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:
धर्म एव हतो हन्ति धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः ।
तस्माद् धर्मो न हन्तव्यो मा नो धर्मो हतोऽवधीत् ॥ १५ ॥
dharma eva hato hanti dharmo rakṣati rakṣitaḥ |
tasmād dharmo na hantavyo mā no dharmo hato'vadhīt || 15 ||
Justice, blighted, blights; and justice, preserved, preserves; hence justice should not be blighted, lest blighted justice blight us.—(15)
Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):
Judgment should not be perverted, through fear; because justice, when violated, ‘blights’— our prosperity, as also the prosperity of the sinful party and his helpers.
Similarly, when ‘preserved,’ justice removes dangers from all sources; so that even though angered, the party (defeated) cannot do any harm.
‘Hence’—i.e., knowing this, that happiness and unhappiness are based upon morality, one should not violate morality (or justice). If we violate justice, justice shall, like an enraged serpent, strike back at us; so lest justice blight us—i.e., with a view to saving ourselves,—we should preserve justice.—(15)
Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha
This verse is quoted in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Saṃskāra, p. 17a);—in Hemādri (Vrata, p. 15);—in Smṛticandrikā (Vyavahāra, p. 48);—and in Kṛtyakalpataru (11b).
Comparative notes by various authors
Mahābhārata (Vana, 314.131).—‘If protected, justice protects; if slain, it slays; therefore I shall never renounce justice; lest justice, being slain, may slay ourselves.’