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:

आ समुद्रात् तु वै पूर्वादा समुद्राच्च पश्चिमात् ।
तयोरेवान्तरं गिर्योरार्यावर्तं विदुर्बुधाः ॥ २२ ॥

ā samudrāt tu vai pūrvādā samudrācca paścimāt |
tayorevāntaraṃ giryorāryāvartaṃ vidurbudhāḥ || 22 ||

The country extending as far as the Eastern Ocean and as far as the Western Ocean, and lying between the same two mountains,—the learned know as ‘Āryāvarta.’ (22).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The country that lies between the two limits of the Eastern and Western Oceans,—and between the two mountains spoken of in the preceding verse,—i.e., the Himālaya and the Vindhya,—is described as ‘Āryāvarta,’ ‘by the learned,’—i.e., by cultured people. It is called ‘Āryāvarta’ in the sense that the Āryas line there (‘Āryāḥ vartante tatra’); i.e., it is they that are born there again and again, and the Barbarians, even though attacking it repeatedly, do not remain there.

The particle ‘āṅ’ (in ‘āsamudrāt’) indicates the outer not the inner boundary, and it does not indicate inclusion. Hence the islands in the oceans do not come under ‘Āryāvarta.’

What are mentioned here are the four boundaries of the country: the Eastern Ocean on the east, the Western Ocean on the west, the Hiṁālaya on the north and the Vindhya on the south.

In as much as these two mountains have been mentioned as ‘boundaries,’ they are not included under ‘Āryāvarta’; from this people might be led to conclude that one should not inhabit these mountains. And with a view to (avoiding) this possibility, the Author adds the next verse.—(22)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in the Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra p. 18);—in the Saṃskāramayūkha (p. 4), which explains ‘Tayoḥ’ as standing for the Himāvat and the Vindhya;—and in the Vīramitrodaya (Paribhāṣā, p. 56).


Comparative notes by various authors

(Verses 18-23)

See Comparative notes for Verse 2.18 (The Practice of Good Men).

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