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:

अपराजितां वाऽस्थाय व्रजेद् दिशमजिह्मगः ।
आ निपातात्शरीरस्य युक्तो वार्यनिलाशनः ॥ ३१ ॥

aparājitāṃ vā'sthāya vrajed diśamajihmagaḥ |
ā nipātātśarīrasya yukto vāryanilāśanaḥ || 31 ||

Or, having fixed upon the North-Easterly direction, he shall go forward, moving straight on, intent and living upon water and air,—till the falling off of his body.—(31).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The ‘Aparājitā’ is the name of the North-Easterly direction, known among the people as ‘Aiśānī’;—‘Having fixed upon’ this direction—as “this is the direction towards which I shall go’,—he should proceed towards it.

Moving straight on’—not swerving from his path, not seeking to avoid even rivers and streams. This is a rule laying down the going towards the North-East.

Intent, living upon water and air, till the falling off of the body.’—That is, until the body falls off, he shall live upon air and on water.

Intent’,—having concentrated himself by the rules of Yoga.

This refers to the ‘Grand Journey’ (towards certain death).—(31).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Yuktaḥ’—‘Intent on the practice of yoga’ (Govindarāja and Kullūka),—‘firmly resolved’ (Nārāyaṇa and Rāghavānaṇda).

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 945), which adds the following notes:—‘yuktaḥ’ means ‘samāhitaḥ’, ‘intent, calm, collected’; this teaching regarding the ‘Great Journey’ is only by way of an illustration for all such means of self-immolation as burning, drowning and the like.

It is quoted in Mitākṣarā (on 3.55);—and in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 1660), which explains ‘aparājitā’ as ‘the north-easterly direction,’—towards that he should go straight on, till his body falls, living upon water and air and with mind duly concentrated and calm.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 6.31-32)

Baudhāyana (, 12).—‘The hermits called Unmajjakas avoid iron and stone implements; those called Pravṛttāśins take food with the hand; those called Mukhenādāyins take it with the mouth only.’

Āpastamba (2.23 also 2.22.24).—‘Then he shall live on water, then on air and finally on Ākaśa:—each succeeding method bringing a greater reward.’

Yājñavalkya (3.55).—‘Eating air, he shall proceed towards the North-East till his body perishes.’

Smṛtyantara (Aparārka, p. 945).—‘The hermit shall undertake either the Long Journey, or drown in water or enter the fire, or fall from a precipice.’

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