Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 33.djvu/137

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I, 283.
107
ORDEAL BY BALANCE.

his head. There must be neither wind nor rainfall (at the time when this ordeal is being performed).

277. When he has ascended (the scale), a Brahman, holding the scale in his hand, should recite the following : 'Thou art called dhata (a balance), which appellation is synonymous with dharma (justice).

* 278. Thou knowest the bad and good actions of all beings. This man, being arraigned in a cause, is weighed upon thee.

279. Thou art superior to gods, demons, and mortals in point of veracity.

[Thou, Balance, hast been created by the gods in time out of mind, as a receptacle of truth.

* 280. Deign to speak truth, therefore, O propitious being, and deliver me from this perplexity. If I am an offender, take me down.

* 281. If thou knowest me to be innocent, take me upwards.] Therefore mayst thou deliver him lawfully from the perplexity in which he is involved.'

282. After having addressed him, (invoking) the guardians of the world and the gods, with these and other such speeches, he should cause the man who has been placed in the scale, to descend once more and should ascertain (the state of the matter).

* 283. If he rises, on being weighed (for the second time), he is undoubtedly innocent. If his


277. This quibble is based on the fact that the two words Dhata and Dharma commence with the same syllable.

279-281. The words enclosed in brackets cannot be genuine. They appear to be a quotation from the Yâavalkya-smriti (II, 101, 102), which has been added as a marginal gloss by a copyist, and has subsequendy crept into the text. Yâavalkya puts this entire address in the mouth of the defendant himself, whereas all the other Smriti writers put it in the mouth of a third person.