By Swami Harshananda
Śrautasutra of Kātyāyana
Kātyāyana is one of the ancient sages credited to be the author of many works. The Śrautasutra of Kātyāyana belongs to the Śukla Yajurveda. It has 26 chapters. The yāgas described in the Śatapatha Brāhmana are dealt with in this work in greater details. Karkabhāsya is a commentary attributed to one Karkācārya, on this work.
Sulbasutras of Kātyāyana
Kātyāyana is also the author of a Sulbasutra. It has seven kaṇḍikās or sections. It deals mainly with the construction of the vedis or platforms for the performance of Vedic sacrifices. It reveals an astonishing knowledge of geometry.
Kātyāyanasmrti is also called as Karmapradipa. It is available now is in three prapāṭhakas (sections). It is divided into 29 khaṇḍas (chapters) and has 500 verses. This work contains miscellaneous topics like:
- Wearing of sacred thread
- Worship of deities like Gaṇeśa and the Mātrkāa
- Details of some implements useful in Vedic sacrifices
- Personal hygiene
- Sandhyā ritual
- Five daily sacrifices
Other Works of Kātyāyana
Two more works on the Vedas, attributed to Kātyāyana are available now:
- Sarvānukramani on the Ṛgveda
- Similar work on the Śukla Yajurveda
Significance of Kātyāyana in Literature
The date of Kātyāyana has been approximately placed between the 4th and the 6th centuries A. D. Many authors of dharmaśāstras like Saṅkha-Likhita, Yājñavalkya and Parāśara have considered Kātyāyana as an important expounder of dharma. Though his original works on the various aspects of dharma is not available now, numerous quotations from his work are seen in the nibandhas or digests by other authors.
Kātyāyana, A Grammarian
There is another Kātyāyana who was a grammarian in the history. He was the author of vārttikās or critical explanatory and complementary notes on certain rules of Pāṇini’s Sanskrit grammar. Patañjali (200 B. c.), the composer of the Mahābhāsya on Pāṇini’s Astādhyāyī, has quoted his vārttikās often.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore