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:

पलं सुवर्णाश्चत्वारः पलानि धरणं दश ।
द्वे कृष्णले समधृते विज्ञेयो रौप्यमाषकः ॥ १३५ ॥

palaṃ suvarṇāścatvāraḥ palāni dharaṇaṃ daśa |
dve kṛṣṇale samadhṛte vijñeyo raupyamāṣakaḥ || 135 ||

Four ‘gold-pieces’ make one ‘pala,’ ten palas one ‘dharaṇa’; and two ‘guñja-berries’ of equal weight should be known as one ‘silver-bean.’—(135)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Pala’ is the name, and ‘gold-piece’ the thing named, ‘four’ is its qualifying adjunct.

Two kṛṣṇalas’ is the thing named, and the compound term ‘Silver-Bean’ the name.

“What the text declares is that when we come to ascertain the exact measure of the ‘Bean’ in connection with silver, we have to understand it us being equal to ‘two guñja-berries.’ Now this makes the measure indefinite.”

It is in view of this that the text has added the epithet ‘of equal weight’; i.e., the two are to be held on each pan of the weighing-scale, without any other kinds of measure. The sense of this epithet has to be explained on the same lines as that of the epithet ‘middling’ (in verse 134); and its use lies in the fact that if unequal beans were meant, the weight would remain indefinite.—(135)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Vyavahāra, p. 115);—in Vivādaratnākara (p. 666), which adds that the construction is ‘daśapalāni dharaṇam’;—in Hemādri (Vrata, p. 58);—and in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Dāna, 4a).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.131-137)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.131.

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