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:

कृत्वा मूत्रं पुरीषं वा खान्याचान्त उपस्पृशेत् ।
वेदमध्येष्यमाणश्च अन्नमश्नंश्च सर्वदा ॥ १३६ ॥

kṛtvā mūtraṃ purīṣaṃ vā khānyācānta upaspṛśet |
vedamadhyeṣyamāṇaśca annamaśnaṃśca sarvadā || 136 ||

Having passed urine or faeces, and sipped water, one should touch. with water the cavities; also when he may be going to read the Veda, and always when going to take food.—(136).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Having ‘passed’—i.e., cleansed away according to the aforesaid directions,—all taint of urine &c., from the urinary organ, etc.;—‘and sipped water,’—‘one should touch with water the cavities’.

Also when he may be going to read the Veda’—i.e., according to the course of Vedic study preserved in Discourse II.

In accordance with its primary signification, the word ‘kṛtvā’, ‘having passed appears to mean ‘having evacuated’; and the meaning is that—‘after having passed urine and faeces and washed the anus and the urinary organ, one should sip water’.

Also when going to read the Veda;’—the sipping of water has been prescribed as a necessary duty in connection with the course of Vedic study, under 2.70. What is prescribed here is meant for all sorts of reading of the Veda—either by one who is teaching it, or reading it. In other cases, people are said to be ‘reciting’ the Veda (udaharantaḥ). The meaning is that after having done other secular acts, one should not pronounce the words of the Veda, without having sipped water.

Also when going to take food.’ (136).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

(Verse 138 of others.)

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 223), the reading wherein however is different, except in the first quarter;—in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 957), which has the following notes:—‘kṛtvā’, having vacuated,—after evacuating the bladder and bowels one should wash the anus and rinse the mouth, and touch the ‘holes’, i.e., the sense organs,—‘vedam etc.,’ while engaged in other ordinary works one should rinse his mouth before reciting the Veda, also when going to take food,—in Ācāramayūkha (p. 15):—and in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda, (Āhnika, p. 8b).


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (1.35, 36, 44).—‘Turning his face to the east or to the north, he shall purify himself from personal defilement—seated in a pure place, placing his right arm between his knees, arranging his dress (and sacred thread) in the manner required for a sacrifice to the gods, he shall, after washing his hands up to the wrist, three or four times, silently sip water reaching his heart; twice wipe his lips; sprinkle his head and feet; touch the cavities in the head with the right hand; and place it on the crown of his head (and on the navel) on passing urine or faeces... water should be sipped.’

Baudhāyana (l.8.26).—‘After sipping water, he shall touch the cavities of the head with water, also the feet, the navel, the head and the left hand.’

Āpastamba (1.16.2-7).—‘Sitting, he shall sip water (for purification) thrice, the water penetrating his heart; he shall wipe his lips three times;—some declare that he shall do this twice; he shall then touch his lips once;—twice, according to some; having sprinkled water on his left hand with his right, he shall touch both his feet, and his head and organs, eyes, nose and ears.’

Vaśiṣṭha (3.27-29).—‘He shall twice wipe his mouth; he shall touch the cavities with water; he shall pour water on his head and on the left hand.’

Viṣṇu (22.75).—‘Having sneezed, slept or eaten, going to eat or to study, having drunk water, having bathed or spat or put on his garments, or walked on the high road, or discharged urine or faeces, or touched dry bones of a five-toed animal, he should sip water.’

Viṣṇu (62.7-8).—‘Let him wipe his lips twice; let him touch the cavities above the navel, his head and his chest with water.’

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