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POETRY]
175
SANSKRIT

but neither this translation nor the original is any longer extant. A Syriac translation, however, made from the Pahlavī in the same century, under the title of “Qualilag and Dimnag”—from the Sanskrit “Karataka and Damanaka,” two jackals who play an important part as the lion's counsellors—has been discovered and published. The Sanskrit original, which probably consisted of fourteen chapters, was afterwards recast—the result being the Panchatantra,[1] or “five books” (or headings), of which several recensions exist. A popular summary of this work, in four books, the Hitopadeśa,[2] or “Salutary Counsel,” has been shown by Peterson to have been composed by one Nārāyaṇa. Other highly popular collections of stories and fairy tales, interspersed with sententious verses, are: the Vetālapanchaviṃśati,[3] or “twenty-five (stories) of the Vetāla, (the original of the Baitāl Pachīsī), ascribed either to Jambhala Datta, or to Śivadāsa (while Professor Weber suggests that Vetāla-bhaṭṭa may have been the author), and at all events older than the 11th century, since both Kshemendra and Somadeva have used it; the Śuka-saptati,[4] or “seventy (stories related) by the parrot,” the author and age of which are unknown; and the Siṃhāsana-dvātriṃśikā,[5] or “thirty-two (tales) of the throne,” being laudatory stories regarding Vikramāditya of Avantī, related by thirty-two statues, standing round the old throne of that famous monarch, to King Bhoja of Dhārā to discourage him from sitting down on it. This work is ascribed to Kshemankara, and was probably composed in the time of Bhoja (who died in 1053) from older stories in the Mahārāshṭra dialect. The original text has, however, undergone many modifications, and is now known in several different recensions. Of about the same date are two great-houses of fairy tales, composed entirely in ślokas, viz. the rather wooden and careless Bṛihat-kathā-manjarī,[6] or “great cluster of story,” by Kshemendra, also called Kshemankara, who wrote, c. 1020-1040, under King Ananta of Kashmir; and the far superior and truly poetical Kathā-sarit-sāgara,[7] or “ocean of the streams of story,” composed in some 21,500 couplets by Somadeva, early in the 12th century, for the recreation of Ananta's widow, Sūryavatī, grandmother of King Harshadeva. Both these works are based on an apparently lost work, viz. Guṇādhya's Bṛihat-kathā, or “great story,” which was composed in some popular dialect, perhaps as early as the 1st or 2nd century of our era, and which must have rivalled the Mahābhārata in extent, seeing that it is stated to have consisted of 100,000 ślokas (of 32 syllables each).

B. Scientific and Technical Literature

I. Law (Dharma).[8]—Among the technical treatises of the later Vedic period, certain portions of the Kalpa-sūtras, or manuals of Law. ceremonial, peculiar to particular schools, were referred to as the earliest attempts at a systematic treatment of law subjects. These are the Dharma-sūtras, or “rules of (religious) law,” also called Sāmayāchārika-sūtras, or “rules of conventional usage (samaya-āchāra).” It is doubtful whether such treatises were at any time quite as numerous as the Gṛihyasūtras, or rules of domestic or family rites, to which they are closely allied, and of which indeed they may originally have been an outgrowth. That the number of those actually extant is comparatively small is, however, chiefly due to the fact that this class of works was supplanted by another of a more popular kind, which covered the same ground. The Dharmasūtras consist chiefly of strings of terse rules, containing the essentials of the science, and intended to be committed to memory, and to be expounded orally by the teacher—thus forming, as it were, epitomes of class lectures. These rules are interspersed with stanzas or “gāthās,” in various metres, either composed by the author himself or quoted from elsewhere, which generally give the substance of the preceding rules. One can well understand why such couplets should gradually have become more popular, and should ultimately have led to the appearance of works entirely composed in verse. Such metrical law-books did spring up in large numbers, not all at once, but over a long period of time, extending probably from about the beginning of our era, or even earlier, down to well-nigh the Mahommedan conquest; and, as at the time of their first appearance the epic impulse was particularly strong, other metres were entirely discarded for the epic śloka. These works are the metrical Dharma-śāstras, or, as they are usually called, the Smṛiti, “recollection, tradition,”—a term which, as we have seen, belonged to the whole body of Sūtras (as opposed to the Śruti, or revelation), but which has become the almost exclusive title of the versified institutes of law (and the few Dharmasūtras still extant). Of metrical Smṛitis about forty are hitherto known to exist, but their total number probably amounted to at least double that figure, though some of these, it is true, are but short and insignificant tracts, while others are only different recensions of one and the same work.

With the exception of a few of these works—such as the Agni-, Yama- and Vishṇu-Smṛitis—which are ascribed to the respective Manu. gods, the authorship of the Smṛitis is attributed to old ṛishis, such as Atri, Kaṇva, Vyāsa, Śāṇdilya, Bharadvāja. It is, however, extremely doubtful whether in most cases this attribution is not altogether fanciful, or whether, as a rule, there really existed a traditional connexion between these works and their alleged authors or schools named after them. The idea, which early suggested itself to Sanskrit scholars, that Smṛitis which passed by the names of old Vedic teachers and their schools might simply be metrical recasts of the Dharma- (or Gṛihya-) sūtras of these schools, was a very natural one, and, indeed, is still a very probable one, though the loss of the original Sūtras, and the modifications and additions which the Smṛitis doubtless underwent in course of time, make it very difficult to prove this point. One could, however, scarcely account for the disappearance of the Dharmasūtras of some of the most important schools except on the ground that they were given up in favour of other works; and it is not very likely that this should have been done, unless there was some guarantee that the new works, upon the whole, embodied the doctrines of the old authorities of the respective schools. Thus, as regards the most important of the Smṛitis, the Mānava-Dharmaśāstra,[9] there exist both a Śrauta- and a Gṛihya-sūtra of the Mānava school of the Black Yajus, but no such Dharmasūtra has hitherto been discovered, though the former existence of such a work has been made all but certain by Professor Bühler's discovery of quotations from a Mānavam, consisting partly of prose rules, and partly of couplets, some of which occur literally in the Manusmṛiti, whilst others have been slightly altered there to suit later doctrines, or have been changed from the original trishṭubh into the epic metre. The idea of an old law-giver Manu Svāyambhuva—“sprung from the self-existent (svayam-bhū)” god Brahman (m.)—reaches far back into Vedic antiquity: he is mentioned as such in early texts; and in Yāska's Nirukta a śloka occurs giving his opinion on a point of inheritance. But whether or not the Mānava-Dharmasūtra embodied what were supposed to be the authoritative precepts of this sage on questions of sacred law we do not know; nor can it as yet be shown that the Manusmṛiti, which seems itself to have undergone considerable modifications, is the lineal descendant of that Dharmasūtra. It is, however, worthy of note that a very close connexion exists between the Manusmṛiti and the Vishṇuśāstra; and, as the latter is most likely a modern, only partially remodelled, edition of the Sūtras of the Black Yajus school of the Kaṭhas, the close relation between the two works would be easily understood, if it could be shown that the Manusmṛiti is a modern development of the Sūtras of another school of the Charaka division of the Black Yajurveda.

The Mānava Dharmaśāstra consists of twelve books, the first and last of which, treating of creation, transmigration and final beatitude, are, however, generally regarded as later additions. In them the legendary sage Bhṛigu, here called a Mānava, is introduced as Manu's disciple, through whom the great teacher has his work promulgated. Why this intermediate agent should have been considered necessary is by no means clear. Except in these two books the work shows no special relation to Manu, for, though he is occasionally referred to in it, the same is done in other Smṛitis. The question as to the probable date of the final redaction of the work cannot as yet be answered. Dr Burnell has tried to show that it was probably composed under the Chālukya king Pulakeśi, about A.D. 500, but his argumentation is anything but convincing. From several ślokas quoted from Manu by Varāhamihira, in the 6th century, it would appear that the text which the great astronomer had before him differed very considerably from our Manusmṛiti. It is, however, possible that he referred either to the Bṛihat-Manu (Great


  1. Edited by Kosegarten, by G. Bühler and F. Kielhorn; translated by Th. Benfey, E. Lancereau, L. Fritze; edited in Pūrṇabhadra's recension by J. Hertel, in Harv. Or. Ser. (1908).
  2. Ed. and transl. F. Johnson, ed. P. Peterson and others in India.
  3. Ed. H. Uhle (Leipzig, 1881); cf. R. F. Burton, Vikram and the Vampire (new ed., 1893).
  4. Edited, with German translation, R. Schmidt (Leipzig, 1893), and translation of some stories of a larger recension (1896).
  5. German translation, with introduction, A. Weber, Ind. Stud. xv.
  6. Edited, with translation and notes, by L. v. Mankowski (Leipzig, 1892); chapters 1-8 edited and translated by Sylvain Lévi, Journ. As. (1886); cf. F. Lacôte, Essai sur Guṇādhya et la Bṛihatkathā (1909), where part of a Nepalese version is given.
  7. Edited by H. Brockhaus (1839-1862); by Durgāpratāpa (Bombay, 1889); translated by C. H. Tawney, Bibl. Ind. (1880-1886).
  8. Cf. Jolly's exhaustive treatise, Recht und Sitte, in Bühler's Grundriss 1896).
  9. The standard edition is by G. C. Haughton, with Sir W. Jones's translation (1825); the latest translations by A. Burnell and G. Bühler. There is also a critical essay on the work by F. Johäntgen. On the relation between the Dharmasūtras and Smṛitis see especially West and Bühler, Digest of Hindu Law (3rd ed.), i. p. 37 seq.