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:

एतानेके महायज्ञान् यज्ञशास्त्रविदो जनाः ।
अनीहमानाः सततमिन्द्रियेष्वेव जुह्वति ॥ २२ ॥

etāneke mahāyajñān yajñaśāstravido janāḥ |
anīhamānāḥ satatamindriyeṣveva juhvati || 22 ||

Some persons, conversant with the ordinances relating to sacrifices, who do not cherish ant desires, regularly offer these great sacrifices into the sense-organs.—(22)

 

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Some persons’—Householders—‘Conversant with the ordinances relating to sacrifices, offer these great sacrifices into the sense-organs;’ i.e., they accomplish their performance in this manner.

Who are these people?

Those who do not cherish any desires;’—i.e., those who have no desire for acquiring wealth, who have renounced the Vedic rituals.

Some people regard this verse as enjoining what is to be done by the person living on ‘pickings and gleanings,’ as also by the lame and the maimed,- That such persons also may marry wives is going to be declared later on in 9-20. Such persons are not entitled to the regular performance of the Five Sacrifices; for the simple reason that they can never possess wealth sufficient for the performance of the sacrifices; since they are to earn only enough for subsistence, and not any more than that, which could be used in the performance of sacrifices.

The root ‘hu’ (in ‘juhvati,’ ‘offer,’) indicates the act of doing in general. For the ‘sacrifice,’ which is a particular act, can never be the object of ‘homa,’ which is another act; there can be no such expression as ‘cooks the cooking;’ we have such expressions as ‘does the cooking,’ ‘does the sacrifice.’ It is only when verbs stand in need of objects in general that they get, for their auxiliaries, substances and their operations; e.g., we have such expressions as ‘desires to eat,’ ‘he is able to eat,’ ‘know to eat;’ and the particular (the part) is often found to be used as indicative of the general (the whole), when, for instance, one speaks of ‘the ox’ as to be examined ‘by its foot.’

Some people explain the ‘offering into the sense-organs’ to mean their restraining.

Others, again, have explained it to mean what has been described in the Upaniṣad (Chāndogya), where it is said that the first mouthful that one eats in the morning and in the evening, should be put into the mouth as an ‘oblation,’ with the formula ‘prāṇāya svāhā,’ and so forth.

Others, again, explain that the ‘offering’ here spoken of is the same as what is enjoined in the next verse as a form of ‘worship;’ and it is thus that the two verses become construed together.

“But, in the next verse, the life-breath is laid down as to be offered into speech, and not into the sense-organ (as in the present verse).”

There is no force in the objection. The mention of the ‘sense-organs’ simply indicates the spiritual character of the offering; what is meant is that this offering does not require any external accessories.—(22)

 

Comparative notes by various authors

Baudhāyana (2.7.1).—‘Now we arc going to describe the offerings to the Prāṇas, to be made by the Śālīna, the Yāyāvara and the Ātmayājin.’

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