Manu Smriti - Informative & researched article on Manu Smriti
 Indianetzone: Largest Free Encyclopedia of India with thousand of articlesHistory of India


in  
 Art & Culture|Entertainment|Health|Reference|Sports|Society|Travel
Forum  | Free E-magazine  | RSS Feeds  
History of India|Indian Temples|Indian Museums|Indian Literature|Geography of India|Flora & Fauna|Indian Purans|Indian Philosophy|Indian Administration|Indian Languages|Education
Home > Reference > History of India > Ancient History of India > Vedic Civilisation in India > Vedic Literature > Manu Smriti
Manu Smriti
Manu Smriti, the ancient law book of the Hindus, has a close connection with the epic Mahabharata.
 
 Manu SmritiManu Smriti, also known as the Manava Dharmasastra, is one of the nineteen Dharma sastras which belongs to the Smriti literature. Considered to be the oldest and one of the most important texts of this genre; `Manusmriti` is a `Dharmasastra` of Hindu Dharma, containing the foundational work of Hindu law and ancient Indian society. It is one of the oldest and important of the `Smritis`. `Manusmriti` contains the laws (conduct in life), which is needed to follow in various orders of life and by persons of various `varnas`. `Smritis` mean, "Those which has to be remembered".

Also known as Manav Dharam Shastra, Manu Samhita thrives to be the earliest metrical work on Brahminical Dharma in Hinduism. Hindu mythology states, the Manusmriti is the word of Brahma, shadowing authoritative incantations of dharma. Using the eponym `Manu`, it has been presumed that he created this book, which has led the text to be coupled by Hindus with the first human being and the first king in the Indian tradition.

Manusmriti is one of the 18 `Smritis`. Manusmriti was written at time period when Brahman tradition was in serious threat by the non-Vedic movements. `Manusmriti` was highly criticised and was attacked many times by the colonial scholars, modern liberals, Hindu reformists, Dalit advocates, feminists and Marxists. The Bhagavad Gita contradicted many statements of `Manusmriti`. It is also supposed to have supported Brahmanas like in case of getting concessions in fines and punishments.

There are 2,684 verses divided into twelve chapters and some of these codes of conduct pertain to the Hindu caste system. These chapters discuss the stages of life for "twice-born" males. It explains itself as a discourse given by Sage Manu to rishis who begged him to enlighten them on the topic. Historical sources say that the composition of the texts dates between 200BC and 200CE.

The Manu Smriti is an exemplary treatise on dharma .It is considered such an important source of Hindu law and custom throughout the subcontinent that it was one of the earliest texts earmarked by the British for translation to be used in British courts in India.

Manusmriti shows the obvious influence of Dharma sutras and Arthashastra compositions. Manu Smriti was the first to adopt the term vyavahara padas. This original narrative was divided into twelve chapters and is written in simple verse. The table of contents include the Origin of the World, Sources of the Law, and Dharma of the Four Social Classes.

The Manu Smriti is written with a focus on dharma. It seems that the book was written in a manner which was aware of the dangers facing the Brahmin community during a time of social turmoil.

(Last Updated on : 11/07/2013)
More Articles in Vedic Literature  (21)
Recently Updated Articles in History of India
Deuli Hill
Deuli hills, located in Odisha, houses several ancient rock-cut Buddhist chambers where Buddhist monks used to dwell, especially during rainy season.
Puphagiri
Puphagiri, situated in Odisha, has been identified as one of the oldest Buddhist establishments of the world. The annual celebration of Buddha Mahotsava in Puphagiri makes the place further inviting for tourists.
Sutuphaa
Sutaphaa was an ancient king of the Ahom kingdom, who was treacherously murdered by a Sutiya king.
Archaeological Sites in Kutch
Archaeological Site in Kutch District means Dholavira. The existence of a new archaeological site, expected to be older than Dholavira by over 15,000 years, near Maruda Takkar hill has been confirmed following research carried out by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Balathal
Balathal, Rajasthan is an interesting archaeological site from where artefacts of Chalcolithic Age and Early Historic Period including various pottery products and ancient skeletal remains have been unearthed.
E-mail this Article | Post a Comment
Forum
Forum on History of India
Free E-magazine
Subscribe to Free E-Magazine on Reference
 
 
Manu Smriti - Informative & researched article on Manu Smriti
Sitemap
Contact Us   |   RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2008 Jupiter Infomedia Ltd. All rights reserved including the right to reproduce the contents in whole or in part in any form or medium without the express written permission of
Jupiter Infomedia Ltd.