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...

Verse 7.184-185

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

कृत्वा विधानं मूले तु यात्रिकं च यथाविधि ।
उपगृह्यास्पदं चैव चारान् सम्यग् विधाय च ॥ १८४ ॥
संशोध्य त्रिविधं मार्गं षड्विधं च बलं स्वकम् ।
साम्परायिककल्पेन यायादरिपुरं प्रति ॥ १८५ ॥

kṛtvā vidhānaṃ mūle tu yātrikaṃ ca yathāvidhi |
upagṛhyāspadaṃ caiva cārān samyag vidhāya ca || 184 ||
saṃśodhya trividhaṃ mārgaṃ ṣaḍvidhaṃ ca balaṃ svakam |
sāmparāyikakalpena yāyādaripuraṃ prati || 185 ||

Having duly made arrangements at the base, as also those pertaining to the expedition, having secured a basis, and having duly deputed his spies,—having cleared the three kinds of roads, and having equipped his own six-fold force,—he shall advance against the enemy’s capital in the manner prescribed for warfare.—(184-185)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

(verses 7.184-185)

At the base’—in his own kingdom and in his own fort—he shall establish a rear-guard by way of ‘arrangementi.e., as a precautionary measure; that is, he shall supply the fort with a large supply of food-grains &c. and with fitted up machines and defences and ditches &c. The kingdom also he shall leave protected by companies of soldiers. Having made the Commander thoroughly contented by means of honours and presents, he shall appoint him in charge of outposts in his rear along the boundaries of his territory; and a fully-equipped army shall be left under him, within his own territories.

Those pertaining to the expedition’—i.e., the preparations for the expedition, consisting in providing weapons of offence and defence for the elephant—corps, the cavalry and other branches of the army.

Duly’—i.e. according to the instructions contained in works dealing with the art of war.

Basis’—f oot-hold; from where the temper of the people other than his enemies might be duly watched;—having ‘secured’—made his own—such a ground.

For the purpose of learning the condition of things in the enemy’s kingdom, having ‘deputed’— appointed—spies; for the purpose of finding out whether the enemy has began to get together his forces, or to rouse his opponent’s circle to rebellion, or to take shelter with a neutral or indifferent king; and he should also seek to ascertain whether the enemy is going to check his very first advance directly, or to cut off his communications, and all other allied matters.—(184)

Three kinds of roads’—i.e., those passing (1) through the open country, (2) through marshy ground, and (3) through forests. Some people read ‘vana’ is place of ‘āṭavika’, and thus make up the ‘three’. Others again describe the ‘three kinds of roads’ as (1) high, (2) low and (3) level.

Having cleared’; — cutting off the trees, thickets and creepers obstructing the path, and levelling the undulations of the ground, preparing fords in rivers and ravines, destroying the wild animals besetting the path, winning over the path-finders to his side, and getting together supplies of food and fodder &c.

Six-fold force’— according to some the six factors are—(l) Elephants, (2) horses, (3) chariots and (4) footsoldiers—these four constituting the ‘army’—and (5) Treasury and (6) Mechanics. Others read ‘fixing of rates’ in place of ‘treasury’. According to others again, the six factors are—(1) the hereditary soldiers of the king, (2) mercenaries, (3) groups, (4) friendly (5) unfriendly and (6) foresters.

In the manner prescribed for warfare’;—‘Sāmparāyikam’ means pertaining tosamparaya’ or tear;—i.e., that which has been laid down for the purpose of war; in that manner,—i.e., in the manner prescribed for advancing against a fort,—he shall advance against the enemy.

The disposition of the army shall be in accordance with the nature of the ground; palisades being set of with dry or living pillars, with several openings, and made of sticks, planks and branches of trees and so forth. Special care has to be taken regarding this daring the time that the army is on the march.—(185)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

(verse 7.184)

Upagṛhyāspadam’—‘Having won over the disaffected servants of the enemy’ (Govindarāja, Kullūka and Rāghavānanda);—‘having established a camp in the enemy’s country’ (Nārāyaṇa).

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 401);—and in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 396), which adds the following notes—‘mūle’, ‘at the base, in his own kingdom’—‘vidhānam’, ‘measures for defending, such as garrisoning and so forth.’

(verse 7.185)

Ṣaḍvidham balam’—‘(1) Elephants, (2) horses, (3) chariots, (4) foot-soldiers, (5) army-treasury, (6) labourers; or (1) the maula (2) bhṛtya, (3) śreṇī, (4) mitra, (5) amitra and (6) āṭavika; (Medhātithi);—the latter enumeration is found in Kāmandaka, 16.6, which is adopted by Nandana.

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 401);—and in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 396), which explains ‘ṣaḍvidham balam’ as consisting of the maula, the bhṛtaka and so forth,’—and ‘Sāmparāyikakalpena’ as ‘in accordance with the rules of war’.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verse 7.185)

Uśanas (Parāśaramādhava, p. 401).—‘Mula-bala (Hereditary army), Śreṇī-bala (groups), Mitra-bala (force of allies), Bhṛtaka-bala (mercenaries), Śatru-bala (unfriendly army), and Āṭavika-bala (army of foresters).’

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: