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...

Verse 9.105 [The entire Property goes to the Eldest Brother]

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation by Ganganath Jha:

ज्येष्ठ एव तु गृह्णीयात् पित्र्यं धनमशेषतः ।
शेषास्तमुपजीवेयुर्यथैव पितरं तथा ॥ १०५ ॥

jyeṣṭha eva tu gṛhṇīyāt pitryaṃ dhanamaśeṣataḥ |
śeṣāstamupajīveyuryathaiva pitaraṃ tathā || 105 ||

The eldest brother alone may take the entire paternal property; the rest shall live under him, just as under their father.—(105)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

(No Bhāṣya available).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

What is said here refers to eases where ‘the eldest son is specially virtuous’ (Kūlluka and Rāghavānanda),—or ‘possesses eminent qualities, and the others are less distinguished’ (Nārāyaṇa).

This verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (p. 117), where Bālambhaṭṭī has the following notes:—‘Pitryam’, inherited from the father,—‘Śeṣāḥ’, brothers other than the eldest,—Upajī veyuḥ, should follow him, like their father. Mitākṣarā adds that such unequal division, even though sanctioned by the scriptures, should never be adopted, being opposed to popular sentiment, and also to Vedic texts.

It is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 35), in support of the view that the eldest son should succeed to the kingdom;—in Aparārka (p. 722), which adds that this rule is meant for eases where the younger brothers are still in status pupillari, or are not entitled to any share by reason of being idiots and so forth, or are inexperienced;—and in Vivādaratnākara (p. 457), which adds the following notes:—What is meant is that in partition, the eldest brother, if he happens to be possessed of all the qualities of the superior brother, should be treated as the sole master, like the Father himself;—‘tamupajīveyuḥ’ means that ‘they should live on the subsistence provided by him.’

It is quoted in Smṛtitattva, (II, p. 170);—anti in Vivādacintāmaṇi (Calcutta, p. 125), as laying down an alternative course;—in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra, 171b);—and by Jīmūtavāhana (Dayabhāga, pp. 35 and 103).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 9.105-110)

Gautama (28.3-4).—‘Or, the whole property may go to the first-born; and he shall support the rest as a father. But in partition there is an excess of spiritual merit.’

Baudhāyana (2.3.13).—‘A son who possesses specially good qualities becomes a protector of the rest.’

Āpastamba (2.14.6).—‘Some people declare that the eldest son alone inherits.’

Vaśiṣṭha (17.1).—‘The father throws off his debts and obtains immortality if he sees the face of a living son.’

Viṣṇu (15.45).—(Same as Vaśiṣṭha.)

Nārada (13.5).—‘Or the senior brother shall maintain all like a father, if they wish it; or even the youngest brother, if able; the well-being of the family depends on the ability of the head.’

Hārīta (Vivādaratnākara, p. 459).—‘When the father has voluntarily handed over the property to the sons, or when he has gone abroad, or when he has died, the eldest son shall look after the property.’

Śaṅkha-Likhita (Do., p. 460).—‘When the father has been disabled, the eldest son shall carry on the business of the estate, hut never without the father’s consent.’

Mantra (Parāśaramādhava—Ācāra, p. 501).—‘(Same as Vaśiṣṭha.)

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