The Status Of Women As Depicted By Manu In The Manusmriti

Written by August 27, 2011 7:29 pm 418 comments

The Manusmriti also known as Manav Dharam Shastra, is the earliest metrical work on Brahminical Dharma in Hinduism. According to Hindu mythology, the Manusmriti is the word of Brahma, and it is classified as the most authoritative statement on Dharma .The scripture consists of 2690 verses, divided into 12 chapters.  It is presumed that the actual human author of this compilation used the eponym ‘Manu’, which has led the text to be associated by Hindus with the first human being and the first king in the Indian tradition.

Although no details of this eponymous author’s life are known, it is likely that he belonged to a conservative Brahman class somewhere in Northern India. Hindu apologists consider the Manusmriti as the divine code of conduct and, accordingly, the status of women as depicted in the text has been interpreted as Hindu divine law.  While defending Manusmriti as divine code of conduct for all including women, apologists often quote the verse: “yatr naryasto pojyantay, ramantay tatr devta [3/56] (where women are provided place of honor, gods are pleased and reside there in that household), but they deliberately forget all those verses that are full of prejudice, hatred  and discrimination against women.

Here are some of the ‘celebrated’ derogatory comments about women in the Manusmriti :

1. “Swabhav ev narinam …..” – 2/213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this world; for that reason the wise are never unguarded in the company of females.

2. “Avidvam samlam………..” – 2/214. Women, true to their class character, are capable of leading astray men in this world, not only a fool but even a learned and wise man. Both become slaves of desire.

3. “Matra swastra ………..” – 2/215. Wise people should avoid sitting alone with one’s mother, daughter or sister. Since carnal desire is always strong, it can lead to temptation.

4. “Naudwahay……………..” – 3/8. One should not marry women who has have reddish hair, redundant  parts of the body [such as six fingers], one who is often sick, one without hair or having excessive hair and one who has red eyes.

5. “Nraksh vraksh ………..” – 3/9. One should not marry women whose names are similar to constellations,  trees, rivers, those from a low caste, mountains, birds, snakes, slaves or those whose names inspires terror.

6. “Yasto na bhavet ….. …..” – 3/10. Wise men should not marry women who do not have a brother and whose parents are not socially well known.

7. “Uchayangh…………….” – 3/11. Wise men should marry only women who are free from bodily defects, with beautiful names, grace/gait like an elephant, moderate hair on the head and body, soft limbs and small teeth.

8. “Shudr-aiv bharya………” – 3/12.Brahman men can marry Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaish and even Shudra women but Shudra men can marry only Shudra women.

9. “Na Brahman kshatriya..” – 3/14. Although Brahman, Kshatriya and Vaish men have been allowed inter-caste marriages, even in distress they should not marry Shudra women.

10. “Heenjati striyam……..” – 3/15. When twice born [dwij=Brahman, Kshatriya and Vaish] men in their folly marry low caste Shudra women, they are responsible for the degradation of their whole family. Accordingly, their children adopt all the demerits of the Shudra caste.

11. “Shudram shaynam……” – 3/17. A Brahman who marries a Shudra woman, degrades himself and his whole family  ,becomes morally degenerated , loses Brahman status and his children too attain status  of shudra.

12. “Daiv pitrya………………” – 3/18. The offerings made by such a person at the time of established rituals are neither accepted by God nor by the departed soul; guests also refuse to have meals with him and he is bound to go to hell after death.

13. “Chandalash ……………” – 3/240. Food offered and served to Brahman after Shradh ritual should not be seen by a chandal, a pig, a cock,a dog, and a menstruating women.

14. “Na ashniyat…………….” – 4/43. A Brahman, true defender of his class, should not have his meals in the company of his wife  and even avoid looking at her. Furthermore, he should not look towards her when she is having her meals or when she sneezes/yawns.

15. “Na ajyanti……………….” – 4/44. A Brahman in order to preserve his energy and intellect, must not look at women who applies collyrium to her eyes, one who is massaging her nude body or one who is delivering a child.

16. “Mrshyanti…………….” – 4/217. One should not accept meals from a woman who has extra marital relations; nor from a family exclusively dominated/managed by women or a family whose 10 days of impurity because of death have not passed.

17. “Balya va………………….” – 5/150. A female child, young woman or old woman is not supposed to work independently even at her place of residence.

18. “Balye pitorvashay…….” – 5/151. Girls are supposed to be in the custody of their father when they are children, women must be under the custody of their husband when married and under the custody of her son as widows. In no circumstances is she allowed to assert herself independently.

19. “Asheela  kamvrto………” – 5/157. Men may be lacking virtue, be sexual perverts, immoral and devoid of any good qualities, and yet women must constantly worship and serve their husbands.

20. “Na ast strinam………..” – 5/158. Women have no divine right to perform any religious ritual, nor make vows or observe a fast. Her only duty is to obey and please her husband and she will for that reason alone be exalted in heaven.

21. “Kamam to………………” – 5/160. At her pleasure [after the death of her husband], let her emaciate her body by living only on pure flowers, roots of vegetables and fruits. She must not even mention the name of any other men after her husband has died.

22. “Vyabhacharay…………” – 5/167. Any women violating duty and code of conduct towards her husband, is disgraced and becomes a patient of leprosy. After death, she enters womb of Jackal.

23. “Kanyam bhajanti……..” – 8/364. In case women enjoy sex with a man from a higher caste, the act is not punishable. But on the contrary, if women enjoy sex with lower caste men, she is to be punished and kept in isolation.

24. “Utmam sevmansto…….” – 8/365. In case a man from a lower caste enjoys sex with a woman from a higher caste, the person in question is to be awarded the death sentence. And if a person satisfies his carnal desire with women of his own caste, he should be asked to pay compensation to the women’s faith.

25. “Ya to kanya…………….” – 8/369. In case a woman tears the membrane [hymen] of her Vagina, she shall instantly have her head shaved or two fingers cut off and made to ride on Donkey.

26. “Bhartaram…………….” – 8/370. In case a women, proud of the greatness of her excellence or her relatives, violates her duty towards her husband, the King shall arrange to have her thrown before dogs at a public place.

27. “Pita rakhshati……….” – 9/3. Since women are not capable of living independently, she is to be kept under the custody of her father as child, under her husband as a woman and under her son as widow.

28. “Imam hi sarw………..” – 9/6. It is the duty of all husbands to exert total control over their wives. Even physically weak husbands must strive to control their wives.

29. “Pati bharyam ……….” – 9/8. The husband, after the conception of his wife, becomes the embryo and is born again of her. This explains why women are called Jaya.

30. “Panam durjan………” – 9/13. Consuming liquor, association with wicked persons, separation from her husband, rambling around, sleeping for unreasonable hours and dwelling -are six demerits of women.

31. “Naita rupam……………” – 9/14. Such women are not loyal and have extra marital relations with men without consideration for their age.

32. “Poonshchalya…………” – 9/15. Because of their passion for men, immutable temper and natural heartlessness, they are not loyal to their husbands.

33. “Na asti strinam………” – 9/18. While performing namkarm and jatkarm, Vedic mantras are not to be recited by women, because women are lacking in strength and knowledge of Vedic texts. Women are impure and represent falsehood.

34. “Devra…sapinda………” – 9/58. On failure to produce offspring with her husband, she may obtain offspring by cohabitation with her brother-in-law [devar] or with some other relative [sapinda] on her in-law’s side.

35. “Vidwayam…………….” – 9/60. He who is appointed to cohabit with a widow shall approach her at night, be anointed  with clarified butter and silently beget one son, but by no means a second one.

36. “Yatha vidy……………..” – 9/70. In accordance with established law, the sister-in-law [bhabhi] must be clad in white garments; with pure intent her brother-in-law [devar] will cohabitate with her until she conceives.

37. “Ati kramay……………” – 9/77. Any women who disobey orders of her lethargic, alcoholic and diseased husband shall be deserted for three months and be deprived of her ornaments.

38. “Vandyashtamay…….” – 9/80. A barren wife may be superseded in the 8th year; she whose children die may be superseded in the 10th year and she who bears only daughters may be superseded in the 11th year;  but she who is quarrelsome may be superseded without delay.

39. “Trinsha……………….” – 9/93. In case of any problem in performing religious rites, males between the age of 24 and 30 should marry a female between the age of 8 and 12.

40. “Yambrahmansto…….” – 9/177. In case a Brahman man marries Shudra woman, their son will be called ‘Parshav’ or ‘Shudra’ because his social existence is like a dead body.

This post was written by:

- who has written 2 posts on Nirmukta.

418 Comments

  • Thanks so much for giving such beautiful article. I have shared it on my blog- http://meghnet.blogspot.com/ as link of your site.

  • Can any apologist vouch for this document of “Dharma” after reading the vile things it says?
    Wonderful article! I commend the author of this piece.

    • brilliant article. why don’t give some examples from anicient india where manusmriti is followed.

      • Sati System…Widows not allowed to be remarried…..dowry system….purdah system….female foeticide ….and the list goes on and on and on…..

      • Why didnt the Ramayan nd the Mahabharat follow the rules of the ManuSmriti???The lives of Sathyavathi,Amba and Ambika,Kunthi,Draupadiare no way in sync withManu’s illogical laws.Was he a mannah from heaven,churning out amazing and degrading rules for women?Seems he definitely needed to have his head examined. Absurd rules regarding solutions for widows and issueless women.Who brought about the absurd and insulting rules for widowed women-dress her up for 10 days, then pull out her thali,pull the flowers out,smear up the vermillion ,derive her of her ornaments and then give her white clothes???????? Mad crackpot.Why didnt they think up the same rules for Widowers???
        Manu seems to have help fester the fires of caste too.A human being is a human being is a human being ,right? Of course we exceptions to the rules,for eg Manu,who seems to be a class apart-I will not insult,the Gods,The sages,Ordinary persons,animals and even The evil by comparing him to any of the above.I am sorry if I called him a crack pot-Even the terracotta pot is good,not evil and stupid.
        ****************************

        • Is not it now banal to blame Manu or any of those Shastras written in archaic language in archaic times & overlook the complicated-nature of patriarchy itself ??

          ##The lives of Sathyavathi,Amba and Ambika,Kunthi,Draupadi are no way in sync withManu’s illogical laws.##

          Sure, in all those stories ,the women characters above had their lives in disagreement with Manusmriti (& maybe it was also true in real world back then & also among all sections) but nevertheless they all suffered from patriarchy in some form or the other.

          • I am in total sync with you Eddy.I am only angry with those who propogate manusmriti through ashrams and mutts.There were and are plenty of instances where a widow has been denied darshan bcoz she didnt shave her head![A la persis khambatta or lakshmi ramakrishnan] Caste system is rampant.
            No one can deny that a widow even in today’s so ca called progressive world is put through a lot of insults whether you like it or not.
            She WILL not be allowed to participate in pre pregnancy rituals,marriage rituals ,naming ceremonies and Aarthi rituals.[she can sit far away and watch With love in her eyes !!!.While her relatives conduct the ceremonies] I like the way our evening SOAPs take advantage of these situations-Sympathy factor to bring in more advertisements!!!] I wish serial directors will understand that barren women and widows DONT need Sympathy.NOR do they they need a MAN to give them back their lost Glory!!!
            Only and Only a Sumangali is honoured.The joke is that the sumangali may be married to a wayward husband,a drunkard or a wife beater but her husband is alive and she has the dignity of wearing the sindoor and the thali. In south Indian ceremonies Sumangalis are in GREAT demand.I forgot to say that the Sumangali should not be barren thats a crime,bad omen again!Todays society may accept her with her bindi and coloured clothes But she dare not be part of any tradition or ritual[A widower can do anything he so wishes at any function and take part in it ]
            i am not blaming any of the women in Mahabharat.In fact I am surprised that such a progressive society has come to this.
            A issueless woman is a bad woman Then and Now.It does not matter if the husband is infertile -after all he belongs to the male species[of the kind of Sage Mougadalya-my favourite!]
            A widow WILL not be given Tambhool because it will end up bringing ill luck to the giver.What sort of rituals are these? At the time of tambool exchange,blessing the bride etc the widow has move away discreetly.
            Times have NOT changed.Last year I witnessed my friends late fathers ceremonies.A progressive family I thought but I was sadly mistaken.Much against the daughter’s wishes a group of widows tortured the poor lady to death.Later her 2 LOVING brothers presented her with a white saree each!!!!
            I hope you understand that I am only appreciative of Satyavathi,Kunthi anddraupadi who could hold their own in a male dominated world.
            The SOAP director is at his forefront though decking up poor Amba,Ambika,Kunthi and the likes in shining white and beige clothes.They may all straighten their hair,Trim their eyebrows and wax their faces BUT no bindi/sindoor/bangles/anklets.
            Our society needs another rajaram mohan Roy and AAmbedkar-Otherwise we will languish in pettiness and trivials.

  • abhinav gupta

    Almost all Hindu sculptures have descended the image of a woman in the society . Women had been used a commodity for trade . A person like Manu who is not respectful to his mother may not even know her name too , because of such a respect he was carrying about women. Such sculptures have declared women ” A way to hell ” listening to such jorgans i fell how fool was the writers of such sculptures because they don`t know that the way never goes to hell it always stands still but persons like manu , tuslidas reaches there are still in hell and people following such sculptures are on the way to hell.

  • Even in Hindu-Holy book [ Chap.9-32,33] Krishna[ Lord?] says,that striyo,vaishya, shudra and those born of sin have to srrender to him all their life to deserve a ‘Sadgathi’ [after life] ,but Brahmins and Kshatrias have been blessed by him already to deserve a place in heaven. Here the author forgets that Brahmins and kshatrias [ Rajarushi] are also born to women.All brahminic works are full of such rubbish. Still ,even today, a Brahmin maintains that ” Chaturvarna was created by’ Paramatma’himself.[Mattur krishnamurthy of Bangalore in a Kannad daily Dt.11th Nov. 2008 ] ,And they quote Manusmriti quite often. Tragedy is the masses are dumb and gullible.

  • kumar pradeeksha

    manusmrithi is not the way of modern life.all this are brhmin made.no one can follow this stupid rules.hindus living in the olden days.woman is sacifies always.we shuld follow science in our life and dharma.

  • Holy texts written by men who want to keep women as breeding factories, sexual devices, and unpaid labor serve only to emphasize that religion was created by men to control other men perhaps, but all women.

  • it is good article but it give wrong message about woman ….it should be explained on criteria what are conditions when these customs followed …as woman should not feel inferior….as these only shows man’s society …it should be explained on basis of condition

    • hey..are you justifying manusmriti?

    • This is derogatory, not only to women but men who are falsely regarded as lower caste. This is the work of minority Brahmins who abused the gullible majority. The brahmin were spiritually and mentally unhealthy. They forced their mistaken egos, negative values and misunderstandings with those around them. Collectively, their sick minds have created a religious society that is itself sick.

  • I thought I was a devout Hindu (a Murugan bhaktan) before I became an atheist, but I honestly had no idea that such a document as the Manusmriti even existed before I got an internet connection and started reading online discussions about religion. Maybe it is because I am not from the upper castes where this text has greater authority. If Brahmins really do treat this text as relevant today, then my respect for them lessens further.

    But I really do question the relevance of this text in the lives of ordinary Hindus. No one I know of would refer to this ‘code of conduct’ to make ethical decisions in their lives.

    • Dude – more than half of hindu population dont even know there is osmething called manu smrithi. Why you are reminding them….?even the other half who are aware of manu smrithi would have read it. There will be very few people who read it and there is no actual impact of manu on today’s society. But Koran is more widely read, practiced and have evn more comments on women. Why dont you dare to criticise it. Are your guts and rationlity limited to criticise hinduism, being a soft target……

  • sir, this article is completely misleading and stupid.

    it is very widely known that manusmriti is an adulterated text and hence these verses were added later.adulteration of manusmriti is accepted by all. the actual manusmriti has a differet stand on women from the one you tried to depict through here!

    this is what manusmriti says on women::

    Manu 3.55 :Those who desire prosperity should ensure that women in their family are always happy and do not face miseries.

    3.57. A family where women remain unhappy due to misdeeds of their men is bound to be destroyed. And a family where women are always happy is bound to prosper forever.

    9.26. Women give birth to next generation. They enlighten the home. They bring fortune and bliss. Hence women are synonymous to Prosperity.

    read the whole article here!!!!!!

    http://agniveer.com/4276/manu-smriti-and-women/

    • 1. The authenticity of the presented translations in the above article is questionable. For example, the article cites Manusmriti 3:59 as
      One desiring glory should ensure that he keeps women in the family by giving them respect and pleasing them with good ornaments, dresses, food. Women should always be revered under all circumstances.

      Buhler’s verbatim translation , considered authoritative even in apologist circles, does not mention the injunction for unconditional reverence for women. Here’s the same verse from Buhler:
      Hence men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honour women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes, and (dainty) food. So the Manusmriti arithmetic is that offering a few trinkets is a small price to pay for the welfare that is sought by men.

      2. The so-called rebuttal article is able to cough up 35 supposedly ‘benign’ verses as against the 40 unmistakably oppressive and discriminatory verses in Dr. Patwari’s article. Now, even many of these benign verses offer a patriarchal condescension to women and are based on the pre-supposition that greatness to women is accessible only via domesticity and maternity, as in ” 9.28. Woman is the source of all kinds of happiness in all generations – be it from children, or from noble benevolent deeds or through conjugal bliss or through service of elders.”
      The benign verses are themselves establishing the worldview that the outrageous verses then enforce aggressively, and therefore to see one as a rebuttal of the other is ridiculous.

      3. One wonders how the Agniveer types who are apparently so eager to glorify women, restore the primacy of the Vedas and defend the Manusmriti simultaneously square all these three when 9:18 says:

      For women no (sacramental) rite (is performed) with sacred texts, thus the law is settled; women (who are) destitute of strength and destitute of (the knowledge of) Vedic texts, (are as impure as) falsehood (itself), that is a fixed rule.

      4. If the blatantly selective and self-serving standards of criticism as employed in the so-called rebuttal quoted here are to be made universal, then the Vedic revivalists also cannot criticize the genocidal streak in the Old Testament testified by Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers because, you know, the Old Testament has Ecclesiastes as well!

    • The comments and ‘exposition’made by Aryaveer are illogical as well as irrational and of course based on non-existent foundation.Since almost all Hindu scriptures,right from Manu Smriti to Ramcharitmanas are full of derogatory remarks against women and shudras,’literary adultration’is old standard argument on part of Hindu apologists.Where is the ‘original’ text of Manusmriti?Mr. Aryaveer has classified me as ‘biased';what about publications available in market?What about internet edition ,titled Manu Smriti-sanskrit text with english translation,October 18,2008[http://www.scribd.com/doc/7189037/manusmriti-text-with english translation],which contains all sholakas refered by me.In order to ‘purify’ Hindu scriptures,why don’t they delete so called adulterated sholakas and publish ‘original’ texts?I understand problem of people like Mr.Aryaveer;in case hundreds of sholakas against women and shudras are deleted,that will not only go against class interests of Brahmans ,but will also reduce Manu Smriti up to the extent of mini scripture.Are they going to delete verses justifying NIYOGH PRATHA[Manu 9,76-81] [worst possible immoral sexual practice]?It will be pertinent to point out here that even supposedly ‘reformer of Hindu religion’Swami Dayanand Sarswati has justified said practice [refer 4th chapter of Satyarth Prakash].And finally if Manu Smriti has been adulterated,what about other Smriti’s namely,Atri Smriti,Harit Smriti,Angarish Smriti,Yam Smriti,Aapstumb Smriti,Sanwarat Smriti,Parshar Smriti,Yayas Smriti,Shankh Smriti,Likhit Smriti,Gotum Smriti,Vishashit Smriti,Owshnus Smriti,Vishnu Smriti,Yaghyavalakya Smriti etc etc[the list is long one]???Are Hindu apologists like Mr.Aryaveer going to amend or rewrite said Grantha’s?Have they got moral courage to delete even one verse of Geeta[9/32]under which women,vaish and shudra have been classified as product of papyoni[sin and immorality]???Let them be bold enough to accept that Hindu scriptures are essentially meant to safeguard hegomonic class interests of Brahmans alone and non else.Let Hindu apologists not behave like Indian politicians whose most popular quotation happens to be,’…have been quoted out of context’.

      • ——–In order to ‘purify’ Hindu scriptures,why don’t they delete so called adulterated sholakas and publish ‘original’ texts?—-

        it has already been done. long ago.
        search in market for manusmriti edited by dr. surndra kumar.
        all shlokas with critical analysis.

        but why would you see them? you are more bent to learn about hindu shastras from commentary of those who are so weak in sanskrit!!!!

        • If you read Dr. Patwari’s reply very carefully, you will see that he said ‘Hindu Scriptures’ and elaborated on what those two words mean later on. I will reproduce it again for your benefit:

          And finally if Manu Smriti has been adulterated,what about other Smriti’s namely,Atri Smriti,Harit Smriti,Angarish Smriti,Yam Smriti,Aapstumb Smriti,Sanwarat Smriti,Parshar Smriti,Yayas Smriti,Shankh Smriti,Likhit Smriti,Gotum Smriti,Vishashit Smriti,Owshnus Smriti,Vishnu Smriti,Yaghyavalakya Smriti etc etc[the list is long one]???Are Hindu apologists like Mr.Aryaveer going to amend or rewrite said Grantha’s?Have they got moral courage to delete even one verse of Geeta[9/32]under which women,vaish and shudra have been classified as product of papyoni[sin and immorality]

          You also need to read this statement very carefully:

          Are they going to delete verses justifying NIYOGH PRATHA[Manu 9,76-81] [worst possible immoral sexual practice]?It will be pertinent to point out here that even supposedly ‘reformer of Hindu religion’Swami Dayanand Sarswati has justified said practice [refer 4th chapter of Satyarth Prakash]

          Finally, the nature of your apologetics has been analyzed here and in Arvind’s comment above, and they are more than sufficient to address any “indignations” you have.

          • Why argue about some script, don’t you know by now that all religious ideologies are irrational and bias. This is like insanity making its rounds and however one changes these rubbish the insanity will remain. Come back to your senses, stop seeing things in a distorted way, and find true health and wellbeing

    • Of course Hinduism and Manusmriti always treated women and men equally.
      I mean, look at this:
      http://i.imgur.com/wwYyMeH.jpg

  • Manusmriti in today’s world is almost irrelevant. It does though influence people even today in a subtle way. Let me elaborate;

    I doubt if anybody from the current Gen ‘Y’ would read the Manusmriti. Having said that biases and prejudices are passed down from one generation to another. Although times have changed since Manu wrote his book, some of these parochial attitudes are based on body of texts like these that reinforce these retarded anti-woman views. And these views are passed down from one generation to another and gets enmeshed in our pysche. That is why these texts are dangerous!

  • I also wrote a text similar to this called dudesmriti few years back.It is now considered the most authoritative text by hindus, even though no one has read it or heard of it.

  • the so called Brahma was a hypocrite who thinks the woman is a kind of slave to her husband and after that to society.
    I strongly question the authenticity of such text.

  • I found a website that claims to say the exact opposite: That Manusmriti exalts the status of women rather than degrade it. You may see the link if interested:

    http://agniveer.com/manu-smriti-and-women/

  • Another viewpoint I found on another forum which I am reproducing here from this link:

    http://qna.rediff.com/questions-and-answers/it-is-a-great-misunderstanding-that-the-manu-smrit/13251277/answers/13276856

    First we should be very clear about which Manu are we discussingas about at least 14 Manus in Indian Mythology, I can discuss.Well, most controversial one is about the Manu who has been claimed to have been said about cast division. The whole episode started only after 1884, when it was first translated in English by Sir William Jones, than expert of indology, here there were manipulations..!!!!! Surendra Kumar, who counts a total of 2,685 verses, finds that only 1,214 are authentic, the other 1,471 being interpolations on the text In reply to the criticism of the SUDRA caste, the verses critical of the sudras and women are considered to be later interpolations, but not later than Adi Shankara ,in 7th-8th century CE. The law in Manu Smriti also appears to be overtly positive towards the brahmin (priest) caste in terms of concessions made in fines and punishments. The stance of the Manu Smriti about women has also been debated. While certain verses such as (III – 55, 56, 57, 59, 62) glorify the position of women, other verses (IX – 3, 17) seem to attack the position and freedom women have. The education of women is also discussed in the text. Certain interpretations of Verse (IX – 18) claim that it discourages women from reading Vedic scriptures. 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).
    Do you know , what real was the real cause of second world war??? Hitlers GURU Friedrich Nietzsche has stated that the “Law of Manu” was cited favorably , on the theory of BORN TO ROLE & BORN TO BE RULED ,an incomparably spiritual and superior work” to the Christian Bible. He observed that “the sun shines on the whole book” and attributed its ethical perspective to “the noble classes, the philosophers and warriors, [who] stand above the mass.”
    In his book Revolution and Counter-Revolution in India, Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar asserted that Manu Smriti was written by a sage named Brigu during the times of Pushyamitra of Sangha in connection with social pressures caused by the rise of Buddhism !!!! However, historian Romila Thapar considers these claims to be exaggerations. She writes that archaeological evidence casts doubt on the claims of Buddhist persecution by Pushyamitra. Support of the Buddhist faith by the Sungas at some point is suggested by an epigraph on the gateway of Bharhut, which mentions its erection “during the supremacy of the Sungas” Hinduism does not evangelize.
    However, not all Hindus agree with the criticisms of the text, or the assertion that the Manu Smriti is not authoritative. Some prominent Hindu figures, such as Swami Dayananda Saraswati and A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, hold the text to be authentic and authoritative.Other admirers of the text have included Annie Besant, P.D. Ouspensky, Pandurang Shastri Athavale and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Friedrich Nietzsche is noted to have said “Close the Bible and open the Manu Smriti. It has an affirmation of life, a triumphing agreeable sensation in life and that to draw up a lawbook such as Manu means to permit oneself to get the upper hand, to become perfection, to be ambitious of the highest art of living.
    The Bhagavad Gita contradicts many statements in Manu Smriti, including the fixture of one’s Varana at birth, and has always been accorded a higher authority by the people in daily life. CONCLUDING THIS, SUMAN, I AM STRONGLY OF THE OPINION THAT THIS MANU-SMRUTII LEADING TO CAST DIVISION ( like Mayawati ), is not authantic text.

  • Anoop Neelakandan

    33. “Na asti strinam………” – 9/18. While performing namkarm and jatkarm, Vedic mantras are not to be recited by women, because women are lacking in strength and knowledge of Vedic texts. Women are impure and represent falsehood.

    because of that fullstop after Vedic texts (vedic texts.Women are)it can be misjudged generally as women are impure and reperesent falsehood. actually it wants to some together like women who lack strength and knowledge in vedic texts,(are as impure as)falsehood itself, that is a fixed rule.

    • We are born out of a woman. they carry us in their bellies for nine months, feeding and nurturing us. They give birth to these deceptive men gods who eventually stab their own mothers. The Abrahamic teaching is the same, they like the hindus slander women in their scriptures. How could inferior women give birth to superior men? The only thing more frustrating than slanderers is those foolish enough to listen to them.

  • Well what do you mean by an authentic text depends on which context are you calling it non-authentic. This code has been a backbone of Indian society for nearly 1500 years and later on resurrected in and imbibed in epics like Mahabharata and later in Arthshastra. One should understand that this Text originated in 2300 BC most probably full or partial author being Parsurama. At that time the Indian society was going through a drastic changes which were put under control through a social structure of Manu’s Code. This era was an era where there were certain barbaric practices occurring society and some things were barbaric and they are reflected in Manu’s code. But believe me that this barbaric and pervert practices of various kinds in society were much more in the era before 2300 BC. This code was a huge improvement and change in the society. Also the condition of women might seem to be bad, but one should understand that we are comparing it with today’s world. Also one should understand that like the whole caste system of India the women also had a different purpose of living and it is our critical view that makes us feel that the condition is bad. In fact the women in India at this ancient time might be happy with it as they got a certain dharma that is different from the men. Indian society has always been pluralistic and it is our socialistic view and the critical view for this pluralism: that pluralism causes discrimination, which is what makes us feel bad. One should understand that caste, religion, race are not bad in them selves, in fact they turn out to be bad when they become the basis for discrimination. And being and living in India one should be just not be amazed at this point of view given that the whole Secular state concept that the first line of our constitution shouts is indeed cognitive enough and knows that there are different castes, race , regions. If there were no differences why would one be even talking of being Secular or not. Unity in diversity phenomena, as India is no doubt, is an excellent reflection that out society since ancient times has dealt with segregation without antagonism. Rather a smooth transition between the different segregates and mingling in them is what Indian philosophy has always been. One should ask ourselves a question that why we want to fight nature that already segregates men and women in a discriminatory fashion. And thus look at manusmriti as for sure a strict boundary but those being segregated being happy. In fact if we look straight from all the major Indian texts like Manu’s code, then later Vedas / Upanishads, Mahabharata, Arthshastra, all have spoken both types of statements that in all the discussion above we say “praise” and also “criticize” women. If we claim this to be true one should contemplate that why such highly intelligent people who wrote these texts can be such hypocrite / stupid or talking equivocal. My view to it is that it is no praise or criticism it is pure objective truth that these author proclaim. They are just stratifying the whole social system with components that have their own work to perform : “dharma” and yes what I would exaggeratedly (happily) claim is that these authors rather “Praise” the one who obeys “Dharma”. Thus, laying a solid foundation for the society.

    Note: In all the above discussion I notice that we are just not aware that this code is written just before the code of Hammurabi and has got a huge huge similarity with it, though the later being highly renowned as the most ancient text. Thus we are talking arbitrary. For a more detail insight about the chronology : Manu’s Land and Trade Laws, Ayyar, 1976.

    Note: My above comments are a very succinct generalization of various parts pf Indian philosophy running over 2000 year at least that too all in BC.

  • Another thing I failed to mention is the point of view that how can a philosophy (Hindu caste system and Manu’s code and the various ways this code was imbibed in the later texts like Vedas and Mahabharata and Arthashatra) be surviving 4K-5K years if we say that this systems was so bad. Rather one should take the insight that the basic content of this whole philosophy lasting thousands of years is something really powerful. And rather all these texts are just a partial reflection of the philosophy and these texts have been modified over such huge time with phases of getting impurities and then rectification and also resurrection in terms of a new set of texts. And this too all in a tradition where the most prominent mode of knowledge transfer is vocal rather than written.

    • Nothing is powerful enough to last 4K or 5K except the cheating olden days kings on their weakness of lust for power and lust for women. Many things must have been compromised by manus follower to satisfy those power hungry and women hungry power full olden icons to pull and keep them in that condition till mughal and british invasion. But, mughal british were also fell trapped on the same strategy, which result in the manus code prolonged till this time with some results of reform as we see. We (are you?) must appreciate manus strategy of dividing a society to comfort lazy mass hide under roof of divinely construction and profit in huge sum and make fool of the rest of common population up to date. Recent news of marriage to hindu gods and its procession shows how pathetic we? even at the 2012. Luckily, as per the history, we are not at the feet of dragonist, but renewing your manus code with new philosophical approach sure land in that condition also, because divided we fail.

      • Social Structure and the divisions in that social structure not implies we are dividing society. If that’s how you think you are essentially against any social system (like democracy, republic) in fact you are nihilistic without any alternative. Even if we talk colloquial (as you are) then how do you explain the equal number of positive quotes and negative quotes for women. Also lets talk more colloquial, is Manu’s code only about women, you should also be talking about the other 98%. If you not you are being just chauvinistic of god knows some unity which you also are unable to define what it is. Are you proposing all being same, some kind of machine world like extreme communism. You want things like single religion. I really doubt you can do that and make all robots as it has been a failed strategy (USSR breakdown). In fact this unity shall cause another world war. One should rather realize that liberal and free society allows various philosophies to coexist and factions are inevitable and in fact necessary for progress in all strata of human existence. And in fact the phenomena of unity as you propose arise to bring together different things but not just to get mingle into one monotonic thing but rather a constructive power which defies discrimination and revers individual identity.

        (You are, as a nice example, trying to enforce use of Hijab today because it was there in some auxiliary appendix of Kuran which was important for the society at the time Kuran was written. Same thing you are doing with Manusmriti by taking the some quotes related to women which might have been relevant in that society at time of which we have not the slightest imagination.)

        If you read my previous two posts you should see that I do not say that many things are not irrelevant in the code today and they should be taken as it is. I say it that this code was according to a society that was in past and has been modified regularly thought history.

        Just because today we see the caste systems as something to abhor does not mean it was so previously. In this same caste system which was on the basis of dharma or the work rather than on birth great things like Mahabharata, Arthashastra, Ramayana, Kamasutra and huge number of vedas/upnishads/purana came into being. In the same time we had all these Godesses being revered as the dynamic energy complementing the static male gods. Right. In this same period of caste system we had the most liberal (Kamasutra) and richest economy (Gupta period – Golden Bird). This whole belief that I suppose you have that every one was just in a single caste is myth. There were sufficient intermixing both in terms of marriage and a occupation (and this is genetically proven if you do not want colloquial talk). In fact on the contrary it was the colonial rule of British who systematically understood the culture and broke it down and divided it and made the whole excellent system collapse with culmination in terms of division of India – 1947. It is this previous colonialism and now western culture killing machines like Globalization which is nothing but a neo-colonialism in a handsome gift wrap. They knew the Golden economy of India under this (what you abhor) caste system which attracted these then weak economies like British. Please do not get into this trap and start loathing our system which these people have proposed to as something to abhor and we are hypnotically killing it.

        And I would go on and say that it is not we who are talking all this loath for caste system it is the globalization and the systematic breeding of western ideas in our head which help reach globalization its excellent aim of being a culture killing machine. And, hence, as we did during the Mughal era again fall in trap of colonialism in its more dangerous and revived form: Globalization (using dangerous weapons of IT in this Info age).

        Just wait and think and then shoot replies that are non-passionate but reasonable.

        Not: I do not hate western world. India always has absorbed the good things but in the last 4 centuries we have fell in trap and devastated our global status by blindly following western world.

        • Yes, you are correct, we should not antagonize the past theory and we may renew it with new ideology and praise its crudeness with few useless advice but we need to compromise as somewhat useful contents. Like that we must praise the British as well as the Mughal for their effort on unite and reform this subcontinent, and there may be some story of breaking of worship place ill-treat of pundits that make no sense on hating them fully. Regarding USSR, It was a cunning approach of USA-Mr. Bush administration to brain wash Mr Gorbachev and succeeded in it, that ill credit goes to Mr. Gorbachev who was sidelined by the mainstream politics of Russia. So you cannot say always capitalist are correct, we can say world is divided on that line and undeniable of china succession which makes US sitting on anvil. Innocent, uneducated, half naked mass are the indias true image even until 1970s. How this failure come, why your so-called ancient text or learned intellectuals of ancient texts fail to arrive to a solution. If you renew your munus code, you must be caste fundamentalists who feel desperate of equal living of low caste mass. You are free to do whatever you feel, but adding innocent low caste mass in your ambitious fight against other religion is highly condemnable and taking help of old lies will result in great ire of rationalists. It is not correct to say killing of culture but cure of wounds. You have reason to worry about your culture since it is feeding you, what about the people who were made cultureless by your culture!!!

          • Thanks for your not being antagonistic by calling the thing at hand as a “crude”. On the basis of a 2% critical statements that too with equal amount of positive statements for women you are bringing the whole building down. This is outrageous to ignorantly criticizing such a strong political thought all over the world for which there are dozen of courses in any University in India and half a dozen at universities abroad. Such things make should rather be sufficient to proof the intellectual importance of Manusmriti. If you are against the whole academia then you seem to be some great person who why do not know is even replying to such a feeble as me or is an ignorant nihilistic fool.

            But I do would no doubt like you talking about “renew” the whole philosophy. That’s really nice as even there are debates of Relevance of Gandhi in Contemporary times. So Manu no one knows or has seen.

            Now you praising British and supporting them for uniting India is outrageous. Though I do say that such unity did happen up to some extent but that was just a collateral. They just never cared India, they literally came to loot it in a handsome hood of missionary -> merchant -> political power -> dominance which was the Standard operating procedure for Colonialism. And I am unable to understand that how come beggars (robbers) coming to wealthy people become the saints. Dude the economy of India was 75% of the world economy before the Muslim invasion and 25% (the worlds largest till 1700) and suddenly they suck it to 12% in 1800 still among the largest and then 7% in 1900 and some 1/20 of US by the time they left. And India was for literally 1000 years from 1AD to 1000AD simply a giant of 75% and you say the Manusmriti and its modified versions in Arthshastra that were the core social backbone was useless. I do like your point of why India could not survive. One major factor was the depletion of Indian culture and sciences under Mughal times and the whole upset of the economic engine of the nation. Culturally the two cultures gave rise to some really nice arts and literature but not on the political and the scientific front and hence the economic front. They do gave a shape to Indian so called one state nation form but they were inventing Urdu when there was a need of a Renaissance same as that was happening in Europe. Europe came out of dark ages and we went into dark ages on the political and economic fronts at least. And then there was this whole scientific era beginning that was just an easy prey for the most dreadful and the systematic form of Aristocracy called as colonialism. But as India has always absorbed different cultures it could have and in fact tried to absorb the British also but they had a malcontent already placed in their head. Their Industrial age also gave rise to the extreme form of praise for their culture and the racism that they conducted on almost all fronts: there where a whole series of writers who were West chauvinist, White Chauvinist, there were scientists , genealogists, archeologists, anthropologists put in place and praised to build racist theories, and politicians and sociologists and economists to understand the cultures of these colonies the biggest and the most profitable being India and then deliberately play with the weak parts of it and then posing and propagating the bad side of our culture making us even today a true slave who dislikes his culture more and is blindly attracted by the west white skin.

            I agree to your USSR point but that is just a part of story in any big event in history. The robot life that a person lives in communist society and the level of slavery and psychological madness one faces by the curbing of ones art and intellect has also been a big social reason for this over throw. Also the USSR economy was going through a great decline with only resort being the end of cold war and start a dialog with west. Though I do agree that these were kind of used by the west as a weak points. For example there war slow wars like making half of the Russia’s younger generation drug addict through illegal drug trafficking from Afghanistan. But one cannot neglect the influence the Poland and other countries that lied on the border of west and east were having partial Iron curtain and the liberal society of west was a cause for initially covert social underground movements like Solidarity and then a direct overthrow of the Polish communist rule. Ans then a whole chain of liberations of other USSR surrounding states leaving no option for Gorbachev. Ofcourse I agree USA did make full use of all such things and made them more powerful also. I also agree that Capitalism itself has also got flaws and that I have already told through Neo-colonialism that I think I told in my last reply.

            Again I am not saying capitalism is good or better but the China and its (so called) rising economy (as the news in China is very much state controlled) has started rising very well after the more liberal attitude of the republic of china specially towards foreign trade (as was the last resort of Gorbachev). As one can see today 70% of China’s economy is from Export. So its no where Socialist (communist far off) on the Economic front.

            Again I do not take a stand on which system is better as Globalization can be like lolly-pops which are actually Cyanide also.

            Again I would reiterate that the caste system and the discrimination over caste are two very different things. This discrimination was never there but rather the castes were on basis of Dharm and there has been a considerable Gentic evidence, if you do not believe anything else, of intermix marriages and caste changes. And the people in that India were not unhappy. I do not know why you think that British unite India at least as a service. As I told they played with the culture and for that they studies it come up with the right spots to inject their culture and dominance. This was what the colonialism was all about. And they depleted the existing system of caste and the ancient politcal / social thought in India which was already depricated under Mughal to the worst form
            as we see now.

            I do agree to revival in a fresh form and that is exceptionally necessary and I also agree that its not just Manusmriti, but India as a whole has got a huge number of rich political and economic thought that we can come up with our own theories and systems. This India has already proven as being the largest and the most daring political and social venture that started with the longest constitution of India. I am not a blind chauvanist of Manusmriti but I would definitely resist a blind and ignorant criticism and even the time makes us talk of Gandhi’s relevance today what can one expect of a Manusmriti which most (general) Indians take as just another fairytale. One should rather if being ignorant also try to take a more positive side with Manusmriti being somewhere at the roots of indian political,social and economic and also spiritual side of texts like mahabharata and ramayana and the neetis of chanakya and also infuencing things in jainism and buddhism and this 3000 year eara being an era with India at the top of the world : The Golden Bird. Believe me it was really Golden and stop being critical of your culture as you seem to be blinded by the west. Thanks Britishers.

          • Having read your commands I come to one conclusion that the beneficiary of manu dharma will go to any extend of protecting their pong theory at any time and any state. Also having read few of the vedic, Upanishad, it is difficult to control the sense mockery, all pathetic blather, money swindling, power swindling superstitious threat and appeal to power centric icons (king/landlord)and innocent mass. Ex- a father is no father, a mother is no mother, soma rasa and subsequent loots, purshasukhtas claims … etc. I am better be a nihilistic fool instead supporting the bluffs.
            In India alone , there are around 30,000 operating madrasahs, then think of world across! Can we appreciate it as only best culture of this world? Culture or Religion or Ethics or anything which is fails to respect the human value and support the division mean, it is absurd, it is waste of this century and need to be prohibited. Your claim of economics is true only but it was amazed and looted by the elite class in the name of god, superstitions and tax. Don’t try to revamp the crimes of manus in the Indian society, try to be a rationalist and generous. Hopefully no one including you can imagine a tribal living style which is prescribed in your cultural texts, may be it is fit to occupy the museum or library.

            I am just typing across and mingling with global village and see the possible best in the world and worst in the world and I am still sensing their greatness of respecting sathyagraha and I am there in mars and Gliese, kepler, neutrino, heliosphere through voyager, dark energy, billions of galaxy and its billions of star and planets … oh …. I must curse the barrier which prevented me from reaching it and I must appreciate the west who brought the technology to my next village and laterally to me by a secular system.

  • these phrases from manusmriti is not correct at all neither it was written by manu. One who has created this website is against the women. Always remember you have created wrong meaning of every sentence or you are lacking behind with the vedas and knowledge of sanskrit and others. she alone can take burden of full family, no protection is required she can protect herself and her family, you men’s are lacking behind far away from women.
    women have all knowledge of vedas and other knowledge.
    REMEMBER : – ONE WHO CRITISISE THE WOMEN AND TRY TO LACK HER BACK IS GOING TO GO IN LOWEST HELL FOR FOREVER. THERE IS NO PLACE FOR YOU IN HAVEN AND YOU WILL NEVER GET LIBERATION FROM BIRTH NEXT BIRTH OF YOURS IS IN THE WOMB OF JACKEL OR SOME DIRTY AMINIMAL.

  • Like many I was also a very confused Hindu reading such wild ,insane interpretaion of our holy scriptures.
    There were many rishis who were women in the Vedic period.Women always had highest status in Hindusthan.
    Shakti was considered Adhi the stating point.
    So I do not belieive that Manu would have meant what is interpreted as.
    I would like to quote an example of my mentor Prof RLKashyap in his book on RigVeda Samhita in english which I am translating to Tamil
    Mantra 7 of Kaanda 7 Prapataka 4 anuvaka 19
    A word appears here as “yabh”
    “Certain words have suffered vulgar interpretaion in the hands of medivial commentator Mahidhara (16th Century)
    and translator R.T.HGriffith(1826-1906)by assigning aritarary meanings to this word which occurs only once in veda.It has a meaning of “Interaction”.But these transalators regard it as sexual interaction that too between a queen and a horse.”
    Explanation goes on to make us understand what gross errors could be committed by wrong translations of certain sanskrit words having multiple meanings.The meanings have to be selected with reference to contact.
    Those who want to read correct interpretation of Vedas can pl refer to his books through their website http://www.vedah.org
    Let all of us strive to get correct knowledge of our scriptures.
    Sarvam KrishnaarpaNam
    TKJagannathan
    You can contact me for books on Vedas or getting clarifications on Vedic literature.I will get expert advise from Prof.Kashyap

    • Manu advises are of course good to follow, but spare the Indian masses who were living in castic enmity, class enmity, religious enmity, foodless, earning Rs 27/per day ( as per planning commission) and mostly of helpless. Yes, please find a vedic place near to POK just around kailash with your orthodoxies and implement the left out principle and live peace fully sharing it with your jihadist counterpart and try to add chinees pals. Leave the cursed mass who never ever listen to Manus preach, but happened to misunderstand him, don’t commit the same mistake as like as present society of india.

  • It is not the old aged practice to keep women away from enjoying humanity. Recently I studied that in the women were denied opportunity to practice as lawyers in India during 1920s by judgments of Calcutta & Lucknow High Courts. Now, the industrialisation and globalisation have granted our women little freedom.
    Another, observation I would like to mark here is that the Constitution of India should bring in a new Article (may be Art.17A) to abolish caste and endogamy and to punish its practice in any form. All matrimonial ads will become unconstitutional thereafter. Reservation can be removed then.

    • Hi Raj,
      read your comments on Manusmruti, can you plz give me some reference where you read about women being denied right to be lawyers.

  • Can someone please give me a link to Manusmriti with English translations online so I can also see for myself?

  • If you seriously wants know the real meaning of these verses don’t go with English Translations made by Griffith or Mullers plz follow http://agniveer.com/manu-smriti-and-women/ to get proper translation of these Sanskrit slokes..

  • Subhash C Reddy

    Hirday Patwari is guilty of plagiarism because he literally lifted the first sentence from Wikipedia’s article Manusmriti and made it his lead sentence of his article. Proof is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manusm%E1%B9%9Bti

    “Manusmṛti … also known as Mānava-Dharmaśāstra … is one metrical work of the Dharmaśāstra …”

    What does it say of the author and his scholarship? That his knowledge is framed and based on reading Wikipedia articles and little else.

    Also, that he tends to make unfounded and even false statements like “.. According to Hindu mythology, the Manusmriti is the word of Brahma, and it is classified as the most authoritative statement on Dharma..” At once he claims it is both Mythology as well as a recorded book of law. Most importantly, Hindu Mythology (if there is one universally accepted) does not claim Manusmriti because Manusmriti is recorded literature and NOT a Mythological story.

    Even worse, Mr Patwari is confused between Manu the Ruler of Manvantara (a measurement of time described in Hindu Vedas which consists of 71 Maha Yugas, each Mahayouga consists of four yugas, equal to 306.7 Million years) and the Manu of Manusmriti. Manu in Manusmriti referes to Manava, that is “human”.

    The author should have stated right up front that Manusmriti is believed to be over 3500 years old. So, whatever was stated in Manusmriti reflected the thoughts and beliefs at the times it was written about.

    The author might be better informed to study even very recent times in history such as the Victorian times, 19th century (1837-1901) and he will learn that most of what was said in Manusmriti was prevalent just 150 years ago in the West.

    My point is that the human civilization has evolved over time and, in general, many of the uncivil, cruel, and unjust practices have been changed. Even the Judicial system reflects such changes for there were laws prohibiting the same things that were stated in Manusmriti.

    This whole essay is a half-baked understanding of what the author tries to educate others.

    Subhash C Reddy, Ph.D.

    • Satish Chandra

      I think you simply exposed your desire to argue for the sake of arguing (a vitanda vaadi). Here are the two statements from the article and Wikipedia:

      The Manusmriti also known as Manav Dharam Shastra, is the earliest metrical work on Brahminical Dharma in Hinduism.

      Manusmṛti (written also as Manusmriti or Manusmruti) (Sanskrit: मनुस्मृति), also known as Mānava-Dharmaśāstra (Sanskrit: मानवधर्मशास्त्र), is one metrical work of the Dharmaśāstra textual tradition of ancient Vedic Sanatana Dharma, presently called Hinduism.

      The author even linked to the Wikipedia entry in the first sentence. Some “plagiarism” it is.

      • Subhash C Reddy

        How convenient it is for you to ignore all the other points I raised and call my points as “Vitanda Vaada”!

        The author presented the sentence as if it was his penmanship (no quotes). Providing links in the form of highlight does not equal giving proper credit.

        Perhaps, your standards for Plagiarism are different, at least losse enough to support your “vithanda Vaadam”.

        Most importantly, what was stated in Manusmriti (on women) some 3500 years ago is still the norm in many societies and was very widely prevalent in the West just about a century ago. Why, just yesterday, “the Church of England general synod votes against women bishops” – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20415689

        And equally important fact is that even the most educated Indian Hindus did not have access to Manusmriti much less to follow its commands. Manusmriti was not like the Bible in terms of its being usage universally. Even today and even with the English language translation, MOST Hindus haven’t even read it.

        Then how could Manusmriti be instrumental in the daily living of Hindus?

        Have you read Deuteronomy Book in the Old Testament? Would you like to present it here juxtaposed to Manusmriti?

        Please note that humans societies do not exist in a vacuum. The values followed in different societies should be judged relative to other societies. Perfection (if at all it can be accomplished) does not happen on the first day so to say. In other words, human civilization must evolve gradually. If the values of a society today are as bad as they were a thousand years ago then such a society is condemnable. And there are many such societies today even in the most developed nations. Just read the “Books” or “Scriptures” of many religions that are still followed and practiced today.

        Subhash C Reddy

        • Satish Chandra

          The author made no claims of it being his penmanship. It is you who cooked up that silly point just so that you can attack the author instead of attacking his argument. Much like how you are using what-aboutery to divert attention from the stupidity of Manusmriti.

          • Subhash C Reddy

            There you go again with your Vithanda Vada!

            The author has to explicitly claim he is plagiarizing? No kidding? Let me help you understand the word. Here is the definition (worldwebonline.com, just one source: “The act of plagiarizing; taking someone’s words or ideas as if they were your own”

            Are you so completely immersed in your own perceptions? I have raised many points and author’s plagiariazation was only one of them. It is you who keeps dwelling on that one point which is a fact. You have refused to address my other points because you have nothing to say on those points.

            No amount of stonewalling on your part will change the facts on the ground!

            Subhash C Reddy, Ph.D.

          • You have refused to address my other points because you have nothing to say on those points.

            Why no response on those ‘other points’ is owed is because they are besides the point. Why this is so is explained in the link to ‘whataboutery’ already provided here.

          • Captain Mandrake

            Thanks for the what-aboutery link.

    • It is not enough to have a literal translation of any scripture. One has to study in depth the actual implications. Also just giving out some verses from the Manusmriti is not telling the world what it means. Mr. Patwari is like any other confused person who is ignorant of the exact ideas in our scriptures. It is necessary that such people first learn from scholars, understand and experience the enlightenment before commenting.

      • ‘Actual implications’ are scarcely in doubt when the rules are stated in their grossest terms leaving little room for interpretation, such as in the instances here. What sort of in-depth study can make Chapter VIII.278-283 acceptable?

  • We can all agree that manu was a dick. However, applying that brush to everyone is disingenous. Later kings and reformists of his own era changed stuff

    • Satish Chandra

      Can you point where in the article did you get the idea that the same brush was applied to everyone?

  • No Wonder Baba Saheb Ambedkar burnt such a “VICIOUS” Manu Smrithi so openly…….His actions showed that we in the modern era should kick out all the negative elements such as Manu Smrithi away from our peaceful society………Thanks though as you showed the crooked mentality of Manu (Brahmins) by sharing just apart of Manu Smrithi here………..

  • In the present time,no brahmin or any other persons knows about the details forwarded by Akeelaji,and thanks for bringing up these data to know that now there is no place for such kind of behaviour on part of man towards woman.That is why Mahatma Jyotiba Fule of Poona compaigned against all such unhealthy approach of the Society.It isbeleived that even Gandhiji had taken clues from Jyotiba Fule movement.Wooman are on equal status and must be respected in the interest of healthy and progressive Society.Akeelaji,thanks for bringing up such details for the people to decide right or wrong.God bless you.GMBhatt

  • This person has selectively quoted from manusmriti. The manusmriti also states Vasishta married from lower most cast and both achieved high fame. Distorting ideas like this is highly harmful and people commenting after reading this should be warned not to do so without reading the original.
    Another sloka also says father gets just 3 years to marry off his daughter after that the girl can marry any suitable man and both he and she does not incur any sin.

  • Nithin Sivadas

    The whole point here is not that there are Good versus and Bad versus in Manusmriti! Manusmriti contains what it contains.

    If we have to pick and choose what is good and what is bad, all we are merely doing is making decisions based on the moral zeitgeist of the 21st century. Manusmriti is then just a possible combination of moral and immoral thoughts from which you have to choose. And hence, there is absolutely no point in following it or considering it as an absolute moral guideline on how to live.

    And we must realize that the text is also a reflection of the thoughts of our society in the age the script was written. The same thoughts are also well reflected in the Vedas and Upanishad, if one has the patience to read them. We have progressed a lot from it, thanks to the many social and cultural reforms. Hopefully this article will make us all have a second thought, when we praise our ancient culture the next time.

    • No My friend, I would like to tell you that there are so many fake slokas which have been added to vedas and shastras century later. These slokas were added by some Pandits, Kings and so-called scholars. These people wanted fame and wanted to prove themselves right. One more thing I would like to add to my statement that what we read is the translation of translation of Maxmuller not the original text. Therefore Maxmuller committed thousands fo mistakes while translating these scholarly works. These works needed research before translation not to be merely translated. But these translations were word to word translation without any research or understanding of the essence. Therefore these translations are full of flaws. And secondary, We, Indians don’t have faith in Indian Scholars and blindly follow foreigners to know our Indian history. A man born and brought up in a foreign land can never tell us our history. Therefore, Knidly read few of Indian scholars and you will come to know whatever history we are reading is not exactly or even 25 percent right.

      Regards,
      Kanishk

  • Who ever has written it. I am sure, he has never read the Manusmriti properly or is the follower of British Raj. He must read original version of Manusmriti provided to us by Agniveer. It is a research work that will open the brains of narrow minded people who are full of prejudice for Manusmriti. Kindly Read Manusmriti(By Agniveer) again and don’t spread wrong knowledge among people via such fake articles which are result of wrong translation done by an illiterate british Maxmuller who knew nothing about India.
    Sorry for being rude but if you are a true Indian you must know that our Vedas and these research works are greater than any work ever written in any language. These works are even greater than works of Plato or Aristotle who were mere copy cats of Indian Culture, Science and Philosophy.Therefore british with the help of some Indian Pandits who were ready to sell their souls, introduced several slokas and sutras which were to introduce discrimination among indian people. Many Pandits for their personal sake introduced several sel made slokas into Manusmriti Therefore a great research is required prior to make any comment over Manusmriti.

    Regards,
    Sourabh Kanishk

    • Consider reading these earlier comments in this very trail, before rehashing the already addressed non-arguments of another Agniveer evangelist.

      Also, Max Muller was German, not British and it goes without saying that he possessed a greater deal of scholarship in Sanskrit than a Subramanian Swamy or an Acharya Giriraj Kishore whom to Agniveer readers are authorities of some kind.

      Max Muller deserves at least a word thanks for his contributions to Indology, or at the very least deserves to be spared the ignominy of being called a know-nothing by sectarian revisionists.

  • Rational Human

    Firstly, let me clarify that i do not want to hurt any sentiments but would love to understand Hinduism.

    The first book criticising the caste system which i read was ‘Oh you Hindu, Awake!’ I will not be able to give reference from the same as it was years ago and i dont have it at the mooment.

    I hope that we all beleive that the Almighty cannot, will not, and does not make mistakes. If someone does so then he cannot be the Almighty. Now, He will treat all his crreations as equal and will definitely not create someone inferior than the other.

    It is an irrefutable fact that Hindu scriptures prescribe the caste system and also subscribe to it. Now-a-days, people say that the caste system was an innovation of a group of self-claimed bhramins and not divine. And therefore it cannot be a part of the vedas.

    I just read in the book Modern Hindu Law by Dr. Paras Divan, Allahabad Law Agency, ISBN: 978-93-80231-15-0, edition: 2012, that the vedas say “Whatever Manu says is medicine” at pg:31.

    This does prove that the Vedas uphold the caste system. Then how can the Creator be unjust?

    And when people discard the Manusmriti are they not disobeying the Vedas too?

    If they do not believe in what they believe to be the word of God then how can believe in God?

    If the above facts are correct what ultimately boils down is the fact that the MODERN Hindus call themselves Hindus but reject the basic tenets of Hinduism and the Vedas impliedly.

    I once again repeat that i do not want to hurt sentiments but want to understand Hinduism or rather today’s Hinduism.

    • Dear Rational Human,

      I don’t know for sure that the Vedas say “Whatever Manu says is medicine,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. It doesn’t further your thesis, however. The Dharmasutras and their descendents, the Dharmasastras, were composed nearly a thousand years after the Vedas closed for composition. So the authors of the Vedas would not have known who the Manu who wrote the dharmasastra was.

      I will agree with you that nearly all dharmasastric literature supports the notion of varna. I will have to diagree where you try and define the ideal Hinduism with its “basic tenets” however. It goes back to the fact that there really is no religion such as Hinduism, and this certainly was a unity imposed from without by European scholars. It’s not “Hinduism” was actually called something else– but it was actually constructed by the Indian middle class and European scholars, identifiying particular “scriptures” (Vedas, Gita, etc.) and doctrines.

      • Rational Human

        Brother Ashok,

        In that case, friend, you admit that some person did indulge in doctoring of the Vedas.

        To your part of Hinduism, it was/is a pantheistic religion. It actually had no definition. Even the most revered scholars have and still continue to describe it as only a way of life.

        When the British came to India, they were very religious. Even when Vasco da Gama set foot he declared that he had come in search of spices and Christians. and therefore the British, being religious, preferred to distinguish the others on the basis of religion. Hence they, named the pantheistic believers as Hindus, tearing it apart from the geographical definition of a person residing between Sindh to Vidhyanchal(which had extended to the far-south).

        • I don’t know about the last two paragraphs, but yes– they were were written by people in the Iron Age. I don’t know if I would use the word “doctored.”

    • Well the facts remains that does some one know’s the real “Manusmriti” which is about billions of years old when the Brahma Putra’s and Kanya’s first came to earth. Which basically means that we all human race are the direct descendants of the highest class of human race.our body have degraded through time and so has our mind . As far as i know the real “Manusmriti” was based totally on “Humanism” and not on some mere rubbish works of those people who have created their own “Manusmriti”. In practical there are thousands of “Manusmriti” in the market of thousands of authors & publishers who claim that they have written or published the actual “Manusmriti” or Vedas.Friends I believe that the original “Manusmriti” has been either been lost or destroyed.No matter to what religion or class or creed you or i belong today in the world.But the world at first was not made to be divided but to stand united.Whether male or female , high or low , rich or poor we should never forget that these are just the worldly responsibilities but at the end we have our own identity as souls who are not just part of the Godhead but also we are god of our own domain.( As mentioned in Gita) It’s all the play of karma and destiny but never forget that destiny lies on our own hand’s.

      • How do you know this “original Manusmriti” ever existed? All dharmasastric works refer to a Manusmriti, and their quotation of verses matches up exactly with the copy that we have today.

        • @santosh

          There are about more than a thousand types of Ramayana among which “Tulsi Ramayana” is most worshiped and followed.In the Similar manner the precise content and verses of “Manusmriti” had been changed and converted several times over the past thousands of years as time went by.So,yes original Manusmriti did existed.In regard with mentioned information,that most Vedic scriptures and texts regarding science and technology and cultural history of ancient India had been either lost or stolen over the time.

        • There are several apologists who claim the presence of a pristine original without evidence, and are anxious to dismiss verses like those quoted in the article as forgeries. Then how come views like those expressed in this pair of clips (1,2) are so mainstream if a verse like 3:14 above is only a later fraudulent addition? That’s something apologists are less forthcoming about answering. If the apologists think that ‘Manuvad’ is a Macaulay-esque bogeyman constructed out of fraudulent translation, are they willing to fight the echoes of verses like 3:12-17 in the pronouncements of their own spokespersons?

  • This article and following comments have only added to my resolve to reject all religions. The only positive thing I feel that is an advantage in the religion of my birth, Hinduism is that we have gone beyond the concept of blasphemy and that it is now alright to question and discuss and even reform some practices. It is good to know that there will not be a fatwa calling for one’s death if one finds such verses quoted here as objectionable.
    However, if anyone knows of a site where people come together to put forward ideas so that everyone’s Human Rights are addressed, I would be very grateful for the link. Thank you!

    • Captain Mandrake

      * It is good to know that there will not be a fatwa calling for one’s death if one finds such verses quoted here as objectionable.*

      Are you sure about that. What do call the harrasment of M.F.Hussain? All he did was draw some cartoons.

      • That’s true, M F Hussain was harassed for depicting Hindu gods\goddesses in nudes. But such events are a rarity. In general the Hindus in india are quite liberal about the religion. In a hindu household one can defy god without any after effects however it can not happen in a muslim household. The person would be called blasphemous & might even get killed.

        • Captain Mandrake

          ** In general the Hindus in india are quite liberal about the religion.**

          If Hindus were as liberal about religion as you make them out to be they will not be complaining as much as they do about Muslims and Christians.

          ** In a hindu household one can defy god without any after effects however it can not happen in a muslim household.**

          How do you know? Did you live in a Muslim household?

  • Thanks to the hindutva movement for shredding that last bit of tolerance.

    So …. Anyone for Human rights and evolution of human thought?

    Let throw out all religions! :)

  • Hindu disowns this book, read VHP’s view on this, it is geeta itself that is the true manusmriti.

    • I am apprehensive about continually criticizing this text because it opens the door for the counterargument that we are putting forth “strawman arguments.” I would agree with Swapnil that apologists seem to run from this text!

    • Rational Human

      VHP is a political party. they are doing it to gain political mileage and win the Dalits’ votes

  • I have read the article a few times and cannot seem to locate a source for these quotes. Unless you think that the Smriti was written in English? Therefore can you kindly provide the translators name, publisher and year of publication?

    Thanks

    • The chapter and verse are provided above, which you can use to cross-check with, say, Buhler’s translation. That’s the one which seems to have been referred to here. For instance, the first quote in the article Chapter 2, Verse 213 can be looked up on this page. Using a translation thus considered authentic would be a way to ensure that apologists don’t pull a fast one.

      Also, nobody here thinks the Manusmriti was written in English, unless some Sangh sympathizers decided to claim that in accordance to the ‘Blame-the-British-for-all-of-India’s-social-evils’ meme they are fond of.

      • Ah, Buhler, Victorian, imperialist son of a Pastor (Christian)?

        I’m concerned that it only “seems to be” Worrying in the sense that this website does not know the source of which they are quoting. That’s a tad worrying in terms of taking this article seriously I’ll look up Buhlers Victoruan translation, thanks.

        Will be back sooner or later, (life has to be lived after all) with my findings.

      • Buhler is a well-respected source, but if you have qualms, read Olivelle.

      • Well brother Arvind,
        If the world starts following your theory then why would they even believe in Bible or Quran , then even they can be called as myths…. Right HAHA!Anyways i did checked the link and it simply depicts the views that you might accept but not I.And it seems that you have not read the article carefully But anyways Time is an unconquerable source and one day or another the truth will come out on it’s own.Till then my Regards to all.

      • …one day or another the truth will come out on it’s own.

        …Not without considerable effort to call out falsehoods where one sees them, in historic revisionism as well as media distortions. Therefore, promoting an culture of uncritical acceptance of what is called scriptural, is counterproductive and cause for wariness.

        • It seems some people do not have the full knowledge of the content that they are themselves writing….and if you people really rely so much on net sources for proof for your so called historic revisionism then please do check out the link on (http://www.youtube.com/watchv=pueVNbuZ2A4)
          and do watch all parts …there are also few documents by History channel and Nat Geo ! Plus these discussions won’t be sorted out by just few links present on internet it needs deep study to understand all the facts , years and years of hard works or even generations of deep research and this was the only reason i said that “Truth will come out on it’s own”.But let us not forget that Humanity is the root of all religions and that we should respect all religion and their ethnicity. First service of any human present on this very earth is his/her own Humanity.
          As far as distortions are concerned it’s not in any religion but in the minds of those human who have failed to conquer their own weaknesses and misguides the innocent masses.Women were burnt in European countries in early centuries as they were suspected to be witches same thing had started in India from 16th century. So see friends it’s a thought that enters someone’s mind and such evil persons make their own thought as tradition and go array against what their own original roots , scriptures and traditions for the sake of their own greed and selfishness.Such people are criminal minded and can never conquer their own self unless they realize that Humanity is the root of all religion.so All i have been writing about since the very first article is about humanity and that Hinduism has always been promoting it and pushing it forward …We did went through a lot of struggle to revive the original messages of the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures but truth never hides it does come out on it’s own.Plus if someone is so much interested then please go in depth in Hindu philosophy before criticizing it.

        • Here’s a contemporary juxtaposition of attitudes towards two manifestations of barbarism tacitly endorsed by two different religions.
          The organization that commissioned the Inquisition and the associated burnings-at-the-stake has at least for the record, repudiated those actions . Glorification of Sati, though declared an offence under Indian law, continues to be committed by self-identified devotees. How does that proclaim to the world the humanist commitments of practitioners of Hinduism? How come some of these practitioners consider the burning alive of humans to be a blot on civilization only if it is committed by some other civilization?

    • Knowing a culture of any religion is a good thing and if someone wants sources, then they are most invited in India and find the sources themselves beacuse not all the sources are available on net .Like a child does not need to give identity proof to his/her own parents because it is the truth,in the similar manner we do not need to proof our own religion or our cultural thoughts and traditional beliefs beacuse truth is truth in its own self.”Ramayana” is still said as myth by the foreigners even though the presence of “Ramsetu” bridge at “Rameshwaram” gives a reliable source and depicts the truth. So who needs Sources these days ? Hindu texts have always been liberal, broad and their thoughts were are and will always be based on humanism and this is what we learn from our texts to be a Human to respect our relations and cherish the noble thoughts and ideas of Humanity and lead a practical , peaceful and a joyful life even though there are struggle. It teaches us the art of living.

      • Here’s some remedial reading and some clarifications of what is the sort of proof that is actually being sought here.

        • Here are few sources available on net watch it if that’s what you need.Else it(The Topic) cannot be sorted out without prior consent of the knowledgeable
          Indian scholars and civil’s for debate on national Indian news channels who can sponsor it make this topic public nationwide with the help of Media . So let the people decide who are more knowledgeable than any of us present here and leave it on them. My Regards to all….!!

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_executed_for_witchcraft
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_executed_for_witchcraft
          http://baharna.com/karma/yuga.htm
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4Nmvbm4WYM
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4Nmvbm4WYM
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_esotericism
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_paganism
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_violence
          http://voices.yahoo.com/jesus-christ-himself-declares-am-not-god-3184518.html
          http://www.answering-christianity.com/sami_zaatri/10_reasons_jesus_not_god.htm
          http://www.wnd.com/2009/01/85543/
          http://hinduism.about.com/cs/vedasvedanta/a/aa120103a.htm
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cE592l0BHL0&playnext=1&list=PL85nnlVgMUz8oKQXt8te1gxLapzEKyM6H&feature=results_main
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9ZoNH7bw3M
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P51hvsruKjY
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK5qG6bKLCM
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiy5uY3Iw2s
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AYL9_-PQyQ
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHeel1GNFFY
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4IgUUzbFQ4

        • @^ How does that barrage of links constitute some specific objections against the selection in the article, or some acceptable justification for the verses cited therein?

          • Kautilya once wrote in his Chanakya Nitishastra that a person is identified by one’s own character content and their moral fiber which we call Sanskar of a person which could either be good or bad according to their karma, Regardless to their caste,creed or color and religion they belong to.One cannot blame for one’s own evil deed to his/her religion,society or family as it is unfair and injustice.It is true that social evil practices did took place in India but also took place in other parts of the world and this was the only intent that i had uploaded above mentioned links.There were early social reformers like Sarojini Naidu,B.R Ambedkar,RabindraNath Tagore,Dayanand Saraswati,Swami Vivkekananda,Veerchand gandhi,Raja Ram Mohan Roy,Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar,Vinoba Bhave,Kabir,Jamnalal Bajaj,Baba Amte,Basaveshwara are few names of those social reformers who delivered and put forward their own moral opinion and got Inspired and learned from their own Vedic Hindu Dharma and disowned and rejected new social evil practices which took place in India due to number of Foreign invasions and dilemmatic condition of administration and political crises.How can a culture and religion of any country could be safe or survive despite such abundance of disturbing circumstances.In most cases no ! The only reason why most civilization rose to power but later lost and shattered to disaster.But Vedic hindu dharma (The Indian civilization) is still standing strong because it’s basic roots stands on the grounds of Humanity.Now It is not important that a person who is a Hindu always has a humanist temperament just like it’s not always important that a son of a sage would also become a sage he can become quiet a murderer or a robber etc , just as a wolf can hide under the skin of a human.Such people are criminals and criminals do not belong to any caste religion etc as they don’t regard humanity. See again the whole issue comes up on one’s own character content and moral fiber.Now being an atheist is also not a sin unless that person does not forgets their own humanity.And i think some people din’t understood the basic concept of the few articles that i wrote and i would kindly request them to read it once more patiently.

          • @eternity

            “How can a culture and religion of any country could be safe or survive despite such abundance of disturbing circumstances.In most cases no ! The only reason why most civilization rose to power but later lost and shattered to disaster”,

            Propaganda in the media about the rich culture and its survival through multiple of invasion and struggle may be a supportive gibe to blind believers of hindutva, but not to the generous human. Everybody knows the result of rich culture and its arrogance in this Indian land, few are; Rape of low caste in an alternative day, Rape of minor, Odisha Caste Fire, Tamilnadu dharmapri caste fire, Mutilation of low caste child genital organs, Rape of a mother in front of son and villagers, 3 low caste were cut into pieces in Maharashtra…… etc… etc… There are at most a controversy erupts at Every instance of Temple function in villages, Every instance of Death and burial, Every Instance assembly of village committee, results in staging of cruel atrocity upon the helpless people. The British took advantage of caste divide and applied divide and rule policy to rule this land, Now the divide and rule caste policy helps the fundamentalist to rule and survive. So It become rich culture, of course rich atrocity culture, 2012 seen such high rate of atrocity compared to the last one decade!

          • There were early social reformers like Sarojini Naidu,B.R Ambedkar,RabindraNath Tagore,Dayanand Saraswati,Swami Vivkekananda,Veerchand gandhi,Raja Ram Mohan Roy,Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar,Vinoba Bhave,Kabir,Jamnalal Bajaj,Baba Amte,Basaveshwara are few names of those social reformers who delivered and put forward their own moral opinion and got Inspired and learned from their own Vedic Hindu Dharma and disowned and rejected new social evil practices which took place in India due to number of Foreign invasions and dilemmatic condition of administration and political crises.

            – The reformers listed did well in their time and were often ahead of their time. However, how exactly to commenters in this website who argue that America is Patal Desh or argue for miracle potions honour the legacy of those luminaries? If you consider yourself as following in their footsteps, stop making a mockery of their legacy by those sorts of ludicrous pronouncements,

            – Did I just read ‘B R Ambedkar’ and ‘learned from their own Vedic Hindu Dharma’ in the same sentence? Some more remedial reading/viewing is in order. Consider watching this clip for about 5 minutes and preferably the movie in full. It’s ironic that such a comment was written under an article criticizing the Manusmriti.

            – As for blaming colonial oppression for India’s stratified and divided society, how self-serving to revisionists that narrative is, is called out here among other places.

          • Crimes can be committed anywhere by anyone in the world regardless to their caste creed color and religion they belong to.It depends upon one’s own morals and teachings. And blaming a specific community for an individual’s act is not tolerable because it is completely injustice and unfair.And how can one be so sure that the crimes are committed only by high caste community and low caste community are always victims? As far as majorities are in concern they differ from according to a number of places,regions,and several other environmental factors and surveys are done on that basis.According to Art.25-28 under part IV of the Indian constitution one is free to exercise and protect it’s culture and ethnicity of the religion one spiritually believes in.It’s a fundamental and a Human right of an Indian Citizen and to promote secularism in our country.
            Plus,My Articles needs no further clarifications or explanations because the answers are already mentioned in it.So the questions that are being asked by other authors and the facts that are mentioned to support the statements are resumptively pointless as they are based on the personal belief of the other authors.So,basically Before reaching up to a specified conclusion of an article one must read and carefully sum up the given facts and datum mentioned and alleged.Concerning several of different articles it seems the facts alleged in it mentioned by these authors simply depicts their own personal beliefs towards a specific community of a country.There are no given specific points in the article that could be discussed further as they are way too far below precised genuineness.

          • (“As for blaming colonial oppression for India’s stratified and divided society, how self-serving to revisionists that narrative is, is called out here among other places.”)

            (“- The reformers listed did well in their time and were often ahead of their time. However, how exactly to commenters in this website who argue that America is Patal Desh or argue for miracle potions honour the legacy of those luminaries? If you consider yourself as following in their footsteps, stop making a mockery of their legacy by those sorts of ludicrous pronouncements,”)

            It seems that the above written article is completely irrelevant and incompetent on the issue that we are discussing on.Plus,it makes no sense rather than it depicts one’s own personal views.

          • @arvind iyer

            (As for blaming colonial oppression for India’s stratified and divided society, how self-serving to revisionists that narrative is, is called out here among other places.)

            who said that British colonials are responsible for India’s echeloned society.I don’t think that I have mentioned it anywhere in my article.And how can someone even judge the whole given article just by mentioning few phrases in the article and excluding the rest.So,this completely and undoubtedly makes the criticism a breaching weak point to mock a review.As one cannot come up to a conclusion by summing up the facts mentioned in an article.

          • who said that British colonials are responsible for India’s echeloned society.

            This comment did which mentioned new social evil practices which took place in India due to number of Foreign invasions and dilemmatic condition of administration and political crises (sic). Hence the reference to an article which gave an example of a social evil practice that is neither new nor wholly due to foreign invasions.

          • @arvindiyre

            (Kautilya once wrote in his Chanakya Nitishastra that a person is identified by one’s own character content and their moral fiber which we call Sanskar of a person which could either be good or bad according to their karma, Regardless to their caste,creed or color and religion they belong to)Posted on 15th at 11:37 !

            Just to clear up the confusional norm of yours here it’s mentioned again.Read this time carefully !

            Kautilya (Birth- 370 BCE & Died- 283 BCE) said in his “Chanakya Nitishastra” that
            a man is great by his deed not birth.Now deed here refers to merit quality and morals. I just illustrated this short sentence.So what different did B.R Ambedkar said in that clip.To your knowledge most people already know about it.

          • @arvindiyre

            ” new social evil practices which took place in India due to number of Foreign invasions and dilemmatic condition of administration and political crises”

            This comment was made in regard with the early invasions done on India before and after 650-325 B.C.And it’s a well known fact that whenever Political administration has weakened law and order has also been harmed and weakened.And when law and order becomes powerless or we can say null and void crimes had been committed.So basically these “Kupratha’s” were a crime done in name of god and traditions by criminals in absence of a strong political administration.British had nothing to take in regard with these social practices but they did took advantage of the political situation of the country.

        • K@arvindiyre

          I checked the movie clip in regard with B.R Amedkar that you posted on April 16th 9:43.Now please kindly read my article patiently which i posted on April 15th at 11:37 pm.I think i wrote the same thing at start that was mentioned in it. So what’s the difference then ?

          • The post on April 15th at 11:37 pm says something about Dr. Ambedkar being among those who got Inspired and learned from their own Vedic Hindu Dharma. That is ahistoric, since Dr. Ambedkar’s excoriating views on ‘Vedic Dharma’ are laid out at length in Riddles in Hinduism, whose excerpts maybe read here. Further, his 22 vows of Buddhism feature a clear repudiation of Vedic as well as Puranic affiliations.

  • Just need to clarify one thing. I don’t doubt the translations accuracy, just that if one is quoting from a historical document one should also provide sources, also because of its historical nature also provide a Blanche and nuanced critique of the material.

    This is called being “scholarly”

    See you all in a few weeks/months.

    • @pannaichan

      Crimes can be committed anywhere by anyone in the world regardless to which caste creed color and religion one belongs to.It depends upon one’s own morals and teachings. And blaming a specific community for an individual’s act is not tolerable because it is completely injustice and unfair.And how can one be so sure that the crimes are committed only by high caste community and low caste community are always victims? As far as majorities are in concern they differ from according to a number of places,regions,and several other environmental factors and surveys are done on that basis.According to Art.25-28 under part IV of the Indian constitution one is free to exercise and protect it’s culture and ethnicity of the religion one spiritually believes in.It’s a fundamental and a Human right of an Indian Citizen and promote secularism in our country.
      Plus,My Articles needs no further clarifications or explanations because the answers are already mentioned in it.So the questions that are being asked by other authors and the facts that are mentioned to support the statements are resumptively pointless.So,basically Before reaching up to a specified conclusion of an article one must read and carefully sum up the given facts and datum mentioned and alleged by the author.

  • Veda, dharma sastra, , mimimsaka, Upanishad … or anything else, what percentage of Indian population knows this fully, may be one or two percent that too people who benefits from veda and few critics. Assume the intellects of veda or vedic follower as a sample of ideal human, this assumption fails as it is a unwise scale to further describe, because, we have some sample of people who are praised by masses and even by vedic follower had background of criminally accused and some sexual offenders.

    After reading few of above said topics translational script, it is hectic tired of searching something useful between extreme lie to extreme truth. What reminds is extreme blather! No one is interested to be honest to accept the truth, but campaign in different way to stock pit the revealed truths is a worst try.

    There are many question remains unanswered to Indian mass, why all the vedic script were kept as secret unspoken language in olden days ? The dignity like sudra should not read it, if it is so 90% Indian could not read it. Why, it is brought to down bottom to street for debate about its Truth, lies, immoral etc…? Does the thoughts of a human proficiency or poetic expression possible only in his colloquial form or some script which is not in practical use? The suspicion is real possessor or the author of that script core must be different language person. If you copy or plagiaries something mean you need to hide it, isn’t it? Did it helped the olden society fabricated in such a way to cheat in order of human aggression? It is needless to say, still india struggle to correct it, even after nearly 8century of slavery.

    The Maxmuller and other English not only helped the masses to read and criticize, but also paved a way even to the vedic defender to safe guard their caste theory and justification, because I don’t think all the person who defends veda are scholarly Sanskrit’s. But truth is difficult to hide, since it is revealed out.

  • @Pannaichan

    As far as caste systems are in concern,Hinduism is no exceptional rarity.Every religion has sub-caste which are divided into sects and sub-sects.Taking Christianity it is composed of, but not limited to, five major branches of Churches: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant with their related specified distinct communities.Check out this link for further info-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Edwards_(theologian)Even Muslims have sub-castes check :- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_among_South_Asian_Muslims.

    Concerning the above article it seems the facts alleged in it mentioned by the Author simply depicts his/her own personal beliefs towards a specific community of a country.There are no given specific points given in the article that could be discussed further as they are way too far below precised genuineness.

    • Your statement is supportive to a competition of whose culture is worst, you fails to validate to prove anything as distinguished evidence to prove your so-called culture as rich or best. It may be categorized as worst, more worst, most worst! It is not necessary to spot, where you are!

      The same question what you have asked is in the minds of all the rationalist, how do you qualify a specific version or specific translation as truth! what is yard stick that you adopt to authenticate specific version and disapprove or reject some others? Once a controversy arise out of anything, it is debatable at all level! No smoke without fire!

  • @pannichan

    All the statements given by you seems to be on self personal notion and on vivisectional ground.No one is stating to any culture as worst except few people who don’t even know about the culture & religion they are round about criticizing but still profess to have been mastered as a luminary no matter how smutty implausible and non-acceptable their datum is.

    • It is not necessary to borrow a notion, at any state surely it will be a self personal notion only, for contradict a mess of age old belief no need of beat around the bush, it’s there dangerously hiding with the help of apologist. How bad your culture or religion which fails to establish its meaning with few people (roughly 1billion), Don’t you feel ashamed of wounds with which the society swim across. It is a failured culture/religion since it marches with never ending game of death/rape /atrocity. Yes today news(17/04/2013) a family of 200 displaced from Haryana villge, the reason is love! Not even as good as a Apes culture!

      Are you in the perception of your culture or religion not responsible for this, then what else?

      • @pannichan

        Relating a crime of few individuals but blaming the whole culture for it is a false and pointless allegation.Crimes happen all across the world and to prevent crimes Law and order prevails in the whole world.Name even a single stable country who does not has law and order to prevent crimes in their country.And it really surprises me that how can some one so falsely blame the whole religion for specific mentioned crimes.It depicts nothing than one’s discriminated viewpoint.Check this link for an example
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_events_named_massacres
        Now should I blame the christian notion for these crimes.I will never say that because I know that virtue and vices depends on one’s own morals and not on their religion.

        (So It become rich culture, of course rich atrocity culture,Not even as good as a Apes culture!)

        It really makes me wonder and leaves me astonished that how can someone write such a thing without even a common knowledge. Aristocracy originated in Greece that’s in west!Whereas,according to Vedas It’s a “Dharma” or duty of the King and Queen to care for their citizens and nation as their own children regardless to what stature one holds or to what birth one belongs to and to treat them equally.So,I am not ashamed but I am proud that i belong to such a great glorifying civilization based on such High Moral Philosophies.As far as population of Hindus are in concern it has total 6.667 billion worldwide population growing at 11.79 percent annually.Now,check these links before making anymore smutty comments.

        http://agniveer.com/manu-smriti-and-women/
        http://nirmukta.net/Thread-False-Allegation-on-Manu-ManuSmriti-and-Women
        http://agniveer.com/science-in-vedas/

        • Thanks for pointing back to the Nirmukta forum link above. Now consider reading this comment in that very forum thread. As for ‘science in the Vedas’, consider reading these earlier posts (1,2,3). Pointing to iniquities in other societies doesn’t make problems in one’s own backyard vanish.

          And here’s a suggestion for those anxious to be recognized for the ‘humanity’ they claim to have drawn from their Hinduism. How about criticizing vigorously such spokespersons whose pronouncements and actions militate against humanism and against civic sense, rather than heckling secular humanists? You may find that you’ll be taken more seriously if you first repudiate those insults to humanism and civic sense in your very camp before beginning to sing paeans for the mindsets that underlie it.

        • @Eternity

          “Relating a crime of few individuals but blaming the whole culture for it is a false and pointless allegation”

          This is the clever smutty argument baselessly with respect to the actual arguments, Where were that wiki link shows any proof of atrocity based on love or at least fk, this is the land where the fools are authenticated to commit atrocity in the name of culture, temple, caste, love, etc.. And there are countless Eternity go after the crimes to support it indirectly and vaguely. Again and again your comparison itself a proof for your worst culture. Ha….. ha……. joint hands with mulla and baptist, buddhist funta…? 6.667!!! good luck.

          I have checked the actual translation with respect to your links-you and your links of advantaged translation is nothing but organized lies. All humanly character and slip words. No use eternity! simply fake! link below….

          http://www.scribd.com/doc/45265865/Debunking-Science-in-Vedas

          • To pannaichan

            You can’t deny the existence of the very earth on which you are standing on if you fail to recognize its cause.It still will remain its very true self as “Earth” in its very true form.

            Good Luck Folk!!

  • @arvindiyre

    -(Pointing to iniquities in other societies doesn’t make problems in one’s own backyard vanish.)Well in short this means India is no exception,everyone have problems!

    Defending one’s culture which is pseudosly being accused of and being insulted on false grounds since when did it becomes Inhuman or uncivil to defend one’s culture through few mentioned articles.For General knowledge it’s our fundamental human right Mentioned under Part IV of the Indian constitution Art.25-28 and Art.29-30 which I have stated earlier also.And what I have mentioned is the truth.My statements are not biased neither chargin nor Hurting anyone’s sentiments!They are based on subjective moral sense of justice and Injustice done on bias grounds in not endurable!Above mentioned articles by you are disregarded and non-acceptable both on moral and constitutional grounds.

    • @^ Read the article.

      Following Verse 5/160 is an example of something unacceptable on moral grounds. Bindeshwar Pathak is an Indian who we can be proud of for changing the state of affairs. Those who are still unwilling to condemn a text whose prevalent form encourages such evils, bring shame to our society.

      Apologetics of this sort , which are readily exposed here for their dishonesty and bad faith, seems more concerned about the status of a text than the status of human beings whose rights are constitutionally protected . Taking a callous attitude towards such protections is what is against the spirit of the Constitution .

      Volunteers at websites like these aren’t obliged in any way to dignify with a response any outrageous and slanderous allegations casually bandying about words like ‘unconstitutional’.

      • @Arvind Iyre

        My Articles were never in support of the post (Status of women according to Manusmriti).As the post is itself misrepresenting Indian Civilization & Hindu Texts.All my articles were meant to oppose that post and were set against it.As I have raised a question above and so I do now,that who knows where original Manusmriti is ? Does It still exists or not? The Vedas BhagwatGita, Mahabharata ,Ramanyana
        and few others survived up to this day because they were in massive use by the people.Where as texts like Manusmriti vanished because they were kept sacred and the knowledge were kept limited to only few disciples.There are books like “Devi Sahinta” And “Devi Bhagwat” which represents actual status of women in any ideal society home & Family.It is said that women is the root of any family and men are branches,and without the root the branches will fall.

        I think you misunderstood my statements as I did yours so I kindly request you to read all my statements & articled that I had posted above earlier.

        • Claim: The present Manu Dharmasastra is not the original text.

          Proof: ???

          Any claim must have proof to back it up.

          As far as Manu being a “changed text goes,” most Sanskrit texts are stratified and we CAN point to original texts. But Manu, according to Patrick Olivelle, is a pretty uniform text by largely one author.

          Please see the following link for Olivelle’s introduction to his translation:

          http://books.google.com/books?id=RGPSEuNsPLEC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

          • Brother ashwin

            I never said that original “Manusmriti” never existed.It did existed,but it’s been years since it’s existence.In between the text has been edited a number of times according to time,era and socio-economic requirements of the society and also beacuse of it’s limited value.It’s a well known fact that India during 17th to 18th century has gone through strifing many social evils but various other developments also.Many social reforms also took place during that phase.So I believe that the original message that “Manusmriti” had has been lost.So the text “Manusmriti” we are seeing today is the diversly split and destructively fabricated form of the text and fragmently disintegrated from it’s original roots during vedic era which goes back to billions of years ago.

          • Hi Eternity,

            You have misunderstood. I’ve acknowledged your claim that that there was once an original Manusmriti. That being said, can you prove it? WHY is our current text a split and fabricated text?

            Also, the Manusmriti was composed around 200 B.C. It’s very unlikely that the Vedic Era stretched back billions of years ago– this goes against many things, least of which is the fossil record.

  • “Hindu apologists consider the Manusmriti as the divine code of conduct.”

    I really don’t think this is true. Dharmasastric literature, for most of Indian history, was confined to a small fraction of pundits, who themselves formed a smaller fraction of the Brahmin castes in general. Most other Hindus were unaware and unaffected by it. A telling example can be found in Gandhi’s autobiography, in which he picks up a translation his father owns and is astonished by how foreign to his own experience the injunctions are. Of course, Manu’s work became much more important than it previously had been during the creation of Anglo-Indian law, thanks to the collaboration of pandits with the British.

    I think most of the defense that you find of this text stems from the fact that many Hindus/nationalists idealize their past as a utopia and don’t want to hear about anything immoral written or done in the past. But it’s a huge step to claim that Manu is considered a code of conduct by these same people– or that it ever has been.

    • Satish Chandra

      I don’t think the article argues that the Manusmriti is the definitive word as agreed by all Hindus. Afterall it is a smriti – that which has been remembered and not shruti – that which has been said or I daresay revealed. The fact is that a majority of Hindu apologists do subscribe to the ideas espoused in Manusmriti not becuase they have been decreed by Manusmriti but because Manusmriti succintly represents what Hindu dharma is, the core of which is the idea of Karma – the idea is there is cosmic justice at work that delivers each’s comeuppance in this life or the next. It isn’t just Hindu nationalists agree to what’s in Manusmriti. Consider this – gender stereotpying is considered the definitve norm. I’ve heard far too many arguments that women and men are fundamentally different and each has a role to play in order to maintain the hormonious balance of nature. That is exactly what Manusmriti has tried to put in words. The scripture isn’t as imortant as the cognitive biases it signifies.

      • Ok, I can agree with that.

      • Don’t go by the Shruti and Smriti distinction though, it’s deceptive. Until the British, even most Brahmins trained to chant the Vedas didn’t know what was in it. Yet it’s Shruti. The Ramayana is Smriti however, and everyone knows that.

        • Ramayana is not Smriti, but Itihaas.

          • Rana, my understanding was that itihaas is a subset of smriti.

            Anyway, my post was meant to emphasize that these categorizations are of a more heuristic nature and that everyday people seldom speak of them. You’ll only hear about them in Sanskrit texts, or in neo-Hindu discourse.

  • There is also a problem that I feel is implicit in the title– that Manu “depicts” the status of women. Obviously, Manu and the dharmasastra at large did not have progressive views on women. But to take these texts as face value, and not as normative texts like they are is a mistake.

    A pertinent example is that women are forbidden from owning property in these texts. But the texts also impose fines on women for various crimes, indicating a mismatch between the “ideal” and reality. This is corroborated by medieval temple inscriptions a thousand years later in which many women appear as donors.

    The dharmasastra can best be looked at as a normative text- to the extent that we can recover ancient life from it, we must be cautious.

  • Indar Maharaj

    This is one of most regressive pieces of Hindu literature I have encountered. It offends my sense of decency.

  • Note to anyone reading this article: The verse numberings are off starting at around Chapter 5. The source is also clearly not Buhler, though I’m sure the verses are about the same.

    The insertion of explanatory words like [devar], etc. indicates that it may be an amateur-ish translation done by a Hindi speaker.

  • i do not agree with this piece or the fact that every religion potrays women as second class..manu smriti cannot be argued us the divine code of conduct..it is a smriti..rememberance of what may have been dharma at one point of time..but hinduism as a religion evolves and has been evolving…let us not forget that Vedic literature praises the birth of a scholarly daughter in these words: “A girl also should be brought up and educated with great effort and care.” (Mahanirvana Tantra); and “All forms of knowledge are aspects of Thee; and all women throughout the world are Thy forms.” (Devi Mahatmya)
    Women, who so desired, could undergo the sacred thread ceremony or ‘Upanayana’ (a sacrament to pursue Vedic studies). The mention of female scholars and sages of the Vedic age like Vac, Ambhrni, Romasa, Gargi, Khona in the Vedic lore corroborates this view. Co-education seems to have existed in this period and both the sexes got equal attention from the teacher. Moreover, ladies from the Kshatriya caste received martial arts courses and arms training. hinduism. The feminine forms of the Absolute and the popular Hindu goddesses are believed to have taken shape in the Vedic era. These female forms came to represent different feminine qualities and energies of the Brahman. Goddess Kali portrays the destructive energy, Durga the protective, Lakshmi the nourishing, and Saraswati the creative.Here it’s notable that Hinduism recognizes both the masculine and feminine attributes of the Divine, and that without honoring the feminine aspects, one cannot claim to know God in his entirety. So we also have many male-female divine-duos like Radha-Krishna, Sita-Rama, Uma-Mahesh, and Lakshmi-Narayan, where the female form is usually addressed first. Hinduism is a liberal way of life which permits scope for discussion and dialogue..today as hindus we can sit back and critique any of the books including the manu smriti and not adopt what is not relevant to our lifestyle. there is no prescribed code of conduct for women which is different from men..follow your dharma and perform your karma..thats the takeaway in my opinion !!

    • Quoting from this article:
      The deification of women as goddesses, feared and worshiped, pure and powerful, gentle and bloodthirsty, emotional and stoic, strong and delicate, angry and loving, and any other stereotype one wishes to project onto the female sex, has contributed to the persistence of these contradictory ideas about women in popular culture. To put it simply, the notion of woman as goddess is a set of popular cultural memes that serve to justify anything one believes about women.

      • Agreed Aravind Iyer.
        These stereotypes have led to gruesome practices like ‘Sati’, child marriages, and exile life of widows.

      • The goddess of Hindus are worship worthy. They are worshiped for the qualities such as Durga for instance known for the goddess who keeps the durguna away. she is also a powerful worrier who take the fierce fight against the devilish asur. It is a spiritual and as well as real life experience of a goddess herself. She is also worshiped a Shakti. the Shakti is well defined. sahana Shakti is for example are well known of indian kings of sun dynasty. for instance pritwiraj chowhan was known for giving mercy to his mugul king when he defeated him first time. The goddess are also human being and when they are in human form while doing spiritual effort is worshiped in india. There are lots of pictures of narayana and laskmi with hands and smiling. The pitcture is depicting meaning according the role they play. the war is shown in physical form to make sense for people who understand the concept. Again those pictures are drawn by worshipers. No where in the book it is mentioned worshipers worship worthy. No where in our culture we worship the people who wrote our books and no where in our culture take those words and word of god. If you wanted to discuss bible or Quran then you can talk about word of god and literal meaning. They have no intention to accept the word as it is written by some human being. But if you get aggressive when I talk about the authenticity of bible then you should defend me as a Christian and not an atheist.

  • The mistreatment of women is not acceptable in Hindu tradition. The women that mentioned in the book represents a weak soul. In spirituality one never should take the literal meaning of our teaching. And if you happen to take the literal meaning, or a Hindu takes such literal meaning is considered asur and we are suppose to fight an asur with teeth and nail. if you would like to know about the story of ravana and the way he infer contextualise the meaning is clearly described in several books . please read the text for reference.http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-03-30/news/31261250_1_shiva-ravana-mount-kailasa.

  • I don’t know should I laugh at commentators or not! They are fighting among themselves over shruti & smriti & someone is claiming that women were not oppressed & no wrong meaning should be taken from books.

    Don’t you know guys how our society was 200 years ago? It was a dark age of ignorance and oppression. Women, lower caste Hindus and untouchables were worst oppressed & didn’t even had any dignity that a human should have. And a handful of Brahmins when asked the reason for this behavior, they would point to ‘puranas’. Especially, Manusmriti was referred whenever a argument against caste oppression was put by humanitarian in front of Brahmins.

    If manusmriti wasn’t a big deal, Dr. Ambedkar wouldn’t have burned it; instead, he would’ve burned another book like one of the puranas.

    • The mistreatment of women is a global issue. To accuse manusmrithi to a global issue you have brought the foundation of world problem stemming from manusmrithi. I am very glad for your negative recognition of manusmrithi. at least you have recognised it. Now let me make it clear. No Hindu book says if you are a Hindu and abuse women then you are divine. As I have mentioned those people who are asurs. if you want me to make it more clear. I am here by claiming any Hindu who mistreat a women like a Muslim or a British colonialist or a cow boy in America then that is a criminal activity and not only criminal but also un acceptable. you said majority of Hindus which again I don’t think not just Hindus but people as a whole in this world abuse women. If you think a girl who drinks alcohol in America and smoke in front of man that does not mean they will not be abused by men. the fact is in America they have good legal system to tackle such situation. In India we don’t have such system because we are still under the leadership of people who have the mind set of British colonialist or moguls. Now you may say how come some Hindus who are worst than British colonialist. As I have said again we are not living under the Hindu king ram. The Hindus who lives in India are the one who worship ram.( again only a portion of Hindus). Again ram worshipers are still struggling to rule India for the last 1000 years and especially in the last 30 years. So if you tell me it is ram worshipers who rule India then again I have to brush that accusation as baseless if you do it. Now again what else can you expect from people who worship ram because after all the real expectation is to become equal to ram. To worship ram is like taking a picture with Rahul Gandhi and saying I am a follower of Rahul Gandhi. definitely for me a worshiper is a devil because he does not have capacity to keep his aim and objective to become like ram and become responsible and accountable. if you expect a Gandhi follower and devotee to become like a responsible Gandhi then you should expect the same from worshipers of ram for whom they don’t even know who ram is. I am talking here about real ram and real soul. A real soul with good experience around the world for several life time and several reincarnation and who is from sun dynasty will not disrespect women or any such women will never be abused. Any one who disrespect even a small child is a devil and asur when he has no intention to correct his behavior. so if you have no political agenda call Hindus a devil. But if you have political agenda to protect so called idiot like ambedkar or Nehru or martin Luther king then make it clear that you have a hidden political agenda.

      • Jaycdp, let’s put aside global issue, just first talk about India.
        I’m not saying that root of mistreatment of women is in manusmriti, but manusmriti surely is powerful weapon that sanatanis used to justify their mistreatment to women.

        I don’t what sense to make out from your sentence
        “I am here by claiming any Hindu who mistreat a women like a Muslim or a British colonialist or a cow boy in America then that is a criminal activity and not only criminal but also un acceptable.”

        Firstly, let me tell you, by accusing others you can not go away with your crimes. Comparatively speaking British are/were far more chivalrous than sanatani Hindus. They passed the law against gruesome and cruel tradition of Sati. Indian women were confined into the kitchen. Their only duty was to cook & reproduce. They were denied education, as it was considered a sin for women to educate or to listen to Vedas.

        You talk about some worshiper soul of “sun dynasty” with who has gained experience through “several reincarnations”. Really? Are you that stupid to give reincarnation as a valid point in an discussion? Then I shouldn’t have wasted my time in trying to have reason with you.

        Secondly, go and study law first, if you don’t have any knowledge about women protection laws in India. And you should thank to Dr. Ambedkar for giving India the best democratic constitution in the world.
        You have no right to call names to him or any other national leader if you yourself are an idiot. They were far much intelligent, rightful and just than mohan bhagvat, modi or owessi.
        It seems like you are anti-Ambedkar, that clearly means that you support Hindu oppression like caste system, untouchability and upper caste supremacy.
        You are anti-Martin Luther King, that means you are racist. You either should change yourself by educating or die, because modern world and modern India would be better without “devils” like you.

        • It seems like you are anti-Ambedkar, that clearly means that you support Hindu oppression like caste system, untouchability and upper caste supremacy. You are anti-Martin Luther King, that means you are racist.

          Wtf? No, no, and no, you are definitely free to disagree with these authority figures if you’d like and still be considered a humanist. The entire point of freethinking is that there are no sacred cows. This is the exact kind of George Bush mentality we don’t need.

          you should thank to Dr. Ambedkar for giving India the best democratic constitution in the world.

          I don’t know that it’s the best, but more importantly, Ambedkar was on the Drafting Committee. He didn’t write the Constitution single-handedly, though he played an important role– he was the James Madison of India. But it is wrong to deny the role of the other people in the Constituent Assembly their roles in whittling the Constitution out.

          • For the record, Indian constitution is the lengthiest written constitution. I would not call it the best constitution in the world, but it surely is the best constitution that could have ever been made for India at the time of independence.

            No doubt Dr. Ambedkar didn’t write it single handed, but he was the head of drafting committee. He was the one who lead the process of drafting it for days and nights and presented such elaborate documents in three years. No wonder he is called “The architect of Indian constitution”.

            You said, “Wtf? No, no, and no, you are definitely free to disagree with these authority figures if you’d like and still be considered a humanist. The entire point of freethinking is that there are no sacred cows.”

            Yeah that’s what freethought is. But in this context, is calling these persons “idiot” makes one a humanist? Nobody is free from criticism. But criticism should be made in valid points about thought, ideologies and action of that person. Such abuse will make one sound like a rude moron.

            All the work in his life Dr. Ambedkar has done is to fight for the rights and social status of untouchable. Disagreeing with him without mentioning any reason is same as disapproval of all his work he did for humanity.
            If you have any valid argument against him you can post here.
            Same is with Martin Luther King.
            They are not just authoritarian figures. They are global humanist hero.

        • Not that I agree with him– I can’t understand a word that he was saying– Jaycdp also called Nehru an idiot for the record– I wonder why you didn’t infer he was anti-Brahmin as well?

          • I would call him anti-socialist for that. I don’t recognize people by their caste, but by their work and ideologies.

          • I acknowledge that my question was ill-posed.

            The problem though is that you’re essentializing historical figures into ideas. Jaycdp, if he doesn’t like Nehru, is not necessarily anti-socialist. Hating Nehru is a fashion today in India, and he is blamed for the 1962 China War or the fact that Kashmir is not completely in Indian hands. This is nothing to do with socialism.

            Many Dalits dislike Ambedkar because they feel that he advanced Mahar interested over other Dalit groups.

            If someone disagrees with historical figures, give them the benefit of the doubt and ask why. It should never be taboo to call Ambedkar, Gandhi, Nehru, or whomever out. If someone does, you should not automatically assume that they are anti-anything. You should wait for the argument.

          • His caste widely recognized Dr. Ambedkar as their leader. And there was nothing wrong at that time to organize his community and guide them for their betterment. And recognize that, scheduled castes and tribes in India include not only his caste, but many other depressed castes and tribes. They all have gained their rights through constitution. It is irrelevant that after his death, caste based politics is on rise in India. He should not be held responsible for that. He didn’t gave any special rights or provisions to his caste.

            The people who hate him are surely ‘haves’ (as opposite to ‘have nots’). The people from upper strata of the society. Rich people and people from upper castes. They definately don’t want a change and they don’t want to change their years old society, because they want to protect their social status, status quo and want to enjoy benefits that inherit from such culture.

          • The Mahar example was merely given to show that people may have many reasons for disliking public figures and that one must not assume. Nowhere did I blame Ambedkar for caste-based politics.

          • Captain Mandrake

            Ashwin,

            Not that I agree with him– I can’t understand a word that he was saying– Jaycdp also called Nehru an idiot for the record– I wonder why you didn’t infer he was anti-Brahmin as well?

            Come on now. Why would you ask that? I admit that there is nothing coherent being said in any of Jaycdp’s posts but it is clear he stands. What do you think he meant by the comment on Nehru. My guess is Jaycdp does not like Nehru’s secularism. It must have nothing to do with Nehru’s caste.

          • Captain Mandrake

            Ashwin,

            It should never be taboo to call Ambedkar, Gandhi, Nehru, or whomever out. If someone does, you should not automatically assume that they are anti-anything. You should wait for the argument.

            Sure, there should be no holy cows in a freethought forum. Having said that I must also add that this Jaycdp has been posting mostly incomprehensible walls of text on Hinduism, India, muslims, British colonialism all in defense of Manusmriti. I think we can safely assume where this Jaycdp stands on issues of castism, racism, secularism, etc. We do not have to wait for his reasoned argument. It will never come.

          • Hi Captain,

            I agree it was a stupid question for me to ask. I apologize.

    • I will repeat myself. The Manu Dharmasastra (Mdh) was a big deal among dharmasastric scholars– it is cited by most other dharmasastras. But it was most certainly a normative text. In the past, scholars operated on the rather naive assumption that society existed exactly described as in these texts. Today, we know that the dharmasastras were normative texts produced by a small portion of the population, and we know why these texts were produced– to protect Brahminical privilege following Mauryan patronage of Buddhists.

      Dharmasastra often was not basis for actual law however, although parts of it may or may not have influenced it. I would advise you to look up a collection called “Hinduism and Law” if you want more information.

      What we need to do is avoid statements like this:

      and a handful of Brahmins when asked the reason for this behavior, they would point to ‘puranas’.

      Can you prove this statement?

      Dr. Ambedkar burned the Mdh because he believed, like the British creators of Anglo-Indian law, that it had been the basis of Indian law from time immemorial. In this respect, he was most certainly wrong.

      • Mdh, thus, was not the basis for caste expression, but rather, a literary expression of an already casteist society.

        • Ashwin,

          Given the way you have put this, you may be right. But somehow this is eerily sounding like the ‘Socionomic’ claptrap that is gaining some traction among the ‘Elliot Wave’ crowd in finance.

          This theory says that all events are a result of a pattern of unfolding social mood that works independently of events and that collective social consciousness is not impacted even by major watershed events at pivotal historical turns.

          So for example, socionomic theory would posit that the Civil Rights movement triumph in US of the late sixties was not result of the struggles spearheaded by activists like MLK, but the accomodative turn of social mood that becoming welcoming of rights and privileges for the blacks.

          This kind of theories have some kind of counter-intuitive appeal, but the problem is that they are exposed to the fallacy of ‘vicious cycle/circle’ problem.

          If we provisionally accept the argument that feudalistic works like the Dharma Sastras are only an expression of an already casteist society, this will raise the question of what then caused the rise and entrenchment of casteism. This can also used to argue that religious turns of Vedic/Puranic faith supporting casteism and class privilege is also an expression of an already feudalistic/casteist society.

          An example of this type of argument has been used to defend the Purusha Sukta (PS) of the RV from the charge of laying the foundations of caste hierarchy and affirming discrimination. It can be argued that Varna/jati system was already in place by the time of the 10th Mandala of RV’s composition. PS just gave a literary expression to that.

          Even if that were the case, can we honestly believe and argue that these so-called literary expressions of feudalism did not perpetuate, accelerate and entrench the scourge of casteism and patriarchy?.

          My concern and fear is that if we extend this kind of theories and arguments too far we will end up in the kind of philosophic dead-end that the free-will debate has met.

          Maybe MDh has a lot of recall value and maybe pilloried a bit too much, but that should not absolve the whole Dharmasastras complex of its culpability for casteism.

          • Hi Ranganath,

            I see your point definitely and would not disagree that the dharmasastras helped perpetuate caste hierarchy. As I mentioned in the post, the dharmasastras did have some effect on how laws were made and meted out in precolonial India depending on when and where we are talking about.

            That being said, it would be absolutely fallacious to regard the Manu Dharmasastra as a sort of Constitution of precolonial India. Time and time again, we can see how precolonial laws did not match up to this text. That dharmasastric literature itself refers to the dharmas of different desas and declares them to be valid. The texts themselves reveal how there was a mismatch between the way things were and the way the authors would like them to be– e.g. women are forbidden from owning property, but are also fined for various crimes.

            It is well-known that this text became much more important than it previously was in the colonial period during the creation of Anglo-Indian law. The East India Company, which sought to interfere as little as possible in traditional life, consulted Brahmins as to what the traditions of the land were. The Brahmins gave them the Dharmasastra, and for much of the colonial period, Dharmasastra greatly influenced the law of the land.

            The main point I was trying to make in my post is that Manu was very much a normative text current only among dharmasastric scholars. If caste hierarchy ever had to be justified, there were many sources to do so– sources which were not only textual (like Vedas, Puranas, etc.) but also nontextual (our ancestors did it this way). The Laws of Manu did not create caste hierarchy and were not the only reason they were perpetuated.

          • I feel this point is necessary to make not to absolve the dharmasastra of culpability, but so that there are no red herrings in fighting casteism. I am willing to lay the claim that most people who were casteist for the past 1000 years had never heard of the Manu Dharmasastra. This was not their reason for being bigots. There are many other targets to be considered in this fight.

    • And for the record, Satish and I were not “fighting” about shruti and smriti. I think actually that the two of us had agreed, more or less.

  • Manu smrithi was written by Hindu kings who ruled India during the time of invasion from foreigners. while the original sun dynasty kings chose not to rule but put a fight with invaders. The modern Hindus are more concerned about biblical legal system and sharia legal system that give no justice to the whole society of Indians for different cultural and religious background. We modern Hindus want uniform civil code and consider every one equally responsible for the criminal activities. If you want to discuss about religious low of society that want to kill people to establish Islamic kingdom or Christian kingdom then you have real world scenario to discuss.

    • The sanatan never successful, since it paved division and unbalance in the society. You have agreed that 1000 years of its failure with last 30years of aggressive revamp. But the wonder is how did you fail to realize the blunter it has with it, such that, when it was in the case of unity or ruling or defense or at least offense. It goes like this, a major divided land and lost of 60000Sq Km and more, and surrounded by the not good friends, and who know what to come? Every body should remember, this land is not built at the cost of offense and war but peace and satyagrah. A good offer by you is uniform civil code! go ahead with uniform social set up like share of land, share of priest hood, share of all resource…….etc… surely all indian welcome it. The gift of unity and tolerance is in the indian constitutional secrets, it is a real gift to this nation by Dr. BRA, of course with his team, you should feel shame calling him with such a provoked word. Nirmukta must correct it.

  • The legendary Ambedkar, Nehru and martin Luther king surely not like your vedic comic characters, decide who deserves your abuse!

  • Dr.S.M.Raju

    Mr.Manu was a mad monk. He probably suffered some sort of psychiatric problem, which is yet not described. After all he belonged to a small sect called brahmins. Or it must have been written by a group of people for their own selfish benefit. It is better for the society if people burn his writings and dissolve in river water.
    May god help the preachers (not practitioners)of Manusmiriti or Manushruti?

    • Please don’t engage in anti-Brahminism. Criticize practices and beliefs, but don’t spread hate.

  • Manobharathi

    I think it is a waste of time reading Mr Manu’s book. I Am ashamed to associate this rubbish with Hinduism. Manubharathi

    • i thought manu smriti really had “meaningful” words and when i read the above lines…I am ashamed of that.
      I bet and I think that the very reason why women were and are suffering now, is all because of such silly, male chauvinistic books which do nothing but promote male dominancy and suppress women!

    • There are translation, collection and interpretation issues – For example in most hindu family rituals women are required- Your marriage will have rituals for both father and mother.

      Arya Samaj takes issue with collection and has a cleaned up version, a significant volume, probably cleaned up too much.

      Manusmriti has primarily been used to attack Brahmins and Hinduism. The attackers do opposite of Arya Samaj – they pick verses collected by somebody in 18th century, particularly offensive verses. and Present in a very liberal context.

      Manu Smriti overall enforces security for women by providing strong family and social( caste) structure. Today liberation is getting a advertising job, then liberation was not even after death…consequently some disagreeable points are there too, but was hyped to show hindus in poor light.

      • Its a shame u want to defend something like this.
        Please accept the deficiencies. Only then can Hindus and the whole world improve.

      • “Manu Smriti overall enforces security for women by providing strong family and social( caste) structure”

        If you call Caste is social security for women, you must be a ignorant, In a television cast a so called upper caste was talking the same point in a debate. Every middleman know this, your caste theory helped the polygamy of British and Mughal. Who were spared, are the low caste or high caste, try to spell here!- did your manu smriti saved them? The turmoil’s at Egypt , Syria and our border etc… is educate us to go for inclusive growth without caste and religious bias. Hope the secularism will be one and finale option for this world and in particular to india.

        Gentleman, don’t insist for your old bunches to divide this population on caste or Varna or religion.

        • everything and every rule seems to be wrong when its time and circumstances in which it was built or framed has passed. Perhaps, it is the case with this book. I’m going through the book in sanskrit and hindi. Some rules in the book are golden and true even in this modern time. However, some rules are strictly hateful, or perhaps they need right interpretation which we in this age of science or unable to explain. Great people rarely write mean things. Either the manu was not great or the book has not been written by him.

          • Satish Chandra

            I’m sure even the indoctrination material that the Taliban uses has some “good” stuff. Using your incorrect reasoning, you’d reach absurd conclusions like “Either the Taliban was not great or that material wasn’t written by them” and “some rules are golden in the Taliban cookbook, however some rules are strictly hateful or perhaps they need right interpretation which we in this age of science or unable to explain”.

          • Does it matter?

            Folks,

            I am appalled, like most of you, after reading some of the above verses.
            My thoughts on this are as follows: the interpretation of manusmriti may not be correct, which I think may be the case since the interpretation of any text is limited by the capacity of the person to understand based on his experience and maturity, perception, and his sanskrit knowledge. There is ofcourse an underlying assumption here: Manu is a great sage and that no sage who is enlightened/realized would write such a thing about women especially when the scriptures quote that the body is temporary and that every soul is a spark of divinity. So to treat women in such a manner is equivalent to treating the soul and the god in such a manner. Now if the assumption about manu being realized is weak, above arguement wont hold and unfortunately there is no way to verify the assumption since Manu is no longer existing. But, I think it is a reasonable assumption given that India is a country where we have had many a great saints and avatars, and we still have some.

          • Satish Chandra

            The assumption that Manu was a “great” saint or “avatar” is a baseless one. He was a product of his time, a time when the society was deeply patriarchal and casteist. That is what was reflected in his writings. To cite another example, I bet you would consider Vivekananda as a great saint. But he too was a product of his time and that reflects in his inability to throw out the despicable caste system. All this talk of not interpreting the texts correctly is a lousy excuse to pretend that nothing bad was ever written in Hinduism. And that is why religions suck big time. None of them of are capable of admitting that they were terribly wrong on a lot of things and their adherents keep defending the indefensible.

  • Every mulniwasi, I.e o.b.c,s.t.sc etc must read manusmruti repeatedly to understand and to prob the mind of Brahmin. And then and then only one will appreciat why dr. Ambedkar set it on fire.

  • Dr Ambedkar had very limited knowledge of Sanskrit. The knowledge about Manu and Manusmriti from the critiques and texts in English. He was himself a great man but his hatred is not justified. What Britishers wrote and what English text hold is not all correct. For instance its clearly written difference between ‘Jaati’ and ‘Varna’in Manusmriti.. Varna are the four castes we say.. which is not always by birth and can be changed by gaining knowledge and profession one acquires. We all know that some insecure and cunning higher class people exploited the system but that does not mean we should renounce the book itself and burn it. Have a debate and things get changed by time. And all written above in this article is not correct as well.

    • Can you please give the references in Manusmriti which say that varna can be changed?

      • Section 10.65 and 9.335 are regarding change in varna. I am sure learned person would have not written anything to exploit someone. If we read translated versions there are contradicting statements or may be some mean people added their own laws. I am myself not big fan of Maunusmriti because times have changed but some laws are still valid to perfection.

        • I want you to understand that 10.65 is not a rule saying caste can change. It is a rule about what to do with mixed-caste children and how to rank them.

          Read 10.64:

          64. If (a female of the caste), sprung from a Brahmana and a Sudra female, bear (children) to one of the highest caste, the inferior (tribe) attains the highest caste within the seventh generation.

          In that context, here is 10.65:

          65. (Thus) a Sudra attains the rank of a Brahmana, and (in a similar manner) a Brahmana sinks to the level of a Sudra; but know that it is the same with the offspring of a Kshatriya or of a Vaisya.

          Source

          • Ashwin, you mean to say that section is referring to change of Varna with inter varna marriage? I don’t think Manusmriti will say that because it has already other contradicting statements regarding marrying women n men from another Varna and to augment someones caste literally by marrying. I am interpreting it as change in your own Varna with knowledge and profession you attain. Like Maharishi Valmiki did. Like Sant Ravidas did.
            There is reference of double birth for 3 varnas except shudra. Now how I interpret it is:
            Every person is born as shudra and rose himself to Vaishya, Khatriya or Brahmin with knowledge and deeds. So its rebirth for 3 varnas but not that person who dont follow path of Dharama.
            Thanks

          • Hi Sumeet,

            Thanks for your reply. I think if you read 10.64 though, it is very obvious that it is dealing with the daughter of a Brahmana and Sudra female who then marries into a higher caste. It should be clear from the context.

        • exactly, it is right. I support your views.

    • Satish Chandra

      Terming Ambedkar’s criticism as “hatred” is disingenuous. Have you even read any of his books? If not, you should at least read his Annihilation of Caste.

      • I am not supporter of caste system what socially being practiced. I am great admirer of Dr. Ambedkar but used term ‘hatred’ because someone above wrote that he burnt Manusmriti. I am not sure if he did so. Although not big fan of Manusmriti but lot of laws in it are still valid. Thanks for referring ‘Annihilation of Caste’.

        • He did burn it.

        • Captain Mandrake

          Sumeet,

          Your posts intrigues me. I have a few questions for you.

          **I am not supporter of caste system what socially being practiced**

          Will you support a different form of caste system? If so what form of caste system will you support?

          **Although not big fan of Manusmriti but lot of laws in it are still valid.**

          Can you tell us if there any laws in it that are not valid in your opinion? Can you list them please?

          And burning a copy of Manusmriti seems to have hurt you real bad. Can you please explain why?

        • Captain Mandrake

          Sumeet,

          I forgot to ask another question.

          ** I am great admirer of Dr. Ambedkar**

          Can you also tell us why you admire Dr. Ambedkar? It is really not clear from your posts.

          • 1. I am admirer of Dr Ambedkar because he rose to such a higher level living in a society and that too in a time when there were less people to support people who were considered lower caste. He was great economist and social reformer of his time. And Laying down post independence , Indian constitution.
            2.Captain Mandrake, why do you think Manusmriti should have been burnt. If a section of a book is not acceptable you protest against it but why he burned it.

            3. I support classification of people on the basis of their knowledge, profession, social and humanitarian activities. I donot believe in un-touchability and ineqality to any person by birth. Please do not mistake that I am advocating the caste systems of any form.

            Captain, you can read Manusmriti if you want. You will find lot of statements valid. This article is all about controversial statements so please don’t consider that to be summary of it.

          • Captain Mandrake

            Sumeet,

            Thanks for your response.

            **2.Captain Mandrake, why do you think Manusmriti should have been burnt. If a section of a book is not acceptable you protest against it but why he burned it.**

            You should understand that burning is a form of protest. And you were the one who are complaining about this being burnt. Please give me the reason why you are complaining. I do not care one way or other how people choose to protest.

            **3. I support classification of people on the basis of their knowledge, profession, social and humanitarian activities. I donot believe in un-touchability and ineqality to any person by birth. Please do not mistake that I am advocating the caste systems of any form.**

            Oh please. why in your previous post did you phrase it this way?

            **I am not supporter of caste system what socially being practiced.**

            Does it not imply that you will ok if caste system is practiced differently?

            **I donot believe in un-touchability and ineqality to any person by birth.**

            The question is if it was not by birth you will be ok with **un-touchability and ineqality**?

            **Captain, you can read Manusmriti if you want. You will find lot of statements valid. **

            I asked you if there are any laws/statements in Manusmriti that you think should be invalid or you disagree with. Can you please list those?

          • BABASHEB IS FATHER OF THE NATION

    • You are absolutely right. Manu uses ‘varna’ just to classify human. Actually that classification is based on knowledge acquired and the profession of a man, not by birth or skin color. A newborn comes under the last class-shudra. He can be moved to upper classes based on his character and knowledge acquired in his lifetime.

      • YOGENDRAKUMAR

        I have never seen a child born in a Brahmin family has become a Sudra and a Sudra practicing rituals and mantras becoming a Brahmin. We born in a caste brought up in the caste die in the caste.So caste is fixed in the birth and it has no relevance to knowledge.

    • Dr Ambedkar had very limited knowledge of Sanskrit. The knowledge about Manu and Manusmriti from the critiques and texts in English.

      Questioning the Sanskrit competence of any scholar whose leanings differ from Hindutva supremacism is a tiresomely common tactic, which has been responded to earlier here and here .

      Quoting from In The Tiger’s Shadow by Dr. Namdeo Nimgade:

      During a debate on the national language of India, in which Babasaheb, to many people’s surprise championed Sanskrit, the root of many Indian languages, Professor Mitra, a Sanskrit scholar and Member of Parliament challenged Babasaheb’s knowledge by posing a question in Sanskrit. Babasaheb replied in Sanskrit, and thereupon ensued an hour-long debate in Sanskrit following which Mitra declared, ‘Dr. Ambedkar, you are a master of Sanskrit.’ This was all the more remarkable because Babasaheb had been prevented early on from learning the language, because of caste injunctions. Ambedkar eventually studied Sanskrit to the point of being able to remark, ‘Sanskrit is the mine of literature. Brahmins did not learn this language properly and did not allow others to study it either!’ From Babasaheb, I gained a deeper appreciation of Sanskrit aphorisms. (pg 171-172)

      The book can be obtained via Flipkart here .

      • Wow, Arvind,

        I had no idea that Ambedkar was that good! It’s one thing to understand Sanskrit, but to be able to debate in it at length is truly amazing, especially when you have other qualifications like law.

      • Ashwin,
        In the Tiger’s Shadow is a rewarding read in many respects, which covers in the context of first-hand accounts such topics as the relevance of student activism, the importance of diversity in educational establishments and decent human responses to social injustices, besides moving and enlivening biographical snippets of Dr. Ambedkar.

  • here what mr.sumeet has said is partly correct.
    In the bhagavad gita (4.13) krishna says “chatur varnam maya shrushtim guna karma vibhagasah” which means the the four orders of varnashrama dharma are created by me according to the qualification.Actually in the early vedic system there was nothing like caste system.The child would go near a bonafide and authorised guru(spirtual master) and he would decide what the child would be qualified to do.

    Actually the varnashrama dharma included brahmins(intelligent class people),kshtriya(administrative and militiary men)
    ,vaishyas(merchentile class ) and shudras(labour class).

    An engineer’s son or daughter is only allowed to be an engineer is a foolish law . Anyone can be qualified to be a doctor or engineer according to his interest and capability.So in the similar way in manusmrithi or to say any other vedic literatures when say brahman or kshariya ,they say according to the qualification but not caste or by birth.

    Actually due to the influence of kali-yuga,the so-called brahmins have concocted the meaning’s of scriptures .
    That doesn’t mean they are completely wrong.

    Thankyou.

    • Satish Chandra

      It just so happened that this study came out recently:

      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2013/08/indo-aryans-dravidians-and-waves-of-admixture-migration

      The dates we report have significant implications for Indian history in the sense that they document a period of demographic and cultural change in which mixture between highly differentiated populations became pervasive before it eventually became uncommon. The period of around 1,900–4,200 years BP was a time of profound change in India, characterized by the deurbanization of the Indus civilization, increasing population density in the central and downstream portions of the Gangetic system, shifts in burial practices, and the likely first appearance of Indo-European languages and Vedic religion in the subcontinent. The shift from widespread mixture to strict endogamy that we document is mirrored in ancient Indian texts.

      Emphasis mine. That should put to rest any claims of caste not being birth based.

      • Captain Mandrake

        Satish,

        **That should put to rest any claims of caste not being birth based.**

        Unfortunately, it will not. Here are some objections (I am sure you would have guessed) you can expect from the Hindu apologists.

        1) The translations of ancient Indian texts were done by people (western imperialists or JNU communists) with an agenda to show Indians in a bad light.

        2) If you go further back (The key here is to go far enough back in time to wish away the problem under discussion) in time you will find that that endogamy was not the norm in India.

      • Satish, to add to this, I believe there are quite a few papers by Bamshad et. al. that reach similar conclusions.

  • Manusmriti has ensured security of woman in the family structure for millenniums. Anglicized Indians who were raised and supported by families should look at their loving mothers thank Manusmriti for creating such families without interference of larger organizations or temptations.

    To understand some segregation, through out the dark middle ages, Brahmins had idea of liberation based on one’s own effort rather than based on government or organization or dead men.

    Such ideas have been preserved by social rules and customs, for example one rule Brahmin will not be engaged in spreading value of utility. Now British colonists created an utilitarian theory to measure the Brahmin and his contribution happiness. The result is obvious negativity. Many british educated followed the british govt.

    There are few verses that didn’t make sense in Manusmriti. It could be my problem, could be problem of preservation or problem with the verses. Arya Samaja has cleaned some verses and it is too much sanitized.

    But the book overall sets a very high standard of Brahmins, Keeps the Brahmins away from world so that they would be comfortable in jungles. It enforces moral code to grow strong families, have societies for all.

    In context, for women – Manusmriti has ensured security of woman in the family structure for millenniums. Anglicized Indians who were raised and supported by families should look at their loving mothers thank Manusmriti for creating such families without interference of larger organizations or temptations.

    • Satish Chandra

      Nice choice of weasel words there – “security of women”. It’s more like locking up women in their homes.

      • Most Indians are fortunate to have functional homes, even during poverty and worst colonial periods. Anybody who has been a child has enough to salute the home nurtured by woman. Home requires so much dedication and focus build up that most life spends much in this place. Most work in office, get a job to create a home.

        It truly require bit of delusion to think home as a place for jail/lock up. Such ideas are creating dysfunctional homes at places.

        Ponder over the meaning of homelessness to understand home.

        • Satish Chandra

          Men are just as capable of nurturing homes. And women should have the freedom to chose what’s best for their lives and not be dictated to by the likes of you as to what they should do. But that won’t fly for the sexist chauvinists who wrote the Manusmriti and those swear by it, does it?

  • Manusmrithi is a great text/document.

    This has to be read in context. The ultimate aim of our Indian religion is to provide ‘unconditional happiness’ to ALL. All knowledge/texts had been written, considering this sole objective.

    • Satish Chandra

      This has to be read in context. The ultimate aim of our Indian religion is to provide ‘unconditional happiness’ to ALL.

      History is strewn with well meaning exercises that ended in disasters. Any piece of work has to be judged by the effects it has on the society. So going by that, Manusmriti is an abysmal failure. The fact that there are people who think it is a great text is a grand testament to the moral rot in Hindu society.

    • Would you mind putting some of the verses in the article in context for us?

  • Manusmruthi,now, is a a nonsense.
    It is obsolete!
    We can’t co-relate all the old nonsese to today’s society. We should change them – Or remove them.

    Don’t waste our and everyone’s time by discussing this.
    Instead do something useful.

  • hi,

    Basically please note that Manu Smritihi is one of the oldest Smirthi’s we have of Hinduism, which was defined in terms of the society prevailing in those days.

    What has to be noted is over the period of time we have had many Great saints who while preaching Sanathan Dharama have explained – revisited , parapharsed the same verses over and explained in today’s context.

    E.g : The castes as of Brahmin ,Shudra etc. has long been re-defined as as per one’s temperament, attitude,nature, deeds performed by one.. And the quote like ” Janamatha na jayethe Dewaja”.. One is not born as Brahmin but becomes as per per deeds..is known ..

    So in view of that.. instead of picking up some verses and quoting.. and simultaneously pointing that same Smrithi says where women is honored there Gods reside meaning happiness is present.

    It better to interpret the same in modern views..

    Having said that are we really capable of analysing a Smrithi depends on the extent of an individuals philosophically knowledge.

    So I would request that Please don’t insult our Smrithi’s just because they said something or pick up some verses and highlight.. If it has to be discussed then it should be interpreted correctly and that interpretation should come of people with in-depth knowldege across our scriptures.

    • There is no interpretation needed. There are misogynistic verses. And then there are putative egalitarian verses. So which ones do we listen to?

      Even better, would you care to “correctly interpret” any of the verses above?

      Luckily, the Manusmriti is not a Constitution. We don’t have to “amend” it or “interpret it in modern views.” What we do is not listen to it and treat it as a historical text.

  • This Douchebag Manu, what was he smoking?

  • We all are aware of the fact that hindu religion is the oldest among all the religions across the world.but have you ever thought why it did not spread like buddhism,christianity etc.correct me if i am wrong but now hindu religion is practiced in India and Nepal only.if it was that good why buddhism came in india at the first place? why do people from lower castes adopt buddhism or other religions? Believe it or not, hindu religion will die a slow and agonising death if people will keep on following the same tenets and that pains me

  • If we take a glance at ancient indian history, all the name and fame that indians have achieved are mostly brahmins. Please refer “achievements” as academic or intellectual and not military. Charaka, sushruta,dhanwantri in medical science, nagarjuna,aryabhata in mathematics and astronomy, or say, kalidas,vishnu sharma in literature. These are only few examples. Indian history is replete with these examples. No offence to my brahmin friends here but brahmins monopolised the academic field and India, which could have been the undisputed ruler of the world turned out to be ruled for centuries. Caste system divided entire society into watertight compartments on the basis of profession. Unfortunately this trend still persists although to lessened extent. Had there been free flow of knowledge across the communities India would have been a major superpower in the world if not lone superpower

    • “Knowledge.” Of fairy tales and empty philosophies.

      • Indians used to drape their bodies with silk when europeans used to cover their bodies with animal skin. They used to huddle aroud fires to fight off the cold and hunt wild boars to fill up their stomach.

        • Aryabhata was a great astronomer and mathematician. Nagarjuna devised theory of relativity long before einstein did. Evidences are found about medical practitioners performing surgeries , hell even brain surgeries. Abhigyanshakuntalam is considered as the craft of a genius. Just dig up a little bit history a little bit and u will come to know what hindus were capable of. Unfortunately all this knowledge which could have been a boon for mankind got wasted.

          • Interesting, a Brahmin basher and a Hindu nationalist all in one!

            So Nagarjuna discovered relativity? Pray, tell me where I can find the Lorentz equations and the Ricci tensor in Madhyamika philosophy?

          • Indians used to drape their bodies with silk when europeans used to cover their bodies with animal skin. They used to huddle aroud fires to fight off the cold and hunt wild boars to fill up their stomach.

            This statement is absolutely ludicrous. People who make statements like this usually don’t have any knowledge of world history. Which time period are you speaking of during which Indians were “so civilized” and Europeans were not?

            Compared to nomadic Germanic “barbarians,” an Indian city dweller may appear sophisticated. But what about Greece, Rome, or Carthage? Or if you fast forward, Aachen and London? It’s difficult to counter your criticism because you really don’t specify a time period.

            As far as clothing goes– while plant fibers are not necessarily more sophisticate than animal fibers like wool– plant fibers were used for European clothing since at least Roman times. Even if some fibers like silk could not be grown in Europe until the Byzantines stole silk worms from China, they certainly liked to import the stuff from abroad.

          • “Scientists”, “Scientific approach” and “scientific spirit” are 3 different things. Evidence and repeatability are key in scientific spirit. Those set the stage for “validation”. Indians DID NOT do a thing for scientific spirit until CV Raman or J C Bose.

            Europeans agree they were in dark ages. But Indians never give up. They want to claim that “they knew everything and ofcourse all knowledge is in vedas!!”. But all talk no show…

            Europeans started by accepting ignorance and gained knowledge. Ancient Indians started by claiming “all knowing wisdom” and gained 1000 years of invasion and subjugation.

      • Ashwin What have you read about Dharma traditions? You seem to be full of inferiority complex vis-a-vis Greek and Roman philosophies.

        If ypu want to know the scientific Achievements of Indians please read 10 volume series on that from Infinity foundation.
        If you want to know the mathematical achievements of Indians please read Oxford publication of Undoing Historical wrongs in Mathematics & also the springer publication on Indian mathematics. That included development of calculus by Pingla School of Mathematics in Kerala full 400 years before Newton.

        Ask yourself why was it or how was it that from 100 Ad till 1150 Ad India’s share of world GDP was 50%? It fell from 50% to 25% fromm 1200 AD to 1750 AD because of Islamic conquest. And during British period it fell from 25% to 1% of world GDP. How was it possible to maintain this dominance in commerce?
        In 1900 European Ship capacity was about 400 Tons and Indian ships had capacity of 1200 to 1500 tons. About three times larger. Find out how it was destroyed.
        It is easy to make uneducated comments than work to find the facts.
        By the way some books will help you.
        Like Beautiful Tree By Dharma Pal
        Indias education system since antiquities (there are several such works)
        WHy did a language like Sankrit & theories of Language got developed in India than any where else. And in fact there is still nothing like Paanini’s Vaiyaakarna, Paatanjalis MahaBhasyam & and Bharatuharri VaakyaPadyam.
        Remove your inferiority complex, that will only make you second rate citizen of the world in all branches of learning.

        So far as Above article the author should have known that it is not the ManuSmritti that is applicable to India today. In fact there are atleast 50 Smrittis each applicable and updated depending upon the changes in society. This process stoped after 10the century Ad.

        • Akaula,

          Nowhere have I demonstrated an inferiority complex. Merely incredulity and the assertion that Nagarjuna discovered relativity! By your own assertions– even if true, and they are highly dubious– calculus was discovered in 1200 C.E., much after Nagarjuna’s time. So tell me how Nagarjuna could have discovered the Lorentz equations? Where in his work can I find the Lorentz equations?

          No, I have no inferiority complex. But you appear to be, inversely, quite chauvinistic. For example:

          WHy did a language like Sankrit & theories of Language

          There is no objective scale on which to measure the Sanskrit language as “better” than any others. While I find it beautiful, I also find ancient Greek beautiful to read. What’s your point?

          And regarding your GDP claims– while I doubt the 50% figure highly– you really think that a pre-Industrial India could have competed against an Industrial Britain? It is quite well-documented how Indian cotton exports plummeted because the British mechanized the process at home. This has nothing to do with invasion.

          • Actually, I’m not sure if calculus is needed for special relativity. But you certainly need analysis and beyond for general!

        • Captain Mandrake

          ** In 1900 European Ship capacity was about 400 Tons and Indian ships had capacity of 1200 to 1500 tons.**

          Lol! References (of the non-hindutwa kind) please.

          BTW, here is a nice list technological advaces in transportion.

          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_transportation_technology

          Nothing of any significance happened in India.

          • Read KM Munshis well documented book “The ruin that Britain wrought” published for Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan by Padma Publication Bombay.

            Problem of India’s currently semi educated Indians is that they except every thing a white man chronicles and discount every thing a brown man writes. In fact if I were to follow the chronology of the developments as described by the west it would be mainly a white mans journey. As if rest of the world was sleeping till then. That is incredible given the fact that civilization is supposed to developed in Asia and not in Euro[e. That includes China, India, Persia, Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Egypt.

            Indian University scholarship in the soft subjects has effectively been coolies pushing what west publishes.

            Why is the time line you provide a gospel truth. When we have records of Chinese shipping and Indian Sipping dominating long before Europeans appeared. What was teh reason that India till 1200 and then India and china till 1750 dominated in world GDP?
            You can enjoy your ignorance or else start work to understanding India’s past.

          • Captain Mandrake

            ** Read KM Munshis well documented book “The ruin that Britain wrought” published for Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan by Padma Publication Bombay.**

            So this book says that in 1900 Indian ships were better than European ships? Do you know that in 1900 India was still a part of the British empire?

            Time to read up on some history.

          • Akaula is right on this one, despite his repulsive tone and ignorance of the
            impact of the Industrial Revolution. Indian-built teakwood ships were the
            pride of the East India Company and Royal Navy. In particular, I would like to
            point out the illustrious Parsi shipbuilding firm of Wadia (the name itself
            means «shipbuilder»). They built, for example, the HMS Trincolmalee—the
            oldest British warship in existence, and HMS Cornwallis—the British
            flagship of the navy that defeated China(!) in the First Opium War. While not
            definitively superior to their European oakwood counterparts, Indian ships
            were nonetheless at the forefront of the art of shipbuilding.

            The Wadias were responsible for constructing the dock at Bombay harbour, and
            dominated Indian shipbuilding. HMS Minden was the Royal Navy Ganges-class ship
            on which Francis Scott Key was supposedly travelling when he wrote the song
            that later became the National Anthem of the USA. That ship was also built by
            Wadias out of teak.

            I would like to clarify that the Wadias were in shipbuilding long before the
            EIC arrived, and even later, the EIC hired *them* to build ships and later the
            Bombay docks, not the other way round.

            It was only with the advent of steam power and iron ships (first marquee
            products of the Industrial Revolution) that Indian shipbuilding was superseded
            completely, as Indian makers did not have the know-how or industrial backing
            to produce comparable ships.

            Even as late as the 1940s Indian businessmen were enthusiastic about shipping
            and shipbuilding prospects—especially Late Shri Walchand Hirachand, who
            founded, along with Shri Narottam Morarjee and HH Madhavrao Scindia of
            Gwalior, the Scindia Steam Navigation Company (despite the tremendous
            anti-competitive pressure of British shipping vested interests) in 1919, and
            went on to found Scindia Shipyard in Vishakhapatnam, which produced India’s
            first modern ship, the SS Jala Usha (an 8000 DWT, 415 ft, steam powered
            behemoth) in 1948—delayed due to the pesky World War in between. Not bad for a
            new company eh? Of course, our beloved Supreme Leader Pt. Nehru ji
            nationalised and then marginalised the company in favour of Mazhagaon docks,
            but that’s what you get in Socialism anyway.

            Dr. Manmohan Singh called Shri Walchand Hirachand a Schumpeterian capitalist
            of the finest type, and I wholeheartedly agree. Read up on him—he founded a
            lot of other famous Indian companies.

          • Captain Mandrake

            Alex,

            Thanks for your informative post. But you are being too charitable to Akaula. His claim was that Indian built ships were better than European ships in 1900, ie long after the age of sail and well into the age of steam. In fact 1900 is just a few years before US and Royal navies were switching from coaling burning ships to oil burning ships, all using western technological innovations. It is ridiculous to compare Indian ships of 1900s to European and American ships.

            Even if we go back in time when a few Indian ships were built for the East India Company the claim that Indian ships were better than European ships is still ridiculous.

            So Akaula’s claims are still wrong (both the *1900* part and the *better* part).

          • Whoa, 1900! I thought he was referring to the 1200-1750 timeframe.

            1900 was already in the midst of the steam age, which really began in earnest with Brunel’s SS Great Eastern in 1858, for the Eastern Steam Navigation Company, which was 22,500 DWT! I don’t know what 400 ton boats Akaula is talking about.

            Also, I don’t like racists very much, and he seems to be one and proud of it!

  • Hindu history would not have this sad had there been no caste discrimination in last few centuries.The mauraders won wars and perpetrated heinous crimes on all hindus not because the hindu soldiers were lacking any skills or determination or patriotism to fight. They got demoralized over a period of time . The Alexander atack was brief and only confined to Taxasila, the Greeks were not ready to cross the Ganga and attack the other major kings ruling over there, who had thousands of elephants, domesticated and war ready. Greek horses never faced elephants before in a theater of war. They ran helter skelter and thus king Porus had a good fight with the Greeks. Alexander let Puros remain king and turned back.His forces knew the hindus wont give up easily and massacre cant be prevented.

    All this changed in the era of moslem attacks. Hindu kings already by then became very powerful and well established, economy grew. But casteism has worsened, Kshatriyas and Brahmins are getting it all easy and for free all because they belong to the privileged castes.Caste dominance has demoralized the soldiers. Kshatriyas and Brahmins never allowed carpenters or ironsmiths and the like to be awarded kshatriyahood or knighthood inspite of valor and shedding lives for their nations. These other castes got disillusioned and were less motivated to take on the muslim invaders, no way the carpenter would become a right hand man of a king, so why not remain a carpenter instead and save a limb or two instead. Kshatriya and Brahmin caste mania was the main reason hindu soldiers didnt fight ’till the last breath’. The undesired consequences are defeats in small battles involving small kings, the moslems became bolder and raised bigger armies and started plundering rich mandirs, the carpeneter class wanted brahmins to who has a say in temple affairs to defend them, as can be presumed they didnt , couldnt defend mandirs,the trend continued.Until things got much worse and both Kshatruyas and Brahmins lost their glorious times. Everyone is a loser and savage muslims gained a lot. They raged mandirs and built mosques, after looting the gold etc. Patriotism will be eroded if it is not rewarded.Sorry for the long post

    • Captain Mandrake

      Surya,

      Caste system is horrible. But apart from that there not much in your post I can agree with.

  • The Manusmritti is reported to have originated over 10 thousand years ago. No one has seen the original version. No one has it. Since then, it has undergone innumerable translations and transliterations.
    Is it possible that the meaning has been distorted? Perhaps a degree of intelligent objectivity on the Manusmritti is in order?
    Christian scholars find that the Bible, only 2000 years old, and no one has the orginal, has been diluted, many parts deleted and outrightly changed, and new archelogical findings indicate the teachings of Jesus to heavily honour women’s role in guiding society.
    Also, context is another factor of which we have no clue from this distance in time, for the Manusmritti, the Bible or the Hadith.
    For guiding society now, the teachings of more recent Mahatmas may be in order. We recommend, Earth Ethics of M.K. Gandhi with teachings from Holy Mother Amma: and Introduction.

    • Captain Mandrake

      ** The Manusmritti is reported to have originated over 10 thousand years ago. No one has seen the original version. No one has it. Since then, it has undergone innumerable translations and transliterations.

      Is it possible that the meaning has been distorted? Perhaps a degree of intelligent objectivity on the Manusmritti is in order? **

      Sure, if what you say is true is it then not possible that the original Manusmriti was even worse than the version it has been translated and transliterated into? How do we know that is not the case?

    • Captain Mandrake

      **The Manusmritti is reported to have originated over 10 thousand years ago. No one has seen the original version. No one has it. Since then, it has undergone innumerable translations and transliterations.
      Is it possible that the meaning has been distorted? Perhaps a degree of intelligent objectivity on the Manusmritti is in order?**

      Although I seriously doubt that Manusmriti originated 10,000 years I have different issue with your line of argument.

      Let us say that someone digs up this 10,000 year old Manusmriti and it turns out to be just as disgusting as the translated and transliterated version. What will prevent you from claiming that there was an even earlier version of Manusmriti that was better than this 10,000 year old version?

    • Where is it reported that Manusmriti was more than 10000 years old?

      Do you know where on the timeline this places the Manusmriti on? Around 8000 BCE!!

      Do you seriously believe that MS was composed around 8000 BCE?!!

      At that time even the Meghgarh civilization had not come into being let alone the IVC or the Vedic one.

      Only people who have no sense of time or history can talk like this. And that is unfortunately the bulk of Indians brought up on the diet of fairy tale Puranas and epics.

      BTW I am very curious to know that when archeology cannot establish the historicity of Jesus, how can it interpret the teachings of Jesus.

      • Sir, you may be interested in “Forbidden Archeology” by Michael Cremo.

        Also, I am sure you are aware that human skulls were recently found in Laos and Israel:
        http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/anthropology/article00538.html
        http://news.discovery.com/history/archaeology/oldest-human-israel-101228.htm

        Furthermore the `Adams Bridge’ found by NASA, also mentioned in the epic tales of the Ramayana, has been scientifically dated at over 1.7 million years ago.

        I suggest to you that this planet, human kind, and the primitive and noble elements of human nature have changed very little in milleniums upon milleniums.
        The real question is can we change ourselves to be what we think a human being should be? Then, the rest of it, false scriptures, etc, will all fall into its proper place in the scale of things.

        Respectfully,
        PK

        • Hi PK,

          What are you trying to establish through those skulls? Anatomically modern humans have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, if I am not incorrect. This doesn’t establish anything about the date of Manu Smriti though.

          Adam’s Bridge also fails to prove the Ramayana. It is certainly not of human origin, and the oft-repeated date of 1.7 million years is not from NASA.

          This is an open question to Nirmukta, however: was Adam’s Bridge ever
          above the water at any point?

          • Captain Mandrake

            Ashwin,

            ** This is an open question to Nirmukta, however: was Adam’s Bridge ever above the water at any point?**

            The first figure in the link ( http://www.skepticalscience.com/Past-150000-Years-of-Sea-Level-History-Suggests-High-Rates-of-Future-Sea-Level-Rise.html ) shows that sea levels 15 kbp (15,000 years ago) were about 80 m lower than today. So it is conceivable that some of the rocks that make up the Adam’s bridge might have been above water during the last 15,000 years.

          • Hi Ashwin, you are right, the skulls do not establish anything about the date of the ManuSmritti.
            I mentioned them, as these findings do indicate that humans have been living in community together for milleniums. From community life evolves mores and folkways of being and how to relate to one another. It is from these seeds that things eventually become encoded, leading to ideas and works as suggested in the Manusmritti, which is why I mentioned that we do not know the context that the Manusmritti arose out of.
            sincerely,
            PK

        • Captain Mandrake

          So much incoherence and BS packed into one post.

        • PK,

          “Michael A. Cremo, also known by his devotional name Drutakarmā dāsa, is an American freelance researcher who identifies himself as a Vedic creationist and argues that humans have lived on the earth for billions of years.”

          The above is his published profile. That is a complete giveaway of the kind of charlatan and creationist hack that he is.

          That book referred to by you is an almost 600 page verbiage of all kinds of BS claims about ancient civilizations.

          You really think that this kind of garbage with crazy and outlandish claims supported by not a shred of evidence will prove any of your claims of far-out antiquity of Indian scriptures! or that modern humans coexisted with dinosaurs or even rode on them.

          You are free to go thru these 3 links:

          http://blog.matthewmiller.net/2009/01/michael-cremo-fraud-or-just-incompetent.html

          http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Michael_Cremo

          http://ncse.com/rncse/19/3/review-forbidden-archaeologys-impact

          You will hopefully realize that this guy has 0 credibility. And he is not even a qualified and experienced archeologist!.

          Need I say anymore about your subsequent absurd claims?!

  • Thank you for the links, they have increased my understanding of Cremos genuine credibility and personal effort.
    I looked at the sites you have given, and found these statements on each one:
    by Tom Morrow, the author on http://ncse.com/rncse/19/3/review-forbidden-archaeologys-impact
    “Let me say that if anybody is interested in the cultural and religious groundwork, sincere personal motivations, and epistemological methods employed by Hindu “creation science”, Forbidden Archaeology’s Impact is the most comprehensive, conclusive reference work on this topic.”

    from Anonymous on: http://blog.matthewmiller.net/2009/01/michael-cremo-fraud-or-just-incompetent.html
    “It’s clear from his personal character that Cremo is neither a fraud nor incompetent. Rather, as has been intimated earlier in this string of comments the value of this work is that it brings into question the “blind-faith” acceptance of scientific research. Sometimes to get people off a fast-moving merry-go-round you have to push pretty hard the other way.”

    The rational wiki link which seeks to put his works into `conspiracy theories’ has no substantial reason to slam his work. So what if his education wasn’t in the field of archeology? How many people end up having careers in what their education was for? It doesn’t mean that he was not self-educated, look at Abe Lincoln. He taught himself to be a lawyer. Many have taught themselves to be doctors, dentists, and even successful surgeons in societies where `modern’ education does not exist. Does their lack of a degree mean they are ignorant or incapable?

    I don’t understand your reference to Cremo having what seems to be an Indian spiritual name. Do you think that therefore invalidates his thinking and work?

    Sincerely,
    PK

    • PK,

      I really have to pity you.

      Looks like you have not gone thru the entire article response of Tom Morrow. The statement of Morrow in the beginning is sarcastic. He is saying that Cremo’s work is creationism and is not praising it.

      If you still don’t get let me restate Morrow’s words. He says that Forbidden Archaeology’s Impact is the most comprehensive, conclusive reference work of Hindu creationism or pseudoscience and not the science or discipline of archeology.

      Then you are cherry-picking an anonymous comment of a creationism sympathizer as if that is conclusive of the character and quality of Cremo’s book. Come on!, you think we can’t see thru these pathetic debating tricks of yours!.

      You may not like Rational wiki’s dismissal of Cremo, but what it has done is to examine his claims of professional credentialing and found them all to be dubious and suspect.

      Abe Lincoln is a bad example. Lincoln become a lawyer then a politician. These are soft or social sciences. In some categories people can switch roles without extensive education or experience then gain success in their new fields. It is not so easy to make such transitions with hard empirical science. Archeology, biology, paleontology are not like politics, where any Tom, Dick and Harry can get acquire proficiency without formal training and proof of expertise.

      Then you said:
      “Many have taught themselves to be doctors, dentists, and even successful surgeons in societies where `modern’ education does not exist”

      Please provide some examples and we can see if at all and how they connect with your argument.

      The problem with Cremo is not just his lack of qualification. His theories do not have any scientific rigor or strength and do not hold up to scrutiny. Tom Morrow in his article has punched enough holes into Cremo’s bogus theories.

      There is no need for Cremo’s weird Hindu spiritual name to invalidate his work. His nonsense has already been invalidated and rejected by the tools of examination and criticism.

      That name just serves to show where his real beliefs and ideological leanings are.

  • These scripts are derogatory and are prejudice against women and the lower caste. Shame that these people were the founders of the hindu religion. The kastrias and the brahmins simply created a racist and derogatory sysatem. They are not a fighting race, it is a lie Measure their success and the indicators say that the kastrias had no idea how to defend India and there is absolutely no evidence of their chivalry. It was the jatt sikhs who defeated the muslims on the borders of punjab which stopped future conquest and manpower from Afganistan.

    • For many reasons, some stated below, Manusmriti is not a relevant document in trying to understand the ancient Indian culture or philosophical output. We can instead take examples from the other documents and arts and see that through most of the literature women had more prominent roles and status. This is especially startling when compare to how women had been portrayed in European literature until only recently (or for perspective, watch an American film from the 40s and 50s). I don’t believe there was a unified ‘Hinduism’ let alone a code of conduct based on spiritual grounds until recently. On the other hand there is a lot if emphasis on different points of views and dialogue in as diverse works such as the Upanishads, Gita and Panchatantra. Just as in western philosophy the questions are more important than answers.

  • Several issues with Manu Smrti

    1. It is a ‘Smrti,’ meaning it is a work meant for revisions. So it would be one that has changed over time.

    2. No early versions have actually been found before the British Raj era. All claims to its early age are just claims.

    3. No reference is mde to this supposedly important work in any of the other literary works that are from the pre-medieval period; not mentioned in Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Gita, Panchatantra, Dashakumaracharita, Kathasaritsagara or Vikramaditya stories, yet they all reference each other.

    This makes me assume that Manu Smrti is a much later work and highly influenced by the Abrahamic ideal of law coming from above (Monothiestic God as King of Kings) and that it has been frequently re-edited to fit the times. A purpose for a Manu Smrti may have occurred and been initiated either during Moghul rule or at the time when multiple law systems were needed during British rule.

    • Even in Wikipedia a historian is quoted:

      “The text was never universally followed or acclaimed by the vast majority of Indians in their history; it came to the world’s attention through a late eighteenth-century translation by Sir William Jones, who mistakenly exaggerated both its antiquity and its importance. Today many of its ideas are popularised as the golden norm of classical Hindu law by Hindu universalists. They are, however, anathema to modern thinkers and particularly feminists.[19]”

      • All fine except for 1 and 2. The Manu Smriti is no forgery and is certainly cited in all Dharmasastra literature. See PV Kanes five volume work.

        • Concerning 1 & 2:

          1. Look up the word Smrti. This is a work that is specified for revisions.

          2. Quote from Wikipedia on Dharmasastra: “There is uncertainty regarding the dates of these documents due to lack of evidence concerning these documents. Although Kane has given some approximate dates but they are just guesses. Gautama 600 BCE to 400 BCE, Āpastamba 450 BCE to 350 BCE, Baudhāyana 500 BCE to 200 BCE, and Vasiṣṭha 300 BCE to 100 BCE.[26]”

          That is, these are the dates that PV Kane has decided to put on these documents but there is no evidence that he came up with these dates through any observable or replicable process.

          In addition, they explicitly contradict much of the other literature, even in their interpretation of what the word ‘Dharma’ means.

          • Read Patrick Olivelle’s translations of the Dharmasutras and of Manu.

            Manu is composed by a single author, and other Dharmasastras quote Manu more than anyone else.

            PV Kane’s dates may have been tentative, but they’re not random or guesswork. You’ve obviously never read his work, he gives the logic for his dates in there. Similarly, in Olivelle’s introductions to his two works, he gives his own logic for his dates. They were not produced. ex nihilo .

            I’m suprised other people on this forum have let this comment sit for so long without rebuttal!

        • Oh, and I will need to see a reference to Manu Smriti in the other Dharmasastras if you can provide it. I don’t really just believe in hearsay being a rationalist myself who needs evidence based information to make my conclusions (which in themselves are always open to revision with any new evidence).

          Much of this site claims to be rationalist but does not adhere to evidence based claims.

  • Hi Ken,

    1. If there is a single author than how do you explain the contradictions in the text or that it is called a smriti?

    2. Can you give me an actual quote in a Dharmasastra that I can look up?

    3. True, I have not read much PV Kane so you will have to give me a specific quoted reasoning in his book that you feel is proper evidence.

    4. Sanskrit is very difficult to translate into English so the source must always be available alongside the translation for verification (I read Sanskrit). For this reason, I can’t just take your word that Olivelle’s notions are simply correct. I need evidence.

    5. Saying “I’m surprised other people on this forum have let this comment sit for so long without rebuttal!” is not evidence but rather instigating mob mentality. It is unnecessary for your argument. You are better than that (I hope).

    I am not interesting in defending ‘Hinduism.’ but I am interested in being honest with oneself and being a true rationalist. It sounds nice to appear ‘skeptical’ by making stuff up, and there are problems today because of superstition. But let’s be real rationalists, please.

    • Kit,

      You say:
      “Sanskrit is very difficult to translate into English”

      I am not sure what you are trying to imply by this kind of statements. Translation is a difficult and challenging process and discipline. The difficulties in translating Greek, Hebrew, Arabic or Latin into English are also significant. Sanskrit as a man-made language like others is not very special in that sense. Translations of texts by Indologists has not been largely controverted or challenged in their correspondence to original writings, unless you want to have the ‘privilege’ of doing that. Since you know to ‘read’ Sanskrit, you can do the job of verse comparison yourself without bothering Ken or other critics.

      Then your claim:
      “If there is a single author than how do you explain the contradictions in the text or that it is called a smriti?”
      takes the cake in fallacious argument. It is as much possible for one author to make contradictions as it is for many authors to do it. Besides whether Manusmriti is written by one or many makes little difference to the claims and opinions therein, which have to examined for their merit or lack of it independent of their authorship.

      “True, I have not read much PV Kane so you will have to give me a specific quoted reasoning in his book that you feel is proper evidence”

      Then my dear friend, do yourself a favor by reading PV Kane’s works without bothering others for quotes and reasoning. They are available on the internet if you are not aware of that already.

      “I am not interested in defending ‘Hinduism.’ but I am interested in being honest with oneself and being a true rationalist.”

      Sorry to disappoint you, but you did not impress any skeptic or rationalist by such bogus and hypocritical claims. Far from being a ‘true’ rationalist, You are a true blue rationalist trojan horse!

    • You don’t have a PhD in history. Olivelle does. We can apply argument to authority as a heuristic. If the authority is legitimate, it is called an argumentum ad auctoritatem as opposed to an argumentum ad vericundium.

      Just as a non-surgeon, say, cannot talk about the merits of this or that surgery, so too you can’t talk about why a scholar is wrong in his or her arguments.

      • Venkato,
        You don’t know my background but I don’t really have an interest in sharing my credentials as no one else here has to either. You might be the type of person who feels Obama needs to publicly print his birth certificate, but I will just not bother with your given assumption.

        Argument to authority is a heuristic and can be played. History is written by the winners. We can’t trust Indians to write there own history after all.

        But I did go to some people who are better versed in Dharmasastra and was verified that actually Manu Smriti has the unique position of not being mentioned in any other writings and was not even known about till it’s discovery in the late 1800’s. It could be an earlier work, but it did not have any impact on the culture of India before that time.

        If it was followed, where in India was it followed? Was it in a specific kingdom during a specific time? Was it translated to other languages for other kingdoms to follow such as tamil etc.? Did all the kingdoms have one law? If it is so important, why does it not have central placement in the sanskrit canon or even a mention?

        The mentality of Manu Smriti makes a lot of sense with the general views of the time period of the 1800’s when even Middle Eastern and European civilizations were on a similar wave length. It is very counter to the society that is being lived in the epics (though later commentator’s force them to align more) or folk tales which show a much different society all together.

        • All right, you want the texts that cite Manu? So be it.

          1) Manu is known to the author of the Kama Sutra.

          2) The Mrcchakatika by Sudraka– a play– cites it.

          3) The Narada and Brhaspati Smritis cite it.

          But wait, you’re probably going to say that these are 19th century fabrications too.

          • Manu as a fictional ‘first human,’ is referred to often, but is a pretty mythological entity.

            Books that use him as an actual author might be because the true writer wanted to remain anonymous or because she/he wanted to add some credibility (for that time) to the work.

            There are too many books and works under the hindu cannon, with many different viewpoints and opposing ideas. That is because they are written by many individuals in different parts of the country, each with their own take.

            Some of the best works are very practical and worldly such as the Panchatantra and the Dashakumaracharita. There are even some of the earliest references to materialistic philosophy in the Charvakas and the Lokayatas.

            Knowing a bit about Brahminism, which by the way i don’t support, I doubt very much that Manusmriti is in anyway significant to the culture of most of the Indian sub-continent, as it mis-defines basic ideas such as dharma to such a great degree from the rest of the cannon.

            It’s just pretty obvious to me. That’s all.

          • Captain Mandrake

            Kit,

            **I doubt very much that Manusmriti is in anyway significant to the culture of most of the Indian sub-continent**

            Not sure about that. The castism and misogyny found in Hindu society seems to be very much in line with what one finds in Manusmriti.

          • This is getting tiring. All of the references above are about the Manu Smriti, NOT the Puranic Manu.

        • But I did go to some people who are better versed in Dharmasastra and was verified that actually Manu Smriti has the unique position of not being mentioned in any other writings and was not even known about till it’s discovery in the late 1800′s

          Lol “some people.” Like who?

          • Dharmasastra is not my specialty. My interests and knowledge focuses on the arabic, french, tamil and sanskrit versions of the Panchatantra and the Dashakumaracharita, both works that make fun of religion and superstitious belief.

            For the Dharmasastra I went to a professor who prefers to be unnamable in a public site. It might just be better to say I didn’t check in with anybody as it really does not matter here, now does it?

  • Great article. Thanks.

  • Heartless and caste based philosophy that is basically anti women or woman are made inferior to the extent of exploitation. Where has this person got this so call truth from, a god or deity that has similar views or a heartless and cruel deity? People who follow this person were exploiters and those who continue are exploiters and process cruelty and evil in their brain. These statements by Manu are specially designed to exploit women and the lower caste to the maximum. This is an ultimate shame and unfortunately continues, indicating that the exploiters are still there in large numbers. How about justice, kindness and equality, is that not what religion is supposed to be about? The irony in this philosophy is that the same female person that we despise keeps us inside her stomach for nine months with great care so that we get an opportunity have an experience of life on earth and we come out and exploit the person’s gender, how dreadful. The lower caste made life easier because we compelled them using our gods to do all the cleaning and menial jobs for the upper caste to live a higher standard of living and we continue to exploit and hate them as inferior although scientifically and biologically it is a lie. Why does these issues not ring alarm bells? Why don’t we see the absolute evil in this philosophy? Why don’t priest and holy leaders who are looked upon as divine including politicians see the evil in this thought? Think what has happened over the thousands of years how millions and millions of people were exploited and treated with absolute cruelty with this religious philosophy. Think how they cried in pain and suffering on earth, probably that is why atheist says that there is no God and it seems that the evil and the exploiters rule the earth using this god. If this person was alive today I sincerely hope that he would be charged for crimes against humanity.

  • Ramani Venkatraman

    Where can we find the rights and responsibilities of men and women explained separately; and the distribution of punya and paava (effects of good or evil deeds) of the husband or wife both upon them individually and to each other?

  • Compared to what Nanak preached Manu was evil and a sadist.

    Dowry
    Any other dowry, which the perverse place for show that is false pride and worthless gilding O’ my Father! Give me the Name of Lord God as a gift and dowry.” (Guru Ram Das, Sri Rag, pg. 79)

    Sati
    They cannot be called satis, which burn themselves with their dead husbands. They can only be called satis, if they bear the shock of separation. They may also be known as satis, which live with character and contentment and always show veneration to their husbands by remembering them.” (Guru Amar Das, Var Suhi, pg. 787)

    Equality for Women
    In about 1499 when the world offered low to no status or respect to women, Guru Nanak sought to improve the respect of women by spreading this message: “From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married. Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come. When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound. So why call her bad? From her, kings are born. From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all. O Nanak, only the True Lord is without a woman.” (Page 473). In so doing, he promoted women’s rights and equality — a first for the 15th century!

    Equality of humans
    When in the Middle East, the west and the rest of Asia slavery, Varna/class and race discrimination was rife and respect between the different classes and caste was at a peak, Guru Nanak preached against discrimination and prejudices due to race, caste, status, etc. He said: “See the brotherhood of all mankind as the highest order of Yogis; conquer your own mind, and conquer the world.” (SGGS page 6); also “There is one awareness among all created beings.” (Page 24) and finally “One who recognizes the One Lord among all beings does not talk of ego. ||4||” (page 432). He urges all the peoples of the world to “conquer” their minds to these evil practises. All human beings had the light of the Lord and were the same — only by subduing one’s pride and ego could one see this light in all.

  • Referring to “Although no details of this eponymous author’s life are known, it is likely that he belonged to a conservative Brahman class somewhere in Northern India. ”

    Very authoritative texts are available about the life of Sri Manu. He belonged to the South, was a king who later turned to be a sadhu/guru, following the Kerala way of succession (maternal) and was instrumental in taking his clan to the north to save them from a natural catastrophe.

    • I agree with you because the Brahmins are still selling the caste system as real. They preach God but spread cruelty as if it is god sent. These people will rot some day and it work in progress.

  • In which part of India was Manusmruti the Constitutional Law at any time in History? Hindus have come out of the 19th Century. We are now following a Modern Civil Law, which guarantees equality before law irrespective of Caste, Creed, Colour, Religion, Region or gender.

    Manumsruti was digged out by some Missionaries for ridiculing the native Culture & Civilization of India. If Hinduism is that bad, not a single Dalit or other lower castes would have remained in India as Christianity is supposed to have reached the shores of Kerala in CE 52 and Islam also reached the shores of Kerala soon after the death of Prft Mohd.

    • Captain Mandrake

      Avinash,

      Nice post. But can you clarify something.

      **Manumsruti was digged out by some Missionaries for ridiculing**

      Is Manusmrithi worthy of ridicule or not?

      • Caste System has been rampart in India for thoussands of years and why find excuses that the manuscript is not real or not derogatory. This is what Hinduism was and is still is therefore face the truth and the truth will save you.

        • Captain Mandrake

          Shadaan,

          I was just trying to get Avinash to answer the question if he thinks manusmriti deserves ridicule? I myself did not say the it should not be ridiculed. It is of course outrageously ridiculous.

    • Why is this a nice post? Avinash seems to be advocating that Hinduism is okay, and that Dalits would not still be in India if Hinduism were bad.

      • Captain Mandrake

        Of course it is not a nice post. It was just a bad attempt on my part to have Avinash answer a simple question “Is Manusmriti worthy of ridicule?”.

    • The Dalit’s and other lower caste groups have suffered for centuries and continue to suffer in spite of the civil laws. The Hindu religion will not let this cruel system disappear. The temples continue to teach the system as part of Hinduism and parties like BJP and congress either continue to spread this lies or use it for political gain. Talk to the old people and they will never let this evil system go or will never let their children inter marry, some will even kill.

  • @ Shadaan, this is what I wrote: “Manumsruti was digged out by some Missionaries for ridiculing the native Culture & Civilization of India” and not “manusmriti deserves ridicule” as you have presumed.

    So far as I know, Manusmruti was not the Constitutional in any part of present day India at any time in History. If I am not correct, you are welcome to correct me.

    The English word “caste” derives from the Spanish and Portuguese casta. That means Caste System existed in other places also.

    The equality of Islam and Christianity are just myths. Head it been so, there would not have been a single Dalit in UP and surrounding areas ruled by one Muslim King or the other for more than 600 years and in Kerala where the Missionaries were very active.

    “The Hindu religion will not let this cruel system disappear” are you sure Caste system exists in Hindu Religion only?

    • Well it is the source and the ancestors in other religions in India were Hindus first,therefore the process gets transfered. As far as I am concerned this is a cruel system and a lie therefore there is the urgency for the system to be eradicated. It is easy for us to talk about it and go on our business like the politicians and prists do. Only the victims see the absolute cruelty of this crime.

    • there is no doubt that manusmriti is the most celebrated book of the brahmins and it was the constitutional law of the time when brahmins were the de facto rulers of the indian subcontinent, there were more than 500 princely states and primarily the laws that governed the society at that time were the vedas and puranas etc. and the manusmriti was used, it talks about “vyavaharapadas” which means “the titles of law”, and there were no missionaries anywhere mentioned who “digged” it out, they simply translated it into english, the laws of manusmriti are extensively mentioned in the ramayana, i shall quote an example for you where rama himself shot an arrow toward a shudra who was peacefully chanting shlocka’s and because the shudras were not allowed to chant and according to manusmriti the punishment is death, as far as caste system is concerned nowhere in the world is the cast system as extreme as it was and is still in india. imagine someone pouring molten lead into your ears for reading a book, these are the morality which were propounded in manusmriti. Justify as much as you can now, but the word has seen the treachery of brahmins. 3000 years of discrimination and that too not just discrimination but systematic exploitation cannot be undone in just 50 years. only one generation of dalits have been given reservations yet and the people are demanding curbing reservations for sc/st only, nobody says anything about NRI quotas which is approximately 10 pc, or for that matter of fact 25 pc obi reservations in which the yadavas claim reservations, on the other hand the yadavs say that they are ksatriyas of the lunar dynasty!

      The cast system was and is the main problem in india…after the mauryan empire and decline of buddhism in india there was a rise of hinduism again, and sadly after that each and every conqueror has conquered india only because of the caste system as a dalit cannot lift a sword or any weapon for that matter, not just a dalit any vaishya couldn’t lift up a sword, dividing the place into 500+ princely states ensured the hagemony of the brahmins in the society.

      and why should Dalits leave this country their ancestors have fuelled this society with their blood, Mind you that dalits will not leave india, they have a right to be called indians as much as brahmins have and get your facts straight many dalits have migrated to other countries not because they cannot fathom the so called wrath of the brahmins, as if they have any left, but because they would like a better lifestyle, the dalits have endured for 3000 years and now it is time for them to be socially accepted.

  • Being a female I regret having the name ‘Manu’ after reading this post.

  • @ Shadaan >>> Well it is the source and the ancestors in other religions in India were Hindus first,therefore the process gets transfered<<< what a specious argument!!

    Will you blame the Hindus in India for this also:

    Yemen’s “untouchables” http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/2012/11/12/yemens-untouchables/ Have they not been following a Caste-less Religion for more than 1400 years?

    I am not an apologist for the Caste System. I am only against using the same for ridiculing the native Culture & Civilization of India.

    Caste system as it exists today is an obnoxious practice and needs to eliminated but the way out for that is not ridiculing the Hindus. We all have to strive for achieving that.

    • Captain Mandrake

      Avinash,

      I think it will be helpful if you first answer this simple yes/no question before expecting others to engage you on your red herrings.

      “Is Manusmriti worthy of ridicule?”

    • @Avinash,
      “If Hinduism is that bad, not a single Dalit or other lower castes would have remained in India as Christianity is supposed to have reached the shores of Kerala in CE 52 and Islam also reached the shores of Kerala soon after the death of Prft Mohd”

      It is a worth call and sensible, but there is no hope that Dalit or Lower caste will change their identity of lowest level and make free themselves from victim of atrocity, disgustingly we see them enjoy a condition of being teased by some other-so called upper caste, because, we are witnessing the day by day developments of god belief system among dalits and low caste, which ends with no relief.. In the past, they were circumscribed and victims in the name of varna and prevented from get Educated, owning assets and using natural resources. Now they are offered some welfare measure like reservation and other facility. Did they really benefit out of this? The answer is not even partial, because, most of the policies are taken cared by other caste, not to reach the dalits/lower caste. So, how do you expect them act independent and decide their fate? They are cornered in all form right from village (Dharmapuri) to metro city. Could the entire upper cast support to lift the anti- conversion law? Or at least recognize the rational movements and supported through strong law? If it is happens, not only dalits, all the struggling population will relieve from the age old mental blockade. The aim of nirmukta and intellects who works on rational ground, is fittest of this time….right? Not only dalit or low caste, every intellect must strive towards religion free, caste free, and race free society of whole world. Now a days, we cannot distinguish a dalit simply by his appearance or their speech or behavior, but where does the difference exist, where does the atrocity/ hate / partiality muted at them? The answer is, it is an organized social set up of hindu varna system based on the name, geography and economical condition, so the arguments which appears in support of Manu/Hinduism surely an indirect call for caste evil society. In a Private TV debate, a person from Brahmin community openly argues that he will continue to enjoy the status of upper caste, and no one can change the caste system, how do you react to this? How do see a caste free society within Hindu fold?

      • I had an employee who is a Brahmin. He used to tell me about the caste system and would judge other Indians about their lower status. I told him one day that he is a labourer by profession and his kid works as an ordinary employee in a factory and how could you be classified as a upper caste, your profession does not indicate your status you claim. He stopped talking to me and that was it. There are many countries that suffer from poverty but just by looking at India I can conclude that the sickness of India is the religion. How could Indians that belong to a higher caste live seeing so much inequality, poverty, unhygienic conditions even for children, both main cities and it is worst in the country side. They are silent because no one wants to lose their dominant position. Their culture of castes has taught them that for being someone in that crowded society, they have to cruelly step on the weaker people. Caste is racist, unjust, cruel and simply barbaric. Lose all the silly superstitions and society will be much better off. Gods are nothing more than illusions created by man to explain away all of the things we can’t yet understand. Religion is a disease of the mind, born of fear, which has done nothing but bring untold misery down upon the human race.

  • @ pannaichan, >>> Could the entire upper cast support to lift the anti- conversion law? >>> so your agenda is conversion or upliftment of the Dalits and other lower castes? Which Doctor has told you that “Conversion” is a pre-condition for helping the poor (to which ever Caste/Religion they belong)?

  • @ Captain Mandrake, Manusmriti has no relevance today as we are following a Modern Civil Law. Hindu Succession Act and Hindu Marriage Act are not based on Manusmriti unlike the Christian and Muslim Personal Laws which are based on their Religious Laws (Canon Law and Shariah). So ridiculing or not ridiculing Manusmruti hardly makes any difference. Now can you proceed with your specious arguments?

    • Satish Chandra

      So ridiculing or not ridiculing Manusmruti hardly makes any difference.

      Ignorant much?. In the real world, there are plenty of people who believe in what Manusmriti stands for even if they might not profess belief in Manusmriti itself.

      So the ridicule does make a difference. It may not to you who are far more interested in deflecting criticism, but it does for people who care about getting rid of a social evil but are the least bit interested in making inane excuses like “But the same is there in Islam and Christianity”.

      • Captain Mandrake

        **Ignorant much?.**

        Thanks for the link. You have far too much patience to dig these up.

        **In the real world, there are plenty of people who believe in what Manusmriti stands for even if they might not profess belief in Manusmriti itself.**

        Got to add that the extent to which these Hindu apologists try to distance themselves from Manusmriti itself is because of the ridicule heaped on it by people like the author of this piece. So yes ridicule does make a huge difference.

    • Captain Mandrake

      A Hindu can not bring himself to ridicule Manusmriti, a document loaded with misogyny. Yet we are being asked to believe that Manusmriti is not part of his Hindu identity.

      Hilarious!

    • wow!!! today!!! it is not a question of today!! it is a question of what the society has suffered for centuries! you cannot simply enforce false morality on people and a set of ethics that suit you most and after a thousand of exploitation you simply say sorry now we are equal. RIDICULING MANUSMRITI DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE AS PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW HOW THEY WERE WERE BEING EXPLOITED AND HOW MUCH THEIR ANCESTORS HAVE SUFFERED. while few enjoyed the fruits.

  • @ Shadaan, the cat is finally out of the bag with pannaichan’s message above and I know very well what is the agenda of those who shed crocodile tears for the Dalits and other lower castes in India.

    Major parts of present day India was ruled by the Islamic Invaders and European Christian Colonizers for nearly 900 years prior to 1947. What have they done for the Dalits and other lower castes during that period?

    • @ Avinash,
      It seems you and your upper caste lobbyist support caste theory of manu as per some doctor’s prescription, and now turn apologetic after caste theory admitted in ICU…! Invaders taken away half of india………… only 66 years free from them…ohm… arunachal, ladak does not stop you and your lobbyist, even now? That mean, you people don’t allow india free from invaders, and do all garbage by supporting your caste theory. What will happen, as usual half of your lobbyist will work as spy with invaders (to retain power, asset and employment) and half of you will fight for freedom…isn’t it? Innocent dalit and low caste continue to be lower…… and will feed you all basic needs and 900+ years keep go on….! I pity the indian caste evil mind and ashamed of it.

    • They were from the outside their objective was to control the conquered people they rule over. There was mostly non-interference into the affairs of the people other than plundering and mass murder. Hindi was a temple language only meant for the upper caste and men. Women and the lower caste were excluded and remained uneducated. The Brahmins will not share the language or their knowledge. The Moguls introduced Urdu which became an important language and all were allowed to learn this language and till this day Urdu spoken by the masses is assumed to be Hindi.

      • ###Hindi was a temple language##

        Did not get you ?? As far as historians tell , both Hindi & Urdu have emerged from Hindustani around 14th century . Hindustani remains more of a product of intermingling of Middle Prakrit languages like Khari-boli & Braj.On the other hand during Mughal period , Urdu i.e. a more Persianised form of Hindustani evolved to cater to the Persian & Mughal nobility that settled in the North (esp. Awadh) . Mughals on the other hand never spoke Urdu , untill their eclipse ; they rather followed Farsi at home & Turkic at court.
        I am sure you confused it with Sanskrit.

    • oh please, the mughals were just on the top of the food chain…society was still governed by ancient hindu texts. the mughals could not get a foothold in indian politics until they married a rajput princess. Stop making other religions look bad when you own hands are dirty.
      and it was only because of the britishers that ambedkar was allowed to go abroad and study, he was not even allowed to sit in classes in india. he used to sit outside the classroom and study. the brahmins created history in 3000 years, Ambedkar changed it in his own lifetime.

  • @ Satish Chandra, despite nearly 900 years of rule by the Islamic invaders and European Christian Colonizers, about 85% of Indians are still following the native Religions. That itself is proof of the inherent of our Culture & Civilization. What ever one Priest in some obscure temple says is not what Hinduism preaches. We believe in “vasudhaiva kutumbakam”.

    India is the only place that gave shelter to persecuted people from the world over, be it Parsis, Jews, Bahaiis or even the Refugees from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1971. We had even paid Surcharge on BEST Bus Tickets and Postal Stamps for their welfare. While the Jews were persecuted across Europe, they flourished in Mumbai. There are Docks and Libraries standing in the name of David Sassoon still in Mumbai apart from their Synagogues.

    • Satish Chandra

      Avinash,

      The way any honest discussion works is when you can keep on topic, and respond to what the other person is saying. In this case the topic is Manusmriti and my point is that Manusmriti deserves every bit of ridicule heaped at it. And what was your response? To say something completely irrelevant. Now that is the perfect specimen of that species called “specious argument”.

    • and what does it have to do with manusmriti? or hinduism? whatever you mention are post brahmnical society achievements!

  • Dr patwari,
    Really an outstanding article showing the true and darker face of hinduism. But yet, many staunch supporters of hinduism still cling their stand to back this religion for moral purposes. I read about a so called “vedic scholar” named Surendra Kumar while going through the wikipedia article about manusmriti. Like all of those die hard followers of the faith, he tries to wash away the staines from his beloved religion by postulating that those verses that are hurtful to women and lower castes are not the authentic ones but rather they are later interpolations. Keeping this view in mind he has even published a revised version of manusmriti. what are your vieews on it.

  • Instead of denying these evil and outdated scary ideas we should simply accept the fact that it was like the script says and from there we could learn from a new begining.

    • I may be digressing but maybe you can enlighten me on the following questions:
      1) While I agree that Manusmriti is a putrid scripture & even the different “Hindu” communities have different social evils (which is all obvious) , but what I fail to understand is that how is the former a direct cause of the latter esp. beyond the Brahmin priestly class ??

      2) Why do many intellectuals in India fantasize Buddhism & contrast it as a Positive thing as against Hinduism (making no distinction btw folk , Brahminical, non-Brahminical or evn tribal) which is seen as entirely a Negative thing?? Despite the proven fact that Buddhism was no revolution against caste & Buddhism was dominated by upper castes (mostly Brahmins)?? It is often argued that Hinduism tarnished Buddhism , so it had caste.
      https://www.anthro.ox.ac.uk/fileadmin/ISCA/ACADEMIC/D_Gellner_publication_files/Buddhism_Women_and_Caste.pdf

      3) Islam has been touted as an egalitarian religion, both explicitly or even implicily, by many –from Nehru to Periyar to even Marxists like Prof. M Habib , yet in the Indian case , it developed caste . Our muslim friends & many scholars (Muslim & non-Muslim) of Islam argue the same – Hinduism spoiled Islam . This is despite the fact that Migrants like Syeds , Naqvis , Mughals etc. assigned themselves a Superior Biradri status ( preferring not to intermarry with native converts) & thus it were not just native converts to blame (as that argument alleges) ??

      4) And then comes the fourth view which does not reject the above understanding but yet challenges many underlying assumptions ,which states that Hinduism itself is a modern-day concoction & rather Hindu communities followed a blend of regional folk religions influenced by Brahminism & even to a certain extent Sikhism & Islam etc.
      So how must one understand Caste today & can Brahmins be made scapegoats (as often they are – not just by non-Brahmins but also by some Muslims) or those Brahmin-authored shastras (which no doubt have a role) be blamed completely for all of it ??

  • Also note the fact that the Manu Smriti has been rejected by a mature Hindu society long long ago and not even the most staunch Hindus swear by it.

    • Captain Mandrake

      Aviram,

      **Also note the fact that the Manu Smriti has been rejected by a mature Hindu society long long ago and not even the most staunch Hindus swear by it.**

      Then why do we find so much casteism and misogyny in the Hindu society?

      • Maybe for the same reasons we see hierarchical society and misogyny as a common thread throughout the world?

      • Kit–But that hierarchy around the world isn’t in the form of caste. Indian hierarchy is.

        Mandrake– It would be silly to assume that casteism exists because of the Manu Smriti. The Manu Smriti is a pretty late document, it seems much more likely that casteism produced Manu, not the other way around.

        • Captain Mandrake

          **Mandrake– It would be silly to assume that casteism exists because of the Manu Smriti. The Manu Smriti is a pretty late document, it seems much more likely that casteism produced Manu, not the other way around.**

          Yes, I did not imply that someone called Manu wrote a document called Manusmriti and voila casteism was born.

          I am only curious as to why our Hindu friends here try real hard to distance themselves from this document that does a fairly good job of describing casteism in their Hindu society.

          • Lol it actually does a terrible job. The Brahmins who wrote Dharmasastra were terrible sociologists.

            If it hadn’t been for people like M.N. Srinivas, I doubt we’d understand casteism today as well as we do.

  • shit….terrible concepts…..the SC must think over it to punish MANU….

  • In my research into something else entirely I found this interesting quote:

    “William Jones for example, in his role as Supreme Court Judge
    in India, initiated a project to translate the Dharmanastras in the
    misguided belief tha this represented the law of the Hindus, in order to
    circumvent what he saw as the ‘culpable bias’ of the native pandits. In
    taking the Dharmaidstras as a binding law-book, Jones manifests the
    Judaeo-Christian paradigm within which he conceived of religion, and
    the attempt to apply such a book universally reflects Jones’ ‘textual
    imperialism.’52 The problem with taking the Dharmaastras as pan-
    Indian in application is that the texts themselves were representative
    of a priestly 6lite (the brahmana castes), and not of Hindus in toto.
    Thus, even within these texts, there was no notion of a unified, Hindu
    community, but rather an acknowledgement of a plurality of local,
    occupational and caste contexts in which different customs or rules
    applied.53

    It was thus in this manner that society was made to conform to ancient dharmaSastra texts, in spite of those texts’ insistence that they were overridden by local and group custom. It eventually allowed Anglicist administrators to manipulate the porous boundary
    between religion as defined by texts and customs they wished to ban.54 (my italics)”

    This is from ‘Orientalism and the Modern Myth of “Hinduism”‘ by Richard King
    Full essay can be found at: http://faculty.smcm.edu/jwschroeder/Web/ASIA3501/Religion_and_Violence_in_Asia_files/6.MythofHinduism.pdf

    • Kit,

      This is absolutely true what you have posted. I am delighted to see that someone else is familiar with the works of modern scholars.

      But King’s argument is different from saying that Manu itself was composed in the 19th century. Manu is a very old document, but it is true that it was brought into greater prominence by Jones.

      Another thing to be aware of is that Manu has always been important for pandits. REcall the list of texts that cite Manu that I showed you earlier.

  • Manu’s ideas are horrible

  • One wonders how women were discriminated against and how it was an accepted norm. Why Manu would write horrible things about women and got away? Wonder how mothers and sisters of individuals were treated and how society viewed women. The Brahmins are the criminals who shaped the Indian society with cruelty and hatred. They divided men and women, caste system with society thus making conflicts between humans. These people are the devils and the evils of humanity. In spite of all this cruelty the nation failed the attention of Gautama a light that woke up multiple nations. India declined the offer of this priceless pearl. Nanak was a Poet, and a thinker, his teachings are of collective application. His message of love service, sacrifice and equality was ignored. Nanak stayed native to Punjab Brahmin Idols remain the assembly of India. India chose the Brahmin ideology that was cruel and inconsistent and continues to do so.

    • Yeah, this is the second time I’ve seen you do this, and all I have to say is nice try.

      Sikhism is a religion just like any other and is no better than Hinduism. Your Punjab is no better than the rest of India.

      • This is your ignorance and that is why most hindus are like prisioners of your idols and the brahmin. Why are you not angry with this script by manu and the caste system, it is disgusting and discriminatory. You probably do no care and that is who you are, selfish and ignorant.

  • Cheap indian scripts thooo.. I hate to say I am am indian.. Fuck this script. Men can be whatever they want to be , women can’t. The one who has written this and men who follow this should be all turned into woman and made to follow this.. A big fuck to all of this.. Burn it up!!

    • India’s greatest shame yet. I wonder what else there is that is screwed up for an article to say all this nonsense there must be other screwed up ideology.

  • Dear All,

    Truly some of the Manu scripts are horrible to think off. However, I would like to bring to your notice gentlemen that the lord (Sri Krishna) has many a times told that religion and its principles have to change or adapt from time to time. So that our great Vedic religion survives the ever changing and demanding times. People who hollow the Vedic religion should co-exist happily and peacefully. Its very unfortunate that many scholars misinterpreted the texts for their own selfish benefits.
    Finally, I would like to add that in this age of “Kali yuga” these so called scriptures of Manu cannot be followed (they were made for a different yuga brothers).
    In this yuga, it is much easier to connect to the lord, either through Japa, Bhakti or Meditation. Many modern religions follow Bhakti, which is the easiest. Sadly, in this yuga humans as just too busy with their mundane life that they can’t takeout time for the lord, therefore they get into all kinds of problems and end up doing negative karmic activities or actions.

  • Prasanna Bala

    I find it disgusting that women are treated as mere slaves in Hinduism. What I really don’t understand it that some women are conditioned to think that it is objective of their life. I am the only atheist in my family. All my sisters, mother adheres strictly to Hinduism. I tried explaining them the status of women in Hinduism as depicted by manu. They speak like hindu apologist and blame me instead that I am the one who bring dishonor to the family. This defies all logic and beyond my comprehension.

  • I just read this post and I felt quite bad after reading this. I have no idea about Manusmriti, but the only conclusion I could draw from this post is that whoever wrote it must have been scared of the female population. The beginning of the “derogatory comments about women” just points out that men are weak and women are so strong that they can empower men easily. The writer must have had inferiority complex to go and write a book to brainwash people to believe that women are weak.

    • This is a bigoted society and cruelty against ones own mothers and sisters. This is what religions are all about. They are fake, selfish and greed in their ideologies. God did not create religion but we created God for our own selfishness.

  • Stand of Manu smriti on womanhood must be analysed by unbiased way. The ignorant group of Brahmans tried to frame superiority of man over women and interpolated many shaloks in Manu smriti. We will understand this foul play by reading following shaloks.

    Women are given preference ahead of others.

    3/56. Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honoured, no sacred rite yields rewards.

    9/26. Those wives or striyah who bears children, who secure many blessings, who are worthy of worship and who irradiate (their) dwellings by prosperity, there is no difference between them and goddesses of fortune.

    2/ 138. Way must be made for a man in a carriage, for one who is above ninety years old, for one diseased, for the carrier of a burden, for a woman, for a Snataka(educated), for the king, and for a bridegroom.

    3/114. Without hesitation he may give food, even before his guests, to the following persons, (viz.) to newly-married women, to infants, to the sick, and to pregnant women.

    Women are ranked important in family.

    3/60. In that family, where the husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her husband, happiness will assuredly be lasting.

    3/62. If the wife is radiant with happiness, the whole house is heaven; but if she is destitute of happiness, all will appear hell.

    3/59. Hence men, who seek (their own) welfare, should always honour women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes, and (dainty) food.

    3/55. Women must be honoured and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers-in-law, who desire (their own) welfare.

    9/13. Drinking (spirituous liquor), associating with wicked people, separation from the husband, rambling abroad, sleeping (at unseasonable hours), and dwelling in other men’s houses, are the six causes of the ruin of women.

    If women are not happy in family that family is perished.

    3/57. Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers.

    3/58. The houses, on which female relations, not being duly honoured, pronounce a curse, perish completely, as if destroyed by magic.

    Women are the source of happiness in a family.

    9/28. Offspring’s, the due performance on religious rites, faithful service, highest conjugal happiness and heavenly bliss for the ancestors and oneself, depend on one’s wife alone.

    Never quarrel with your wife.

    4/180. With his father and his mother, with female relatives, with a brother, with his son and his wife, with his daughter and with his servants, let him not have quarrels.

    No one should leave their wives.

    8/389. Neither a mother, nor a father, nor a wife, nor a son shall be cast off; he who casts them off, unless guilty of a crime causing loss of caste, shall be fined six hundred (panas).

    Son and daughter are equal as per Manu smriti.

    9/130. A son is even (as) oneself, (such) a daughter is equal to a son; how can another (heir) take the estate, while such (an appointed daughter who is even) oneself, lives?

    9/131. But whatever may be the separate property of the mother, that is the share of the unmarried daughter alone; and the son of an (appointed) daughter shall take the whole estate of (his maternal grandfather) who leaves no son.

    9/192. But when the mother has died, all the uterine brothers and the uterine sisters shall equally divide the mother’s estate.

    9/212. His uterine brothers, having assembled together, shall equally divide it, and those brothers who were reunited (with him) and the uterine sisters.

    Remarriage allowed in Manu smriti.

    9/176. If she be (still) a virgin, or one who returned (to her first husband) after leaving him, she is worthy to again perform with her second (or first deserted) husband the (nuptial) ceremony.

    Women should beget husband of her choice and good qualities.

    9/90. Three years let a damsel wait, though she is marriageable; but after that time let her choose for herself a bridegroom of her choice.

    9/89. (But) the maiden, though marriageable, should rather stop in (the father’s) house until death, than that he should ever give her to a man destitute of good qualities.

    Care of alone women prescribed by government in Manu smriti and any one depending on women is consider as sinner.

    8/28. In like manner care must be taken of barren women, of those who have no sons, of those whose family is extinct, of wives and widows faithful to their lords, and of women afflicted with diseases.

    8/29. A righteous king must punish like thieves those relatives who appropriate the property of such females during their lifetime.

    3/52. But those (male) relations, who, in their folly, live on the separate property of women, (e.g. appropriate) the beasts of burden, carriages, and clothes of women, commit sin and will sink into hell.

    Hard punishment for crime against womanhood

    8/367. But if any man through insolence forcibly contaminates a maiden, two of his fingers shall be instantly cut off, and he shall pay a fine of six hundred (panas).

    8/323. For stealing men of noble family and especially women and the most precious gems, (the offender) deserves corporal (or capital) punishment.

    8/352. Men who commit adultery with the wives of others, the king shall cause to be marked by punishments which cause terror, and afterwards banish.

    9/232. Forgers of royal edicts, those who corrupt his ministers, those who slay women, infants, or Brahmanas, and those who serve his enemies, the king shall put to death.

    Lastly all religious rituals are ordered by Manu to not to
    complete
    without wife.

    9/96. To be mothers were women created, and to be fathers men; religious rites, therefore, are ordained in the Veda to be performed (by the husband) together with the wife.

    Women are advised not to live alone in view of danger.

    4/149. She must not seek to separate herself from her father, husband, or sons; by leaving them she would make both (her own and her husband’s) families contemptible

  • jack punjabi

    manu is sick man

  • Such a disgrace

  • It is obvious that the author has not researched Manu properly but has eagerly launched into the part that he is interested in. Manu is no longer relevant to Hindus and that is why it is called a progressive religion.These texts are not part of Vedas.Manusmriti became a text for law making many centuries after the vedic period when the ruling class wanted to codify Law.However in the present times Indian state regularly brings in changes in the law related to women and family derived from Hindu personal code; freely accepted and encouraged by forward thinking people.

    • Manu is no longer relevant for Hindus.

      What a sweeping statement to make?.

      In 2014:
      a. 99% of all Hindu marriages are within caste even today.
      b. All Castes whether Brahmin to Outcastes are determined by BIRTH and BIRTH alone.
      c. 100% of born-Brahmins even today do a thread ceremony where they claim themselves as the most superior people.

      If caste system is dead why are born Brahmins doing thread ceremony?.

      Apart from that about 50 dalits are killed everyday and tens more are raped.

      Im not counting the unimaginable levels of discrimination that lower castes are facing every day in India in rural India and in towns.

    • Systemic abuse of women in India continued after Manu. It does not matter if Manu is not relevant but his ideology is still being practised in society. Your religious leaders and BJP politician still find religion and all he crap that comes with it is still necessary. Apart from creation there is also abstract things that have no beginning and end and do not live in time and space and the relevant ones are logic, rationality and kindness. Why are religions and their leaders more important than these things. Leave the religions and look at life for big picture rather than the small picture religions draw.

  • A pretty big error many people make is to judge historical figures or literature using our current standards. Judge Manu by social standards of whichever age he is believed to belong; that way, I don’t think he will be so badly mauled! Take Thomas Jefferson for instance, 3rd president of the United States, one of the Founding Fathers, and lead author of the Declaration of Independence; he wrote, “all men are created equal” and he was holding slaves in his home at the time of his writing! Does it make him a lesser man?

    • S Mukherjee

      M Suraj, no you are wrong. We MUST judge historical figures and literature by current standards, otherwise what is the point of social progress? All of human society is built upon what came before it, therefore historical figures and literature are very important in forming current ideas about society. Therefore we have to use current standards to judge them.

      To answer your question about Thomas Jefferson — yes of course it makes him a lesser man. It makes him a hypocrite. It teaches us that people are complex, that they may show wonderful ideals in some matters, and be very bigoted in some others. It teaches us not to idolise anybody mindlessly, to always be aware of their faults and make our decisions accordingly.

  • Yes india is castiest & like panits thakur banias lala exploit us

  • Biswanath Biswas

    We should not believe in Manusmriti. It is full of contrast and hatred against the dalits. Every dalit should hate Manusmritui from the core of their hearts.It is the most notorious work of the Hindu scriptures.

  • dr. vismita

    why should we even bother about what has been written by whom years ago. we should know that the future of Hinduism and India is now in our hands and we can change it. yes it will take time but to replace these rigid thoughts but the scenario is changing and will change to better.

  • Manu was a sacred person. The parts manu smriti here are self contradicting and not justifiable at times. It seems that the orignal manusriti has been changed as per requirement in last 2000 years or so.

    Seems orignal manusriti is lost to us.

  • what actually is this?i am a hindu yet i feel ashamed at the claims manusmriti makes about woman,especially those regarding sex sexlife and postmarital relations with brother in law and those comments that claim that sodomy with so called higher caste is non punishable………i really didnt feel proud of hinduism after reading all this!!!!!!!

    • Think updated. Manusmrithi was written thousands of years ago.The importance of Manusmrithi is it was the first law code written in the history. Kindly do not proud of anything.Chewing some rotten book of the past and feeling shame? chloroform was invented and used for anesthesia in the past and now using it, is a criminal offence. Treat the manusmrithi thoughts like that. Evolution makes the man update.

    • Sam / Srinivasan, Surprising that I am defending Manu’s laws. Strange as it may be, let me proceed. I stumbled on to this site site accidentally. I am a very staunch believer of the idea that Vedism and Sanskritan literature is very racial in character. I also believe that it is very much against women. Having said my belief, I am actually coming to the defence of some part of the test above, very specifically to the parts which you abhorred. The text is saying that a woman if she had become a widow without a “son”, she should get a “son” through a brother-in-law or a family member of her husband’s side. This seems to be a very humanistic consideration. After all, the text has previously said that women must be in the care of a father, husband or a son. If she does not have a son and the husband had died, what would be her situation? It is not as if internet was there in those days where she can go and get a new husband or any other modern means. She could not have gone to an assembly of men seeking considerations. If you read Deuteronomy in bible, there are lines which are exactly like this! strikingly so! The bible text says that such a women has a right to bear a child through a brother-in-law and if the brother-in-law refuses to give a child, she has a right to bring him out to the street and spit on his face. According to me, such ideas are very progressive ideas. I do condemn all other ideas based on race as well as character of women. These are extremely in human. After all, one should expectsuch texts from ancient Sanskritan literature because their very sole purpose is to save Sanskritan race in and out.

    • Why does one need to be only proud of one’s identity ?? For eg. I am a Rajput by birth , I belong to a Chauhan clan that defeated Allaudin Khilji’s army , on the negative side , I belong to a caste that was one of the biggest exploitative communities in Rajasthan. Similarly as an Indian I am proud of many good things about India but also ashamed of being an Indian (when we read about the plight of Kashmiris , Nagas etc ).

      The one who has power exploits , no matter how morally superior they be , even the communists exploit even if they claim to be anti-oppression revolutionaries . So in fact no identity , not even that of being atheist , should be left scrutinized & blindly taken pride in .

  • I m ashamed of being Hindu…what laws he has created are really rediculouse…

    • Do you really follow them?? If no ,forget it. Are you a Brahmin ?? It is not your fault then. Moreover what do you expect from ancient laws??

    • do not stick to any old, non-practical issues in this modern ages. Being a Hindu be practical and try to live in present era. More than 70% of Contents of manusmriti are wiped out/not existing in the society due to revolution.Thanks

  • Deepak Panchal

    The manu smriti was created much later and created by some of the brahmins. perviously they created rigveda and other books which were absolutely perfect. this books lot of people had put on fire now as they started understanding about the truth. i am Hindu but I do not believe in this book. don’t be ashamed of being Hindu just for this one so called book manu smriti.

    • Deepak, since you mentioned that “rigveda” is perfect, could you paraphrase what you mean by that? Have you actually tried to read the translation and have you been able to make any sense of it? Here is a link in case you want to read it. I am yet to meet a Hindu who has actually read the Rig Veda.

      http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/

      • How can an ideology be perfect, nothing perfect comes from our thought process. Human thought functions from our experiences and conditioning. It might be perfect to your conditioning only and could be destructive to the masses. These religions teachings are destructive to the human race and should be viewed with suspicion and distrust.

      • What is the use of reading vedas now.The content of vedas are available now. The remarkable thing of vedas are the upanishads and its philosophy. I am proud of that because of the good thoughts it created to the world. It is absurd to bring rotten things and exhibit as hindu culture.

        • But they still believed a a cruel caste system. I am of the opinion that with caste discrimination and the fact that it is part of the religious ideology makes Indians the most racist people on earth. Hitler had the same kind of system and is hated the world over. The Indians continue to practice this evil ideology.

      • Rig Veda is not about right and wrong. Rig Veda is the appreciation of nature through poetry. It is as worth reading as Yeates, Byron, Shelley and Blake. It is not a guide book on life like the
        Koran or Bible. It’s greatest truth is that WE make the gods.

    • Do not defend this damming script with an excuse, the evil in this script is too large for an excuse. When you read this script are you looking at the Hindu religion rather than the contents of this evil script. To build a fair and equal society we will have to change the past Brahmin selective ideology that has brought pain to societies for centuries. Look at the Dalit’s and the plight of women in the Hindu society. Again do not look at the religion and it so called godly writers and decide but the pain it has brought to the victims.

      • First off, the other commentators are right. I don’t know what your criterion is for calling a work of poetry “perfect.” It would be best to elaborate.

        Every few weeks, some commentator ritualistically abuses Manu on here, and it’s been going on ever since this article was posted. The debate on Manu itself, however, has been going on for a hundred years, and I wonder if it can be used as a building block to actual action. This is basically what every debate on Manu is like, and it gets rather boring after a while:

        Anti-Hindu: This scripture of yours is casteist and sexist. What is it doing in your religion?

        Hindu: It’s not mine!

        Anti-Hindu: Yes it is!

        Hindu: No it isn’t!

        ad-infinitum

        Can we go beyond this? If a Hindu disavows Manu, atheists ought to congratulate him or her for it. But for the Hindus who do so– will you similarly condemn Krishna’s condemnation of the varna-samkara in the Bhagavad Gita? How about menstruation taboos or the fact that priests have to be Brahmin males? Would you support the training of women priests, as the temple in Pandharpur is now doing thanks to non-Brahmin activism?

        • Is Manu not a Hindu saint with full support from the religion and people? I am a Hindu and it is difficult so to accept this kind of evil religious script.Just go into a denial and ll will be fine including the victims.

      • Do not defend this damming script with an excuse

        When you read this script

        First of all, scripture, not script. The two are very different things.

        Second, obscuring the opponent’s argument will accomplish nothing. It is clear that he’s not defending the “script” with “excuses–” he’s saying he has nothing to do with it. So rather than play the “yes you do, no I don’t” game, let’s move beyond that.

    • Gunzo Gunzo

      Though I may sound condesending, in fact I am, but still would you mind telling me what is perfect about Rig Vedam? What is the perfect message? How am I supposed to benefit from it? What is in there which our mothers did not say about rights and wrongs? Please give some elements and I would go there and read the rest.

  • Elsa Liliana Vivacqua

    I´m currently writing a book about a kidnapping of childre occured to a close woman friend of mine in Bolivia, whose husband , Christian born, entered the Hare Krishna cult. Although not a religion, and certainly not Hinduism, the abuse of genre and authority is present in this cult. After 4 years my friend finally recoverd her children that were sent as orphans and with identity changed to a gurukala. If anyone has information about these institutions and /or Hare Krishnas communities., I would very much appreciate information, since though the book is no meant to be authobiographical, but a novel, I´m in the stage of recapitulating information about said cult

    • Hi Elsa,

      Good luck with your project. This book covers the Hare Krishna movement in detail. It is the only scholarly study I know of.

      Simply putting “Hare Krishna” into Amazon will get you more results, however.

      The late philosopher Bimal Krishna Matilal also has a good essay on his reservations about the movement in his anthology “Ethics and Epics.” You can find used copies of that on Amazon.

    • All religious ideology is from the human mind and depending on their conditioning the ideology is going to be ridiculous as a whole. All religious books have tons of cruelty and evil in their doctrines. If you do not know this then wake up to this evil. A child should be taught how to think critically from an early age and this training does entail parents refraining from shoving their religious or political ideologies down their children’s throats.

  • For example, some attitudes in this book persist today:


    31. “Naita rupam……………” – 9/14. Such women are not loyal and have extra marital relations with men without consideration for their age.

    32. “Poonshchalya…………” – 9/15. Because of their passion for men, immutable temper and natural heartlessness, they are not loyal to their husbands.

    The idea that women behave different from men due to biology is surprisingly persistent all over the world.

    Some of the verses above, are not necessarily sexist though. Consider the two:


    “Trinsha……………….” – 9/93. In case of any problem in performing religious rites, males between the age of 24 and 30 should marry a female between the age of 8 and 12.

    7. “Uchayangh…………….” – 3/11. Wise men should marry only women who are free from bodily defects, with beautiful names, grace/gait like an elephant, moderate hair on the head and body, soft limbs and small teeth.

    This is advice to men on whom to marry– an ancient Cosmopolitan for men, if you will. And ultimately, yes, it’s discriminatory. If anyone here goes on Kafila, the feminist crowd there would hate statements like these that designate one group of humans as “beautiful” and others as “ugly.” And I wish that I, as a person, could see all people as similarly attractive. But I have the failing that I can’t. Is this really not the type of advice a man might get from his friend, on which girl is beautiful and which one is ugly? We’re not much better than Manu.

  • This is a piece by the Dalit intellectual Anand Teltumbde. He briefly touches on the pitfalls of using Manu as a scapegoat for contemporary caste atrocities. His views are elaborated in his 2002 book “Khairlanji.”

  • this completely signifies the patriarchal nature of the society which is even prevalent today. women is treated as an object. i was shocked after reading this. All the rights belong to men and women is made to suffer at every moment.

  • Manu,by and large has codified the customary and traditional system prevalent during his time. No doubt he might have added some of his own views. I dont believe a brahmin called Manu sat tight with the sole idea of authoring a Text to prove the superiority of brahmins and to undermine the women in the society. We always have the habit of criticising the Works of great authors, against the background of present social situation which results in doing thorough injustice to them. I dont say whatever Manu had said should be blindly believed or followed. But it is also not correct to say that every thing he had said is to be thrown into the dustbin. If you go through Manu Smriti, you will certainly find many revolutionary ideas. Let us read without any prejudice with a mindset to accept what is good.

  • as a hindu ultimate reality is formless genderless etc… and like buddhists, sikhs, jain, unlike abrahamics we are in no way bound to our scriptures. we are allowed to see them as fallible and reject them (consider buddhas words ” do not beleive anything that does not match your own senses and reasoning”)

    the creation hymn of the rig veda expresses agnosticism (second last stanza look it up)

    we should not pretend that the manu smriti is not a part of hinduism, or the caste system, or menstruation taboos. instead we should acknowledge that it is/was a a part of hinduism but that hinduism does not demand infallibility of script, so we are free to reject it, and should do so today.

    also hindus/Buddhists believe that this world is transitory/illusory/ever changing (maya) thus, any way spoken of to navigate this world (law), in a accordance with the transitory and changing nature of this world, should also by dynamic.

    a stagnant law for navigating this world is contradictory to the transitory nature of this world, so not correct

    manu was commenting on, and reinforcing the standards of society a long time ago. alot of its heinous. some of it is nice.

    theres plenty of stuff in hinduism that we need to accept, and banish (caste system etc…) it does us no good to pretend its not there. that is blindness.

    but we should recognise the Ultimate Truth that this world is transitory, and so the laws of the past are not applicable as the way of the past is (thankfully) gone, and therefore be proud that hinduism then allows us to reject infallibility and stagnancy, instead embracing dynamism, and new outlook.

    as a hindu, i dont have to accept manus teachings as something i follow. i can call them out. and i do. and thats why im proud to be a hindu, not an abrahamic

    additionally ive only really been interested in theoligical doctrines on moskha, karma, samsara, non duality… i have rarely cared for any other aspect

    • also manu was a ruler., but he wasnt a sage. the sages were like vyasa. 0 involvement in politics, as it should be.

  • Subsequent governments are guilty of no acting against the caste system and discrimination against women in their own homes. For over sixty years they kept their population hungry knowing well that the hungry will be the Dalits. They say that the caste system is banned and yet there was no action to enforce anything to curb this evil law. Temples that are public places and they do not pay taxes could have easily targeted to ban this evil system but the government let them continue to break the law. Laws against violence against women were lackluster and the public and the sitting politicians openly broke the law by committing crimes like rape. The court systems were deliberately underfunded and the abuse continues. The Brahmins and the priesthood are still with Manu.

  • The article doesn’t mention that punishment of adultery for women and men was different and homosexuality as well was different. Some groups like Arya Samaj eschew all scriptures post Vedas but most hindus don’t , if you google search for the manu smriti hindutva-leaning sites some crude, some sophisticated pops up all essentially claiming that caste was not hereditary and women were treated well and had choice which is untrue. They refuse to deal with polygamy and widow remarriage and caste. It’s pretty partial to Brahmin men, in fact it revolves around them.

    He who has associated with outcasts, he who has approached the wives of other men and he who has stolen the property of a Brahmin becomes [after death] a brahmarakshas [fierce devil]. It is declared that a Shudra woman alone [can be] the wife of a Shudra, she and one of his own caste [the wives] of a Vaishya, those two and one of his own caste [the wives] of a Kshatriya, those three and one of his own caste [the wives] of a Brahmin . Twice-born (‘upper’ caste) men, who, in their folly, wed wives of the low [Shudra] caste soon degrade their families and their children to the state of Shudras. According to Atri and to [Gautama] the son of Uthaya, he who weds a Shudra woman becomes an outcast . A Brahmin who takes a Shudra wife to his bed will [after death] sink into hell; if he begets a child by her he will lose the rank of a Brahmin.
    A [man of ] low [caste] who makes love to a maiden [of] the highest [caste] shall suffer corporal punishment.

    The property of a Brahmin must never be taken by the king, that is a settled rule; but [the property of men] of other castes the king may take on failure of all [heirs]. Let the king corporally punish all those [persons] who either gamble and bet or afford [an opportunity for it], likewise Shudras who assume the distinctive marks of twice-born [men].

    • chandrasekaran

      It is legally impossible and a violation if the barren wife has cohabitation to get an off spring through her brother-in-law.I wonder how the saint Manu speaks about this as a rule.

  • Buddhism is far more superior to Hinduism and it is a shame when Hindus assume that they are all Hindus and there is no Buddhism as per say. Buddha put all th Brahmin to shame when he said the following. The system that divided people on the basis of their birth was unjust. He highly condemned the caste system because as per his perspective there were brutal and barbaric people in the upper caste and also kind and virtuous people in the lower caste.This is the sole reason why Gautam Buddha condemned and highly criticized the Varna system and Vedic literature because it preached caste system and discrimination. Buddha’s principle was highly humanistic as his principle was purely based on reason & logic, unlike the Brahmanism which practiced inequality and chaturvarna. According to Buddha, the priestly class were the people who were learned and not who were superstitious and blindly followed the scriptures or the one who were born in a Brahman family. Buddha did upset the entire Brahman concept of caste by stating the distinction was purely arbitrary and not divinely ordained as people thought of. He abolished the varna dharma and welcomed all types of people including the lower caste people (For instance, the barber barber shown in Zee TV Buddha) to join Buddhism so that they could enter a society which was based on spiritual fraternity and not according to the house where he was produced. According to the Buddha, the social organization was based on two aspects karuna, that is respect and maitri, that is equality for all living beings. He insisted that one should not blindly follow the scriptures, and the so called truth mentioned in it, but, instead use reasoning or logic to know the truth in it. No wonder, he was very liberal in his approach. Lastly, though Buddha could not wipe off the so called divine caste system during his period completely, the social awakening created by him modified the social structure to a great extent!!!

    • Sir, the chaturvarna system you so criticize was not same in the early vedic period. It was remoulded and modified later. A counter view about the views of Buddha about women he also was not in the favor of women, he did not wanted them to join Sangha. one of the reasons he renounced the world was that he did not like the site of a sleeping women(they are so pretty asleep,as you may be aware) along with that of a dead body and an ill person. He was of the view as he maetions to Ananda(his favorite disciple)that Sangha got polluted because of the coming of women and Buddhism will collapse early because of this reason.

      • The verdict period lasted from 2500 to 3500 years ago. We have no proof or evidence there was no brutal caste system in that period. Buddha did mention that the system was based on Varna and in Sanskrit Varna means color. He also mentioned that people were born with their caste and this was about 2500 years ago. When you pay attention and look for an unbiased truth you see things much more clearly. The Brahmins wanted to change everybody except themselves, which means, really, they did not want to change. They wanted others to change, and so they remained heartless, indifferent, cruel, introducing cruel hierarchy hoping the environment will change so that they can continue in our own way. Buddha had followers who were Hindus previously and they were conditioned to Hinduism therefore had the prejudices against women and caste that still remained. Today when you go to the countries that practice Buddhism do not practice the caste system. Do you think organizations like religions that practise cruelty of man will bring love into being? Through legislation, India has abolished the caste system but leaders and the higher caste that has the desire for power and control do not want to change. Therefore if we do not work for what is good, how else can it be brought about? The good doesn’t come into being through our withdrawal or denial. Society including the greatest to the least among us, must bring about change. I think that it is fairly obvious that the Dalit and other lower caste people live in appalling conditions it not dignity throughout their civilization. You want dignity and why should they be denied their dignity. Is this cruelty more important than your being?

        • ###Today when you go to the countries that practice Buddhism do not practice the caste system.###

          Sri Lankan Sinhalas have caste system. Japanese (Shintos or even Buddhists) had caste system. The real Buddha never supported casteism but never was a revolutionary against it too. He was an Atheist spiritualist like the Samkhyaks , Ajivikas & Jains (both preceded him).

          Sanskritised Hinduism caused varnashram. So agreed it is evil. But religion alone is not keep caste Hindus’ accidie towards the lower caste ones. So a caste Hindu does not change even if he converts to Buddhism – he becomes caste Buddhist.Nor jatis came into existence merely due to any Brahmin scriptures .Hindus(even Sikhs & significant no. of Muslims) came from different races , each race subjugating the already existing ones.

          I support Dalit conversion to Buddhism but do not plz forget that the real founder of Rationalist Buddhism was Ambedkar(a Dalit) & not Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha (a Kshatriya).

          • Why is caste mentioned in everything you say? My forefathers lived outside India in the west for over 90 years and i do not hear anything about caste anywhere except from Indians. Why don’t you see the fallacy of this system and completely dismiss it as cruel and false? Scientifically this is not true and this system is not fact. Your information about Buddha is not true, you are trying to blend buddhism and hinduism trying to place Hinduism as the superior religion. Hinduism is an animistic religion, you believe in images that are somewhat scary and are laughed at and mocked subtly mocked at. You mentioned kshatriyas as warriors, where were these people when India was being plundered and raped for centuries. Where are they today, the jats and the sikhs defend India and have won the most medal of bravery in the Indian army. The Brahmins who are a bare minority are in toilet cleaning business in Delhi. Why is the fallacy of a caste system?

          • Shadaan,

            I do not quite understand you. It is you who mentions caste or Buddhism in nearly every post, certainly not “the eddy.” And I saw nothing particularly objectionable in his post. Perhaps there is a language barrier, I don’t know.

            It is a fact that the Buddha did not revolt against varnashrama dharma. He reiterates the varna list in his discourses and switches the order of Brahmins and Kshatriyas. And while he was more egalitarian and less sexist than the Brahmins at the time, he was still a far cry from Ambedkar, as “the eddy” points out.

            That Buddhists do not have castes is simply false. In Southeast Asia, the Buddhists adopted varna in their upper classes. In Sri Lanka, Buddhists are organized by jatis, since jati developed in Sri Lanka as a system separate but parallel to varna, as “they eddy” has pointed out.

            What exactly are you objecting to?

        • ###Buddha had followers who were Hindus previously and they were conditioned to Hinduism therefore had the prejudices against women and caste that still remained. ###

          So how does that explain Siddhartha’s misogyny ? Will you also blame Buddhist Fundamentalism ,as seen in South-east Asian countries, on Hinduism’s influence.
          Come on, Buddhism has its own flaws , dont try to absolve it by passing the buck on Brahminism( which is doubtlessly flawed)

          • The portrayal of women in Buddhist jatakas is probably where you will find most of Buddhist misogyny.

            Books written by monks like Shantideva are also sexist in that they sexualize women– of course, for the purpose of suppressing the sex drive– but they are sexualized all the same.

          • Also, most Hindu misogyny comes onto record a thousand years after the Buddha, not before him.

          • You people are ignorant because you have not lived outside you caste conditioned country. The buddhist world is so different from Hinduism and it caste practices. There is obvious equality in buddhism and the outcome is that they are far ahead from Hindus. You people are still disallowing Dalits to enter a place of prayer. Still murdering the Dalits and just hate them after giving them a false label. Pay a visit to Japan or South East Asian Buddhist nations you will be able to see clearly. Remember you are conditioned badly by the Brahmins with your caste system and your minds are dead to facts.

    • Dear Shadaan,

      Yes Buddha has indeed broken many of the shekels that existed in Hinduism.
      Buddha also preached non idol worship. He preached only in being a good, righteous and good human being.But sadly what has happened is people have started worshiping his idol rather than the values he promoted

      • They idolise the Buddha which is different from Hinduism that have millions of Idols because their imaginary story keep producing more Idols. Buddhism has spread around the world whereas Hinduism is in decay and rot. The Indians should have dropped Hinduism, and embraced Buddhism. The outcome for India would have been better that what it is today. With your caste system you people lack compassion and logic. Human rights are being trampled by your religion and culture for gain.

        • Shadaan,

          Look at Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan Buddhism and you will see that they have deified even the bodhisattvas. In medieval India, gods like Ganesh did not necessarily originate with the Hindus, as Buddhists also worshipped them.

          With your caste system you people lack compassion and logic.

          Again, maybe there is a language barrier. But it is not okay that you are accusing people trying to set the record straight on Buddhism in such an inflammatory manner.
          I have already explained why the Buddha was a lesser social revolutionary than Dr. Ambedkar. In fact, the caste system developed after the Buddha as a reaction to Buddhist power. I urge you to read Ambedkar’s papers on caste system.

          • I have lived beside a Buddhist temple and have not seen any segregation of women or people deemed low caste in their homes or places of worship. The big picture does not show buddhist praying like how the hindus do. There is the statue of Buddha and no hindu gods.

        • All you said about buddhism is really true. I am born a hindu but follow the buddhist teaching with originated from buddha but are practiced in Japan (Nichiren Daishonin’s buddhism). They highly respect their women and do not promote idol worship. It says any practice outside of yourself is not the right teaching. Its all about being a good human being and creating the right causes. Just out of curiosity I have been reading alot of hindu scripture and all I have come across is degradation of women. We are headed towards a downward spiral where people still believe in the patriarchal society which subdued the women.

          • I am very much aware of how Buddhist practice their religion and you as a buddhist have acknowledged what I have been saying to the group of people who are all Hindus and they want to claim Buddhism and even sikhism and and Jainism as being Hindu. Buddhism is not Hinduism, just as Christianity is not Judaism. Anything born in India is being wrongly classified as Hinduism. The misguided logic of insecure Hindus. Buddha rejected everything in Hinduism. There cannot be two truths that are opposite. That is contradiction and a logical flaw and a clever tactic by Brahmins. It is not logical for the Hindus to claim that another religion is theirs but for a buddhist to say if he is Hindu. I have never heard Buddhist ay that he is Hindu. Buddhist do not believe in the Vedas or ny Hindu scriptures. The Buddhist do not recognise any Hindu deity superior to Buddha. The Buddhist do not belief in the first cause which means God. The Buddha was honest because there is no evidence of the existence of a first cause. If there i a good and kin God why is there rampart Human and natural evil, why would people come to this world with mental and physical deformities and suffer for a short period and die off. What was their reason to come here, just to suffer pain and leave. To sum up I would say that all religion are a product of the intellect and that is why they say that man was created in the image of God because men created God in their image. I would say it again that Buddha was honest. I do not know, and have not felt anything is called God.

          • So you are implying that even in this modern era , Scriptures should dictate our understanding . So the condition of women in Japan has more to do with stress on Buddhism , rather than stress on education,rationalism etc.
            Do you anything about feudal Japan & the difference in condition of women then & now ?? I am sure the difference is not of Buddhism but the fact that in modern times , they have risen above religious beliefs (somewhat) ,reducing religion to certain cultural aspects. Even there , Iam sure they like the rest of mankind , have borrowed a lot from the West.

          • If societies were reflections of their religious scriptures i.e. people read them & then behaved accordingly then :
            1) All Hindus would have been worse than what they are. Or , except Brahmins , everyone would have renounced the “Hindu” identity. Afterall the scriptures give scant regard to non-Brahmins.

            2) All Muslims would have been terrorists , regardless of what the ordinary muslim tells us that ” killing one man is equivalent to killing entire humanity” .Or , the South Asian muslim would have denounced Quran as part of 700 ADs Perso-Arabic Imperialism.
            Proof of that they do not really read Quran or Vedas etc. with honesty.

  • Good article but could be best if full verses are given.

  • Hinduism has a subtle philosophy here they portray themselves to be righteous as compared to other religions. However the Manuscript indicates that women are evil and should be treated badly an looked upon with suspicion. They imply forget that their mothers are women and they lived inside their mothers womb for nine month and were brought up until they were adults. Now these women are inferior, I have no word to describe their logic and intelligence and wonder who is really inferior? I will quote what Guru Nanak said about women
    “From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married. Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come. When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound. So why call her bad? From her, kings are born. From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all”. Guru Nanak, Raag Aasaa Mehal 1, Page 473.
    Sati is an Indian custom of immolation of a woman on her dead husband’s funeral pyre either self-willingly or by societal inducement and compulsion. Guru Nanak say the following about this practice: “Do not call them ‘satee’, who burn themselves along with their husbands’ corpses. O Nanak, they alone are known as ‘satee’, who die from the shock of separation. Some burn themselves along with their dead husbands, but they need not, for if they really loved them they would endure the pain alive”. Sri Guru Granth Sahib page 787. Finally about dowry “Any other dowry, which the self-willed manmukh offer for show, is only false egotism and a worthless display. O my father, please give me the Name of the Lord God as my wedding gift and dowry”. — Sri Guru Granth Sahib page 79. Indian women should wake up and do not let the preferred and spoilt male child in the Indian society steal you human rights away. Most of them given special treatment as a boy are irresponsible and insensitive which is a given the way thy are spoilt rotten by the enabling parents.

    • To your argument in the previous section :
      ##Your information about Buddha is not true##

      Read the following :
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_in_Sri_Lanka#Sinhalese_castes

      Also this : https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=5863109047307932002#editor/target=post;postID=4396578223458186055

      ##you are trying to blend buddhism and hinduism trying to place Hinduism as the superior religion.##

      My statement:”Come on, Buddhism has its own flaws , dont try to absolve it by passing the buck on Brahminism( which is doubtlessly flawed)”

      “Sanskritised Hinduism caused varnashram. So agreed it is evil. ”

      Your statements :”Buddhism is far more superior to Hinduism” ” Buddha had followers who were Hindus previously and they were conditioned to Hinduism therefore had the prejudices against women and caste that still remained.”

      It is for you to judge which of the above are exhibiting supremacism & religious apologetics.
      Each time you defended yourself , you made the Strawman argument that I am defending Casteism or saying “Hinduism is superior to Buddhism”.And yet you could not quote actual historians to prove your statements , thus ending up in “Buddhist Apologetics”.
      Also on other matters of intersection of jati identity & religious identity you need education ,perhaps living in the west for 90 yrs.

      • You are not reading about sinhalese Buddhism which is a branch. Check what the Buddha said and the outcome in Buddhist nations other than south Asia where Hinduism and cultures have clouded their minds

        • Good idea. The Mongols at one point in their war on China hired some Buddhist monks who told them that they could break some fortifications with the power of mantra. Unsurprisingly, nothing happened.

          Before the Chinese invasion, Tibet was a feudal society run by the monks, who were able to maintain power because they were 1/3 of the population– and since most families had someone in the monastic structure, they wouldn’t complain.

          The Japanese used Zen in World War II to justify killing the Chinese, because reincarnation meant that noone “really” died. Note the similarity to the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna tells Arjuna that the atman is immortal!

          The Sinhalese used Buddhism to justify killing the Jaffna Tamils. The Rohingyas are currently being massacred by monks in Myanmar.

          What “outcome” are you talking about??

          • The centuries old cruel caste system which is still going on is worse that anything you are saying. legislation has been passed to end this system but you Indians refuse to either implement it or just ignore it. One i still ble to murder rape or discriminate against the dalits. it will be almost impossible for the Dalit to sue or bring the perpetrator to justice. Why talk about something else when the core of this topic is about the discriminating Manuscript from a saint and leader of Hinduism. Why can’t you look at your humanity and say that it is grossly wrong which mean you are trying to ignore this cruelty.

          • Shadaan,

            This is too much. Instead of answering the questions eddy and I have posed to you, you return into your shell and start spewing venom accusing us of being casteist, and personally blaming us for crimes against Dalits.

            For the record, I doubt anyone on this site thinks that the caste system was or is a good idea. Certainly not someone who reads Ambedkar, a description that I think many people on this site can hold.

            Why can’t you look at your humanity and say that it is grossly wrong which mean you are trying to ignore this cruelty.

            Pitiful. You are the one who has tried to portray Buddhism and Sikhism as flawless religions, and have made the claim that supposedly Southeast Asia and East Asia are paradises because of Buddhism. Before throwing stones from glass houses, I urge you to look at the caste discrimination rampant in Sikhism. “India Untouched” by K Stalin is a documentary and a good place to start.

            So what if Guru Nanak denounced casteism? It didn’t do squat for Sikh Dalits. Ambedkar makes the same claim about Vedanta. So what if Vedanta said that everyone’s atman was equal? It didn’t do squat for dalits. Same for Islam, Christianity, and every other religion that says that people are equal. Religious equality is different from social equality. Social equality has always come from secular, humanist traditions, never from religion.

            And if you want to call east and southeast Asia a paradise because of Buddhism, please do so by all means. But you will need to explain how the Tibetan monks perpetuated inequality, had blinding as an acceptable punishment, denied women the “Geshe” degree for centuries, etc. You will need to explain why Buddhists in southeast asia adopted the varna system, why they are killing Rohingyas today, why Japan used Buddhism in WW2 to justify crimes. Why have there been so many military dictatorships in southeast Asia?

            Funnily enough, India’s economy is doing better than that of any southeast Asian country. The only country from there that can compete with India is Indonesia… which, like India, is a Hindu-Muslim country.

            TL;DR Noone here likes casteism or is a Hindu. So instead of accusing us, focus instead on your defence of Buddhism and Sikhism, which are untenable. We atheists and freethinkers are equal-opportunity offenders.

          • You are spot on.

        • At the end all prophets , gurus , avatars or even Boddhisattvas are bogus.

          A significant section of Hindus ,esp. in middle class (not just we different shades of atheists) are questioning Hinduism .Thus let them be irreligious & non-theists , why do you want them to believe in your lies.
          ## the outcome in Buddhist nations other than south Asia where Hinduism and cultures have clouded their minds##
          Eg. tibet under occupation of China – no independence.
          Myanmar, Vietnam & Combodia …google their conditions.

          Countries like Japan became progressive more because of rejection of all superstitions ,Shinto or Buddhist, not just bcz of Buddhism. Read about Meiji era. China is not even buddhist but an Communist state.
          Buddhism no doubt is the religion of our distant ancestors but then you are calling for ‘ghar-wapsi’.Let societies evolve out of religion.All atheists are not a rationalists but all rationalists are atheists.

          • Eddy,

            It is difficult to criticize Buddhism because people understand Buddhism by the Dhammapada only, or more recently, the Buddha and His Dhamma. But even Ambedkar had to edit the Buddha and His Dhamma, deleting and adding some verses, because it wasn’t perfect. I like the Buddha as much as the next guy, but an awareness needs to be raised about how Buddhism was once an organized religion in India, still is outside of India, and how it thus has the flaws of all religions.

            If organized Buddhism ever is attacked, people use the No True Scotsman fallacy, or say that it was really Hindu influence. So a priori, anything bad in Buddhism is really just Hindu.

            Nice theory, but it does squat for the Rohingyas.

    • ###You mentioned kshatriyas as warriors, where were these people when India was being plundered and raped for centuries.###

      India was always raped & plundered & the last millenium is not unique in this case (unlike Hindutvavadis & some of you believe).When Buddhist Bais Rajput- Harshavardhan ruled ,India had extensive Gujjar migrations. Before this India was attacked & conquered by Hephthalites , Scythians , Kambojas , even some Greek Kings like Milind & Meander . And not to forget the oldest invaders ,the love of all (Hindutva , neo-Hindus ,Brahminists & also Dravidianists) -the Aryans from Iran.

  • also tell what he has said good about women. Manu dharma has many derogatory comments about men & women.but the intellectuals never talk about the good lines. A woman is not indebted to anyone except her husband. Her husband and son are indebted to her. Her father is responsible to raise her well and get her married. Her husband is responsible to keep her happy then on. Her son is responsible after his father’s vanaprastha. A woman’s safety and happiness are given high importance. Women are the source of happiness, in the sense that a happy woman keeps her surroundings always happy and prosperous. Manusmriti insists on this in many ways.where women are respected devatas will be happy. Where women are not respected, no the ritual or worship will be of any use.. If women are unhappy, the clan of those who cause it will be destroyed. If women are happy, the house and clan will prosper. If a woman is insulted, the entire clan (of those causing the insult to her) will be destroyed. Those who want to be happy, should keep women happy, respect her and treat her well. If woman is happy, the entire clan will be happy. If she is not, the entire clan will suffer

    • Satish Chandra

      Ajay,

      There is nothing good about what you listed. They are a result of a patriarchal setup which severely restricts the freedom of women. Why should women need to be under protection of their fathers, husbands and sons? Because that society is so fucked up that they can’t let women make their decisions and chose how they live. Because in that society women who aren’t “owned” by the fathers, husbands and sons are “loose” characters and are fair game for anything. Unsurprisingly, setups where women are made to depend to fathers, husbands and sons also give rise to plenty of domestic abuse as women aren’t free to break away from relationships.

      And regarding the kind of “respecting women” that Manusmriti talks about, it gives rise to its own set of problems – http://nirmukta.com/2010/04/20/freeing-devi-a-pragmatist-argument-for-gender-equality-in-the-freethought-movement-in-india/

      In short, to see why even the “good lines” of Manusmriti aren’t so good, one only need to look at a any patriarchal setup that would make Manusmriti proud – like the khaps for example.

      • But can you plz enlighten me on why their are hardly (if any)any Brahmin or Bania khaps , afterall Manu was a Brahmin??
        Why is honour killing more prevalent in Indo-Scythian & Indo-Hephthalite origin communities like Rajputs , Jats & Gujjars , irrespective of religions . Also how is it that Pathans & Mughlai communities too have honour killings but Bohras & Khojas( Muslim banias) do not have it ?

        Religion is one of the factors influencing social behaviour, though not the only one . All the communities practicing honour killings are martial tribes of North & North-west , while esp. the merchant class rarely practices it. No wonder why the Banias have been at the forefront of preserving Jainism , Bhakti movements!

        • eddy,

          I’m talking about patriarchy, which isn’t limited to ‘honour’ killing. So I’m baffled as to where you got the idea that religion alone is the factor. Sure, it is a major supporter of patriachy, but I never said that it is the only one.

        • I think you are stereotyping communities. Jauhar is a historical Rajput practice, but I don’t think statistics show that most honor killings come from these communities. Look at what happens to people who dare commit intercaste marriage and you will see how tolerate non-martial communities can be.

      • Well I would like to counter that evolution had a bias towards a patriarchical system. Most of the burgeoning jobs of those times meant working the fields, being a soldier, or a merchant and having to travel or being an educator. Most of these jobs suited a particular gender. We shouldn’t be judging these while keeping our sensibilities born out of our modern upbrining. Simply put, society at that time was still evolving and didn’t have lots of options for women. So I reckon that good lines are “good” if you ascribe it to the time they were written.

        I wished the article had served up some context or atleast given the verbatim in sanskrit. A few sounds like pertaining to eugenics, others about keeping the intellectuals focussed, most of them don’t make sense but if I am allowed to doodle across the dots here, it seems Manu tried to rush human evolution by making it more selective/efficient(??)

        • ###Well I would like to counter that evolution had a bias towards a patriarchical system.##

          Did not get it?? Biological Evolution from primates to Homo Sapiens , some where might have led to strengthening of patriarchy but Social evolution of Humans over the millenia on the contrary has challenged patriarchical systems.

          ##Most of these jobs suited a particular gender.##
          No , this is patriarchy which assumes that a woman is intellectually or physically inferior to man for those jobs & be only reduced to households.And this idea sadly continues even in more progressive societies like the west.

          ## it seems Manu tried to rush human evolution by making it more selective/efficient##
          Doodling along the dots is exactly what Nietzshe did.

          ##So I reckon that good lines are “good” if you ascribe it to the time they were written.###
          Unlike Gita , Upanishads , Lotus Sutra ,Quran etc which can be seen in “greys” even from the context of that age of ignorance , but works like Manusmriti , certain Hadiths,are works of extreme villany , not some ordinary ppl’s ignorance. So your argument has some validity in the former cases but in the latter they dont.

          • ##Most of these jobs suited a particular gender.##
            – I never said intellectually but physically yes. At least from all the biological evidences women are somewhat disadvantaged due to lack of certain hormones(testosterone and HGHs). Not that I am saying that they shouldn’t be able to overcome that but take a look at body builders from both genders.

            And also let me qualify that – Even with jobs that involved traveling, teaching etc. In those times women would have been comparatively overwhelmed due to their (ahem) bodily functions. Not to mention long periods of pregnancy and child rearing that only one gender could have done.

            “And this idea sadly continues even in more progressive societies like the west.”
            Yes sadly because there’s a age old rationale that perpetuates it, that certain shrewdest of shrewds won’t overlook.

            For all the other parts.. well I try my best to see it from the perspective of the writers to understand their core beliefs. Most of these controversial people had their rationals and they weren’t diplomatic about it. One should only judge them if he/she understands that core rationale and the context. And just because they start to make sense doesn’t mean that you have to subscribe to them either.
            When you hold a microscope to any of the big picture people more often than naught they will come across as villian. They have their part to play as do people like you questioning them.

            P.S: I wouldn’t be too keen on calling the age of Gita , Upanishads, etc the age of ignorance. Although there’s some personal bias but I am humbled, by some of the wisdom in those and largely due to the extent of my own ignorance.

  • This story is cock and bull, and where did you hear this tale.

  • Hinduism and Buddhism are both their own religions and cultures. They are different in many ways that define who they are and what their faith is. Hinduism was not founded by any sort of prophet, whereas Buddhism was founded by Buddha. Hindus believe in the Vedas, but the Buddhists do not believe in the Vedas or any other Hindu holy book. Buddhists do not believe in the existence of souls, or the Christian God. Hindus believe in Atman, who is the individual soul, and Brahman, the creator of all. The people of the Hindu religion believe the Buddha to be a reincarnation of one of their gods of the Hindu Trinity but the Buddhists do not believe in any Hindu god as equivalent better than Buddha. Hindus believe in the four stages of life, but the Buddha do not share that believe. Whereas the Buddhists believe in the concept of Bodhisattvas, or the enlightened existence, but the Hindus do not. Buddhists must believe that the Buddha, Sangha, and Dhamma are the three most important requirements on the eightfold path, or the principal teachings of the Buddha. Hinduism has many different paths of self realization. Both religions believe in karma and reincarnation, but their terms and conditions vary, different in as many ways as they are similar. Buddhists have no priests or rituals like the Hindus do. Also, in the Buddhist religion, any follower than achieve Nirvana, but in the Hindu religion, only the Brahmins, or priests, could achieve moksha, the Hindu equivalent of Nirvana. Another large difference is that Buddhists do not believe in the Caste System, a main factor in Hinduism. This is one of their largest differences. Hinduism does not know their original creator, unlike most other religions; they’ve lost any information about their founder over the many years, whereas the Buddhists know their creator, Buddha. Buddhism is a much younger religion than Hinduism. The two religions are very much different.

    • Hinduism and Buddhism are both their own religions and cultures. They are different in many ways that define who they are and what their faith is.

      If you’ll excuse the mild profanity, no shit. Eddy and I weren’t saying that Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism were the same thing at all. No, you had said that Buddhism and Sikhism were free from the caste system. And that Southeast Asia was a paradise because of Buddhism. We had provided counterexamples. Now you are back to just ranting without addressing our concerns.

      Buddhism, even if the Buddha rejected Brahminical dominance, never rejected varna. The Buddha simply replaced Brahmins with Kshatriyas, and he acknowledges “gahapatis,” or Vaishyas. This varna spread to southeast asia. Indian and Sri Lankan Buddhists both have jati. This is an empirical fact.

      Buddhists also have priests and rituals– you don’t know this despite saying you lived next to a Buddhist temple??

      This is the last time I’m trying– if you revert to spewing well-known trivia or calling us caste-ist, I’ll write you off as a troll.

    • Also never forget that jatis never died , they just carried on – a reason they are more frustrating. Let me confess I know little about the cultures of South Indians but in the last few years I have been reading about different castes like- Rajputs ,Jats & gujjars – all three have an intertwined histories & all three are descendants of invaders.
      Majority of Punjabi RJGs , all Kashmiri & Sindhi RJGs ,good numbers of rajasthani RJGs converted to Islam ,their identities as RJGs continued.
      Majority of Sikhs call themselves Jatts or Jats ,followed by Gujjars & Rajputs.For eg. Guru Gobind Singh’s general Banda bahadur was a Minhas Rajput & his tutor was Sardar Singh Rathore.
      It is also not difficult to see that Chandela & Bais Rajputs claim a Buddhist past. Jats of Sindh converted to Islam from Buddhism not any Hinduism & also they are mentioned by their caste by the Arab chronicle Chachnama. I am not absolving Brahminism but pointing out that untill Dr. Ambedkar no one challenged “caste” before.People have fought against Caste exploitation but not caste itself.For eg. I belong to a priviledged caste that does not require vindication from any Manu to continue its caste identity, based upon kith-&-kin relationship–a reason why our Caste Sikh & Muslim brethren too have continued that identity after conversions.On the other hand ,the underpriviledges of Dalits has continued even after conversion.

  • Read this blog on MANU. This person has a different view which is interesting. One should be a little broadminded and have an unbiased mind when doing critical analysis . Dont tke things out of context to prove your thought formations . A truth seeker should be ready to abandon his philosophy if reasoning renders it false.And resoning should be unbiased process.

    http://ajitvadakayil.blogspot.com/2011/01/manu-first-law-maker-capt-ajit.html

    • With due respect , I went through your blog & I have to conclude it is a trash :- The first thing where did you get 8300 BC date for Manu ?? If Manu was so ancient , why does not Chanakya mention him (since afterall Chanakya too wrote on the same subjects), perhaps because Chanakya also preceded him (that is what is accepted now) . So we must say Chanakya , Ashoka , Buddha also preceded 8300 BC . That makes the migration of early Indo-Aryan speakers even more ancient , presumably 10000BC or before.So what about Indus-Valley civillizations of Sindh & Punjab??

      While there is huge lacunae in our knowledge of Ancient Indian history , but we certainly know that IVC flourished around 4000BC-2000BC & Chandragupta Maurya lived around 300 BC ,according to contemporary Greek sources. So what does that make your work ??
      Nothing , but an attempt by an English-speaking modern-day Hindu to defend either his beliefs or defend his community from some imaginary humiliation (in the form of Hindu-bashing)& who wants his religion to be respected like Christianity & Islam. Do you seriously believe in Manu?? I hope not.

  • manusmriti shoulb be burnt by all hindus like ambedkar!!

  • What the fuck I just read !

  • Harbans Lal Badhan

    “The Untouchables (Dalits) of India want economic, social, political, religious and educational equality in Society, not in the eyes of God.”
    (Harbans Lal Badhan)

  • Anila Kadiwar

    thanks very helpful :)

  • Deepak Mishra

    Fuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk this Manusmruti and its law.

    Indian constitution made by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, a shudra(According to Manusmriti) is the best in the world.

  • I have read the Ramayana and the Mahabharat[as well as watched the serialised versions]I have accepted some of the good thoughts rules and inferences.
    [1] Correct me if I am wrong, Sathyavathi’s life story is very interesting,Starting from her life before her marriage to the time she becomes a grand-mother-in -law and later. Can you imagine the plight of a Sathyavathi in today’s world?with all our progressive talk ,would we accept her?
    [2] Kunthi’s life story is interesting too as is her daughter-in-law,Draupadi’s.
    [3] Nalayini’s story is the best of the lot.She is the previous incarnation of draupadi.
    [4] Ahalya’s story is similar too.Indra being a man gets away with everything.Ahalya gets cursed in spite of leading a Boring chaste life.Whats the logic? MEN ARE THE EXALTED ONES AND WOMEN ARE WORSE THAN DIRT???
    I can go on and on and I will get a simple one line answer from my exalted friends”tHATS THE WHEEL OF KARMA’.
    Okay if that be so who is this Manu who took upon himself to write a treatise condemning and insulting women in the worst ways possible.Was he not born of a mother,a woman.Did he put his mother on the same pedestal that he did every woman,dead,alive and to be born on this earth?
    It has always bothered me that the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha have time and again looked at and treated a human being as belonging to this or that caste.kARNA IS REFERRED TO AGAIN AND AGAIN AS THE ONE BELONGS TO A LOW CASTE.dURYODHAN’S ENDEAVOR TO ELEVATE HIM IN SOCIETY DOES NOT REALLY HELP,DOES IT?dRAUPADI LOVES TO TAUNT HIM.
    Most of the time the woman is looked down upon as a object.She gets her dignity Only from her father,husband or son.sad is the plight of a woman who has a father like Drupad.
    A widow has some position and respect if and only she has sons.
    a married woman without a child is looked down upon.One who begets a son is she who has achieved something in life[!!!!!]A daughter is no great shakes.
    The male has no rules. He can marry any number of times,flirt,TEST his wives Chastity[Sage moudgal;ya and Nalayini].How does one call him a sage first? Did the people of yore have no other jobs???
    Manu of Manu Smriti is my favourite-Writing anything he wants ,some of them gross and crude,provocative and trying to pass it off as God’s own words to him.

    A widow has to spend her life shorn of anything that adorns her beauty,looking lovingly at her boys.She DOES not have the right to partake in any good function-After all she is a bad Omen-according to WHO??-Our mythologies,scriptures,Manu or WHO????]
    Time and again you find stories of Ahalya and nalayini who are ‘Chaste”.So whats the big deal?Why should they be?What about all the unchaste men?Did god grant them special permission to be unchaste?
    In today’s world they would have had to gone for medical check ups considerering there was no protected sex then!!
    Manu and his Smriti.Permanently obsessed with seduction by a woman-to the extent of warning against daughters,sisters and mothers-gross and Sick
    Forget manu,look at the Godmen who claim to be following Manu Smriti?Why?Did Manu ask them to?
    Our society will NEVER change.Outwardly it may look progressive but it is still a Hypocrite.
    You can say that widows are treated better now.I disagree.First of all who is society to decide the status and lifestyle of a widow-a woman who is already down in the dumps??
    Widows who wear bindis get a snide look or a jeer.At tambool time she has to hide. She can Never participate in any good function.She does not even have a right to give away her son or daughter in marriage. She has to stand or sit a distance away and bless the kids while her Brother in law[for all reasons he may be a cad] gives the child in marriage.
    I will not agree with the argument that our society has changed Except for Sati.That is the sad but simple truth.

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