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:

आदिष्टी नोदकं कुर्यादा व्रतस्य समापनात् ।
समाप्ते तूदकं कृत्वा त्रिरात्रेणैव शुध्यति ॥ ८७ ॥

ādiṣṭī nodakaṃ kuryādā vratasya samāpanāt |
samāpte tūdakaṃ kṛtvā trirātreṇaiva śudhyati || 87 ||

The person under instruction shall not make water-offerings till the completion of his pupilage; at its completion, he becomes pure in three days, after having made the water-offerings.


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Ādiṣṭa’ means ‘ādeśa’, ‘instruction’; and the term ‘person under instruction’ denotes the Student, by reason of his connection with the instruction that he receives regarding his observances. The present text prohibits the making of water-offerings by one who is still in the state of the Student, to such Sapiṇḍa relations as may happen to die during that period. As for those that have died before, the offering of water to the forefathers and Gods has already been prescribed for the Student also.

Till the completion of his pupilage;—i.e. till the performance of the ‘Samāvartana’ ceremony; and it does not mean any forced completion of the stage in the interval.

On returning after having finished his observances, he shall make a water-offering to each of the dead relations on one day; and he should observe ‘impurity’ for three days.

As regards the making of water-offering to his mother, this is necessary for the Student also; and such an offering does not interfere with the proper fulfilment of his observances. In support of this they quote another Smṛti -text—viz. ‘The person undergoing instruction does not commit a wrong in making a water-offering.’—(87).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

(Verse 88 of others).

This rule does not apply to the case of the mother (Medhātithi),—father and mother (Govindarāja),—father, mother and ācārya (Kulluka).

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 876), which adds the following notes:—‘ādiṣṭī’ is the ‘Religious Student,’—‘āvratasya samāpanāt’ means ‘till the Samāvartana ceremony has been performed’;—in Mitākṣarā (on 3.5) which adds that the Religious Student is called ‘ādiṣṭī’ by reason of his receiving such ādiṣṭa, ādeśa, injunction, as ‘Thou art a Religious Student, drink water, do your duty’ and so forth;—that this refers to the death of persons other than the Father and others.

It is quoted in Madanapārijāta, (p. 405) as pertaining to cases other than the death of the ‘mother and others—it explains ‘ādiṣṭī’ as ‘Religious Student,’ but adds that some people explain the term as ‘one who is undergoing expiatory penance.’ The second half means that on the expiration of the ‘vrata,’ he shall make the water-offering and remain impure for three days.

It is quoted in Nirṇayansindhu (pp. 195 and 392) to the effect that after the Samāvartana ceremony has been performed, the Religious Student shall observe an ‘impurity’ for three days, for the death of persons that may have occurred during his studentship;—in Gadādharapaddhati (Kāla, p. 313), which explains ‘ādiṣṭī’ as the Religious Student;—in Hāralatā (p. 201), which has the following note:—‘ādiṣṭa’ stands for the observances prescribed in connection with Vedic study, and ‘ādiṣṭī’ stands for the Religious Student, as also for other persons that may be keeping certain observances; so long as the course of the observance has not been finished, the man should not offer

the death-oblations even to his Preceptor;—in Saṃskāraratnamālā, (p. 295), which says that Mitākṣarā has explained ‘ādiṣṭī’ as the Religious Student;—and in Smṛtisāroddhāra (p. 216).


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (22.87).—(Same as Manu.)

Yājñavalkya (3.5).—‘The religious student shall not make water-offerings.’

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