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:

यज्ञार्थं पशवः सृष्टाः स्वयमेव स्वयम्भुवा ।
यज्ञोऽस्य भूत्यै सर्वस्य तस्माद् यज्ञे वधोऽवधः ॥ ३९ ॥

yajñārthaṃ paśavaḥ sṛṣṭāḥ svayameva svayambhuvā |
yajño'sya bhūtyai sarvasya tasmād yajñe vadho'vadhaḥ || 39 ||

Animals have been created by the Self-born God himself for the purpose of sacrifice: sacrifice is conducive to the well-being of all this would; hence killing at a sacrifice is no ‘killing’ at all—(39).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The evil just described does not pertain to the killing of animals at the rites prescribed by Śruti and S mṛti.

That ‘killing’ which forms part of sacrifices,—for the due fulfilment of that were animals ‘created’—produced, brought into existence,—‘by the self-born God’—Prajāpati ‘himself.’

This is a purely commendatory passage.

Sacrifice’—in the form of the Jyotiṣṭoma and the rest—‘is conducive to the well-being’—prosperity, development, advancement —‘of all this’— world.

For this reason the killing that is done at a sacrifice should be regarded as no killing at all. What this means is that it does not involve the sin of ‘killing’ animals.—(39)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Ityapi śrūyate śrutiḥ is the end of this verse instead of svayameva svayambhuvā as found in the Mahābhārata, 13.116.14. Quite a number of Manu’s verses are cited as Śruti in the Epic.”—Hopkins.

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 538).


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (51.61).—(Same as Manu.)

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