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:

सा चेत् पुनः प्रदुष्येत् तु सदृशेनोपमन्त्रिता ।
कृच्छ्रं चान्द्रायणं चैव तदस्याः पावनं स्मृतम् ॥ १७७ ॥

sā cet punaḥ praduṣyet tu sadṛśenopamantritā |
kṛcchraṃ cāndrāyaṇaṃ caiva tadasyāḥ pāvanaṃ smṛtam || 177 ||

If she happens to be corrupted again, on being solicited by a man of equal caste,—then the Kṛcchra and the Cāndrāyaṇa would be the means prescribed for her purification.—(177)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

On being solicited’ by a man of equal caste,—if she happens to have sexual intercourse again, then, inasmuch as this would be a ‘minor offence,’ the ‘Cāndrāyaṇa’ would be the natural expiation for her. Even so, the Cāndrāyaṇa has been mentioned again in the present verse, in order to imply that the other expiations prescribed for ‘cow-killing’ (which is a typical ‘minor offence’) are not applicable in the present case,—and also that the complete Cāndrāyaṇa has to be performed.

Though the latter half of the verse would seem to imply that ‘intercourse with all women apart from one’s own wife involves the same expiation,’ yet as a matter of fact, such is not the case; as special penalties have been laid down in connection with the following women:—‘mother, mother’s sister, mother-in-law, maternal aunt, father’s sister, wife of the paternal uncle, wife of a friend, wife of a pupil, sister, sister’s friend, daughter-in-law, daughter, teacher’s wife, a woman belonging to one’s own gotra, a woman-refugee, a queen, a mendicant woman, a chaste woman, one’s nurse, a woman belonging to a higher caste.’ From among these, as regards the mother, the proper expiation has been already explained (under the ‘heinous offence’of ‘Violating the Preceptor’s Bed’);—in connection with those beginning with the ‘mother’s sister’ and ending with ‘daughter,’ the expiation shall he the performance of the Kṛcchra penance for one year;—and in the case of the rest, the performance of Cāndrāyaṇa.

Question—“Those that have been mentioned here as belonging to the same gotra,—does this mean those that are born in the same gotra as the man? Or those that have been married to the same gotra?”

The answer to this is that both are meant; since we find texts indicative of both views.

Gotra’ means family, paternal line; and if women of the same paternal line be meant, then the separate mention of the ‘father’s sister,’ would be superfluous, as she ‘belongs to the same paternal line.’ If, on the other hand, the woman he held to be one who belongs to the gotra of the person to whom she has been united, then they should be spoken of as belonging to their husband’s gotra; and in that case, the separate mention of the‘wife of the paternal uncle’ becomes superfluous; as in the said sense she would he ‘of the same gotra’ as the man concerned. Thus then, there being nothing to indicate which one of these two views is meant, we take the term as referring to both. The common view, however, is that what are meant here are women whose husband’s gotra is the same as that of the man concerned.

Some people have hold that—“In connection with the performance of Śrāddhas, women belong to their father’s gotra.” But this is restricted to Śrāddhas only. Or, we may take it as referring to other cases also, if we find a text, directly saying so.—(177)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Aparārka (p. 1125);—and in Prāyaścittaviveka (p. 373), which says that this refers to her fourth repetition of the act, done against her wishes.


Comparative notes by various authors

(verses 11.176-177)

See Comparative notes for Verse 11.176.

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