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:

य एतेऽभिहिताः पुत्राः प्रसङ्गादन्यबीजजाः ।
यस्य ते बीजतो जातास्तस्य ते नैतरस्य तु ॥ १८१ ॥

ya ete'bhihitāḥ putrāḥ prasaṅgādanyabījajāḥ |
yasya te bījato jātāstasya te naitarasya tu || 181 ||

Those sons born of the seed of strangers that have been described here by the way, belong to him from whose seed they are born, and not to any other person.—(181)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Some people explain this to mean the denial of the injunction regarding the other sons, even in the absence of the ‘legitimate’ son; the sense being that—‘those that have been described as substitutes to be appointed in the absence of the legitimate son, should not be appointed, because; being born of the seed of another man, they are the sons of that man, and of none other; they cannot he the ‘sons’ of the man that appoints them.’

Thus, the foregoing texts having sanctioned the appointing of such sons, and the present text forbidding it, there should be option; and this option shall be restricted to the inheriting of property. So that the ‘maiden-born,’ the ‘one received along with the wife,’ the ‘son of the remarried woman’ and the ‘secretly born’ son are not entitled to inherit property; the ‘adopted’ and the rest are entitled to inherit only in the absence of the ‘legitimate’ son, while the ‘maiden-born’ and the rest are not to inherit the father’s property even in the absence of die ‘legitimate’ son; they are entitled to food and clothing only, whether the ‘legitimate’ son is there or not; since it has been declared (in 202 below)—‘It is only fair that the wise man should give to all food and clothing according to his means; if he does not give it at all, he would become an outcast.’—(181)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 574);—and in Aparārka (p. 97).


Comparative notes by various authors

[See texts under 32 et seq.]

Baudhāyana (2.3.34-35).—‘The son belongs to the begetter............ After one’s death, the son belongs to the begetter.’

Āpastamba (2-13.6-10).—‘A Brāhmaṇa text says—“The son belongs to the begetter.”—They quote also the following—“Having considered myself formerly a father, I shall not now allow my wives to be approached by other men; since they have declared that a son belongs to the begetter...... In the next world, the son belongs to the begetter.”’

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