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:

तिरस्कृत्योच्चरेत् काष्ठलोष्ठपत्रतृणादिना ।
नियम्य प्रयतो वाचं संवीताङ्गोऽवगुण्ठितः ॥ ५० ॥

tiraskṛtyoccaret kāṣṭhaloṣṭhapatratṛṇādinā |
niyamya prayato vācaṃ saṃvītāṅgo'vaguṇṭhitaḥ
|| 50 ||

He shall pass it after placing a stick, or a clod, or leaves, or grass, or some such thing, restraining his speech, clean, his b ody wrapped and covered.—(50)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Tiraskṛtya’—‘placing between’—the stick, etc.; on that he shall pass urine. Or, ‘tiraskṛtya’ may mean ‘having covered;’ in which case, the meaning would be that ‘he should cover the ground with sticks and then pass urine.’ In this latter case, the reading with the lnsturmental-ending—‘tṛṇādinā—would be clearer; the construction being—‘having covered with sticks or with clods, or with leaves, or with grass.’

Pass it’—i.e., pass urine and evacuate his bowels.

Restraining his speech, clean’—i.e., with mouth not unwashed (not having anything in his mouth).

Body wrapped’—covered with cloth.

Covered’—the head tied up. The rule prescribed is—‘with the sacred thread on his ear, etc.’—(50).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 34), which explains the meaning to be that ‘one should cover the ground either with sticks, or with clods, or with leaves, or with grass and then ease himself,’—‘saṃvītāṅgaḥ’ means ‘with body wrapped’, and ‘avaguṇṭhitaḥ’, ‘with head covered’;—in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 25), which explains ‘vācam niyamya’ as ‘silent’,—‘saṃvītaṅgaḥ’ as ‘with the sacred thread hanging by the neck over the back’;—it notes that Kullūka and others explain the word as ‘with body wrapped’,—and ‘avaguṇṭhitaḥ’ as ‘with head covered’;—in Smṛtikaumudī (p. 57);—in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Āhnika, p. 3a);—and in Kṛtyasārasamuccaya (p. 45), which explains ‘uccāra’ as ‘stools’,—‘samutsarga’ as ‘evacuation’.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 4.50-51)

Bṛhannāradīya (Vīramitrodaya-Āhnika, p. 28).—‘During the day and the twilights, facing the north, at night, facing the south, he shall pass urine and stool.’

Gautama (9.38).—‘Urination and stooling [Should be done with body covered].’

Baudhāyana (1.5.68).—‘Placing on the ground dry grass, or wood which is not sacrificial, or earth-clod,—facing the north during the day and the south during the night,—and covering his head,—he shall urinate and pass stool.’

Āpastamba Dharmasūtra (1.30.14-15).—‘During the day, covering of the head should he avoided, except during urination and stooling. Urination and stooling shall he done with covered head and after placing something on the ground.’

Do. (1.31.1).—‘Facing the east, he shall eat food; facing the south, he shall pass it out; facing the north, he shall urinate; facing the west, he shall wash his feet.’

Vaśiṣṭha (12-10).—‘With head wrapped up, placing on the ground such grass as is not sacrificial, he shall urinate and pass stool.’

Do. (6.10).—‘Both urinating and stooling he shall dofacing the north during the day; and the south during the night. Thus is life not cut short.’

Viṣṇu (60.1, 3, 23).—‘Rising at the Brahmic moment, he shall go to stool and urinate; hut not on uncovered ground, nor with head uncovered.’

Do. (60.2).—‘Facing the south at night, and the north in the day and at the twilights.’

Pāraskara (2.7.15).—‘On fertile ground, covered over, one shall urinate and stooling but not walking or standing.’

Hārīta (Vīramitrodaya-Āhnika, p. 25).—Covering the mouth and the nostrils with cloth, he shall pass stool.’

Yājñavalkya (1.16).—‘During the day, and at the twilights one shall perform urination and stooling with the sacred thread resting on his ears—facing the north; but at night, facing the south.’

Yama (Aparārka, p. 34).—‘The passing of urine and Stool should be done with head covered, covering the ground with such grass as are not sacred or wet; facing the west in the forenoon, and the east in the afternoon, and the south at night.’

Aṅgiras (Aparārka, p. 34).—‘Covering the ground with grass, and covering his head with cloth, with speech in check, avoiding spitting and breathing one shall pass urine and stool on a clear spot.’

Vāyupurāṇa (Vīramitrodaya-Āhnika, 25)—‘Covering the ground with dry grass or wood or leaves or split bamboo or earthen vessels.’

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