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:

अन्तर्गतशवे ग्रामे वृषलस्य च सन्निधौ ।
अनध्यायो रुद्यमाने समवाये जनस्य च ॥ १०८ ॥

antargataśave grāme vṛṣalasya ca sannidhau |
anadhyāyo rudyamāne samavāye janasya ca || 108 ||

In a village where a corpse still lies, in the presence of low people, during weeping, and in a crowd of hen,—it is unfit for study.—(108).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

In a village where a corpse still lies,—i.e., while the corpse has not been taken away.

Low people.’— This term does not stand here for the Śūdra; as the ‘proximity of the Śūdra’ has been already forbidden under 4.99. It denotes unrighteousness, and stands for such people as are similar to Śūdra, in their unrighteousness. Hence there is prohibition of study even in the presence of such people as are unrighteous in their conduct.

During weeping,’—where the Sound of weeping is heard; the participial term ‘rudyamāne’ being used as a noun.

In a crowd of people.’— One shall not study in a place where a large number of men have congregated on some business.

Or, the meaning may be—‘where a crowd of people are weeping;’ the prohibition applying to a place where a large number of men are weeping.

The ātmanepada participial affix in ‘rudyamāne,’ in the Active sense, is a Vedic anomaly.—(108)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, p. 535), without any comment;—in Hemādri (Kāla, p. 771), which says that ‘vṛṣala’ here stands for unrighteous persons reading in the presence of Śūdras having been already forbidden in verse 99;—in Gadādharapaddhati (Kāla, p. 194);—and in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 162).


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (16.7).—‘When there are sounds of the flute or the drum or of the chariot.’

Do. (16.19).—‘When there is rotting smell, when there is a dead body in the village, and in the proximity of the Caṇḍāla or the Śūdra.’

Baudhāyana (1.11.23).—‘When there is rotting smell in the wind, when there is fog, when there are sounds of dancing, singing or musical instruments, or of weeping and of Sāma-singing,—it will be unfit for study during the time.’

Āpastamba Dharmasūtra (1.9.14).—‘When a corpse is lying within.’

Do. (1.10.19).—‘Sounds of dog, ass, wolf, owl,—sounds of all musical instruments,—also sounds of weeping, singing and Sāma-singing.’

Vaśiṣṭha (Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra).—‘When there is a corpse lying in the village, or a Caṇḍāla.’

Viṣṇu (30.10).—‘Nor in a village where a corpse is lying nor near the Śūdra or the outcast.’

Yājñavalkya (1.148).—‘When there are sounds of a dog, the jackal, the ass, or the owl, of Sāma-singing, or of the flute, or of some one in pain; or in the proximity of an unclean thing, a dead-body, a Śūdra, a Caṇḍāla, the cremation-ground, or the outcast.’

Parāśara (2.11.4).—‘After meals, so long as the hands are wet,—in water,—at night,—during the two twilights,—while a dead body is lying in the village, or while a Caṇḍāla happens to be in the village.’

Pāraskara (2.11.6).—‘When there is fog, or sound of musical instruments, or cries of pain, on the outskirts of the village, in the cremation ground, when there are sounds of the dog, the ass, the owl or the jackal, or of Sāma singing,—during the time that it lasts.’

Gobhila (3.3.28).—‘When there are sounds of singing, or of musical instruments, or of weeping,—and when there is high wind;—during that time it will be unfit for study.’

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