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:

भ्रातुर्भार्यौपसङ्ग्राह्या सवर्णाऽहन्यहन्यपि ।
विप्रोष्य तूपसङ्ग्राह्या ज्ञातिसम्बन्धियोषितः ॥ १३२ ॥

bhrāturbhāryaupasaṅgrāhyā savarṇā'hanyahanyapi |
viproṣya tūpasaṅgrāhyā jñātisambandhiyoṣitaḥ || 132 ||

The brother’s wife, if of the same caste, should be clasped in the feet day by day; but the wives of other paternal, maternal and other relatives should be so clasped only when one has gone on a journey.—(132)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Brother’s’—should be understood to mean ‘of the elder brother.’

Should be clasped in the feel,’—should be saluted on their feet.

Of the same caste’—belonging to the same caste as her husband. As for the brother’s wires who belong to the Kṣatriya and other castes, they are to be treated as ordinary relatives.

The wives of other paternal and maternal relativesonly when one has gone on a journey’;—i.e., by one who has returned from a journey; for no clasping of the feet could be done by one who is away on a journey.

Jñāti’ stands for paternal relatives;—‘Sambandhi’ for maternal relatives; as also other relatives, such as the father-in-law and the rest. The wives of these—when they are of older age; this is clear from the fact that ‘the clasping of the feet’ is a form of worship which cannot be right in the case of relatives of younger age.—(132)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, p. 458) in support of the view that the clasping of the feet of the brother’s wife should be done when one belongs to the same caste as her husband; and the prohibition of such clasping met with in some Smṛtis should be taken as referring to cases where the sister-in-law happens to belong to a lower caste;—also in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra p. 103).


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama-Dharmasūtra (6.8).—‘Of the brother’s wife and the mother-in-law, there should be no clasping of the feet.’

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