Manu Smriti

MANU SMRITI

In the Indian tradition, the most ancient Smriti has been created by Prajapati Manu. It is the oldest and authentic text of Human Theology. Many directives of the Manu Smriti can be seen in the great epic Mahabharat also compilation of which began in the Dwapar Yuga. Manu Smriti contains about 2600 shlokas in the 12 chapters.

The main contents of the 12 chapters speak about the different ways in which a human can get happiness.

The contents are-

1) The genesis of the universe.
2) Procedures of performing ceremonies, the methods of fulfilling vows.
3) Holy baths, sexual life, performing marriages, Mahayagya (religious sacrifices), method of pacifying deceased ancestors etc.
4) Regular ablutions and routines, Sutak Vrata.
5) Edible and non-edible things, cleanliness, impurity, the duty of the wife.
6) Vanaprastha, liberation, Dettachment.
7) The duty of Royal people.
8) The relegation of duty.
9) The duty of women and men, the duty of departments, the annihilation of the wicked,etc.
10) The narrow, parochial castes, the duty in emergency.
11)Repentance.

The objective of the universe, actions, the merits and defects coveted to deeds, place and castes, the duty of the clan and liberation.

FIRST CHAPTER
This Smriti which is said to be created in the Satya Yuga, speaks about the genesis of the universe and humans, the four Ashrams (attainments) and the duties assigned to everyone, politics, public administration and the penal code. The constitution of the witnesses is also discussed. The duty and the protection of women, the significance of repentance and the fruits of various actions are the other topics discussed.

Manu Smriti is the first legal text of human civilization which till date has the ability to guide and direct the society. Maharshi Manu has said that every statement of the Smriti is like a statement of the Vedas.

YAHA KASHCHIT KASYACHIDDHARMO MANUNAA PARIKIRTITAHA ||
SA SARVO ABHIHITO VEDE SARVAJNAANAMAYO HI SAHA ||
Meaning: All the duties mentioned by Manu can be found in the Vedas as it is embellished by all forms of knowledge.

The Manu Smriti discusses the genesis and evolution of human civilization from the Vedic age, the cultural foundation, the allegiance which was all influenced by the place, time and situation.

The Manu Smriti is the religious text of the Satya Yuga. On the persuasion of the Maharashis (sages), the brain child of Brahma, Prajapati Manu created this text. The first chapter of this text speaks about the creation of water due to the divine powers of God and subsequently the creation of such energy from which the earth took birth. After this the gods, the Yakshas, Gandharvas and humans took birth.

AETADDESHPRASUTASYA SAKARHAASAGRAJANMANAHA ||
SWAM SWAM CHARITRAM VIKSHERAN PRITHIVYAAM SARNAMANAAVAAHAA ||
Meaning: All should imbibe the values of life and the instructions for sublime living from the Brahmin staying in his company. This statement of Vedas is adhered to by the people till date. Although people from other communities also have entered in the teaching profession, but for proper sublime education, people still approach a good Brahmin, as they did in the Satyayuga.

THE DUTIES DELEGATED TO THE DIFFERENT CASTES

The Smriti says-

ADHYAAPANAMADHYAYANAM YAJANAM YAAJANAM TATHAA ||
DAANAM PRATIGRAHAN CHAIVA BRAHMANAANAM AKAL PAYATA ||    (1/88)
Meaning: The duties of the Brahmins are learning and teaching, performing religious sacrifices and getting them performed, taking and giving donations etc.

Brahmins follow this instruction of Manu till date. It is worth stating that with the advent of the fourth era considerable changes have taken place in the society in the purview of the work due to which people are also doing work they are not eligible for.

a )  THE DUTIES OF KSHATRIYAS-

PRAJAANAM RAKSHANAM DAANAM ||
IJYA ADHYAYAN MEVA CHA ||
VISHAYESHVA PRASAKTISHCHA KSHATRIYASYA SAMADI SHATAHA ||
Meaning:The duties assigned to Kshatriyas are protection of the common men, to donate, to perform religious sacrifices, to recite the Vedas, to abstain from all forms of addiction etc. This code of conduct is followed till date but with a few exceptions by those who are inferior and disinclined.

b ) THE DUTIES ASSINGED TO THE VAISHYAS-

PASHUNAM RAKSHANAM DAANAM ||
IJYA ADHYAYANA MEVA CHA ||
VINAKAPATHAM KUSHIDANCHA VAISHYASYA KRISHIMEVA CHA||    (11/90)
Meaning- The duties assigned to Vaishya are protection of animals, donation, religious sacrifices, study, business, trade, money lending and agriculture.
The Vaishya caste now takes care of maximum duties assigned in the Satyayuga in the Kaliyuga itself. With the advent of new era, slight changes in the patterns of lifestyle and duties have taken place.

c ) THE DUTIES ASSINGED TO THE SHUDRAS-

EKMEVA TU SHUDRASYA PRABHU KARMMA SAMAADISHATA ||
AETESHAAMEVA VARNAANAAM SUSHRUSHA MANASUYAYAA ||
Meaning: The duties assigned to Shudras are -to serve others with benevolence and good will.

According to Manu, the seven ways in which one can scrupulously earn money are: inheritence of wealth from ancestors, wealth from a treasury, agriculture and trade, lending money, giving donations and by winning. The ten avocations, which are useful to life, are teaching, service, employment, agriculture, sculpture, salaried job, contention, taking care of cows, money lending and begging.

Although money got from donation, religious sacrifices and teaching ultimately leads to hell. But the Brahmin can engage in these things as the Brahmin is pure as water and Agni (fire).

The sins begotten from religious sacrifices and teaching are eliminated by name recitation and Homa. The sin begotten by receiving donation can be washed away by renunciation of the thing received and penance.

PRATIGRAHACHCHILAHA SHREYANSTATO APYUNCHAHA PRASHASYA TE ||
  (10/112)
It is preferable to collect the produce from the harvested field or to collect the remaining grains from the harvested field than to accept donations.

Without Dakshina, no Yagya is complete, that is why in every ceremony a Dakshina (a fee) is given. Only a pure donation is worth accepting.

In this light Acharya Manu has also discussed related concepts of sin and virtue. According to him, the highest form of duty is to adhere to the commandments of the Smritis and Shrutis as this is the thing that shall lead to the well being of one and all.

THE QUADRUPED DHARMA
Mahamuni Manu says that initially the religion had four legs, which eloped one by one because of it being subjected to natural changes and limitations of human beings.

TAPAHA PARAM KRITYUGE TRETAYAAMA GYANACHYUTE ||
DWAPARE YAGYAMEVAAHUURDANAMEKAM KALAO YUGE ||    (1/86)
Meaning: The things predominant in the Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali Yuga are penance, the significance and the glory of knowledge, the religious sacrifice (yagya) and donation respectively.

Dharma is the quintessence of human birth. It is only by this that a human can engage in enjoying material things. It is only Dharma that can help us to cross the ocean of material things. Even though situations and society has undergone tremendous change and vicissitudes, the significance of Smriti remains undiminished.

Unlike other Smritis, the Manu Smriti does not only speak about celibacy, Panchyagya, untouchability but also seeks its practical and utilitarian uses for social welfare.

DONATION: Rishiraj Manu opines that donation of anything is good and auspicious but donation of knowledge is the noblest. He has clearly stated that donations should be given and taken by the right person on the transgression of which is harmful and dangerous.

SUPAATRE DAANAM KURYAATA ||
We should possibly stay away from accepting donations as it attenuates divinity. Moreover that Brahmin ends up at the Isles of nothing who is devoid of penance and contemplation along with the donor. It is worth noticing that the donation is worth observing as a religious deed. It is the duty of humans to benevolently donate and the duty of the recipient is to engage in enjoying the things donated with a pure heart.

DEEDS AND DUTIES OF HUMANS:
The human body is of great importance as it facilitates a human to engage in good deeds and as a result of which he attains Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha, the highest attainments of human life.

NARATVAM DURLADHAM LOKE VIDYAA TATRA SUDURLABHAHAA ||
Meaning: It is difficult to attain a human body on earth, but it is all the more difficult to acquire knowledge. Hence the ultimate duty of human beings is to attain god-hood.

BHUTAANAAM PRAANINAHA SHRESHTHAHAA PRANINAM BUDDHIJIVINAHA ||
BUDHIMATSU NARAHA SHRESHTHAHAA NARESHU BRAHMANA SMRITAHA ||
Meaning: Amongst all the living beings, humans are the most superior and amongst all humans the knowledgeable and intelligent ones are the most superior.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CONDUCT
The righteous conduct holds tremendous importance for humans. Manu tells Brahmins that they should never transgress the righteous conduct.

AACHAARADWICHYUTO VIPRO NA VEDA PHALA MASHNUTE ||
AACHAREENA TU SAMYUKTAHA SAMPURNA PHALA PHAGBHAVETA ||   (1/109)
Meaning: A Brahmin who is disinclined from righteous conduct does not beget fruits of the Vedic deeds. On the contrary, he who performs his daily work regularly begets all the fruits.

AEVAM AACHAARATO DRISHTVAA DHARMASYA MUNAYO GATIM ||
SARVASYA TAPASO MULAM AACHARAM JAGRUHU PARAM ||
Meaning: Seeing the state of Dharma in accordance with the conduct of the sages, it can be inferred that the foundation of all penance is conduct.

ANYE KRITYUGE DHARMASTRETAAYAAMA DWAPARE APARE ||
ANYE KALIYUGE NRINAAMA YUGA HRAASANURUPATAHA || (1/85)
Meaning: The Satya Yuga, the Treta, the Dwapar and Kali Yuga are embellished by the other Dharma, the different Dharma, second Dharma and separate Dharma respectively. To put in a paraphrase with the change in society and decadence of era, the Dharma or duties of human also decay.

Manu here hints towards natural changes. At different times humans are gifted different duties and Dharmas. To maintain the cycle of life at a set pace is the ultimate duty of a superior Brahmin.

Today’s Brahmins are busy in their respective duties according to one’s mental and physical capabilities and are engaged in maintaining the piety amongst the other castes (varnas). The Smritis warn us that one era proceeds the other, at the end of an era, annihilation and re-instate or genesis follow.
MANVANTARANYAA ASANKHYAANI SARGAHA SAMHAR ||
AEVA CHA ||
KRIDANNVAITATA KURUTE PARAMESHTHI PUNAHA PUNAHA ||
Meaning: The Manvantara (61 eras of God), the universe and dissolution are countless. The supreme God repeats His play all the time. Even the Srimad Geeta says-

YADAA YADAA HI DHARMASYA GLANIR BHAATI BHAARATAHA ||
ABHYUTHAANAM ADHARMASYA TADATMANAM SRIJAMYAHAM ||
Meaning: O Arjuna! Whenever Dharma (righteousness) shall attenuate and Adharma (evil) shall increase at that time I shall incarnate.

PARITRAANAAYA SAADHUMAAMA VINAASHAA YASHCHA DUCHKRITAM ||
DHARMA SANSTHAPANARTHYAAYA SAMBHAVAAMI YUGE YUGE ||
For the protection of the good, for the annihilation of the wicked and for the re-instatement of righteousness I shall incarnate in every era.
Manu thus instructs that rise in unrighteousness final accrues in final dissolution and the human society is responsible for the same. Manu Smriti speaks the following thing about the attenuation of righteousness.

CHATUSHPATSKALO DHARMAHA SATYAM CHAIVA KRITE YUGE ||
NA ADHARMENAAGAMAHA KASHCHINA MANUSHYANPRATI VARTATE ||
Meaning: All the four legs of Dharma were present during the Krita Yuga. Truth always prevaled at that time. No human acted unrighteous against anyone.

Manu thus says-

ITERESHVAGAMA ADHARMAHA PAADA-SH-STVAROPITA CHAORIKANRITAMAAYAABHI DHARMACHAAPAITI PAADASHAHA ||   (1/81).
Meaning: Dharma is attenuated by unscrupulously earning wealth and knowledge in all the eras other than Satya Yuga. One leg of righteousness ceases to exist due to bad deeds such as larceny, lying and cheating.

AAROGAAHAA SARVA SIDDHARTHAAHA CHATURVARSHA SHATAAYUSHAHA ||
KRITE TRETAADISHU HYESHAAM AAYURHAHRASATI PADADHAHA ||
Meaning: In the Satya Yuga, people would engage in pious and religious activities and good conduct. As a result a human being would beget all his desires fulfilled and would live up to four hundred years. Due to subsequent attenuation of righteousness, one leg of Dharma ceased to exist and nearly a hundred years of life expectancy reduced.

A Karma Yogi should utilize every moment of his life in selfless actions and abstain from frustration. He should remember the past and should incept work in the present in order to make the future brighter. We should audaciously face all the hurdles and obstacles of life fearlessly.

Even Lord Shri Krishna has told people to engage in good deeds-

KARMANYEVADHIKAR ASTE MAA PHALESHU KADAACHANA ||    (GITA)
“O Partha!- you have right to action only so take up action and not attach yourself to the fruits”.

It is on the basis of this education that humans have been treading on the path of Karma since the times immemorial. Manu has instructed people to be conscious aboout their actions and deeds. Humans should selflessly engage in deeds without thinking of happiness.

Humans engage in enjoying on the basis of destiny and perseverance. All humans desire happiness and progress. So according to the instructions of the Manu Smriti human should continually engage in good deeds. The path of evil will fetch misery and eternal sorrow.

SECOND CHAPTER
The second chapter discusses the procedure and methods of observing vows and performing ceremonies. The existence of life depends on these two things. Ceremonies make a human pure while vows make them prosperous. Success of life depends on purity and religious prosperity.

CEREMONIES
All those religious deeds, which are executed under the supervision and guidance of scholars are ceremonies. Such scholars, however, should be devoid of desires and hostility. All humans right from the Himalayas to the western costs have been protecting their culture and civilization on the basis of these ceremonies.

  • According to Manu, during gestation period, performance of ceremonies such as Havan (religious sacrifice), the defects of the foetus can be eliminated. The human body can be purified with ceremonies like Jatakarma, Chudakarma and Upanayana.
  • Manu has instructed the people that it is important to carry out Jatakarma of the new-borne baby before cutting the umbilical cord. After that the child is given honey, ghee amidst Vedic mantras.
  • The naming ceremony should be carried out on the tenth or the twelfth day, according to the auspicious time.
  • Acharya Manu has suggested that the girl child should be given a name easy to pronounce, beautiful and denoter of blessings.
  • Four months after the birth, the Nishkramana ceremony takes place when the child is brought out of the house into open environment. Feeding of the child with cooked food begins with the Annaprashana ceremony.
  • According to Manu the ‘Mundan’ ceremony of the child should be performed in the first year or the third year. Manu’s statement for Upanayana Sanskara (thread ceremony) is as follows-


GARBHASHTAMEY ABDEY KUREET BRAHMANOPANAYANAM ||
GARBHADEKAADASHETY RAGYO GARBHATTU DWADASHE VISHAHA ||   (2/36)
Meaning: The thread ceremony of the Brahmins, Kshatriya and Vaishya boys should be executed by the 8th and 11th year respectively. Rishi Manu has determined the minimum and maximum age limit for execution of thread ceremony of the Brahmin boy desirous of radiance of Brahma, of the Kshatriya boy desirous of strength and of the Vaishya boy desirous of wealth as 5th, 6th and 8th years respectively.

The Smritis give a bit of leniency with regard to the age at which the thread ceremony can be performed. Manu has fixed the maximum age limit for execution of thread ceremony as 16th, 20th, 24th years for the Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya boy respectively. During the thread ceeremony, they should be hence given the Savitri Mantra for recitation. Manu has set strict provisions that those Brahmins, whose thread ceremony is not performed with the stipulated time frame, should be expelled from community and that they should not be entertained even in the state of emergency .

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MATRU BHIKSHA
Manu has stated a number of methods and procedures for observing vows. There is a custom of begging for alms in the period of practicing celibacy. Manu has stated that begging for alms should begin from home so that one doesn’t initially face insult and contempt and that the path in the future may be peaceful and devoid of impediments.

MAATAARAM VA SWASAARAM VAA MATURVA BHAGINIM NIJAAMA ||
BHIKSHETA BHIKSHAAMA PRATHAMAM YAA CHAINAM NAAVAMANAYETA ||  (2/50)
Meaning: So as not to be insulted initially we should beg for alms from the mother, the aunt or from sister. All these ceremonies are executed till date in our society. Custom of expelling a person just because he has not undergone his thread ceremony, has weakened over time. But in our society, even till date, the thread ceremony is an essential condition for marriage. In some communities, execution of thread ceremony is allowed even after marriage. With the elimination of Gurukul system, custom of begging for alms by the Brahmachari has also been eliminated.

THE METHOD OF PARTAKING FOOD
All people first thank goddess Bhagwati, Saraswati and then happily partake food. During meals all worries are kept aside and other miscellaneous topics are discussed. Manu instructs that we should offer the food we get first to the gods and then partake it.

PUJITAM HYASHANAM NITYAM BALAMURJAM CHA YACHCHATI ||
APUJITAM TU TADBHUKTAM UBHAYAM NASHAYEDIDAM ||
Meaning: Food must be respected because it is a bestower of radiance and strength. But when disrespect is shown towards food it destroys both. Food taken with happiness helps one to resist diseases and ailments.

PROHIBITION TO TAKE LEFTOVER FOOD
Acharya Manu was a rationalist. He has instructed all never to partake leftover food.

NA UCHISHTAM KASYA CHID DADYANNA DYACCHAIVA TATHAANTARA ||
Meaning- Do not give anyone leftover and defiled food and do not partake anyone’s leftover and defiled food.

Partaking leftover food reduces and attenuates one’s moral growth. If the person who leaves food is not that pious and if we partake the leftover food, his unrighteousness seeps into us. Again if he is ailing there is a danger of contacting his ailment through his leftover food. In nay case, the person is burdened with sins who partakes or gives leftover food.

But this custom is not applicable for the wife. By partaking her husband’s food, the religious strength of the husband enters the wife and helps her in maintaining fidelity towards her husband. By having such a faithful wife, the husband also is bestowed with good health, piety and a healthy mind.

Women can also partake their children’s leftover food. Sometimes two or three women eat from one plate. It is also absolutely wrong and inappropriate practice.

PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE ON HAND

ANGUSHTAMULASYA TALEY BRAHMAM TIRTHAM PRACHAS SHATEE ||
KAYAM ANGULIMULEY AGREY DAIVAM PRITRAYM TAYORDHAHA ||   (2/58)
Meaning- Just below the base of the thumb and below the base of the small finger lies the Brahma Tirtha and Prajapati Tirtha respectively. In the first phalange of the fingers and near the thumb and in between the thumb and index finger lies the Deva Tirtha and Pitar Tirth respectively.

VEDIC CEREMONY FOR WOMEN
Acharya Manu has clearly stated the Vedic ceremony to be executed for women-

VAIVAAHIKO VIDHIHI STRINAAMA SANSKAARO VAIDIKAHA SMRITAHA ||
PATISEVA GURAO VAASO GRIHARTHO AGNI PARIKRIYA ||  (2/67)
Meaning- Marriage is the Vedic ceremony to be executed for a woman. The service towards husband is like the company of a Guru and cooking food is like the daily religious sacrifice performed. Even today, women adhere to this dictate and put their heart and soul to serve their husband and family. Today many a woman are inclined towards study of Vedas but they do so only after completing their household chores.

THE INCEPTION OF THE LEARNING OF VEDAS
Manu believes that the thread ceremony speaks of the good virtues accumulated by the Dwijas. It also evinces the action to be performed in the present birth. That is why Manu has instructed the principal teachers to teach all the students coming to the Gurukul things related to cleanliness, conduct, religious sacrifice, Sandhya, Upasana etc.

Manu has instructed all the celibate people to touch the feet of the Guru before and after recitation of the Vedic mantras. The disciple should shun all laziness and should be alert whilst studying in the company of the Guru. Name recitation is very helpful in improving concentration power. Manu has considered name recitation more beneficial than mere rituals.

CONTROL OF SENSES:
Manu has instructed to control all the sense organs i.e. eyes, nose, skin, tongue and ears, the motor organs i.e. rectum, penis, hands, legs and speech and the mindthe driver of all the other organs. Desire breeds desire just as ghee activates the fire. So one should learn to subdue desire by contention.

By controlling all senses, the person gets free from all the worries. By surrendering to the senses the body becomes enslaved and the mind also is initiated. That is why in order to attain the four attainments (Purshastra) one should seek recourse to Yoga Sadhana.

IMPORTANCE OF SANDHYA
Manu Muni opines that regular recitation of Vedic Mantras, religious sacrifice, recitation of names of God can be done at other time as it is not appropriate to overlook or neglect Nitya karma. Overlooking Nitya karma (ablutions) is like Brahmayata in which the Vedadhyaya is the oblation offered.

By performing Sandhya in the morning, a person can wash away sins performed at night and by performing Sandhya in the evening a person can wash away all sins performed in the morning. Sandhya Vandan. This ceremony is practiced by many people till date.

STATEMENT DENOTING GREETINGS
Manu states that by serving the elderly people one can beget a long life, good health, success and strength.

We should also learn to respect aged people. When elderly people come before us, we should greet them and stand up in their respect. There is a scientific rationale for this. When elderly people come before us, the slight trepidation i.e. the prana Vayu (vital breath) becomes straight and comes back to its original position.

VITTAM BANDHURVAYAHA KARMA ||
VIDYA BHAVATI PANCHAMI ||
AEETAANI MAANYASTHAANAANI GARIYO YADYAT UTTARAM ||  (2/136)
Meaning: The five things are- wealth, friends, age, deeds and knowledge. Amongst these things the first one is inferior to the second subsequently. According to Manu, that person who possesses the maximum number of merits amongst the aforesaid ones is the most respectable and honourable.

But in the present scenario, it is in the best interest of the people not to have pride on their qualities and neither should the common people have any malevolence against others.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MOTHER
Acharya Manu says that the Guru, who is the bestower of the Vedic Mantra, is far more superior to the father. But the mother is even greater than the Guru. The mother not only gives birth to the child but also is the first school of the child. Right from the state of the foetus to the childhood, the child is in the care of his mother and becomes physically and mentally strong. Even if the mother is young and inexperience, she is considered superior because in consideration of duties the age is irrespective.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF KNOWLEDGE

AGYO BHAVATI VAI BALAHA ||
PITA BHAVATI MANTRA DAHA ||    (2/153)
Meaning: A child is he who is bereft of knowledge and he who bestows the Vedic mantras is the father. A person can learn many a thing from those who are younger than him. Although such a person does not become a Guru, he definitely becomes equivalent to a Guru.

Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras are respected and due to their knowledge, valiance, wealth and service respectively and not because of their age.

PROHIBITION TO INSULT
Manu has clearly instructed that one should not insult others just because one’s mind is perturbed or disturbed. We should not embrace hostility or enemity and should not say anything that hurts others because by doing so only sin takes birth which always makes one anxious.

SUKHAM HYAVAMATAHA SHETE SUKHAM CHA PRATIBUDHYATE ||
SUKHAM CHARATI LOKE ASMINNAVAMANTA VINASHYATI ||  (2/163)
Meaning- A person who is insulted sleeps in happiness gets up in happiness and dwells in happiness and roams happily in this world but he who shows disrespect and insults others is destroyed because he incurs sin.

As righteousness was in completeness in Satya Yuga, humans were sufficiently honest and allegiant. The statement of Manu Smriti makes this honesty all the more firm and assertive. But humans today are indulging in insulting people and demeaning them.

THE GREATNESS OF ACTIONS
Deeds itself make a human immortal.
|| KIRTIYASYA SA JIVATI ||
Meaning- He only remains alive who becomes successful. If deeds are good, one gets a lot of success and he earns a lot of name and fame. This statement of Manu Smriti is considered sublime till date. Every human being today is striving to achieve wealth, valiance and knowledge.

Manu advises us to seek the aid of ‘padarth traya’ i.e. Artha, Kama, Moksha for realization of fame and glory as these three vital things shall lead to well being undoubtedly.

One can accomplish any task in this world with the blessings of parents and the Guru. Hence one should serve all of them with love and devotion. By seeking the blessings of parents and Guru all religious deeds performed by a person are considered respectable. The service towards all three of them is itself Dharma (duty) and everything other than this is Adharma.

The teachings of Manu related to service is being followed till date by young people. But we do come across such people who do not serve their parents and sometimes go to the extent of criticizing them because of their nature or their wife’s nature. In case of contingencies, Manu has gone to the extent of saying that one can attain highest form of knowledge from an inferior person. We should not hesitate in taking a good statement from a small boy, realizing good conduct from an enemy and gold from an impure or dirty place. Manu opines that one can take woman, money, art and purity from any place whenever desired.

THIRD CHAPTER
The third chapter discusses the second state or phase of the Varnas i.e. householdership and its objectives. Manu analyses this phase meticulously and comprehensively. Acharya Manu has accepted the end of Brahmacharya with the study of either three, two or one Veda.

HOUSEHOLDERSHIP (THE SECOND PHASE)
Manu says that after completion of education and with the approval of the Guru, the Brahmachari (celibate) should perform the Samvartan Sanskara (ceremony) and holy bath and thereafter should tie a nuptial knot with a girl from the same clan and who is embellished with all good attributes.

THE SELECTION OF THE CLAN

Manu instructs that-
ASAPINDAA CHA YAA MATU RASA GOTRA CHA YAA PITUHU ||
DWIJATINAAMA SAA PRASHASTAA DAARAKARMANI MAITHUNE ||
Meaning: That girl is worth marrying in the Dwija clan who is within the seven generations of the bridegroom's mother and who does not belong to the same clan as that of the bridegroom’s father. This suggestion of Manu has been strictly followed by people till date.

Manu has also opined that one should not marry a girl who is unhealthy and physically disproportionate.

Due to change of times, adhering to Manu’s instructions is not possible in totality. It is not right to impinge on a woman’s right and her fortune just because she has one demerit or defect. Manu has also stated that one should not marry an ugly woman at all or that woman who does not have a brother. But in the present scenario this statement seems to be inappropriate as the nature of the girl is more important than the beauty and other credentials whether she has a brother or not.

Manu has not put down any instructions for the selection of man for marriage in a male dominated society like ours, although social imbalance can be caused due to both of them. Anyway this rule laid down by Manu has been totally eliminated and this can be stated as the achievement of our era.

TYPES OF MARRIAGES
Acharya Manu has classified marriages into eight broad types for the attainment of ideal on earth as well as attainment of heaven. Under this, we refine the most important Ashram (attainment), householdership by marriage.

BRAHMO DAIVASTHAIVARSHAHA PRAAJAPATYASTATHAASURAHA ||
GANDHARVO RAKSHAGASHCHAIVA RAISHACHASHCHASHTAMO ADHAMAHA ||   (3/21)
Meaning- The different types of marriage are Brahma, Daiva, Aarsha, Prajapatya, Aasura, Gandharva, Raakshasa and the most inferior types is Paishaacha. Acharya Manu has prohibited superior Brahmins to get married in the Asura and Paishacha method. He has approved the Asura, Gandharva, Rakshasa and Paishacha methods of marriage for Kshatriya. He has approved Asura Gandharva and Paishacha method for the Vaishya and Shudra castes.

THE WORSHIP OF WOMEN
Acharya Manu opines that it is the duty of all the family members to worship the female child by giving her new clothes and ornaments. That clan is blessed and is showered with success where women are honoured and in which daughters and daughters-in-law are happy and satisfied.

YATRA NARYASTU PUJYANTE RAMANTE TATRA DEVTAHA ||
YATRAITASTU NA PUJYANTE SARVASTATRA PHALAHAA KRIYAHA ||  (3/56)
Meaning- Gods reside there where women are honoured and respected. Where they are ill-treated and disrespected all the deeds i.e. Yagya etc. do not materialize into anything beneficial. When the husband and wife are mutually happy, the family is bound to be happy. In this way the responsibilities shall be accomplished easily and happily.

THE DUTIES OF A HOUSEHOLDER
Just as all creatures depend upon air; similarly all the other three Ashrams depend on the duties coveted to householdership.

YASMAATATRAYO APYASHRAMINO JNAANANNENA CHANVAHAM ||
GRIHASTHENAIVA DHAARYANTE TASMAJJYESHTHASHRAMO GRIHI ||   (3/78)
Meaning- By incessant contemplation on the Veda and donation of food one is blessed by celibacy, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa (total renunciation) but the Grihastha Ashram (Householdership) is superior to all the Ashrams.

For attainment of higher status in this world and to enjoy the pleasure of heaven a person ought to control all his senses, to lead the life of a householder in accordance with the rules stated, otherwise it results in trouble to the deceased ancestors and moreover the forthcoming generations also have to undergo a vale of sufferings. It is the duty of the householder to nurture and maintain the livelihood of all the family members and to give donation according to one’s capacity. It is also the duty of the householder to maintain amicable relations with one and all.

HOSPITALITY TOWARDS GUESTS
It is very essential that we are hospitable towards our guests. Only this can fetch us success, wealth and long life. It is this hospitality that helps the householder to beget the pleasure of both the lokas (worlds)

PACIFICATION OF THE DECEASED ANCESTOR
Manu has given permission for the Agnihotri Brahmin householder to perform Pitru Yagya on the Amavasya day and perform Pinda-dana every month. This monthly rites needs to be performed and is referred as Anvaaharya. By doing so, one is bestowed by progeny and wealth.

One can beget pleasures of both the lokas (worlds) if one gives food to a Brahmin with faith. As a result of these rites, the deceased ancestors enjoy all the pleasures of heaven for a long time and eventually attain

FOURTH CHAPTER
The Fourth Chapter of the Manu Smriti sheds light on the livelihood aspect of life. It also discusses various forms and Ashrams thus related. The merits and demerits of character are also delineated in this chapter.

EARNING A LIVELIHOOD
Manu states that life of a human ought to be this way-

CHATURTHAM AYUSHO BHAGAMUSHITVA AADYAM GURAO DWIJAHA ||
DWITIYAM AYUSHO BHAGAM KRITADARO GRIHE VASETA ||
Meaning- In the life span of a hundred years, the first 25 years of life is spent as a Brahmachari in a Gurukula. In the next 25 years he enjoys all the pleasures including conjugal happiness and accepts responsibilities as a householder. Manu states that the householder should not engage in any inferior method to earn a livelihood. He should not allow his mind to be vagrant and should learn to be satisfied and contended.

One can attain the highest state of bliss if one earns his livelihood by the rules mentioned in the Vedas.

According to Manu, a Brahmin should earn his livelihood by performing Yagyas and teaching, the Kshatriya should earn his living by protecting the subjects, the Vaishya should earn his living by practicing trade and commerce and the Shudra should earn his living by serving the others. But neither of them should seek recourse to indolence and untruthfulness.

THE VOWS OBSERVED BY THE ONE WHO COMPLETES EDUCATION
Those disciples who graduat from the Gurukula after finishing their studies should serve the Brahmins who have come. In this state the graduated Brahmin should not refuse the donation given by the king. It is the duty of the graduated Brahmin to observe all the rules of householdership. On the Samavartana ceremony being performed the Brahmin graduates to householdership after performing the holy bath.

BAD CONDUCT

Manu says-

NA ANNA MADHYAA EKAVAASAA NA NAGNAHA SNANAM AACHARETA ||   (4/45)
Meaning- We should not partake food by wearing only one cloth. We should not take a bath removing all the clothes. Due to this bad conduct righteousness is vitiated. Manu has said-

NASHNIYAA TSANDHI VELAAYAAMA NA GACCHENNAAPI SAMVINSHETA ||   (4/55)
Meaning- “One should not have food, travel or sleep in the evening. One should not engage in any aimless work .”

NA KURVEET VRITHACHESHTAAMA ||
Acharya Manu has stated to protect the Vedas from unclear pronunciation.

Meaning- One should not recite the Vedas without pronouncing the Vedic mantras in the Udaatta, Anudatta and Swareet manner. Manu has instructed that during leisure time one should not try to study and reflect. By establishing peace one is bestowed with the feelings of both Saraswati and Laxmi. Hence one should abstain from turbulence and violence. According to Manu, the method of conversation should be mellifluous and polite.

SAAYAM BRUYAAT PRIYAM BRUYAATA NA BRUYAATSATYAM PRIYAM ||
PRIYAM CHA NANRITAM BRUYADESH DHARMAHA SANATANAHA ||   (4/138)
Meaning- Speak the truth, speak politely, do not speak lies, harsh and unbearable words, this is the eternal duty. Manu has stated that no one should be criticized or hurt physically or mentally. We should not be sarcastic about other community or financial condition as it has a contradictory effect on our own family.

FIFTH CHAPTER
The Fifth chapter discusses what has to be eaten and what one has to abstain from because it is inedible.

THINGS WORTH EATING AND NOT EATING
Manu Smriti states that the Brahmin has to abstain from onions, carrots and garlic as they have a foul smell. It is not worth partaking the milk of an impure cow, the oblation for a Yagya etc. are not worth eating. Even the milk of wild animals is not worth drinking.

According to Manu Smriti, it is possible to be emancipated from the sins incurred by eating non-edible things by observing different vows.

DESCRIPTION OF THINGS WORTH EATING
For the Brahmins, properly cooked cereals, rice cooked in milk are worth eating. Even if these things are stale, a Brahmin can eat them mixing with pure ghee. Things made of barley, wheat and condensed milk remain delicious for many days. The meat of animal sacrificed in religious ceremonies is also suitable for eating by a Brahmin. During illness, the Brahmin can freely eat meat to save his life.

YAGYARTHAM PASHAVAH SHRISTAH ||
SWAYAMEV SWAYAM BHUVAH ||
YAGYASYA BHUTYAI SAVESYA ||
TASMADYAGYE VADHOAVADHAH ||
Meaning: Brahma himself has produced animals to be sacrificed in Yagyas. Sacrificing animals to carry out Yagyas successfully is not termed as violence. Care must be taken only to see that the votive animal should be tamed and not wild.

In the consideration of edible-non-edible things, Manusmriti reveals supreme secret of life and says:

NA MANSABHAKSHANE DOSHO ||
NA MADYE NA CHA MAITHUNE ||
PRAVRITTIRESHA BHUTANAM ||
NIVRITTISTU MAHAPHALA ||
Meaning: It is not a sin to eat meat, to drink wine and to have sex with a woman because these are the natural instincts of all the organisms and humans are no exception to it. But abstaining from these activities leads to successful life.

Here, Manu preaches about action and inaction, very much like Lord Krishna had preached in Dwapar in Geeta. Even in Geeta, these activities have not been described as taboo but proper refraining and moral limits must be respected.

CREMATION RITUALS
For all the four classes of Hindus, Manusmriti very clearly dictates regarding cremation rituals.

DASHAAHAM SHAAVMAASOUCHAM SAPINDESHU VIDHIYATE ||
Meaning- For the ten days after the death of a person, his relatives are regarded as impure. However, if a child dies before ‘Mundan’ (shaving of head hair) relatives are impure for a day and night, if a son dies before Upanayana (wearing of sacred thread) his relatives are impure for three nights. Body of child below two years of age should be decorated with flowers and buried at a holy place (place not used for defecation purpose) outside the boundary of the village. Their bones should not be collected.

Child’s body must not be consigned to flames nor should it be given a bath before burial. If the child was between 2 and 3 years of age, it can be given watery oblations. However, if teeth had appeared, the body of the child can be given a bath and consigned to flames. Acharya Manu dictates that if a girl dies immediately after her engagement, her would-be husband and in-laws can get purified within three days. The same thing applies to the parents of the deceased girl. But during the period of impurity, the near ones of the girl must not eat artificial salt.

If the news of death comes from abroad some days after the death, the relatives are considered impure for as many days as remaining from the ten days. However, if the news of death arrives after ten days, relatives are considered impure for three days only. And if the news of death arrives after a year, relatives can get themselves purified by a single bath.

If a second death occurs in a family within ten days of the first death or a birth takes place within ten days after the death, the Brahmins are considered impure only for the ten days. If a death occurs within a family, Brahmins get purified in ten days; Kshatriyas in twelve days, Vaishyas in fifteen days and Shudras get purified in a month. Celibates can offer watery oblations only after they have dropped celibacy. Of course, if they carry the body of their parents or teacher, their celibacy remains intact.

If the dead body of an unrelated person is touched out of affection, one is considered impure for ten days. A disciple of another caste who has cremated his teacher can get purified only after ten days. In the case of abortion, the mother is considered impure for as many days as the age of the unborn child was, expressed in months. But this condition applies for a six months old foetus.

RAJASYU PARATE SAADHVI SNANEN STREE RAJASVALLA ||
Meaning- During the course of monthly periods, a married woman is purified by taking a bath after the bleeding has stopped.

Manu also dictates that when a birth occurs in the family, members are considered impure for ten days. Distant relatives however get purified within three days only. According to religion, savants are purified by forgiveness; those, who do not perform any religious action, get purified by making donations. Those who commit sins get purified through recitations whereas scholars of Vedas have to observe severe penance in order to get purified. Water purifies body, truth purifies mind, knowledge and penance purify the soul and the knowledge saves the intellect from impurities. This kind of thinking is still valid in our society.

PURITY OF THE MATERIAL WEALTH
It is possible to purify gems and jewels, metals, stones etc. with the help of soil, ash and water. Utensils used in Yagyas can be purified simply by dusting them with hands. Cereals can be purified by sprinkling water. Winnow, mortar etc. can be purified with hot water. Earthen pots however cannot be purified by any of these methods and have to be discarded after use. Such kind of practice of purifying various household objects is still in use.

DUTIES OF A WOMAN
Dictates of Manusmriti are especially harsh in defining the duties of a woman. This strictness however has been adopted to protect the chastity of the woman folk.

BALYE PITURVASHE TISHTHETHT PANIGRAHASYA ||
YAUVANE PUTRANAAM BHARTARI PRETE NA BHAJETSTREE SVATANTRATAAM ||
Meaning- A woman must stay in the guardianship of her father in childhood, of her husband in youth, and of her son after she has been widowed. But in no circumstances, should she live independently.

A woman should never execute the important tasks of her family independently whether she is a young girl, a woman or an old lady. At the same time, she should not crave to live separately from her father, husband or son. Such a practice seriously tarnishes the reputation of her parents and in-laws. A woman must carry on the usual household tasks cheerfully.

CHAPTER SIX
In this chapter, third and fourth phases of the life of Brahmin class have been discussed.

VANPRASTHASHRAM
Discharging the duties of a married life, when a Brahmin reaches his middle age, he arranges for the marriage of his children and puts the burden of household on their shoulders and himself takes retirement from active life. Now, a Brahmin takes exile to observe the religious practices in the forest. Control of senses is of utmost importance during this phase of life. He can leave his wife in the guardianship of his son or can take her also to the forest.

VASEET CHARMCHEERAM VA SAAYAM SNAAYAAT PRAGE TATHA JATAASHVA ||
VIBHRIYANNITYAM RAMASHRULOMNAKHANI CHA ||
Meaning- During the Vanprastha phase of life, one should wear deer skin or the bark of a tree. He should take bath in the morning and evening daily and grow his hair, beard and nails. It is also necessary for a Vanprasthi to organize Yagyas five times a day in which he donates cereals, vegetables, fruits etc. to the sages. He has to grow these things himself. He should also recite Vedas and have a merciful view on all the creatures. Vanprastha phase of life is in fact a preparatory stage for the person to enter the last phase of the life, the Sanyaashram.

SANYAASASHRAM
In this phase of life, a person feels overwhelmed when he experiences the existence of God. This phase is thus a resting time for a person who is tired of his long journey through the previous three phases of life.

AASHRAM ADAASHRAMAM GATVAA ||
HUTAHOMO JITENDRIYAHA ||
BHIKSHA BALIPARISHRANTO ||
PRAVRAJAN PRETYA VARDHATE ||
Meaning- After passing the third stage of life in the forest, a person enters this last stage of his life and gets free from the obligation to the gods, sages and his parents. Now he craves with all his mind and action for supreme salvation. But without getting free from these obligations, one cannot attain salvation; instead he is entitled to hell. In this phase of life, a person is also free from affections for his near ones. Now, he has neither a home nor a familly. He doesn’t have to care for his health either. He has no craving for life and eats only as much as his bowl could hold and passes his time under a tree. He wears old and coarse clothes and always reflects on the virtues of God.

MOKSHA
Every living being on earth including human being is a microcosm of the eternal almighty supreme soul called God. Birth, death and birth again are nothing but a part of endless journey a soul has to undertake. Scriptures believe that this cycle of birth and death is the result of one’s own action.

ADHARMPRABHAVAM CHAIV ||
DUHYOGAM SHARIRINAAM ||
DHARMARTHPRABHAVAM CHAIV ||
SUKHSANYOGAMAKSHYAM ||
Meaning- Sorrows are the result of one’s irreligious actions. Religious actions bear such a fruit enjoyment of which never ends.

The same fruit, which one gets as a result of his religious actions, is termed as Moksha. Here, a living being gets free from the cycle of life and death. Manusmriti dictates that the one, who is willing to have a sight of God, must practice Pranayam daily. Thus, a totally indifferent person receives satisfaction in this life and eternal salvation in the metaphysical world. Moksha is nothing but the fruit of meditation practiced with the knowledge of the spiritual discourses. Vedas show the method of perfecting meditation. Hence, the study of Vedas is indispensable during all the four phases of life.

VEDA SANYAAS
For the attainment of salvation, one doesn’t have to abandon his home. He can attain salvation staying at home also. During the fourth phase of life, a father should pass on the burden of household to his son/s and himself take to religious practices with free and peaceful mind. Such kind of asceticism is known as Veda Sanyaas. Currently, this practice is prevalent in our society.

SEVENTH CHAPTER
This chapter comprehensively discusses the duties of a king. Being himself a king, Manu has described the results of the merits and demerits of the kings who belong to Satya Yuga.

DUTIES OF THE KING
Initially, there was total anarchy in the world. There was complete disorder in moral, economic and physical fields. To salve the world, God created the king from the parts of Devraj Indra, Agni, Surya, Varun, Chandrama, Kuber, Vayu and Yama. Thus, produced from the parts of these eight deities, a king had enough brilliance to control all the creatures. For this purpose, a king uses Saam (convincing), Daam (temptations), Dand (punishment) and Bheda (differentiation). These four are still important political means in the modern age. Afraid of the brilliance of a king, his subjects keep to the religious path. Acharya Manu has also cautioned the king to be always alert while ruling his subjects.
SWARASHTRE NYAYVRITAH SYAAD
BHRIGDANDASHCHA SHATRUSHU|
SUBRHITSWAJIHRAMAH SNIAGESHU
BRAHMANESHU KSHAMAANVITAH||

Meaning- A king should be just for his subjects. He should punish his enemies ruthlessly. He should behave honestly with his peers and be forgiving for the Brahmins.

A king should also be vigilant regarding his army and justice. Crimes always increase in the absence of punishment. In the absence of justice, respect for the king diminishes in the eyes of the subjects. Extreme strictness however causes panic among the public while rulings, given mildly are bound to be violated. Hence, a king should have proper balance of strictness and softness and behave according to the situation. The public is the real strength of a king, hence he should guard his strength more than his life. This is the main duty of the king. A king must always strive to save himself from the anger of the public. He should see his well being in the protection of the kingdom and progress of the public.

DUTIES OF THE SUBJECTS
The king and the subjects are the two sides of the same coin. As the duties of the king have been clearly demarcated, similarly duties of the subjects have been clearly illustrated in Manu Smriti. Subjects must respect the king like their father. Well being of the nation is possible only through mutual co-operation between the king and his subjects.

BALEAPI NAAVMANTAVYO
MANUSHYA ITI BHUMIPAH|
MAHATI DEVTA HYESHA
NARARUPEN TISHTHATI||
Meaning- Even if the king is minor in age, he should not be treated as an ordinary person nor should he be disrespected because king is a human incarnation of great divine powers.
Since the king is abiding to the religious path and inspires his subjects to follow the religion, hence disobeying the orders of a king leads to the destruction of the subjects.

YASYA PRASADE PADMA SHRIRVIJAYASHCH PARAKARME|
MRITYUSHCH VASATI KRODHE SARVATEJOMAYO HI SAH||
Meaning- In the pleasure of a king resides Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. In the bravery of the king resides victory. In his anger resides Kaal.

EIGHT CHAPTER
In this chapter of Manu Smriti, economic matters have been discussed in detail.

DIFFERENCES OF COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES
Activities of the people who work in a system of a kingdom have been differentiated into eighteen parts. These are as follows:

1)Exchange of credits.
2)Keep any valuable thing as mortgage.
3)Selling anything without permission.
4)Business in partnership.
5)Taking back anything given earlier.
6)Non-payment of salary.
7)Not keeping the promise.
8)Difference of words regarding purchase and sale.
9)Disputes between the employer and employee.
10)Border disputes.
11)Impolite behaviour.
12)Theft.
13)Snatching anything with force.
14)Polyandry among women.
15)Religious orderliness between husband and wife.
16) Division of ancestral property.
17) Gambling.
18) Organizing fights between animals.

These disputes should be settled by a religious king or a wise Brahmin appointed by the king.

YASMINDESHE NISHEEDANTI VIPRA VEDVIDASTRAYAH
RAGYAASHCHADHIKRITO VIDWANBRAHMANSTAM SABHAAM VIDUH||
Such a court of the king, which is attended by three learned Brahmins or by a representative savant of the king, has been described as the court of Brahma.

DUTIES OF THE WITNESS
On behalf of the religion, a witness must always speak truth and nothing but truth.

PADOADHARMASYA KARTAARAM PADAH SAAKSHINMRICHCHHATI|
PADAH SABHASADAH SARVAANPADO RAAJAANMRICHCHHATI||
Meaning- A fourth part of an irreligious activity goes to the doer. The fourth part of it goes to the witness. Another fourth part of it goes to the courtiers and the remaining fourth part of an irreligious activity goes to the king. Manu therefore dictates for a strict provision of punishment as per the severity of the crime. He also describes a method to make the witness speak truth so that the real criminal can be punished. That is why, a witness is made to take an oath in the name of religion to instill a fear in him. It is also a sin to take oath in the name of religion and not revealing the truth as a witness. Such a witness is regarded as the highly wretched person. The judge must also be very alert towards the activity of the witness.

AAKARAIRINGITAIRGATSA CHESHTAYA BHAASHITEN CHA ||
NETRAVAKATRAVIKAARAISHCH GRIHYATEANTARGATAM MANAH ||
Meaning- The judge must carefully study the appearance, posture, gait, action, way of talking and the expression of the eyes and face of the witness in order to understand what is going on in his mind. It is also a duty of the king and the authorities to make sure that the right person gets his money back. The king must also impose double fine on the defaulting debtors and creditors who make a false claim.

NINTH CHAPTER
This chapter discusses the duties of the men and women, division of property, elimination of criminals and treatment of Vaishyas and Shudras.

DUTIES OF A MAN
When a man and a woman unite or separate from each other, they should observe certain religious duties. A woman passes her life in the custody of someone else. Hence it is necessary for a man to raise and protect the woman properly.

KALEADAATA PITA VACHYO VACHYASHCHANUPAYANPATIH ||
MRITE BHARTARI PUTRASTU VACHYO MAATURRAKSHITA ||
Meaning- Father is criticized for not marrying his daughter at the right age. Husband is criticized for not conjugating with his wife when she is ready to bear a child and son is criticized for not looking after his mother after the death of his father. Protecting a woman is the biggest, religious duty of a man. Only through it, can the children, character, clan, soul and morality of a man be preserved.

DUTIES OF A WOMAN
Only those women, who naturally protect themselves according to the religion, stay protected.

PRAJANAARTHAM MAHABHAGAH PUJAARHA GRIHADEEPTAYAH ||
STREEYAH SHREEYASHCHA GEHESHU NA VISHESHOASTI KASHCHAN ||
Meaning- Begetting children is the greatest obligation of women. Women are, therefore, venerable and regarded as honour of the home. Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, and a woman both have equal position in a house.A woman is a replica of honour. Hence, her duty and responsibility for the family are also very important. Only those women are respected who live in the society within the limits of their family norms. A characterless woman not only loses her own honour but also of her family as well. Hence, it is the supreme duty of both the men and women to live life long mutually co-operating with each other in all the religious, economic and family matters.

DIVISION OF PROPERTY
Manu dictates that after the death of the father, all the brothers should divide the ancestral property among them equally. Living independently leads to an increase in the religious virtues. Hence, the division of property among the legal inheritors is prescribed to by the religion.

APUTROANEN VIDHINAA SUTAAM KURVEET PUTRIKAAM ||
YATPATYAM BHAVEDASYAAM TANMAM SYATASVADHAAKARAM ||
Meaning- A father, who has no son, recognizes his daughter as the legal inheritor of his property and says that her son would be a salver for him. Thus, Manu recognizes the tradition of appointing the son of one’s daughter as the legal inheritor of the property. A son salves his ancestors from the tortures of the hell. Hence, by the birth of son, one gets a place in the heaven. Birth of a grandson ensures a prolonged staying in the heaven. And the birth of the great grandson ensures a place in the abode of the Sun. The eldest son born to the wife of the same caste gets maximum prestige in the society.

ELIMINATION OF THE CRIMINALS
The king, the minister, the villages, the countryside, treasure, army and friends, these seven are the natural wealth of a kingdom. In a kingdom however, also present are gamblers, thieves, robbers, thugs, smugglers and scores of other anti-social elements that put serious hurdles in the progress of the kingdom. Hence, it is the duty of the king that he makes continuous efforts to eliminate these anti-social elements.

RAGYAH KOSHAAPHARTASHCH PRATIKULESHU CHA ISTHITAAN ||
GHAATYEDWIVIDHAIRDANDAIRAREENAM CHOPJAAPKAAN ||
Meaning- The king must punish those who steal from the royal treasure, who conduct in opposition of the king and instigate the traitors.Peace cannot reign in a kingdom without eliminating the culprits. Without peace, fear is rampant among the public. Hence punishing the criminals is necessary to make the others to follow suit. With the help of spies and agents, a king should also keep in touch with the activities of the enemies. History of all the ages is in fact an account of the lives of the different kings who had ruled the earth during those ages. Hence, the king is synonymous with the age.

KALIH PRASUPTO BHAVATI SA JAAGRADDWAAPARAM YUGAM ||
KARMASVABHYUDYATSTRETAA VICHARAMSTU KRITAM YUGAM ||
Meaning- A sleeping king is known as Kali Yuga. An awakened king is identified with Dwapar Yuga. A king ready for actions is known as Treta Yuga while a king actually in action is known as Krita Yuga (Satya Yuga).

DUTIES OF THE VAISHYA AND SHUDRAS
Discussing the actions of different classes of the society, Manu Smriti says that after the marriage, a Vaishya must be engaged in activities related to agriculture, trade and rearing of animals. He should have the knowledge of the variations in the prices of the gemstones, pearl, iron and cloth. He should also have the ability of differentiating between the good and the bad deeds and between the qualities of the various goods.

Regarding the duties of Shudra, Smriti says that it is the supreme duty of a Shudra to serve the others.

TENTH CHAPTER
This chapter liberally discusses about the marriages between the people of different castes and one’s duties during emergency time.

MARRIAGES BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT CASTES
Distinct classes based on the caste form a specialty of the Indian society since ancient times. In a society, which is mainly based on the caste system, marriage is a highly sensitive matter. Marriage between the people who belong to the same caste has got maximum recognition in all the four classes of Indian society. Children born to such a marriage get respect in the society. If the husband belongs to higher class or caste and wife to the lower class or caste, the marriage is known as ‘Anulom’ marriage. If a woman of higher caste or class is married to a man of lower caste, the marriage is known as ‘Pratilom’ marriage.

According to Manu, marriage in the same caste is excellent. Anulom marriage is mediocre while Pratilom marriage is strictly against the religion. A son born in Anulom marriage has to face disrespect and frequent insults due to lower caste of his mother. But he still bears the name of his father and hence gets recognition in the family. But the children born in Pratilom marriage bear the name of their low caste father despite having a mother of higher caste.

Such a detailed consideration of caste prior to marriage is not so prevalent now-a -days. Changes with time have taught the society some bad and some good lessons. The situation is not totally out of control. Though inter-caste marriages are increasingly recognized and promoted by the state but such marriages do not prove effective in the long run.

DUTIES IN EMERGENCIES
Manu Smriti offers liberal relaxation in the moral rules for the people in the times of emergency in order to save their life.

AJEEVAMASTU YATHOKTAIN BRAHMANAH SVEN KARMANAA ||
JIVETKSHATRIYADHARMEN SA HYASY PRATYANANTARAH ||
Meaning- If a Brahmin is unable to run his life by the occupations indicated for him in Vedas, he may take to the occupation of the Kshatriyas for it is the nearest class to him.If a Brahmin is unable even in the occupation of the Kshatriya to run his life, he may take to the occupation of the Vaishya as well like agriculture and animal rearing but in no case should he take to the trade. When the crises are over however, a Brahmin should revert back to his original occupation.

For the Kshatriyas, Manu says that in the times of emergency, they may take a profession of Vaishya. But here again, adopting of trade is a taboo. Similarly, a Vaishya can support his life during the crisis by adopting a profession of a Shudra. A Shudra may take to the craftsmanship during emergencies to support himself and his family. Thus, during emergencies, people of a class can adopt a profession of the lower category. But in no case should the people of a particular class tempt to adopt the profession of the higher class. Scriptures say that one’s religion remains superior even despite fragmentation. But adopting of profession of the higher class is sheer sin.

ELEVENTH CHAPTER
This chapter describes the penance that a man must observe to repent the sins he had committed either knowingly or unknowingly. The penance has been shown both directly and indirectly. But in either case, man gets mental peace and hence a long life.

INDIRECT PENANCE
A punishment not executed obviously is known as indirect penance. Manu says that if a donor makes donations at the cost of his family’s requirements, such a donation never bears fruit in this world or in the other. Such a donor does never get comfort anywhere. Similarly, one should not organize grand Soma Yagya unless and until he has enough money to feed his family and servants for three years.

If someone begins second Soma Yagya without arranging to feed his family for a period of three years, the results of previous Soma Yagya fade away. If a Brahmin is organizing a Yagya and finds a shortage in the number of the animals required for the rituals, he may compensate it with the help of a Vaishya donating required number of animals. Similarly, if there is shortage of money to organize a Yagya, it can be compensated for by the money donated by a rich Shudra. There is no sin involved in this practice. If a well to do person refuses to donate money for Yagya, it can be taken forcibly and none of the parties- organizers of the Yagya and the rich person- is inflicted by the sin. Taking money forcibly from the evil ones and distributing it among the needy ones is also a kind of penance for the person who has been robbed and those who got money to meet their requirements. Results of telling lies are very severe though their effect may not appear directly.

YAGYAARTHAMARTHAM BHIKSHITVAA YO NA SARVAM PRAYACHCHHATI ||
SA YAATI BHAASTAAM VIPRAHA KAAKTAAM VAA RAATAM SAMAHA ||
Meaning- A Brahmin who begs money for Yagya but does not use it entirely for the Yagya becomes a carnivorous or a crow for 100 years.A person who adopts means like Tantra (exorcism), Mantra (talisman), Yantra (cryptic geographical figures) with ill wishes never lives peacefully.

DIRECT PENANCE
If someone steals the property of the other and reveals everything truly word by word, this is a kind of penance. Regarding the property, Manu Smriti says that the wealth of those who organize Yagyas is ‘Devdhan’ (godly wealth) whereas the wealth of those who do not organize Yagyas is demonic wealth. Someone, who steals this demonic wealth, is not a thief and doesn’t deserve punishment. A Brahmin is himself capable of inciting penance in such a petty thief.

NA BRAHMANO VEDYET KINCHIDRAAJANI DHARMAVIT ||
SVAVIRYENAIV TAANCHHISHYAANMANAVAANPAKAARINAH ||
Meaning- The religious Brahmin should not report the matter to the king but himself punish the thief as per his capacity.In the opinion of Manu, words of a Brahmin are scriptures in themselves. He should use his words to punish the culprit. A Kshatriya must use his muscle power for this purpose. Vaishya and Shudra may use their wealth to punish the wrong doer.

A Brahmin is the one who dictates for the penance. He therefore orders the penance as punishment without using harsh words. Any shortcoming in the Yagyas leads to the destruction of the organizer. If out of lethargy, a Brahmin drops the practice of routine ‘Havan’ (oblations to the sacred fire), he has to observe one month long fast as penance because dropping this practice of Havan is like killing one’s own son. He who doesn’t do anything as dictated by the scriptures, has to repent.

Penance is a way to undo the sins committed unknowingly. Sins committed knowingly however can be washed by physical punishment only. Stealing of gold deforms the nails. Drinking of intoxicating liquors spoils the teeth. One who kills a Brahmin acquires tuberculosis. A Brahmin is even venerable to the gods. He is the root of the religion and Kshatriya is the leading part of the religion. Hence, confessing a crime before both of them automatically leads to penance. If a Brahmin himself steals gold, the king himself punishes him for the crime.

GRIHITVA MUSALAM RAAJAA ||
SAKRIDHANYAATU TAM SWAYAM ||
Meaning- Wielding a mace, a king himself should hit the Brahmin who had stolen the gold. Killing a Brahmin demands highest degree of penance. Killing a Kshatriya demands a fourth part of it while killing a Vaishya requires eighth part of that penance. Killing of a Shudra however demands only the sixteenth part of the penance. To repent for the killing of a swan, stork, peacock etc. one should donate a cow. If a fruiting tree is felled, one has to recite Gayatri mantra one hundred times.

Manu has also made provisions of observing fast in order to repent obvious sins and to repent secret sins, he has dictated for ‘japa’ (recitation) and ‘homa’ (oblations to sacred fire). Through these actions, effects of the sin wane out and peace takes root in the mind. Tapa is the basis of comfort and it does away with one’s sins. Everybody carries out his responsibility through penance. Hence, the worshippers of trinity do not suffer from any sin. Such kind of penance is still followed in the society even today.
TWELFTH CHAPTER 
In the last chapter, Manu Smriti discusses the results of one’s deeds. Such results are not necessarily manifested in a single birth but are spread into many births crossing the limits of birth and death cycles.

YAA LOKDWAYASAADHANI CHATURTAA SAA CHAATUREE CHAATUREEN ||
Meaning- That cleverness is the real cleverness that helps a person to be successful in the physical and the metaphysical worlds.With this belief in mind, a person begins a journey in the physical world. Fruits of his action accompany him beyond the limits of life and death. It is only with wisdom that the person makes his life successful. Thus wisdom is the best friend of life.

MERITS AND DEMERITS OF THE ACTIONS
Body, mind and the voice are the main source of action. Action is supreme in one’s life. In fact, fortune of a human is determined by his actions.

MANO VIDYAATPRAVARTAKAM ||
Meaning- Mind is the originator of religion. Thinking process regarding anything begins in the mind. As soon as the thought is clear, it is converted into voice. Thus, the voice carries one’s thoughts around. Action is nothing but this conversion of thoughts into voice and ultimately into anything tangible. Thoughts also determine the quality of action. If someone has evil thoughts, his actions shall also be evil. Thus, one’s action very faithfully reflects his thoughts.
There are three kinds of actions:
1) Mental action.
2) Verbal action.
3) Physical action.

Snatching other’s wealth, thinking unfavourably about others and having infidel knowledge, these three mental actions always yield inauspicious results.Speaking harsh words, boasting, finding faults in others and speaking meaningless words are four verbal actions that bear inauspicious fruit.

Robbing someone, unnecessary violence and having physical intimacy with a woman other than wife, these are three inauspicious physical actions.

To get rid from these actions, Manu says-

MAANSAM MANSAIVAAYMUPBHUNKTE SHUBHASHUBHAM ||
VACHAA VACHAA KRITAM KARM KAYENAIV CHA KAYIKAM ||
Meaning- Mind experiences the result of mental actions, voice experiences the result of verbal action and the body experiences the physical actions. As a result of evil, physical actions, a human suffers physical inertia. From evil verbal actions, man gets incarnation of animals and birds while from evil mental actions, man gets birth in lower caste.

Soul has three virtues- Satva (truth), Tama (darkness) and Raj (royalty). Satva gives rise to knowledge, Tama gives rise to ignorance while Raj gives rise to jealousy. Being Sattvic i.e. truthful is the excellent existence for any human being. It ensures a place among the gods. Jealousy is the main virtue of human beings. All the other forms of life are mainly dominated by ignorance. This assortment of life into various incarnations is what the savants call as fortune. If the actions are pious, one gets prestige in physical world and eternal enjoyment in the metaphysical world.

The most sinister human beings suffer various kinds of tortures in the hell. With the complete burning of their sins, they get various incarnations for many births. In other words even after complete destruction of sins, one doesn’t get salvation. All it means to say that one is never free from the results of his actions. In the modern age also, human being seems to give this philosophy a serious thought because an average person always fears the results of his actions and hence thinks hundred times before harming others.

MEANS FOR SALVATION
Control of senses, non-violence, penance, serving the teacher and study of Vedas are the means of salvation for a Brahmin. In the absence of these auspicious actions, knowledge of the self is the best means for him because such knowledge is supreme among all the discourses. Vedic religion is the greatest beneficial means for both the worlds. Under the Vedic karma yoga, worship of ParaBrahma (supreme soul) involves all the pious actions. There are two methods to execute Vedic karma. Vedic karma involving physical actions provide heavenly comforts to the performer. Vedic karma involving mental actions helps the performer to have a sight of knowledge.

PRAVRITAM KARM SANSEVYA DEVAANAAMETI SAAMYATAAM ||
NIVRITTAM SEVAMAANASTU BHUTANYETYETI PANCH VAI ||
Meaning- With physical actions, the performer receives heavenly comforts and with mental actions, the performer conquers the five major elements viz. earth, water, fire, air and aether. In other words, with pious mental action, the performer gets freed from the cycle of life and death and attains salvation.

Seeing the same soul in all the other creatures and in oneself is the attainment of Brahmatva (Unification with the supreme soul). This is the greatest success of a birth in Brahmin incarnation. Veda is the eternal eye of ancestors, gods and all the human beings. Brahmanatva is nothing but a thorough churning of these Vedas and through Brahmanatva, one gets Brahma. Vedas are the greatest source of knowledge. Penance and knowledge are the basis of Veda. Penance destroys all the sins whereas knowledge provides salvation. The way to salvation is nothing but reflection on Brahma in trance-like state.

Power of Brahma is supreme when an aspirant gets this knowledge, he doesn’t relish any other discourse. He sees everything in Brahma. He sees Brahma everywhere. His whole life then begins to flow in the course of Brahma. This Vedic knowledge is the religion to train salvation. All the gods are nothing but the soul. All the physical and metaphysical worlds exist in the soul. The soul initiates action in everybody. Microcosm soul is a part of the supreme soul. With the knowledge of the self as a microcosm of the supreme soul, a human being only longs to have a sight of the supreme soul.

In the present Kali Yuga also, prestige of Manu Smriti has been maintained. Even today, the pages of this great scripture are turned over whenever religious ways are sought in social conduct. The apparent difference seen between the human beings of today and those of the yore is basically due to changes in contemporary circumstances.

Even today, many human beings are seen engaged in the occupation according to their class. The credit of this system goes entirely to Manu. It was Manu who created this great religious scripture in Satya Yuga. Various learned sages carried out suitable changes in the original text to accommodate the changes that took place during the subsequent ages and made this scripture more lenient for the interest of contemporary human beings. Giving suitable and useful suggestions is very important. Our learned sages have done this important job through their religious preaching. Religious and flourishing existence of human beings in the modern era can be regarded as a result of the policy outlined in Manu Smriti.

Post A Comment: