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:

सङ्करापात्रकृत्यासु मासं शोधनमैन्दवम् ।
मलिनीकरणीयेषु तप्तः स्याद् यावकैस्त्र्यहम् ॥ १२५ ॥

saṅkarāpātrakṛtyāsu māsaṃ śodhanamaindavam |
malinīkaraṇīyeṣu taptaḥ syād yāvakaistryaham || 125 ||

In the case of acts conducive to the degradation of ‘caste-mixture,’ or of those that make one unworthy of receiving gifts, purification is secured by the monthly lunar penance; and in the case of those that lead to defilement, one should mortify his body on barley-products for three days.—(125)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The acts ‘conducive to the degradation of mixed caste’ and ‘those that make one unworthy of receiving gifts’ have been described above (68 and 69); and the plural number is due to the large number of acts included in these two sets.

The term ‘Kṛtyā,’ ‘acts’ is to be construed with each of the two terms ‘Saṅkara’ and ‘apātra’ ‘Kṛtyā means deed.

The monthly Lunar penance’—is the ‘Cāndrāyaṇa.’ ‘Barley-products’—articles of food prepared from barley,—fit for drinking or sipping and so forth.

Though the expiation mentioned here is without any distinction, yet, a distinction has always to be made in the lightness or heaviness of the penance, according as the act is done intentionally or unintentionally.—(125)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

The ‘Saṅkarīkaraṇa’, ‘apātrīkaraṇa’ and ‘malinīkaraṇa’ offences have been enumerated above, under verses 68, 69 and 70.

This verse is quoted in Mitākṣaṛā (3.290);—and in Prāyaścittaviveka (p. 403 and 431).


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (39.2).—‘He who has committed a crime degrading one to a mixed caste shall eat barley-gruel for a month, or perform the penance of Kṛcchrātikṛcchra.’

Do. (40.2).—‘He who has committed a crime rendering one unworthy to receive alms, is purified by the penance Taptakṛcchra, or by the penance Śitakṛcchra, or by the penance Mahāsāntapana, if the act has been committed repeatedly.’

Do. (41.5).—‘The penance ordained for crimes causing defilement is the Taptakṛcchra; or they shall he expiated by the Kṛcchrātikṛcchra penance.’

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