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:

सन्ध्यां चोपास्य शृणुयादन्तर्वेश्मनि शस्त्रभृत् ।
रहस्याख्यायिनां चैव प्रणिधीनां च चेष्टितम् ॥ २२३ ॥

sandhyāṃ copāsya śṛṇuyādantarveśmani śastrabhṛt |
rahasyākhyāyināṃ caiva praṇidhīnāṃ ca ceṣṭitam || 223 ||

Having attended to his twilight devotions, he shall, well- armed, listen, in an inner room, to the doings of persons making eecret reports, and also of his spies.—(223)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Though the attending to the twilight-devotions has already been enjoined for the three higher castes, yet it is re-iterated here, either with a view to show that for a time the king shall desist from the business of his people, or for the purpose of indicating the time for the next act.

In an inner room’—in secret.

Persons making secret reports’,—i.e. reports pertaining to secret acts, done inside houses &c.; as also such ‘spies’ as may happen to arrive at the time.

Doings’—acts; what they may have seen, heard or clone. For this purpose all these persons shall be seen at this time.

This shall be done in such a manner that other people may not know it, and that he may be enabled to take steps to meet the circumstances reported to him. It has been declared that—‘whenever any business presents itself, it shall be attended to, and not postponed; as by the lapse of time it might become difficult, or even impossible.’—(‘223)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Rahasyākhyāyinām’—‘Of the ministers and others making secret reports’ (Nārāyaṇa);—‘of the citizens who may have come to make secret reports’ (Medhātithi).

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 167);—in Nītimayūkha (p. 53);—and in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Āhnika, p. 36a).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 7.223-224)

Arthaśāstra.—(See under 145.)

Yājñavalkya (1.329).—‘Having performed the Twilight Prayers he shall hear the secret reports of spies; then he shall take his food to the accompaniment of singing and dancing, and then study the Veda.’

Vṛddha-Vashistha (Vīramitrodaya-Rājanīti, p. 168).—‘Then having performed the Twilight Prayers, he shall again enter the Hall of Audience; after that the ladies of his harem shall make the evening-offerings.’

Arthaśāstra (p. 52).—‘He shall appoint spies disguised as Kāpālika, etc.’

Śukranīti (1.677).—‘The king should examine the spy either directly or by some artifice.’

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