Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN-10: 8120811550 | ISBN-13: 9788120811553

This is the English translation of the Manusmriti, which is a collection of Sanskrit verses dealing with ‘Dharma’, a collective name for human purpose, their duties and the law. Various topics will be dealt with, but this volume of the series includes 12 discourses (adhyaya). The commentary on this text by Medhatithi elaborately explains various t...

Verse 2.65 [Hair-clipping (keśānta)]

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation by Ganganath Jha:

केशान्तः षोडशे वर्षे ब्राह्मणस्य विधीयते ।
राजन्यबन्धोर्द्वाविंशे वैश्यस्य द्व्यधिके मतः ॥ ६५ ॥

keśāntaḥ ṣoḍaśe varṣe brāhmaṇasya vidhīyate |
rājanyabandhordvāviṃśe vaiśyasya dvyadhike mataḥ || 65 ||

The sacrament of Keśānta is ordained for the Brāhmaṇa in his sixteenth year; for the Kṣatriya in his twenty-second year, and for the Vaiśya two years later.—(65)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Keśānta—Hair-clipping. is—the name of a particular sacrament. This sacrament should be done, for the Brāhmaṇa, in his sixteenth year, from conception. For a knowledge of the exact form of this sacrament our only source is the Gṛhyasūtra.

Two years later’—i.e., in the year, which is two years later than the twenty-second. Or, the compound may be taken as qualifying ‘time,’ so that the meaning is—‘at the time which comes two years later than the twenty-second,’—‘for the Vaiśya.’ The numeral adjective ‘two’ must be taken as qualifying years; as the whole verse refers to years.—(65)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Puruṣārthacintāmaṇi (p. 444);—in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 778);—in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 107);—in Saṃskāramayūkha (p. 637), which explains Dvyadhike as in the twenty-fourth year;—and in Saṃskāraratnamālā (p. 353), which explains rājānyabandhuḥ as Kṣatriya and Dvyadhike as twenty-fourth.

Another name for the Keśānta sacrament mentioned in Saṃskāramayūkha is ‘Godāna,’ which has been etymologically explained as —gāvaḥ keśāḥ-dīyante chidyante yasmin.

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 457), where it is said that this rite is what is called ‘godāna’;—and in Aparārka (p. 67), which adds that the numbers here mentioned are to be counted from birth and not from conception, for if the latter were meant, the word used would have been ‘garbhaṣoḍaśa’ like ‘garbhaṣṭama.’


Comparative notes by various authors

Yājñavalkya, 1 36.—‘The keśānta is to be done in the sixteenth year.’

Āpastamba- Gṛhyasūtra, 1.17.1-2.—‘The Godāna (Hair-cutting) in the sixteenth year.’

Pāraskara-Gṛhyasūtra, 2.3.—‘When the boy is sixteen years old, comes the keśānta.’

Gobhila- Gṛhyasūtra, 3.1.—‘Now, the Godāna in the sixteenth year; the keśānta ceremony is described by the description of the Cūḍākaraṇa

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