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:

चातुर्वर्ण्यं त्रयो लोकाश्चत्वारश्चाश्रमाः पृथक् ।
भूतं भव्यं भविष्यं च सर्वं वेदात् प्रसिध्यति ॥ ९७ ॥

cāturvarṇyaṃ trayo lokāścatvāraścāśramāḥ pṛthak |
bhūtaṃ bhavyaṃ bhaviṣyaṃ ca sarvaṃ vedāt prasidhyati || 97 ||

The four castes, the three worlds, the four life-stages, the past, the present and the future are each learnt from the Veda.—(97)


Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

This also is in praise of the Veda.

‘The four castes’ are learnt from the Veda,—i.e., the duties of the four castes ate tints known; e.g., ‘the Brāhmaṇa shall be initiated during the spring, the Kṣatriya during the summer,’ and so forth. As for the external features they are the same in all castes, and can be definitely ascertained only by experience; as we have shown elsewhere.

The three worlds’—Such texts as ‘the gods subsist upon offerings from this world’ indicate that the Veda points out the means of subsistence for all the three worlds; specially as the Smṛtis (which contain details regarding these matters) also have their source in the Veda.

The ‘life-stages’ also are learnt from the Veda.

Similarly the ‘past’ births, pleasures and pains;—the ‘present’—current,—and the ‘future’—what is to come; for the knowledge of all this one must seek help from the Veda.—(97)


Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha

This verse is quoted in Vīramitrodaya (Saṃskāra p. 500);—in Nṛsiṃhaprasāda (Saṃskāra, 46b);—and in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, p. 128).

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