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:

लोभान्मोहाद् भयात्मैत्रात् कामात् क्रोधात् तथैव च ।
अज्ञानाद् बालभावात्च साक्ष्यं वितथमुच्यते ॥ ११८ ॥

lobhānmohād bhayātmaitrāt kāmāt krodhāt tathaiva ca |
ajñānād bālabhāvātca sākṣyaṃ vitathamucyate || 118 ||

Evidence is called ‘false,’ when it is due to greed, or embarrassment, or fright, or friendship, or lust, or anger, or ignorance, ok childishness.—(118)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

False evidence is due to greed and the rest. These have been enumerated for the purpose of determining the exact penalty.


The Ablative throughout denotes cause.—(118)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 680), which adds the following notes:—False evidence is given only through these causes;—‘lobha’ is greed for wealth,—‘moha’ is mistake,—‘ajñāna’, imperfect knowledge,—‘bālabhāva’ extreme youth;—in Kṛtyakalpataru (37a);—and in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra, 50b).

It is quoted also in Parāśaramādhava (Vyavahāra, p. 80).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.118-123)

Śukranīti (4.5.337).—‘The man who hears false evidence, and the man who suppresses evidence are to receive double punishment.’

Nārada (1.193-97).—‘One who, weighed down by the consciousness of his guilt, looks as if he were ill, or shifts his position constantly, runs after everybody:—who walks involuntary and without reason, and draws deep sighs; who scratches the ground with his feet and who shakes his arms and clothes;—whose countenance changes colour, whose forehead sweats, whose lips become dry and who looks about and above himself;—who makes long and irrelevant speeches as if he were in a hurry, and without being asked;—such a person may be recognised as a false witness, and the King should punish that sinful man.’

Viṣṇu (8.18).—‘A false witness may be known by his altered looks, by his countenance changing colour, and by his talk wandering from the subject.’

Do. (Aparārka, p. 680).—‘Of false witnesses, the whole property should be confiscated.’

Yājñavalkya (2.81).—‘Forgers and false witnesses should be separately punished with line which is double the value of the suit; but the Brāhmaṇa should be banished. The witness who having made a statement before others, conceals it from the court, through folly,—should be made to pay a fine eight times the value of the suit; but the Brāhmaṇa should he banished.’

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