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:

जटिलं चानधीयानं दुर्बालं कितवं तथा ।
याजयन्ति च ये पूगांस्तांश्च श्राद्धे न भोजयेत् ॥ १५१ ॥

jaṭilaṃ cānadhīyānaṃ durbālaṃ kitavaṃ tathā |
yājayanti ca ye pūgāṃstāṃśca śrāddhe na bhojayet || 151 ||

One should not feed, at a Śrāddha, one with braided hair, who is not learned, one who is hairless, the gambler, and those who sacrifice for hosts.—(151)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

One with braided hair’—i.e., the Student; this arrangement of the hair has been laid down as an optional alternative for him—‘he should either shave his head or wear his hair in braids’ (2-219); the ‘braided hair’ is mentioned here only as an indicative of the Student; hence the present verse includes also that student who may have shaved his head. And the student whose feeding is prohibited here is only one who is not studying.

“In view of what has been said above in regard to the propriety of feeding one who is learned in the Veda (128), there can be no possibility of anyone feeding a man who is not studying (why then should his feeding be specially prohibited?)”

The prohibition is necessary, as otherwise one might feed the student who began his study, but did not carry it on and did not learn the Veda.

“But it has been said above (145) that one should feed him who is ‘thoroughly versed in the Veda;’ where, then, could there be any possibility of the admission of one who had only made a beginning of study?”

In that case, we shall take the prohibition as applying to that student who may have read through the Veda, without having made it all his own.

Or, the phrase ‘who is not learned’ may be taken as added to guard against the contingency that, on the strength of what is said (in 3, 234) regarding the propriety of feeding the daughter’s son, even though he he still in the state of studentship, some people might be led to think the only necessary qualification consisted in the person invited being the ‘daughter’s son,’ and ‘learning’ was not an essential condition at all. And when the student1 who is not studying’ becomes precluded, it naturally follows that the student who is studying is entitled to be fed.

Durrāla;’—this term may mean either one whose hair have fallen off, or one who is red-haired, or one who is without hair in his private parts. In this sense, they explain the etymology of the word as follows:—‘mere grass suffices for his clothing, he is covered by mere grass, having no clothing, ho hides his private parts with mere grass,’

Gambler’— who is addicted to gambling.

Who sacrifice for hosts’— for groups of men. The collective performance of the I Vrātyastoma for a number of Vrātyas has been prescribed: and officiating at such sacrifices has been prohibited under II. 197.

Our explanation, however, is that the phrase applies to one who may sacrifice, even by turns, for many persons:—i.e., who undertakes service as priest very frequently:—such a person also shall not be fed. Says Vaśiṣṭha—‘He who sacrifices for many men, and he who initiates many persons.’

Some people hold that, since the present verse specifies theŚrāddha,’ the interdict herein contained pertains only to rites in honour of the Pitṛs, not to those in honour of the gods.

This, however, is not right. Because the rites in honour of the gods (Viśvedevas) are also a part of the ‘Śrāddha,’ which latter term therefore can be used in connection with these also.—(151)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 687), which adds (on p. 688) the notes that—‘Jaṭila’ means the

Student, who is qualified by the adjective ‘anadhīyānaḥ’, so that the person precluded is the Student who is not reading,—one who is reading being regarded as fit to be invited, the unreading Student could not be included under the term ‘not learned in the Veda,’ as there is every likelihood of people falling into the mistake that even though not reading, the Student deserves to be invited;—the ‘Durvāla’ is one who is ‘bald’, or ‘tawny-haired’;—the ‘Kitava’ is ‘one addicted to gambling’;—the ‘Pūgayājaka’ is ‘one who sacrifices for hosts.’—It goes on to add that the addition of the term ‘Śrāddha’ indicates that the persons here enumerated are to be excluded from invitation only at Śrāddhas, and not from the rites performed in honour of the gods; otherwise the addition would be superfluous.

It is quoted in Aparārka (p. 450), which explains ‘jaṭilam’ as ‘the Brahmacārī,’ and ‘durbāla’ as ‘khalatiḥ;’—in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 480);—and in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Śrāddha, p. 9a).

Jaṭilam ca anadhīyānam’—Medhātithi takes ‘anadhīyānam’ as qualifying ‘jaṭilam’, explaining the two together as ‘the Student who is not learned; i.e., who began the study, hut did not complete it’;—Kullūka also takes the two together; but explains ‘anadhīyānam’ as ‘one who has only had his Upanayana performed, but has not been taught the Veda’; and adds that ‘this implies that one may invite that Student who is still studying the Veda, though he may not have mastered it.’


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 3.150-166)

See Comparative notes for Verse 3.150.

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