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Thread: Manu?

  1. #1

    Manu?

    I recently saw a movie called Water. In it, they had some text about people of India still following code of conduct written by Manu 2000 years ago especially when it comes to widows.
    Who was manu and how did he come to write the code of conduct? Where can I find this code of conduct online?
    How true is the depiction of widows in this movie?

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    Namaste,

    There is nothing particularly unusual about Manu’s laws regarding widows.

    According to Manu:

    The king shall protect the inherited (and other) property of a minor, until he has returned (from his teacher's house) or until he has passed his minority. VII: 27

    In like manner care must be taken of barren women, of those who have no sons, of those whose family is extinct, of wives and widows faithful to their lords, and of women afflicted with diseases. VII: 28

    A righteous king must punish like thieves those relatives who appropriate the property of such females during their lifetime. VII: 29

    On failure of issue (by her husband) a woman who has been authorised, may obtain, (in the) proper (manner prescribed), the desired offspring by (cohabitation with) a brother-in-law or (with some other) Sapinda (of the husband). IX: 59

    He (who is) appointed to (cohabit with) the widow shall (approach her) at night anointed with clarified butter and silent, (and) beget one son, by no means a second. IX: 60

    Some (sages), versed in the law, considering the purpose of the appointment not to have been attained by those two (on the birth of the first), think that a second (son) may be lawfully procreated on (such) women. IX: 61

    But when the purpose of the appointment to (cohabit with) the widow bas been attained in accordance with the law, those two shall behave towards each other like a father and a daughter-in-law. IX: 62

    If those two (being thus) appointed deviate from the rule and act from carnal desire, they will both become outcasts, (as men) who defile the bed of a daughter-in-law or of a Guru. IX: 63

    By twice-born men a widow must not be appointed to (cohabit with) any other (than her husband); for they who appoint (her) to another (man), will violate the eternal law. IX: 64

    In the sacred texts which refer to marriage the appointment (of widows) is nowhere mentioned, nor is the re-marriage of widows prescribed in the rules concerning marriage. IX: 65

    This practice which is reprehended by the learned of the twice-born castes as fit for cattle is said (to have occurred) even among men, while Vena ruled. IX: 66

    That chief of royal sages who formerly possessed the whole world, caused a confusion of the castes (varna), his intellect being destroyed by lust. IX: 67

    Since that (time) the virtuous censure that (man) who in his folly appoints a woman, whose husband died, to (bear) children (to another man). IX: 68

    If the (future) husband of a maiden dies after troth verbally plighted, her brother-in-law shall wed her according to the following rule. IX: 69

    Having, according to the rule, espoused her (who must be) clad in white garments and be intent on purity, he shall approach her once in each proper season until issue (be had). IX: 70

    Let no prudent man, after giving his daughter to one (man), give her again to another; for he who gives (his daughter) whom he had before given, incurs (the guilt of) speaking falsely regarding a human being. IX: 71

    If a woman abandoned by her husband, or a widow, of her own accord contracts a second marriage and bears (a son), he is called the son of a re-married woman (Paunarbhava). IX: 175

    If she be (still) a virgin, or one who returned (to her first husband) after leaving him, she is worthy to again perform with her second (or first deserted) husband the (nuptial) ceremony. IX: 176

    (If the widow) of (a man) who died without leaving issue, raises up to him a son by a member of the family (Sagotra), she shall deliver to that (son) the whole property which belonged to the (deceased). IX: 190

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by sarabhanga
    Namaste,

    There is nothing particularly unusual about Manu’s laws regarding widows.
    Thanks for the very informative post. Specifically, this particular movie made a reference to Laws of Manu Chapter 5 156-161.

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    Manu Smriti V: 156-161

    156. A faithful wife, who desires to dwell (after death) with her husband, must never do anything that might displease him who took her hand, whether he be alive or dead.

    157. At her pleasure let her emaciate her body by (living on) pure flowers, roots, and fruit; but she must never even mention the name of another man after her husband has died.

    158. Until death let her be patient (of hardships), self-controlled, and chaste, and strive (to fulfil) that most excellent duty which (is prescribed) for wives who have one husband only.

    159. Many thousands of Brahmanas who were chaste from their youth, have gone to heaven without continuing their race.

    160. A virtuous wife who after the death of her husband constantly remains chaste, reaches heaven, though she have no son, just like those chaste men.

    161. But a woman who from a desire to have offspring violates her duty towards her (deceased) husband, brings on herself disgrace in this world, and loses her place with her husband (in heaven).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sarabhanga
    Manu Smriti V: 156-161

    156. A faithful wife, who desires to dwell (after death) with her husband, must never do anything that might displease him who took her hand, whether he be alive or dead.

    157. At her pleasure let her emaciate her body by (living on) pure flowers, roots, and fruit; but she must never even mention the name of another man after her husband has died.

    158. Until death let her be patient (of hardships), self-controlled, and chaste, and strive (to fulfil) that most excellent duty which (is prescribed) for wives who have one husband only.

    159. Many thousands of Brahmanas who were chaste from their youth, have gone to heaven without continuing their race.

    160. A virtuous wife who after the death of her husband constantly remains chaste, reaches heaven, though she have no son, just like those chaste men.

    161. But a woman who from a desire to have offspring violates her duty towards her (deceased) husband, brings on herself disgrace in this world, and loses her place with her husband (in heaven).
    Thanks! It appears that the movie called Water is then presenting a very different and negative translation of the verses. As the movie starts it says something like: A woman who marries again after her husband's death will be born in a jackal's womb in her next birth!!

    And surprisingly I believe the director or the writer got an award for this movie! Why is that when someone portrays indian culture in a negative way and presents wrong translations that they get awards?

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    Most of the time secularists , prostelyzers relish showing hinduism in negative light. you will know more as you learn

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolbodhi
    Thanks! It appears that the movie called Water is then presenting a very different and negative translation of the verses. As the movie starts it says something like: A woman who marries again after her husband's death will be born in a jackal's womb in her next birth!!

    And surprisingly I believe the director or the writer got an award for this movie! Why is that when someone portrays indian culture in a negative way and presents wrong translations that they get awards?
    Fortunately for us, it is Manu "Smriti" as opposed to Shruti. If it does not meet modern standards, discard it.

    In Ramayana, you can see the extent of freedom given to women. For eg, Sita Devi has the freedom to call Sri Rama as a "coward and woman" in the Ayodhya Kanda without fear. Supposedly, Sita Devi also performed Sandhya Vandana though this can be disputed.

    So much freedom is not visible in Mahabaratha, but you can still observe that Kunti and Draupadi are treated with utmost respect.

    Later works show degeneration in this regard. Manu Smriti is probably the work of a racist and a sexist ( apologies if it really was from Manu Rishi). There is a work by Varahamihira, in which he has dedicated an entire chapter on woman rights.(5th century A.D)

    I dont care to respect any Hindu text, that either talks of women supression or caste based oppression. These are result of human perversions, and nothing to do with proper Sanatana Dharma.

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    Namaste Ram,

    Perhaps you should actually read the Laws of Manu before suggesting that they should be discarded.

    Manu Smriti treats men and women differently, but neither class is disrespected ~ and women (as virgins, wives, mothers, widows, etc.) are always treated with the utmost respect.

    Manu considers that knowingly breaking the law deserves some corrective measure, and some of the punishments may seem harsh by modern standards, but the work needs to be viewed in its historical context.

    Manu recognizes the various capacities and potentials of different human beings, and many different classes are defined (by both birth and behaviour), and all of these have particular expectations and regulations, which must be viewed in the context of the whole socio-political and religious philosophy expounded by Manu.

    I have already tried to show that there is nothing offensive to widows in the Manu Smriti; and when asserting that “Manu Smriti is probably the work of a racist and a sexist” it would be helpful if you could actually supply some evidence of unacceptable racism or sexism from that famous text.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram
    Later works show degeneration in this regard. Manu Smriti is probably the work of a racist and a sexist ( apologies if it really was from Manu Rishi).
    I have seen the movie that OP talks about...the setting is around 1935 or so and the movie tries to link hinduism to then social problems of widows. This is just propaganda of some anti-hindu person(s).

    Regarding your comment about manu smriti being the work of racist...I don't think so since there is no 'race' involved at all.

    People are people and women have been oppressed in "all" societies of the world by men. It has nothing to do with hinduism. In fact, if you look at the history of India you will see that in all the yugas women were treated with respect and honour. Who is ma durga? The degeneration of women in hindu society is linked to moghul rulers. They stole and raped the virgins and to prevent this from happening people started getting their daughters married early. Mind you, they were not living with their husbands until they grew up.

    satay

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    Manu Smriti, X:

    20. Those (sons) whom the twice-born beget on wives of equal caste, but who, not fulfilling their sacred duties, are excluded from the Savitri, one must designate by the appellation Vratyas.

    24. By adultery (committed by persons) of (different) castes, by marriages with women who ought not to be married, and by the neglect of the duties and occupations (prescribed) to each, are produced (sons who owe their origin) to a confusion the castes.

    57. A man of impure origin, who belongs not to any varna, (but whose character is) not known, who, (though) not an Aryan, has the appearance of an Aryan, one may discover by his acts.

    58. Behaviour unworthy of an Aryan, harshness, cruelty, and habitual neglect of the prescribed duties betray in this world a man of impure origin.

    69. As good seed, springing up in good soil, turns out perfectly well, even so the son of an Aryan by an Aryan woman is worthy of all the sacraments.

    70. Some sages declare the seed to be more important, and others the field; again others (assert that) the seed and the field (are equally important); but the legal decision on this point is as follows:

    71. Seed, sown on barren ground, perishes in it; a (fertile) field also, in which no (good) seed (is sown), will remain barren.

    72. As through the power of the seed (sons) born of animals became sages who are honoured and praised, hence the seed is declared to be more important.

    73. Having considered (the case of) a non-Aryan who acts like an Aryan, and (that of) an Aryan who acts like a non-Aryan, the creator declared, “Those two are neither equal nor unequal.”

    74. Brahmanas who are intent on the means (of gaining union with) Brahman and firm in (discharging) their duties, shall live by duly performing the following six acts, (which are enumerated) in their (proper) order.

    75. Teaching, studying, sacrificing for himself, sacrificing for others, making gifts and receiving them are the six acts (prescribed) for a Brahmana.

    97. It is better (to discharge) one’s own (appointed) duty incompletely than to perform completely that of another; for he who lives according to the law of another (caste) is instantly excluded from his own.

    112. A Brahmana who is unable to maintain himself, should (rather) glean ears or grains from (the field of) any (man); gleaning ears is better than accepting gifts, picking up single grains is declared to be still more laudable.

    115. There are seven lawful modes of acquiring property, (viz.) inheritance, finding or friendly donation, purchase, conquest, lending at interest, the performance of work, and the acceptance of gifts from virtuous men.

    116. Learning, mechanical arts, work for wages, service, rearing cattle, traffic, agriculture, contentment (with little), alms, and receiving interest on money, are the ten modes of subsistence (permitted to all men in times of distress).

    122. But let a (Sudra) serve Brahmanas, either for the sake of heaven, or with a view to both (this life and the next); for he who is called the servant of a Brahmana thereby gains all his ends.

    123. The service of Brahmanas alone is declared (to be) an excellent occupation for a Sudra; for whatever else besides this he may perform will bear him no fruit.

    124. They must allot to him out of their own family (-property) a suitable maintenance, after considering his ability, his industry, and the number of those whom he is bound to support.

    125. The remnants of their food must be given to him, as well as their old clothes, the refuse of their grain, and their old household furniture.

    126. A Sudra cannot commit an offence, causing loss of caste (pataka), and he is not worthy to receive the sacraments; he has no right to (fulfil) the sacred law (of the Aryans, yet) there is no prohibition against (his fulfilling certain portions of) the law.

    127. (Sudras) who are desirous to gain merit, and know (their) duty, commit no sin, but gain praise, if they imitate the practice of virtuous men without reciting sacred texts.

    128. The more a (Sudra), keeping himself free from envy, imitates the behaviour of the virtuous, the more he gains, without being censured, (exaltation in) this world and the next.

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