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the word Vaikhânasa here denotes a Sâstra or Sûtra promulgated by Vikhanas, in which the duties of hermits were described at length.[1] The correctness of this opinion seems to me indisputable. For the word mata, 'opinion,' in Manu's verse, requires that the preceding part of the compound should denote either a person, or a school, or a work. If we take vaikhânasa in the sense of hermit in the forest, we obtain the meaningless translation, 'a hermit may subsist on flowers, &c., following the opinion of hermits.' It is, therefore, necessary to interpret vaikhânasa with the commentators in the sense of vaikhânasa sâstra, and to refer it to a particular work which taught the duties of hermits. The existence of such a book is attested not only by Manu's commentators, but also by other ancient and modern authors. Baudhâyana mentions it explicitly[2], and seems to give a short summary of its contents in the third chapter of the third Prasna of his Dharmasâstra. Haradatta, the commentator of Âpastamba and Gautama, also appears to have known it. In his notes on Gautama III, 2, he gives the derivation of vaikhânasa, a hermit in the forest, saying, 'The vânaprastha is called vaikhânasa, because he lives according to the rule promulgated by Vikhanas,' and adds, 'For that (sage) chiefly taught that order[3].' If the statements made to me by Indian Pandits are to be trusted, we may even hope to recover the work in course of time. It must be an exceedingly ancient book, as the secondary meaning of vaikhânasa, a hermit, which can have arisen only in the manner suggested by Haradatta[4], occurs in the 




  1. Medh. (Symbol missingIndic characters) Gov. (Symbol missingIndic characters) Kull. (Symbol missingIndic characters) Nand. (Symbol missingIndic characters) Nâr. (Symbol missingIndic characters)
  2. Baudh. Dharma. II, 11, 14; Sacred Books of the East, vol. xiv, p. 359.
  3. (Symbol missingIndic characters)
  4. The double vriddhi in vaikhânasa is according to the analogy of the words enumerated in the âkriti-gana anustikâdi, Pân. VII, 3, 20.