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 3.276 [Time for Śrāddha]

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

कृष्णपक्षे दशम्यादौ वर्जयित्वा चतुर्दशीम् ।
श्राद्धे प्रशस्तास्तिथयो यथैता न तथैतराः ॥ २७६ ॥

kṛṣṇapakṣe daśamyādau varjayitvā caturdaśīm |
śrāddhe praśastāstithayo yathaitā na tathaitarāḥ || 276 ||

‘No dates are so commended for the offering of śrāddha as those of the dark fortnight, beginning with the tenth day, leaving out the fourteenth.—(276)

 

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The mention of the days beginning with the tenth, indicates that the offering is attended by excellent results. So that on other days also the offering is to be made, if due faith is there. But on the fourteenth day there is absolute prohibition.—(276)

 

Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 666) as laying down what one should do in the event of his being unable to perform the Śrāddha throughout the dark fortnight;—in Madanapārijāta (p. 524), which remarks that this verse implies also the alternative of beginning the Śrāddha on the fifth and going on daily till the fifteenth;—in Smṛtitattva (on p. 173, again on p. 252) as forbidding the performance of Śrāddha on the fourteenth,—and again on p. 845 as forbidding the performance of the Śrāddha on the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight of all months;—in Aparārka (p. 422), which adds that the alternative here laid down is that of beginning the performance of the Śrāddha on the tenth day of the fortnight;—in Gadādharapaddhati (Kāla, p. 467), which says that it refers to the Mahālayā-śrāddha;—in Smṛtisāroddhāra (p, 187) in support of the view that only five, not ten, days of the kṛṣṇapakṣa are specially commended, these being the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 15th days;—in Śrāddhakriyākaumudī (p. 6);—in Varṣakriyākaumudī (p, 350);—in Puruṣārthacintāmaṇi (p. 382);—in Hemādri (Kāla p. 461), which adds that the fourteenth day is not to be excluded entirely, it is to be avoided only for the Śrāddha to three ‘deities’ with the exception of that offered to those killed with weapons;—and in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 194).

 

Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (15.2-3).—‘Commencing from the fifth day of the Aparapakṣa, Śrāddha should bo performed;—or on all days.’

Āpastamba (2.16.6).—‘So also during the later days of the Aparapakṣa.’

Kātyāyana and Gautama (quoted in Caturvargacintāmaṇi-Śrāddha, p. 293).—‘One should make the offering to the Pitṛs on the moonless day; or on the days commencing from the fifth of the Aparapakṣa; or according as he may have faith, on all days, whenever the right substance, place and Brāhmaṇas may be available.’

Āpastamba (quoted in Caturvargacintāmaṇi-Śrāddha, p. 194).—‘It should be offered every month; the afternoon of the Aparapakṣa is highly commendable, as also the latter days of the Aparapakṣa.’

Yājñavalkya (1.264).—‘Commencing from the first day, excepting the fourteenth day; on this latter day it is offered to those who may have been killed by weapons.’

Mārkaṇḍeya (Parāśaramādhava, p. 663).—‘When the sun is in the sign of Virgo, there are fifteen days, on which the performance of Śrāddha has been prescribed;—on the first day, for obtaining wealth; on the second, for obtaining progeny; on the third, for obtaining good things; on the fourth for destruction of enemies; on the fifth, for obtaining prosperity; on the sixth, the man obtains honour; on the seventh, the man becomes leader of his clan; on the eighth, excellent intelligence; on the ninth he obtains excellent wives; on the tenth, he fulfils all his desires; on the eleventh, he acquires all the Vedas; on the twelfth, he obtains gold; by offering it on the thirteenth day, he obtains children, memory, cattle, sound body, freedom, excellent prosperity, long-life, power and riches. Those who seek the welfare of those ancestors who were killed in youth by weapons should offer the Śrāddha on the fourteenth day. The man offering Śrāddha with food on the moonless day obtains all that he desires and goes to heaven.’

Vṛddha-Manu (Do.).—‘When the sun enters the sign of Virgo, the dark fortnight is called the Mahālaya, as also the Gajacchāyā.’

Śāṭyāyani (Do., p. 664.).—‘The sixteen days during the month of Nabhasya, when the sun is in the sign of Virgo, constitute the time for the performance of Śrāddha.’

Śāṭyāyani (Do., p. 665).—‘The sun in Virgo is very sacred; so also is the fifth fortnight (after Āṣāḍhī).’

Devala (Parāśaramādhava, p. 665.).—‘Sixteen days, formed by the first day of the bright fortnight, which follow the moonless day.’

Jābāli (Do., p. 665).—‘During the fifth fortnight following the full-moon day of Āṣāḍha,—even though the sun may have not entered the sign of Virgo, one should offer Śrāddha; that fortnight is the most commended for the performance of Śrāddha.’

Bṛhat-Manu (Do.).—‘During the fifth fortnight after the fullmoon day of the month of Āṣāḍha, the Pitṛs desire food and water every day; hence Śrāddha should be offered at that time... even though the sun may or may not have entered the sign of Virgo.’

Ādityapurāṇa (Do.).—‘Śrāddha is commended even when performed during other fortnights during the time that the sun is in the sign of Virgo; if this happens to ho the fifth fortnight (after the full-moon day of Āṣāḍha), it is all the more commendable.’

Shloka-Gautama (Do.).—‘During the time when the sun is in the sign of Virgo, there are sixteen days that are as good as sacrificial sessions.’

Kārṣṇājini (Do.).—‘Whether in the beginning or the middle or the end, whenever the sun enters the sign of Virgo, the whole of that fortnight is to be honoured as regards the performance of Śrāddha. During the dark fortnight of Nabhasya, Śrāddha should he performed every day, not excepting the Nandā or even the fourteenth day.’

Brahmāṇḍapurāṇa (Parāśaramādhava, p. 666).—‘During the dark fortnight of the month of Nabhasya, one should perform Śrāddha every day, or during two-thirds, or during one-half, or during one-third of the fortnight.’

Yama (Do., p. 667).—‘During the rains, when the sun is in the sign of Virgo,—the man shall offer Śrāddha between the fifth day of one fortnight and the fifth day of another.’

Sumantu (Do.).—‘So long as the sun remains in the sign of Virgo and until he enters the sign of Scorpio, it is time for the offering of Śrāddha.’

Purāṇa (Parāśaramādhava, p. 667).—‘When the sun enters the sign of Virgo, Pitṛs come to their descendants; till the entering of the sun into the sign of Scorpio, the region of Pitṛs becomes empty; and on the entrance of the sun into Scorpio, they go away disappointed after having cursed their offspring.’

Ādipurāṇa (Do.).—‘During the rainy season the Pitṛs empty their abodes, and oppressed by hunger, describe their own sins and desire milk-rice mixed with honey; and hence one should satisfy the Pitṛs with offerings of milk-rice, mixed with honey, butter and sesamum.’

Gārgya (Do., 668).—‘On the Nandā days (1st, 6th and 11th of the month), on Friday and on the thirteenth day, the householder should not perform Śrāddha.’

Aṅgiras (Do.).—‘On the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight, if one offers Śrāddha, the death of his eldest son is certain. If one offers Śrāddha during the asterism of Maghā, his eldest son dies.’

Smṛtyantara (Do., p. 669).—‘If one offers Śrāddha on the thirteenth, he should offer it not to one Pitṛ; he shall offer the Pārvaṇa Śrāddha.’

Śaṅkha (Parāśaramādhava, p. 669).—‘On the expiry of the month of Bhādra, or the thirteenth day in conjunction with the asterism of Maghā, one should offer Śrāddha with honey and milk-rice; his forefathers reward him with desirable progeny, fame, heaven, health, and wealth.’

Mahābhārata (Do.).—‘If a man performs Śrāddha on the thirteenth, no one in his family ever dies young.’

Marīci (Do., p. 670).—‘On the fourteenth, Śrāddha should be offered only to those who have died through poison, weapons or wild animals, or those who have killed a Brāhmaṇa; for others that day has been condemned.’

Pracetas (Do.).—‘The fourteenth has been recommended only for those who died through tree-climbing or iron weapons, or lightning or water or poison and such things.’

Sumanta (Parāśaramadhava, p. 670).—‘Even the Unitary Śrāddha for one who has died through weapons should be performed on the fourteenth day of the Mahālaya.’

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