Ceremonies to be observed at the birth and naming of a child. Of marrying, or leading a religious life. Choice of a wife. Different modes of marrying.
Sagara then addressed Aurva, and said, "You have described to me, venerable Brahman, the duties of the four orders and of the four castes. I am now desirous to hear from you the religious institutes which men should individually observe, whether they be invariable, occasional, or voluntary. Describe these to me; for all things are known, chief of Bhrigu s race, unto you." To this Aurva replied, "I will communicate to you, oh king, that which you have asked, the invariable and occasional rites which men should perform: do you attend.
"When a son is born, let his father perform for him the ceremonies proper on the birth of a child, and all other initiatory rites, as well as a sraddha, which is a source of prosperity. Let him feed a couple of Brahmans, seated with their faces to the east; and according to his means offer sacrifices to the gods and progenitors. Let him present to the manes 1 balls of meat mixed with curds, barley, and jujubes, with the part of his hand sacred to the gods, or with that sacred to Prajapati 2. Let a Brahman perform such a sraddha, with all its offerings and circumambulations, on every occasion of good fortune 3.
"Next, upon the tenth day after birth, let the father give a name to his child; the first term of which shall be the appellation of a god, the second of a man, as sarman or Varman; the former being the appropriate designation of a Brahman, the latter of a warrior; whilst Gupta
and Dasa are best fitted for the names of Vaisyas and sudras 4. A name should not be void of meaning; it should not be indecent, nor absurd, nor ill omened, nor fearful; it should consist of an even number of syllables; it should not be too long nor too short, nor too full of long vowels; but contain a due proportion of short vowels, and be easily articulated. After this and the succeeding initiatory rites 5, the purified youth is to acquire religious knowledge, in the mode that has been described, in the dwelling of his spiritual guide.
"When he has finished his studies, and given the parting donation to his preceptor, the man who wishes to lead the life of a householder must take a wife. If he does not propose to enter into the married state, he may remain as a student with his teacher, first making a vow to that effect, and employ himself in the service of his preceptor and of that preceptor s descendants; or he may at once become a hermit, or adopt the order of the religious mendicant, according to his original determination 6.
"If he marry, he must select a maiden who is of a third of his age 7; one who has not too much hair, but is not without any; one who is not
very black nor yellow complexioned, and who is not from birth a cripple or deformed. He must not marry a girl who is vicious or unhealthy, of low origin, or labouring under disease; one who has been ill brought up; one who talks improperly; one who inherits some malady from father or mother; one who has a beard, or who is of a masculine appearance; one who speaks thick or thin, or croaks like a raven; one who keeps her eyes shut, or has the eyes very prominent; one who has hairy legs, or thick ancles; or one who has dimples in her cheeks when she laughs 8. Let not a wise and prudent man marry a girl of such a description: nor let a considerate man wed a girl of a harsh skin; or one with white nails; or one with red eyes, or with very fat hands and feet; or one who is a dwarf, or who is very tall; or one whose eyebrows meet, or whose teeth are far apart, and resemble tusks. Let a householder marry a maiden who is in kin at least five degrees remote from his mother, and seven from his father, with the ceremonies enjoined by law 9.
"The forms of marriage are eight, the Brahma, Daiva, the arsha, Prajapatya, Asura, Gandharba, Rakshasa, and Paisacha; which last is the worst 10: but the caste to which either form has been enjoined as lawful by inspired sages should avoid any other mode of taking a wife. The householder who espouses a female connected with him by similarity of religious and civil obligations, and along with her discharges the duties of his condition, derives from such a wife great benefits."