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:
भूतानां प्राणिनः श्रेष्ठाः प्राणिनां बुद्धिजीविनः ।
बुद्धिमत्सु नराः श्रेष्ठा नरेषु ब्राह्मणाः स्मृताः ॥ ९६ ॥
bhūtānāṃ prāṇinaḥ śreṣṭhāḥ prāṇināṃ buddhijīvinaḥ |
buddhimatsu narāḥ śreṣṭhā nareṣu brāhmaṇāḥ smṛtāḥ || 96 ||
Among beings, aminated ones are regarded as foremost; among aminated ones, those that subsist by reason: among rational beings men are foremost; and among men, Brāhmaṇas. (96).
Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):
The word ‘being’ stands for all such things on earth as Trees and other immovable things, and also such movable
things as insects, beetles and the like.—Among these, the ‘animated ones’—i.e., those that are capable of such activities as eating, moving and so forth,—are ‘foremost’; being aminated, they experience more powerful pleasures.—Among these latter, ‘those that subsist by reason,’—i.e., those that discriminate between wholesome and unwholesome, such for instance, as dogs, jackals and other animals [are foremost]; these animals, when suffering from heat, more into the shade; when suffering from cold, they betake themselves to the sun; they give up a place where they find no food.—Among these latter again, ‘men are foremost’; and of them, ‘Brāhmaṇas.’ They are the most highly honoured; they are never ill treated by any person; in fact the killing of the Brāhmaṇa involves a serious expiatory rite, which is due entirely to considerations of caste. (96).
Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha
Medhātithi, (p. 41, l. 20)—‘Parasparopokārāt’—c.f. Bhagavadgītā—devān bhāvayatānena te
devān bhāvayatānena te devā bhāvayantu vaḥ |
parasparaṃ bhāvayantaḥ śreyaḥ param avāpsyatha || 3.11 ||
Comparative notes by various authors
See Comparative notes for Verse 1.94 (Brahmā created the Brāhmaṇas).