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:

योऽदत्तादायिनो हस्तात्लिप्सेत ब्राह्मणो धनम् ।
याजनाध्यापनेनापि यथा स्तेनस्तथैव सः ॥ ३४० ॥

yo'dattādāyino hastātlipseta brāhmaṇo dhanam |
yājanādhyāpanenāpi yathā stenastathaiva saḥ || 340 ||

If a Brāhmaṇa seeks, even by sacrificing and teaching, to obtain wealth from one who has taken what has not been given to him,—he is just like a thief.—(340)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

This text is in the form of a corollary. the meaning is that the Brāhmaṇa who derives his livelihood from thieves should he punished like a thief.

Even by sacrificing and teaching’;—the term ‘even’ indicates other acts also; so that accepting gifts and friendly presents, etc., also become included.

Of the Kṣatriya and other castes, the means of living are other than these; such as trade and the rest. So that to their case the rule would apply if they received the property of thieves in the course of such transactions.

The Brāhmaṇa has been specially mentioned, with a view to prevent the possibility of his entertaining such ideas as ‘I have acquired this by the lawful me ms of sacrificing for the man.’

Who has taken what was not given to him’—i.e., the thief.

Seeks to obtain’—wishes to acquire.

If even though he may not have actually received the sacrificial fee, yet, he should he punished like a thief, simply on the ground of his having associated and having had dealings with a thief.—(340)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 340), which explains ‘adattādāyin’ as the thief, and adds that ‘api’ includes also gifts and so forth;—and in Mitākṣarā (2.113), which remarks that if ‘proprietary right’ were something purely temporal, then there would be no justification for the penalty being inflicted on the Brāhmaṇa who acquires wealth by teaching and sacrificing for thieves, as laid down in the present text. Bālambhaṭṭī has the following notes:—‘Adattādāyin’ means ‘one who takes (ādadāti) another’s property when it is not given (adattam) by him’;—in ‘yājanādhyāpanena’ (or ‘—nāt’ as read in Mitākṣarā) we have the causative copulative compound;—‘api’ includes gift also.

It is quoted in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī (p. 992);—and in Vivādacintāmaṇi (p. 144).


Comparative notes by various authors

Gautama (12.49-50).—‘A man who knowingly becomes the servant of a thief shall be treated like a thief;—likewise he who knowingly receives goods from a thief or an unrighteous man.’

Kātyāyana (Vivādaratnākara, p. 340).—‘Purchasers of stolen property and accepters of gifts from thieves, as also those who lend them cover, have been declared to be deserving of the same punishment as the thief.’

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