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Manu Smruti

Manu Smruti

(The Laws of Manu)

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Manu Smruti

MANU SMRUTI : AN INTRODUCTION

Manusmruti (also known as Manusmriti or Manusmrti) is the most important and foundational work of Hindu law. It throws light on ancient Indian society, Hindu caste system, laws, rules and codes of conduct for various entities and stages of life for ashramvasi man. Assumed to be compiled and written around 200 CE in India, Manu Smruti is one of the eighteen Smritis of the Dharma Sastra (laws of righteous conduct). Smriti means "what is remembered" and is applied in general to traditional Indian epics, the Puranas, and science and grammar treatises. Unlike the Vedas which are part of "Shruti" means "what is heard" and are considered as eternal or of divine origin, the Smritis are considered to be of human origin and are susceptible to the flaws of humans. Manu Smruti divides society into four classes - Brahmins (teachers and priests), Kshatriyas (administrators and armymen), Vaishyas (traders, farmers and herdsmen) and Shudras (slaves). It defines the duties of four castes, their relative position and determines the penalties to be indicted for any transgressions. The text justify the sanctity of the caste system, authorize Brahmin supremacy, and the lower status to the Shudras. It offeres great concessions in fines and punishments to wrong doing of Brahmin caste in comparision with that offered to the members of the other caste, thus helping exaggerate dignity of the Brahmins while debasing that of the Sudras. Contained in 12 chapters, Manu Smruti is ascribed to Manu, said to be the forefather of all human race. Manu, Brahma's son, the legendary first man and the Adam of the Hindus, records Brahma's words on law, polity, and pleasure. He, then teaches it to his own students, including Bhrigu. Bhrigu then relays this information in the Manu Smriti, to an audience of his own pupils. The text begins with Manu detailing the creation of the world and the society within it, structured around four social classes. The content of this book, can be divided into the following: · Origin of the World (1.1-119) · Sources of the Law (2.1-24) · Dharma of the Four Social Classes (2.25-11.266) · Rules Relating to Law (2.25-10.131) · Rules of Action in Normal Times (2.26-9.336) · Dharma of a Brahmin (2.26-6.97) · Rules of Action for a King (7.1-9.325) · Rules of Action for Vaiyas and dras (9.325-36) · Rules of Action in Times of Adversity (10.1-129) · Rules Relating to Penance (11.1-265) · Determination Regarding Engagement in Action (12.3-116) · Fruits of Action (12.3-81) · Rules of Action for Supreme God (12.83-115) The stance of the Manu Smriti on position of women, education of women (Vedic scriptures), child marriage etc. is often debated yet most Hindus agree that it is authoritative text on Hindu laws. Pominent among them are Swami Dayananda Saraswati, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Annie Besant, and S. Radhakrishnan. The text, known in English as the "Laws of Manu" was first translated into English in 1794 by Sir William Jones, judge of the British Supreme Court in Calcutta. Other notable translations include one made by Professor George Bühler, which appeared in the series Sacred Books of the East, Volume 25, in 1886. Find here the Sanskrit text of Manu Smrti. To read online or download as PDF other Hindu scriptures like Mahabharata, Ramayan, Srimad Bhagavat, Bhagavat Gita, Upanishads, etc., please visit www.swargarohan.org.

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Manu-Smruti

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