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:

तस्याहुः सम्प्रणेतारं राजानं सत्यवादिनम् ।
समीक्ष्यकारिणं प्राज्ञं धर्मकामार्थकोविदम् ॥ २६ ॥

tasyāhuḥ sampraṇetāraṃ rājānaṃ satyavādinam |
samīkṣyakāriṇaṃ prājñaṃ dharmakāmārthakovidam || 26 ||

They declare that King to be the just governor who is truth ful of speech, who acts after due consideration, who is wise and who knows the essence of virtue, pleasure and wealth.—(26)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The justness of the governor consists in the following qualities—(a) truthfulness, (b) the habit of doing things after due consideration, (c) wisdom and (d) a true discernment of the three aims of man.

Truthful of speech’—he who, having inflicted the punishment in due accordance with Law, does not enhance it on becoming apprised of the fact of the culprit being a very wealthy person,—or does not reduce it through considerations of friendship towards him.

Wise’—he who fully understands the mutual effects of time, place &c and their special relations; sometimes the effect of the time is nullified by that of place, and vice-versa; or both these are nullified by considerations of Learning and Power; and who also recognises the special relations among them, as regards their wider or more restricted application. Under certain circumstances what has been the nullifier before becomes the nullified. So that wisdom is necessary for the proper discernment of this; and also for recognising the relative importance or non-importance of virtue, pleasure and wealth. For instance, if it is found that the acquiring of a little virtue would lead to a great evil (discomfort or loss of wealth), that virtue may be abandoned; and this abandonment may be expiated by penances.—(26).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 647) which explains ‘samīkṣya kāriṇam’ as ‘one who acts after due consideration of the exigencies of time and place.’;—and in Vivādacintāmaṇi (p. 262), which adds the same explanation of ‘samīkṣya kāriṇam.’


Comparative notes by various authors

Kāmandaka (1.49).—‘From a strict observance of scriptural injunctions and interdictions, wealth is acquired; from wealth proceeds desire; and the fruition of desires brings happiness. He who does not indulge in the reasonable enjoyment of these three objects destroys these, and also his own self.’

Do. (2.16).—‘By the right administration of justice the king should protect himself and encourage the branches of knowledge. The science of government benefits mankind directly and the king is its preserver.’

Do. (2.25).—‘Punishments dealt out proportionately to offences increase the Trivarga of the king; disproportionate punishment excites anger even in Renunciates.’

Gautama (11.2).—‘The king shall be pure in acts and speech.’

Yājñavalkya. (1.308-309).—‘The king shall be modest, endowed with virility, of noble family, truthful in words, pure, non-procrastinating, with keen memory, not. mean and not cruel; righteous, not addicted to evil habits, intelligent, brave, conversant with secrets.’

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: