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:

हीनाङ्गानतिरिक्ताङ्गान् विद्याहीनान् वयोऽधिकान् ।
रूपद्रविणहीनांश्च जातिहीनांश्च नाक्षिपेत् ॥ १४१ ॥

hīnāṅgānatiriktāṅgān vidyāhīnān vayo'dhikān |
rūpadraviṇahīnāṃśca jātihīnāṃśca nākṣipet
|| 141 ||

He shall not insult those who have redundant limbs, or those who are deficient in limbs, or those destitute of learning, or those who are far advanced in age, or those destitute of beauty or wealth, or those of low birth.—(141)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Those who are deficient in limbs;’—e.g., the one-eyed person, the leper, the dwarf, and so forth.

Those who have redundant limbs;’—that is persons suffering from elephantiasis and such diseases.

Destitute of learning’—Illiterate.

Far advanced in age’—i.e., very old persons.

Destitute of beauty;’—i.e., persons with a flat nose or with a squint eye, and so forth.

Destitute of wealth’—poor; devoid of wealth, riches.

Of low birth’—persons whose birth is defective; e.g., the ‘kuṇḍa’ (one born of his mother’s paramour during his father’s life-time), the ‘golaka’ (one so born, after his father’s death), and so forth.

‘These he shall not insult.’— ‘Insulting’ means despising; the mere act of calling these persons by these names would be an ‘insult.’—(141)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 194);—and in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 523).


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (71.2).—‘He shall not laugh at persons who have redundant limbs, or who are deficient in limbs, or who are illiterate, or who are devoid of wealth.’

Mahābhārata (Anuśāsana, p. 161.36).—[Reproduces Manu but reading ‘satya’ for ‘jāti.’]

Yājñavalkya (1.153).—‘One should not touch the sensitive part of any person.’

Devala (Aparārka, p. 174).—‘One should avoid such ironical words as calling the blind one with excellent eyes, the Caṇḍāla a Brāhmaṇa; nor should one call the Śūdra a Śūdra or the outcast an outcast; such words, though truthful are twice as bad as untruthful words.’

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