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:

एतैर्द्विजातयः शोध्या व्रतैराविष्कृतेनसः ।
अनाविष्कृतपापांस्तु मन्त्रैर्होमैश्च शोधयेत् ॥ २२६ ॥

etairdvijātayaḥ śodhyā vratairāviṣkṛtenasaḥ |
anāviṣkṛtapāpāṃstu mantrairhomaiśca śodhayet || 226 ||

By means of these penances are those twice-born persons to be purified whose sins have become known; those whose sins have not become known, one shall purify by means of sacred texts and Homa-offerings.—(226)

 

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Those whose sins ham become known’—to the people.

These penances’—the several kinds of Kṛcchra. Those who have committed secret sins are not to perform the Kṛcchra penances; they should he purifiedby means of sacred texts and Homa-offerings.’

“Who is to do this purification? If the Assembly, then in the case of secret sins the offender does not go to the Assembly; for if he did go, he would no longer be onewhose sin is not known’; and further, only persons knowing the facts of the case are entitled to sit in the Assembly.”

The answer to this is as follows:—The teacher does not mean to specify who is to do the purification; his sole purpose is to teach the pupils that such and such acts should be regarded as expiatory of secret sins.—(226)

 

Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Nṛsiṃhaprāsada (Prāyaścitta, 31b);—in Smṛtisārodhāra (p. 352), which explains ‘etaiḥ’ as standing for the Kṛcchra and the rest;—and in Prāyaścittaviveka (p. 502).

 

Comparative notes by various authors

Vaśiṣṭha (25.3),—‘Those constantly engaged in breath-suspension, in reciting sacred texts, in giving gifts, in offering oblations with fire and repeating mantras, will undoubtedly, become freed from the guilt of crimes.’

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