Pāraskara Gṛhyasutras

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Paraskara Grhyasutras, PAraskara GRhyasutras, Paaraskara Grrihyasutras

The gṛhyasutras are one of the earliest phases of the dharmaśāstra literature. The Pāraskara Grhyasutras is a well-known work, assigned to the Śukla Yajurveda tradition and followed mostly in North India.

Author of Pāraskara Gṛhyasutras

Nothing is known about the sage Pāraskara except that he was a disciple of the sage Kātyāyana who was the author of the Śrautasutras bearing his name. According to one view, Pāraskara might have lived during the period 900-800 B. C. However it is difficult to prove it conclusively.

Overview of Pāraskara Gṛhyasutras

The work is in three kāṇḍas or chapters. The following table gives an idea of the work:

Kāṇda (Chapter) Kaṇdikas (Subsections) Sutras
First 19 197
Second 17 294
Third 16 219
Total:3 52 710

Content of Pāraskara Gṛhyasutras

The topics dealt with are briefly as follows:

  • On Vedic sacrifices in general
  • The sanskāra or the sacrament of vivāha or marriage
  • Darśapurṇamāsa and Vaiśva-deva sacrifices
  • Some more sanskāras generally included in the group of sixteen[1] on eating flesh
  • Upanayāna and the duties of brahmacārin
  • A special sacrifice called Sītāyajña to be performed in the spring season
  • The sacrifice called Āgrayaṇī to be performed with the newly harvested crop
  • Cure for headaches
  • Controlling one’s employees
  • Few prāyaścittas or expiations for sins
  • Modes of getting into a chariot
  • Entering an assembly where many people have gathered

Commentaries on Pāraskara Gṛhyasutras

Five commentaries on this Grhyasutras have been discovered by:

  1. Gadādhara
  2. Harihara or Hariharabhāsya by Karkācārya
  3. Jayarāma
  4. Viśvanātha

There is one gloss called Amrtavyākhyā quoted by other unknown writers.


  1. It is ṣoḍaśasanskāras.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore