Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume VIII.djvu/26

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of the Sâman is declared to be higher than that of the Rik. In the Khândogya-upanishad[1]the Sâman is said to be the essence of the Rik, which Sańkara interprets by saying that the Sâman is more weighty. In the Prasna-upanishad[2], too, the implication of the passage V, 5 (in which the Sâman is stated as the guide to the Brahmaloka, while the Yagus is said to guide to the lunar world, and the Rik to the, human world) is to the same effect. And we may also mention as on the same side the Nrisimha Tâpinî-upanishad and the Vedic passage cited in the commentary of Sańkara on the closing sentence of the first khanda of that Upanishad[3]. On the other side, we have the statement in Manu that the sound of the Sâma-veda is unholy; and the consequent direction that where the sound of it is heard, the Rik and Yagus should not be recited[4]. We have also the passages from some of the Purânas noted by Dr. Muir in his excellent work, Original Sanskrit Texts, which point in the same direction[5]. And we have further the direction in the Âpastamba Dharma-sûtra, that the Sâman hymns should not be recited where the other Vedas are being recited[6], as well as the grouping of the sound of the Sâman with various classes of objectionable and unholy noises, such as those of dogs and asses. It is pretty evident that the view of Âpastamba is based on the same theory as that of Manu. Now in looking at the two classes of authorities thus marshalled, it is plain that the Gîtâ ranges itself with those which are unquestionably the more ancient. And among the less ancient works, prior to which we may place the Gîtâ on account of the facts now under consideration, are Manu and Âpastamba. Now Manu's date is not ascertained, though, I believe, he is now generally considered to belong to about the second or third century b.c.[7] But

  1. Bibl. Ind. ed., p. 12
  2. Bibl. Ind. ed., p. 221 seq.
  3. Bibl. Ind. ed., p. 11.
  4. Chapter IV, stanzas 123, 124.
  5. Vol. iii (2nd ed.), p. 11 seq. Cf. Goldstücker's Remains, I, 4, 28, 266; II, 67.
  6. Âpastamba (Bühler's ed.) I, 3, 17, 18 (pp. 38, 39 in this series); see further on this point Mr. Burnell's Devatâdhyâya-brâhmana, Introd., pp. viii, ix, and notes.
  7. Professor Tiele (History of Ancient Religions, p. 127) considers the 'main features' of Manu to be 'pre-Buddhistic.'