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...

Verse 3.265 [Domestic Offerings after Śrāddha]

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

उच्छेषणं तु तत् तिष्ठेद् यावद् विप्रा विसर्जिताः ।
ततो गृहबलिं कुर्यादिति धर्मो व्यवस्थितः ॥ २६५ ॥

uccheṣaṇaṃ tu tat tiṣṭhed yāvad viprā visarjitāḥ |
tato gṛhabaliṃ kuryāditi dharmo vyavasthitaḥ || 265 ||

The leavings shall remain until the Brāhmaṇas have been dismissed. After that, he should make the domestic offerings. Such is the established law.—(265)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Until the Brāhmaṇas have departed, the food that may be contained in the dishes out of which they have eaten, or which may have fallen on the ground, shall not be removed.

After that, he should make the domestic offering.’ The Śrāddha rite having been finished, he should offer the oblation to the Viśvedevas and attend to the daily routine of feeding the guests, &c. The term ‘offering’ is merely indicative.

Others offer the following explanation:—“The term ‘offering’ here stands for the offering made to the elementals; and in this way the pouring of libations into fire before the feeding of Brāhmaṇas, does not become improper. It will not be right to argue that—‘when the rite in honour of the Pitṛs has been begun, it cannot be right to thrust into it other rites;’—for, according to the rule by which the Śrāddha extends over two days, though the inviting of the Brāhmaṇas (which is part of the Śrāddha) is done on the preceding day, yet there is nothing wrong in the morning and evening libations being offered into fire; and the same may be the case with the Vaiśvadeva libation, which also is poured into the ‘Upasad’ fire. So that what are postponed (till after the completion of the Śrāddha) are only those details that come after—and not those that come before—the offering to the elementals.”

Our reply to the above is as follows:—If the Vaiśvadeva oblation is offered into the fire beforehand, then the ball-offering would come after the Śrāddha; and in that case the ‘sacrifice to the gods’ and the ‘offering to the elementals’ would become separated; and this would militate against the prescribed order of sequence. Further, the time being taken up by the Śrāddha offered to the Pitṛs, this does not quite interfere with the time of the Vaiśvadeva oblation. From all this it follows that all the ‘Great Sacrifices’ should be performed after the Śrāddha.


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Nirṇayasindhu (p. 331);—in Gadādharapaddhati (Kāla, p. 490), which explains ‘Gṛhabali’ as standing for Bhūtayajña and implying the entire Vaiśvadeva offering,—as held in Kalpataru;—in Saṃskāraratnamālā (p. 958), which notes that according to Medhātithi and Karka the term ‘bali’ here stands for the Vaiśvadeva offering; but for the Kākabali, according to Divodāsa;—in Hemādri (Kāla, p. 606), which reproduces the entire commentary of Medhātithi—in

Puruṣārthacintāmaṇi (p. 426), which also quotes Medhātithi to the effect that ‘bali’ stands for the Vaiśvadeva offering;—and in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 1062), where also Medhātithi’s commentary is reproduced in toto.


Comparative notes by various authors

Yājñavalkya (1.`257).—‘So long as the Brāhmaṇas are there, the leavings shall not he washed.’

Vaśiṣṭha (11.18-20).—‘Till the end of ṭhe day, the leavings of the Śrāddha shall not be removed; as from those flow currents of nectar which are drunk by those to whom no water-offerings have been made.—So long as the sun has not set, the leavings shall not be washed.—Manu has declared that the leavings and the remnants form the share of those who have died before the performance of their sacramental rites.’

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: