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:

क्षत्रियं चैव वैश्यं च ब्राह्मणो वृत्तिकर्शितौ ।
बिभृयादानृशंस्येन स्वानि कर्माणि कारयेत् ॥ ४११ ॥

kṣatriyaṃ caiva vaiśyaṃ ca brāhmaṇo vṛttikarśitau |
bibhṛyādānṛśaṃsyena svāni karmāṇi kārayet || 411 ||

A Brāhmaṇa shall, through compassion, support a Vaiśya and a Kṣatriya, who are distressed for a livelihood, and should make them do his own work.—(411)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The Brāhmaṇa shall support them, if they are ‘distressed for a livelihood,’ by giving them food and other things; i.e., he shall support the Kṣatriya and the Vaiśya.

Through compassion’—through pity.

Should make them do his own work.’—The Brāhmaṇa’s ‘own work’ consists in the fetching of fuel, water and such things.

Or, the meaning may be that he should make them perform such duties as are the Kṣatriya’s and the Vaiśya’s own. That is, the Kṣatriya should be employed in guarding the village and so forth, and the Vaiśya in cultivating the land, tending the cattle and so on.

This law relates to the Brāhmaṇa who is possessed of much wealth and property and is, as such, capable of supporting others.

Own work;’—the phrase implies that he should not employ them in personal attendance, or in any such meat, work as the washing of unclean things and the like.—(411)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 253), which explains ‘svāni karmāṇi’ as ‘duties prescribed for their respective castes’;—in Aparārka (p. 789);—and in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra, 126a), which says that the meaning is that ‘if a Kṣatriya or a Vaiśya has become a slave through want of living, his master should treat him well and take light work from him.’


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.410-418)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.410.

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