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:

ये स्तेनपतितक्लीबा ये च नास्तिकवृत्तयः ।
तान् हव्यकव्ययोर्विप्राननर्हान् मनुरब्रवीत् ॥ १५० ॥

ye stenapatitaklībā ye ca nāstikavṛttayaḥ |
tān havyakavyayorviprānanarhān manurabravīt || 150 ||

Manu has declared those Brāhmaṇas undeserving of (receiving) the offerings to gods and Pitṛs who are thieves, outcasts and eunuchs, as also those that have the behaviour of atheists.—(150)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):


Outcast’—one who commits any one of the five ‘great sins.’

Eunuch’— emasculate, having the marks of both man and woman, unvirile, impotent.

Atheists’—Materialists and others; those whose firm conviction is that ‘gifts are nothing, oblations are nothing, there is no other world the behaviour of those is unbelief; ‘those whose behaviour is like the behaviour of atheists’ are called ‘having the behaviour of atheists,’—this being an instance of the compound that drops its last term. The word ‘atheist’ by itself would be sufficient; the term ‘behaviour’ has been introduced for the purpose of filling up the metre.

Or, the term ‘nāstikavṛttayaḥ’ may be taken to mean ‘those who derive their livelihood from atheists.’

These Manu has declared to be undeserving of the offerings made at the rites performed in honour of gods and Pitṛs.

The name of ‘Manu’ has been added for the purpose of lending force to the prohibition; as, in reality, all duties have been described by Manu.—(150)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 687) among others, enumerating persons who should not be invited at Śrāddhas; it adds (on 688) the notes that—the ‘thief’ meant here is one who steals the belongings of others than the Brāhmaṇas, the stealer of the latter’s goods being included under ‘outcastes’,——‘nāstikavṛtti’ is one who derives his livelihood from one who denies that there are any rewards for acts in the other world;—and in Aparārka (p. 447), which explains the ‘nāstika’ as ‘one who holds the opinion that there is nothing that is divine,’ and the ‘nāstikavṛtti’ as ‘he who makes a living by expounding and writing on the works of such unbelievers.’

It is quoted also in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 480);—and in ‘Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Śrāddha, p. 9a).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 3.150-166)

Gautama (15.15-18).—‘One shall not feed at Śrāddha one who is a thief, an eunuch, an out-cast, a heretic, or who behaves like a heretic, the murderer of the hero, one whose wife dallies with another person (or who makes love to his brother’s widow, or who has married a girl before the marriage of her elder sister), who officiates at sacrifices performed by women or by village communities, who keeps goats, who commits arson, who drinks wine, who is censorious, who has perjured himself, who is a conjuror, who permits his wife’s paramour to live in the house, who eats the food of an adulterer’s son, who sells Soma, who has burnt a house, who is a poisoner, who has broken the vows of continence, who is the servant of a company, who has intercourse with women with whom intercourse is prohibited, who is cruel, who has been superseded, in marriage, by his younger brother, who has superseded, in marriage, his elder brother, who is a pledgee or a pledger, who is bald-headed, or with deformed nails or black teeth, who suffers from leucoderma, who is the son of a remarried woman, who keeps a gambling house, who does not repeat mantras, who is the servant of the king, the Prātirūpika (whose profession is the assuming of disguises), who has married a Śūdra woman, who neglects the great sacrifices, who is leprous, who makes a living by money-lending, who trades, who makes a living by arts and crafts, or who is addicted to playing on musical instruments or to dancing and singing;—also those who have separated from their father against his wish.’

Vaśiṣṭha (11.15).—‘Avoiding the emaciated, one who is suffering from leucoderma, the eunuch, the blind, one who has black teeth, the leprous and one who has deformed nails.’

Yājñavalkya (1.222-224).—‘The following have been deprecated: the invalid, one deficient in his limbs, one with superfluous limbs, the one-eyed, the son of a re-married woman, one who has broken his vows of continence, one born of his unwidowed mother’s paramour, one born of his widowed mother’s paramour, who has deformed nails, or black teeth, who teaches for a stipulated fee, the eunuch, the defiler of virgins, who is accused of sins, who injures a friend, the traitor, the Soma-seller, who has superseded his elder brother in marriage, who has abandoned the mother or the father or the preceptor, one who eats the food of the adulterer’s son, the son of a Śūdra, the husband of a girl who had another husband, the thief, one whose conduct is wicked.’

Viṣṇu (82.4-29).—‘Those who offer sacrifices for many persons, or for village-communities, those who have abandoned the mother, the father, the preceptor, the Fires or Vedic Study, temple-attendants, healers, servants of the king, professional teachers, those taught by professional teachers, those associating with outcasts, those whose behaviour is cat-like (hypocritical), those who quarrel with their father, those in the habit of performing on other days those rites that should he performed on fixed days, informers, astrologers, those supported by food given by Śūdras, those engaged in evil professions.’

Mahābhārata (13.90, 6, etc.).—‘He who has married before his elder brother, who is suffering from skin-diseases, who violates his preceptor’s bed; the keeper of a gambling house, one who has helped in abortions, the consumptive, who tends cattle, who neglects the great sacrifices, who serves the village, the usurer, the singer, who sells all things, who has burnt houses, the poisoner, who eats the adulterer’s food, the seller of Soma, the palmist, the servant; of the king, who deals in oils, the forgerer, who has separated from his father, he who permits his wife’s paramour to live in the house, who is accused of crimes, the thief, who makes his living by arts and crafts; one who performs on stray days ceremonies laid down as to he performed on specified days, the back-biter, who injures his friend, the adulterer, who teaches persons not keeping the observances, one who makes a living by arms, who wanders about with dogs, and one who has been bitten by a dog.’

Āpastamba Dharmasūtra (2.17.21).—‘Who is suffering from leucoderma, bald-headed, adulterer, the son of one who makes a living by arms, one born of a Brāhmaṇa mother and a Śūdra father;—if these are fed at the Śrāddha, they defile the line.’

Atri-Saṃhitā (347-348).—‘The servant, the tawny, the one-eyed, one suffering from leucoderma, the invalid, whose skin is diseased, one whose hair has fallen off, one suffering from jaundice, one who wears matted locks, who carries loads, who is cruel, who has two wives, who has a Śūdra wife, who foments quarrels and one who causes much suffering.’

Bṛhad- Yama-Smṛti (35, 38).—‘Possessed of evil features, the eunuch, a heretic, decrier of the Veda, one ever hankering after gifts, who is addicted to begging and is engrossed in objects of sense.’

Prajāpati-Smṛti (84, 90).—‘The husband of a girl who has had a husband before, the thief, whoso conduct is reprehensible,—these are to be avoided. One’s ancestors fly away if they see a buffalo-keeper at the Śrāddha.’

Devala (Parāśaramādhava, p. 689).—‘The man who makes a living for three years by worshipping gods, is called the Devalaka, despised at all offerings to Gods and Pitṛs; he is to be regarded as unfit for company at all functions.’

Kaśyapa (Aparārka, p. 118).—‘Enemies, those who betray trusts, who are deficient in limbs, astrologers,—these Brāhmaṇas should be avoided at all functions; the one-eyed, the leprous, the eunuch, the skin-less, the hair-less,—these should never be mixed up at Śrāddha, with those versed in the Veda.’

Devala (Aparārka, p. 119).—‘Perjuror, impotent, wife-controlled, dam-piercer, keeper of musical time, professional actor, teacher of false religion, professional beggar, who has incurred the liability of expiatory rites, roguish, foolhardy, fowler, gambler, atheist, back-biter, wicked, etc., etc.’

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