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230. Since they alone are held equal to the three worlds; they alone, to the three principal orders ; they alone, to the three Védas ; they alone, to the three fires :

231. The natural father is considered as the gérhapatya, or nuptial fire ; the mother as the dacshina, or ceremonial; the spiritual guide as the áhavaniya, or sacrificial: this triad of fires is most venerable.

232. He, who neglects not those three, when he becomes a house-keeper, will ultimately obtain dominion over the three worlds; and his body being irradiated like a God, he will enjoy supreme bliss in heaven.

233. By honouring his mother he gains this terrestrial world; by honouring his father, the intermediate, or etherial ; and, by assiduous attention to his preceptor, even the celestial world of BRAHMA':

234. All duties are completely performed by that man, by whom those three are completely honoured; but to him by whom they are dishonoured, all other acts of duty are fruitless.

235. As long as those three live, so long he must perform no other duty for his own sake: but delighting in what may conciliate their affections and gratify their wishes, he must from day to day assiduously wait on them :

236. Whatever duty he may perform in thought, word, or deed, with a view to the next world, without derogation from his respect to them; he must declare to them his entire performance of it.

237. By honouring those three, without more, a man effectually does whatever ought to be done : this is the highest duty, appearing before us like DHERMA himself, and every other act is an upadherma, or subordinate duty.

238. A believer in scripture may receive pure knowledge even from a Súdra; a lesson of the highest virtue, even from a Chandála ; and a woman, bright as a gem, even from the basest family:

239. Even from poison may nectar be taken ; even from a child, gentleness of speech; even from a foe, prudent conduct; and even from an impure substance, gold.

240. From every quarter, therefore, must be selected women bright as gems, knowledge, virtue, purity, gentle speech, and various liberal arts.

241. In case of necessity a student is required to learn the Véda from one who is not a Bráhmen, and, as long as that instruction continues, to honour his instructor with obsequious assiduity;

242. But a pupil who seeks the incomparable path to heaven, should not live to the end of his days in the dwelling of a preceptor who is no Bráhmen, or who has not read all the Vedas with their Angas.

243. If he anxiously desire to pass his whole life in the house of a sacerdotal teacher, he must serve him with assiduous care, till he be released from his mortal frame :

244. That Bráhmen, who has dutifully attended his preceptor, till the dissolution of his body, passes directly to the eternal mansion of GOD.

245. LET not a student, who knows his duty, present any gift to his preceptor before his return home ; but when, by his tutor's permission, he is going to perform the ceremony on his return, let him give the venerable man some valuable thing to the best of his power ;

246. A field, or gold, a jewel, a cow, or a horse, an umbrella, a pair of sandals, a stool, corn, cloths, or even any very excellent vegetable : thus will he gain the affectionate remembrance of his instructor.

247. The student for life must, if his teacher die, attend on his virtuous son, or his widow, or on one of his paternal kinsmen, with the same respect which he showed to the living :

248. Should none of those be alive he must occupy the station of his preceptor, the seat, and the place of religious exercises; must continually pay attention to the fires, which he had consecrated; and must prepare his own soul for heaven.

249. The twice-born man, who shall thus without intermission have passed the time of his studentship, shall ascend, after death, to the most exalted of regions, and no more again spring to birth in this lower world.



.1. The discipline of a student in the three Védas may be continued for thirty-six years, in the house of his preceptor; or for half that time, or for a quarter of it, or until he perfectly comprehend them :

2. A student, whose rules have not been violated, may assume the order of a married man, after he has read in succession à sáchá, or branch from each of the three, or from two, or from any one of them.

3. Being justly applauded for the strict performance of his duty, and having received from his natural or spiritual father the sacred gift of the Véda, let him sit on an elegant bed, decked with a garland of flowers, and let his father honour him, before his nuptials, with a present of a cow.

4. Let the twice-born man, having obtained the consent of his venerable guide, and having performed his ablution with stated ceremonies, on his return home, as the law directs, espouse a wife of the same class with himself and endued with the marks of excellence.

5. She, who is not descended from his paternal or maternal ancestors, within the sixth degree, and who is not known by her family name to be of the same primitive stock with his father or mother, is eligible by a twice-born man for nuptials and holy union :

6. In connecting himself with a wife, let him studiously avoid the ten following families, be they ever so great, or ever so rich in kine, goats, sheep, gold and grain :

7. The family which has omitted prescribed acts of religion ; that which has produced no male children; that, in which the Véda has not been read; that, which has thick

hair on the body; and those, which have been subject to hemorrhoids, to phthisis, to dyspepsia, to epilepsy, to leprosy, and to elephantiasis.

8. Let him not marry a girl with reddish hair, nor with any deformed limb; nor one troubled with habitual sickness; nor one either with no hair or with too much ; nor one immoderately talkative; nor one with inflamed eyes;

9. Nor one with the name of a constellation, or of a tree, or of a river, of a barbarous nation, or of a mountain, of a winged creature, a snake, or a slave ; nor with any name raising an image of terrour.

10. Let him chuse for his wife a girl, whose form has no defect; who has an agreeable name; who walks gracefully like a phenicopteros, or like a young elephant; whose hair and teeth are moderate respectively in quantity and in size; whose body has exquisite softness.

11. Her, who has no brother, or whose father is not well known, let no sensible man espouse, through fear lest, in the former case, her father should take her first son as his own to perform his obsequies; or, in the second case, lest an illicit marriage should be contracted.

12. For the first marriage of the twice-born classes, a woman of the same class is recommended; but for such as are impelled by inclination to marry again, women in the direct order of the classes are to be preferred :

13. A Súdrà woman only must be the wife of a Súdra ; she and a Vaisyà, of a Vaisya ; they two and a Cshatriyà, of a Cshatriya ; those two and a Bráhmeni of a Bráhmen.

14. A woman of the servile class is not mentioned, even in the recital of any ancient story, as the first wife of a Bráhmen or of a Cshatriya, though in the greatest difficulty to find a suitable match.

15. Men of the twice-born classes, who through weakness of intellect, irregularly marry women of the lowest class, very soon degrade their families and progeny to the state of Súdras :

16. According to ATRI and to (Go'tama) the son of UTAT'HYA, he who thus marries a woman of the servile class, if he be a priest, is degraded instantly; according to SAUNACA, on the birth of a son, if he be a warriour; and, if he be a merchant, on the birth of a son's son, according to (me) BHRIGU.

17. A Bráhmen, if he take a Súdrà to his bed, as his first wife, sinks to the regions of torment; if he beget a child by her, he loses even his priestly rank:

18. His sacrifices to the Gods, his oblations to the Manes, and his hospitable attentions to strangers, must be supplied principally by her; but the Gods and Manes will not eat such offerings ; nor can heaven be attained by such hospitality.

19. For the crime of him, who thus illegally drinks the moisture of a Súdrà's lips, who is tainted by her breath, and who even begets a child on her body, the law declares no expiation.

20. Now learn compendiously the eight forms of the nuptial ceremony, used by the four classes, some good and some bad in this world, and in the next :

21. The ceremony of BRAHMA', of the Dévas, of the Rishis, of the Prajapatis, of the Asuras, of the Gandharvas, and of the Racshases; the eighth and basest is that of the Pisá chas.

22. Which of them is permitted by law to each class and what are the good and bad properties of each ceremony, all this I will fully declare to you, together with the qualities, good and bad, of the offspring.

23. Let mankind know, that the six first in direct order are by some held valid in the case of a priest; the four last, in that of a warriour; and the same four, except the Rácshasa marriage, in the cases of a merchant and a man of the servile class :

24. Some consider the four first only as approved in the case of a priest; one, that of Racshases, as peculiar to a soldier; and that of Asuras, to a mercantile and a servile man.

25. But in this code, three of the five last are held legal, and two illegal: the ceremonies of Pisachas and Asuras must never be performed.

26. For a military man the before mentioned marriages of

* In the original we have cavayó viduh, “poets, i.e. legislators consider" and not some consider.”


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