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 9.127 [Property of one who has no Male Issue: the ‘Appointed Daughter’]

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

अपुत्रोऽनेन विधिना सुतां कुर्वीत पुत्रिकाम् ।
यदपत्यं भवेदस्यां तन् मम स्यात् स्वधाकरम् ॥ १२७ ॥

aputro'nena vidhinā sutāṃ kurvīta putrikām |
yadapatyaṃ bhavedasyāṃ tan mama syāt svadhākaram || 127 ||

He who has no son may make his daughter an ‘appointed daughter’ in the following manner: [He shall mark the declaration]—‘The child that may bk born of her shall be the performer of my funeral rites’.—(127)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The child that may be born of this girl shall be the performer of my funeral rites.’ The term ‘svadhā,’ stands for the Śrāddha and the other after-death rites; it is not necessary that this shall be; the exact formula uttered. Says Gautama (28.18)—‘The father, having no son, shall offer sacrifices to Agni and Prajāpati, and shall give away the appointed daughter, stipulating that the child shall be for me.’—The opinion of some people is that the daughter becomes appointed by mere intention, (28.19); from which it is clear that the daughter becomes ‘appointed’ even without the pronouncement of any definite formula.

“In the absence of a distinct stipulation, even though the intention may be present in the father’s mind, yet, until it has been clearly declared, the son-in-law may not agree (to surrender the child).”

It is in view of this that the text says—‘Shall make his daughter an appointed daughter.’—(127)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 475) as a clear indication that the ‘appointment’ of the daughter is undisputed in a case where it has been done in accordance with a clear agreement between the father of the bride and the bridegroom;—in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Vyavahāra 38a);—in Vyvahāra-Balambhaṭṭī (pp, 651 and 633) and by Jīmūtavāhana (Dāyabhāga, p. 223), to the effect that the appointed daughter offers the Ball to her appointing father through her son.

It is quoted in the Vidhānapārījāta (p. 699)—in the Vivādaratnākara (p. 561);—in the Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 182), as laying down the mode of appointing the daughter;—in the Saṃskāraratnamālā (p. 414), to the effect that it clearly implies that there should be an express stipulation with the girl’s husband;—in Dattakamīmāṃsā (p. 7);—and in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra 185a), which says that the son that is born of the Appointed Daughter after stipulation, belongs to the father of the girl; though the opinion has been held that this is so also in cases where there has been no open stipulation to the effect.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 9.127-129, 9.132-133)

(See below, verse 139.)

Gautama (23.18).—‘A father who has no male issue may appoint his daughter, offering oblations to Agni and to Prajāpati, and addressing to the bridegroom the words—“For me be thy male offering.” Some people hold that the daughter becomes an Appointed Daughter by the mere intention of her father.’

Baudhāyana (2.3-15).—‘The male child born of a daughter after an agreement has been made, is to be known as the son of an appointed daughter, and other male offspring to the daughter they call the daughter’s son.’

Vaśiṣṭha (17.15-17)—‘The third is the Appointed Daughter;—it is declared in the Veda—“A maiden who has no brothers comes back to the male ancestors (of her own family); returning she becomes their son.” With reference to this matter, there is a verse to be spoken by the father when appointing his daughter,—“I shall give thee a brotherless damsel decked with ornaments; the son whom she may hear shall he my son.’”

Viṣṇu (15.4-5).—‘The third is the son of an Appointed Daughter. She is called an Appointed Daughter, who is given away by her father with the words “the son whom she bears shall be mine.” She is called an Appointed Daughter, though she has not been given away according to the rule of an Appointed Daughter.’

Bṛhaspati (25.37-38).—‘Both a son’s son and the son of an Appointed Daughter lead a man to heaven. Both are pronounced to he equal as regards their right of inheritance and the duty of offering balls of meal. Gautama has declared that a daughter is appointed after offering oblations to Agni and Prajāpati; others have said that she is an Appointed Daughter who was merely intended to ho one by a man having no male issue.’

Bṛhaspati (Vivādaratnākara, p. 561).—‘Just as the daughter has rights over her father’s property, even in the presence of the relatives, so is her son also the owner of the property of his mother’s father.’

Brahmapurāṇa (Vivādaratnākara, p. 562).—‘A sonless man appoints his daughter as his son,—either in his own mind, or in the presence of the king, the fire, and his relatives;—or she may have been so appointed even before her birth and given to her husband on that express understanding;—or she may be so given away even after her father’s death. Such an Appointed Daughter obtains an equal share in the property of her father.’

Śaṅkha-Likhita (Vivādaratnākara, p. 559).—‘The Appointed Daughter is like the son; her son offers Piṇḍa to his father’s father as also to his mother’s father; there is no difference, in the world, between the daughter’s son and the son’s son, so far as benefit is concerned.’

Yājñavalkya (Vivādaratnākara, p. 56, 2-128).—‘The son of the Appointed Daughter is like the body-born son.’

Devala (Vivādaratnākara, p. 562, 2-128).—‘The son of the Appointed Daughter is equal to the son; he inherits the property of his own father, as also that of his mother’s father, who has no son, as if he were his own son;—he shall offer the ball of meal to his own as well as his mother’s father. Whether appointed or not appointed, whichever son the daughter gives birth to, by that son, does her father also become endowed with son; and he may offer the hall to him and inherit his property.

(Devala also reproduces Manu 133.)

Mahābhārata (13.45-13).—(Same as Manu 132, second-half.)

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: