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:

ब्रह्मोज्झता वेदनिन्दा कौटसाक्ष्यं सुहृद्वधः ।
गर्हितानाद्ययोर्जग्धिः सुरापानसमानि षट् ॥ ५६ ॥

brahmojjhatā vedanindā kauṭasākṣyaṃ suhṛdvadhaḥ |
garhitānādyayorjagdhiḥ surāpānasamāni ṣaṭ || 56 ||

Neglecting the Veda, reviling the Veda, bearing false witness, slaying a friend, and eating of forbidden and unfit food,—these six are equal to ‘wine-drinking.’—(56)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

After having learnt the Veda, if one forgets it on account of not keeping up its study, he is said to ‘neglect the Veda.’ Or it may stand for the disobedience of the injunction of Vedic study, as a compulsory duty.

Bearing false witness’—even on occasions other than for self-aggrandisement.

Slaying’—killing—‘of a friend.’

Eating of forbidden and unfit food.’—‘Forbidden,’ such as garlic and the rest; ‘unfit,’—i.e., unpleasant. If such food is intentionally eaten.—(56)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (3.231), to the effect that though the offences here enumerated have been placed by Yājñavalkya in the same category as ‘Brāhmaṇa-slaughter’, while Manu classes them with ‘wine-drinking’,—yet all that this implies is that there are alternative expiatory rites.

It, is quoted in Aparārka (p. 1047), as placing on the same footing as ‘wine-drinking’, such offences as ‘forgetting’ and ‘reviling’ the Veda and the killing of a friend; and the meaning of this is that there are alternative expiatory rites;—it explains ‘anādyam’ as uneatable on account of bad smell and the like.

It is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Prāyaścitta p. 293) in support of the view that these offences are ‘anupātakas’ ‘ancillary sins’, as distinguished from ‘upapātakas’ ‘minor sins’.

It is quoted in Madanapārijata (p. 807), which makes the same remark as Mitākṣarā;—and again on p. 825, where the following notes are added:—According to Smṛtimañjarī, ‘garhita’ stands for onions and such other forbidden food, and ‘anādya’ for impure food; while according to Kalpatarugarhita’ stands for such food as, though not forbidden by the scriptures, is deprecated by the people:—‘anādyam’, garlic and such things;—the eating of these things is equal to wine-drinking, only when it is done intentionally.

It is quoted in Prāyaścittaviveka (p. 177), which has the following notes—‘Brahmojjhatā’ means ‘forgetting the Veda through neglect of proper study,’—‘Vedanindā’, passing deprecatory remarks against the words and contents of the Vedas—‘Suhṛdvadha’, murdering of a friend other than the Brāhmaṇa,—‘garhītānna’ is ‘food of the lowest born’,—‘garhitādya’, is forbidden food, e.g., mushrooms and so forth, of which repeated eating is meant here. It notes the reading ‘garhitānādya’ as adopted by Kalpataru, which explains ‘garhita’ as ‘what is forbidden by the scriptures’, and ‘anādya’ as ‘what is very much deprecated among the people, such as garlic &c.’


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 11.55-56)

See Comparative notes for Verse 11.56.