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:

सामन्तानामभावे तु मौलानां सीम्नि साक्षिणाम् ।
इमानप्यनुयुञ्जीत पुरुषान् वनगोचरान् ॥ २५९ ॥

sāmantānāmabhāve tu maulānāṃ sīmni sākṣiṇām |
imānapyanuyuñjīta puruṣān vanagocarān || 259 ||

In the absence of such original inhabitants of neighbouring villages as could be witnesses in regard to the boundary, the king may examine these (following) frequenters of forests also.—(259)

 

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Original inhabitants’—The epithet has been added with a view to indicate their importance. Those persons who were living in the village at the time of its foundation, and who are co-eval with it, are called ‘original’; such inhabitants of the neighbouring villages remain on the spot constantly. There would be ‘absence’ of these, on account of their having become dispersed, for some reason or the other.

What is the remedy, if these are not available?

In that case the king shall question ‘these’—the persons going to be mentioned in the next verse.

Or, ‘maulāḥ’ may be taken to mean ‘experienced.’—‘Sāmantāḥ’ as explained above. And the meaning may he—‘In the absence of experienced people, ordinary neighbours may he regarded as reliable authority, and in the absence of these latter, the frequenters of forests should he carefully examined.’—(259)

 

Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 209), which explains ‘maulāḥ’ as ‘persons who have lived in the village ever since it came into existence,’—and ‘anuyuñjīta’ as ‘should question’;—in Parāśaramādhava (Vyvahāra, p. 272);—in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī (p. 790);—in Kṛtyakalpataru (111b);—and in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra, 140b), which says that the foresters and others are to be asked only when there are no such persons available as are cultivators of lands lying near the disputed boundary.

 

Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.253-264)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.253.

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