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 water, at midnight, during the evacuation of the bladder and the bowels, while one is unclean, when one has eaten at a śrāddha, one shall not even think in his mind (of the Veda).—(109)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The fourth ‘muhūrta’ of the night is ‘midnight,’ which is also called ‘mahāniśā,’ ‘Deep Night.’ Two ‘muhūrtas’ before, and two ‘muhūrtas’ after this ‘midnight,’ it is unfit for study.

In water;’—i.e., while standing in a river or tank or some such reservoir of water. Since the context is dealing with

‘Vedic study,’ the repeating of Vedic texts—such as ‘Aghamarṣana,’ and the rest—in water is not forbidden.

Some people read ‘udaye’ for ‘udake;’ which means that it is unfit for study when the sun has just risen.

Unclean;’—i.e., while he has not washed, after having taken his food. One is also called ‘unclean’ before one has washed, after having evacuated the bladder or the bowels. Some people explain that the term ‘unclean’ stands for all those impure conditions that require washing; so that spitting also would become included.

Even in his mind.’—This does not mean that on other occasions unfit for study, the thinking of Vedic texts is permitted; all that it means is that the conditions here mentioned are more serious than the rest.—(109)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, p. 538);—in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 163);—in Hemādri (Kāla, p. 773);—and in Gadādharapaddhati (Kāla, p. 195), which explains ‘madhyarātri’ as during four muhūrtas at the middle of the night.’


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (16.11, 12, 18, 34, 46).—‘On evacuating the bladder and the bowels;—at midnight, during the twilights and in water;—in the cremation-ground, in the outskirts of the village, on the public thorough fare and during impurities.—One day and night is to be regarded as unfit for study on the completion of the Veda, or vomitting, or eating at Śrāddha and at sacrifices to men. According to some people, in the city it is always unfit for study.’

Baudhāyana (1.11.26, 30).—‘On accepting a gift in honour of the Piṭrs, and on eating at Śrāddha, the rest of the day is unfit for study. At birth and at death, there is to be no study, oven in the mind.’

Āpastamba Dharmasūtra (1.10.26).—‘After dining at night.’

Āpastamba (11.17, 25, 26).—‘While immersed in water;—when there is lightning, when it is thundering, or after eating at Śrāddha, during a fog, they forbid even mental study.’

Do. (32.12).—‘During the night, there is to be no teaching except moral teaching to the pupils.’

Viṣṇu (30.16).—‘Not in water.’

Yājñavalkya (1.149).—‘In an unclean place, or when one is unclean, during lightning and thunder, after eating while the hands are still wet, in water, at midnight, or when very high winds are blowing.’

Pāraskara (2.11.2, 4).—‘On eating at Śrāddha, on the falling of meteors, on earthquake, at fiery portents, at the junction of two seasons,—there should be no study till the next day; after meals while the hands are wet, in water, or midnight, during the two twilights, while a dead body is lying in the village, and while a Caṇḍāla is in the village.’

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