Post No.7819

Date uploaded in London – 12 April 2020   

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I have covered up to 11-193 of Manu Smrti on 21 March, 2020 in the article ‘ MANU’S STRANGE PUNISHMENTS FOR BRAHMINS (Post No.7724)’ and let me conclude chapter 11 today. Here Manu gives various Parikaras/atonements for sins.

MANU CHAPTER 11 Contd. (11-194 to 11-266)

Interesting things in bullet points

1.All the slokas are summarised in sloka 11-228

11-228. By confession, by repentance, by austerity, and by reciting (the Veda) a sinner is freed from guilt, and in extremity, by giving gifts.

2.Recitation of Gayatri (Savitri) mantra, Practising Breath Control, i.e.Pranayama, Fasting, reciting Aum (Om) and reciting Rig Vedic Mantras are other ways of getting rid of sins.

3.Fasting or eating just a few mouthfuls for survival is given as an atonement.

4.Confession is also accepted. But unlike Christian confession, it is open confession, which iis a great punishment for Brahmins.

5.Sloka 11-237 emphasizes vegetarian food.

6.Sloka 11-241  says that animals also go to heaven by practising austerity. Many south Indian temples have so many animal stories to prove this.

7. Slokas 250-260 refer to many Rig Vedic mantras.

The Rig Vedic Mantras and the explanation for Krchchra type of Parikaras are explained in te commentaries.

Those things don’t mean anything now. So I am not repeating those things here. They may be of interest only for those do research.

Commentators give the mantras from the Rig Veda.

I am just giving the number of those mantras-

RV.1-97, 7-80, 10-85, 8-95-7, 10-88, 10-126, 10-119, 10-90, 1-24-14, 7-89-5, 9-58, 6-74-1, 4-2-4, 1-106-7, 6-51-8, 10-190.

Sloka 10-263 refers to Upansihads.

8.What is relevant for today?

In summary we may conclude, if anyone does anything wrong, one can come out of it (sin)

1.By confession and Repentance and never repeat the sin

2.Reciting Gayatri, Om and Rig Vedic mantras will absolve one from the sins.

3.Fasting and reducing food intake also get rid of one’s sins.

4.As a last resort, one may give gifts (donations) to deserving people.

5.Cow’s Urine etc (Pancha Gavya) also purifies one.

Here is the  last part of Eleventh Chapter:–


194. If Brahmanas acquire property by a reprehensible action, they become pure by relinquishing it, muttering prayers, and (performing) austerities.

195. By muttering with a concentrated mind the Savitri three thousand times, (dwelling) for a month in a cow-house, (and) subsisting on milk, (a man) is freed from (the guilt of) accepting presents from a wicked man.

196. But when he returns from the cow-house, emaciated with his fast, and reverently salutes, (the Brahmanas) shall ask him, ‘Friend, dost thou desire to become our equal?’

197. If he answers to the Brahmanas, ‘Forsooth, (I will not offend again), ‘he shall scatter (some) grass for the cows; if the cows hallow that place (by eating the grass) the (Brahmana) shall re-admit him (into their community).

198. He who has sacrificed for Vratyas, or has performed the obsequies of strangers, or a magic sacrifice (intended to destroy life) or an Ahina sacrifice, removes (his guilt) by three Krikkhra (penances).


199. A twice-born man who has cast off a suppliant for protection, or has (improperly) divulged the Veda, atones for his offence, if he subsists during a year on barley.

200. He who has been bitten by a dog, a jackal, or a donkey, by a tame carnivorous animal, by a man, a horse, a camel, or a (village-) pig, becomes pure by suppressing his breath (Pranayama).

201. To eat during a month at each sixth mealtime (only), to recite the Samhita (of a Veda), and (to perform) daily the Sakala oblations, are the means of purifying those excluded from society at repasts (Apanktya).

202. A Brahmana who voluntarily rode in a carriage drawn by camels or by asses, and he who bathed naked, become pure by suppressing his breath (Pranayama).

203. He who has relieved the necessities of nature, being greatly pressed, either without (using) water or in water, becomes pure by bathing outside (the village) in his clothes and by touching a cow.


204. Fasting is the penance for omitting the daily rites prescribed by the Veda and for neglecting the special duties of a Snataka.

205. He who has said ‘Hum’ to a Brahmana, or has addressed one of his betters with ‘Thou,’ shall bathe, fast during the remaining part of the day, and appease (the person offended) by a reverential salutation.

206. He who has struck (a Brahmana) even with a blade of grass, tied him by the neck with a cloth, or conquered him in an altercation, shall appease him by a prostration.


(One should not take the following literally; it emphasizes the severity of the crime so that one can avoid it.)

207. But he who, intending to hurt a Brahmana, has threatened (him with a stick and the like) shall remain in hell during a hundred years; he who (actually) struck him, during one thousand years.

208. As many particles of dust as the blood of a Brahmana causes to coagulate, for so many thousand years shall the shedder of that (blood) remain in hell.

209. For threatening a Brahmana, (the offender) shall perform a Krikkhra, for striking him an Atikrikkhra, for shedding his blood a Krikkhra and an Atikrikkhra.

210. For the expiation of offences for which no atonement has been prescribed, let him fix a penance after considering (the offender’s) strength and the (nature of the) offence.

211. I will (now) describe to you those means, adopted by the gods, the sages, and the manes, through which a man may remove his sins.

212. A twice-born man who performs (the Krikkhra penance), revealed by Prajapati, shall eat during three days in the morning (only), during (the next) three days in the evening (only), during the (following) three days (food given) unasked, and shall fast during another period of three days.


213. (Subsisting on) the urine of cows, cowdung, milk, sour milk, clarified butter, and a decoction of Kusa-grass, and fasting during one (day and) night, (that is) called a Samtapana Krikkhra.

214. A twice-born man who performs an Atikrikkhra (penance), must take his food during three periods of three days in the manner described above, (but) one mouthful only at each meal, and fast during the last three days.

215. A Brahmana who performs a Taptakrikkhra (penance) must drink hot water, hot milk, hot clarified butter and (inhale) hot air, each during three days, and bathe once with a concentrated mind.

216. A fast for twelve days by a man who controls himself and commits no mistakes, is called a Paraka Krikkhra, which removes all guilt.

217. If one diminishes (one’s food daily by) one mouthful during the dark (half of the month) and increases (it in the same manner) during the bright half, and bathes (daily) at the time of three libations (morning, noon, and evening), that is called a lunar penance (Kandrayana).

218. Let him follow throughout the same rule at the (Kandrayana, called) yavamadhyama (shaped like a barley-corn), (but) let him (in that case) begin the lunar penance, (with a) controlled (mind), on the first day of the bright half (of the month).

219. He who performs the lunar penance of ascetics, shall eat (during a month) daily at midday eight mouthfuls, controlling himself and consuming sacrificial food (only).

220. If a Brahmana, with concentrated mind, eats (during a month daily) four mouthfuls in a morning and four after sunset, (that is) called the lunar penance of children.

221. He who, concentrating his mind, eats during a month in any way thrice eighty mouthfuls of sacrificial food, dwells (after death) in the world of the moon.

222. The Rudras, likewise the Adityas, the Vasus and the Maruts, together with the great sages, practised this (rite) in order to remove all evil.

223. Burnt oblations, accompanied by (the recitation of) the Mahavyahritis, must daily be made (by the penitent) himself, and he must abstain from injuring (sentient creatures), speak the truth, and keep himself free from anger and from dishonesty.


224. Let him bathe three times each day and thrice each night, dressed in his clothes; let him on no account talk to women, Sudras, and outcasts.

225. Let him pass the time standing (during the day) and sitting (during the night), or if he is unable (to do that) let him lie on the (bare) ground; let him be chaste and observe the vows (of a student) and worship his Gurus, the gods, and Brahmanas.

226. Let him constantly mutter the Savitri and (other) purificatory texts according to his ability; (let him) carefully (act thus) on (the occasion of) all (other) vows (performed) by way of penance.

227. By these expiations twice-born men must be purified whose sins are known, but let him purify those whose sins are not known by (the recitation of) sacred texts and by (the performance of) burnt oblations.


228. By confession, by repentance, by austerity, and by reciting (the Veda) a sinner is freed from guilt, and in case no other course is possible, by liberality.

229. In proportion as a man who has done wrong, himself confesses it, even so far he is freed from guilt, as a snake from its slough.

230. In proportion as his heart loathes his evil deed, even so far is his body freed from that guilt.

231. He who has committed a sin and has repented, is freed from that sin, but he is purified only by (the resolution of) ceasing (to sin and thinking) ‘I will do so no more.’

232. Having thus considered in his mind what results will arise from his deeds after death, let him always be good in thoughts, speech, and actions.


233. He who, having either unintentionally or intentionally committed a reprehensible deed, desires to be freed from (the guilt on it, must not commit it a second time.

234. If his mind be uneasy with respect to any act, let him repeat the austerities (prescribed as a penance) for it until they fully satisfy (his conscience).

235. All the bliss of gods and men is declared by the sages to whom the Veda was revealed, to have austerity for its root, austerity for its middle, and austerity for its end.

236. (The pursuit of sacred) knowledge is the austerity of a Brahmana, protecting (the people) is the austerity of a Kshatriya, (the pursuit of) his daily business is the austerity of a Vaisya, and service the austerity of a Sudra.


237. The sages who control themselves and subsist on fruit, roots, and air, survey the three worlds together with their moving and immovable (creatures) through their austerities alone.

238. Medicines, good health, learning, and the various divine stations are attained by austerities alone; for austerity is the means of gaining them.

239. Whatever is hard to be traversed, whatever is hard to be attained, whatever is hard to be reached, whatever is hard to be performed, all (this) may be accomplished by austerities; for austerity (possesses a power) which it is difficult to surpass.

240. Both those who have committed mortal sin (Mahapataka) and all other offenders are severally freed from their guilt by means of well-performed austerities.


241. Insects, snakes, moths, bees, birds and beings, bereft of motion, reach heaven by the power of austerities.

242. Whatever sin men commit by thoughts, words, or deeds, that they speedily burn away by penance, if they keep penance as their only riches.

243. The gods accept the offerings of that Brahmana alone who has purified himself by austerities, and grant to him all he desires.

244. The lord, Pragjapati, created these Institutes (of the sacred law) by his austerities alone; the sages likewise obtained (the revelation of) the Vedas through their austerities.

245. The gods, discerning that the holy origin of this whole (world) is from austerity, have thus proclaimed the incomparable power of austerity.

246. The daily study of the Veda, the performance of the great sacrifices according to one’s ability, (and) patience (in suffering) quickly destroy all guilt, even that caused by mortal sins.

Fire of knowledge

247. As a fire in one moment consumes with its bright flame the fuel that has been placed on it, even so he who knows the Veda destroys all guilt by the fire of knowledge.

248. The penances for sins (made public) have been thus declared according to the law; learn next the penances for secret (sins).

Power of OM

249. Sixteen suppressions of the breath (Pranayama) accompanied by (the recitation of) the Vyahritis and of the syllable Om, purify, if they are repeated daily, after a month even the murderer of a learned Brahmana.

250. Even a drinker of (the spirituous liquor called) Sura becomes pure, if he mutters the hymn (seen) by Kutsa, ‘Removing by thy splendour our guilt, O Agni,’ &c., (that seen) by Vasishtha, ‘With their hymns the Vasishthas woke the Dawn,’ &c., the Mahitra (hymn) and (the verses called) Suddhavatis.

251. Even he who has stolen gold, instantly becomes free from guilt, if he once mutters (the hymn beginning with the words) ‘The middlemost brother of this beautiful, ancient Hotri-priest’ and the Sivasamkalpa.

252. The violator of a Guru’s bed is freed (from sin), if he repeatedly recites the Havishpantiya (hymn), (that beginning) ‘Neither anxiety nor misfortune,’ (and that beginning) ‘Thus, verily, thus,’ and mutters the hymn addressed to Purusha.

Power of Mantras

253. He who desires to expiate sins great or small, must mutter during a year the Rit-verse ‘May we remove thy anger, O Varuna,’ &c., or ‘Whatever offence here, O Varuna,’ &c.

254. That man who, having accepted presents which ought not to be accepted, or having eaten forbidden food, mutters the Taratsamandiya (Rikas), becomes pure after three days.

255. But he who has committed many sins, becomes pure, if he recites during a month the (four verses) addressed to Soma and Rudra, and the three verses (beginning) ‘Aryaman, Varuna, and Mitra,’ while he bathes in a river.

256. A grievous offender shall mutter the seven verses (beginning with) ‘Indra,’ for half a year; but he who has committed any blamable act in water, shall subsist during a month on food obtained by begging.

257. A twice-born man removes even very great guilt by offering clarified butter with the sacred texts belonging to the Sakala-homas, or by muttering the Rik, (beginning) ‘Adoration.’

258. He who is stained by mortal sin, becomes pure, if, with a concentrated mind, he attends cows for a year, reciting the Pavamani (hymns) and subsisting on alms.

259. Or if, pure (in mind and in body), he thrice repeats the Samhita of the Veda in a forest, sanctified by three Paraka (penances), he is freed from all crimes causing loss of caste (pataka).

260. But if (a man) fasts during three days, bathing thrice a day, and muttering (in the water the hymn seen by) Aghamarshana, he is (likewise) freed from all sins causing loss of caste.

Power of Rig Veda

261. As the horse-sacrifice, the king of sacrifices, removes all sin, even so the Aghamarshana hymn effaces all guilt.

262. A Brahmana who retains in his memory the Rig-veda is not stained by guilt, though he may have destroyed these three worlds, though he may eat the food of anybody.

263. He who, with a concentrated mind, thrice recites the Riksamhita, or (that of the) Yagur-veda; or (that of the) Sama-veda together with the secret (texts, the Upanishads), is completely freed from all sins.

264. As a clod of earth, falling into a great lake, is quickly dissolved, even so every sinful act is engulfed in the threefold Veda.

265. The Rikas, the Yagus (-formulas) which differ (from the former), the manifold Saman (-songs), must be known (to form) the triple Veda; he who knows them, (is called) learned in the Veda.

266. The initial triliteral Brahman on which the threefold (sacred science) is based, is another triple Veda which must be kept secret; he who knows that, (is called) learned in the Veda.



tags –  Manu, Chapter 11, Atonement, power of Gayatri, Om.


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