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:

अलाभे न विषदी स्यात्लाभे चैव न हर्षयेत् ।
प्राणयात्रिकमात्रः स्यात्मात्रासङ्गाद् विनिर्गतः ॥ ५७ ॥

alābhe na viṣadī syātlābhe caiva na harṣayet |
prāṇayātrikamātraḥ syātmātrāsaṅgād vinirgataḥ || 57 ||

He shall not be sorry at not obtaining alms; nor shall he rejoice at obtaining it; he shall have only what suffices to sustain his life, and be free from all attachment to his accessories.—(57)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

If at the stated time he should fail to obtain food, he shall not be ‘sorry,’ dejected in mind. He shall not allow grief or joy to overtake him at failing or succeeding to obtain food.

What suffices to sustain his life.’—This indicates the quantity of food to be begged. What this implies is that in the event of his failing to obtain alms, he shall sustain his life by such fruits, roots and water as do not belong to another person.

Accessories’— vessels, staff and so forth;—‘attachment to these’—i. e., making special efforts to obtain them;—from this he should he ‘free’; that is he shall harbour no longings.—(57)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Mātrā’—‘Implements, vessels, staff and so forth’ (Medhātithi, Govindarāja and Kullūka);—‘portion, mouthful’ (Nārāyaṇa and Nandana).

This verse is quoted in Aparārka, (p. 963), which explains ‘mātrā’ as ‘upakaraṇadravyam, accessories’;—and in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 563), which explains ‘mātrā’ etymologically as ‘mīyante iti’, as meaning ‘objects’; since he is free from attachment to all objects, therefore he should be neither glad at getting them nor sorry at not getting them.


Comparative notes by various authors

Mahābhārata (12.278.10).—‘He shall have only as much as would sustain his life, and should not care for the obtaining of vessels; he should not be aggrieved when ho fails to obtain things, nor should he exult at obtaining them.’

Vaśiṣṭha (10-22).—‘He should not be dejected when he obtains nothing, nor glad when he receives something. He should seek only as much as will sustain life, without caring for property.’

Viṣṇu (96.4).—‘If he does not get alms, he must not be sorry.’

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