Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 33.djvu/132

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102
I,258
NÂRADA

undergo punishment, an ordeal cannot take place. An ordeal shall be administered to litigants where there is reason for it, but not otherwise.

258. Therefore an intelligent, virtuous, righteous, and wise (king or chief judge) should abstain care- fully from administering any one out of the (five) ordeals, unless both parties consent to it.

*259. The ordeal by water must not take place in the cold weather, nor the ordeal by fire in the hot season, nor must the (ordeal by) poison be admin- istered to any one during the rains, nor the (ordeal by) balance in stormy weather.

20. The Ordeal by Balance.

*260. Wise legislators conversant with every law have proclaimed, after mature consideration, the following rules regarding the mode of performing the ordeal by balance, which may be administered in every season.

*261. The two posts should be dug in every


A. Yâavalkya II, 96; Vishnu IV, 20, 21. The reading na di- vyam (for na vinâ ?) seems wrong. Or translate, 'but there is no ordeal for plaintiffs.'

258. A king or chief-judge, who is endowed with the qualities here mentioned, should administer an ordeal with the full approval of both parties in a cause, but not otherwise. A.

259. The times or seasons here referred to should be avoided in the case of the ordeal by water and of the other ordeals, because they are illegal. A. Vishnu IX, 24, 26, 28, 30.

260-284. Vishnu X; Yâavalkya II, 100-102.

260. 'After mature consideration,' after having duly considered that the ordeals by fire, water, and poison are subject to many interruptions or obstacles arising from time, locality, &c., wise men have devised this ordeal by balance, which may be performed during any season. That is the meaning. A.

261. The apparatus for performing the ordeal by balance, which is described in this and the following paragraphs, consists of the