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:

प्रतिवेश्यानुवेश्यौ च कल्याणे विंशतिद्विजे ।
अर्हावभोजयन् विप्रो दण्डमर्हति माषकम् ॥ ३९२ ॥

prativeśyānuveśyau ca kalyāṇe viṃśatidvije |
arhāvabhojayan vipro daṇḍamarhati māṣakam || 392 ||

If, at a festival where twenty twice-born men are invited, a Brāhmaṇa does not entertain his frontal and back neighbours, who are quite worthy,—he deserves to be fined one ‘māṣa.’—(392)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Veśa’ is that where people live, a dwelling-house; the house that is in the front of one’s house is ‘prativeśa’; and he who lives in that is the ‘prativeśya,’ ‘frontal neighbour’ If we read ‘prātiveśya,’ we would add the reflexive affix ‘aṇ.’ Similarly ‘anuveśya ‘is one dwelling at the back of one’s house.’

Persons occupying houses on the two sides also are called ‘neighbours’; hence the two terras ‘prativeśya’ and ‘anuveśya’ may be taken as standing for persons occupying houses next, and on both sides, to one’s own house.

If the man does not entertain these two, after having invited them to the ‘festival’ in his house, in the shape of marriage and the like,—‘at which twenty other twice-born persons are invited,’—then he should be made to pay a fine of one ‘māṣa.’ That this ‘māṣa’ is to be of gold is indicated by its being distinctly specified in another place.

Worthy’;—if the frontal and back neighbours are both worthy,—i.e., neither inimical, nor absolutely unqualified.—(392)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Prativeśya-anuveśya’—‘Neighbour living in front—neighbour living at the back’ (Medhātithi);—‘the next neighbour and the neighbour next to him’ (Kullūka, Nārāyaṇa and Rāghvānanda).

Māṣakam’—‘Of gold’ (Medhātithi);—‘of silver’ (Kullūka).

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 358), which adds the following notes:—‘Kalyāṇe viṃśatidvije,’ ‘at which twenty Brāhmaṇas are entertained’;—at such a festival if one does not feed his front neighbour and back neighbour,—both of whom are perfectly fit persons for being entertained,—he should be fined one ‘Māṣa’ which should be understood to be of silver, in view of the fact that Manu in the next verse prescribes the goldenmāṣa’ as the fine for the offence of not feeding the neighbours at a rich entertainment.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.392-393)

Viṣṇu (5.94-96).—‘A fine of 25 Kārṣāpaṇas should he inflicted for neglecting to invite at a śrāddha, a Brāhmaṇa neighbour; also for not offering him food after inviting him. He who, after having accepted an invitation, does not eat, shall pay a fine of a gold Māṣaka to the King, and double the quantity of food to the inviter.’

Yājñavalkya (2.263).—‘If a Brāhmaṇa omits to invite his neighbours, he shall be fined 15 Paṇas.’

Matsyapurāṇa (Aparārka, p. 835).—‘If a twice-born who is in the habit of accepting gifts, fails to attend an invitation, he should be made to pay a fine of 108.’

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