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:

न भुञ्जीतोद्धृतस्नेहं नातिसौहित्यमाचरेत् ।
नातिप्रगे नातिसायं न सायं प्रातराशितः ॥ ६२ ॥

na bhuñjītoddhṛtasnehaṃ nātisauhityamācaret |
nātiprage nātisāyaṃ na sāyaṃ prātarāśitaḥ
|| 62 ||

He shall not eat anything from which oil has been extract ed; he shall not commit gluttony; he shall not eat very early in the morning, nor very late in the evening; nor in the evening, if he has eaten in the morning.—(62).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

He shall not eat anything from which oil has been extracted; for instance, the oil-cake, juices and meat. Later on (5.24-25), the Author shall provide a counter-exception in the case of sacrificial remnants and preparations of milk kept over-night; and the plural number (in the term ‘preparations of milk’) is used in consideration of the large number of much preparations as whey, coagulated milk and so forth; though curd alone is the direct preparation of milk. But if curd alone were meant to be included in the counter-exception, then the Author would have mentioned that alone by name. So that curd can never be regarded as ‘kept over-night.’ From this it follows that the prohibition contained in the present verse does not apply to whey, coagulated milk and such other preparations of milk.

He shall not commit gluttony’—Eat too much. The stomach is divided into three parts: one part is to be filled with solid food, another with water and other liquids, and the third is to be left empty for the moving about of the juices; it is in this manner that one should eat; and this means that he shall not commit gluttony.

Very early’—i.e., just at sun-rise, one should not eat. For weaker people, the proper time for eating is after the expiry of three hours in the morning, and for other persons it is midday.

Not very late in the evening’—i.e., one shall not eat at sunset; ‘nor in the evening, if the has eaten in the morning’— to his fill. This means that at both times one should eat while some hunger is still left. This is what has been thus asserted—‘Morning and evening are the two times for eating, ordained by the gods. But if one has eaten to his fill in the morning, then he shall not eat in the evening.’

Or, the text may be explained in the following manner:—‘He shall not eat to his fill both in the morning and in the evening.’ It is in view of this that Yājñavalkya (Acāra, 114) has advised light food in the evening.—(62)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 476), which explains ‘uddhṛtasneham’ as refering to ‘piṇyāka’ (residue of seeds ground for oil) and things of that kind; and ‘atiprage’, as ‘before the sun long risen’;—the third quarter is quoted in Mitākṣarā (on 3. 290);—in Smṛtitattva (p. 30), as precluding the time of sunset and sunrise, and explains

Sauhitya’ as ‘over-satisfaction ‘satiation’;—and in Saṃskāramyūkha (p. 71), which remarks that by this the eating of ‘takra’ becomes wrong; as there is nothing to justify an exception in favour of takra; it explains ‘Sauhitya’ as ‘over-eating’.


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (9.58).—‘He shall not eat things out of which the essence has been extracted,—such as oil-cake and the like.’

Viṣṇu (68.12,27).—‘He shall not eat during the twilights; nor things out of which the oil has been extracted.’

Āpastamba Dharmasūtra, (2.1.3).—‘He shall partake of food—without being entirely satisfied’

Yājñavalkya (1.114).—‘Having said the evening prayers, having offered oblation into the fires and having attended upon them, he shall take his meals, without being entirely satisfied, and then go to sleep.’

Viṣṇu (Vīramitrodaya-Āhnika, p. 475).—‘One should never eat unwholesome food,—neither too early, etc. (as in Manu).’

Brahmapurāṇa (Do., p. 476).—‘One should not eat while there is indigestion,... nor during the twilights, or at midday or at midnight.’

Devala (Do., p. 477).—‘One should never eat without clarified butter.’

Brahmapurāṇa (Do., p. 478).—‘One shall not eat at an improper time.’

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