Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

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

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:

सावित्रीमात्रसारोऽपि वरं विप्रः सुयन्त्रितः ।
नायन्त्रितस्त्रिवेदोऽपि सर्वाशी सर्वविक्रयी ॥ ११८ ॥

sāvitrīmātrasāro'pi varaṃ vipraḥ suyantritaḥ |
nāyantritastrivedo'pi sarvāśī sarvavikrayī || 118 ||

Better the Brāhmaṇa knowing the Sāvitrī alone, if he is thoroughly self-controlled,—and not he who knows all the three Vedas, but is not self-controlled, and eats all things and sells all things.—(118)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

This verse is in praise of the rules regarding Salutation, etc.

He for whom the Sāvitrī is the sole essence, his all in all, is called ‘Sāvitrīmātrasāraḥ,’ ‘knowing the Sāvitrī alone.’

Better’—Superior;—‘the Brāhmaṇa,’ if he is thoroughly self- Controlled, i.e., who governs himself entirely in accordance with the scriptures.

One who is ‘not sell-controlled,’ ‘though the three Vedas’—fully conversant with the scriptures.

Eats all things,’—things even though not actually prohibited, yet against custom and usage.

Similarly ‘sells all things’—‘Selling’ is mentioned only by way of illustration, it stands for all that is prohibited.

The meaning of all this is ns that one becomes as much open to censure by omitting to rise to receive the teacher and other practices ns he is by the omission of other rules of conduct.

Objection.—“How is it that wè have the form ‘varam (neuter) vipraḥ (masculine)’; the correct form would be ‘varo vipraḥ’ (both masculine).”

In answer to this some people say that the phrase opens with the general and ends with the particular: the construction being—‘It is better,’—“What is better?”—‘that the Brāhmaṇa be self-controlled.’

Others however explain that the term ‘vara’ has no particular gender of its own; and it is used in the neuter gender also.—(118)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, p. 460).

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