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:

एकैकं ग्रासमश्नीयात् त्र्यहाणि त्रीणि पूर्ववत् ।
त्र्यहं चोपवसेदन्त्यमतिकृच्छ्रं चरन् द्विजः ॥ २१३ ॥

ekaikaṃ grāsamaśnīyāt tryahāṇi trīṇi pūrvavat |
tryahaṃ copavasedantyamatikṛcchraṃ caran dvijaḥ || 213 ||

The twice-born man who is performing the ‘Atikṛcchra’ shall eat only one mouthful at each of the three times mentioned above, for three days,—and shall fast during the last three days.—(213)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Mentioned before.’—This refers to what has been said in connection with the ‘Prājāpatya.’

At each of these times, he shall eat one mouthful.—(213)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (3.320), which notes that the quantity of food here prescribed being less than even a ‘handful’, this must refer to cases where the person concerned is strong enough to live upon that quantity of food;—in Aparārka (p. 1238), which adds that there is to be option between ‘a morsel’ and ‘a handful’,—the one to be adopted being dependent upon the strength of the offender and upon the nature of the offence;—and in Madanapārijāta (p. 715), which explains ‘trīṇi tryahāṇi’ as nine days.


Comparative notes by various authors

Baudhāyana (4.5.8).—‘If one eats one mouthful only at each meal, following, during three periods of three days, the rules given above, and subsists, during another three days, on air, that is called the Atikṛcchra penance.’

Do. (2.2.40).—‘If, while observing the rules of the Kṛcchra, one eats at each meal only one mouthful, that is the Atikṛcchra penance.’

Gautama (26.18-19).—‘By the rules regarding the Kṛcchra, the Atikṛcchra also becomes explained; but when he performs this latter, he shall eat only as much as he can take at one mouthful.’

Vaśiṣṭha (24.1-2).—‘Let him take as much as he can at one mouthful, and follow the rules of the Kṛcchra,—that is the Atikṛcchra.’

Yājñavalkya (3.320).—(See under 211.)

Yājñavalkya (3.311).—‘The Prājāpatya comes to be called the Atikṛcchra when at each meal, the man eats only a handful.’

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