[INDOLOGY] Dharmasastra quotation on upanayana

Lubin, Tim LubinT at wlu.edu
Thu Jun 6 17:17:19 UTC 2013

upanīyayet seems to be a conflation of upanīya or upanayīta and upanayet, all forms being common in this context.

VaikhānasaGS 6.7 quotes the first half as śruti:
brāhmaṇyāṃ brāhmaṇāj jātamātrasya brāhmaṇasya prathamajanma syād upanayanasaṃskāre dvitīyaṃ bhavati dvitīyajanmany ācāryaḥ pitā sāvitrī mātā dvābhyāṃ janmabhyāṃ dvijo bhavaty < aṣṭavarṣaṃ brāhmaṇam upanayīta- > iti śrutis tasmād garbhādhānādyaṣṭame varṣe brāhmaṇasyopanayanaṃ śreṣṭhaṃ

"aṣṭavarṣaṃ brāhmaṇam upanayīta" is also quoted three or four times in The Mimāṃsāślokavārttika with the Commentary Kāśikā of Sucaritamiśra. Trivandrum 1926, 1929, 1943. (Trivandrum Sanskrit Series, 90, 99, 150).

I do not know of any such occurrence in śruti -- perhaps it is "lost śruti"; anyway, it would have to be "gṛhya śruti" such as Śatapatha Br. ff.

GobhilaGS 2.2.1: aṣṭavarṣaṃ brāhmaṇam upanayed garbhāṣṭame vā |1|

The first sentence of your printed version =
ĀśvGS 1.19.1, KhādiraGS 2.4.1 (as printed anyway)

BaudhGS 2.5.5 and ĀpDhS both prescribe age 10 for the annādyakāma; I have never seen 6 for this.  I have digital versions of all GSs, but I cannot find exactly your passage, or the latter half thereof.

In the GSs, there is no general agreement that the appropriate age for Brahmins to be initiated is eight -- but it becomes standard only in the Dharmasūtras (I have written about the patterns underlying the disagreements in a 2005 article.)  Hence I am skeptical that there was ever a śruti passage that prescribed it.  (Vaikhānasa is too late to cite as support for such a notion; it may have an expansive notion of śruti.)


Timothy Lubin
Professor of Religion
Washington and Lee University
Lexington, Virginia 24450


From: Martin Gansten <martin.gansten at pbhome.se<mailto:martin.gansten at pbhome.se>>
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2013 17:31:49 +0200
To: Indology <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
Subject: [INDOLOGY] Dharmasastra quotation on upanayana

Balabhadra in his Hāyanaratna quotes an unnamed text on the preferred
time of upanayana. The MSS I have seen all give the quotation as:

aṣṭavarṣaṃ brāhmaṇam upanīyayet ṣaṣṭhe ’nnādyakāma iti

The printed text cleans this up as follows:

aṣṭame varṣe brāhmaṇam upanayet ṣaṣṭhe ’nnādyakāma iti

-- but I don't know whether this corrected version exactly matches any
actual text. Any help in placing the quotation would be much appreciated.

Martin Gansten

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