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:

कन्यां भजन्तीमुत्कृष्टं न किं चिदपि दापयेत् ।
जघन्यं सेवमानां तु संयतां वासयेद् गृहे ॥ ३६५ ॥

kanyāṃ bhajantīmutkṛṣṭaṃ na kiṃ cidapi dāpayet |
jaghanyaṃ sevamānāṃ tu saṃyatāṃ vāsayed gṛhe || 365 ||

If a maiden approaches a superior person, she shall not be made to pay anything; if however she courts an inferior person, she shall be kept confined in the house.—(365)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

If a maiden ‘approaches’—has sexual intercourse with—‘a superior person’—one whose caste, wealth, character, learning is superior to that of her father’s family,—she shall not be fined anything.

In as much as the girl is never her own mistress, the punishment would fall upon her guardians, father and others; and it is the punishment that is precluded here.

Inferior—in caste or other things.

Courts,’—tries to have intercourse with.

Confined,’—not being allowed to take part in any amusements, and guarded by attendants.

She shall be made to live in her father’s house, till she gets rid of her love-longings. If however she continues to have her love centred in the inferior persons, then she should be kept confined till her last breath.—(365).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Samyatām’—‘Kept away from amusements and guarded by chamberlains’ [not ‘relatives’ as stated by Buhler] (Medhātithi);—‘bound’ (Nārāyaṇa). Kullūka is misrepresented by Buhler: he says nothing about ‘fettering’; he only says that she is to be kept in the house ‘with care’.

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 404), which explains ‘Sāvamānām’ as ‘winning him over to herself for the purposes of sexual intercourse’,—and ‘samyatām’ as ‘imprisoned.’


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.364-368)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.364.

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