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:

सामन्ताश्चेत्मृषा ब्रूयुः सेतौ विवादतां नृणाम् ।
सर्वे पृथक् पृथग् दण्ड्या राज्ञा मध्यमसाहसम् ॥ २६३ ॥

sāmantāścetmṛṣā brūyuḥ setau vivādatāṃ nṛṇām |
sarve pṛthak pṛthag daṇḍyā rājñā madhyamasāhasam || 263 ||

In the case of men disputing about boundary-marks, if the neighbours depose falsely, all of them should be severally punished by the king with the ‘middle amercement.’—(268)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The punishment of the neighbours is to be severer than that laid down above (in 257).

Severally.’—This is a mere reiteration, the law on this point having been already declared before.

The holders of neighbouring fields are sure to know the right boundary; hence if they happen to give false evidence, their punishment should be heavy. As for ordinary neighbours (living in the neighbourhood), it is not necessary that they should be cognisant of the exact boundaries of fields, etc.; hence in their case the fine is to be ‘two hundred,’ as laid down before (257). Hence in the case of the boundaries between two villages, such persons as may have been seeing it, as also the neighbours, are to be fined ‘two hundred’ (if they give false evidence).

On the strength of the use of the term ‘neighbours’ in the present context, some people have held that the penalty should be the same, both in the case of boundaries between villages and that of boundaries between fields. But this view is contrary to all reason, and hence should he ignored.—(263)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 211), which adds the following notes:—‘Setu,’ boundary ,—‘ pṛthak pṛthak,’ each severally, each one individually being the ‘witness;’—in Vivādacintāmaṇi (p. 95);—and in Kṛtyakalpataru (112a)


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.253-264)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.253.

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