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:

वसीत चर्म चीरं वा सायं स्नायात् प्रगे तथा ।
जटाश्च बिभृयान्नित्यं श्मश्रुलोमनखानि च ॥ ६ ॥

vasīta carma cīraṃ vā sāyaṃ snāyāt prage tathā |
jaṭāśca bibhṛyānnityaṃ śmaśrulomanakhāni ca || 6 ||

He should wear either skin or a bit of cloth; he shall bathe in the evening, as also in the meaning; he shall always wear matted locks, as also beard, hair on his body and nails.—(6)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Skin—of the bull, the deer and other such animals.

Cīra’—a bit of cloth.

Evening’—end of the day.

Morning’—opening of the day.

This rule regarding bathing in the evening implies that the man is to eat at night only; because Bathing after meals is forbidden.

This view, some say, is not right; because among the observances of the Accomplished Student, it is said that ‘after taking his food he shall bathe’ (which shows that bathing after meals is not entirely forbidden), in fact this bathing after meals is declared in the Mahābhārata as to be done by each and every person.

It is open to the Hermit to bathe thrice during the day—this being a matter of option.

Matted locks, beard, hairs on the body and nails’;—all this he shall not have cut.—(6)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Cīram’—‘Vastrakhaṇḍa, tattered garment’ (Medhātithi, and Govindarāja);—‘dress of bark’ (Nārāyaṇa, Rāghavānanda and Kullūka, to whom last Buhler wrongly attributes the former explanation).

The second half of this verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (on 3.46).


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (3.34).—‘He shall wear his hair in braids and dress in hark and skins.’

Bodhāyana (2.11-15).—(See under 3.)

Bodhāyana (3.3-19).—‘Let him not injure even gadflies or gnats; let him hear cold and perform austerities; let him constantly reside in the forest, be contented, and delight in dresses made of hark and skins and in carrying water.’

Āpastamba (2.22.1, 12, 13, 17).—‘A dress of materials procured in the woods (shins or hark) is ordained for him. He shall sacrifice only after having bathed in the following manner: He shall enter the water slowly, and bathe without heating it (with his hand), his face turned towards the sun. He shall offer the burnt oblations, sustain his life, feed his guests and prepare his clothes with materials provided in the forest.’

Vaśiṣṭha (9.1).—‘The hermit, shall wear his hair in braids and dress in garments made of bark and skin.’

Viṣṇu (94.8-10).—‘He must wear a dress made of skins or bark; he must suffer the hairs of his head, of his heard and of his body and his nails to grow; he must bathe in the morning, noon and evening.’

Yājñavalkya (3.46).—(See under 5.)

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: