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Manusmriti

One of many dharmasastra texts of Hinduism
(Redirected from Manusmṛti)
Learn that sacred law which is followed by men learned (in the Veda) and assented to in their hearts by the virtuous, who are ever exempt from hatred and inordinate affection.

The Manusmriti (Sanskrit: मनुस्मृति), also spelled as Manusmṛti or Manu Smriti, is an influential ancient Sanskrit legal text in the Dharmaśāstra tradition of Hinduism

QuotesEdit

  • पूजयेदशनं नित्यं अद्याच्चैनमकुत्सयन् ।
    दृष्ट्वा हृष्येत् प्रसीदेच्च प्रतिनन्देच्च सर्वश: ॥
    पूजितं ह्यशनं नियं बलमूर्जं च यच्छति ।
    अपूजितं तु तद्भुक्तं उभयं नाशयेदिदं ॥
    • Food should always be worshipped and taken with the utmost reverence. The sight of food should delight one’s heart and fill it with joy. It should always be cherished whatever the situation. Food thus honoured gives one strength and energy. Food taken irreverently destroys both strength and energy.
      • 2.54-55
  • अनारोग्यमनायुष्यं अस्वर्ग्यं चातिभोजनं ।
    अपुण्यं लोकविद्विष्टं तस्मात् तत्परिवर्जयेत् ॥
    • Excessive eating is prejudicial to health, to fame, and to (bliss in) heaven; it prevents (the acquisition of) spiritual merit, and is odious among men; one ought, for these reasons, to avoid it carefully.
      • 2.57; translated by George Bühler
  • इन्द्रियाणां विचरतां विषयेष्वपहारिषु ।
    संयमे यत्नमातिष्ठेत् विद्वान् यन्तेव वाजिनां॥
    • The five senses chase the objects of their desire which powerfully attract them. Wise men should endeavour to keep them under control like a horseman controls his horses.
      • 2.88
  • Evil actions performed in this world do not bear fruit immediately like the cow, which gives milk after being fed, but gradually gnaw the roots of him who commits them.
    • 4.172
  • Meat can never be obtained without injury to living creatures, and injury to sentient beings is detrimental to (the attainment of) heavenly bliss; let him therefore shun (the use of) meat. Having well considered the (disgusting) origin of flesh and the (cruelty of) fettering and slaying corporeal beings, let him entirely abstain from eating flesh.
    • 5.48-49; translated by George Bühler
  • धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः
    • Dharma protects those who protect dharma.
      • 8.15
      • Variant translation: Dharma protected protects.
  • Learn that sacred law which is followed by men learned (in the Veda) and assented to in their hearts by the virtuous, who are ever exempt from hatred and inordinate affection.
    • 2.1; George Bühler translation
  • When a man has studied the Veda in accordance with the rules, and begotten sons in accordance with his duty, and sacrificed with sacrifices according to his ability, he may set his mind-and-heart on freedom. (MS 6.36)


MisattributedEdit

  • Only in the case of a girl is the whole body pure.
    • Not found in the original text, but stated in 'Jacolliot’s flawed translation', see Elst, Koenraad. Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy in : Siemens & Vasti Roodt, eds.: Nietzsche, Power and Politics (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2008)
  • There is one very serious mistake in Jacolliot that seems to have made an important difference to Nietzsche’s thought: his far-fetched speculation that the Chandalas left India in 4000 BC (Jacolliot dates the Manu Smrti itself to 13,300 BC!) and became the Semites.
    • Elst, Koenraad. Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy in : Siemens & Vasti Roodt, eds.: Nietzsche, Power and Politics (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2008)
    • The claim, popularized by Nietzsche and Jacolliot, that the Manu Smriti declares or implies that the Chandalas later became Semites or Jews, is not found in the original text of the Manu Smriti. For a full discussion, see Elst, Koenraad. Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy in : Siemens & Vasti Roodt, eds.: Nietzsche, Power and Politics (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2008).

About the ManusmritiEdit

  • One thing I want to impress upon you is that Manu did not give the law of caste and that he could not do so. Caste existed long before Manu. He was an upholder of it and therefore philosophized about it, but certainly he did not and could not ordain the present order of Hindu Society [...] The spread and growth of the caste system is too gigantic a task to be achieved by the power or cunning of an individual or of a class [...] The Brahmins may have been guilty of many things, and I dare say they were, but the imposing of the caste system on the non-Brahmin population was beyond their mettle.
    • B.R. Ambedkar 1916 16, quoted from Elst, Koenraad. Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy in : Siemens & Vasti Roodt, eds.: Nietzsche, Power and Politics (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2008).
  • [Calling it a law book] skews it towards what the British hoped to make of it: a tool with which to rule the Hindoos. A broader title like 'teaching' would better suggest what the text is.
    • Wendy Doniger, quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2001). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p. 512
  • The Manu Smrti is usually referred to, especially by its modern leftist critics in India, as the casteist manifesto pure and simple. This is fair enough in the sense that there is no unjustly disregarded anti-caste element tucked away somewhere in Manu’s vision of society; the text is indeed casteist through and through. However, the scope of the Manu Smrti is broader, dealing with intra-family matters, the punishment of crime, the king’s (in the sense of: the state’s) duties, money-lending and usury, et al.
    • Elst, Koenraad. Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy in : Siemens & Vasti Roodt, eds.: Nietzsche, Power and Politics (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2008).
  • I do not know any book that says as many kind and delicate things to females as in the law book of Manu; these old men and saints have a way of minding their manners in front of women that has perhaps never been surpassed.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, (AC 56) quoted from Elst, Koenraad. Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy in : Siemens & Vasti Roodt, eds.: Nietzsche, Power and Politics (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2008).
  • What a yes-saying Aryan religion, born from the ruling classes, looks like: Manu’s law-book. What a yes-saying Semitic religion, born from the ruling classes, looks like: Mohammed’s law-book, the Old Testament in its older parts. What a no-saying Semitic religion, born from the oppressed classes, looks like: in Indian-Aryan concepts; the New Testament, a Chandala religion. What a no-saying Aryan religion looks like, grown among the dominant classes: Buddhism.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, quoted from Elst, Koenraad. Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy in : Siemens & Vasti Roodt, eds.: Nietzsche, Power and Politics (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2008).

External linksEdit