Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

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:

वृत्तीनां लक्षणं चैव स्नातकस्य व्रतानि च ।
भक्ष्याभक्ष्यं च शौचं च द्रव्याणां शुद्धिमेव च ॥ ११३ ॥
स्त्रीधर्मयोगं तापस्यं मोक्षं संन्यासमेव च ।
राज्ञश्च धर्ममखिलं कार्याणां च विनिर्णयम् ॥ ११४ ॥
साक्षिप्रश्नविधानं च धर्मं स्त्रीपुंसयोरपि ।
विभागधर्मं द्यूतं च कण्टकानां च शोधनम् ॥ ११५ ॥
वैश्यशूद्रोपचारं च सङ्कीर्णानां च सम्भवम् ।
आपद्धर्मं च वर्णानां प्रायश्चित्तविधिं तथा ॥ ११६ ॥

vṛttīnāṃ lakṣaṇaṃ caiva snātakasya vratāni ca |
bhakṣyābhakṣyaṃ ca śaucaṃ ca dravyāṇāṃ śuddhimeva ca || 113 ||
strīdharmayogaṃ tāpasyaṃ mokṣaṃ saṃnyāsameva ca |
rājñaśca dharmamakhilaṃ kāryāṇāṃ ca vinirṇayam || 114 ||
sākṣipraśnavidhānaṃ ca dharmaṃ strīpuṃsayorapi |
vibhāgadharmaṃ dyūtaṃ ca kaṇṭakānāṃ ca śodhanam || 115 ||
vaiśyaśūdropacāraṃ ca saṅkīrṇānāṃ ca sambhavam |
āpaddharmaṃ ca varṇānāṃ prāyaścittavidhiṃ tathā || 116 ||

The description of the means of livelihood,—the observances of the initiated Householder,—lawful and forbidden food,—Purification,—the cleansing of things.—(113)

The conditions of Women,—the Duties of the Recluse,—Final Release,—Renunciation,—the entire duty of the King,—and the decision of law-suits.—(114)

The Rules regarding the examination of witnesses,—the Duties of Husband and wife,—Law relating to the Division of Property,—Gambling,—the exterminating of bad characters.—(115)

The duty of the Vaiśya and the Śūdra,—the birth of the mixed castes—the duties of all castes during times of distress—the method of expiation.—(116)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The ‘description of the means of livelihood,’—i.e., of the means of subsistence, in the form of acquiring wealth and the like.—‘Of the Initiated Householder,’—i.e., of one who has finished his Vedic study and has returned home from his teacher’s house; ‘the observances,’ such as ‘he should not look at the rising sun’ and so forth. All this forms the subject-matter of Discourse IV.

Lawful and forbidden food,’—‘five five-nailed animals are permitted food,’ and ‘forbidden food’—such as onion, etc.—‘Purification,’—by lapse of time, as in the case of childbirth—‘cleansing of things,’ with water.—‘The condition of women’—such as childhood, youth and so forth. All this is dealt with in Discourse V.

Duties of the Recluse’—the Recluse is one whose chief work consists in the performing of austerity,—i.e., the ‘Vānaprastha,’ the Hermit; and the duty of these is called ‘Tapasyā.’—‘Final Release,’—i.e., the duty of the Wandering Mendicant.—‘Renunciation,’ is a particular form of the said ‘duty’ (of the Mendicant); how this is so will be explained in the chapter referred to. All this forms the subject matter of Discourse VI.

The entire duty,’—those leading to visible (physical) as well as invisible (super-physical) results,—‘of the king,’—i.e., of the man whose business it is to protect the Earth, and who has obtained sovereignty. This forms the subject-matter of Discourse VII.

Of law-suits,’—such as the non-payment of debts, etc.;—‘decision,’—i.e., dispelling all doubts, ascertaining the facts and deciding upon the course of action to be adopted.—‘The method of examination of witnesses,’—this has been mentioned separately (though already included in the foregoing), because of its great importance. This is the subject-matter of Discourse VIII.

Duties of husband and wife,’—i.e., behaviour towards each other, when living together, and also when living apart.—‘Laws relating to division’—i.e., of Property. ‘Gambling’—i.e., Laws relating to gambling are here spoken of as ‘gambling’—‘The extermination of,’—means of banishing,—‘bad characters’—such as thieves, robbers and the like. Though in reality the ‘Division of Property,’ forming one of the eighteen ‘matters of dispute,’ is included under ‘law-suits’ and as such, standing on the same footing as the ‘nonpayment of debts,’ need not have been mentioned separately, yet it has been mentioned separately because it forms the subject-matter of a distinct Discourse. The duties of the Vaiśya and the Śūdra,’—i.e., the performance of their respective duties. All this is dealt with in Discourse IX.

The birth’ coming into existence, ‘of the mixed Castes,’—i.e., of the ‘Kṣattṛ,’ the ‘Vaideha,’ etc., etc.—‘Duties during times of distress,’—i.e„ when failing to carry on livelihood by the means prescribed for them, they are reduced to the point of death; and then there are certain duties that devolve upon the various castes.—This is dealt with in Discourse X.

The method of expiation,’—is dealt with in Discourse XI.—(113-116)

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