Sunday, October 25, 2009

All For One But Maybe Not One For All

‘Manuvad’ has become a hot topic in Indian politics today. The orthodox RSS and its feeding political party like BJP are more likely advocating for the ‘ism,’ whereas the ‘dalit political parties’ like BSP have raised their voices against that inhuman religious code. Manuvad, based on “Manu Samhita” or “Manu Smriti” as the ‘social code,’ presents itself as a discourse given by the sage Manu to a group of seers, or rishis, who beseeched him to tell them the “law of all the social classes (1.2).” Manu became the standard point of reference for all future Dharmaśāstras that followed it.
However, there are still some fallacies in the Hindu mind regarding Manu Smriti or Manu Samhita.

Fallacies and Facts:

Fallacy: Manu Samhita is a part of Vedic Scriptures.

Fact: The Vedic period stretched from the second and first millennia BCE continuing up to the sixth century BCE based on literary evidence. Mahavira and Buddha arrived in around sixth century BCE and they both counterattacked Vedic concepts on social and spiritual grounds. These two preachers never claimed themselves as God and they are also considered as the path finders of Hinduism. Buddhism became a separate religion when it came to China. The dominance of Buddha and Mahavira over Hinduism continued up to Maurya Empire (from ca. 320 BCE). And this period also was treated as the golden age, the classical age of Sanskrit literature, and the Middle kingdoms of India. After the breakdown of the Maurya and Shunga empires, there was a period of uncertainty that led to renewed interest in traditional social norms and the Brahmanical religion, which suffered during Buddhist and Jainist rule, tried to revive it again. Manu Smriti or Manu Samhita was written at that time and critics find contradictions in concept, especially when the scriptures try to state the position of women in society.

Certain verses of Manu Samhita (e.g. III - 55, 56, 57, 59, 62) glorify the position of women, while other verses (e.g. IX - 3, 17) seem to attack the position and freedom women have. Certain interpretations of verses IX - 18 claim that it discourages women from reading Vedic scriptures. But verse II - 240, however, allows women to read Vedic scriptures. Similar contradictory phrases are encountered in relation to child marriage in verses IX - 94 and IX - 90.

It is also doubtful that the scriptures were written by a single person but were probably written by many. Some scriptures in that Samhita are so contradictory that the founder of Arya Samaj, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, a noteworthy nineteenth century campaigner for women's rights, cites Manu's laws hundreds of times in his writings. In his opinion, verses highly critical of women and the lower classes (sudras) are not Vedic at all but interpolations introduced later by the corrupted Brahminical class. Another scholar, Dr. Surendra Kumar, claims that out of a total of 2,685 verses in the current Manusmriti, only 1,214 are authentic or can be confirmed by the Vedas; the other 1,471 are purported to be interpolations.

Fallacy: It is believed that the text is the earliest and foremost and only Law created by Manu, whose status is like Moses in Greco-Semitic religions.

Fact: Manu’s time period is 200 B.C.E to 200 A.C.E , while Moses died in about Feb-Mar 1271 BCE ( Access: Death of Moses at } The Greco-Semitic religion started with Moses, but Manu is much more younger to the History of Hinduism. Secondly, Manu Samhita is not the only source of Hindu laws as it is claimed. There is also Laws of Yājñavalkya in the Hindu religion. Besides these two authors, Āpastamba, Gautama, Baudhāyana, and Vasistha are some writers who authored in Dharmashashtra, a primarily Hindu text which refers to religious and legal duty.

Fallacy: The text claims that Bhrigu was a student of Manu, to whom he (Manu) taught these lessons.

Fact: Actually Bhrigu was a saint of the Vedic period in around 3000 B.C.E (See: “Bhrigu-Samhita: An ancient manuscript with medical matters of interest” by Ashok D. B. Vaidya published in CURRENT SCIENCE , VOL. 81, NO. 7, 10 OCTOBER 2001. This article may be viewed at ). Hence it is mere or virtual imagination or a deliberately wrong quoted misrepresentation that Manu taught his Samhita to Bhrigu.

Fallacy: The British colonial rulers and contemporary conservative Hindu radicals claim that Manu Samhita is followed universally by Hindus and is a common code for Hindu religion.

Fact: Manu Samhita was never followed by Hindus unanimously. In earlier days, the Vaishnavaites, the Shaivas and the Smartas never followed this text. In modern times, modern liberals, Hindu reformists, Dalit advocates, feminists, Marxists are the firebrand critics of this Samhita. It is only the British ruler, who paid importance to Manu Samhita to prepare codes of law for the natives. In 1794, Sir William Jones published the English translation of the Samhita to help the British ruler and it was propagated as the only Hindu code by the British administration.

What Manu Samhita Advised:

Laws of Manu has 2,694 stanzas in 12 chapters. The inhuman code of Manu divides Hindus into four varnas: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra. According to Manu, the supreme creator Brahma, gave birth to the Brahmins from his mouth; the Kshatriyas from his shoulders; the Vaishyas from his thighs; and Shudras from his feet (Manu's code I-31.)

Let the first part of a Brahman’s name denote something auspicious; a Kshatriya’s be connected with power; and a Vaishya’s with wealth; but a Shudra’s express something contemptible (Manu II. 31.)

Let the second part of a Brahmin’s name be a word implying happiness; of a Kshatriya’s, a word implying protection; a Vaishya’s, a term expressive of thriving; a Shudra’s, an expression denoting service (Manu II. 32).
A Shudra is unfit of receive education. The upper varnas should not impart education or give advice to a Shudra. It is not necessary that the Shudra should know the laws and codes and hence need not be taught. Violators will go to as amrita hell (Manu IV-78 to 81). One must never read the Vedas in the presence of the Shudras (Manu IV. 99). He who instructs Shudra pupils and he whose teacher is a Shudra shall become disqualified from being invited to a shradha (Manu III. 156).

A Brahmin who is only a Brahmin by decent, i.e., one who has neither studied nor performed any other act required by the Vedas may, at the king’s pleasure, interpret the law to him i.e., act as the judge, but never a Shudra, however learned he may be (Manu VIII. 20). Any Brahmin, who enslaves or tries to enslave a Brahmin, is liable for a penalty of no less than 600 PANAS. A Brahmin can order a Shudra to serve him without any remuneration because the Shudra is created by Brahma to serve the Brahmins. Even if a Brahmin frees a Shudra from slavery, the Shudra continues to be a slave as he is created for slavery. Nobody has the right to free him (Manu VIII-50,56 and 59). A Shudra who insults a twice- born man ( i.e. a Brahmin) with gross invectives shall have his tongue cut out for he is of low origin (Manu VIII. 270). If he mentions the names and castes of the (twice-born) wit contumely, an iron nail, ten fingers long, shall be thrust red hot into his mouth (Manu VIII. 271). If a Shudra arrogantly presumes to preach religion to Brahmins, the king shall order burning oil to be poured in his (Shudra’s) mouth and ears ( Manu VIII. 272). No Shudra should have property of his own; he should have nothing of his own. The existence of a wealthy Shudra is bad for the Brahmins. A Brahman may take possession of the goods of a Shudra (ManuVIII-417 & X129). No superfluous collection of wealth must be made by a Shudra, even though he has power to make it, since a servile man, who has amassed riches, becomes proud, and, by his insolence or neglect, gives pain to Brahmins (Manu X. 129).

Manu’s attitude was not only wild and inhuman for the Shudras. He possessed more furious ideas about women. His code describes:

"In childhood, a female must be subject to her father; in youth to her husband; then to her sons. A woman must never be independent. There is no God on earth for a woman than her husband.....She must on the death of her husband allow herself to be burnt alive on the same funeral pyre, that everyone will praise her virtue."
According to Manu, “all women are liars, corrupt, greedy, and unvirtuous (Manu II 1). It is the nature of women to seduce men in this (world); the wise are never unguarded in the company of males (Manu II. 213). Killing of a woman, a Shudra, or an atheist is not sinful. Women are an embodiment of the worst desires, hatred, deceit, jealousy and bad character. Women should never be given freedom (Manu IX. 17 and V. 47, 147). One should not sit in a lonely place with one's mother, sister, or daughter, for the senses are powerful and master even a learned man" (Manu II. 215). A Brahmin male by virtue of his birth becomes the first husband of all women in the universe (Manu III. 14). Though destitute or virtuous, or seeking pleasure elsewhere, or devoid of good qualities, yet a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife (Manu V. 154). At her pleasure, let her (i.e. widow) enunciate her body by living voluntarily on pure flowers, roots, and fruits, but let her not when her lord is deceased, even pronounce the name of another man (Manu V. 157). A woman must always maintain her virtue and surrender her body to her husband only, even if she is married off to an ugly person or even a leper (Manu IX. 14). Women have no right to study the Vedas. That is why their Sanskars are performed without Veda Mantras. Women have no knowledge of religion because they have no right to know the Vedas. [?] The uttering of Veda Mantras, they are as unclean as untruth is" (Manu IX. 18). None of the acts of women can be taken as good and reasonable (Manu X.4). A woman shall not perform the daily sacrifices prescribed by the Vedas. If she does it, she will go to hell (Manu XI. 36/37).

Manu Samhita’s Utility in Recent Days

Actually Manu Samhita lost its significance in a later period. The code was not accepted by Hindus, and Shaivas, Smartas and Vaishnavaites created their own codes of law. During colonial rule, Robert Clive and Lord Macaulay, gave another incarnation of Manu, finding this code as a useful tool to divide and rule over the Hindus. They argued that the caste system, as prescribed by the Manu Samhita, developed a de-facto apartheid social system that was very easy to subjugate and rule.
Hinduism is a different and a broad ‘platform’ for all, which the colonial rulers could not understand. It is different from other religions. Buddhism, Jainism and Skhism are also considered as a part of Hinduism. It is the political scenario, which barred Christianity or Islam to emerge with Hinduism. Otherwise, these religions might be considered as a part of Hinduism. The “Dharma” of Hinduism or “Dhamma” of Buddhism is different from the term ‘religion.’ It may be a fact of history that the politics of a ruler is always to try to hide this truth from the people and to try to misguide them. But, it is 100 percent true that this was not the original intention of the rishis and sages who actually produced the scriptures. In fact, there is constant reference in the Vedas to ‘BAHUJANA HITAY’ meaning the welfare of all people. Only in the medieval centuries, there was a lot of perversion, and the so-called lower castes were oppressed and feminine freedom was denied.

Never has Manu Samhita been found acceptable in the Hindu mind. Even the modern Hindu mind practically does not want to follow this rule. It is also very notorious to say that all upper-caste Hindus are Manuvaadi, as some dalit leaders often used to say in their public statements. They are the political parties who try to cash-in votes using the Manu Samhita as their currency. And perhaps this is where the Indian people are at the highest risk.

Readers can read the English translation of Manu Samhita from


  1. Sarojini, You have given us a well researched article on Manu-Smriti. There are more than one versions of Manu-Smriti but to me all of them are not in tune with modern world. There is one Manu Smriti advocated by the Sanatani obscurantists and the other one accepted by Arya Samaj. But if u look at the Sayarth Prakash of Swami Dayanand, that seemed very radical in late 19th century is no more relevant in modern era. But no Arya Samaji would say that. Likewise in mandirs the preachers still preach the contents of Manu Smriti. Those preachers all happen to be Brahamins. So the problem is with these people. Purohits call themselves brahamin (the learned one ) but they know nothing even about evolution of their so called revereed scriptures. Then the lack of scientific temper in our society is also a cuase for concern. Even educated people and even some scientists also believe in superstitions and in these scripture. So what to do with these people. They become an icon or a role model for uneducated or not so well educated class. If we have to create an awareness against the inhuman face of all these scriptures, I think we should do it in lingua-franca. That would help more.

  2. You have written:
    "Hinduism is a different and a broad ‘platform’ for all, which the colonial rulers could not understand. It is different from other religions. Buddhism, Jainism and Skhism are also considered as a part of Hinduism. It is the political scenario, which barred Christianity or Islam to emerge with Hinduism. Otherwise, these religions might be considered as a part of Hinduism."
    Now some questions:
    1. Why are you advocating (indirectly) such a totalitarian ideology according to which Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity and even Islam are a part of Hinduism?
    2. Why the Contractors of Hinduism always try to bring all other religions under the one umbrella of Hinduism. Do you think Hinduism has any right to play the role of Elder brother?
    3. This totalitarian attitude is not only superficial but also immoral. Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism and Islam are different religions. why don't you believe in Pluralism? Please think it seriously madame.

  3. It seems Tariq, you are not aware of theology. The actual Hinduism is different from Greco-Semitic religions. Buddhism and Sikhism are started not as religion, but as a reformation movement in “DHARMA”. Here , this ‘dharma’ is also different in the way the Muslim or the Christian religion are.Have you marked, there are “Satyapir’ puja in Eastern India, where both Lord Vishnu and Allah are worshipped? Do you know there is a temple named Allamchandi in Orissa, where both Muslims and Hindus pray to Allah and Chandi? Do you know there was an “Allahponishad”, written at the time of Akbar (Some differ at the time period as with Jehangir).
    By the way, do you know this ‘dharma’ has nothing to do with “God”? According to Budhhism and Jainism, there is no God. Some Hindu atheists are also considered as the great ‘rishis’ of Hinduism. To think about ‘big brother’s attitude’ is to show too much meanness, when we all have a secular and some how atheist attitude.

  4. In the Western American mind too are many dingy notions, dust-ridden and fallacious (not to be confused with fellatio-ous) some of my American male
    countrymen seem fixated on. This evening at Bookfest Seattle was my first public reading of a poem entitled "Songnow: from redemption code" in which I attempt address some of these issues. I try to commandeer language by making a shift to my demand for mutual respect. Excuse me while I excerpt briefly:"Anna Nicole Marilyn in rockets red blaring
    slip shod matrimony alone feckless
    humiliated, scurrying like the scarabs.
    what is it all about
    outskirts of the grace of God"
    Anyway, I wanted to sign off by pointing out that it's tedious & annoying to be publicly flogged as a piece of meat and even more distressing to recognize one's gender is, in the minds of many men from one's cultural domain, that same burger in their imagination - an image that is made primarily of flesh, but also is often untrustworthy; deserving of a good forking over prior to consumption. This code of the mind is unflattering as is the language used to support it.

  5. I can only say your this article gave me much knowledge i only new that,according to manu smiriti,there were caste systems Brahimin,vaishya,kshatriya and shudra and how they were produced.

  6. really well researched article with many useful revelations. but I think in this era of polluted discussion, we need real scientific explanation of myth and tradition of India. It is easy for every one to victimised Brahmanwad and hence Brahmin. no one have any interest to highlight the contribution of Brahamanwad and brahmin what they contributed in the development of nomadic indian civilisation. present day politics diluted this severly. and now Brahmin are identifying with b'wad and forced to escape from the main stream of Inda. They are now uflifting western economy. why these things are happening? is it not a subject of sorrow for us ? in many villages, even a single brahmin is not getting even a single Rs from welfare ischeme because they are so called farward.although they all falling far below to poverty line .is this a healthy sighn at all ?
    we should have to think upon these also. this is present that will lead us towards future . i hope U will give some light in these evils in your upcoming article ...

  7. It is realy meaningful . interesting and useful. People often misuse this to creat, develope and enjoy male dominance.I have that view that people who creat or write these vedas or puranas all are male . And it is very obvious that they will write the things to support them.But i dont agree withe all that. Woman is an individual , this no one want to agree.Thanks for the blog on this issue

  8. 'कैसे उनके रिश्तें है कैसे ये पड़ोसी हैं ,
    भीगती हैं जब आँखें होंठ मुस्कुरातें है ।
    क्या अजीब फितरत है इस जहाँ में बौनों की,
    बढ़ तो ख़ुद नही सकते, कद मेरा घटाते है ॥nice

  9. Thank you for your kind response. I have read Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam well. There are only three kinds of religions on this earth. All religions are either based on Polytheism, Atheism or Monotheism. Hinduism is based on Polytheism and Islam on Monotheism. Christianity is also based of some kind of Polytheism (due to its philosophy of Holy Trinity). Islam is the only religion which forbids any kind of Polytheism.
    It may be Just and Proper for Hinduism to have such Polytheistic ideas according to which everything (animals, plants, rivers, stones, planets) is god. But according to Islam there is only One God and all other things are creatures of God whether be it the animal elephant or the planet Mars. Islam is completely intolerant for polytheism. A Muslim cannot bear any kind of polytheism. even the worship of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is also strictly forbidden by Muhammad himself and by Allah(According to Quran). But according to the nature of Hinduism, the worship of Muhammad or the Worship of Jesus is okay. I have questioned to you why cultural nationalists want to make a greater umbrella of Hinduism and want to penetrate their polytheistic ideas into Islam? More clearly, why they want to digest Islam (as they digested Buddhism before) and make it a polytheistic religion? I think it is their fundamentalist, authoritarian and totalitarian view which obliges them to create such an umbrella. As a Muslim I cannot worship any man, woman, animal, plant or planet. It seems to me so unreasonable.
    The very idea of “merging religions together” is a polytheistic idea which belongs to fundamentalists, cultural nationalists. Why this fundamentalist unifying religious approach cannot tolerate the oneness of God. and if God is one then why worship those things created by God? Why it is always said that Muslims should also worship “Lord Rama” and Hindus should also worship Allah?” Is it not possible to worship according to our own choices and judgments. Why this choice is not suggested in place of creating a polytheistic choice?
    you have written in your mail on facebook:
    “Have you marked, there are “Satyapir’ puja in Eastern India, where both Lord Vishnu and Allah are worshipped? Do you know there is a temple named Allamchandi in Orissa, where both Muslims and Hindus pray to Allah and Chandi? Do you know there was an “Allahponishad”, written at the time of Akbar (Some differ at the time period as with Jehangir).”
    These lines are written in the same polytheistic air and arrogance which commands to knelt down before everything found on this earth. Why one should worship both Allah and Lord Vishnu? it is highly unreasonable and illogical too. Those people who worship both Allah and Lord Vishnu, you may call them “Hindu”. But Islam is based on Quran and Hadith. and anything except these two cannot be the basis of Islam. Quran says:
    “1 Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)to these Mushrikoon and Kafiroon): "O Al-Kafiroon (disbelievers in Allah, in His Oneness, in His Angels, in His Books, in His Messengers, in the Day of Resurrection, and in Al-Qadar , etc.)!
    2 "I worship not that which you worship,
    3 "Nor will you worship that which I worship.
    4 "And I shall not worship that which you are worshipping.
    5 "Nor will you worship that which I worship.
    6 "To you be your religion, and to me my religion (Islamic Monotheism)." [Al Kafiroon]

    Quran is so clear in its commands. Then how a Muslim can deviate from the words of Quran. Undoubtedly who deviates is not a Muslim at all.

    Hence I think we should not intermingle religions. This will bring clash. This is not desirable to bringing religions together under an Umbrella. What we need to do is to tolerate other’s beliefs. An individual should be free to choose his religious behavior for himself.
    Do you certainly know Buddha refused the Existence of God? I think you should read Osho whose interpretations of Buddha have worth reading.

  10. wow, all I can say is that your blog amazes me everytime I read it!

    Even your comment aout Hinduism and Islam,
    where both Lord Vishnu and Allah are worshipped at the same time.

    Mind blasting! =)

    Could you also write about "society's perception, is it important" Somehting along those lines.

    Basically, what is your view of what society would think of a person?


  11. wow, all I can say is that your blog amazes me everytime I read it!

    Even your comment aout Hinduism and Islam,
    where both Lord Vishnu and Allah are worshipped at the same time.

    Mind blasting! =)

    Could you also write about "society's perception, is it important" Somehting along those lines.

    Basically, what is your view of what society would think of a person?


  12. Nice posting. Do you know about these Samhita texts?

  13. @Tariq. Your idea about Hinduism is obscure. It is not wise to say that Hinduism is a religion of Polyatheism. In Hinduism also God is considered as ‘one’. More over, there are ‘Shunyavadis’ and ‘Mahimadharmis’ or ‘Alekh Dharmis’ who don’t worship idol. They believe in Monoatheism and according to them God is shapeless unique power. Still they are the section of Hinduism. There are atheist like Charvak and others to whom Hinduism adopts as prominent intellectuals. The “Sanskrit word “Dharma” should not be put under the English terminology ‘religion’. Dharma means which bears. It is some how closer to culture. So he Buddhist ‘Dhamma’ should also not be adhered with religion.
    Do you think there are different Gods for various religion and God of Hindu or God of Christians or Allah of Muslims differ from each other? If you think so, is it not against Quran or Islam ?
    Don’t go blindly to Osho’s interpretation on Buddhism. Please go through the following links to know more about God’s ststus in Budhhism:
    You can read ‘Dhammapada’ the Buddhist Holy Book for more reference.

  14. dharm ko itna adhik controversial hamare tathakathit dhrmguruoon ne bana diya hai ki ismen aam aadmi ulajh ke rah jayeega overall god is only & only one but we have divided in many parts like earth

  15. pitking593:47 AM

    Tariq's comments are interesting -- it gives a bit of insight into the Muslim mind -- narrow and closed. Personally, I can't see where he gets a merger of all religions under Hinduism. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't the thrust/objective of the article to promote many religions peacefully co-existing and not having this code, which happens to be Hindu, thrust on the country as 'the' code by which to live?

    It brings up the issue of the Puritans here when people came over from England in search of 'religious freedom.' Now the funny part about that is once they were settled here, the Puritans pulled the same bullshit on those here that they were trying to escape. So my take on that becomes was it more related to power and control rather than 'religious freedom?' My answer would be 'yes.'

    And it looks like things really haven't changed much -- now we have a movement to adapt a code that all must live by and damned to all who don't subscribe to it. And I think that's what you are flagging as a problem.

    I was rather amused at Tariq's concept that Christianity is polytheistic in that it's based on the Trinity. Had he done his homework/research, 1) the Trinity is a concept of the Catholic church and not of the others and 2) the Trinity is NOT multi-God -- the Trinity is three PERSONS comprising ONE God.

    So I believe the blog is opening eyes and awareness -- and that's what we want it to do. And it's important that even the Tariq's of the world are able to share their views, albeit narrow and closed!

  16. Manu was learned man and gave his own philosophy and law.....there are lot good theories but he was responsible also for division of Hindu society for which we are suffering...this can not be was like drop of lime added to milk

  17. It is really awesome and mind blasting article and you have put the facts so articulately that nothing seems to be obscure regarding the manu smariti or manu samhita.
    It is also correct to say that in present day context the samhita based society can't survive for long but the perennial concept of Dharma based on humanity will dominate all other concepts and theories .
    Thanks so much for such an inspiring article.

  18. Her yg men dharm ko apne swarth ke lyey tod marod kar istemal keya gaya hai .Manu samriti is mein kaphi sahayak rahi hai. Eyk se adhik manu smritiyan hona is bat ka praman hain.Aj her darm Guru apne hisab se iski vakhya kata hai, phir chahe prashn vern-vavstha ka ho ya nari ke adikaron ka.

  19. Thanks for sharing your article.

    Thank you, God! What a beautiful universe you created.Is it possible for me to create even a small flower?

    I see colours of flowers and smell their colour and thank our creator.Our creator must have feelings and capacity of an artist.
    We have only one Universe.We have only one creator.
    We should love eachother.What a small world we have!We can not say
    we don't care small childen's pains far from us.We are like a big body.If there's a pain in any of our body parts, everybody feels it and this pain effects everybody.
    We should love eachother and have a peaceful World.
    It is possible for us to read about all religions and decide which one we will chose.
    First we must be good humans.Children, poverty, hunger, animals, flowers... need our brotherhood, love and peace.
    I love everybody.I respect everybody's beliefs.
    I love my religion.I respect all religions.
    My religion is Islam

  20. These days Manu Samhita is more quote by its detractors then followers.People like Mayawati without ever reading Manu Smruti keeps berating about it.
    I believe that Hinduism as intended is a Dharma,disparate from Religion.There being no english equivalent of the word Dharma, people like Mr Tariq can never decipher the distinction.

  21. Thanks for the informative blog post.
    Regarding the comment on religion it must be clarified that the incorporation of Buddhism and Jainism within the Hindu fold was not due to any nefarious totalitarian motive but rather a historical inevitability. In ancient India there was no designated religion but different streams of belief-based practices like Brahmanism, Buddhism, Jainism, Atheism, and various minor and even tribal practices. And since the people residing beyond the Indus began to be called the Hindus, all belief-based practices and their philosophies came under the religious rubric of Hinduism and thus by a historical inevitability the incorporation took place. For elaboration consult
    So it is not correct to say that Hinduism by acting as a melting pot of all beliefs is depriving other religions but rather that it is only enriching itself. It is the natural method of the growth of cultures all over the world and it is very different from the spread of revealed religions like Islam and Christianity through force or conversion. It is interesting though sad that some Hindu fundamentalist have also incorporated the techniques of force and conversion within Hinduism.

  22. ManuSmriti was not followed in India; rather, it was an "ideal" for the fundamentalists and communal politics through ages. If Manyu Smriti was followed in toto, how could there be a Mauryan Emopire? Only male-female realtions, Manu vad system was adhered into because , the male dminant society wanted a sanctimonious philospophy for its continuation.

  23. Thakur Man Lama5:24 AM

    I feel very sorrow when human beings are classified in different different categories. I don’t know from where this myth or should I say thinking spread to our mind. People say it comes through the holy books like veda etc….. Is it true ?
    We know every people have their own single entity . So no one is greater than except a God. We see, heard lot of discrimination among people in related to racism (racism like, lower caste and upper caste, black and white skin …), between rich and poor and also in various aspects. But this is not good. Because this is human humility. World humility.
    You know, Sarojiniji, I respect all people. I enthroned every god in my heart. I don’t see white people are bigger than black people, or rich people are bigger than poor people or casting division is higher or lower. Only I see is all human being are equal.
    I respect elders and love younger. This is the truth we should remember: Respect and love. Natural truth is that all human beings or creature should die one day. Nobody is everlasting. Then why this feels of bigger and smaller? I know Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra are tagged to various castes. But everyone knows that Shudra Category is more bullied than other. Why? Are they not a human? Or are they not a part of creator of this world? Or are they not have contributed anything to the nation and world?
    Ok, let’s see shudras are born from manu’s feet according to Laws of Manu as I seen in your All for One but Maybe Not One for All article. Isn’t the feet are organs of a human body? If any one organ is cutted from the human body can we say it is healthy body and whole body?

    Thanks to you for such a good article.


    Thakur Man Lama
    Pulchowk, Lalitpur,

  24. The discussion start with the topic Manuvad’ but the serious discussion is derailed by starting debate on various religions. (Pragya’s grandma again entered in the discussion)
    Now pitking59 said “Tariq’s comments are interesting -- it gives a bit of insight into the Muslim mind -- narrow and closed”.
    What Mr. Tariq Ahmad Siddiq staid about Islam I 100 % agree with him.
    Also every religion is independent. No umbrella required. If one religion say that we are part of other particular religion, than only it can be considered as the part of that religion otherwise not.
    But when we talk about other religions, we should be careful. First what they think about their religion. To enquire something about any religion is quite deferent to say what is other religion is. Who am I to say Hinduism is actually is this.
    When Sarojini Sahoo (a highly educated person) says
    “It is not wise to say that Hinduism is a religion of Polyatheism. In Hinduism also God is considered as ‘one’”.
    We should take it as it is without argument.
    Religion is not an exact science or not like this 2 plus 2 is equal to 4.
    It is not a periodic classification of elements, or classification metal and non metals. Which all believe that periodic table of element is true. As it is nothing to do with religion.
    If you look behind the history of mankind, even in the prehistoric period, people always in search of God.
    After some endeavor arrive at certain conclusion and begin to adore the God. Certainly different nations or group of people arrive different conclusions, and fight each other that their conclusion is correct and others are not correct. Past history is full of these unfortunate incidents.
    There is verse of Allama Iqbal which is sung by lata mngashkar beautifully.
    कभी ऎ हक़ीक़ते मुनतज़र नज़र आ लिबासे मजाज़ मॆं
    के हज़ारों सजदे तड़प रहे हॆं मेरी जबीने नियाज़ में

    Allama Iqbal praying to god (हक़ीक़त) that he should appear in such a way that ordinary person (लिबासे मजाज़) can see you. You are behind curtain through which everyone cannot see you and recognize you.
    Allama Iqbal who is called Poet of the east who also writes
    सारे जहां से अच्छा हिनदोस्तां हमारा
    हम बुलबुलें हॆं उस की ये गुलसितां हमारा
    मज़हब नहीं सिखाता आपस में बॆर रखना
    हिनदी हॆं हम वतन हॆ हिनदोस्तां हमारा
    Omar Khayyam, the great philosopher, poet, and mathematician, utter some words just before death, which came to us after passing through the sieve of history which are like this.
    O god I have tried to recognize you with all my strengths. If I recognize you correctly or incorrectly but I can’t do too much as my mind is given by you.
    Forgive me if I could not recognize you correctly.

  25. Swami Dayanand Saraswati had not adopted any Manuvad which was against the Vedas. In third chapter of “ The satyaarth Prakash”, he had clarified that the following books are not in accordance with Vedas ,so the they shall not be taken into account of citing examples for Hindu religion. In which all Manu codes are also rejected except some slokas in accordance with The Veda.
    “ The book, which should be rejected in reading, are briefly enumerated here, that is the following books should be considered as spurious:-
    In Grammars, Katrantra, Saraswat, Chandrika, Mugdhabodh, Koumndi, Shekher, Manorama, & others. In Dictionaries, Amar, kosh, &c. In Prosody, Virtta Ratna Kara and other.In Primers, Alha Shiksha, &c. In Astronomy, Shigrabodh, munurat Chinta mani & others. In poetry, Nayakabheda, the distinotion of female characters. Kuvalayanand, raghubansa, magha, Kiratarjuniya and other. In Mimansa, Dharma Sindhu, Viratarka, &c, In Vaisheshak, tark Sangrah and others. In Nyaya, Jagdish and others. In Yoga, Hat prodipika and others. In Sankhya Sankhy tatwa and Koumudi, &c. In Vedant, Yoga, Vashihta, Panchdas and others. In Medicine, Saranghar and others. In Law, all codes except delected couplets of Manu. All Tantras (book). On demonology all Puranas (cosmology) Uppuranas, Tulsi Das’ ramayan, Rukmani Mangal and others and all Bhasha or Vernacular books should be rejected, as they are all imaginary and false books.”

    In this regard the answer were given by swami Dayanand Saraswati is quoted as below from third chapter of “ Satyaarth Prakash”
    Q. – May women and serfs (Shudras) study the Veda? If they read what shall we do? There is no authority sanctioning their education," स्त्रीशुद्रौ नाधीयातामिति श्रुते: "
    - Here is prohibition of it. It is a precept of the Veda that woman and the servant should not be allowed to learn.
    Answer by Swami Dayanand – Damn your eyes! All human beings, whether men or women have a right to study. This verse is your fabrication. It is to be found nowhere in any authentic. On the contrary the 2nd verse of the 26th chapter of the Yajur Veda is an explicit authority in support of the tule of all to read and to listen to the expounding of the Veda and other scriptures.-
    यथेमाम वाचं कल्याणीमावदानि जनेभ्यः
    ब्रह्मराजन्याभ्याम शूद्राय चार्याय च स्वाय चारणाय ( यजु: अ २६.२ )
    The Lord saith : I declare this speech of the 4 vedas, Rig and others, for all the people so as to de them good both in the world and after. Here it may be urged that the word jana signifies regenerates only ; for the codes of Law give priests, warriors and merchants the right of studying the Vedas,but not to women, serfs and the like plebeians.
    A. – See, the lord himself saith : We have revealed the Vedas, for the Brahmanas, Khatriys, Vaishyas, Shudras and our servants, women, & very low castes, that is for all the people, who should read and teach the Vedas, listed to and read them to others, so as to improve their knowledge, to adopt the virtuous course of conduct, to get rid of distress and to obtain happiness.
    Now, tell me if I obey you or the Lord God over us. The lord’s commandment must needs be obeyed. This being the case, if a man, however, does not accept it, he will be called an atheist: for, he who does not accept the authority of the Vedas, is called an atheist. Does not God wish to do good to the servant class? Is God so unjust that he has forbidden their study or hearing to the serfs and permitted it to the twice-born classes? If it was the will of God that the serfs and plebeians should read or teach, why did he furnish their body with the organ of voice, and the sense of hearing? As God has made the earth, water, fire, air, sun, moon, edibles and other things for all beings; so has he revealed the Vedas for all of them.
    Wherever their study is forbidden, it means that he who learns nothing, by reading with a teacher, is called a dullard and ignoramus from the fact of his being dull and ignorant. His reading or teaching him is of no use. It is a proof of your ignorance, selfishness, and stupidity that you prohibit women from studying. See the authority of the Vedas in support of girls’ education: Atharva Veda, K. 11, Pr.24, Ad.3, Verse 18 –
    “ ब्रह्मचर्येण कन्या३ युवानं विन्दते पतिम्”
    - Like boys who acquire perfect knowledge and good training by observing the vow of chastity and, when of age, marry maidens, youthful, educated, lovely, suitable, and equal to them, let girls also acquire perfect knowledge and the best training by studying the Vedas and other scriptures during their vow of chastity and, attaining puberty and full majority, marry bachelors, youthful, handsome, educated and equal to them. Hence, women must also observe the vow of chastity & acquire knowledge.

  27. Q. – Should women study the Vedas?
    Answer by Swami Dayanand
    – Certainly, they should. Refer the Shroutsutra and others.
    इमं मन्त्रं पत्नी पठेत्
    – It means that the wife should recite this verse of the Vedas at a sacrifice. If she has not studied the Vedas and other scriptures, how can she read the Vedas with fluent pronunciation and proper intonation and converse in Sanskrit on the occasion of warship? Gargi and other ladies, the jewels of the women of ancient India , become eminently learned by the study of the Vedas and other scriptures. This is explicitly written in the Shatpath. Well, if the mister of a house be educated and his with uneducated or versa, these will every day be a war between Gods and devils in the house*. How can there be joy in it? If women don’t read how can they be teachers in girl’s schools? Without knowledge a women can not discharge the domestic duties properly, such as the management of the household, just treatment of all duties of married life, mutual satisfaction of husband and wife, domestic work under the control of the mistress of a house, and similar other duties.
    See, the wives of kings and nobles of Aryavarta (ancient India ) know the military art and laws of chivalry very well. If they did not know it, how could Queen Kekayee and others accompany King Dasharath and others to the battle field take part in fighting? So the Brahmin and warrior class women should learn all branches of knowledge, the merchant class women should acquire commercial knowledge, and the service class women should know the culinary art and the duties of service. Like men who must at least learn something of grammar, religion, and ethics, women should also learn grammar, religion, medicine, arithmetic, and handcraft, as a matter of course. For, without the knowledge of these arts, they can not distinguish right from wrong, behave themselves agree ably towards the husband and other relatives, beget children properly, nurture, bring up & well train them, do or see the domestic duties done as they out to be done, cook or superintend the cooking of food, & prepare drink like medicine according to the method prescribed by the medical art, so that disease may not attack the house hold, and the inmates live happily. Without the knowledge of handicraft, they can not supervise the building of a house, make or inspect the making of suits, jewellery, and other requisites: without the knowledge of arithmetic, they can not keep or render accounts of all concerned; and without the knowledge of the Vedas and other second scriptures, which gives them a right idea of God and religion, they can not guard themselves against irreligion or vice. Hence, blessed are they and reserve to be congratulated, who train their children by the rules of chastity to acquire the best morals, knowledge,

  28. Q. – Here is the 11th verse of the 31st chapter of the Yajurveda:-
    ब्राह्मणोंअस्य मुखामासीद बाहू राजन्यः कृतः
    उरू तदस्य यद्वैश्यः पद्भयाम शुद्रो अजायत
    It means: The Brahmin is born from the mouth of God, the Kshatriya from his arm, the Vvaishya from his thighs, and the Shudra from his feet. Just as the mouth can not become the arms and her limbs, or rice versa,so the Brahmin can not change into the Kshatriys and others nor do the latter into the former.
    Ans– The meaning of the verse which you make out is not correct; for, the phrase “formless and all-pervading supreme spirit” is to be supplied from the previous context in interpreting it. When God is formless, he can not have the mouth and other parts of the body. If he has a mouth and other organs, he can not be all-pervading. If he is not omnipresent, he can not be omnipotent, the creator, upholder, and destroyer of the world, the judge of the good and evil deeds of souls, omniscient spirit, immortal, or the possessor of such other attributes. Hence, the verse means that the who like the mouth in the body of man is the best and most prominent of all in the creation of the all-pervading God is a Brahmin; he who has more strength than others, is a Kshatriya; for, the Shatpath says the word bhahu means vigor and energy; he who travels as if in virtue of the strength of his thighs, which form the part of the body below the loins and above the knees, in his country or goes to foreign countries and trades there in all commodities, is a Vaishya; and he who is ignorant and possesses qualities allied to gnorance which is like the feet of low parts of the body; is a Shudra. At another place the Shatpath interprets this verse in the same sense
    यस्मादेते मुख्यास्त्स्मान्मुखतो ह्य्स्रुज्यंत इत्यादि
    . Thus, for instance, speaking of the Brahmins, it says that as they are the chief members of society, they are said to be born of God’s mouth. Such is the intelligent interpretation of the Vedic versa. In plain words, just as the mouth is the best of all organs, so are the Brahmins considered to be the best in the humankind in virtue of their perfect knowledge and excellent character, habits, and nature. Since the divine formless and immateriality can have no material distinction of the mouth and other organs of the human body, the production of the Brahmins from God’s mouth is impossible. It is like the marriage of the son of a barren woman. Also, if the Brahmins and other classes had been born of the mouth and other organs, their forms would have been like those organs as the qualities of a material cause are reproduced in its effect. Their bodies should have been round and hollow like the mouth, those of the Kshatriyas like the arms, those of the Vaishyas like the thighs, and those of the Shudras like the feet. But they are not so. What will you say if anybody tells you that those might be called Brahmins and other castes, which ware born of the mouth and other organs; but you can be called by those names, as you are born of woman’s womb just like all other people. Not being born of God’s mouth your pride in being called the Brahmins and so forth is vain and sham. Hence, the interpretation you put up the verse, is absurd, but ours is quite correct. It is also supported by what Manu says, X 65,-
    शुद्रो ब्राह्मणतामेती ब्राह्मणश्चैती शुद्रताम
    क्षत्रियाज्जात्मेवान्तु विद्याद्वैश्यात्तथैव च
    - If a person born of a Shudra or low caste family possesses the virtues, habits and tendencies of the Brahmin, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas, he should be classed with them according to his merits.

  29. In like manner, if a person born of a Brahmin, Kshatriya or Vaishyas family, possesses the merits, habits and nature like those of a Shudra, he should sink to the level of the Shudras. Also a person coming from the family of the Kshatriya and Vaishyas and possessing the qualification of the Brahmins and Shudras is classed with them respectively according to his various. In short, the men and women of the four orders should be classed with those orders whose qualifications they possess.
    धर्मचर्यया जघन्यो वर्ण: पूर्व पूर्व वर्णम आपद्यते जातिपरिवृत्तो (1)
    अधर्मचर्यया पूर्वो वर्णों जघन्यं जघन्यं वर्णम आपद्यते जातिपरिवृत्तो (2)
    - These are aphorisms of the Anasthaiba. They mean that (1.) righteous conduct exalts a man of the lower to the higher order, and he should be regarded to be a member of that order for which he is fit. In the same manner,( 2).unrighteous conduct degrades a man to a lower order, and he is to be considered as such. As men sink to lower order in virtue of unrighteous means, so are women class according to their merits or demerits. Thus these scriptural a authorities of to prove that it is the only course within makes persons attain the moral standard of character, behaviour, and nature, and preserves their purity of race; that is to say, there will be no person like a Kshatriya, Vaishya or Shudra among the Brahmins; also the order of the Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudras will maintain their respective excellence of race. There will be no bastards in any class. This course will bring no censure or charge of unfitness to any class.

    अध्यापनमध्ययनम यजनं याजनं तथा
    दानं प्रतिग्रहश्चैव ब्राहमणनाम्कस्पयत ( मनु १.८८)
    शामो दमस्तपः शौचं क्षागित्रार्जव्मेव च
    ज्ञानम् विज्ञानमास्तिक्यम ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् ( गीता १८.४२ )
    1) Teaching ladies by ladies and men by men without deceit and with affection, (2) to learn all of the learnings completely, (3) performance of Agnihotra etc., (4) conducting of yajna, to give gift of gold etc. to the deserving persons, (5) to take gift from the house-holder who earn wealth with just, honest and pious methods. In these assigned duties learning, performing yajna and giving gift are three religious duties to be discharged by a Brahman while – teaching, conducting yajna, and take gift are three duties to be discharged to earn living. But the acceptance of gift is and inferior act. To earn living by teaching and conducting yajna is a superior act. Says Manu:-
    प्रतिग्रहः प्रत्यव (मनु १०.१०९ )
    To allow not the mind in unrighteousness and check even the tendency of doing impiety; to keep the organs-ears etc. away from the unrighteousness and employ them in piety; to endure twain of cold, heat, blamishness, praise, hunger, thirst, respect and disrespect for the attainment of celibacy, learning and the accomplishment of yoga; to purify body etc, with water etc. and keep mind and spirit pure and free from attachment, aversion infatuation etc; to be not stimulant with anger, keeping the tendency of kindness even faced with the torture of blame and praise by others; to be not proud, to avoid pomposity and self-aggrandizement etc; to have the capacity of teaching all the scriptures with the distinctive knowledge of the co-relation of words and meanings; to know all the things from earth to God and take proper benefit of them with dexterity in arts and the practice of yoga, to be not against Divinity, Vedas, dharma, un-worldliness, the feeling of life after death and life before the birth, fructification of actions and the sense of emancipation, these nine acts and qualities be known as the dharma of the Brahman Varna. To abide with good qualities, acts and nature superme to all. The men and women endowed with such deeds and qualities be known as Brahmana and Brahmani. Their marriage also be performed in conformity to these virtues. They should be authorized as Brahman amongst all men.

    प्रजानां रक्षणं दान्मिज्याध्ययानामेव च
    विषयेष्वपसतिकश्च क्षत्रियस्य समास्तः ( मनु १.८९ )
    शौर्य तेजो ध्रुतिदाक्ष्यम युद्धे चाप्लायनम
    दानीमीश्वर्भाश्च क्षात्रकर्म स्वभावजम् ( गीता १८.४३ )
    The systematic study of the Ved etc. Scriptures with all the angas and upangas with observance of the discipline of continence, to perform the Agnihotra etc. Yojnas, to impart knowledge and give gold etc. to the deserving ones and fearlessness to the subject; to protect always by all means to the subject – all these duties and conducts are included in the duties and definition of Kshatriya. To teach to science of armament, to administer justice and maintain the strength of army are the act of living of the Kshatriyas.
    To remain ever unattached with the huntings of the organs, to be always self-controlled, to be always engaged in the acts of good actions, good conduct, and decency keeping away from the use of intoxicant drinks etc., covetousness and profigation, to be always fearless in the use of armery, in battle, even in the act causing death and the use of weapons on the enemies, to maintain bravery and becoming intrepid never yield to any one as timid and pauper; to be never confused and perturbed in the time of calamity, trouble and scarcity and be always unperturbed; to be capable and clever in the matter of battle, wordy fight, ambassadorial job, administration of justice etc., to be always ready in the warfares and never come into the grip to the enemy due to perturbation caused by the fear of war. To give gift; as God showing mercy on all like a father to his son gives the awards of pleasure and pain for the good and bad actions of the souls without any with out any partiality and observes completely the good and bad acts of all as residing within all with his omniscience etc. as a Kshatriya should deal with his subjects and keep him aware of the good and bad activities of the subjects and officials of the state, to be always ready to administer justice and give happiness to subject, to be always ready in rewarding good persons and punishing offenders, and to make his spirit delighted and gratified by ploughing the should into justice and piety keeping the body wholesome, strong, firm, vigorous and long lived – these qualities and acts adopted and possessed by a man and a woman make them Kshatriya and Kshatriya respectively. The marriage of these should also be fixed in conformity to these qualities and acts. The king and the queen should administer justice to men and women and promote their goodrespectively as the Brahmana and Brahmani teach the men and women respectively. The Kshatriyas who are not crowned as King should join the services of proper designation in the state of the king.²

    पशूनाम रक्षणं दान्मिज्याध्ययानामेव च
    वनिक्पथं कुसीदं च वैश्यस्य कृषिमेव च ( मनु १०.९० )

    To study the true scripture like Veda etc., to perform the Agnihotra etc. Yjna, to give the gift or grain etc. – these three are the religious duties of the Vaishyaverna while to domesticate the animal like cow etc. and to sell the mils yielded by them, to know the languages of various countries, accounts, geology and the nature of soil, seed etc to earn interest* to know the science of agriculture, preservation of grains and to know the method of testing measure and soil, to know the method of ploughing and sowing of seeds etc. are the four acts of livelihood of a Vaishya. The man and woman who possess these qualities and acts are called Vaishya and Valshya respectively.marriages in the couples of Vaishya should be settled in conformity to these qualities and acts.¹

    एकमेव हि शूद्रस्य प्रभुः कर्म समादिशत
    एतेषामेव वर्णानाम शुश्रू षामंसूयया (मनु १.९१ )
    God has assigned only one act to Shudra, the individual who is uneducated, unable to grasp anything even being taught, strong in body and competent in serving others and that is, the service of the three Varnas – the Vrahmana, kshatriya and Vaishya without grumbling and with pleasure. The man and woman possessing these qualitative defencies and the sense of service are known respectively as Shudra and . The marriage settlement and the liberties to be given to them be considered in conforming to the scrutiny of their acts etc.
    If the division and assignment of the four Varna be made according to these respective qualities and acts the society of men, family and country would attain all progress. If the men of the Varna possess the same qualities, acts and nature of the Varna is which they are born it is a distinctive exception.

  34. Noble Ideas Put Very Aptly! Really surprising to see why we keep fighting, why so much of hatred, violence & poison...?
    Pravesh K. Singh

  35. rajansooryadhas9:06 AM