Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN-10: 8120811550 | ISBN-13: 9788120811553

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:

ब्राह्मादिषु विवाहेषु चतुर्ष्वेवानुपूर्वशः ।
ब्रह्मवर्चस्विनः पुत्रा जायन्ते शिष्टसम्मताः ॥ ३९ ॥

brāhmādiṣu vivāheṣu caturṣvevānupūrvaśaḥ |
brahmavarcasvinaḥ putrā jāyante śiṣṭasammatāḥ || 39 ||

Only from the four marriages mentioned successively, beginning with the Brāhma, are born sons endowed with Brahmic glory and respected by cultured persons.—(39)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

In verse 22, it has been asserted that the author was going to describe ‘the good and bad points of offsprings;’ this is what is being done now.

Anupūrvaśaḥ’ (successively) is an expression that authors of Smṛtis use in the sense of ‘ānupurvyeṇa.’

The honour and fame that one receives by virtue of his learning, knowledge and superior wisdom, are called ‘Brahmic glory;’ those possessed of this are called ‘endowed with Brahmic glory,’ The term ends in the Possessive affix ‘in.’

Respected by cultured persons’—favoured, not hated, not ill-treated; i.e, liked. Inasmuch as the root in ‘sammata’ does not signify thinking, it does not fall under Pāṇini’s Sūtṛa.3. 2. 188; and hence the compounding does not become precluded by Pāṇiṇi 2. 2. 12; and the genitive ending in ‘śiṣṭa’ denotes mere relationship in general.—(39)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Śiṣṭa’—defined under 12. 109.

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 487); and in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, p. 865), which says that this describes the results accruing from the different forms of marriage.

It is quoted in Aparārka (p. 117) along with verses 40 and 41, which adds that all this pertains to the Brāhmaṇa;—in Hemādri (Dāna, p. 683);—in Smṛticandrikā, (Saṃskāra, p. 230);—and in Saṃskāramayūkha (p. 99).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 3.39-42)

Viṣṇu (24.34-37).—‘He who gives his girl in marriage by the Brāhma form goes to the regions of Brahman; by the Daiva, to Heaven; by the Ārṣa, to the regions of Viṣṇu; by the Prājāpatya, to the regions of the gods; and by the Gāndharva form, one goes to the region of the Gandharvas.’

Baudhāyana (1.11.17).—‘It is well known that as the marriage-forms, so the offspring.’

Āpastamba-Dharmasūtra (2.12.4).—‘To the extent that the form of marriage is the right one, to that same extent is the offspring born thereof of the right kind.’

Yama (Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra, p. 865).—[Reproduces the words of Manu.]

Dakṣa (Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra, p. 866).—‘The reward accruing from the marrying of a girl by the right form is double in the case of her being given to a Brāhmaṇa; a hundred-thousandfold in that of her being given to a learned Brāhmaṇa; and endless in that of her being given to a thoroughly learned Brāhmaṇa.’

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