From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

So many editions of this work have been published in India since 1813 ( when the Manusmirti was first published at Calcutta ), that it is not possible to name them. In this work the Nirpaya- sSgara edition with the commentary ofKullQka has been used throughout. Another edition of Manu well known on this side of India is that of the late V. N. Mandlik who published several com- Vide III. M-«8 for the five on one’s hand.

taries snch as those of Medhatithi, Govindaraja and others. The Manusmrti has been translated into English several times. The best known translation is that of Dr. Btihler in the S. B. E. series ( vol. 25 ), Dr. Bahler also added an exhaustive and very scholarly introduction to his translation and dealt with numerous problems connected with the Manusmrti.

In the Rgveda Manu is spoken of as the father of mankind (?gi- 80. 16, 1 . 1 14. 2, II. 33. 13) and a Vedic poet prays that he . may not be led away from the ancestral path of Manu.**+ Another Vedic bard says that Manu was the first to offer sacrifice ( 1 ^. X. 63. 7 ). In the Taittiriya Sathhita and the Tapdya-maha-brah- mapa it is said ‘ whatever Manu saidismedicine.’*^5 Taittirlya-Samhita (II. 1.3.6) also says that mankind is Manu’s (Manavyo hi prajah ). In the Taittiriya Saihhita ( III. i. 9. 4-5 ) and the Aiureya Brahmaoa (V. 14 ) we have the story of Manu dividing his wealth among his sons and of the exclusion of his son Nabhanedistha.

The Satapatha-brahmana (S. B. E. vol. 12 p. 216) gives us tlie story of Mann and the deluge. In the Nirukta ( chap. Ill ) there is a discussion about the rights of sons and daughters. One of the views there propounded is that children of both sexes take their father’s wealth and a fk and sloka are cited in support of that position.*®* The Sloka refers to the opinion of Manu Svayaihbhuva. It is noteworthy that that sloka is opposed to a rik, which means that the Sloka is not Sruti but is Smjti. So before Yaska wrote there were smrti texts in verse in which Manu was spoken of as a law- giver. We have seen how Gautama and Vasistha quote the views of Manu and how Apastamba connects Manu with the promulgation ofSraddhas( II. 7. 16. I ). The Mahabharata in numerous places speaks of Manu, sometimes as Manu simply, sometimes as Svayaih- bhuva Manu (Santi2i.i2) and also as Pracetasa Manu (Santi 57. 43 ).

Reduction of Manusmriti

In the Mahabharata (Santi. chap. 336. 38-46 ) we are told how the supreme being composed a hundred thousand ilokas 4: I VIII. 30.3. on dhartna, how Manu Svayaihbhuva promulgated those dharmas and howUSanas and Bfhaspati composed iHslras based on the work of Manu Svayaihbhuva.*®? In another place the account is slightly different and Manu does not figure therein, ^anti-parva ( chap. 59. 80-85 ) describes how the original work of Brahma on the three, Dhartna, Artba, and Kama, in 100,000 chapters was successively reduced to 10000, 5000, 3000 and 1000 chap, respectively by Vi^laksa, ludra, Bahudantaka, Brhaspati and Kavya ( Usanas ). The prose introduction to the Narada-smrti says that Manu composed in xoooc ■) ^lokas, 1080 chap, and 24 prakaraijas a Dharma.sastra and imparted it toNarada, who abridged it into 12,000 verses and taught it to MarkaQdeya, who in his turn compressed it into 8000 ^lo^ and passed it on to Sumati Bhargava, who again reduced it to 4000 slokas. The Narada-smrti then gives the first verse*®® of that work which is a combination of the extant Manu I. 5-6 and says that vyavahara was the 9th prakarana out of 24 in the original work of Manu. It will be noticed how this version differs from that ot the Mahabharata wherein Narada is altogether ignored. The extant Manusmrti ( I. 32-33 ) narrates how from Brahma sprang Viraj, who produced Manu, from whom were born the sages including Bhrgu and Narada, how Brahma taught the sastra to Manu, who in his turn imparted it to the ten sages ( I. 58 ), how some great sages approached Manu and sought instruction in the dharmas of the vartjas and the intermediate castes and how Manu told them that his pupil Bhtgu would impart to them the Sastra ( I. 59-60 ). This appearance is kept up throughout the work. The sages interrupt Bhtgu’s discourse in several places ( as in V. 1-2 and XII. i-a ). Manu is said to be omniscient ( II. 7 ) and Manu is mentioned by name dozens of times in the work with the words “ Manutaha" ( IX. 158, X. 78 etc ), or “Manur-abravid” or Manor-anuiasanam

That the introductory words in the Narada-smfti are not spurious or a later addition follows from the remark of MedhStithi that, according to the Naradasmrti, Prajapati composed a work in 100000 ^lokas which was abri(^ed by Manu and others.*®’ Some scholars believe that the Mahabharata and the Naradasmjti provide exagerated sizes of shlokas to glorify the original work.


According to the Bhavi§ya-puraoa as quoted in Hemadri, the Saihskara-mayflkha and other works, there were four versions of the Svayambhuva ^tra composed by Bhrgu, Narada, Brhaspati and Ahgiras.* 7 ° So early a writer as VisvarQpa cites verses from Manusmrti as those of Svayarii- bho ( vide com. on Yaj. 11. 73, 74, 83, 85, where Manu 8. 68, 70-71, 380 and 105-6 are respectively quoted as Svayariibhfl’s), while quotations from Bhrgu cited by VisvarOpa (on Yaj. I. 187 and 232 ) are not found in the Manusmfti. In the same way most of the verses quoted from Bhrgu by Apararka are not found in the Manu- smrti. One verse which Apararka quotes from Bhrgu (on Yaj. II. 96) speaks of the view contained therein as that of Manu.


  • ’* It is almost impossible to say who composed the Manusmrti.

It goes without saying that the mythical Manu, progenitor of mankind even in the Rgveda, could not have composed it. What motives could have induced the unknown author to palm it off in the name of the mythical Manu and to suppress his identity it is difficult to say. One motive may have been to invest the work with a halo of antiquity and authoritativeness.

There is one circumstance about the authorship of the Manusmrti that deserves to be noted. The Mahabharata seems to distinguish between Svayaihbhuva Manu and Pracetasa Manu. The former is said to be the promulgator of dharma^astra and the latter of arthasastra ( or politics). For example Santi 21. 12 speaks of Svayihbhuva Manu and Sami 37-43 and 38-2 speak of PrAcetasa as an author on rajaiastra or rajodharma. In some places Manu alone without any epithet is associated with rdjadharma or artbavidyA. It is not unlikely that originally there were two distinct works, one on dharma and the other on arthaiastra attributed to Manu. When the Kautillya speaks of the Manavas, he probably refers to the work on politics attributed to Pracetasa Manu. It is extremely doubtful whether Rajaiekhara, when he mentions the several views on the number of vidyas ( including that of the Manavas that they were three ), had the Arthasastra of the Manavas before him or only copied a passage from Kautilya ( vide Kavyamimaihsa p. 4 ), It is not unlikely that the work on dharma attributed to Manu may have contained general directions on the duties of kings. It is therefore ( i. e. because there were two different works on dharma and arthaSastra attributed to Manu ) that the views ascribed to the Manavas by the Kautiliya are not found word for word in the extant Manusmjti. One may hazard the conjecture that the author of the Manusmrti, whoever he might have been, combined in his work the information contained in the two works on dharma and arthai&stra and supplanted both the earlier works and that this result had not been either accomplished at the time when the Kaufiliya was composed or was then quite recent. In the extant Manusmrti, the work is ascribed to Svayaih- bhuva Manu and then six other Manus of whom Pracetasa is not one are enumerated ( I. 62 ).


The extant Manusmrti is divided into twelve adhyUyas and contaihs 2694 slokas. The Manusmrti is written in a simple and flowing style. It generally agrees with Papini’s system, though it contains some deviations from it as in the verse ‘ sak^ipah santi metyuktva ’ ( 8. 57 ). The foregoing pages have sufficiently shown how it agrees closely with the doctrines contained in the DharmasOtras of Gautama, Baudhayana, Apastamba. We have also seen how numerous verses are common to the dharmasutras of Vasistha and Visrtu and the Manusmrti. The Kautiliya also exhibits remarkable agreement with the Manusmrti in phraseology and doctrines.*?! What conclusions arc to be drawn from this will be discussed later on. Some verses are repeated, e. g. V. 164-165 are the same as

Summary of contents

The contents of the Manusmrti may be briefly summarised as follows

  1. Sages approach Manu for instruction in the dhanms of the vanjas ; Manu describes the creation of the world from the self-existent God more or less in the Saukhya manner ; the creation of Viraj, of Manu from Viraj, of ten sages from Manu ; creation of various beings, men, beasts, birds etc. ; Brahma imparts dharma^astra to Manu, who teaches the sages ; Manu bids Bhrgu to instruct the sages in dharma ; six other Manus sprang from Svayambhuva Manu ; units of time from nimesa to year, the four yugas and their twilights ; one thousand yugas equal a day of Brahmi ; extent of Mamantara, pralaya ; successive decline of dharma in the four yugas ; different dharmas and goals in the four yugas ; the special privileges and duties of the four varijias ; eulogy of Brahmapas and of the i&stra of Manu ; acara is the highest dharma ; table of contents of the whole ^tra
  2. definition of dharma, sources of dharma are Veda, smrti, acara of the good, one’s own satisfaction ; who has odhikara for this iasfra ; limits of Brahmavarta, Brahmarsidela, Madhya* deia, Aryavarta ; why sarhskaras are necessary ; such sathskdrds as jatokarma, namadheya, chudakarma, upanayana ; the proper time of upanayana for the varijas, the proper girdle, sacred thread, staff and skin for the Brahmacari of the three varies ; duties of the Brahma- carl and his code of conduct ;
  3. Brahmacarya for 36, 18, 9 years ; sam&vartana ; marriage ; marriageable girl ; brahmaoa could marry a girl of any of the four varyas ; eight forms of marriage defined ; which form suited to which caste ; duties of husband and wife ; eulogy of women ; the five daily yajfias ; praise of the status of householder ; honouring guests ; madhuparka ;^raddhas ; who should not be invited at sraddhas;
  4. mode of life and means of subsis- tence for a house-holder, the code of conduct for a stiataka; occasions for cessation from study ; rules about prohibited and per- missible food and drink ; (V) what vegetables and meat are allowed ; period of impurity on death and birth ; definition of sapiff 4 a and samanodaka ; purification from contaa with various substances in various ways ; duties of wife and widow ;
  5. when one should become a a forest hermit ; his mode of life ; parivrajaka and his duties ; eulogy of gfhoslha ;
  6. rajadharmas, eulogy of dauda ( the power to punish ) ; the four vidy&s for a king ; the ten vices of kings due to k&ma and eight due to krodha ; constitution of council of ministers ; qualities of a data ; forts' and capital ; purohita and superintendents of various departments; code of war ; the four expedients, sama, dam, hheda, and dayda ; hierarchy of officers from the village headman upwards ; rules about taxation ; the constitution of a circle of twelve kings ; the six guijas, peace, a state of war, march against an enemy, asana, taking shelter and dvaidha ; duties of victor ;
  7. king’s duty to look to the administration of justice ; the 18 titles of law ; the king and judge ; other persons as judges; constitution of sabha, king's duty to look after minors, widows, helpless people ; treasure trove ; king’s duty to restore stolen wealth ; creditor’s means of recovering bis debt ; grounds on which the claimaot may &il in his suit ; qualifications of witnesses; who were not proper persons as witnesses; oaths; fines for false witnesses; methods of corporal punishment ; Brahmaija to be free from corporal punishment ; weights and measures ; lowest, middling and highest fines ; rates of interest ; pledges; adverse possession does not affect a pledge, boundary, minor’s estate, deposit, king’s estate etc. ; rule of damdupati sureties ; what debts of the father the son was not liable to pay ; fraud and force vitiated all transactions ; sale by one not the owner ; title and possession ; partnership; resumption of gift ; non-payment of wages ; violation of conventions ; rescission of sale ; dispute between owner and herdsman ; pastures round villages ; boundary disputes ; abuse, libel and slander ; assault and battery and mischief ; whipping only on the back ; theft ; sohasa i. e. offences in which force and hurt are an element, such as robbery, homicide etc; right of private defence ; when even a Brahmaua may be killed ; adultery and r^pe ; no sentence of death, but of transportation foraBrahmat;ia; parents, wife, children must not be forsaken ; tolls and monopolies; seven kinds of ddsas ;
  8. legal duties of husband and wife, censure of women ; eulogy of chastity ; to whom does the child belong, to the begetter or to him on whose wife it is begotten ; niyoga described and condemned ; supercession of the first wife when allowed ; age of marriage ; partition, its time, eldest son’s special share ; pntrika ; daughter’s son ; adopted son ; rights of BrSh- mapa’s son from a iudra wife ; twelve kinds of souship ; to whom piridas are offered ; nearest sapiijdu succeeds ; sakulya, teacher and pupils as heirs ; king ultimate heir except as to Brclhmana’s wealth ; varieties of strtdhana ; succession to stridhana ; grounds of exclusion from inheritance ; property not liable to partition ; gains of learning ; reunion ; mother and grandmother as heirs ; impartible property ; gambling and prize fighting must be suppressed by the king ; the five great sins ; prdyakittas for them ; open and secret thieves ; jails ; the seven aAgas of a kingdom ; duties of Vaisya and Sudra ;
  9. Brihmaua alone to teach; mixed castes; mlecchas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Sakas; rules of conduct common to all ; privileges and duties of the four varvas ; modes of subsistence for a Brhamapa in adversity ; what articles should not be sold by Brahmapa ; seven proper modes of acquisition and the means of livelihood;
  10. eulogy of gifts ; different views about prUyaicUta ; various seen results, diseases and bodily defects due to sins in former lives ; five mortal sins and prayaicittas for them ; upapStakas and priya&ittas for them ; prftyakittas like S&ntapana, Parilka, Olndi1lyat]ia ; holy mantras for removing sin ;
  11. disquistion on karma ; ksetrajha, bhat&tma, jlva; tortures of hell; the three gui,ias, sattva, rajas and tamos ; what brings about ni^reyasa ; knowledge of the self is the highest means of bliss ; pravftta and nivrtta karma ; the latter is karma done without an eye to reward; eulogy of Vedas; place of tarka ; iiffas and parifod ; reward of studying the Manava ^tra.

References to other texts

The extent of the literature known to Manu was considerable. He mentions the three Vedas and the Atharvaveda is spoken of as the Atharvangirasi $ruti (XI. 33). He refers to Araijyaka (IV. 123). The Vedaiigas are said to be six (III. 185) and they are often referred to without stating the number ( II. 141, IV. 98 ). He speaks of dharmasastra ( II. 10 ) and also knew many dharma^astras ( III. 232 ). By dharmapathaka ( XII. in ) he probably means one who has studied dharmasastras. He mentions several authors on dharmaiastra, viz. Atri, the son of Utathya ( i. e. Gautama according to commentators ), Bhrgu and 3 aunaka ( all these in III. 16), Vasistha(on the rate of interest in VIII. 140 which agrees with Vasi$thadharmasutra II. 50), Vaikhanasamata (in VI. 2i ). He mentions Akhyanas, Itihasas, Puraijas and Khilas (III. 232). He speaks of bralmta as described in the Vedanta ( in VI. 83 and 94 ) and is probably thinking of the Upanisads. That he knew some generally accepted works opposed to the teaching of the Vedas is quite clear from his reference to ‘Vedabahyah smrtayah’ ( XII. 93 ). He is probably referring to the writing of the Bauddhas, Jainas and others. He speaks of heretics and their guilds (IV. 30 and 61). He refers to atheism and calumny of the Vedas ( IV. 163 ) and of various tongues spoken among men (IV. 332). He frequently refers to the views of others in the words “kccit”, “apare”, "anye” (as in III. 261, X. 70, IX. 32).

The very extent of the literature known to the Manusmrti and the mention of several writers on dharmasSstia by name are sufficient to understand that Manu was unlikely to be the first legislator.


The question of the text's antiquity is bound up with other problems, viz. ^\•hcther there are earlier and later strata in the extant Manusmrti, whether the Manusmrti was recast several times or once only, what relations exists between the Manusmrti and the Mahabharata.

First the external evidence may be taken up. The bhasya of Medhatithi is the earliest extant commentary on the Manusmrti and was composed about 900 A. D. as will \)c shown later on (sec.36). The text commented upon by Medhatithi was the same ( barring a few various readings ) as the one we now possess. Therefore long before 900 A. D. the Manusmrti was the same as now. Vi^varOpa in his commentary on Yaj. quotes over two hundred verses of the Manusmrti either wholly or in part from all the twelve chapters beginning with the very first verse. The text that VUvartlpa had before him was the same as the present Manusmrti and the verses were arranged in the same order as at present. ViSvarupa quotes eight verses ( Manu XI. 108-113 ) from Manu ( on Yaj. III. 262 ). SaAkaracarya in his Vedantstitra-bhasya quotes the Manusmrti very frequently. For example, he quotes Manu I. 3 and 21 ( on V. S. I. 3. 28 ), I. 27 ( on V. S. IV. 2. 6 ), II. 87 ( on V. S. III. 4. 38 ), X. 4 and 126 ( on V. S. I. 3. 36 ), XII. 91 and 103-6 ( on V. S. II. I and 1 1 ). In his bhasya on the Br. U. he quotes Manu dozens of times and calls the ManusiiirtF' • ‘Manavam’ ( on Br, U. 1 . 4. 17 ). He looks upon the Manusnirti as one of the authorities on which the author of the. Vedantasutra rclies.*rs The Tantravartika of Kumarila stands in a special relation to the Manusmrti. Vide JBBRAS for 1923 pp. 98-100. He places Manu at the head of all smrtis, even higher than the dharma- sGtra of Gautama. He cites numerous quotations from the first chapter of the Manusmrti to the last. He looks upon all parts of the ex^t Manusmrti as equally authoritative and regards the Manusmrti as the highest authority on matters of dbarvia. The Mrccha- katika*"* (9. 39 ) refers to the ordinance of Manu that a Brahmana sinner was not to be sentenced to death, but was to be banished.

An inscription of the Valabhi king Dharasena dated in the year 232 of the Valabhi era ( i. e. 371 A. D. ) speaks of a king as one who obeyed the rules composed by Manu*'’ ( I. A. vol. 8. p. 303 = Gupta Inscriptions p. 163 ). Tide also I. A. vol. IV. p. 103 where the same words occur in an inscription from Valabhi dated 216 of the Valabhi era ( i. e. 533 A. D. ). Sabarasvamin, the bha^akGra of Jaimini’s sutras, who cannot be placed later than 300 A. D. and may be a few centuries earlier still, says “ Manu and others have given 875 On the eUtra ) ^aWtara adds onrring in both may partioolacly be noted.

Hilary tf t harm a t tUtn instruction*?' ” and quotes a verse as a smrti passage which is practically the same as Manu IX. 416 and similar to Udyc^-ptrva*?’ 33. 64. Apararka and KullQka point out how the Bhavi^yapurai^a expounds passages of the Manusmrti ( vide Kulloka on Manu XI. 72,73, 100 and Apararka pp. 1071, 1076).**® It will be shown below that Brhaspati must have composed his work before 500 A. D. Brhaspati says that the Manusmrti occupies a pre-eminent position because it correctly represents the sense of the Veda and that a smrti which is in conflict with Manu is not esteemed.*'* Brhaspati in numerous places pointedly refers to the present text of the Manusmrti. One such quotation about niyoga has been cited above ( note 172 ). Brhaspati says “ Manu has spoken of quantities ( units of weights ) beginning from the mote in the sun-beam to the karsapana.*'* ” This is obviously a reference to Manu 8. 132-136. Brhaspati says “ Manu enumerated thirteen sons and just as in the absence of clarified butter, oil is a substitute, so in the absence of an aurasa son or a pulrika, the eleven kinds of son are a substitute.**’ ” This has in view Manu 9. 158-160, 180, 127-130, whe® Manu speaks of the twelve sons, out of whom eleven are substitutes and Manu reads quoted by on YSj. II. 21 and by ygg p on 1. 1. who adds one more verse from quoted by on II. 99 and by the ( «I. P. *11 ). advocates that a sonless man should appoint a daughter ( putrihd, who then is the 13th kind of son ). In another place Brhaspati declares ** Manu forbade gambling as it destroys truth, purity and wealth ; but others allowed it provided a share was given to the king ( in the gains of gambling**^ ).’* This very aptly describes the attitude of Manu ( 9. 224 ) and of Yaj. ( II. 201-203 )• Brhaspati says ** If a man kills a cow with a weapon &c., he should perform the penance laid down by Manu, but if he kills a cow by forcible restraint, then he should perform the penance laid down by Ahgiras or Apastamba. ” The reference is to Manu XL 108-115, Apastamba Dh. S. 1 . 9. 26. I and Atigirasa verse 27 ( Jivananda, part Ip. 556 ). In one place Bfhaspati seems to criticise Manu ( 9. 219 ) when he says those who declared clothes and other things to be impartible have not considered the position that the wealth of the rich may consist of clothes and ornaments.'^’ ” In another place Brhaspati says “ Bhrgu spoke of sale without ownership after deposit; listen to it attentively, I shall speak of it with more details.*®® ” This keeps in view Manu 8. 4 and clearly shows that Brhaspati was well aware of Bhrgu’s connection with the extant Manusmrti. AAgiras as quoted in the Smrticandrika ( !• p> 7 ) speaks of the dharmasikstra of Manu. In the Vajrasuci of Asvaghosa ( ed. by Weber) several verses arc quoted as from the ‘ Manavadharma ’ which occur in the extant Manusmrti,**’ though it must be admitted that there are others that do not occur.

In the Ramayana also there are verses cited as from Manu which occur in the extant Manusmrti ; vide Kiskindha 18.30-32 (Gujarati Press, 191 5-1920) where two verses are quoted as ‘sung by Manu ’ which correspond to Manusmrti VIII. 318 and 316 respectively.

The foregoing discussion of the external evidence shows that writers from the 2nd century onwards (if not earlier) looked upon the extant Manusmrti as the most authoritative smrti. This position it could not have attained unless several centuries intervened between it and these writers. Therefore it must be presumed that the Manusmrti had attained its present form at least before the and century A. D. Even the Mahabhasya contains a verse which is Manu II. 120.*”* But as the verse occurs also in the Anuia- sana ( 104. 64-65 ) no chronological conclusion can be drawn therefrom.

The Pratimanataka ( after V. 8 ) speaks of “manaviya- dharmasastra’ and ‘Pracetasa sraddhakalpa,’ but as it is in controversy whether that work, can be a.scribed to the ancient Bhasa, this reference will serve no useful purpose.

The next question is whether the Manusmrti contains earlier and later strata. There can be no doubt on this point. On numerous points the Manusmrti contains conflicting doctrines. In Manu III. 12-13 a Brahniana is allowed to have a Indra woman as wife, while in III. 14-19 it is emphatically asserted that a iludra woman cannot be the wife of a Brahmana and heavy disabilities are prescribed for him who breaks the injunction. In III. 23-26 there are contradictory statements about the appropriate forms of marriage for the several castes. In one breath Manu seems to permit niyoga (9. 59-63) and immediately afterwards he strongly reprobates it (9. 64-69). The lengthy discussion on flesh-eating in Manu V. 27-56 discloses different mentalities. At several places the work seems even to recommend flesh-eating in sacrifice, iruddhas and madhuparka (V. 31-32, 35, 39,41), while elsewhere it recommends total abstinence from meat on all occasions whatever (V. 48-50). In llowed by several verso.s citing instances of I rfi^ and others -who though born of women of low class ecamo sages. These verses also are not found in the extant

This verse ooours also in the (38* one ^loka ( Manu II. 145 ) the father is said to be equal to a hundred acaryas, while in the next verse the aCarya is said to be superior to the father. In V. i Bhrgu is said to have sprung from fire, while in I. 35 he is said to be one of the ten sons of Manu Svayaihbhuva. Vide also IX. 32-56. Btihler devotes considerable space to this question ( S B E vol. 25. pp. LXVI-LXXIII ). He arrives at the conclusion that the cosmological and philosophical ponions in the first and 12th books, the philosophical disquisition in II. 89-100, the classifications of pitarah in III. 193-201, the means of subsistence for Brahmana in IV. 1-24, verses 1-4 of the fifth book, the rules about mixed castes ( X. 1-74 ) and the duties of castes that are repeated in X. 101-131 were put in when the work was versified from the Manavadharmasatra. Though one may not agree with all the details of BOhleris examination and with his theory about the versification of the ManavadharmasQtra, it may be admitted that most of the passages pointed out by him have rather the flavour of comparative modernism about them.

P.V. Kane believed that the original Manusmjii in verse had certain additions made in order to bring it in a line with the change in the general attitude of people on several points such as those of flesh-eating, niyoga &c. But all these additions must have been made long before the 3rd A. D., as the quotations from Bfhaspati and others show.

Another problem is whether the Manusmrti has undergone several recasts. This does not seem likely and the evidence adduced in support of the theory that the Manusmjrti suffered several recasts is quite inadequate for the purpose. The occurrence of several conflicting passages can as well be explained on the theory of a single recast and it has also to be borne in mind, as BiShler points out, that Sanskrit writers down to the most recent times are in the habit of placing side by side conflicting opinions without actually preferring a particular view to others. The tradition of the Naradasmjti that the sJstra of Manu was successively abridged by Narada, Markapdeya and Sumati Bhargava is, as has been observed above, not worth much, since it is merely intended to glorify Narada’s work. The other traditions given above either ignore Narada altogether or assign him a secondary position. The present Manusmtti is put into the mouth of Bhfgu. Narada’s smiti is clearly based upon Manu, though the former diverges from the latter on many points. Sphaspat; in generally takes Manu as his text and amplifies the dicta of the Mann* smpti (as the verses quoted above in notes 28 1 >86 show)and so his work may by analogy be regarded as a Vartika on Manu, as Dr. Jolly puts it* Afigiras also looks upon Manusmrti as most authoritative. It is therefore that the Pauranic account ( note 270 above ) regards Bhrgu and other works as the redactions of the original Manusmrti. The quotations cited from Vfddha-Manu and Brhan-Manu do not establish that the original Manusmrti underwent many recasts. Quotations cited under these names are later than the Manusmrti. ViivarQpa ( on Yaj. I. 69 ) quotes the views of Vrddha-Manu on niyoga, who allows it only to sudras. The Mitaksara quotes a verse from Vrddha-Manu about the widow of a sonless man being entitled to all her husband’s wealth, while Manu is silent on that point .^‘9 The Mitaksara quotes a verse from Brhan-Manu also ( on Yaj. III. 20 ). Madhave quotes a verse from Brhan-Manu about iapitf 4 a and samanodaka relationship which are expansions of Manu*’’** ( V. 60 ). The fact that many quotations ascribed to Manu in several works are not found in the extant Manusmrti is explicable in several ways and not only by the theory of several recasts. For one thing the authors quoting from memory may be found tripping.

For example, in an inscription of the Badami Cslukyas of the 7th century two verses that occur in most grants of lands are ascribed to Manu, but are not found in the extant Manusmrti.^^' No one can for a moment doubt that the extant Manusmrti was an authoritative work in the 7th century. Therefore there is hardly any reliable evidence to support the theory that the Manusmrti suffered several recasts.

Turning now to the internal evidence, the extant Manusmrti seems to be much older than Yajnavalkya, since the rules of judicial procedure are incomplete and awkward in Manu as compared with Yaj., since there is no reference to documents as evidence in Manu, part 2. p. 528. as ordeals are not treated of in Manu, as legal definitions are almost absent in Manu, while frequent in Yaj. and as Manu is silent about the widow’s rights, while Ysij. gives her the first place among the heirs of a sonless man. So the Manusmrti will have to be placed some centuries earlier than the third century A. D., the latest date to which the Yajnavalkya smfti can be assigned with any show of reason. In X. 44 Manu mentions the Yavanas, Kambojas, Sakas, Pahlavas and Cinas*^* and in X. 48 Medas and Andhras. This shows that the extant Manusmrti could not be much earlier than the 3rd century B. C. The Yona, Kamboja and Gandhara people are mentioned in the 5 th rock edict of A^ka. Manu forbids Brahmapas to dwell in the kingdom of a Sudra ( IV. 61 ) and condemns the appointment of a sQdra as a judge ( VIII. 20-21 ). [1] The extant Manusmrti in its arrangement and doctrines is much in advance of the ancient dharmasutras, such as those of Gautama, Baudhayana and Apastamba. Taking all these things into consideration it is possible that the extant Manusmrti ^as composed between the second century B. C and 2nd century A. D. But the question of the date when the original Manusmrti to which additions were made between the 2nd century B. C. and 2nd century A. D. was composed presents very great difficulties. That question is largely teund up with the relation of the Mahabharata to the Manusmrti.

This question is an extremely intricate one. The late V.N. Mandlik ( Intro, to the VyavaharamayQkha XLVII ) held that the Manusmrti borrowed from the Mahabharata.

The Mahabharata is nowhere mentioned by name in the Manusmrti though the word itihasa ” ( in the plural ) occurs in Manu (III. 232). The Manusmrti mentions many historical and legendary personages, about most of whom the Mahabharata contains similar stories. The following are the persons so mentioned in the Manusmrti. AUgiiasa(in II. 1 51-152, addressing his elders as ‘ putrakah ’ ), Agastya ( V 22, in connection with sacrificing animals ), Vena, Nahusa, Sudas Paijavana and Nimi ( all in VII. 41*, coming to grief through insolence ), Prthu, Manu, Kubera and the son of Gad hi ( Vn. 42, benefiting by their good conduct), Vasisfha (in VIII. no, taking an oath before king Paijavana), Vatsa (in VIII. 116, undergoing fire ordeal ), Aksama and Sarangi ( in IX. 23, though of low birth respectively were united to Vasi§rha and Mandapala ), Daksa (in IX. 128-129, fiis daughters to Dharma, Kasyapa and Soma), Ajigarta ( in X, 105, who was ready to sacrifice his own son ),Vamadeva ( in X, 106, desired dog’s flesh to save his life ), Bharadvaja ( in X. 107. who accepted the gift of many cows ), Visvamitra ( in X. 108, who took from a capdala’s hand a dog’s leg ). Prthu is also mentioned (in IX. 44) as the husband of the earth and in IX. 314 rahmapas are credited with having made fire all-devourer, the ocean undrinkable and the waning ( pthisical ) moon to wax.

Most of the names mentioned here go far back into Vedic antiquities. For example, Vasi§tha’s oath occurs in Rgveda (VII. 104. 15*”) and the Brhaddevata ( VI. 32-34 ), Ajigarta figures in the Aitareya- brahmaoa ( VII. 16 ) and Ahgirasa’s story occurs in the Tati 4 ysi“ maha-brahmapa ( 13. 3. 24 ). Besides the Manusmrti does not say that the stories are taken from the great epic. The Mahabharata also was not the first to originate these stories but is only a storehouse and encyclopaedia of the numerous popular traditions that were current in ancient India. When our Manu ( 9. 227 ) says that gambling was seen to have produced in former ages deep-rooted enmities, it is unnecessary to suppose that there is a reference to the Mahabharata, for from Vedic times the evil efi!ects of gambling were known (vide Rgveda X. 34) and even the Mahabharata contains the same verse ( Udyoga 37. 19 ). On the other hand there are numerous passages in the Mahabharata scattered over almost all the parvans, where occur such expressions as, * Manur-abravrd, ’ * the rajadharmas of Manu, ’ ‘ the iastra of Manu ’ etc. Some of these passages agree with the exunt Manusmrti, while some do not. Besides there are hundreds of verses in the Mahabharata that are identical with the verses of the Manusmrti, though they are not expressly attributed to Manu.

On account of all these abovementioned facts, against the Mahabharata and in favour of the Manusmrti being the earlier of the two.

We must now closely examine the data. The AnuiSsana-parva distinctly speaks of *a ^tra declared by Manu.’*** In the ^tiparva are quoted two slokas ' sung by Manu in his own dharmas, ’ one of which is identical with Manu *»5 ( 9. 321 ). In another place the Santiparva speaks of the ‘ rajadharraas of PracetasaManu ’ and quotes two verses therefrom. In the Droiiaparva (7. i) ‘ Manavl arthavidya ’ is referred to ( vide note 272 above ) and in Vanaparva the rajadharmas as proclaimed by Manu are referred to ( vide note 272 above \ In another places, the words ‘ Manu Svayaihbhuva said ’ occur ( e. g. Santi 21. 12, Anusasana 114. 12, Vanaparva 180. 34-35, Adiparva 73. 9, 120. 32-36, Udyoga 37. 1-6). In most cases the words * Manu said occur ’ without the appellation *Svayathbhuva' or ‘Pracetasa’ ( e. g. Santi 78. 31, 88. 14-16, 121. 10-12, 152. 14, 152. 30, 266. 5 ; Anusasana 44. 18 and 23, 65. i and 3, 67. 19, 68. 31, 88. 4, 1 15. 52-53 ; Vanaparva 32. 39, Udyogaparva 40. 9-10, Adiparva 41. 31, 74. 39 ). The words ‘ Manor-anuSasanam ’ occur in a few cases as in Anuksana 6 r. 34-35. Hopkins says that the words ‘ the ^tra of Manu ’ occur only m the Anuiasana-parva and so only that parvan knew the Manusmjti, while in the other parvans we have the expression * Manu said, ’ and therefore these other books did not know the Manusmrti but are only referring to floating verses attributed to the mythical Manu. This, however, is not a reasonable conclusion. The words ‘ sastra of Manu ’ occur only once even in the Anu^sana, while in about ten places in the same parvan we come across only the words *Manu said’. If the words ' Manu said’ in the Anusasana indicate in the Anu^sana a reference to the extant Manusmrti, there is no cogent reason why the same words in other parvans should not be regarded as referring to the Manusmrti. Besides in the Santiparva also we meet with the words * Dharmas or rajadharmas of Manu ’ and in Adiparva the word Mhanra-darkne’ (120. 32). That is obviously a reference to some 'work of Manu. Hopkins further says ( Great Epic of India, p. 21 ) that all the express citations of Manu in the Anulasana, except one, agree very closely with our Manu, while in the other parvans the citations agree only up to one-third or one-half. In the first place I demur to the latter statement. The agreements of the citations in the other books are as close and almost as frequent as in the AnuiUsana, e. g. excepting ^anti 21. 12 and 57.43-45 all citations of Manu therein, referred to above, agree closely with Manu 7. 89, 9. 225-26, 9. 17-19 and 27, 6. 35 and 81, ii. 259-60, 5. 43 and 45 and 48-49. The same is the case with the few citations of Manu in the Vanaparva . There is positively not one express citation attributed by name to the well-known writers of dharmasUtras, such as Gautama, Baudhayana, '.Apastamba, Vasi$tha or ^ahkha-Likhita. That the Mahabharata knew several dharma^astras is clear from over a dozen references to dharmaSastras, often in the plural ( e. g. Santi 167. 4, 298. 40, 341. 74 ; Anuiasana 19. 89, 45. 17-20, Vanaparva 207. 83, 293. 35, 313. 105 ; Adiparva 3. 32 and 77 etc. ). The only place where a siitra- kara is cited on matters of dharma is Anu. 19. 6 ; but no name is mentioned.*’? HastisQtra, AivasQtra are mentioned in Sabha 5. 20, but no^dharmasUtra or NitisOtra occurs any where.

Not only are there identical verses in Manu and the Mahabharata, but some verses of the latter ( e.g. Udyoga 35. 31 and $anti iii. 66 ) occur in the Naradasmrti* ( pp. 103 and 26 respectively ).

As per PV Kane, the following conjecture seems to be the relation of the Mahabharata and the Manusmrti. Long before the 4th century B. C., there was a work on Dharmalastra composed, by or attributed to Svayaihbhuva Manu. This work was most probably in^verse. There was also another work on Rajadharma attributed to Pracetasa Manu, which also was prior to the 4tb century B. C. It is not unlikely that instead of there being vvo, works there was one comprehensive work embodying rules o% dhqrtna as well as politics. There is one circumstance that points i|^.. this direction. The Mahabhilrata quotes a saying (vacana) PrScetasa whicn is almost the same as our Manu*’^ (3. 54 ). It is to these works (or work ) that Yaska, Gautama, Bau^ayana, aq 4 ^. Kau^lya refer whenever they cite the opinions of Manu or tl^ Nbnavas. The Mahabharata also ( particularly in the earlier, portions ) probably refers to the same. This work was the. original kernel of the present Manusmrti. Then between. 2 n 4 century B. C. and and century A. D. the Manusmyti was finally,, recast, probably by Bhrgu. That work must have compressed the older works in some cases and expanded it in others. This hypothesis would explain why some of the verses and views quoted as M^nu^s occur in the extant Manusmrti and why some do not.*’* The extant Mahabharata is later than the extant Manusmrti. When Nirada mentions the tradition that Sumati Bhargava compressed thq. vast work of Manu into 4000 verses, he is somewhat obscurely hinting at the truth. The extant Manusmrti contains only about 2700 verses. Narada probably arrives at the larger figure by including, the verses attributed to Vrddha-Manu and Brhan-Yanu. The influence of the Manusmrti spread even beyond the confines of India.

In A. Bergaigne’s ‘ Inscriptions Sanscrites de Campa et du. Cambodge ’ ( p. 423 ) we have an inscription in which occur verses,*”* one of which is identical with Manu (II. 136) and the other is a summary of Manu ( III. 77-80 ). It is to be noted that so early a writer as to which was not commented upon by later commentators. flourished about 750 A. D. i. e. a century earlier the Burmese are governed in modern times by the dh^mmibaHj which are based on Mann. Vide Dr. Forchhammer*s essay on die sources and development of Burmese Law ( 1885, Rangoon ) p;-. E. C. G. Jonker ( Leyden 1885 ) wrote a dissertation on ao*. cdd Javanese lawbook compared with Indian sources of law like the manusmrti ( which is still used as a lawbook in the island of Bali-)^

Menu had numerous commentators. As to Medhatithi* Govindaraja and KullUka, vide below sections 63, 76, 88; Besides these Narayapa, Raghavananda, Kandana and Ramar candra also wrote commentaries on Manu. Mr. Mandlik' published all these commentaries. [2] Asahaya seems, to have written a commentary on Manu ( vide below section 58 )» The Vivadaratnakara quotes a commentary on Manu by Udayakaia* (pp. 455, 560, 583, 590). The same work seems to suggest that Bhaguri wrote a commentary on Manu.J®" For the predecessors of« Medhatithi vide sec. 63. Kulloka on Manu 8. 184 tells us that Bhojadeva arranged the four verses of Manu 8. 181-184 ip a particular manner and therefore suggests that Bhojadeva probably, commented on Manu. He also names a commentator Dharapidh^, on Manu 2. 83 and says that he was later than Medhatithi. He is also referred to elsewhere by Kulluka ( on Manu 4. 50 ).

The commentator Narayana is certajgly earlier than 1600. A. D< as his commentary is cited by Bhattoji in his commentary on the Caturvimsatimata ( vide p. 61 of the Benares Sanskrit Series edition^ 1907 ). A ms. of Nariyaqa’s commentary was written in 1497 A. D. and he appears to have been quoted by Rayamukuta in 1431 A. D.. ( Jolly in R. und. S. p. 3 1 ). He is later than Govindataja and fiourished between 1100 and 1 300 A. D. Raghavananda mentions by name Medhatithi, Govindaraja, Narayana, and Kulluka and so is later than about 1400 A. D. WhenNandana flourished it is difficult to say. But he is a late writer. There are several other commenutora. 300 On ^ 8. 108 the ( P- 104) remarks if mendoned in the catalogues of mss. who may be passed over for want of space.

ViivarUpa ( on Yaj. I. 69 ), the Mitik§iri, the Smjticandrikft, the ParJUaramadhaviya and other works quote dozens of verses from Vrddha-Manu on abnika, vyavahira, and pr&yaidtta. The Mitak$ari ( on Yaj. ni. 20 ) and other works cite a few verses from Brhan Manu. No independent works going under these names have yet been unearthed. Those works, if they ever existed independently, appear to have been later than our Manu. For example, our Manu is silent about the widow’s right to inherit to her husband, but Vrddha* Manu recognises the right of a chaste widow to take the entire wealth of her husband ( Mit. on Yaj. II. 136); similarly B]:haa<- Manu (according to the Mit. ) seems to refer to Manu’s view about the meaning of * samtnodaka ’ ( Manu $. ^o ) and modifies it. It is not unlikely that those verses which were not recognised as Manu's by ancient commentators like Medhatithi and were yet found in the mss. of the Manusmrti were regarded as Vrddha- or Bfhan- Manu.


Numerous editions - Manu as the father of mankind in the Rgveda and other Vedas - Manu and the deluge in Satapatha-brSh- maiia - Manu in the Nirukta- Manu quoted as law-giver in Gautama, Apastamba and Mahabharata - introduction to Naradasmiti and

Manu - how the Manusmrti is narrated - four versions of Svayam- bliuva sastra according to Bhavi.s3'apurana - almost impossible to say who composed extant Manusmrti - Bfihler’s theory that our Manu is a recast of Manavadharmasutra shown above to be unsustainable - the ManaVagrhya differs from Manusmrti in several particulars - 'Vinayakalinti of Manavagrhya and tests for selecting a bride not contained! in our Manu - Mahabharata distinguishes between Svaya- mbhuva Manu and Pracetasa Manu, former promulgating dharmasastra - t^se two works combined in the present Manu - extant Manu hi^ 12 chapters and 2694 verses - its style - contents of Manu - smrti - (Jitent of literature known to Manusmrti - the author of the Manusnlai is not the first legislator - age of Manusmrti - external cvidenc 4 fitt Medhitithi’s is first extant commentary - Visvarupa quotes mip verses - SaAkara, Kumarila and Sahara refer to Manu - Brhaspa|jthv*d the present text of Manu before him - Asvagho§a in his Vaj&ei:i quotes several verses from ‘Mdnavadbarma’ some of which imgfound in our Manu - Ramayapa ( Kiskindha 18. 30-32 ) contains ij'anu VIII. 318 and 316 -Manu attained present form long bwpu 2nd century a. d. * there are earlier and later strata in Manu -vy ^atradictary statements as to Br&hmapa marrying a sudra wonian,|. Jpm appropriate forms of marriage, about niyoga, about flesh-eating - Manusmirti has not suffered several recasts quotations cited as Vrddha Manu and Brhan-Manu arc later than Manusinrti - extant Manu older than Yajhavalkya - Manu mentions Yavanas, Kambojas, Sakas, Pahlavas and Cinas - extant Manusmrti composed between 2nd century b. c. and 2nd century a. d. -

relation of Mahabharata and Manu - Manu mentions stories and names that occur in the Mahabharata but these names go into Vedic antiquities - Manu never names the Mahabharata, while the latter often refers to ‘rajadharmas or sastra of Manu’ or to ‘what Manu said’ - long before 4th century b. c. there was a dharmasastra in verse attributed to Svayambhuva Manu, there was another work on rajadharma attributed to Pricetesa Manu, that probably there was one work, then between 200 b. c. and . 200 A. D» Manusmrti was recast • extant Mahabharata later than exta '^t Manu- smrti - influence of Manu spread to Cambodia and other 5 countries beyond India- Manu had several commentators, Medhatitfe^^Govinda- raja, Kulluka, Narayapa, Raghavananda, Nandana and pf liaacandra Asahaya commented on Manu - Udayakara is anotl‘^ : ry .umenta- tor and so is Ohara nidhara - Narayapa flourished **!tvra ' n 1 100- 1300 A. D. - Raghavananda later than 1400 a. d, - Vr*^^* ; ' lanu and Bfhan-Manu - explanation as to how these originate
  1. Mr. Jayasval (Calcutta Weekly Notes, vol. 15, p. CCC ) goes too far in supposing that in the word ‘ senapatya ’ occurring in Manu ( XII. 100 ) there is a reference to Senapati Pusyamitra (during Maurya dynasty)
  2. Dr. Jolly published ( in i88f for Bengal Asiatic Society ) extracts from all these commentaries (except Kulluka’s and Ramacahdra’s ) and from an anonymous Kashmirian commentary on the first three chapters.