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:

अनादेयं नाददीत परिक्षीणोऽपि पार्थिवः ।
न चादेयं समृद्धोऽपि सूक्ष्ममप्यर्थमुत्सृजेत् ॥ १७० ॥

anādeyaṃ nādadīta parikṣīṇo'pi pārthivaḥ |
na cādeyaṃ samṛddho'pi sūkṣmamapyarthamutsṛjet || 170 ||

Even though reduced (in circumstances), the King shall not take what ought not to be taken; and even though affluent, he shall not relinquish what ought to be taken, be it ever so small.—(170)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Excepting his legal dues, in the shape of taxes, tines and duties, all that belongs to the citizens is ‘what ought not to be taken’ by the king, even though his treasury may have become depleted. But what is legally his due,—by reason of his arranging for the security of their life and property-even a pice of that he shall not relinquish. Since it has been laid down that—‘the King shall increase his treasury in the manner of the ant-hill.’—(170)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 275).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.170-171)

Vaśiṣṭha (19.14-15).—‘Let the King not take property for his own use from the inhabitants of the realm. Only the measures and price of such property shall he liable to deduction by way of taxation.’

Yājñavalkya (1.338-339).—‘If the King increases his treasury out of his realm, in an illegal manner, he, very soon, loses his property and becomes ruined, along with his relations. The fire arising out; of the harassment of his people becomes extinguished only after it has consumed the king’s family, prosperity and his very life.’

Kātyāyana (Do.).—‘If the King realises from his realm, in an unlawful manner, either lines or taxes, or tolls or share of agricultural produce, he incurs sin. The King who rules in the right maimer, without covetousness, obtains sons and his treasury and kingdom prosper.’

Mahāhhārata (Do.).—‘If the King’s treasure is obtained righteously, he rules the entire earth, even though his strength may not be great.’

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