Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN-10: 8120811550 | ISBN-13: 9788120811553

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:

न ब्राह्मणं परीक्षेत दैवे कर्मणि धर्मवित् ।
पित्र्ये कर्मणि तु प्राप्ते परीक्षेत प्रयत्नतः ॥ १४९ ॥

na brāhmaṇaṃ parīkṣeta daive karmaṇi dharmavit |
pitrye karmaṇi tu prāpte parīkṣeta prayatnataḥ || 149 ||

At the rite in honour of the gods, the man knowing the law shall not examine the Brāhmaṇa. But when the rite in honour of the Pitṛs comes to be performed, he shall examine him carefullv.—(149)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

This verse is not meant to be prohibitive o? the examination of Brāhmaṇas (to be invited) at the rite performed in honour of the gods; what is meant by it is the permitting, at certain times, of the feeding, at rites in honour of gods, of such persons as are one-eyed, suffering from elephantiasis, and so forth.

At the rite in honour of the Pitṛs’—i,e., when the time for Śrāddha has arrived, one should do the examination with great care; not so at the rite performed in honour of the gods. At the latter, one may sometimes even feed those going to be mentioned. Who are those that are permitted to be fed, we shall show later on.

According to others, however, this verse has been introduced for the purpose of enjoining the strict exclusion of those going to be mentioned; and not for that of permitting the feeding of those at the rites in honour of gods.—(149)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Madanapārijāta (p. 556), which explains ‘parīkṣeta’ as ‘make an investigation regarding their learning and conduct’;—in Nirṇayasindhu (p. 287);—in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Śrāddha, p. 6b);—in Hemādri, (Śrāddha, p. 510);—and in Śrāddhakriyākaumudī (p. 34) as meaning that the testing in the case of Pitṛkṛtya is to be more thorough than in that of Devakṛtya.


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (82-1, 2).—‘At the rite in honour of the gods, one shall not examine the Brāhmaṇa; at that in honour of Pitṛs he shall examine him with care.’

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