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:

मुखबाहूरुपद्जानां या लोके जातयो बहिः ।
म्लेच्छवाचश्चार्यवाचः सर्वे ते दस्यवः स्मृताः ॥ ४५ ॥

mukhabāhūrupadjānāṃ yā loke jātayo bahiḥ |
mleccavācaścāryavācaḥ sarve te dasyavaḥ smṛtāḥ || 45 ||

All those races of the world which are outside the pale of the people ‘born of the mouth, the arms, the thighs and the feet,’—speaking the ‘barbaric’ or the ‘refined’ language—are called ‘Dasyu.’—(45)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

That language is called ‘mlecchaa,’ ‘barbaric,’ which consists of words that either have no meaning, or have a wrong meaning, or are wrong in form. To this class belong the languages of such low-born tribes as the Śabara, the Kirāta, and so forth.

Refined language’ is the language of the inhabitants of Āryāvarta.

These persons, being other than those named as the ‘four castes,’ are called ‘Dasyu.’

The meaning is that neither habitation nor barbaric speech is a ground for regarding a caste as ‘mixed’; it is the fact of people being known by the particular names that makes them to be so regarded. It is thus that they come to be called ‘Dasyu.’—(45)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

Vaidehikāt’—‘From a Vaidehika father, by women of the Kārāvara and Niṣāda castes (Medhātithi and Kullūka);—by women of the Vaideha caste’ (Govindarāja).

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