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:

अद्यात् काकः पुरोडाशं श्वा च लिह्याद्द् हविस्तथा ।
स्वाम्यं च न स्यात् कस्मिंश्चित् प्रवर्तेताधरोत्तरम् ॥ २१ ॥

adyāt kākaḥ puroḍāśaṃ śvā ca lihyādd havistathā |
svāmyaṃ ca na syāt kasmiṃścit pravartetādharottaram || 21 ||

The crow would eat the Sacrificial Cake, and the dog would lick the offering-materials; rights of ownership would not remain with any one and there would be a confusion among the high and low.—(21).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Even such low animals as the crow, the dog and the like would vie with the gods; and they would come to eat the sacrificial cake and other offering-materials that should have been offered to the gods;—it they were not prevented from all this by means of punishment.

Further, ‘the rights of ownership’—the relation of possessor and possessed—would not remain,—even between father and son, or between husband and wife; the husband would cease to be the husband of the wife, and women would go about independently by themselves.

Confusion among the high and low’;—the ‘low,’ e.g., the Caṇḍāla and the rest, would become ‘high’; and the ‘high’, e.g., the Brāhmaṇa and others, would become ‘low’, succumb to inferiority; Śūdras would come to preach the law, and the Vedic law would cease to be obeyed.—(21).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 648), which explains ‘adharottaram’ as ‘subversion of the natural order of superiority and inferiority;’—in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 292);—and in Vīvādacintāmaṇi (p. 263), which explains ‘adharottaram’ as ‘the reversal of all standards of superiority and inferiority.’

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