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:

न स्वामिना निसृष्टोऽपि शूद्रो दास्याद् विमुच्यते ।
निसर्गजं हि तत् तस्य कस्तस्मात् तदपोहति ॥ ४१४ ॥

na svāminā nisṛṣṭo'pi śūdro dāsyād vimucyate |
nisargajaṃ hi tat tasya kastasmāt tadapohati || 414 ||

Even though set free by the master, the Śūdra is not released from service; since that is innate in him, and who can release him from it?—(414)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Even though ‘set free’ by the master to whom he belongs, by the seven modes of slavery,—i.e., even though emancipated by him.

Service is ‘innate in him,’— is in the very nature of his caste.

Who can therefore release the Śūdra from servitude? Just as the Śūdra-caste cannot be removed from him, so also servitude.

This is purely declamatory; since it is going to be declared later on that under special circumstances, the Śūdra does become released from servitude.—(414)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 146), which adds the following:—Even through the favour of the owner of the Śūdra-slave, there is no freedom for the latter from the lowest service or slavery.

It is quoted in Aparārka (p. 786);—and in Kṛtyakalpataru (97a), which explains the meaning as that howsoever favourably inclined he may be towards either the borne Śūdra or to the bought slave, cannot absolve him from servitude.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.410-418)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.410.

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