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 निष्क्रयविसर्गाभ्यां भर्तुर्भार्या विमुच्यते ।
एवं धर्मं विजानीमः प्राक् प्रजापतिनिर्मितम् ॥ ४६ ॥

na niṣkrayavisargābhyāṃ bharturbhāryā vimucyate |
evaṃ dharmaṃ vijānīmaḥ prāk prajāpatinirmitam || 46 ||

Either by sale or by repudiation the wife is not released from her husband; such is the law that we know, as originally propounded by prajapati.—(46)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Some one may have the following notion:—“Other men’s wives may be made one’s own by paying money to the husband, and the difficulty regarding ownership being thus removed, the son horn of her would belong to the begetter.”

This is declared to be not possible. Wives of other men cannot be made one s own even by the paying of a thousand gold-coins.

Nor, when she is abandoned by her husband on account of poverty, can the wife belong to the man who receives her.

The reason for this lies in the fact that verse 3.4, which contains the injunction of marriage, uses the verb ‘udvaheta’ (‘shall take’), in the Ātmanepada form, which clearly indicates that the woman who has been ‘taken’ through the sacramental rites by one man cannot he the ‘wife’ of any other man; just as the ‘āhavanīya’ (sacrificial Fire) cannot he regarded as being so for any other person save the one who has kindled it with the prescribed rites.

Sale’ stands for purchase as well as exchange; and ‘Repudiation’ for abandoning. By neither of them is the wife ‘released’— lose the character of ‘wife.’—(46)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Smṛtitattva (II, p. 149), which explains ‘niṣkraya’ as selling and ‘visarga’ as renouncing, divorcing.

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