Pāraskara Gṛhyasutras

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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