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:

सदृशस्त्रीषु जातानां पुत्राणामविशेषतः ।
न मातृतो ज्यैष्ठ्यमस्ति जन्मतो ज्यैष्ठ्यमुच्यते ॥ १२५ ॥

sadṛśastrīṣu jātānāṃ putrāṇāmaviśeṣataḥ |
na mātṛto jyaiṣṭhyamasti janmato jyaiṣṭhyamucyate || 125 ||

Among sons born of equal wives,—if there is no other distinction,—there is no seniority on account of their mothers; seniority is declared to be by birth only.—(125)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Equal’—of the same caste.—(125)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

“As this verse and the following one contradict the rules given in verses 123-124, the commentators try to reconcile them in various ways. Medhātithi thinks that verses 123-124 are an Arthavāda, and have no legal force, and Rāghavānanda inclines to the same opinion.—Nārāyaṇa and Nandana hold that the seniority according to the mother’s marriage is of importance for the law of inheritance (verses 123-124), but that it has no value with respect to salutations and the like, or to prerogatives at sacrifices (verses 125-126). Kullūka, finally relying on Govindarāja’s opinion, thinks that the rules leave an option, and that their application depends on the existence of good qualities and the want of such. It is, however, probable that according to the custom of Hindu writers, the two conflicting opinions are placed side by side, and that it is intended that the learned should find their way out of the difficulty as they can.”—Buhler.

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Rājanīti, p. 36);—in Nirṇayasindhu (p. 177);—and in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī (p. 461).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 9.122-126)

See Comparative notes for Verses 9.122-123.

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