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:

ग्रामीयककुलानां च समक्षं सीम्नि साक्षिणः ।
प्रष्टव्याः सीमलिङ्गानि तयोश्चैव विवादिनोः ॥ २५४ ॥

grāmīyakakulānāṃ ca samakṣaṃ sīmni sākṣiṇaḥ |
praṣṭavyāḥ sīmaliṅgāni tayoścaiva vivādinoḥ || 254 ||

Witnesses regarding boundaries shall be questioned in regard to the boundary-marks, in the presence of an assembly of villagers and also of the two contending parties.—(254)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Though a village contains innumerable inhabitants, yet, as a rule, only two men—one from each of the two villages—become parties to a boundary-dispute; and it is in the presence of these two men, as also in that of ‘an assembly of villagers,’—i.e., a concourse of the inhabitants of the two villages,—that ‘witnesses regarding boundaries should be questioned.’ At the time that witnesses are being examined, all the villagers should he present as interested in the case; and it is not open to either of the two persons to say—‘the dispute is between us two persons, why should these men remain here?’

Or, the meaning may be, that, when a few very old inhabitants of the neighbouring villages have been called as witnesses, it is necessary that other inhabitants also of those villages should he present; since the latter would have heard of the exact boundaries from the older people, so that, if examined in their presence, the witnesses would not lie.

Boundary-marks.’—When there are marks in support of the contention of both parties, the decision is to be arrived at with the help of the deposition of witnesses. And in cases where there are no marks at all, the witnesses are questioned regarding the boundary itself.—(254)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 205), which adds the following notes:—‘Grameyaka’ are ‘village-residents,’—their ‘kula’ means ‘crowd’,—vivādinaḥ’, ‘of the disputants’, is to be construed with ‘samakṣam’, ‘in the presence of.’

It is quoted in Mitākṣarā (2.151) to the effect that the witnesses and Sāmantas should be put on oath and then questioned regarding the boundary, in the presence of corporations, guilds and so forth. Balambhaṭṭī has the following notes:—‘Grameyakāḥ’ are the residents of the villages,—their ‘kula’ are crowds; or ‘kula’ may be taken as standing for guilds and corporations &c.,—‘Sīmāni,’ ‘in regard to the boundary.’

It is quoted in Aparārka (p. 759);—in Kṛtyakalpataru (p. 111a), which explains ‘grameyaka’ as ‘inhabitant of the village’;—and in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra, 141a).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.253-264)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.253.

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