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Baudhayana Grihya Sutra

Baudhayana Grihya Sutra is a treatise detailing the domestic rituals for the followers of the Taittiriya recension of Krishna Yajurveda. Six ritual charanas (ritual schools) are associated with the Taittiriya recension. Of these the Baudhayana School is considered to be the earliest. The Baudhayana Gruhya Sutra text forms part of the greater text known as Kalpasutra (a Vedic auxiliary text). Grihyasutra enumerates the sacraments and the rituals to be performed by the householder in front of the nuptial fire or ordinary fire as prescribed. The sacraments are vivaha (marriage), ritushanti (consummation), pre-natal and post-natal ceremonies, christening, chudakarana (arranging the hair in a tuft), upanayana (initiation), vedavrata (Vedic studies) and samavartana (returning from the teacher’s house).

In the sacrament of marriage, a ritual called matsyagrahanam (catching fish) is described in this text. The catch is offered to cranes near a fig tree. It might have been an adaptation of a local tradition. The domestic ceremonies are classified as huta, prahuta, and ahuta. In  huta, the prepared food is offered in fire, in prahuta the food is laid on the earth as a contribution after the fire offering; in ahuta the performer partakes of the food offering.

The first section deals with the nature of different rituals, offerings to ancestors before the commencement of nandi (any auspicious ritual), purificatory rituals, appointment of priests and the like, common to all rituals. A ceremony called udaka shanti (sanctification of waters) to cleanse people of the impurities is specially prescribed by Baudhayana. The other sections deal with Veda mantras, rites for propitiating planets, adoption and worship of Hari and Hara, sannyasa obsequies (pitrmedha prashna) and so on.