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:

पञ्चाशद् ब्राह्मणो दण्ड्यः क्षत्रियस्याभिशंसने ।
वैश्ये स्यादर्धपञ्चाशत्शूद्रे द्वादशको दमः ॥ २६८ ॥

pañcāśad brāhmaṇo daṇḍyaḥ kṣatriyasyābhiśaṃsane |
vaiśye syādardhapañcāśatśūdre dvādaśako damaḥ || 268 ||

For abusing a Kṣatriya, the Brāhmaṇa should be fined fifty; and in the case of a Vaiśya, the fine shall be twenty-five; and in that of a Shudra, twelve.—(268)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Abusing’ here stands for all sorts of defamation, except the attributing of grievous offences, for which latter other penalties are laid down. The locative ending indicates occasion.

The locative in ‘vaiśye’ denotes the object.

The punishment for the cases where the Brāhmaṇa is the abuser or the abused has been laid down; for finding out that for the cases of abuse among the Kṣatriya and other castes themselves, we have to look into other Smṛtis. Says Gautama for instance—‘Whenever there is abusing between the Brāhmaṇa and the Kṣatriya, or between the Kṣatriya and the Vaiśya, where the Kṣatriya abuses a Vaiśya he shall be fined fifty; and where the Vaiśya abuses a Kṣatrya, the fine shall be one hundred; similarly for abusing a Śūdra the Kṣatriya shall be fined twenty-five, and the Vaiśya fifty.’

In the case of the Śūdra abusing a Śūdra, the punishment shall depend upon their qualifications, as is going to be detailed below (under 287 et seq.).—(268)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (2. 207), to the effect that the Brāhmaṇa is to be fined 50 for insulting a Kṣatriya, 25 for insulting a Vaiśya and 12½ for insulting a Śūdra;—in Aparārka (p. 808), to the same effect, adding that so many paṇas are meant;—and in Vivādaratnākara (p. 151), which adds that ‘abhiśaṃsana’ means ‘defaming,’ ‘insulting.’


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.267-270)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.267.

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