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:

यक्षरक्षः।पिशाचान्नं मद्यं मांसं सुरासवम् ।
तद् ब्राह्मणेन नात्तव्यं देवानामश्नता हविः ॥ ९५ ॥

yakṣarakṣaḥ|piśācānnaṃ madyaṃ māṃsaṃ surāsavam |
tad brāhmaṇena nāttavyaṃ devānāmaśnatā haviḥ
|| 95 ||

Intoxicants, meat, wine and distilled liquors are the food of Yakṣas, Rākṣasas and Piśācas; it should not be taken by the Brāhmaṇa who partakes of the offerings to the gods.—(95)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Yakṣa’ and the rest are lower classes of beings, ignorant of the law relating to what should and what should not be eaten; and it is they that eat meat

The compound ‘Surāsavam,’ is a copulative one, i.e., in accordance with Pāṇini 2.4.6.

Distilled liquor’ also is a kind of ‘intoxicant,’ there being a slight difference between the two. The two are mentioned on the analogy of such expressions as ‘the ox and the bull’

Who partake of the offering to the gods’—The cake, rice and such substance offered to the gods are called ‘offerings’; as mentioned in connection with the Darśa-pūrṇamāsa and other sacrifices. It is these that it is right and proper for the Brāhmaṇa to eat, and not wine and meat, which are the food of the lower spirits.—(95)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (3.253), as implying that it is for the Brāhmaṇa alone that all the three kinds of liquor are equally forbidden;—in Aparārka (p. 1069), to the effect that (a) the Surā is to be avoided by all the twice-born, even before initiation, (b) the Mādhvī and the Gauḍī are to be avoided by the Brāhmaṇa at all times, but by the Kṣatriya and the Vaiśya only during the period of studentship.

It is quoted in Smṛtitattva (p. 225);—in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika 548);—in Madanapārijāta (p. 814), to the effect that the Mādhvī and the Gauḍī are forbidden only for the Brāhmaṇa, not for the Kṣatriya and the Vaiśya; but they are forbidden for all the three higher castes during the period of studentship;—and in Smṛtisāroddhāra (p. 355).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 11.94-97)

See Comparative notes for Verse 11.94.

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