Re: [INDOLOGY] Dharmakavidhi and Jīvadāna

Arlo Griffiths arlogriffiths at
Mon Oct 14 14:21:32 UTC 2013

Dear Patrick,

Thanks for your two responses. The reading Dharmajavidhi makes things a bit easier; Dharmajñavidhir would be even easier.

The mantra you cite must be emended to mā pragāma patho vayam (if that is not actually what the edition gives). Lakṣmīdhara's comment was at first sight puzzling to me. But now it seems to me his reasoning, or that of his source, must have been that this group of 5 mantras, in its Ṛgveda version (10.57), reads as pāda 5c jīvaṃ vrātaṃ sacemahi. The connection with jīvadāna seems forced.

The Divyatattva must be referring to the phrase pāśāṅkuśapuṭā which indeed occurs repeatedly in the Śāradātilaka. Indeed in some late Tantric texts, a third meaning of jīvadāna (that I don't understand yet) seems to be at play.

Best wishes,


Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Dharmakavidhi and Jīvadāna
From: jpo at
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2013 08:33:45 -0500
CC: indology at
To: arlogriffiths at

Dear Arlo:
In the commentary on this by Lakṣmīdhara, Vyavahārakalpataru (Dharmakośa, I: 523), we have: jīvadānādikaiḥ "ma pragām apathy vayam" ityādibhiḥ. 
The Divyatattva comments: jīvadanamantras tu śāradāyām -- "pāśāñkuśapuṭā ..> *and a long explanation (too long for me to type it out here!!). The Divyatattva was edited and translated by Richard Lariviere (Manohar, 1981). This is a much more tantric rite.
Aiyangar's edition (I have a hard copy) does not add much to this; the Kyoto electronic copy is based on it.

On Oct 14, 2013, at 3:24 AM, Arlo Griffiths wrote:Dear colleagues,

The Bṛhaspatismṛti contains the interesting short text entitled Dharmakavidhi pasted below. If I am not overlooking anything, Kane has not discussed it in Hist. of Dharmaśāstra. Does anyhone happen to know parallels for it, does anybody have a suggestion on what the significance of the suffix -ka might be here, and is there any convincing way to estimate the date of this little text (presuming that the Bṛhaspatismṛti is a composite text)? Could anyone supply a pdf of K.V. Rangaswami Aiyangar's volume Gaekwad Oriental Series, 85 (Bṛhaspatismṛti Reconstructed, 1941)?

On a related note, I assume that jīvadānādibhir mantraiḥ here refers to the Vedic mantra jīvadānava stha etc. So this passage is not directly relevant to my underlying problem, the meaning of jīvadāna in a 5th c. inscription: sources such the Ratnamālāvadāna 4.112 and the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa 1.93.10 seem to suggest that this can be an equivalent of jaladāna (itself, presumably, an equivalent of the Mahādāna jaladhenu) or else that it literally means a gift of life (as at MBh 12.149.108 and, somewhat differently, at Brahmāṇḍapurāṇa  2.16.53). I should much appreciate references to or discussions of jīvadāna in the primary of and secondary literature on Dharmaśāstra.

Thank you.

Arlo Griffiths


Bṛhaspatismṛti [1.8.12 Dharmakavidhiḥ]pattradvaye lekhanīyau dharmādharmau sitāsitau  /<BR>jīvadānādibhir mantraiḥ gāyatryādyaiś ca sāmabhiḥ  // Brh_1,8.82 //<BR>āmantrya pūjayed gandhaiḥ kusumaiś ca sitāsitaiḥ  /<BR>abhyukṣya pañcagavyena mṛtpiṇḍāntaritau tataḥ  // Brh_1,8.83 //<BR>samau kṛtvā tu tau kumbhe sthāpyau cānupalakṣitau  /<BR>tataḥ kumbhāt piṇḍam ekaṃ pragṛhṇītāvilambitaḥ  // Brh_1,8.84 //<BR>dharme gṛhīte śuddhaḥ syāt sa pūjyaś ca parīkṣakaiḥ  /<BR>adharme saṃgṛhīte tu daṇḍyo nirvāsya eva vā [p.93]  // Brh_1,8.85 //<BR>likhed bhūrjapaṭe vāpi dharmādharmau sitāsitau  /<BR>abhyukṣya pañcagavyena gandhamālyaiḥ samarcayet  // Brh_1,8.86 //<BR>sitapuṣpas tu dharmaḥ syād adharmo 'sitapuṣpadhṛt  /<BR>evaṃ vidhāyopalipya piṇḍayos tāni dhāpayet  // Brh_1,8.87 //<BR>gomayena mṛdā vāpi piṇḍau kāryau samau tataḥ  /<BR>mṛdbhāṇake 'nupahate sthāpyau cānupalakṣitau  // Brh_1,8.88 //<BR>upalipte śucau deśe devabrāhmaṇasaṃnidhau  /<BR>samarcayet tato devān lokapālāṃś ca pūrvavat  // Brh_1,8.89 //<BR>dharmāvāhanapūrvaṃ tu pratijñāpattrakaṃ likhet  /<BR>yadi pāpavimukto 'haṃ dharmaś cāyātu me kare  // Brh_1,8.90 //<BR>abhiśastas tayoś caikaṃ pragṛhṇītāvilambitaḥ  /<BR>dharme gṛhīte śuddhiḥ syād adharme tu sa hīyate  // Brh_1,8.91 //<BR>evaṃ vicārayan rājā dharmārthābhyāṃ na hīyate  // Brh_1,8.92 //<BR>

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