Gautama Dharmasūtra | 6



1. Food Transactions

1. A Brahmin may eat food given by twice-born men renowned for their devotion to their respective duties. 2. He may also accept gifts from them.

3. Firewood, water, fodder, roots, fruits, honey, a promise of safety, what is given unasked, beds, seats, shelter, carriages, milk, curd, roasted grain, Śapharī fish, millet, garlands, venison, and vegetables

- should not be refused from anyone, 4. as also other things needed to take care of the ancestors, gods, teacher, and dependants.

5. If he is unable to sustain himself by other means, he may accept food from a Śūdra.

6. A man who looks after his animals or ploughs his fields, a friend of the family, his barber, and his personal servant

- these are people whose food he may eat, 7. as also a merchant who is not an artisan.

8. This type of food is not fit to be eaten every day.

2. Unfit Food

9. The following are unfit to be eaten:

food into which hair or an insect has fallen; 10. what has been touched by a menstruating woman, a black bird, or someone’s foot; 11. what has been looked at by an abortionist 12. or smelt by a cow;

13. food that looks revolting; 14. food that has turned sour, except curd; 15. re-cooked food; 16. food that has become stale, except vegetables, chewy or greasy foods, meat, and honey;

17. food given by someone who has been disowned by his parents, a harlot, a heinous sinner, a hermaphrodite, a law enforcement agent, a carpenter, a miser, a jailer, a physician,

a man who hunts without using the bow or eats the leftovers of others, a group of people, or an enemy, 18. as also by those listed before a bald man as people who defile those alongside whom they eat;

19. food prepared for no avail; a meal during which people sip water or get up against the rules, 20. or at which different sorts of homage are paid to people of equal stature and the same homage is paid to people of different stature; 21. and food that is given disrespectfully.

3. Forbidden Food

22-23. It is forbidden to drink the milk of a cow, a goat, or a buffalo, during the first 10 days after it gives birth; 24. the milk of sheep, camels, and one-hoofed animals under any circumstances;

25. the milk of an animal from whose udders milk flows spontaneously or of an animal that has borne twins, gives milk while pregnant, 26. or has lost her calf.

27. The following are forbidden foods:

animals with 5 claws, with the exception of the hedgehog, hare, porcupine, Godhā monitor lizard, rhinoceros, and tortoise; 28. animals with teeth in both jaws, with a lot of hair, or without any hair;

one-hoofed animals; Kalavinka sparrows; Plava herons;˙ Cakravāka geese; Hamsa geese; 29. crows; Kaṅka herons; vultures; falcons; water birds; red-footed and red-beaked birds;

village cocks and pigs; 30. milk-cows and oxen; 31. meat of animals; whose milk-teeth have not fallen and of animals that are sick or wantonly killed; 32. young shoots; mushrooms; garlic; resins; 33. red juices flowing from incisions on trees;

34. woodpeckers; Baka egrets; Balāka ibis; parrots; Madgu cormorants; Ṭiṭṭibha sandpipers; Māndhāla flying foxes; and night birds.

35. Birds that feed by thrusting their beaks or scratching with their feet and that do not have webbed feet may be eaten, 36. as also fish that are not grotesque, 37. and animals that have to be killed for the sake of the Law.

38. He may avail himself of animals killed by predators after washing them, so long as he does not detect any flaw in them and after getting them verbally declared as suitable.



4. Duties of a Wife

1. A wife cannot act independently in matters relating to the Law.

2. She should never go against her husband
3. and keep her speech, eyes, and actions under strict control.

5. Levirate

4. When her husband is dead, she may seek to obtain offspring through her husband’s brother 5. after she has been appointed to the task by the elders. She should not have sex with him outside her season.

6. Alternatively, she may obtain offspring through a relative belonging to the same ancestry, lineage, or line of seers, or just a relative; 7. according to some, however, through no one other than her husband’s brother.

8. She shall bear no more than 2 children.

6. To Whom Belongs a Son

9. The offspring belongs to the man who fathers it, 10. unless there has been a compact 11. or it has been fathered on a wife whose husband is still alive.

12. If it is fathered by an outsider, however,
the offspring belongs to that outsider, 13. or to both;
14. but if the husband cares for that offspring, then it belongs to him alone.

7. Remarriage of a Wife

15. If her husband is missing, she shall wait for 6 years.
If he is heard from, she shall go to him.

16. If her husband has become an ascetic, on the other hand, she shall give up all attachments.

17. When a Brahmin has gone away to study the Veda, his wife should wait for 12 years.

8. Marriage of a Younger Brother

18. Likewise, when an older brother is missing,
a younger brother of his should wait for the same length of time
before getting married or establishing the sacred fires;

19. - for 6 years, according to some.

9. Time of Marriage for Girls

20. When 3 menstrual periods have passed, a girl may discard the jewellery her father has given her and join herself on her own to a man of blameless reputation.

21. A girl shall be given in marriage before she reaches puberty, 22. and a man who fails to give her incurs a sin. 23. According to some, she should be given in marriage before she begins to wear clothes.

10. Legitimate Seizure of Property

24. To perform a marriage or in connection with the course of the Law,

a person may take money from a Śūdra,

25. or even from a non-Śūdra who has plenty of livestock but neglects his rituals, 26. who owns a 100 cows but has not set up the sacred fires, 27. or who owns a thousand cows but has not offered a Soma sacrifice.

28. A man may do so also when he has had nothing to eat until the 7th mealtime, but not to hoard, 29. taking even from people who do not neglect their rituals.

30. If the king interrogates him, he should confess, 31. for if he is learned and virtuous, the king is required to support him. 32. If the king does not act when the course of the Law is in jeopardy, he is at fault.