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:

अहोरात्रे विभजते सूर्यो मानुषदैविके ।
रात्रिः स्वप्नाय भूतानां चेष्टायै कर्मणामहः ॥ ६५ ॥

ahorātre vibhajate sūryo mānuṣadaivike |
rātriḥ svapnāya bhūtānāṃ ceṣṭāyai karmaṇāmahaḥ || 65 ||

The Sun divides the ‘Day’ and ‘Night’ of Men and Gods; [of others] what is conducive to the repose of beings is ‘Night,’ and what is conducive to activity is ‘Day.’—(65)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Ahorātra’— ‘day’ and ‘night’; of these the Sun makes the division; the Sun having risen, so long as his rays are visible, it is called ‘day’; and from the time that the Sun sets to the time that he rises again, it is called ‘night.’ Such is the case in the region of men and in the region of Gods.

“In a place where the Sun does not reach with his rays,—how is one to make this division of ‘day’ and ‘night’?”

The answer to this is given in the second line—‘what is conducive &c.’ For such beings as are self-illumined, as the light is always there (and it never ceases) the division of ‘day’ and ‘night’ is made according to the undertaking of actions and going to sleep. Just as in the case of herbs, the time for sprouting is fixed by nature, exactly in the same manner, in the case of the beings in question, the times of ‘activity’ and ‘repose’ are fixed by the nature, of time itself [and are not variable].—(65)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Rātriḥ svapnāya &c.’—This line supplies the definition of ‘Day’ and ‘Night’ for those regions that are beyond the reach of the Sun;—‘Day’ being the period of activity, and ‘Night’ the period of repose.


Comparative notes by various authors

See the comparative notes for Verse 1.64 (Measures of Time).

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