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:

दण्डः शास्ति प्रजाः सर्वा दण्ड एवाभिरक्षति ।
दण्डः सुप्तेषु जागर्ति दण्डं धर्मं विदुर्बुधाः ॥ १८ ॥

daṇḍaḥ śāsti prajāḥ sarvā daṇḍa evābhirakṣati |
daṇḍaḥ supteṣu jāgarti daṇḍaṃ dharmaṃ vidurbudhāḥ || 18 ||

Punishment governs all creatures; Punishment alone protects them; Punishment lies awake while all are asleep; the wise regard Punishment as Law itself.—(18)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

It is not the King that administers the law, relating to the Injunction of what ought to be done and the Prohibition of what ought not to be done; it is Punishment that does this administering.

Punishment alone protects’— the weak against the strong.

While all’—King’s officers—‘are asleep’— it is only through fear of punishment that people desist from doing what they like.

There are two kinds of this Punishment,—(a) that inflicted by the King and (b) that inflicted by the God of Death (in hell).—(18)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 646), which explains jāgarti as ‘being awake’ in the sense that it serves the purpose of freeing men from all fear of thieves and other mischief-makers;—in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 292);—and in Vivādacintāmaṇi (p. 261), which says that ‘jāgarti’ means that he does the work of quelling thieves, which can be done only by a wakeful and watchful person.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 7.17-18)

See Comparative notes for Verse 7.17.

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