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:

अगारदाही गरदः कुण्डाशी सोमविक्रयी ।
समुद्रयायी बन्दी च तैलिकः कूटकारकः ॥ १५८ ॥

agāradāhī garadaḥ kuṇḍāśī somavikrayī |
samudrayāyī bandī ca tailikaḥ kūṭakārakaḥ || 158 ||

The house-burner, the poisoner, one who eats the food of an adulteress’ son, the seller of Soma, the sea-voyager, the bard, the dealer in oils, and the perjuror.—(158)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The burner of houses.

Garada’—one who gives to others the gara-poison; the mention of ‘gara’ is merely indicative; it includes all kinds of poison.

He who eats the food of the adulteress’ son; similarly, he who eats the food of the widow’s son; the former being meant to be purely indicative.

He who sells Soma; ‘Soma’ is a particular kind of herb; he who sells this herb, for use either at sacrifices or for medicine.

Others have explained the term ‘Soma’ (in the expression ‘seller of Soma’) to mean the Jyotiṣṭoma and other sacrifices performed with the Soma. Though the actual ‘selling’of these sacrifices is not possible,—because an act is purely incorporeal,—yet, as a matter of fact, the practice of ‘selling’ sacrifices is found to be current among illiterate people; hence the present prohibition. Illiterate people are found making such assertions in oath as—(a) ‘whatever good I have done, may be yours’ (where they mean to transfer the merit acquired by their good deeds), and (b) ‘that night in which you were born and that in which you are dying, leaving these two, all your charities and performances, all your good deeds, your life and offspring I might destroy, if they injure me’ (An oath). And just as they make use of such oaths, so also they practice the Giving and Selling (of acts) by means of words; and he who does this, is avoided (at Śrāddha -feedings). It is from this that we infer the impropriety of uttering such oaths and the doing of such verbal givings and sellings.

Sea-voyager’—one who goes out to the sea.

Bard’—one who sings the eulogia of men.

Dealer in oils’—one who presses sesamum and other oilseeds.

Perjuror’—one who tells a lie when giving evidence.—(158).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Agāradāhī’—‘An incendiary; as also (according to Nandana) one who burns corpses for money’.

Kuṇḍāśī’—‘One who eats the food of the son of an adultress’ (Medhātithi and Kullūka) ‘the glutton who eats sixty palas of rice’ (Nārāyaṇa).

Kūtakārakaḥ’—‘The perjuring witness’ (Medhātithi, Rāghavānanda and also Kullūka, whose explanation does not differ from Medhātithi’s as noted by Buhler);—Medhātithi explains the word as ‘Sākṣyeṣvanṛtavādī,’ and Kullūka as ‘Sākṣivāde mṛṣāvādasya-kartā’;—‘any one who commits fraud, i.e. a forger, a falsifier of weights and measures’ (Nārāyaṇa and Nandana).

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 687) without any comment;—in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 481);—and in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Śrāddha, p. 9a).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 3.150-166)

See Comparative notes for Verse 3.150.

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