Excerpt from The Grihya-Sûtras, Vol. 2: Rules of Vedic Domestic Ceremonies; Gobhila, Hiranyakesin, Âpastamba
There are, as it seems, no direct traces of the Grzhya ceremonies in the most ancient portion of Vedic litera ture. It is certain indeed that a number of the most impo... rtant of those ceremonies are contemporaneous with or even earlier than the most ancient hymns of the Rig Veda, as far as their fundamental elements and character are concerned, whatever their precise arrangement may have been. However, in the literature of the oldest period they play no part. It was another portion of the ritual that attracted the attention of the poets to whom we owe the hymns to Agni, Indra, and the other deities of the Vedic Olympus, Viz. The Offerings of the srauta-ritual with their far superior pomp, or, to state the matter more precisely, among the offerings of the srauta-ritual the Soma offer ing. In the Soma Offering centred the thought, the poetry, and we may almost say the life of the vasishz/zas, of the Visvamitras, &c., in whose families the poetry of the Rig-veda had its home. We may assume that the acts of the Grz'hya worship, being more limited in extent and Simpler in their ritual construction than the great Soma offerings, were not yet at that time, so far as they existed at all, decked out with the reciting of the poetic texts, which we find later on connected with them, and which in the case of the Soma Offering came early to be used. Probably they were celebrated in simple unadorned fashion.
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