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:

असंस्कृतप्रमीतानां त्यागिनां कुलयोषिताम् ।
उच्छिष्टं भागधेयं स्याद् दर्भेषु विकिरश्च यः ॥ २४५ ॥

asaṃskṛtapramītānāṃ tyāgināṃ kulayoṣitām |
ucchiṣṭaṃ bhāgadheyaṃ syād darbheṣu vikiraśca yaḥ || 245 ||

The remnant and that which has been scattered on the Kuśa grass form the share of those who have died without sacraments, and of those who have abandoned family ladies.—(245)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

In connection with infants who have not completed their third year, it is going to be said that ‘cremation shall not be performed for him;’ it is these that are spoken of here as ‘those who have died without sacraments.’

The remnant’—contained in the dishes; as also ‘what is scattered on the Kuśa’ forms their ‘share’ The term ‘bhāgadheya’ is the same as ‘bhāga.’

This does not mean that these persons are not helped by the śrāddha.

Those who hare abandoned’—their elders. Or, ‘those who have abandoned the ladies of their family, without finding any fault in them.’ According to the former explanation, the term ‘Kulayoṣitām’ is to be construed by itself, and taken to mean ‘unmarried maidens.’

For the reason stated, the remnant should be offered to the persons mentioned.

It would not be right to raise the question—“Since the remnant would be unclean, how could it be offered as the said share?”—because, in view of this very text, there is no uncleanliness attaching to the remnant; just as there is none in the case of the remnant of Soma-juice (at the Soma-sacrifices).—(245)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Varṣakriyākaumudī, (p. 359), as enumerating those entitled to the scattered food;—in Gadādharapaddhati (Kāla, p. 562), which explains ‘kulayoṣitām tyāginām’ as ‘those who abandon the ladies of their family without cause’, and adds that the food scattered in the dish is for those who have died without sacraments, while that on the ground is for the slaves;—in Śrāddhakriyākaumudī (p. 275);—and in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 1512), which adds the following notes:—‘asaṃskṛta’ stands for those whose Upanayana has not been done, and also the unmarried girls,—‘tyāginaḥ’ are suicides,—‘kulayoṣitām’, those ladies to whom water-offerings have not been made;—or ‘kulayoṣitām tyāginām’ may be taken together, meaning ‘those who have abandoned their wives and ladies without cause.’

Tyāginām kulayoṣitām’—‘For those who abandon their elders and for unmarried maidens; or to those who have abandoned the ladies of their family, without fault’ (Medhātithi);—‘For women who have forsaken their families’ (Govindarāja);—‘suicides and childless women’ (Nārāyaṇa);—‘For ascetics and...’ (Nandana).

This verse is quoted also in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 376) without any comment;—and in Aparārka (p. 504), which explains ‘bhāgadheyam’ as ‘share’; and adds that what is meant is that ‘for those persons of his family who have died without Upanayana, and for those who have forsaken the ladies of his family or such others as should not be forsaken,—one should assign the food left in the dish in which the Brāhmaṇas have eaten, as also that which has been scattered on the grass’.


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (81.22).—[Reproduces Manu.]

Vaśiṣṭha (11.20).—‘For those persons of one’s family who may have died before the performance of their sacramental rites,—Manu has laid down the share in the form of the remnants and the scatterings.’

Laghu-Āśvalāyana (23.90-91).—‘Having shaken the vessels, and pronouncing the syllable svasti, he shall throw on each of the spots sesamum and washed rice, and then scatter food also, for those of his Pitṛs who may have died without, sacraments.’

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