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...

Verse 3.122 [Śrāddhas]

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation by Ganganath Jha:

पितृयज्ञं तु निर्वर्त्य विप्रश्चन्द्रक्षयेऽग्निमान् ।
पिण्डान्वाहार्यकं श्राद्धं कुर्यान् मासानुमासिकम् ॥ १२२ ॥

pitṛyajñaṃ tu nirvartya vipraścandrakṣaye'gnimān |
piṇḍānvāhāryakaṃ śrāddhaṃ kuryān māsānumāsikam || 122 ||

Month after Month, on the moonless day, the Brāhmaṇa with the Fire shall, after having performed the Pitṛyajña, offer the “Piṇḍānvāhāryaka.”—(122)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The śrāddha described here is the compulsory one, as distinct from the Vaiśvadeva-śrāddha, which is optional.

On the moon-leas day’— on the Amāvāsya day. There also not at any and every time, but only ‘after having performed the Pitṛyajña.’ That is, after having performed that Ptṛyajña which has been prescribed in the Śruti. Thus the time for the Śrāddha in question comes to be the same as that for this latter; and in connection with this it has been laid down that the Piṇḍapitṛyajña is to be performed on the Amāvāsya day, in the afternoon.’

Even for one who has not set up the fire, the performance of such offerings is essential; as it is declared—‘the person who has not set up the fire having made the accessary offerings &c.’

The Brāhmaṇa with the fire’—i.e., he who is keeping up the marriage-fire, or who has set up the fire since succession to his property. No significance is meant to be attached to the mention of the ‘Brāhmaṇa,’ since the śrāddha in question is meant to be performed by the Kṣatriya and the Vaiśya also; hence it is that other smṛtis have prescribed this śrāddha without special reference to any particular caste.

Piṇḍānvāhārya kam;’—this is the proper name of this śrāddha; the etymological explanation is that ‘that which is offered along with balls of food, Piṇḍas, is piṇḍānvāhāryaka.’

Month after month,’—in one month, and also in another month. The compound word connotes monthly repetition; thus the meaning is that the śrāddha is to be performed every month. Thus it is that its compulsory character becomes established. Though the term ‘anumāsa’ alone dignities repetition, and the second term ‘māsa’ is superfluous, yet prolixity (anti redundance) is not minded in a metrical treatise.—(122)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

“The sacrifice identified by the term Pitṛyajña is the so-called Piṇḍapitṛyajña, a Śrauta rite (Āśvalāyana, Śrauta-sūtra 2.6-7); and Piṇḍānvāhāryaka is another name for the monthly Śrāddha.”—Buhler.

This verse is quoted in Smṛtitattva, (p. 165), where it is explained as laying down the order of sequence between Piṇḍapitṛyajña and Piṇḍānvāhāryaka, as performed by the man with the consecrated fire;—the particle ‘anu’ denotes repetition;—‘candrakṣaye’ means ‘on the Amāvasyā day.’

It is quoted in Kālaviveka (p. 354) as laying down Śrāddha to be performed on the Amāvasyā day.

Madanapārijāta (p. 321) quotes it in support of the view that all those texts that lay down the Vaiśvadeva offering as to be done before the Śrāddha, are to be taken as applying only to the man who has set up the Śrauta Fire (which is what is meant by the term ‘agnimān’ in the present verse);—again on p. 495, where it adds that ‘māsānumāsikam’ means ‘every month’; and goes on to explain that Piṇḍapitṛyajña is to be performed also by the man who has not set up the Śrauta Fire; so that for the man with the ‘Śrauta Fire,’ as well as for the man with the ‘Domestic Fire,’ it is necessary to perform Anvādhāna, Piṇḍapitṛyajña and Amāvasyā-Śrāddha,—all on the same day.

Nirṇayasindhu (p. 40) quotes this verse as permitting the performance of Śrāddha on a day on which there is Caturdaśī in the morning but Amāvasyā for the rest of the day.

This is quoted in Aparārka (p. 418), which remarks that the repetitive form of the term ‘māsānumāsikam’ is meant to imply that the Śrāddha on the Amāvasyā day is compulsory;—in Hemādri (Kāla, p. 609) to the effect that ‘Pitṛyajña’ should be performed before the ‘Śrāddha’;—in Hemādri (Śrāddha, pp. 72,171,321 and 1064);—in Saṃskāraratnamālā (pp. 956 and 989) to the effect that the Amāvasyā-Śrāddha should be performed after Piṇḍapitṛyajña; it explains ‘Piṇḍānvāhāryakam’ as Piṇḍānām piṇḍapitṛyajñārthānām anu paścāt āhṛyate kṛyate iti,’ and calls it a name for the Amāvasyā

Śrāddha;—in Smṛtisāroddhāra (p. 185), which explains ‘Piṇḍānvāhāryakam’ as Pārvaṇaśrāddha, and expounds the same as ‘piṇḍāḥ anu brāhmaṇabhojanānantaram āhriyante asmin’;—in Śrāddhakriyākaumudī (p. 6) as laying down Amāvasyā-Śrāddha;—and in Gadādharapaddhati (Kāla, pp. 431 and 492).



Comparative notes by various authors

Sumantu (Aparārka, p. 418).—‘The man with the fire shall offer Śrāddha to those to whom his father offers it.’

Maitrāyaṇīya-pariśiṣṭa (Do.).—‘Marriage, the birth of a son, the Pitrya Iṣṭi, Soma-sacrifice, sacred places, and the arrival of the right Brāhmaṇa,—these are occasions for the performance of Śrāddha by one whose father is living.’

Viṣṇu (Do.).—‘If the man with his father living performs Śrāddha, he should offer it to those to whom his father offers it; if his grandfather is alive, to those to whom the grandfather offers it; if his father, grandfather and greatgrandfather are all alive, he shall not offer it at all.’

Gautama (15.2).—‘During the later fortnight, from the fifth day onwards, Śrāddha shall be performed.’

Yājñavalkya (1. 217).—‘The Moonless day, the Aṣṭakās, the Auspicious ceremonies, the darker fortnight, the two solstices...... (these are the occasions for Śrāddha).’

Vyāsa (Aparārka, p. 417).—‘The Moonless day on which the moon sets after appearing is called Sinīvālī; on that day should Śrāddha be offered by Agnihotrins; and that day on which the moon is entirely invisible (called Kuhū), on that it should be offered by Brāhmaṇas without fire and by others.’

Laugākṣi (Do., p. 418).—‘The man whose father is dead should offer Śrāddha every day, also every month on the moonless day, on auspicious occasions and also every year.’

Uśanas (Aparārka, p. 418).—‘The twice-born man whose father has died shall offer Śrāddha every day—be he with Fire or without Fire; also every month and every year.’

Hārīta (Do.).—‘While one’s father is living, one should avoid all Śrāddhas; but according to some people, he should offer it to those Pitṛs to whom his father offers it.’

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