Warning: include(domaintitles/domaintitle_wiki.exoticindiaart.php3): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 921

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'domaintitles/domaintitle_wiki.exoticindiaart.php3' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 921

Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend

Living According to Manu: God’s Manual of Instruction for Life

Article of the Month - November 2018
Viewed 6033 times since 15th Nov, 2018

Manu was the first human being. He is the ancestor of our ancestors. The code of life explained in his book Manu Smrti, was first given by Brahma the creator of the world himself. Thus this text, coming as it is from the highest authority, being full of wisdom and practical suggestions is nothing but an instruction manual for living a 'Vedic life'. Here are some gems:

On Man and Woman:

A man receives a wife given by the gods and not by his own choice. He should always look after that good woman,thereby doing what is pleasing to the gods. (9.95)

If they desire good fortune, the men of the house should always revere their women, honoring them them with ornaments and adornments. Where women are revered, there the gods rejoice; but where they are not, all efforts are unfruitful. Where female relatives grieve, the family soon comes to ruin, where they do not grieve (i.e where they are happy), prosperity reigns. Therefore, if men want prosperity, they should always honor women on joyful and festive occasions with gifts of ornaments, clothes and food. Good fortune smiles incessantly on the family where the husband always takes delight in his wife and the wife in her husband. When the wife shines, the entire household sparkles; but when she does not shine, the entire house loses its sparkle. (3.55-62)

A woman is like a light within a home. Indeed, there is no difference between a woman and Goddess Lakshmi. (9.40)

The following are reprehensible in relation to women: A father who does not give away his daughter at the right time to a worthy groom, a husband who does not have physical relations with his wife at the right time and the son who who does not look after his mother when his father is dead. (9.4)

A girl should remain at her father's house until death rather be given to a groom bereft of good qualities. (9.89)

A woman's mouth is always pure. (5.130)

There is no difference between a daughter and a son. (9.130)

Wife, offspring and oneself, these three are the full extent of a man. The husband, tradition says, is the wife, They can never be cut loose from one another. This is the dharma made by Brahma himself. (9.45-46)

Man performs dharma in partnership with his wife. (9.96)

Fidelity to each other till the end, this in nutshell is the highest dharma between husband and wife. A husband and wife, after they have performed the marriage rite, should always work hard to prevent their separation from each other. This is the dharma for man and woman based on love. (9.101-103)

A mother, father, wife, or son can never be abandoned. (8.389)

On Dharma:

Gradually, like termites pile up an anthill, we should, without hurting any creature, collect dharma every day. It is neither our father, nor mother, nor wife, nor son or any other relative who accompanies us to the next world. It is only our dharma who stands by us. Alone a creature is born and alone it dies. Alone it enjoys the fruits of its good deeds, alone also the fruits of its evil deeds. While the relatives discard his dead body on the earth as if it were a piece of wood or a load of earth and depart with their faces turned away from him, it is only the dharma performed by him that escorts him. With dharma as his escort, he will cross over the darkness that is otherwise difficult to cross. (4.238-242)

When a householder sees wrinkles on his body, his hair gray and grandchildren in his house, he should make his way to the forest. There are two options: He can entrust his wife to his sons or if she wishes she can accompany him to the forest. (6.3)

The greatest purity is the purity of wealth (i.e. money earned through correct means). (5.105-106)

With whichever bhava a person gives away something in dana (charity), he obtains the same thing with the same reverence in the next birth. When due respect is shown in giving and receiving, both the giver and the receiver go to heaven; but if the opposite is the case, both of them go to hell. (4.234-235)

One must not do the following: Flaunt one's tapasya, lie (boast) about a sacrifice one has performed, insult a brahmin even though he may have aggrieved us or brag about some charity we have performed. A sacrifice is destroyed by lying about it, tapasya is destroyed by flaunting it, reviling a brahmin reduces our lifespan and merits of charity are destroyed when we brag about it. (4.236-237)

Dharma destroyed destroys us. Dharma protected protects us. (8.15)

All things are founded on speech; speech is the root of all things and from speech they proceed. Therefore a man who steals speech (twists meaning by lying) he is guilty of stealing everything. (4.256)

After a man has freed himself from the debts he owes to the saints, ancestors and gods, then he should hand over everything to his sons and live in seclusion with his mind composed. It is only by reflecting alone does a man attain supreme bliss. (4.257-258)

The body is purified by water, the mind by truth, the jivatma by tapasya and vidya and the buddhi is purified by correct knowledge of things. (5.109)

Garlic, onions and mushrooms are forbidden for all twice-born persons. (5.5)

Gold and silver came from the union of union of fire and water; they are therefore best cleaned using these very sources. (5.113)

Common dharma for all the four varnas (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) is the following: Ahimsa, truthfulness, not stealing, purity and controlling the sense organs. (10.63)

Liquor is the filth of various grains. Hence one should not drink it. (11.94)

The Veda is the eternal eyesight for our ancestors, gods and humans. Vedas (being given by God), are beyond the powers of human logic or cognition. (12.94)

On Kings, Kingship and Taxes:

After getting up in the morning, the king should pay his respects to Brahmins learned in the Vedas, and rule according to their guidance. The king should make it a habit to look after elderly Brahmins who know the Vedas. The one who serves the elders is respected even by demons (what to say of humans). A king should always learn the art of discipline from Vedic Brahmins. A king who is disciplined in his habits is never destroyed. (7.37-40)

Day and night a king should strive vigorously to control his organs for when he has subdued his organs only then is he able to bring his subjects under control. (7.44)

Hunting, gambling, sleeping during the day, women and useless travel, these are most harmful for a king. (7.47-48)

The king must always appoint worthy counsellors. Even an easy task becomes difficult when undertaken by a single person, what to say then of the task of running a kingdom? (7.55)

The king who protects his people properly gets one-sixth of the merits of dharma performed by them. However if he fails to protect then one-sixth of adharma goes to him. (8.304)

When a king collects taxes and fines without providing protection to his people, he immediately goes to hell. He is said to have gathered all filth (sins) of the entire population. (8.309)

A king is purified by controlling wicked people and looking after virtuous people. Doing this, he gets the same merit as obtained by the performance of Vedic sacrifices. (8.311)

The king, if insulted by the needy, children, the aged, or the sick, should forgive them. The king who bears patiently when those in anguish insult him will be exalted in heaven; but the one who does not forgive because of his royal power goes to hell. (8.312.313)

A king should never fail to punish even his own father, teacher, friend, mother, wife, son or priest if they are not situated in dharma. (8.335)

The following five kinds of people should not be forced to pay taxes by the king: A blind person, an idiot, a cripple, a man over 70 years and a person who takes care of Vedic scholars. (8.394)

A king should always honor Vedic scholars, those who are sick or afflicted with any disease, children, the aged and poor people.

A king should banish gambling and betting from his kingdom. These are the two vices that destroy a kingdom. Gambling is that which is done with inanimate things (like cards, dice etc.); betting is that which is done with living beings (racing-horses or cock-fights etc.).

One-fourth of adharma goes to the perpetrator. One-fourth goes to the one who witnesses it (who does not try to stop it, or if unable to stop it doesn't go away). One-fourth goes to the ministers of his court and one-fourth goes to the king himself. However, the sin accrues solely to the perpetrator, if all the rest condemn the act. (8.18-19)

Women over two months pregnant, wandering ascetics, former householders who now live in the forests, Brahmins and those wearing religious insignia, all these should not be forced to pay toll. (8.407)

On Fines and Punishment:

For the same crime, if an ordinary person is fined one unit, the king should be fined 1000 times, this is the irrefutable law. (8.336)

For committing the same amount of theft , the liability of a Shudra is eight times, that of a Vaishya sixteen times, for a Kshatriya thirty-two times and a Brahmin sixty-four times the amount stolen. (8.338)

For injuring any kind of tree, the perpetrator should be fined in proportion to the usefulness of the tree. (8.285)

If the driver of a vehicle injures a man, animal or property, he needs to be punished along with the owner of the vehicle. However, in the following cases they will not be punished: in case of mechanical failure like snapping of ropes, breaking of the yoke, when the vehicle skids to one side, when it slides backwards, when the axle breaks, when a wheel breaks, when reins snap or when the driver has cried out "Get out of the way" - in these case there is to be no punishment. (8.291-292)

When the vehicle veers off due to the driver's incompetence and it results in injury, the owner should be fined 200 units. But if the driver is trained , then it is the driver who will be fined and if he is untrained then all the riders will be fined 100 units each. (8.293-294)

On Commerce:

A washerman should wash clothes thoroughly but gently on a smooth cotton-wood board. He must not use of the clothes (given to him for wishing) to tie up or carry other such clothes. He must not let others wear the clothes (not give them on rent). (8.396)

A weaver receiving thread weighing 10 units to make cloth, he must return cloth weighing 1 unit more. If he does otherwise, he should be made to pay a fine of 12 units.

On Brothers:

The eldest brother should look after his younger brothers like a father and they in turn should behave towards their elder brother as towards their father. (9.108)

Brothers can live together (same kitchen) or they can live separately also. (9.111)

On Knowledge:

Those who rely on books are better than the ignorant; those who carry them in their memories are better than them; those who understand them are better than those who carry them in their memory; and those who resolutely follow their teachings are superior to those who only understand them. (12.103)

Freedom is Happiness:

Doing things under the control of others - that is suffering; being under one's own control, that is happiness. This in a nutshell, is the definition of suffering and happiness. (4.160)

Final Summing up by Manu Ji:

With a composed mind, a person should see everything in the self; for when he sees everything in the self, his mind will not turn towards adharma. All gods are but the self only; indeed the whole world abides within the self. When a man thus sees by the self all beings as the self, he is united with all and attains to Brahman, the highest state. (12.118-125)

References & Further Reading:

Shivraj Acharya The Manu Smrti with Commentary of Kullukabhatta: Varanasi 2014

Olivelle, Patrick. The Laws of Manu, Oxford: 2004.

Post a Comment
Thanks Exotic India, I just received a set of two volume books: Brahmasutra Catuhsutri Sankara Bhasyam
I Gede Tunas
You guys are beyond amazing. The books you provide not many places have and I for one am so thankful to have found you.
Lulian, UK
This is my first purchase from Exotic India and its really good to have such store with online buying option. Thanks, looking ahead to purchase many more such exotic product from you.
Probir, UAE
I received the kaftan today via FedEx. Your care in sending the order, packaging and methods, are exquisite. You have dressed my body in comfort and fashion for my constrained quarantine in the several kaftans ordered in the last 6 months. And I gifted my sister with one of the orders. So pleased to have made a connection with you.
Thank you for your wonderful service and amazing book selection. We are long time customers and have never been disappointed by your great store. Thank you and we will continue to shop at your store
Michael, USA
I am extremely happy with the two I have already received!
Robert, UK
I have just received the top and it is beautiful 
Parvathi, Malaysia
I received ordered books in perfect condition. Thank You!
Vladimirs, Sweden
You offer the best services for books, which normally others cannot provide.
Dr. Lagdhir, India
A wonderful and amazing company...Exotic India.
Scott, USA
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Share with friends
Links Related to
"No one spends even a single moment without doing some action or the other....We generally notice in history that almost all civilizations acquire a lot of material affluence in the beginning and after sometime they go into oblivion....We very well know that it is only the work based on well thought plan that solves problems and not our worry.....The success of any action depends not only on visible parameters but also invisible one....We are carried by the slogans of the times and move in the turbulent waters of life in a rudderless boat.....Want to give us a state of pleasure which is constant and never ending."
Dharma: The Only Remedy for Modern Man
"Durga Puja is more than the periodically observed navratra in the subcontinent..The akaal bodhon Durga Puja has evolved into great socio-cultural significance in the Eastern Delta region, and is the lifeblood of Bengalis everywhere...On dashami the next day, one could sense the pall that descends upon the delta...Ma Durga's time in Her girlhood home draws to a close. Now is the final throes of festive exuberance."
Durga Puja - Worshipping the Wife of Shiva, Daughter of Bengal
"Contrarily metaphysicians and theologians perceived his form as it manifested in the Upanishads and Puranas….The ‘Advaita’ philosophy also contends that the entire Creation is just the extension of One…. Dance illustrates one of the ever-first cosmic acts with which Shiva seems to have tamed violent motion and separated from it rhythm, moves that communicated emotions and states of mind – human mind and the cosmic, and disciplined and defined pace…. Unlike Vishnu who resorted to dance for accomplishing a contemplated objective, Shiva has been conceived more or less as a regular dancer performing for accomplishing an objective as also for pure aesthetic delight…. Unfurling locks of hair and his snakes floating into space portray the dynamics of the act."
Shiva, the Nataraja
"Whenever he gets the time, he should go and live amongst people who have given up worldly life…. A wise person should serve his body and family only to the extent that is functionally necessary…. The person who lays claim on the surplus wealth is nothing but a thief…. He should share all objects of enjoyment with everyone, right down to dogs, sinners…. Such is the attachment to one’s wife….How despicable is this body, which if buried is going to become the food of worms, or excreta if eaten by animals….Since a son is to thus revere his elders even after their death, what to say that he is expected to serve them when they are alive…. The person wishing to follow the path of dharma should steer clear of the five forms of Adharma."
Narada Teaches Yuddhishtra a Householder’s Dharma
"One uniqueness of our Vedic religion is that it allows for salvation not only through renunciation (nivritti) but also through the path of material happiness (pravritti).... If dharma makes it mandatory that conjugal pleasure be restricted to the life partner, how is it that Krishna indulged in the amorous sport of Rasa with others' wives?.... Some stopped cooking, some stopped feeding, some stopped eating, some stopped washing clothes etc. and ran away.... Upanishads call the jiva in waking state as Vishwa and the dreaming jiva as Taijasa (Mandukya Upanishad Mantras 3-4)."
Krishna's Rasa Lila: The Vedantic Perspective
"There is Rama, the son of Ayodhya's king Dasharatha in his human birth, and there is Rama's divinity, his divine aura that overwhelms the Tulasi's entire Ramacharit-manas, one manifest - with attributes, and the other, unmanifest - without attributes. With main emphasis on his majesty in South Indian tradition this crown is taller than usual. His 'khadgasana' images are usually in three modes; one with his right foot moved forward represents him in a commander's disposition ready to rush for protecting a devotee in crisis or redeem him from some calamity. Harihara, a form in which he shares with Shiva half of the body. Basically a bird Garuda is seen for ages as Vishnu's ardent devotee, a learned human being and an auspicious presence, and in iconographic tradition often conceived with a man's face, anatomy, ornaments and ensemble. The Puranas are replete with tales of Garuda's divine exploits."
Iconography of Vaishnava Images: Vishnu
"Bhishma undoubtedly is one of the central figures of the Mahabharata.…. One should not venture out too early in the morning…. But one should not go to sleep with wet feet….A person who desires to live long should never irritate the following three…. One must shun company of people who criticize the Vedas…. If we are traveling, one must find shelter inside a house…."
Living the Full Life: 50 Instructions from the Mahabharata
"Both the Mahabharata and Shrimad Bhagavatam give a vivid description of how things are like in Kaliyuga…. The following is a list of features typical to Kaliyuga…. A man will consider only those people to be his relatives who are related to him through….The ashrams will be full of show-offs who are experts in the art of living off the food of others….. We can save ourselves from Kaliyuga."
50 Characteristics of Kaliyuga
"We assume that our happiness is the result of an interaction with external objects…. Suppose that an individual is deprived of sleep and food and pleasurable objects for a long time and then all of them are simultaneously offered to him…. Actually, seeking the answer to this question is the most significant pursuit in life…. The veil comes up again and the duality returns…. In this background, we can now analyse the nature of dukha (grief)."
Ananda: Analysis of Happiness in the Upanishads
"Her epithet in the Devi-Mahatmya is Mahalakshmi. She is the wrathful four-armed goddess of battlefield represented holding in them various weapons…. A form of Lakshmi seated over a lotus laid over a golden seat and a pair of white elephants…. Except in some classical forms in Lakshmi-Narayana imagery Lakshmi is ordinarily two-armed…. Incarnation theory is the crux of Vaishnavism. Vishnu incarnates alone but Lakshmi also incarnates in simultaneity…. Though very rare some enthused artists have conceived on Ardhanarishvara line also Vishnu’s Ardhanarishvara images."
Iconography of Vaishnava Deities: Goddess Lakshmi
"The sources of Dharma have been systematically divided into four simple categories....This desisting from the prohibition is what constitutes the karma, leading to Dharma.....There are many Vedic Karmas which do not find mention directly in the Vedas but are found only in the Smritis....The Agnihotra mentioned above can be performed at any one of the three times....Lord Shiva drank the deadliest poison easily. However, if anybody else did the same, he would be reduced to ashes....However, this is the weakest source of Dharma out of the four."
Understanding Dharma: The Four Authentic Sources
"Here is a fragment from one of the most poignant episodes of Indian history…. This piece of history is from the Mahabharata…. She was dying with shame but inside, like a true kshatrani (woman of the warrior race), she was burning with anger…. I have heard that women who follow dharma were never brought before a public court….Greed is the destroyer of dharma. I do not desire a third boon…. Draupadi was as forgiving as mother earth herself…. Just then Arjuna saw his dear friend Bhagawan Krishna approaching him…. “Leave him, leave him. He is a brahmin and worthy of our worship. Their mother should not cry, like I have at the death of my children."
Analyzing the Eternal Dimensions of Dharma Through Itihasa (History)
"people all over India will say approvingly for someone: "He is a Rama like son, a Rama like brother, or a Rama like king. " It is rare however to hear the following as a compliment "Rama like husband or son-in-law."... All of Sita's miseries in the confinement of Ravana pale in comparison...to the emotional trauma and humiliation she was subjected to by Rama himself. In a bitter irony, what was to be her moment of deliverance, turned out to be the beginning of another trial... Sita sets a high standard as an ideal wife who stays unswerving in her loyalty and righteousness, no matter how undesirable her husband's response... She emerges as a woman that even Agni - who has the power to reduce to ashes everything he touches - dare not touch or harm..."
Sita - The Silent Power of Suffering and Sacrifice
"She has always believed that this would redeem her of her distress….A coconut, otherwise an ordinary dried fruit or the source of edible, or at the most, beauty oil, has always been revered as an auspicious object effecting good and well-being and the food that gods most loved….The tree in the Buddhist tradition was later identified as Bodhi-tree, seated under which Buddha had attained Enlightenment….Body gestures and symptoms, signs, indications among others must have been the early man’s tools of communicating oneself and knowing and understanding the world around….Kirttimukha was initially conceived as a mystical mask….Lion does not figure in the wide range of animal toys or figurines excavated from Indus sites."
Auspicious Symbols in Indian tradition
"This middle path lies in between extreme asceticism on one side, and extreme indulgence on the other…. When standing under a Ashok tree, tired and exhausted, she raised her right hand for seeking support of a branch of the tree…. The unique balance that defined his entire life was pre-determined in this duality….One day, in the palace garden he frightened his attendants…. He ate less and less till his diet reduced to a sesame seed, and himself, to a mere skeleton…. Seven days after the attainment of enlightenment gods sent food for breaking his fast…. However, he postponed his ‘nirvana’ for three months till he visited the places he had reminiscences of."
The Light That Enlightened Millions
(The life of Buddha in the popular mind)
Show More
All rights reserved. Copyright 2021 © Exotic India