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:

दधि भक्ष्यं च शुक्तेषु सर्वं च दधिसम्भवम् ।
यानि चैवाभिषूयन्ते पुष्पमूलफलैः शुभैः ॥ १० ॥

dadhi bhakṣyaṃ ca śukteṣu sarvaṃ ca dadhisambhavam |
yāni caivābhiṣūyante puṣpamūlaphalaiḥ śubhaiḥ || 10 ||

Among Soured Substances, the curd is fit to be eaten, and all that is prepared out of it; as also all that is distilled from pure flowers, roots and fruits;—(10)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

All ‘soured substances’ having been forbidden in the foregoing verse, the present: text makes an exception in favour of a few of them.

Śukta’, ‘soured substance’, is the name of those substances which, being juicy in their constitution and having a distinct taste of their own, become soured either by the flux of time, or by the contact of some other substance. For instance, the Āmrātaka, which is sweet and full of juice, becomessoured’ after the lapse of some time; cane-juice becomes ‘soured’ after sometime. Things that are sour by their very nature—e. g., the Pomegranate, the Āmalaka, the Lemon &c.—are not calledsoured substances’; nor those that are still unripe. Because the termśukta’,soured’, is not synonymous withsour’. What are directly forbidden here are only those soured substances that have become sour by fermentation; and those that turn sour by the contact of flowers and roots &c. are only indirectly indicated; according to what Gautama has said (17.14)—All soured substances except Curd only’.

Distilled’.—Distillation consists in allowing the thing to remain soaked in water over-night.

“In that case the sourness would be due to the length of time (so that all these would be included amongSoured Substances’).”

True; these also are ‘soured substances’; and the Instrumental ending may signify either instrumentality or association. The meaning thus is—‘what are distillede.g. made out of—flowers etc. along with water’.

Some people offer the fallowing explanation:—“The roots of trees are directly productive of sourness. Such ‘sour substances’ as the Pomegranate, the Āmalaka and the rest are ‘fit to be eaten’, while those that are distilled from grapes and other sweet things are not eaten. ‘Distillation’ means producing acidity; hence ‘distilled from flowers’ means soured by flowers and such things. Grapes and such other things however are not themselves productive of acidity; in their case it is time alone that is the acidulating agent.”

This however i not right; simply because such is not the meaning of the term (‘distillation’). When one says ‘he is distilling Soma’—this is not understood to mean that he is making it sour; what is understood is as we have explained above.

Prepared out of curd’;—e.g. Udaśvit, Maṣṭu (whey), Kilāṭa (Coagulated milk), Kūrcika (Inspissated milk) and so forth.—(10)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (on 3.290);—in Smṛtitattva (p. 448), which explains ‘dadhisambhavam’ as standing for the takra and other similar preparations;—and again on p. 182;—and in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 616).


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (17.14).—(See above.)

Baudhāyana (1.12.14).—‘Stale food should not be eaten, except pot-herbs, broths, meat, clarified butter, cooked grain, molasses, curds and barley-meal.’

Āpastamba (1.17.19).—‘Excepting raw sugar, fried grain, curd-rice, fried barley, barley-meal, vegetables, meat, wheat-cake, preparations of milk, herbs, tree-roots and fruits (stale food shall not be eaten).’

Viṣṇu (51.42).—(See above.)

Yājñavalkya (1.169).—‘Food cooked overnight may be eaten, if it is smeared with fatty oils, or if it has been kept for a long time; preparations of wheat, barley and milk may be eaten even when not mixed with fatty oils.’

Yama (Aparārka, 7.245).—‘Soured foods one should Dover eat; but in times of distress they may be eaten after being washed; preparations of lentil and māṣa, even though cooked overnight, one may eat after washing them and mixing butter with them. Even though one may avoid soured substances, one may eat such things cooked overnight as wheat-cakes, rice-curd, fried grains, small cakes, barley-meal, vegetables, meat, broths, rice-gruel, barley-flour and things mixed with fatty oils. Curds and food mixed with molasses, when stale, should be avoided; so also drinks prepared with honey and butter.’

Devala (Do.).—‘Even though soured, curd may be eaten, also preparations of curd; drinks made of fruits and roots and flowers may be eaten, if they are not intoxicating.’

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