Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN-10: 8120811550 | ISBN-13: 9788120811553

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:

अपः शस्त्रं विषं मांसं सोमं गन्धांश्च सर्वशः ।
क्षीरं क्षौद्रं दधि घृतं तैलं मधु गुडं कुशान् ॥ ८८ ॥

apaḥ śastraṃ viṣaṃ māṃsaṃ somaṃ gandhāṃśca sarvaśaḥ |
kṣīraṃ kṣaudraṃ dadhi ghṛtaṃ tailaṃ madhu guḍaṃ kuśān || 88 ||

Water, weapons, poison, meat, soma and all kinds of perfume; milk, honey, curds, butter, oil, honey-wax, sugar and kuśa-grass.—(88)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Weapons’—Swords, nooses and so forth.

Perfume.’— Such special fragrant substances as the ‘Tagara,’ the ‘Uśīra’, Sandalwood and so forth; the term ‘gandha’ being explained in the same manner as the word ‘rasa’ above.

Milk’—Everything made of milk, as described in other ‘Smṛti texts’ such as sour cream, whey, co-agulated milk and so forth;—all these should not be sold. ‘Curd’ and ‘butter’ have been mentioned separately with a view to indicate the special importance of these among all milk—products.

Madhu’ stands for ‘madhūcchiṣṭa’ bees-wax,—the part (‘madhu’) standing for the whole ‘madhūcchiṣṭa.’ Just as ‘deva’ is generally used for ‘devadatta.’ That this is so follows from the fact that it is the selling of the ‘bees-wax’ that is expressly forbidden in another Smṛti; and as for honey (Madhu) itself, it is forbidden in the present text by the special name ‘Kṣaudra’,—the grape-juice (which also is called ‘kṣaudra,’ being expressly forbidden in a later verse under the name ‘madya.’

Others however explain the term ‘madhu’ in the present verse as standing for grape-juice before fermentation has set in and it has become ‘wine,’ ‘madya.’

This however is not right. Because the word ‘madhu’ is not denotative of the freshly extracted grape-juice; in fact it always stands for it in the form of wine; as we find in such passages as ‘Ubhau madhvāsavakṣibau,’ where intoxication is spoken of as brought about by ‘madhu,’ and it is only wine that brings about intoxication.

Sugar’.—This has been mentioned with a view to show that the prohibition of this could not come under that of “r asa’ (under 86). Others however explain that this has been added with a view to imply that the selling of things made of sugar—such as sweetmeats—is permitted.—(88)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

The second half of this verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (3.38), which adds the following notes:—‘Dadhi and kṣīra’ stand for all preparations of milk and curd; ‘ghṛtam’ for all oily substances;—in Madanapārijāta (p. 232), which adds that ‘kṣaudram’ stands for bees-wax, honey itself being mentioned separately (‘madhu’);—and in Saṃskāramayūkha (p. 123).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 10.85-93)

See Comparative notes for Verse 10.85.

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