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 10.6 [Mixed Castes]

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

स्त्रीष्वनन्तरजातासु द्विजैरुत्पादितान् सुतान् ।
सदृशानेव तानाहुर्मातृदोषविगर्हितान् ॥ ६ ॥

strīṣvanantarajātāsu dvijairutpāditān sutān |
sadṛśāneva tānāhurmātṛdoṣavigarhitān || 6 ||

The sons begotten by twice-born men on wives of the next lower castes, they declare to be equal, tainted as they are by the defect of their mothers.—(6)

 

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

Sons begotten,—in the natural orderon wives of the next lower caste’—i.e., the caste immediately lower—are to be regarded as ‘equal,’—not of the same caste. That is the son of a Brāhmaṇa father from a Kṣatriya mother, or of a Kṣatriya father from a Vaiśya mother, is ‘equal’ to the father, and not the very same.

And the reason for this is that they are ‘tainted with the defect of their mother.’

This declaration of ‘equality’ implies that the sons are superior to the mother, but inferior to the father.

By twice-born men.’—The use of the plural number and the fact that the caste is determined with reference to the mothers, indicates that this is possible only in the case of marriages ‘in the natural order.’ For in the case of marriages ‘of the inverse order,’ the caste would be determined with reference to the father, who is of a lower caste than the mother. It is for this reason that the preceding verse has added the phrase ‘in the natural order.’ What we said in the Bhāṣya on the preceding verse, that this phrase had been added ‘with a view to what follows,’ did not refer to this, but to the forthcoming verses.—(6)

 

Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Parāśaramādhava (Ācāra, p. 512), which explains the meaning to be that the child born to a Brāhmaṇa from a legally married Kṣatriya wife, is ‘like the Brāhmaṇa’, not quite a Brāhmaṇa,—its inferiority being due to the inferior caste of the mother.

 

Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 10.6-41)

Arthaśāstra (pp. 42-45).—‘Sons born to the Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya and Vaiśya fathers from wives of the next lower caste are of the same caste as their fathers;—the son born to the Brāhmaṇa from a Vaiśya wife is the Ambaṣṭha; on Śūdra wife, the Niṣāda or the Pāraśava; to the Kṣatriya from a Vaiśya wife, the Ugra; that born to a Vaiśya from a Śūdra wife is the Śūdra. Sons born to these (Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya and Vaiśya) from wives of the same caste as themselves, hut married before Upanayana, are Vrātyas. These are sons born in the regular mixtures. From the Śūdra father, on wives of the Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya and Vaiśya castes are born the Caṇḍāla, the Kṣattṛ and the Āyogava respectively; from the Vaiśya father, on wives of the Brhāmaṇa and Kṣatriya castes, the Vaidehaka and the Māgadha respectively;—from the Kṣatriya father, on a wife of the Brāhmaṇa caste, the Sūta. These are the sons born of the irregular mixtures. From Ugra father and Niṣāda mother is born the Kukkuṭaka; from Niṣāda father and Ugra mother, the Pulkasa; from Ambaṣṭha father and Vaidehika mother is born the Vaiṇa; from Vaidehika father and Ambaṣṭha mother is born the Kuśīlava; from Kṣattṛ mother and Ugra father, is born Śvapāka; by profession, the Vaiṇa is the chariot-maker. All these, with the exception of the Caṇḍāla, have the same duties as the Śūdra.’

Baudhāyana (1.16.7-12, 16; 1.17.7, 8, 11-14).—‘Sons born of wives of the second or third lower castes are Ambaṣṭhas, Ugras and Niṣādas. Of females wedded in the inverse order are born Āyogavas, Māgadhas, Vaiṇas, Kṣattṛs, Pulkasas, Kukkuṭas, Vaidehakas and Caṇḍālas. An Ambaṣṭha begets on a woman of the first caste, a Śvapāka; an Ugra on a woman of the second caste, a Vaiṇa; a Niṣāda on a woman of the third caste, a Pulkasa; in the contrary case, a Kukkuṭaka is produced. I may quote the following—“Those sons whom an uninitiated man begets, the wise call Vrāṭyas, who are excluded from the Śāvitrī.” A Brāhmana begets on a woman of the Ksatriya caste, a Brāhmaṇa; on a woman of the Vaiśya caste, an Ambaṣṭha; on a woman of the Śūdra caste, a Niṣāda,—according to some, a Pāraśava. A Kṣatriya begets on a female of the Vaiśya caste, a Kṣatriya; on a female of the Śūdra caste, an Ugra. A Vaiśya begets on a female of the Śūdra caste, a Rathakāra. A Śūdra begets on a female of the Vaiśya caste, a Magadha; on a female of the Kṣatriya caste, a Kṣattṛ; but on a female of the Brāhmaṇa caste, a Caṇḍāla. A Vaiśya begets on a female of the Kṣatriya caste, an Āyogava; on a female of the Brāhmaṇa caste, a Sūta. If among these a n Ambaṣṭha male and an Ugra female unite, their son shall be born in the regular order; if a Kṣattṛ male and a Vaidehaka female unite the son born shall be in the inverse order. An Ugra begets on a female of the Kṣattṛ caste, a Śvapāka; a Vaidehaka on a female of the Ambaṣṭha caste, a Vaiṇa; a Niṣāda on a female of the Śūdra caste, a Pulkasa; a Śūdra on a woman of the Niṣāda caste, a Kukkuṭaka.—The wise declare that those sprung from an intermixture of castes are Vrātyas.’

Āpastamba (2.13.1-5).—‘If a man approaches a woman who had been married to another man, or was not legally married to himself, they both commit sin;—through their sin, their son also becomes sinful.’

Gautama (4.16, 21).—‘Children born in the regular order of wives of the next second or third lower castes are of the same caste as the father, and these are Ambaṣṭhas, Ugras, Niṣādas and Dauśyantas or Pāraśavas.—Children born in the inverse order of wives of higher castes, are Sūtas, Māgadhas, Āyogavas, Kṣattṛs, Vaidehakas and Caṇḍālas. Some declare that a woman of the Brāhmaṇa caste bears respectively to the husband of the four castes, sons who are Brāhmaṇas, Sūtas, Māgadhas and Caṇḍālas; and that a woman of the Kṣatriya caste bears to the same, Mūrdhābhiṣiktas, Kṣatriyas, Dhīvaras, Pulkasas;—a woman of the Vaiśya caste to the same, Bhṛjyakaṇṭhas, Māhiṣyas, Vaiśyas, and Vaidehas;—and a woman of the Śūdra caste, to the same, Pāraśavas, Yavanas, Karanas and Śūdras.’

Vaśiṣṭha (18.19).—‘They declare that the offspring of a Śūdra father and Brāhmaṇa mother is Caṇḍāla,—that of Śūdra father and Kṣatriya mother, the Vaiṇa,—that of Śūdra father and Vaisya mother, the Anlyāvasāyin;—they declare that the son of a Vaisya father and Brāhmaṇa mother is the Rāmaka; that of Vaisya father and Kṣatriya mother, the Pulkasa; that of Kṣatriya father and Brāhmaṇa mother is the Sūta. They quote the following—“One may know by their deeds those who have been begotten secretly, and to whom the stigma of springing from unions in the inverse order of the castes attaches; because they are destitute of virtue and good conduct.”—Children begotten by Brāhmaṇas, Kṣatriyas and Vaisyas on females of the next lower, second lower and third lower castes become respectively, the Ambaṣṭha, the Ugra and the Niṣāda.—The son of a Brāhmaṇa father and Śūdra mother is the Pāraśava.

Yājñavalkya (1.91-95).—‘From Brāhmaṇa father and Kṣatriya mother is born the Mūrdhābhiṣikta; from Brāhmaṇa father and Vaiśya mother, the Ambaṣṭha; and from Brāhmaṇa father and Śūdra mother, the Niṣāda or Pāraśava.—From Kṣatriya father and Vaiśya or Śūdra mother is born the Māhiṣya or the Ugra respectively. From Vaiśya father and Śūdra mother, the Karaṇa. Such is the law regarding children of married wives.—From Kṣatriya father and Brāhmaṇa mother is born the Sūta; from Vaiśya father and Brāhmaṇa mother, the Vaidehaka; from Śūdra father and Brāhmaṇa mother is born the Caṇḍāla, who is outside the pale of all righteousness.—From Vaiśya father and Kṣatriya mother is born the Māgadha; from Śūdra father and Kṣatriy a mother, the Kṣattṛ; from Śūdra father and Vaiśya mother, the Āyogava.—From Māhiṣya father and Karaṇa mother is born the Rathakāra. The sons born in the inverse order of castes are declared to he bad and those in the regular order, good.’

Viṣṇu (16.4.-7, 17).—‘The son of a Śūdra from a Vaiśya woman is called Āyogava;—the Pulkasa and Māgadha are sons of a Vaiśya and Śūdra respectively from a Kṣatriya woman.—The Caṇḍāla, Vaidehaka and Sūta are the sons of a Śūdra, Vaiśya and Kṣatriya respectively, from a Brāhmaṇa woman.—Besides these there are innumerable other castes produced by further intermixture among those that have been just mentioned.... All members of mixed castes, whether their descent has been kept secret or is generally known, may be found out by their deeds.’

Mahābhārata (13.48.14-28, 49).—(On lines similar to Manu.)

Nārada (12.103-113).—‘There are Anantara, Ekāntara and Dvyantara sons, both in the direct and inverse order of the castes. Of this description are the Ugra, Pāraśava, and Niṣāda, who are begotten in the direct order; as well as Ambaṣṭha, Māgadha and Kṣattṛ, who spring from a Kṣatriya woman. One of these latter is begotten in the direct order; of the two others, it must be known that they are begotten in an inverse order. The Kṣattṛ and the rest are begotten in an inverse order; the three mentioned first, in the direct, order. The son of a Brāhmaṇa father and Brāhmaṇa mother is equal in caste to the father. The son of a Brāhmaṇa from a Kṣatriya woman is an Anantara;—an Ambaṣṭha and an Ugra are begotten in the same way by Kṣatriya men and on Vaiśya women respectively. An Ambaṣṭha is an Ekāntara, the son of a Brāhmaṇa father from a Vaiśya woman. The son called Niṣāda springs from the union of a Kṣatriya with a Śūdra woman. A Śūdra woman obtains from a Brāhmaṇa a son called Pāraśava, who is superior to the Niṣāda. The Sūta, the Māgadha, the Āyogava, the Kṣattṛ and the Vaidehaka are begotten in the inverse order of castes. The Sūta is an Anantara begotten by a Kṣatriya on a Brāhmaṇa woman. Similarly the Māgadha and Āyogava are respectively the sons of Vaiśya and Śūdra fathers from a Brāhmaṇa mother. A Brāhmaṇa woman obtains from a Vaiśya father an Ekāntara son, called the Vaidehaka. A Kṣatriya woman obtains from a Śūdra, an Ekāntara son, called the Kṣattṛ. A Dvyantara son in the inverse order, the most abject of men, being the fruit of sinful intercourse, by name Caṇḍāla, is born of a Śūdra when a Brāhmaṇa woman forgets herself with him.’

Śukranīti (4.4, 71-72).—‘Sons born of Vaiśya women and Kṣatriya or Brāhmaṇa fathers should be treated as Śūdra; also those born of Śūdra mothers.’

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