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:

क्षीणस्य चैव क्रमशो दैवात् पूर्वकृतेन वा ।
मित्रस्य चानुरोधेन द्विविधं स्मृतमासनम् ॥ १६६ ॥

kṣīṇasya caiva kramaśo daivāt pūrvakṛtena vā |
mitrasya cānurodhena dvividhaṃ smṛtamāsanam || 166 ||

Halting has been declared to be of two kinds:—(1) that which is necessary for one who has become gradually weakened, either by chance or through previous acts, and (2) that which is necessitated by considerations for his ally.—(166)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

‘Halting’ means the withdrawing of oneself. This also is of two kinds—(1) When the king is “weakened’—in force and in money,—even though he be prosperous, he has to ignore bis enemy; and another kind of Halting is that which is done in consideration of the ally. If the relations of his ally, who is weak, with the enemy is not such as to make it safe for his ally to rise against that enemy,—then, in consideration of the delicate position of his ally, the king should ‘halt’.

The said ‘weakness’ arises from two causes:—it may be due to ‘chance’ or to ‘former acts’. This only describes the actual state of things. The strength and weakness of all kings are due to these two causes. ‘Chance’ here stands for the man9s want of care, e.g., extravagance, inalertness regarding the army and so forth; and ‘former acts’ means the demerit caused by evil deeds in the past. Or the explanation of the two terms may be reversed (‘former acts’ standing for carelessness, and ‘chance’ for past misdeeds).

Mohāt’ (‘through folly’) is another reading (for ‘daivāt’, ‘by chance’); but what is meant is expressed by the term ‘daiva’,—(166)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Daivāt pūrvakṛtena’—‘In consequence of imprudence during present life,—and in consequence of acts committed during previous existences’ (Medhātithi, Govindarāja and Kullūka);—‘by an enemy made formerly’ (Nārāyaṇa).

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 326).

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