Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN-10: 8120811550 | ISBN-13: 9788120811553

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:

एकजातिर्द्विजातींस्तु वाचा दारुणया क्षिपन् ।
जिह्वायाः प्राप्नुयाच्छेदं जघन्यप्रभवो हि सः ॥ २७० ॥

ekajātirdvijātīṃstu vācā dāruṇayā kṣipan |
jihvāyāḥ prāpnuyācchedaṃ jaghanyaprabhavo hi saḥ || 270 ||

If a once-born person insults a twice-born one with gross abuse, he should suffer the cutting off of his tongue; as he is of low origin.—(270)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Once-born person’—the Śūdra; if he ‘insults’—abuses—the higher castes—‘with gross abuse’—harsh words attributing heinous offences,—suffers ‘the cutting off of the tongue.’

He is of low origin’—being born out of the feet of Brahmā. This is the reason given for the special penalty; and it serves also to indicate the same punishment for persons of the reverse cross-breed also; since these latter also are ‘of low origin’; specially in view of the declaration that ‘there is no fifth caste.’—(270)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 809);—and in Vivādaratnākara (p. 153), which adds the following notes:—‘Ekajāti’, ‘once-born’, is the Śūdra, since he has no upanayana (which is the second birth),—‘dāruṇayā’, heartrending, insinuating a heinous crime and so, forth,—‘jaghanyaprabhavaḥ’, the Śruti having described the Śūdra as born from the feet. This implies that in the case of the mixed castes insulting the twice-born also, the same penalty is meant, since these also are ‘low-born.’

Bālambhaṭṭī (on 1.107) remarks that, inasmuch as in verse 177 the cutting of the tongue is excluded in the case of the Śūdra insulting the Vaiśya, what is said in the present verse must be restricted to the Śūdra insulting either a Brāhmaṇa or a Kṣatriya.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.267-270)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.267.

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