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:

सर्वेण तु प्रयत्नेन गिरिदुर्गं समाश्रयेत् ।
एषां हि बाहुगुण्येन गिरिदुर्गं विशिष्यते ॥ ७१ ॥
त्रीण्याद्यान्याश्रितास्त्वेषां मृगगर्ताश्रयाप्चराः ।
त्रीण्युत्तराणि क्रमशः प्लवङ्गमनरामराः ॥ ७२ ॥

sarveṇa tu prayatnena giridurgaṃ samāśrayet |
eṣāṃ hi bāhuguṇyena giridurgaṃ viśiṣyate || 71 ||
trīṇyādyānyāśritāstveṣāṃ mṛgagartāśrayāpcarāḥ |
trīṇyuttarāṇi kramaśaḥ plavaṅgamanarāmarāḥ || 72 ||

By all means in his power he shall take shelter in a ‘hilly fort’; because among all these (forts) the hilly fort is distinguished by many good qualities.—(71).

The first three of these are inhabited by deer, by animals living underground and by aquatic animals, and the last three by monkeys, men and gods.—(72).

 

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

(verses 7.71-72)

The first three’—the ‘bow-fort’ and the rest.

Inhabited’— taken shelter in.

Animals living underground’— the gargara (a kind of fish,) the mungoose and the like.

Aquatic animals’—alligators, tortoise and so forth.

This means that the King suffers the good and bad effects that are suffered by the animals inhabiting these places of shelter.

The last three’—‘Plavaṅgama’ is the monkey.—(72)

 

Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

(verse 7.71)

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 203), which explains ‘bāhuguṇyena’ as ‘by reason of its having many apparent advantages, such as inaccessibility and so forth’;—in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Saṃskāra p. 72a);—and in Nītimayūkha (p. 65), which says that the genitive in ‘eteṣam’ (which is its reading for ‘eṣām hi)’ denotes selection.

(verse 7.72)

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 202), which adds the following explanations:—From among the first three kinds of fort, wild animals take shelter in the fort consisting of the desert,—‘animals living in holes,’ i.e., rats take shelter in the fort consisting of the ground, fish take shelter in the ‘fort’ consisting of unfordable water;—monkeys take shelter in trees, which constitute their ‘fort’;—and man takes shelter under men, who constitute his ‘fort’,—and the gods take shelter on mountain-peaks, like the Kailāśa. What is meant is that ‘just as the gods and others take shelter under the defences of the Kailasha peak and so forth, so should the king take shelter in a fort.

 

Comparative notes by various authors

(verse 7.71)

Matsya-purāṇa (Vīramitrodaya-Rājanīti, p. 203).—‘Of all forts, the Hilly fort is the most highly commended.’

Mahābhārata (Do., p. 201).—‘Among the six kinds of forts laid down in the scriptures, it is the Human fort that is the most inaccessible.’

Śukranīti (1.766).—‘The king should take shelter in hill forts in times of great danger.’

Do. (4. 5, 2 et seq.).—‘Forts are made inaccessible by ditches, thorns, rocks and deserts. The fort surrounded by ditches is called Parikhā; that by walls of stone and bricks, Parigha; that by trees, thorns and thickets Vanadurga; that near which there is no water is called Dhanvadurga; that surrounded by large sheets of water is called Jaladurga; that situated on high ground and supplied with plenty of water is called Giridurga; that guarded by heroes versed in military tactics is called Sainyadurga; that belonging to allies and relations is the Sahāyadurga. The Sahāyadurga and the Sainyadurga arc the best of all.’

Bṛhaspati (Vīramitrodaya-Rājanīti, p. 204).—‘It should be equipped with fuel, flavouring substances, canes, fodder, conveyances, machines and weapons, and also well-disposed and brave soldiers. The king shall also bring together, and provide livings for Brāhmaṇas learned in Vedic lore and Kṣatriyas, also performers of Agṇihotra.’

Viṣṇudharmottara (Do.).—‘Each one of these forts shall be supplied with treasure and provisions, with elephants, horses and chariots,—also with gems; it shall he fully supplied with machines, abounding in Vedic learning, and equipped with all materials of war, well-stored with food and money, supplied with drinks and water, fully supplied with elephants, horses, chariots, cows, physicians and astrologers; also with clarified butter, oils and medicines and other accessories; protected by walls, ditches, towers and turrets.’

Mahābhārata—Śāntiparva (Parāśaramādhava Ācāra, p. 407).—‘Protected by strong walls and ditches, supplied with elephants, horses and chariots, with bright citizens, adorned with squares and markets, full of brave and wise men.’

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