittiriya-sanhita 1 
(i. 7. 6. 6.), in the Kaushitaki-brahmana (xxiv. 4.), 
in the Tandya-brahmana (xv. 10.), and in the Sata- 
patha-brahmana, wherever interrogative verses occur, 
the author states, that Ka is Prajapati, or the Lord 
of Creatures (prajapatir vai Kah). Nor did they 
stop here. Some of the hymns in which the inter- 

1 See Bblitlingk and Roth's Dictionnry, s. v. 
F F 


rogative pronoun occurred were called Kadvat, i. e. 
having had or quid. But soon a new adjective was 
formed, and not only the hymns, but the sacrifice 
also, offered to the god, were called Kay a, or who-ish. 
This word, which is not to be identified with the 
Latin cujus, cuja, cujum, but is merely the artificial 
product of an effete mind, is found in the Taittiriya- 
sanhit& (i. 8. 3. 1.), and in the Vajasaneyi-sanhita 
(xxiv. 15.). At the time of Panini this word had 
acquired such legitimacy as to call for a separate rule 
explaining its formation (Pan. iv. 2. 25.). The Com- 
mentator here explains Ka by Brahman. After this, 
we can hardly wonder that in the later Sanskrit lite- 
rature of the Puranas, Ka appears as a recognised 
god, as the supreme god, with a genealogy of his 
own, perhaps even with a wife ; and that in the laws 
of Manu, one of the recognised forms of marriage, 
generally known by the name of the Prajapati-mar- 
riage, occurs under the monstrous title of Kaya. 

What is more natural than that the sun should be 
called in the hymns, golden-handed ? The Brahmana, 
however, affected with a kind of voluntary blindness, 
must needs explain this simple epithet by a story of 
the sun having lost his hand, and having received 
instead a hand made of gold. 

It would be useless to multiply these instances, as 
every page of the Brahmanas contains the clearest 
proof that the spirit of the ancient Vedic poetry, and 
the purport of the original Vedic sacrifices, were 
both beyond the comprehension of the authors of the 
Brahmanas. But although we thus perceive the wide 
chasm between the Brahmana period and that period 
by which it is preceded, we have still to answer the 
question whether any probable limits can be assigned 


to the duration of this literary period. The Brah- 
manas are not the work of a few individuals. By 
whomsoever they were brought into that form in 
which we now possess them, no one can claim the 
sole authorship of the dogmas which are incorporated 
in each Brahrnana. The Brahmanas represent a 
complete period during which the whole stream of 
thought flowed in one channel, and took, at least in 
that class which alone sustained intellectual activity, 
the form of prose, never before applied to literary 
productions. There are old and new Brahmanas, 
but the most modern hardly differ in style and lan- 
guage from the most ancient. The old Brahmanas 
passed through several changes, represented by the 
Brahmana-sakhas, and even the most modern were 
not exempt from these modifications. Considering, 
therefore, that the Brahrnana period must com- 
prehend the first establishment of the threefold 
ceremonial, the composition of separate Brahmanas, 
the formation of Brahrnana- charanas, and the schism 
between old and new Charanas, and their various 
collections, it would seem impossible to bring the 
whole within a shorter space than 200 years. Of 
course this is merely conjectural; but it would re- 
quire a greater stretch of imagination to account for 
the production in a smaller number of years of that 
mass of Brahmanic literature which still exists, or is 
known to have existed. Were we to follow the tradi- 
tions of the Brahmanas themselves, we should have 
much less difficulty in accounting for the great variety 
of authors quoted, and of opinions stated in the Brah- 
manas. They contain lists of teachers through whom 
the Brahmanas were handed down, which would 
extend the limits of this age to a very considerable 


degree. The Chhandogas have assigned a separate 
Brahmana to the list of their teachers, viz. the Yansa- 
brahmana, a work the existence of which ought not to 
have been called into question, as a copy of it existed 
in the Bodleian Library. 1 In the Satapatha-brah- 
mana these lists are repeated at the end of various 
sections. There seems to be no imaginable object in 
inventing these long lists, as in the eyes of the 
Brahmans they would have been much too short for 
the extravagant antiquity assigned to their sacred 
books. With the exception of the highest links in 
each chain of teachers, the lists have an appearance 
of authenticity rarely to be met with in Indian com- 
positions. The number of teachers in the Yansa- 
brahmana amounts to 53, the last of them, Kasyapa, 
the father, having received the tradition from Agni, 
or the god of fire. From Agni the tradition is 
further traced to Indra, Yayu (wind), Mrityu 
(death), Prajapati (the Lord of Creation), and lastly 
to Brahman, the Self-existing. From Kas}~apa, down 
to Radha Gautama, his 26th successor, the line of 
teachers seems to have been undivided. Radha 
Gautama had two pupils, who apparently became the 
founders of different schools. One is called Ansu 
Dhananjayya, who received instruction from Radha 
Gautama and Amavasya Sandilyayana ; the other, 
Gobhila, had no teacher besides Radha. The suc- 
cessors of Gobhila are eleven in number, while those 
of Ansu Dhananjayya are twenty-five. 

In the Satapatha-brahmana we find four Yansas. 

1 Prof. Weber's recent edition of this tract, is the best amende 
he could have made for his former scepticism with regard to the 
existence of this and other Brahmanas of the Sama-veda. 


The most important of them stands at the end of the 
whole work, and consists of fifty-five names ; the last 
of the human teachers being again Kasyapa, who 
here is supposed to have received his revelation from 
Vach, the goddess of speech. She received it through 
Ambhini from Aditya, the sun. Among the succes- 
sors of Kasyapa we mark the 10th, Yajnavalkya, the 
pupil of Uddalaka and the teacher of Asuri ; and 
the 15th, Sanjiviputra. Sanjiviputra seems to have 
united two lines of teachers ; he was the pupil of 
Karsakeyiputra, and, according to the Vansa of the 
10th book, he was likewise the pupil of Mandukayani, 
the 9th successor of Tura Kavasheya, who is fabled 
to have received his revelation, not through the agency 
of Vach, Ambhini, and Aditya, but direct from Praja- 
pati and the self-existing Brahman. There are two 
other Vansas, one at the end of the Madhukanda, the 
other at the end of the Yajnavalkiya-kanda. Both are, 
in reality, varieties of one and the same Vansa, their 
differences arising from the confusion caused by the 
recurrence of similar names. That of the Madhu- 
kanda consists of sixty names, only forty-five or 
forty-six of which have an historical appearance. 
The principal divine teachers after Brahman, the 
Self-existing, are Parameshthin (Prajapati ?), Mrityu 
(death), Dadhyach Atharvana, and the two Asvins. 

At the end of the Khila-kanda a fifth list is found, 
not a Vansa, but a list of teachers who handed down 
the Vansa. This seems to be ascribed to Uddalaka 
Aruneya, the teacher of Yajnavalkya, as its original 

FF 3 


Lists of Teachers from the Satapatha-brahmana. 

Madhukanda. Yajnavalkiya-kanda. 

1. Saurpanayya. The same as in the Ma- 

2. Gautama. dhukanda. 

3. Vatsya. 

4. Vatsya and Parasarya. 1 

5. Sankritya and Bha- 


6. Audavahi and &an- 


7. Vaijavapa and Gau- 


8. Vaijavapayana and 


9. Sandilya and Rauhi- 


10. Saunaka and Atreya, Jaivantayana instead ot 

and Raibhya. Atreya. 

11. Pautimashyayana and The same as in the Ma- 

Kaundinyayana. dhukanda. 


12. Kaundinya. Kaundinya. 

13. Kaundinya. Kaundinya. 

14. Kaundinya and Ag- Kaundinya and Agni- 

nivesya. vesya. 

15. Saitava. Saitava. 

16. P&rasarya. The same as in the Ma- 

17. J&tukarnya. dhukanda. 

1 When there are two teachers, it is always the second through 
whom the tradition was carried on, except in No. 28. where there 
has evidently been a great confusion. 





18. Bharadvaja. 

19. Bharadvaja and Asu- 

rayana and Gauta- 


20. Bharadvaja. 

21. Vaijavapayana. 


22. Kausikayani. 


23. Ghritakausika. 


24. Parasaryayana. - 

25. Parasarya. 

26. Jatukarnya. 
27. Bharadvaja. 

h desunt. 

28. Bharadvaja and Asu- 

rayana, and Y&ska, - 

29. Traivani. 


30. Aupajandhani. 

Aupajandhani. 1 

31. Asuri. 


32. Bharadvaja. 

33. Atreya. 

34. Manti. 

35. Gautama. 

36. Gautama. 

37. Vatsya. 

1 The Yajnavalkiya-kanda inserts 

s here : Sayakayana. 

Kausikayani (22). 

Ghritakausika (23). 

Parasaryayana (24). 

Parasarya (25). 

Jatukarnya (26). 

Bharadvaja (27). 

Bharadvaja and 

Asurayana and Yaska (28) 

Traivani (29). 

Aupajandhani (30). 

F F 




38. Sandilya. 

39. Kaisorya Kapya. 

40. Kumaraharita. 

41. Galava. 

42. Yidarbhikaundinya. 

43. Yatsanapat Babhrava. 
4.4. Pathas Saubhara. 

45. Ayasya Angirasa. 

46. Abhuti Tvashtra. 

47. Yisvarupa Tvashtra. 

48. The two Asvins. 

49. Dadhyach Atharvana. 

50. Atharvan Daiva. 

51. Mrityu Pradhvansana. 

52. Pradhvansana. 

53. Ekarshi. 

54. Yiprajitti. 

55. Yyashti, 

56. Sanaru. 

57. Sanatana. 

58. Sanaga. 

59. Parameshthin. 

60. Brahman Svayambhu. 

Last Booh 

1. Bharadvaji-putra. 

2. Yatsimandavi-putra. 

3. Par&sari-putra. 

4. Gargi-putra. 

5. Parasari-kaundini-putra. 

6. Gargi-putra. 

7. Gargi-putra. 

8. Badeyi-putra. 


9. Maushiki-putra. 

10. Harikarni-putra. 

11. Bharadvaji-putra. 

12. Paingi-putra. 

13. Saunaki-putra. 

14. Kasyapivalakyam^thari-putra. 

15. Kautsi-putra. 

16. Baudhi-putra. 

17. iSalankayani-putra. 

18. Varshagani-putra. 

19. Gautami-putra. 

20. Atreyi-putra. 

21. Gautami-putra. 

22. Vatsi-putra. 

23. Bharadvaji-putra. 

24. Parasari-putra. 

25. Varkaruni-putra. 

26. Artabhagi-putra. 

27. Saungi-putra. 

28. Sankriti-putra. 

29. Alambi-putra. 

30. Alambayani-putra. 

31. Jayanti-putra. 

32. Mandukayani-putra. 

33. Maiiduki-putra. 

34. Sdndili-putra. 

35. Rathitari-putra. 

36. Kraunchiki-putrau. 

37. Vaidabhriti-putra. 

38. Bhaluki-putra. 

39. Prachinayogi-putra. Xth Book. 

40. Sanjivi-putra. Sanfivi-putra. 

41. Karsakeyi-putra. Maridukayani. 

42. Prasni-putra Asurivasin. Mandavya. 


43. Asurayana. Kautsa. 

44. Asuri. Mahitthi. 

45. Yajnavalkya. (Yaja- Yamakakshayana. 
saneya Yajnavalkya, Kh.) 

46. Uddalaka. (Udda- Yatsya. 
laka Aruneya, Kh.) 

47. Aruna. 


48. Upavesi. 


49. Kusri. 

Yajnavachas Rajastamba 


50. Yajasravas. 

Tura Kdvasheya. 1 

51. Jihvavat Badhyoga. 


52. Asita Yarshagana. 

Brahman Svayambhu. 

53. Harita Kasyapa. 

54. Silpa Kasyapa. 

55. Kasyapa Naidhruvi. 

56. Vach. 

57. Ambhini. 

58. Aditya. 


Satyakama Jabala. 
Janaki Ayasthuna. 
ChMa Bhagavitti. 
Madhuka Paingya. 
Yajasaneya Yajnavalkya. 
Uddalaka Aruneya. 

Vansa of the Sdma-veda, 

1. Sarvadatta Gargya. 

2. Rudrabhuti Drahyayani. 

3. Trata Aishumata. 

1 The priest of Janamejaya Parikshita, at his Abhisheka sacri. 
fice, is called Tura Kavasheya in the Ait.-br. viii. 21. 


4. Nigada Parnavalki. 

5. Girisarman Kantheviddhi. 

6. Brahmavriddhi Chhandogamahaki. 

7. Mitravarchas Sthairakayana. 

8. Supratita Aulundya. 

9. Brihaspatigupta Sayasthi. 

10. Bhavatrata Sayasthi. 

11. Kustuka Sarkaraksha. 

12. Sravanadatta Kauhala. 

13. Susarada Salankayana. 

14. Urjayat Aupamanyava. 

15. Bhanurnat Aupa- Aryamabhiiti Kalabava. 

16. Anandaja Chandha- Bhadrasarman Kausika. 
nay ana. 

17. Samba Sarkara- Pushyayasas Audavraji. 
ksha, and Kamboja Aupa- 

18. Madragara Saunga- Sankara Gautama, 

19. Sati Aushtrakshi. Aryamaradha Gobhila and 

Pushamitra Gobhila. 

20. Su&ravas Y&rsha- Asvamitra Gobhila. 

21. Pratarahn a Kauhala. Yarunamitra Gobhila. 

22. Ketu Yajya. Mulamitra Gobhila. 

23. Mitravinda Kauhala. Yatsamitra Gobhila. 

24. Sunitha Kapatava. Gaulgulaviputra Gobhila. 

25. Sutemanas Sandi- Brih ad vasu Gobhila (pita), 

26. Ansu Dhananjayya. Gobhila. 

27. Amavasya Sandilyayana and Badha Gautama. 

28. Gatri Gautama. 


29. Samvargajit Lamakayana. 

30. Sakadasa Bhaditayana. 

31. Vichakshana Tandya. 

32. Gardabhimukha Sanclilyayana. 

33. Udarasandilya (the father). 

34. Atidhanvan Saunaka and Masaka Gargya. 

35. Sthiraka Gargya (the father). 

36. Vasishtha Chaikitaneya. 

37. Vasishtha Araihanya (a prince). 

38. Sumantra Babhrava Gautama. 

39. Susha Vahneya Bharadvaja. 

40. Arala Darteya Saunaka. 

41. Driti Aindrota Saunaka (the father). 

42. Indrota Saunaka (the father). 1 

43. Vrishasushna Vatavata. 

44. Nikothaka Bhayajatya. 

45. Pratithi Devataratha. 

46. Devataras Savasayana (the father). 

47. Savas (the father). 

48. Agnibhu Kasyapa. 

49. Indrabhu Kasyapa. 

50. Mitrabhu Kasyapa. 

51. Vibhandaka Kasyapa (the father). 

52. Rishyasringa Kasyapa (the father). 

53. Kasyapa (the father). 

54. Agni (fire). 

55. Indra. 

56. Vayu (wind). 

57. Mrityu (death). 

58. Prajapati (Lord of Creation.) 

59. Brahman Svayambhu. 

1 The priest of JanamejayaParikshita, at his Horse sacrifice, is 
called Indrota (Daivapa) 6aunaka in the 6atapatha, xiii. 5. 4. 1., 
and in the Mahabh. xii. 5595. seq. Cf. Weber, Ind. Stud. i. pp. 
203. 483. 


It would be difficult to tell how these long strings 
of names are to be accounted for, whatever system of 
chronology we adopt. If we were in possession of the 
Vansas of the Bahvrichas and the ancient Adhvar- 
yus, we might perhaps see more clearly. But it is 
important to observe that these two, which are deci- 
dedly the two most ancient Vedas, seem to have had 
no Vansas at all. However this may be explained 
hereafter, certain it is, and these long lists of names 
teach at least this one thing, that the Brahmans them- 
selves looked upon the Brahmana period as a long 
continued succession of teachers, reaching from the 
time when these lists were made and recited to the 
most distant antiquity, back to the very dynasties of 
their gods. If, therefore, Ave limit the age of the 
Brahmanas to the two centuries from 600 to 800 b. c, 
it is more likely that hereafter these limits will have 
to be extended than that they will prove too wide. 

There is one work which ought to be mentioned 
before we leave the Brahmana period, the Gopatha- 
brahmana. It is the Brahmana of the Brahma-veda, 
the Veda of the Atharvangiras' or Bhrigu-Angiras'. 
This Veda does not properly belong to the sacred 
literature of the Brahmans, and though in later times 
it obtained the title of the fourth Veda, there was 
originally a broad distinction between the magic 
formulas of the Atharvangiras' and the hymns of 
the Bahvrichas, the Chhandogas, and the Adhvaryus. 
Madhusudana states the case simply and clearly. 
" The Veda," he says, " is divided into Rich, Yajush 
and Saman for the purpose of carrying out the sacri- 
fice under its three different forms. The duties of the 
Hotri priests are performed with the Rig-veda, those 
of the Adhvaryu priests with the Yajur-veda, those 
of the Udgatri priests with the Sama-veda. The duties 


of the Brahman and the sacrificer are contained in all 
the three. The Atharva-veda, on the contrary, is totally 
different. It is not used for the sacrifice, but only 
teaches how to appease, to bless, to curse, &c." But 
although the hymns of the Atharvans were not from the 
first looked upon as part of the sacred literature of the 
Brahmans, the Brahmana of the Atharvans belongs 
clearly to the same literary period which saw the rise 
of the other Brahmanas ; and though it does not share 
the same authority as the Brahmanas of the three 
great Vedas, it is written in the same language, and 
breathes the same spirit. The MSS. of this work are 
extremely scarce, and the copy which I use (E. I. H. 
2142) is hardly legible. The remarks, therefore, 
which I have to offer on this work will necessarily 
be scanty and incomplete. 

The original division of the Yeda, and of the Vedic 
ceremonial, was, as we have seen, a threefold division. 
The Brahmans speak either of one Veda or of three ; of 
one officiating priest, or of three. " Trayi vidya," the 
threefold knowledge, is constantly used in the Brah- 
manas 1 with reference to their sacred literature. This, 
however, proves by no means that at the time when the 
Brahmanas were composed the songs of the Atharvan- 
giras' did not yet exist. It only shows that originally 
they formed no part of the sacred literature of the Brah- 
mans. In some of the Brahmanas, the Atharvangiras' 
are mentioned. The passage translated before (p. 38.) 
shows that at the time when the Satapatha-brahmana 
was composed the songs of the Atharvangiras' were not 
only known, but had been collected, and had actually 
obtained the title of Veda. Their original title was the 
Atharvangiras' or the Bhrigvangiras', or the Atharvans, 

1 Nirukta-parisishta, I, 10. 


and these very titles show that songs which could be 
quoted in such a manner 1 , must have been of ancient 
date, and must have had a long life in the oral tradition 
of India. Their proper position with reference to the 
other Vedas is well marked in a passage of the Tait- 
tiriyaranyaka (viii. 3.), where the Yajush is called 
the head, the Rich the right, the Saman the other 
side, the Adesa (the Upanishad) the vital breath, and 
the Atharvangiras' the tail. 

The songs known under the name of the Atharvan- 
giras' formed probably an additional part of the sacri- 
fice from a very early time. They were chiefly in- 
tended to counteract the influence of any untoward 
event that might happen during the sacrifice. They 
also contained imprecations and blessings, and various 
formulas, such as popular superstition would be sure 
to sanction at all times and in all countries. If once 
sanctioned, however, these magic verses would soon 
grow in importance, nay, the knowledge of all the other 
Yedas would necessarily become useless without the 
power of remedying accidents, such as could hardly be 
avoided in so complicated a ceremonial as that of the 
Brahmans. As that power was believed to reside in 
the songs of the Atharvangiras', a knowledge of these 
songs became necessarily an essential part of the 
theological learnino; of ancient India. 

According to the original distribution of the sacri- 
ficial offices among the four classes of priests, the 
supervision of the whole sacrifice, and the remedying of 
any mistake that might have happened belonged to the 
Brahman. He had to know the three Yedas, to follow in 
his mind the whole sacrifice, and to advise the other 
priests on all doubtful points. 2 If it was the office 

1 See page 362. 2 Sayana's Introduction to the Rig-veda, p. 3. 1. 3. 


of the Brahman to remedy mistakes in the perform- 
ance of the sacrifice, and if, for that purpose, the 
formulas of the Atharvangiras' were considered of 
special efficacy, it follows that it was chiefly the 
Brahman who had to acquire a knowledge of these 
formulas. Now the office of the Brahman was con- 
tested by the other classes of priests. The Bahvrichas 
maintain that the office of Brahman should be held 
by a Bahvricha (Hotri), the Adhvaryus maintain 
that it belongs to one of their own body, and the 
Chhandogas also preferred similar claims. It was 
evidently the most important office, and in many in- 
stances, though not always, it was held by the Puro- 
hita, the hereditary family priest. Certain families 
also claimed a peculiar fitness for the office of Brah- 
man, such as the Vasishthas and Visvamitras. (See 
p. 92) 

Because a knowledge of the songs of the Atharvan- 
giras' was most important to the Brahman or Purohita 1 , 
these songs themselves, when once admitted to the 
rank of a Yeda, were called the Veda of the Brahman, 
or the Brahma-veda. In the Gopatha-brahmana the 
title of Brahma-veda does not occur. 2 But the songs 
of the Atharvangiras' are mentioned there. They are 
called both Atharvana-veda (L 5.), and Angirasa- 
veda (i. 8.), and they are repeatedly represented as 
the proper Veda for the Brahman. Thus we read 
(iii. 1.): " Let a man elect a Hotri who knows the 
Rich, an Adhvaryu who knows the Yajush, an 
Udgatri who knows the Saman, a Brahman who 
knows the Atharvangiras'." It seems in fact the 
principal object of the Gopatha to show the necessity 

1 Yajnavalkya's Lawbook, i. 312. 

2 See, however, i. 22. 


of four Vedas. A carriage, we are told, does not 
proceed with less than four wheels, an animal does 
not walk with less than four feet, nor will the sacrifice 
be perfect with less than four Vedas. 1 But although 
a knowledge of the fourth Yeda is thus represented 
as essential to the Brahman, it is never maintained 
that such a knowledge would be sufficient by itself 
to enable a person to perform the offices of a Brah- 
man. Like the Chhandogas (Rv. Bh. vol. i. page 3.), 
the Atharvanikas also declare that the whole sacrifice 
is performed twice, once in words, and once in 
thought. It is performed in words by the Hotri, 
Udgatri, and Adhvaryu separately ; it is performed 
in thought by the Brahman alone (Gop. Br. vol. iii. 2.) 
The Brahman, therefore, had to know all the three 
Vedas and in addition the formulas of the Athar- 
vangiras'. It is a common mistake in later writers to 
place the Atharva-veda coordinate with the other 
Vedas, and to represent it as the Veda of the Brah- 
man. The Gopatha-brahmana raises no such claims ; 
when it describes the type of the sacrifice, it says : 

Agni (fire) was the Hotri, 
Vayu (wind) the Adhvaryu, 
Surya (sun) the Udgatri, 
Chandramas (moon) the Brahman, 
Parjanya (rain) the Sadasya, 

Oshadhi and Vanaspati (shrubs and trees) the 
Chamasadh vary u s, 

1 At the end of the fifth Prapathaka we read: "^fi^ft "^f^ft 

G G 

450 the gopatha-brahmana. 

The Visve Devas were the Hotrakas, 

The Atharvangiras', the Goptris or protectors. 

In another place (v. 24.) the persons engaged in 
the sacrifice are enumerated as follows : 

Hotri, Maitravaruna, Achhavaka, Gravastut (Rig- 
veda), 1 4. 

Adhvaryu, Pratiprasthatri, Neshtri, Unnetri 
( Yajur-veda), 5 8. 

Udg&tri, Prastotri, Subrahmanya, Pratihartri 
(SaMna-veda), 9 12. 

Brahman, Brahmanachhansin, Potri, Agnidhra 
(Atharvangiras'), 13 16. 

Sadasya, 17. 

Patni dikshita (the wife), 18. 

Samitri (the immolator), 19. 

Grihapati (the lord), 20. 

Angiras, 21. 

Here we see that besides the four Brahman* priests 
to whom a knowledge of the Atharvangiras' is recom- 
mended, there were other priests who are called 
Goptris, t, e. protectors or Angiras', and whose special 
office it was to protect the sacrifice by means of the 
magical formulas of the Atharvangiras', against the 
effects of any accidents that might have happened. 
Such was the original office of the Atharvans at the 
Vedic sacrifices, and a large portion of the Gopatha- 
braiimana (i. 13. ; i. 22.) is taken up with what is 
called the Virishta, the frna, the Yatayama, or what- 
ever else the defects in a sacrifice are called which 
must be made good (sandhana) by certain hymns, 
verses, formulas, or exclamations. There are long 
discussions on the proper way of pronouncing these 
salutary formulas, on their hidden meaning, and their 
miraculous power. The syllable Om, the so-called 


Vyahritis, and other strange sounds are recommended 
for various purposes, and works such as the Sarpa- 
veda, Pisacha-veda, Asura-veda, Itihasa-veda, Purana- 
veda, are referred to as authorities (i. 10.). 

Although, however, the Gopatha-brahmana is more 
explicit on the chapter of accidents than the Brah- 
manas of the other Vedas, the subject itself is by no 
means peculiar to it. The question of expiation or 
penance (prayaschitta) is fully discussed in the other 
Vedas, and remedies are suggested for all kinds of 
mishaps. The ceremonial in general is discussed in 
the Gopatha in the same manner as in the other 
Brahmanas. There is, in fact, very little, if any, dif- 
ference between the Gopatha and the other Brah- 
manas, and it is not easy to discover any traces of its 
more recent origin. It begins with a theory of the 
creation of the world, such as we find in many places 
of the other Brahmanas. There is nothing remark- 
able in it except one idea, which I do not remember 
to have seen elsewhere. Brahman (neuter), the self- 
existing, burns with a desire to create, and by means 
of his heat, sweat is produced from his forehead, and 
from all the pores of his body. These streams of 
sweat are changed into water. In the water Brahman 
perceives his own shadow, and falls in love with it. 
This, however, is only one phase in the progress of 
creation, which is ultimately to lead to the birth of 
Bhrigu and Atharvan. Atharvan is represented as 
the real Prajapati, or Lord of Creation. From him 
twenty classes of poets, the same as those mentioned 
in the Anukramani, are produced, and their poems 
are said to have formed the Atharvana-veda. 

Then follows a new series of creation. Brahman 
creates the earth from his feet, the sky from his 

G G 2 


belly, heaven from his skull. He then creates three 
gods: Agni (fire) for the earth, Vayu (wind) for the 
sky, and Aditya (sun) for the heaven. Lastly, he 
creates the three Vedas : the Eig-veda proceeds from 
Agni, the Yajur-veda from Vayu, the S&ma-veda from 
Aditya. The three Vyahritis also, or sacred sylla- 
bles {bMih bhuvah svar), are called into existence. 
It is important to remark, that nothing is here said of 
the fourth Veda; its origin is described separately, 
and its second name, Angirasa, is explained in detail. 
We look in vain for any traces of more modern ideas 
in the Gopatha-brahmana, till we come to the end of 
the fifth Prapathaka. This is the last Prapathaka of 
the Gopatha-brahmana, properly so called. The text 
is very corrupt, but it seems to contain an admission 
that, besides the twenty- one sacrifices which are ac- 
knowledged in all the Yedic writings, the Angiras' 
had some new sacrifices of their own. 1 That the Go- 
patha-brahmana was composed after the schism of the 
Charakas and Vajasaneyins, and after the completion 
of the Vajasaneyi-sanhita, may be gathered from 
the fact that where the first lines of the other 
Yedas are quoted in the Gopatha, the first line of the 

1 ^rr ^spr: WR ^ mi**iw ^R4tJi: ^tt rrtj^r- 

^fa ^ ^ WT: gTT^MI And again ^J^ ^TT^ 


Yajur-veda is taken from the Vajasaneyins, and not 
from the Taittiriyas. 

The five Prapathakas which we have hitherto dis- 
cussed, form only the first part of the Gopatha-brah- 
raana. There is a second part, called the Uttara- 
brahmana, which consists of more than five Prapa- 
thakas. It is impossible to fix their exact numbers, 
as the MS. breaks off in the middle of the sixth 
book. It is likewise reckoned as belonging to the 
Atharva-veda, and quoted by the name of Gopatha. 
In this second part we meet repeatedly with long 
passages which are taken from other Brahmanas. 
Sometimes they coincide literally, sometimes the dif- 
ferences are no greater than what we find in different 
Sakhas of the same Brahmana. Thus the legend of 
the sacrifice running away from the gods, which is 
told in the Aitareya-brahmana, i. 18, is repeated 
in the Uttara-brahmana, ii. 6. The story of 
Vasishtha receiving a special revelation from Indra 
which is told in the Taittiriyaka 1 (iii. 5. 2.) is repeated 
in the Uttara-brahmana, (ii. 13.). And here a dif- 
ference occurs which is characteristic. The Taittiri- 
yas relate that owing to this special revelation which 
Vasishtha had received from Indra, the Vasishthas had 
always acted as Purohitas. So far both the Taittiriyas 
and the Atharvans agree. But when the Taittiriyas 
continue that therefore a Vasishtha is to be chosen a 
Brahman, the Atharvans demur. The sentence is 
left out, and it is inculcated on the contrary that the 
office of Brahman belongs by right to a Bhrigu, or to 
one cognisant of the songs of the Atharvangiras', 2 

1 See page 91, note. 

2 See also Uttara-brahmana ii. I. -as Ait.-br. iii. 5. ; Utt.-br. 

g g 3 

454 the gopatha-brAhmana. 

If, as we have little reason to doubt, these passages 
in the second part of the Gopatha-brahmana were 
simply copied from other Brahmanas, we should have 
to assign to the Uttara-brahmana a later date than 
to the Brahmanas of the other Yedas. But this 
would in no way affect the age of the original Gopa- 
tha-brahmana. In it there is nothing to show that 
it was a more modern composition than, for instance, 
that iSatapatha-brahmana. In the Sanhita of the 
Atharva-veda we find something very similar. 1 Here 
also the last, if not the last two books, betray a more 
modern origin, and are full of passages taken from 
the Rig-veda. The Anukramani calls the nineteenth 
book the Brahma-kanda, and the hymns of the last 
bookyajniyasansanamantras, i.e. hymns for sacrificial 
recitations. The collection of the Sanhita was pro- 
bably undertaken simultaneously with the composition 
of the Gopatha-brahmana, at a time when through 
the influence of some of the families of the Bhrigus 
and Angiras' the magic formulas of the Atharvans had 
been acknowledged as an essential part of the solemn 
ceremonial. With the means at present at our dis- 
posal it is impossible to trace the history of these 
verses back to the earlier period of Yedic literature, 
and I shall not return to them again. What is 
known of their origin and character has been stated 
by Professor Whitney in several very careful articles 
in the Journal of the American Oriental Society. 2 
" The Atharvana," he says, " is, like the Rich, a his- 

v. 14. = Ait.-br. vi. 17.; Utt.-br. vi. 1. = Ait.-br. vi. 18.; 
Utt.-br. vi. 3. = Ait.-br. vi. 21. 

1 Atharva-veda-sanhita, herausgegeben von Roth und Whitney. 
Berlin, 1855, and 1856. 

2 Journal of the American Oriental Society, iv. p. 254. 


torical and not a liturgical collection. Its first 
eighteen books, of which alone it was originally com- 
posed, are arranged upon a like system throughout : 
the length of the hymns, and not either their subject 
or their alleged authorship, being the guiding prin- 
ciple : those of about the same number of verses are 
combined together into books, and the books made 
up of the shorter hymns stand first in order. A sixth 
of the mass, however, is not metrical, but consists of 
longer or shorter prose pieces, nearly akin in point 
of language and style to passages of the Brahmanas. 
Of the remainder, or metrical portion, about one- 
sixth is also found among the hymns of the Rich, and 
mostly in the tenth book of the latter : the rest is 
peculiar to the Atharvana." And again 1 , " The most 
prominent characteristic feature of the Atharvana is 
the multitude of incantations which it contains ; these 
are pronounced either by the person who is himself 
to be benefitted, or, more often, by the sorcerer for 
him, and are directed to the procuring of the greatest 
variety of desirable ends ; most frequently, perhaps, 
long life, or recovery from grievous sickness, is the 
object sought : then a talisman, such as a necklace, is 
sometimes given, or in very numerous cases some 
plant endowed with marvellous virtues is to be the 
immediate external means of the cure ; further, the 
attainment of wealth or power is aimed at, the down- 
fall of enemies, success in love or in play, the removal 
of petty pests, and so on, even down to the growth of 
hair on a bald pate." 

1 Loc. cit. iii. p. 308. 

G G 4 




Having ascribed to one period the first establishment 
of the three-fold ceremonial (trayi vidya), the compo- 
sition, and collection of the Brahmanas, and the rami- 
fication of the Brahmana-charanas, we have now to see 
whether we can extend our view beyond the limits 
of this period and trace the stream of Yedic literature 
still further back to its source and its earliest diffusion. 
According to its general character, the Brahmana 
period must be called a secondary period. It ex- 
hibits a stratum of thought, perfectly unintelligible 
without the admission of a preceding age, during 
which all that is misunderstood, perverted, and ab- 
surd in the Brahmanas, had its natural growth, its 
meaning, and purpose. But can it be supposed that 
those who established the threefold ceremonial, and 
those who composed the threefold Brahmanas, fol- 
lowed immediately upon an age which had known 
poets, but no priests, prayers, but no dogmas, wor- 
ship, but no ceremonies ? Or are there traces to 
show that, even previous to the composition of the 
Brahmanas, a spirit was at work in the literature of 
India, no longer creative, free, and original, but 
living only on the heritage of a former age, collecting, 
classifying, and imitating ? I believe we must de- 
cidedly adopt the latter view. The only document 
we have, in which we can study the character of the 


times, previous to the Brahmana period, is the Rig- 
veda-sanhita. The other two Sanhitas were more 
likely the production of the Brahmana period. These 
two Vedas, the Yajur-veda and Sama-veda, were, in 
truth, what they are called in the Kaushitaki-brah- 
mana, the attendants of the Rig-veda. 1 The Brah- 
manas presuppose the Trayi vidya, the threefold 
knowledge, or the threefold Veda, but that Trayi 
vidya again presupposes one Veda, and that the Rig- 
veda. We cannot suppose that the hymns which are 
found in the Rig-veda, and in the Sanhitas of 
the two supplementary Yedas, the Sama and Yajur- 
veda, were collected three times by three independent 
collectors. If so, their differences would be much 
greater than they are. The differences which do 
exist between the same hymns and verses as given 
in the three Sanhitas, are such as we should expect 
to find in different Sakhas, not such as would natur- 
ally arise in independent collections or Sanhitas. 

The principle on which the Sanhita of the Rig- 
veda was made is different from that which guided 
the compilers of the Sanhitas of the Adhvaryus and 
Udgatris. These two Sanhitas follow the order of 
an established ceremonial. They presuppose a fixed 
order of sacrifices. This is not the case in the San- 
hita of the Bahvrichas. There is, as we shall see, a 
system in that Sanhita also, but it has no reference 
to the ceremonial. 

The different character of the Rig-veda-sanhita, as 
compared with the Sanhitas of the other two Yedas, 
has attracted the attention of the Brahmans, and we 

' fPgftWTftrP^ ^|| vi. 11. 


may quote on this subject the remarks of Say ana, in 
his Introduction to the Kig-veda. 1 

" Has Asvalayana," he says, " when composing his 
ceremonial Sutras, followed the order of the Sanhita 
of the Rig-veda, or of the Brahmana ? He could 
not have followed the order of the hymns, because he 
says at the beginning of his Sutras, that first of all 
he is going to explain the new and full-moon sacri- 
fices (Darsa purnamasa), while the first hymns of the 
Rig-veda are never used at that sacrifice. Nor does 
he seem to have followed the Brahmana. For 
the Brahmana begins with the Dikshaniya cere- 
mony. Here then it must be observed that the 
collection of hymns follows the order which is ob- 
served at the Brahmayajna and on other occasions 
where prayers are to be recited. It does not follow 
the order in which hymns are employed at the 
different sacrifices. Brahmayajna is the name 
given to the act of repeating by heart one's own 
sacred text or even a single verse of it, whether 
a Rich, Yajush or Saman. This repeating of all the 
Rich, Yajush or Saman verses is enjoined by many 
passages of the Brahmanas, and whenever hymns are 
thus enjoined to be repeated, that order is to be ob- 
served in which they have been handed down by an 
uninterrupted tradition. But as Asvalayana teaches 
the particular employment of particular hymns, 
basing it upon the authority of what are termed 
indicative passages of the revelation, it is but natural 
that he can not follow the order of the hymns of the 
Rig-veda. The texts of the Yajur-veda, however, 
are given, from the first beginning, according to their 

1 P. 34. 

rig-veda-sanhitA. 459 

order at the performance of sacrifices, and thus have 
Apastamba and others proceeded in the same order in 
the composition of their Sutras. As this order has 
once been received, it is likewise adopted in the Brah- 
mayajna. That Asvalayana should explain in the 
first place the Darsapurnamasa sacrifice, while the 
Brahmana begins with the Dikshaniya sacrifice, is no 
objection, because the Dikshaniya is only a modifica- 
tion of the Darsapurnamasa, and many of its rules 
must be supplied from the typical sacrifice. Thus 
the Kalpa-sutra of Asvalayana assists in teaching the 
performance of the sacrifice by showing the employ- 
ment of the. hymns. That Asvalayana should teach 
the employment of passages which do not occur in 
the Sanhita of the Rig-veda 1 , is no fault, because these 

1 Our MSS. represent, according to tradition, the text of the 
6akala-sakha, and the same text is followed by Asvalayana in his 
Sutras. Now, whenever Asvalayana quotes any verses which 
form part of the 6akala-sakha, he only quotes the first words. 
Every member of his Charana was supposed to know the hymns 
of the 6akala-sakha by heart, and it was sufficient, therefore, to 
quote them in this manner. But when he has occasion to refer to 
the verses which are found in the Brahmana of the Aitareyins, 
without being part of the 6akala-sanhita, Asvalayana quotes them 
in full. As these verses are not quoted in full in the text of the 
Aitareya-brahmana, we may fairly suppose that the text of the 
Rig-veda-sanhita, current among the Aitareyins, was different from 
that of the 6akala-sakha, and contained the full text of these 
hymns. Sayana, in his Commentary, does not state that these 
additional verses belonged to the &akha of the Aitareyins, but 
there can be little doubt that at his time the text of their Sanhita 
was lost and forgotten. He says, however, that these verses be- 
longed to a different 6akha, and that they must be supplied 
from Asvalayana' s Sutras, where, for this very reason, they were 
given in full. At the time of Asvalayana, therefore, the text of 
the Sanhita of the Aitareyins was still in existence, and he like- 
wise notices in his Sutras peculiarities in the ceremonial of the 


hymns occur in different Sakhas, and their employ- 
ment is prescribed by a different Brahmana, so that 
their being mentioned can only increase the value of 
his Sutras. Those who know the logic of this subject 
say, that there is but one sacrifice and that it is to 
be learnt from all the different Sakhas." 

Here then we see that even so late a writer as 
Say ana is fully aware of the peculiar character of 
the Rig-veda, as compared with the other Vedas. In 
his eyes the collection of hymns, preserved in the 
Rig-veda, has evidently something anomalous. He, 
brought up in the system of a stiff liturgical religion, 
looks upon the Sanhitas simply as prayer-books to be 
used at the sacrifices. The sacrifices as taught in 
the Brahmanas and Sutras, are to him a subject of 
far greater importance than the religious poetry of 
the Rishis. It is but natural, therefore, that he should 
ask, what is the use of this collection of hymns, in 
which there is no order or system, as in the hymn- 
books of the Yajur-veda and Sama-veda ? His answer, 
however, is most unsatisfactory. For if the other 
two collections of hymns can be used for private de- 
votion although they follow the order of the sacri- 
fices, why should not the same apply to the hymns 
of the Rig-veda? 

Whenever we find in the ancient literature and 

Aitareyins. Dr. Roth has pointed out one of these verses (Nirukta, 
xlv.). The passage in the Aitarey a -brahmana from which the verse 

is taken, is, i. 4. 2. ; and Sayana says there : rff HcfT^pHJ 

a similar manner the modern Sutras of the Fratres Attidii 
(Tab. vi. vii.) contain the Mantras in full, which in the ancient 
statutes (Tab. i.) are only indicated as generally known. See 
Aufrecht und KirchhofF, Die Umbrischen Sprachdenkmaler. 


theology of the Brahmans anything that is contrary 
to their general rules, anything that seems anomalous 
to them and is yet allowed to exist, we may be sure 
that it contains some really historical elements, and 
that it was of too solid a nature to receive the smooth 
polish of the Brahmanic system. It is so with the 
Rig-veda-sanhita. It belongs to a period previous to 
the complete ascendancy of the Brahmans; it was 
finished before the threefold ceremonial had been 
worked out in all its details. 

And yet there is some system, there is some priestly 
influence, clearly distinguishable in that collection also. 
It is true that the ten books of the Rig-veda stand be- 
fore us as separate collections, each belonging to one 
of the ancient families of India ; but were these collec- 
tions undertaken independently in each of these 
families, at different times, and with different objects ? 
I believe not. There are traces, however faint, of one 
superintending spirit. 

Eight out of the ten Mandalas begin with hymns 
addressed to Agni, and these hymns, with the excep- 
tion of the tenth Mandala, are invariably followed by 
hymns addressed to Indra. 1 After the hymns ad- 

1 First Mandala, Anuvaka l.=Agni. 

Anuvaka 2. 3.=Indra. 
Second Mandala, Anuvaka l.=Agni ( 11). 

Anuvaka 2.=Indra. 
Third Mandala, Anuvaka 1. 2.= Agni. 
Anuvaka 3. A. Indra. 
Fourth Mandala, Anuvaka 1. 2, 5. = Agni. 

Anuvaka 2. 3.= Indra. 
Fifth Mandala, Anuvaka 1. 2, 14.= Agni. 

Anuvaka 2, 15. 3, 8. = Indra. 
Sixth Mandala, Anuvaka 1. 2, l. = Agni. 

-4, 4. = Indra. 

462 APRl HYMNS. 

dressed to these two deities we generally meet with 
hymns addressed to the Visve Devali. This cannot 
be the result of mere accident, nor is there anything 
in the character of the two gods, Agni and Indra, 
which would necessitate such an arrangement. Agni 
is indeed called the lowest of the gods, but this neither 
implies his inferiority nor his superiority. 1 It simply 
means that Agni, as the god of fire on the hearth, is 
the nearest god, who descends from his high station 
to befriend men, and who, in the form of the sacrifi- 
cial fire, becomes the messenger and mediator between 
god and men. 2 This would not be sufficient to account 
for the place assigned to him at the beginning of eight 
out of the ten Mandalas of the Rig-veda. Indra, again, 
is certainly the most powerful of the Vedic gods 3 , but 
he never enjoys that supremacy which in Greece and 
Rome was allowed to Zeus and Jupiter. We can 
hardly doubt, therefore, that the place allowed to 
hymns addressed to Agni and Indra, at the beginning 

Seventh Mandala, Anuvaka l.=Agni. 
Anuvaka 2. = Indra. 
Eighth Mandala, Pragatha hymns. 
Ninth Mandala, Soma hymns. 
Tenth Mandala, Anuvaka l.=Agni. 

1 Schol. ad Pind. Nem. x. 59. Kat yap to irpioTov tayarov nore 
hvvarai yeviadai, kcu to toyaxov 7rpioT0V, Keyjp-qTui teal 2o0okA% i" 
k<T-xaT<j) a.VTL tov 7rpu)T0v, "Hdrj yap eopa Zevg kv ktrylirn S'eoiv (e'x l 
yap e$pav. Brunek.) 

^ Rv. iv. i. 5,-q <sf ift ^$$wr Hfr?ft ^ii ^^T 

^"^^Y ^(Wt II " Come down to us, O Agni, with thy help, be 
thou most near to us to-day as the dawn flashes forth." 

3 ^j^Y 3" ^ <=ll U ^Ttf^TSTf Wf%"8" I Kaushitaki-brahmana, 
vi. 14. 

APR1 HYMNS. 463 

of the Mandalas, was the result of a previous agree- 
ment, and that the Mandalas themselves do not re- 
present collections made independently by different 
families, but collections carried out simultaneously in 
different localities under the supervision of one central 

Another indication of the systematic arrangement 
of the Mandalas, is contained in the Apri hymns. 

There are ten Apri-suktas in the Rig-veda : 

1. I. 13., by Medhatithi, of the family of the 
Kanvas (ii. b.) ; 12 verses. 

2. I. 142, by Dirghatamas, son of Uchathya, of the 
family of the Angirasas (ii. a.) ; 13 verses. (Indra.) 

3. I. 188, by Agastya, of the family of the Agastis 
(vii.); 11 verses. (Tanunap&t.) 

4. II. 3, by Gritsamada, son of Sunahotra, (Angi- 
rasa), adopted by Sunaka (Bh&rgava) (i. 7.); 11 
verses. (Narasansa.) 

5. III. 4, by Visvamitra, son of Gathin, of the 
family of the VisvaMnitras (iv.) ; 11 verses. (Tanu- 
napat. ) 

6. Y. 5, by Vasusruta, son of Atri, of the family 
of the Atreyas (iii.) ; 11 verses. (Narasansa.) 

7. VII. 2, by Vasishtha, son of Mitravarunau, of 
the family of the Vasishthas (vi.) ; 11 verses. (Nara- 

8. IX. 5, by Asita or Devala, of the family of the 
Kasyapas (v.) ; 11 verses. (Tanunapat.) 

9. X. 70, by Sumitra, of the family of the Badhrya- 
svas (i. 6.); 11 verses. (Narasansa.) 

10. X. 110, by Raina, the son of Jamadagni, or by 
Jamadagni, of the family of the Jamadagnyas (i. 2.); 
11 verses. (Tanunapat.) 

These hymns consist properly of 11 verses, each of 

464 APRl HYMNS. 

which is addressed to a separate deity. Their order is 
as follows : 

First verse, to Agni Idhma or Susamiddha, the 
lighted fire. 

Second verse, to Tanunapat, the sun hidden in the 
waters or the clouds, or to Narasansa, the rising sun, 
praised by men. 

Third verse, to the lias, the heavenly gifts, or Ijita^ 
Agni, implored to bring them. 

Fourth verse, to Barhish, the sacrificial pile of grass. 

Fifth verse, to Devir dvarah, the gates of heaven. 

Sixth verse, to Ushasa-naktau, dawn and night. 

Seventh verse, to Daivyau hotarau prachetasau 
(it e. Agni and Aditya, or Agni and Varuna, or 
Varuna and Aditya ; Shadgurusishya). 

Eighth verse, to the three goddesses Sarasvati, Ila, 

Ninth verse, to Tvashtri, the creator. 

Tenth verse, to Vanaspati, the tree of the sacrifice. 

Eleventh verse, to the SvaMkritis. ( Visve Devah, 
Shadgurusishya. ) 

The only differences in the ten Apri hymns of the 
Rig-veda arise from the name by which the second 
deity is invoked. It is Tanunapat in hymns 3, 5, 8, 
10 ; Narasansa in hymns 4, 6, 7, 9 ; whereas in hymns 
1 and 2 the second deity is invoked under either 
name in two separate verses. This raises the number 
in these two hymns to twelve, and this number is 
again raised to thirteen in hymn 2, by the addition at 
the end of a separate invocation of Indra. 

The whole construction of these hymns is clearly 
artificial. They share the character of the hymns 
which we find in the Sama and Yajur-vedas, being 
evidently composed for sacrificial purposes. Never- 

apr! hymns. 465 

theless, we find these artificial hymns in seven out of 
the ten Mandalas, in L, II., III., V., VIL, IX., X. 
This proves a previous agreement among the col- 
lectors. For some reason or other, each family 
wished to have its own Apri hymn, a hymn which 
had to be recited by the Hotri priest, previous to the 
immolation of certain victims 1 , and such a hymn was 
inserted, not once for all in the Sanhita, but ten 
times over. Some of the verses in the Apri hymns 
are mere repetitions, and even families so hostile to 
each other as the Vasishthas and Yisvamitras have 
some verses in common in these Apri hymns. 
But, if on one side the presence of the Apri hymns in 
different Mandalas proves a certain advance of the 
ceremonial system in the Mantra period, and the in- 
fluence of a priestly society even in the first collection 
of the hymns ; it proves likewise, that the traditional 
distribution of the Mandalas among various Vedic 
families is not a merely arbitrary arrangement. These 
families insisted on having each their own Apri 
hymn recorded, and whereas for the general ceremo- 
nial, as fixed in the Brahmanas and Sutras, the family 
of the poet of certain hymns employed at the sacri- 
fices, is never taken into account, we find an exception 
made in favour of the Apri hymns. If a verse of 
Yisvamitra is once fixed by the Brahmanas and 
Sutras as part of any of the solemn sacrifices, no 
sacrifi cer, even if he were of the family of the Vasish- 
thas, would have a right to replace that verse by an- 
other. But with regard to the Apri hymns that 
liberty is conceded. The Aitareya-brahmana records 

1 Burnouf, Journal Asiatique, 1850, p. 249. Roth, Nirukta, 
p. xxxvi. 

H H 

466 Apirf HYMNS. 

this fact in the most general form. 1 " Let the priest 
use the Apris according to the Rishi. If he uses 
the Apris according to the Rishi, he does not allow 
the sacrificer to escape from the relationship of that 
Rishi." Asvalayana enters more into details. 2 He 
says that those who belong to the Sunakas, should 
use the hymn of Gritsamada ; those who belong to the 
Yasishthas, that of Yasishtha. The Apri hymn of 
Rama or Jamadgni he allows to be used by all fami- 
lies, (excepting the Sunakas and Yasishthas) but, he 
adds, that each family may choose the Apri hymn of 
its own Rishi. How this is to be done is explained 
in a Sloka, ascribed to Saunaka. 3 He ascribes the 
first Apri hymn to the Kanvas ; the second to the 
Angiras', with the exception of the Kanvas; the 
third to the Agastis; the fourth to the Sunakas ; the 
fifth to the Yisvamitras ; the sixth to the Atris ; the 
seventh to the Yasishthas ; the eighth to the Kasyapas ; 
the ninth to the Badhryasvas; the tenth to the 
Bhrigus, with the exception of the Sunakas and 
Badhryasvas. 4 

The original purpose of the Apri hymns, and the 

rr^rrr^rr ^t r^rfcr i Ait.-br. ii. 4. 

2 Asv.-sutra, iii. 2. 

3 ?T^r *r*TCfTT ttW^i sraftnre ^srnftft^i^ite 
srf%^r: 3T3in?r srspsY VKli<<fl*iui 

4 Wf^TWT^ f*I^n^r3ra^rcn7^ Narayana on Asv. 

&rauta-su. iv. 1. 


motive for allowing the priest to ehoose among them 
according to the family to which his client belonged, 
are difficult to discover. An ancient author of the 
name of Ganagari \ endeavoured to prove from the 
fact that one and the same Apri hymn may be used 
by all, that all people belong really and truly to one 
family. It is possible, indeed, that the Apri hymns 
may have been songs of reconciliation, and that they 
were called dpn, i.e. appeasing hymns, not from their 
appeasing the anger of the gods, but the enmities of 
members of the same or different families. However 
that may be, they certainly do prove that there bad 
been an active intercourse between the ancient fami- 
lies of India long before the final collection of the ten 
books, and that these ten books were collected and 
arranged by men who took more than a merely 
poetical interest in the ancient sacred poetry of their 

Although we see from these indications that the 
collection of the hymns which we possess in the Rig- 
veda took place during a period when the influence 
of the Brahmans, as a priestly caste, had made itself 
felt in India, we must claim, nevertheless, for this 
collection a character not yet exclusively ceremonial. 
Not only is the order of the hymns completely inde- 
pendent of the order of the sacrifices, but there 
are numerous hymns in our collection which could 
never have been used at any sacrifice. This is not 

-*T^: | Asv.-sutras, xii. 10. See also Anuvakanukramani-blia- 
shya, sloka 7. % in^rT: | \ ^ I ^Ifaf ITTcir^ra ^5fT- 

H ii 2 


the case with the other Vedas. Every hymn, every 
verse, every invocation in the Sanhit&s of the Sama 
and Yajur-vedas are employed by the Udg&tris and 
Adhvaryus, whereas the hymns of the Rig-veda are 
by no means intended to be all employed by the 
Hotri priests. If we speak of the sacred poetry of 
the Brahmans, that of the S&ma and Yajur-vedas is 
sacred only because it is used for sacrificial purposes, 
that of the Rig-veda is sacred, because it had been 
handed down as a sacred heir-loom from the earliest 
times within the memory of man. The sacredness 
of the former is matter of system and design, that 
of the latter is a part of its origin. 

There is an objection that might be raised against 
this view, and which deserves to be considered. No 
one acquainted with the ceremonial of the Brahmans 
could well maintain that, after the final division of 
that ceremonial among the three classes of priests, 
a collection like that of the Rig-veda could have been 
conceived. The Rig-veda is not a Veda for the 
Hotri priest, in the same sense in which the Sama and 
Yajur-vedas are for the Udgatri and Adhvaryu priests. 
But it might be said that there is a fourth class of 
priests, the Brahman class, and that the Rig-veda 
might have been collected for their special benefit. 
In order to answer this objection, we shall have to 
examine more closely the real character of the four 
classes of priests. 

Asvalayana (iv. 1.), says that there are four priests, 
each having three men under him. These are : 

I. Hotri, with Maitr&varuna, Achhavaka, Gra- 
vastut. 1 

1 This is not the order as given in Asvalayana ; he places the 
Brahman and his three men before the Udgatri and his attendants. 


II. Adhvaryu, with Pratiprasthatri, Neshtri, Un- 

III. Udgatri, with Prastotri, Agnidhra or Agnidh, 

IV. Brahman, with Brahmanachhansin, Pratihar- 
tri, Subrahmanya. 

These sixteen priests are commonly called by the 
name of Ritvij, and are chosen by the man in whose 
favour the sacrifice is offered, the Yajamana or Svamin. 
There are other priests, such as the Samitri, (the 
slayer,) the Vaikartas, (the butchers,) the Chama- 
sadhvaryus, (the assistants of the Adhvaryus,) but 
they do not rank as Ritvij. The Kaushitakins admit 
a seventeenth Ritvij, the so-called Sadasya, who is to 
superintend the whole sacrifice. 1 This large array of 

Some would seem to place the Brahman first of all, but Asvala- 
yana (Grihya, i. 22.) remarks that the Brahman is first chosen 
when there is an election of four priests only. If all the sixteen 
are chosen, then the Hotri comes first, afterwards the Brahman, 
thirdly the Adhvaryu, and lastly the Udgatri. 

i Asv.-Grihya, i. 22. ff^jj ^^TJ ^nftrrf^T: ^TTO" 

*flfft(d tH'-HT^II This is confirmed by the Kaushitaki-brah- 

mana. Other authorities admit several Sadasyas. (51jl ^ITTTS " 

*Wt <* 10 For tne Sattra sacrifices a seventeenth priest, 
called the Grihapati, lord of the house, is admitted. He is not 
considered as the Yajamana, but seems to be the actual sacrificer. 

T}?EfT?T ^rf%?TTt Narayana on Asv. &rauta-sutra, iv. 1.) In 
the Aitareya-brahmana (vii. 1.), where the division of the animal 
among the various priests is described, we have the sixteen Ritvij, 
and besides one Sadasya, three Grihapatis (probably the sacri- 

h h 3 

470 RITVIJ. 

priests was only wanted for certain grand sacrifices. 
In the Gautama-sutra-bhashya (p. 30.) we are told 
that for the Agnihotra and Aup&sana one priest, the 
Adhvaryu, was sufficient ; for the Darsapurnamasa, 
four ; for the Chaturmasyas five ; for the Pasubandha 
six ; for the Jyotishtoma sixteen. Asvalayana pre- 
scribes the sixteen priests for the sacrifices called 
Ahina (sacrifices lasting from two to eleven days), 
and Ekaha (sacrifices of one day), and restricts the 
seventeen priests to the Sattras (sacrifices lasting 
from thirteen to one hundred days). Each of the four 
classes of these priests had peculiar duties to perform. 
These duties were prescribed in the Brahman as. The 
duties of the Hotri are laid down in the Brahma- 
nas of the Bahvriehas, such as the Kaushitaki and 
Aitareya-brahmanas ; those of the Adhvaryu in the 
Brahmanas of the Charakas (the Taittiriyaka) and 
in the Brahmanas of the Vajasaneyins (the data- 
path a); those of the Udgatri in the Brahmanas of 
the Chhandogas (the Tandya.) Apastamba, who de- 
scribes the sacrifice in his Paribhasha-sutras 1 , says 
that it is prescribed by the three Vedas, the Rig-veda, 
Yajur-veda and Sama-veda. 2 " The Hotri," he says, 

ficer himself, one who acts for him, and one who acts for his wife), 
one &araitri (a slayer, who need not be a Brahman), two Vai- 
kartas (butchers), several Upagatris (choristers), and an Atreya. 
Other wives (patnis), besides the bharya, are mentioned as present. 
In the Tandya-brahmana (25. 15.) the Pratiprasthatri is left out, 
but two Adhvaryus, two Unnetris, and two Abhigarapagarau are 

1 Translated by me in the ninth volume of the German Oriental 


"performs his duties with the Rig-veda, the Udgatri 
with the Sama-veda, the Adhvaryu with the Yajur- 
veda ; the Brahman with all the three Vedas." 

The Adhvaryus were the priests who were intrusted 
with the material performance of the sacrifice. They 
had to measure the ground, to build the altar (vedi), 
to prepare the sacrificial vessels, to fetch wood and 
water, to light the fire, to bring the animal and im- 
molate it. They formed, as it would seem, the 
lowest class of priests, and their acquirements were 
more of a practical than an intellectual character. 
Some of the offices which would naturally fall to the 
lot of the Adhvaryus, were considered so degrading, 
that other persons besides the priests were frequently 
employed in them. The iSamitri, for instance, who 
had to slay the animal, was not a priest, he need not 
even be a Brahman 1 , and the same applies to the 
Vaikartas, the butchers, and the so-called Chamasa- 
dhvaryus. The number of hymns and invocations 
which they had to use at the sacrifices was smaller 
than that of the other priests. These, however, they 
had to learn by heart. But as the chief difficulty 
consisted in the exact recitation of hymns, and in the 
close observance of all the euphonic rules, as taught in 
the Pratisakhyas, the Adhvaryus were allowed to 
mutter their hymns 2 , so that no one at a distance could 

1 Ait-brahmana, vii. 1. 

2 ^iaj w}^ni<ui ^Tws^ar^w: Tret*ro- 

H H 4 


either hear or understand them. Only in cases where 
the Adhvarj'u had to speak to other officiating priests, 
commanding them to perform certain duties 1 , he was 
of course obliged to speak with a loud and distinct 
voice. All these verses and all the invocations which 
the Adhvaryus had to use, were collected in the 
ancient liturgy of the Adhvaryus together with the 
rules of the sacrifice. In this mixed form they exist 
in the Taittiriyaka. Afterwards the hymns were 
collected by themselves, separated from the ceremonial 
rules, and this collection is what we call the Yajur- 
veda-sanhitd, or the prayer-book of the Adhvaryu 

There were some parts of the sacrifice, which ac- 
cording to ancient custom, had to be accompanied by 
songs, and hence another class of priests arose whose 
particular office it was to act as the chorus. This 
naturally took place at the most solemn sacrifices only. 
Though as yet we have no key as to the character 

1 An instance of this occurs in a passage of the Aitareya-brah- 
mana, translated by Prof. Roth. The first words (ii. 2.) ^v4ft 

^TWTsff% are spoken by the Adhvaryu, and not, as Professor 

Roth supposes, by the Hotri. It is the Adhvaryu only who can 
say, " We anoint the sacrificial stake, do thou accompany us with 
the hymns." A passage like this, as it is addressed to another 
priest, the Adhvaryu would have to pronounce with a loud voice. 

The Brahmana itself says, ^rtj l^T^ef^ " so says the Adhvaryu." 

The presha, or command, " anubruhi," can only be addressed to 
the Hotri, and there was no ground for placing the following 
verses in the mouth of the Adhvaryu. Roth, Nirukta, xxxiv. 

HOTRIS. 473 

of the music which the Udg&tris performed, we 
can see from the numerous and elaborate rules, 
however unintelligible, that their music was more 
than mere chanting. The words of their songs were 
collected in the order of the sacrifice, and this libretto 
is what we possess under the name of Sdma-veda~san~ 
hitd, or the prayer-book of the Udgatri priests. 1 

Distinct from these two classes, we have a third 
class of priests, the Hotris, whose duty it was to re- 
cite certain hymns during the sacrifice in praise of the 
deities to whom any particular act of the sacrificer 
was addressed. Their recitation was loud and dis- 
tinct, and required the most accurate knowledge of 
the rules of euphony or Siksha. The Hotris, as a 
class, were the most highly educated order of priests. 
They were supposed to know both the proper pro- 
nunciation and the meaning of their hymns, the order 
and employment of which was taught in the Brah- 
manas of the Bahvrichas. But while both the Adhvar- 
yus and Udgatris were confessedly unable to perform 
their duties without the help of their prayer-books, 
the Hotris were supposed to be so well versed in the 
ancient sacred poetry, as contained in the ten Mandalas 
of the Rig-veda, that no separate prayer-book or 
Sanhita was ever arranged for their special benefit. 

1 The Sanhita consists of two parts ; the Archika and Stau- 
bhika. The Archika, as adapted to the special use of the priests, 
exists in two forms, called Ganas, or Song-books, the Veyagana 
and Aranyagana. The Staubhika exists in the same manner as 
Ohagana and Uhyagana. Cf. Benfey, Preface to his edition of 
the Sama-veda- archika, Leipzig, 1848, and Weber, Ind. Studien, 
i. 30. The supposition that the modern origin of some of the 
hymns of the Rig-veda could be proved by their not occurring in 
the Sama-veda, has been well refuted by Dr. Pertsch. 

474 HOTRIS, 

There is no Sanhita for the Hotris corresponding to 
the Sanhitas of the Adhvaryus and Udgatris. The 
Hotri learnt from the Brahmana, or in later times, 
from the Sutra, what special duties he had to perform. 
He knew from those sources the beginnings or the 
names of the hymns which he had to recite at every 
part of the service. But in order to be able to use 
these indications, he had previously to know the whole 
body of Yedic poetry, so as to be ready to produce 
from the vast store of his memory whatever hymn or 
verse was called for at the sacrifice. There exists 
among the MSS. of Walker's Collection a work en- 
titled, Asvalayana-sakhoktamantra-sanhita, a collec- 
tion of hymns of the Asvalayana-sakha, which contains 
the hymns as required according to the Grihya-sutras 
of Asvalayana. It would have been easy to construct 
a similar collection for the Srauta-sutras, but such a 
collection was never made, and it is never alluded 
to in the ancient literature of the Brahmans. 1 

1 Sayana (Rv. Bh. i. p. 23.) remarks that some verses of the Ya- 
jur-veda are called Rich in the Brahmanas of the Adhvaryus. Thus 

the verse <5^t <^f5dl rM*U<4 * s called a Rich addressed to 
Savitri. Samans also are mentioned, as when it is said, " Singing 
the Saman he sits down." In the Sama-veda there are not only 

Rich verses, but also Yajush invocations, such as ^jf%?f^n%, 

=5f-i] r |*|(%, Mmi^f*{rj4jf% | The Hotri priests have likewise 
to use invocations which would more properly be called Yajush, 
such as ^r^fTS^^n*^ " Adnvarvu > nast tnou S ot tne 
water ? " to which the Adhvaryu replies : \3fT*T*T i TOt " Yes, it 
has come." Here the Commentator says, ^(J^^il flH^F 


If then the Rig-veda-sanhita was not composed for 
the special benefit of the Hotris, much less of the 
other two classes of priests, it might be supposed that 
it had nevertheless a sacrificial character, and was in- 
tended to assist the fourth class of priests, or the 
Brahman, properly so called. The Brahman, as we 
saw, had to watch the three classes of priests and to 
correct any mistake they might commit. He was 
therefore, supposed to know the whole ceremonial and 
all the hymns employed by the Hotri, Adhvaryu, 
and Udgatri. Now the Rig-veda does contain most 
of the hymns of the other two Vedas 1 , and in several 
places it is maintained that the Brahman ought pro- 
perly to be a Hotri. All this would render it not 
improbable that the Rig-veda-sanhita belonged to the 
same age as the other two Sanhitas, that its collection 
was suggested by the same idea which led to the col- 
lection of the hymns of the other two classes of priests, 
and that, for the special benefit of the Brahman, it 
comprehended in one body all the hymns which the 
Hotri, the Adhvaryu, and Udgatri were expected 
to know singly. In this case the Rig-veda-sanhita, 

1 The invocations, properly called Yajush, are of course not to 
be found in the Rig-veda. Some of the hymns of the Sama and 
Yajur- vedas, which have a more modern appearance, are to be 
found in the tenth Mandala of the Rig-veda, or among the latest 
additions, such as^the Valakhilyas. There are, however, some, 
which, though they occur in the Sama and Yajur-vedas, are not 
to be found in the Rig-veda. This may possibly be accounted 
for by the fact that we do not possess all the Sakhas of the Rig- 
veda. The difference's also in the text of hymns, as read in the 
three Vedas, must be ascribed to the influence of early &akhas, 
and cannot be used as an argument for determining the more or 
less ancient date of the three Vedas. 


instead of being more ancient, would in fact represent 
the latest collection of a sacred poetry. 

It would be of no avail to appeal to the testi- 
mony of later authorities, such as the Puranas, in 
order to refute this theory. The Vishnu-purana (p. 
276), for instance, has the following remarks on this 
subject : " Vy&sa," it is said, " divided the one sacri- 
ficial Veda into four parts, and instituted the sacri- 
ficial rite administered by the four kinds of priests, 
in which it was the duty of the Adhvaryu to recite 
the Yajush verses or direct the ceremony ; of the 
Hotri to repeat the Rich ; of the Udgatri to chaunt 
the Saman ; and of the Brahman, to pronounce the 
formula called Atharvan. Then the Muni, having 
collected together the hymns called Rich, composed 
the Rig-veda, &c., and, with the Atharvans, he com- 
posed the rules of all the ceremonies suited to kings, 
and the function of the Brahman agreeably to prac- 
tice." This passage only serves to show that the 
authors of the Puranas were entirely ignorant of the 
tone and character of the Vedic literature. For 
although the Brahman priest was the only Ritvij 
who had occasionally to use passages from the Athar- 
va-veda, blessings, imprecations, etc. ; yet the so- 
called Atharva-veda had nothing in common with 
the three ancient Yedas, and contained no informa- 
tion on the general features of the great sacrifices, 
such as would have been indispensable to the super- 
intendent of the other priests. 1 

1 Prasthana-bheda, p. 16., 1. 10. ^5P&Hf^"^J '^TjMM*^ 
Against this statement that of Kuraarila should be taken into 


The real answer to a supposition which would 
assign the Rig-veda-sanhita to the Brahman is, that to 
him also that collection of hymns would have been 
of no practical utility. He would have learnt from 
it many a hymn never called for, never used at any 
sacrifice ; and he would have had to unlearn the 
order both of hymns and verses whenever he wished 
to utilise his knowledge for the practical objects of 
his station. 

We may, therefore, safely ascribe the collection of 
the Rig-veda, or, as Professor Roth calls it, the histo- 
rical Veda, to a less practical age than that of the 
Brahmana period ; to an age, not entirely free from the 
trammels of a ceremonial, yet not completely enslaved 
by a system of mere formalities ; to an age no longer 
creative and impulsive, yet not without some power 
of upholding the traditions of a past that spoke to 
a later generation of men through the very poems 
which they were collecting with so much zeal and 

The work of the Mantra period is not entirely 
represented by the collection of the ancient hymns. 
Such a work would be sufficient in itself to give a 
character to an age, and we might appeal, in the his- 
tory of ancient Greek literature, to the age of the 
Diaskeuasts. A generation which begins to collect 
has entered into a new phase of life. Nations, like 
individuals, become conservative when they cease to 
trust implicitly in themselves, and have learnt from 
experience that they are not better than their 

account : (i. 3.) ^ifr|H8yf*Hnj4l ^^W^f^TTf^fTT: 


fathers. But though the distinctive feature of the 
Mantra period consisted in gathering the fruits of 
a bye-gone spring, this was not the only work 
which occupied the Brahmans of that age. Where 
poems have to be collected from the mouth of 
the people, they have likewise to be arranged. 
Corrections are supposed to be necessary ; whole 
verses may have to be supplied. After collecting 
and correcting a large number of poems, many a 
man would feel disposed to try his own poetical 
powers ; and if new songs were wanted, it did not 
require great talent to imitate the simple strains 
of the ancient Rishis. Thus we find in the Rig-veda, 
that, after the collection of the ten Mandalas was 
finished, some few hymns were added, generally at 
the end of a chapter, which are known by the 
name of Khilas. We can hardly call them successful 
imitations of the genuine songs ; but in India they 
seem to have soon acquired a certain reputation. They 
found their way into the Sanhitas of the other Vedas ; 
they are referred to in the Brahmanas ; and though 
they are not counted in the Anukramanis, together 
with the original hymns, they are there also men- 
tioned as recognised additions. 

Besides these hymns, which were added after the 
collection of the ten books had been completed, there 
is another class of hymns, actually incorporated in the 
sacred Decads, but which nevertheless must be ascribed 
to poets who were imitators of earlier poets, and 
whose activity, whether somewhat anterior to, or 
contemporaneous with the final edition of the Rig- 
veda-sanhita, must be referred to the same Mantra 
period. We need not appeal to the tradition of the 
Brahmans, who, in matters of this kind, are ex- 


tremely untrustworthy. They place a very small 
interval between the latest poets of the hymns and 
the final collection of the ten books. The latter 
they ascribe to Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa, the em- 
bodiment of the Indian &ao-xeuij, whereas one of the 
poets whose hymns form part of the Sanhita, is 
Parasara, the reputed father of Vyasa. 

But we have better evidence in the hymns them- 
selves, that some of their authors belonged to a later, 
generation than that of the most famous Rishis. 
The most celebrated poets of the Veda are those 
who are now called the Madhyamas \ from the fact of 
their hymns standing between the first and the last 
books of our collection. They are Gritsamada, (2d 
Mandala), Visvamitra (3d Mandala), Vamadeva (4th 
Mandala), Atri (5th Mandala), Bharadvaja (6th 
Mandala), and Vasishtha (7th Mandala). Added to 
these are, in the beginning, the hymns of various poets, 
collected in the first Mandala, called the book of the 
oatarchins, from the fact that each poet contributed 
about a hundred verses ; and at the end, the book of 
the Pragatha hymns (8th Mandala), the book of the 
iSoma hymns (9th Mandala), and the book of long 
and short hymns, ascribed to the Kshudrasukta and 
Mahasukta poets, which, in accordance with its very 
name, is a miscellaneous collection. 

It by no means follows that all the hymns of 
the seven middle Rishis are more ancient than 
those of the first and the last books ; or that these 
books contain nothing but modern hymns. But the 
very name of Mddhyama, given to the poets of the 
books from the second to the seventh, shows that 
they were considered, even by the Brahmans, as dis- 

1 See page 42, note 2, and page 59. 


tinct from the first and the three last books. They 
are not the middle books numerically, but they are 
called so because they stand by themselves, in the 
midst of other books of a more miscellaneous cha- 

Traces, however, of earlier and later poems are to 
be found through the whole collection of the Rig- 
veda; and many hymns have been singled out by 
different scholars as betraying a later origin than 
the rest. All such hymns I refer to the Mantra 
period, to an age which, though chiefly occupied in 
collecting and arranging, possessed likewise the 
power of imitating, and carrying on the traditions 
of a former age. 

It is extremely difficult to prove the modern origin 
of certain hymns, and I feel by no means convinced 
by the arguments which have been used for this 
purpose. At present, however, I need not enter 
into the minutia3 of this critical separation of an- 
cient and modern poetry. It is not my object to 
prove that this or that hymn is more modern than 
the rest ; but I only wish to establish the general fact 
that, taken as a whole, the hymns do contain evi- 
dence of having been composed at various periods. 

In order to guard against misconceptions, it should 
be understood that, if we call a hymn modern, all that 
can be meant is that it was composed during the period 
which succeeded the first spring of Vedic poetry, 
i.e. during the Mantra period. There is not a single 
hymn in the Rig-veda that could be ascribed to the 
Brahmana period. Even a few of the Khilas, modern 
as they appear to us, are presupposed by the Brah- 
manas and quoted, together with other more ancient 
hymns. The most modern hymns in the Rig-veda- 


sanhita, if our calculations are right, must have been 
composed previous to 800 B.C., previous to the first 
introduction of prose composition. 

In order to prove that the hymns which are now- 
thrown together into one body of sacred poetry, were 
not the harvest of one single generation of poets, we 
have only to appeal to the testimony of the poets 
themselves, who distinguish between ancient and 
modern hymns. Not only has the tradition of the 
Brahmans, which is embodied in the Anukramanis, 
assigned certain hymns to Rishis, who stand to each 
other in the relation of father and son, and grandson, 
but the hymns themselves allude to earlier poets, and 
events which in some are represented as present, are 
mentioned in others as belonging to the past. The 
argument which Dr. Roth 1 has used in order to prove 
the comparatively modern date of the Atharvana, 
applies with equal force to some of the hymns of 
the Rig-veda. Here, also, the names of Purumilha, 
Vasishtha, Jamadagni, and others, who are known 
as the authors of certain hymns, are mentioned in 
other hymns as sages, who in former times enjoyed 
the favour of the gods. 

a As our ancestors have praised thee, we will praise 
thee," is a very frequent sentiment of the Vedic poets. 
A new song was considered a special honour to the 
gods. The first hymn of the Rig-veda gives utter- 
ance to this sentiment. " Agni," says Madhuchhan- 
das, " thou who art worthy of the praises of an- 
cient, and also of living poets, bring hither thou 
the gods." 

Yisvamitra, the father of Madhuchhandas, and 

1 Abhandlungen, p. 43. 
I I 


himself one of the ancient Rishis, concludes his 
first hymn x with the words, " I have proclaimed, 
Agni, these thy ancient songs 2 , and new songs 
for thee who art old. These great libations have 
been made to him who showers benefits upon us: 
the sacred fire has been kept from generation to 

In another hymn 3 , Visvamitra distinguishes be- 
tween three classes of hymns, and speaks of Indra 
as having been magnified by ancient, middle, and 
modern songs. 

The sacrifice itself is sometimes represented as a 
thread which unites the living with the departed, 
and through them, with the first ancestors of man, 
the gods. 4 The son carries on the weaving which 
was interrupted by the death of his father 5 , and 
the poet, at the beginning of a sacred rite 6 , exclaims, 
M I believe I see, with the eye of the mind, those 
who in byegone days performed this sacrifice." With 
a similar feeling, Visvamitra, in his morning prayer, 
looks back to his fathers, who have gazed on the 
rising sun before him, and have exalted the power_of 
the gods : 7 

" To Indra goes my thought, spoken out from' the 
heart, to him, the Lord, it goes, fashioned by the 
bard. It awakes thee when it is recited at the sa- 

1 Rv. iii. l. 20. 

2 Janima, originally creations, 7rot^ara ; it is likewise ex- 
plained as works. Cf. iii. 39. 1. 

3 Rv. iii. 32. 13. 

4 See my Essay on the Funeral Ceremonies, p. xxii. note. 

5 Rv. x. 130. 1. 

6 Rv. x. 130. 7. 

7 Rv. iii. 39. 


crifice; Indra, take heed of that which is made for 

11 Rising even before the day, awakening thee 
when recited at the sacrifice, clothed in sacred white 
raiments *, this is our prayer, the old, the prayer of 
our fathers, 

" The Dawn, the mother of the twins, has given 
birth to the twins (/. e. Day and Night) the top of 
my tongue fell, for he (the Sun) came. The twins, 
who have come near the root of the Sun, assume 
their bodies as they are born together, the destroyers 
of darkness. 

11 Amongst men there is no one to scoff at them 
who were our fathers, who fought among the cattle. 
Indra, the' mighty and powerful, has stretched out 
their firm folds." 2 

Vasishtha, another of the ancient Rishis, speaks 
likewise of ancient and modern hymns by which 
others, besides his own family, secured the favour 
of the gods. 3 " Whatever poets, ancient or modern, 
wise men, made prayers to thee, Indra, ours may 
be thy propitious friendship : protect us, gods, 
always with your blessings ! " 

One of the greatest events in the life of Vasishtha 
was the victory which King Sud&s achieved under 
his guidance. But in the Mandala of the Vasishthas, 
the same event is sometimes alluded to as belonging 

1 The Visvamitras wore white raiments. Their colour, called 
arjuna, can hardly be distinguished, however, from the colour of 
the dress of the Vasishthas, which is called sveta. 

2 Gotra, originally a hurdle, then those who live within the 
same hurdles or walls ; a family, a race. 

3 Rv. vi. 23. 9. 

i i 2 


to the past, and in one of the hymns ascribed to 
the same Vasishtha we read : " Commit ting our sons 
and offspring to the same good protection which 
Aditi, Mitra, and Varuna, like guardians, give to 
Sudas, let us not make our gods angry." 

These passages, which might be greatly increased, 
will be sufficient to show that there were various 
generations of Yedic poets. The traces of actual 
imitations are less considerable than we might ex- 
pect under such circumstances; and where we do 
meet with stereotyped phrases, it is often difficult 
to say which poet used them for the first time. 
When we find Dirghatamas Auchathya, beginning a 
hymn to Vishnu with the words, " Let me now pro- 
claim the manly deeds of Vishnu ; " and another 
hymn of Hiranyastupa Angirasa to Indra, beginning 
with, " Let me now proclaim the manly deeds of 
Indra," we may suppose that the one hymn was 
composed with a pointed reference to the other ; but 
Ave cannot tell which of the two was the original, 
and which the copy. 

The fact, however, of ancient and modern hymns 
being once admitted, we may hope to arrive gra- 
dually at some criteria by which to fix the relative 
age of single hymns. Some of the hymns betray 
their comparatively modern origin by frequent allu- 
sion to ceremonial subjects. I do not mean to say 
that the sacrifice as such, was not as old and primi- 
tive an institution as sacred poetry itself. Most of 
the hymns owe their origin to sacrifices, to public 
or domestic holy-days. But those sacrifices were of 
a much more simple nature than the later Vedic cere- 
monial. When the father of a family was priest, 
poet, and king, in one person, there was no thought 


as yet of distributing the ceremonial duties among 
sixteen priests, each performing his own peculiar 
office, or of measuring the length of every log that 
should be put on the fire, and determining the 
shape of every vessel in which the libations should 
be offered. It was only after a long succession of 
sacrifices that the spontaneous acts and observances 
of former generations would be treasured up, and 
established as generally binding. It was only after 
the true meaning of the sacrifice was lost, that un- 
meaning ceremonies could gain that importance 
which they have in the eyes of priests. If a hymn 
addressed to the gods had been heard, if a famine 
had ceased after a prayer, an illness been cured with 
a charm, an enemy been vanquished with war songs ; 
not only would these songs, however poor, be kept 
and handed down in a family as the most precious heir- 
loom, but the position in which the poet recited them, 
the time of the day, the most minute circumstances 
of every act, would be supers titkmsly preserved, 
in order to insure the future efficiency of the prayer. 
This was the origin of a ceremonial so complicated as 
that of the Brahmans. Now, we find in some of the 
hymns allusions which refer, not to a naturally grow- 
ing, but to an artificial and a decaying ceremonial. 

The most ancient name for a priest by profession 
was Purohita, which only means propositus or 
prases. The Purohita, however, was more than a 
priest. He was the friend and counsellor of a chief, 
the minister of a king, and his companion in peace 
and war. Vasishtha and Visvamitra, who with their 
families have both been the Purohitas of King Sudas, 
did more for the king than chaunting hymns to im- 
plore the aid of their gods. Vasishtha was with the 

i I 3 


army of Sudas when that king conquered the ten 
kings who had crossed the Parushni (Hydraotis, 
Rawi) ; Visvamitra, when Sudas himself crossed the 
Vipas (Hyphasis, Beyah) and the Satadru (Hesudrus, 
Sutlej). 1 The importance of their office is best 
shown by the violent contest which these two families 
of the Vasishthas and Visvamitras carried on, in 
order to secure for themselves the hereditary dig- 
nity of Purohita. There was a similar contest be- 
tween the priests at the Court of Asamati, a de- 
scendant of Ikshvaku. He, not satisfied with his four 
Purohitas, Bandhu, Subandhu, Srutabandhu, and 
Viprabandhu, who were brothers and belonged to 
the family of the Gaupayanas, dismissed them, and 
appointed two new priests (mayavinau). These new 
Purohitas, seeing that the Gaupayanas used incanta- 
tions against the life of King Asamati, retaliated, 
and caused, by their charms, the death of one of 
them, Subandhu. Thereupon the other three bro- 
thers composed a song to appease the wrath of the 
two priests, and to save their own lives. This song 
and some others connected with the same contest, 
form part of the 8 th Ashtaka of the Rig-veda. 

The very fact of the office of Purohita being here- 
ditary shows that it partook of a political character. 
It seems to have been so at an early time. In a hymn 
of the Rig-veda, i. 94. 6, where Agni is invoked under 
several priestly names, he is called, Janusha Purohita 
or Purohita by birth. Cf. i. 102. 8. And we find 
several instances where priests, if once employed by 
a royal family, claim to be employed always. When 
Janamejaya Parikshita ventured to perform a sacrifice 

1 See Prof. Roth's excellent essay on Vasishtha and Visvamitra, 
iu his work, " Zur Literatur und Geschichte des Veda," published 
as early as 1816. 


without the Kasyapas, he was forced by the Asita- 
mrigas, a family of the Kasyapas to employ them again. 
When Visvantara Saushadmana drove away the Sya- 
parnas from his sacrifice, he was prevailed upon by 
Rama Margaveya to call them back. 1 All this shows 
that the priestly office was of great importance in 
the ancient times of India. 

The original occupation of the Purohita may simply 
have been to perform the usual sacrifices ; but, with 
the ambitious policy of the Brahmans, it soon became 
a stepping-stone to political power. Thus we read 
in the Aitareya-brahmana : " Breath does not leave 
him before time ; he lives to an old age ; he goes to 
his full time, and does not die again, who has a Brah- 
man as guardian of his land, as Purohita. He con- 
quers power by power ; obtains strength by strength ; 
the people obey him, peaceful and of one mind." 

Vamadeva, in one of his hymns 2 , expresses the 
same sentiment ; and though he does not use the 
word Purohita, there can be little doubt that the 
Aitareya-brahmana is right in explaining the words 
Brihaspati and Brahman by Purohita. 

" That king withstands his enemies with strong 
power who supports a Brihaspati 3 in comfort, praises 
him, and honours him as the first. 

1 Aitareya-br. vii. 27. Roth, Abhandlungen, p. 1 18. Weber, 
Ind. Studien, i. 39. Margaveya is a difficult name. It may be 
simply, as Sayana says, the son of his mother Mrigu ; but Mrigu. 
may be a variety of Bhrigu, and thus confirm Lassen's conjecture 
that this Rama is Rama, the son of Jamadagni, of the race of 
Bhrigu, commonly called Parasu-rama. Cf. Weber, Ind. Stud. i. 
216. Marghu is the name of Margiana in the Cuneiform Inscrip- 

2 Rv. iv. 50. 7. 

3 " Brihaspati," says the Aitareya-brahmana, " was the Purohita 
of the gods, and the Purohitas of human kings are his successors.* 

i i 4 


" The king before whom there walks a priest, lives 
well established in his own house ; to him the earth 
yields for ever, and before him the people bow 
of their own accord. 

" Unopposed he conquers treasures, those of his 
enemies and his friends, himself a king, who makes 
presents to a Brahman : the gods protect him." 

This shows that the position of the Brahmans 
at the courts of the Kshatriya kings was more influ- 
ential than that of mere chaplains. They walked 
before the king, and considered themselves superior 
to him. In later times, when the performance 
of the ceremonies no longer devolved on the Pu- 
rohita, the chief priest took the place of the so- 
called Brahman priest, who was the episcopos of 
the whole, though he himself took little active part 
in it. Thus at the sacrifice of" Harischandra , de- 
scribed in the Aitareya-brahmana (vii. 16.), Ayasya 
acts as Udgatri, Jamadagni as Adhvaryu, Visvamitra 
as Hotri, and Vasishtha, who is known as the Pu- 
rohita of the Ikshvaku dynasty, as Brahman. In the 
Taittiriya-sanhita (iii. 5. 2), we read: "Men were 
born, having a Vasishtha for Purohita, and there- 
fore a Vasishtha is to be chosen as Brahman." In 
the Aitareya-brahmana again the Brahman is iden- 
tified with Brihaspati, who was the Purohita, or 
pura-etri of the gods. 

The original institution of a Purohita, as the 
spiritual adviser of a king or a chief, need not 
be regarded as the sign of a far advanced hier- 
archical system. The position of the Brahmans 
must have been a peculiar one in India from the 
very beginning. They appear from the very first 
as a class of men of higher intellectual power than 


the rest of the Aryan colonists ; and their general 
position, if at all recognised, could hardly have been 
different from that of Vasishtha in the camp of 
Sudas. The hymns, therefore, which only allude to 
a Purohita, or priests in general, need not be 
ascribed to a late age. But when we meet in certain 
hymns, not only with these, but with various 
grades of priests, we may be sure that such hymns 
belong to the Mantra period, and not to the age of 
primitive Vedic poetry. 

This is a question of degree. If we find such 
verses as " the singers sing thee, the chaunters chaunt 
thee *," where the singers are called not by their tech- 
nical name of Udgatri, but Gayatrins, and the chaun- 
ters not by their technical name of Hotri, but Arkins, 
all we can say is that the later division of the sacrifice 
between Hotri and Udgatri priests is here found in 
its first elements. It does not follow that there 
existed at that time two recognised classes of priests, 
still less that the Udgatris were then in possession 
of their own Sanhita. But in Rv. v. 44. 14. we 
read : 

" The Rich verses long for the god who watches ; 
the Saman verses go to him who watches ; this Soma 
libation calls for him that watches : I, Agni, am at 
home in thy friendship." 2 

Here it is clear that the distinction between Rich 
verses, that were recited, and Saman verses, that were 

Rv. i. 10. TTPqfa c^T TT^^tS^W^f^W: I 

sft" 5RIT fW*r ^N? ^T^ fT3r^?f%T ^ ^fafTMl 
Rv. viii. 3. 22. v*iraTOtll 


sung, must have been established, though again we 
need not go so far as to maintain the actual exist- 
ence of a prayer-book for the Udgatri priests. 

The third class of priests, the Adhvaryus, who 
performed the principal acts of the sacrifice, are like- 
wise alluded to in the hymns. We read, Rv. iii. 36. 
10 : " Accept, Indra, what is offered thee from the 
hand of the Adhvaryu, or the sacrifice of the libation 
of the Hotri." 

There are several hymns which contain allusions to 
the Darsapurnamasa, the famous New and Full Moon 
sacrifices. These sacrifices in themselves may have 
been of the greatest antiquity, as old as any attempt 
at a regulated worship of the gods. Passages there- 
fore, where we only meet with allusions to the phases 
of the moon, and their recurrent appeal to the human 
heart to render thanks to the unknown Powers that 
rule the changes of nature, and the chances of human 
life, prove by no means, as the Indian commentators 
suppose, that at the time of the ancient Yedic poets 
the lunar ceremonies were of the same solemn and 
complicated nature as in later times. We read, Rv. i. 
194. 4: " Let us bring fuel, let us prepare oblations 
remembering thee at each conjunction of the moon. 1 

1 I translate parva by conjunction, because parvani, the dual, 
is used for the full and new moon ; Asvalayana-sutras, i. 3. 12. 
Mr. Weigle, in his interesting article on Canarese literature (Zeit- 
schrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft), states that 
habba or pabba means a festival in Canarese, whereas in Sanskrit 
its usual signification is a chapter of a book. Mr. Weigle there- 
fore refers pabba to a class of words, which, in being transferred 
from the Sanskrit into the Dravidian languages, have changed 
their meaning. We see, however, that the old meaning of parva 
new and full moon, would account very well for the meaning at- 
tached to pabba in Canarese, a festival. 


Do thou perfect our sacred acts that we may live 
long. Let us not fail in thy friendship, Agni." } 
Passages like this do not necessitate the admission of 
a full-grown ceremonial, they only point to its natural 
beginnings. The same remark applies to the three 
daily prayers, at sun-rise, noon, and sun-set. Nature 
herself suggests these three periods as the most appro- 
priate for rendering thanks to the heavenly givers of 
light and life. Thus Manu Vaivasvata 2 alludes several 
times to the three periods of the day which the gods 
themselves have fixed for their sacrifice, sun-rise 
(surya udyati, or sura udite), mid-day (madhyandine 
divah, or madhyandine), and sun-set (nimruchi, or 
atuchi), and he calls this established order of the 
sacrifice rita, the law or the truth. 

But when these sacrifices are mentioned with their 
technical names, when the morning, and noon, and 
evening prayers are spoken of as first, second, and 
third libation, we feel that we move in a different at- 

1 wjiNr wu^ro ^ftf% ^ fwm: *rwt tpfwT ^h 

2 Rv. viii. 27. 19 : 

sra rift *rc#r f^^^ ^q -m^r* *rsi ^tii^ii 
<=rm ^rer *re^ f^^spft ^ttt^ ^fmii^ii 


mosphere, and that we are listening to priests rather 
than to poets. Thus Rv. iii. 28. 1 : 

" Agni, accept our offering, the cake, Jatavedas, 
at the morning libation, thou rich in prayer. 

"The baked cake, Agni, is prepared for thee 
alone indeed ; accept it, youngest of all the 

u Agni, eat the cake, offered to thee when the day 
is over, thou art the son of strength, stationed at the 

" At the mid-day libation, Jatavedas, accept here 
the cake, sage ! Agni, the wise do not diminish at 
the sacrifices the share of thee, who art great. 

11 Agni, as thou lovest at the third libation the cake, 
son of strength, that is offered to thee, therefore, 
moved by our praise, take this precious oblation to 
the immortal gods to rouse them. 

" Agni, thou who art growing, accept, Jatavedas, 
the offering, the cake, at the close of day" 

This hymn contains in reality nothing but a set 
of invocations for the three daily libations ; it uses the 
very words used in the ceremonial, and it would 
hardly have been written except by some pious priest 
brought up under the system of the Brahmanic cere- 

The technical names of the priests are of frequent 
occurrence. The name of Ritvij would not prove 
a great development of the ceremonial. It would 
only mean the priest who officiates at the various 
seasons. It was then that the sacred fire was kindled 
by friction. It was lighted in the morning day after 
day (dive dive), it was lighted at the full and- new 
moon, and it was lighted likewise at each of the great 
natural divisions of the year. Thus it is said, Rv. 


iii. 29. 10 : " This wood is thy mother every season, 
born from which thou shonest. Do thou sit there, as 
thou knowest it, and make our prayers prosper." 

There is nothing artificial in this. But when we 
meet with the names of the Ritvij priests, such as 
Potri, Agnidhra, Prasastri, Neshtri, Hotri, Adhvaryu, 
Brahman *, we can no longer doubt that here we have 
to deal with late and artificial poetry. These names 
of priests are afterwards still further generalised, and 
transferred to Agni, who, as the god of fire, is sup- 
posed to carry the offerings of men to the seats of the 
gods. He is called the Purohita, or high-priest. 
Sapta-hotri also, and sapta-manusha, acting as seven 
priests 2 , are names applied to the god of the sacrificial 

There is a whole class of hymns commonly called 
ddnastutis, or praises of gifts. They are the thanks- 
givings of certain priests for presents received from 
their royal patrons. All of these, like the Latin pa- 
negyrics, betray a modern character, and must be 
referred to the Mantra period. In the Brahmana 
period, however, not only are these panegyrics known, 
but the liberality of these royal patrons is held up to 
the admiration and imitation of later generations by 
stories which had to be repeated at the sacrifices. In 
the Saiikhayana-sutras (xvi. 11.), the following stories 
called Narasansa (neuter), are mentioned as fit for 
such occasions. The story of Sunahsepha ; of Ivakshi- 
vat Ausija who received gifts from Svanaya Bha- 
-vyaya ; of Syavasva Archananasa who received gifts 
from Vaidadasvi ; of Bharadvaja who received gifts 

* Rv. ii. 36. ; ii. 37. 

2 These seven priests seem to be Hotri, Potri, Neshtri, Agnidh, 
Prasastri, Adhvaryu and Brahman 


from Bribu the carpenter, and Prastoka Sarnjaya ; of 
Vasishtha who was Purohita of King Sudas Paijavana ; 
of Medhathi, and how Asanga Playogi having been a 
woman became a man ; of Vatsa Kanva who received 
gifts from Tirindira Parasavyaya; of Vasa Asvya 
who received gifts from Prithusravas Kanina; of 
Praskanva who received gifts from Prishadhra Me- 
dhya Matarisva (sic) ; of Nabhanedishtha Manava, 
who received gifts from the AngirasV All these acts 
of royal liberality are recorded in the hymns of the 
Kig-veda, but the hymns themselves may safely be 
referred to the second age of Vedic poetry. 

Another and most convincing proof that some of 
our hymns belong to a secondary period of Vedic 
poetry, is contained in a song, ascribed to Vasishtha, 
in which the elaborate ceremonial of the Brahmans 
is actually turned into ridicule. The 103rd hymn in 
the 7th Mandala, which is called a panegyric of the 
frogs, is clearly a satire on the priests ; and it is 
curious to observe that the same animal should 
have been chosen by the Vedic satirist to represent 
the priests, which by the earliest satirist of Greece 
was selected as the representative of the Homeric 

" After lying prostrate for a year, like Brahmans 
performing a vow, the frogs have emitted their voice, 
roused by the showers of heaven. When the hea- 
venly waters fell upon them as upon a dry fish lying 
in a pond, the music of the frogs comes together, like 
the lowing of cows with their calves. 

"When, at the approach of the rainy season, the rain 
has wetted them, as they were longing and thirsting, 
one goes to the other while he talks, like a son to his 
father, saying, akkhala (fipsxsxs!; xoaxoa.) 


" One of them embraces the other, when they revel 
in the shower of water, and the brown frog jumping 
after he has been ducked, joins his speech with the 
green one. 

" As one of them repeats the speech of the other, 
like a pupil and his teacher, every limb of them is as 
it were in growth, when they converse eloquently on 
the surface of the water.. 

" One of them is Cow-noise, the other Goat-noise, 
one is brown, the other green ; they are different 
though they bear the same name, and modulate their 
voices in many ways as they speak. 

M Like Brahmans at the Soma sacrifice of Atiratra, 
sitting round a full pond and talking, you, frogs, 
celebrate this day of the year when the rainy season 

" These Brahmans with their Soma have had their 
say, performing the annual rite. These Adhvaryus, 
sweating whilst they carry the hot pots, pop out like 

" They have always observed the order of the gods 
as they are to be worshipped in the twelvemonth; 
these men do not neglect their season ; the frogs 
who had been like hot pots themselves are now 
released when the rainy season of the year 
sets in. 

" Cow-noise gave, Goat-noise gave, the Brown gave, 
and the Green gave us treasures. The frogs who 
give us hundreds of cows, lengthen our life in the 
rich autumn." 

There seems thus to be little room for doubt, if we 
consider the character of this and similar hymns, that 
we must make a distinction between two periods in 
the history of Vedic poetry, the one primitive, the 


other secondary. Poems, like those which we have 
just examined, are not the result of an original, free, 
and unconscious inspiration. They belong to an 
imitative, reflecting, and criticising age. An exact 
division between the ancient and the modern por- 
tions of the Rig-veda will probably be impossible 
even after these ancient relics have been studied 
with a much more searching accuracy than hi- 
therto. The language which might be expected to 
contain the safest indications of the more ancient or 
more modern date of certain hymns, has, owing to 
the influence of oral tradition, assumed an uniformity 
which baffles the most careful analysis. Nor would it 
be safe to trust to our preconceived notions as to the 
peculiar character of genuine and of artificial poetry. 
Some of the very latest poets may have been endowed 
with a truly poetical genius, when the originality and 
freshness of their thoughts would seem to place them 
in a better age. Nor is the fact that the ancient 
poets enunciate thoughts entirely their own, and 
with the full consciousness that what they say has 
never been said before, sufficient to give to all 
their productions so deep a stamp of truth and 
faith that our weakened eyes should always discern 
it. But although we may hesitate about single 
hymns, whether they are the productions of ancient 
or modern Rishis, we cannot hesitate as to the ge- 
neral fact that the ten books of the Rig-veda at the 
time they were finally collected, comprised the poetry 
of two different periods. This is the only important 
point for our purpose. We ascribe the later poets of 
the Yeda to the Mantra period, so that we comprise 
within that period two apparently distinct, yet, in 
reality, very cognate tendencies. We suppose that the 


Mantra period was an age of Epigonoi, occupied at 
first in imitating the works of their fathers, and to- 
wards the end engaged in the more useful employment 
of collecting all that was within reach, modern as 
well as ancient, and handing it down to the careful 
guardianship of later generations. Two hundred 
years will not be too long a time for the gradual pro- 
gress of this work. There are several generations of 
modern poets, and probably two classes of collectors 
to be accommodated, and the work of the last col- 
lectors, the collectors of the Mandalas, could not have 
commenced before the last line of every poem which 
now forms part of the ten Mandalas was written. I 
therefore fix the probable chronological limits of the 
Mantra period between 800 and 1000 b. c. 

Before we leave the Mantra period there is one ques- 
tion which, if it cannot be fully answered, requires at 
least to be carefully discussed. Was the collection of 
the ten books of Yedic hymns the work of persons 
cognisant of the art of writing or not ? Were the 1017 
hymns of the Rig-veda, after they had been gathered 
into one body, preserved by memory or on paper ? 

We can hardly expect to find an answer to this 
question in the hymns themselves. Most persons 
acquainted with the history of popular poetry among 
the principal nations of antiquity would be ready to 
admit that the original composition and preservation 
of truly national poetry were everywhere due to the 
unaided efforts of memory. Where writing is known, 
it is almost impossible to compose a thousand hymns 
without bringing in some such words as, writing, read- 
ing, paper, or pen. Yet there is not one single allusion 
in these hymns to anything connected with writing. 



Let us consider the Old Testament. 

The Ten Commandments were not only proclaimed 
by the voice of God, but Moses " went down from 
the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were 
in his hand : the tables were written on both their 
sides ; on the one side and on the other were they 
written. And the tables were the work of God, and 
the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the 
tables." (Exodus xxxii. 15, 16.) Here we can have no 
doubt that the author of the Book of Exodus, and the 
people to whom it was addressed, were acquainted 
with the art of writing. Again we read (Exodus 
xxiv. 7.), that " Moses took the book of the covenant, 
and read in the audience of the people ;" and (Exodus 
xxv. 16.), the Lord commanded Moses, saying, "Thou 
shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall 
give thee." The covenant here spoken of must have 
existed as a book, or, at least, in some tangible form. 

A nation so early acquainted with letters and 
books as the Jews would naturally employ some of the 
terms connected with writing in a metaphorical sense. 
Thus we read in the Psalms (lvi. 8.), " Put thou 
my tears into thy bottle : are they not in thy book ? " 

lxix. 28. u Let them be blotted out of the book of 
the living, and not be written with the righteous." 

xl. 7. " Then said I, Lo I come : in the volume 
of the book it is written of me." 

xlv. 1. " My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." 

In the Book of Job (xix. 23.), we actually read, 
" Oh that my words were now written ! oh that they 
were printed in a book ! That they were graven 
with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever ! " 
"Printed" here can only mean " written." 

Proverbs iii. 3. " Write them upon the table of 
thine heart." 


In the Homeric poems, on the contrary, where the 
whole Grecian life lies before us in marvellous com- 
pleteness and distinctness, there is not a single men- 
tion of writing. The kuypa o^eta, carried by Belle- 
rophon instead of a letter, are the best proof that, 
even for such purposes, not to speak of literary com- 
position, the use of letters was unknown to the 
Homeric age. The art of writing, when it is not 
only applied to short inscriptions but to literature, 
forms such a complete revolution in the history of a 
nation, and in all the relations of society, both civil 
and political, that, in any class of ancient literature, 
the total absence of any allusion to writing, may 
safely be supposed, to prove the absence of the art at 
the time when that literature arose. We know the 
complete regeneration of modern Europe which was 
wrought by the invention of printing. Every page 
of the literature of the sixteenth century, every 
pamphlet or fly-sheet of the Reformation, tells us 
that printing had been invented. The discovery 
of writing, and more especially the application of 
writing to literary purposes, was a discovery infi- 
nitely more important than that of printing. And 
yet we are asked to believe that Homer has hidden 
his light under a bushel, and erased every expression 
connected with writing from his poetical dictionary ! 

But though it is certain that the Homeric poets did 
not write, or, if we are to adopt the legendary lan- 
guage of certain critics, though it is certain that 
blind Homer did not keep a private secretary, there 
is no doubt that, at the time of Peisistratos, when the 
final collection of the Homeric poems took place, this 
collection was a collection of written poems. Peisi- 
stratos possessed a large library, and, though books 

K K 9. 


were not so common in his time as they were in the 
time of Alcibiades, when every schoolmaster had his 
Iliad 1 , yet, ever since the importation of paper into 
Greece, writing was a common acquirement of the 
educated classes of Greeks. The whole civilisation 
of Greece, and the rapid growth of Greek literature, 
has been ascribed to the free trade between Egypt 
and Greece, beginning with the Saidic dynasty. 2 
Greece imported all its paper from Egypt ; and with- 
out paper no Greek literature would have been pos- 
sible. The skins of animals were too rare, and their 
preparation too expensive, to permit the growth of a 
popular literature. Herodotus mentions it as a pe- 
culiarity of the barbarians, that at his time some of 
them still wrote on skins only. Paper (papyrus or 
byblus) was evidently to Greece what linen paper 
was to Europe in the middle ages. 3 

Now, if we look for any similar traces in the his- 
tory of Indian literature, our search is completely 
disappointed. There is no mention of writing- 
materials, whether paper, bark, or skins, at the time 
when the Indian Diaskeuasts collected the songs of 
their Rishis ; nor is there any allusion to writing 
during the whole of the Brahmana period. This up- 
sets the common theories about the origin of prose 
literature. According to Wolf 4 , prose composition is 
a safe sign of a written literature. It is not so in 

1 Plutarch, Alcibiades, c. vii. 

2 See Grote, History of Greece, ii. p. 201. 

3 Plin. Hist. Nat. xiii. 13. 27. : " Cum chartse usu maxime hu- 
manitas vitae eonstet etmemoria." 

4 Wolf, Prolegomena, lxx lxxiii. : " Scripturam tentare et com- 
muni usui aptare plane idem videtur fuisse atque prosam tentare 
et in ea excolenda se ponere." 


India. The whole of the Br&hmana literature, how- 
ever incredible it may seem, shows not a single ves- 
tige of the art of writing. Nay, more than this, even 
during the Sutra period all the evidence we can 
get would lead us to suppose that even then, though 
the art of writing began to be known, the whole lite- 
rature of India was preserved by oral tradition only. 
It is of little avail in researches of this kind to say 
that such a thing is impossible. We can form no 
opinion of the powers of memory in a state of society 
so different from ours as the Indian Parishads are 
from our universities. Feats of memory, such as we 
hear of now and then, show that our notions of the 
limits of that faculty are quite arbitrary. Our own 
memory has been systematically undermined for 
many generations. To speak of nothing else, one sheet 
of the " Times" newspaper every morning is quite suffi- 
cient to distract and unsettle the healthiest memory. 
The remnants of our own debilitated memory cannot 
furnish us with the right measure of the primitive 
powers of that faculty. The Guaranies, who are 
represented by Missionaries as the lowest specimens 
of humanity, evinced such powers of memory when 
they were once taught to listen and to. reason, that it 
became a custom to make the chief Indian of the 
town, or one of the magistrates, repeat the sermon 
just delivered from the pulpit before the people in the 
street, or in the court-yard of a house; and they 
almost all did it with the utmost fidelity, without 
missing a sentence. 1 Even at the present day, 
when MSS. are neither scarce nor expensive, the young 
Brahmans who learn the songs of the Veda and the 

1 Dobrizhoffer's Account of the Abipones, vol. ii. p. 63. 
k k 3 


Brahmanas, and the Sutras, invariably learn them 
from oral tradition, and know them by heart. They 
spend year after year under the guidance of their 
teacher, learning a little, day after day, repeating 
what they have learnt as part of their daily devotion, 
until at last they have mastered their subject, and 
are able to become teachers in turn. The ambition to 
master more than one subject is hardly known in India. 
This system of education has been going on ever since 
the Brahmana period, and as early as the Pratisakhyas 
we find the most minute rules on the mnemonic system 
to be followed by every teacher. The only difference 
in modern times, after the invention of writing, is 
that a Brahman is not only commanded to pass his 
apprenticeship at the house of his Guru, and to learn 
from his mouth all that a Brahman is bound to know, 
but the fiercest imprecations are uttered against all 
who would presume to acquire their knowledge from 
written sources. In the Mahabharata we read, 
" Those who sell the Vedas, and even those who write 
them, those also who defile them, they shall go to 
hell." l Kumarila says, " That knowledge of the 
truth is worthless which has been acquired from the 
Veda, if the Veda has not been rightly comprehended, 
if it has been learnt from writing, or been received 
from a 6udra." 2 

2 Kumarila, Tantra-Varttika, i. 3. p. 86. : 
tjc| [ ^ref^TrTK4 1 ^^Tf^4* I r^ I "3^WTfv*raT- 

5Tfa vwetri r **rau 


How then was the Veda learnt ? It was learnt by 
every Brahman during twelve years of his student- 
ship or Brahmacharya. This, according to Gautama, 
was the shortest period, sanctioned only for men 
who wanted to marry, and to become Grihasthas. 
Brahmans who did not wish to marry wera allowed 
to spend forty-eight years as students. The Pra- 
tis&khya gives us a glimpse into the lecture-rooms of 
the Brahmanic colleges. " The Guru," it is said 1 , " who 
has himself formerly been a student, should make his 
pupils read. He himself takes his seat either to the 
east, or the north, or the north-east. If he has no 
more than one or two pupils, they sit at his right 
hand. If he has more, they place themselves accord- 
ing as there is room. They then embrace their 
master, and say, l Sir, read ! ' The master gravely 
says ' Om,' i. e. ' Yes.' He then begins to say a 
prasna (a question), which consists of three verses. 2 
In order that no word may escape the attention of 
his pupils, he pronounces all with the high accent 3 , 

1 Pratisakhya du Rig-veda, par A. Regnier, Journal Asiatique, 
1856. Chapitre XV. 

2 If the metre is pankti, the prasna may consist of two or three 
verses; if the metre is longer than pankti, two verses only consti- 
tute a prasna ; if a hymn consists of one verse, that by itself forms 
a prasna. Samayas, i. e. passages which have occurred before (and 
are sometimes left out in the MSS.), are counted, if they consist 
of a complete verse. Two Dvipadas are counted as one verse, and, 
as the Commentator adds (v. 12.), the two half-verses of each Dvi- 
pada-line are to be joined in recitation, and only if there is one odd 
Dvipada-line remaining, a pause is to be made at the end of the 
first half-verse. If there are some verses remaining at the end of a 
hymn, they may be joined to the last prasna ; if there are more 
than two verses, this is optional. 

3 The only words which, in the Sanhita-patha, would be likely 
to escape the pupil's attention are monosyllables consisting of 

K K 4 


and repeats certain words twice, or he says i so ' 
(iti) after these words." 

The chief difficulties in the pronunciation of the 
Veda are the changes of the final and initial letters. 1 
The pupils are instructed in these euphonic rules in- 
dependently (the Siksha), but whenever a difficult 
case of sandhi occurs, the Guru examines his audience 
and explains the difficulties. And here the method 
followed is this. After the Guru has pronounced a 
group of words, consisting of three or sometimes (in 
long compounds) of more words, the first pupil repeats 
the first word, and when anything is to be explained, 
the teacher stops him, and says, " Sir." 2 After it has 
been explained by the pupil who is at the head of the 
class, the permission to continue is given with the 

one vowel only, and that a vowel not changed into a semi-vowel, 
in which form it would be more audible. This would restrict 
the rule regarding repetition to the two words a and u. Thus 
for pra, which is pra + a, the Guru would have to say pra, a, or 
pra, a iti. Instead of ud u shy a deva, ud u u shy a deva. This 
repetition would not take place in udv eti, because u is changed 
into v. If sarvodatta could mean a word being wholly 
udatta, then u would be excluded, and the rule would refer to 
a only. But sarvodatta means recitation when the accent is dis- 
regarded, and all syllables are pronounced with a high tone. The 

Commentary construes the rule differently. I construe "^^ 

1 These are chiefly the change of a final m into Anusvara before 
r and the ushmans ; the common sandhi of the xishmans ; the sup- 
pression of a final n ; its transition into r ; its transition into a sibi- 
lant ; the absence of sandhi where ri follows ; the sandhi of r, and 
the hiatus. 

2 The text is f^HjHr 7$ &c. 


words, " Well, Sir." After the words of the teacher 
have thus been repeated by one, the next pupil has 
to apply to him with the word, " Sir." x When there 
is no difficulty, the rule seems to be that the Guru 
says two words at a time, which are then repeated by 
the pupil. If it is a compound, one word only is to be 
pronounced by the Guru, and to be repeated by the 
pupil. After a section of three verses has thus been 
gone through, all the pupils have to rehearse it again 
and again. When they have mastered it, they 
have to recite the whole without any break, with an 
even voice, observing all the rules of sandhi, marking 
slightly the division in the middle of compounds, and 
pronouncing every syllable with the high accent. 2 It 
does not seem as if several pupils were allowed to 
recite together, for it is stated distinctly that the 
Guru first tells the verses to his pupil on the right, 
and that every pupil, after his task is finished, turns 
to the right, and walks round the tutor. This must 
occupy a long time every day, considering that a lec- 
ture consists of sixty and more prasnas, or of about 
180 verses. The pupils are not dismissed till the 
lecture is finished. At the end of the lecture, the 
tutor, after the last half-verse is finished, says, " Sir," 

1 Here again I differ frpm the Commentator, who takes parasya 
as an adjective referring to etad, t. e. guroh. At the end of a half- 
verse, this address, bho ! is to be dropped ; at the end of an 
Adhyaya it is optional. 

2 According to some Sakhas, not the Sakalas, certain words 
(prepositions) are, in this final recitation also, to be followed by 
the particle iti ; abhi is even, in some cases, to be pronounced 
abhityabhi. Some other rules are given, all of which are optional. 
The text of the Veda, as repeated in the lecture-room, is neither 
Sanhita, Pada, nor Krama-text. Some few Sakhas only maintain 
that the Sanhita-text should be used pure et simple. 


the pupil replies, " Yes, Sir." He then repeats the 
proper verses and formulas, which have to be re- 
peated at the end of every reading, embraces his 
tutor, and is allowed to withdraw. 

These rules speak for themselves. They show that 
at the time when such rules were necessary, and when 
young Brahmans had to spend from twelve to forty- 
eight years of their life in doing nothing but learning 
and rehearsing the Veda 1 , such- a system must have 
had an object worthy of such efforts. Such an object 
existed, if, in the absence of writing, the sacred songs, 
which were believed to be the only means to salvation 
were to be preserved and guarded against loss and cor- 
ruption. If, at the time of the Pratisakhyas, writing 
had been known, some mention of a book as a sacred 
object would surely have occurred somewhere. We 
know from the Grihya-sutras every event in the life of 
a Brahman, from his birth to his death. Not a word 
is ever said about his learning to write. 

The earliest allusion to this system of oral teaching 
occurs in a hymn of the Rig-veda which must be as- 
cribed to the Mantra period. In the primitive poetry 
of the Chhandas period there is no mention either of 
writing or teaching. But in a satirical hymn of the 
Vasishthas (vii. 103. 5), in which the frogs are com- 
pared with Brahmans, teaching their pupils, it is said : 
" One frog repeats the words of another, like a pupil 
who repeats the words of his teacher." (See p. 495.) 
No similar allusion to writing is to be found even 
in the latest hymns, the so-called Khilas. If writ- 

1 Caesar (de Bello Gallico, vi. 14), speaking of the Druids, 
says : " Magnum ibi numerum versuum ediscere dicuntur, itaque 
nonnulli annos vicenos in disciplina permanent, neque fas esse 
existimant ea Uteris mandare." 


ing had been known during the Brahmana period, 
is it likely that these works, which are full of 
all kinds of mystic lucubrations on the origin of all 
things, should never with a single word have alluded 
to the art of writing, an art so wonderful that the 
Greeks would fain ascribe its discovery to one of the 
wisest gods of the wisest nation on earth ? If letters 
had been known during the period when men in India 
were still able to create gods, the god of letters would 
have found his place in the Vedic pantheon side by 
side with Sarasvati the goddess of speech, and Pushan, 
the god of agriculture. No such god is to be found 
in India, or in any of the genuine mythologies of the 
Aryan world. 

But there are stronger arguments than these to 
prove that, before the time of Panini, and before the 
first spreading of Buddhism in India, writing for 
literary purposes was absolutely unknown. 

If writing had been known to Panini, some of his 
grammatical terms would surely point to the graphical 
appearance of words. I maintain that there is not a 
single word in Panini's terminology which presup- 
poses the existence of writing. The general name 
for letters is varna. This does not mean colour in 
the sense of a painted letter, but the colouring or 
modulation of the voice. 1 AJcshara, which is used for 
letter and syllable, means what is indestructible, radi- 
cal, or an element. We speak of stops as signs of in- 
terpunction ; P&nini only speaks of virdmas, stop- 
pages of the voice. The names of the letters are not 
derived from their shape, as in the Semitic names of 
Alpha, Beta, Gamma. With the exception of the r, 

1 Aristotle, Probl. X. 39.: ret St ypa/ujuara nadi] tori rijtj (puvrjc. 


their names are their sounds. The name for r, Rep ha, 
does not occur in Panini. Katyayana, however (iii. 
3, 108, 4), explains the derivation of Repha, and in 
iv. 4, 128, 2, he uses it for ra. In the PratMkhyas 
likewise, the word is well known, and as the participle 
riphita is used in the same works, there can be little 
doubt that Repha is derived from a root riph, to snarl 
or hiss. 

The terms for the three accents show no traces of 
writing, such as the Latin word " circumflexus." 

What would have been more natural, if writing had 
been known in P&nini's time, than that he should 
have called the dot of the Anusvara, vindu, i. e. dot, 
and the Visarga, dvivindu, the double dot ? Let us 
take a later grammarian, Vopadeva, and we find such 
words at once. In Vopadeva, the Anusv&ra is called 
vindu, the Visarga, dvivindu. What the Pr&tisakhyas 
and Panini called the Jihvamuliya, the sibilant formed 
near the base of the tongue, and Upadhmdniya, the 
labial flatus, Vopadeva calls Vajrdkriti, having the 
shape of the thunderbolt (x), and Gajakumbhdkriti, 
having the shape of an elephant's two frontal bones 
(), The term arddhachandra, or half- moon, belongs 
to the same class of grammatical terms. Why should 
these words occur in later grammarians, and not one 
of them be found in the Pratis&khyas or Panini ? 

Another class of words which would be sure to 
betray the existence of writing where writing was 
known, are the words expressive of reading, compos- 
ing, book, chapter, paragraph, &c. The most usual 
word for reading in Sanskrit is adhyeti or adhite, and 
at first sight the very existence of such a word might 
seem to prove the existence of books that could be 
read. But we have seen in the Pratisakhyas what was 


meant when the pupils asked their tutor to make 
them read. Adhyeti and adhite, from adhi, over, and 
i, to go, mean " he goes over a thing, he conquers it, 
acquires it ; " and the very expression " to read a work 
from the mouth of the tutor," would be sufficient to 
show that the work existed, not as a book, but in 
men's memory. Another expression of the same 
kind is found in Manu (x. 1): "All the three 
castes may read the Yeda, but the Brahman alone 
is allowed to proclaim, i. e. to teach it (prabru- 
yat). To teach is expressed by the causative of 
the verb adhyeti, adhydpayati, he makes read, i. e. 
he teaches. 1 The ancient Hindus distinguish be- 
tween two kinds of reading, the grahanddhyayana, 
the acquisitive reading, and the dhdranddhyayana, 
the conservative reading ; the former being the first 
acquisition of a work, the latter its rehearsing in 
order not to lose a volume that once belonged to 
one's mental library. This rehearsing, or svddhydya, 
self-reading, was as sacred a duty as the first acquisi- 
tion. It was by means of this svadhyaya alone that 
works could be said to live. We meet with similar 
expressions iu other literatures of the ancient world. 
Ahura masd&, when he wishes his law to live among 
men, requires Jima to be not only the "rememberer" 
(meret&), but the bearer and preserver (bheret&), of 
the Zarathustrian revelation. And many centuries 
later, Mahavira 2 , the founder of the Jaina religion, is 
called same, vdrae, and dhdraS of sacred knowledge, 
t. e. smdraka, a rememberer, vdraka, a guardian who 
keeps it from profane eyes, and dhdraka, a holder 

1 Apastamba, Dharina-sutra, iii. 86. 

2 Kalpa-sutra, ed. Stevenson, p. 29. 



who does not forget the knowledge which he once 

Even so late a writer as Kum&rila, when he speaks 
of the material existence of the Veda, can only con- 
ceive of it as existing in the minds of men. " The 
Veda," he says, " is distinctly to be perceived by 
means of the senses. It exists, like a pot or any other 
object, in man. Perceiving it in another man, people 
learn it and remember it. Then others again perceiv- 
ing it, as it is remembered by these, learn it and re- 
member it, and thus hand it on to others. Therefore, 
the theologian concludes, the Veda is without a be- 
ginning." l These theological arguments may be passed 
over : but immediately afterwards, in order to show 
that the Veda has a material existence, Kum&rila 
uses another curious expression, which shows again 
that to him the Veda existed only in the memory of 
men. " Before we hear the word Veda," he says, " we 
perceive, as different from all other objects, and as 
different from other Vedas, something in the form of 
the Rig-veda that exists within the readers, and things 
in the form of Mantras and Brahmanas, different from 

WTW*rfwp*rfaj: *hrer?tf?t fa4*MUi ih^H- 
whir ^t^ttt^: ^t:ii 


others." Such arguments would not occur to people 
who were accustomed from time immemorial to ap- 
peal to a book as the sacred authority of their faith. 
When contemporaneously with our Reformation, 
Nanak founded the religion of the Sikhs, we find in 
India, as well as elsewhere, that a book, a real book, 
was considered as the firmest foundation of a new 
faith. " At their assemblies, when the chiefs and prin- 
cipal leaders are seated, the Adi- Granth. (the first 
book) and Dasama Padshabka Granth are placed 
before them ; they all bend their heads before these 
scriptures, and exclaim, Wa ! Gurujika Khalsa ! Wa ! 
Gurujiki Fateh ! A great quantity of cakes, made of 
wheat, butter, and sugar, are then placed before the 
volumes of their sacred writings, and covered with a 
cloth. These holy cakes, which are in commemoration 
of the injunction of Nanak, to eat and to give to others 
to eat, next receive the salutation of the assembly, 
who then rise, and the Acalis pray aloud, while the 
musicians play. The Acalis, when the prayers are 
finished, desire the council to be seated. They sit 
down, and the cakes being uncovered are eaten of by 
all classes of Sikhs ; those distinctions of original 
tribes, which are on other occasions kept up, being 
on this occasion laid aside, in token of their general 
and complete union in one cause. The Acalis then 
exclaim, " Sirdars ! (chiefs) this is a Gurumata " (a 
great assembly) ; on which prayers are again said 
aloud. The chiefs, after this, sit closer, and say to 
each other : " The sacred Granth (book) is betwixt us, 
let us swear by our scriptures to forget all external 
disputes, and to be united." 1 

1 Asiatic Researches, xi. 255. 


Such a scene would be impossible among pure 
Brahmans. They never speak of their granthas or 
books. They speak of their Veda, which means 
"knowledge." They speak of their Sruti, which 
means what they have heard with their ears. They 
speak of Smriti, which means what their fathers have 
declared unto them. We meet with Brdhmanas, i. e. 
the sayings of Brahmans ; with Sutras, i. e. the strings 
of rules; with Veddngas, i. e. the members of the 
Veda ; with Pravachanas, i. e. preachings ; with 
Sdstras, i. e. teachings ; with Dar'sanas, i. e. demon- 
strations ; but we never meet with a book, or a vo- 
lume, or a page. 

If we take the ordinary modern words for book, 
paper, ink, writing, &c, not one of them has as yet 
been discovered in any Sanskrit work of genuine an- 
tiquity. Book, in modern Sanskrit, is pus tarn or pus- 
takam, a word most likely of foreign origin. 1 It occurs 
in such works as the Hitopadesa, where we read of a 
person, " neither read in books nor taught by a tutor." 
The Hitopadesa itself is said to be written (likhyate) as 
an extract from the Panchatantra and another book. 2 

To write is likh and lip, the former originally used 
in the sense of scratching, whether on stone or leaves, 
the latter, in the sense of covering a surface with 
ink. Thus in Sakuntala, the chief heroine, when 
advised to write a love-letter (madanalekha), com- 
plains that she has no writing-materials (lekhana- 
sddhandni), and her friend tells her to take a lotus- 
leaf as smooth as the breast of a parrot, and with her 

1 Could it be apestak, originally the Sanskrit avasthana ? See 
Spiegel, Grammar of the Parsi Language, p. 204. 

2 T^fT^TTTm^W^^Tira faWI$ 


nails to scratch the letters on it. This is clearly writ- 
ing. In the Vikramorvasi, again, Urvasi, not daring 
to face her lover, writes a letter (lekha) on a birch- 
leaf (bhurjapatra). The king, who sees it, calls it 
bhurjagato aksharavinyasa, " letters put down on a 
birch leaf; " and when he reads it, he is said to make 
the leaf speak (yachayati). The leaf (patra) is used 
here not in the sense in which we found it in the a- 
kuntala, as the leaf of a tree, but as a leaf or sheet of 
paper. This paper was made of the bark of the birch- 
tree ; and hence, when the queen picks up the love- 
letter, she thinks " it is a strip of fresh bark which 
the south wind has blown thither." 1 

Passages like these, to which we might add the well- 
known introduction to the Mahabharata, leave little 
doubt that, at the time when these modern plays were 
composed, writing was generally practised by women 
as well as men. Why should there be no such pas- 
sage in any of the genuine early Sanskrit works, if 
writing had then been equally known ? 

In Manu's Code of Laws we read (viii. 168.) : 
" What is given by force, what is by force enjoyed, 
by force caused to be written (lelchita), and all other 
things done by force, Manu has pronounced void." 
Here again we have clearly writing. But this is only 
another proof that this metrical paraphrase of the laws 
of the Manavas is later than the Vedic age. 

In the Laws of Yajnavalkya also written docu- 
ments are mentioned; and the Commentator (ii. 22.) 
quotes Narada and other authorities, all in Slokas, on 

1 There are, I believe, but two Sanskrit MSS. in Europe which 
are written on birch bark ; one in the Royal Library of Berlin, the 
other in the Library of All Souls College, Oxford. 

L L 


several minor points connected with the signing 
(chihnita) of papers, and the treatment of witnesses 
who cannot write (alipijna). But I have found no 
such traces of written documents in any of the ancient 

The words for ink (masi 1 , kdl% mela, gold) and pen 
{kalama) 2 , have all a modern appearance ; and, as to 
Kdyastha, the name of the writer-caste, proceeding 
from a Kshatriya father and a Sudra mother, it does 
not even occur in Manu. 

Another class of words which would be likely to 
contain allusions to writing are those used for the va- 
rious subdivisions of literary compositions : but these 
too point to a literature kept up by oral tradition only. 
We observed before that a lecture (adhydya) consisted 
of sixty questions or prasnas. We find these very 
words used instead of chapters and paragraphs in the 
Sanhita3, Brahrnanas, and Sutras. In the Kig-veda 
we have the ancient division into suktas, hymns ; anu- 
vdkas, chapters (i. e. repetition) ; and mandalas, 
books {i.e. cycles) : and the later division into vargas, 
classes; adhydyas, lectures; and Ashtakas, Ogdoads. 
In the Taittiriyaka, the division is into Kandikds 
(sections), amivdkas, prdmas, and ashtakas. In the 
Kathaka we have granthas, compositions, and sthd- 
nakas, places. The name of the batapatha-brdhmana is 
derived from its 100 pathas or walks; and Shashti- 
patha is used for a work consisting of sixty walks or 
chapters. Other words of the same kind are prapd- 
thaka, a reading, a lecture ; dhnika, a day's work ; 
parvan, a joint, &c. We look in vain for such words 

1 Lalita Vistara, adhyaya, ix. p. 139. 1. 17. 

2 Unadi-sutras, iv. 84. calamus, reed. 


as volumen, a volume, liber, i. e. the inner bark of a 
tree ; or fiifikos, i. e. fivfiXos, the inner bark of the 
papyrus ; or book, i. e. beech -wood. 

It is clear, from the evidence which we have exa- 
mined, that it is far easier to prove the absence of 
writing during the early period of Sanskrit literature, 
than to discover any traces of writing even at the 
time when we are inclined to suppose that it was 
known in India. Writing w r as practised in India 
before the time of Alexander's conquest ; and, though 
it may not have been used for literary purposes, we 
can hardly doubt that a written alphabet was known 
during the greater part of the Sutra period. The 
Greek writers tell us exactly what w r e should expect 
under these circumstances. Megasthenes declared 
that the Indians did not know letters, that their laws 
were not written, and that they administered justice 
from memory. 1 This is perfectly true, if, as has been 
pointed out 2 , we restrict their ignorance of letters 
to the fact that they did not employ them for literary 
purposes. Strabo himself, when quoting the state- 
ment of Nearchus that the Indians wrote letters on 
cotton that had been well beaten together, points out 
the contradiction between this author and others (i. e. 
Megasthenes), who declared that the Indians used 
no letters at all. 3 There is, however, no real contra- 
diction between these two statements, if we only dis- 
tinguish between the knowledge of letters and their 
use as a vehicle of literature. Nearchus fully agrees 

1 Strabo, xv. 53. : . . . . 'Aypcupoig ecu raiira vufxoiQ ypiopivoiQ. 
Ovde yap ypajj.f.ia.Ta. elfievai avrovg, a\A' ci7ro jj.%y)fir}Q etcaff-a dtoiKeiadai. 

2 Schwanbeck, Megasthenis Fragmenta, p.- 50. 

3 Strabo, xv. 67. : 'FjIThttoXciq 3e ypa^eip kv (Tidoffi Xiav KtKporr]- 
/.livatr, twv aX\(ov ypcifipaoiv avrovg pr} xpfjvdai tyafitvtov, 

l l 2 


with Megasthenes ; for he also states that the laws of 
the Indians were not reduced to writing. 1 And Me- 
gasthenes agrees with Nearchus ; for he also shows 
himself perfectly acquainted with the fact that the 
Indians used letters for inscriptions on milestones, 
indicating the resting-places and distances. 2 Nothing 
could offer a stronger confirmation of our opinion 
that the Indians had become acquainted with the art 
of writing during the Sutra period and before the 
conquest of Alexander, but that the) 7 abstained from 
using it for literary purposes, than this apparent con- 
tradiction in the accounts of Nearchus and Mega- 
sthenes. Curtius, differing from Nearchus, maintains 
that they wrote on the soft rind of trees 3 , a custom 
which we saw preserved in the play of Urvasi. We 
can hardly believe that the Indians could have used 
skins for writing. And, though Nicolaus Damascenus 
declares that he saw the ambassadors of Porus pre- 
sented to Caesar Augustus in Antiochia, and that they 
brought a letter written kv L(j)0epa, we must remem- 
ber that this letter was written in Greek 4 , and that 
the word hi^Oepa may have been used for paper in 
general. 5 

We shall not be able to trace the Indian alphabet 
back much beyond Alexander's invasion. It existed, 
however, before Alexander. This we know from 

1 Strabo, xv. 66. : NiapxpQ ce nept twv aotyiaT&v ovrio Xtyei' tovq 
fjiev vojxovq aypcapovg elvat. 

2 Ol ayopardfxoi . . . bloTroiovcri, Kcti Kara $EKa aracia otZ/X^j', 
TiQiaai rag EKrpoirag Ka\ to. Ztaar^fxara drjXovaae. 

3 Curtius, 8, 9. " Libri arborum teneri, haud secus quara charts 
literarum notas apiunt." 

4 Strabo, xv. 73. Tijv t ETnaroXi]v eXXtjiu^elp ev fotydipa yt~ 

5 Herodotus, v. 58. 


Nearchus himself, who ascribes to the Indians the 
art of making paper from cotton. Now, in looking 
for traces of writing before Alexander's time, we find 
in the Lalita-vistara, which contains the life of Bud- 
dha, that the young Sakya is represented as learn- 
ing to write. Though the Lalita-vistara cannot be 
regarded as a contemporaneous witness, it is never- 
theless a canonical book of the Buddhists, and, as such, 
must be ascribed to the third council. It was trans- 
lated into Chinese 76 a. d. As we have seen, before, 
the system of instruction practised in the lecture- 
rooms of the Brahmans, it will perhaps be of interest 
to glance at the schools in which Buddha was educated, 
or supposed to have been educated. 

" When the young prince had grown, he was led 
to the writing-school (lipisala). 1 We may leave out 
all the wonderful things that happened on this occa- 
sion, how he received a hundred thousand blessings, 
how he was surrounded by ten thousand children, 
preceded by ten thousand chariots full of sweetmeats, 
of silver and gold ; how the town of Kapilavastu was 
cleansed, how music sounded everywhere, and showers 
of flowers were poured from the roofs, windows, and 
balconies ; how, not satisfied with this, celestial ladies 
walked before him to clear the road, and the daugh- 
ters of the wind scattered celestial flowers, besides 
other fabulous beings who all came to honour the 
Bodhisatva as he went to school. These marginal 
illustrations may be dropped in all Buddhist books, 
though they leave but little room for the text. When 

1 Lalita-Vistara, Adhyaya, x. This work has lately been edited 
and partially translated by Babu Rajendralal Mitra, one of the 
most distinguished Sanskrit scholars in India. 

LL 3 


Buddha entered the school, Visvamitra, the school- 
master (darakacharya), unable to bear the majesty of 
the Bodhisatva' s presence, fell to the ground, and had 
to be lifted up by an angel, named Subhanga. After 
the king Suddhodana and his suite had left, the nurses 
and attendants sat down, and the Bodhisatva took a leaf 
to write on (lipiphalaka) made of sandal- wood (uraga- 
sarachandana-mayam). He then asked Visvamitra 
what writing he was going to teach him. Here fol- 
low sixty- four names, apparently names of alphabets, 1 
all of which the Bodhisatva is acquainted with, whereas 
Visvamitra is obliged to confess his ignorance. Never- 
theless the Bodhisatva stays at school, and learns to 
write, together with ten thousand boys. 2 

1 The most interesting names are Anga (Bhagalpur), Banga 
(Bengal), Magadha, Dravida, Dakshina (Dekhan), Darada, Khasya 
(Cassia hills), China (Chinese), Huna, Deva (Devanagari), Bhau- 
madeva (Brahman), Uttarakurus, anudruta (cursive). 

2 The following passage from the Evangelium Infantise (ed. 
Kike, p. 143.) offers a curious parallel : " Eratporro Hierosolymis 
quidam Zachrcus nomine, qui juventutem erudiebat. Dicebat hie 
Josepho : Quare non mittis ad me Jesum, ut literas discat ? An- 
nuebat illi Josephus, et ad Divam Mariam hoc referebat. Ad 
magistrum itaque ilium ducebant ; qui simulatque eum conspexerat 
Alphabetum ipsi conscripsit, utque Aleph diceret praecepit. Et 
eum dixisset Aleph, magister ipsum Beth pronunciare jubebat. 
Cui Dominus Jesus : Die mihi prius significationem literae Aleph, 
et turn Beth pronunciabo. Cumque magister verbera ipsi inten- 
taret, exponebat illi Dominus Jesus significationes literarum Aleph 
et Beth ; item, quamam literarum figurae essent rectae, qusenam 
obliqua3, quaenam duplicatae, qua? punctis insignitaa, qua? iisdem 
carentes ; quare una litera aliam precederet; aliaque plurima 
enarrare ccepit et elucidare, quae magister ipse nee audiverat un- 
quam nee in libro ullo legerat. Dixit porro magistro Dominus 
Jesus : Attende, ut dicam tibi, coepitque clare et distincte reci- 
tare, Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth, usque ad finem 41phabeti. 
Quod miratus magister, Hunc, inquit, puerum ante Noachum 


The alphabet which he learns is the common Sans- 
krit alphabet, with the omission of the letters 1, ri, 
and ri. It consists of 45 letters, and, as in our 
own primers, every letter is followed by a word 
containing that letter at the beginning or in the 
middle. These words in the Lalita-vistara are so 
chosen as to illustrate some of the chief points of 
Buddha's own doctrines. The alphabet is : a, a, i, 
i, u, u, e, ai, o, au, am, ah ; k, kh, g, gh, n ; ch, chh, 
j, jh, n ; t, th, d, dh, n; t, th, d, dh, n; p, ph, b, bh, 
m; y, r, v; s, sh, s, h, ksh. 

Though the further education of Buddha is not 
fully described, we see him soon afterwards, in a 
general competition, the most distinguished scholar, 
arithmetician, musician, and everything else. 1 This 
comprehensive system of education, through which 
Buddha is here represented to have passed, is the 
very opposite of that followed by the Brahmans. We 
nowhere meet in the Buddhist literature with those 
strong imprecations against book-learning which we 
found among the Brahmans, and which may be heard, 
I believe, even at the present day. 

If, thus, the first, though rather legendary, trace of 
writing, as a part of the elementary education in India, 
is 2 discovered in the life of Buddha, it is curious to 

natura esse existimo ; conversusque ad Josephum, Adduxisti, ait, 
ad me erudiendum puerum, raagistris omnibus doctiorem. Divae 
quoque Mariae inquit : Filio tuo nulla doctrina opus est." The 
Gospel of Thomas the Israelite, or the Book of Thomas the Isra- 
elite, the philosopher, concerning the acts which the Lord did, 
when a child, was most popular in the east. 

1 Among the subjects in which he shows his learning, figure 
Nirghantu, Nigama, Purana, Itihasa, Veda, Vyakarana, Nirukta, 
6iksha, Chhandas, Kalpa, Jyotisha, Sankhya, Yoga, Vaiseshika. 

2 In an ancient inscription of Khandgiri (Journal of the Asiat. 

l, i. 4 


observe that the first actual writing, the first well 
authenticated inscription in India, is likewise of Bud- 
dhist origin. There are no Brahmanic inscriptions 
earlier than the Buddhist inscriptions of Asoka on the 
rocks of Kapurdigiri, Dhauli, and Girnar. They be- 
long to the third century before Christ. They call 
themselves lipi, a writing ! , or dharmalipi 2 , a sacred 
writing ; and they mention the writer or engraver by 
the name of lipikara 3 This last word lipikara is an 
important word, for it is the only word in the Sutras 
of Panini which can be legitimately adduced to prove 
that Panini was acquainted with the art of writing. 
He teaches the formation of this word, iii. 2, 21. 
There is indeed another passage, which has frequently 
been quoted, where Panini teaches the formation of 
the adjective yavanani. This is simply the feminine 
of yavana, as Indrdni is of Indra. Katyayana, 
however, and the Commentator, both maintain that 
yavandni is used as a name of lipi, and that it meant 
the writing of the Yavanas. I see no reason to doubt 
that most of the examples which we find in the Com- 
mentaries go back to the very time of Panini, and I 
am quite willing to admit that Panini gave his rule 
on yavanani simply in order to explain this word as 
the name of a certain alphabet. But I must demur to 

Soc. of Bengal, vi. 318.), a king is mentioned who in his youth 
learned to write, and was taught, besides, arithmetic, navigation, 
commerce, and law (" tato likharupagana nava vyapara vidhi visa- 
radena "). 

1 Etaya athaya iyam lipi likhita ; for this purpose was the writ- 
ing written. 

2 Iyam dhammalipi Devanam piyena piyadasina rana likhapita 
asti eva. (p. 752.) 

3 Burnouf, Lotus, p. 752. 


any further conclusions. Yavana is by no means the 
exclusive name of the Greeks or Ionians. Professor 
Lassen has proved that it had a much wider meaning, 
and that it was even used of Semitic nations. There 
is nothing to prove that Panini was later than Alex- 
ander, or that he was acquainted with Greek litera- 
ture. In the Lalita-vistara, where all possible alpha- 
bets are mentioned, nothing is said of a Yavanani or 
a Greek alphabet. The Sanskrit alphabet, though it 
has always been suspected to be derived from a Semitic 
source, has not certainly been traced back to a Greek 
source. It shows more similarity with the Aramasan 
than with any other variety of the Phoenician alpha- 
bet. 1 Yavanani lipi most likely means that variety of 
the Semitic alphabet which, previous to Alexander, and 
previous to Panini, became the type of the Indian 
alphabet. But all this is merely conjectural. It is 
impossible to arrive at any certain interpretation of 
Yavanani, as used by Panini ; and it is much better to 
confess this, than to force the word into an argument 
for any preconceived notions as to the origin of the 
Indian alphabet. 

There is another word in Panini which might seem 
to prove that, not only the art of writing, but written 
books were known at his time. This is grantha. Gran- 
tha occurs four times in our texts of Panini. 2 In I. 3, 

1 Lepsius, Zwei sprachvergleichende Abhandlungen, p. 78., 
Schulze's conjecture about Mesnud. Weber, Indische Skizzen. 


75. it is so used as to apply to the Veda. In IV. 3, 87. 
it may refer to any work. In IV. 3, 116. it is applied 
to the work of any individual author. In VI. 3, 79. it 
may refer to any work that is studied. I do not attri- 
bute much importance to the fact that I. 3. 75. and 
IV. 3, 116. are marked as not explained in the Com- 
mentaries ; for I confess that in none of these four pas- 
sages can I discover anything to prove that graniha 
must mean a written or a bound book. Grantha is 
derived from a root gratJi, which means nectere, severe. 
Grantha, therefore, like the later sandarbha, would 
simply mean a composition. 1 It corresponds etymo- 
logically with the Latin textus. Thus it is used by 
the Commentator to Nir. I. 20., where he says that 
former teachers handed down the hymns granthato 
'rthatascha, " according to their text and according 
to their meaning." In the later literature of India 
grantha was used for a volume, and in granthaMtt, 
a library, we see clearly that it lias that meaning. 
But in the early literature grantha does not mean 
jmstaka, or book ; it means simply a composition, 
as opposed to a traditional work. 

This distinction between traditional works and 
works composed by individual authors is of frequent 
occurrence in Panini, and we attempted, in a former 
part of this work, to draw some historical conclusions 
from this distinction. From IV. 3, 101. to 111. the 
grammarian gives rules how to derive the titles of 
works from the names of those by whom they were 
proclaimed (tena proktam). But in most cases these 
derivations are used by Panini as intermediate links 

1 Thus the Commentator to the Rig-veda, 1, 67, 4. explains chri- 
tanti by agnim uddisya stutir grathnanti, kurvantityarthah. 


only, in order to form the names of Charanas who 
read and preserve these works. Never, he says (IV. 
2, titi.), use the derivative, which would be the 
title of a work, in the case of hymns (chhandas^ 
or Brahmanas. Do not call a work proclaimed 
by Katha, Katham, but only speak of Kathas, L e. 
those who hand down the works proclaimed by Katha. 
Another still more significant restriction is made 
by Panini. With reference to modern works, he 
says, you may use the neuter in the singular or 
plural, instead of the plural of the masculine. The 
Brahmanas taught by Yajnavalkya may be spoken 
of as such. But the ancient Brahmanas, first pro- 
claimed by Bhallava &c, can only be spoken of as 
"the Bhallavins" (Bhallavida3), because it is only in 
the tradition of his descendants that the works of 
Bhallava and other ancient sages may be said to live. 
However we examine the ancient Sanskrit phra- 
seology with regard to books and their authors, we 
invariably arrive at the same results. In the most 
ancient literature, the idea even of authorship is ex- 
cluded. Yv r orks are spoken of as revealed to and com- 
municated by certain sages, but not as composed by 
them. In the later literature of the Brahmana and 
Sutra period the idea of authorship is admitted, 
but no trace is to be found anywhere of any books 
being committed to writing. It is possible I may have 
overlooked some words in the Brahmanas and Sutras, 
which would prove the existence of written books 
previous to Panini. If so, it is not from any wish to 
suppress them. I believe, indeed, that the Brahmanas 
were preserved by oral tradition only, but I should 
feel inclined to claim an acquaintance with the art of 
writing for the authors of the Sutras. And there is 


one word which seems to strengthen such a supposi- 
tion. We find that several of the Sutras are divided 
into chapters called patalas. This is a word 
never used for the subdivisions of the Brahraanas. 
Its meaning is a covering, the surrounding skin or 
membrane ; it is also used for a tree. If so, it would 
seem to be almost synonymous with liber and 0/#?vo, 
and it would mean book, after meaning originally a 
sheet of paper made of the surrounding bark of trees. 
If writing came in towards the latter half of the 
Sutra period, it would no doubt be applied at the 
same time to reducing the hymns and Brahmanas 
to a written form. Previously to that time, however, 
we are bound to maintain that the collection of the 
hymns, and the immense mass of the Brahmana lite- 
rature, were preserved by means of oral tradition 




The three periods of Yedic literature which we have 
examined, the Sutra, Brahmana, and Mantra periods, 
all point to some earlier age which gave birth to the 
poetry of the early Rishis. There was a time, doubt- 
less, when the songs which were collected with such 
careful zeal in the Mantra period, commented upon 
with such elaborate pedantry during the Brahmana 
period, and examined and analysed with such minute 
exactness during the Sutra period, lived and were 
understood without any effort by a simple and pious 
race. There was a time when the sacrifices, which 
afterwards became so bewildering a system of cere- 
monies, were dictated by the free impulse of the 
human heart, by a yearning to render thanks to some 
Unknown Being, and to repay, in words or deeds, a 
debt of gratitude, accumulated from the first breath 
of life. There was a time when the poet was the 
leader, the king, and priest of his family or tribe, 
when his songs and sayings were listened to in an- 
xious silence and with implicit faith, when his prayers 
were repeated by crowds who looked up to their 
kings and priests, their leaders and judges, as men 
better, nobler, wiser than the rest, as beings nearer 
to the gods in proportion as they were raised above 


the common level of mankind. These men themselves 
living a life of perfect freedom, speaking a language 
not yet broken by literary usage, and thinking 
thoughts unfettered as yet by traditional chains, 
were at once teachers, lawgivers, poets, and priests. 
There is no very deep wisdom in their teaching, 
their laws are simple, their poetry shows no very 
high flights of fancy, and their religion might be told 
in a few words. But what there is of their language, 
poetry, and religion has a charm which no other period 
of Indian literature possesses : it is spontaneous, ori- 
ginal, and truthful. 

We cannot say this of all the hymns: nay, the greater 
portion of what we now possess of Yedic poetry must, 
no doubt, be ascribed to a secondary period, the so- 
called Mantra period. But after we have discarded 
what bears the stamp of a later age, there remains 
enough to give us an idea of an earlier race of Yedic 
poets. It is true, no doubt, in one sense, that even 
those earliest specimens of Yedic poetry belong, as has 
been said by Bunsen, to the modern history of the 
human race. Ages must have passed before the 
grammatical texture of the Yedic Sanskrit could 
have assumed the consistency and regularity which it 
shows throughout. Every tense, every mood, every 
number and person of the verb is fixed, and all the 
terminations of the cases are firmly established. 
Every one of these terminations was originally an in- 
dependent word with an independent meaning. Their 
first selection was more or less the result of individual 
choice, their technical character the result of long 
usage. There was more than one word for i, and 
more than one expression for the verb to be. The 
selection of mi % as the termination of the first person 


singular, the selection of as in the sense of to be, and 
the joining of the two so as to produce the auxiliary 
verb asmi, I am, all this was a conventional act, the 
act of one or two individuals, fixed by circumstances 
which were more or less accidental. If, then, we find 
the same combination in the ancient Greek la-^i, and 
the modern Lithuanian esrai, it is clear that the origin 
of that form goes back to times long anterior to the 
separate existence of Sanskrit, Greek, and Lithuanian. 
As soy, suisy and sono are modern modifications that 
point back to an earlier type, the Latin sum, the 
Sanskrit asmi, Greek e<rp, Lithuanian esmi, are like- 
wise but the modern representatives of some earlier 
typical form, which existed in the undivided language 
of the Aryan race. 

The same applies to the religion of the Yeda. 
Words like deva for 'god' mark a more than secondary 
stage in the grammar of the Aryan religion. To use 
the root div, ' to shine,' with reference to the heavenly 
bodies, was the result of a free choice. There were 
other roots which might have been used instead. Nor 
was it by any means a necessity that the presence of 
a Divine Power should be felt exclusively in the 
bright manifestations of nature. All this was the 
result of a historical growth ; and the early periods of 
that growth had passed away long before the Rishis 
of India could have worshipped their JDevas or their 
bright beings, with sacred hymns and invocations. 

From this point of view the Vedic language and 
poetry may be ascribed to a modern or secondary 
period in the history of the world, if only it be under- 
stood that what preceded that period in India, or in 
any other part of the Aryan world, is lost to us beyond 
the hope of recovery, and that, therefore, to us the 


Veda represents the most ancient chapter in the his- 
tory of the human intellect. We find no traces in 
the Yeda, or in any Aryan work, of a growing lan- 
guage, growing in the sense in which some of the 
Turanian languages may be said to be still growing 
at the present day. 1 The whole grammatical mecha- 
nism is finished, the most complicated forms are sanc- 
tioned, and the only changes of which the Aryan 
speech, arrived at the point where we find it in the 
Yeda, admits, are those of gradual decay and recom- 
position. Nor do we find any traces, in the Yeda, of 
a growing religion. We look in vain for the effect 
produced on the human mind by the first rising of 
the idea of God. To the poets of the Yeda that idea is 
an old and familiar idea : it is understood, never ques- 
tioned, never denied. We shall never hear what was 
felt by man when the image of God arose in all its ma- 
jesty before his eyes, assuming a reality before which 
all other realities faded away into a mere shadow. 
No whisper will ever reach us of that sacred colloquy 
when God for the first time spoke to man, and man 
to God ; when man within his own heart heard that 
still small voice through which the Father of mankind 
revealed himself to all his children, to the Jew first, 
and also to the Gentile ; and when God received the 
first response from human lips : " Who art thou, 
Lord ? " That first recognition of God, that first 
perception of the real presence of God, a perception 
without which no religion, whether natural or revealed, 
can exist or grow, belonged to the past when the 
songs of the Yeda were written. The idea of God, 

1 See my Letter on the Classification of the Turanian lan- 
guages, p. 30. 


though never entirely lost, had been clouded over by 
errors. The names given to God had been changed 
to gods, and their real meaning had faded away from 
the memory of man. Even the earliest hymns of the 
Veda are not free from mythological phraseology. 
How far the poets retained a vague consciousness of 
the original purport of the names of the gods is diffi- 
cult to say. To our eyes the science of language has 
disclosed the smallest fibres in the tissue of these 
names, and allowed us an insight into the darkest 
secrets of their growth. We can see nomina, where even 
the most keen-sighted native could discover nothing 
but numina. Sometimes, however, we feel surprised at 
the precision with which even such modern writers as 
Kumarila are able to read the true meaning of their 
mythology. When Kumarila is hard pressed by his 
opponents about the immoralities of his gods, he 
answers with all the freedom of a comparative myco- 
logist l : " It is fabled that Prajapati, the Lord of 
Creation, did violence to his daughter. But what 
does it mean ? Prajapati, the Lord of Creation, is a 
name of the sun ; and he is called so, because he pro- 

M M 


tects all creatures. His daughter Ushas is the dawn. 
And when it is said that he was in love with her, this 
only, means that, at sunrise, the sun runs after the 
dawn, the dawn being at the same time called the 
daughter of the sun, because she rises when he ap- 
proaches. In the same manner, if it is said that 
Indra was the seducer of Ahalya, this does not imply 
that the god Indra committed such a crime ; but Indra 
means the sun, and Ahalya (from ahan and li) the 
night ; and, as the night is seduced and ruined by the 
sun of the morning, therefore is Indra called the 
paramour of Ahalya." 

But in spite of the mythological character which 
the religion of India has assumed in the Veda, in spite 
of other traces which show that even its most pri- 
mitive hymns rest on numerous underlying strata 
of more primitive thoughts and feelings, we should 
look in vain, in any other literature of the Aryan na- 
tions, to Greece or Rome, for documents from which 
to study that important chapter in the history of 
mankind which we can study in the Yeda, the 
transition from a natural into an artificial religion. 

In a history of Sanskrit literature the Chhandas 
period, though the most interesting from a philoso- 
phical point of view, can occupy but a small place. 
It is represented by a very limited literature, by those 
few hymns which show none of the signs of a more 
modern origin which we discussed when treating on 
the Mantra period. Their number will necessarily 
vary according to the rules which critics follow 
in testing the age and character of earlier and 
later hymns. This critical separation can be carried 
out successfully only after a comprehensive exami- 
nation of the leading ideas of the whole Vedic poetry, 


and it could not be attempted within the small com- 
pass of this work. All I can do in this place is to 
give a few hymns which in thought and language re- 
present the general character of genuine Yedic poetry, 
and to contrast them with some other hymns which 
decidedly belong to a later period. 

The following hymn is ascribed to Manu Yaiva- 
svata: viii. 30. 

1. Among you, gods, there is none that is small, 
none that is young : you all are great indeed. 

2. Be thus praised, ye destroyers of foes, you who 
are thirty and three, you the sacred gods of Manu. 

3. Defend us, help us, bless us ! do not lead us far 
away from the path of our fathers, from the path of 

4. You who are here, gods, all of you, and wor- 
shipped by all men, give us your broad protection, 
give it to cow and horse. 

There is nothing striking, nothing that displays 
any warmth of feeling or power of expression in this 
hymn. The number of thirty-three, assigned to the 
gods of Manu, would rather tend to refer its com- 
position to a time when the gods of old had 
been gathered up and had been subjected to a 
strict census. Nevertheless, the hymn is simple 
and primitive in thought and language ; and the fact 
of its being ascribed to Manu Yaivasvata shows that 
the Brahman s themselves looked upon it as a relic of 
one of their earliest sages. That Manu himself should 
be mentioned in the hymn seems to have caused no 
scruple to the Brahmans ; nor is it any real difficulty 
from our own point of view. No man of the name of 

M M 2 


Manu ever existed. Manu was never more than a name 
one of the oldest names for man ; and it was given 
in India, as elsewhere, to the supposed ancestor or an- 
cestors of the human race. The Brahman s, however, 
like most Aryan nations, changed the appellative into a 
proper name. They believed in a real Manu, or in seve- 
ral real Manus, to whom they assigned various cogno- 
mina, such as Vaivasvata, Apsava (Rv. ix. 7. 3), 
Samvarana (Rv. ix. 6. 5). All of these they natu- 
rally counted as among the earliest of human Rishis ; 
and the hymns which they ascribed to them must 
have belonged in their eyes to the earliest and most 
important class. 

In one sense it is true, no doubt, that invocations 
of all the gods, the Visve Devas ' as they are called, 
represent a later phase of thought than invocations 
of single deities. Nevertheless, there is nothing to 
show that this comprehensive view of all the deities 
belongs to an age later than that which gave rise to 
the most ancient hymns which we possess, and which 
celebrate the power and majesty of individual deities, 
such as Varuna, Indra, Agni (fire), the Maruts (the 
winds), Ushas (dawn), &c. When these individual 
gods are invoked, they are not conceived as limited 
by the power of others, as superior or inferior in 
rank. Each god is to the mind of the supplicant as 
good as all the gods. He is felt, at the time, as a 
real divinity as supreme and absolute, in spite of the 
necessary limitations which, to our mind, a plurality 
of gods must entail on every single god. All the 
rest disappear for a moment from the vision of 

1 Visve Devah, though treated as a plural, has sometimes the 
meaning of a pluralis ?najestaticus. See Ewald, Ausfuhrliches 
Lehrbuch, 178, b. 


the poet, and he only who is to fulfil their desires 
stands in full light before the eyes of the worshippers. 
" Among you, gods, there is none that is small, none 
that is young ; you are all great indeed," is a sentiment 
which, though, perhaps, not so distinctly expressed 
as by Manu Vaivasvata, nevertheless, underlies all 
the poetry of the Veda. Although the gods are 
sometimes distinctly invoked as the great and the 
small, the young and the old (Rv. i. 27. 13), this is 
only an attempt to find the most comprehensive ex- 
pression for the divine powers, and nowhere is any of 
the gods represented as the slave of others. It would 
be easy to find, in the numerous hymns of the Veda, 
passages in which almost every single god is repre- 
sented as supreme and absolute. In the first hymn 
of the second Mandala, Agni is called the ruler of the 
universe 1 , the lord of men, the wise king, the father, 
the brother, the son, and friend of men 2 ; nay, all the 
powers and names of the others are distinctly ascribed 
to Agni. The hymn belongs, no doubt, to the modern 
compositions ; yet, though Agni is thus highly exalted 
in it, nothing is said to disparage the divine character of 
the other gods. Indra is celebrated as the strongest 
god in the hymns as well as in the Brahmanas, and the 
burden of one of the songs of the tenth book 3 is : Visva- 
smad Indra uttarah, " Indra is greater than all." Of 
Soma it is said that he was born great, and that he 
conquers every one. 4 He is called the king of the 
world 5 , he has the power to prolong the life of men 6 , 

t^ f^T^F *$T*ffaT *T<2J"^ I ii- 1- 8. See Nirukta-pari- 

sishta, i. 

2 ii. 1. 9. 3 x. 86. 

4 ix. 59. 5 ix. 96. 10., bhuvanasya raja. 

<5 ix. 96. 14. 

II M 3 


and in one sense he is called the maker of heaven and 
earth, of Agni, of Surya, of Indra, and of Vishnu. 1 

If we read the next hymn, which is addressed to 
Varuna (oupavog), we perceive that the god here in- 
voked is, to the mind of the poet, supreme and all- 
mighty. Nevertheless, he is one of the gods who is 
almost always represented in fellowship with another, 
Mitra; and even in our hymn there is one verse, 
the sixth, in which Varuna and Mitra are invoked in 
the dual. Yet what more could human language 
achieve, in trying to express the idea of a divine 
and supreme power, than what our poet says of 
Varuna; "Thou art lord of all, of heaven and 
earth." Or, as is said in another hymn (ii. 27. 10.), 
" Thou art the king of all ; of those who are gods, 
and of those who are men." Nor is Varuna repre- 
sented as the Lord of nature only. He Tmows 
the order of nature, and upholds it ; for this is what 
is meant by dhritavrata. 2 Varuna, therefore, knows 
the twelve months, and even the thirteenth ; he knows 
the course of the wind, the birds in the air, and the 
ships of the sea. He knows all the wondrous works 
of nature, and he looks not only into the past but into 
the future also. But, more than all this, Varuna 
watches over the order of the moral world. The poet 
begins with a confession that he has neglected the 
works of Varuna, that he has offended against his 
laws. He craves his pardon; he appeals in self- 
defence to the weakness of human nature ; he depre- 
cates death as the reward of sin. His devotion is all 

1 ix. 96. 5. 

2 Vrata means what must be done, and these Vratas or laws are 
not to be shaken (aprachyuta) because " they rest on Varuna as 
on a rock." (Rv. ii. 28. 8.) 


lie has wherewith to appease the anger of his god ; and 
how natural the feeling, when he hopes to soothe the 
god by his prayers as a horse is soothed by kind 
words. The poet has evidently felt the anger of 
Varuna. His friends, wishing for booty elsewhere, 
have left him, and he knows not how to bring back 
Varuna, who is the only giver of victory. He de- 
scribes the power of his god, and he praises him chiefly 
as the guardian of law and order. Like a true 
child of nature, he offers honey, sweet things, which 
the god is sure to like, and then appeals to him as to 
a friend : " Now be good, and let us speak together 
again." This may seem childish, but there is a real 
and childish faith in it ; and, like all childish faith, it 
is rewarded by some kind of response. For, at that 
very moment, the poet takes a higher tone. He 
fancies he sees the god and his chariot passing by ; 
he feels that his prayer has been heard. True, there 
is much that is human, earthly, coarse, and false in 
the language applied to the deity as here invoked under 
the name of Varuna. Yet there is something also in 
these ancient strains of thought and faith which moves 
and cheers our hearts even at this great distance of 
time ; and a wise man will pause before he ascribes 
to purely evil sources what may be, for all we know, 
the working of a love and wisdom beyond our own. 

The hymn is ascribed to Sunahsepha, according to 
the legend of the later Brahmanas, the victim offered 
to Varuna by his own father Ajigarta Sauyavasi. 
(See page 413.) 

1. However we break thy laws from day to day, 
men as we are, god, Varuna, 

2. Do not deliver us unto death, nor to the 
blow of the furious ; not to the anger of the spiteful ! 

M M 4 


3. To propitiate thee, Varuna, we bind thy 
mind with songs, as the charioteer a weary steed. 

4. Away from me they flee dispirited, intent only 
on gaining wealth ; as birds to their nests. 

5. When shall we bring hither the man who is 
victory to the warriors, when shall we bring Varuna, 
the wide-seeing, to be propitiated ? 

[6. This they take in common with delight, Mitra 
and Varuna ; they never fail the faithful giver.] 

7. He who knows the place of the birds that fly 
through the sky, who, on the waters knows the 

8. He, the upholder of order, who knows the 
twelve months with the offspring of each, and knows 
the month 1 that is engendered afterwards, 

9. He who knows the track of the wind 2 , of the 
wide, the bright, and mighty ; and knows those who 
reside on high 3 , 

10. He, the upholder of order, Varuna sits down 
among his people; he, the wise, sits there to 

11. From thence perceiving all wondrous things, 
he sees what has been and what will be done. 

12. May he, the wise son of time (aditya), make 
our paths straight all our days ; may he prolong our 
lives ! 

13. Varuna, wearing golden mail, has put on his 
shining cloak ; the spies 4 sat down around him. 

1 The thirteenth or intercalary month ; see page 212. 

2 Rv. vii. 87. 2., the wind is called the breath of Varuna. 

3 The gods. 

4 These spies or watchers are most likely the other Atfityas, of 
whom it is said (ii. 27. 3.) that " they see into what is evil and 
what is good, and that everything, even at the greatest distance, is 


14. The god, whom the scoffers do not provoke, 
nor the tormentors of men, nor the plotters of mis- 

15. He, who gives to men glory, and not half 
glory, who gives it even to our own bodies, 

16. Yearning for him, the far-seeing, my thoughts 
move onwards, as kine move to their pastures. 

17. Let us speak together again, because my honey 
has been brought : thou eatest what thou likest, like a 
friend. 1 

18. Now I saw the god who is to be seen by 
all, I saw the chariot above the earth : he must have 
accepted my prayers. 

19. hear this my calling, Varuna, be gracious 
now ; longing for help, I have called upon thee. 

20. Thou, wise god, art lord of all, of heaven 
and earth : listen on thy way. 

21. That I may live, take from me the upper rope, 
loose the middle, and remove the lowest ! 

This one hymn to Varuna would be sufficient to 
show the mistake of those who deny the presence of 
moral truths in the ancient religions of the world 
and, more particularly, in the so-called nature-wor- 
ship of the Aryans. On the contrary, whatever we 
find of moral sentiments in those ancient hymns 
is generally as true to-day as it was thousands of 
years ago ; while what is false and perishable in them 

near to them." " With them the right is not distinguished from the 
left, nor the east, nor the west." (Rv. ii. 27. 11.) See Roth, Zeit- 
schrift der Deutschen Morgenliindischen Gesellschaft, vi. 72. 

1 Hotri does not mean friend, but the priest who is chosen to 
invite the gods. Perhaps it means poet and priest in a more ge- 
neral sense than in the later hymns. 


has reference to the external aspects of the deity, and 
to his supposed working in nature. The key-note of all 
religion, natural as well as revealed, is present in the 
hymns of the Veda, and never completely drowned by 
the strange music which generally deafens our ears 
when we first listen to the wild echoes of the heathen 
worship. There is the belief in God, the perception of 
the difference between good and evil, the conviction 
that God hates sin, and loves the righteous. We can 
hardly speak witli sufficient reverence of the dis- 
covery of these truths, however trite they may 
appear to ourselves ; and, if the name of revelation 
seems too sacred a name to be applied to them, 
that of discovery is too profane, for it would 
throw the vital truths of all religion, both an- 
cient and modern, into the same category as the 
discoveries of a Galileo or a Newton. Theologians 
may agree in denying that any man in possession of 
his reason can, without a crime, remain ignorant of 
God for any length of time. Missionaries, however, 
who held and defended this opinion, have been led to 
very different convictions after some intercourse with 
savage tribes. Dobrizhoffer 1 , who was for eighteen 
years a Missionary in Paraguay, states that the lan- 
guage of the Abipones does not contain a single word 
which expresses God or a divinity. Penafiel, a Jesuit 
theologian, declared that there were many Indians 
who, on being asked whether, during the whole 
course of their lives they ever thought of God, 
replied, no, never. Dobrizhoffer says, " Travelling 
with fourteen Abipones, I sat down by the fire in the 
open air, as usual on the high shore of the river 

1 Dobrizhoffer, Account of the Abipones, vol. ii. p. 58. 


Plata. The sky, which was perfectly serene, de- 
lighted our eyes with its twinkling stars. I began a 
conversation with the Cacique Ychoalay, the most, 
intelligent of all the Abipones I have been acquainted 
with, as well as the most famous in war. ' Do you 
behold/ said I, c the splendour of Heaven, with its 
magnificent arrangement of stars ? Who can sup- 
pose that all this is produced by chance ? Whom do 
you suppose to be their creator and governor ? 
What were the opinions of your ancestors on the sub- 
ject ?' ' My father,' replied Ychoalay, readily, and 
frankly, l our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, 
were wont to contemplate the earth alone, solicitous 
only to see whether the plain afforded grass and 
water for their horses. They never troubled them- 
selves about what went on in the Heavens, and who 
was the creator and governor of the stars.'" The 
Guaranies, who had an expression for the supreme 
Deity whom they call tupa, a word composed of two 
particles tu,s, word of admiration, and pa, of interro- 
gation, nevertheless worshipped only an evil spirit. 
Let us turn our eyes from the Indians of America to 
the Indians of India, and we shall perceive the immense 
distance by which these noble races are separated 
from the savage tribes to whom our Missionaries are 
still trying, and trying in vain, to impart the first 
principles of religion. The language of their simple 
prayers is more intelligible to us, their whole world of 
thought and feeling is nearer to us, than anything we 
find in the literature of Greece and Rome, and there 
are, here and there, short expressions of faith and 
devotion in which even a Christian can join without 
irreverence. If the following were not addressed to 
Yaruna, one of the many names of the deity, it 


would seem to contain nothing strange or offensive to 
our ears : 

1. Let me not yet, Varuna, enter into the 
house of clay ; have mere}'', almighty, have mercy ! 

2. If I go along trembling, like a cloud driven by 
the wind ; have mercy, almighty, have mercy ! 

3. Through want of strength, thou strong and 
bright god, have I gone to the wrong shore ; have 
mercy, almighty, have mercy ! 

4. Thirst came upon the worshipper, though he 
stood in the midst of the waters ; have mercy, 
almighty, have mercy ! 

5. Whenever we men, Varuna, commit an 
offence before the heavenly host ; whenever we break 
thy law through thoughtlessness; have mercy, al- 
mighty, have mercy ! 

Here we have the two ideas, so contradictory to the 
human understanding, and yet so easily reconciled in 
every human heart : God has established the eternal 
laws of the moral world, and yet he is willing to forgive 
those who offend against them ; just, yet merciful ; a 
judge, and yet a father. " He is merciful even to 
him who has committed sin." 1 

The next hymn allows us a still deeper insight 
into the strange ideas which the Rishis had formed 
to themselves as to the nature of sin. (Rv. vii. 86.) 

1. Wise and mighty are the works of him who 
stemmed asunder the wide firmaments. He lifted on 
high the bright and glorious heaven ; he stretched 
out apart the starry sky and the earth. 

1 Rv. vii. 87. 7. yah mrilayati chakrushe chit agah. 


2. Do I say this to my own soul? How can I get 
unto Varuna? Will he accept my offering without 
displeasure ? When shall I, with a quiet mind, see 
him propitiated ? 

3. I ask, Varuna, wishing to know this my sin. 
I go to ask the wise. The sages all tell me the same : 
Varuna it is who is angry with thee. 

4. Was it an old sin, Varuna, that thou wishest 
to destroy thy friend, who always praises thee ? Tell 
me, thou unconquerable lord, and I will quickly 
turn to thee with praise, freed from sin. 

5. Absolve us from the sins of our fathers, and 
from those which we committed with our own bodies. 
Release Vasishtha 1 , king, like a thief who has 
feasted on stolen cattle ; release him like a calf from 
the rope. 

6. It was not our own doing, Varuna, it was 
necessity, an intoxicating draught, passion, dice, 
thoughtlessness. The old is near to mislead the 
young ; even sleep brings unrighteousness. 

7. Let me without sin give satisfaction, like a 
slave to the bounteous lord, the god, our support. 
The lord god enlightened the foolish ; he, the wisest, 
leads his worshipper to wealth. 

8. lord, Varuna, may this song go well to thy 
heart ! May we prosper in keeping and acquiring ! 
Protect us, gods, always with your blessings ! 

These ideas preponderate in hymns addressed to 
Varuna, but they likewise occur in the prayers to the 
other gods. Varuna is one of the Adityas, the sons 
of time, the Kroniones, the heavenly gods. The 
hymns addressed to these Adityas in general are full 

1 Name of the poet. 


of moral sentiments, because these gods are believed 
to protect men, not only against the assaults of 
nature, against disease and suffering, but also against 
the temptations of sin. 

Kv. viii. 13. 14. " May evil betide him, the curs- 
ing mortal, the enemy who, double-tongued, would 
deal us a felon's blow. 

15. You gods are with the righteous; you know 
man in their hearts. Come to the true man, and to 
the false, ye Yasus ! 

16. We implore the protection of the mountains, 
and the protection of the waters. 1 Heaven and 
earth, remove from us all evil. 

17. Carry us, Yasus, by your blessed protection, 
as it were in your ship, across all dangers. 

18. To our offspring, to our race, and thus to our- 
selves, make life longer to live, ye valiant Adityas ! 

21. Mitra, Aryaman, Yaruna, and ye Winds, 
grant us an abode free from sin, full of men, glori- 
ous, with three bars. 

22. We, who are but men, the bondsmen of death, 
prolong our time well, Adityas, that we may live ! 

Indra, one of the principal gods of the Yeda, is 
likewise invoked, together with the Adityas, as a god 
who may pardon sin. " Whatever sin we have com- 
mitted against you 2 ," the poet says, " let us obtain, 
Indra, the broad safe light of day ; let not the long 
darkness come upon us ! " Indra is clearly conceived 
as a moral being in the following verse (Rv. viii. 21. 

a Thou never findest a rich man to be thy friend ; 

Rv. viii. 31. 10. 2 Rv. ii. 27. 14. 


wine-swillers despise thee. But when thou thunderest, 
when thou gatherest (the clouds), then thou art 
called like a father." 

Out of a large number of hymns addressed to the 
same god, we select one that is ascribed to Vasishtha. 
(Rv. vii. 32.) 

1. Let no one, not even those who worship thee, 
delay thee far from us ! Even from afar come to our 
feast ! Or, if thou art here, listen to us ! 

2. For these here who make prayers for thee, sit 
together near the libation, like flies round the honey. 
The worshippers, anxious for wealth, have placed 
their desire upon Indra, as we put our foot upon a 

3. Desirous of riches, I call him who holds the 
thunderbolt with his arm, and who is a good giver, 
like as a son calls his father. 

4. These libations of Soma, mixed with milk, have 
been prepared for Indra : thou, armed with the 
thunderbolt, come with the steeds to drink of them 
for thy delight ; come to the house ! 

5. May he hear us, for he has ears to hear. He 
is asked for riches ; will he despise our prayers ? He 
could soon give hundreds and thousands ; no one 
could check him if he wishes to give. 

6. He who prepares for thee, Yritra-killer, deep 
libations, and pours them out 1 before thee, that hero 
thrives with Indra, never scorned of men. 

1 Dhavati is explained as a neuter verb by the commentary, 
" he who runs towards thee." Dhavati, however, is a technical 
term, applied to the libations of the Soma-juice, as may be seen, 
Rv. viii. 1. 17. "Sota hi somam adribhih a im enam apsu dha- 
vata," "Press the Soma with stones, make it run into the 


7. Be thou, mighty, the shield of the mighty 
(Vasishthas) when thou drivest together the fighting 
men. Let us share the wealth of him whom thou 
hast slain ; bring us the household of him who is 
hard to vanquish. 

8. Offer Soma to the drinker of Soma, to Indra, 
the lord of the thunderbolt ; roast roasts ; make him 
to protect us : Indra, the giver, is a blessing to him 
who gives oblations. 

9. Do not grudge, ye givers of Soma ; give 
strength 1 to the great god, make him to give wealth ! 
He alone who perseveres, conquers, abides, and flou- 
rishes : the gods are not to be trifled with. 

10. No one surrounds the chariot of the, liberal 
worshipper, no one stops it. He whom Indra pro- 
tects and the Maruts, he will come into stables full 
of cattle. 

11. He will, when fighting, obtain spoil 2 , Indra, 
the mortal, whose protection thou shouldest be. 
hero, be thou the protection of our chariots, and of 
our men ! 

12. His share is exceeding great, like the wealth 
of a winner. He who is Indra with his steeds, him 
no enemies can subdue ; may he give strength to the 
sacrificer ! 

13. Make for the sacred gods a hymn that is not 
small, that is well set and beautiful ! Many snares 
pass by him who abides with Indra through his 

1 Dakshata is construed with the dative, and the caesura for- 
bids to join mahe with raye. A similar construction occurs vii. 
97. 8., Dakshayyaya dakshata, where the commentator explains it 

2 This verse shows signs of a later origin ; the ideas are taken 
from the preceding verse. 


14. What mortal dares to attack him who is rich 
in thee ? Through faith in thee, mighty, the 
strong acquires spoil in the day of battle. 

15. Stir us mighty Vasishthas in the slaughter of 
the enemies, stir us who give their dearest treasures. 
Under thy guidance, Haryasva, we shall with our 
wise counsellors overcome aM hardships. 

16. To thee belongs the lowest treasure ; thou 
rearest the middle treasure ; thou art king always of 
all the highest treasure ; no one withstands thee in 
the flock. 

17. Thou art Avell known as the benefactor of 
every one, whatever battles there be. Every one of 
these kings of the earth implores thy name, when 
wishing for help. 

18. If I were .lord of as much as thou, I should 
support the sacred bard, thou scatterer of wealth, I 
should not abandon him to misery. 

19. I should award wealth day by day to him who 
magnifies, I should award it to whosoever it be. 1 We 
have no other friend but thee, no other happiness, 
no other father, mighty ! 

20. He who perseveres acquires spoil with his wife 
as his mate ; I bend Indra, who is invoked by many, 
for you, as a wheelwright bends a wheel made of 
strong wood. 

2 1 . A mortal does not get riches by scant praise : 
no wealth comes to the grudger. The strong man it 
is, mighty, who in the day of battle is a precious 
gift to thee like as to me. 

22. We call for thee, hero, like cows that. have 

1 According to the Commentator Kuhachidvid means " where- 
ever he be." It may perhaps mean the ignorant. 

N N 


not been milked ; we praise thee as ruler of all that 
moves, Indra, as ruler of all that is immovable. 

23. There is no one like thee in heaven or earth ; 
he is not born, and will not be born. mighty Indra, 
we call upon thee as we go fighting for cows and 

24. Bring all this to'ttoose who are good, Indra, 
be they old or young 1 ; for thou, mighty, art the 
rich of old, and to be called in every battle. 

25. Push away the unfriendly, mighty, make 
us treasures easy to get ! Be the protector of our- 
selves in the fight, be the cherisher of our friends ! 

26. Indra, give wisdom to us, as a father to his 
sons. Teach us in this path, let us living see the sun ! 

27. Let not unknown wretches, evil- disposed and 
unhallowed, tread us down. Through thy help, 
hero, let us step over the rushing eternal waters ! 

In this hymn Indra is clearly conceived as the su- 
preme god, and we can hardly understand how a people 
who had formed so exalted a notion of the deity and 
embodied it in the person of Indra, could, at the same 
sacrifice, invoke other gods with equal praise. When 
Agni, the lord of fire, is addressed by the poet, he 
is spoken of as the first god, not inferior even 
to Indra. While Agni is invoked, Indra is for- 
gotten ; there is no competition between the two, 
nor any rivalry between them or other gods. This 
is a most important feature in the religion of the 
Veda, and has never been taken into consideration 
by those who have written on the history of ancient 

1 Jyayah stands for jyayasnh. 


There are other hymns, again, in which the notion 
of a deity is much less prominent. Indra is there 
represented like a hero fighting against enemies. He 
is liable to defeat, his heart fails him in the combat, 
and though at last he invariably conquers, he does 
so rather by an effort than by the mere assertion of 
his power. Agni, again, in many hymns, is simply 
described as a power of nature, as the fire such as it 
is seen in heaven and on earth. Many things that 
have become to us familiar, struck the poets of the 
Veda as wonderful and mysterious. They describe 
the power of the fire with an awe which, to the 
natural philosopher of the present day, must appear 
childish. The production of fire by the friction of 
wood, or its sudden descent from the sky in the form 
of lightning, is to them as marvellous as the birth of 
a child. They feel their dependence on fire ; they 
have experienced what it is to be without it. They 
were not yet acquainted with lucifer-matches, and 
hence, when describing the simple phenomena of fire, 
they do it naturally with a kind of religious reverence. 
The following verses, taken from a hymn of Vasishtha 
(vii. 3.) may serve as a specimen : 

"Neighing like a horse that is greedy for food, when 
it steps out from the strong prison ; then the 
wind blows after his blast ; thy path, Agni, is dark 
at once. 1 

1 The construction of this verse is very abrupt, particularly the 
transition from the simile of the horse, which is put in the third 
person, to the address to Agni in the second person. The idea, how- 
ever, is clear. Agni, the fire, when first lighted, is compared with 
a neighing horse, on account of the crackling noise. He is greedy 
for food as soon as he steps out of his prison, viz., from the wood 
from which fire is produced by friction, like a horse stepping 

N N 2 


Agni, thou from whom, as a new-born male, 
undying flames proceed, the brilliant smoke goes to- 
wards the sky, for as messenger thou art sent to 
the gods. 

Thou whose power spreads over the earth in a mo- 
ment when thou hast grasped food with thy jaws, 
like a dashing army thy blast goes forth ; with thy 
lambent flame thou seemest to tear up the grass. 

Him alone, the ever-youthful Agni, men groom, 
like a horse in the evening and at dawn ; they bed 
him as a stranger in his couch ; the light of Agni, 
the worshipped 1 male, is lighted. 

Thy appearance is fair to behold, thou brightfaced 
Agni, when like gold thou shinest at hand ; thy 
brightness comes like the lightning of heaven ; thou 
showest splendour like the bright sun." 

The human, and afterwards divine qualities 
ascribed to Agni arise chiefly from his character as 
messenger between gods and men, or, as high-priest, 
when he is supposed to carry the oblation to the gods. 
It is one of the most favourite themes of the Vedic 
poets, though perhaps of the modern rather than 
of the ancient, to celebrate Agni as a priest, as 
endowed with all priestly powers, and enjoying 
all the honorific titles given to the various persons 
who minister at the great sacrifices. The following 
hymns, one of Vatsa (Rv. viii. 11.), the other of 
Gotama (Rv. i. 74.), are rather simple as compared 
with others of the same class, though there are ex- 
out of his stable. Then the wind is supposed to kindle the blaze 
of the fire, and as the path of the horse is darkened by dust, the 
path of Agni is darkened by smoke. 

1 Ahuta is used in the general sense of worshipped, well at- 
tended, with special reference to a guest. Cf. Rv. i. 44. 4. 


pressions in both which indicate their more modern 

1. Thou Agni, art the guardian of sacred rites : 
thou art a god among mortals l ; thou art to be praised 
at the sacrifices. 

2. Thou strong Agni, art to be praised at the fes- 
tivals, thou who like a charioteer earnest the offerings 
to the gods. 

8. Fight and drive thou away from us the fiends, 
Jatavedas, the ungodly enemies, Agni ! 

4. Thou, Jatavedas, desirest not the offering of a 
hostile man, be it ever so nigh to thee. 

5. We mortals and sages worship the great name 
of thee, the immortal Jatavedas. 

6. We sages call the sage to help, we mortals call 
on the god for protection, we call on Agni with songs. 

7. May the poet draw thy mind even from the 
most distant abode with the song that longs for thee, 

8. Thou art the same in many places, a lord among 
all people : we call upon thee in battles. 

9. In battles we call upon thee, Agni, for help when 
we want strength ; we call in struggles upon the giver 
of precious gifts. 

10. Thou art ancient, to be praised at the sacrifices ; 
thou sittest as priest from of old and to-day. Reple- 
nish thy own body, Agni, and grant happiness to 
us ! 

1. As we go to the sacrifice let us say a song to 
Agni, to him who hears us even from afar. 

1 Might it be " deveshv a martyeshv a," " among gods and among 
men " ? 

N N 3 


2. He who, existing from of old, defended the house 
for the sacrificer when hostile tribes were gathering 

3. Let even the nations confess, " Agni was born, 
the slayer of the enemy, the winner of booty in 
every battle." 

4. He whose messenger thou art in the house, whose 
offerings thou art pleased to accept, and whose sacri- 
fice thou renderest efficient, 

5. Of him indeed, Angiras, son of strength, 
people say that his offerings are good, his gods are 
good and his altar is good. 

6. Bring hither, serene Agni, these gods, bring 
them that they may be praised, that they may accept 
the offerings. 

7. When thou, Agni, goest on a mission, the 
sound of the horses of thy moving chariot is never 

8. If protected by thee, the warrior is unabashed. 
Onward he goes, one after another, forward he steps, 
Agni, who offers oblations. 

9. Thou, bright god, bestowest with increase 
a brilliant array of heroes upon him who offers obla- 
tions to the bright gods. 1 

It is curious to watch the almost imperceptible 
transition by which the phenomena of nature, if re- 

1 Every word of this verse baffles translation. Vivasasi is not 
simply " thou bestowest," but " thou spreadest out as the sun 
spreads out his rays." Suvirya is not " an array of heroes," but 
an abstract, signifying the possession of good strength, only that 
this good strength means "the chief of all their strength," and has 
special reference to the sons and all the males born in the house. 
Dyumad, brilliant, corresponds with the verb vivasasi. Brihat 
should be taken as an adverb, signifying the ever increasing na- 
ture of the gift bestowed by Agni. 


fleeted in the mind of the poet, assume the character 
of divine beings. The dawn is frequently described 
in the Veda as it might be described by a modern 
poet. She is the friend of men, she smiles like a 
young wife, she is the daughter of the sky. She 
goes to every house, (i. 123. 4.); she thinks of the 
dwellings of men (i. 123. 1.) ; she does not despise 
the small or the great (i. 124. 6.) ; she brings wealth 
(i. 48. 1.) ; she is always the same, immortal, divine, 
(i. 124. 4.; i. 123. 8.); age cannot touch her, (i. 
113. 15.); she is the young goddess, but she makes 
men grow old, (i. 92. 11.). All this may be simply 
allegorical language. But the transition from dev% 
the bright, to dev% the goddess, is so easy; the 
daughter of the sky assumes so readily the same per- 
sonality which is given to the sky, Dyaus, her father, 
that we can only guess whether in every passage the 
poet is speaking of a bright apparition, or of a bright 
goddess ; of a natural vision, or of a visible deity. 
The following hymn of Vasishtha, (vii. 77.), will serve 
as an instance : 

" She shines upon us, like a young wife, rousing 
every living being to go to his work. The fire had 
to be kindled by men l ; she brought light by striking 
down darkness. 

She rose up, spreading far and wide, and moving 
towards every one. She grew in brightness, wearing 
her brilliant garment. The mother of the cows (of 
the morning clouds), the leader of the days, she shone 
gold-coloured, lovely to behold. 

She, the fortunate, who brings the eye of the 
god, who leads the white and lovely steed (of the 

1 The fire of the altar for the morning prayers. 

N N 4 


sun), the Dawn was seen, revealed by her rays, with 
brilliant treasures she follows every one. 

Thou, who art a blessing where thou art near, 
drive far away the unfriendly ; make the pastures 
wide, give us safety ! Remove the haters, bring 
treasures ! Raise up wealth to the worshipper, thou 
mighty Dawn. 

Shine for us with thy best rays, thou bright 
Dawn, thou who lengthenest our life, thou the love of 
all, who givest us food, who givest us wealth in cows, 
horses, and chariots. 

Thou, daughter of the sky, thou high-born Dawn, 
whom the Vasishthas magnify with songs, give us 
riches high and wide : all ye gods, protect us always 
with your blessings ! " 

This hymn addressed to the Dawn is a fair speci- 
men of the original simple poetry of the Yeda. It 
has no reference to any special sacrifice, it contains 
no technical expressions, it can hardly be called a 
hymn, in our sense of the word. It is simply a poem 
expressing, without any effort, without any display of 
far-fetched thought or brilliant imagery, the feelings 
of a man who has watched the approach of the dawn 
with mingled delight and awe, and who was moved 
to give utterance to what he felt, in measured lan- 
guage. We have heard the same thoughts and feel- 
ings expressed by so many poets, that we can hardly 
enter into the pleasure with which those early singers 
spoke their hearts out for the first time. We have 
become so accustomed to the rules of the most com- 
plicated metres that we hardly consider how mys- 
terious is that instinct which suggested to the first 
poets the extraordinary variety of rhythm which we 


find in the Veda. But there is a charm in these 
primitive strains discoverable in no other class of 
poetry. Every word retains something of its radical 
meaning, every epithet tells, every thought, in spite 
of the most intricate and abrupt expressions, is, if we 
once disentangle it, true, correct, and complete. But 
this is not the case with all the poems of the Yeda. 
It would be tedious to translate many specimens of 
what I consider the poetry of the secondary age, the 
Mantra period. These songs are generally intended for 
sacrificial purposes, they are loaded with technicalities, 
their imagery is sometimes more brilliant, but always 
less perspicuous, and many thoughts and expressions 
are clearly borrowed from earlier hymns. One speci- 
men may suffice, a hymn describing the sacrifice of 
the horse with the full detail of a superstitious cere- 
monial. (Rv. i. 162.) 

" May Mitra, Yaruna, Aryaman, Ayu, Indra, 
the Lord of the Ribhus, and the Maruts not rebuke 
us because we shall proclaim at the sacrifice the 
virtues of the swift horse sprung from the gods. 

When they lead before the horse, which is decked 
with pure gold ornaments, the offering, firmly grasp- 
ed, the spotted goat 1 bleats while walking onward ; 
it goes the path beloved by Indra and Pushan. 

This goat, destined for all the gods, is led first with 
the quick horse, as Pushan's share ; for Tvashtri him- 
self raises to glory this pleasant offering which is 
brought with the horse. 

When thrice at the proper seasons men lead around 
the sacrificial horse which goes to the gods, Pushan's 

1 The goat is the victim or the offering which is led before the 
horse, and sacrificed to Indra' and Pushan. 


share comes first, the goat, which announces the sacri- 
fice to the gods. 

Hotri, Adhvaryu, Avayaj, (Pratiprasthatri), Agni- 
mindha (Agnidhra), Gravagrabha (Gravastut), and 
the wise Sanstri (Prasastri) 1 , may you fill the streams 
(round the altar) with a sacrifice which is well pre- 
pared and well accomplished. 

They who cut the sacrificial post, and they who 
carry it, they who make the ring for the post of the 
horse, and even they who bring together what is 
cooked for the horse, may their work be with us. 

He came on (my prayer has been well per- 
formed), the bright-backed horse goes 2 to the 
regions of the gods. Wise poets celebrate him, and 
we have won a good friend for the love of the gods. 

The halter of the swift one, the heel-ropes of the 
horse, the head-ropes, the girths, the bridle, and even 
the grass that has been put into his mouth, may all 
these which belong to thee be with the gods ! 3 

What the fly eats of the flesh, what adheres to the 
stick, or to the axe, or to the hands of the immolator 
and his nails, may all these which belong to thee be 
with the gods ! 

The ordure that runs from the belly, and the 
smallest particle of raw flesh, may the immolators 
well prepare all this, and dress the sacrifice till it is 
well cooked. 

The juice that flows from thy roasted limb on the 
spit after thou hast been killed, may it not run on 

1 All names of priests. 

2 In these hymns it is sometimes difficult to say whether the 
horse be meant, or the sun, of which it is the emblem. 

3 The verb in the singular (astu) with the substantive in the 
plural (sarva) finds an analogy in Greek. 


the earth or the grass ; may it be given to the gods 
who desire it. 

They who examine the horse when it is roasted, 
they who say " it smells well, take it away," they 
who serve the distribution of the meat, may their 
work also be with us. 

The ladle of the pot where the meat is cooked, and 
the vessels for sprinkling the juice, the vessels to 
keep off the heat, the covers of the vessels, the 
skewers, and the knives, they adorn the horse. 

Where he walks, where he sits, where he stirs, the 
foot-fastening of the horse, what he drinks, and what 
food he eats, may all these which belong to thee be 
with the gods ! 

May not the fire with smoky smell make thee hiss, 
may not the glowing cauldron smell and burst. The 
gods accept the horse if it is offered to them in due 

The cover which they stretch over the horse, and 
the golden ornaments, the head-ropes of the horse, 
and the foot-ropes, all these which are dear to the 
gods, they offer to them. 

If some one strike thee with the heel or the whip 
that thou mayest lie down, and thou art snorting 
with all thy might, then I purify all this with my 
prayer, as with a spoon of clarified butter at the 

The axe approaches the thirty-four ribs of the 
quick horse, beloved of the gods. Do you wisely keep 
the limbs whole, find out each joint and strike. 

One strikes the brilliant horse, two hold it, thus is 
the custom. Those of thy limbs which I have sea- 
sonably prepared, I sacrifice in the fire as balls offered 
to the gods. 


May not thy dear soul burn thee while thou art 
corning near, may the axe not stick to thy body. 
May no greedy and unskilful immolator, missing with 
the sword, throw thy mangled limbs together. 

Indeed thou diest not thus, thou sufferest not ; thou 
goest to the gods on easy paths. The two horses of 
Indra, the two deer of the Maruts have been yoked, 
and the horse come to the shaft of the ass (of the 

May this horse give us cattle and horses, men, pro- 
geny, and all-sustaining wealth. May Aditi keep us 
free from sin ; may the horse of this sacrifice give us 
strength ! 

A comparison of the general tone of this hymn with 
that of the hymns to Varuna, Indra, and Ushas, 
translated before, can leave little doubt in the mind 
of critical historians as to its more modern cha- 
racter. We must be careful, however, not to 
judge the poetry of the ancient bards of India 
according to our own standard of what is simple 
and natural and what is not. The great im- 
portance attached to what to us seem mere trifles in 
the performance of a sacrifice would not be sufficient to 
stamp this hymn as modern. The superstitious feel- 
ing about ceremonial minutiae is natural in a primi- 
tive state of civilization, and there are numerous 
hymns in the Yeda which must' be adjudged to the 
earliest period, and where, nevertheless, we meet 
with sentiments worthy of the most advanced cere- 

The same caution is still more necessary with re- 
gard to another criterion which has been used to 
prove the modern date of certain hymns, the presence 


of philosophical ideas. It has been the custom to re- 
gard any hymn in which the nature of the deity, the 
problems of existence, the hope of immortality are 
expressed, as decidedly modern. The whole tenth 
Mandala has been assigned to a later period, chiefly 
because it contains many hymns the language of which 
approaches the philosophical diction of the Upanishads 
and of the still later systems of philosophy. This is 
a mistake. 

There is very little to guide us in forming a 
judgment of what is genuine and primitive in the 
ancient poetry of so peculiar a race as the Aryans of 
India. We have nothing to compare with the poetical 
relics of the Vedic age. Because we find in some 
hymns ideas or expressions which, in the literatures 
of other nations, such as the Jews, or Greeks and 
Romans, we have accustomed ourselves to regard as 
of comparatively modern growth, we have no right 
to conclude that they are equally modern in the 
history of the Indian mind. The Veda opens to us 
a chamber in the labyrinth of the human mind 
through which the other Aryan nations had passed long 
before they become visible to us by the light of 
history. Whatever the age of the Yeda may be, in one 
sense it is the oldest book in existence. If this col- 
lection had been written but fifty years ago, in some 
distant part of the world untouched by the general 
stream of civilisation, we should still call it more 
ancient than the Homeric poems, because it represents 
an earlier phase of human thought and feeling. Names 1 
which in Homer have become petrified and mytholo- 
gical, are to be found in the Veda as it were in a 

1 See Essai de Mythologie Comparee, traduit de 1' Anglais de 
Max Miiller, Paris, 1859, p. 47. 


still fluid state. They next appear as appellatives, 
not yet as proper names ; they are organic, not yet 
broken and smoothed down. Nor can we compare 
that earlier, lower, and more savage phase of thought 
which we find in the Veda, with what we know of 
really barbarous tribes, such as the Negroes of Africa 
or the Indians of America. For, however inferior 
to the Greeks of Homer and the Jews of Moses, 
the Aryas of the Seven Rivers are far above those 
races, and had long crossed the bounds of an un- 
conscious barbarism, when they worshipped Dyaus 
and the other bright gods of nature. 

Let us consider but a single point. We have 
accustomed ourselves to regard a belief in the 
unity of God as one of the last stages to which 
the Greek mind ascended from the depths of a 
polytheistic faith. The one unknown God was the 
final result which the pupils of Plato and Aristotle 
had arrived at when they came to listen to the strange 
teaching of St. Paul at Athens. But how can we tell 
that the course of thought was the same in India ? By 
what right do we mark all hymns as modern in which 
the idea of one God breaks through the clouds of a 
polytheistic phraseology ? The belief in a Supreme 
God, in a God above all gods, may in the abstract 
seem later than the belief in many gods. Yet let one 
poet but once perceive how he is drawn towards the 
Divine by the same feelings that draw him towards 
his father, let such a poet in his simple prayer but 
once utter, though it be thoughtlessly, the words, 
" My father," and the dreary desert through which 
philosophy marches step by step, is crossed at a single 
bound. We must not compare the Aryan and the 
Semitic races. Whereas the Semitic nations relapsed 


from time to time into polytheism, the Aryans of 
India seem to have relapsed into Monotheism. In 
both cases these changes were not the result of a 
gradual and regular progress, but of individual 
impulses and peculiar influences. I do not think, 
therefore, that the mere occurrence of monotheistic 
ideas, and of other large philosophical conceptions, 
is sufficient to stamp any class of hymns as of modern 
date. A decided preponderance of such ideas, coupled 
with other indications in the character of the lan- 
guage, might make us hesitate before we used such 
as witnesses for the Chhandas period. But there is 
a monotheism that precedes the polytheism of the 
Veda, and even in the invocations of their innumer- 
able gods the remembrance of a God, one and infinite, 
breaks through the mist of an idolatrous phraseology, 
like the blue sky that is hidden by passing clouds. 

There is a hymn of peculiar interest in the tenth 
Mandala, full of ideas which to many would seem 
to necessitate the admission of a long antecedent period 
of philosophical thought. There we find the conception 
of a beginning of all things, and of a state previous 
even to all existence. " Nothing that is, was then," the 
poet says; and he adds, with a boldness matched 
only by the Eleatic thinkers of Greece, or by Hegel's 
philosophy, " even what is not (to [myj ov), did not 
exist then." He then proceeds to deny the existence 
of the sky and of the firmament, and yet, unable to 
bear the idea of an unlimited nothing, he exclaims, 
" What was it that hid or covered the existing ? " 
Thus driven on, and asking two questions at once, 
with a rapidity of thought which the Greek and the 
Sanskrit languages only can follow, he says, " What 
was the refuge of what?" After this metaphysical flight, 


the poet returns to the more substantive realities of 
thought, and, throwing out a doubt, he continues, 
"Was water the deep abyss, the chaos, which swallowed 
everything?" Then his mind, turning away from na- 
ture, dwells upon man and the problem of human 
life. " There was no death," he says, and, with a logic 
which perhaps has never been equalled, he subjoins, 
" therefore was there nothing immortal." Death, to 
his mind, becomes the proof of immortality. One 
more negation, and he has done. " There was no 
space, no life, and lastly, there was no time, no 
difference between day and night, no solar torch by 
which morning might have been told from evening." 
All these ideas lie imbedded in the simple words, " Na 
ratrya ahna asit praketah." Now follows his first 
assertion : " That One," he says, and he uses no other 
epithet or qualification " That One breathed breath- 
less by itself: other than it nothing since has been." 
This expression, " it breathed breathless" seems to 
me one of the happiest attempts at making lan- 
guage reflect the colourless abstractions of the 
mind. ' That One," the poet says, "breathed, and 
lived; it enjoyed more than mere existence; yet 
its life was not dependent on anything else, as our 
life depends on the air which we breathe. It breathed 
breathless." Language blushes at such expressions, 
but her blush is a blush of triumph. 

After this the poet plunges into imagery. " Dark- 
ness there was, and all at first was veiled in gloom 
profound, as ocean- without light." No one has ever 
found a truer expression of the Infinite, breathing 
and heaving within itself, than the ocean in- a dark 
night, without a star, without a torch. It would 
have been easy to fill out the picture, and a modern 


writer would have filled it out. The true poet, how- 
ever, says but a single word, and, at his spell, pictures 
arise within our own mind, full of a reality beyond 
the reach of any art. 

But now this One had to be represented as grow- 
ing as entering into reality and here again nature 
must supply a similitude to the poet. As yet, the 
real world existed only as a germ, hidden in a husky 
shell ; now, the poet represents the one substance as 
borne into life by its own innate heat. The beginning 
of the world was conceived like the spring of nature ; 
one miracle was explained by another. But, even 
then, this Being, or this nature, as conceived by the 
poet, was only an unconscious substance, without will 
and without change. The question how there was 
generation in nature, was still unanswered. Another 
miracle had to be appealed to, in order to explain the 
conscious act of creation : this miracle was Love, as 
perceived in the heart of men. " Then first came love 
upon it," the poet continues, and he defines love, not 
only as a natural, but as a mental impulse. Though he 
cannot say what love is, yet he knows that all will 
recognise what he means by love, a power which 
arises from the unsearchable depths of our nature, 
making us feel our own incompleteness, and draw- 
in <r us, half-conscious, half-unconscious, towards that 
far off and desired something, through which alone 
our life seems to become a reality. This is the 
analogy which was wanted to explain the life of nature, 
which he knew was more than mere existence. The 
One Being which the poet had postulated was neither 
self-sufficient nor dead: a desire fell upon it, a 
spring of life, manifested in growth of every kind. 
After the manifestation of this desire or will, all 

o o 


previous existence seemed to be unreal, a mere 
nothing as compared with the fullness of genuine life. 
A substance without this life, without that infinite 
desire of production and reproduction, could hardly 
be said to exist. It was a bare abstract concep- 
tion. Here, then, the poet imagines he has discovered 
the secret of creation, the transition of the nothing 
into the something, the change of the abstract into 
the concrete. Love was to him the beginning of real 
reality, and he appeals to the wise of old, who dis- 
covered in love, "the bond between created things 
and uncreated." What follows is more difficult to 
understand. We hardly know into what new sphere 
of thought the poet enters. The growth of nature 
has commenced, but where was it ? Did the piercing 
ray of light come from below, or from above ? This 
is the question which the poet asks, but to which he 
returns no answer, for he proceeds at once to describe 
the presence of male and female powers, nor is it 
likely that what follows, " svadha avastat, prayatih 
parastat," is meant as an answer to the preceding 
inquiry. The figure which represents the creation 
as a ray entering the realm of darkness from the 
realm of light, occurs again at a much later time in 
the system of Manichaeism 1 , but like all attempts at 
clothing transcendental ideas in the imagery of 
human thought, it fails to convey any tangible or in- 
telligible impression. This our poet also seems to 
have felt, for he exclaims " Who indeed knows ? Who 
proclaimed it here, whence, whence this creation was 
produced ? The gods were later than its production, 
therefore who knows whence it came ? " And now a 

1 Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde, iii. p. 409. 


new thought dawns in the mind of the Rishi, a thought 
for which we were not prepared, and which ap- 
parently contradicts the whole train of argu- 
ment or meditation that preceded. Whereas hitherto 
the problem of existence was conceived as a mere 
evolution of one substance, postulated by human 
reasoning, the poet now speaks of an Adhyaksha, an 
overseer, a contemplator, who resides in the highest 
heavens. He, he says, knows it. And why ? Because 
this creation came from hiin, whether he made it or 
not. The poet asserts the fact that this overseer is 
the source of creation, though he shrinks from deter- 
mining the exact process, whether he created from 
himself, or from nothing, or from matter existing 
by itself. Here the poet might have stopped ; but 
there are yet four more words of extreme perplexity 
which close the poem. They may be interpreted 
in two ways. They either mean " Or does he not 
know ? " and this would be a question of defiance ad- 
dressed to all who might doubt his former assertion ; 
or they mean " Or he knows not," and this would be 
a confession of doubt on the part of the poet, startling 
perhaps after the firm assertion of his belief in this 
one overseer and creator, yet not irreconcilable with 
that spirit of timidity, displayed in the words, " whe- 
ther he made it himself or not," which shrinks from 
asserting anything on a point where human reason, 
left to herself, can only guess and hope, and, if it ven- 
ture on words, say in last resort, " Behold, we know 
not anything." 

I subjoin a metrical translation of this hymn, which 
I owe to the kindness of a friend : 

o o *2 


"Nor aught nor naught existed ; yon bright sky 
Was not, nor heaven's broad woof outstretched above. 
What covered all ? what sheltered? what concealed ? 
Was it the water's fathomless abyss? 
There was not death hence was there naught immortal, 
There was no confine betwixt day and night; 
The only One breathed breathless in itself, 
Other than it there nothing since has been. 
Darkness there was, and all at first was veiled 
In gloom profound, an ocean without light. 
The germ that still lay covered in the husk 
Burst forth, one nature, from the fervent heat. 
Then first came Love upon it, the new spring 
Of mind yea, poets in their hearts discerned, 
Pondering, this bond between created things 
And uncreated. Comes this spark from earth, 
Piercing and all-pervading, or from heaven ? 
Then seeds were sown, and mighty power arose 
Nature below, and Power and Will above. 
Who knows the secret ? who proclaimed it here, 
Whence, whence this manifold creation sprang ? 
The gods themselves came later into being. 
Who knows from whence this great creation sprang? 
He from whom all this great creation came. 
Whether his will created or was mute, 
The Most High seer that is in highest heaven, 
He knows it, or perchance e'en He knows not. 

Many of the thoughts expressed in this hymn will, 
to most readers, appear to proceed rather from a 
school of mystic philosophers than from a simple and 
primitive clan of shepherds and colonists. Medita- 
tions on the mysteries of creation are generally 
considered a luxury which no society can indulge in 
before ample provision has been made for the lower 
cravings of human nature ; such is no doubt the case 
in modern times. Philosophers arise after the se- 
curity of a state has been established, after wealth has 
been acquired and accumulated in certain families, 


after schools and universities have been founded, and 
a taste created for those literary pursuits which, even 
in the most advanced state of civilisation, must neces- 
sarily be confined to but a small portion of our ever- 
toiling community. Metaphysics, whether in the form 
of poetry or prose, are, and always have been, 
the privilege of a limited number of independent 
thinkers, and thoughts like those which we find in 
this ancient hymn, though clothed in a form of ar- 
gument more in accordance with the requirements 
of our age, would fail to excite any interest except 
among the few who have learnt to delight in the 
speculations of a Plato, a Tauler, or a Coleridge. 
But it would be false to transfer our ideas to the 
early periods of oriental life. First of all, the merely 
physical wants of a people living in the rich plains of 
India were satisfied without great exertions. Second- 
ly, such was the simplicity of their life, that nothing 
existed which could absorb the energies of the most 
highly gifted among them. Neither war, nor politics, 
nor arts, opened a field for the exercise of genius, and 
for the satisfaction of a legitimate ambition. Nor 
should it be forgotten that, in the natural course of 
human life, there is after all nothing that appeals with 
greater force to our deepest interests than the problem 
of our existence, of our beginning and our end, of our 
dependence on a Higher Power, and of our yearnings 
for a better life. With us these key-notes of human 
thought are drowned in the din of our busy society. 
Artificial interests have supplanted the natural desires 
of the human heart. Nor less should we forget how 
in these later ages most of us have learnt from the 
history of the past that our reason, in spite of her 
unextinguishable aspirations, consumes this life in a 


prison the walls of which she cannot pierce, and where 
we only see light by lifting our eyes on high. All 
this was different in ancient times, and particularly 
among a people so remarkably gifted for philosophical 
abstraction as the Hindus. Long before they began 
to care for the laws of nature, the return of the 
seasons, the course of the stars, or any other scien- 
tific or practical subject, their thoughts were fixed on 
the one great and ever recurring question, What am I ? 
What does all this world around me mean ? Is there 
a cause, is there a creator a God ? or is it all illusion, 
chance, and fate ? Again and again the Rishis ex- 
press their doubts, and the one knowledge which they 
value as wonderful and excellent is the knowledge of 
ra fAsyio-TOL. It cannot be right to class every poem and 
every verse in which mystic or metaphysical specu- 
lations occur as modern, simply because they resemble 
the language of the Upanishads. These Upanishads 
did not spring into existence on a sudden : like 
a stream which has received many a mountain 
torrent, and is fed by many a rivulet, the literature 
of the Upanishads proves, better than anything else, 
that the elements of their philosophical poetry came 
from a more distant fountain. The evidence of lan- 
guage is the most decisive for settling the relative 
age of Yedic hymns ; and the occurrence of such a 
word as tadanim, then, is more calculated to rouse 
doubts as to the early date of this hymn than the 
most abstruse metaphysical ideas which may be 
discovered in it. Hymns like that ascribed to 
Dirghatamas (i. 164.) contain, no doubt, many 
verses full of the most artificial conceptions, the lucu- 
brations rather of conceited dreamers than of simple 
and original thinkers. But even in those large collec- 


tive poems there are lines which look like relics of a 
better age, and bear the stamp of true and genuine 
feeling. Thus we read in the 37th verse : " I know 
not what this is that I am like ; turned inward I walk, 
chained in my mind. , When the first-born of time 
comes near me, then I obtain the portion of this 

In the 30th verse of the same hymn we read: 
" Breathing lies the quick-moving life, heaving, yet 
firm, in the midst of its abodes. The living one 
walks through the powers of the dead : the immortal 
is the brother of the mortal." Sometimes when these 
oracular sayings have been pronounced, the poet 
claims his due. " One who had eyes," he says, " saw 
it ; the blind will not understand it. A poet, who is 
a boy, he has perceived it ; he who understands it 
will be the father of his father." 

In the same hymn one verse occurs which boldly 
declares the existence of but one Divine Being, though 
invoked under different names. (Rv. i. 164. 46.) 
" They call (him) Indra, Mitra, Yaruna, Agni; then 
he is the well- winged heavenly Garutmat; that which 
is One the wise call it many ways ; they call it 
Agni, Yama, Matarisvan." Many of these verses 
have been incorporated in the Upanishads, and 
are there explained by later sophists who wish to 
represent them as a guarantee for the scholastic 
doctrines of the Yedanta philosophy. It was in the 
Upanishads and in the Sutras of Vyasa that most 
Sanskrit scholars became first acquainted with these 
quotations from the Veda, and hence, even after they 
had been discovered in their original place in the 
hymns of the Rig-veda-sanhita, a prejudice remained 
against their antiquity. The ideas which they ex- 


pressed were supposed to be of too abstract a nature 
for the uneducated poets of the Yedic age. I am 
far from defending the opinion of those who main- 
tained the existence of a school of priests and philo- 
sophers in the remotest ages .of the world, and who 
discovered the deepest wisdom in the religious mys- 
teries and mythological traditions of the East. But 
the reaction which these extravagant theories has pro- 
duced goes too far, if every thought which touches on 
the problems of philosophy is to be marked indis- 
criminately as a modern forgery, if every conception 
which reminds us of Moses, Plato, or the Apostles, is 
to be put down as necessarily borrowed from Jewish, 
Greek or Christian sources, and foisted thence into the 
collections of the ancient poetry of the Hindus. 

There is what Leibnitz called perennis qucodam 
philosophia, a search after truth which was not con- 
fined to the schools of priests or philosophers. Its 
language, no doubt, is less exact than that of an 
Aristotle, its tenets are vague, and the light which it 
sheds on the dark depths of human thought resembles 
more the sheet-lightning of a sombre evening, than 
the bright rays of a cloudless sunrise. Yet there is 
much to be learnt by the historian and the philosopher 
from these ancient guesses at truth; and we should 
not deprive ourselves of the new sources which have 
so unexpectedly been opened for studying the his- 
tory of man, fearful and wonderful as his structure, 
by casting wanton doubts on all that conflicts with our 
own previous conclusions. I add only one more hymn, 
in which the idea of one God is expressed with such 
power and decision, that it will make us hesitate 
before we deny to the Aryan nations an instinctive 
Monotheism. (Rv x. 121.) 


" In the beginning there arose the Source of golden 
light He was the only born Lord of all that is. He 
stablished the earth, and this sky; Who is the God 
to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

He who gives life, He who gives strength ; whose 
blessing all the bright gods desire ; whose shadow is 
immortality; whose shadow is death; Who is the 
God to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

He who through His power is the only King of 
the breathing and awakening world; He who go- 
verns all, man and beast ; Who is the God to whom 
we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

He whose power these snowy mountains, whose 
power the sea proclaims, with the distant river He 
whose these regions are as it were His two arms; 
Who is the God to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

He through whom the sky is bright and the earth 
firm He through whom the heaven was stablished 
nay, the highest heaven He who measured out the 
light in the air; Who is the God to whom we shall 
offer our sacrifice ? 

He to whom heaven and earth, standing firm by 
His will, look up, trembling inwardly He over whom 
the rising sun shines forth ; Who is the God to whom 
we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

Wherever the mighty water-clouds went, where 
they placed the seed and lit the fire, thence arose He 
who is the only life of the bright gods; Who is the 
God to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

He who by His might looked even over the water- 
clouds, the clouds which gave strength and lit the sa- 
crifice, He who is God above all gods ; Who is the 
God to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

May He not destroy us He the creator of the 

p p 


earth ; or He, the righteous, who created the heaven ; 
He who also created the bright and mighty waters ; 
Who is the God to whom we shall offer our sacrifice?" 

There is nothing to prove that this hymn is of a 
particularly ancient date. On the contrary, there 
are expressions in it, especially the name of Hiran- 
yagarbha, which seem to belong to a later age. But 
even if we assign the lowest possible date to this and 
similar hymns, certain it is that they existed during 
the Mantra period, and before the composition of 
the Brahmanas ; certain it is that every verse and 
every syllable was counted in the Anukramanis of the 
Sutra period. With our received notions on the 
history of the human mind it may be difficult to 
account for facts like these ; but facts must not be 
made to evaporate in order to maintain a theory. 
The difficulty, such as it is, will be felt by all who 
think seriously and honestly on these problems. 
But it is better to state this difficulty than to conceal 
it. Even if we assign all philosophical hymns to the 
last years of the Mantra period, we have to account, 
in the 9th century B.C., for thoughts which, like the 
stems of forest trees, disclose circles within circles, 
almost impossible to count. There are hymns which 
are decidedly modern if compared with others : 
but if the most modern be ascribed to the Man- 
tra period, what must be the date of the earliest 
relics of the Chhandas age ? There can be little 
doubt, for instance, that the 90th hymn 1 of the 10th 
book, a hymn which is likewise found in the 31st 

1 A very careful discussion on this hymn, together with its 
text, translation, various readings and notes, is to be found in Dr. 
John Muir's " Original Sanskrit Texts/' pp. 6 11. 


book of the Vajasaneyi-sanhita, and in the 19th 
book of the Atharva-veda, is modern both in its 
character and in its diction. It is full of allusions to 
the sacrificial ceremonials, it uses technical philoso- 
phical terms, it mentions the three seasons in the 
order of Yasanta, spring, Grishma, summer, and 
Sarad, autumn ; it contains the only passage in the 
Rig-veda where the four castes are enumerated. 
The evidence of language for the modern date of 
this composition is equally strong.- Grishma, for 
instance, the name for the hot season, does not 
occur in any other hymn of the Rig-veda; and 
Vasanta also, the name of spring, does not belong 
to the earliest vocabulary of the Yedic poets. It 
occurs but once more in the Rig-veda x. 161. 4., in 
a passage where the three seasons are mentioned in 
the order of Sarad, autumn, Hemanta, winter, and 
Vasanta, spring. But in spite of all the indications 
of a modern date, this hymn, if our argument holds 
good, must have existed before the beginning of the 
Brahmana period. I see no possibility how we could 
account for the allusions to it which occur in the 
Brahmanas, or for its presence in the Sanhitas of the 
Vajesaneyins and Atharvans, unless we admit that 
this poem formed part of the final collection of the 
Rig-veda-sanhita, the work of the Mantra period. 
There are no traces anywhere of hymns having been 
added after that collection was closed, except in the case 
of the Khilas, and no secret is ever made as to their 
spurious character. Oriental scholars are frequently 
suspected of a desire to make the literature of the 
eastern nations appear more ancient than it is. As 
to myself, I can truly say that nothing would be to 
me a more welcome discovery, nothing would remove 


so many doubts and difficulties, as some suggestion as 
to the manner in which certain of the Vedic hymns 
could have been added to the original collection 
during the Brahmana or Sutra periods, or, if 
possible, by the writers of our MSS., of which most 
are not older than the 15th century. But these 
MSS., though so modern, are checked by the Anu- 
kramanis. Every hymn which stands in our MSS. 
is counted in the Index of Saunaka, who is ante- 
rior to the invasion of Alexander. The Sutras, 
belonging to the same period as Saunaka, prove the 
previous existence of every chapter of the Brah- 
manas : and I doubt whether there is a single hymn 
in the Sanhit& of the Rig-veda which could not be 
checked by some passage of the Brahmanas and 
Sutras. The chronological limits assigned to the 
Sutra and Brahmana periods will seem to most 
Sanskrit scholars too narrow rather than too wide, 
and if we assign but 200 years to the Mantra period, 
from 800 to 1000 B.C., and an equal number to the 
Chhandas period, from 1000 to 1200 B.C., we can do 
so only under the supposition that during the early 
periods of history the growth of the human mind 
was more luxuriant than in later times, and that the 
layers of thought were formed less slowly in the 
primary than in the tertiary ages of the world. 





The upper line shows the various readings of the SankMyana-sutras. 

1 Some MSS. accent these verses. There are no types to render 
these accents in print. 

Q Q 


^n^rrr ^^ TTTf^r^rt ?g^T^p fa<s^rr:ii^i! 

1 Mitakshara I. p, 6 b . 1. 6. has ^J. 


<TOf ipRTT T$&T Jll^ TfTf% *TT^II^II 

d^i'^i ^tt^t wif?t ^r^t 3?T*ra g^r: i 

NJ >S* 

rf^TTxf i^Y *TTfTt WIT ^Tf^C^f?r II \ II ' 

?nSfa f*rg*r ^tf^ii 

deest. . 

?j xraijf^ trufr ^rf f% ^ wr^ *nnf Tfa fa^*raf?r 11 ^ii 


1 The Sankhayana-siitras place verse 11 before verse 10. 
Q Q 2 


ft Tt?T^ fair 3 ^ *TO3IW ^TT^^fft * TfaT* ^"T 
% WlTfTT ^TT^mS^ * WT H^fft t^T *^ *ito- 
?TT*ro c5TT *T5TT Tfft fT^ffT fUS ^ ^rTT ^f^\ f} 


*Nr^ TTPTrf Tfar^ ^Wt 3 JTTlfrsjW TTR^ffT 

^t ^ 

^TCI WT^ ^wY ^T^rf W TtTT ^% ^ ^ 

Q Q 3 



1 The &ankhayana-sutras place the verses of Indra in a different 
order: 1, 3, 4, 2, 5, and add a sixth verse at the end. 


Q Q 4 


Prefer sn^ti ^r *nm w ^jtt *rts^t*m 

rfT^T qftff Tpr ^T^fTTTW^CW II \- II 

#T^rf%^fw^r3iT5rr ^nftrr^i^ ^^rer 

^ vEfli deest. 


deest. deest. 

era ^ tttt ^*rr w cprtttc ^swrgr^rw^ * 



*i^rre sjruw: ^f^nl^t ^w ^wrs wt *qtt 

Tra^i ^rw^ri t^tts cWfnrftra^ff^ w? trej- 



rT^RT ^ttsktt^ f^ w^rnftrrre M4(ii*fii^ f^axf%fnr 



* * 3 


^ Ti*m. 

f%rw^ j^ rrfrrm JTrffare n^frz; tu% rrfi^ 

^T* II ^ H fl^ff^ST ^3^3 ^TS^T^: WT^rfv- 

_fowrTT$ ^fTfa:^rr^ftr: wt- 


^ % 

* <3 



*rfT^r?Y?TTwr: ^Tf% *rTfaf?rii ^ Tfar^ sj^nipfts 



HT fTTrf rptfci tJT^ *Wl *TCT Uftl fRC^ f%*?? 7J>4 
II ^8 II *ffa 

3^1 ^ciiRi<^: ^M^i rR iprrrrfafffi ^ Tfar^ 


^T^:i ^"V^ ^Trrr: mI #^re^^vrfaf?riivsii 

$f^T rn^^T^^FTFsn TOT ^T^fn <T H?f 

w: pj: TT deest . *fw t^ *Wf- 
s^rr: g^n ir^t: gf^rCT *rf?taT T^t^T *rwr 

wamT *tv *r^: farTT 

m\\i\\ n % tot 

Y^f^FR ^ % jprc: tra^^mt fMcit *?f%^i ^ 






Abharadvasu, 385. 
Abhidharma, 83. 
Abhigarapagarau, 470. 
Abhijnanaprasthana, 302. 
Abhimanyu, 243. 
Abhuti Tvashtra, 440. 
Abhryadi-rauhinanta, 356. 
Achara, 100. 133. 
Achbavaka, 450. 468. 
Adbhuta-brahmana, 347. 
Adhikara, 73. 
Adhvaryu, 122. 173. seq., 177. 

seq., 430. 449. seq. 469. seq. 490. 
Adhvaryu-brahmana, 190. 
Adhyaya (R. V.), 220. 
Adhyeti, 308. seq. 
Aditya, 329. 421. 442. 452. 541. 
Adityanam ayanam, 177. 
Agasti, 385. 
Agastayah, 385. 
Agastya, 385. 463. 
Aggramen, 278. 
Aghamarshanah, 384. 
Aghamarshana, 384. 
Agni, 60. 390. seq., 414. 421. 

436. 444. 449. 452. 533. 547. 

Agnibhu Kasyapa, 444. 
Agnichayana, 355. 
Agni Idhma, 464. 
Agnidhra, 450. 469. 
Agnirahasya, 359. 
Agnishtoma, 176. 355. 
Agnihotra, 354. 392. 422. seq. 470. 
Agnivesya, 142. 438. 

& R R 

Agnivesyayana, 142. 

Agnyadhana, 28. 

Agnyadheyamantras, 354. 

Agnyupasthana, 354. 

Agrayana, 142. 


Ahavaniya, 203. 

Ahina, 210, 470. 

Ahuti, 393. 

Ahvaraka, 137. 142. 369. (var. 

lee. Ahur. Hvar.) 
Aindineya, 370. 
Aitareya-aranyaka, 153. 177. 335. 

Aitareya-brahmana, 177. 347. 357. 
l. (extract) (i. 1-1-6.) 390405. 

(n. 19.) 58. (v. 14.) 423. seq. 
Aitareya-upanishad, 325. 
Aitareyi-sakha, 183. 193. 
Aitihya, 108. 
Ajamilha, 383. 
Ajah (gotra), 384. 
Ajatasatru, 296. 
Ajigarta, 412. seq. 
Ajya 384. (sacrificial) 393. 
Akhyana, 40. seq. 
Akhyata, 161." 
Akshara, 160. 341. 307. 324. 
Alambayini-putra, 441. 
Alambin, 364. 
Alambi-putra, 441. 
Alexander, 25. 29. 275. 
Amala, 380. 

Amavasya 6and., 436. 443. 
Ambarisha, 383. 
Ambhini, 437. 442. 
Anandaja Chandhan., 443. 



Andhra, 418. 

Andhra, 324. 

Andomatis, 333. 

Anga (country), 57. (alphabet), 

Angas, the Vedangas, 198. 
Angiras, 53. 328. 450. (race) 232. 

Angirasam-ayanam, 177. 
Angirasa (gotra), 381. seq. (pra- 
a vara), 381. 
Angirasa-veda, 448. 
Angis, 328. 
Anjahsava, 416. 
Ansu Dhananjayya, 436. 443. 
'A^rw^v/xta, 161. 
Anubrahmana, 364. 
Anudruta (alphabet), 518. 
Anukramani, 215229. 
Anukramani of the Atharvana> 

Anukramani of the Atreyi-sakha, 

Anukramani of the Madhyandina- 

sakha, 226. 
Anuktamantrakathanam, 356. 
Anumana, 108. 
Anupada-sutra, 108. 210. 
Anushtubh, 68. 222. 401. 
Anustotra-sutra, 210. 
Anupa, 380. 
Anuvachana, 407. 
Anuvaka, 220. 223. 
Anuvaka-anukramani, 217. 
Anuvaka-sankhya, 253. 255. 
Anuvritti, 73. 
Anuvyakhya, 110. 177. 
Anyatareya, 142. 
Apadya ishtayah, 224. 
Apastamba-bralimana, 195. 
Apastamba-kalpa-sutra, 194. 199. 
Apastamba-samayacharika, 100 
^ 105.207. 
Apastamba-samayacharika -blia- 

shya, 380. 
Apastambins, 223. 370. 
Apisali, 142. 
Apnavana, 380. 
Apri-sukta, 463466. 

Arala Dharteya 6aun., 444. 
Aranyakas, 100. 147. 153. 313 

Arbuda Kadravey , 39. 
Archabhin, 364. 
Archananasa, 383. 
Arddhachandra, 508. 
Arddharcha, 341. 
Arhat, 91.261. 

'Apidfiog kviKog, Tr\r)QvvTiKQQ } 163. 
Aristarchos, 161. 
Aristotle, 161. seq. 
Arjuna, 44. seq. 
Arkin, 489. 
Arrian, 277. 333. 
Arsham (Naigeyanara rikshv), 
a 227. 

Arshanukramanij 218. 
Arsheya, 386. ' 

Arsheya-brahmana, 177. 226. seq. 
Arshtishena, 380. 
Artabhagi-putra, 441. 
Arthavada, 89. seq. 93. 170. 343. 

" Apdpa, 161. 
Aruna, 442. 
Aruna-sakha, 97. 
Arunaketukacliiti, 224. 
Arunaparaji (kalpah), 364. 
Arunin, 364. 

Aryamabhuti Kalabava, 443. 
Aryamaradha Gobhila, 443. 
Aryan (race), 12 15. 
Asat, 324. 
Asamati, 486. 
Asanga Playogi, 494. 
Ashtakah, 384. 
Ashthalakatha, 370. 
Ashtadhyayi, 359. 
Ashti, 222. 
Asita, 463. 
Asita, 384. 
Asita Dhanvana, 39. 
Asitamriga, 487. 
Asita Varshagana, 442. 
Asura, 39. 230. ' 
Asuravidya, 39. 
Asura- veda, 451. 
Asurayana, 373. 439. 442. 



Asuri, 439. 442. 
Asmarntha (kalpa), 184. 
Atoka, 35. 260. seq. 270. seq. 

281. 295. 530. 
Asoka-vardhana, 297. 
Asvalayana, 97. 233. seq. 337. 

a 458. 
Asvalayana-brahmana, 180. 194. 

a 347. 

Asvahiyana-charana, 369. 
Asvalayana- grihya - parisishta, 

a 252. 
Asvalayana-grihya-sutra, 42. seq. 

a 201. seq. 
Asvalayana-kalpa-sutra, 180. 193. 

a 199. 
As v al ayana-kalpa-sutra-bhashy a , 

a 380. 
Asvalayana - sakhokta - mantra - 

sanhita, 474. 
Asvamedha, 355. 357. 
Asvamitra, Gobhila, 443. 
Asvinau, 414. 440. 
Atharvan, 328. 451. 
Atharvana, 445. seq. 
Atharvangiras (race), 445. 450. 
Atharvan Daiva, 440. 
Atharva-veda, 122. 445. seq. 
Atharva-veda-anukramani, 228. 
Atharva-veda-brahmana, 445 

Atharva-veda-charana, 374. seq. 
Atharva-veda-jyc-tisha, 214. 
Atharva-veda-kalpa, 199. 
Atharva-veda-parisishta, 253. 
Atharva-veda-pratisakhya, 139. 
Atidhanvan 6aunaka, 444. 
Atijagati, 222. 
Atidhriti, 148. 222. 
Atirat'ra, 177. 
Atisakvari, 222. 
Atithyeshti, 355. 
Atkila, 383. 
Atkila, 384. 

Atman, 19. 2024. 323. 
Atmananda, 240. 
Atrayah, 383. 
Atri, 42. 92. 340. 
Atreya, 137. 142. 383. 438. seq. 

Atreya-sakha, 53. 222. seq. 
Atreyi-putra, 441. 
Atthakatha, 281. 294. 
Atyashti, 148. 222. 
Auchathya, 381. 
Audala, 383. 
Audaviihi, 205. 438. 
Auclheya, 372. (var. lee. Aukhya, 

Add ha, Ugheya). 
Audumbarayana, 142. 
Aukhiya, 233. 364. 371. (var. Ice. 

Aukshya, Ausheya, Aukhya). 
Aulapin, 364. 
Aupajandhani, 439. 
Aupamanyava, 142. 370. 
Aupasana, 470. 
Aupasivi, 142. 
Aumavabha, 142. 438. 
Aurva, 92. 380. 
Ausija, 382. 
Avabritha, 416. 
Avadanasataka, 246. 
Avasathya, 203. 
Avatika, 372. 
Avatsara, 384. 
Avyakrita, 324. 
Ayasya, 413. 440. 488. 
Ayasya, 381. 
Ayushtoma, 177. 
Ayuta,' 395. 


Babhravya, 142. 
Badeyi-putra, 440 
Badhryasva, 381. 
Bagavedam, 5. 
Bahvricha-brabmana, 76. seq. 

Bahvricha-parisishta, 252. 
Bahvricha-upanishad, 323. 
Baida, 380. 
Baladera, 261. 
Balakosha, 156. 
Banga, 268. (alphabet), 518. 
Bandhu, 486. 
Barhadukthya, 382. 
Barhaspatya, 382. 

r r i> 



Barygaza, 30. 

Bashkala-sakha, 118. 180. 188. 

220. 369. 
Baudhayana-grihya-sutra, 201. 

Baudhayana-kalpa-sutra, 1 94. 1 99. 
Baudhayanlya-brahmana, 353. 
Baudheya, 372. (var. lee. Augh., 

Baudhi-putra, 441. 
Bhadhaula, 381. 
Bhadra-kalpa, 302. 
Bhadrasara, 297. 
Bhadrasena, 281. 
Bhagavata-purtma, 5. 
Bhagurikosha, 156. 
Bhagurin, 219. 
Bhaimayavah, 383. 
Bhallavin, 193. 364. 
Bhaluki putra, 441. 
Bhanumat Aupamanyava, 443. 
Bharadvaja, 42. 230. 340. 382. 

Bharadvajagnivesyah, 382. 
Bharadvaja, 137. 142. 382. 439. 
Bharadvaja-grihya-sutra, 201. 
Bharadvaja-kalpa-sutra, 194. 199. 
Bliaradvajins, 370. 
Bharadvaji -putra, 440. seq. 
Bharata, 92. 
Bharata (epic poem), 42. seq. 45. 

(race), 44. 46. 
Bhargava, 380. seq. 
Bharmyasva, 382. 
Bhasha, 151. 
Bhashya, 138. 
Bhattabhaskaramisra, 240. 
Bhattacharyas, 93. 
Bbaumadeva (alphabet), 518. 
Bhavatrata ^ayasthi, 443. 
Bhiraa, 44. 
Bhishaja, 38. 
Bhudeva, 82. 

Bhuraimitra (var.^c.-putra), 296. 
Bhutayajna, 93. 
Bhrigu, 17. 54. 231. 380. 451. 
Bidah, 381. 
Bindiisara, 271. 294. 
Brahmacharin, 202. 204. 

Brabma-karika, 231. 
Brahma-veda, 445. seq. 
Brahmavriddhi Chhandogam.443. 
Brahman, 28. 55. 60. 321. 328. 

436. 440. 442: 444. 
Brahman (race), 207. seq. 405. 
Brahman (priests), 122. 446. seq. 

450. 469. 487. 
Brahmanism, 32 35. 82. seq. 

Brahmana, 7577. 78. 170. 186. 

116. 106108. 110. 163. 186. 

(names), 360 364. (period), 

Brahmana-charana, 189 193. 

365.. seq. 
Brahmanachhansin, 450. 469. 
Brahmanda, 41. 
Brahmapalasa, 375. 
Brahmayajna, 93. 356. 458. 
Bribu, 494. 
Brihadaranyaka, 110. 325. 329. 

'seq. (extract), 22 25. 
Brihaddevata, 217 219. 
Brihadratha, 295. 
Brihadukthah, 382. 
Brihadvasu Gobhila, 443. 
Brihaspati, 130. 487. 
Brihaspati 6ayasthi, 443. 
Brihati, 222. 402. 
Buddha (&akya Muni), 32 35. 

78. seq. 82. seq. 88. 102. 260. 

285. 317. seq. (Smriti), 89.91. 

(date), 263273. 298. seq. 
Buddhism, 32 35. 82. seq. 260. 

Buddhistic chronology, 263 273. 
Buddhistic councils, 260. 271. 

Buddhistic revelation, 84 86. 


Ceylon ese era, 35. 268. 
Ceylonese chronologists, 264. 267. 

Chakravarti, 261. 
Chakravarmana, 142. 



Chamasadhvaryu, 449. 
Chanakko, (Chanakya) 281. 286. 

29]. 294. seq.' 
Chanasita, 405. 
Chando, 289. 

Chandragupta, 242. 271. 279. 
Chandramas, 449. 
Charaka-sakha, 191. 225. 350. 

364. 369. 
Charana, 121. 125127. 130. 182. 

187198. 368378. 
Charana, 125. seq. 
Charanavidya, 375. 
Charanavyuha, 250. seq. 367. 
Charaniya-sakha, 225. 
Charayaniya, 369. 
Charmasiras, 142. 
Charu, 392. 
Charvaka, 91. 
Chaturmasya, 355. 470. 
Chaturatra, 92. 
Chaturhotra, 224. 
Chagalakshanam, 253. 
Chhagaleyin, 370. (var. lee, Chai- 

keya, Chhageya). 
Chhandas, 147149. (period), 

Chhandoga-brahmana, 176. 347. 

Chhandoga-parisishta, 251. 253. 
Chhandoga priests', 173. 430. 

445. seq. 
Chhandogya-upanishad, 160. 324. 

Chikita, 383. 
China (alphabet), 518. 
Chinapati, 302. 
Chinese chronologists, 265. 
Chityaparishekadimantras, 355. 
Chuda, Bhagavitti, 442. 
Chyavana, 380. seq. 
Cosraas Indicopleustes, 247. 
Curtius, Q., 277. 516. 


Dadhyach Atharvana, 440. 
Dairghatamasa, 382. 

Daivala, 385. 

Daivatam (Naigeyanam rikshv), 

Daivata (nirukta), 155. seq. 
Daivatarasa, 384. 
Daivodasa, 381. 
Daivyau hotarau, 464. 
Dakshina, 203. (alphabet), 518. 
Dalbhya, 142. 
Damoda, 375. 
Danastuti, 493. 
Darada (alphabet\ 518. 
Dara Shakoh, 326. 
Darbhya, 383. 
Dardhachyuta, 385. 
Darsa-purnamasau, 354. 392. 458. 

Dasenkelleya, 267. 
Dasaratha, 49. 297. 
Denarius, 245. seq. 
Deva-anukramani, 217. 
Deva-dar^anin, 375. 
Devanagari, 518. 
Devanampriya Tishya, 270. seq. 
Devantyayanah, 381. 
Devarajayajvan, 216. 240. 
Devarata, 383. 
Devasvamin, 380. 417. seq. 
Devatarasa &avasayana, 444. 
Devatadhyaya-brahmana, 348. 
Devavritti, 247. 
Devayajna, 93. 
Devir dvarah, 464. 
Dhananando', 281. 284. 287. 293. 
Dhananjayah, 384. 
Dhananjayya, 181. 384. 
Dharbaka, 296. 
Dharma, 101. 
Dharma-Indra, 40. 
Dharma-svitra, 206208. 
Dharma-sastra, 134. 
Dharmasoka, 272. 281. 
Dharanadhyayana, 509. 
Dhatusena, 267. 
Dhriti, 222. 

Dhriti Aindrota 6aun., 444. 
Dhurtasvamin, 380. 
Diksha, 393 
Dikshaniya, 177. 390405. 458. 

B R 3 



Dinara, 245. seq. 

Diodorus Siculus, 276. 

Dipavansa, 267. 

Dirghatamas, 19. 36. 57. 463. 

Dirghataraasah, 382. 

Divahsyenaya ishtayah, 224. 

Divodasa, 407. 

Divyavadana, 246. 

Drahyayana-sutra, 181. 190. 210. 

Draupadi. 45. 47. 

Dravidas, 334. (alphabet), 518. 

Dundliubha, 370. 

Durga, 131. 

Dushmanta, 36. 

Dushtagamani, 268. 

Dvaraka 45. 

Dvapara (age), 412. 

Dvadasaha, 222. 

Dvivindu, 508. 


Ekaha, 209. 470. 
Ekapada, 222. 
Ekarsbi, 440. 
Erannoboas, 277. 279. 
Ezour-vedam, 5. 

Fabian, 265. 



Gajakumbakriti, 508. 
Galava, 142.* 383. 440. 
Galita, 221. 
Gana, 379. 
Ganagari, 467. 
Ganaka, 213. 
Gangaridae, 276. 
Gardhabimukha, 6and., 444. 
Gargah, 382. 
Gargi-putra, 440. 
Gargya, 142. 164. seq. 382. 
Garhapatya, 203. 
Garhya ceremonie?, 100. 

Gartsamada, 381. 

Gatba, 40. 344. 

Gathina, 384. 

Gathin Kausika, 418. 

Gatri Gautama, 443. 

Gaulgulavi-putra Gobhila, 443. 

Gaupayana, 486. 

Gautama-sutra, 53. 134. (gram- 
marian), 142. S.-V. 181. (cha- 
rana), 374. 381. 438. seq. 

Gautami-putra, 441. 

Gavam-ayanam, 177. 

Gavishtbirab, 383. 

Gavisbthira,' 383. 

Gayatri', 222. 391. 

Gayatrin, 489. 

Gharmadinisbkritis, 356. 

Gbaura, 383. 

Gbora, 38. 

Ghosba, 341. 

Ghoso, 289. 

Ghritakausika. 91. 439. 

Girisarman Kantbaviddhi, 443. 

Gobhila, 53. 255. 436. 443. 

Gobhila (astronomy), 214. 

Gobhila-griyha-sutra, 201. 

Gobhila-pushpa-sutra, 210. 

Gokula, 368. (var. lee, -khu-, 
-svalu, -laka). 

Gola, 514. 

Gopatha-brahmana, 445 4^5. 

Goptri, 450. 

Goshtoma, 177. 

Gotamah, 381. seq. 

Gotra, 379388. 

Grahagrahanamantras, 355. 

Grahanadhyayana, 509. 

Grahayuddha, 214. 

Grantha, 45. 521. seq. 

Gravastut, 450. 468. 

Greece and India, 1618. 30. 

Griha, 202. 

Grihapati, 450. 469. 

Grihya (fire), 203. 

Grihya-sutra, 121. 133. 200. 

Gritsamada, 26. 42. 231. 340. 



Guhyadesah, 318. 
Gungu, 318. 
Gurudevasvanrin, 380. 


Haji Ibrahim Sirhindi, 327. 
Haradatta (Apastamba Sarn.- 

sutra-bhashya), (extract), 

Hari, 231. 
Haridravin, 364. 
Haridraviya, 370. 
Harikarni-putra, 441. 
Harischandra, 408. seq. 488. 
Harita, 382. 
Harita Kasyapa, 442. 
Harita, 143. 
Harivansa, 231. 
Harshaka, 296. 
Hautrakara, 254. 256. 
Hemashandra, 240. 
Herodotus, 48. 

Hiouen-thsang, 301. seq. 304. seq. 
Hiranyakesi (Satyashadha), 196. 
Hiranyakesi-charana, 370. 
Hiranyakesi-grihya-sutra, 201. 
Hiranyakesi-kalpa-sutra, 199. 
Homamantras, 355. 
Homer, 499. 
Hotraka, 450. 
Hotri, 122. 175. seq. 394. seq. 448. 

seq. 468. 473. seq. 
Huna (alphabet), 518. 

Ida, 464. 

Idhmavaha, 385. 

Ikshvaku (race), 408. 418. 

Ila, 464. 

In (affix), 184. 

Indra, 60. 230. 411. seq. 436. 

444. 530. 533. 542. 
Indrabhu Kasyapa, 444. 
Indrapramada, 385. 
Indrota 6aunaka, 444. 

Indus, 12. 

Ishtakapuranam, 254. seq, 

Ishti, 393. 

Isa-upanishad, 317. 325. 

Itara, 336. 

Iti, 344. 

Itihasa. 40. seq. 90.98. 110. 334. 

Itihasa-veda, 40. 451. 

Jabala, 370. 
Jagaddhara, 125. 
Jagala, 375. 
Jagati, 322. 403. 
Jahnu, 418. 
Jaimini, 88. 90. 381. 
Jaiminiya-charana, 374. 
Jainas, 261. seq. 
Jaivantayana, 438. 
Jamadagna, 380. 
Jamadagna Vatsah, 380. 
Jamadagni (father of Rama), 

Jamadagnyah, 380. 
Janaka (v. 1. Ajaka, Rajaka), 

Janaka Vaideha, 36. 80. 329. 

421. seq, 
Janaki Ayasthuna, 442. 
Janamejaya Parikshita, 486. 
Jarayu, 397. 

Jatukarnya, 142. 407. 438. seq. 
Jayanti-putra, 44 1 . 
Jihvavat Badhayoga, 442. 
Jina, 249. 
Jinendra, 248. 
Jnanakandam, 356. 
Jnanayogya, 374. 
Justin, 275. 
Jyotisha, 211215. 
Jyotishtoma, 177. 470. 


Ka, 433. 
Kadvat, 433. 

K R 4 



Kabola, 205. 

Kaisorya Kapya, 440. 

Kaivartananda, 293. 

Kakavarna, 296. 

Kakubhaj 222. 

Kaksbivantah, 382. 

Kakshivat, 19. 36. 56. seq. 

Kakshivat Ausija, 493. 

Kaksbivata, 382. 

Kalabava, 383. 

Kalabavi-brabmana, 109. 116. 

Kalama, 514. 

Kalanos, 39. seq. 

Kalapa, 126. 364.73.(v.l.Kalopa). 

Kalapaka, 126. 

Kalapin, 364. 

Kalasoka, 281. seq. 

Kaleya, 370. (v. 1. Kaleta). 

Kalhana Pandita, 242. 

Kali (age), 412. 

Kali, 514. 

Kalinga, 57. 268. 

Kalpa, 344364. 

Kalpanupada-sutra, 210. 

Kalpa-sutra, 94. 96. seq. 169 

Kamalins, 364. 
Kan&itrdoXoi, 333. 
Kambojas, 54. 

Kamboja, Aupamanyava, 443. 
Kandas, 223. 
Kandamayana, 142. 
Kandanukrama, 223. 225. 
Kandhadatto, 286. 
Kandikas, 223. 
Kanishka, 298. seq. 304. 332. 
Kanvah, 383. 
Kauva,' 142. 383. 
Kanva-sakha, 181. 183. 370. 
Kanvayana, 296. 
Kapardisvamin, 380. 
Kapayab, 383. 
Kapila, 79. 83. 102. 
Kapila, 102. 
Kapila-vastu, 102. 
Kapileya Panchasikha, 102. 
Kapisbthala-kathah, 333. 369. 
Kapola, 372. (v. 1. -lapa, -pala). 
Kapya Patanchala, 102. 

Karka, 256. 
Karma, 180. 

Karma-kanda (Veda), 115. 
Karma-miraansa, 40. 
Karma-pradipa, 54. 201. 231. 
Karmandin (kalpa), 185, 364. 
Karnatakas, 334. 
Karsakeyi-putra, 441. 
Kashayana, 439. 

Kasyapa,' 17. 142. 384. 436. seq. 
Kasyapa Naidhruvi, 442, 
Kasyapah, 384. 487. 
Kasyapa, 384. 

Kat^b, 384. 

Katbab, 69. 97. 126. 223. 364. 369. 
Katha-upanishad, 325. 
Kathaka, 126. 223. 
Kathaka-grihya-sutra, 201. 
Kathakya, *142. 
Katha-sutra, 199. 
Katya, 383. seq. 
Katyayana, 41. 44. 97. 229. seq. 

239243. (Buddbist), 302. 
Katyayana-anukramani, 149.215. 
Katyayana-kalpa-sutra, 181. 199. 

Katyayana (metre), 147. 
Katyayana-parisishta, 250. 255. 

Katyayana-pratisakbya, 138. seq. 

Katyayana - upagrantba - sutra, 

Katyayani, 22. 24. 
Katyayaniya-sakha, 251. 372. 
Kauhali-putra, 142. 
Kaunakhins, 375. 
Kaundinya, 142. 385. 438. 
Kaundinyayana, 438. 
Kaushitaki-aranyaka, 337. seq. 
Kausbitaki-brabmana, 181. 346. 

357. (extract) (xi.), 59. (xxvi. 

5.), 406. 
Kaushitaki-sakha, 180. 183. 
Kausbitaki-upanishad, 338. 
Kausambi, 241. 
Kausika, 384. 



Kausikayani, 439. 
Kau&lrikalpah, 185. 364. 
Kauthuma-sakha, 181. 201. 228. 

Kautilya, 297. 
Kautsa, 142. 181.442. 
Kautsi-putra, 441. 
Kavasha, 36. 58. 
Kavya, 41. 
Kaya, 415. 
Kayastha, 514. 
Kena-upanishad, 324. 
Ketuchara, 214. 
Ketu Vajya, 443. 
Khadira-grihya-sutra, 201. 
Khallalas, 374. 
Khandikeyas, 223. 364. 370. (v.l. 

Khasya (alphabet), 518. 
Khila, 218. 222. 226. 356. 358. 
K\/<nc, 163. 
Kratusangraha, 252. 
Kratusangraha-sankhya, 254.seq. 
Kraunchikiputrau, 441. 
Kraushtuki, 142. 219. 
Krishna Vasudeva, 45. 
Krisasvins (kalpa), 185. 364. 
Krita (age), 412. 
Kshairakalambhin, 181. 
Kshatraujas, 296. 
Kshatriya (race), 17. 81. 207. 

378. 405. 
Kshemajit (Kshemarchis, Kshe- 

trajna), 296. 
Kshemadharman (v. 1. karman), 

Kshudrasuktas, 42. 340. 479. 
Kshudra-sutra, 210. (v. 1. Kshau- 

Kuladharma, 132. seq. 201. 
Kumaraharita, 440. 
Kundina, 223. 
Kundinah, 385. 
Kunti, 44. seq. 48. 
Kurmalakshanam, 254. 
Kuru, 44. seq. 
Kusidin, 39. 

Kustuka Sarkaraksha, 443. 
Kusikah, 383. 

Kusika-parisishta, 250. 
Kusika-sutra, 199. 
Kusri, 442. 
Kutsa, 56. 382. 
Kuvera Vaisravana, 39. 


Lala, 268. 
Lamakayana, 181. 
Langalayana, 373. 
Lanka, 269. 

Latyayana, 181. 199. 210. 
Laugakshi-sutra, 199. ) 
Laukika, 151. 
Lekha, 512. seq. 
Lipi, 520. 

Lohitajahnavah, 384. 
Lohitaksha, 384. 


Madhava, 240. 
Madhuchhanda3, 418. 
Madhuchhandasa, 384. 
Madhuka, 219. 
Madhuka Paingya, 442. 
Madhyamas, 479. 
Madhyandina, 138. 181. seq. 329. 

333. 372. (v. 1. dineya.) 
Madragara Saungayani, 443. 
Madri, 44. seq. 48. 
Magadha (alphabet), 518. 
Mahabarhata, 222. 
Mahabarhata, 18. 36. 4148. 

57. seq, 62. 231. 243. 
Mahadamatra, 205. 
Mahaitareya, 205. 
Mahakalopa, 373. 
Mahakatyayana, 302. seq. 
Mahakaushitaki, 205. 
Mahakhallava, 374. 
Mahananda, 296. 
Mahanama, 267. 
Mahapadma, 296. 
Mahapaingya, 205. 
Mahasuktas, 42. 479. 
Mahaudavahi, 205. 



Mahavansa, 267. 
Makararttika, 235. 
Mahavira, 261. 
Mahavira-nirupanam, 356. 
Mahendra (mountain), 17, (son 

of Asoka.) 271. 
Mahidasa Aitareya, 336. 
Mahisha, 137. 
Mahitthi, 442. 
Mahiyava, 383. 
Maitra-sutra, 199. 
Maitravaruna, 385. 450. 468. 
Maitrayaniya-charana, 370. 
Maitrayaniya-sutra, 201. 
Maitreyi,22 24. 28. 
Manavas, 61. seq. 370. 199. 
Mandala, 218. 220. 340. 
Mandanis, 30. 
Mandavya, 441. 
Mandhatra, 383. 
Mandiandini, 333. 
Mandukayanas, 146. 368. 
Mandukayani, 441. 
Mfmdukayani-putra, 441. 
Mandukeya, 121. 142. 
Mandiiki-putra, 441. 
Mandukisiksha, 146. 
Mandu-Mandavyah, 205. 
Mandukya-upanishad, 325. 
Mani'kyala, 299. 
Maniyatappo, 294. 
Manti, 439. 
Mantra, 75. seq. 86. 90. 343. 

(period), 456524. 
Mantrarshadhyaya, 225. 
Manu, 423. 425427. 
Manu-dkarma-sastra, 46. 56. 61. 

seq. 65. 67. 86. seq. 89. 132. seq. 
Manu Vaivasvata, 28. 37. 531. 

Manu Apsava, 532. 
Manu Samvarana, 532. 
Manutantu, 383. 
Manushyayajna, 93. 
Masi, 514. 
Masaka Arsheya-kalpa-siitra, 

199. 209. 
Masaka Gargya, 444. 
Masakiya, 142. ' 

Matavachasa, 382. 

Matrin, 219. 

Matsya Sammada, 39. 

Maudas, 364. 

Maudgalya, 382. 

Mauka, 381. 

Mauna, 381. 

Mauneya, 372. (v. 1. Bhad. 

Mauryas, 280. 285. 291. 293. 295. 

197. A 
Maushiki-putra, 441. 
Maya, 19. 321. 
Medhatitki, 463. 
Megastkenes, 25. 29. 200. 242. 

277. 515. 
Mela, 514. 
Mimansa, 73. 78. 
Miraansaka, 142. 
Mitrablm Kasyapa, 444. 
Mitravarchas Stairakayana, 443. 
Mitravinda Kauhala, 443. 
Mitrayuvah, 381. 
Mudgala, 219. 368. 382. 
Mulamitra Gobhila, 443. 
Mundaka-upanishad, 325. 328. 
Mutiba, 418. 
Mrityu, 436, 444. 
Mi-ityu Pradhvansana, 440. 


Nabhanedisbtha, 423. 
Nachiketachayana, 224. 
Nagarjuna, 266. 273. seq. 
Naidhruva, 384. 
Naigama (kandam), 155. seq. 
Naigeya, 374*. 228. 
Naighantuka, 155. seq. 
Naimisliiya, 231. 407. 
Nairritya-kathali, 373. 
Nairuktas, 164. 
Nakula, 44. 
Nakula, 44. 
Nakshatra, 212. 
Nakshatra-darsa, 213. 



Naksliatra-kalpa, 214. 

Nakshatra-vidya, 213. 

Nama, 161. 

Nana, 331. 

Ntuiaka, 331. seq. 

Nanda, 241. seq. 279. 281. 284. 

Nandivardhana, 296. 
Narada, 408. 
Narasansa, 493. 
Narasansi, 40. 344. 
Navagrahasanti-parisislita, 214. 
Navanita, 395. 
Nearchus, 515. 
Neshtri, 450. 469. 
Nidana-sutra, 147.210. 
Nidhruvah, 384. 
Nigada, 407. 
Nigada Parnavalki, 443. 
Nigama, 156. 

Niganiah (v. 1. Agam), 254. 256. 
Nighantu, 1 54. seq. 
Nikothaka Bhayajatya, 444, 
Nipata, 161. 

Nirukta, 152158. 163168. 
Nirvana, 266. 268. seq. 
Nirvritti, 73. 
Nisbada, 59. 
Nishka, 332. 
Nivita, 42. 
Nyasa, 248. 
Nyaya, 78, 316. 

"Ovo/jia, 161. 
Oshadhi, 449. 



Pabbato, 288.291. 
Pada, 160. 341. 
Padavidhana, 234. 
Pahlaras, 54. 
Pailah, 385. 
Paila-sutra-bhashya, 205. 

Paingalayanah, 385. 

Paingi, 223. 

Paingins, 185. 368. 

Paingikalpah, 364. 

Paingi-putra, 441. 

Paingyam, 185. 

Paippaladas, 364. 374. 

Pakayajna, 203. 

Paksha, 379. 

Palaka, 296. 

Palangins, 364. 

Palibothra, 242. 276. 

Panchachitikamantras, 356. 

Panchala, 129. 142. 

Panchavidha-sutra, 210. 

Panchavinsa-bralimana, 347. 

Pandavas, 44. seq. 

Pandu, 44. seq. 

Pandya, 44. seq. 

Pani'ni, 118. 138. seq. 150. seq. 

184. seq. 361. (date), 304310. 
Panini gotra, 385. 
Paniniyam, 185. 
Panjab, 12. 
Pankti, 222. 402. 
Paradas, 54. 
Paramatman, 19. 
Paramavatika, 372. 
Parameshthin, 440. 
Paraskara-grihya-sutra, 201. 
Parasara, 91. 438. 
Parasara-dharma-sastra, 86. 90. 
Parasara-gotra, 388. 
Parasara-sakha, 97. 129. seq. 
Parasarins, 185. 364. 
Parasari-kaundini-putra, 440. 
Parasari-putra, 440, 441. 
Parasarya, 91. 149. 372. 385. 439. 
Parasaryayana, 91. 439. 
Parasu-Rama, 17. 49. 81. 
Paribhasha, 72. 
Parishad, 128132. (v. 1. par 

shad, 129). 
Parishadya, 131. 
Parisishta, 148. 249-256. (date) 

Parjanya, 449. 
Parshada, 128132. 
Parshadam, 253255. 



Parshadasva, 382. 

Partha, 381. 

Parushni, 486. 

Parva, 490. 

Parvata, 408. 

Pasubandha, 470. 

Patas, 370 (v. 1. Patandineya) 

Patala, 524. 

Pataliputra, 241. seq. 278. 284. 

Patanchali, 102. 

Patanjali, 148. 235. 239. 

Pathas Saubhara, 440. 

Patni dikshita, 450. 

Paundravatsa, 372. (v. 1. vachha.) 

Paurana, 384. 

Paurukutsya, 382. 

Paurvatitha, 383. 

Paushkarasadi, 142. 

Pautimashyayana, 438. 

Pavamana-ishti, 292. 

Pavamanis, 42. 340. 

Pinga, 283. 

Pingalanaga, 147. seq. 244. 

Pindola, 274. 

Pisacha-vidya, 39. 

Pisacha-veda, 451. 

Pitrimedhas, 356. 

Pitriyajna, 93. 354. 

Plato, 161. 

Plakshayana, 142. 

Plakshi, 142. 

Porus, 276, seq. 

Potri, 469. 

Prachinaviti, 43. 

Prachinayogi-putra, 441. 

Prachinayogya, 374. 

Prachya, 142. 

Prachya-kathas, 333. 369. 

Pradhvansana, 440. 

Pradyota, 296. 

Pragatha, 42. 340. 

Pragatha-barhata, 222. 

Prajapati, 393, seq. 414. 433. seq. 

436. 442. 444. 529. 
Pranjala, 374. 
Pranjalidvaitabhrit, 374. 
Prasangikas, 355. 
Prasavotthanam, 254. 
Prasii, 276. seq. 333. 

Praskanva, 494. 
Prasna,' 223. 
Prasna-upanishad, 325. 
Prasni-putra, 441. 
Prastoka Sarnjaya, 494. 
Prastotri, 450. 
Pratarahna Kauhala, 443. 
Pratardana, 407. 
Pratihartri, 450, 469. 
Pratijna-parisishta, 121. 253. 255. 
Pratiloma (caste), 256. 
Pratiprasthatri, 450. 469. 
Pratisakhya, 46. 116 149. 150. 

Pratitheyi, 205. 
Pratithi Devataratha, 444. 
Pratyaksha, 108. 
Pravachana, 53. 109. 
Pravara, 386. 
Pravaradhyayali, 254. seq. 
Pravaramanjari, 380. 
Pravargya 6antipatha, 356. 
Prayoga, 180. 
Pretyabhava, 19. 
Prishadasvah, 382. 
Prishadhra, 494. 
Pritha, 44. 
Prithusravasa Kanina, 494. 

ilpodiCTlQ, 161. 

Ylpoariyopia, 162. 

Protagoras, 163. 

Ptosis, 163. 

Pulinda, 418. 

Pundra, 418. 

Pupphapura, 287. 

Purana, 41. 61. 90. 108. 110. 

153. 344. 
Purana- veda, 40. 451. 
Purana-paridhapayantah, 384. 
Purohita, 485488. 
Puronuvakya, 400. 
Pururavas, 36. 56. 418. 
Purushamedha, 356. 
Purushottama, 380. 
Purvapaksha, 73. 
Pushamitra Gobhila, 443. 

tras, 355. 
Pushpasutra, 210. 



Pushyayasas Audavraji, 443. 
Pustakam, 512. 
Putimasha, 383. 


Radha Gautama, 436. 443. 

Rahasya, 318. 

Rahuchara, 214. 

Rahuganak, 381. 

Raka, 212.' 

Rakshovidya, 39. 

Raibhya, 438. 384. 

Rainava, 384. 

Rajasuya, 355. 

Rama, 49. 

Rama Jamadagnya, 463. 

Rama Margaveya, 487. 

Ramayana, 17. 36, seq. 41 43. 

49. 60*. 
Ranayaniputra, 181. 
Ranayaniya, 181. 201. 373. 
Rantikosha, 156. 
Rathantarin, 219. 
Rathitara, 219. 
Rathitari-putra, 441. 
Rauhina, 384. 
Rauhinayana, 438. 
Rebhah, 384. 
'P^a, 161. 
Renavah, 384. 
Renu, 418. 
Renuka, 418. 
Repha, 508. 
Rich, 341. 
Richika, 418. 
Rigvarnabheda, 374. 

Rig-veda, 63. 122. 219. seq. 457 
468. 525575. 

Rig-veda-anukramani, 215 219. 

Rig-veda-aranyaka, 525 575. 

Rig-veda-brahmana, 346. seq. 

Rig-veda-charana, 368. 

Rig-veda chhandas, 147. 

Rig-veda commentaries, 240. 

Rig-veda grihya-sutra, 201. 

Rig-veda-jyotisha, 211. 

Rig-veda kalpa-sutra, 180. 199. 

Rig-veda-nirukta, 153, seq. 
Rig-veda-pratisakhya, 135. seq. 
Rig-veda-parisishta, 252. 

Rig-veda passages translated : (i. 
1. 1.) 481. (i. 74.) 549. seq. 
(i. 162.) 553. seq. (i. 164. 46.) 
567. (i. 194. 4.) 490. (i. 63. 8.) 
20. (i. 115. l.)20. (ii. 2.) 535, 
seq. (iii. 1. 20.) 482. (iii. 28. 1.) 
492. (iii. 29. 10.) 493. (iii. 32. 
13.) 482. (iii. 36. 10.) 490. (iii. 
39.) 482. (vi. 23. 9.) 483. (vii. 
3.) 547. seq. (vii. 32.) 543. (vii. 
77.) 551. (vii. 81.) 540. seq. 
(vii. 103.) 493. (viii. 30.) 531. 
(viii. 11.) 548. seq. (viii. 13, 
14.) 542. (viii. 21. 14.) 542. 
(ix. 11. 6.) 318. (x. 73. 11.) 
318. (x. 121.) 569. (x. 130.) 
482. (x. 129.) 564. 

Rigyajunshi, 254. 

Rikshah, 382. 

Ripunjaya, 295. 

Rishabha, 418. 

Rishyasringa Kasyapa, 444. 

Rita, 491. 

Ritulakshana, 214. 

Ritvigvarana, 1 76. 

Ritvij, 469474. 492. 

Rohinah, 384. 


Romaharshana, 231. 

Romakayana Sthavira, 219. 

Rudra, 55. 

Rudra-bhuti Drahyayani, 442. 


Sadasya, 407. 449. seq. 469. 
Sahadeva, 44. 
Siihadevas, 44. 
Saitava, 148. 438. 
Sajaniya, (hymn), 231. 
Samanta-panchaka, 17. 
Sama-sankhya, 144. 
Sama-sutras, 209, 210. 
Sama-tantra, 143. seq. 
Sama-veda, 121.468.473. 



Sama-anukramani, 227. seq. 
Sama-brahmana, 347. seq. 
Sama-charana, 373, seq. 
Sama-kalpa," 181. 199. 209. 
Sama-jyotisha, 214. 
Sama-parisishta, 252. 
Sama-pratisakhya, 143. 
Sama-metre, 147. 
Sama-vidhana, 190. 347. 
Samayacharika-sutra, 99. 101. 

134. 206208. 
Samidheni, 89. 393. 
Samvargajit Lamakayana. 444. 
Sanaga, 440. 
Sanaru, 440. 
Sanatana, 440. 
Sandhyavandana, 206. 
Sandrocottus, 242. 275300. 
Sangata, 297. 
Sanhita, 184. 174. 176. 
Sanhita-charana, 188. seq. 364. 
Sanhiti-upanishad, 114. 
Sanhitopanishad, 348. 
Sanjivt-putra, 441. 
Sankara Gautama 443. 
Sankarshana-kanda 90. 
Sankhya, 78. 82*. seq. 102. 
Sankriti, 383. 
Sankriti-putra, 441. 
Sankritya, 143. 383. 438. 
Sannyasin, 314. 
Sansava, 398 
Sanskara, 204. 
Sarasvati, 12. 169. 464. 
Sarman Cheya, 30. 
Sarpa, 39. 
Sarpa-veda, 451. 
Sarpa-vidya, 39. 
Sarshti, 381. 
Sarvanukramni, 215. seq. 
Sarvastivadas, 302. 
Sarvamedhas, 356. 
Sat, 324. 

Sati Aushtrakshi, 443. 
Sattra, 210, 470. 
Satyakama Jabala, 442. 
Satyamugrya, 373. (v. 1. -murgyn, 

Satyavaha Bharadvaja, 328. 
Satyavati, 418. 

Saukarayana, 439. 

Sautramani, 355. 357. 

Sautramani-sambandhi-, 356. 

Sauyami, 205. 

Savarni, 381. 

Savetasa, 381. 

Savitragnichayana, 224. 

Savitri, 414. 

Sayakayana, 439. 

Sayana, Rig-veda-bbashya (p. 11). 

^342. (p. 34). 458. 155157. 
Sayana, Parasara-sastra-bhashya, 

Sekasandbyadibautrantam, 355. 
Seleucus Nikator, 242. 274. seq. 

Semitic races, 14. seq. 
Senaka, 143. 
Seven rivers, 12. 
Shadgurusishya, comm. on the 

Anukramani, 216. 
Shadvinsa-brahmana, 112. 347. 
Shashtipatha, 357. 
Shadasin, 177. 
Siddhanta, 73. 
Sinhabahu, 268. 
Sintvali, 212. 
Skanda-bliashya, 240. 
Skandasvamin, 240. 
Smarta-sutra, 94. 99. 
Smriti, 52. 75. 78. 8693. 107. 

Smriti-prabandhas, 99. 
Soma, 55. 533, 
Soma-rajayah, 381. 
Soma-rajya, 381. 
Soma-raudra Cham, 89. 
Soma-sarman, 297. 
Soma-sushma, 421. 
Soma-vaha, 385. 
Soma Vaishnava, 38. 
Soma-yaga, 177. 
Somesvara, 103. 122. 144. 
Somotpattih, 252. 
Sone, (river) 279. 
Sparsa, 160. 
Sphotayana, 143. 
Sthaulashthivi, 143. 153. 
Sthiraka Sargya, 444. 
Stobhanusanhara, 144. 



Stoics, 162. seq. 

Strabo, 15. seq. 25 seq. 200. 515. 

Stupah, 248. 

Subandhu, 486. 

Subhadra, 45. 

Subrahmanya, 450. 469. 

Sudas, 483. 485. seq, 

Sudeshna, 57. 

Sukta, 341. 

Sulabha, 205. 

Sumalya, 297. 

Sumantra Babh. Gaut. 444. 

Sumantah, 205. 

HvvfiEff/AOl, 161. 

Sunitha Kapatava, 443. 
Supratita Aulundya, 443. 
Surabhignrita, 395. 
Suradindrabhishekantara, 355. 
Surya, 55, 449. 
Suryaka, 296. 
Susarada 6'alankayana, 443. 
Susravas Varshaganya, 443. 
Sutemanas ^andilyana, 443. 
Sutivritti, 247'. ' 
Sutra^ 71249. 
Sutra-charana, 193198. 364. 

Suyajna, 205. 
Suyasas, 297. 
Suyavasa, 412. 
Svadhyaya, 105. 509. 
Svadhyaya-brahmana, 224. 
Svaha 113. 
Svaha-kritis, 463. 
Svanaya, 56, 
Svanaya Bhavyaya, 493. 
Svara, 160. 
Svishtakrit, 400. seq. 
Syaparna, 487. 

&abara, 418. 

Sabdanusasanam, 306. 

Sailalin, 185. 364. 

Sainya, 382. 

Saisava, 97. 

gai&ra, 368. 

Saisira-sakha, 118. 135. 149. 

&aisireya, 368. 

Saisunagas, 296. 

6aityayana, 143. 

aivayavah, 383. 

Sakas, (people) 54. 

6akadasa, 444. 

6akala, 143. 

6akala,-sakha, 143. 118. 135 
137. 140. seq. 144. seq. 147. 
149. 178. 219. seq. 368. 

6akalya, 136. 140. 143. 368. - 

&akalya-pita, 136. 143. 

6akapuni, 143. v. 1. 

6akapurni, 153. 

6ahatayana, 141. 143. 164. seq. 

Sakha, 51. 100105. 121127. 
188. seq. 377. 429. seq. 

Saktya, 383. 

Sakuntala, (play) 1. 6. 512. 

Sakuntala (province), 36. 

6'akvari, 222. 

gakya, 83. 285. 295. (see Buddha.) 

Salaksha, 384. 

Salankayana-charana, 181. 

Salankayana-gotra, 381. 384. 

Salankayani-putra, 44 1 . 

Salapravesa, 355. 

^alisuka, 297. 

Saliya (v. 1. Kha-, gar-) 368. 

&amba garkaraksha, 443. 

&ambhu, 383. 

gamitri, 450. 469. 

&andilah 385. 

6'andili-putra, 441. 

handily a, 181. 323. 438. 440. 

handily ayana, 181. 

Sankha, 383. 

S'ankhayana, 143. 

6ankhayana-brahmana, 180. 397. 

&ankhayana-grihya-sutra, 201. 

Sankhayana-kalpa, 180. 199. ex- 
tract (xvi. 1.) 37 40. 

6'ankhayana-parisishta, 252. 

&ankhayanins, 183. 368. 

Santanacharya, 152. 

&antanu, 255. 

'apheya, 372. (v. 1. -peya, -piya). 

gardula, 373. 

Sarkarakshi, 381. 



Sarvadatta Gargya, 442. 
6arvadatta Kosha, 156. 
6astra, 53. 
&asadharman, 297. 
Satabalaksha Maudgalya, 143. 
Satadru, 486. 
6atanika, 231. 
6atapatha-brahmana, 176. 183. 

329. 349. 353360. (i. 8. 1. 1.) 

425. (xi.4. 5.) 421. 
6atarchins, 42, 340. 
6atarudriya, 355. 
&atvala, 374. - (v. 1. Satyamud- 

&atyayanin, 181. 193. 364. 372. 
6athyayaniya, 374. 
6auchivrikshi, 181. 
Saunaho'tra, 230. 381. 
6aunaka, 118. 135. seq. 230 239. 

6aunaka-anukramani, 216. seq. 
6aunaka-aranyaka, 314. 
6aunaka-grihya-sutra, 201. 
6aunaka-kalpa-sutra, 144. 199. 
6aunaka-charana, 375. 
&aunaka-parisishta, 250. 
Saunaka-upanishad, 328. 337. 
6aunakayanah, 385. 
6aunakins, 364. 
&aunaki-putra, 441. 
6aunakiya, 137. 143. 
6aunakiya-chaturadhyayika, 1 39 

6aunga-6aisirayali, 383. 
6aungi-putra, 441. 
^aurpanayya, 438. 
6avas, 444. 
6ikha, 53. 

Siksha (siksha), 1 L3 147. 
6ilpa Kasyapa, 442. 
6ishtam asvamedliikam, 355. 
6ishtasvamedhamantras, 356. 
6isu Angirasa, 97. 
6isunaga, 296. 
6iva, 55. 

&iva-sankalpa, 317. 
6loka, 68. seq. 71. 86. 99. 110. 
graddha-kalpah, 253. 255. 

6raddha-ka]pa-bhashya, 255. 
Sraumata-kamakayanah, 383. 
6rauta ceremonies, 100. 
6rauta-sutras, 50. 75. 94. 99. 169 

6ravana-datta Kauhala, 443. 
^rutabandhu, 486. 
&ruti, 52. 75. 82. 86. 88. 97. seq. 

100. 107. seq. 182. 
6ruti-rupamantras, 356. 
6udra (race), 55. 58. 207. 
&udra dynasty, 243. 297. 
6ubhanga, 518. 
6ukriya, 226. 356. 358. 
6'ulvadipika, 255. 
6ulvikani, 253. 255. 
6unahotra, 230. 
Sunahpuchha, 412. 
&unahsepha, 36. 408416. 
&unaka, 231. 381. 
6unika, 295. 
6unolangula, 412. 
6usha Vahn. Bhar. 444. 
&vetasvatara, 370. (v. 1. 6veta, 

6vetatarah,-tah-tanta, Sveta, 

6vetasvatara-upanishad, 321. 
&vetaketu, 128. 421. 
gyaitah, 381. 
&yam&, 370. 
6yamayanins, 364. 370. 
Syavasva Archananasa, 383. 493. 

Taittiki, 142. 
Taittiriya, 61. 174. 
Taittiriya-anukramani, 223. 
Taittiriya-aranyaka, 113. seq. 334. 

Taittiriya- charana, 370. 
Taittiriya-grihya-sutra, 201. 
Taittiriya-kalpa-sutra, 299. 
Taittiriya-pratisakhya, 137. 
Taittiriya-siksha, 113. seq. 
Taittiriya-sanhita, 350. 359. 364. 
Taittiriya-upanishad, 114. 323. 




Taitteriyaka, 137. 142. 
Takkasila, 286. 
Tamasavanasangliarama, 302. 
Tamraparni, 270. 
Tandins, 364. 383. 
Tandya-brahmana, 181. 364. 430. 

see panchavi nsa-br. 
Taimnapat, 464. 
Tapaniya, 372. (v. 1. payana). 
Tarkshya, 382. 
Tarkshya Vaipasyata, 39. (v. 1. 

Taumburavins, 364. 
Tibetan chronology, 265. 
Tilaka, (v. 1. Balaka), 296. 
Tirindira Parasavyaya, 494. 
Tirita, 248. 
Tirthakas, 262. 
Tittiri, 175. 223. 
Tman (atman), 20. 
Tottayanas, 375. 
Traivani, 439. 
Trasadasyava, 382. 
Trata Aishumata, 442. 
Treta (age), 412. 
Tripundra, 55. 
Tribhashyaratna, 137. 
Trishtubh, 68. 71. 222. 400. 

mantras, 355. 
Tura Kavaslieya, 442. 
Turanian races, 14. seq. 
Turushka, 299. 
Tvashtri, 464. 


Ucliatyah, 381. 
Udarasandilya, 444. 
Udayasva, 296. 
Uddalaka, 36. 442. 
Uddalaka Aruneya, 442. 
Udgatri, 122. 175. 181. 445. seq. 

449. 5^.469. 471. 
Udgitha-bhaskara, 240. 
Udibhi, (v. 1. Udasin), 296. 
Udichya, 142. 
Udichva Kathali, 373. 

Ugrasena, 284. 

Ugrasravas, 23 J. 

Ujjvaladatta, 246. seq. 

Ukha, 223. 

Ukha-dharana, 355. 

Ukha-sambharanadimantras, 355. 

Ukhya, 137. 142. 

Uktha-sastrara, 254. seq. 

Uma, 53. 

IJna, 450. 

Unadi-siitra, 151. seq. 245. seq. 

Unnetyi, 450. 469. 

Upagatri, 470. 

Upagrantha-siitra, 210. 

Upajyotisha, 213. 253. 255. 

Upamanyavah, 385. 

Upanayana, 207. 

Upanga, 5. 

Upanishads, 100. 122. 316328. 

Upasarga, 161. 
Upaveda, 5. 
Upavesi, 442. 
Upnekat, 5. 325. seq. 
Urjayat Aupam, 443. 
Urukshaj'asa, 383. 
Urvasi, 36. 

Ushas, 414. 529. 551. seq. 
Usbasa-naktau, 464. 
tfshraan, 160. 341. 
Uslmih, 222. 401. 
Tjti, 393. 

Utpalavarnadeva, 269. 
Uttancottariya, 142. 
Uttara-brahmana, 453. seq. 
Uttarakurus (alphabet), 518 
Uttaraniimansa, 90. 
Uttarapaksha, 73. 
Uttaraviharo, 281. 
Uvata, 98. 

Yacb, 442. 
Vacliaknavi, 205. 
Vachaspati, 82. 407. 
Vadava, 205. 
Vadhuna, 194. 

S S 



Vadhuna-sutra, 199. 

Vaidabhriti-putra, 441. 

Vaidadasvi, 493. 

Vaideha, 52. 

Vaidheya (var. lee. -neya), 372. 

Vaijara, 372. 

Vaijavapa, 433. 

Vaijavapayana, 438. 

Vaijavapin (grihya-sutra), 201. 

Vaikarta, 469. 

Vaikhanasa, 194. 

Vaikhanasa-sutra, 199. 

Vainava, 384. 

Vaineya, {var. lee. -dheya, -neya,) 

Vainya, 381. 

Vaishnava-dharma-sastra, 331. 
Vaishtapureya, 438. 
Vaisampayana, 174. 223. 364. 
Vaiseshika, 78. 84. 316. 
Vaisvamitra, 383. 
Vaisya (race), 55 207. 378. 405. 
Vaitdnika, 202. 
Vaiyakaranas, 164. 
Vajapeyas, 355. 
Vajasaneyi-anukramani, 226. 
Vajasaneyi-aranyaka, 329. seq. 
Vajasaneyi-brahmana, 349. 353. 

Vajasaneyi-kalpa-siitra, 181. 199. 
Vajasaneyi-pratisakhya, 138. seq. 
Vajitsaneyi-sakha, 121. 138.364. 

371. seq. 174. 
Vajasaneyi-sanhita, 353 360. 
Vajasaneyi-upanishad, 317. 
Vajasravas, 442. 
Vajrakriti, 508. 
Valakakausika, 439. 
Valakhilyas, 220. 
Valmiki, 143. 
Valmikiyah, 385. 
Varaadeva, 42. 340. 
Vamadevah, 382. 
Vamadevya, 382. 
Vamakakshayana, 442. 
Vanaprastha, 314. 
Vanaspati, 449. 463. 
Vandana, 382. 
Vansa, 379. 
Yansa-brahmana, 348. 436. seq. 

Vansaka, 296. 
Varadaraja, 210. 
Varaha, 370. 
Varaha-siitra, 199. 
Varantantaviyas, 364. 369. (var. 

lee. Vartan-.) 
Vararuchi, 137. 239241. 
Varga, 220. seq. 379. 
Varkaruni-putra, 441. 
Varna, 507. (four) 207. 
Varsha, 241. 
Varshagani-putra, 441. 
Varsliyayani, 142. 
Vartantaveya, 374. 
Varuna, GO. 212. 410. seq. 534. 

Varuna-'Aditya, 38. 
Varunamitra Gobhila, 443. 
Varuni-upanishad, 114. 
Vasishtha, 36. 42. 51. 340. 385. 

408.413. 463. (race) 91. 483. 

Vasishtha smriti, 55. 
Vasishtha, 53 seq. 104. 385. 
Vasishtha Araihanya, 444. 
Vasishtha Chaikitaneya, 444. 
Vasishtha-dharraasastra, 1 34. 
Vasordiiaradiraantras, 355. 
Vasudeva, 45. 55. 261. 
Vasumitra, 299. 
Vasusruta, 463. 
Vasa Asvya, 494. 
Vatabhikara, 142. 
Vatayana, 373. 
Vatsa (land), 241. 
Vatsa, 442. 

Vatsamitra Gobhila, 443. 
Vatsanapat Babhrava, 440. 
Vatsapra, 142. 
Vatsiraandavi-putra, 440. 
Vatsi-putra, 441. 
Vatsya, 142. 368. 438. seq. 
Vayu, 436. 444. 449. 452. 
Veda, 9. 10. 28. 53. 205. (anti- 
quity) 62 66 (authority) 79 

Vedamitra, 136. 143. 
Vedanga, 53. 94. 95. 98. 109- 

215. (number) 109113. 
Vedanta, 82.316. 



Vedarthadipika, 216. 
Vedhas, 408. 
Vedic age, 9 11. 
Venavah, 334. 
Vibhakti, 163. 
Vibhanduka Kasyapa, 444. 
Vichakshana, 405. 
Vichakshana Tandya, 444. 
Vidharbhi-kaundinya, 440. 
Vidhi, 101. 170. 343. 
Vidhudhabo, 285. 
Vidmisara, 296. (v. 1. Vimbis., Vi- 
dhis., Vindusena, Vindyasena.) 
Vijaya, 267. seq. 
Vi'kramaditya, 304. 
Vinaya, 83. 

Vindu, 508. 

Vindu-sara, 297. 

Viniyogasangraha, 252. 

Vipas, 486. 

Vip'rabandhu, 486. 

Viprajitti, 440. 

Viiaj, 403. 

Viiama, 507. 

Virishta, 450. 

Vishnu, 55. 60. 390. seq. 

Vishnu-dharmottara, 240. 

Visluiu-vriddhah, 382. 

"ViSakhayupa, 2y6. 

Visvamitra, 36. 42. 80. seq. 340. 
383. 408. 413. 419. 463. 482. 
485. seq. 487. 

Visvantara Saushadmana, 487. 

Visvarupa Tvashtra, 440. 

Visve devas, 450. 532. 

Vrihadratlia, 297. 

Vrishasuslma Vat., 444. 

Vrishni, 45. 

Vritra, 399. 

Vyahriti, 450. seq. 

Vyakarana, 150152. 158 

Vyakhya, 110. 

Vyali, 143. 241. 

Vyanjana, 341. 

Vyasa, 42. 91. 231. 253. 476. 479. 
Vyashti, 440. 

Xandrames, 275. seq. 


Yadavakosha, 156. 
Yajnaparsve, 253, 255.