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...

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

त्रयाणामुदकं कार्यं त्रिषु पिण्डः प्रवर्तते ।
चतुर्थः सम्प्रदातैषां पञ्चमो नोपपद्यते ॥ १८६ ॥

trayāṇāmudakaṃ kāryaṃ triṣu piṇḍaḥ pravartate |
caturthaḥ sampradātaiṣāṃ pañcamo nopapadyate || 186 ||

To three should water-libation be offered; to three is the cake offered; the fourth is the giver of these offerings; there can be no fifth.—(186)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

(verses 9.182-201)

(No Bhāṣya available.)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

According to Kullūka and Rāghvānanda the verse is meant to indicate the right of the kṣetraja and other secondary sons to inherit the estate of grand-father and others dying childless.—According to Nandana it indicates the right of grand-sons and great grand-sons to inherit before brothers and the rest.

This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 592);—in Aparārka (p. 744), as describing the ‘nearest sapiṇḍas’; the sense being that that sapiṇḍa is the ‘nearest’ who makes water-offerings to the same persons (father, grandfather and great-grandfather); so that the uterine brother would be the ‘nearest’; the son of the uterine brother would he one step removed, as his ‘father’ would be different;—still one further removed would be the brother’s grandson, as his ‘father’ and ‘grandfather’ would both be different; so on with the others.

It is quoted in Smṛtitattva II (p. 134), to the effect that the father, the grandfather and the great-grandfather, irrespective of their wives, are the ‘deities’ (i.e., recipients) of the water and other offerings;—and again on p. 195;—and in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī (p. 655);—in Vīramitrodaya (Vyavahāra 198b);—and by Jīmūtavāhana (Dāyabhāga, pp. 157 and 253).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 9.186-189)

[See Text under 185.]

Mānava-Śrāddhakalpa (III).—(Same as Manu.)

Āpastamba (2.14.2-5).—‘On failure of sons, the nearest Sapiṇḍa takes the property; failing him, the preceptor; failing him the pupil, who may use it for the teacher’s benefit or enjoy it himself; or the daughter may take the property; on the failure of all relations, let the King take the property.’

Gautama (28.21).—‘Sapiṇḍas, Sagotras, those connected by descent from the same Ṛṣi, and the wife shall share the estate of a person dying without male issue (or an Appointed Daughter).’

Do. (28.41, 42).—‘Śrotriyas shall divide the estate of a childless Brāhmaṇa;—the King shall take the property of the other castes.’

Baudhāyana (1.11.9-15).—‘The great-grand-father, the grand-father, the father, one’s own-self, the uterine brothers, the son by a wife of equal caste, the grand-son and the great-grand-son,—these they call Sapiṇḍas; and amongst these, the son and the son’s son (together with the father) are sharers of an undivided oblation; sharers of divided oblations, they call Sakulyas. If no other relations are living, the property of the deceased man descends to his Sapiṇḍas; on the failure of Sapiṇḍas, the Sakulyas inherit; on the failure of these, the preceptor who takes the place of the spiritual father, a pupil or an officiating priest shall take the property; on failure of these, the King, who shall give that property to persons versed in the three Vedas; but the King shall never take the property of the Brāhmaṇa.’

Vaśiṣṭha (17.81-84).—‘The Sapiṇḍas or the subsidiary sons shall divide the property of him who has no son of the first six kinds; on failure of them, the preceptor and the pupil shall take the property; on failure of these two, the King inherits; but the King shall never take the property of a Brāhmaṇa.’

Viṣṇu (17.10-14).—‘Failing brother’s sons, the property goes to the relations called Bandhu; failing these, to those called Sakulya; failing these, to a fellow-student; failing him, to the King, except when it is Brāhmaṇa’s property;—the property of the Brāhmaṇas goes to Brāhmaṇas.’

Yājñavalkya (2. 135-130).—‘The wife, daughters, parents, brothers, brother’s sons, Sagotṛa, Bandhu—relations, pupils, fellow-students,—from among these in the absence of the preceding, the succeeding inherits the property of the man who dies without male issue. This is the law for all castes.’ Nārada (Aparārka,p. 715).—‘Inthe absence of daughters, the property goes to Sakulyas and Bāndhuvas, and then to people of the same caste; and failing all these, to the King. In the absence of all relations, the holy Brāhmaṇas learned in the Vedas inherit the property; the property of the Brāhmaṇa shall not be taken by the King; of men of other castes, the property shall be taken by the King.’

Paiṭhīnasi (Aparārka, p. 716).—‘The property of the learned Brāhmaṇa goes to the Assembly, not to the King.’

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