Question of the sages
Commentary by Medhātithi. Translation by Ganganath Jha.
The great sages, having approached Manu, paid their respects to him in due form, and finding him seated with mind calm and collected, addressed him these words.
Salutation to the Supreme Brahman! His real character can be known only from the Vedānta texts; He is the cause of the three worlds; and He destroys all evil.
The first four verses describe the fact of the treatise being the work of a highly qualified author, and of its providing instructions bearing upon such ends of man as are not knowable by means of any other source of knowledge; and this is done for the purpose of indicating its importance (and raising it in the estimation of men). When a treatise has secured high position in the estimation of men, its author obtains fame, and also heaven; and both these continue to exist as long as the world exists. A scientific treatise has its position established only when people engage in studying, in listening to lectures on, and in pondering over it. Intelligent persons cannot undertake the said study etc. until they have satisfied themselves as to the purposes served by them. It is for this reason that the teacher has composed the four verses with a view to point out that the treatise is put forth for the purpose of making known the means of accomplishing the ends of man.
It would not be right here to argue as follows – “Even without the purpose of the treatise being stated at the very outset, we could easily ascertain what that purpose is, by examining the several parts of the treatise going to be propounded; what then is the use of making an effort to describe that purpose? Further, even if the purpose is stated at the very outset, one cannot be sure of it until he has fully examined the subsequent portions of the treatise; as a matter of fact, all the assertions that a man may make do not always bring conviction. Nor is it necessary that every undertaking must be preceded by the knowledge of purposes served by it; for instance, we find pupils undertaking the study of the Veda, without knowing beforehand the purposes to be served by that study. In the works of human authors also, the practice of stating the purpose is not always followed. For instance, the revered Pāṇini begins his sūtras with the words ‘Now follows the teaching of words’ without having stated the purpose to be served by his treatise.”
Our answer to the above is as follows – Unless people have ascertained the purpose served by a particular treatise, they would not, in the first place, take it up at all; and unless they take it up, how could they examine the whole of it? Then again, that same idea which is got at by the examination of the entire treatise, becomes more easily comprehended if it has been briefly indicated in the beginning. It is with reference to this that there is the assertion that – ‘in ordinary experience, the learned always consider it desirable to carry ideas in the minds briefly as well as in greater detail.’
As regards the argument that – “even when the purpose has been stated there can be no certainty about it, for the simple reason that we do not derive conviction from the words of human beings – in whose case the idea that we have is that this man knows the matter as he says and not that the fact is really as he asserts,” – our answer is that we do not quarrel over the question as to whether the words of human beings do, or do not, bring about conviction; because discussion over this question would swell the size of our work. But as a matter of fact, even though it is possible for a man to have recourse to a certain course of action, even when he is in doubt as to the exact purpose served by it – yet until there is some statement as to the purpose served by a particular action even doubts could not arise in regard to it. In fact, if some statement had not been made in regard to the purpose to be served by the present treatise, the doubt that would arise in men’s minds would be (not as to whether or not it was going to serve any useful purpose but) as to whether it is a treatise on law or on economics or an aimless attempt in the nature of an examination of such subjects as the “crow’s teeth” and the like. On the other hand, when the aim of the work has been stated, the idea arising in our minds is – ‘the author of this work asserts that he is going to show us the path leading to our welfare – there is no harm done by our undertaking the study of the work – well, let us look into it’ and forthwith we take up the work.
Next as regards the case (cited by the opponent) of pupils taking up Vedic study (without being told of the exact purpose to be accomplished thereby) – the fact of the matter is that the action of the pupil is due to his being urged to it by his teacher and not to his recognition of the fact that it behoves him to take up the study (for the accomplishment of any purpose of his own); in fact being quite a child at the time (of beginning Vedic study) it is not possible for him to have any idea as to his being entitled to the study (by virtue of his having an aim that could be served only by that study) and his activity, therefore, is brought about entirely by the direction of another person (his teacher) who does not bewilder him by pointing out to him that he is entitled to take up the study and when once the boy has taken up Vedic study (entirely under advice of his teacher), the motive for further study is provided by the desire to know the meaning of the Vedic texts studied; and thus the study continues to be carried on. [This is the case with the study of the Veda.] As regards the study of the present treatise (on law), only such persons are entitled to it as have already studied the Veda, as is clearly indicated by the text – ‘the twice-born person who, without having studied the Vedas, devotes his energies to other subjects [becoms a śudra]’ (Manu 2.168) and by that time the pupil has his intelligence aroused, and consequently seeks to know what purpose is to be served by any further action that he is going to undertake.
As regards the revered Pāṇini, his aphorisms are extremely brief; so that there is no possibility of their having any other meaning (or serving any other purpose) than the one directly expressed by them; and further, the fame of Pāṇini is well known to even the smallest boy; so that the purpose served by his work is too well known to need reiteration. The present treatise (of Manu) on the other hand is on an extensive scale, abounding in several (commendatory and condemnatory) ‘descriptions’ and it helps in the accomplishment of all human ends; so that if its aim is stated in easily intelligible words, there is no harm done.
Of enquirers (and students) there are two classes – one following reasoning and another following tradition. The former of these take up the study of Manu because they know the importance and greatness of the author and his work from such texts as ‘whatever Manu said is wholesome’ (Kāṭhaka 11.5) and ‘Manu has said all that has been said in the Ṛgveda, the Yajurveda, the Sāmaveda and the Mantras of the Atharva, as also by the Seven Great Sages.’ And those of the latter class undertake it merely under the influence of the tradition, the source of which they have carefully investigated – that the treatise has been composed by Prajāpati himself. And for the sake of such persons, the mentioning of the name of the author also is a factor leading to action (towards study).
It is for these reasons that we have here the laying out of the aim of the treatise in the form of question and answers: the great sages are the questioners, Prajāpati is the expounder and the subject is dharma, which being not amenable to the ordinary means of knowledge, can be known only from the śāstras – it is so difficult that even the great sages have doubts in regard to it. That Prajāpati is the actual expounder is indicated by the words of the text itself, which says – ‘He, being questioned by them’ and not ‘I, being questioned by them’ and of himself again Manu speaks (12.123) as being the natural image (representative) of Brahmā. Thus an effort is necessary for the expounding of the law. Such is the sense of the first four verses.
In what manner the present treatise is made up of instructions bearing upon the ends of man we shall show by the interpretation of the words of the text. Now, in the text we have the declaration – (1) ‘the great sages, having approached Manu, said to him – do please expound to us the duties of man’ and (2) ‘being thus questioned by them, he said – listen’ and these two – the question and its answer – in their import are expressive of the one idea that the treatise expounds the dharma; the word ‘dharma’ is in common parlance used in the sense of that means of accomplishing one’s good which is not cognisable by any of the ordinary means of knowledge, with the sole exception of ‘word.’ Hence when it is said ‘listen to dharma’ what is meant is that what is going to be expounded is conducive to the fulfilment of the higher ends of man.
‘Manu’ is the name of a particular person known in long continued tradition as having studied several Vedic texts, as knowing their meaning and as practising the precepts therein contained: ‘Having approached’ him i.e. having gone forward near him, intentionally, giving up all other actions, and not by mere chance, having met with him – the special effort made by the sages to get near Manu shows the importance of the subject matter of their question, as also the authoritative and trustworthy character of the expounder; a man who is not capable of rightly expounding a subject is never questioned by persons going up to him for that purpose.
‘Whose mind was calm and collected’ – ‘Seated with mind calm and collected’ – i.e. whose mind was in a tranquil state; and it does not mean that he was actually seated upon a mat or some such seat; as there would be no point in stating this; in fact the word ‘seated’ merely connotes calmness; it is only when one’s mind is calm that he is capable of answering questions. ‘Having approached’ has for its object simply Manu; ‘seated with mind calm and collected’ being an adverbial clause modifying the act of questioning (by the sages). The sense of the sentence thus is ‘they said to him the following words, on finding, from the manner in which he engaged into conversation with them in making enquiries about their welfare, that his mind was not preoccupied but calm and collected and he was therefore attentive to their questioning.
The term ekāgra by ordinary usage connotes immobility; what is meant by the term is steadiness of the mind, it being concentrated upon the contemplation of the knowledge of truth, following upon the cessation of all doubts and illusions of the person in whom the contact of all defects of passion and the like is set aside by inhibition. It is only when one has his mind in this condition that he is capable of apprehending sound and other objects that lie within reach of his senses; which is not the case when he is in doubt as to the object being real entity or otherwise. Or, etymologically, the term agra denotes the mind, by reason of the fact that in the act of apprehending things it is the mind that goes before (agragāmi) the eye and other sense organs; and in ordinary parlance that which acts first or goes ahead is called agra; so that the compound ekāgra is to be expounded as ‘he who has his agra or mind fixed upon one perceptible object’ there being nothing incongruous in a bahuvrīhi compound being taken, if its sense demand it, as referring to things that are not co-existent. By this explanation also ekāgra connotes absence of distraction.
‘Having paid their respects in due form’ – ‘due form’ stands for the rule prescribed in the scriptures; and they did not transgress any such rule; the scriptures have laid down the rule that on first approaching the teacher, the pupil should offer his obeisance, attend upon him, and so forth; and it was in this prescribed manner that the sages paid their respects to Manu; which means that they showed due devotion and respect.
The great sages. The word ṛṣi means the Veda and the word ṛṣi is applied also to a person by virtue of his possessing excellent knowledge of the Veda and all that is prescribed therein and acting up to these. The ṛṣis, sages, who approached Manu, were great; the said persons become ‘great’ when the above-mentioned qualities become developed in them to a very high degree; just as Yudhiṣṭhira is called the ‘greatest of the Kurus’ (because he possessed in a very high degree the qualities that distinguished the members of the Kuru race). Or the sages may be regarded as great by virtue of their superior austerities or of the great respect and fame enjoyed by them.
The addressed these words – vacana is that by which something is spoken of; this refers to the question formulated in the second verse; these being the nearest ‘words’ are what are referred to by the pronoun ‘these.’ Some people have held that the pronoun ‘this’ always refers to something directly perceived at the time; for these people also the question may be regarded as ‘perceived’ on account of its being present in the mind. Or vacana may mean that which is spoken of and in that case it would stand for the subject matter questioned about. If it be taken as referring to the sentence (and not to the subject matter) then the meaning would be that ‘they pronounced this sentence.’ If the term vacana means that which is spoken of, the sense is that ‘they asked the following question’ and in that case the verb abruvan ‘addressed’ would have two objects – Manu being the indirect object. In fact, Manu is the object of all the three verbs in the sentence (approach, pay respects to and address).
The second verse describes what the sages said to Manu after having approached and worshipped him.
May thou, O Blessed One, explain to us, in due form and in proper order, the duties of all castes and intermediate castes.
The term bhaga ‘blessings’ is used for superiority, magnanimity, fame, strength and so forth; and bhagavān is he who possesses all this; that is (in the present context) Manu; hence it is he who is addressed by the term ‘O blessed one’.
The term ‘caste’ is applied to the three castes – brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya – the term ‘all’ has been added for the purpose of including the śūdra; if this was not done then the question emanating from the great sages (who represent only the three higher castes) would be restricted to the three castes only.
‘Intermediate’ means middle; from the mixture of two castes there arises another imperfect caste; those that are born out of those imperfect unions are the ‘intermediate castes’ born in the natural order or the reverse; those known under the names Mūrdhāvasikta, Ambaṣṭha, Kṣattṛ, Vaidehika and so forth (vide Manu 10.7 et. seq.); these could not be classed under the caste either of the mother or that of the father; just as the mule born out of the union of the horse and the ass is a distinct species, it is neither the horse nor the ass; on this ground these would not be included under the castes; hence they have been mentioned separately.
Objection: “But the offspring of the union of castes mixed in the natural order is regarded as belonging to the caste of the mother.”
It is not so, we reply. From what is said under 10.6 as to these castes being similar, it is clear that they are only similar to the caste of the mother and not quite the same as this latter. The functions of these intermediate castes also are such as can be learnt only from scriptures; they cannot be ascertained entirely from their natural inclinations (as in the case of lower animals); and in as much as these functions cannot be ascertained by the help of any other source of knowledge, they fall under the term dharma ‘duties’ and as such deserve to be expounded in the scriptures. Of the intermediate castes born of unions in the reverse order, such duties as ‘not harming others’ and so forth are going to be described (by Many himself under 10.63). When they are spoken of as being ‘without any duties’ the ‘duties’ meant are such as observances, fasts and so forth.
‘In due form’ – the suffix ‘vati’ denotes propriety; the meaning being ‘in the form in which performance would be proper.’ This propriety also includes such details as – ‘this is compulsory, that is optional’, ‘this is primary, that is secondary’ as also rules relating to substance, place, time, agent and so forth.
‘In due order’ – order means sequences; the meaning is – ‘please explain also the order in which the several duties have to be performed.’ The order meant is such as – after the performance of the birth-rite come respectively tonsure, initiation and so forth. The phrase ‘in due form’ implies completeness in regard to subject matter; ‘order’ does not form part of the subject matter, hence the qualification ‘in due order’ has been added separately.
The word dharma ‘duty’ is found to be used in reference to (1) the injunction of what should be done (2) the prohibition of what should not be done, both these bearing upon transcendental purposes, and also (3) action in accordance with the said injunctions and prohibitions. Whether the denotation of the term applies equally to both or it applies primarily to one only and to another only secondarily – this we do not discuss on the present occasion; and we have already discussed this in detail in another work (the smṛtiviveka) and it has no direct bearing on the present context. In any case, when it is declared that the aṣṭakās should be performed, what is clearly understood is the propriety of performing in relation to the aṣṭakās and when it is declared that the meat of the animal killed by a poisonous arrow should not be eaten, what is clearly understood is the impropriety of performing in relation to the eating of the said meat. Whether the action of the aṣṭakā is regarded as duty or the propriety of performing that act, it does not make any difference in the ultimate result. And when the form of duty has been duly expounded, that is contrary constitutes adharma (sin) follows naturally by implication. Thus what is meant is that dharma as also adharma both form the subject matter of the scriptural treatise; the performance of the aṣṭakā is a duty also is the avoidance of brāhmaṇa-murder; the non-performance of aṣṭakā is a sin as also is the performance of brāhmaṇa-murder; such is the distinction between duty and sin as described in the scriptures.
‘May you’ indicates ability in the shape of possessing the requisite capacity and as such expresses the fact of the teacher being a fit and proper person for the expounding the duties; the sense being ‘in as much as you are fully able to expound the duties, hence you are a fit and proper person for that work, as such you are entreated by us to explain to us the said duties.’ It follows by implication that when a man is a fit and proper person for doing a certain act, that act should be done by him. The term of entreaty ‘do please explain to us’ is supplied from without. (2)
Thou alone, O Lord, are conversant with what ought to be done, which forms the true import of this entire Veda - which is eternal, inconceivable and not directly cognisable.
At this stage the following question arises - “It has been said that the term ‘duty’ is used in the sense of only that activity which tends to accomplish a transcendental purpose; and such activity may consist in the performing of the aṣṭakā as also in bowing to caityas and such other acts (prescribed in the heterodox scriptures); and what sort of duties is going to be expounded in the present treatise?”
In answer to this we have the third verse, which serves the purpose of pointing out what duties are going to be expounded and also of further indicating the aptitude of Manu already mentioned. ‘You alone’ - without anyone to help you; without a second.
sarvasya vidhānasya kāryatattvārthavit. The term vidhāna meaning that by which acts are enjoined stands for the scripture. It is called svayambhu in the sense that it is eternal, not a product, not the work of man; and its name is the Veda.
‘Entire’ i.e. including the text which is directly found in the Veda as also the exact words of which are only inferred; for instance (a) in the text ‘one should perform the agnihotra, it pertains to thousand men’ - by means of this verse one should worship the āhavanīya - we have the Veda directly enjoining what is to be done; the term ‘by means of this’ ending as it does with the instrumental case-termination serving to point out the employment of the mantra text directly quoted.
While in the case of the injunction ‘the aṣṭakās should be performed’ which is found in the smṛti, we infer, on the strength of this smṛti, the corresponding Veda text; similarly, when we read the mantra-text ‘I am chopping grass, the seat of the gods’ we at once infer, on the basis of the indicative power of the words of that text, the Vedic injunction that ‘the said text is to be employed in the chopping of grass.’
This mantra is found in that section of the Veda which deals with the darśapūrṇamāsa sacrifice and the chopping of grass is laid down as to be done in course of that sacrifice; but there is no such direct injunction as that ‘the chopping should be done with such and such a mantra’ and the above-mentioned mantra-text is found to be capable, by its very form, of indicating the chopping of grass.
While as regards its being connected in a general way with the darśapūrṇamāsa sacrifice, this follows the fact of its occurring in the same ‘context’ as the injunction of that sacrifice; and it is by virtue of its own indicative force that it comes to be employed in the chopping of grass.
The idea arising in the mind of the student (on noticing the above facts) is as follows: ‘from the context it follows that the mantra-text in question should be used in the performance of the darśapūrṇamāsa sacrifices - how is this to be done? - well, the natural answer is that it is to be used in the manner in which it is capable of being used; the capacity of a thing, even though not directly mentioned, always helps in determining its use.
What then is the mantra-text capable of doing? It is capable of indicating the chopping of grass. Hence, from the context and from the capability of the mantra itself, it follows that it should be employed in the chopping of grass. As soon as this idea has been arrived at, the corresponding words, ‘by this mantra the chopping of grass should be done’ present themselves to the mind.
Because, as a matter of fact, every concrete conception is preceded by the corresponding verbal expression. The said verbal expression, thus presenting itself to the mind, is called the inferred Vedic text. The text thus inferred is regarded as Veda by virtue of the fact that it owes its existence to the force of two other Vedic texts - the text laying down the darśapūrṇamāsa and the mantra-text referred to above. Such is the opinion of Kumārila.
Or the term vidhāna may be taken as equivalent to vidhi, meaning actual operation, the accomplishment of purpose; this is called ‘svayambhu’ in the sense that it is eternal i.e. handed down by beginningless tradition - or that it is prescribed in the eternal Veda; entire i.e. what is prescribed in the directly available verbal texts and what is only implied by the force of what is directly expressed by the words of the texts.
The Vedic injunction is of two kinds: (a) There is one kind of injunction which is directly expressed by the words; eg. ‘desirous of Brahmic glory, one should offer the saurya-caru’. Here what is expressed is that one who desires Brahmic glory is the fit and proper person to offer the saurya-caru and when one proceeds to secure Brahmic glory by means of the said offering, he learns that the procedure of the offering is analogous to the āgneya offering (which is the archetype of all caru-offerings).
In both these cases the idea got at, being derived from the words of the texts, is regarded as ‘derived directly from the words’ though the former is derived directly from the words and the latter from what is ‘expressed by the words’. Yet this difference, due to the removal of the latter by one step, does not deprive it of the character of ‘being derived from words’.
For instance, when the water in the pool is struck by the hand and it in its turn strikes against some other place and yet this latter place is regarded as being struck by the hand, though not directly; similarly when pieces of rubber are thrown down, they rise and fall, and all the subsequent acts of rising and falling are the indirect effects of the first downward impulse imparted to them.
Exactly analogous is the case of the injunctions in question. Every ectypal sacrifice is related to a particular form of procedure (borrowed from its archetype). Similarly when we meet with the injunction ‘one should perform the viśvajit sacrifice’ we argue that no injunction is possible except in reference to a fit and proper person capable of (and having a motive for) performing it, and hence come to the conclusion that the person so capable is one who desires heaven; this idea being thus implied by the force of what is directly expressed by the words of the text.
It is in view of this two-fold character of injunctions (and enjoined acts) that we have the term ‘entire’. In fact, the purpose of adding the epithet ‘entire’ is to indicate that smṛtis have their source in the Veda. This we shall explain under Discourse II.
An objection is raised: As a matter of fact, vidhi is something in the form of what should be done, expressed by the injunctive and such other verbal expressions; and this in all cases, must be directly expressed by actual words; under the circumstances, what do you mean by saying that there are two kinds of injunctions - that the term ‘one should offer’ denotes something to be done and the procedure of the offering is indicated by implication in the manner described above?
There is no force in this objection. As a matter of fact, in the case of the injunctive words nirvapet ‘should offer’, yajeta ‘should sacrifice’ and the like, even though what is expressed by the verbal root itself may be comprehended, the full conception of what is to be done is not obtained until we have comprehended the other factors - such as the character of the person fit for the performance, the procedure to be adopted, and the actual details of the act to be performed; it is only as equipped with all these factors that the injunction becomes comprehended in its complete form. In view of this fact, there is nothing incongruous in regarding the said factors also as denoted by the injunctive word.
This is what the text means by the epithet acintya ‘inconceivable’ - which means ‘not directly perceptible’. What is directly perceived is said to be ‘apprehended’ and not ‘conceived’ or ‘rememebered’ [so that if the Veda were something directly perceived, the epithet ‘inconceivable’ would have no force; things like the Veda can only be conceived of and the Veda is not even that.]
'Not directly cognisable’ i.e. that which has got to be assumed or inferred as forming the source of several assertions made in the smṛti. As a matter of fact, such Vedic texts are not perceived, hence it is called ‘not directly cognisable’.
Or ‘not directly cognisable’ may be taken in the sense of incapable of having its extent exactly defined by reason of its being extensive; the Veda being divided into several recensions, cannot be exactly defined by all persons; and on this account also it may be called inconceivable; even in ordinary parlance people are found to say - ‘what to say of others, this cannot be even conceived of’.
The mind can conceive of all things but the Veda is so extensive that it cannot be conceived of even by the mind. Thus the two epithets (‘inconceivable’ and ‘not directly cognisable’) serve to indicate that the Veda is beyond the reach of the internal as well as the external organs of perception i.e. it is very extensive and this mention of the extensiveness of the Veda serves as an inducement to the teacher; the meaning being - ‘it is you alone who have learnt the Veda which is so extensive, hence you alone are conversant with what ought to be done, which forms the true import of the said Veda.’
The term kārya ‘what ought to be done’ stands for the act to be performed; in reference to which the man is prompted to be the performer (in such terms as) - this should be done by you, this should not be done by you, the agnihotra should be performed, the eating of the flesh of an animal killed by a poisoned arrow should not be done. Avoidance also is a kind of acting eg. the non-doing of brāhmaṇa-murder constitutes the performance or acting of the avoidance of it.
Activity is acting so is also desisting from activity and the name ‘acting’ is not restricted to only that which is accomplished by means of instruments and agents set in motion. In fact, when such acting is possible, if one desists from it, this desisting also is acting. For instance, when it is asserted that the man who takes wholesome food lives long, what is meant is that the man who takes his food at the proper time and who does not eat at the improper time, as desisting from eating is also wholesome.
Or the word kārya may be taken as indicating the injunction and the prohibition; as these alone form the essence of the Veda; the other parts of it, which are merely descriptive of certain happenings - such passages for instance as ‘he wept, and because he wept, he became known as Rudra’ are not true; they are not meant to be taken in their literal sense, they are meant to be construed along with an injunctive passage and serving the purpose of commending what has been laid down in that injunctive passage. For instance, the descriptive passage just quoted - beginning with ‘he wept’ and ending with ‘there is weeping in his house within a year’ - is to be construed with the injunctive passage - ‘therefore silver should not be placed on the grass’ and being deprecatory of the placing of silver, it serves the purpose of commending the prohibition of that placing of silver.
This is what is meant by the dictum - ‘the Veda is an authoritative source of knowledge in regard to what has to be accomplished and not what is already accomplished’ and what is mentioned in the arthavāda or descriptive passages is what is already accomplished and what is already accomplished cannot be cognised as something to be done; what however is cognised is that the description is supplementary to some injunction. If then it were taken to be true in its own literal sense, it could not be supplementary to any injunction; and this would militate against the syntactical connection between the two passages - descriptive and injunctive; and so long as two passages can be taken as syntactically connected and constituting a single compound sentence, it is not right to take them as two distinct sentences.
[The reverse process of taking the injunction as supplementary to the description would not be right for] as a matter of fact, what is yet to be accomplished could not be subservient to what is already accomplished; specially because, if this were so (and the injunction itself were not literally true), then the Veda would contain no injunction of anything at all; and it would thereby cease to be an authoritative source of knowledge. This would involve the further incongruity that we would have to deny the well-recognised fact of the injunctive and other words denoting injunction. It is with a view to all this that the revered Manu has declared ‘something to be done’ as the essence of the Veda. Jaimini also in the pūrvamīmāṃsa sūtra (1.1.2) - ‘duty is that desirable thing which is prescribed by the Vedic injunction’ - has distinctly declared that the Veda is an authoritative source of knowledge in regard to what is to be done.
The term of address ‘lord’ has been used on the understanding that the personage addressed is well-known to be possessed of the capacity to expound duty - such capacity being due to his being endowed with a high degree of knowledge of all things. The meaning thus is - ‘O lord, may you, who are fully able to expound duty, explain the duties to us.’ Being thus questioned by means of the first three verses, he promised, in the following verse, what he was asked to do. (3)