Sun God Shamash

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

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.

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.


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.