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...

Verse 4.95 [Vedic Study]

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation by Ganganath Jha:

श्रावण्यां प्रौष्ठपद्यां वाऽप्युपाकृत्य यथाविधि ।
युक्तश्छन्दांस्यधीयीत मासान् विप्रोऽर्धपञ्चमान् ॥ ९५ ॥

śrāvaṇyāṃ prauṣṭhapadyāṃ vā'pyupākṛtya yathāvidhi |
yuktaśchandāṃsyadhīyīta māsān vipro'rdhapañcamān || 95 ||

Having perfomed the “Upākarma” (starting rite) on the full- moon day in the month of Śrāvaṇa or of Bhādrapada, the Brāhmaṇa shall, with due diligence, study the vedas, according to rule, during four months and a half.—(95)

 

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The full moon day related to the asterism of Śravaṇā is called ‘Śrāvaṇī;’ similarly, ‘Prauṣṭhapadī.’—On either of these days,—‘having performed the rite known asUpākarma,”’—he shall study the Vedas,—‘according to rule;’ this refers to the rules laid down under 2.75 et seg.—Yukta—applying himself with diligence.

Chandāṃsi’— the Vedas. The term ‘chandas’ here stands for the Veda, and not for the metres, Gāyatrī and the rest. Hence this same rule applies also to the case of those who are studying the prose-Brāhmaṇas (and is not restricted to those studying the metrical saṃhitā texts only). It is only right that the rule should be so applicable, as both (prose and metrical portions) are equally regarded as ‘Veda.’ In this connection, the option referred to has been restricted to the extent that the students of the Sāma-Veda perform the ‘Upākarma’ on the full-moon day of Bhādrapada, while those of the Ṛgveda and the Yajurveda do it on that of Śrāvaṇa—(95)

 

Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (on 1.142) to the effect that the Veda is to be studied for four months and a half;—in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 518), which explains the compound ‘ardhapāñcamān’ as ‘ardham pāñcamam yeṣām’, i.e., four months and a half; and adds that if on the day here specified there happen to be such conditions antagonistic to study, as the non-appearance of the Venus and the like—then the Upākarma should be performed on the Full-moon day of the month of Āṣāḍha.

It is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, p. 499);—and in Madanapārijāta (p. 84), which also explains the compound ‘ardhapañcamān’ as ‘ardhāḥ pañcamo māso yeṣām’;—i.e., for four months and a half, counting from the day on which the Upākarma ceremony is performed. It adds that this rule is applicable, not to the Student only, but to the House-holder also.

It is quoted in Vidhānapārijāta (p. 512), which adds that according to the explanation provided by Hemādri, the particle ‘api’ is meant to include the fifth day of the month of Bhādrapada as another alternative day.

It is quoted in Aparārka (p. 186), which explains the construction as—‘Chandāṃsi upākṛtya tāni ardhapañcamān māsān adhīyīta’; and explains the compound ‘ardhapāñcamān’ as ‘ardhaḥ pāñcamo māso yeṣām’;—the meaning being that from the day that the Upākarma is performed, the man should go on studying the Veda for four months and a half;—in Puruṣārthacintāmaṇi (p. 298) as laying down Vedic study to be done during four months and a half, during both the dark and the bright fortnights;—in Hemādri (Kāla, p. 396), which adds that the particle ‘api’ is meant to imply the ‘Bhādrapada—Śravaṇā—Hastā and Pañcamī’;—in Gadādharapaddhati (Kāla, p. 171), which says that the Chandogas are to do the Upākarma on the Full-moon day of Bhādrapada, while all others are to do it on the same day in Śrāvaṇa;—and in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 147), which explains ‘yuktaḥ’ as ‘with due application.’

 

Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (16.1-2).—‘Having performed the annual Upākarma on the fullmoon day of either Śrāvaṇa or Bhādra, he shall study the Vedas for four months and a half, or throughout the Southern Path of the Sun.’

Baudhāyana (1.6.143).—‘Having performed the Upākarma on the fullmoon day of either Śrāvaṇa or Bhādra or Āṣādha, he shall perform the Utsarjana on the fullmoon day of either Pauṣa or Māgha.’

Āpastamba (1.9.1-3).—‘On the fullmoon day of either Śrāvaṇa or Bhādra, having performed the Upākarma of Vedic Study, he shall not study at night for one month. He shall stop the study on the fullmoon day of either Pauṣa or Mārgaśīrṣa. According to some people, the study has to be carried on for four months and a half.’

Vaśiṣṭha (13.1-5).—‘Next proceeds the Upākarma of Vedic Study: On the fullmoon day of either Śrāvaṇa or Bhādra, having kindled the fire and performed the rites of fire-laying, he pours oblations into it to Gods, Ṛṣis and the Vedas. Having made the Brāhmaṇas pronounce the benedictory syllable Svasti, he shall eat curd and then start the Vedic Study, and continue it for four and a half or five and a half months. After that he is to study the Veda only during the brighter fortnight; but the subsidiary sciences, he may read whenever he likes.’

Kūrmapurāṇa (Parāśaramādhava, p. 519).—‘On the fullmoon day of Śrāvaṇa or Āśāḍha or Bhādra has the performance of Upākarma been prescribed.’

Viṣṇu (30.1).—‘Having performed the Upākarma on the fullmoon day of either Śrāvaṇa or Bhādra, he shall study for four months and a half.’

Yājñavalkya (1.142).—‘He shall perform the Upākarma of the Vedas on the appearance of herbs, either on the fullmoon day of Śrāvaṇa or on a day in Śrāvaṇa under the asterism of Śravaṇā, or on the fifth day of Śravaṇā under the asterism of Hastā.’

Āśvalāyāna Gṛhyasūtrā (3.5.1-4).—‘Next comes the Upākaraṇa of the Veda:—on the appearance of herbs, on that day of the month of Śrāvaṇa which falls under the asterism of Śravaṇā;—or on the fifth day, under the asterism of Hastā;—and he shall carry on the study for six months.’

Pāraskara (2.10.1-2).—‘Next comes the Upākarma of the Veda. On the appearance of herbs, on the fullmoon day of the month of Śrāvaṇa, under the asterism of Śravaṇā, or on the fifth day under the asterism of Hastā.’

Do. (II. 10-11).—‘Having carried on the study for five months and a half they should perform the Utsarjana; or after having studied for ten months and a half.’

Gobhila (3.3.1, 13)—‘The Upākaraṇa is to he done oṇ the fullmoon day of Bhādra under the asterism of Hastā;—according to others under the asterism of Śravaṇā.’

Do. (Parāśaramādhava, p. 519).—‘The Taittirīyakas perform the Upākarma on the fullmoon day of Śrāvaṇa when it occurs after the fore-noon; the Ṛgvedis do it on the asterism of Śravaṇā.’

Pracetas (Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra, p. 497).—‘The Upākarma should be performed in the fore-noon on the fullmoon day.’

Smṛtyantara (Do., p. 500).—‘During the month of Śrāvaṇa, on the Śravaṇā asterism; on the fullmoon day of Śrāvaṇa, on the fifth day under the asterism of Hastā, the prescribed Upākarma should be performed.’

Śāṅkhyāyana (Do., p. 500).—‘Next the Upākaraṇa—on the appearance of herbs, under the asterism of Hastā or Śravaṇā.’

Hiraṇyakeśin (Do., p. 501).—‘Next we describe the Upākarma and the Utsarjana—during Śrāvaṇa, on the appearance of herbs, or on the fullmoon day under the asterism of Hastā, the Upākarma should be performed.’

Maitra-Sūtra (Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra, p. 502).—‘During the rains, under the asterism of Śravaṇā, he performs the Upākarma of the Veda.’

Khādira-Sūtra (Do., p. 503).—‘They perform the Upākarma of the Veda on the fullmoon day of Bhādra, under the asterism of Hastā.’

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