WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 


Date: 13 April 2018


Time uploaded in London –  20-27  (British Summer Time)


Post No. 4911


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We will continue with the Second Chapter of Manu Smrti and look at some more interesting matters

Manu warns the teachers not to be harsh with the students.

The second interesting advice is: if anyone praises you, consider it as poison; if anyone criticises you, take it as nectar.

The third interesting what gives one respect: for the Brahmins- knowledge, for the rulers- heroism, for the Vaisyas- wealth and for the fourth Varna- age. So everyone commands respect.

The fourth interesting point, if a young person is learned, he is given the respect like a father. He gives us an interesting episode; Kavi, son of Angiras, taught the elders the Vedas. While teaching them, he addressed them My Little Sons! The aged people were very angry and filed a case at the Supreme court of Indra loka The petition was rejected straight away and the judgement came in favour of the little boy Kavi. Very Interesting!

In slokas 157 and 158, good similes are used!

So many interesting points are dealt with Manu in this section of the Second chapter. Please read the original translation below:–


From the Second Chapter:-

2-148. But that birth which a teacher acquainted with the whole Veda, in accordance with the law, procures for him through the Savitri (Gayatri Mantra) , is real, exempt from age and death.

2-150. That Brahmana who is the giver of the birth for the sake of the Veda and the teacher of the prescribed duties becomes by law the father of an aged man, even though he himself be a child.

2-151. Young Kavi, the son of Angiras, taught his relatives who were old enough to be fathers, and, as he excelled them in sacred knowledge, he called them ‘Little sons.’

  1. They, moved with resentment, asked the gods concerning that matter, and the gods, having assembled, answered, ‘The child has addressed you properly.’
  2. ‘For a man destitute of sacred knowledge is indeed a child, and he who teaches him the Veda is his father; for the sages have always said “child” to an ignorant man, and “father” to a teacher of the Veda.’
  3. Neither through years, nor through white hairs, nor through wealth, nor through powerful kinsmen comes greatness. The sages have made this law, ‘He who has learnt the Veda together with the subsidiary subjects is considered great by us.’

2-155. The seniority of Brahmanas is from sacred knowledge, that of Kshatriyas from valour, that of Vaisyas from wealth in grain and other goods, but that of Sudras alone from age.



  1. A man is not therefore considered venerable because his head is grey; him who, though young, has learned the Veda, the gods consider to be venerable.
  2. As an elephant made of wood, as an antelope made of leather, such is an unlearned Brahmana; those three have nothing but the names of their kind.
  3. As a eunuch is unproductive with women, as a cow with a cow is unprolific, and as a gift made to an ignorant man yields no reward, even so is a Brahmana useless, who does not know the Rig Veda
  4. Living beings must be instructed in what concerns their welfare without using violence (smacking them) , and sweet and gentle speech must be used (not scolding) by a teacher who desires to abide by the sacred law.
  5. He, forsooth, whose speech and thoughts are pure and ever perfectly guarded, gains the whole reward which is conferred by the Vedanta.
  6. Let him not, even though in pain, speak words cutting others to the quick; let him not injure others in thought or deed; let him not utter speeches which make others afraid of him, since that will prevent him from gaining heaven.
  7. A Brahmana should always fear adulation/ praising as if it were poison; and constantly desire to suffer scorn as he would long for nectar.
  8. For he who is scorned nevertheless may sleep with an easy mind, awake with an easy mind, and with an easy mind walk here among men; but the scorner utterly perishes.
  9. A cultured person must study the whole Veda together with its ancillary subjects, performing at the same time various kinds of austerities and the vows prescribed by the rules of the Veda.
  10. Let a Brahmana who desires to perform austerities, constantly repeat the Veda; for the study of the Veda is declared to be in this world the highest austerity for a Brahmana.


2-169. According to the injunction of the revealed texts the first birth of a Hindu is from his natural mother, the second happens on the tying of the girdle of Munga grass, and the third on the initiation to the performance of a fire sacrifice.

2-172. He who has not been initiated should not pronounce any Vedic text excepting those required for the performance of funeral rites, since he is on a level with a Sudra before his birth from the Veda.

2-174. Whatever dress of skin, sacred thread, girdle, staff, and lower garment are prescribed for a student at the initiation, the like must again be used at the performance of the vows/ rites.


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