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:

वर्जयेन् मधु मांसं च भौमानि कवकानि च ।
भूस्तृणं शिग्रुकं चैव श्लेश्मातकफलानि च ॥ १४ ॥

varjayen madhu māṃsaṃ ca bhaumāni kavakāni ca |
bhūstṛṇaṃ śigrukaṃ caiva śleśmātakaphalāni ca || 14 ||

He shall avoid honey, meat, cabbages, mushrooms, the fragrant grass, the pot-herb and the ‘Śleṣmātaka (Śleśmātaka?)’ fruits.—(14).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Bhaumāni Kavakāni’.—The term ‘kavaka’ has already been explained (under 5.5) as a synonym of ‘chatraka’ (mushrooms). These mushrooms grow on the ground, as also in the hollow of trees and other places. Hence the specification ‘land-grown’.

This however would appear to be contrary to usage; specially as among the duties of the Householder, all kinds of mushroom have been forbidden, and for the Hermit, the discipline, if anything, should be stricter.

For this reason the term ‘bhaumāni’ should be taken separately by itself; and it should be understood us standing for the ‘gojihvikā’ (cabbage), which is well-known among foresters,—and not for anything grown on the land.

Mushrooms having been already forbidden before, their repented prohibition in the present text is for the purpose of indicating that the eating of the fragrant grass and other things involves the same Expiatory Rite as that of mushrooms.

Bhustṛṇa’ (fragrant grass) and ‘shigruka’ (pot-herb) are the names of particular kinds of herbs well known among cultivators—(14).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Bhaumāni kavakāni’—Medhātithi prefers to take the two separately—‘bhaumāni’ being ‘the vegetable known among foresters’ as ‘gojihvikā’ and ‘kavakāni’ as ‘mushrooms’;—Govindarāja, Kullūka and Nārāyaṇa take the two together ‘mushrooms growing on the ground.’

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 942);—and in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 529), which explains ‘Kavakāni’ as ‘mushrooms.’

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