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:

लोभात् सहस्रं दण्ड्यस्तु मोहात् पूर्वं तु साहसम् ।
भयाद् द्वौ मध्यमौ दण्डौ मैत्रात् पूर्वं चतुर्गुणम् ॥ १२० ॥

lobhāt sahasraṃ daṇḍyastu mohāt pūrvaṃ tu sāhasam |
bhayād dvau madhyamau daṇḍau maitrāt pūrvaṃ caturguṇam || 120 ||

If through greed, he should be fined a thousand; if through embarrassment, the lowest amercement; if through fear, two middlling ones; if through friendship, four times the first.—(120)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

When the man deposes falsely after receiving a bribe from another person, his motive is greed.

Through embarrassment.’—Though the man may be quite truthful, habituated to speak in strict accordance with what he has actually seen, yet on account of some distraction of the mind, at the time of his examination, he may be so confused as to be unable either to comprehend the question or to recall the exact facts of the case, and thereby he may make statements that are not true; in this case the reason is ‘embarrassment.’

Fright’ is fear, in the form of the suspicion—‘if this man was to lose the case through my telling the truth, he would ruin me by injuring my relations, or by making me suffer financially.’

One thousand;’—what is that to which this number appertains is to be learnt from other passages: they are ‘paṇas.’

Lowest amercement’—i.e. 250 paṇas, as described under 138 below.

Two middling ones’—i.e., amercements; the number being changed into the dual.

Four times the first,’—i.e. 1,000 paṇas.

It is through metrical considerations that the same idea is expressed in various ways.—(120)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Vyavahāra, p. 82);—and in Mitākṣarā (on 2.811), which adds the following notes—‘Lobha’ is greed for wealth,—‘moha’, wrong information,—‘bhaya’, fear,—‘maitrī’, too much affection,—‘kāma’, longing for intercourse with women,—‘krodha’, anger. It adds that the 1,000 and other numbers refer to so many copper paṇas.

It is quoted in Aparārka (p. 680), which adds the following notes:—The numbers here mentioned refer to kārṣāpaṇas. Some people might think that there are two kinds of perjury—one through greed and the rest, for which the penalty shall he as prescribed by Manu, and another due to other causes, for which the penalty would be that prescribed by Yājñavalkya (2.81). But this would not he the right view, because as already shown by Manu (in 118), people commit perjury only through greed and other causes enumerated therein.

It is quoted in Vivādacintāmaṇi (p. 191), which says:—If the witness lie, through avarice, he should he fined 1,000 paṇas,—if through delusion, 250 paṇas,—if through fear 1,000 paṇas,—if through friendliness 1,000 paṇas;—and in Kṛtyakalpataru (37a), which says that ‘thousand’ paṇas are meant,—‘mohāt’ means ‘through absent-mindedness’—that ‘pūrva sāhasa’ stands for 250 paṇas,—‘dvau madhyamau’ means ‘dvau madhyamau sāhasau’, which means 1,000 paṇas,—‘pūrvam’ means ‘first amercement’, four times of which means 1,000 paṇas.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.118-123)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.118.

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