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:

यत्रानिबद्धोऽपीक्षेत शृणुयाद् वाऽपि किं चन ।
पृष्टस्तत्रापि तद् ब्रूयाद् यथादृष्टं यथाश्रुतम् ॥ ७६ ॥

yatrānibaddho'pīkṣeta śṛṇuyād vā'pi kiṃ cana |
pṛṣṭastatrāpi tad brūyād yathādṛṣṭaṃ yathāśrutam || 76 ||

Even though not put down as a witness, if a person happens to see or hear anything in regard to a case,—when he comes to be questioned about it, he should speak out exactly as he has seen or heard it.—(76)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

“Under verso 74 it has been already declared that even though a man may not have been originally appointed as a witness, his evidence, as bearing upon what is directly known to him, is admissible; what then is the use of saying again that ‘even though not put down, etc., etc.’? What additional information is provided by this verse?

People might be led to think that—‘when a man has been put down as a witness on the original document, his evidence is admissible as a matter of course,—but not so that of one who has not been so put down,—for if both were admissible, then there would be no point in entering any witnesses upon the document.’ It is with a view to set aside this idea that the author has added the present verse. The former verse refers to cases where no witnesses have been put down, while this refers to a case where the document is duly attested by witnesses.

Not put down’—not entered in the document.

Seeing’ and ‘hearing’ have been already explained.

The rest is clear.—(76)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Anibaddhaḥ’—‘Not entered as a witness in the document’ (Medhātithi),‘—but accidentally present at the transaction’ (Kullūka, Nārāyaṇa and Nandana).

This verse is quoted in Vyavahāratattva (p. 26);—in Kṛtyakalpataru (28a);—and in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra, 46a), which explains ‘anibaddhaḥ’ as ‘not cited or entered.’


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (8.12).—‘An appointed witness having died or gone abroad, those who have heard the tacts from him may give evidence.’

Śukranīti (4.5.392).—‘A person present in court must depose truly as to what he has seen or heard, when asked, even though he may not have been cited as a witness.’

Nārada (1.161).—‘He who, without having been appointed to ho a witness, comes of his own accord to make a deposition, is termed a spy in the law-books; he is unworthy to bear testimony.’

Do. (1.166).—‘If a witness dies or goes abroad after having been appointed, those who may have heard his statement may give evidence; for indirect proof makes evidence.’

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