CHAPTER III – DETERMINATION OF THE PLACE OF THE TRIPLE VEDAS

1THE three Vedas, Sama, Rik and Yajus, constitute the triple Vedas. These together with Atharvaveda and the Itihasaveda are (known as) the Vedas.
2Siksha (Phonetics), Kalpa (ceremonial injunctions), Vyakarana (grammar), Nirukta (glossarial explanation of obscure Vedic terms), Chandas (Prosody), and Astronomy form the Angas.
3As the triple Vedas definitely determine the respective duties of the four castes and of the four orders of religious life, they are the most useful.
4The duty of the Brahman is study, teaching, performance of sacrifice, officiating in others’ sacrificial performance and the giving and receiving of gifts.
5That of a Kshatriya is study, performance of sacrifice, giving gifts, military occupation, and protection of life.
6That of a Vaisya is study, performance of sacrifice, giving gifts, agriculture, cattle breeding, and trade.
7That of a Sudra is the serving of twice-born (dvijati), agriculture, cattle-breeding, and trade (varta), the profession of artizans and court-bards (karukusilavakarma).
8The duty of a householder is earning livelihood by his own profession, marriage among his equals of different ancestral Rishis, intercourse with his wedded wife after her monthly ablution, gifts to gods, ancestors, guests, and servants, and the eating of the remainder.
9That of a student (Brahmacharin) is learning the Vedas, fire-worship, ablution, living by begging, and devotion to his teacher even at the cost of his own life, or in the absence of his teacher, to the teacher’s son, or to an elder classmate.
10That of a Vanaprastha (forest-recluse) is observance of chastity, sleeping on the bare ground, keeping twisted locks, wearing deer-skin, fire-worship, ablution, worship of gods, ancestors, and guests, and living upon food stuffs procurable in forests.
11That of an ascetic retired from the world (Parivrajaka) is complete control of the organs of sense, abstaining from all kinds of work, disowning money, keeping from society, begging in many places, dwelling in forests, and purity both internal and external.
12Harmlessness, truthfulness, purity, freedom from spite, abstinence from cruelty, and forgiveness are duties common to all.
13The observance of one’s own duty leads one to Svarga and infinite bliss (Anantya). When it is violated, the world will come to an end owing to confusion of castes and duties.
14Hence the king shall never allow people to swerve from their duties; for whoever upholds his own duty, ever adhering to the customs of the Aryas, and following the rules of caste and divisions of religious life, will surely. be happy both here and hereafter. For the world, when maintained in accordance with injunctions of the triple Vedas, will surely progress, but never perish.