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:

अग्न्याधेयं पाकयज्ञानग्निष्टोमादिकान् मखान् ।
यः करोति वृतो यस्य स तस्यर्त्विगिहोच्यते ॥ १४३ ॥

agnyādheyaṃ pākayajñānagniṣṭomādikān makhān |
yaḥ karoti vṛto yasya sa tasyartvigihocyate || 143 ||

He who, being duly appointed, performs, for one the Fire-laying rite, the Cooked Sacrifices and the Agniṣṭoma and other sacrifices,—is called his “officiating priest.”—(143)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The rite that brings about the existence of the Āhavanīya and other (sacrificial fires) is called the ‘Fire-laving Rite,’ prescribed in such sentences as ‘the Brāhmaṇa should lay fire during the spring.’

Cooked sacrifices’—the Darśa-Pūrṇamāsa and the rest.

The Agniṣṭoma and other sacrifices,’—i.e., the Soma-sacrifices. The term ‘makha’ is synonymous with ‘kratu,’ ‘sacrifice.’

He who perfoms these acts for one is called his ‘priest.’ ‘For him’ and ‘his’ denote relation; the meaning being that ‘the performer is the officiating priest of only that man for whom he performs the acts, and not of any other person.’

All these terms, ‘Preceptor’ and the rest, are words denoting relation.

Being appointed’—being requested; i.e., whose appointment has been made in accordance with the rules laid down in the scriptures.

The ‘Priest’ has been described here, in connection with the mention of persons entitled to respect; and priests have nothing to do with the duties of the religious student. This description is supplied here only for the purpose of indicating that the Priest also is entitled, like the Preceptor and the rest, to respect.—(143)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vidhānapārijāta (H, p. 5) as supporting the view that the title ‘Ṛtvik’ is applicable to the man from the moment of ‘appointment’ till the end of the performance of the rites for which he has been appointed; and that during this time any impurity attaching to the man would be only ‘immediate’;—and in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 91) as defining the Ṛtvik'

It is quoted also in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, p. 477) where ‘agnyādhāyam’ is explained as agnyādhānam, and ‘Pākayajña' as the Aṣṭaka and the rest;—in Madanapārijāta (p. 31);—and in Aparārka (p. 66) as meaning that the title ‘Ṛtvik’ applies to that man whose services are paid for by a sacrificer for the performance of the sacrificial rite;—and again on p. 919.


Comparative notes by various authors

Yājñavalkya, 1.34.—‘He who performs, for one, sacrifices, is called the Ṛtvik.’

Viṣṇu-smṛti, 3.3.—‘He who performs, for one, the sacrificial rites, him he should know as the Ṛtvik.’

Hārīta (Aparārka, p. 66).—‘The Ṛtvik is of three kinds called—(1) the Kṣirahotā, i.e., one who helps one, in the Firelaying, (2) the Ahāryavṛtā, i.e., one who, in the absence of the (1) is appointed for purposes of the obligatory rites, (3) the Viśesavṛta, i.e., one who is appointed at the subsequent sacrifices.’

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