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:

दीर्घाध्वनि यथादेशं यथाकालं तरो भवेत् ।
नदीतीरेषु तद् विद्यात् समुद्रे नास्ति लक्षणम् ॥ ४०६ ॥

dīrghādhvani yathādeśaṃ yathākālaṃ taro bhavet |
nadītīreṣu tad vidyāt samudre nāsti lakṣaṇam || 406 ||

For a long passage, the boat-fare should be in propor tion to the time and place; this should be understood to be the rule regarding the banks of rivers; in connection with the sea, there is no fixed rule.—(406)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The toll mentioned in the foregoing verses is to be paid for the crossing of rivers; what is now declared relates to the passage by boat from one village to another.

For a long passage’—i.e., in a journey that is measured by miles.

In proportion to the place’—i.e., according to the freight-rates that may have been fixed by the boatmen of the place concerned.

In proportion to the time,’—the fare payable during the rains, or where there is plenty of water, shall he different from that payable in a river where there is very little water; in the latter case there is much time taken in going from one village to another, and it involves more labour on the part of the boatmen,—hence the fare in this case would he heavier.

The term ‘tara,’ which literally means crossing, which is the effect of the fare that is paid, has been used here for this latter. The sense is that the amount of fare payable goes on increasing in proportion to the distance traversed.

This should be understood to be the rule regarding the banks of rivers.’

In regard to the sea, there is no settled rule’—regarding fares. Since it cannot be ascertained how many miles the boat has been carried, according to which the distance and the fare could be computed. In the case of rivers and lakes, it can be ascertained whether the distance traversed is one Yojana (8 miles) or two; because the villages serve as the measuring points; so that the fare paid for a journey of two would ho double of that paid for that of one Yojana. In the sea, on the other hand, the boat can be taken with great difficulty, and distances also cannot he measured; it is for this reason that it has been declared that ‘as regards the sea there is no settled rule.’—(406)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 270), which explains the meaning to be that for voyages by river, the freight, etc. payable is to be determined by considerations of place and time; and in the case of voyages by sea, there is no such hard and fast rule, the freight payable being what is agreed upon in each case.

It is quoted in V yavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī (p. 263), which has the following notes:—What has been said in the preceding verse applies to river-crossings; in the case of long voyages by river the fares are to be determined by such considerations as whether the river is sluggish or swift, whether the season is summer or the rains; for voyages by sea, no rates can be fixed.

Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.404-406)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.404.

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