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:

आचार्यं स्वमुपाध्यायं पितरं मातरं गुरुम् ।
निर्हृत्य तु व्रती प्रेतान्न व्रतेन वियुज्यते ॥ ९० ॥

ācāryaṃ svamupādhyāyaṃ pitaraṃ mātaraṃ gurum |
nirhṛtya tu vratī pretānna vratena viyujyate || 90 ||

The student, carrying his own dead Teacher, or tutor, or father, or mother, or monitor,—does not suffer in his observances.—(90).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Some people think that the term ‘his own’ qualifies the ‘Teacher’ only; and it serves to exclude the Teacher’s Teacher, would be thought of as deserving the same treatment, according to what has been said above under 2.205.

Others again explain ‘his own’ as standing for one’s relations.

But in this latter case, it would seem unnecessary to mention the ‘father’ and the ‘mother.’ But it may be explained as emphasising the obligatory character of the rule as regards these particular relations.

Monitor’, ‘Guru’,—is one who has been described in 2.149.

There is no harm done to his observances by carrying the dead body of these persons; and what the text means by this specification is that there is interference in the observances by the carrying of the dead bodies of persons other than these—(90).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

(Verse 91 of others.)

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācarā, p. 633) to the effect that there is nothing wrong in the Religious Student carrying the dead body of the persons named here;—and in Nirṇayasindhu (p. 391);—in Hāralatā (p. 201) to the effect that when there are no other persons available for carrying the dead body of the Teacher and the rest and perform their cremation, then the person who has undertaken vows and observances may do the needful, and this does not interfere with his observances,—it explains ‘ācārya’ as the person who has done the initiation and taught the entire Veda, the ‘upādhyāya’ is one who has taught a portion of the Veda or the Subsidiary Sciences, and ‘guru’ is the person who expounds the Veda and the Sciences;—and in Saṃskāraratnamālā (p. 294).


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (22.86).—(Same as Manu.)

Yājñavalkya (3.15).—‘The religious student retains his character of religious student even after carrying the dead body of the teacher, the father and the sub-teacher.’

Vaśiṣṭha (Aparārka, p. 884).—‘The religious students incur the necessity of re-initiation, by the carrying of a dead body, except that of their parents.’

Brahmapurāṇa (Aparārka, p. 884).—‘The religious student, even while keeping the vows, does not deviate therefrom, if he burns the dead body of his teacher, sub-teacher, preceptor, father or mother.’

Devala (Parāśaramādhava, p. 633).—‘Tho religious student shall not perform such acts as the burning of the dead body; if he does do it, he shall perform the kṛohchra penance and go through the initiation again.’

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