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:

सुवासिनीः कुमारीश्च रोगिणो गर्भिणीः स्त्रियः ।
अतिथिभ्योऽग्र एवैतान् भोजयेदविचारयन् ॥ ११४ ॥

suvāsinīḥ kumārīśca rogiṇo garbhiṇīḥ striyaḥ |
atithibhyo'gra evaitān bhojayedavicārayan || 114 ||

Newly married girls, maidens, sick persons and pregnant women,—these he should, without hesitation, feed immediately after the guests.—(114)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The term ‘Suvāsinī’ stands for newly married girls, daughters as well as daughters-in-law. Others have held that ‘girls whose father-in-law and father are both living are called Suvāsinī, even after they have given birth to children.’

These......immediately after the guests’—in continuation of them—‘he should feed.’ That is, as soon as the guests have commenced eating, they should be fed at the same time.

Others read ‘agre’ ‘before’ (the guests).

Without hesitation’—i.e., he should not entertain any doubt as to the propriety of feeding youngsters before the guests have eaten.—(114)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Suvāsinīḥ’—‘Newly married girls i.e., daughters and daughters-in-law’ (Medhātithi);—‘women whose fathers and fathers-in-law are living, even though they may have got children’ (‘others,’ quoted by Medhātithi).

Agre’—‘Before (the guests)’ (Kullūka);—Medhātithi adopts the reading ‘anvak’ and explains it to mean ‘along with (the guests)’; and not as ‘even if they come later,’ as Hopkins interprets him.

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 455), which explains ‘agre’ as ‘first’;—and in Aparārka (p. 147).


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (67.39).—[Reproduces Manu, but using the singular number throughout the first half.]

Gautama (5.26).—‘First he shall feed the guests, the young boys, the sick, the woman with child, the newly-married girls, the old and the dependents.’

Baudhāyana (2.7.19).—‘They quote here the following text:—First of all he shall feed the guests, after them the woman with child, then the boys, the old persons, the weak and the sick.’

Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra (2.4.12).—‘The boys, the old, those suffering from disease, women with child.’

Yājñavalkya (1.5.105).—‘Boys, newly-married girls, old persons, pregnant women, the sick and the maidens, guests and servants,—it is only after these have been fed that the householder and his wife shall eat whatever is left.’

Pāraskara (1.9.13).—‘The younger and the older members of the family shall take their food in the manner befitting them.’

Viṣṇu-purāṇa (Parāśaramādhava, p. 364).—‘Then with cooked food he shall feed the newly married girls, the sick, the pregnant women, the old and the young; after that he should himself eat.’

Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa (Do.).—‘Having honoured the Brāhmaṇa guests, relations, paternal and maternal, and also persons seeking for food, he shall feed the young and old and the sick.’

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