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Baudhayana Sulbasutra

Baudhayana Sulbasutra is a text which addresses the construction of Vedic altars for the performance of yajnas. The altars are prepared with the help of a rope – sulba – and hence they are called Sulbasutras. These sutras are presented in ten sub divisions. This appears as Chapter 30 in Baudhayana Srauta Sutra.

The construction of the square and other figures is explained in Baudhayana Sulba Sutra. The merger of square and rectangles, and also the dimensions of the area of a given square or rectangle, are given vividly. Similarly, conversion of a square into a circle or vice versa has been explained in an easy way. The altars for Adhana and Somayaga are given in a simple way.

Mahagnicayana is described in a descriptive manner. Arranging bricks in a falcon syena citi (bird shape) is described in adherence to the Vedic texts (Taittiriya Samhita). The other options of arranging the bricks in the form of triangle, rhombus, circle, circle with handle and in the form of a turtle are explained elaborately. The Sutras closely follow the order given in Tattiriya Samhita. The only additional aspect is the arrangement of bricks in the form of a turtle which has not been laid down in Taittiriya Samhita. Baudhayana, must have borrowed this from some other Vedic recensions which are not extant today.

One peculiar feature, found in these sutras, is that the major portion is devoted to the formulation of various cayanas (placing of bricks in various forms). The methods handled by Baudhayana are more or less the same methods applied by Apastamba and others. The language used is very simple, though elaborate. The value of pi (the constant employed in computing the circumference and the diameter of a circle) is also mentioned.