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:

पुन्नाम्नो नरकाद् यस्मात् त्रायते पितरं सुतः ।
तस्मात् पुत्र इति प्रोक्तः स्वयमेव स्वयम्भुवा ॥ १३८ ॥

punnāmno narakād yasmāt trāyate pitaraṃ sutaḥ |
tasmāt putra iti proktaḥ svayameva svayambhuvā || 138 ||

Because the Son delivers his father from the hell called ‘Put,’ therefore has he been called ‘Putra,’ ‘Deliverer from Put,’ by the Self-existent One Himself.—(138)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

This is a declamatory supplement to the Injunction of begetting children.

The hell called Put’—is the name given to the four kinds of elemental life on the Earth. And from this is the father delivered by his son, as soon as he is born; which means that he is born next in a divine life.

It is for this reason that he is called ‘Putra,’ ‘Deliverer from Put.’—(138)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 583);—in Smṛtitattva II (p. 389), which (adopting the reading sukhasandarśanenāpi tadutpattau yateta saḥ) takes the verse as enjoining the begetting of a son for the purpose of being saved from the hell ‘Put’;—in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī (p. 658 and 707);—and in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra 199b).


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (15.44).—‘Because he saves his father from the hell called Put, therefore a male child is called Putra by Svayambhu himself.’

Hārīta (Vivādaratnākara, p. 583).—‘There is a hell named Put; one whose line is broken goes to hell; hence as saving his father from that hell, the male child is called Putra.’

Bṛhaspati (Do., p. 584).—‘Since the male child saves the father from the hell called Put, by his mere looking at his face,—therefore a man should make an effort to procure a son.’

Vaśiṣṭha (Do.).—‘The father throws off his debt on the son, and thereby attains immortality; hence as soon as the son is born, the father should see his face.’

Śaṅkha-Likhita and Paiṭhīnasi (Do.)—‘Wherever the son is born, the father rejoices at it; because through him he becomes freed from his debts to the Pitṛs.’

Smṛti (Vivādaratnākara, p. 585).—‘Fathers fearing to fall into hell, desire sons, hoping that one of them may repair to Gayā and bring about their salvation.’

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