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:

न जातु ब्राह्मणं हन्यात् सर्वपापेष्वपि स्थितम् ।
राष्ट्रादेनं बहिः कुर्यात् समग्रधनमक्षतम् ॥ ३८० ॥

na jātu brāhmaṇaṃ hanyāt sarvapāpeṣvapi sthitam |
rāṣṭrādenaṃ bahiḥ kuryāt samagradhanamakṣatam || 380 ||

Verily he shall not kill the Brāhmaṇa, even though he be steeped in all crimes; he should banish him from the kingdom, with all his property and unhurt.—(380).


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

In all crimes.’—What is said here should not, on the strength of context, be taken as applying to ‘adultery’ only; it pertains to other crimes also.

Even’—This term means that even though the Brāhmaṇa may have committed all the crimes simultaneously, he should never be made to suffer the death-penalty.

“What then should be done to the criminal?”

The king shall ‘banish him’—send him away—‘from the kingdom’—out of his realm;—‘with all his property’—along with all his belongings;—‘unhurt’—in body.

“If the property even is not to be confiscated, what would be the punishment to the Brāhmaṇa?”

Some people say that when the text distinctly says that the man is to be banished ‘with his property,’ it is clear that it forbids the imposition of fine. Others however explain the words ‘banished with his property’ to mean that he shall be banished after all his property has been confiscated.—(380)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 681), to the effect that even though actual death has been prohibited as a penalty for the Brāhmaṇa, yet there are other penalties which are equal to, and substitutes for, that penalty;—again on p. 842, where it notes that the banishment here laid down is meant for cases other than the ‘mortal offences.’

It is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 682);—in Mitākṣarā (2.81), which remarks that corporeal punishment is never to be inflicted on the Brāhmaṇa; this is the general law laid down here; and again on 3.267;—in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī (p. 115);—and in Prāyaścittaviveka. (p. 183), to the effect that for the Brāhmaṇa there is no death-penalty.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.379-381)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.379.

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