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...

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

तपोबीजप्रभावैस्तु ते गच्छन्ति युगे युगे ।
उत्कर्षं चापकर्षं च मनुष्येष्विह जन्मतः ॥ ४२ ॥

tapobījaprabhāvaistu te gacchanti yuge yuge |
utkarṣaṃ cāpakarṣaṃ ca manuṣyeṣviha janmataḥ || 42 ||

By the force of austerities and the seed they attain higher or lower rank among men, through birth, cycle after cycle.—(42)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

They’—i.e., the sons born of the next lower castes,—‘by the force of austerities’ and ‘by the force of seed’;—‘cycle after cycle,’—i.e., in each successive birth;—‘attain higher or lower rank.’

All this is going to be described under verse 64 et. seq.—(42)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Yuge yuge’—‘In successive births’ (Medhātithi, Nārāyaṇa and Nandana);—‘in each of the ages of the world’ (Kullūka).


Comparative notes by various authors

Śukranīti (4.4, 80-81).—‘Viśvāmitra, Mātaṅga, Vaśiṣṭha, Nārada and others became elevated by special penances, not by birth.’

Yājñavalkya (1.96).—‘Caste becomes elevated during the fifth or the seventh generation; similarly after five or seven generations one acquires that caste of which he has followed the occupations.’

Gautama (4.22-24).—‘In the seventh generation, men obtain a change of caste, being either raised to a higher one or degraded to a lower one. The venerable teacher declares that this happens in the fifth generation, and the same rule applies to those born from parents of different castes that are intermediate between two of the castes originally created by Brahmā.’

Āpastamba (2, 11.10-11).—‘In successive births, men of the lower castes are born in the next higher one, if they have fulfilled their duties. In successive births, men of the higher castes are born in the next lower one, if they have neglected their duties.’

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