Written by London Swaminathan 



Date: 6 JUNE 2018



Time uploaded in London – 16-31


Post No. 5081


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Let us continue our study of Manu Smrti; We have already finished first two chapters out of the 12 chapters. Now look at the salient features of first 44 slokas/couplets in the Third chapter.


My Comments

The interesting points are….

1.Brahmins studied the Vedas for 36 years or 18 or 9 years; If it is three Vedas it took 36 years. Now we know the surnames such as Trivedi, Chaturvedi, Dwivedi mean study of three Vedas, or four Vedas or two Vedas. Those who are born in those families still keep those surnames. In Tamil Nakkirar, author of Tiru Murugatrup Padai said to have mastered the Vedas in 48 years. Indra advised one sage that he cant even finish the Vedas in three lifetime.’ what we learnt is of the size of a stone and what we have not learnt is the size of earth’ is a saying that came of the story. Each one studied only one ‘shaka’ i.e. branch from each Veda. Vedas has over thousand shakas/branches in the ancient days.


2.Coming to marriages, Manu wants one to choose a girl with good name, good body marks (samudrika Lakshnam). It is strange Manu bans girls with Nakshatra/Stars and Rivers’ names. Now a days it is common to see Ganga, Narmada, Sindhu, Kavei Swati, Krithika, Asvini, Bharani etc.

3.Gait of Hamsa or Elephant for a girl is typical Indian. It is found through out Tamil and Sanskrit literature. All these show our culture is indigenous not imported from outside the country.


4.Eight Types of marriages is also found in oldest Tamil book Tolkaappiam and other books. We see plenty of examples in Mahabharata, Ramayana and other scriptures for these types of marraiges.

5.Love marriage is known as Gandharva marriage.

  1. Manu discusses second marriage and so it was in practice in the ancient times. The inter-caste marriages also were in vogue from the days of epics.


7.Another interesting point is neither Swayamvaram marriage of Kshatriays nor eight different types of marriages were practised in any other culture ouside India. This is another proof that the Hindu culture originated and developed in this country. No one came from outside.


8.The study of Vedas or study of any other subject under Gurukula for 48 years also unique to Hindus. This is also another proof that the sons of the soil developed the culture here. No one came from outside. The use of water for marriages, boons, curses, rituals also show that this is a tropical culture.

9.Talking about 100 years life (decimal number) is also typical Vedic and not found in any other culture. One more proof to show that this culture evolved here in Bharat.Decimal system is found in every chapter of the Vedas.


  1. There is a reference to other Smrtis. If it is not an interpolation, we come to know Manu Smrti is not the only smrti that was followed in his times. If it is true one cannot blame the society only on the basis of Manu Smrti. When people were given choices, no one can find fault with Manu for certain slokas or rules.

11.Some of the rites (see 44) were not followed anywhere in India as far as we know. So Manu Smrti must be very ancient and later enlarged with more couplets. Particularly the slokas about the fourth caste- Shudra might have been later interpolations.

  1. The Hindu society was very health conscious. Manu warns about some diseases and advised people not to marry form those families.




3-1. The vow of studying the three Vedas under a teacher must be kept for thirty-six years, or for half that time (18 YEARS), or for a quarter (9 YEARS), or until the (student) has perfectly learnt them.

  1. A student who has studied in due order the three Vedas, or two, or even one only, without breaking the rules of studentship, shall enter the order of householders.
  2. He who is famous for (the strict performance of) his duties and has received his heritage, the Veda, from his father, shall be honoured, sitting on a couch and adorned with a garland, with the present of a cow and the honey-mixture/MADHUPARKA.


3-4. Having bathed, with the permission of his teacher, and performed according to the rule the Samavartana the rite on returning home, a twice-born man shall marry a wife of equal caste who is endowed with auspicious bodily marks.

  1. A damsel who is neither a Sapinda on the mother’s side, nor belongs to the same family on the father’s side, is recommended to twice-born men for wedlock and conjugal union.
  2. In connecting himself with a wife, let him carefully avoid the ten following families, be they ever so great, or rich in kine, horses, sheep, grain, or (other) property,



3-7. (Viz.) one which neglects the sacred rites, one in which no male children (are born), one in which the Veda is not studied, one (the members of) which have thick hair on the body, those which are subject to hemorrhoids, phthisis, weakness of digestion, epilepsy, or white or black leprosy.

  1. Let him not marry a maiden with reddish hair, nor one who has a redundant member, nor one who is sickly, nor one either with no hair on the bod) or too much, nor one who is garrulous or has red eyes,



3-9. Nor one named after a constellation, a tree, or a river, nor one bearing the name of a low caste, or of a mountain, nor one named after a bird, a snake, or a slave, nor one whose name inspires terror.


3-10. Let him wed a female free from bodily defects, who has an agreeable name, the (graceful) gait of a Hamsa or of an elephant, a moderate (quantity of) hair on the body and on the head, small teeth, and soft limbs.

  1. But a prudent man should not marry a maiden who has no brother, nor one whose father is not known, through fear lest (in the former case she be made) an appointed daughter and in the latter lest he should commit sin.



3-12. For the first marriage of twice-born men wives of equal caste are recommended; but for those who through desire proceed to marry again the following females, chosen according to the direct order of the castes, are most approved.

  1. It is declared that a Sudra woman alone can be)the wife of a Sudra, she and one of his own caste the wives of a Vaisya, 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 Brahmana.
  2. A Sudra woman is not mentioned even in any ancient story as the first wife of a Brahmana or of a Kshatriya, though they lived in the greatest distress.
  3. Twice-born men who, in their folly, wed wives of the low caste, soon degrade their families and their children to the state of Sudras.



3-16. According to Atri and to (Gautama) the son of Utathya, he who weds a Sudra woman becomes an outcast, according to Saunaka on the birth of a son, and according to Bhrigu he who has (male) offspring from a (Sudra female, alone).

  1. A Brahmana who takes a Sudra wife to his bed, will ( after death) sink into hell; if he begets a child by her, he will lose the rank of a Brahmana.
  2. The manes and the gods will not eat the offerings of that man who performs the rites in honour of the gods, of the manes, and of guests chiefly with a LOW CASTE wife’s assistance, and such a ma) will not go to heaven.
  3. For him who drinks the moisture of a Sudra’s lips, who is tainted by her breath, and who begets a son on her, no expiation is prescribed.



3-20. Now listen to (the) brief (description of) the following eight marriage-rites used by the four castes (varna) which partly secure benefits and partly produce evil both in this life and after death.

  1. (They are) the rite of Brahman (Brahma), that of the gods (Daiva), that of the Rishis (Arsha), that of Pragapati (Pragapatya), that of the Asuras (Asura), that of the Gandharvas (Gandharva), that of the Rhashasas (Rakshasa), and that of the Pisakas (Paisaka).
  2. Which is lawful for each caste/ varna and which are the virtues or faults of each (rite), all this I will declare to you, as well as their good and evil results with respect to the offspring.
  3. One may know that the first six according to the order followed above are lawful for a Brahmana, the four last for a Kshatriya, and the same four, excepting the Rakshasa rite, for a Vaisya and a Sudra.
  4. The sages state that the first four are approved (in the case) of a Brahmana, one, the Rakshasa rite in the case of a Kshatriya, and the Asura (marriage in that) of a Vaisya and of a Sudra.
  5. But in these Institutes of the sacred law three of the five (last) are declared to be lawful and two unlawful; the Paisaka and the Asura (rites) must never be used.
  6. For Kshatriyas those before-mentioned two rites, the Gandharva and the Rakshasa, whether separate or mixed, are permitted by the sacred tradition.
  7. The gift of a daughter, after decking her (with costly garments) and honouring (her by presents of jewels), to a man learned in the Veda and of good conduct, whom (the father) himself invites, is called the Brahma rite.


3-28. The gift of a daughter who has been decked with ornaments, to a priest who duly officiates at a sacrifice, during the course of its performance, they call the Daiva rite.

  1. When (the father) gives away his daughter according to the rule, after receiving from the bridegroom, for (the fulfilment of) the sacred law, a cow and a bull or two pairs, that is named the Arsha rite.
  2. The gift of a daughter (by her father) after he has addressed (the couple) with the text, ‘May both of you perform together your duties,’ and has shown honour (to the bridegroom), is called in the Smriti the Pragapatya rite.
  3. When (the bridegroom) receives a maiden, after having given as much wealth as he can afford, to the kinsmen and to the bride herself, according to his own will, that is called the Asura rite.


3-32. The voluntary union of a maiden and her lover one must know (to be) the Gandharva rite, which springs from desire and has sexual intercourse for its purpose.

  1. The forcible abduction of a maiden from her home, while she cries out and weeps, after (her kinsmen) have been slain or wounded and (their houses) broken open, is called the Rakshasa rite.
  2. When (a man) by stealth seduces a girl who is sleeping, intoxicated, or disordered in intellect, that is the eighth, the most base and sinful rite of the Pisakas.



3-35. The gift of daughters among Brahmanas is most approved, (if it is preceded) by a libation of water; but in the case of other castes it may be performed by the expression of mutual consent.

  1. Listen now to me, ye Brahmanas, while I fully declare what quality has been ascribed by Manu to each of these marriage-rites.

TEN GENERATIONS (decimal system)

3-37. The son of a wife wedded according to the Brahma rite, if he performs meritorious acts, liberates from sin ten ancestors, ten descendants and himself as the twenty-first.

  1. The son born of a wife, wedded according to the Daiva rite, likewise (saves) seven ancestors and seven descendants, the son of a wife married by the Arsha rite three (in the ascending and descending lines), and the son of a wife married by the rite of Ka (Pragapati) six (in either line).
  2. From the four marriages, (enumerated) successively, which begin with the Brahma rite spring sons, radiant with knowledge of the Veda and honoured by the Sishtas (good men).

100 YEARS LIFE! (Decimal System)

3-40. Endowded with the qualities of beauty and goodness, possessing wealth and fame, obtaining as many enjoyments as they desire and being most righteous, they will live a hundred years.

  1. But from the remaining (four) blamable marriages spring sons who are cruel and speakers of untruth, who hate the Veda and the sacred law.
  2. In the blameless marriages blameless children are born to men, in blamable (marriages) blamable (offspring); one should therefore avoid the blamable (forms of marriage).
  3. The ceremony of joining the hands is prescribed for (marriages with) women of equal caste (varna); know that the following rule (applies) to weddings with females of a different caste (varna).


3-44. On marrying a man of a higher caste a Kshatriya bride must take hold of an arrow, a Vaisya bride of a goad, and a Sudra female of the hem of the bridegroom’s garment.


to be continued…………


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