Research Article by London Swaminathan
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


(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.


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
Manu Smrti


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……………..




Wonderful and Strange Facts in Manu Smrti (Post No.3041)


Written by london swaminathan

Date: 6th    August 2016

Post No. 3041

Time uploaded in London :–17-15

( Thanks for the Pictures)




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)


Manu Smrti or Manava Dharma Sastra has 2685 slokas or couplets.

Manu Smrti (MS) is the oldest law book in the world according to the internal evidence (Please see below about Soma Herb and Saraswati River).

There is no book in the world that deals with so many topics as MS.

It is older than the Hammurabi code according to the evidence in it and other scriptures like Bhagavad Gita.

It has got many strange references about women, Saraswati River, Age of man and sale of Soma etc. In this first part I will refer to some slokas with my comments.


1.Woman’s Mouth is always Pure:-

A woman’s mouth is always unpolluted, as is a bird that knocks down a fruit; a calf is unpolluted while the milk is flowing and the dog is unpolluted when it catches a wild animal (3-150)


2.Man lived for 400 years!

In the Krta Yuga (First of the Four Yugas), people are free from sickness, achieved all their goals, and have a life span of 400 years; but in the ages that began with the age of Treta yuga, their life span grows smaller foot by foot ( in other places he mentions 100 year life span during the modern era).


3.Origin of life in Water:-

He (God) thought deeply, for he wished to emit various sorts of creatures from his own body; first he emitted the waters, and then he emitted his semen in them; that became a golden egg, as bright as the sun with his thousand rays; Brahma himself, the grand father of all people, was born in that egg. “The waters are born of man”, so it is said, indeed the waters are the children of the primordial man (1-8 to 10).


4.Sumuka mystery

Manu gives a list of kings in which Sumuka is one; there is no mention of Sumuka in our scriptures, but it is in Sumerian king list (Please read my article:Sanskrit words in Sumerian Culture: Sumukan Mystery, posted on 12 May 2014)


5.Strangest treatment!

Foreigners criticised every Hindu scripture as corrupted and interpolated; they even criticised the purest and oldest scripture Rig Veda as interpolated with Khila (appendix added later) portions. But they maintain dead silence about Manu Smrti. They never talk about any interpolations, because they want to use all the interpolations as originals and bash them as hard as possible. It is the strangest fact.

My comments:

Manu Smrti has many interpolations (I will call them ‘udating’) which were added during the Brahmin rule of Sunga Vamsa around Second century BCE. Harsh slokas about Shudras were added during this period. What is the proof for interpolations? The proof comes in the form of contradictions in the book. It advocates marrying any woman if she is good, getting education from the lowest class, praising women sky-high which is not seen in any book until today. But in some other places we have contradictory statements.

In several places Manu is used in third person:- Manu said….. This shows it was compiled by someone at a later date.



6.Manu’s Age 1500 or 5000 BCE!

Lord Krishna mentioned Manu in fourth chapter of Bhagavad Gita. He says he was the predecessor of Ikshvaku (Sugarcane King); please read my articles about Manu and Sugarcane:-

Mystery of Manu: Rig Veda Mystery No.8, posted on 19 January 2015

The Sugarcane Mystery: Indus Valley and Ikshvaku Dynasty, posted on 19 November 2011


The internal evidence in Manu Smrti is amazing:-

The Saraswati River is mentioned by him in at least three places:-8-105, 2-17, 11-78

He says a person who killed a Brahmin may eat food fit for the oblation and walk the length of the Sarasvati river; earlier he mentioned a walk for 1000 miles reciting the Vedas to get rid of the sin.

My comments:

This means Manu lived in the period when Sarasvati river was running for 1000s of miles. Even the Mahabharata and Brahmana literature mentioned the dried Sarasvati river. That means Manu lived before the Mahabharata period. DR Mankad dated him around 5700 BCE.


7.Sale of Soma!

Soma plant was very rare even during late Vedic age. They were talking about alternates to Soma. Manu mentioned about Soma sale and forbidden sale etc. That means he lived in the early Vedic age.

All the dates given by western scholars are ridiculous. It is like giving a date of latest amendment to Indian constitution as the original date of the constitution. All Hindu Puranas, Smrtis and Scriptures were subjected to constant updating.

Soma plant and Soma sacrifices were mentioned in several places:-

3-87, 211, 257

4-26, 52

9-129, 11-7 to 12, 255

Sale of Soma – 3-158, 180, 10-80


To be continued………..