Hammurabi Curses (Post No.5964)

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(We see some of these curses in the Atharva Veda.

But we also see auspicious prayers, positive things  in the Vedas ).

Links for my earlier articles on curses are given below:– 

curses | Tamil and Vedas



  1.  

Three curses on Ravana! (Post No.4869). WRITTEN by London Swaminathan. Date: 31 MARCH 2018. Time uploaded in London – 20-24 (British Summer Time).

Valmiki curse | Tamil and Vedas



Compiled by London swaminathan. Article No.1841 Date: 1 May 2015. Uploaded at London time: 21-25. “Where the Sun cannot reach, the poet will reach”.

Do Words Have Power? | Tamil and Vedas



  1.  

10 Sep 2011 – An Interesting study of Boons and Curses -S Swaminathan- Hinduism … It is very interesting to study the way curses and boons work in Hinduism.

Words hurt more than Swords (Post No.5043) | Swami’s Indology Blog



24 May 2018 – All meanings, ideas, intentions, desires, emotions, items of knowledge are embodied in speech, are rooted in it and branch out of it. He who

–subham–

Throw women into Water or Fire— Hammurabi (Post No.5959)

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Date:19 JANUARY 2019


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Post No. 5959
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TRIGGER HAPPY HAMMURABHI (Post No.5952)

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Date:18 JANUARY 2019


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PHOENIX BIRD IN LONDON (Post No.5939)

 

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Post No. 5939
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The Mysterious Vedic Homa Bird: Does It Exist? | Swami’s Indology Blog

 
swamiindology.blogspot.com/2011/12/mysterious-vedic-homa-bird-does-it.html?view…

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10 Dec 2011 – The Homa bird lives in the air, breeds in the air, lays eggs in the air, but before the eggs reach the surface of the earth they are hatched in the …

AKBAR’S VISIT TO BALNATH YOGI SHRINE! (Post No.5933)

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250 Manu Verses in Mahabharata- Dr S Radhakrishnan (Post No.5878)

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Dr S Radhakrishnan, famous philosopher and President of India has compared Manu with Kautilya. He compared Manu Smrti of Manu and Arthasastra of Kautilya in an article published in 1952. I have given below some interesting points,

Manu in the Mahabharata
 
Over 250 Slokas from the Manu Smrti occur in various sections of the Mahabharata and many legends are common between the two works.

Size of the Two books

Manu Smrti has 2685 verses in 12 chapters. It is in poetic verses.
Kautilyas Arthasastra is a prose work in 15 books comprising 6000 Slokas of 32 syllables each in length.

Age of Two works
Manu Smrti in the present redaction belongs to Second century BCE. Kane argued that the epic borrowed the verses from the Smrti and it belongs to pre -epic period.

( yesterday I gave ten reasons to place the original Manu Smrti in the Vedic period. Viewed in that background , 250 plus Slokas in the epic is another proof to show that it was composed before 3100 BCE. But nobody disputes that Hindus updated the Smrti periodically. No one could say which one section or rule is older or newer. Definitely the anti Shudra verses were later interpolations. Because no such trend is seen in the epics or Vedas).


Authorship

Manu Smrti is attributed to Swayabhuva Manu and his disciple Bhrgu recited it to the sages. Kautilya says clearly that he took into account of all the literature on the subject. He refers to the views of over five authors and many unnamed authors.
Manu is a hoary name in Indian tradition. The Manu Smrti is the leading work on the sacred law of ancient India and Arthasastra of Kautilya takes the same rank among the manuals of polity.

Dharma sastra of Manu and Arthasastra of Kautilya alike study man in society.
Dharma sastras in general cover wider ground than Arthasastra and therefore command a wider appeal. For instance the cosmogony and eschatology of the opening and closing chapters of the Manu Smrti have no counterparts in Kautilya’s.

Geographical outlook

Manu divides north India into several graded regions like Aryavarta and Brahmavarta. Kautilya deals with the whole country from the Himalayas to the southern ocean.

( this is another proof to say that Manu must have lived long before Kautilya)

Unlike Kautilya, Manu gives extreme importance to Brahmins but at the same time insists good character and Vedic study for Brahmins.

Society

Both insist the grhastha srama— life of a House holder is greater than the other three stages. Hospitality is emphasised. Eight types of marriages is mentioned by both. Though the names of eight types are mentioned , all other known evidence shows that the normal form of marriage was a monogamous sacramental union between a youth and a maiden of the same Varna/caste .

Women in society

Manu gives a high place to women in social life and family.
Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honoured, no sacred rite yields rewards.

In that family where the husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her husband, happiness will assuredly be lasting .

He is so keen on girls getting proper husbands that he goes so far as to say that when a suitable husband is not to be found, a girl may be kept in her father’s house as a spinster to the end of her life rather than be given over to a man destitute of good qualities. 

Slaves
The Greek writers are positive that slavery was unknown in India in the Mauryan epoch. But Greek type of slavery, ‘Chattel slavery’ was unknown in India. But Manu mentions different kinds of Dasas.

Homer and Good Kings

Manu says that when the world was without a king, it was much agitated with fear; and for its protection Lord Brahma created the king, to protect the good and destroy the wicked. Lord created his own son Danda. Danda is often translated as punishment. But it is more than that. It is the embodiment of law and order, the descendant of the Vedic rta.

Homer says
“When a blameless king fears gods and upholds right judgement then the dark earth yields wheat and barley and the trees are laden with fruits; the young of his flocks are strong, and the sea gives abundance of fish”.

This statement has many parallels in Hindu literature.

Tiruvalluvar in Tamil Veda, Tirukkural also says this.
Manu says, even an infant king must not be despised.

Dr Radha Krishnan,  in his lengthy article, compared administration, justice and ethics as well.

Source
History of Philosophy Eastern and Western, volume one,
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnans article, Manu and Kautilya 

—-Subham ——

INDIAN WONDER- MANU SMRTI IN LONDON CATHEDRAL! (Post No.5868)



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Tags- Statue of William Jones with Manu Smrti, St Paul’s Cathedral, Original Manu Smrti

FOUR TIPS FOR SELF IMPROVEMENT- MANU (Post No5856)

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Date: 30 December 2018
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Post No. 5856


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Manu’s administrative skill is revealed in chapter seven; the world praised him for his ideas on administration, taxing, spies and ambassadors.

His first four slokas given below are applicable to anyone who wants to succeed in life.

Britain and other western countries follow one sixth taxing– 17.5% until today. This is in all Tamil and Sanskrit books of ancient India. Manu says beautifully about taxing- Tax the people in three ways:-

Like a leech

Like a calf

Like a bee

For highly paid staff, suck like a leech (60% tax)

For middle income groups take tax like calf (20% tax)

For the low income group take (nectar) like a bee! (it helps the plants in pollination and the flowers never lose anything! Actually they are not taxed at all).

Tiru Valluvar, author of Tamil Veda has borrowed all the ideas in this section and repeated them in Tirukkural.

The commentators on this section quote widely from another Sanskrit treatise Nitisara of Kamandaki.

Here are the interesting matter in bullet points

We continue here with the Seventh chapter slokas 99 to 160.

1.Sloka 7-99-102 BEAUTIFUL ADVICE

The advice given to kings is applicable to anyone who wants to succeed in life politically or financially.

2.TIRUKKURAL

All the ideas put forth by Manu here are in Tamil Tiruukral under Royalty (chapters 39-63), State Cabinet (chapters 64 to 73) politics (chapters 74 to 78) and Alliance (Tirukkural chapters 79-95).

Great scholars like V R Ramachandra Dikshitar, Dr Nagaswamy and others have written books on it. Some of the couplets in Tirukkural are verbatim translations of Manu!

About awarding death sentence and using Force, Valluvar follows Manu (Kolaiyir Kodiaaarai Venthoruththal…..).

(About the age of Valluvar and Manu, I have already written; Valluvar came several centuries after Manu)

3.Manu’s slokas 7-110 to 7-120 are about organisation in Administration

4.Animal similes

Tortoise and Heron similes are used by Krishna in Bhagavad Gita, Valluvar in Tirukkural and Bhartruhari, Tirumular etc.

See Manu’s use of Tortoise, Heron, Lion, Wolf, Leech, Calf and Bee in slokas 105, 106,129.

Commentators give lot of information on these similes! Very interesting!

5.Protect Vedic Scholars

Manu says it in sloka 7-135. Tamil Veda author Tiruvalluvar also warns rulers, if the king doesn’t rule properly, “Cows won’t give milk, Brahmins will forget Vedas” (aapayan kundrum, aru thozilor nuul marappar)

6. Hindu scriptures always insist one sixth of one’s income as tax. This is followed by many countries even today

7.Who is a Dasyu?

Manu explains Dasyus as Thieves and Robbers. Kalidasa also followed it in Shakuntala. In addition to sloka 7-143, Manu explains who is a Dasyu in chapter 10 as well. We will see it later. Foreigners deliberately called Dravidians and aborigines as Dasyus. They did it to divide the Hindu society. Every society in the world has goodies and baddies- Devas and Asuras, Angels and Demons. But foreigners deliberately interpreted Dravidians and aborigines as Dasyus. Dasyus are baddies in a society.

8.Warning about women!

Manu’s sloka 7-150 warns about keeping parrots and women in secret political consultations. This is found in all ancient Tamil and Sanskrit books, probably in other cultures as well.

9.Slokas 7-153 ++ talk about Spies and Ambassadors which we see in Ramayana and Mahabharata as well. This shows India was the most advanced civilization in the ancient world.  To achieve such a maturity, India must have existed several thousand years before the Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek civilizations.

10.Sloka 7-125 shows that women were working in those days. Pay structure is also discussed.

xxxx

Now we continue with the Seventh Chapter of Manu Smrti:-

Manu Smrti Chapter 7 contd.

Instructions to a King


FOUR POINT FORMULA


7-99. Let him strive to gain what he has not yet gained;

what he has gained let him carefully preserve;

let him augment what he preserves, and

what he has augmented let him bestow on worthy men.


100. Let him know that these are the four means for securing the aims of human (existence); let him, without ever tiring, properly employ them.


101. What he has not yet gained, let him seek to gain by his army; what he has gained, let him protect by careful attention; what he has protected, let him augment by various modes of increasing it; and what he has augmented, let him liberally bestow on worthy men.

7-102. Let him be ever ready to strike,

his prowess constantly displayed, and

his secrets constantly concealed, and

let him constantly explore the weaknesses of his foe.



103. Of him who is always ready to strike, the whole world stands in awe; let him therefore make all creatures subject to himself even by the employment of force.

104. Let him ever act without guile, and on no account treacherously; carefully guarding himself, let him always fathom the treachery which his foes employ.



TOTOISE  SIMILE


7-105. His enemy must not know his weaknesses, but he must know the weaknesses of his enemy; as the tortoise hides its limbs, even so let him secure the members of his government against treachery, let him protect his own weak points.


HERON SIMILE


7-106. Let him plan his undertakings patiently meditating like a heron; like a lion, let him put forth his strength; like a wolf, let him snatch (his prey); like a hare, let him double in retreat.


107. When he is thus engaged in conquest, let him subdue all the opponents whom he may find, by the (four) expedients, conciliation and the rest.

108. If they cannot be stopped by the three first expedients, then let him, overcoming them by force alone, gradually bring them to subjection.

SAMA, DANA, BEDA, DANDA

109. Among the four expedients, conciliation and the rest, the learned always recommend conciliation and the employment of force for the prosperity of kingdoms.


NIP IT IN THE BUD


7-110. As the weeder plucks up the weeds and preserves the corn, even so let the king protect his kingdom and destroy his opponents.


111. That king who through folly rashly oppresses his kingdom, (will), together with his relatives, ere long be deprived of his life and of his kingdom.

112. As the lives of living creatures are destroyed by tormenting their bodies, even so the lives of kings are destroyed by their oppressing their kingdoms.

113. In governing his kingdom let him always observe the (following) rules; for a king who governs his kingdom well, easily prospers.

114. Let him place a company of soldiers, commanded (by a trusty officer), the midst of two, three, five or hundreds of villages, (to be) a protection of the kingdom.

ORGANISE 10, 20, 100, 1000



7-115. Let him appoint a lord over (each) village, as well as lords of ten villages, lords of twenty, lords of a hundred, and lords of a thousand.

116. The lord of one village himself shall inform the lord of ten villages of the crimes committed in his village, and the ruler of ten (shall make his report) to the ruler of twenty.

117. But the ruler of twenty shall report all such (matters) to the lord of a hundred, and the lord of a hundred shall himself give information to the lord of a thousand.

118. Those (articles) which the villagers ought to furnish daily to the king, such as food, drink, and fuel, the lord of one village shall obtain.

119. The ruler of ten (villages) shall enjoy one kula (as much land as suffices for one family), the ruler of twenty five kulas, the superintendent of a hundred villages (the revenues of) one village, the lord of a thousand (the revenues of) a town.

120. The affairs of these (officials), which are connected with (their) villages and their separate business, another minister of the king shall inspect, (who must be) loyal and never remiss;



TOWN SUPERINTENDENT


7-121. And in each town let him appoint one superintendent of all affairs, elevated in rank, formidable, (resembling) a planet among the stars.

122. Let that (man) always personally visit by turns all those (other officials); let him properly explore their behaviour in their districts through spies (appointed to) each.

123. For the servants of the king, who are appointed to protect (the people), generally become knaves who seize the property of others; let him protect his subjects against such (men).

124. Let the king confiscate the whole property of those (officials) who, evil-minded, may take money from suitors, and banish them.

WOMEN IN EMPLOYMENT ANND WAGE STRUCTURE


7-125. For women employed in the royal service and for menial servants, let him fix a daily maintenance, in proportion to their position and to their work.

126. One pana must be given daily as wages to the lowest, six to the highest, likewise clothing every six months and one drona of grain every month.

127. Having well considered the rates of purchase and of sale, the length of the road, the expense for food and condiments, the charges of securing the goods, let the king make the traders pay duty.

128. After (due) consideration the king shall always fix in his realm the duties and taxes in such a manner that both he himself and the man who does the work receive (their due) reward.



LEECH, CALF,BEE SIMILE



7-129. As the leech, the calf, and the bee take their food little by little, even so must the king draw from his realm moderate annual taxes.


130. A fiftieth part of the increments on cattle and gold may be taken by the king, and the eighth, sixth, or twelfth part of the crops.

131. He may also take the sixth part of trees, meat, honey, clarified butter, perfumes, (medical) herbs, substances used for flavouring food, flowers, roots, and fruit;

132. Of leaves, pot-herbs, grass, objects made of cane, skins, of earthen vessels, and all articles made of stone.



PROTECT VEDIC PUNDITS


7-133. Though dying with want, a king must not levy a tax on Srotriyas/ VEDIC PRIESTS , and no Srotriya, residing in his kingdom, must perish from hunger.

134. The kingdom of that king, in whose dominions a Srotriya pines with hunger, will even, ere long, be afflicted by famine.

135. Having ascertained his learning in the Veda and (the purity of) his conduct, the king shall provide for him means of subsistence in accordance with the sacred law, and shall protect him in every way, as a father protects the lawful son of his body.

136. Whatever meritorious acts such a Brahmana performs under the full protection of the king, thereby the king’s length of life, wealth, and kingdom increase.

137. Let the king make the common inhabitants of his realm who live by traffic, pay annually some trifle, which is called a tax.


138. Mechanics and artisans, as well as Sudras who subsist by manual labour, he may cause to work for himself one day in each month.

TAX WITH DISCRETION


7-139. Let him not cut up his own root by levying no taxes, nor the root of other men by excessive greed; for by cutting up his own root or theirs, he makes himself or them wretched.

140. Let the king, having carefully considered each affair, be both sharp and gentle; for a king who is both sharp and gentle is highly respected.

141. When he is tired with the inspection of the business of men, let him place on that seat of justice his chief minister, who must be acquainted with the law, wise, self-controlled, and descended from a noble family.

142. Having thus arranged all the affairs (of) his (government), he shall zealously and carefully protect his subjects.



REAL MEANING OF DASYU


7-143. That monarch whose subjects are carried off by robbers (Dasyu) from his kingdom, while they loudly call for help, and he and his servants are quietly looking on, is a dead and not a living king.

144. The highest duty of a Kshatriya is to protect his subjects, for the king who enjoys the rewards, just mentioned, is bound to discharge that duty.

145. Having risen in the last watch of the night, having performed the rite of personal purification, having, with a collected mind, offered oblations in the fire, and having worshipped Brahmanas, he shall enter the hall of audience which must possess the marks considered auspicious for a dwelling.



MEET PEOPLE


7-146. Tarrying there, he shall gratify all subjects who come to see him by a kind reception and afterwards dismiss them; having dismissed his subjects, he shall take counsel with his ministers.

147. Ascending the back of a hill or a terrace, and retiring there in a lonely place, or in a solitary forest, let him consult with them unobserved.

148. That king whose secret plans other people, though assembled (for the purpose), do not discover, will enjoy the whole earth, though he be poor in treasure.

149. At the time of consultation let him cause to be removed idiots, the dumb, the blind, and the deaf, animals, very aged men, women, barbarians, the sick, and those deficient in limbs.



WOMEN AND SECRET


7-150. Such despicable persons, likewise animals, and particularly women betray secret council; for that reason he must be careful with respect to them.

151. At midday or at midnight, when his mental and bodily fatigues are over, let him deliberate, either with himself alone or with his ministers, on virtue, pleasure, and wealth,

152. On reconciling the attainment of these aims which are opposed to each other, on bestowing his daughters in marriage, and on keeping his sons from harm,



SPIES AND AMBASSADORS


7-153. On sending ambassadors, on the completion of undertakings (already begun), on the behaviour of (the women in) his harem, and on the doings of his spies.

154. On the whole eightfold business and the five classes of spies, on the goodwill or enmity and the conduct of the circle of neighbours he must carefully reflect.

155. On the conduct of the middlemost prince, on the doings of him who seeks conquest, on the behaviour of the neutral king, and on that of the foe let him sedulously meditate.

72 CONSTITUENT PARTS


7-156. These (four) constituents (prakriti, form), briefly (speaking), the foundation of the circle (of neighbours); besides, eight others are enumerated (in the Institutes of Polity) and (thus) the (total) is declared to be twelve.



157. The minister, the kingdom, the fortress, the treasury, and the army are five other constituent elements of the circle; for, these are mentioned in connexion with each of the first twelve; thus the whole circle consists, briefly speaking, of seventy-two constituent parts.


158. Let (the king) consider as hostile his immediate neighbour and the partisan of (such a) foe, as friendly the immediate neighbour of his foe, and as neutral (the king) beyond those two.


159. Let him overcome all of them by means of the (four) expedients, conciliation and the rest, (employed) either singly or conjointly, (or) by bravery and policy (alone).

160. Let him constantly think of the six measures of royal policy (guna, viz.) alliance, war, marching, halting, dividing the army, and seeking protection.

–subham–

RIVER ORDEAL IN MANU, HAMMURABI, TAMIL PERIYA PURANA AND MAHABHARATA (Post No.5837)

Research Article by London Swaminathan
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Date: 26 December 2018
GMT Time uploaded in London – 13-54
Post No. 5837


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River ordeal or Water ordeal and Fire ordeal are found in Vedic literature and later books. We read about Sita’s Fire Ordeal in Ramayana and Fire walking in Jaiminiya Brahmana. It is interesting to see the Babylonian king Hammurabi also listed River ordeal as one of the punishments.

As I have explained in my article posted yesterday, Manu lived before Hammurabi (1792 BCE). Manu is in the oldest book Rik Veda. The following sloka not only showed Manu lived during the days of flowing mighty Sarasvati River but also water ordeal was one of the punishments or atonements.

In chapter 2 Manu says

“The country that the gods made between the two divine rivers, the Sarasvati and Drsadvati, is what they call  the Land of the Veda”- Manu 2-17

In chapter 11 he says,

A priest killer……………

“Throw himself three times, head first, into a blazing fire -11-74

Or he may eat food fit for an oblation and walk the length of the Sarasvati river against the current”-11-78.

Manu lived before 2000 BCE; later the river dried up according to the latest scientific discoveries.

Water Ordeal in Code of Hammurabi

Witchcraft

(2)If a man has laid a charge of witchcraft against another man but cannot substantiate his guilt, the person against whom witchcraft is alleged shall go to the river and jump into the river.

And if the mighty river overpowers him, the one who laid the allegations against him shall take possession of his house.

But if the river cleanses him of the guilt, he shall go away restored.

The one who laid a charge of witchcraft against him shall be put to death; the one who jumped into the river shall take possession of the house of the one who made the allegations against him

Tamil Periya Purana

Fire and Water ordeal figured also in the Pariyapurana which gives the life stories of 63 great Saivite saints.

When the politically motivated Jains set fire to the Brahmin boy Sambandar’s residence he came out without any harm. Later the Jains challenged him in various ways. One of the tests they held was Fire ordeal. Both the Jains and Sambandar placed the palm leaf manuscript with their holy Mantras. Sambandar’s palm leaf remained intact whereas the Jains’ one burnt to ashes. Then the water ordeal took place. Both of them placed their palm leaf manuscripts in the Vaigai River. Jains’ palm leaf was washed away; but Sambandar’swent against the river current and reached the banks 12 miles away Madurai. That place is called Thiru Edu Akam (Thiruvedakam). This water ordeal is at least 1400 year old.

River Ordeal in Mahabharata

Bandi was a Vedic scholar in the court of King Janaka . He used to hold learned discussions and debates on Vedic scripture s with visiting scholars who after being defeated, were thrown into river. One such unfortunate loser was Kahoda. Later Kahodas son Ashtavakra mastered all the scriptures by the age of twelve. He defeated Bandi and he was thrown into a river. But being the son of god Varuna , no harm came to him and he ended his earthly existence. Kahoda was restored to life. Later Ashtavakra bathed in the River Samang and his crooks in the body straightened out. This shows the miraculous powers of the river or water. Ashtavakra got eight crooks in his body when he was in the womb of his mother and his father Kahoda spelt the Vedas with mistakes.



What is Water Ordeal?


In Mesopotamia, from the old Babylonian period on, if the sworn testimony by the parties in a legal dispute conflicted or if for some reason the case was not solvable by rational means , it was usual to refer the decision to the river god; in other words to decide by means of a river ordeal . This solemn expedient was in effect a form of divination and the judgment would then be declared in the name of Id, the Divine River, or Shazi, son of the Divine River or Ea, Enki.

It seems likely that one of the litigants, selected by lot, underwent the ordeal. He had to submerge himself in the river at a special location in the presence of the authorities, and possibly swim to a certain distance. If he came out safe he was cleared. If he was overcome by the current and sank, he was guilty and had to return to court for sentencing—- fine or execution. It was not intended that he should drown.

Sometimes a holy river was specified. Daban, Diyala, Hubur , all rivers outside Babylon.


Sources


Hammurabi’s Laws, M E J Richardson, Sheffield Academic Press
Who is who in the Mahabharata, Subash Mazumdar, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay
Dictionary of the Ancient Near East, British Museum
Periapuranam
Manu Smrti


–subham–

MANU AND HAMMURABI- WHO IS FIRST? (Post No.5832)

Sun God Shamash

Research Article written by London Swaminathan
swami_48@yahoo.com
Date: 25 December 2018
GMT Time uploaded in London – 19-52
Post No. 5832


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Manu , the Hindu Law maker, is more ancient than Hammurabi, the Babylonian ruler. According to historians, Hammurabi ruled for 42 years from 1792 BCE. Historians consider him as the oldest law maker. In fact historians knew that there were other laws in the Middle East even before Hammurabi . But Hammurabi was the one who put them together. They found a stele with law inscribed on it in Susa in Iran. French archaeologists brought it to the Louvre Museum in Paris.

My research shows that Manu of India is older than Hammurabi for the following reasons:

Manu’s name appears in the Rik Veda, the oldest book in the world. This Veda is dated between 6000 BCE and 1500 BCE by various scholars. Now the research on the basins of dried Saraswati River proved that the Rik Veda was definitely composed before 2000 BCE, that is before the time of Hammurabi. The internal evidence in Manu Smrti also points towards this direction.

Manu talks about mighty Saraswati River, which is referred to in the Rik Veda scores of times.

Manu and Rik Veda never spoke about SATI, the widow burning custom. So they belong to the same period.

More over Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita also indicate the time of Manu.

“I proclaimed this imperishable yoga to Vivasvaan. Vivasvaan told it to Manu and Manu spoke it to Iksvaaku” – Bhagavad Gita 4-1

Hindus strongly believe that the Mahabharata war took place before 3102 BCE. Lord Krishna spoke about Manu at that time. Though there were several Manus, Vaivasvata Manu is the son of Vivasvaan.

Hammurabi in front of Sun God Shamash

Vivasvaan is Sun God according to the commentators. This Gita sloka not only showed the age of Manu but also shows the link between Manu and Hammurabi.

Did Hammurabi copy Manu?

Manu is very comprehensive about the laws. But Hammurabi has only 282 laws. All these topics are already in Manu Smrti. The big difference is Hammurabi used ‘KILL,KI’LL as punishment for most of the offences. Manu was very kind.

Hammurabi’s approach is ‘Eye for Eye and Tooth for tooth’; but Manu says the punishment should be proportionate to the offence. Heaskedthe kings to use discretion and award punishment based on the status, circumstances and the time of the offence.

Similarities:

Hammurabi received the law from Shamash, the Sun God. Manu is the son of Sun God- Vivasvaan. The stele in Louvre museum show Hammurabi and Shamash.

Hammurabi behaved like a Hindu devotee in front of Shamash. Hindus, when they approach saints and seers, always cover their mouth with RIGHT HAND  so that no spit reaches the body of the saint.

Manu divided his book into 12 chapters and Hammurabi also wrote it in 12 sections.

The topics covered by Hammurabi are already in Manu; but the punishments and fines differ widely.

Sun God Shamash is called ‘Udu’ in certain parts of the Middle East. Udu means star in Tamil and Sanskrit.

Hammurabi belongs to Ammorites; the word means Amaru region as well as god. Amara desa means mountainous country in the Hindu Puranas.

Scholars were not sure whether anyone followed Hammurabi’s Laws in the Middle East at any time. They may be ideal laws or just a deterrent. Manu’s laws were also not followed verbatim. But Hindu kings boasted that they followed Manu Niti. Pandyan copper plates boast that Pandya rulers were followers of  Manu. There was a Choza king who was called Manu Niti Choza because he followed Manu Niti (Niti= justice). When the king’s son killed a calf under his chariot wheels, the cow came to his palace and rang the Bell of Justice at the gate. When the king came to know the reason for this he was told about the accident. Then the king ran over the chariot on his son to avenge the killing of a calf. But all ended well when God revived the calf and his son in appreciation of king’s just rule.

Hammurabi used the day to day Akkadian language to proclaim his laws. He wrote them on the clay tablets and inscribed them over stones. Later Indian king Asoka also followed this by writing everything in peoples language Pali on stones. There might have been a custom like this  in India even before Asoka. Like we lost most of Asoka’s inscriptions, we might have lost them.

I will list more similarities in another article.

–subham–