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:

न राज्ञामघदोषोऽस्ति व्रतिनां न च सत्त्रिणाम् ।
अइन्द्रं स्थानमुपासीना ब्रह्मभूता हि ते सदा ॥ ९२ ॥

na rājñāmaghadoṣo'sti vratināṃ na ca sattriṇām |
aindraṃ sthānamupāsīnā brahmabhūtā hi te sadā || 92 ||

This taint of uncleanliness does not attach to Kings, or to those keeping a vow, or to the performers of sacrificial sessions; because they occupy the position of sovereigns and are ever of the nature of Brahman.—(92).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Though the terra ‘rājan’, ‘king’, is denotative of the Kṣatriya-caste, yet, on account of the reason being stated in the words that ‘they occupy the position of sovereigns’, it follows that it indicates the ruler of countries. This we shall explain fully under the next verse.

Those who are keeping a vow;’—i.e., those who are observing a vow, and undergoing such penances as those of the ‘Cāndrāyaṇa’ and the like.

Performers of sacrificial sessions;’—i.e., those who are performing the ‘Gavāmayana’ sacrifice, or those who have been initiated for the other sacrifices also. Says Gautama (14.1)—‘For sacrificial priests, for one who has been initiated and for the Student.’

In support of this we have the laudatory statement (in the second line). ‘Position of Sovereigns;’—i.e., the kings—‘occupy,’—maintain,—The ‘position’—place—‘of sovereigns’—of rulers of men; and the other two—the keepers of vows and performers of sacrificial sessions—have attained the character of Brahman.

Taint of uncleanliness’— i.e., impurity.

Others have explained the term ‘Sattriṇaḥ’ to mean persons who are constantly making gifts. But in its primary denotation, the term refers to a particular form of sacrifice.—(92).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

(Verse 93 of others.)

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 616).


Comparative notes by various authors

Vaśiṣṭha (19.48).—(Same as Manu.)

Gautama (14.1.45-46).—‘The Sapiṇḍas become impure by the death of a relative during ton days, except those who are officiating as priests, who have performed the initiatory sacrifice and the religious student. Kings remain always pure, lest their business be impeded,—also the Brāhmaṇa, lest his daily study of the Veda be interrupted.’

Baudhāyana (1.11.1).—‘Referring to deaths and births, they declare that the impurity of Sapiṇḍas lasts ten days; except for officiating priests, men who have performed the initiatory ceremony of the Soma-Sacrifice, and students of the Veda.’

Viṣṇu (22.48-55).—‘Nor do kings become impure, while engaged in the discharge of their duties, nor devotees fulfilling a vow; nor sacrifices engaged in a sacrificial performance; nor workmen while engaged in their work; nor those who perform the king’s orders, if the king desires them to be pure; nor can impurity arise during the installation of the monument of a deity, nor during a marriage ceremony, if those ceremonies have already begun; nor when the whole country is afflicted with a calamity; nor in times of public distress.’

Yājñavalkya (3.27.28).—‘For officiating priests, for those initiated for a sacrifice, for those engaged in sacrificial work, for those engaged in a sacrificial session, for the religious student, for the person engaged in charities, for the knower of Brahman,—also during a marriage, during the giving of charities, during a sacrifice, during war, in times of public distress, and in times of great trouble,—purification is instantaneous.’

Parāśara (3.20-22).—‘Mechanics, artists, physicians, slaves and slave-girls, barbers, kings and Vedic scholars have been declared to be such as are purified instantaneously; so also the man keeping a penance, one engaged in a sacrificial session and the twice-born person who has taken the Fires. There is no impurity for the king, or for the person for whom the king desires it to cease, or one who is going to engage in battle, or in a charity, or one who is in distress, or the Brāhmaṇa who has been invited.’

Ādipurāṇa (Parāśaramādhava, p. 615).—‘The work done by the painter and other artists is such as is not known to others; hence in the doing of their own work, they are always pure. The work that is done by the cook is such as is not known to others; hence the cook is always pure. What is done by the physician cannot be done by any one else; hence for purposes of touching, the physician is always pure. The work that the male and the female slaves do with ease, no one else can do; hence they are always pure. The work that the king does—how can any one even dream of doing? Such being the case the king is always pure, in the matter of births and deaths. The driving of elephants and such other works as are done by the royal servants cannot be done by others; hence these are always pure.’

Pracetas (Do.).—‘Mechanics, artists, physicians, male and female slaves, kings and royal servants are declared to be such as become purified instantaneously.’

Vṛddha-Parāśara (Parāśaramādhava, p. 616).—‘There is no impurity for kings, or for religious students, persons engaged in sacrificial sessions, persons initiated for a sacrifice, and all those for whom the king wishes it There is no impurity due to birth or death, for those engaged in penance or charity.’

Hārīta (Do., p. 617.).—‘The Kṣatriya engaged in battle, the Vaiśya seated among cows, the Brāhmaṇa engaged in a sacrificial session and the religious student are always pure.’

Paiṭhīnasi (Do.).—‘There is no impurity during marriage or sacrifice or trouble or journey or pilgrimage.’

Brahmapurāṇa (Do.).—‘In the installation of a god’s image, in the performance of a communal sacrifice, during Śrāddha and such rites, or during Pitṛyajña, or in the giving away of the daughter,—there is no impurity.’

Aṅgiras (Do.).—‘There is no impurity due to birth or death on three occasions—during a sacrificial performance, during marriage and during a sacrifice to gods.’

Kātyāyana (Aparārka, p. 919).—‘After the Initiatory Ceremony at a sacrifice, and during the performance of the Kṛcchra and other penances, there is no impurity, even on the death of the father. The impurity comes after the completion of the performance and lasts for three days. So also for religious students.’

Jābāla (Do., p. 920).—‘For the religious student, the king, the ascetic, the artist, the initiated person, during a sacrifice or marriage or a sacrificial session,—there is no impurity,’

Brahmapurāṇa (Do.).—‘For the priest who has accepted the Honey-mixture in connection with a sacrificial performance, if a cause for impurity arises, it dues not apply to him. So also for the person who has been initiated for a sacrifice, till the Final Bath. Nor is there any impurity for the calm ascetic firm in Vedānta, etc., etc.’

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