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:

अग्नीनात्मनि वैतानान् समारोप्य यथाविधि ।
अनग्निरनिकेतः स्यान् मुनिर्मूलफलाशनः ॥ २५ ॥

agnīnātmani vaitānān samāropya yathāvidhi |
anagniraniketaḥ syān munirmūlaphalāśanaḥ || 25 ||

Haying reposited, according to rule, the Śrauta Fires within himself, he shall be a silent hermit, without fires and without a house, living upon roots and fruits.—(25).

 

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Vaitāna’—Śrauta.

These fires he shall reposit within himself, by swallowing their ashes and perfoming such other rites as have been laid down in connection with it. The exact procedure of this repositting should be learnt from the Śravanaka (?).

When austerities have been performed for a long time, and the man has reached seventy years of age, then, still remaining a hermit, he shall be ‘without fires and without a house’; i.e., he shall give up his thatched dwelling-house.

“Where then should be live?”

He shall dwell ‘at the roots of trees’,—as is going to be said in the next verse.

He shall be a silent hermit’.—The construction is ‘muniḥ syāt’, ‘he shall be a muni’; which means that he shall keep his speech under control; the man who has his speech under control is called ‘a keeper of the vow of silence’.

Living upon roots and fruits’.— This serves to exclude all other kinds of food; he shall not eat even Nīvarā and the other wild grains.—(25).

 

Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Yathāvidhi’—‘By swallowing the ashes and so forth’ (Medhātithi, Govindarāja and Kullūka);—‘by repeating the vedic text, Taittirīya Saṃhitā 2.5.8.8’ (Nārāyaṇa).

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 944), which explains ‘niketa’ as ‘home’,—‘muni’ as ‘observing silence,’—and adds that alms should be begged only in the event of his being unable to obtain wild fruits and roots,—as is clear from what follows in verse 27 below.

It is quoted in Mitākṣarā (on 3.54), which explains ‘muniḥ’ as ‘observing the vow of silence’; and adds that in the event of his being unable to get roots and fruits, he may beg from the houses of other hermits, just enough to keep himself alive.

It is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 531).

 

Comparative notes by various authors

Āpastamba (2.21.21).—‘He shall keep only one fire, have no house, enjoy no pleasures, have no protector, observe silence, uttering speech only on the occasion of the daily recitation of the Veda.’

Vaśiṣṭha (9.11.12).—‘After six months, he shall live at the root of a tree, keeping no fire and no house. He who makes offerings to gods, Pitṛs and men will attain endless heaven.’

Yājñavalkya (3.54.55).—‘Absorbing the fires within himself, living under a tree, eating measuredly, he shall beg alms only from the houses of hermits.’

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