I shall now fully describe what offering-material, on being offered to the Pitṛs, according to role, serves for a long time, and for eternity.—(266)

By the proper offering of sesamum, rice and barley, māṣa, water, roots and fruits, men’s ancestors are satisfied for one month.—(267)

For two months by fish-meat; for three months by the meat of deer; for four by that of sheep, and for five by that of birds.—(268)

For six months by the meat of goat; for seven by that of spotted deer; for eight by that of the black antelope, and for nine by that of the Ruru deer.—(269)

They are satisfied for ten months by the meat of boars and buffaloes; and for eleven months by the meat of the hare and the tortoise.’—(270)

Manusmṛti 3.271:

संवत्सरं तु गव्येन पयसा पायसेन च ।
वार्ध्रीणसस्य मांसेन तृप्तिर्द्वादशवार्षिकी ॥ २७१ ॥

saṃvatsaraṃ tu gavyena payasā pāyasena ca |
vārdhrīṇasasya māṃsena tṛptirdvādaśavārṣikī || 271 ||

For one year by cow’s milk and milk-preparations; and by the meat of old goat there is satisfaction lasting for twelve years.—(271)

Commenting on this controversial verse, Medhātithi says:

As between direct and indirect connection, the former being more authoritative, we construe ‘gavyena’—‘cow’s’—with ‘payasā,’ ‘milk and not with ‘māṃsa,’ ‘meat,’ which forms the subject-matter of the context.

Others, however, explain the particle ‘ca’ as having a cumulative force, and then explain the passage to mean, ‘meat of the cow, and milk or milk-rice.’

Who were these other translators/commentators? Were these Medhātithi's predecessors?

Also, how does Patrick Olivelle translate this verse in his translation?

  • 3
    gavya means product from the cows like we have the pancha gavyas..if it were to mean meat, it would have been saying "go mamsa" or something of that sort..so no controversy here.. the havya is for the gods and the gavya is for the manes.. this is the rule
    – Rickross
    Mar 1, 2018 at 5:39
  • After reading this question, I think the top answer here needs correction- hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/8958/… Mar 1, 2018 at 6:40
  • The only surviving commentary older than Medhatithi's Bhashya is Bharuchi's Vivarana, but the portion of the Vivarana on chapter 3 hasn't been translated into English. Only the portion on chapters 6-12 has been translated. Mar 1, 2018 at 15:04


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