Śāñkhāyana Grhyasutras

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sankhayana Grhyasutras, ZAJkhAyana Grhyasutras, shaaykhaayana Grhyasutras

Significance of Gṛhyasutras

The Gṛhyasutras are a subsidiary of the Vedānga known as the Kalpasutras. They deal primarily with the rites connected with the home and family-life.

Origin of Śāñkhāyana Gṛhyasutras

The Śāñkhāyana Gṛhyasutras belongs to the Ṛgveda. It is a fairly long work. There are 1075 sutras accommodated in 96 khaṇdas or sections, which are contained in 6 adhyāyas or chapters.

Content of Śāñkhāyana Gṛhyasutras

The contents may be briefly summarized as follows:

  • Sacrifices like the pākayajñas and the Darśapurṇamāsa
  • Details of the sanskāras or sacraments like vivāha,[1] puisavana, jātakarma, upanayana, upākarma and so on
  • Duties of a snātaka[2]
  • Building a house and the rituals connected with entering it called as gṛhapraveśa
  • Śrāddhas or obsequial rites
  • Pilgrimage and Vedic sacrificial fire
  • Consecration of wells, ponds, tanks and gardens
  • Prāyaścittas or expiations

For details of these subjects, see under the respective titles.


  1. Vivāha means marriage.
  2. Snātaka is the one who has completed his Vedic education.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore