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About Hindu Holy Books Kalpa Sutra or Kalpashastras

Kalpa Sutra sor Kalpashastras are ancient Hindu scriptures. They are part of the Vedanga. There are several books in the series and is named after the corresponding Saint who wrote it. Each Kalpasutra has five to ten thousand pages.

The content of Kalpa Sutra

About the content of Kalpa Sutra is best explained in an article published by Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham:

Kalpa is the sastra that involves you in "work".

A man learns to chant the Vedas, studies Siksa, Vyakarana, Chandas, Nirukta and Jyotisa. What does he do next? He has to apply these sastras to the rites he is enjoined to perform. He has to wash away his sins, the sins earned by acting according to his whims. This he does by the performance of good works. For this he must know the appropriate mantras and how to enunciate them correctly, understanding their meaning. Also certain materials are needed and a house that is architecturally suited to the conduct of the rituals. The fruits yielded by these must be offered to the Isvara. Kalpa concerns itself with these matters.

Why does a man learn the vedas? Why does he make efforts to gain perfection with regard to the purity and tone of their sound by learning Siksa, grammar and prosody? And why does he learn Jyotisa to find out the right time to perform rituals? The answer is to carry out the injunctions of Kalpa.

How is a rite to be performed, what are the rituals imposed on men and women and on people belonging to the four asramas (celibate students, house-holders, forest recluses and ascetics )? What are the mantras to be chanted during these various rites and what are the materials to be gathered? What kind of vessels are to be used, and how many rtviks (priests) are needed for the different rituals? All these come under the province of Kalpa.

The major Kalpa Sutras are Boudhayana Kalpasutra, Aapasthamba Kalpasutra, Kaatyayana Kalpasutra and Manava Kalpasutra.

Each kalpasutras are divided for different acharas - Gruhyasutra, Dharma sutra, Sroutha sutra, Pitrumedha sutra, Sulbasutra and Prayaschitta.