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:

तं राजा प्रणयन् सम्यक् त्रिवर्गेणाभिवर्धते ।
कामात्मा विषमः क्षुद्रो दण्डेनैव निहन्यते ॥ २७ ॥

taṃ rājā praṇayan samyak trivargeṇābhivardhate |
kāmātmā viṣamaḥ kṣudro daṇḍenaiva nihanyate || 27 ||

The King who metes out punishment in the proper manner prospers in respect of his three aims; he who is blinded by affection, unfair, or mean is destroyed by that same punishment.—(27).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Blinded by affection’—he who is unduly influenced by love.

Unfair’— inclined to be irascible. The King prospers if he metes out punishment on a friend or a foe in the same impartial spirit.

Mean’—inclined to take undue advantage.

Is destroyed by that same punishment’— either through evil passions aroused among the people, or through some imperceptible effects.—(27).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Viṣamaḥ’—‘Irascible’ (Medhātithi, Govindarāja, Kullūka and Rāghavānanda);—‘partial’ (Nārāyaṇa).

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara, (p. 647), which explains ‘samyak’ as ‘with due deliberation,’—‘kāmātmā’ as ‘one who acts just as he pleases’—and ‘Viṣamaḥ’ as ‘adopting the wrong course by reason of partiality;’—and in Vivādacintāmaṇi’ (p. 262), which explains ‘Kāmātmā’ as ‘if the king acts as he pleases,’ and ‘Viṣamaḥ’ as ‘acting wrongly through partiality or prejudice.’


Comparative notes by various authors

Kāmandaka (2.41).—‘A king, by the right inflicting of punishments, upholds this stayless world.’

Kāmandaka (1.11-13).—‘A righteous king protecting his subjects to the best of his resources and having the power of capturing hostile cities, should be held in as high a regard as the god Prajāpati himself. A sovereign discharging his duties according to the rules of polity soon secures the three ends for himself and for his people; acting otherwise, he is sure to ruin himself and his people.’

Do. (2.36).—‘Tho self-controlled king holds the key to the spiritual and material advancement of himself and bis people; therefore he should mete out punishments impartially.’

Yājñavalkya (1.354-356).—(See under 19.)

Arthaśāstra (p. 32).—‘The Teachers have declared that for the king there is no other means save punishment for the subjugating of living beings. Such is not the view of kauṭilya; for if a king is very severe in his punishments, the people become discontented; if he is very lenient, he is disregarded; he is respected only when he inflicts punishment impartially in the right manner. If intelligently administered, punishment brings prosperity and happiness to the people; if improperly administered, through ignorance, or greed, or anger, it angers even Hermits and Renunciates; what to say of Householders? The people consisting of the four castes and orders is protected by the king through punishment.’

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