Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN-10: 8120811550 | ISBN-13: 9788120811553

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:

तमसा बहुरूपेण वेष्टिताः कर्महेतुना ।
अन्तस्सञ्ज्ञा भवन्त्येते सुखदुःखसमन्विताः ॥ ४९ ॥

tamasā bahurūpeṇa veṣṭitāḥ karmahetunā |
antassañjñā bhavantyete sukhaduḥkhasamanvitāḥ
|| 49 ||

All these (vegetable beings) are invested by manifold ‘darkness’ (inertia), the result of their acts; and possessing inner consciousness, they are affected by pleasure and pain.—(49)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

They are ‘invested,’ pervaded over, by that ‘Darkness’ (Inertia) of which the cause is ‘action,’ in the form of vice;—‘manifold,’ being the cause of the experiencing of various kinds of pain. As a matter of fact, all things are made up of three Constituent Attributes; so what is meant is that in the beings here described the Attribute of ‘Darkness’ is in excess, and those of ‘Harmony’ and ‘Energy’ are present in less degrees; hence as abounding in ‘Darkness’ (Inertia), and beset with pain and humiliation, they continue, for a long time, to experience the results of their vicious acts.

In as much as the Attribute of ‘Goodness’ (Harmony) also is present in them, they do enjoy, in certain conditions, small measures of pleasure also; it is in view of this that they are described as ‘affected by pleasure and pain.’

Possessing inner consciousness,’—the term ‘saṃjñā’ stands for Buddhi, Intelligence (Consciousness); and in as much as activity in the form of going out, speaking and the like,—which are the effects indicative of the presence of consciousness,—is absent (in Trees), they are described as ‘possessing inner consciousness.’ This must be the meaning of the epithet ‘inner’; as otherwise, since every person exercises consciousness only within himself [there would be no point in the epithet at all]. Or, the meaning may be that plants are unable to have any cognisance of the prickings of thorns and other small things, to the extent that human beings are; in fact for the experiencing of pain they stand in need of such massive strokes as cutting with the axe and the like;—being, in this respect, like animate beings in the state of sleep, intoxication or swoon. [Which shows that plants have their consciousness lying far deeper within than in animals.]—(49)

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