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:

प्रतिगृह्य द्विजो विद्वानेकोद्दिष्टस्य केतनम् ।
त्र्यहं न कीर्तयेद् ब्रह्म राज्ञो राहोश्च सूतके ॥ ११० ॥

pratigṛhya dvijo vidvānekoddiṣṭasya ketanam |
tryahaṃ na kīrtayed brahma rājño rāhośca sūtake || 110 ||

After having accepted invitation to a unitary funeral rite, the learned Brāhmaṇa shall not recite the Veda for three days; as also during the impurity of the king and also of Rāhu.—(110)

 

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The ‘Unitary Rite’ is that which is offered to a single ancestor; i.e., the fresh funeral rite (that which is performed after death);—having ‘accepted’—agreed to—‘invitation’ at that rite, it becomes an occasion unfit for study, for three days, counting from the day of the invitation.

Similarly, when ‘of the King’—i.e., of the Moon—there is ‘impurity,’ i.e., pouring of nectar towards Rāhu. ‘Also’ in this case, is meant to include the Sun also.

Or, the ‘impurity of the King’ may mean the rejoicings accompaying the birth of a son to the King, the ruler of men; and the ‘impurity of the Rāhu,’ for the eclipses of the Sun and the Moon, known as ‘grahaṇa,’ ‘catching.’—(110)

 

Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Ekoddiṣṭa’—Burnell was right in rendering this as ‘to one ancestor,’ and Hopkins is not right in changing it into ‘to one recently deceased.’ As a matter of fact ‘Ekoddiṣṭa’ is the name applied to the Śrāddha to a single person,—as distinguished from the Pāravaṇa which is offered to six ancestors,—whether he has died long ago or only recently.

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 190), which explains ‘Ketanam’ as ‘invitation’,—at this, and on an eclipse, either one day or three days should be unfit for study,—‘Rāhusūtaka’ meaning ‘the sign of Rāhu;’—in the Dānakriyākaumudī (p. 99), as forbidding study for three days from the day of invitation;—in Gadādharapaddhati (Kāla, p. 195), which adds the same note and explains ‘Ketana’ as ‘invitation’;—in Prāyaścittaviveka, (p. 407), which explains ‘Ketana’ as ‘invitation,’ and ‘pratigraha’ as ‘the acceptance of a gift made by the donor for gaining spiritual merit’;—in Saṃskāramayūkha (p. 58), which has the following notes:—Some people say that it is not right that in the case of the Śrāddha on death, the invited should desist from study only till the food eaten has become digested, and in that of subsequent Ekoddiṣṭas it should be for three days; and they hold that the former is meant for cases of unintentional eating and the latter for those of intentional eating;—the writer himself holds the view that the ‘three days’ are meant for cases of first Śrāddha also;’—in Puruṣārthacintāmaṇi (p. 442);—in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 153).—in Mitākṣarā (on 1.146) to the effect that an invitation to an Ekoddiṣṭa means the omission of study for three days;—in Hemādri (Kāla, p. 756);—and in Śuddhikaumudī (p. 171).

 

Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (16.22, 32).—‘When there is thunder out of season, or earthquake or eclipse or meteor-showers;—or the death of the king.’

Āpastamba Dharmasūtra (1.11.20).—‘During a lunar or solar eclipse, when there is earthquake, or meteor-shower or fire-portent,—it is unfit time for the studying of all sciences.’

Vaśiṣṭha (13.7).—‘Fruits, water, sesamum, articles of food, and other things connected with Śrāddhas,—on accepting the gift of these, it is unfit for study; Brāhmaṇas having been declared to have their hands for their mouths.’

Gobhila (3.3.25).—‘When one’s own king (is dead).’

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