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:

परपत्नी तु या स्त्री स्यादसम्बन्धा च योनितः ।
तां ब्रूयाद् भवतीत्येवं सुभगे भगिनीति च ॥ १२९ ॥

parapatnī tu yā strī syādasambandhā ca yonitaḥ |
tāṃ brūyād bhavatītyevaṃ subhage bhaginīti ca || 129 ||

A female who is the wife of another person, and is not related to one by birth, should be addressed as “Lady,” and also “blessed,” or “sister.”—(129)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

When conversation is held with a female in connection with some business, then one should do as directed in this verse.

She who is the wife of another person should be addressed either as ‘blessed lady,’ or as ‘lady, my sister.’ The term ‘bhavati’ ending in the short vowel is derived from the base ‘bhavat’ with the feminine affix, and with the vocative Case-ending. The particle ‘iṭi’ after ‘bhavati’ indicates that it is used in addition to the terms ‘blessed’ and ‘sister.’

One should address’;—this conclusively proves that the terms in question arc meant to he used in their verbal forms.

If the lady happens to he an elderly one, she should he addressed as ‘mother,’ ‘glorious one’ and so forth; and if she is younger in age, she is to be addressed as ‘daughter,’ ‘long-lived one,’ and so forth.

The presence of the term ‘wife’ shows that the form laid down is not to be used in connection with unmarried girls.

Who is not related to one by birth,’—one who, like the daughter of the maternal uncle, has not become a ‘relative’ either from the father’s or the mother’s side. Special rules regarding these are going to be laid down below (under 132).

Objection.—“In that case this latter verse would suffice to signify that the present rule does not apply to relatives; and the general rule here laid down would he applicable to other cases; under the circumstances, where is the use of adding the clause ‘who is not related, etc.’?”

Answer.—This being a metrical treatise, we should not be very particular about superfluous repetitions.—(129)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 298);—also in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, p. 4(57);—and in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 101) as laying down the mode of addressing ladies.


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu-Smṛti (32.7).—‘The wife of another man, even though not known, should be addressed as sister, or daughter, or mother.’

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