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:

बलाद् दत्तं बलाद् भुक्तं बलाद् यच्चापि लेखितम् ।
सर्वान् बलकृतानर्थानकृतान् मनुरब्रवीत् ॥ १६८ ॥

balād dattaṃ balād bhuktaṃ balād yaccāpi lekhitam |
sarvān balakṛtānarthānakṛtān manurabravīt || 168 ||

What is given by force, what is ennjoyed by force, what has been caused to be written by force,—all thansactions effected by force Manu has declared to be void.—(168)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Just as what is done by minors and by persons who are not their own masters, or who are not in their senses, and what is done fraudulently, is not valid, so also is everything that is done by force. The sense of the present injunction thus is that ‘all transactions effected by force should be rescinded’; and ‘what is given,’ ‘what is enjoyed’ and ‘what is caused to be written’ have been mentioned only as examples.

What is given by force,’—e.g., when useless fields and farms are given for purposes of cultivation: or when money is forcibly advanced on interest.:—all this being forced upon people who are not desirous of being burdened with such sifts, while they are at their own house (and have not gone to seek for them); and it is done on the strength of an ordinary bond (without witness, etc.).

All’—i.e., the transactions similar to those mentioned.

Though this matter has been already dealt with under verse CLXV where all ‘fraudulent sales and mortgages, etc.’

are declared to be invalid, yet the two verses have been added for the purpose of including ‘fraud’ and ‘force’ also among the invalidating causes. Peculiar is the style adopted by Manu. All that is meant is that ‘transactions effected by persons who are drunk or insane or distressed, or minor or senile, and also those done by fraud or force, are not valid;—they are never valid or binding.’—(168)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Smṛtitattva (II, p. 231);—in Kṛtyakalpataru (65b);—and in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra, 39b and 60a).


Comparative notes by various authors

[See the texts under 165.]

Viṣṇu (7.6).—‘A document, if it has been caused to be written by force, makes no evidence.’

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