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:

नाध्यधीनो न वक्तव्यो न दस्युर्न विकर्मकृत् ।
न वृद्धो न शिशुर्नैको नान्त्यो न विकलेन्द्रियः ॥ ६६ ॥

nādhyadhīno na vaktavyo na dasyurna vikarmakṛt |
na vṛddho na śiśurnaiko nāntyo na vikalendriyaḥ || 66 ||

—Not one wholly dependent, nor one under pupilage, nor a paid servant, nor one who adopts forbidden occupations, nor one too old, nor a minor, nor a single person, nor one belonging to the lowest class, nor one with defective organs;—(66)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

One wholly dependent’:—this term is applied by usage to the horn slave and such other persons who are entirely subservient to other persons.

Others read ‘adhyādhīna,’ which means a prisoner.

One under pupilage’—the son or the pupil (of either party), who is entirely under the sway of the Teacher. Or the term ‘vaktaryaḥ’ may he taken as standing for one whose body has been deformed by leprosy or some such disease.

Dasyu’ here stands for the servant engaged on fixed wages,—so called because he ‘accomplishes work’ (), as explained by the followers of the Nirukta. Since such a servant is engaged on daily wages, he is not absolutely dependent on others; that is why he has been mentioned separately. As persons belonging to this class live upon the wages earned, they would become deprived of their livelihood (if they deposed against their employer); and further, as their living is small, they are liable to corruption, hence untrustworthy also. As for the thief or robber (who also is called ‘dasyu’), as he is mentioned by a separate word (in the next verse), he cannot be taken as spoken of here by means of the term ‘dasyu.’ Or, the term ‘dasyu’ may stand for a hard-hearted person, one of cruel disposition.

Vikarmakṛṭ’ is one who adopts an occupation forbidden by the scriptures; e.g., the Brāhmaṇa adopting the occupation of the Kṣatriya, or the Kṣatriya that of the Vaiśya and so forth.

Too old.’—One who is too old is subject to lapses of memory.

Minor,’—one who is too young and not yet entered business.

A single person’—in as much as ‘at least three’ has already been laid down,—which leaves no possibility of citing a single witness—the prohibition of ‘a single person’ is to be taken as permitting under certain circumstances, the citing of only two witnesses. Otherwise, in a case where, it being laid down that a document must be attested by three persons,—people might be led to think that if the third attestor is not present, the other two persons may write, but they are not admissible as a ‘witness.’

Person belonging to the lowest class’— the barbarian, the Caṇḍāla and so forth. These are percluded here, because they might be regarded as admissible by reason of their having their origin in the Śūdra-caste (who is permitted in verse 60).

One with defective organs’— with his perceptive faculties rendered defective by bodily disease.—(66)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Vaktavyaḥ’—‘Son or pupil or such others as can be ordered about’ (Medhātithi and Rāmacandra);—‘one whose body is disfigured by leprosy or such other diseases’ (Medhātithi, alternative);—‘despised by reason of misconduct’ (Nārāyaṇa, Kullūka, Rāghavānanda and Nandana).

Dasyu,’—‘Servant receiving wages’ (Medhātithi. Govindarāja and Rāghavānanda);—‘cruel man’ (Medhātithi, alternative, Kuljūka and Rāghavānanda); ‘low-caste man’ (Nandana)‘murderer’ (Rāmacandra).

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Vyavahāra, p. 66)—in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Vyavahāra, p. 10a);—in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī (p. 281);—in Smṛticandrikā (Vyavahāra, p. 177);—in Kṛtyakalpataru (30b), which explains ‘adhyadhīnaḥ’ as one who is held in bondage;—and in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra, 49b), which reproduces Medhātithi’s explanations.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.64-67)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.64.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: