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:

द्विजातयः सवर्णासु जनयन्त्यव्रतांस्तु यान् ।
तान् सावित्रीपरिभ्रष्टान् व्रात्यानिति विनिर्दिशेत् ॥ २० ॥

dvijātayaḥ savarṇāsu janayantyavratāṃstu yān |
tān sāvitrīparibhraṣṭān vrātyāniti vinirdiśet || 20 ||

The sons that the twice-born men beget on wives of equal caste, but who, not fulfilling their sacred duties, become excluded from the Sāvitrī—should be designated as ‘Vrātyas’ (apostates).—(20)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

These do not belong to any inversely mixed caste; and yet they are mentioned here with a view to what follows in the following verses.

The sons begotten by the twice-born men on wives of the same caste’,—if they deviate from the duties in connection with the Veda—i.e., if they fail to become regular Religious Students and so forth,—and as such ‘become excluded from the Sāvitrī’,—and hence fail to pass through the Initiatory Ceremony,—they should be designated as ‘Apostates.’

Avratān janayanti’—would not be the right construction; because when children are born they are neither ‘fulfillers,’ nor ‘non-fulfillers,’ ‘of sacred duties;’ since the Initiatory Rite is prescribed as to be performed only after the child has been born. Hence the term ‘avratān,’ ‘not fulfilling their sacred duties,’ has to be taken as representing what is meant by the definition of the ‘Apostate’ as provided here,—such representing being necessary for the setting forth of what follows.

Some people read—‘avratāyāñjanayanti tan vrātyān, etc.’—‘they should designate as Apostates those whom the twice-born men beget on wives who are unfaithful.’

But this is not right; as this would be incompatible with the accepted definition of the ‘Apostate’.—(20)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Prāyaścittaviveka (p. 87).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 10.6-41)

See Comparative notes for Verse 10.6.

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