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:

एकदेशं तु वेदस्य वेदाङ्गान्यपि वा पुनः ।
योऽध्यापयति वृत्त्यर्थमुपाध्यायः स उच्यते ॥ १४१ ॥

ekadeśaṃ tu vedasya vedāṅgānyapi vā punaḥ |
yo'dhyāpayati vṛttyarthamupādhyāyaḥ sa ucyate || 141 ||

He is called “Upādhyāya,” “Sub-teacher,” who teaches, for a living, only a part of the Veda, or only the Vedic subsidiary sciences.—(141)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

A part of the Veda.’—The Mantra only or the Brāhmaṇa portion only;—Or, without the Veda itself, only the Vedic subsidiary sciences;—he who teaches this,—and also even the whole Veda, (but)—‘for a living,’—i.e., not prompted purely by the injunction of ‘becoming a preceptor,’—he is an Upādhyāya, a ‘Sub-teacher,’ not an Ācārya, ‘Preceptor.’

He who may teach even the entire Veda to a pupil initiated by another person, is not a ‘Preceptor’; nor is he a ‘Preceptor’ who, having initiated a pupil, does not teach him the entire Veda.

“If the teaching of a portion of the Veda is made the distinguishing feature of the ‘Sub-Teacher,’ and the Initiating is the characteristic of the ‘Preceptor,’—then what would be the character of that person who does not do the initiating, but teaches the whole Veda? He would be neither a ‘Preceptor’ (since he has not done the initiating), nor a ‘Sub-teacher’ (as he has not taught only a portion of the Veda). Nor has any other name been heard of for such a teacher.”

Our answer is as follows:—According to what is going to be said in 149 such a person would be the ‘Teacher,’ ‘Guru,’ Who is inferior to the ‘Preceptor,’ but superior to the ‘Subteacher.’

The terms ‘api’ ‘punaḥ’ in the Text only serve to fill in the metre.—(141)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra p. 304), as defining the Upādhyāya, the Sub-teacher, in view of the declaration that the ‘Ācārya’ is equal to ten ‘Upādhyāyas’;—also in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, p. 477), which adds the following notes—‘Ekadeśam’—i.e. either the Brāhmaṇa portion alone, or the Mantra-portion alone;—‘Vṛttyartham’—for his own livelihood.

Madanapārijāta (p. 30) having quoted the verse adds—Ekadeśam—of the Veda, i.e. either the Saṃhitā, or the Brāhmaṇa or subsidiary sciences;—he who teaches any one of those either without payment,—or with payment (without previously stipulating for it),—is an ‘Upādhyāya.’

It is quoted in Aparārka (p. 65), as providing the definition of Upādhyāya;—in Saṃskāramayūkha (p. 45);—and in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 91), which explains ‘vṛtti’ as living.


Comparative notes by various authors

Vaśiṣṭha-smṛti, 3-27.—‘He who teaches a portion of the Veda, as also the subsidiary sciences, is the Upādhyāya.’

Yājñavalkya, 1-35.—‘The Upādhyāya is one who teaches a portion of the Veda.’

Viṣṇu-smṛti, 29.2.—‘He who teaches for payment received o r who teaches a portion of the Veda, is the Upādhyāya.’

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