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:

आचम्य प्रयतो नित्यं जपेदशुचिदर्शने ।
सौरान् मन्त्रान् यथोत्साहं पावमानीश्च शक्तितः ॥ ८५ ॥

ācamya prayato nityaṃ japedaśucidarśane |
saurān mantrān yathotsāhaṃ pāvamānīśca śaktitaḥ || 85 ||

On seeing unclean things, the man, after having sipped water, shall always attentively recite the Solar Mantras according to his inclination, as also the Pāvamānī verses, according to his capacity.—(85).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Unclean things’.— Those just mentioned are to be understood as meant here, because of their proximity.

Those mantras that are addressed to the Sun are called ‘Solar’ and the mantras meant are ‘udutyam jātavedasam, &c. &c.’

The Pāvamānī verses.—The verses ‘svādiṣṭaye, &c. &c.’ occurring in the ninth maṇḍala of the Ṛgveda.

According to his inclination’ and ‘according to his capacity’ mean the same thing; two words have been used for the purposes of metre.

In as much as the ‘mantras’ and ‘verses’ are mentioned in the plural, at least three verses should be recited; and as regards more, they may be recited only if other and more important duties do not suffer thereby. Then again, since the text speaks of ‘mantras and the term ‘Pāramānī’ also refers to verses, purification is brought about as soon as one has gone beyond three verses, even though the hymn may not be completed.

The dog also has to be included among the ‘unclean things’; as it also is unclean. In the present context Gautama has declared—‘Of the dog also; whatever it might pollute, say some’ (14.29-30).

Attentively’;—without allowing his mind to wander about; he should fix it upon contemplating the deity. Or, ‘Prayataḥ’ may mean that ‘at a time when one is busy with worshipping deities, if he should happen to touch an unclean thing, he should do what is here laid down,—and not otherwise’.—(85).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

(Verse 86 of others.)

Kullūka and others take the verse as referring to the case where a man happens to see an unclean thing after having done ācamana (preparatory to some religious act).—Medhātithi and Govindarāja take it as referring to the case already noted in the foregoing verse,—i.e., the meaning being that ‘whenever one happens to see any of the unclean things just enumerated, he shall do ācamana and then recite the verses prescribed.’

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 1198);—and in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 796).


Comparative notes by various authors

Baudhāyana (1.15.31).—‘If he has looked at any unclean substance, he mutters the verse—“Unrestrained is the internal organ, wretched the eye-sight, the sun is the chief of the lights; O Dīkṣā, do not forsake me!”’

Āpastamba (Aparārka, p. 1197).—‘On seeing in the evening a Caṇḍāla or an outcast, a woman in her courses or unclean things, he should look at the rising sun.’

Bodhāyana (Aparārka, p. 1200).—‘On seeing the Caṇḍāla, one should look at the stars; on talking to him, one should converse with the Brāhmaṇa; on touching him, he shall bathe.’

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