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...

Verse 9.194 [Strīdhana (property of the wife)]

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

अध्यग्न्यध्यावाहनिकं दत्तं च प्रीतिकर्मणि ।
भ्रातृमातृपितृप्राप्तं षड् विधं स्त्रीधनं स्मृतम् ॥ १९४ ॥

adhyagnyadhyāvāhanikaṃ dattaṃ ca prītikarmaṇi |
bhrātṛmātṛpitṛprāptaṃ ṣaḍ vidhaṃ strīdhanaṃ smṛtam || 194 ||

(1) What is given before the fire, (2) what is given at the time of departure, (3) what is given in token of love, and what is received from (4) the brother, (5) the mother and (6) the father,—has been declared to be ‘Strīdhana’ (the exclusive property of the woman).—(194)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

(verses 9.182-201)

(No Bhāṣya available.)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Vyavahāra, p. 368), which notes that the term ‘six-fold’ is meant to preclude a lesser, not a larger, number;—in Mitākṣarā (2.135-136), as setting aside the view that women have no rights to property except through their husband or son Bālambhaṭṭī explaining ‘adhyagni’ as that obtained near the fire at the marriage ceremony,—‘adhyāvāhanikam’ as that obtained at the time of her coming to her husband’s place;—It is quoted again under 2.143, where it is noted that the six kinds mentioned are meant only as denying a lesser number; it goes on to quote Kātyāyana as explaining each of these terms:—‘(1)That which is given to the girl at the time of marriage near the fire is called adhyagni,—(2) what she receives at the time of being carried away from her father’s house is called adhyāvāhanika,—(3) what she receives as a loving present from her father-in-law or mother-in-law at the time of offering obeisance is called prītidatta,—(4) (5) (6) whatever the married girl receives from her husband or from her parents or brothers is called Saudāyika.’

It is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 522), which offers the following explanations:—‘Adhyagni’, what is given by anyone at the time of marriage,—‘adhyāvāhanika’, whatever is carried behind her when she is being carried away from her father’s house,—Medhātithi however holds that adhyāvāhanika is what she receives from her parents-in-law at the time of returning to her father’s place; and this view also maybe accepted;—‘prititaḥ dattam’, what she receives from the father-in-law and other elders as a reward for her character, efficiency and other good qualities;—the mention of ‘six kinds’ is for the purpose of precluding a lesser, not a larger, number; in fact a seventh kind, ‘ādhivedanīka’—what she receives by way of compensation for being superseded by another—has also been mentioned by Yājñavalkya.

It is quoted in Vyavahāramayūkha (p. 68), which also remarks that the ‘six’ are mentioned only for the purpose of denying a lesser number;—and in Hemādri (Dāna, p. 51), which explains ‘adhyagni’ as ‘what is given to the woman before the fire’,—‘adhyāvāhanikam’ as ‘given to her by her father and relatives at the time of her marriage,’—‘prītikarmaṇi’, ‘given by the husband as a token of conjugal love’—and—‘prāptam’ as given to her, even after her marriage, by her brother and others.’


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 9.194-195)

Viṣṇu (17.18).—‘What has been given to a woman by her father, mother, sons, or brothers, what she has received before the sacrificial fire at the marriage ceremony, what she receives on supersession, what has been given to her by her relatives, her nuptial fee, and a gift subsequent, are called strīdhana.’

Yājñavalkya (2.143).—‘What is given to a woman by her father, mother, son or brother,—what is given before the nuptial fire, and what comes to her in connection with her supersession has been called strīdhana.’

Kātyāyana (Aparārka, p. 751).—‘What is given to a woman near the nuptial fire by gentlemen is called Adhyagni strīdhana. What the woman obtains at the time of her being taken away from her father’s house is called the Adhyāvāhanika strīdhana. What is given to her, through affection, by her father in-law or mother-in-law, at the time of her bowing to them, is called Lāvaṇyārjita. What is obtained by a married woman or her husband at her father’s house, either from her parents or her brother, is called Saudāyika. Over the Saudāyika, the ownership of the woman is absolute and she is free to sell it or given it away, even when it consists of immovable property. What the woman obtains, after marriage, from her husband’s family, or from her husband’s parents, is called Anvādheya by Bhṛgu. While she is alive, neither her husband nor her sons nor her brother-in-law nor her husband’s kinsmen, have any rights over her strīdhana; if they take it from her they should he punished.’

Vṛddha-Vyāsa (Aparārka, p. 752).—‘Whatever the girl obtains, at marriage or after marriage, from her father’s or brother’s house, is called Saudāyika. At the marriage of the girl whatever is given with reference to the bridegroom forms the property of the girl, not to be divided by her kinsmen.’

Nārada (Do., p. 752).—‘What is given to her, through love, by her husband, that she shall enjoy as site chooses, even after his death, with the exception of immovable property.’

Do. (Vivādaratnākara, p. 524).—‘Adhyagni, Adhyāvāhanika, Bhartṛdāya (inherited from her husband), what is given by her brother and what is given by her mother and what is given by her father,—these are the six kinds of strīdhana.’

Śukranīti (4.5.597).—‘The Saudāyika property is known to be that which comes to a married woman through gifts and dowries, from her parents’ or husband’s families, or through presents from parents and relatives.’

Pāraskara (Parāśaramādhava, Vyavahāra, p. 372).—‘The strīdhana belongs to the unmarried daughter; the son cannot have it; if the daughter has been married, the son shall share it equally with her.’

(See the texts under 192-193.)

Kātyāyana (Vivādaratnākara, p. 573).—‘Neither the husband, nor the son, nor the father, nor the brothers have the right to take away or to spend a woman’s strīdhana; if any one of them takes away the strīdhana forcibly, he should be made to make it good along with interest, and should also pay a fine; if any one makes use of it with her permission, and in a manner agreeable to her, he should repay it, if he has the wealth to do it. Whatever the woman may have lovingly given to any of the above relations during his sickness or when he was in trouble or harassed by creditors,—that also he may voluntarily repay.’

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