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QUESTIONS RELATED TO MANUSMRITI Topics in Hinduism

1 points | Post submitted by suyash95 39 days ago | 1 comments | viewed 109 times

Specific Quest./Ans


  • suyash95 39 days ago | +0 points

     

     

    Who wrote Gautama Dharmasutra?


    One anonymous law giver who belonged to the Gautama clan and was a follower of the Sāma Veda.

    The Gautama-sūtra was part of the curriculum of one of the Samaveda schools, and most of the rules applied to just this group - but there is no way the laws were ever enforceable. It is dated to about 300 BCE and is one from among 36 Dharma-sūtras of different schools.



    Is Manusmriti the Hindu version of Sharia?

    Nope.

    Sharia is a body of laws based on the Quran, Sunna and Hadith - they are basically “Divine” laws of God of which there are 4 Sunni and 4 Shia schools of Jurisprudence with some slight variations based on legal arguments of scholars.

    In Hinduism there are NO DIVINE LAWS - God did not give us any - he gave us the intelligence to make our own laws suitable to time, place and circumstance - the latter in perpetual flux and therefore the laws require constant upgrading - the function of a democratically elected parliament.

    All Hindus, without exception, the world over, live under and abide by the secular laws of the country in which they reside. There are no Hindu religious courts, requiring religious judges or lawyers.

    Manusmriti has been irrelevant for the past 1500 years - and it is doubtful that it was ever applied as a legal code because it is full of contradictions, obfuscations, and complex hierarchy of plaintiffs, evidence, assessment and judgement that it would be a nightmare for judges and lawyers to apply.



    Why do some Muslims target Hindus in the name of Manusmriti?


    Because it is the favourite text of the anti-Hindu Left, the irony being that it is more popular with the critics of Hinduism than with Hindus themselves. The only Hindus that are actually interested in Manu are those who are doing research.

    Every religious text, like all legal texts, have atrocious statements and teachings and extremely inhumane and barbarous laws, both the Bible and the Quran have some extremely disagreeable statements and Laws of Moses are some of the most unjust and cruel that humanity has invented - like stoning for example.

    So the way to denigrate a religion and to sow confusion and dissent is to do what is termed as “atrocity-archeology” - we dig up all the worst possible verses and examples from 2000 years ago and wave them around and promote them as being indicative of the religion as is practiced NOW. This presentation is called “Presentism” we apply modern humanistic values in judgement upon ancient defunct texts.

    Muslims and Christian do it to us and we do it to them and the boxing match goes on in the arena of polemics. No positive outcome is achieved - its just a slinging match.

    Whatever accusations they bring against us - we can bring against them. In most cases it is they, with their proselytising agenda who throw the first punches, and when we retaliate they cry victim!!

    Why does Manusmriti ask lead to be melted and poured into the ears of lower caste people even if they hear the Vedas accidentally?

    The Manu Smriti is over 2000 years old - it was written by some guy, no one knows who, and has been heavily interpolated over the centuries. “Manu” is a fictional character to glorify the work. This was a common trend in India - people wrote books and then claimed some famous personage from ancient times wrote it in order to give it credibility.

    It contains a lot of outdated nonsense and irrelevant laws but also wonderful teachings and very sane and sensible laws which no one follows - to the detriment of Hindu society - e.g. Manu was implacably against dowry - a curse of Hindu society. Manu has been gathering dust in library vaults for the past 1000 years until the British resurrected them briefly and the Left has done a total remake of Manu exalting it as the Holy Book of Hinduism! A straw man fallacy.

    Nowadays much of critical commentary stems from “Presentism” - projecting todays’ values onto ancient texts - which is a deeply flawed methodology. One needs to understand the texts in context and in comparison to similar texts. So when Manu’s laws are compared to those of the Bible - Manu comes out as the good guy! Even if you compare Manu to English laws of 200 year one would be horrified by the barbarity of the English legal system and its cruel punishments for minor offences.

    So I have edited the text and compiled a collection of all the positive and wholesome teaching of Manu. It is available from my website.

    http://www.srimatham.com/uploads/5/5/4/9/5549439/manu_for_modern_times.pdf

    FACT CHECK! - that notorious verse is not from Manu it’s from Gautama Smriti.

    Now if a Sudra listens intentionally to the recitation of the Veda, his ears shall be filled with molten tin or lac. If he recites Vedic texts, his tongue shall be cut out, and if he remembers them, his body shall be split in two. Gautama 12: 4-6

    This verse is probably an interpolation from some caste-nazi because there is no record or evidence that this punishment was ever carried out by any ruler at any time. And during the temple festivals the Vedas were always chanted in front of all castes - even the lowest, from the time the first temples were built - in South India at least.

    In the Panchartra Agama - Isvara Samhita – it states that every temple festival must include all four varnas and the procession through the streets is to be accompanied by Vedic chanting and of course courtesans dancing. The palanquin of the deity is always carried by Sudras who walk in front of the Veda chanting Brahmins.

    Catur vedamayod-ghoṣaiḥ stotra ghoṣa samanvitaiḥ || I.S. 10:363

    [The procession] must be accompanied by the chanting of the Vedas & Prabandhas [Tamil Vedas].

    So for at least the past 1000 years every temple festival in South India has included the public chanting of the Vedas - this is proven by the fact that Rāmānujācarya himself instituted the Pañcarātra procedures in all the major Vaishnava temples bar a few.

    There is also an annual festival called the Adhyayanotsava in Vishnu Temples of the South where a pavilion is setup and the public chanting of the Vedas takes place during the day and the Prabandha (Tamil Vedas) are chanted at night.

    So the historical, epigraphical and traditional customs and procedures would indicate that this notorious verse of Gautama’s is propaganda only.


    Who is Manu in Hinduism, and what is the Manusmriti?

    Manu was a king who wrote a book of laws social and criminal about 2400 years ago. His set of laws was called Manu-smriti which has been heavily interpolated over the centuries - so the text we have today is not the original text.

    The Laws of Manu can be compared to the laws of the Bible contained in the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus - except that they re allegedly from God whereas Manu was a human law-giver. One may also notice that many of the Laws of Manu were far better or humane and just than many of the Laws of Yahweh - some of which were extremely severe.

    Manu, who was from North India was one among over 30 law-givers. Hindu law has never been formalised or applied uniformly anywhere in India or other Hindu kingdoms and empires in South East Asia for over 2000 years.

    Hindu law is divided into (1) social rules and regulations, (2) religious law and (3) state laws.

    (1) Social rules and regulations are decided and managed by the elected caste panchayat (governing committee) - and each caste has different social rules - some conflicting and some consonant with other castes. The castes themselves managed petty criminal matters and took care of their own affairs.

    (2) Religious law with its multitude of strict restrictions and observances was applied only to Brahmins.

    (3) State law regarding taxes, duties, supervision, criminality etc. was formulated, regulated and enforced by the King and his ministers.

    India was a patchwork of kingdoms and city monarchies - each and every city and kingdom had its own laws as did every community and caste. Every time a kingdom changed hands the kings would modify and change laws according to their changing circumstances or whims. All absolute monarchs rule by DECREE not by abiding by an ancient and defunct code.

    When the British were consolidating their rule over India and resolved to regulate and standardise laws - they chose the Sharia for their Muslims citizens - for which they were deeply grateful, and for their Hindu citizens decided to revive and resuscitate the defunct and archaic “Laws of Manu” which no one had heard of or cared for.

    There was an immense amount of objection by the elites especially from Southerners who had nothing to do with Manu - the Southern orthodox Hindus derive their religious laws from Apastamba, Baudhāyana and Hiraṇyakeśin and followed the secular laws of the kingdom in which they lived.

    So as you can see the nature of the judiciary and legal system in India has been extremely complex over the millennia reflecting the multifarious diversity of Indian society, and an egregious attempt to rationalise and regulate it caused immense disruption which echos even today.

    The Laws of Manu are incredibly complex, contradictory, out-dated and simply impossible to apply in any practical way or real-time situation - ever! So they never formed the basis of any legal framework in any Hindu kingdoms in India or South-east Asia EVER.

    The current hysteria about Manu is a cynical political distraction whipped up by the “progressive left” and the “breaking India forces”.

    It is a “straw-man” which is the focus of diatribe and abuse extended to Hinduism as a whole - it forms one of the key-tools in the armoury of the warriors of the Cultural Wars.

    There is not a single pontiff, priest, pandit, Vedic scholar, monk, nun or community leader in the entire Hindu community of 1.1 billion that gives a damn about Manu and his laws. Manu’s laws are as relevant to Hindus as the laws of Moses are to Christians.

    I myself am a very active priest and know hundreds of other priests - and guess what? Not a single one of them has a copy of Manu Smriti or has even read it. Sometimes I have quoted verses from it which condemn some aspects of their behaviour and they simply brush it off with contempt.

    According to Manu 95% of todays “Brahmins” are untouchable vrātyas.

    Those of you are interested in reading about the positive side of Manu can download the edited version from here:–

    http://www.srimatham.com/uploads/5/5/4/9/5549439/manu_for_modern_times.pdf

    When will Manusmriti replace the Indian Constitution?

    Never.

    That’s like asking when will the Iraqi Government replace the Iraqi constitution with the Laws of Hamurabi?

    Or when will the Christian governments of Europe replace their constitutions with the Old Testament? Or the Egyptians resurrect the Laws of Maat?

    Manu Smriti was an idealistic legal, traditional and custom text book written in Northern India some 2000 years ago and has been heavily interpolated and redacted, and has never ever been implemented anywhere in any native Indian state or kingdom in the entire history of India.

    All legislation in every country (except some in particular) is developing and evolving according to the ever changing circumstances and can never regress.

    So please relax and settle back and enjoy your life. Manu Smriti is obsolete and is of no interest or use to anyone anywhere at any time or place. The world is a different place than it was 2000 years ago.

    This is what a constitutional and legal library looks like in ONE row only

    And you want all that replaced with this:– ?

    SERIOUSLY!!!!!

    Should Hindus disown or modify controversial portions of all scriptures like Manusmriti?

    Manu, like every other Law-giver and social engineer of his age had some good things to say and some bad things. Seeing that he was not god and his laws were merely his mortal opinions and views of an ideal society, and since the text has been interpolated over the centuries why shouldn’t we edit him and keep the good? Why throw out the baby with the bath-water? The Bible and the Quran - which are both law books contain an immense amount of objectionable stuff - and laws we moderns find most reprehensible - but do Jewish, Christian or Muslim SJW’s call for their texts to be discarded or edited? No they don’t, they just take the good and ignore the bad. Why can’t we follow their wholesome example of cherry-picking? (Seeing that their texts were revealed by God and Manu was just a king.

    In fact if the beneficial laws of Manu were rigidly applied they would do an immense amount of good to reform degenerate Hindu society today. An example of the positive things that Manu has said which SJW’s should compaign on are:–

    (TRIGGER ALERT! Manu being quoted in a positive light!)

    STATUS OF WOMEN

    55. Women must be honoured and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers-in-law, who desire (their own) welfare.

    56. Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are dishonoured, no sacred rite yields rewards.

    57. Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family in which they are happy ever prospers.

    58. The houses on which females, not being duly honoured, pronounce a curse, perish completely, as if destroyed by magic.

    59. Hence men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honour women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes, and (dainty) food.

    60. In that family, where the husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her husband, happiness will assuredly be lasting. (Manu 3:55 – 60)

    prajanārtha striyaḥ sṛṣṭāḥ saṁtānārthaṁ ca mānavaḥ | tasmāt sādhāraṇo dharmaḥ śrutau patnya saha uditaḥ ||

    Women and men were created for being parents; therefore the Veda has ordained that religious rites & rituals be performed by the husband and wife together. (Manu 9;96.)

    A WOMAN’S PROPERTY and DOWRY

    A woman’s property is defined as being of six types: what was given to her at her marriage in front of the fire, during the bridal procession, as a token of affection, what was obtained from her brother, mother or father. In addition any subsequent gift and whatever her affectionate husband gives her should be inherited by her children when she dies, even during the lifetime of her husband. (Manu 9;194-195)

    Those deluded relatives who live off a woman’s property — her carriages, her clothes, and so on are evil and go to hell. (Manu 3:52)

    The government should protect the estate and inherited property of women who are barren or have no sons, who have no families, who are faithful wives, widows or ill. But if, while these women are alive their own relatives should take these away, a just government should punish them with the punishment for theft. (Manu 8:28-29)

    AND THIS IS ONE OF MY MOST FAVOURITES!!

    arthasya saṅgrahe ca enāṁ vyaye ca eva niyojayet | śauce dharme anna-paktyāṁ ca pāriṇāhyasya vekṣaṇe ||

    The wife must be given the responsibility by the husband of collecting and spending his wealth, engaged in maintaining cleanliness of the household, of fulfilling the religious obligations, of preparing the food. (Manu 9;11.)

    Watch the SJW’s shrieking about gender-equality and liberation of women from household duties while totally ignoring the financial empowerment of women!!

    MUTABILITY OF DHARMA

    One should renounce pursuit of wealth (artha) and pleasure kama if they conflict with dharma and even dharma if it results in future unhappiness or arouses people’s indignation. (Manu 4:176)

    CONCLUSION

    These are just a few examples among hundreds. Hindu social activists, instead of tirelessly and tediously condemning Manu’s vile prejudice vis a vis Sudras, should rather focus on these three principles to bring about positive change rather than social revolution, and foment reverse hatred against Brahmins.

    If Manu had such a negative effect as social discrimination he could also be deployed to now bring abut positive change. So now just reflect upon the changes that applying these laws would bring.

    • It would immediately elevate the status of women and protect their property rights.

    • It would erase the canker of dowry overnight and liberate hundreds and thousands of women and their families from this debilitating and often lethal curse!

    • Financially empowering women has been unequivocally proven to be the single cause of social upliftment and the ending of poverty.

    • All negative aspects of what passes today for “Dharma” would be jettisoned and Hinduism would enter into a great new age of reformation and enlightenment.

    Why is BRahmins against burning of Manusmriti? Is it because he's a Brahmin?

    ALL book burning is deplorable and abhorrent - no matter who does it.

    Manusmriti is a 2200 year old text which no one reads (except SJW’s to search for offensive material with which to bash Hinduism). No one uses Manu to guide or justify their actions today, certainly not Brahmins because Manu denounces all Brahmins that are not engaged in full-time study of the Vedas as fakes and duplicates! According to Manu, 95% of todays Brahmins are fallen and corrupt and equal to Sudras — this is the reason why Brahmins want Manu put back in the closet!!

    So the SJW’s pull Manu out of the closet to blame Brahmins for every evil in society and the Brahmins push Manu back into the closet because it exposes them all as fakes and confirms everyone as Sudras! Every one hates the 2200 year old Manu!! Poor old codger!

    The Nazis engaged it in with gay abandon, the great library of Alexandria was burnt down some say accidentally by Julius Ceasar and some say intentionally by the new Christians, and the massive library of Nalanda, which was one of the greatest in Asia was burned down Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1200.

    If you don’t like what someone has written then don’t read it! And if you don’t like what someone is saying don’t listen to it.

    Nowadays this malevolence has been revived by the alt-left in the form of “de-platforming of speakers” and on line, in media platforms like Face-book, Youtube, twitter, Quora etc. in the form of censoring any post that might possibly “offend” - even though based on fact and with no malicious intent.

    (Feelings for the snow-flake generation are more important than facts!)



    Which is the best book for judicial services with regard to Hindu law and Muslim law?


    The ancient Hindu Law books are now completely obsolete and are found only on library shelves. There are some elements of Hindu law governing current marriage legislation in India. Hinduism like Christianity can thrive and flourish without a legal wing since legislation is by the people for the people.

    The three major Law Books (Smritis) are Manu , Yājñavalkya and Parāśara Smṛti

    The minor law Books are:—Āpastamba, Viṣṇu, Dakṣa, Samvarta, Vyāsa, Hārita, Sātātapa, Vasiṣṭha, Yama, Gautama, Uṣāna, Atri, Śaunaka, Aṅgirasa, Kātyāyana, Devala, Sankha & Likhita.

    And one written by a woman — Madalasa Smriti.

    There are no Hindu courts or judges and very few paṇḍits study Hindu Law any more.

    Sharia is an integral part of islam and still very much operational and affects the lives of all orthodox Muslims. Politics, legislation and personal practice are a single package derived from Divine Authority.

    Sharia courts operate wherever Muslims have settled (clandestinely in some western countries and with Government approval in others.) There are four schools of Sunni and four schools of Shia jurisprudence.

    MANUSMRITI AND ALL QUESTIONS - 

     

    Why does Manusmriti say, “If a shudra mentions the name and class of a twice-born contumely [i.e. without proper respect], an iron nail, ten figures long, shall be thrust into his mouth.”?

     

    Really?

    1. Can you provide the chapter and verse please when asking these provocative questions.

    2. Tell us why we should even care what some old fellow said 2500 years ago.

    3. Why do people love hunting up and bringing to light negative and atrocious verses while deceptively neglecting the gems found in Manu?

    FOR EXAMPLE

    2:159. Created beings must be instructed in (what concerns) their welfare without giving them pain, and sweet and gentle speech must be used by one who desires (to abide by) the sacred law.

    2:161. Let him not, even though in pain, (speak words) cutting (others) to the quick; let him not injure others in thought or deed; let him not utter speeches which make (others) afraid of him, since that will prevent him from gaining heaven.

    6: 8. Let him be always industrious in privately reciting the Veda; let him be patient of hardships, friendly (towards all), of collected mind, ever liberal and never a receiver of gifts, and compassionate towards all living creatures.


    How popular is Manusmriti among Brahmins? Is it widely used today in Indian society?

    Why would Manusmriti be popular today other than for sociological and antiquated studies and papers?

    It was written 2500 years ago and heavily interpolated and is mostly meaningless in the 21st century.

    Manu, like all the Dharma Shastras contain 3 sections.

    1. Vyavahāra - law - which is now been totally superseded by the parliamentary legislature.

    2. ācāra - personal daily and period life-style practice

    3. prāyaścitta - atonements for misdemeanours - which is forbidden today.

    So the only section from the Dharma Shastras that one could adopt and adapt would be personal lifestyle practice, and that is based on their own particular sīūtra and not Manu.

    What most folks don’t realise is that in addition to Manu there are other Dharma Shastras that are also used to guide one’s practice;–

    Yājñāvālkya Dharma Śāstra — This Law book is next in importance and is based on the 'Laws of Manu' but represents a more advanced stage in the definition and theory of its laws. This work deals with rules of conduct in regard to society or caste, with civil and criminal law and with penance.

    Nārada, Śaṅkha & Likhita,

    • Parāśara is followed by Brahmins in North India

    • Gautama is followed by Brahmins in North India

    • Baudhāyana is followed by Tamil & Andhra Brahmins in South India

    • Āpastamba is followed by Tamil & Andhra Brahmins in South India

    • Vaikhānasa - is followed by a tiny minority of Srivaishnava Brahmins in mainly Andhra.

    So there is not a single community of Brahmins who formally owe allegiance to Manu.

    There is a formal greeting which Brahmins use when greeting elders in which they state their Gotra, their riches ancestors, their Veda and the Dharma sūtra to which they belong.

    This is the formula:–

    “abhivādaye _________ ________ _________ traya rṣayaḥ pravarānvitasya _________ gotrasya ________ {āpastamba} sūtra, __________ {yajuś} śākha adhyāyi ___________ nāma śarma aham asmi bho !”

    I salute your lotus feet. I belong to the clan of ............... scion of the Rishis ................ ……………. …………..., I follow the ................... [Apastamba] sūtra in performing the Vedic rites, I am a student of the ............. [Yajur] Veda and my name is .................. !

    There is not, and has never been any Brahmin that has inserted Manu in the salutation. And if a Brahmin doesn’t know this formula then they are vrātyas (outcastes).


    According to the “Laws of Manu, ” why are the Brahmins accorded the most rights and privileges?

    Writing was only developed in India in about 300 - 200 BCE. The entire sacred literature - i.e. Vedas had been transmitted orally for thousands of years before then. The primary function of the Brahmins was to learn the Vedas by heart and to transmit them to their disciples in an unbroken and perfect succession. So they were like walking libraries containing the entire culture in their heads.

    In order to be the custodians and living vehicles of the Vedas they had heavy responsibilities and duties imposed on them

    As national cultural treasures they were to be protected and given special privileges.

    If they neglected the study of the Vedas they were to be deprived of their privileges and treated as commoners.

    Should Manusmriti (the first Dharmashastra or legal constitution of Bharat) be taught to every Indian child so that they understand the greatness of Hindu way of thought?

    Manu Smriti does not illustrate or reflect the greatness of Indian thought - it is a 2000 year old book about customs and traditions which have been redundant for at least 1000 years already.

    What every child, adolescent and adult should be taught is the Bhagavad Gita.



    Why is Manusmriti still read even though Vivekananda said that "the Smritis and the Puranas are productions of men of limited intelligence"?


    The only people who read Manu are:–

    (1) students of Indian history and culture.

    (2) Marxist inspired SJW’s looking for atrocity literature in order to attack Hinduism and Hindu culture to try and stir up community division and a social revolution.

    I don’t know a single Hindu priest who has read Manu (apart from myself), nor do I know a single Hindu family who keeps a copy on their book shelf.

    In all my 50 years of intensive involvement in Hinduism - both learning and teaching - I have never heard a guru or acharya give a lecture or conduct classes on Manu or know people who use Manu as a guide to daily life. The only book that serves that purpose is the Bhagavad Gita.

    Manu is a straw-man erected by Marxist cadres.

    It is a 2500 year idealistic legal text which has as much importance today as the law books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy of the Torah or the Laws of Hamurabi.

    Nobody harangues the British Legal system for the atrocious and inhumane laws drafted even 200 years ago, when men were hanged for stealing a lamb and women were transported to Australia for 7 years for stealing potatoes to feed their starving children. Or for the legality of the trading of African slaves which was only abolished in 1807 - when criminals were executed in the most horrendous way - hanged, drawn and quartered etc. etc. etc.

    So let’s all take a deep breath and chant OM, and see all country’s laws in historical and social context, and lets all march steadily towards the light - accepting diversity, spreading equality, compassion, peace and harmony and stop looking into dark corners to find dirt to throw at each other.

    Let’s talk about the present wrongs and how we can change things for the better - mulling and dwelling over past wrongs is not helpful for improvement and progress.


    Does your opinion about Hinduism change when you read Manusmriti?

    Manu is NOT the textbook for Sanātana Dharma (aka Hinduism). There are 18 major Smritis and one lesser known one written by a woman! (Madalasa Smriti)

    These are the antiquated views of a King who was describing his vision of the “ideal” society over 2000 years ago.

    His (mortal) views are very comparable to the (divine) Laws of the “One and only True God”, given in the Bible - Leviticus and Deuteronomy. (Not to mention the other popular sacred scripture - mention of which could get me banned!)

    There are some horrific divine Laws - like stoning to death for almost every imagined and victimless crime - like picking up sticks for a fire on the Sabbath! ( Num. 15;32-35). What monster would invent a punishment like stoning!

    So when compared to the other “Sacred Laws” in circulation Manu is not the worst - and being the Laws of a Monarch some 2000 odd years ago we can happily send him off to the climate controlled vaults of some library.

    So coming back to the comparative question:– “Does your opinion about Judaism or Christianity change by reading Leviticus?”

    God in Leviticus 18 commands that homosexuals be stoned to death as also people who have sex during menstruation! Manu suggests that they just have a bath!!

    The Indian Government has just enacted a law criminalizing attacks on accused witches. Unfortunately witch-hunts are sill ongoing in India but it is due to ignorant, primitive superstition not according to Dharma Shastra - which the vast majority of Hindus both lay and priests have never studied.

    Nowhere does Manu mention witchcraft but according to God’s Law in the Bible witches (male and females) must be killed by stoning. (Ex. 22. 18. Lev. 20:27 ). Witches were being executed by Christians in the 17th century. And prior to that thousands of innocent women were burned to death by the Church for the imaginary crime of witchcraft! God’s law versus Man(u)’s Law.

    Salem witch trials - Wikipedia


    Will burning manusmriti not constitute as hurting religious sentiments?

    All book burning is forbidden as books per se are embodiments of Saraswati. It is the fact of book-burning that offends religious sentiments - regardless of the content.

    Manu Smriti, as has already been mentioned, is one of hundreds of Smritis - which are archaic manuals of customs, traditions and laws all written by different authors - mainly men but there is one written by a woman — Madalasa Smriti.

    90% of Smriti literature is defunct due to the legal side being taken over by the secular courts and the customs and traditions being diluted by modern life and education.

    So burning a Smriti text serves no purpose other than the virtue signaling of the perpetrator. Hindus wouldn’t miss a sip of their morning coffee over it.


    If Brahmins are scholars then why did they allow, the implementation of inhuman practices and inequality in Hindustan by taking Manusmriti as constitution?

    Manusmriti was never the constitution of any of the kingdoms in India ever. Kings ruled - they were the supreme adjudicators in matters of law. Kings made up their own laws. They were running the show. Brahmins were a tiny minority and never had any real power. They were kept as advisors and judges or as in the case of King Dhritarashtra - he kept a Sudra advisor who was the wisest man in the land — Vidura.

    Most folks, ignorant of Indian history are oblivious to the fact that there were several dynasties of Sudra Kings! Mahapadma Nanda, Mauryas, Palas & some Marathas. Who held power when they were ruling? The Brahmins?

    Manusmriti was meant for guiding the lives of the traivarnika folks. Sudras, who form the majority of the population are free from all the rules and restrictions and through their caste syndicates created their own laws and regulations. The castes were all autonomous and conducted their own investigations, trials and punishments. Only in the cases of irreconcilable conflicts and capital crimes was the intervention of the state sought.

    When the British were seeking a legal framework to rule India they chose Manusmriti because of its wide ranging legislation - covering state affairs, crime and punishment as well as social and religious matters. Manusmriti even at that time was to be found only in dusty libraries. So the British asked their native informers if there was any code of Hindu law like the Sharia which they applied to their Muslim populations. Their native informers, who were Brahmins said - “Yeah well, boss, there is this ancient code of laws called Manusmriti - we’ll have to search out a palm-leaf manuscript copy for you!” ….. the rest is history.

    Remember it was the British that conducted a census on caste in 1865 for the purpose of social engineering. After gathering all the caste data, they then gazetted the castes according to a hierarchy so they could then more efficiently recruit staff to manage the empire. For example soldiers were recruited from the warrior castes, scribes and clerks from the Kayastha caste, teachers and advisors from the Brahmins, economic management recruits were Vaishyas and servants and foot soldiers came from the Sudras. etc. There were hundreds of legal challenges to the hierarchical gazetting at the time, because of the complexity of the system which the administrators wanted to simplify and had unjustifiably elevated and demoted some castes.

    Census of India prior to independence - Wikipedia

    So contrary to popular Post-modern ideologues, Brahmins never had sustained political power (there were very few Brahmin kings). Brahmins were focused on their own practice (ācāram) and affairs, never caring what the others were doing unless they came into their ghettos (agrahārams). And most Hindus never listen to what the priests have to say anyway!!

    Hindu custom derives from Shastra (scripture) and from Custom & Usage (rīti-rivāj) - the Brahmins generally follow Shastra and the vast majority of Hindus follow Custom & Usage and hold it to be of higher authority than Shastra even when there is a conflict between the two. For example, Shastra severely condemns dowry as wicked and sinful - Custom & Usage endorse it. So no matter how much the priests may condemn dowry - will people change over night? Can the scourge of dowry be blamed on Brahmins?

    The Dharma Shastras clearly state that a Brahmin should never give advice to Sudras nor tell them what they should or should not do - they should be left alone to do their own thing (Vasistha 18:24)!

    Does this sound like a mandate for control and oppression? In fact most of the caste conflicts even to this day never involve Brahmins! It is usually the other castes quarreling among themselves and jostling for superiority.

    yathā yathā hi sad-vṛttam ātiṣṭhatyanusūyakaḥ | tathā tathā imaṁ ca amuṁ ca lokaṁ prāpnotyaninditaḥ ||

    The more a (Sudra), keeping himself free from envy, imitates the behaviour of the virtuous, the more he gains, without being censured, (exaltation in) this world and the next. (Manu 10:128)

    What is the 'Manusmriti'?

    This is a very old question - but one worth dealing with as the lefties refuse to let Manu sleep quietly in the dusty libraries but keep trundling him out to abuse and revile him.

    Firstly the Law Book known as Manusmriti or Manvadharma Shastra was not the work of a single author, there are too many inconsistencies and contradictions.

    Whatever the original text was there have been hundreds of interpolations over centuries. It contains laws, regulations and customs pertaining to every walk of life but is primarily meant for the members of the first 3 castes. It is “idealistic’ in that it was never a practical text, nor was it every actually applied in any kingdom in ancient India. Laws in India were primarily caste-based - each and every caste was autonomous and created their own laws which governed them. It was only major disputes which were brought to the royal court. The Kings were primarily interested in collecting taxes and left the daily legalities to the caste panchayats and their self-governance.

    There are a large number of different Law Books (Smritis) produced by different Law-givers and used in the many countries and districts of India, many of them contradict each other. In South India for example the dominant Smriti is that of Apastamba - Manu being totally ignored.

    Manusmriti had lapsed into oblivion centuries ago until He or rather “they” were resurrected and revived by the British. That’s another story!

    Manu is hated, traduced and reviled by “progressives” as the source of all India’s social evils i.e. the caste system. But Manu contains a lot of positive statements as well - it is actually anti-dowry, has many verses which praise women, good advice on polity - good advice on personal development etc. Vivek Arya has given some outstanding examples.

    The interesting thing is that most of the haters of Manu have never read the text! Sudras hate it because it legislates their disabilities, progressive secularists hate it because it promotes inequality, hierarchy and patriarchy …………… and guess what? The Brahmins hate it as well because it also disenfranchises their privilege and rescinds their moral authority!! WOW! Everyone hates poor Manu!

    Manu clearly states that the only basis for Brahminical privilege and moral authority is the study of the Vedas, and thus any so-called Brahmin who does not study the Vedas is like a “wooden elephant” (to use his expression) and equal in every respect, and should be treated as a Sudra! He also says that any member of the 3 castes who doesn’t perform Sandhya daily also loses caste and becomes a Sudra …… so according to Manu the Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas and in fact virtually ALL Hindus are Sudras, except those who are living and practicing as Vedic priests - how many would they be? A couple of thousand?

    So to all those Social Justice Warriors — Manu is passe — no cares about Manu, no one bases any of their decisions on Manu, I don’t know a single Hindu priest who has even read Manu! And most Hindus never listen to their priests anyway - they do exactly as they please - so even if a priest did quote from Manu, people would disregard him anyway. This, by the way, is how we know that Manu’s laws couldn’t ever have been imposed on the general populace!

    So let the book lie undisturbed on the library shelves so that those who are interested in ancient Indian literature can study it in peace. Don’t burn copies as book-burning is a fascist venture!!

    Manusmriti says the JAATs are Shudras. Then why do they claim to be Aryan?

    I wonder why Sudras are not Aryans?

    Arya simply means “noble” one who follows and practices the lofty and noble teachings of the Veda.

    All four Varnas and all humanity are by definition capable of being “noble” — anyone who has internalized the Dharma and manifests it in their deeds.

    The Veda says kṛtsna jagat ārya kuru — “make the whole world noble!”

    Is Manusmriti an authoritative holy book of Hinduism?

    No it is not. The only Authoritative Holy Book is the Veda (veda vai pramānam). All the Smriti literature consists of laws, rules and regulations of many different authors - many of whom disagreed with each other.

    The Smriti literature as the basis of law is completely redundant as the vast majority of us live under secular democratic legislation.

    The only value of Smriti literature today is for priests to resolve conflicts that they may have in the application of custom and tradition.

    The Smritis are in fact a lot more liberal than common Hindu traditions (riti riwaz) for example:– the Smitis sanctions

    • teenage girls choosing their own husbands,

    • a couple living together with mutual consent without formal marriage or the consent of their parents (gandharva vivaha).

    • If a girl is raped her rapist should be executed and the girls considered as a pure virgin for the purposes of marriage and respect in the family.

    • Dowry is condemned, women are enjoined to be the financial managers of the family - all the husband’s earnings are to be given to her for management etc.

    • Women are the dominant partners in the home.

    What is the importance of "Manusmriti" in Hinduism? When was it written? How much of the Hindu philosophy is described by this text?

    Some really good answers have been given :-)

    I will just supplement them.

    Manu was not a Brahmin - he was a Kshatriya of the Surya vamsha (Gita chapter 4:1)

    The work known as Manu Smriti is not the work of a single author - it has many authors and many interpolations.

    As has already been said - it was the description of what those many authors saw as the IDEAL society - it never was the basis of any real practical law in any Indian state.

    Although this is a lot of stuff we would now consider to be reprehensible in it, there are nevertheless several gems; some have already been mentioned - the honouring and worshiping of women and condemnation of dowry, the inviolability of the personal property of married women, hospitality to all strangers - including Sudras, are the outstanding ones. There are 642 verses, by my count that are absolute gems of wisdom.

    The Bible and Quran are also filled with objectionable material - some worse than Manu - nevertheless Christians, Jews and Muslims have the emotional and intellectual maturity to be able to retain the good parts while quietly jettisoning the nasty bits, and still hold their scriptures in high esteem.

    Why do “progressive” Hindus have to make such a display of virtue signalling that they throw out the baby with the bath-water? Why do so many SJW among us trawl through Manu to find the most atrocious verses to highlight - why can’t they rather focus on the positive verses and use those to bring about change in the status of women and the pernicious dowry issue for example?

    Why is Hinduism defined as non-violent if in Manusmriti 8.299 allows beating?

    Firstly who said Hinduism is non-violent?

    Hinduism has a warrior caste that is dedicated to the study and practice of martial arts. Warfare was taught from the days of the Vedas and was known as Dhanur-veda. The archers were so skilled they could shoot an arrow through the eye of a metal bird while looking into a mirror.

    Indeed, since the dawn of time hunters and gatherers raided each others camps and stole food and women and children. So every society that wanted to survive required a caste of warriors to protect their property, resources and interests. Any society that did not develop martial arts simply disappeared.

    Non-violence i.e. AHIṂSA is a social value applicable between individuals - it is not a suitable value for Foreign Policy of for the Criminal Justice System.

    Common sense should tell you that it is wrong to beat anyone - period - no texts required to figure that out!

    But since we are dwelling on religious texts we can pursue that line of reasoning for the sake of dialectic.

    Now coming to the verses under discussion.

    8:299. A wife, a son, a slave, a pupil, and a (younger) brother of the full blood, who have committed offences, may be beaten with a rope or a split bamboo,

    8:300. But on the back part of the body (only), never on a noble part; he who strikes them otherwise will incur the same guilt as a thief.

    So here the legislator Manu is giving permission for corporal punishment - it is not a command but permission only. He was a man of his times - please note the laws of Manu were penned around 2nd century BCE - over 2000 years ago. These types of laws are found in every ancient civilisation.

    But these 2 verses must be read with the proviso which Manu gives BEFORE the two verses under discussion:–

    Let him punish first by (gentle) admonition, afterwards by (harsh) reproof, thirdly by a fine, after that by corporal chastisement. (Manu 8:129)

    So resorting to corporal punishment is the fourth and LAST stage not the first corrective resort.

    So now of course the social justice warriors will focus on the “wife-beating” and denounce Hinduism as a religion of misogyny and domestic violence! And demand that the brahmin patriarchy be dismantled blah blah blah!!

    Let’s now take a peek at the alternative view point from the vast library of Hindu Scriptures. We have the following gems:–

    Respect, kind treatment, and everything else that is agreeable, should all be given unto the maiden whose hand is taken in marriage. (Mbh 13-81-2 )

    Women, O king, should always be worshipped and treated with affection. There, where women are treated with respect, the very deities are said to be filled with joy. (Mbh 13-81-5)

    Women are goddesses of prosperity. The person that desires affluence should honour them. By cherishing women, O Bharata, one cherishes the goddess of prosperity herself. (Mbh 13-81-15)

    A yogin (dharma practitioner) should never abuse a woman, either in deed, speech or thought. Wherever I, (Lakshmi) am the realities are, wherever I am the gods too are. (Lakshmi Tantra 27.42:62)

    He who abuses women, abuses Lakshmi herself, He who abuses Lakshmi abuses the entire three worlds. (Lakshmi Tantra 27.42:64)

    Knowing women as my (Lakshmi) direct manifestation, how can a yogi refrain from revering them? One should never hurt women, and should never even think of wronging them. (Lakshmi Tantra 27.42:71

    The householder should never punish his wife, but should cherish her like a mother. (Maha Nirvana Tantra 8:39)

    If a man speaks rudely to his wife he must fast for one day, if he beats her he must go without food for three days, and if he cause bloodshed then he must fast for seven days. (Maha Nirvana Tantra 11:64).

    Like these, there are hundreds of verses in the Hindu scriptures denouncing and condemning any form of violence against women.

    So according to the Makshika-nyāya maxim (flies seek shit - bees seek pollen) the good and discerning bee-folk will focus on the positive verses and rejoice in, and practice them; and the human-flies will relish and indulge and gorge themselves on the shitty verses while intentionally ignoring the honey.

    Above all - we are commanded to actively deploy our intelligence faculty and reject any texts which are contrary to Right Conduct DHARMA from wherever they may come.

    Manu himself says we should reject his laws if we, as a society find them disagreeable.

    One should renounce artha (means of prosperity) and kama (pursuit of pleasure) if they conflict with dharma and even dharma (these laws) if it results in future unhappiness or the people find them disagreeable. (Manu 4:176)

    But while we are on the subject of corporal punishment we can take a quick peek at what other legislators have said on the subject (Manu being only one of 18).

    Yajñavalkya 1:155 No one should be castigated or beaten. Only a son and a disciple can be beaten.

    Gautama 2:42 - 44 As a rule a pupil shall not be punished corporally. If no other course is possible he may be corrected with a thin rope or a thin cane. If the teacher strikes him with any other instrument, he shall be punished by the courts.

    Apastamba 1:2:8:29 Threatening, fasting, bathing in [cold] water, and banishment from the teacher's presence are the punishments [which are to be employed], according to the greatness [of the fault], until [the student] stops [offending].

    And this very interesting one;

    The chastisement of brahmins is by word of mouth, of kshatriyas by making them fast, of vaishyas by the imposition of fines and confiscation of property and for shudras there is no punishment. (Mahabharata Santi Parva 15:9)

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