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:

पित्रा विवदमानश्च कितवो मद्यपस्तथा ।
पापरोग्यभिशस्तश्च दाम्भिको रसविक्रयी ॥ १५९ ॥

pitrā vivadamānaśca kitavo madyapastathā |
pāparogyabhiśastaśca dāmbhiko rasavikrayī || 159 ||

One quarrelling with one’s father, the keeper of a gambling house, the drunkard, one afflicted with a foul disease, one accused of sins, the hypocrite, and the dealer in essence.—(159)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

He who quarrels with his father; i.e., talks rudely to him; and goes to court against him as party to a suit instituted for partition. Says Gautama (15-19)—‘Those who separate from their Father, without reason.’

Why should this be asserted here, which appears to be a repetition of what has been mentioned above (153) as the ‘opposer of his Teacher’?”

Opposing is one thing, and quarrelling is something different. When the superior wants a certain thing, if one were to say rudely, ‘How can this be got!,’—this is ‘opposing;’ so that one is an ‘opposer, by obstructing his acquisition of a thing that belongs to him. Further, under 153 ‘pratirāddhā’ is another reading (for ‘pratiroddhā’), which means ‘doing direct injury,’ i.e., striking the superior with slaps, &c. And with this reading what has gone before (in 153) is clearly different from the ‘quarrelling’ mentioned here.

Keeper of a gambling house’—the gamester who makes other people gamble; he who is himself a gambler has been already excluded before (in 151),

Some people read ‘Kekara’ (for ‘Kitava’), reading the text as ‘Kekaro madyapastathā;’ and ‘Kekara’ is the man with a squint.

Others, again, read ‘Kātara,’ which means ‘one, the pupils in whose eyes are like the parrot’s feather, green.’

Drunkard’—one who drinks wines of kinds other than the ‘Surā’ (wine distilled from grains); such, for instance, as the ‘Ariṣṭa,’ and the like;—the drinker of ‘Surā’ being already precluded as an ‘outcast.’

One afflicted with a fold disease’—i.e., the leper; he being very much despised among people, it is only right that he should be spoken of as ‘afflicted with a foul disease.’

It is on account of the present prohibition that the term yakṣmi (in 154) has been taken (by some people) not as the ‘invalid’ in general, but one who is suffering from consumption; if the ‘invalid’ in general were meant, then all invalids being included there, the author would not have mentioned ‘one afflicted with a foul disease’ in this verse.

Accused of sins.’—one who is known among people as having committed sins, great and small; even without its being known for a certain.

Hypocrite.’—one who deceitfully performs religious acts, with a view to gaining popularity, not because he thinks it his duty to do so.

Dealer in essence.’—i.e., the seller of poison; it is poison that is called ‘Essence.’ In several places, we find the poisoner spoken of as ‘rasadaḥ’ ‘giver of essence—(159)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Kitavaḥ’—‘The keeper of a gambling house’ (Medhātithi);—‘one who makes others play for himself’ (Govinda-

Medhātithi and Kullūka note the other reading ‘Keka raḥ’, explaining it as ‘squint-eyed’, and connecting it with the ‘drunkard.’

The translation on p. 183, ll. 1-3 should run as follows, and not as printed:—“Some people readKekaraḥ’ for ‘kitavaḥand make it qualifymadyapaḥ’; thekekaraisthe man with a squint’.

Kātaraḥ’ is yet another reading noted by Medhātithi, who explains it as ‘one, the pupils in whose eyes are like the parrot’s feather, green’.

Rasavikrayī’—‘One who sells poison’ (Medhātithi);—‘one who sells substances used for flavouring food, e.g., sugarcane-juice and the like’ (Govindarāja, Kullūka and Rāghavānanda);—‘the seller of molasses’ (Nārāyaṇa).

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 087), which reads ‘Kekaraḥ’ and explains it as ‘squint-eyed’;—in Hemādri (Śrāddha, p. 481);—in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Śrāddha p. 9);—and in Śrāddhakriyākaumudī (p. 40), which explains ‘kitavaḥ’ as ‘gambler’, and ‘rasavikrayī’ as ‘dealer in salt and such other articles’.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 3.150-166)

See Comparative notes for Verse 3.150.

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