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:

मृदं गां दैवतं विप्रं घृतं मधु चतुष्पथम् ।
प्रदक्षिणानि कुर्वीत प्रज्ञातांश्च वनस्पतीन् ॥ ३९ ॥

mṛdaṃ gāṃ daivataṃ vipraṃ ghṛtaṃ madhu catuṣpatham |
pradakṣiṇāni kurvīta prajñātāṃśca vanaspatīn || 39 ||

By a mound of clay, a cow, a deity, a Brāhmaṇa, clarified butter, honey, a cross-way and the well-known trees—he shall pass in such a manner as to leave them on his right.—(39)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

This rule applies to cases where, when a man has started to go, the said things happen to come in his way. He should go in such a manner that-they remain to his right. Another Smṛti has laid down, in connection with depatures, that—‘he should walk round rightwards.’

Deity’—as painted on scrolls, for purposes of worshipping. Gautama has declared that—‘One shall pass round the temples of gods leaving them on his right;’ and, on the strength of popular opinion, the term ‘deity’ of the text is to be taken as standing for the temples containing images of the Four-armed Viṣṇu, the Sun and other gods;—and the same should be done with sacrificial houses also, as the author is going to declare later on.

Madhu’—should be taken here as standing for Honey, on the strength of its being mentioned along with ‘clarified batter;’ also because it is mentioned in the middle of a number of auspicious things.

Well-known trees’— Large trees, well known for their great utility and size, or, for the large produce of flower and fruits; such trees, for instance, as the Udumbara, and the like. ‘The Udumbara is vigour itself,’ says a Vedic description.

Some people have explained ‘well known’ as ‘of superior quality.’ But these people, have no support for this, except certain popular notions; and they should be ignored.—(39)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Aparārka, (p. 176), which explains that the ‘mud’ meant is that which has been dug out;—and in Mitākṣarā (on 1.133).


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (9.66).—‘A praiseworthy object, an auspicious object, a temple, a cross-way and such objects,—he shall go round in such a manner as to leave them on his right.’

Viṣṇu (63.26-30).—‘He shall go round the cross-ways in such a manner as to leave them to his right; also a place where deities are being worshipped; also well-known trees; also the fire, the Brāhmaṇa, the courtesan, full water-jar, the mirror, the umbrella, the flag, the banner, the Bel- tree and river-whirlpools; also the fan, the cāmara, the horse, the elephant, the cow, curd, milk, honey and fried grains.’

Yājñavalkya (1.133).—‘The deity, the cow, the Brāhmaṇa and the trees,—he shall pass by in such a manner as to leave them to his right.’

Mārkaṇḍeya (Aparārka, p. 176).—‘The road-crossing, and the important trees he shall salute; and he shall pass by all auspicious objects in such a way as to leave them to his right.’

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: