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:

पिशुनानृतिनोश्चान्नं क्रतुविक्रयिणस्तथा ।
शैलूषतुन्नवायान्नं कृतघ्नस्यान्नमेव च ॥ २१४ ॥

piśunānṛtinoścānnaṃ kratuvikrayiṇastathā |
śailūṣatunnavāyānnaṃ kṛtaghnasyānnameva ca
|| 214 ||

Nor the food of the informer and the perjurer, or of the seller of sacrifices; nor the food of the actor or the tailor; nor the food of the ungrateful person.—(214)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Informer,’—one who betrays the confidence reposed in him; or one who talks ill of persons behind their back.

Perjurer,’—who has given false evidence.

Seller of sacrifices,’— who, having performed a sacrifice, sells its fruit; i.e., says to another person,—‘May the fruit of this sacrifice be yours,’ and receives a price for it. Though, in reality, there can be no ‘selling’ of a sacrifice, yet, what is forbidden, is the food of a person who makes such living, or who undertakes sacrifice with a view to cheat others.

Śailūṣa’—is actor; or, according to others, he who exposes his wife for the public. Another Smṛti is more specific—‘he who lives by dancing.’

Tailor’—He who works with the needle,

Ungrateful person,’—he who nullities the good that has been done to him; on the contrary, proceeds to do harm to his helper, and not to do a good turn to him, even though capable of doing so.—(214)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (on 3.290);—in Madanapārijāta (p. 945);—and in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 495), which adds the following notes:—‘Piśuna’ is the back-biter,—‘anṛtī’ is the perjuror and such others,—the person who makes over to another person the merit of a sacrificial performance and receives money in return is called ‘Kratuvikrayaka’;—‘śailūṣa’ is one who makes a living by dancing,—‘tantuvāya’ is one who lives by weaving cloth;—‘kṛtaghna’ is the person who does not acknowledge the good done to him;—in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 773);—and in Prāyaścittaviveka (p. 260), which adds the following notes:—‘Śailūṣa’ is defined in the Adipurāṇa as ‘an actor who is looking out for a living’,—‘Tunnavāya’ ‘one who works with needles.’


Comparative notes by various authors

Āpastamba (1.18.30).—‘Of the spy.’

Viṣṇu (51.12-18).—‘Of the informer, the perjuror, the seller of his soul, the seller of juices;—of the actor, the weaver, the ungrateful man and of the dyer.’

Yājñavalkya (1.161-165).—‘Of the miser, the prisoner, the thief, the eunuch, the actor, the seller of weapons, the carpenter, the weaver and those living by dogs;—of the cruel king, of the dyer, of the ungrateful man, the wine-seller; of the informer, the perjuror, the bard, and of the Soma-seller;—the food of these should not be eaten.’

Vaśiṣṭha (14.3).—‘Of the miser, the initiated man, the prisoner, the invalid, the Soma-seller and the carpenter.’

Mahābhārata (Śānti. 35.21).—‘Of the initiated person, the miser, the sacrifice-seller.’

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