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...

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

एष प्रोक्तो द्विजातीनामौपनायनिको विधिः ।
उत्पत्तिव्यञ्जकः पुण्यः कर्मयोगं निबोधत ॥ ६८ ॥

eṣa prokto dvijātīnāmaupanāyaniko vidhiḥ |
utpattivyañjakaḥ puṇyaḥ karmayogaṃ nibodhata || 68 ||

Thus has been described the Initiatory Ceremony of twice-born men,—that which sanctifies them and marks their (real) birth. Learn now the duties to which they should apply themselves.—(68)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

So far we had the section dealing with the Initiatory Ceremony. All that has been said here pertains to that ceremony.

“Well, if so, then the Keśānta (spoken of in 65) would also pertain to the Initiation.”

Not so, as that sacrament has been laid down as to be performed at its own time, which comes long after the

Initiatory Ceremony has been finished. So that, even though it is mentioned in the same context, it becomes connected with other rites by virtue of the force of syntactical connection. Thus it is that some people regard the Keśānta as to be done after the Final Bath (to say nothing of the Initiation).

The term ‘aupanāyanika’ means pertaining to the Upa nayana, the initial vowel being prolonged, as in other cases explained before.

Birth’—being born from their parents; this is what is ‘marked’—manifested, perfected—by the said ceremony; even though born, the boy, before Initiation, is as good as not born; as till then he is not entitled to any religious acts. Hence the ceremony is what ‘marks’ his birth.

Sanctifies’—this has been already explained.

The duties with which the initiated boy becomes connected—to which he becomes entitled,—those that should be performed by the initiated bov—all these are going to be expounded;—these ‘now learn’—(68)


Comparative notes by various authors

Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra, 1.26.9-17.—‘Those who are not Śūdras, whose acts are not defective, for them, Upanayana, Vedic study, Fire-laying are all effective;—the Upanayana is a Vedic sacrament for purposes of study: it is the best birth.’

Gautama-Dharmasūtra, 1.10.—‘The Upanayana is the second birth for the Brāhmaṇa.’

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