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:

दुष्येयुः सर्ववर्णाश्च भिद्येरन् सर्वसेतवः ।
सर्वलोकप्रकोपश्च भवेद् दण्डस्य विभ्रमात् ॥ २४ ॥

duṣyeyuḥ sarvavarṇāśca bhidyeran sarvasetavaḥ |
sarvalokaprakopaśca bhaved daṇḍasya vibhramāt || 24 ||

All the castes would become corrupt, all barriers would be broken through, and there would be disruption among all the regions,—if there were any mistakes in regard to punishment.—(24).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Mistakes regarding punishment’—i.e., its non-infliction, or its infliction in an unlawful manner. If there were any such, then ‘all the castes would become corrupt’; as unrestricted intercourse would lead to a confusion of castes.

Barriers’— bounds—‘would be broken through’;—all restrictions would disappear; Brāhmaṇas would behave like Śūdras and Śūdras like Brāhmaṇas. In this manner ‘there would be disruption among all regions;—i.e., the three regions would not help each other by imparting rain, heat and the rest.—(24)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 286), which adds the following notes:—‘Duṣyeyuḥ’—‘men of the lower castes would have intercourse with women of the higher ones and thus give birth to improperly mixed-castes ’; and on this same account ‘all bounds of propriety indicated by the scriptures would be broken down.’ It is quoted again on p. 293;—and in Vivādacintāmaṇi (p. 263), which explains ‘vibhrama’ as ‘non-infliction’ or ‘wrong infliction’ (of punishment).


Comparative notes by various authors

Śukranīti (1.50).—‘The king should make his subjects acquire the habit of sticking to their own duty; he himself should stick to his own Dharma’

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