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
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|
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 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:
There is one gloss called Amrtavyākhyā quoted by other unknown writers.
- It is ṣoḍaśasanskāras.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore