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:

श्रुतिस्मृत्योदितं धर्ममनुतिष्ठन् हि मानवः ।
इह कीर्तिमवाप्नोति प्रेत्य चानुत्तमं सुखम् ॥ ९ ॥

śrutismṛtyoditaṃ dharmamanutiṣṭhan hi mānavaḥ |
iha kīrtimavāpnoti pretya cānuttamaṃ sukham || 9 ||

For the man performing the duty laid down by the revealed word and the recollections obtains fame here, and after death, unsurpassed happiness.—(9)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

There might be some one who, being an unbeliever, might form the misconception that the acts laid down in the Veda are fruitless, and omit to do them; hence with a view to induce such a man to undertake the performance of those acts, the Author, placing himself in the position of a friend, proceeds to indicate the. perceptible results that follow from the acts in question, to say nothing of other kinds of results.

The man who performs the act, known as ‘duty,’ ‘Dharma,’—which is ‘laid down by the Revealed Word and the Recollections—obtains ‘here,’ in this wold, as long as he lives, ‘fame,’ praise, honour, regard; that is, all men respect him and love him as one ‘who is firm in the rightful path and highly virtuous.’

After death,’—in another body—he obtains that ‘happiness’ superior to which there is no other happiness. As a matter of fact, almost all the acts are prescribed in the Veda as to be done by one who desires Heaven; and ‘Heaven’ stands for ‘unsurpassed happiness’; hence it is that the author speaks of ‘unsurpassed happiness.’

For these reasons, it is only right that the unbeliever also, who seeks for nothing but visible results, should undertake the performance of the acts in question. This is the purport of the text.—(9)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Hemādri (Vrata, p. 14);—in the Vīramitrodaya (Paribhāṣā, p. 61), which explains that, ‘anuttamam sukham’ stands for the rewards that are spoken of in connection with each act;—and in the Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Saṃskāra, p. 16b).


Comparative notes by various authors

Atri-Saṃhitā, 16.—‘By me has been described that Dharma in which remaining firm, men of the various castes acquire reputation in the world and after death attain the highest condition.’

Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra, 2.2.5.—‘In course of evolution, the man, by the residue of the results of his past acts, obtains his caste, his- body, his complexion, strength, intelligence, knowledge and also other things and activities; and in its revolution, this process brings him happiness in both worlds.’ Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra, 2.2.7.—‘Through acts conducive to sin, one becomes born in undesirable families.’

Gautama-Dharmasūtra, 11-31.—‘People of various castes and in various stages of life, remaining firm in their duties, on death, enjoy the fruits of their acts, and by reason of the residue of those, become born again in a good family of superior caste, endowed with long life, learning, wealth, happiness and intelligence.’

Vaśiṣṭha-Smṛti, 1.2.—‘The man who performs his duties with due knowledge becomes highly praiseworthy in the world, and after death attains Heaven.’

Dakṣa-Smṛti, 2.66.—‘The Householder, ever intent on his own duties, partakes of Heaven.’

Laghu-Viṣṇu-Smṛti, 2.17.—‘Whatever has been prescribed in the Śruti and in the Smṛti,—all this should be done by the Housoholder; otherwise, he becomes open to censure.’

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