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:

विस्रब्धं ब्राह्मणः शूद्राद् द्रव्योपादानमाचरेत् ।
न हि तस्यास्ति किं चित् स्वं भर्तृहार्यधनो हि सः ॥ ४१७ ॥

visrabdhaṃ brāhmaṇaḥ śūdrād dravyopādānamācaret |
na hi tasyāsti kiṃ cit svaṃ bhartṛhāryadhano hi saḥ || 417 ||

The Brāhmaṇa may confidently have recourse to seizing the goods of the Śūdra; as the latter has no property, and his property is meant to be seized by the master.—(417)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

In this connection some people assert that what is stated hero is in reference to the Śūdra who has volunteered, through religious motives, to be a slave.

This however is not right; as there is nothing to show that it refers to any particular case. Hence what is meant is that the Brāhmaṇa may take the wealth of the Śūdra who is the slave of all.

Confidently’—without hesitation. He should never have any such doubt as to how he can seize the Śūdra’s goods, such seizing being forbidden. Since there is no property that really belongs to the Śūdra. Specially because in such cases the master is not deprived of his possession; since the Śūdra acquires property only for the purpose that his master may make use of it. Hence the Brāhmaṇa should seize the goods ‘confidently.’ Even where it is presented by the Śūdra, he should use it as if it had been in his own house.

It is only when there is actual need that this can be right. Hence it is only when the Brāhmaṇa has no property of his own that he incurs no sin by seizing the goods of his Śūdra-slave.—(417)


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 8.410-418)

See Comparative notes for Verse 8.410.

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