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:

बकं चैव बलाकां च काकोलं खञ्जरीटकम् ।
मत्स्यादान् विड्वराहांश्च मत्स्यानेव च सर्वशः ॥ १४ ॥

bakaṃ caiva balākāṃ ca kākolaṃ khañjarīṭakam |
matsyādān viḍvarāhāṃśca matsyāneva ca sarvaśaḥ || 14 ||

The Baka, the Balākā, the Kākola, the Khañjarīṭa, the fish-eaters, and village pigs; as also fish always.—(14)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The prohibition of the ‘Baku, Balākā and Kākola’ being already included under that of ‘fish-eaters’, these have been mentioned separately in order to indicate that the eating of the other fish-eating birds is optional.

Fish-eaters’.—Animals other than birds also, which eat fish, are to be regarded as ‘unfit to be eaten’; such animals, for instance, as the alligator and the like; that this is what is meant, is clear from the fact that the name ‘fish-eater’ is to be applied in its literal sense.

Kākola is the same as the Kite, such being its name in foreign lands; for instance, it is known by this name in the Bāhlīka country.

The prohibition of the ‘village-pig’ implies the permission to eat the wild pig. The prohibition of those ‘living in villages’ in the preceding verse (11) should be taken, on the strength of the context, us referring to birds only. It is only thus that there would be any point in the mention of the ‘village-pig’ in the present verse. The pig that lives in villages is called ‘viḍvarāha’, ‘village-pig.’

“If in verse 11, ‘those living in villages’ are to be taken, on the strength of the context, as birds only, then the term ‘fish-eaters’ in the present verse also should be taken as referring to birds only.”

Not so; because the present context is not restricted to birds only; since it mentions also non-birds, such as the ‘village pig’ and‘fish.’

Sarvaśaḥ,’— always.

This is a general rule; its exceptions we shall explain later on.—(14).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 343), which adds the following notes:—The ‘vaka’ and the ‘balākā are well known birds ;—kākola is the Droṇakāka;—‘khānjarīṭa’ is the khañjana;—‘matsyādāḥ’ are the alligator and the like;—the prohibition of the ‘viḍvarāha’ implies the sanction of the wild boar.—‘ṣarvaśaḥ’ means in every way’;—and in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 583).


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (17.29, 34). (See under 12, and).—‘Carnivorous birds (should be avoided).’

Baudhāyana (1.12-3, 8).—‘Nor tame cocks and pigs;—five kinds of scratching birds—partridge, blue rock-pigeon, francoline partridge, Vārdhrīṇasa crane, the peacock (may be eaten).’

Vaśiṣṭha (14.48(?)).—(See above, under 12.)

Viṣṇu (51.21.29). (See under 11, and)—‘On eating fish other than the Pāṭhīna, the Rohita, the Rājīva, Siṃhatuṇḍa and Śakula, one should fast for three davs.’

Yājñavalkya (1.173-175).—(See above under 12 and 13.)

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