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 दत्त्वा कस्य चित् कन्यां पुनर्दद्याद् विचक्षणः ।
दत्त्वा पुनः प्रयच्छन् हि प्राप्नोति पुरुषानृतम् ॥ ७१ ॥

na dattvā kasya cit kanyāṃ punardadyād vicakṣaṇaḥ |
dattvā punaḥ prayacchan hi prāpnoti puruṣānṛtam || 71 ||

Having given away his daughter to one man, the wise man should not give her away again. Having given her away once, if he gives her again, he incurs the guilt of ‘fraud towards men.’—‘(7l)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

It has been declared ‘that consummation of it is to be understood as occurring at the seventh step’ (8.227). People may be inclined to the notion that if the bridegroom dies before this point has been reached, the girl may be given away to another man; it is this notion that the present text, precludes.

This prohibition has been repeated here, in view of the special circumstances herein mentioned; as a matter of fact, the girl married after betrothal has been already declared to be a ‘remarried widow.’

When the girl has been betrothed, given away, to one man,—if he happens to die—she shall not be given to another. By doing this the father incurs the guilt of ‘fraud towards men’; —i.e., he incurs the same guilt that would be incurred by the kidnapping of a human being.—(71)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

See above, 8.98.

“Medhātithi and Nandana say that the verse is meant to forbid marriage of a girl whose betrothed has died. But Kullūka thinks that it refers to all cases where a betrothal has taken place, and that it removes a doubt which might arise through a too strict interpretation of 8.227.”—Buhler.

This verse in quoted in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī (p. 326);—and in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 220).


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (5.160-161).—‘He who, having promised his daughter to one suitor, marries her to another, shall be punished as a thief, unless the first suitor have a blemish.’

Yājñavalkya (1.65).—‘A girl is betrothed but once; if the father takes her away after that, he should suffer the punishment of a thief; but he may take her away from the man to whom she has been betrothed, if a superior suitor happens to turn up.’

Nārada (12-30).—‘Should a more respectable suitor, who appears eligible in point of religious merit, fortune and amiability, present himself,—after the nuptial fee has already been presented by a former suitor,—the verbal engagement previously made shall he annulled.’

(See texts under 47.)

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: