30 Important quotations from Manu

By London Swaminathan
Post No. 1006; Date 27th April 2014

Manu was the greatest of the Hindu Law Givers. Though there were several Law Books, Manu was considered the best. But the present Manava Dharma Sastra is not the original book. Lot of people have added unwanted remarks against the lower castes. The contradictions in the book itself are a proof for these interpolations. It has got 2694 verses (slokas). Foreign scholars who found interpolations and additions in all the Indian books from the Rig Veda to Tolkappiam in Tamil never said a word about such things in Manu’s law book. It suited their purpose to spread lies against Hinduism. This is the only book where they kept quiet about interpolations!!

Another mystery about Manu is that he lived during Vedic age. The present book is dated to 2nd century CE by foreigners. There is no historical proof for such a person at that time of history. Original Manu must have lived during Vedic times i.e. at least 3500 years ago. There are several Manus in the Rig Veda, the oldest scripture in the world.

Manu is not a personal name. It is a generic name like Dalai Lama, Pope, Shankaracharya, President, Magistrate, Prime Minister etc. All the English words about Man, Mankind and words such as Manual came from this Manu. Here are some important quotations from the Manava Dharmasatra. Tamils proudly declared that they follow Manu Dharma Sastra in their ancient epigraphs and inscriptions. One Choza king was even named Manu Neethi Choza for his equal justice to an animal and human being. He executed his son under the wheel of a chariot which ran over a calf. The calf came to his palace add rang the Bell of Justice at the gate. The king ordered the execution of his son for killing the calf under his chariot wheel.

dolly manu

This story went far and wide and found even in the Mahavamsa of Sri Lanka. The story is repeated in Tamil epic Silappadikaram, Pazamozi 400, Periapuranam and local Sthalapuranas. In all these stories they praised the Laws of Manu.

Man is a Teachable Animal

Man is a teachable animal. That is why we have framed rules for him. Animals have no morality. They can’t learn morals. Hindus believed in changes. So they had various law books during different periods. Nothing remained static in the Hindu world. It kept on changing. Manu was one of the law givers. Parasara Smrti (Smrti=law book) declared that in the four ages Krta, Treta, Dwapara and Kali the Laws of Manu, Gautama, Sankhalikita and Parasara are respectively of the highest authority. So no one needs to worry about the interpolated shortcomings or discrepancies in the present law book. It was only used by anti Hindus, atheists and foreigners who came to rule India and spread their religion. There was no major historical incident in the past to show that Manu’s law discriminated against any particular community. In the last few centuries vested interests misused this law book.

laws of manu

The present book with all the interpolations was put to writing around second century CE. Before that, it should have existed in its purest form. No foreign traveller said anything against this law or the book. On the contrary they praised that this was a country where there were no locks for the houses and Hindus never locked their doors. Such was the morality during Gupta period.

Several of Manu’s slokas are found in Tamil Veda Tirukkural and Sangam Tamil literature.
Here are some Laws of Manu:

Fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers-in-laws who wish for great good fortune should revere women and adorn them 3-55

The gods delight in places where women are respected, but where women are not honoured all rites are fruitless 3-56

Manu Neethi Chola

Where the women of the family feel miserable, that family is soon destroyed, but the family where the women are happy thrives well 3-57

Homes that are cursed by the women who have not treated with reverence are completely destroyed, as if struck down by magic 3-58

Therefore men who wish to prosper should always revere those women with ornaments, clothes and food at celebrations and festivals 3-59

There is unwavering good fortune in a family where the husband is always satisfied by the wife, and the wife by the husband 3-60

The great sages devised five great sacrifices (Pancha Maha Yajnas) for the householder to do every day 3-70

The study of the Vedas, libation to the ancestors, fire offering to the gods, food for the animals and insects and feeding the guests are the (Pancha Maha Yajnas) five great sacrifices 3-71


As the man who digs with a spade (into the ground) obtains water, even so an obedient student obtains the knowledge which lies hidden in his teacher 2-218
Kural 396 in Tamil can be compared with it.

For by punishing the wicked and by favouring the virtous, kings are constantly sanctified, just as twice born men by sacrifices. 8-311
Kural 550 in Tamil can be compared with it.

As the weeder plucks up the weeds and preserves the corn even so let the king protect his kingdom and destroy his opponents.7-110
Kural 550 in Tamil can be compared with it.

As an elephant made up of wood, as an antelope made of leather, such is an unlearned Brahmana, those three have nothing but the names of their kind 2-157
Kural 407 in Tamil can be compared with it.

Just as a sower who sows seeds in barren soil reap no harvest, so the donor who gives the offering to someone ignorant of the Vedas obtains no benefits 3-142
Kural 406 in Tamil can be compared with it.

manu highcourt

Manu Neethi Choza King statues in Madras High Court

Unless one is asked, one must not explain anything to anybody, nor must one answer a person who asks improperly; let a wise man though he knows the answer behave among men as if he were an idiot 2-110

A wise man should strive to restrain his organs which run wild among alluring sensual objects, like a charioteer his horses.2-88

One should not sit in a lonely place with one’s mother, sister or daughter; for the senses are powerful, and master even a learned man 2-215

As the sun draws up water with his rays during eight months, even so let the king gradually draw his taxes (9-305); As Indra sends copious rains during the four months of the rainy season, even so let the king, taking himself upon the office of Indra, shower benefits on his kingdom (9-304)

Food sacred to the manes or to the gods must be given to a man distinguished by sacred knowledge; for hands smeared with blood, cannot be cleansed with blood (3-132)

He who leaves this body as a tree torn from the river bank or a bird that quits a tree, is freed from the misery of this world (6-78)
(It can be compared with Tirukkural 338 in Tamil)


He who possess faith may receive pure learning even from a man of lower caste, the highest law even from the lowest and an excellent wife from a base family ( 2-38)
(Compare it with Tirukkural 409 and Purananauru 183 in Tamil)

Even from poison nectar may be taken, even from a child good advice, even from a foe good conduct and even from impure substance gold (2-239).

Desire is never extinguished by the enjoyment of the desired objects; it grows only stronger like a fire fed with clarified butter (2-94)
(It is used by Tiruvalluvar in Tirukkural 1148 in Tamil)

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 Vedas destroys all guilt by the fire of knowledge (11-247)
As a eunuch is unproductive with women, as a cow with is unprolific and a gift made to an ignorant man yields no reward, even so is a Brahmana useless who does not know the mantras (2-158)
(Compare Kural 402)

A Brahmana who neither performs austerities nor studies the Vedas, yet delights in accepting gifts sinks with the donor into hell just as he who attempts to cross over in a boat made of stone is submerged in the water( 4-190)

He who when in danger of losing his life, accepts food from anyone whatsoever, is no more tainted by sin than the sky by mud (10-104)

A son is even as one self, such a daughter is equal to a son; how can another heir take the property while such one lives? 9-130

And if a Brahmana, though learned in the Veda, accepts through covetousness a gift from such a man, he will quickly perish, like a vessel of un burnt clay in water (3-179)

Unrighteousness practised in this world, doesn’t at once produceits effect,like a cow; but advancing slowly, it cuts off the roots of him who committed it 4-172
Compare Dhammapada 5-71

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