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:

इच्छयाऽन्योन्यसंयोगः कन्यायाश्च वरस्य च ।
गान्धर्वः स तु विज्ञेयो मैथुन्यः कामसम्भवः ॥ ३२ ॥

icchayā'nyonyasaṃyogaḥ kanyāyāśca varasya ca |
gāndharvaḥ sa tu vijñeyo maithunyaḥ kāmasambhavaḥ || 32 ||

The mutual union of the bride and bridegroom, through love is to be known as the “Gāndharva” form; it has sexual intercourse for its end and it has its source in lust.—(32).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The ‘union’—coming together at one place—‘of the bride and bridegroom, through love’—through mutual longing.

In deprecation of this form of marriage it is added—‘It has sexual intercourse for its end’—it serves the purpose of sexual intercourse only. This is made clearer by the next clause—‘it has its source in lust;’—‘source’ is that from which a thing springs; and it is from lust that this union springs.—(32).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Govindarāja and Nārāyaṇa raise the question as to the prescribed offerings and wedding ceremonies being performed in the cage of the Gāndharva, Rākṣasa and Paiśāca forms of marriage; and on the strength of a text of Devala’s and another of Śaunaka (Bahvṛca Gṛhyapariśiṣṭa) they declare that the offerings must be made, but that no Vaidika mantras should be recited; this latter reservation being based on Manu’s text (8.226). Medhātithi discusses this at great length under verse 34 below, from which it appears that the opinion on this subject has always been divided. In support of the view that the subsequent rites are essential, several texts are quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, pp. 861-862).

This verse is quoted in ‘Vīramitrodaya’ (Saṃskāra, p. 855), where the ‘Anyonyasaṃyogaḥ’ is explained as ‘mutual agreement’,—‘Maithunyaḥ,’ ‘conducive to all acts accomplished by means of sexual intercourse’,—and ‘Kāmasambhavaḥ,’ as ‘originating from excessive lust’;—in Hemādri (Dāna, p. 685);—and in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 229), which explains ‘Maithunyaḥ’ as ‘favourable to sexual intercourse.’


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (4. 10).—‘When the girl loves a man and herself becomes united to him, it is the Gāndharva form.’

Baudhāyana (1. 11. 6).—‘The Gāndharva consists in the mutual union of the loving bride and the loving bridegroom.’

Āpāstamba-Dharmasūtra (2. 11. 20).—‘When the couple become united through mutual love, it is the Gāndharva.’

Vaśiṣṭha (1. 33).—‘It is the Gāndharva when the man loving the girl who loves himself, and is similar to himself, marries her.’

Viṣṇu (24. 23).—‘When ṭhe couple in love with one another, become united, independently of the parents,—it is the Gāndharva.’

Yājñavalkya (1. 61).—‘The Gāndharva is accomplished by mutual agreement.’

Āśvalāyana-Gṛhyasūtra (1. 6. 1. 5).—‘It is Gāndharva when the man marries the girl after coming to a mutual agreement.’

Devala (Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra, p. 855).—‘When in a sacred place, the man and the woman become united by mutual agreement, through love, it is the fifth form of marriage, the Gāndharva.’

Hārīta (Do., p. 856).—‘When the girl herself selects the bridegroom, it is Gāndharva.’

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