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...

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

उपवेश्य तु तान् विप्रानासनेष्वजुगुप्सितान् ।
गन्धमाल्यैः सुरभिभिरर्चयेद् दैवपूर्वकम् ॥ २०९ ॥

upaveśya tu tān viprānāsaneṣvajugupsitān |
gandhamālyaiḥ surabhibhirarcayed daivapūrvakam || 209 ||

Having seated those unreproached Brāhmaṇas on those seats, he should worship them with sweet-smelling perfumes and Garlands, beginning with those invited in honour of the gods.—(209)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

After having seated them, he should worship them with perfumes and garlands: ‘Perfumes’—in the form of saffron, camphor, and such things—he should offer them; and so also ‘garlands’—strings of flowers. The eptihet ‘sweet-smelling’ qualifies ‘garlands;’ the sense being that one should not offer flowers devoid of sweet smell. The epithet is proper as qualifying ‘perfumes’ also, as there are evil-smelling perfumes also, which have to be excluded.

Or, the term may stand for ‘surabhiincense, in which case, this term would stand by itself.

Having first given these things to the Brāhmaṇas invited in honour of the gods, he should give them to those invited in honour of the Pitṛs.

This rule, that these things shall be given first to those invited in honour of the gods, is meant to imply that before the Brāhmaṇas have commenced eating, things should be given to them in that order. When once they have begun to eat, there can be no restriction regarding the serving of the several vegetables, etc. This is the explanation that is offered; as otherwise, why should this have been laid down over and over again.

Unreproached’—blameless—‘Brāhmaṇas.’ This is a mere reiteration; as it is only such Brāhmaṇas as have been specified for being invited. Or, the use of the past-participal affix nifty be taken as prohibiting the act denoted by the verbal root; the sense being—that ‘he should not reproach, or find fault with them, after (they have been invited and seated).’ People who favour this explanation argue that it is better to abandon the denotation of the affix than give up that of the entire word; and if it is taken as a mere reiteration, the whole word becomes redundaut and meaningless.—(209)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Medhātithi (P. 278, l. 1)—see Bhā. on 205 above.


Comparative notes by various authors

Baudhāyana (2.8.7).—‘To these he shall offer water mixed with sesamum, adorn them with sandal-paint and garlands; and having obtained their permission to ‘offer in the fire,’ he shall kindle the fire and spreading kuśa-grass, pour into it three oblations of butter to Soma-Pitṛpīta, Yama-Aṅgirasvan and Agni-Kavyavāhana.’

Viṣṇu (73.12).—‘With the mantra Eta pitaraḥ, etc., he shall offer the invitation with water mixed with kuśa and sesamum; with the mantra Yāstiṣṭhanti, etc., he shall offer for the feet water mixed with sandal-paste;—he shall then worship the Brāhmaṇas with kuśa, sesamum, clothes, flowers, ornaments, burning incense and lamp;—and taking up food poured over with butter, and with the mantra Yārudrā, etc., having looked at the food, he shall say I shall offer this into the fire, and on the Brāhmaṇas saying Do it, he shall offer the oblation.’

Yājñavalkya (1.231).—‘Having offered water, sandal-paste and garlands, incense and lamp, he shall offer clothes and also water for washing.’

Āśvalāyana-Gṛhyasūtra (4.8.1).—‘At this same time there should be offering of sandal-paste, garlands, incense, lamp, and clothes.’

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