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:

नोद्वाहिकेषु मन्त्रेषु नियोगः कीर्त्यते क्व चित् ।
न विवाहविधावुक्तं विधवावेदनं पुनः ॥ ६५ ॥

nodvāhikeṣu mantreṣu niyogaḥ kīrtyate kva cit |
na vivāhavidhāvuktaṃ vidhavāvedanaṃ punaḥ || 65 ||

Nowhere in the mantra-texts bearing upon marriage is ‘authorisation’ mentioned; nor again is the marriage of the widow mentioned in the injunction of marriage.—(65)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Udvāha,’ ‘marriage,’ is a rite; and the sacred texts used at that rite—such as; (a) ‘Aryamaṇannu devam kanyā agnimayakṣata,’ (b) ‘Mayā patyā jaradaṣṭih,’ (c) ‘Mayā patyā prajāvatī,’ and so forth,—in all these, it is clearly stated that ownership over the woman belongs to the person that marries her; and nowhere among them is there any such assertion as ‘beget a child from a man in regard to whom you are authorised by me.’

What the text means by mentioning the ‘mantra-texts’ is that even Mantra-texts and Declamatory Texts do not contain any indications of the injunction of the practice. This is further explained.—‘The marriage of widows is not mentioned in the injunction of marriage.’ ‘Marriage’ here stands for intercourse. If the act of the brother-in-law having intercourse with his widowed sister-in-law were a regular ‘marriage,’ then, the practice of ‘niyoga,’ ‘authorisation’, would be the same as ‘Marriage’; and as such, it would be fully enjoined by some such injunction as ‘the brother-in-law shall marry his sister-in-law.’ As a matter of fact, however, there is no such injunction at all.

This is a declamatory supplement to what has gone before.—(65)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskara, p. 737, which notes that this verse supplies the reason for what has been asserted in the preceding verse;—in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Vyavahāra, p. 38a),—and in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra, 186a).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 9.60-68)

See Comparative notes for Verse 9.60.

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