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:

यः सङ्गतानि कुरुते मोहात्श्राद्धेन मानवः ।
स स्वर्गाच्च्यवते लोकात्श्राद्धमित्रो द्विजाधमः ॥ १४० ॥

yaḥ saṅgatāni kurute mohātśrāddhena mānavaḥ |
sa svargāccyavate lokātśrāddhamitro dvijādhamaḥ || 140 ||

The man who, through folly, makes friendships by means of Śrāddhas,—that meanest of twice-born men, having the Śrāddha for his friend, falls from the regions of heaven.—(140)

 

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Friendships’—friendly relations—he ‘who make’ ‘by means of Śrāddhas’ ‘through follyi.e., being ignorant of what is contained in the scriptures,—falls from heaven,’—i.e., never reaches heaven; the root ‘fall’ being used in the sense of want of connection in general; the sense being ‘just as a man on reaching heaven and falling from there loses all connection with it, so this man also.’ What is meant is that the man does not obtain the reward for performing the śrāddha. in this sense alone can the passage have any connection with all that has gone in the present context.

Having the. śrāddha for his friend;’—the śrāddha is spoken of as his friend, on account of its being the means of his acquiring a friend, it is in this sense that we have the Bahuvrīhi compound in ‘śrāddhamitra.’

The meanest of twice-born men;’—the ‘twice-born men’ have been mentioned only by way of illustration; in reality, the Śūdra also should not feed friends at śrādḍhas.

“The mere fact of the Śūdra being a non-Brāhmaṇa makes it impossible for him to feed a friend at śrāddhas (where only Brāhmaṇas are fed).”

But who has laid down the rule that Brāhmaṇas cannot be the friends of Śūdras?

“As a matter of fact, it is only persons of the same caste that are regarded as friends; so that there could be no friendship between persons, one of whom belongs to the higher and the other to the lower caste.”

This also is not true; since Śvetaketu, the son of Aruṇi, is declared to have said—‘In the Pañcāla country, there is a Kṣatriya friend of mine.’

Then again, it has already been explained that the term ‘friend’ in the present context has been used as connoting relationship in general. And Brāhmaṇas also come to have pecuniary relations with Śūdras; and to the Pāraśavaśūdra (the Śūdra born of a Brāhmaṇa father and a Śūdra mother), Brāhmaṇas hear even blood-relationships.—(140)

 

Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 3.139-140)

See Comparative notes for Verse 3.139.

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