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:

षण्णां तु कर्मणामस्य त्रीणि कर्माणि जीविका ।
याजनाध्यापने चैव विशुद्धाच्च प्रतिग्रहः ॥ ७६ ॥

ṣaṇṇāṃ tu karmaṇāmasya trīṇi karmāṇi jīvikā |
yājanādhyāpane caiva viśuddhācca pratigrahaḥ || 76 ||

From among these six functions, three are his means of livelihood: viz., sacrificing for others, Teaching and Receiving gifts from pure men.—(76)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

The division of the functions into groups of three is for a distinct purpose. One group of three has been put forward as serving (temporal) ends, while the other is conducive to invisible (spiritual) ends.

Pure’— Not. addicted to sinful deeds.

“But the Śūdra also could be pure.”

Why should you have an aversion to that.?

“It would he contrary to other Smṛti texts, where it is laid down that ‘the Brāhmaṇas feed at the house of, and receive gifts from, such twice-born persons as are praiseworthy for their actions.’ In face of this the present text should be explained in such a manner as to avoid the contradiction of those other texts. For so long as a reconciliation of varying texts is possible, it is not right to admit of such contradiction.”

As a matter of fact, the present text is merely reiterative; the real injunction having gone before, in such texts as—‘he shall seek to obtain wealth from Kṣatriyas, etc., etc.’ (4.33).


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in. Madanapārijāta, (p. 215);—in Mitākṣarā, (1.118) to the effect that three out of the six functions are conducive to merit and these are to be practised as means of livelihood; so that while the former are obligatory, the latter are not so;—in Par ā śaram ā dhava (Ācāra, p. 140), to the same effect;—in Vyavahāra-Bālambhaṭṭī, (p. 424);—and in Saṃskāramayūkha (p. 122).


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 10.74-76)

See Comparative notes for Verse 10.74.

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