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:

नक्तं चान्नं समश्नीयाद् दिवा वाऽहृत्य शक्तितः ।
चतुर्थकालिको वा स्यात् स्याद् वाऽप्यष्टमकालिकः ॥ १९ ॥

naktaṃ cānnaṃ samaśnīyād divā vā'hṛtya śaktitaḥ |
caturthakāliko vā syāt syād vā'pyaṣṭamakālikaḥ || 19 ||

Having collected food to the best of his ability, he should eat it at night, or during the day; or he may do it at every fourth time, or at every eighth time.—(19).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Two meals having been prescribed for the man’s ordinary purposes, the present text lays down the dropping of one of these meals for the Hermit. The sense is that as age goes on advancing, the man should go on dropping the mealtimes one by one. The ‘fourth’ meal-time is to be computed in the same manner us the ‘eighth’: Three days having elapsed, if one eats in the evening of the fourth day, he comes to be regarded as eating ‘every eighth time’. The act of eating being the subject-matter of the context, the ‘fourth’ (or ‘eighth’) time has to be taken as referring to that act.—(19).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Aparārka, (p. 943), which notes that the text provides several options, to be adopted according to the physical strength of the person concerned; and the particular option selected in the beginning should be kept up throughout the life-stage.

The verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā verse XXI, which has the same note as Aparārka.


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (95.5.6).—‘He should eat at night, he may eat after having fasted entirely for one day, or for two days, or for three days.’

Yājñavalkya (3.50).—‘He may maintain his life by the Candrāyaṇa or the Kṛcchra method; or he may eat food on the lapse of a fortnight, or of a month, or of one day.’

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