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:
येषां तु यादृशं कर्म भूतानामिह कीर्तितम् ।
तत् तथा वोऽभिधास्यामि क्रमयोगं च जन्मनि ॥ ४२ ॥
yeṣāṃ tu yādṛśaṃ karma bhūtānāmiha kīrtitam |
tat tathā vo'bhidhāsyāmi kramayogaṃ ca janmani || 42 ||
That kind of action which belongs to the several beings has been described here. I am now going to explain the manner of their birth.—(42)
Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):
‘That kind of action which belongs to the several beings,’—i.e., hurtful or harmless—‘has been already described’;—now ‘I am going to explain the manner of their birth.’
“Where has the action been described? In Verses 37 et seq. what occurs is only the mention of the names of several beings, Yakṣa, Rākṣasa and the rest; and their action is not mentioned at all.”
Our answer is as follows:—The action of each being is indicated by its name; the particular name being acquired by each being by reason of its actions: for instance, the Yakṣas are so called because of the act of worshpping, or pervading (‘Yakṣaṇa’);—the ‘Rākṣasa’ are so called because of the act of destroying in secret (‘rahasi kṣaṇana’);—the Piśāchas are so called because of the act of devouring flesh (‘piśitāśana’);—the Apsarases are so called because of the act of issuing forth from water (adbhyaḥ ṣṛtāḥ);— the Asuras are so called because of the act of not obtaining surā, in the form of nectar; and so on, the significance of the other names may be traced.
‘The manner of their birth’—i.e., they are viviparous, oviparous and the like; going to be described in the following verses.—(42)