Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN-10: 8120811550 | ISBN-13: 9788120811553

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:

स्तेनगायनयोश्चान्नं तक्ष्ह्णो वार्धुषिकस्य च ।
दीक्षितस्य कदर्यस्य बद्धस्य निगडस्य च ॥ २१० ॥

stenagāyanayoścānnaṃ takṣhṇo vārdhuṣikasya ca |
dīkṣitasya kadaryasya baddhasya nigaḍasya ca || 210 ||

Nor the food of the thief or the singer, nor of the carpenter, the usurer, of the initiated person, of the miser, the prisoner and the fettered.—(210)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Singer,’— Who lives by singing. The ordinary occasional singing of popular songs is actually laid down.

Miser’— niggard.

The difference between the ‘prisoner’ and the ‘fettered’ is, that the former may be imprisoned by mere words (verbal orders), while the latter is actually bound in ropes and iron-chains.

Some people read ‘viśadasya’ for ‘nigadasya;’—‘viśaḍa’ being explained as ‘man in trouble.’—(210)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Baddhasya nigaḍasya;’—‘One who is only verbally confined and one who is bound with cords or iron chains’ (Medhātithi);—‘one bound with chains’ (Kullūka).

This verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (on 3.290);—in Madanapārijāta (p. 944);—in Smṛtitattva (p. 451);—and in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 495) which adds the following notes:—‘Stena’ is ‘one who takes away what belongs to another,’—‘gāyana’ is ‘one who makes a living by singing,’—‘takṣan’ is ‘one who has carpentery for his livelihood,’—and ‘Vārdhuṣika’ is ‘one who makes a living by charging improper rates of interest, or by making undue profits by trade; and adds that the term is also applied to one who brags of his own superior virtues and decries others’—this on the strength of a text quoted from Viṣṇu;—‘dīkṣita’ is ‘one who has been consecrated by means of the Dīkṣaṇīya-Iṣṭi,’—whose food should not be eaten prior to the ceremony of purchasing the Soma, or before the Agnīṣomīya vapāyāga;—‘kadarya’ is ‘the miser,’ defined by Devala as ‘one who, through greed for amassing wealth, causes suffering to himself, his wife and children, as also hinders the right fulfilment of his religious duties’;—‘baddhasya’ means ‘bound with ropes,’ or ‘bound only verbally,’—and ‘nigaḍasya’ means ‘one who is in chains’; though ‘nigaḍa’ means ‘chains’ only, yet it stands here for one who is in chains; [this is as Medhātithi has explained the terms]; or the genitive in ‘nigaḍasya’ may be taken in the sense of the instrumental, so that, the two words ‘baddhasya nigaḍasya’ may be taken together as ‘nigadena baddhasya’ (one bound in chains);—this according to Kalpataru.

This is quoted in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 710);—and in Prāyaścittaviveka (p. 260), which defines ‘Vārdhuṣika’ according to Yama as ‘one who buys things cheap, and sells them dear, as also one who makes a living by lending money on interest’; and explains ‘dīkṣitaḥ’ as ‘the person who has performed the Dīkṣaṇīya Iṣṭi’; his food is forbidden till the end of the sacrifice in connection with which that Iṣṭi has been performed,—and ‘kadarya’as ‘he who amasses wealth at the cost of much discomfort to himself, his religious performances, his wife and children;—‘baddhasya,’ one who is tied with a rope,—‘nigaḍa,’ chain.


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (17.15).—(See above.)

Āpastamba (1.18.18, 22, 23).—‘Of all those who live by arts and crafts;—also the usurer,—also one who has been initiated for the sacrifice, until he has bought the Soma.’

(Do.) (1.19.1).—(See above, under 208.)

Vaśiṣṭha (14.2-3).—‘The food offered by the following should not be eaten—the physician, the fowler, the loose woman, the thief, the accused, the eunuch, the outcast;—the miser, the initiated person, the invalid, the Soma-seller, the carpenter, the dyer, the oil-presser, the usurer, the leather-dealer.’

Yājñavalkya (1.161).—(See above, under 209.)

Viṣṇu (51.7).—(Do.)

Mahābhārata (Śānti, 35.29).—‘Of the initiated person, of the sacrifice-seller, of the carpenter, of the leather-dealer, of the loose’woman and of the dyer (the food should not be eaten).’

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