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:

नान्नमद्यादेकवासा न नग्नः स्नानमाचरेत् ।
न मूत्रं पथि कुर्वीत न भस्मनि न गोव्रजे ॥ ४५ ॥

nānnamadyādekavāsā na nagnaḥ snānamācaret |
na mūtraṃ pathi kurvīta na bhasmani na govraje || 45 ||

He shall not eat food with only one piece of cloth on him; he shall not bathe naked; he shall not pass urine on the road, nor on ashes, nor on the haunts of cows.—(45)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Even though the man always wears his sacred thread (and hence, correctly speaking, he is never with only one piece of cloth on), yet, since the sacred thread is always on the body and it does not cover any part of the body, and since the present injunction is apart from the section dealing with Upanayana (where the wearing of the sacred thread is prescribed),—he is regarded as ‘having only one piece of cloth on himself.’ What the text means is that, at the time of eating, he shall have on his body a second piece of cloth capable of covering his body.

He shall not pass urine.’—‘Urine’ here stands for excretions of all kinds.

Pathi’—on the road.

On the haunts of cows’—the path by which cows pass, or the place where they go to graze.—(45)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Govraje’—‘The path by which, or the place at which, cows go to graze’ (Medhātithi);—‘cow-pen’ (Kullūka and Govindarāja).

This verse is quoted in its second half in Aparārka, (p. 179);—in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 33), where ‘Govraja’ is explained as ‘Goṣṭha’;—in Smṛtitattva (p. 329);—in Vidhānapārijāta (II, p. 153);—in Nityācārapradīpa, (p. 250);—and in Saṃskāramayūkha (p. 71).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 4.45-49)

Yama (Vīramitrodaya-Āhnika, p. 35).—‘Pools, tanks, streams, hills, cowdung, ashes, ploughed fields,—these he shall avoid; as also chaff, fire-embers, potsherds, temples, public roads, cremation-ground, fields and harvesting enclosures; he shall not do it in a shady place, or on a visible road-crossing, or on beautiful spots; water, proximity of water, path, tree-bases, worshipped trees and holes,—these he shall avoid.

Brhannāradīya (Do., p. 37).—‘On the road, in the cowpen, on river-bank, in a tank, near a wall, under the shade of trees, in a forest, near the fire, near Brāhmaṇas, cows, or elderly women,—one shall not pass stool or urine.’

Gautama (9.45.13).—Not on ashes, nor on dry cowdung, nor on cultivated ground. He shall not pass urine or excreta or throw any impure things, while looking towards the wind, the fire, the Brāhmaṇa, the water, deities or cows.’

Kūrmapurāṇa (Vīramitrodaya-Āhnika, pp. 35 and 38).—‘Not near a garden, or a water-reservoir, or on barren ground, or on ground rendered unclean by others; nor with shoes or sandals on; nor with umbrella, nor in the sky nor facing women, or elders, or Brāhmaṇas, or cows, or temples, or deities, or stars, or the wind.’

Vaśiṣṭha (11).—‘Urination should not be done in a river; nor on ashes, nor on cowdung, nor in ploughed fields, nor in fields sown with seed, nor on grass.’

Hārīta (Vīramitrodaya-Āhnika, p. 35).—‘He shall not pass urine or stool either in the public square or near the side-gate; nor in a tīrtha, or sacrificial ground, or under sacrificial trees.’

Baudhāyana (3.2.44).—‘He shall not bathe naked.’

Viṣṇu (60.11).—‘Not on the road, nor on ashes, nor in haunts of cows.’

Viṣṇu (Aparārka, p. 180).—‘He shall not pass urine or stool on barren ground; nor near a garden or a water-reservoir; nor in the sky.’

Viṣṇu (64.5).—‘Nor naked (shall he bathe).’

Viṣṇu (68.14).—‘Nor with a single cloth.’

Viṣṇu (60.4-22).—‘[He shall not urinate or pass stool) on ploughed ground; nor under a shadow; nor on barren ground; nor on grass; nor where there are living creatures; nor in a hole; nor on an ant-hill, nor on the road; nor on the lane; nor in a garden; nor near a garden or a water-reservoir; nor on ashes; nor on fire-embers; nor on cowdung; nor in places haunted by cows; nor in the sky; nor in water; nor before the wind, the fire, the moon, the sun, a woman, the preceptor or the Brāhmaṇa.’

Viṣṇupurāṇa (Vīramitrodaya-Āhnika, p. 36).—‘One shall never urinate in one’s own shadow, or in the shade of a tree, or facing the cow, the sun, fire, wind, elders or twice-born men.’

Āpastamba Dharmasūtra (1.30.18).—‘One shall not urinate or pass stool with shoes on;—nor on ploughed ground, nor on the path, nor in water. Spitting and sexual intercourse also should be avoided in water. He shall avoid urinating and passing of stool in the presence of fire, the sun, water, Brāhmaṇas, cows, or deities.’

Āpastamba Dharmasūtra (Vīramitrodaya-Āhnika, p. 36).—‘He shall avoid the passing of urine and stool under the shade.’

Yājñavalkya (1.131).—‘He shall not eat within sight of his wife, nor with a single cloth, nor standing.’

Yājñavalkya (1.134).—‘He shall not urinate in a river, or under shade, or on the path, or in water, or on ashes; nor before the fire, or the sun, or the cow, or the moon, or water, or twice-born men.’

Śāṅkhāyana Gṛhyasūtra (Vīramitrodaya-Āhnika, p. 38).—‘Not facing the sun, nor with knees towards the sun.’

Āśvalāyana Gṛhyasūtra (3.9.6).—‘He shall not bathe during the night; he shall not bathe naked; he shall not sleep naked; he shall not look at a naked woman, except... he shall not run while it is raining.’

Pāraskara (2.7.6).—‘Looking at sunrise, tree-climbing, fruit-gathering, naked bathing,...... these he shall not do;—nor shall he beg for food after bathing.’

Do. (2.7.15).—‘He shall not urinate or pass stool on fertile ground, or on bare ground, or while walking or standing.’

Śaṅkha.—‘One shall not urinate either on cowdung or on ploughed ground, or in a sown field, or on grass, or on ṭhe cremation-ground, or on an ant-hill, or on the path, or in a place where grains are husked, or in a place where cattle congregate, or in a hole, or on a hill, or on a sandbank;—since all these are the receptacles of living beings.’

Do. (p. 180).—‘he shall not urinate facing the sun; those who do it, facing the sun or the wind or the cow or the Brāhmaṇas, or the moon, or the water or the twilights or the public road, lose their intelligence and become short-lived.’

Devala (Do.).—‘One shall not pass urine or stool on road-crossings and side-gates, nor in ploughed fields, nor in a field with standing corns, nor in sacrificial ground, nor under sacrificial trees.’

Śaṅkha-Likhita (Do., p. 180).—‘He shall not pass urine or stool in an uncovered place; nor with his lower garment on, nor naked.’

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