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:

पञ्चरात्रे पञ्चरात्रे पक्षे पक्षेऽथ वा गते ।
कुर्वीत चैषां प्रत्यक्षमर्घसंस्थापनं नृपः ॥ ४०२ ॥

pañcarātre pañcarātre pakṣe pakṣe'tha vā gate |
kurvīta caiṣāṃ pratyakṣamarghasaṃsthāpanaṃ nṛpaḥ || 402 ||

After the lapse of every five days, or after that of every fortnight, the king shall publicly fix the prices of things.—(402)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

In as much as the source and destination and other circumstances concerning commodities are variable, there are several rises and falls in their prices. Hence the fixing of the price should be done publicly after every five days; and it should not be regarded as done once for all; nor should entire reliance be placed upon the traders alone; the king himself should be always wide awake.

In connection with articles that take a long time to be disposed of, the prices should be fixed every fortnight, while in other things it should be done after every five Says.—(402)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Buhler is not right in saying that ‘Medhātithi omits this and the next four verses’—(See Translation).

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 301), where it is remarked that the prices should be settled every fortnight for such commodities as take a long time to dispose of, and every five days for those that are disposed of quickly.

It is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Vyavahāra, p. 315), which adds the following notes:—In the case of country-produces which are disposed of the same day, he should fix the profit at 5 per cent; and in that of foreign products disposed of the same day, 10 per cent; in the case of commodities which take sometime in being disposed of, the amount of profit is to be fixed in accordance with the time likely to be taken in their disposal; and in the case of commodities imported from foreign countries, the cost of the journey both ways, of the customs and other duties paid, should be totalled up and added to the price paid, and upon this the prices should be so fixed that the trader makes a profit of 10 per cent on the total outlay. In short the king shall so fix the prices that the interests of neither the consumer nor the supplier may suffer.

It is quoted in Aparārka (p. 827);—and in Mitākṣarā (2.251), where Bālambhaṭṭī adds the following notes:—For commodities that cannot keep long, every five days, for those that can keep a little longer, every fortnight, and for those that can keep much longer, every month,—the king should have the prices fixed by trustworthy officers in the presence of himself as also of the expert merchants;—what the repetition (‘pañcarātre pañcarātre’) means is that the prices are to be fixed after five days or ‘after a fortnight’, &c., always throughout the king’s life.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.401-402)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.401.

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