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...

Verse 7.14 [Punishment (daṇḍa)]

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation by Ganganath Jha:

तस्यार्थे सर्वभूतानां गोप्तारं धर्ममात्मजम् ।
ब्रह्मतेजोमयं दण्डमसृजत् पूर्वमीश्वरः ॥ १४ ॥

tasyārthe sarvabhūtānāṃ goptāraṃ dharmamātmajam |
brahmatejomayaṃ daṇḍamasṛjat pūrvamīśvaraḥ || 14 ||

For his sake, the Lord, at first, created Punishment, which is Law born of the Lord Himself, an incarnation of divine glory and the protector of all creatures.—(14).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The origin of the King has been described; the origin of Punishment is now described.

For his sake’— for the due fulfilment of the purposes of the King,—‘the Lord’—Prajāpati—‘created Punishment’.

“What purpose of the King is served by Punishment?”

The answer is as follows—It is ‘the protector of all creatures’;—it is Punishment that ‘protects’—guards—all creatures; as without Punishment the King cannot carry on the work of protecting the people. Thus it was for the proper accomplishment of the kingly function that Punishment was created.

(a) ‘It is Law, (b) born of the Lord himself, (c) incarnation of divine glory’.—(a) ‘Law’ does not consist of sacrifices and gifts; it consists of Punishment, (b) Nor should it be regarded as an inferior form of Law, by reason of its depriving men of their life and property because it is that Law which is born out of the body of the Lord, Prajāpati, himself, (c) Nor is it composed of the five material substances; it is created out of the pureglory’ of Brahman himself.

At fir st,’—before the creation of the King himself,—(14)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p 393);—in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 283), which adds the following notes:—‘Tadartham’ means ‘for the accomplishment of the king’s purpose’; protecting of the people is the king’s duty, and as this protecting cannot be done without punishment, it is punishment itself that is called the ‘protection’ and it is eulogised by being styled ‘Dharma’ itself.—It is quoted again on p. 292.

The verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 646), which adds the following notes:—The merit arising from the protection of the people is the king’s ‘Artha’ or ‘purpose’—for the sake of this the ‘Lord’, Creator of the people, created punishment, which is ‘brahmatejomayam (brahmatejomaya),’ the natural Power of Hiraṇyagarbha, and which is ‘Dharma’ itself, i.e., the consolidator of Dharma;—both these epithets being purely valedictory and in Vivādacintāmaṇi (p. 261), which explains ‘tadartham dharmam’ as for the purpose of establishing Dharma;—and ‘brahmatejomayam’ as ‘constituted of the essence of Hiraṇyagarbha’;—it adds that this is mere eulogy.

It is quoted also in Rājanītiratnākara (p. 37b).


Comparative notes by various authors

Yājñavalkya (1.353).—‘Brahmā created Dharma in the form of Punishment.’

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