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:

यो राज्ञः प्रतिगृह्णाति लुब्धस्यौच्छास्त्रवर्तिनः ।
स पर्यायेण यातीमान्नरकानेकविंशतिम् ॥ ८७ ॥

yo rājñaḥ pratigṛhṇāti lubdhasyaucchāstravartinaḥ |
sa paryāyeṇa yātīmānnarakānekaviṃśatim || 87 ||

He who accepts gifts from a king who is avaricious and behaves contrary to the scriptures, goes, in succession, to these twenty-one hells:—(87)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

This is an exaggerated deprecation of receiving gifts from Kings.

Avaricious’—who is in the habit of extracting riches from his subsidiary chiefs.

Who behaves contrary to the scriptures’—he who acts against the laws laid down under 11-2 2 et. seq., and inflicts undue punishments, confiscates the women, and so forth.

In succession’—i.e., he goes to another hell after having experienced the sufferings of one.

Hell.’—This term signifies extreme suffering; and, since extreme suffering is all that is meant to be expressed, the singular number would be the proper form; and the number ‘twenty-one’ is an exaggerated description.—(87)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 185);—and in Prāyaścittaviveka (pp. 403 and 410), to the effect that one should not accept gifts from a Kṣatriya king who is unrighteous.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 4.87-91)

Viṣṇu (43.1-22).—‘The Hells are as follows—

  1. Tāmisra,
  2. Andhatāmisra,
  3. Raurava,
  4. Mahāraurava,
  5. Kālasūtra,
  6. Mahāmaraka,
  7. Sañjīvana,
  8. Avīci,
  9. Tāpana,
  10. Sampratāpana,
  11. Saṅghātaka,
  12. Kākola,
  13. Kuḍmala,
  14. Pūtimṛttika,
  15. Lohaśaṅku,
  16. Ṛcīṣa,
  17. Viṣamapathin,
  18. Kaṇṭakaśālmali,
  19. Dīnapadī,
  20. Asipatravana,
  21. Lohacāraka.’

Skandapurāṇa (quoted in Parāśaramādhava, p. 199).—‘The man who has been brought up on gifts from the king becomes a Brahmarākṣasa in the water-less desert, and docs not obtain another birth. The man who, having renounced his Brāhmaṇahood, and deluded by greed for riches and for sensual objects, accepts gifts from the king, his fall into the Raurava hell is certain. Even trees burnt by forest-fíres grow again on the advent of rain; but those that have been burnt by gifts from the king never grow again.’

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