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...

Verse 7.30 [The King’s Assistants (sahāya)]

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation by Ganganath Jha:

सोऽसहायेन मूढेन लुब्धेनाकृतबुद्धिना ।
न शक्यो न्यायतो नेतुं सक्तेन विषयेषु च ॥ ३० ॥

so'sahāyena mūḍhena lubdhenākṛtabuddhinā |
na śakyo nyāyato netuṃ saktena viṣayeṣu ca || 30 ||

Punishment cannot be justly administered by one who has no assistant, or who is demented, or who is avaricious, or whose mind is not disciplined, or who is addicted to sensual objects.—(30)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The present section is taken up for the purpose of indicating the necessity of associating assistants with one’self (one’s self?).

A King who is not helped by assistants, in the shape of able councillors, army-commanders, administrators of justice,—all which are going to be described,—cannot justly administer punishment alone by himself; even though he be fully endowed with all necessary qualities of justice and expediency. ‘Justice’ consists in decision that is in due accordance with Law and is in keeping with the peculiarities of time, place &c.

For this reason it is necessary for the King to employ properly qualified assistants.

The meaning is that punishment cannot be justly administered by the King without assistants,—just as it cannot be administered by one who is foolish or demented, or whose mind is not properly trained, or who is addicted to sensual objects, or is avaricious—and hence confiscates people’s property in an unjust manner. It can be rightly administered only by persons possessed of qualities that are tṇe reverse of these.—(30).

This same idea is expressed obversely in the next verse.


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 647), which explains ‘mūḍhena’ as ‘devoid of right imagination’,—and ‘akṛtabuddhinā’ as ‘one who has not learnt the scriptures’;—and in Vivādacintāmaṇi (p. 262), which explains ‘mūḍhena’ as ‘Licking imagination,’—and ‘akṛtabuddhinā,’ as ‘ignorant of the scriptures.’

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