Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN-10: 8120811550 | ISBN-13: 9788120811553

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:

मध्यमस्य प्रचारं च विजिगीषोश्च चेष्टितम् ।
उदासीनप्रचारं च शत्रोश्चैव प्रयत्नतः ॥ १५५ ॥

madhyamasya pracāraṃ ca vijigīṣośca ceṣṭitam |
udāsīnapracāraṃ ca śatroścaiva prayatnataḥ || 155 ||

—on the conduct of the ‘intermediary’ oh the doings of the king bent upon conquest, on the action of the neutral king, as also that of his enemy, with special care.—(155)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Of the said ‘circle’ the following are the four principal components—(1) the King bent upon conquest, (2) the Enemy, (3) the Intermediary and (4) the Neutral. Of these the King, who has people on his side and who has made up his mind to conquer a certain part of the world, is called ‘bent upon conquest,’ by reason of his being endowed with courage and strength.—the ‘Enemy’ is of three kinds—(a) born, (b) natural and (c) acquired.—The ‘Intermediary’ is the king whose territory is co-terminous with that of the king in question.—The ‘Neutral’ is one who is capable of defeating each of the two—‘one who is bent upon conquest’ and his ‘enemy’—singly, but not con jointly; and also each of the three—‘he who is bent upon conquest,’ the ‘enemy’ and the ‘intermediary’—singly, but not conjointly.—(I55)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Cf. Kāmandakīya Nītisāra, 8.14, 18.

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 320), which adds the following notes:—In the ‘circle’ of kings, there are four kinds of kings—(1) The king seeking conquest (2) the three kinds of enemy—the natural enemy, the artificial enemy and the neighbouring state, (3) the middle state, which is capable of defeating either of the two parties to a conflict, taken singly (4) the neutral, who is capable of smashing any one of the above three.

This verse is quoted in Rājanītiratnākara (p. 36a).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 7.155-159)

Śukranīti (1.121). The kingdom is an organism of seven limbs—the King, the Minister, the Ally, the Treasure, the Kingdom, the Fort and the Army.’

Do. (2.141-113).—‘The Priest, the Viceroy, the Premier, the Commander, the Councillor, the Judge, the Scholar, the Finance Minister and the ordinary Minister and the Spy, these are the ten limbs of the King.’

Viṣṇu (3.38).—‘Towards his neighbour and natural enemy, his ally, a neutral power, and a power situated in between his natural enemy and an oppressive power,—let him adopt alternately, as the occasion and the time require, the four modes of obtaining success—Conciliation, Division, Presents and Force.’

Yājñavalkya (1.344).—‘The enemy, the ally, the neutral power, and those coming in between these,—all these he shall deal with through conciliation and other methods. These methods are Conciliation, Presents, Division and Force.’

Viṣṇudharmottara—(Vīramitrodaya-Rājanīti, p. 319).—‘The king shall he careful with regard to the seven-limbed kingdom; the seven limbs being Conciliation, Presents, Fortification, Treasury, Fines, Ally and People.’—He shall banish all persons obstructing these seven, and he shall (quickly destroy all his enemies.’

Mahābhārata (Do., p. 322).—‘The king himself seeking glory, has to d«al with the following—Enemy, Ally, Enemy’s Ally, Ally’s ally, Ally of the enemy’s ally;—these in front; then come the following in the rear—one attacking in the rear, one restraining this rear-attack, those helping the rear-attack, and those helping the restrainer.’

Arthaśāstra (Part II, p. 224).—‘Master, Minister, People, Fort, Treasury, Force and Allies are the seven Constituent Factors.’

Arthaśāstra (p. 175).—‘The Methods are Conciliation, Presents, Division and Force. Conciliation is five-fold—describing virtues, recalling mutual relationship, recalling mutual help, indicating future possibilities, self-surrender.—Describing of virtues consists in setting forth the nobility of birth, physical virtues, facts and so forth.—Recalling of relationship consists in pointing out the blood and other relationships;—Recalling of Mutual Help in reminding one of the occasions on which help was rendered;—Indicating of Future Possibilities, in pointing out that the acceptance of the proposal would bring benefits;—Self-surrender, in ottering all one’s resources—“whatever is mine is yours, you can make such use of it as you like.”

Śukranīti (4.1.51, et. seq.)—‘Alliance, Presents, Division and Force,—these policies are to be applied separately to the Friend, Relatives, Family, Subjects and Enemies. “No one is such a friend as yourself”—this is called Alliance.—“ All my goods, even my life, are yours”—this is Present.—The narrative of one’s own merits or those of other friends to somebody is Division.-—“If you do such and such an act, I shall cease to be your friend”—this is Force............ The statesmanlike King shall employ these policies in such a wav that friends, neutrals and foes can never go beyond himself.—Sāma, Peace, is to be employed first,—then Presents,—then the playing off of enemies against one another. Force is to be employed only when actual danger threatens. Alliance and Presents are to be employed towards forceful enemies; Alliance and Division towards those superior in strength; Division and Force towards equals and pure Force is advisable only against an enemy who is powerless.—Towards friends, only Alliance and Presents are to be employed;—never Division or Force.’

Kāmandaka (1.16).—‘King, Minister, Kingdom, Caste, Treasury, Army and Allies are known to form the seven constituents of government; good sense and unebbing energy are its primary stay.’

Do. (4.1-2).—‘The King, Minister, Kingdom, Fort, Treasury, Army and Allies form the seven constituents of the state. They contribute to one-another’s weal, and the loss of even a single one of these renders the whole imperfect; he who wishes to keep the state perfect should study their nature.’

Do. (8.4, 5).—‘Minister, Fort, Kingdom, Treasury and Army,—have been declared to be the five constituents of the central sovereign.—These five and the allied sovereigns, and in the seventh place, the central monarch himself, have been said by Bṛhaspati to compose what is known as the “seven-limbed state.”

Kāmandaka (8.16).—‘Ari, Mitra, Arimitra, Mitrāmitra, and the Arimitrāmitra are the five sovereigns whose domains he consecutively in front of the king going out on a conquering expedition.’

Do. (8.18).—‘The sovereign whose domain lies intervening between the dominions of the Ari and the conquering king is denominated the Madhyama. His attitude becomes friendly when the Ari and the conquering king are united, and it is hostile to them when these are disunited.’

Do. (8.25).—‘The twelve cardinal sovereigns, together with their respective five Prakṛtis, constitute the Prakṛtimaṇḍala consisting of seventy-two factors.’

Do. (8.36).—‘The six Prakṛtis, viz., Minister, Kingdom, Fort, Treasury, Army and Ally,—of each of the ten sovereigns taken together, compose what is designated the maṇḍala of sixty factors.’

Do. (8.70).—‘The king should please his own Prakṛtis by conciliation, presents and bestowal of honour, and be should crush the Prakṛtis of his enemies by sowing dissension among them and by openly attacking them.’

Do. (14.1).—‘The Prakṛtis, from Minister to Ally, are the constituents of the state. Of all the weaknesses of the state, the gravest is the weakness of the king himself.’

Do. (15.22).—‘Internal disaffection should he allayed by such measures of policy as conciliation, presents and the rest; and external disaffection by the causing of dissension and disunion among the disaffected party. A wise King should allay disaffection in such a manner that the disaffected do not go over to the enemy.—The loss of men and munition is said to be destruction and the loss of money and food is said to be drain; the wise and prudent king should never have recourse to a policy leading to such destruction and drain.’

Do. (15.55).—‘The king should wean over to his side, by means of conciliation, presents and the rest, the foresters, frontier tribes, and commanders of forts, whom he may come across en route. In difficult and intricate tracts these people become the guide and point out the way.’

Kāmandaka (17.3).—‘Conciliation, presents, display of military power and dissension, these four, and also Deceit, Neglect and Conjuring,—these seven in all are the means of success against an enemy.’

Do. (I7.60-61).—‘The king conversant with the virtues of conciliation, should employ it whenever he likes. At first he should employ the policy of Presents, and then Conciliation and Dissension.—The policy of Conciliation without the support of the policy of resents seldom brings success in an undertaking; it cannot produce the desired eiīeet, even when employed towards one’s own wife.’

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