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:

स तानुवाच धर्मात्मा महर्षीन् मानवो भृगुः ।
श्रूयतां येन दोषेण मृत्युर्विप्रान् जिघांसति ॥ ३ ॥
अनभ्यासेन वेदानामाचारस्य च वर्जनात् ।
आलस्यादन्नदोषाच्च मृत्युर्विप्राञ्जिघांसति ॥ ४ ॥

sa tānuvāca dharmātmā maharṣīn mānavo bhṛguḥ |
śrūyatāṃ yena doṣeṇa mṛtyurviprān jighāṃsati || 3 ||
anabhyāsena vedānāmācārasya ca varjanāt |
ālasyādannadoṣācca mṛtyurviprāñjighāṃsati || 4 ||

Bhṛgu, the righteous son of Manu, said to the great sages—“Listen, by what fault Death seeks to destroy the Brāhmaṇas.”—(3).

Death seeks to destroy the Brāhmaṇas on account of their omitting the study of the Vedas, on account of neglect of right conduct, on account of slothfulness and on account of the defects of food.—(4).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Objection—“When the question has been put forward in regard to Brāhmaṇas who perform their duties, it is not right to answer it by indicating the ‘fault’; nor can there be any connection with what follows (in verse 4) [as omission of Vedic Study &c. is not possible for those who perform their duties].”

The answer to the above is as follows:—‘Omission of Vedic Study’ and the rest have been put forward only by way of illustration; the sense being—‘just as the omission of Vedic Study and the rest are acknowledged by you all to be the causes of death, so also are the defects of food, going to be described below. Even when a man carries on Vedic Study &c., the fulfilment of his above-described duty is not complete, if it is beset with the very much more serious drawback of defective food. This is emphasised here in view of the fact that this is an entirely different section (dealing with defects of food). (3-4)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

(verse 5.4)

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Prāyaścitta, p. 8) to the effect that laziness also is the source of a ‘force’ that brings about untimely death;—in Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 510), which explains ‘ālasya’ as ‘not being disposed to perform one’s duty, even when he is able to do it’;—‘annadoṣa’ as standing for defective production and so forth;—and in Smṛtisāroddhāra (p. 294.)


Comparative notes by various authors

(verse 5.4)

Yājñavalkya (Parāśaramādhava, Prāyaścitta, p. 6).—‘By omitting to do what is enjoined and by doing what is forbidden, and by not controlling the senses, doth a man fall into degradation.’

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