By Swami Harshananda
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, puisavana, jātakarma, upanayana, upākarma and so on
- Duties of a snātaka
- 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.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore