From Brahmanda Purana's Anusanga Pada Chp35

28-30. There are fifteen Vājins. They are the disciples of Yājñavalkya viz.—Kaṇva, Baudheya Madhyandina, his son, Vaidheya, Addha, Bauddhaka, Tāpanīya, Vatsa, Jābāla, Kevala, Āvaṭī, Puṇḍra, Vaiṇoya and Parāśara.[7] These are mentioned as Vājins. They are fifteen excellent men. The branches of Yajur Mantras should be known as one hundred and one.

  1. Jaimini taught his son Sumantu.[8] Sumantu taught his son Sutvan.

32-33. Sutvan taught his son Sukarman. Sukarman quickly studied a thousand Saṃhitās and expounded them to a thousand disciples who had the splendour of the sun. As they were studying during the days (when they should not be studied) Indra slew them.

  1. Thereafter, for the sake of his disciples he performed Protest fast unto death (Prāyopaveśana). On seeing him furious, Indra granted him a boon.

Now my question is with respect to verses 32-33. Where can I find references to the days on which studying Vedas is prohibited ?

1 Answer 1


There are many such occasions and days when Veda study is forbidden. Those are enumerated in Manu Smriti 4.101 onwards:

4.101. Let him who studies always avoid (reading) on the following occasions when the Veda-study is forbidden, and (let) him who teaches pupils according to the prescribed rule (do it likewise).

Then the text gives a long list of forbidden occasions:

4.102. Those who know the (rules of) recitation declare that in the rainy season the Veda-study must be stopped on these two (occasions), when the wind is audible at night, and when it whirls up the dust in the day-time

4.103. Manu has stated, that when lightning, thunder, and rain (are observed together), or when large fiery meteors fall on all sides, the recitation must be interrupted until the same hour (on the next day, counting from the occurrence of the event)

4.104. When one perceives these (phenomena) all together (in the twilight), after the sacred fires have been made to blaze (for the performance of the Agnihotra), then one must know the recitation of the Veda to be forbidden, and also when clouds appear out of season.

4.105. On (the occasion of) a preternatural sound from the sky, (of) an earthquake, and when the lights of heaven are surrounded by a halo, let him know that (the Veda-study must be) stopped until the same hour (on the next day), even if (these phenomena happen) in the (rainy) season.

4.106. But when lightning and the roar of thunder (are observed) after the sacred fires have been made to blaze, the stoppage shall last as long as the light (of the sun or of the stars is visible); if the remaining (above-named phenomenon, rain, occurs, the reading shall cease), both in the day-time and at night.

4.107. For those who wish to acquire exceedingiy great merit, a continual interruption of the Veda-study (is prescribed) in villages and in towns, and (the Veda-study must) always (cease) when any kind of foul smell (is perceptible).

4.108. In a village where a corpse lies, in the presence of a (man who lives as unrighteously as a) Sudra, while (the sound of) weeping (is heard), and in a crowd of men the (recitation of the Veda must be) stopped.

4.109. In water, during the middle part of the night, while he voids excrements, or is impure, and after he has partaken of a funeral dinner, a man must not even think in his heart (of the sacred texts).

4.110. A learned Brahmana shall not recite the Veda during three days, when he has accepted an invitation to a (funeral rite) in honour of one ancestor (ekoddishta), or when the king has become impure through a birth or death in his family (sutaka), or when Rahu by an eclipse makes the moon impure.

4.111. As long as the smell and the stains of the (food given) in honour of one ancestor remain on the body of a learned Brahmana, so long he must not recite the Veda.

4.112. While lying on a bed, while his feet are raised (on a bench), while he sits on his hams with a cloth tied round his knees, let him not study, nor when he has eaten meat or food given by a person impure on account of a birth or a death

4.113. Nor during a fog, nor while the sound of arrows is audible, nor during both the twilights, nor on the newmoon day, nor on the fourteenth and the eighth (days of each half-month), nor on the full-moon day.

4.114. The new-moon day destroys the teacher, the fourteenth (day) the pupil, the eighth and the full-moon days (destroy all remembrance of) the Veda; let him therefore avoid (reading on) those (days).

4.115. A Brahmana shall not recite (the Veda) during a dust-storm, nor while the sky is preternaturally red, nor while jackals howl, nor while the barking of dogs, the braying of donkeys, or the grunting of camels (is heard), nor while (he is seated) in a company

So, as far as the monthly days are concerned, Purnima, Amavasya, two Chaturdashis and two Ashtamis are stated as forbidden days for Veda study.


List of occasions when Vedic study needs to be suspended is found in Gautama Dharma Sutras 16.5--16.49 as well:

5 He should suspend vedic recitation during daytime when the wind whirls up the dust; 6 at night when he can hear the wind blow; 7 when the sound of a lute, drum, side drum, chariot, or wailing is heard; 8 when dogs are barking, jackals are howling, and donkeys are braying; 9 when the sky turns crimson; when a rainbow appears; when there is frost on the ground; 10 when clouds appear out of season; 11 when he has the urge to void urine or excrement; 12 in the middle of the night, at the time of twilight, and while standing in water; 13 when it is raining–– 14 but, according to some, only when the water is running down the eaves––; 15 when Venus and Jupiter are surrounded by halos, 16 as also the sun and the moon; 17 when he is frightened, travelling in a vehicle, lying down, or has lifted his feet; 18 when he is in a cremation ground, at the village boundary, on a highway, or in an impure state; 19 when there is a foul smell; when there is a corpse or a Chandala in the village; when a S´udra is near by; 20 and when he experiences an acrid belching.21 The recitation of the Rgveda and the Yajurveda, moreover, is suspended as long as the recitation of the Sa¯maveda is heard.

22 When there is a lightning strike, an earthquake, an eclipse, or the fall of a meteor, vedic recitation is suspended until the same time the next day; 23 as also when there is thunder, rain, or lightning during twilight when the fires are visible. 24 When these happen during the rainy season, however, the suspension lasts only that day. 25 When there is lightning during the night, moreover, the suspension lasts until the last watch of the night; 26 but if it occurs during or after the third part of the day, the suspension lasts the whole night.

27 According to some, a meteor has the same effect as lightning with respect to the suspension of vedic recitation, 28 as does thunder when it occurs in the afternoon 29 or even at dusk. 30 If there is thunder before midnight, the suspension lasts for the whole night; 31 if it happens during the day, the suspension lasts throughout the daylight hours, 32 as also when the king of that realm dies, 33 and when one student goes on a journey and another stays behind with the teacher. 34 The suspension lasts for a day and a night when there has been a social disturbance or a fire; when he has finished reciting one Veda; when he has vomited; when he has eaten at an ancestral offering or at a sacrifice to humans ; 35 on the new-moon day–– 36 alternatively, the suspension here may last for two days––; 37 and on the full-moon days of the lunar months October–November, February–March, and June–July. 38 At the three eighth-day offerings during the three fortnights of the waning moon following the full moon of November– December, the suspension lasts for three days; 39 according to some, the suspension takes place only at the last of these eighthday offerings. 40 When the annual course of study is commenced and concluded, the suspension is in effect on that day, as well as on the preceding and following days. 41 In the opinion of all authorities, when rain, lightning, and thunder occur together, the suspension lasts for three days, 42 as also when there is heavy rain. 43 On a festive day vedic recitation is suspended after the meal. Immediately after commencing the annual course of study.recitation is suspended during the first four ‘hours’ of the night. 45 According to some, vedic recitation is always suspended in a town. 46 Even mental recitation is suspended when a person is impure. 47 After making an ancestral offering, the suspension lasts until the same time the next day, 48 as also when uncooked food is distributed at an ancestral offering. 49 Vedic recitation is also suspended for reasons given in each vedic branch.

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