Manu, not only a Law Maker but also a Great Botanist! (Post No.4375)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 7 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 20-39

 

 

Post No. 4375

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

Manu Smrti, law book written by Manu, talks about lot of subjects which makes it a Hindu Encyclopaedia. Manu was not only a law maker but also a scientist. Though some of his theories may not hold good today, he was the precursor of several scientific theories.

 

One of the greatest Indian plant scientists was Jagadish Chandra Bose. Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose’s greatest achievement was his invention of the crescograph, which allowed scientists to discover how the seasons and external stimuli affected plant life.

The scientist worked tirelessly to chart how chemical inhibitors, temperature and light change the way plants grow, and advise humans on how to better care for vegetation.

It paved the way for scientists to better understand how to cultivate crops in a more effective way, and encouraged people to take better care of plant life. In one particular report, Bose wrote that he believed plants “feel pain and understand affection” just as much as humans do. But even before Bose, Manu has said about the feeling of plants!

His famous quotation was that ‘don’t even throw a rose flower on your lady love because the rose flower will be hurt’.

Manu must have lived long ago. Though the updated Manu Smriti available now is dated around second century BCE, he lived during the Rig Vedic days. He talks about the Saraswati River, which disappeared later. So the original Manu Smrti must be dated around 2000 BCE. Moreover, like the Rig Veda he never mentioned Sati, the widow burning.

 

About plants he says,

“All the plants that grow from the seed or node are borne from shoots; herbs are those that bear many flowers and fruits and then die with the ripening of the fruit.

“Trees that have fruit but no flowers are traditionally known as the Lords of the Forest; those that bear both flowers and fruit are called trees.

“The various sorts of plants that have one root and those with many roots, the different species of grasses and climbing vines and creepers all grow from a seed or a shoot.

“ENVELOPED BY A DARKNESS THAT HAS MANY FORMS AND IS THE RESULT OF THEIR OWN INNATE ACTIVITIES, THEY HAVE AN INTERNAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND EXPERIENCE HAPPINESS AND UNHAPPINESS.

“IN THIS TERRIBLE CYCLE OF TRANSMIGRATION OF  LIVING BEINGS, WHICH MOVES RELENTLESSLY ON AND ON, THE LEVELS OF EXISTENCE ARE SAID TO BEGIN WITH BRAHMA AND TO END WITH THEM”

–Chapter 1, Manu Smrti

 

Grass (laid down for a resting place), space (to rest), water and pleasant conversation – these four things never run out in the house of good people- Manu 3-101

From Manu’s days pious people were doing penance sitting on the mat made up of Dharba grass.—3-208

 

If we believe that Manu lived in the Sarasvati River period, he is the first man to classify plants; he is the first one to talk about the consciousness of plants. He is the first to write about numerous plants. If we put all the plant facts from the Vedas, Brahmanas and Manu Smrti together, we will know how much the ancient Hindus studied the plants.

 

My old article:-

 

‘Save the Trees’ and ‘Save the Forests’ in Manu Smrti!(Post No.3043)

 

Research Article Written by london swaminathan

Date: 7th    August 2016

Post No. 3043

Time uploaded in London :– 16-24

( Thanks for the Pictures)

The topics Manu covers in his Law book are amazing. He makes passing remarks on several things; since ancient people know all these things he takes them for granted. Let us look at the couplets where he mentioned the trees, saving the trees, sacred trees and saving the forests.

 

If a Brahmin cuts the fruit trees, shrubs, vines, , creepers or  flowering plants , a thousand Vedic verses should be chanted – Manu 11-143

 

Cutting down green trees for fire wood, undertaking acts for one’s own sake only and eating forbidden food  are minor crimes — Manu 11-65

 

Assembly halls, road side watering places, cake-stalls, whore houses wine shops , SACRED TREES, cross roads, crowds and places where people assemble for spectacles, GARDENS, ARTIFICIAL GROVES MUST BE WATCHED FOR THIEFS –9-265

Trees that have fruit but no flowers are traditionally known as the Lords of the Forest; those that bear flowers and fruits are called trees–  Manu 1-47

 

The various sorts of plants that have one root and those with many roots , the different species of grasses and climbing vines and creepers all grow from a seed or a shoot. — Manu 1-48

 

xxx

 

The belt of a priest should be made up of smooth, three ply rushes; of a ruler it should be a bow string of hemp fibre; and of a commoner, a thread of hemp.

If rushes are unattainable, the belt should be made up of kusa asmantaka or balbaja (Eleusine Indica).

The initiatory thread of a Brahmin should be made up of cotton; of a ruler it should be made up of hemp threads and of a commoner it should be of wool threads.

A priest’s staff should be made up of wood apple (Aegle Marmelos)and the palasa (Butea Frondosa);

A ruler’s of banyan (Ficus Indica) and acacia (Acacia Catechu);

A commoner’s of palm (Careya Arborea) and fig (Ficus Udumbara).

Height of the Staff of a priest – – up to his hair

King = up to his forehead

Commoner = up to his nose

–Chapter 2 of Manu smrti

 

Sitting on a kusa grass mat is mentioned in 2-75

Xxx

Grass laid down for a resting place, space to rest, water and pleasant conversation – these four things never run out in the house of good people – 3-101

 

Priests should sit on a seat of sacrificial grass/ kusa—3-208.

Kusa grass and mat made up of Kusa grass are emtioned in several places.

Weights made up of krsnala seeds (Kundu mnani in Tamil) are found in the book.

It is good to see so many plants names in a Law Book.

 

xxx

From these passages we come to know:-

Cutting trees is a crime;

Preserving trees is encouraged;

Sacred trees were there in every town;

Gardens and artificial groves were there;

Temples and Kiosks/stalls were constructed underneath huge trees.

Like Tamil kings had three different trees for each of them, three castes have different trees.

Even before the Westerners classified the plants, Hindus divided them into various groups.

 

Please read my research articles posted here earlier: –

Flowers in Tamil Culture, posted on 25 August 2012

 

Confusion about Vedic Soma Plant , posted on 5 May 2013

 

107 Miracle Herbs in the Hindu Vedas, posted on 16 September 2013 

 

255 Indian trees, herbs and flowers mentioned in Brhat Samhita Part-1, posted 21 February 2015

 

255 Indian trees, herbs and flowers mentioned in Brhat Samhita Part-2, posted on 23 February 2015

 

Amazing Medical information in Hindu Vedas, posted here on 18 June 2015

 

Jangida Mystery in Atharva Veda , posted on 29 December 2014

 

Hindus’ Amazing Knowledge in Botany, posted here on 20 July 2014

 

Knowledge of Biology in Hindu scriptures, posted on 10 February 2013

 

Dynasties with Plant names and Dynasty in Shiva’s Bilva tree name, posted on 24 January 2015

 

Lord Shiva and Tamils adopted Trees, posted on 6 July 2013

 

 

Hindus’ respect for trees and forests , posted on 18 February 2015

 

Cucumber in the Rig Veda

–subham–

 

 

 

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