oldest known Dharma-sûtra. Under these circumstances it is not advisable to assume that it had any connexion with the Vaikhânasa Sûtrakarana, a subdivision of the Taittirîyas, which seems to have been one of the youngest schools adhering to the Black Yagur-veda. But it is evident that the ancient Vaikhânasa Sûtra, which treated of an important portion of the sacred law, preceded our Manu-smriti. Another reference to the opinion of a person who is the reputed author of a still existing Dharma-sûtra is found at Manu VIII, 140, where the rate of legal interest on secured loans is thus described: 'A money-lender may stipulate, as an increase on his capital, for the interest allowed by Vasishtha, and take monthly the eightieth part of a hundred.' If we turn to the Vâsishtha Dharmasâstra, we read, III, 51, 'Hear the interest for a money-lender, declared by Vasishtha, five mâshas (may be taken every month) for twenty (kârshâpanas).' Though the wording of the Manu-smriti differs from that adopted in the Vâsishtha Dharmasâstra, the meaning of both passages is the same. The eightieth part of one hundred is one and a quarter per cent, and the same rate is obtained if five mâshas are charged for twenty kârshâpanas, i. e. for four hundred mâshas. Both law-books, therefore, evidently refer to the same rule of Vasishtha. But the correctness of the further inference that the author of the Manu-smriti used the Vâsishtha Dharma-sâstra is not so easily demonstrable as might seem from the extracts given above. For Vas. III, 51 itself is a quotation, marked as such by its final iti (left untranslated) and the phrase, 'Now they quote also,' which is prefixed to Sûtra 48. Hence it. might be argued that the agreement of the
- See Professor Max Müller, Anc. Sansk. Lit. p. 199; Professor Weber, Indische Studien, vol. i, p. 83. A portion of the Vaikhânasa Srauta-sûtra is preserved in the modern transcripts, belonging to the Bombay University and the Munich Royal Libraries, which Professor Haug had made from a Barodâ MS.
- Sacred Books of the East, vol. xiv, p. 16 ; according to Dr. Führer's edition, Vas. III, 50.
- Gagannâtha, in Col. Dig. I, 25, gives a somewhat different calculation. But the general sense remains the same. I follow Krishnapandîta and Haradatta on Gautama XII, 29.