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:

यथा काष्ठमयो हस्ती यथा चर्ममयो मृगः ।
यश्च विप्रोऽनधीयानस्त्रयस्ते नाम बिभ्रति ॥ १५७ ॥

yathā kāṣṭhamayo hastī yathā carmamayo mṛgaḥ |
yaśca vipro'nadhīyānastrayaste nāma bibhrati || 157 ||

As the elephant made of wood, as the deer made of leather, so the non-learning Brāhmaṇa,—these three merely bear their names.—(157)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

This verse praises learning and the learner.

Made of wood’;—the form of the elephant made of wood by means of the said and other implements; just as this is useless, does not serve any useful purpose for the king, in the shape of killing his enemies and so forth,—so the Brāhmaṇa who does not learn is like a piece of wood, not fit for anything.

The deer made of leather’;—similarly the deer that has been made out of leather is useless; it is of no use for purposes of limiting, etc.

These three only bear their names’—and do not fulfil what is signified by these names.—(157)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Kāṣṭhamayo hasti’—“Probably allusions to old stories. Cf. the Bṛhatkathā for the ‘wooden elephant’... In Mahābhārata the same idea is expressed in slightly different words (12. 30. 40 ff.) and with added similes.” (Burnell-Hopkins).


Comparative notes by various authors

Baudhāyana, 1.1-11,
Parāśara, 8-16,
Vaśiṣṭha, 3.12,
—Reproduce the words of Manu.

Mahāhhārata, 12.3.6-46.—(Same as Manu, but reading ‘bibhrati’ for ‘dhāraka.’)

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