A synosis of the Dharma-Sastra by Parasara ||107||
1Suta said: -The holy Parasara narrated to Vyasa the duties of the different social orders. Change is the law of the universe, and in each cycle the earth passes through the successive phases of origin, and decay, but the birthless ones (Vishnu, etc.) suffer no modifications.
2The Srutis, (lit. things heard, are spiritual truths transmitted orally from generation to are the unwritten laws of conduct, etc., subsequently collected into codes) and the good institutions have their origin in the holy
Vedas. It was Brahma who first revealed the inspired rhapsodies of the Vedas to the world at large, and the divine lawgivers of old, such as Manu etc., were, the authors of the Dharma Sastras (Institutes or Codes of Law, both moral and positive).
3Charity is the only virtue which would be practised in the cycle of Kali, and the votaries of all others wount be scarce therein. Hence it is the only one virtue which should be practised for the redemption of human nature in that iron age. The kingdom of evil would come and vice would reign supreme on earth. Curses would take effect within one year of their making (giving).
4A pious conduct and a pure character would be the passport to all those merits in that age, which could have been secured only with the practice of the most austere penances in the preceding ones. The six acts of necromancy (Shatkarma) would be the matters of daily undertaking and the rites of Sandhya (recitation of a certain fixed portion of the Vedas by a Brahmana ceremonial ablutions, mental repetition of any sacred Mantra, Homa, worship of the gods and practice of hospitality, would be the stepping stones to piety.
5Scarce would be the number of Brahmana Yatis in the Kali Yuga who would stick to the noble art of spiritual culture, and the Kshatriyas would rule the earth by conquering the armed forces of other sovereigns even in the absence of any legitimate cause for war, and simply out of a spirit of land-craving.
6The members of the mercantile community should diligently ply on their respective trades and engage in agriculture, and the Sudras should live by serving the Brahmanas in the age of Kali. A man would degrade himself by stealing or by going unto a woman related to him in the category of a “forbidden woman”, or by eating anything that is prohibited in the Sastras for the purpose.
7A Brahmana engaged in agriculture, should not yoke a team of tired bullocks to his plough. The Brahmanas even in the age of Kali, shall bathe at midday, practice trance for a while, and then feed the Brahmanas assembled at his house.
8The five religious sacrifices enjoined to be performed by a Brahmana householder, each day, should be like wise performed in the Kali Yuga, and sins and inequities should be held in contempt they deserve. A Brahmana shall not sell sesamum and clarified butter for any pecuniary consideration.
9An agriculturist is absolved of all sins by giving a sixth part of the produce to his king, a twentieth part to the gods, and a thirty-third part thereof to the Brahmanas.
10-11A Kshatriya, a Vaisya, or a Sudra agriculturist paying no such tithes as the preceding ones, stands charged with the guilt of theft. A Brahmana, who knows the Supreme Brahma, becomes clean on the third day of the event on the happening of any birth or death in his family, whereas the period of uncleanness, under the circumstance, shall extend to ten, twelve, and thirty days in respect of the Brahma-knowing Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras respectively. On the contrary, persons belonging to the Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra communities by mere accidents of birth, shall be respectively deemed pure at the expiry of ten, twelve, fifteen and thirty days after the event under the circumstance.
12-14The Sapinda relations of a deceased person or of a stillborn child, though not living in the same house, nor in commensality, shall bide the same full term of uncleanness, while those removed from him to the fourth degree of consanguinity shall be unclean for ten days, those removed to the fifth degree shall be judged unclean for six days those removed to the sixth degree of consanguinity shall be regarded unclean for four days, and those removed to the seventh degree, shall be considered unclean for three days only from the date of the event under the circumstance.
15A child dead in a distant country does not entail any period of uncleanness to his relations beyond the moment the news is heard and delivered. The corpse of a child dead before cutting its teeth as well as that of a still born one should not be cremated in fire, nor any funeral oblations and libations of water should be offered to it.
16In the case of a miscarriage or abortion of a foetus, the period of uncleanness in respect of its mother, would extend to as many days as the age of the foetus in months at the time of abortion.
17The period of uncleanness incidental to the death of a child, dead without the rite of Namakarana (nomenclature) having been done unto him, shall expire with the day of its occurrence, that on the occasion of one expired before the rite of tonsure shall continue for the whole day and night, while that incidental to the demise of a child, dead before having been invested with the holy, thread, would last for three days from the date of its happening, and for ten days after that age.
18An abortion of womb happening within the fourth month of gestation is called a Garbhasrava, while the one occurring at a later period and in the fifth or sixth month of incubation, is called a miscarriage (Garbhatyaga). No such uncleanness can attach itself to the person of a Brahmana who is a Brahmacarin or is a daily worshipper of the sacred fire, or has renounced all company and lives in solitude.
19The artisans, the mechanics, the physicians, and one’s servants, male slaves, and female slaves, are incapable of catching such personal disqualifications (uncleanness incidental to the birth or death of a person). The persons of kings, Srotriyas and custodians of the sacred fire, are perpetually dean.
20On the occasion of the birth of a child its mother shall be considered clean at the close of ten days after the date of the event, while its father shall be dean again by an ablution on the receipt of the news.
21All acts should be suspended on the happening of the birth or death of a relation at the celebration of a marriage or a religious sacrifice or festivity, except those which have been actually projected and undertaken before the event.
22The mother of a child, dead within the period of uncleanness incidental to its birth shall be clean again on the date of the event. The period of uncleanness incidental to the death of a person, dead in a cowshed, is only one day.
23By carrying the dead body of a friendless person to the cremation ground, a man shall remain unclean for a single day, while the period of uncleanness in respect of carrying the dead body of a Sudra, is three days only.
24The right of cremation is denied to a suicide, no matter whether the death has been brought about by self-poisoning or strangulation, as well as to one who has died of an insect bite. A man, defiled by the contact of the corpse of a person, killed by any homed cattle or died of an insect bite, is purified by practising a Kriccha Vrata.
25-26He who forsakes a chaste and undegraded wife in her youth, is sure to incarnate as a woman, and to suffer the pangs of widowhood in his six successive re-births. By not visiting the bed of his wife during her menstrual period as enjoined in the Sastras, a man incurs the sin of infanticide, while a non-accommodating wife under the circumstance, is sure to be born as a sow in her next birth. An abstinence by the husband on the ground of being engaged in celebrating any Vedic rite or sacrifice at the time, deprives him of funeral libations, etc., after death.
27A son of one’s own lines as well as the one begotten on one’s wife by another under an appointment and hence related to one in that capacity, is equally entitled to offer oblations to ones departed spirit. A younger brother marrying m the unmarried state of his elder, as well as his bride shall practise a penance of Kriccha Vratam for the expiation of the crime.
28-29The person at whose hand the bride is taken, shall as well practise the penances respectively known as Ati-kriccha and Candrayana Vratas. A younger brother is not prohibited from taking a bride even in the unmarried state of his elder, when the latter is found to be born a hunchback, or a dwarf, or impotent, deaf, blind, or dumb, or as an idiot, or as one incapable of distinct articulation.
30A betrothed girl may be married to another in any of the five following contingencies, viz, in the event of no trace having been found of her appointed bridegroom, or in the event of his death, or of his taking to the life of a hermit, or on his loss of manhood or moral degradation. A wife immolating herself with the dead body of her husband at the same funeral pile, shall live in heaven for as many numbers of years as there are hairs on the human body.
31A man, bitten by a dog, or by an animal of the kindred species, is purified by mentally reciting the Gayatry Mantra. The dead body of a Brahmana should be exhumed on a funeral pyre lighted with Loukikagni (fire brought from a household). The bone of a Brahmana, killed by a Candalala, should be washed with milk in order to impart to it the necessary purity before cremation, and burnt in fire with a recitation of the proper Mantras.
32-33An effigy of a Brahmana made of Kusablades, should be burnt in the following manner in the event of his death having happened in a distant country. Six hundred Palasa-twigs should be spread in the shape of a m an ov er a piece of black deer skin, a Sarni-twig being placed over the spot where the penis would be, an Arrani (fire churning apparatus) at the region of its scrotum.
34-36aAnd Kunda (vessel) at the region of its right hand, an Upabhrit (a sacrificial utensil) at its left, an Udakhalam (a grain thresher) on either of its sides, a Musala (threshing rod) at its back, a stone slab at the region of its breast, with rice, sesame and clarified butter at its mouth, a Prokshani on either of its ears, an Ajyasthali (vessel for clarified butter) on either of its eyes, and bits of gold in the orifices of its mouth, ears and eyes.
36b-38Thus all the articles and utensils required in an Agni Hotra sacrifice, should be arranged along the different parts of the effigy of Kusa grass, which should be lighted With fire, and single libation of clarified butter, should be case therein be rebirthing the Mantra, Asou svargaya lokaya svaha (obeyance to the Fire-God, may he ascend the region of heaven). By thus burning the effigy of a Brahmana, dead in a distant country, his relation may ensure the residence of his soul in the region of Brahma. The killer of a swan, Sarasa, heron I Cakravak, or a cock may regain the former purity of his self by fasting for a single day, which rule holds good as regards the killing of any other bird.
39The rite of expiation in connection with the killing of a quadruped, consists in fasting for a day and in mentally repeating any sacred Mantra. The proper atonement for inadvertently bringing about the death of a Siidra, consists in practising a Kriccha Vrata, that for killing a member of the Vaisya caste, is the practice of an Ati-Krccha Vrata. The penance of be practised for expiating the sin of killing a Kshatriya, is a Candrayana, which should be practised twenty to thirty times by way of atoning for an act of Brahmana-killing.