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...

Verse 11.103 [Expiation for the violating of the Preceptor’s Bed (gurutalpa)]

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation by Ganganath Jha:

गुरुतल्प्यभिभाष्यैनस्तप्ते स्वप्यादयोमये ।
सूर्मीं ज्वलन्तीं स्वाश्लिष्येन् मृत्युना स विशुध्यति ॥ १०३ ॥

gurutalpyabhibhāṣyainastapte svapyādayomaye |
sūrmīṃ jvalantīṃ svāśliṣyen mṛtyunā sa viśudhyati || 103 ||

He who has violated his Preceptor’s bed shall confess his crime and lie down upon a heated iron-bed; or embrace a blazing image. By death he becomes purified.—(103)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

He who has violated his preceptor’s bed’—Another reading his ‘Gurutalpī’;—the term ‘talpī’ ending in the possessive affix, stands for a particular form of intercourse between man and woman.

By ‘preceptor,’ here is meant the Preceptor as well as the Father. And ‘bed’ stands for the wife.

The expiation here laid down is for intercourse with the wife of one’s preceptor, or with a step-mother of the same caste; and the three expiations here set forth refer to a case where the act has been intentional.

Confess his guilt’— proclaim his crime.

He shall lie down upon a bed of iron as hot as fire; that this is what is meant is dear by the next sentence—‘He becomes purified by death.’

Sūrmi’ is image of a woman, made of iron. This he shall embrace.—(103)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Aparārka, (p. 1083), which adds the following notes:—The culprit should openly proclaim his offence of having violated his Guru’s bed;—‘sūrmī’ is a female image made of iron or some such metal.

It is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Prāyaścitta, p. 255);—in Madanapārijāta (p. 836 and 837), which notes that there are two expiations prescribed here:—(a) lying down upon a heated iron-bed, and (b) embracing the red hot image;—in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Prāyaścitta 11 a);—and in Prāyaścittaviveka (p. 137), which explains ‘gurutalpaḥ’ (which is its reading for ‘gurutalpī’) as ‘guroḥ talpam talpam yasya,’ ‘sūrmī’ as an iron image.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 11.103-107)

Gautama (23.8-11).—‘He who has defiled his Guru’s bed shall lay himself down on a heated iron-bed; or he shall embrace the red-hot iron-image of a woman; or he shall tear out his organ and testicles and, holding them in his hands, walk straight towards the south-west, until he falls down dead. He will be purified after death.’

Baudhāyana (2.1.13-15).—‘He who has defiled his Guru’s bed shall lay himself down on a heated iron bed;—or embrace the red-hot image of a woman;—or cutting off his organ together with the testicles, and holding them in his joined hands, he shall walk towards the south-west until he falls down dead.’

Āpastamba (1.25.1-2).—‘He who has had connection with his Guru’s wife shall cut off his organ together with the testicles, take them in his joined hands and walk towards the south until he falls down dead. Or he may die embracing a heated metal-image of a woman.’

Vaśiṣṭha (22.13-14).—‘He who violates his Guru’s bed shall, cut off his organ together with the testicles, take them in his joined hands and walk towards the south; whenever he meets with an obstacle, there he shall stand until he dies;—or having shaved all his hair and smeared his body with clarified butter, he shall embrace the heated iron-image of a woman. It is declared in the Veda that he is purified after death.’

Viṣṇu (34.1, 2;—53.1).—‘Sexual connection with one’s mother or daughter or daughter-in-law is crime of the highest degree. Such criminals of the highest degree should enter the flames; there is no other way to atone for the crime. One who has had illicit sexual intercourse must perform the Prājāpatya penance for one year according to the rule of the Mahāvrata.’ (P. 839)

Mahābhārata (12.165.50-51).—(Same as Manu.)

Yājñavalkya (3.259-260).—‘The violator of his Guru’s bed should he down on a heated iron-bed along with the iron-image of a woman; or cutting out his testicles and holding them he shall give up his body towards the south; or he shall perform the Prājāpatya penance for one year, or the Cāndrāyaṇa for three months, and shall repeat the Vedic text.’

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