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:

बलस्य स्वामिनश्चैव स्थितिः कार्यार्थसिद्धये ।
द्विविधं कीर्त्यते द्वैधं षाड्गुण्यगुणवेदिभिः ॥ १६७ ॥

balasya svāminaścaiva sthitiḥ kāryārthasiddhaye |
dvividhaṃ kīrtyate dvaidhaṃ ṣāḍguṇyaguṇavedibhiḥ || 167 ||

When, for the accomplishment of some purpose, the Master takes up one position and the Force another,—this is what is described as ‘Bifurcation’ by those conversant with the details of the six measures of policy.—(167)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

When different positions are taken up by the Master and his Army,—the Master, with a small force, remains in the fort, while the Commander, with a larger force proceeds elsewhere. Or, some sort of ‘bifurcation’ is resorted to by way of favouring the different divisions, in the way of allowing all the divisions opportunities for securing booties of gold and other things.

Objection.—“The measure here described is Bifurcation; and of this there cun be only one form—different positions being taken up by the Master and his Forces. There is no reason why any other kind of division should be mentioned; the only bifurcation that need be mentioned is that consisting in different positions being taken up by the Master and his Forces.”

The answer to this is that it is by implication that we get at the other two kinds of ‘bifurcation’—(1) one being that which is done for one’s own sake and (2) that done for the sake of others.—(167)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

“The text really mentions only one method of ‘Division.’ Hence Medhātithi thinks that, in order to obtain the two kinds required, it must be understood that the measure may be resorted to either for one’s sake or for the sake of somebody else.—Nārāyaṇa makes the two methods out by supposing that in the one case the army stops in front of the enemy under the command of a general, while the king marches with a portion of his forces, and that in the other case the contrary takes place.—Govindarāja quotes Kāmandaki, 11.24, where a different meaning, ‘duplicity’ is attributed to the term ‘dvaidhībhāva.”—Buhler.

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 326) which explains ‘sthitiḥ’ as ‘dvidhābhūya sthitiḥ’ ‘taking up a position with forces divided,’ and adopts the explanation attributed (in the above note) to Nārāyaṇa;—and in Rājanītiratnākara (p. 24b).


Comparative notes by various authors

Kāmandaka (11.27).—‘Dvaidhībhāva is of two kinds: (1) Svatantra, when the man himself has recourse to duplicity and (2) Paratantra, in which a person receives remuneration from contending parties.’

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