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 9.185 [Inheritance]

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

न भ्रातरो न पितरः पुत्रा रिक्थहराः पितुः ।
पिता हरेदपुत्रस्य रिक्थं भ्रातर एव च ॥ १८५ ॥

na bhrātaro na pitaraḥ putrā rikthaharāḥ pituḥ |
pitā haredaputrasya rikthaṃ bhrātara eva ca || 185 ||

Sons alone shall inherit the father’s property, not brothers or fathers; but the father and brothers shall inherit the property of one who dies sonless.—(185)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

(verses 9.182-201)

(No Bhāṣya available.)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

“Kullūka and Rāghavānanda insert, after ‘who leave no son,’ ‘nor widow and daughters’, and before ‘brothers’, ‘who leaves no parents.’ Nārāyaṇa, who (as also Govindarāja and Nandana) reads ‘eva vā’, ‘or brothers’, says that the father inherits the estate of an undivided son leaving no male issue, or the brothers with his permission, and that the estate of a divided son descends to his wife and other heirs mentioned in Yājñavalkya II, 135-136.”—Buhler.

The first half of this verse is quoted in Mitākṣarā (2.132) to the effect that all sons, ‘body-born’ as well as others, are entitled to inherit the father’s property. The Bālambhaṭṭī quotes verse 184 and notes that ‘son’ cannot be taken as standing for the body-bom sons only; because the rights of the body-born born have been declared in another verse already.

It is quoted in Aparārka (p. 653);—and in Vivādaratnākara (p. 552), which quotes the first half only;—it quotes the second half on p. 592, where ‘aputrasya’ is explained as ‘without sons, primary as well as secondary.’

The second half is quoted in Mitākṣarā (2.136), as laying down that the property of a sonless man goes to his Father or Brother;—again as justifying the conclusion that, if the man leaves a large property, his wife is to receive enough for her maintenance and the remainder is to go to his brother;—again, where the view is expressed that all that is meant is that both the Father and the Brother are entitled to inherit; and no priority or preference is meant to be implied by the order in which the two are mentioned;—on this the Bālambhaṭṭī notes that this view is supported by the use of the particle ‘’;—again, where it is explained as meaning that brothers inherit only in the absence of the father.

It is quoted in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī (p. 650 and 651);—in Dattakacandrikā (p. 61);—and by Jīmūtavāhana Dāyabhāga, (p. 253 and 293), to the effect that it is this brother that inherits, not the brother’s son.


Comparative notes by various authors

Viṣṇu (17.4-8).—‘The wealth of a man who dies without male issue goes to his wife; failing her, to his daughter; failing her to his father; failing him, to his mother; failing her, to his brother; failing him, to his brother’s sons; failing them, to his kinsmen; failing them, to Sakulyas; failing them, to fellow-students; failing them to the King, except in the case of the property being a Brāhmaṇa’s.’

Yājñavalkya (2.135-136).—‘Wife, daughters, parents, brothers, brother’s sons, Sagotras, kinsmen, pupils, fellow-students; among these the succeeding inherits the property of a man dying without male issue, only in the absence of the preceding one. Such is the law for all castes.’

Bṛhaspati (Āparārka, pp. 740, 742, 745).—‘The wife being one half of the man’s body, the man whose wife is alive is himself still alive; and while one half of his body is alive, how can any one else take his property? Hence in the case of a man dying without male issue, even though his father, brothers and Sapiṇḍas may be living, it is his wife who inherits his property. If the man dies without leaving a male issue or a wife, or brother or father or mother, his property shall be divided by his Sapiṇḍas in proportionate shares. If the man leaves no son, his Śrāddha shall he performed by his wife; and in the absence of the wife, by his uterine brother;—failing him, other brothers, or brothers’ sons, or Sapiṇḍas, or Sakulyas, or pupils, or Vedic scholars are entitled to his wealth.’

Śaṅkha (Aparārka, p. 741).—‘If a man dies without male issue, his property goes to his brother; failing him, to his mother and father; or to his senior (or junior) wife.’

Devala (Do.).—‘The property of the son-less man shall go to his uterine brothers, or to his daughters of the same caste as himself, or to his father if he he living, or to brothers of the same caste as himself, or to his mother, or to his wife;—in this same order.’

Nārada (Do.)—‘If among brothers, some one should die, or go away as a Renunciate, the other brothers shall divide his property among themselves, except the Strīdhana; they shall support his wives as long as they continue to be faithful to their husband.’

Gautama (Do., 742).—‘The wife should obtain the property of one who dies childless.’

Vṛddha-manu (Do.).—‘A widow, without a son, keeping pure the husband’s bed, and firm in the observance of her duties, shall offer the Hall of meal to him and take his entire property.’

Kātyāyana (Do., p. 745).—‘If a man dies after partition, without leaving a male issue, his father should take his property, or his brother, or mother, or his father’s mother, in due order.’

Pāiṭhīnasi (Vivadaratnākara, p. 592).—‘The property of a son-less man goes to his brother; failing him to his mother and father, or his eldest wife, or Sagotras, or pupils, or fellow-students.’

Āpastamba (Do., p. 596).—‘In the absence of sons, the nearest Sapiṇḍa; failing him, the preceptor; failing him, the pupil.’

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: