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 2.69 [General Duties of Twice-born Men]

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

उपनीयं गुरुः शिष्यं शिक्षयेत्शौचमादितः ।
आचारमग्निकार्यं च सन्ध्यौपासनमेव च ॥ ६९ ॥

upanīyaṃ guruḥ śiṣyaṃ śikṣayetśaucamāditaḥ |
ācāramagnikāryaṃ ca sandhyaupāsanameva ca || 69 ||

Having initiated the pupil, the Teacher should, first of all, teach him cleanliness, right behaviour, firetending and also the twilight-devotions.—(69)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Should teach’—should make him learn.

First of all’;—this does not mean that Cleanliness should be taught before Right Behaviour and the rest; in fact, there is no order of sequence intended among those mentioned here; all that the text is going to lay down is that after the Initiation there should he the teaching of the observances; and after the pupil has been instructed regarding the observances, he should proceed with the study of the Veda. Hence if the text meant that the boy should be taught Fire-kindling and the Twilight-Devotions before being taught the observances, it would be laying down for him the reciting of mantras not prescribed anywhere else,—because each of the two acts mentioned is performed with mantras. As for ‘cleanliness,’ there can be no fixed time for it; and it must be taught on the very day on which the boy has been initiated. So also ‘Right Behaviour.’ For these reasons it is clear that the phrase ‘first of all’ is meant to denote importance, and it does not mean that it is to be taught before everything else.

Cleanliness’—stands for all those acts that begin with the washing of the private parts, once, &c., &c. (5. 136) and ending with the sipping of water.

Right Behaviour’—rising to receive the Teacher and other superiors, offering them seat and saluting them.

Fire-tending’—the kindling of fire, and supplying of fuel.

The devotion offered at twiligh, to the Sun, consists in meditating upon the form of the Sun. This is what is meant by the ‘Twilight-Devotions.’ Or, it may refer to what is going to be prescribed below, in verse 101.

This is what constitutes the ‘Duty relating to Observances.’—(69)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vidhānapārijāta (p. 491).


Comparative notes by various authors

Yājñavalkya, 1.15.—‘The Teacher, having initiated the pupil, should teach him the Mahāvyāhṛtis and the Veda, and then instruct him regarding cleanliness and practices.’

Āśvalāyana-Gṛhyasūtra, 22.1.—‘Having tied the girdle-zone and handed over the staff, he should instruct him regarding the duties of studentship, addressing him thus;—“Thou art a religious student, sip water, do your duty, sleep not during the day, under the guidance of your teacher study the Veda.”

Gautama-Dharmasūtra, 1.12; 3.5.—‘He is a Teacher, because he expounds the Veda;—the student should remain under the Teacher.’

Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra, 1.1.9, 12, 14.—‘Upanayana is the Vedic sacrament, for one who is seeking after knowledge; for that purpose one should seek an initiator who would belong to a noble family and be endowed with learning and self-control,—and under him one should remain till the completion of his study;—he is called Ācarya because be contributes to the accumulation (ācinoti) of Dharma.’

Arthaśāstra (p. 30).—‘For the student, Vedic study, Fire-feeding, Bathing, Living on alms, Attending on the Teacher till death, and in his absence, on his son or on a fellow-student.’

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: