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:

दण्डो हि सुमहत्तेजो दुर्धरश्चाकृतात्मभिः ।
धर्माद् विचलितं हन्ति नृपमेव सबान्धवम् ॥ २८ ॥

daṇḍo hi sumahattejo durdharaścākṛtātmabhiḥ |
dharmād vicalitaṃ hanti nṛpameva sabāndhavam || 28 ||

Punishment, which is a tremendous force, hard to be controlled by persons with undisciplined minds, destroys the King who has swerved from duty, along with his relatives.—(28).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Punishment is a tremendous force; and it cannot be properly administered by persons who have not been disciplined by the study of the scriptures and the service of teachers, or by inborn humility.

One should not entertain the idea that ‘punishment can be meted out by mere word of command, and there is no difficulty in controlling it; because if a King is not careful with regard to it, and does not devote special attention to it, he commits mistakes, and is, on that account, destroyed by the Punishment, along with hi relatives. The King is struck down not only physically by himself, but along with his whole family of sons and grandsons.—(28).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 647) which adds that punishment is called ‘sumahattejaḥ’ in the sense that it is extremely sharp;—and in Vivādacintāmaṇi (p. 262), which says that ‘bāndhava’ here stands for the son,—and that ‘sumahat tejaḥ’ refers to its forcible character.

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