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:

भ्रातॄणामेकजातानामेकश्चेत् पुत्रवान् भवेत् ।
सर्वांस्तांस्तेन पुत्रेण पुत्रिणो मनुरब्रवीत् ॥ १८२ ॥

bhrātṝṇāmekajātānāmekaścet putravān bhavet |
sarvāṃstāṃstena putreṇa putriṇo manurabravīt || 182 ||

Among brothers, born of the same father, if even one have a son, Manu has declared all of them to be ‘with son,’ through that son.—(182)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

(verses 9.182-201)

(No Bhāṣya available.)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Medhātithi on verses 182-202 is wanting in all Mss. But Kullūka criticises his view on 187; and Vivādaratnākara (p. 522) quotes him on 194.

“Hence no subsidiary sons (Kullūka and Rāghavānanda), or no Kṣetrjas (Nārāyaṇa) are necessary in such a case. Kullūka and Rāghavānanda add that the brother will take the estate and give the funeral offerings on failure of a wife, daughters and so forth (Yājñavalkya, 2.135).”—Buhler.

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnkara (p. 582);—in Smṛtitattva, (p. 389), which explains ‘ekajātānām’ as ‘born of the same father and mother’;—in Mitākṣarā, (2.132), to the effect that the verse is meant to prohibit the adopting of any other person as ‘son,’ so long as the brother’s son can be adopted; it does not mean that the nephew is a regular ‘son.’

It is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra, p. 211), which adds the following notes:—The term ‘putriṇaḥ’ indicates some action taken by the man who adopts the ‘son’; so that the meaning of the sentence comes to be this:—Among uterine brothers, if a son is born to even one, the others, having no sons of their own, should adopt that son as theirs; nor would this be repugnant to the prohibition that there can be no adopting of one who is the only son of his parents; as the only ground for this prohibition lies in the consideration that if the only son becomes adopted by another person, the line of his own father becomes extinct; which consideration is not present in the case in question as the ‘line’ of all uterine brothers is one and the same; then there is another reason also; what the prohibition interdicts is the giving of the only son to be adopted, while in the case in question there is no giving away, the son being regarded as belonging to all the brothers, only by mutual understanding.

It is quoted in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭtī (p. 668);—in Dattakamīmāṃsā (p. 10) as lending support to the view that, so far as possible, one should adopt his own brother’s son, and adds that ‘ekajātānām’ makes it clear that the adopting is to be done by the uterine brother, not by a brother born of different fathers or different mothers, and that ‘bhrātṛṛṇām (bhrātṝṇām?)’ implies that there can be no mutual adoption by the brother of the son of the sister;—and in Vīrmitrodaya (Vyavahāra 108b).


Comparative notes by various authors

Vaśiṣṭha (17.10).—‘If amongst many brothers begotten by one father, one have a son, they all become with son through that son; so says the Veda.’

Viṣṇu (15.42).—‘Among brothers begotten by one father, the son of one is the son of all and must present the Ball of meal to all.’

Bṛhaspati (25.90).—‘When there are many uterine brothers sprung from one father,—and a son is horn even to one of them only,—they all are declared to have male offspring, through that son.’

Kālikāpurāṇa (Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra, p. 212).—‘People become endowed with son, through their own sons as also through the sons of their brothers.’

Bṛhatparāśara (Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra, p. 213).—‘Of a sonless uncle, his brother’s son would he the son and shall perform his Śrāddha and offer the Ball of meal.’

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