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GṛhasthaThe Householder in Ancient Indian Religious Culture$
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Patrick Olivelle

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190696153

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190696153.001.0001

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The Late Appearance of the Gṛhastha in the Vedic Domestic Ritual Codes as a Married Religious Professional

The Late Appearance of the Gṛhastha in the Vedic Domestic Ritual Codes as a Married Religious Professional

Chapter:
(p.95) 6 The Late Appearance of the Gṛhastha in the Vedic Domestic Ritual Codes as a Married Religious Professional
Source:
Gṛhastha
Author(s):

Timothy Lubin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190696153.003.0006

The Gṛhyasūtras (rulebooks of household ritual) might be expected to use the word gṛhastha, since it becomes the standard label for a married householder responsible for performing such rites. But in fact, when that role is mentioned, they employ older terms, suggesting that gṛhastha came into use only after the core works of the genre were composed, or that the ritualist authors were slow to accept it. The few occurrences we do find are in restricted contexts in supplementary chapters: in an appended list of penances (a penance for a gṛhastha vidyārthin, “a wisdom-seeker-who-stays-at-home,” Baudhāyana Gṛhyasūtra 4.12.1), and in two appendices that mention a gṛhastha alongside other individuals (including ascetics) worthy to be fed at rituals. This suggests that domestic ritual authorities in the era when the term was coming into use saw it as most applicable for depicting the married ritualist as a home-based religious professional comparable to an ascetic.

Keywords:   Gṛhyasūtra, penance, domestic code, student, ascetic, feeding, pariśiṣṭa, vrata

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