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:

नीहारे बाणशब्दे च सन्ध्ययोरेव चोभयोः ।
अमावास्याचतुर्दश्योः पौर्णमास्य्ऽष्टकासु च ॥ ११३ ॥

nīhāre bāṇaśabde ca sandhyayoreva cobhayoḥ |
amāvāsyācaturdaśyoḥ paurṇamāsy'ṣṭakāsu ca || 113 ||

Nor during a fog, nor during the sound of arrows, nor at the two twilights, nor on the Moonless Day, nor on the fourteenth day, nor on the Full Moon Day, nor on the eighth day.—(113).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Fog’—when it is too dark to know the directions properly; it is also called ‘dhūmikā;’ during which the atmosphere appears as if covered with vapour and dust.

Sound of arrows’—whizzing of arrows.

Some people read ‘vāṇa,’ in which case, vāṇa stands for the Lute; the use of this is met with in connection with the ‘Mahāvrata’-Rite. The Lute has a hundred strings, and it is also without strings.

‘On the fourteenth day’—of each fortnight.

Eighth day’—all the eighth days; as is clear from other Smṛti texts, as also from usage.

Others read ‘aṣṭamīṣu’ (for ‘aṣṭakāsu’).—(113).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in ‘Gadādharapaddhati’ (Kāla, p. 195);—in Hemādri (Kāla, p. 769), which explains ‘nīhāra’ as ‘fog’;—in Saṃskāramayūkha (p. 53), which notes that this holiday is to continue the whole day and night;—in Smṛtichandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 159).


Comparative notes by various authors

Vaśiṣṭha (13.8).—[See above.]

Gautama (16.7, 12, 35).—‘While the sounds of arrows and the drum or the chariot or of weeping are heard,—or during the night or during twilights or in water;—or on the moonless day.’

Baudhāyana (1.11.22, 23, 35).—‘On the full-moon day, on the Aṣṭakā days, on the moonless day, when there are fiery portents, or earthquake, in the cremation-ground, on the death of the country’s king or of a Vedic scholar, or of one’s fellow-studenṭ,—it shall be unfit for study for the day and night. When there is rotting smell in the air, during a fog, while sounds are heard of dancing or singing or musical instruments or weeping or Sāma-singing,—it will be unfit for study while they last. One should not study at the junction of day and night.’

Āpastamba Dharmasūtra (1.9.28).—‘For the whole day and night on the moonless days.’

Āpastamba Dharmasūtra (1.11.15, 25).—‘When there is lightning-flash or thunder,...... during a fog.’

Viṣṇu (30, 4).—‘One shall not study during the day and night on the fourteenth and eighth days of the month.’

Yājñavalkya (1.146, 148, 150).—‘On the full-moon day, on the moonless day and on the eighth of the month, when there is an. eclipse, at the junction of the seasons, when one Ins either eaten or received gifts at a Śrāddha; when sounds are heard of the dog, the jackal, the ass or the owl, or of Sāma-singing, or of arrows; in the proximity of unclean things, or of a dead body, or of a Śūdra or a Caṇḍāla or an outcast; when there is rain of dust, or a burning of the quarters, during twilights, during a fog, or when there is danger, while one is running, when there is rotting smell, or when a highly cultured gentleman has arrived as guest.’

Pāraskara (l.11.1, 4, 6).—‘During a storm and on the moonless day, the whole day is unfit for study; after meals while his hands are wet, in water, during the night, during the twilights, while a corpse is lying in the village or when a Caṇḍāla is in the village; during a fog, when there is sound of musical instruments, or of distressful weeping, in the outskirts of the village, in the cremation-ground, while sounds are heard of the dog, the ass, the owl, or the jackal, or of Sāma-singing,—it will be unfit for study while it lasts.’

Gobhila (3.3.11, 22).—‘On the full-moon days, or the three full moon days of the months of Kārtika, Phālguna and Āṣāḍha.’

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