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:

स्वाध्याये नित्ययुक्तः स्याद् दान्तो मैत्रः समाहितः ।
दाता नित्यमनादाता सर्वभूतानुकम्पकः ॥ ८ ॥

svādhyāye nityayuktaḥ syād dānto maitraḥ samāhitaḥ |
dātā nityamanādātā sarvabhūtānukampakaḥ || 8 ||

He should be always engaged in Vedic study, meek, conciliatory, quiet, ever liberal, not accepting any gifts, and compassionate towards all living beings.—(8).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

This being a distinct stage of life, people might think that such duties as Vedic Study and the like, which pertain to other life-stages, should have to be omitted now; hence with a view to show that they do not cease, the Text has added—‘always engaged’; and not as in the Householder’s stage, during which, the man being busy with his household work, their performance leaves no time for Vedic study and such duties.

Meek’—endowed with humility; free from haughtiness.

Conciliatory’—abounding in the friendly spirit; always saying what is agreeable and wholesome; ever ready to conciliate his neighbour.

Quiet.’—Even when urged by others, he should not speak much of what may be irrelevant.

Ever liberal’—in making gifts of water, fruits and roots and alms.

Not accepting any gifts’—He should not beg anything for his medication or diet and such needs, from a person belonging to another stage of life and coming to see him.

Compassionate towards all living beings’—‘Compassion’ is pity. But even though he be compassionate, he should not, for the sake of any person, beg anything from another person.—(8).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Dāntaḥ’—‘Self-controlled, free from pride’ (Medhātithi and Nārāyaṇa);—‘patient with hardships’ (Kullūka).


Comparative notes by various authors

Baudhāyana (3.3.19).—‘Let him not injure even gadflies or gnats; let him bear cold and perform austerities; let him constantly reside in the forest, be contented, delight in bark and skins, and in carrying water.’

Āpastamba (2.21.21).—‘He shall keep one fire only, have no house, enjoy no pleasures, have no protector, observe silence, uttering speech only on the occasion of the daily recitation of the Veda.’

Āpastamba (2.22.11).—‘He shall not any longer take presents.’

Vaśiṣṭha (9.8).—‘He shall only give, not receive, presents.’

Viṣṇu (94-6).—‘He must not relinquish the private recitation of the Veda.’

Yājñavalkya (3.48).—‘Self-controlled, bathing at three times, desisting from accepting presents, studying the Veda, charitable, devoted to the welfare of all living beings.’

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