Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN-10: 8120811550 | ISBN-13: 9788120811553

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:

प्रत्यग्निṁ प्रतिसूर्यṁ च प्रतिस्ōम्ōदकद्विजम् ।
प्रतिगु प्रतिवातṁ च प्रज्ञा नश्यति म्ēहतः ॥ ४९ ॥

pratyagniṁ pratisūryaṁ ca pratisōmōdakadvijam |
pratigu prativātaṁ ca prajñā naśyati mēhataḥ || 49 ||

The intelligence of a man perishes, if he passes urine, facing the fire, the sun, the moon, the water, the Brāhmaṇa, the cow and the wind.—(49)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

“Since it has been laid down that one should pass urine, facing the north,—and the sun rises in the east,—how can one ever face the sun, in view of which possibility we have the present prohibition?”

The present verse is a commendatory supplement; just like the assertion—‘not in the sky, nor in heaven, &c.’ Then again, during the northern solstice, the sun moving towards the north, it would be possible to face the sun. Or, the prohibition may be taken as meant for the common people (who may not know the rule regarding urinating with face towards the north).

Some people read ‘pratisandhyam.’ But this is not right; because regarding the passing of urine we have the rule that ‘during the two twilights it shall be done as during the day;’ and also because the forcible checking of urine, etc., has been forbidden. For these reasons, we should read ‘prativātam,’ facing the wind.’

This verse is supplementary to the foregoing one.

Mehakaḥ’—may be construed either as ending with the Present-participial affix ‘śatṛ,’ or with the affix ‘tas’ (having the sense of the Ablative); the meaning being—‘the man passing urine,’ or ‘by the passing of urine.’—(49)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse, which is 52 in Buhler, Burnell and Kullūka and other commentators, is 49 according to Medhātithi, who remarks that ‘some people do not read this verse in the present Discourse’. It is interesting, in the light of this remark, to note that this verse is not quoted in any of the important Nibandhas.

This verse is quoted in Nityācārapradīpa (p. 248), which explains ‘saṃvītāṅgaḥ’ as ‘with the sacred thread hanging by the neck.’


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 4.45-49)

See Comparative notes for Verse 4.45.

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