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:

कृतौपनयनस्यास्य व्रतादेशनमिष्यते ।
ब्रह्मणो ग्रहणं चैव क्रमेण विधिपूर्वकम् ॥ १७३ ॥

kṛtaupanayanasyāsya vratādeśanamiṣyate |
brahmaṇo grahaṇaṃ caiva krameṇa vidhipūrvakam || 173 ||

For the boy whose initiatory rite has been performed, instruction regarding; observances is considered desirable; as also the getting up of the Veda, in due course, according to the prescribed rule.—(173)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Verse 2.69 has laid down the order of sequence among Cleanliness, Right Conduct and Vedic Study: and hence the Veda should be read in that same order. The learning of the Veda having become possible after the Initiatory Rite, the present verse serves to lay down the order in which it is to be done. The boy, on being initiated, should keep the ‘Traividya’ and other observances; and then proceed to study the Veda.

For the boy whose Initiatory rite has been performed,’—i.e.,—for tho Religious Student—‘instruction reagarding obser vances is considered desirable,’—and is actually done by teachers. As a matter of fact, it is on the strength of the scriptures that the said instruction is ‘considered desirable’; hence the ‘desirability’ spoken of stands for the ‘necessity of doing’ it.

After this instruction follows the ‘getting up of the veda,’—‘in due order’—as here described ,—‘according to the prescribed rule.’—This is a reiteration, for the purpose of filling up the metre.—(173)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Vrata’—‘The Vedic vratas, of the Godāna and the rest’ (Medhātithi, Govindarāja, and Rāghavānanda);—‘the observances and restrictive rules, such as offering fuel, the prohibition of sleeping in the day-time, and the like’ (Kullūka and Nārāyaṇa);—‘Penances, like the Prājāpatya’ (Nandana and Nārayāṇa).


Comparative notes by various authors

Āśvalāyana Gṛhyasūtra (22.1-2).—‘Having tied the girdle, and handed over the staff, he should direct him to Religious Studentship—“Thou art a Religious Student, sip water, do your duty, sleep not during the day, study the Veda under the Teacher.”’

Yājñavalkya (2-15).—‘The Teacher, having initiated the boy, should teach him the Veda preceded by the mahāvyāhṛtis, and instruct him regarding cleanliness and conduct.’

Gautama (2-20).—‘The restrictions begin with the Upa nayana.’

Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra (1.2.11, 17-20).—‘On being initiated, the boy should reside in the Teacher’s family, as a Religious Student; there is no fasting for the Religious Student desirous of acquiring knowledge; the rule for the Religious Student is that he should he entirely under the Teacher, except as regards the committing of degrading sins; he should he ever bent upon the good of the Teacher, never crossing him in speech.’

Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra (4.13, 14, 16).—‘Morning and evening, he should fetch a jar of water;—every day he should bring fuel from the forest and keep it on the ground;—having kindled the fire and swept round it, he should lay fuel on it, morning and evening, in accordance with the instructions he receives.’

Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra (5.5).—‘He should do such acts as might be pleasing to the Teacher.’

Viṣṇu (28.1).—‘For Religious Students, residence in the Teacher’s house.’

Viṣṇu (2,14).—‘The offering of the two Twilight Prayers; and after offering it, he should salute the Teacher.’

Viṣṇu (34-35).—‘Thus he should make his own either one Veda, or two Vedas, or three Vedas; then the Vedic Subsidiaries.’

Viṣṇu (34-42).—‘After having made the Veda his own, he should obtain the Teacher’s permission and offer him an excellent thing and then bathe.’

Viṣṇu (19.1).—‘Him should one know as the Teacher who initiates him, teaches him the observances and teaches tho Veda.’

Gobhila Gṛhyasūtra (2.20. 33-34).—‘Then he directs the boy—thou art a Religious Student,—fetch fuel, sip water, do thy duty, sleep not during the day.’

Gobhila Gṛhyasūtra (3. 4. 1).—‘The Religious Student should study the Veda.’

Gobhila Gṛhyasūtra (1. 1. 7).—‘The Religious Student having studied the Veda, should make the final offering of fuel on the fire.’

Śaṅkha (3.1-2).—‘Having initiated the pupil, the Teacher should first of all instruct him regarding cleanliness, course of conduct, fire-tending, the offering of Twilight-Prayers. That person is the Guru who having performed all the rites, imparts to him the Veda.’

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