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:

मातृश्वसा मातुलानी श्वश्रूरथ पितृश्वसा ।
सम्पूज्या गुरुपत्नीवत् समास्ता गुरुभार्यया ॥ १३१ ॥

mātṛśvasā mātulānī śvaśrūratha pitṛśvasā |
sampūjyā gurupatnīvat samāstā gurubhāryayā || 131 ||

Mother’s sister, maternal uncle’s wife, mother-in-law, and father’s sister deserve to re honoured like the teacher’s wife; all these are equal to the wife of the Teacher.—(131)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

These ‘deserve to be honoured like the Teacher’s wife’—by rising to meet them, saluting them, offering them seat and so forth.

The equality of these to the Teacher’s wife haviug been already mentioned by the phrase ‘like the Teacher’s wife,’ the addition of the words ‘they are equal, etc,’ is meant to indicate that one should do for these persons other things also;—such as carrying out their wishes and so forth—that one does for the Teacher’s wifìe. If this were not so indicated, the implication of the context would be that it is only in the matter of salutation that they have to be treated ‘like the Teacher’s wife.’

The text speaks of only ladies of older age; but in the case of younger ladies also the same rule of salutation has to be observed.—(131)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, p. 458) in support of the view that the mother-in-law should be accosted with the clasping of her feet, whereby the prohibition of clasping of the feet of the mother-in-law, met with in some Smṛtis, has to be taken as referring to eases where the mother-in-law happens to be a youthful woman,—under which circumstances the Teacher’s wife also should not be clasped in the feet.


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama-Dharmasūtra (6.7).—‘Unless one has returned from journey, one shall not touch the feet of a woman, except his mother, paternal aunt and sister.’

Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra (—‘The Mother and the Father should be attended upon like the Teacher;—on the completion of his study, he should clasp the feet of all his elders;—also when he meets them on returning from a journey;—in the case of brothers and sisters, clasping of feet should be done in order of seniority.’

Viṣṇu-Smṛti (32.3).—‘Mother’s sister, father’s sister and the elder sister also.’

Smṛtyantara (Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra, p. 458).—‘Feet-clasping should be done of the mother’s sister, also of the wives of one’s paternal uncle.’

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