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:

यत्र श्यामो लोहिताक्षो दण्डश्चरति पापहा ।
प्रजास्तत्र न मुह्यन्ति नेता चेत् साधु पश्यति ॥ २५ ॥

yatra śyāmo lohitākṣo daṇḍaścarati pāpahā |
prajāstatra na muhyanti netā cet sādhu paśyati || 25 ||

Where dark-complexioned and red-eyed Punishment stalks about, destroying sins, there the people are not misled, provided that the Governor discerns rightly.—(25)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

These two are most praiseworthy for men (?). The author eulogises punishment by means of an imaginary metaphor.

Punishment is of two kinds—one kind inspires fear, and another brings pain; the former is indicated by the ‘dark completion’ and the latter by the ‘red eyes’.

The praise of punishment has been furnished.

Punishment should be inflicted, but with due consideration of the exigencies of time, place &c. Apart from this all else is purely commendatory.

Provided that the governor—he who metes out the punishment —‘discerns rightly’; i.e., rules over the people after due consideration of time, place &c.;—‘the people are not misled’— do not become affected by any evil.—(25).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara, (p. 646), which adds the following explanation:—‘In the kingdom where the dark-complexioned red-eyed Personification of Punishment is active, the people prosper,—provided that the administrator, the ruler, judges rightly’;—and in Vivādacintāmāṇi (p. 261), which explains ‘netā......paśyati’, ‘if the administator of justice judges rightly.’


Comparative notes by various authors

Mahābhārata (12.15.11).—(Same as Manu.)

Viṣṇu (3.95).—‘Where punishment with a black hue and red eyes advances with irresistible might, the king deciding causes justly,—there the people will prosper.’

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