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:

कुसूलधान्यको वा स्यात् कुम्भीधान्यक एव वा ।
त्र्यहेहिको वाऽपि भवेदश्वस्तनिक एव वा ॥ ७ ॥

kusūladhānyako vā syāt kumbhīdhānyaka eva vā |
tryahehiko vā'pi bhavedaśvastanika eva vā || 7 ||

He shall be either one possessing a granary full of grains, or one possessing a jar full of grains; he may be one possessing what is wanted for three days, or one who does not possess enough for the morrow.—(7)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

It has been declared that wealth should be accumulated for the maintenance of oneself and family; and no trouble shall be undertaken for mere pleasure; it has not been said whether the man is to acquire wealth day by day, or only once, sufficient to last for a long time. Hence the Text now proceeds to show how one is to earn a living lasting for some length of time.

Kusūladhānyakaḥ.’—One who has grains in a granary; the compound being a Bahuvrīhi, where the members are not in apposition to each other.

Another reading is ‘Kusūladhānyikaḥ;’ in which case, the term Kusūladhānya would mean ‘grains enough to fill a granary;’ and one who possesses this would be ‘Kusūladhānyika;’ the word being formed with the Possessive affix ‘ik.’

Receptacles built of bricks and such things, which contain grains, are called ‘Kusūla’ or ‘Koṣṭha,’ ‘granary;’ and this term serves to indicate the quantity; the sense being that ‘one shall accumulate grains in such quantities as may fill a granary and it does not mean that ‘he must use the granary only as the receptacle for grains.’ What the text permits, by means of the word ‘granary,’ is the accumulating of just that quantity of grain which may suffice to maintain for one year the family of a man with large responsibilities, having a large number of servants, relations, wives, slaves, children, cattle, horse, and such other things. That such is the sense, is shown by what is going to be said (in 11.7) regarding the man who has grains sufficient for three years.

Significance is not meant to be attached to the term ‘grains’ also; in fact, there would be nothing wrong in the man acquiring such quantities of gold, silver and such things as would suffice for the said maintenance. All that the text means is that one should not accumulate more than that.

Kumbhī’ is the same ‘uṣṭṛka,’ ‘jar.’ They say that this stands for such quantity as would suffice for six months.

Trayahaihika;’—‘aihika’ means ‘wanted;’ he who has what is wanted for three days is ‘trayahaihika;’ which is the name given to one who collects what is enough for the requirements of his family for three days.

Śvastana’ is what is needed for the morrow; he who possesses this is, as before, ‘Śvastanika;’ and this compound, with the negative particle, gives the term ‘aśvastanika;’ ‘who does not possess enough for the morrow.’ The meaning is that he should acquire what just suffices for the time, what he earns he should spend all that the same day.—(7)

The author next states the law relating to the options just mentioned:—


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Kusūladhānyakaḥ’—Having as much grain as is contained in a Kusūla, a granary, i. e., enough to feed the household for one year’ (not three as mentioned by Buhler) [Medhātithi];—‘enough to last twelve days’ (Govindarāja);—‘enough for three years’ (Kullūka and Rāghavānanda);—‘enough for twelve, six or three months’ (Nārāyaṇa).

Kumbhīdhānyakaḥ’—‘Having as much grain as may be contained in a Kumbhī, i.e., enough to last for six months’ (Medhātithi);—‘enough to last for six days’ (Govindarāja and Nārāyaṇa);—‘enough for one year’ (Kullūka and Rāghavānanda).

This verse is quoted in Aparārka, (p. 169);—in Mitākṣarā, (on 1.128), which adds that this refers, not to all Brāhmaṇas, but to those only who are ‘yāyāvarai.e., ‘who devote themselves entirely to study, sacrifice and making gifts, and do not have recourse to teaching, sacrificing for others and receiving gifts, or amassing of wealth’ (according to Devala);—also on 3.29, as describing the four kinds of ‘Householder’;—in Madanapārijāta (p. 216);—in Vidhānapārijāta (II, p. 246), which explains ‘Kusūla’ as ‘Koṣṭhakam,’—‘Kumbhī’ as ‘aṣṭrikā,’ and the whole compound as ‘one who possesses grain enough to fill the one or the other’;—‘tryahika’ as ‘one who has grains enough to last for three days,’ and ‘aśvastana’ as ‘one not having grains for the morrow’;—and in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Āhnika, p. 37a).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 4.7-8)

Yājñavalkya (1.228).—‘He may be the possessor of a granary-full or a jar-full of grains, or of grain enough for three days, or of grain not enough for the morrow; or he may live by gleaning and picking; the succeeding being superior to the preceding among these.’

Laghu-Viṣṇu (2.16-17).—‘The virtuous householders are divided into four classes according to the difference in their means of livelihood; of these the following is superior to the preceding. [Three quarters of Manu’s text being reproduced, the fourth part is read as sadyaḥprakṣālakaḥ, one who had just enough for the last meal that he has had.]’

Mahābhārata (12.249.2-3).—‘Four kinds of livelihood for householders have been described by the wise—the first is the possessing of a granary-full of grains; then the possessing of a jar-full of grains; then the possessing of not enough for the morrow; and the last is the method of the pigeon (having nothing beyond the present meal); among these the following is superior to the preceding.’

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