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:

वैश्वदेवस्य सिद्धस्य गृह्येऽग्नौ विधिपूर्वकम् ।
आभ्यः कुर्याद् देवताभ्यो ब्राह्मणो होममन्वहम् ॥ ८४ ॥

vaiśvadevasya siddhasya gṛhye'gnau vidhipūrvakam |
ābhyaḥ kuryād devatābhyo brāhmaṇo homamanvaham || 84 ||

Out of the food cooked in the domestic fire, for the Viśvedevas, the Brāhmaṇa shall every day offer, according to rule, Homa to these deities,’—(84)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Vaiśvadeva,’ ‘for the Viśvedevas’—i.e., what is cooked for the sake of the Viśvedevas. Though the term ‘viśvedeva’ literally means ‘all deities,’ yet here it is indicative of only those to whom oblations are offered. Hence the term may be taken as standing also for what is cooked for guests and others.

Out of the food cooked, Homa should be offered to these deities’— to those going to be mentioned in the next verse. The term ‘cooked’ implies that the offering is made out of what has been already cooked for all recipients, and that there is no special cooking for the deities only, done with the mantra ‘Devasya tvā savituḥ, etc.’

According to rule’—this means that the Homa is to be offered in accordance with rules laid down in the Gṛhyasūtras; by which all such details of procedure become included as sweeping the spot, sprinkling water over it, and so forth.

The term ‘Brāhmaṇa’ is for the purpose of indicating the fact of the three higher castes being entitled to the performance.

Every day’— daily.

Deities’ (in the Dative) serves to indicate the necessity of using the syllable ‘svāhā,’ If the genitive bad been used, then the words need (at the offering) would have been ‘agneḥ idam’ (not ‘agnaye svāhā). The use of the term ‘devatā’ (‘Deity’), however, makes the rule mean that ‘all offerings to the gods should be made with’ the syllable svāhā.’ As for the syllable ‘vaṣaṭ,’ it is to be pronounced at the end of the ‘Yājyāmantras, but never at a Smārta Homa; while the syllable ‘svāhā’ is to be pronounced at all Homas; such being the case, the formula used should be ‘agnaye svāhā.’—(84)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 402).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 3.84-93)

Āpastamba- Dharmasūtra (2.3.12).—‘For the householder, the oblations of food and the Bali-offerings are conducive to Heaven and to prosperity.’

Viṣṇu Smṛti (67.4).—‘Then with the remnant of the food, he shall make the Bali-offerings; over the east, to Agni..... on the pillar to Śrī, to Hiraṇyakeśī and to the Trees; at the door-way, to Dharma and Adharma and to Death; to Varuṇa, near the water-pot; to Viṣṇu, on the mortar; to the Maruts, on the stone-slab; at the adjoining room, to King Vaiśravaṇa and to the elementals; over the eastern half, to Indra and to Indrapuruṣas; over the southern half, to Yama and to Yamapuruṣas; over the western half, to Varuṇa and to Varuṇapuruṣas; over the northern half, to Soma and to Somapuruṣas; over the centre, to Brahman and to Brahmapuruṣas; upwards, to Ākāśa; over the altar, to the diurnal elementals; and in the evening, to the nocturnal elementals. For crows, dogs and Caṇḍālas, the food shall he offered on the ground.’

Āśvalāyana-Gṛhyasūtra (1.2.1, 2).—‘Morning and evening, he shall offer oblations of cooked food; to the deities of the Agnihotra, to Soma, to Vanaspati, to Agni-Soma, to Indra-Agni, to Dyauḥ-Pṛthivī, to Dhanvantari, to Indra, to Viśvedevas, and to Brahman.’

Pāraskara (—‘Out of the food dedicated to the Viśvedevas, he shall offer oblations with svāhā to Brahman, to Prajāpati, to the Gṛhyās, to Kaśyapa, to Anumati, to Bhūtagṛhas, to Parjanya, to Apas, to Pṛthivī to Dhātṛ, to Vidhātṛ; to Vāyu and to the Quarters, towards each quarter; three oblations in the centre to Brahman, to Antarikṣa and to Sūrya; to the north of these, to all-gods and all-elementals; to Uṣas and to the Lord of the elementals; on the South, to the Pitṛs; and at the end he should offer to the Brāhmaṇas; and it should he distributed in the right proportion, among beggars and guests.’

Gautama (5.11-16).—‘Homa-oblations should he offered into the fire, to Agni, to Dhanvantari, to Viśvedevas, to Prajāpati and to Sviṣṭakṛt; to the presiding deity of each of the quarters, towards each quarter; on the doorway, to the Maruts; entering the room, to the household deities: over the centre, to Brahman; on the water-jar, to Apas; in the sky, to Ākāśa; in the evening, to the night-walkers.’

Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra (2.3.17-23; and 2.4.1-8).—‘In the making of the Bali-offerings, each spot should he swept and washed with water; and on each one of these spots food should he served;...... at the bedstead with the Kāma-mantra; at the door-step, with the Antarikṣa-mantra;......... towards the south, with the Pitṛ-mantra; towards the north, to Rudra; the last one in the evening towards the sky.’

Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra (—‘he shall make all beings—down to dogs and Caṇḍālas—partakers in the Vaiśvadeva offering; but according to some, it shall not be offered to the undeserving.’

Vaśiṣṭha (11.4).—‘Having offered his share to the learned guest, or to the religious student, he shall make the offering to the Pitṛs.’

Āśvalāyana-Gṛhyasūtra (1.2.3-10).—‘Next the Bali-offerings; to the gods, to Apas, to the Herbs, to Trees, to the Household, to the Household Deities, and to the Vāstudevas; to Indra and to Indrapuruṣas, to Yama and to Yamapuruṣas, to Varuṇa and to Varuṇapuruṣas, to Soma and to Somapuruṣas,—these towards each of the quarters; in the centre, to Brahman and to Brahmapuruṣas; to the Viśvedevas; during the day, to all the day-walkers; and in the evening, to the night-walkers and towards the north, to the Rakṣas.’

Gobhila (1.4.8-12).—‘The first offering that he makes is the offering to Pṛthivī; the second is the offering to Vāyu, the third is the offering to the Viśvedevas, and the fourth is the offering to Prajāpati. Then follow the other Bali-offerings; the first to the water-deity, made on the water-jar, the centre and the door-way; the second to Herbs and Trees; and the third to Ākāśa. Then comes another offering: over the bedstead, either to Kāma or to Manyu; then to the Rakṣojanas. The remnant of all these offerings is deposited towards the South, and it goes to the Pitṛs.’

Yajñavalkya (1.103).—‘Out of the food left after the offerings to gods, ho shall make the offering to elementals; and he shall deposit food on the ground, for dogs, Caṇḍālas and crows.’

Kurma-purāṇa (Parāśaramādhava, p. 312).—‘For dogs, Caṇḍālas and outcasts, as also for birds, one shall offer food outside, on the ground.’

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: