Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi

by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN-10: 8120811550 | ISBN-13: 9788120811553

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:

उत्पद्यते गृहे यस्तु न च ज्ञायेत कस्य सः ।
स गृहे गूढ उत्पन्नस्तस्य स्याद् यस्य तल्पजः ॥ १७० ॥

utpadyate gṛhe yastu na ca jñāyeta kasya saḥ |
sa gṛhe gūḍha utpannastasya syād yasya talpajaḥ || 170 ||

If a son is born in a man’s house, and it is not known whose he is,—this son ‘secretly born’ in the house shall belong to him of whose wife he is born.—(170)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

If the mother were not known, then the caste also of the child would not be known; as it has been declared by the ancients that ‘the caste of the child whose progenitor is not known can be ascertained from his mother.’

The rule here laid down refers to a case where there is no suspicion regarding the progenitor being of a lower caste. In the evenṭ. of such suspicion, there would be likelihood of an ‘admixture in the reverse order’; and in that case, the son would not be entitled to perform the functions of a ‘son.’—(170)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 566);—which adds the following notes:—‘Talpaja’, born of the wife;—the actual progenitor of this child being unknown, it belongs to the same caste as its mother; this is the case when there is no suspicion of the mother having had intercourse with a man of a lower caste; in the case of there being such suspicion, the child must he regarded as ‘born in the reverse order’, and hence not capable of serving any useful purpose.

It is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Prāyaścitta, p. 38);—in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī (pp. 541 and 557);—in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Vyavahāra 38a) and in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra 187b.)


Comparative notes by various authors

Baudhāyana (2.3.22).—‘He is called the Gūḍhaja, secretly born, son who is horn in the house and whose origin is only afterwards recognised.’

Vaśiṣṭha (17.24).—‘A male child secretly horn in the house is the sixth kind of son.’

Viṣṇu (15.13-14).—‘The son who is secretly born in the house is the sixth; he belongs to him in whose bed he is born.’

Yājñavalkya (2.129).—‘He who is born in the house in a hidden manner is called the secretly horn son.’

Arthaśāstra (p, 4l).—‘Similar to the Kṣetraja son is the Gūḍhaja son, who is born in the house of kinsmen secretly.’

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