Written  by London swaminathan

Date: 13 April 2019

British Summer Time uploaded in London – 16-02

Post No. 6261

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources. This is a non- commercial blog. ((posted by AND

So far, I have covered up to 106 slokas in the eighth chapter of Manu Smrti. Now let me continue from sloka 8-107


1This section shows the economic conditions that prevailed at least 2000 years ago in India.

2.Manu talking about depositing gold, silver and copper objects (and not iron) also indicate ancient period- may be copper age

3. Fire ordeal, water ordeal and deciding by oath are in Hammurabi’s Code of Law. This shows the value of truth. People feared God and never dared to tell lies openly.

4.Manu gives the weight measurements of ancient days. 1000 Panaas is the highest punishment.

5.Manu’s sloka on different types on interests, sea voyages etc. show the adventurous foreign trade during those days. We have historical and ARCHAEOLOGICAL evidence of sea trade for at least 2300 years.

6.See 8-108- disaster will fall on one who gives false evidence

Interesting Stories

8-110- Sapta Rishis (seven seers) swore against Indra who had stolen lotus filaments (Mahabharata story)

Indra swore to escape punishments when he seduced Ahalya, wife of Gautama Rishi

Rig Vedic King was Sudas, son of Pijavana. He killed Sakti, son of Vasistha. But Viswamitra, official priest of Sudas, accused Vasishtaa of the murder. He accused Vasishta  a man eater. Then Vasishta swore an oath by touching the heads of his wives and sons. Even today Hindus talk of swearing by touching the head of his wife or son. Vasistha says, ‘ I may die if I am a man eating giant’- Rig Veda 7-104-15

The fact of the matter was Sudas killed 100 sons of Vasistha according to Brhaddevata (6-36)

7.See 8-116

FIRE WALKING ceremony is in the Pancavimsa Brahmana. Even today fire walking is practised in all the villages of South India. The story of Vatsa is given in full detail in the commentaries of Manu. Kanva had two sons- Madhatithi and Vatsa. Medhtithi reproached  Vatsa saying ‘You are not a priest because you are the son of a servant woman’.

Vatsa replied,

Let us walk through fire. Let it decide who is a true priest. At the end, not even a single hair of Vatsa was burnt. It is in other Brahmana books as well.

8.See 8-120 Thousand Panas is the maximum fine.

9.See 8-129 Four types of Punishment

10.See from 8-132 Hindu Weight Measurements. This shows Coin money existed even during Manu’s time

11. See 8-151 money lending and interest rates are discussed.

12.See 8-173 Be impartial like Yama.

8th chapter continued………….


8-107. A man who, without being ill, does not give evidence in (cases of) loans and the like within three fortnights (after the summons), shall become responsible for the whole debt and (pay) a tenth part of the whole (as a fine to the king).

108. The witness to whom, within seven days after he has given evidence, happens (a misfortune through) sickness, a fire, or the death of a relative, shall be made to pay the debt and a fine.

109. If two (parties) dispute about matters for which no witnesses are available, and the (judge) is unable to really ascertain the truth, he may cause it to be discovered even by an oath.


110. Both by the great sages and the gods oaths have been taken for the purpose of (deciding doubtful) matters; and Vasishtha even swore an oath before king (Sudas), the son of Pijavana.

111. Let no wise man swear an oath falsely, even in a trifling matter; for he who swears an oath falsely is lost in this (world) and after death.

112. No crime, causing loss of caste, is committed by swearing (falsely) to women, the objects of one’s desire, at marriages, for the sake of fodder for a cow, or of fuel, and in (order to show) favour to a Brahmana.


113. Let the (judge) cause a Brahmana to swear by his veracity, a Kshatriya by his chariot or the animal he rides on and by his weapons, a Vaisya by his kine, grain, and gold, and a Sudra by (imprecating on his own head the guilt) of all grievous offences (pataka).

114. Or the (judge) may cause the (party) to carry fire or to dive under water, or severally to touch the heads of his wives and children.

115. He whom the blazing fire burns not, whom the water forces not to come (quickly) up, who meets with no speedy misfortune, must be held innocent on (the strength of) his oath.


116. For formerly when Vatsa was accused by his younger brother, the fire, the spy of the world, burned not even a hair (of his) by reason of his veracity.

117. Whenever false evidence has been given in any suit, let the (judge) reverse the judgment, and whatever has been done must be (considered as) undone.

118. Evidence (given) from covetousness, distraction, terror, friendship, lust, wrath, ignorance, and childishness is declared (to be) invalid.

119. I will propound in (due) order the particular punishments for him who gives false evidence from any one of these motives.


120. (He who commits perjury) through covetousness shall be fined one thousand (panas), (he who does it) through distraction, in the lowest amercement; (if a man does it) through fear, two middling amercements shall be paid as a fine, (if he does it) through friendship, four times the amount of the lowest (amercement).

121. (He who does it) through lust, (shall pay) ten times the lowest amercement, but (he who does it) through wrath, three times the next (or second amercement); (he who does it) through ignorance, two full hundreds, but (he who does it) through childishness, one hundred (panas).

122. They declare that the wise have prescribed these fines for perjury, in order to prevent a failure of justice, and in order to restrain injustice.

123. But a just king shall fine and banish (men of) the three (lower) castes (varna) who have given false evidence, but a Brahmana he shall (only) banish.


124. Manu, the son of the Self-existent (Svayambhu), has named ten places on which punishment may be (made to fall) in the cases of the three (lower) castes (varna); but a Brahmana shall depart unhurt (from the country).

125. (These are) the organ, the belly, the tongue, the two hands, and fifthly the two feet, the eye, the nose, the two ears, likewise the (whole) body.

126. Let the (king), having fully ascertained the motive, the time and place (of the offence), and having considered the ability (of the criminal to suffer) and the (nature of the) crime, cause punishment to fall on those who deserve it.

127. Unjust punishment destroys reputation among men, and fame (after death), and causes even in the next world the loss of heaven; let him, therefore, beware of (inflicting) it.


128. A king who punishes those who do not deserve it, and punishes not those who deserve it, brings great infamy on himself and (after death) sinks into hell.

129. Let him punish first by (gentle) admonition, afterwards by (harsh) reproof, thirdly by a fine, after that by corporal chastisement.

130. But when he cannot restrain such (offenders) even by corporal punishment, then let him apply to them even all the four (modes cojointly).

131. Those technical names of (certain quantities of) copper, silver, and gold, which are generally used on earth for the purpose of business transactions among men, I will fully declare.


132. The very small mote which is seen when the sun shines through a lattice, they declare (to be) the least of (all) quantities and (to be called) a trasarenu (a floating particle of dust).

133. Know (that) eight trasarenus (are equal) in bulk (to) a liksha (the egg of a louse), three of those to one grain of black mustard (ragasarshapa), and three of the latter to a white mustard-seed.

134. Six grains of white mustard are one middle-sized barley-corn, and three barley-corns one krishnala (raktika, or gunga-berry); five krishnalas are one masha (bean), and sixteen of those one suvarna.

135. Four suvarnas are one pala, and ten palas one dharana; two krishnalas (of silver), weighed together, must be considered one mashaka of silver.

136. Sixteen of those make a silver dharana, or purana; but know (that) a karsha of copper is a karshapana, or pana.

137. Know (that) ten dharanas of silver make one satamana; four suvarnas must be considered (equal) in weight to a nishka.

138. Two hundred and fifty panas are declared (to be) the first (or lowest) amercement, five (hundred) are considered as the mean (or middlemost), but one thousand as the highest.


139. A debt being admitted as due, (the defendant) shall pay five in the hundred (as a fine), if it be denied (and proved) twice as much; that is the teaching of Manu.

140. A money-lender may stipulate as an increase of his capital, for the interest, allowed by Vasishtha, and take monthly the eightieth part of a hundred.

141. Or, remembering the duty of good men, he may take two in the hundred (by the month), for he who takes two in the hundred becomes not a sinner for gain.

142. Just two in the hundred, three, four, and five (and not more), he may take as monthly interest according to the order of the castes (varna).

143. But if a beneficial pledge (i.e. one from which profit accrues, has been given), he shall receive no interest on the loan; nor can he, after keeping (such) a pledge for a very long time, give or sell it.

144. A pledge (to be kept only) must not be used by force, (the creditor), so using it, shall give up his (whole) interest, or, (if it has been spoilt by use) he shall satisfy the (owner) by (paying its) original price; else he commits a theft of the pledge.

145. Neither a pledge nor a deposit can be lost by lapse of time; they are both recoverable, though they have remained long (with the bailee).

146. Things used with friendly assent, a cow, a camel, a riding-horse, and (a beast) made over for breaking in, are never lost (to the owner).

147. (But in general) whatever (chattel) an owner sees enjoyed by others during ten years, while, though present, he says nothing, that (chattel) he shall not recover.

148. If (the owner is) neither an idiot nor a minor and if (his chattel) is enjoyed (by another) before his eyes, it is lost to him by law; the adverse possessor shall retain that property.

149. A pledge, a boundary, the property of infants, an (open) deposit, a sealed deposit, women, the property of the king and the wealth of a Srotriya are not lost in consequence of (adverse) enjoyment.

150. The fool who uses a pledge without the permission of the owner, shall remit half of his interest, as a compensation for (such) use.

151. In money transactions interest paid at one time (not by instalments) shall never exceed the double (of the principal); on grain, fruit, wool or hair, (and) beasts of burden it must not be more than five times (the original amount).

152. Stipulated interest beyond the legal rate, being against (the law), cannot be recovered; they call that a usurious way (of lending); (the lender) is (in no case) entitled to (more than) five in the hundred.


153. Let him not take interest beyond the year, nor such as is unapproved, nor compound interest, periodical interest, stipulated interest, and corporal interest.

154. He who, unable to pay a debt (at the fixed time), wishes to make a new contract, may renew the agreement, after paying the interest which is due.

155. If he cannot pay the money (due as interest), he may insert it in the renewed (agreement); he must pay as much interest as may be due.

156. He who has made a contract to carry goods by a wheeled carriage for money and has agreed to a certain place or time, shall not reap that reward, if he does not keep to the place and the time (stipulated).


157. Whatever rate men fix, who are expert in sea-voyages and able to calculate (the profit) according to the place, the time, and the objects (carried), that (has legal force) in such cases with respect to the payment (to be made).

158. The man who becomes a surety in this (world) for the appearance of a (debtor), and produces him not, shall pay the debt out of his own property.

159. But money due by a surety, or idly promised, or lost at play, or due for spirituous liquor, or what remains unpaid of a fine and a tax or duty, the son (of the party owing it) shall not be obliged to pay.

160. This just mentioned rule shall apply to the case of a surety for appearance (only); if a surety for payment should die, the (judge) may compel even his heirs to discharge the debt.

161. On what account then is it that after the death of a surety other than for payment, whose affairs are fully known, the creditor may (in some cases) afterwards demand the debt (of the heirs)?

162. If the surety had received money (from him for whom he stood bail) and had money enough (to pay), then (the heir of him) who received it, shall pay (the debt) out of his property; that is the settled rule.


163. A contract made by a person intoxicated, or insane, or grievously disordered (by disease and so forth), or wholly dependent, by an infant or very aged man, or by an unauthorised (party) is invalid.

164. That agreement which has been made contrary to the law or to the settled usage (of the virtuous), can have no legal force, though it be established (by proofs).

165. A fraudulent mortgage or sale, a fraudulent gift or acceptance, and (any transaction) where he detects fraud, the (judge) shall declare null and void.

166. If the debtor be dead and (the money borrowed) was expended for the family, it must be paid by the relatives out of their own estate even if they are divided.

167. Should even a person wholly dependent make a contract for the behoof of the family, the master (of the house), whether (living) in his own country or abroad, shall not rescind it.


168. What is given by force, what is enjoyed by force, also what has been caused to be written by force, and all other transactions done by force, Manu has declared void.

169. Three suffer for the sake of others, witnesses, a surety, and judges; but four enrich themselves (through others), a Brahmana, a money-lender, a merchant, and a king.

170. No king, however indigent, shall take anything that ought not to be taken, nor shall he, however wealthy, decline taking that which he ought to take, be it ever so small.

171. In consequence of his taking what ought not to be taken, or of his refusing what ought to be received, a king will be accused of weakness and perish in this (world) and after death.


172. By taking his due, by preventing the confusion of the castes (varna), and by protecting the weak, the power of the king grows, and he prospers in this (world) and after death.

173. Let the prince, therefore, like Yama, not heeding his own likings and dislikings, behave exactly like Yama, suppressing his anger and controlling himself.

174. But that evil-minded king who in his folly decides causes unjustly, his enemies soon subjugate.

175. If, subduing love and hatred, he decides the causes according to the law, (the hearts of) his subjects turn towards him as the rivers (run) towards the ocean.

176. (The debtor) who complains to the king that his creditor recovers (the debt) independently (of the court), shall be compelled by the king to pay (as a fine) one quarter (of the sum) and to his (creditor) the money (due).

177. Even by (personal) labour shall the debtor make good (what he owes) to his creditor, if he be of the same caste or of a lower one; but a (debtor) of a higher caste shall pay it gradually (when he earns something).

178. According to these rules let the king equitably decide between men, who dispute with each other the matters, which are proved by witnesses and (other) evidence.


179. A sensible man should make a deposit (only) with a person of (good) family, of good conduct, well acquainted with the law, veracious, having many relatives, wealthy, and honourable (arya).

180. In whatever manner a person shall deposit anything in the hands of another, in the same manner ought the same thing to be received back (by the owner); as the delivery (was, so must be) the re-delivery.

181. He who restores not his deposit to the depositor at his request, may be tried by the judge in the depositor’s absence.

182. On failure of witnesses let the (judge) actually deposit gold with that (defendant) under some pretext or other through spies of suitable age and appearance (and afterwards demand it back).

183. If the (defendant) restores it in the manner and shape in which it was bailed, there is nothing (of that description) in his hands, for which others accuse him.

184. But if he restores not that gold, as be ought, to those (spies), then he shall be compelled by force to restore both (deposits); that is a settled rule of law.

185. An open or a sealed deposit must never be returned to a near relative (of the depositor during the latter’s lifetime); for if (the recipient) dies (without delivering them), they are lost, but if he does not die, they are not lost.

186. But (a depositary) who of his own accord returns them to a near relative of a deceased (depositor), must not be harassed (about them) by the king or by the depositor’s relatives.

187. And (in doubtful cases) he should try to obtain that object by friendly means, without (having recourse to) artifice, or having inquired into (depositary’s) conduct, he should settle (the matter) with gentle means.

188. Such is the rule for obtaining back all those open deposits; in the case of a sealed deposit (the depositary) shall incur no (censure), unless he has taken out something.

189. (A deposit) which has been stolen by thieves or washed away by water or burned by fire, (the bailee) shall not make it good, unless he took part of it (for himself).

190. Him who appropriates a deposit and him (who asks for it) without having made it, (the judge) shall try by all (sorts of) means, and by the oaths prescribed in the Veda.

191. He who does not return a deposit and he who demands what he never bailed shall both be punished like thieves, or be compelled to pay a fine equal (to the value of the object retained or claimed).

192. The king should compel him who does not restore an open deposit, and in like manner him who retains a sealed deposit, to pay a fine equal (to its value).

193. That man who by false pretences may possess himself of another’s property, shall be publicly punished by various (modes of) corporal (or capital) chastisement, together with his accomplices.

194. If a deposit of a particular description or quantity is bailed by anybody in the presence of a number (of witnesses), it must be known to be of that particular (description and quantity; the depositary) who makes a false statement (regarding it) is liable to a fine.

195. But if anything is delivered or received privately, it must be privately returned; as the bailment (was, so should be) the re-delivery.

196. Thus let the king decide (causes) concerning a deposit and a friendly loan (for use) without showing (undue) rigour to the depositary.

197. If anybody sells the property of another man, without being the owner and without the assent of the owner, the (judge) shall not admit him who is a thief, though he may not consider himself as a thief, as a witness (in any case).

198. If the (offender) is a kinsman (of the owner), he shall be fined six hundred panas; if he is not a kinsman, nor has any excuse, he shall be guilty of theft.

199. A gift or sale, made by anybody else but the owner, must be considered as null and void, according to the rule in judicial proceedings.

8-200. Where possession is evident, but no title is perceived, there the title (shall be) a proof (of ownership), not possession; such is the settled rule.



Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: