Manu’s Mystery about Sarasvati, Black buck, Mlechcha land and Gold Medicine (4527)

Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 21 DECEMBER 2017 


Time uploaded in London- 18-16



Post No. 4527

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.


Manu’s Mystery about Sarasvati, Black buck, Mlechcha land and Gold Medicine (4527)

Manu Smrti, also known as Manava  Dharma Sastra, has lot of things which are not explained in full; so the mystery continues. The age of Manu Smrti is also wrong when we look at these mysteries. The mention of River Sarasvati, Mlecha (barbarians) land, Black buck, administering gold to a newly born child, the boundary of three different areas Brahmavarta, Brahmirishi desa and Aryavarta – all these need further explorations.

Look at the following slokas in the second chapter of MS; they deal with Ayurveda, zoology, geography and sociology (My comments are given at the end of these slokas)


  1. The knowledge of the sacred law is prescribed for those who are not given to the acquisition of wealth and to the gratification of their desires; to those who seek the knowledge of the sacred law the supreme authority is the revelation (Veda=Sruti).
  2. But when two sacred texts (Sruti) are conflicting, both are held to be law; for both are pronounced by the wise (to be) valid law.
  3. For example, the fire sacrifice may be (optionally) performed, at any time after the sun has risen, before he has risen, or when neither sun nor stars are visible; that (is declared) by Vedic texts.
  4. Know that he for whom (the performance of) the ceremonies beginning with the rite of impregnation (Garbhadhana) and ending with the funeral rite (Antyeshti) is prescribed, while sacred formulas are being recited, is entitled (to study) these Institutes, but no other man whatsoever.
  5. That land, created by the gods, which lies between the two divine rivers Sarasvati and Drishadvati, the sages call Brahmavarta.
  6. The custom handed down in regular succession (since time immemorial) among the four chief castes (varna) and the mixed castes of that country, is called the conduct of virtuous men.
  7. The plain of the Kurus, the country of the Matsyas, Panchalas, and Surasenakas, these form, indeed, the country of the Brahmarshis (Brahmanical sages, which ranks) immediately after Brahmavarta.
  8. From a Brahmana, born in that country, let all men on earth learn their several usages.
  9. That (country) which lies between the Himavat and the Vindhya mountains to the east of Prayaga and to the west of Vinasana (the place where the river Sarasvati disappears) is called Madhyadesa (the central region).
  10. But (the tract) between those two mountains (just mentioned), which extends as far as the eastern and the western oceans, the wise call Aryavarta (the country of the noble people or civilised people).
  11. That land where the black antelope naturally roams, one must know to be fit for the performance of sacrifices; the tract different from that (is) the country of the Mlechas (barbarians). (So no part of India is mlecha bhumi)
  12. Let twice-born men seek to dwell in those (above-mentioned countries); but a Sudra, distressed for subsistence, may reside anywhere.
  13. Thus has the origin of the sacred law been succinctly described to you and the origin of this universe; learn (now) the duties of the castes (varna).
  14. With holy rites, prescribed by the Veda, must the ceremony on conception and other sacraments be performed for twice-born men, which sanctify the body and purify (from sin) in this (life) and after death.
  15. By burnt oblations during (the mother’s) pregnancy, by the Jatakarman (the ceremony after birth), the Chowla (tonsure), and the Maungibandhana (the tying of the sacred girdle of Munga grass) is the taint, derived from both parents, removed from twice-born men.
  16. By the study of the Veda, by vows, by burnt oblations, by (the recitation of) sacred texts, by the (acquisition of the) threefold sacred science, by offering (to the gods, Rishis, and manes), by (the procreation of) sons, by the great sacrifices, and by (Srauta) rites this (human) body is made fit for (union with) Brahman
  17. Before the navel-string is cut, the Jatakarman (birth-rite) must be performed for a male (child); and while sacred formulas are being recited, he must be fed with gold, honey, and butter.



Manu Smrti is dated around second century BCE. This is wrong. Neither Manu Smrti nor the Rig Veda deal with the Sati (widow burning) ceremony; Both Rig Veda and Manu mention Sarasvati river which existed around 2000 BCE and then disappeared.

Another reference to River Sarasvati adds to the mystery:

‘A Brahmin killer may eat food fit for an oblation and walk the length of the river Sarasvati against the current; or he may restrain his eating and recite one entire collection of Veda three times ( to get rid of the sin) –11-78


Modern research shows that Sarasvati lost its full glory around 2000 BCE. But Manu talks about the Vinasan ( which is described as the place of disappearance of Sarasvati). So during Manu’s time there was a river running its full length. Might have disappeared just before it met the sea. Rig Veda sings that the mighty Sarasvati was running between the high mountains and the sea. If Sarasvati was not running during his days Sloka/couplet 11-78 would not make any sense.


The version we have today is only an updated version. The original must be 4000 year old.


Another interesting point is the reference to the antelope Black buck (Krishnasara). He says that wherever black buck lives that land is holy and fit for conducting the fire ceremonies. According to 19th century writers, Black buck was found throughout the subcontinent covering the modern Bangladessh, Pakistan and Nepal. It was found from the southernmost end of the land to the Himalayas. Even now it is considered sacred and not hunted.

There are two interesting questions:

Why did Manu choose Black buck? Like cow and elephant, it also gained divine status. Brahmin boys tie it in their sacred thread. Does it show that once upon a time all the Brahmins wore deer skin, particularly black buck skin?


The second question is if black buck is the criteria for sacredness, then the whole country is a sacred land. Black buck is found in Palani Hills in Tamil Nadu around 1850. Sangam Tamil literature also confirmed that the Vedic fire sacrifices were conducted in Tamil Nadu 2000 years ago. So the whole of Indian subcontinent is holy land, fit for fire sacrifices and it was not Mlecha land at least 2300 years ago.


But the above passages show that beyond the Vindhyas and Himalayas it was Mlecha land. This passage must be written long long ago, before the humans occupied the southern part of India. Sangam Tamil literature describe the Greeks and Romans as Mlechas. Later literature called the Arabs and English as Mlechas. Second chapter description of Brahma desa, Brahmarishi desa and Aryavarta show that this was older part of MS. Drshadvati and Sarsvati were Vedic rivers.


During the Jatakarma (ceremony for newly born child), Manu asks to give the boy butter, milk  in golden vessels. Micro quantity of gold was good for the health says later medical literature. It describes the manufacture of Goldpasma (gold powder) This shows Ayurveda was practised during his time.

–to be  continued……………..




Manu, not only a Law Maker but also a Great Botanist! (Post No.4375)

Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 7 NOVEMBER 2017


Time uploaded in London- 20-39



Post No. 4375

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.


Manu Smrti, law book written by Manu, talks about lot of subjects which makes it a Hindu Encyclopaedia. Manu was not only a law maker but also a scientist. Though some of his theories may not hold good today, he was the precursor of several scientific theories.


One of the greatest Indian plant scientists was Jagadish Chandra Bose. Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose’s greatest achievement was his invention of the crescograph, which allowed scientists to discover how the seasons and external stimuli affected plant life.

The scientist worked tirelessly to chart how chemical inhibitors, temperature and light change the way plants grow, and advise humans on how to better care for vegetation.

It paved the way for scientists to better understand how to cultivate crops in a more effective way, and encouraged people to take better care of plant life. In one particular report, Bose wrote that he believed plants “feel pain and understand affection” just as much as humans do. But even before Bose, Manu has said about the feeling of plants!

His famous quotation was that ‘don’t even throw a rose flower on your lady love because the rose flower will be hurt’.

Manu must have lived long ago. Though the updated Manu Smriti available now is dated around second century BCE, he lived during the Rig Vedic days. He talks about the Saraswati River, which disappeared later. So the original Manu Smrti must be dated around 2000 BCE. Moreover, like the Rig Veda he never mentioned Sati, the widow burning.


About plants he says,

“All the plants that grow from the seed or node are borne from shoots; herbs are those that bear many flowers and fruits and then die with the ripening of the fruit.

“Trees that have fruit but no flowers are traditionally known as the Lords of the Forest; those that bear both flowers and fruit are called trees.

“The various sorts of plants that have one root and those with many roots, the different species of grasses and climbing vines and creepers all grow from a seed or a shoot.



–Chapter 1, Manu Smrti


Grass (laid down for a resting place), space (to rest), water and pleasant conversation – these four things never run out in the house of good people- Manu 3-101

From Manu’s days pious people were doing penance sitting on the mat made up of Dharba grass.—3-208


If we believe that Manu lived in the Sarasvati River period, he is the first man to classify plants; he is the first one to talk about the consciousness of plants. He is the first to write about numerous plants. If we put all the plant facts from the Vedas, Brahmanas and Manu Smrti together, we will know how much the ancient Hindus studied the plants.


My old article:-


‘Save the Trees’ and ‘Save the Forests’ in Manu Smrti!(Post No.3043)


Research Article Written by london swaminathan

Date: 7th    August 2016

Post No. 3043

Time uploaded in London :– 16-24

( Thanks for the Pictures)

The topics Manu covers in his Law book are amazing. He makes passing remarks on several things; since ancient people know all these things he takes them for granted. Let us look at the couplets where he mentioned the trees, saving the trees, sacred trees and saving the forests.


If a Brahmin cuts the fruit trees, shrubs, vines, , creepers or  flowering plants , a thousand Vedic verses should be chanted – Manu 11-143


Cutting down green trees for fire wood, undertaking acts for one’s own sake only and eating forbidden food  are minor crimes — Manu 11-65


Assembly halls, road side watering places, cake-stalls, whore houses wine shops , SACRED TREES, cross roads, crowds and places where people assemble for spectacles, GARDENS, ARTIFICIAL GROVES MUST BE WATCHED FOR THIEFS –9-265

Trees that have fruit but no flowers are traditionally known as the Lords of the Forest; those that bear flowers and fruits are called trees–  Manu 1-47


The various sorts of plants that have one root and those with many roots , the different species of grasses and climbing vines and creepers all grow from a seed or a shoot. — Manu 1-48




The belt of a priest should be made up of smooth, three ply rushes; of a ruler it should be a bow string of hemp fibre; and of a commoner, a thread of hemp.

If rushes are unattainable, the belt should be made up of kusa asmantaka or balbaja (Eleusine Indica).

The initiatory thread of a Brahmin should be made up of cotton; of a ruler it should be made up of hemp threads and of a commoner it should be of wool threads.

A priest’s staff should be made up of wood apple (Aegle Marmelos)and the palasa (Butea Frondosa);

A ruler’s of banyan (Ficus Indica) and acacia (Acacia Catechu);

A commoner’s of palm (Careya Arborea) and fig (Ficus Udumbara).

Height of the Staff of a priest – – up to his hair

King = up to his forehead

Commoner = up to his nose

–Chapter 2 of Manu smrti


Sitting on a kusa grass mat is mentioned in 2-75


Grass laid down for a resting place, space to rest, water and pleasant conversation – these four things never run out in the house of good people – 3-101


Priests should sit on a seat of sacrificial grass/ kusa—3-208.

Kusa grass and mat made up of Kusa grass are emtioned in several places.

Weights made up of krsnala seeds (Kundu mnani in Tamil) are found in the book.

It is good to see so many plants names in a Law Book.



From these passages we come to know:-

Cutting trees is a crime;

Preserving trees is encouraged;

Sacred trees were there in every town;

Gardens and artificial groves were there;

Temples and Kiosks/stalls were constructed underneath huge trees.

Like Tamil kings had three different trees for each of them, three castes have different trees.

Even before the Westerners classified the plants, Hindus divided them into various groups.


Please read my research articles posted here earlier: –

Flowers in Tamil Culture, posted on 25 August 2012


Confusion about Vedic Soma Plant , posted on 5 May 2013


107 Miracle Herbs in the Hindu Vedas, posted on 16 September 2013 


255 Indian trees, herbs and flowers mentioned in Brhat Samhita Part-1, posted 21 February 2015


255 Indian trees, herbs and flowers mentioned in Brhat Samhita Part-2, posted on 23 February 2015


Amazing Medical information in Hindu Vedas, posted here on 18 June 2015


Jangida Mystery in Atharva Veda , posted on 29 December 2014


Hindus’ Amazing Knowledge in Botany, posted here on 20 July 2014


Knowledge of Biology in Hindu scriptures, posted on 10 February 2013


Dynasties with Plant names and Dynasty in Shiva’s Bilva tree name, posted on 24 January 2015


Lord Shiva and Tamils adopted Trees, posted on 6 July 2013



Hindus’ respect for trees and forests , posted on 18 February 2015


Cucumber in the Rig Veda