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:

वाच्येके जुह्वति प्राणं प्राणे वाचं च सर्वदा ।
वाचि प्राणे च पश्यन्तो यज्ञनिर्वृत्तिमक्षयाम् ॥ २३ ॥

vācyeke juhvati prāṇaṃ prāṇe vācaṃ ca sarvadā |
vāci prāṇe ca paśyanto yajñanirvṛttimakṣayām || 23 ||

Some people constantly offer their life-breath into speech, and their speech into the life-breath,—knowing that in speech and in life-breath rests the imperishable fulfilment of sacrifices.—(23)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Whenever a man breathes, he should think—‘I am offering speech into Life-breath;’ and when he speaks, he should think—‘I am offering Life-breath into Speech.’ By this alone the Five Sacrifices become accomplished.

“If these are obligatory, they should not be spoken of as leading to any results.”

As a matter of fact, only such persons are entitled to this form of sacrifice as are cognisant of the real nature of the Soul.

This same fact has been laid down in the Upṇniṣads, in connection with ‘the worship of the Five Fires,’ and in great detail in the Kauṣitaki Brāhmaṇa.

Imperishable’—in their results; their results consisting in non-return to the cycle of birth and rebirth.—(23)


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 4.23-24)

Kauṣītaki-Brāhmaṇa.—‘While the man breathes, he does not speak; at that time he offers speech unto breath; while he speaks, he does not breathe; then ho offers breath unto speech; these two arc the endless oblations, offered during sleep as also during waking hours;—other oblations are an end; those that consist of acts. In this manner have the Ancient Sages offered the Agnihotra-oblations.’

Mahābhārata (Bhagavadgītā, 6.25-333).—‘The Yogins have recourse to a different sacrifice, the Daiva sacrifice; other Yogins have recourse to another sacrifice offered into the fire of Brahman. Others again offer the auditory and other organs into the fire of Restraint; others offer sound and the other objects into the fire of the sense-organs. Others offer all sense-functions and breath-functions into the fire of the Yoga of self-restraint, enkindled by wisdom. Sages fixed in their observances offer the sacrifice of substances, the sacrifice of austerities, the sacrifice of Yoga, the sacrifice of Vedic Study and the sacrifice of Knowledge. They offer the Prāṇa unto the Apāṇa, and the Apāṇa unto Prāṇa; and restraining the function of Prāṇa and Apāṇa, devoted to breath-control, restrained in their food, they offer Prāṇa unto the Prāṇas. All these are persons well-versed in sacrifices and have their sins destroyed by sacrifices. O Suppressor of enemies, the sacrifice of knowledge is superior to the sacrifice of substances; all action, O Pārtha, culminates in knowledge.’

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