Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 2 October 2018


Time uploaded in London –18-37  (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5499


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.




We continue with the fourth chapter of Manu Niti from sloka 101.


1.It is interesting to note that Manu talks about natural catastrophes such as earth quakes and cloud bursts and natural phenomena like meteorite showers and ask the Hindus to stop the study of Vedas for 24 hours.

2.Weekly Holiday:-Manu was the first person in the world who asked the schools to close six days a month. He banned Vedic teaching on at least six days :-


Two ashtamis :– 8th day after new moon and eighth day after full moon.

Two Chaturdasis: one day before full moon; one day before new moon;

Full Moon Day and New Moon Day (two days)

Even today Vedic schools follow this rule

3.He is very keen about the ‘pollution’ from visiting crematoriums etc. So he asked us to stop Vedic recitation


  1. He asked us to stop Vedic recitation during travel (horse ride, camel ride, sea travel); this shows that Vedic Pundits were great travellers.

(But elsewhere he bans Brahmins going abroad by sea like Tamils ban women travelling abroad- See my article on Tolkappiam)

  1. In one of the slokas he talks about stopping Vedic studies on meat eating days. In the olden days, Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas were learning basic Vedas. That is why he talks about meat eating and Vedic studies.

6.In sloka 124, he explains  the special role of three Vedas.

7.Sloka 126 is very interesting which gives the superstitious beliefs in the olden times.

8.Sloka 135 warns about offending Brahmana, Kshatria and a snake.


9.Sloka 146 says what Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita- Good Person never comes to grief ( BG 6-40)


Manu was a great educationist, great planner and a well- informed scientist.

The amazing thing is that he talks about meteorite showers which is given in all astronomical magazines nowadays. He bans the teaching of Vedas for 24 hours on those days.

(Note the slokas in bold letters)





4-101. Let him who studies always avoid reading on the following occasions when the Veda-study is forbidden, and let him who teaches pupils according to the prescribed rule do it likewise.

  1. Those who know the rules of recitation declare that in the rainy season the Veda-study must be stopped on these two occasions, when the wind is audible at night, and when it whirls up the dust in the day-time.
  2. Manu has stated, that when lightning, thunder, and rain are observed together, or when large fiery meteors fall on all sides, the recitation must be interrupted until the same hour on the next day, counting from the occurrence of the event.
  3. When one perceives these phenomena all together in the twilight, after the sacred fires have been made to blaze (for the performance of the Agnihotra), then one must know the recitation of the Veda to be forbidden, and also when clouds appear out of season.
  4. On the occasion of a preternatural sound from the sky, (of) an earthquake, and when the lights of heaven are surrounded by a halo, let him know that the Veda-study must be stopped until the same hour on the next day, even if these phenomena happen in the rainy season.
  5. But when lightning and the roar of thunder are observed after the sacred fires have been made to blaze, the stoppage shall last as long as the light of the sun or of the stars is visible; if the remaining above-named phenomenon, rain, occurs, the reading shall cease, both in the day-time and at night.
  6. For those who wish to acquire exceedingly great merit, a continual interruption of the Veda-study is prescribed in villages and in towns, and (the Veda-study must always cease when any kind of foul smell is perceptible.



  1. In a village where a corpse lies, in the presence of a man who lives as unrighteously , while the sound of weeping is heard, and in a crowd of men the recitation of the Veda must be stopped.
  2. In water, during the middle part of the night, while he voids excrements, or is impure, and after he has partaken of a funeral dinner, a man must not even think in his heart of the sacred texts.
  3. A learned Brahmana shall not recite the Veda during three days, when he has accepted an invitation to a funeral rite in honour of one ancestor (ekoddishta), or when the king has become impure through a birth or death in his family (sutaka), or when Rahu by an eclipse makes the moon impure.
  4. As long as the smell and the stains of the (food given) in honour of one ancestor remain on the body of a learned Brahmana, so long he must not recite the Veda.


  1. While lying on a bed, while his feet are raised (on a bench), while he sits on his hams with a cloth tied round his knees, let him not study, nor when he has eaten meat or food given by a person impure on account of a birth or a death,



  1. Nor during a fog, nor while the sound of arrows is audible, nor during both the twilights, nor on the new-moon day, nor on the fourteenth and the eighth days of each half-month, nor on the full-moon day.
  2. The new-moon day destroys the teacher, the fourteenth day the pupil, the eighth and the full-moon days destroy all remembrance of the Veda; let him therefore avoid reading on those days.



  1. A Brahmana shall not recite (the Veda) during a dust-storm, nor while the sky is preternaturally red, nor while jackals howl, nor while the barking of dogs, the braying of donkeys, or the grunting of camels is heard, nor while he is seated in a company.
  2. Let him not study near a burial-ground, nor near a village, nor in a cow-pen, nor dressed in a garment which he wore during conjugal intercourse, nor after receiving a present at a funeral sacrifice.
  3. Be it an animal or a thing inanimate, whatever be the (gift) at a Sraddha, let him not, having just accepted it, recite the Veda; for the hand of a Brahmana is his mouth.



  1. When the village has been beset by robbers, and when an alarm has been raised by fire, let him know that the Veda-study must be interrupted until the same hour on the next day, and on the occurrence of all portents.
  2. On the occasion of the Upakarman and of the Vedotsarga an omission of the Veda-study for three days has been prescribed, but on the Ashtakas and on the last nights of the seasons for a day and a night.



  1. Let him not recite the Veda on horseback, nor on a tree, nor on an elephant, nor in a boat or ship, nor on a donkey, nor on camel, nor standing on barren ground, nor riding in a carriage,
  2. Nor during a verbal altercation, nor during a mutual assault, nor in a camp, nor during a battle, nor when he has just eaten, nor during an indigestion, nor after vomiting, nor with sour eructation’s,
  3. Nor without receiving permission from a guest who stays in his house, nor while the wind blows vehemently, nor while blood flows from his body, nor when he is wounded by a weapon.
  4. Let him never recite the Rig-veda or the YaJur-veda while the Saman (melodies) are heard; let him stop all Veda-study for a day and a night after finishing a Veda or after reciting an Aranyaka.



  1. The Rig-veda is declared to be sacred to the gods, the YaJur-veda sacred to men, and the Sama-veda sacred to the manes; hence the sound of the latter is impure as it were.
  2. Knowing this, the learned daily repeat first in due order the essence of the three Vedas and afterwards the text of the Veda.


  1. Know that the Veda-study must be interrupted for a day and a night, when cattle, a frog, a cat, a dog, a snake, an ichneumon, or a rat pass between the teacher and his pupil.
  2. Let a twice-born man always carefully interrupt the Veda-study on two occasions, viz. when the place where he recites is impure, and when he himself is unpurified.
  3. A twice-born man who is a Snataka shall remain chaste on the new-moon day, on the eighth (lunar day of each half-month), on the full-moon day, and on the fourteenth, even (if they fall) in the period (proper for conjugal intercourse).
  4. Let him not bathe immediately after a meal, nor when he is sick, nor in the middle of the night, nor frequently dressed in all his garments, nor in a pool which he does not perfectly know.
  5. Let him not intentionally step on the shadow of (images of) the gods, of a Guru, of a king, of a Snataka, of his teacher, of a reddish-brown animal, or of one who has been initiated to the performance of a Srauta sacrifice (Dikshita).
  6. At midday and at midnight, after partaking of meat at a funeral dinner, and in the two twilights let him not stay long on a cross-road.
  7. Let him not step intentionally on things used for cleansing the body, on water used for a bath, on urine or ordure, on blood, on mucus, and on anything spat out or vomited.
  8. Let him not show particular attention to an enemy, to the friend of an enemy, to a wicked man, to a thief, or to the wife of another man.
  9. For in this world there is nothing so detrimental to long life as criminal conversation with another man’s wife.



  1. Let him who desires prosperity, indeed, never despise a Kshatriya, a snake, and a learned Brahmana, be they ever so feeble.
  2. Because these three, when treated with disrespect, may utterly destroy him; hence a wise man must never despise them.
  3. Let him not despise himself on account of former failures; until death let him seek fortune, nor despair of gaining it.
  4. Let him say what is true, let him say what is pleasing, let him utter no disagreeable truth, and let him utter no agreeable falsehood; that is the eternal law.
  5. (What is) well, let him call well, or let him say ‘well’ only; let him not engage in a useless enmity or dispute with anybody.

Journey Timings

  1. Let him not journey too early in the morning, nor too late in the evening, nor just during the midday heat, nor with an unknown companion, nor alone, nor with Sudras.
  2. Let him not insult those who have redundant limbs or are deficient in limbs, nor those destitute of knowledge, nor very aged men, nor those who have no beauty or wealth, nor those who are of low birth.
  3. A Brahmana who is impure must not touch with his hand a cow, a Brahmana, or fire; nor, being in good health, let him look at the luminaries in the sky, while he is impure.
  4. If he has touched these, while impure, let him always sprinkle with his hand water on the organs of sensation, all his limbs, and the navel.
  5. Except when sick he must not touch the cavities (of the body) without a reason, and he must avoid to touch the hair on the secret (parts).
  6. Let him eagerly follow the customs which are auspicious and the rule of good conduct, be careful of purity, and control all his organs, let him mutter (prayers) and, untired, daily offer oblations in the fire.
  7. No calamity happens to those who eagerly follow auspicious customs and the rule of good conduct, to those who are always careful of purity, and to those who mutter sacred texts and offer burnt-oblations.


Daily Recital

  1. Let him, without tiring, daily mutter the Veda at the proper time; for they declare that to be one’s highest duty; all other observances are called secondary duties.
  2. By daily reciting the Veda, by the observance of the rules of purification, by (practising) austerities, and by doing no injury to created beings, one (obtains the faculty of) remembering former births.
  3. He who, recollecting his former existences, again recites the Veda, gains endless bliss by the continual study of the Veda.
  4. Let him always offer on the Parva-days oblations to Savitri and such as avert evil omens, and on the Ashtakas and Anvashtakas let him constantly worship the manes.

–to be continued………………..



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