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:

प्रजापतिर्हि वैश्याय सृष्ट्वा परिददे पशून् ।
ब्राह्मणाय च राज्ञे च सर्वाः परिददे प्रजाः ॥ ३२७ ॥

prajāpatirhi vaiśyāya sṛṣṭvā paridade paśūn |
brāhmaṇāya ca rājñe ca sarvāḥ paridade prajāḥ || 327 ||

Prajāpati, having created cattle, made them over to the Vaiśya; while to the Brāhmaṇā and the Kṣatriya he made over all creatures.—(327)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The tending of cattle is not only a means of livelihood for the Vaiśya; it also forms his duty. This is what is indicated by this declamatory passage.

“How is it that the author should impose an invisible (transcedental) character upon what is quite visible?”

It has been done with a view to bringing it home to the Vaiśya that he must, as an obligation, do the tending of cattle, in the same manner as the Kṣatriya does the protecting of the people.

How the protecting of the people is binding upon the Kṣatriya has already been explained before. As for the Brāhmaṇa, he is entitled to all sorts of ‘protection,’ by virtue of his being the person who prescribes the necessary expiatory rites, performs prayers, offers oblations and thereby obtains min from the sun, and so forth.

What is stated here is only by way of illustration; and all that is meant is that the tending of cattle forms the duty of the Vaiśya.—(327)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 417)


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 9.326-333)

[See texts under 8.410-418.]

See Comparative notes for Verse 9.326.

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