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:

पिताऽचार्यः सुहृत्माता भार्या पुत्रः पुरोहितः ।
नादण्ड्यो नाम राज्ञोऽस्ति यः स्वधर्मे न तिष्ठति ॥ ३३५ ॥

pitā'cāryaḥ suhṛtmātā bhāryā putraḥ purohitaḥ |
nādaṇḍyo nāma rājño'sti yaḥ svadharme na tiṣṭhati || 335 ||

Neither the father or the preceptor or the friend or the mother or the wife or the son or the priest is unpunishable for the King, when they do not keep within their duty.—(335)

 

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

“It has been asserted that ‘the wife and the sou form one’s own body’; what would be the punishment inflicted upon one’s self?”

It would consist of expiatory rites, austerities and charities. Whoever does not perform his duty, or deviates from his duty, should be punished.—(335)

 

Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is qüoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 391);—in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 291), which adds that the father and mother must be exceptions to this rule, as is clear from the following Smṛti-text quoted by Vijñāneśvara:—‘The following are unpunishable—Father, Mother, Accomplished Student, Priest, Wandering Mendicant, Anchorite, &c.’ Similarly the ‘very learned man’ should not be punished.

It is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 628).

 

Comparative notes by various authors

Mahābhārata (12.121.60).

Yājñavalkya (1.357).—‘Even a brother, a son, revered person, father-in-law or maternal uncle,—none of these is unpunishable for the King, if he has deviated from his path of duty.’

Dakṣa (Aparārka, p. 590).—‘If a man after having become a wandering mendicant does not remain firm in his duty, he shall be banished after having been branded with the sign of the dog’s foot.’

Nārada (7.17).—‘Should a man, after entering the order of religious ascetics, violate the duties of his order, the King shall cause him to be branded with a dog’s foot and banish him immediately from his realm.’

Bṛhaspati (27.7).—‘The King should punish elders, domestic priests, and persons commanding respect, with gentle admonition only.’

Smṛtyantara (Aparārka, p. 590).—‘The mother and the father arc unpunishable; as also the Accomplished Student, the Domestic Priest, the Renunciate, the Ascetic, and people endowed with learning, character, purity and good conduct.’

Gautama (Vīramitrodaya-Rājanīti, p. 291).—‘He who is very highly learned should not suffer corporal punishment, or imprisonment, or fine or banishment or blame.’

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