The Ordinances of Menu, by Sir William Jones

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

The Ordinances of Menu, by Sir William Jones

Postby admin » Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:08 am

Institutes of Hindu Law: Or, The Ordinances of Menu, According to the Gloss of Culluca. Comprising the Indian System of Duties, Religious and Civil
Verbally translated from the original Sanscrit, With a Preface, by Sir William Jones



The Manusmṛiti ... was one of the first Sanskrit texts to have been translated into English in 1776, by Sir William Jones, and was used to formulate the Hindu law by the British colonial government...

Over fifty manuscripts of the Manusmriti are now known, but the earliest discovered, most translated and presumed authentic version since the 18th century has been the "Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) manuscript with Kulluka Bhatta commentary". Modern scholarship states this presumed authenticity is false, and the various manuscripts of Manusmriti discovered in India are inconsistent with each other, and within themselves, raising concerns of its authenticity, insertions and interpolations made into the text in later times...

The title Manusmriti is a relatively modern term and a late innovation, probably coined because the text is in a verse form...

[T]he text version in modern use, according to Olivelle, is likely the work of a single author or a chairman with research assistants.

Manusmriti, Olivelle states, was not a new document, it drew on other texts, and it reflects "a crystallization of an accumulated knowledge" in ancient India....

The text is composed in metric Shlokas (verses), in the form of a dialogue between an exalted teacher and disciples who are eager to learn about the various aspects of dharma....

The verses 12.1, 12.2 and 12.82 are transitional verses. This section is in a different style than the rest of the text, raising questions whether this entire chapter was added later. While there is evidence that this chapter was extensively redacted over time, however it is unclear whether the entire chapter is of a later era....

The structure and contents of the Manusmriti suggest it to be a document predominantly targeted at the Brahmins (priestly class) and the Kshatriyas (king, administration and warrior class). The text dedicates 1,034 verses, the largest portion, on laws for and expected virtues of Brahmins, and 971 verses for Kshatriyas...

Chapter 7 of the Manusmriti discusses the duties of a king, what virtues he must have, what vices he must avoid. In verses 7.54 - 7.76, the text identifies precepts to be followed in selecting ministers, ambassadors and officials, as well as the characteristics of well fortified capital. Manusmriti then lays out the laws of just war, stating that first and foremost, war should be avoided by negotiations and reconciliations. If war becomes necessary, states Manusmriti, a soldier must never harm civilians, non-combatants or someone who has surrendered, that use of force should be proportionate, and other rules. Fair taxation guidelines are described in verses 7.127 to 7.137...

Sinha, for example, states that less than half, or only 1,214 of the 2,685 verses in Manusmriti, may be authentic. Further, the verses are internally inconsistent. Verses such as 3.55-3.62 of Manusmriti, for example, glorify the position of women, while verse such as 9.3 and 9.17 do the opposite. Other passages found in Manusmriti, such as those relating to Ganesha, are modern era insertions and forgeries...

There are so many contradictions in the printed volume that, if you accept one part, you are bound to reject those parts that are wholly inconsistent with it. (...) Nobody is in possession of the original text...

Scholars doubt Manusmriti was ever administered as law text in ancient or medieval Hindu society. David Buxbaum states, "in the opinion of the best contemporary orientalists, it [Manusmriti] does not, as a whole, represent a set of rules ever actually administered in Hindustan. It is in great part an ideal picture of that which ... ought to be law".

Donald Davis writes, "there is no historical evidence for either an active propagation or implementation of Dharmasastra [Manusmriti] by a ruler or any state – as distinct from other forms of recognizing, respecting and using the text. Thinking of Dharmasastra as a legal code and of its authors as lawgivers is thus a serious misunderstanding of its history"....

Prior to the British colonial rule, Sharia (Islamic law) for Muslims in South Asia had been codified as Fatawa-e-Alamgiri, but laws for non-Muslims –- such as Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis –- were not codified during the 600 years of Islamic rule...

In the 18th century, the earliest British of the East India Company acted as agents of the Mughal emperor... The administration ... relying upon co-opted local intermediaries that were mostly Muslims and some Hindus in various princely states... exercised power by ... adapting to law practices as explained by the local intermediaries. The existing legal texts for Muslims, and resurrected Manusmriti manuscript thus helped the colonial state ...

For Muslims of India, the British accepted sharia as the legal code for Muslims, based on texts such the al-Sirjjiyah and Fatawa-i Alamgiri written under sponsorship of Aurangzeb. For Hindus and other non-Muslims such as Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Tribal people, this information was unavailable. The substance of Hindu law, was derived by the British colonial officials from Manusmriti...

Manusmriti ... was not in use for centuries during the Islamic rule period of India. The officials resurrected Manusmriti, constructed statements of positive law from the text for non-Muslims, in order to remain faithful to its policy of using sharia for the South Asian Muslim population. Manusmriti, thus played a role in constructing the Anglo-Hindu law, as well as Western perceptions about ancient and medieval era Hindu culture from the colonial times. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im states the significance and role of Manusmriti in governing India during the colonial era as follows (abridged),

The [British] colonial administration began the codification of Hindu and Muslim laws in 1772 and continued through the next century, with emphasis on certain texts as the authentic "sources" of the law and custom of Hindus and Muslims, which in fact devalued and retarded those dynamic social systems. The codification of complex and interdependent traditional systems froze certain aspects of the status of women, for instance, outside the context of constantly evolving social and economic relations, which in effect limited or restricted women's rights. The selectivity of the process, whereby colonial authorities sought the assistance of Hindu and Muslim religious elites in understanding the law, resulted in the Brahminization and Islamization of customary laws [in British India]. For example, the British orientalist scholar William Jones translated the key texts Al Sirjjiyah in 1792 as the Mohammedan Law of Inheritance, and Manusmriti in 1794 as the Institutes of Hindu Law or the Ordinances of Manu. In short, British colonial administrators reduced centuries of vigorous development of total ethical, religious and social systems to fit their own preconceived European notions of what Muslim and Hindu "law" should be...

Along with Manusmriti (Manava Dharmasastra), ancient India had between eighteen and thirty six competing Dharma-sastras, states John Bowker. Many of these texts have been lost completely or in parts.

-- Manusmriti, by Wikipedia

6 With unanointed eyes and limbs, wearing no gem or ring of gold.
No priest, no Brāhman's son is he: these things are ordered in the rules.
7 With well-anointed limbs and eyes, wearing fair gem and golden ring,
Good priest is he, the Brāhman's son; these things are ordered in the rules.
8 Pools with no place for drinking, and the wealthy man who giveth naught,
The pretty girl you may not touch, these things are ordered in the rules.
9 Pools with good drinking places, and the wealthy man who freely gives,
The pretty girl who may be touched, these things are ordered in the rules.
10 The favourite wife neglected, and the man who safely shuns the fight,
A sluggish horse whom none may guide, these things are ordered in the rules.
11 The favourite wife most dearly loved, the man who safely goes to war,
The fleet steed who obeys the rein, these things are ordered in the rules.

-- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith

Contents: [PDF HERE]

• The Preface.
• The Laws of Menu, Son of Brahma.
• Chapter the First. On the Creation; With a Summary of the Contents.
• Chapter the Second. On Education; or on the Sacerdotal Class, and The First Order.
• Chapter the Third. On Marriage; or on the Second Order.
• Chapter the Fourth. On Economicks; and Private Morals.
• Chapter the Fifth. On Diet, Purification, and Women.
• Chapter the Sixth. On Devotion; or on the Third and Fourth Orders.
• Chapter the Seventh. On Government, and Publick Law; or on the Military Class.
• Chapter the Eighth. On Judicature; and on Law, Private and Criminal.
• Chapter the Ninth. On the same; and on the Commercial and Servile Classes.
• Chapter the Tenth. On the mixed Classes; and on Times of Distress.
• Chapter the Eleventh. On Penance and Expiation.
• Chapter the Twelfth. On Transmigration and Final Beatitude.
• General Note.
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Re: The Ordinances of Menu, by Sir William Jones

Postby admin » Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:08 am

Part 1 of 2


It is a maxim in the science of legislation and government, that Laws are of no avail without manners, or, to explain the sentence more fully, that the best intended legislative provisions would have no beneficial effect even at first, and none at all in a short course of time, unless they were congenial to the disposition and habits, to the religious prejudices, and approved immemorial usages of the people for whom they were enabled; especially if that people universally and sincerely believed, that all their ancient usages and established rules of conduct had the sanction of an actual revelation from heaven: the legislature of Britain having shown, in compliance with this maxim, an intention to leave the natives of these Indian provinces in possession of their own Laws, at least on the titles of contracts and inheritances, we may humbly presume, that all future provisions, for the administration of justice and government in India, will be conformable, as far as the natives are affected by them, to the manners and opinions of the natives themselves; an object which cannot possibly be attained, until those manners and opinions can be fully and accurately known. These considerations, and a few others more immediately within my province, were my principal motives for wishing to know, and have induced me at length to publish, that system of duties, religious and civil, and of law in all its branches, which the Hindus firmly believe to have been promulged in the beginning of time by Menu, son or grandson of Brahma, or, in plain language, the first of created beings, and not the oldest only, but the holiest of legislators; a system so comprehensive and so minutely exact, that it may be considered as the Institutes of Hindu Law, preparatory to the copious Digest, which has lately been compiled by Pandits of eminent learning, and introductory perhaps to a Code which may supply the many natural defects in the old jurisprudence of this country, and, without any deviation from its principles, accommodate it justly to the improvements of a commercial age.

We are lost in an inextricable labyrinth of imaginary astronomical cycles, Yugas, Mahayugas, Calpas, and Menwantaras, in attempting to calculate the time, when the first Menu, according to the Brahmens, governed this world, and became the progenitor of mankind
, who from him are called Manavah; nor can we, so clouded are the old history and chronology of India with fables and allegories, ascertain the precise age, when the work, now presented to the Publick, was actually composed; but we are in possession of some evidence, partly extrinsick and partly internal, that it is really one of the oldest compositions existing. From a text of Parasara discovered by Mr. Davis, it appears, that the vernal equinox had gone back from the tenth degree of Bharani to the first of Aswini, or twenty-three degrees and twenty minutes, between the days of that Indian philosopher, and the year of our Lord 499, when it coincided with the origin of the Hindu ecliptick; so that Parasara probably flourished near the close of the twelfth century before Christ; now Parasara was the grandson of another sage, named Vasishtha, who is often mentioned in the laws of Menu, and once as contemporary with the divine Bhrigu himself; but the character of Bhrigu, and the whole dramatical arrangement of the book before us, are clearly fictitious and ornamental, with a design, too common among ancient lawgivers, of stamping authority on the work by the introduction of supernatural personages, though Vasishtha may have lived many generations before the actual writer of it, who names him, indeed, in one or two places as a philosopher in an earlier period. The style, however, and metre of this work (which there is not the smallest reason to think affectedly obsolete) are widely different from the language and metrical rules of Calida's, who unquestionably wrote before the beginning of our era; and the dialect of Menu is even observed, in many passages, to resemble that of the Veda, particularly in a departure from the more modern grammatical forms; whence it must, at first view, seem very probable, that the laws, now brought to light, were considerably older than those of Solon or even of Lycurgus, although the promulgation of them, before they were reduced to writing, might have been coeval with the first monarchies established in Egypt or Asia:

Parashara was a maharshi and the author of many ancient Indian texts. He is accredited as the author of the first Purana, the Vishnu Purana, before his son Vyasa wrote it in its present form. He was the grandson of Vasishtha, the son of Śakti Maharṣi.

Vasishtha is one of the oldest and most revered Vedic rishis or sages. He is one of the Saptarishis (seven great Rishis) of India. Vashistha is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda. Vashishtha and his family are mentioned in Rigvedic verse 10.167.4, other Rigvedic mandalas and in many Vedic texts. His ideas have been influential and he was called the first sage of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy by Adi Shankara.

The Yoga Vashishtha, Vashishtha Samhita, as well as some versions of the Agni Purana and Vishnu Purana are attributed to him. He is the subject of many stories, such as him being in possession of the divine cow Kamadhenu and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners. He is famous in Hindu stories for his legendary conflicts with sage Vishvamitra. In the Ramayana, he was the family priest of the Raghu dynasty and teacher of Lord Rama and his brothers.

-- Vasishtha, by Wikipedia

Shakti Maharishi was son of Vaśiṣṭha and Arundhati. He was the father of Parāśara mentioned in the Mahabharata.

There is a famous story found in Mahabharata about Shakti Muni. Once King Kalmashapada, going hunting, kills many animals. Tiring and being hungry and thirsty, he proceeded through the woods. On the way, Rishi Shakti Maharishi came on the same path, from the opposite direction. The King ordered him to get out of his way. The Rishi addressed the King sweetly and said "O king this is my way". In accordance with duty and tradition, a king should always make way for Brahmins. The king persisted in acting like a Rakshasa (demon). The Rishi cursed the king thus: "O worst of the worst kings, since thou persecutest an ascetic, like a Rakshasa, thou shalt from this day, became a Rakshasa subsisting on human flesh! Henceforth, O worst of kings! thou shalt wander over the earth, affecting human form!" He was the grandfather of Vyasa, author of the Indian epic Mahabharata.

-- Shakti (sage), by Wikipedia

There are several texts which give reference to Parashara as an author/speaker. Modern scholars believe that there were many individuals who used this name throughout time whereas others assert that the same Parashara taught these various texts and the time of writing them varied. The actual sage himself never wrote the texts; the various texts attributed to him are given in reference to Parashara being the speaker to his student.

-- Parashara, by Wikipedia

but, having had the singular good fortune to procure ancient copies of eleven Upanishads, with a very perspicuous comment, I am enabled to fix, with more exactness, the probable age of the work before us, and even to limit its highest possible age by a mode of reasoning, which may be thought new, but will be found, I persuade myself, satisfactory; if the Publick shall, on this occasion, give me credit for a few very curious facts, which, though capable of strict proof, can at present be only asserted.
Now the age of Vicramaditya is given; and if we can fix on an Indian prince contemporary with Seleucus, we shall have three given points in the line of time between Rama, or the first Indian colony, and Chandrabija, the last Hindu monarch who reigned in Bahar; so that only eight hundred or a thousand years will remain almost wholly dark; and they must have been employed in raising empires or states, in framing laws, improving languages and arts, and in observing the apparent motions of the celestial bodies. A Sanscrit [Sanskrit] history of the celebrated Vicramaditya was inspected at Benares by a Pandit, who would not have deceived me, and could not himself have been deceived; but the owner of the book is dead, and his family dispersed; nor have my friends in that city been able, with all their exertions, to procure a copy of it. ...

I cannot help mentioning a discovery which accident threw in my way, though my proofs must be reserved for an essay which I have destined for the fourth volume of your Transactions. To fix the situation of that Palibothra (for there may have been several of the name) which was visited and described by Megasthenes, had always appeared a very difficult problem, for though it could not have been Prayaga, where no ancient metropolis ever stood, nor Canyacubja, which has no epithet at all resembling the word used by the Greeks; nor Gaur, otherwise called Lacshmanavati, which all know to be a town comparatively modern, yet we could not confidently decide that it was Pataliputra, though names and most circumstances nearly correspond, because that renowned capital extended from the confluence of the Sone and the Ganges to the site of Patna, while Palibothra stood at the junction of the Ganges and Erannoboas, which the accurate M. D'Anville had pronounced to be the Yamuna; but this only difficulty was removed, when I found in a classical Sanscrit book, near 2000 years old, that Hiranyabahu, or golden armed, which the Greeks changed into Erannoboas, or the river with a lovely murmur, was in fact another name for the Sona itself; though Megasthenes, from ignorance or inattention, has named them separately. This discovery led to another of greater moment, for Chandragupta, who, from a military adventurer, became like Sandracottus the sovereign of Upper Hindustan, actually fixed the seat of his empire at Pataliputra, where he received ambassadors from foreign princes; and was no other than that very Sandracottus who concluded a treaty with Seleucus Nicator; so that we have solved another problem, to which we before alluded, and may in round numbers consider the twelve and three hundredth years before Christ, as two certain epochs between Rama, who conquered Silan a few centuries after the flood, and Vicramaditya, who died at Ujjayini fifty-seven years before the beginning of our era.

Since these discussions would lead us too far, I proceed to the History of Nature...

But I should be led beyond the limits assigned to me on this occasion, if I were to expatiate farther on the historical division of the knowledge comprised in the literature of Asia; and I must postpone till next year my remarks on Asiatic Philosophy, and on those arts which depend on imagination; promising you with confidence, that in the course of the present year, your inquiries into the civil and natural history of this eastern world will be greatly promoted by the learned labours of many among our associates and correspondents.

-- Discourse X. Delivered February 28, 1793, P. 192, Excerpt from "Discourses Delivered Before the Asiatic Society: And Miscellaneous Papers, on The Religion, Poetry, Literature, Etc. of the Nations of India", by Sir William Jones

The Sanscrit of the three first Vedas, (I need not here speak of the fourth) that of the Manava Dherma Sastra, and that of the Paranas, differ from each other in pretty exact proportion to the Latin of Numa, from whose laws entire sentences are preserved, that of Appius, which we see in the fragments of the Twelve Tables, and that of Cicero, or of Lucretius, where he has not affected an obsolete style:

It is to the nature of the early history of the city of Rome that I now ask your attention.

It is a mere commonplace to remark that the earliest stages in the history of most peoples present very great difficulties in the way of arriving at anything like the exact facts, and this is usually due to the insufficiency of evidence that has come down to us, and to the inevitable errors resulting from the nature of tradition. In the case of the early history of the greatest city in the world, the difficulty is immeasurably increased by the well-known fact, that in addition to all the errors inherent we have to do with a considerable amount of material which is known to be the product of the deliberate invention of later times. So while the problem becomes exceedingly perplexing, the eagerness of scholars to solve it, becomes correspondingly keen. Nor can it be said that time and labor expended on its solution are wasted, so long as any hope remains of arriving at something like the real facts.

There are certain peculiar features in the case of Roman history, the most noticeable of which is the character of Roman literature, on which we must depend so much for our information. Here is no developing native product, but a literature due to foreign impulse, and worked out in conscious imitation of Greek models, both as regards form and substance. The earliest annalists of Rome intentionally followed their patterns, and the elimination of the Greek from the native is one of the most difficult parts of the problem. Most noticeable again in its effect upon the tradition of Roman history, was the servile attitude maintained towards Rome by the rest of the world after the Punic wars, which resulted in a deliberate falsification of everything in favor of the dominant power. With a very few apparent exceptions like Metrodorus of Skepsis, almost all historiographers of that period took part in the general chorus of adulation, entirely regardless of the truth. A third peculiarity of the situation is the presence of what was really an official or "canonical" tradition. The methods employed by the Greek and Roman manufacturers of early history, had resulted in the promulgation of numerous narratives of the same events, so contradictory as to disturb even the Romans themselves, and to bring about the formation of a sort of official version which became in a sense "canonical," and was generally accepted by the principal writers of the post-Ciceronian age. This is the account that Livy, for instance, usually presents, although all our historians do not hesitate to give very frequently other versions along with the "canonical." These conditions were recognized by the Roman historians themselves, but with hardly an exception, they failed entirely to develop what we call the critical method. Beyond a certain point this could not have been expected, but it is a source of surprise and disappointment that we have to wait until the close of the first century to find a Roman Thucydides.

The legacy of Rome, then, to the world, so far as her own early history is concerned, is a mass of fable, fact and fancy, inextricably interwoven, and commended to us by all the charm of Livian rhetoric, and this inheritance has been accepted and enjoyed without question or cavil, by the vast majority even of scholars until very recent times...

So in the matter under discussion, we have passed through the stage where all that has come down to us about the regal period was ruthlessly cast aside as absolutely false, the succeeding stage when men were inclined to see much that was true beneath the overlying strata of legend, then a stage when, in some quarters at least, an almost medieval attitude of belief was assumed, and now finally a period when even the first condition of skepticism seems to be well-nigh surpassed. There is, if we may so speak, a very renaissance of unbelief with regard to the first three centuries of Rome's existence... But as the latest voice of Ciceronian criticism has tended to rehabilitate the great orator, the latest voice of historical criticism, uttered too by a descendant of the Romans themselves, is the most powerful yet heard in the attack upon all that tradition has handed down concerning the early history of Rome.

I refer of course to Ettore Pais and his great work La Storia di Roma, in the first two volumes of which he has discussed the history of Rome down to the time of Pyrrhus, and while following out the lines laid down by Mommsen in the Roemische Forschungen has gone far beyond that great man in the scope of his work, comprehensiveness of treatment and importance of results...

Before proceeding to the discussion of the results of this latest investigation of the sources of our knowledge of early Roman history, our attention should be fixed upon a factor in the problem, not new by any means, but which has recently assumed much larger proportions than formerly, that is the control exercised over results obtained in other ways by archaeological and topographical discoveries. The increased importance of material of this kind finds an excellent illustration in the information which has come into our hands as a result of the systematic excavations carried on in the Forum and Comitium during the past two years and a half. It was to be expected that in the archaeological remains of these two spots -- one the center of Roman political life, the other the center of all else -- much would be found to help in tracing the course of development of the city itself, as it was marked in monuments of brick and stone, monuments which could hardly be falsified by succeeding generations....

As a matter of fact, the discoveries made within a space twenty feet square at the edge of the Comitium have precipitated a violent struggle between those who accept the traditional account of the regal period and those who do not, and the final settlement of the questions raised by these discoveries may go a long way in determining our attitude toward that tradition. To be sure the problem suggested here is not purely topographical but involves other elements as well, and the point may be better illustrated in a very simple case by noting that topographical conditions prove at once that Livy's account of the settlement of many thousand Latins in the valley ad Murciae in the days of Ancus Martius, must be absolutely wrong.

In view of the certain additions which have been and will continue to be made to our knowledge of the material remains of ancient Rome, and the publication of so notable a book as that of Pais, no apology is necessary for directing our attention again to the credibility of early Roman history, and we can perhaps do no better than follow our new leader in a brief review of the character of some of the sources from which information as to the events of the early period is derived, and of some of these events themselves.

At the very outset one must note the strange contrast that exists between the remarkable amount of detailed information given us by the annalists and the comparatively late period at which they did their work. There is a still greater contrast between this elaborate history and that of other peoples at the same relative stage of development, like the peoples of the east and of the Greek cities. If we know so little of the history of Magna Graecia before the fourth century, how is it that we know so much about Rome in the eighth and seventh?...

The Annales Maximi were according to Cato's statement a list of magistrates, prodigies, eclipses and the price of corn. But these meager lists cannot have made up those eighty rolls which Cicero describes and which contained the history of the city from the beginning down to 133 B.C., and which were diffuse enough to contain Piso's story of Romulus's use of wine. These Annales were written out long after the beginning of Latin literature, and owed their form and much of their content to the annals of the Greeks. In Pais's words, "The little that we know of them reveals such a direct imitation of the Greek writers, such abundance of words, or as we might better say, such garrulity, as suited the chatter of barbers [quelle ciancie di barbieri] which Polybius censures in Sosilus and Chaerea, the historians of Hannibal, but which did not suit in any way the redaction of state documents, compiled at a tolerably early date." No fragment of the Annales Maximi in our possession belongs to a redaction earlier than the third century. In short, after Pais's keen critique, it is difficult to see in them anything but a second century creation, based on the tradition of the great Roman families, the works of early Greek historiographers, and the earliest Roman poets like Ennius, and we must recognize the fact that "these fragments which have come down to us have nothing to do with the most ancient pontifical tablets which were little more than an illustration of the calendar."

The influence of Ennius, Naevius and other early Roman poets, if such there were, in shaping the legendary history of the early period, has probably been greatly underestimated. It can be shown further, that these poets drew their material for early times, as well as their inspiration from their Greek predecessors and contemporaries. It would be idle to discuss at length the characteristics of these Greeks who approached their subject with no intention or desire to learn the truth, but only to produce a skilfully constructed poem into which could be woven a vast mass of legend and myth, with the natural result that the product was characterized by pure imagination, duplication, and falsification. This compilation of the Annales Maximi during the second century, under the influence of the first Roman poets and annalists, gave rise to the formation of what is known as the "canonical" tradition of the origin and early history of the city, and this "canonical" form which was an attempt to correlate divergent accounts, seems to have been put into final shape by Varro in his systematization and arrangement of all existing knowledge.

Our own chief literary sources of information are three, Diodorus Siculus, Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. The two latter give in general the accepted official version, while Diodorus is apt to present divergent accounts, and is usually credited with a greater degree of independent judgment. Nevertheless, the evidence of all three has practically no first hand value. The stream cannot rise higher than its source.

Interesting illustrations of the way in which this early history was manufactured, abound on every hand...

Furthermore, as the Romans themselves tell us, all their historians down to the time of Pompey belonged to distinguished families by relationship or clientage, and this very fact caused them to be at pains to exalt the history of their own clans, a fruitful source of fabrication. But there was another influence at work, and that was the desire to exalt the whole state, and its history. Hence the determined effort to give official sanction to the tradition that the Romans came of Trojan or Hellenic stock, and that they could trace their origin to a time as early as any of the Greek cities.

Two other factors in the formation of this artificial structure, the received story of the early days, were the duplication of events actual or alleged, and the influence of current political tendencies and theories. The duplication of events, that is the assigning of what happened at one time to another much earlier date, in either the same or a slightly disguised form, while not peculiar to Roman history, has there found its widest application. It is not among the least of Pais's services that he has brought out with proper emphasis the great importance of this factor. So numerous are the examples, such as the repeated stories of Manlius, and the explanations of the Lacus Curtius, that it would be useless to linger over them. The reasons for such duplication are patent at the first glance, among them the stereotyped character and conduct of those who belonged to the same house, the desire of succeeding generations to imitate the deeds of their ancestors, and the fact that so many of the clans seem to have assumed in successive years the command against the same foes. Variations in later versions seem usually to have been intentionally made, in order that suspicion might be averted. Consulships, dictatorships and censorships were boldly attributed to the ancestors of those who had held these offices in historical times, and so notorious was the practice that even Cicero and Livy protested against it. In consequence of this same impulse, events of a later date were thrown back into earlier periods, as the fabled treaty of 508 B.C. between Rome and Carthage, and the establishment of the censorship in the days of Servius Tullius. The same tendency which has assigned to Charlemagne the achievements of more than one man produced such types as Appius Claudius and Coriolanus.

The last factor in the fabrication of Roman history upon which much weight must be laid, is that of the political attitude of the historian and his hero. Cato, as is well known, tried to do something to counteract this evil, by refusing to mention the names of those of whom he was writing, but nothing could have been farther from the purpose of all other Roman historians. One has only to read Livy's account of perfectly historical persons and events, to see how he deliberately warped or suppressed the truth in order to depreciate the services of those who represented opposite political views. Modern colorless critical history was something entirely unsupposable to the Roman mind. Education in morals and good citizenship, the avowed object of the Roman historian, demanded an expression on his part of what he considered right and patriotic, and a condemnation of the opposite. To the most critical and truth-seeking of Romans, even a writer like Froude would have seemed not only culpably impartial but absolutely impossible.

These elements have been recognized in some degree by all historians since Niebuhr, but the extent of their application has varied. We have in general come to regard the history of the regal period as legendary so far as details are concerned, but no such view has prevailed with regard to the republic. It is true that Mommsen in his Roemische Forschungen laid down the lines along which the investigation should proceed, and in his essays on Coriolanus, Spurius Maelius, Spurius Cassius and Marcus Manlius, demonstrated the non-historical character of many of the tales from the period of the early republic, but in these particular cases, the subjects were such as would most naturally be derived from mythical sources. Neither in his history nor in his essays, does Mommsen cast any serious doubt upon the truth of the main features of the traditional history of the period between the expulsion of the Kings and the fall of the decemvirate. The attitude of most scholars previous to 1898, may be illustrated by that of Pelham and Shuckburgh in their histories published in 1893 and 1894. Pelham, after explaining the reasons why the history of the early republic is subject to some extent to the same suspicions as that of the regal period, and stating that the "details are of no historical value," proceeds to relate the course of events in such a way as not to suggest for a moment that he discredits the main features of the narrative. Shuckburgh is much less skeptical and gives his readers to understand that he is treating of what is genuinely historical.

Hardened as we have become to the process of having long cherished beliefs destroyed, and prone as we are to welcome innovations in all things, we cannot overcome a sense of dismay at reading statements like these of Pais:
"We arrive therefore at the conclusion that the whole account of decemvirate, that is the creation of this magistracy, the sending of the embassy to Athens, the codification of the laws of the Twelve Tables, the circumstances and procedure with reference to Virginia, no less than the second secession of the plebs, the following passage of the Canuleian laws, and the revolution at Ardea, are the results of unskilful attempts to combine self-contradictory traditions, and have at bottom no historical or chronological value." ...

"In the case of all the history of Roman legislation before the decemvirate we are confronted with accounts not originally true and only altered by later changes, but produced by real and deliberate falsification.

"The pretended constitutional history of Rome, described by the annalists of the second and first centuries, is in direct opposition to the honest and sincere declaration of Polybius who asserted that it was difficult to explain the beginnings and successive modifications, and to foretell the future phases of the Roman constitution, since the institutions of the past, both private and public, were unknown."...

This means that everything which has been handed down from the years before 440 B.C. is thoroughly discredited, and that the beginning of anything like genuine history must be placed after that date...

let us look rather at the latter and examine briefly two or three of the main features in the narrative which has come down to us. Perhaps the most noteworthy event in the twenty years after the expulsion of the Kings, was the secession of the plebs to the Sacred Mount, which marked the culmination of the first stage in the struggle between plebeian and patrician, and resulted in the establishment of that most unique of Roman institutions, the tribuneship. The circumstances are familiar to all, how in the midst of wars with Aequians and Volscians, the plebs were put off again and again with false promises, until after the army had won a victory under the dictator Manius Valerius, and was encamped before the city, the Senate still refused to adopt the necessary reforms. Thereupon the army, by which we must suppose the plebeian part of it to be meant, marched in order to the Sacred Mount, or according to another version to the Aventine, and returned to the city only after their claims had been allowed, in part at least, and the tribuneship established. Half a century later, another secession is described. The decemvirs had refused to give up office, and had, it was alleged, caused Lucius Siccius Denitatus, a veteran of many campaigns, to be foully murdered, while the most notorious of the board, Appius Claudius, had by his attempt to carry off Virginia, forced her father to slay her in defense of honor. The army again marched to the Sacred Mount, nominated tribunes, advanced to Rome and occupied the Aventine. A compromise was negotiated by Valerius and Horatius, and the tribunate again established.

Now the very similarity of these two accounts is enough to arouse grave suspicion, and an investigation of all the attendant circumstances proves that the first secession is but an anticipation of the second, together with some features which repeat the story of the expulsion of the Kings. Thus of the two leaders in the secession, Lucius Junius Brutus and Caius Sicinius, the latter is but the duplication of C. Sicinius, one of the tribunes elected after the fall of the decemvirate, and both these again of that Sicinius who was tribune in 395 B.C., and after the taking of Veii proposed to emigrate thither from Rome and found a new state. The names of the tribunes, either when the establishment of the tribunate in 494 is spoken of, or the increase in their number in 471, or the reestablishment of the institution in 449, show by their identity or similarity, that they represent only repetitions and variations of the same tradition, and that the successive Sicinii or Siccii -- for these appear to be variants of the same name -- Icilii, etc., are due to this process of duplication. So Manius Valerius who pacified the plebs in 494 before the first secession, is the same person, and the occasion the same, that we find described in Livy,1 [VII. 39.] where he tells how in 342 the dictator M. Valerius Corvus checked the rage of the army by his eloquence, and again of the same occurrence in 302 or 300. In this latter year, moreover, this same Valerius, when Consul, caused the famous "lex de provocatione" to be again approved, which had been already passed twice in previous years, and always on the motion of members of this same family. That is, during the first two hundred years of the republic, the passage of the same measure was attributed to the efforts of the same family thrice, which means, of course, that the annalists who wrote under the inspiration of the Valerii, thrust this action of theirs further and further back....

To sum up in the words of Professor Pais:
"The story of the decemvirate . . . which we have seen to be false on its external side is no more authentic with regard to its essential or internal character, and the natural consequence is that the whole account is to be rejected in its entirety as a later invention.

"The pseudo-history from the expulsion of the Kings to the fall of the decemvirs and the conspiracy of Spurius Maelius, consists of two or three parts which are repeated. To the Sabine invasions and the continual wars with Volscians and Aequians, correspond the popular agitations which led to the secessions of 494 and 450, and the creation of tribunes in 493, 471 and 449. All these varying acts in the drama are the result of the simple duplication of the same event."

For the period after the decemvirate and down to the sack of Rome by the Gauls, this rigid criticism discloses a similar chaotic condition of tradition, and it is only gradually, even in this fourth century, that we begin to find trustworthy and accurate historical data.

-- The Credibility of Early Roman History, by Samuel Ball Platner
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Re: The Ordinances of Menu, by Sir William Jones

Postby admin » Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:15 am

Part 2 of 2

... if the several changes, therefore, of Sanscrit and Latin took place, as we may fairly assume, in times very nearly proportional, the Vedas must have been written about 300 years before these Institutes, and about 600 before the Puranas and Itihasas, which, I am fully convinced, were not the productions of Vyasa; so that, if the son of Parasara committed the traditional Vedas to writing in the Sanscrit of his father’s time, the original of this book must have received its present form about 880 years before Christ’s birth. If the texts, indeed, which Vyasa collected, had been actually written in a much, older dialect, by the sages preceding him, we must inquire into the greatest possible age of the Vedas themselves: now one of the longest and finest Upanishads in the second Veda contains three lists, in a regular series upwards, of at most forty-two pupils and preceptors, who successively received and transmitted (probably by oral tradition) the doctrines contained in that Upanishad; and as the old Indian priests were students at fifteen, and instructors at twenty-five, we cannot allow more than ten years, on an average, for each interval between the respective traditions; whence, as there are forty such intervals, in two of the lists between Vyasa, who arranged the whole work, and Ayasya, who is extolled at the beginning of it, and just as many, in the third list, between the compiler and Yajnyawalcya, who makes the principal figure in it, we find the highest age of the Yajur Veda to be 1580 years before the birth of our Saviour, (which would make it older than the five books of Moses) and that of our Indian law tract about 1280 years before the same epoch. The former date, however, seems the more probable of the two, because the Hindu sages are said to have delivered their knowledge orally, and the very word Sruta, which we often see used for the Veda itself, means what was heard; not to insist that Culluca expressly declares the sense of the Veda to be conveyed in the language of Vyasa. Whether Menu or Menus in the nominative and Meno's in an oblique case, was the same personage with Minos [Minos was a mythical king in the island of Crete, the son of Zeus and Europa. He was famous for creating a successful code of laws; in fact, it was so grand that after his death, Minos became one of the three judges of the dead in the underworld. Minos, by Wikipedia], let others determine; but he must indubitably have been far older than the work, which contains his laws, and though perhaps he was never in Crete, yet some of his institutions may well have been adopted in that island, whence Lycurgus, a century or two afterwards, may have imported them to Sparta.

There is certainly a strong resemblance, though obscured and faded by time, between our Menu with his divine Bull, whom he names as Dherma himself, or the genius of abstract justice, and the Mneues of Egypt with his companion or symbol Apis;

Menes (fl. c. 3200–3000 BC; /ˈmiːniːz/; Ancient Egyptian: mnj, probably pronounced */maˈnij/; Ancient Greek: Μήνης) was a pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period of ancient Egypt credited by classical tradition with having united Upper and Lower Egypt and as the founder of the First Dynasty.

The identity of Menes is the subject of ongoing debate, although mainstream Egyptological consensus identifies Menes with the Naqada III ruler Narmer (most likely) or First Dynasty pharaoh Hor-Aha. Both pharaohs are credited with the unification of Egypt to different degrees by various authorities...

The name mnj means "He who endures", which, I.E.S. Edwards (1971) suggests, may have been coined as "a mere descriptive epithet denoting a semi-legendary hero [...] whose name had been lost". Rather than a particular person, the name may conceal collectively the Naqada III rulers: Ka, Scorpion II and Narmer...

The almost complete absence of any mention of Menes in the archaeological record and the comparative wealth of evidence of Narmer, a protodynastic figure credited by posterity and in the archaeological record with a firm claim to the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, has given rise to a theory identifying Menes with Narmer.

The chief archaeological reference to Menes is an ivory label from Naqada which shows the royal Horus-name Aha (the pharaoh Hor-Aha) next to a building, within which is the royal nebty-name mn, generally taken to be Menes. From this, various theories on the nature of the building (a funerary booth or a shrine), the meaning of the word mn (a name or the verb endures) and the relationship between Hor-Aha and Menes (as one person or as successive pharaohs) have arisen....

Two documents have been put forward as proof either that Narmer was Menes or alternatively Hor-Aha was Menes. The first is the "Naqada Label" found at the site of Naqada, in the tomb of Queen Neithhotep, often assumed to have been the mother of Horus Aha.
The commonly used name Hor-Aha is a rendering of the pharaoh's Horus-name, an element of the royal titulary associated with the god Horus, and is more fully given as Horus-Aha meaning Horus the Fighter.

Manetho's record Aegyptiaca (translating to History of Egypt) lists his Greek name as Athothis, or "Athotís".

-- Hor-Aha, by Wikipedia

The label shows a serekh [a rectangular enclosure presenting the niched or gated facade of a palace surmounted (usually) by the Horus falcon, indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name] of Hor-Aha next to an enclosure inside of which are symbols that have been interpreted by some scholars as the name "Menes". The second is the seal impression from Abydos that alternates between a serekh of Narmer and the chessboard symbol, "mn", which is interpreted as an abbreviation of Menes. Arguments have been made with regard to each of these documents in favour of Narmer or Hor-Aha being Menes, but in neither case is the argument conclusive.

The second document, the seal impression from Abydos, shows the serekh of Narmer alternating with the gameboard sign (mn), together with its phonetic complement, the n sign, which is always shown when the full name of Menes is written, again representing the name “Menes”. At first glance, this would seem to be strong evidence that Narmer was Menes. However, based on an analysis of other early First Dynasty seal impressions, which contain the name of one or more princes, the seal impression has been interpreted by other scholars as showing the name of a prince of Narmer named Menes, hence Menes was Narmer's successor, Hor-Aha, and thus Hor-Aha was Menes. This was refuted by Cervelló-Autuori 2005, pp. 42–45; but opinions still vary, and the seal impression cannot be said to definitively support either theory....

By 500 BC, mythical and exaggerated claims had made Menes a culture hero, and most of what is known of him comes from a much later time.

Ancient tradition ascribed to Menes the honour of having united Upper and Lower Egypt into a single kingdom and becoming the first pharaoh of the First Dynasty. However, his name does not appear on extant pieces of the Royal Annals (Cairo Stone and Palermo Stone), which is a now-fragmentary king's list that was carved onto a stela during the Fifth Dynasty. He typically appears in later sources as the first human ruler of Egypt, directly inheriting the throne from the god Horus. He also appears in other, much later, king's lists, always as the first human pharaoh of Egypt. Menes also appears in demotic novels of the Hellenistic period, demonstrating that, even that late, he was regarded as an important figure.

Menes was seen as a founding figure for much of the history of ancient Egypt, similar to Romulus in ancient Rome. Manetho records that Menes "led the army across the frontier and won great glory".

-- Menes, by Wikipedia

... and, though we should be constantly on our guard against the delusion of etymological conjecture, yet we cannot but admit that Minos and Mneues, or Mneuis, have only Greek terminations, but that the crude noun is composed of the same radical letters both in Greek and in Sanscrit.

'That Apis and Mneuis,' says the Analyst of ancient Mythology, ‘were both representations of some personage, appears from the testimony of Lycophron and his scholiast; and that personage was the same, who in Crete was styled Minos, and who was also represented under the emblem of the Minotaur; Diodorus, who confines him to Egypt, speaks of him by the title of the bull Mneuis, as the first lawgiver, and says, "That he lived after the age of the gods and heroes, when a change was made in the manner of life among men; that he was a man of a most exalted soul, and a great promoter of civil society, which he benefited by his laws; that those laws were unwritten, and received by him from the chief Egyptian deity Hermes, who conferred them on the world as a gift of the highest importance.” He was the same, adds my learned friend, with Menes, whom the Egyptians represented as their first king and principal benefactor, who first sacrificed to the gods, and brought about a great change in diet.’

Jacob Bryant (1715–1804) was an English scholar and mythographer, who has been described as "the outstanding figure among the mythagogues who flourished in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries."


Bryant was born at Plymouth. His father worked in the customs there, but was afterwards moved to Chatham. Bryant was first sent to a school near Rochester, and then to Eton College. In 1736 he was elected to a scholarship at King's College, Cambridge, where he took his degrees of B.A. (1740) and M.A. (1744), later being elected a fellow. He returned to Eton as private tutor to the Duke of Marlborough [Royal Society]. In 1756 he accompanied the duke, who was master-general of ordnance and commander-in-chief of the forces in Germany, to the Continent as private secretary. He was rewarded by a lucrative appointment in the Board of Ordnance, which allowed him time to indulge his literary tastes.

His chief works were A New System or Analysis of Ancient Mythology (1774–76, and later editions), Observations on the Plain of Troy (1795), and Dissertation concerning the Wars of Troy (1796). He also wrote on theological, political and literary subjects.


Bryant saw all mythology as derived from the Hebrew Scriptures, with Greek mythology arising via the Egyptians. The New System attempted to link the mythologies of the world to the stories recorded in Genesis. Bryant argued that the descendants of Ham had been the most energetic, but also the most rebellious peoples of the world and had given rise to the great ancient and classical civilisations. He called these people "Amonians", because he believed that the Egyptian god Amon was a deified form of Ham. He argued that Ham had been identified with the sun, and that much of pagan European religion derived from Amonian sun worship.

John Richardson was Bryant's chief opponent, in the preface to his Persian Dictionary. In an anonymous pamphlet, An Apology, Bryant defended and reaffirmed his opinions. Richardson then revised the dissertation on languages prefixed to the dictionary, and added a second part: Further Remarks on the New Analysis of Ancient Mythology (1778). Bryant also wrote a pamphlet in answer to Daniel Wyttenbach of Amsterdam, about the same time. Sir William Jones frequently mentions Bryant's model, accepting parts of it and criticising others, particularly his highly conjectural etymologies. He referred to the New System as "a profound and agreeable work", adding that he had read it through three times "with increased attention and pleasure, though not with perfect acquiescence in some other less important parts of his plausible system"...

His theories are widely credited as an influence on the mythological system of William Blake, who had worked in his capacity as an engraver on the illustrations to Bryant's New System.

Classical scholar

In his books on Troy, Bryant endeavoured to show that the existence of Troy and the Greek expedition were purely mythological, with no basis in real history...

• Gemmarum Antiquarum Delectus (1783) was privately printed at the expense of the Duke of Marlborough, with engravings by Francesco Bartolozzi. The first volume was written in Latin by Bryant, and translated into French by Matthew Maty; the second by William Cole, with the French by Louis Dutens.
• On the Zingara or Gypsey Language (1785) was read by Bryant to the Royal Society, and printed in the seventh volume of Archæologia.

-- Jacob Bryant [The Analyst of Ancient Mythology], by Wikipedia

If Minos, the son of Jupiter, whom the Cretans, from national vanity, might have made a native of their own island, was really the same person with Menu, the son of Brahma, we have the good fortune to restore, by means of Indian literature, the most celebrated system of heathen jurisprudence, and this work might have been entitled The Laws of Minos; but the paradox is too singular to be confidently asserted, and the geographical part of the book, with most of the allusions to natural history, must indubitably have been written after the Hindu race had settled to the south of Himalaya. We cannot but remark that the word Menu has no relation whatever to the Moon; and that it was the seventh, not the first of that name, whom the Brahmens believe to have been preserved in an ark from the general deluge: him they call the Child of the Sun, to distinguish him from our legislator; but they assign to his brother Yama the office (which the Greeks were pleased to confer on Minos) of Judge in the Shades below.

The name of Menu is clearly derived (like menes, mens, and mind) from the root men to understand; and it signifies, as all the Pandits agree, intelligent, particularly in the doctrines of the Veda, which the composer of our Dherna Sastra must have studied very diligently; since great numbers of its texts, changed only in a few syllables for the sake of the measure, are interspersed through the work, and cited at length in the commentaries: the Publick may, therefore, assure themselves, that they now possess a considerable part of the Hindu scripture, without the dullness of its profane ritual or much of its mystical jargon. Dara Shucuh was persuaded, and not without sound reason, that the first Menu of the Brahmens could be no other person than the progenitor of mankind, to whom Jews, Christians, and Muselmans, unite in giving the name of Adam; but, whoever he might have been he is highly honoured by name in the Veda itself, where it is declared, that 'whatever Menu pronounced, was a medicine for the soul,’ and the sage Vrihaspati, now supposed to preside over the planet Jupiter, says in his own law tract, that 'Menu held the first rank among legislators, because he had expressed in his code the whole sense of the Veda; that no code was approved, which contradicted Menu; that other Sastras, and treatises on grammar or logick, retained splendour so long only, as Menu, who taught the way to just wealth, to virtue and to final happiness, was not seen in competition with them:' Vyasa too, the son of Parasara before mentioned, has decided, that 'the Veda with its Angas, or the six compositions deduced from it, the revealed system of medicine, the Puranas, or sacred histories, and the code of Menu were four works of supreme authority, which ought never to be shaken by arguments merely human.’

It is the general opinion of Pandits, that Brahma taught his laws to Menu in a hundred thousand verses, which Menu explained to the primitive world, in the very words of the book now translated, ...

Manu is the title or name of fourteen mystical Kshatriya rulers of earth, or alternatively as the head of mythical dynasties that begin with each cyclic kalpa (aeon) when the universe is born anew. The title of the text Manusmriti uses this term as a prefix, but refers to the first Manu – Svayambhuva, the spiritual son of Brahma ["The Creator" deity.].

-- Manu (Hinduism), by Wikipedia

where he names himself, after the manner of ancient sages, in the third person, but in a short preface to the law tract of Nared, it is asserted, that 'Menu, having written the laws of Brahma in a hundred thousand slocas or couplets, arranged under twenty-four heads in a thousand chapters, delivered the work to Nared, the sage among gods, who abridged it, for the use of mankind, in twelve thousand verses, and gave them to a son of Bhrigu, named Sumati, who, for greater ease to the human race, reduced them to four thousand; that mortals read only the second abridgement by Sumati, while the gods of the lower heaven, and the band of celestial musicians, are engaged in studying the primary code, beginning with the fifth verse, a little varied, of the work now extant on earth; but that nothing remains of NARED’s abridgement, except an elegant epitome of the ninth original title on the administration of justice.' Now, since these institutes consist only of two thousand six hundred and eighty five verses, they cannot be the whole work ascribed to Sumati, which is probably distinguished by the name of the Vriddha, or ancient Manava, and cannot be found entire; though several passages from it, which have been preserved by tradition, are occasionally cited in the new digest.

A number of glosses or comments on Menu were composed by the Munis, or old philosophers, whose treatises, together with that before us, constitute the Dherma sastra, in a collective sense, or Body of Law;

Dharmaśāstra became influential in modern colonial India history, when they were formulated by early British colonial administrators to be the law of the land for all non-Muslims (Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs) in South Asia, after Sharia i.e. Mughal Empire's Fatawa-e-Alamgiri set by Emperor Muhammad Aurangzeb, was already accepted as the law for Muslims in colonial India.

-- Dharmaśāstra, by Wikipedia

among the more modern commentaries, that called Medhatithi, that by Govindaraja, and that by Dharani-Dhera, were once in the greatest repute; but the first was reckoned prolix and unequal; the second concise but obscure; and the third often erroneous. At length appeared Culluca Bhatta; who, after a painful course of study and the collation of numerous manuscripts, produced a work, of which it may, perhaps, be said very truly, that it is the shortest, yet the most luminous, the least ostentatious, yet the most learned, the deepest, yet the most agreeable, commentary ever composed on any author ancient or modern, European or Asiatick. The Pandits care so little for genuine chronology, that none of them can tell me the age of Culluca, whom they always name with applause; but he informs us himself, that he was a Brahmen of the Varendra tribe, whose family had been long settled in Gaur or Bengal, but that he had chosen his residence among the learned, on the banks of the holy river at Casi. His text and interpretation I have almost implicitly followed, though I had myself collated many copies of Menu, and among them a manuscript of a very ancient date:

[T]he earliest discovered, most translated and presumed authentic version since the 18th century has been the "Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) manuscript with Kulluka Bhatta commentary". Modern scholarship states this presumed authenticity is false, and the various manuscripts of Manusmriti discovered in India are inconsistent with each other, and within themselves, raising concerns of its authenticity, insertions and interpolations made into the text in later times...

-- Manusmriti, by Wikipedia

his gloss is here printed in Italicks; and any reader, who may choose to pass it over as if unprinted, will have in Roman letters an exact version of the original, and may form some idea of its character and structure, as well as of the Sanscrit idiom which must necessarily be preserved in a verbal translation; and a translation, not scrupulously verbal, would have been highly improper in a work on so delicate and momentous a subject as private and criminal jurisprudence.

Should a series of Brahmens omit, for three generations, the reading of Menu, their sacerdotal class, as all the Pandits assure me, would in strictness be forfeited; but they must explain it only to their pupils of the three highest classes; and the Brahmen, who read it with me, requested most earnestly, that his name might be concealed; nor would he have read it for any consideration on a forbidden day of the moon, or without the ceremonies prescribed in the second and fourth chapters for a lecture on the Veda: so great, indeed, is the idea of sanctity annexed to this book, that, when the chief native magistrate at Banares endeavoured, at my request, to procure a Persian translation of it, before I had a hope of being at any time able to understand the original, the Pandits of his court unanimously and positively refused to assist in the work; nor should I have procured it at all, if a wealthy Hindu at Gaya had not caused the version to be made by some of his dependants, at the desire of my friend Mr. [Jacques Louis Law de Clapernon? or Baron Jean Law de Lauriston?] Law. [1776]

French king Henry IV authorized the first Compagnie des Indes Orientales, granting the firm a 15-year monopoly of the Indies trade....

The Compagnie des Indes Orientales was granted a 50-year monopoly on French trade in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, a region stretching from the Cape of Good Hope to the Straits of Magellan. The French monarch also granted the Company a concession in perpetuity for the island of Madagascar, as well as any other territories it could conquer....

By 1719, it had established itself in India, but the firm was near bankruptcy. In the same year the Compagnie des Indes Orientales was combined under the direction of John Law with other French trading companies to form the Compagnie Perpétuelle des Indes [The Mississippi Company]....

In 1716, Law was given a charter for the Banque Royale under which the national debt was assigned to the bank in return for extraordinary privileges. The key to the Banque Royale agreement was that the national debt would be paid from revenues derived from opening the Mississippi Valley. The Bank was tied to other ventures of Law—the Company of the West and the Companies of the Indies. All were known as the Mississippi Company. The Mississippi Company had a monopoly on trade and mineral wealth. The Company boomed on paper....

In 1718, there were only 700 Europeans in Louisiana. The Mississippi Company arranged ships to move 800 more, who landed in Louisiana in 1718, doubling the European population. Law encouraged some German-speaking peoples, including Alsatians and Swiss, to emigrate....

Law exaggerated the wealth of Louisiana with an effective marketing scheme, which led to wild speculation on the shares of the company in 1719. The scheme promised success for the Mississippi Company by combining investor fervor and the wealth of its Louisiana prospects into a sustainable, joint-stock, trading company. The popularity of company shares were such that they sparked a need for more paper bank notes, and when shares generated profits the investors were paid out in paper bank notes....

Law's pioneering note-issuing bank thrived until the French government was forced to admit that the number of paper notes being issued by the Banque Royale exceeded the value of the amount of metal coinage it held.

The "bubble" burst at the end of 1720, when opponents of the financier attempted to convert their notes into specie (gold and silver) en masse, forcing the bank to stop payment on its paper notes. By the end of 1720 Philippe d'Orléans had dismissed Law from his positions. Law then fled France [under the cover of night] for Brussels, eventually moving on to Venice, where he lived off his gambling....

Law as a gambler would win card games by mentally calculating odds. He originated ideas such as the scarcity theory of value and the real bills doctrine. He held that money creation stimulated an economy, paper money was preferable to metal, and dividend-paying shares a superior form of money. The term "millionaire" was coined for beneficiaries of Law's scheme.

-- French East India Company, by Wikipedia

"In relation to his Translation, it was made by the orders of Mr. Barthelemi, First Counselor in Pondicherry. Having a great number of interpreters for him, he had them translate some Indian works with all possible accuracy: but the wars of India & the ruin of Pondicherry resulted in the loss of all that he had gathered on these objects: and only the last translation of Zozur, of which only one complete copy remains, between the hands of M. Teissier de la Tour nephew of M. leConsr. Barthelemy. It's certain the one that we made the copy that we have in the Library of His Majesty, and which no doubt had not had time to complete when M. de Modave embarked to return to Europe."

I have not been able to gather any information on Tessier -- or Teissier -- de la Tour. Louis Barthelemy is much better known; although his career in India runs parallel to that of Porcher des Oulches, of the two he is the more prominent one and holds the highest offices. His name appears repeatedly in the official documents of the French Company. He was born at Montpellier, circa 1695, came to India in 1729, and stayed there until his death at Pondicherry, on 29 July 1760. He served at Mahe, was a member of the council at Chandernagore, and was called to Pondicherry in 1742. His duties at Pondicherry were twice interrupted in later years: in 1748 he was appointed governor of Madras, and in 1753-54 he preceded Porcher as commander of Karikal. He rose to the rank of "second du Conseil Superieur," and in the short period in 1755, between the departure of Godeheu and the arrival of de Leyrit, Barthelemy's name appears first on all official documents. It should perhaps be mentioned, first, that on 22 February 1751 Barthelemy represented the father of the bride at the wedding of Jacques Law -- Dupleix was the witness for the bridegroom --, and second, that on 8 August 1758 he was godfather of Jacques Louis Law. These two entries seem to suggest that he was indeed close to the Law family, whose interpreter has been given credit for the translation of the EzV (see p. 28). It should also be pointed out that Barthelemy died more than half a year after Maudave -- and the EzV -- reached Lorient on 2 February 1760.

-- The Ezourvedam Manuscripts, Excerpt from Ezourvedam: A French Veda of the Eighteenth Century, Edited with an Introduction by Ludo Rocher

The Persian translation of Menu, like all others from the Sanscrit into that language, is a rude intermixture of the text, loosely rendered, with some old or new comment, and often with the crude notions of the translator; and though it expresses the general sense of the original, yet it swarms with errours, imputable partly to haste, and partly to ignorance: thus where Menu says, that emissaries are the eyes of a prince, the Persian phrase makes him ascribe four eyes to the person of a king; for the word char, which means an emissary in Sanscrit, signifies four in the popular dialect.
Nobody is in possession of the original text...

-- Manusmriti, by Wikipedia

The work, now presented to the European world, contains abundance of curious matter extremely interesting both to speculative lawyers and antiquaries, with many beauties which need not be pointed out, and with many blemishes which cannot be justified or palliated. It is a system of despotism and priestcraft, both indeed limited by law, but artfully conspiring to give mutual support, though with mutual checks; it is filled with strange conceits in metaphysicks and natural philosophy, with idle superstitions, and with a scheme of theology most obscurely figurative, and consequently liable to dangerous misconception; it abounds with minute and childish formalities, with ceremonies generally absurd and often ridiculous; the punishments are partial and fanciful; for some crimes, dreadfully cruel, for others, reprehensibly slight; and the very morals, though rigid enough on the whole, are in one or two instances (as in the case of light oaths and of pious perjury) unaccountably relaxed: nevertheless, a spirit of sublime devotion, of benevolence to mankind, and of amiable tenderness to all sentient creatures, pervades the whole work; the style of it has a certain austere majesty, that sounds like the language of legislation, and extorts a respectful awe; the sentiments of independence on all beings but God, and the harsh admonitions, even to kings, are truly noble; and the many panegyricks on the Gayatri, the Mother as it is called, of the Veda, prove the author to have adored (not the visible material sun, but) that divine and incomparably greater light, to use the words of the most venerable text in the Indian scripture, which illumines all, delights all, from which all proceed, to which all must return, and which alone can irradiate (not our visual organs merely, but our souls and) our intellects. Whatever opinion in short may be formed of Menu and his laws, in a country happily enlightened by sound philosophy and the only true revelation, it must be remembered, that those laws are actually revered, as the word of the Most High, by nations of great importance to the political and commercial interests of Europe, and particularly by many millions of Hindu subjects, whose well directed industry would add largely to the wealth of Britain, and who ask no more in return than protection for their persons and places of abode, justice in their temporal concerns, indulgence to the prejudices of their old religion, and the benefit of those laws, which they have been taught to believe sacred, and which alone they can possibly comprehend.

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Re: The Ordinances of Menu, by Sir William Jones

Postby admin » Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:19 am



On the Creation; with a Summary of the Contents

1. MENU sat reclined, with his attention fixed on one object, the Supreme God when the divine Sages approached him, and, after mutual salutations in due form, delivered the following address:

2. 'Deign, sovereign ruler, to apprize us of the sacred laws in their order, as they must be followed by all the four classes, and by each of them, in their several degrees, together with the duties of every mixed class;

3. 'For thou, Lord, and thou only among mortals, knowest the true sense, the first principle, and the prescribed ceremonies, of this universal, supernatural Veda, unlimited in extent and unequalled in authority.'

4. He, whose powers were measureless, being thus requested by the great Sages, whose thoughts were profound, saluted them all with reverence, and gave them a comprehensive answer, saying: 'Be it heard!

5. 'This universe existed only in the first divine idea yet unexpanded, as if involved in darkness, imperceptible, undefinable, undiscoverable by reason, and undiscovered by revelation, as if is were wholly immersed in sleep:

6. 'Then the sole self-existing power, himself undiscerned, but making this world discernible, with five elements and other principles of nature, appeared with undiminished glory, expanding his idea, or dispelling the gloom.

7. 'He, whom the mind alone can perceive, whose essence eludes the external organs, who has no visible parts, who exists from eternity, even he, the soul of all beings, whom no being can comprehend, shone forth in person.

8. 'He, having willed to produce various beings from his own divine substance, first with a thought created the waters, and placed in them a productive seed:

9. 'The seed became an egg bright as gold, blazing like the luminary with a thousand beams; and in that egg he was born himself in the form of Brahma, the great forefather of all spirits.

10. 'The waters are called nara, because they were the production of Nara, or the spirit of God; and, since they were his first ayana, or place of motion, he thence is named Narayana, or moving on the waters.

11. 'From that which is, the first cause, not the object of sense, existing every where in substance, not existing to our perception, without beginning or end, was produced the divine male, famed in all worlds under the appellation of Brahma.

12. 'In that egg the great power sat inactive a whole year of the Creator, at the close of which, by his thought alone, he caused the egg to divide itself,  

13. 'And from its two divisions he framed the heaven above and the earth beneath: in the midst he placed the subtil ether, the eight regions, and the permanent receptacle of waters.

14. ‘From the supreme soul he drew forth Mind, existing substantially though unperceived by sense, immaterial; and before mind, or the reasoning power, he produced consciousness, the internal monitor, the ruler;

15. ‘And, before them both, he produced the great principle of the soul, or first expansion of the divine idea; and all vital forms endued with the three qualities of goodness, passion, and darkness; and the five perceptions of sense, and the five organs of sensation.

16. ‘Thus, having at once pervaded, with emanations from the Supreme Spirit, the minutest portions of six principles immensely operative, consciousness and the five perceptions, He framed all creatures;

17. 'And since the minutest particles of visible nature have a dependence on those six emanations from God, the wise have accordingly given the name of sarira or depending on six, that is, the ten organs on consciousness, and the five elements on as many perceptions, to His image or appearance in visible nature:

18. ‘Thence proceed the great elements, endued with peculiar powers, and Mind with operations infinitely subtil, the unperishable cause of all apparent forms.

19. ‘This universe, therefore, is compacted from the minute portions of those seven divine and active principles, the great Soul, or first emanation, consciousness, and five perceptions; a mutable universe from immutable ideas.

20. 'Among them each succeeding element acquires the quality of the preceding; and, in as many degrees as each of them is advanced, with so many properties is it said to be endued.

21. 'He too first assigned to all creatures distinct names, distinct acts, and distinct occupations; as they had been revealed in the pre-existing Veda.

22. 'He, the supreme Ruler, created an assemblage of inferior Deities, with divine attributes and pure souls; and a number of Genii exquisitely delicate; and he prescribed the sacrifice ordained from the beginning.

23. 'From fire, from air, and from the sun he milked out, as it wore, the three primordial Vedas, named Rich, Yajush, and Saman, for the due performance of the sacrifice.

24. 'He gave being to time and the divisions of time, to the stars also, and to the planets, to rivers, oceans, and mountains, to level plains, and uneven valleys.

25. 'To devotion, speech, complacency, desire, and wrath, and to the creation, which shall presently be mentioned; for He willed the existence of all those created things.

26. 'For the sake of distinguishing actions, He made a total difference between right and wrong, and enured these sentient creatures to pleasure and pain, cold and heat, and other opposite pairs.

27. 'With very minute transformable portions, called matrasm of the five elements, all this perceptible world was composed in fit order;

28. 'And in whatever occupation the supreme Lord first employed any vital soul, to that occupation the same soul attaches itself spontaneously, when it receives a new body again and again:

29. 'Whatever quality, noxious or innocent, harsh or mild, unjust, or just, false or true, He conferred on any being at its creation, the same quality enters it of course on its future births;

30. 'As the six seasons of the year attain respectively their peculiar marks in due time and of their own accord, even so the several acts of each embodied spirit attend it naturally.

31. 'That the human race might be multiplied, He caused the Brahmen, the Cshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra (so named from the scripture, protection, wealth, and labour) to proceed from his mouth, his arm, his thigh and his foot.

32. 'Having divided his own substance, the mighty Power became half male, half female, or nature active and passive; and from that female he produced Viraj:

33. 'Know Me, O most excellent of Brahmens, to be that person, whom the male power Viraj, having performed austere devotion, produced by himself; Me, the secondary framer of all this visible world.

34. 'It was I, who, desirous of giving birth to a race of men, performed very difficult religious duties, and first produced ten Lords of created beings, eminent in holiness,

35. 'Marichi, Atri, Angeras, Pulastva, Pulaha, Cratu, Prachetas, or Dacsha, Vasishtha, Bhricu, and Narada:

36. 'They, abundant in glory, produced seven other Menus, together with deities, and the mansions of deities, and Maharshis, or great Sages, unlimited in power;

37. 'Benevolent genii, and fierce giants, blood-thirsty savages, heavenly quiristers, nymphs and demons, huge serpents and snakes of smaller size, birds of mighty wing, and separate companies of Pitris, or progenitors of mankind;

38. 'Lightnings and thunder-bolts, clouds and coloured bows of Indra, falling meteors, earth-rending vapours, comets, and luminaries of various degrees;

39. 'Horse-faced sylvans, apes, fish, and a variety of birds, tame cattle, deer, men, and ravenous beasts with two rows of teeth;

40. 'Small and large reptiles, moths, lice, fleas, and common flies, with every biting gnat, and immoveable substances of distinct sorts.

41. 'Thus was this whole assemblage of stationary and moveable bodies framed by those high-minded beings, through the force of their own devotion, and at my command, with separate actions allotted to each.

42. ‘Whatever act is ordained for each of those creatures here below, that I will now declare to you, together with their order in respect to birth.

43. 'Cattle and deer, and wild beasts with two rows of teeth, giants, and blood-thirsty savages, and the race of men, are born from a secundine:

44. 'Birds are hatched from eggs, so are snakes, crocodiles, fish without shells, and tortoises, with other animal kinds, terrestrial, as chamelions, and aquatick, as shell-fish:

45. 'From hot moisture are born biting gnats, lice, fleas, and common flies; these, and whatever is of the same class, are produced by heat.

46 . 'All vegetables, propagated by seed or by slips grow from shoots: some herbs, abounding in flowers and fruits, perish when the fruit is mature;

47. ‘Other plants, called lords of the forest, have no flowers, but produce fruit; and, whether they have flowers also, or fruit only, large woody plants of both sorts are named trees.

48. 'There are shrubs with many stalks from the root upwards, and reeds with single roots but united stems, all of different kinds, and grasses, and vines or climbers, and creepers, which spring from a seed or from a slip.

49. 'These animals and vegetables, encircled with multiform darkness, by reason of past actions, have internal conscience, and are sensible of pleasure and pain.

50. 'All transmigrations, recorded in sacred books, from the state of Brahma, to that of plants, happen continually in this tremendous world of beings; a world always tending to decay.

51. 'He, whose powers are incomprehensible, having thus created both me and this universe, was again absorbed in the supreme Spirit, changing the time of energy for the time of repose.

52. 'When that Power awakes, (for, though slumber be not predictable of the sole eternal Mind, infinitely wise and infinitely benevolent, yet it is predicated of Brahma, figuratively, as a general property of life) then has this world its full expansion; but, when he slumbers with a tranquil spirit, then the whole system fades away;

53. 'For, while he reposes, as it were, in calm sleep, embodied spirits, endued with principles of action, depart from their several acts, and the mind itself becomes inert;

54. 'And when they once are absorbed in that supreme essence, then the divine soul of all beings withdraws his energy, and placidly slumbers;

55. 'Then too this vital soul of created bodies, with all the organs of sense and of action, remains long immersed in the first idea or in darkness, and performs not its natural functions, but migrates from its corporeal frame:

56. 'When, being again composed of minute elementary principles, it enters at once into vegetable or animal seed, it then a assumes a new form.

57. 'Thus that immutable Power, by waking and reposing alternately, revivifies and destroys in eternal succession, this whole assemblage of locomotive and immoveable creatures.

58. 'He, having enacted this code of laws, himself taught it fully to me in the beginning: afterwards I taught it Marichi and the nine other holy sages.

59. 'This my son Bhrigu will repeat the divine code to you without omission; for that sage learned from me to recite the whole of it.'

60. Bhrigu, great and wise, having thus been appointed by Menu to promulge his laws, addressed all the Rishis with an affectionate mind, saying: ‘Hear!

61. 'From this Menu named Swayambhuva, or Sprung from the self-existing, came six descendants, other Menus, or perfectly understanding the scripture, each giving birth to a race of his own, all exalted in dignity, eminent in power;

62. 'SWAROCHISHA, AUTTAMI, TAMASA, RAIVATA likewise and CHACSHUSHA, beaming with glory, and VAIVASWATA, child of the sun.

63. 'The seven Menus, (or those first created, who are to be followed by seven more) of whom Swayambhuva is the chief, have produced and supported this world of moving and stationary beings, each in his own antara, or the period of his reign.

64. 'Eighteen nimeshas, or twinklings of an eye, are one cashtha thirty cashthas, one caka; thirty calas, one muharta: and just so many muhartas let mankind consider as the duration of their day and night.

65. 'The sun causes the distribution of day and night, both divine and human; night being intended for the repose of various beings, and day for their exertion.

66. 'A month of mortals is a day and a night of the Pitris or patriarchs inhabiting the moon; and the division of a month being into equal halves, the half beginning from the full moon is their day for actions; and that beginning from the new moon is their night for slumber:

67. 'A year of mortals is a day and a night of the Gods, or regents of the universe seated round the north pole; and again their division is this, their day is the northern, and their night the southern course of the sun.

68 . 'Learn now the duration of a day and a night of Brahma, and of the several ages which shall be mentioned in order succinctly.

69. 'Sages have given the name of Crita to an age containing four thousand years of the Gods; the twilight preceding it consists of as many hundreds, and the twilight following it, of the same number;

70. 'In the other three ages, with their twilights preceding and following, are thousands and hundreds diminished by one.

71. ‘The divine years, in the four human ages just enumerated, being added together, their sum, or twelve thousand, is called the age of the Gods:

72. 'And, by reckoning a thousand such divine ages, a day of Brahma may be known: his night also has an equal duration:

73. 'Those persons best know the divisions of the days and nights, who understand that the day of Brahma, which endures to the end of a thousand such ages, gives rise to virtuous exertions; and that his night endures as long as his day.

74. 'At the close of his night, having long reposed, he awakes, and awaking, exerts intellect, or reproduces the great principle of animation, whose property it is to exist unperceived by sense:

75. 'Intellect, called into action by his will to create worlds, performs again the work of creation; and thence first emerges the subtil ether, to which philosophers ascribe the quality of conveying sound;

76. ‘From ether, effecting a transmutation in form, springs the pure and potent air, a vehicle of all scents; and air is held endued with the quality of touch:

77. ‘Then from air, operating a change, rises light or fire, making objects visible, dispelling gloom, spreading bright rays; and it is declared to have the quality of figure;

78. 'But from light, a change being effected, comes water with the quality of taste; and from water is deposited earth with the quality of smell: such were they created in the beginning.

79. ‘The before-mentioned age of the Gods, or twelve thousand of their years, being multiplied by seventy-one, constitutes what is here named a Menwantara, or the reign of a Menu.

80. 'There are numberless Menwantaras; creations also and destructions of worlds, innumerable: the Being supremely exalted performs all this, with as much ease as if in sport; again and again, for the sake of conferring happiness.

81. ‘In the Crita age the Genius of truth and right, in the form of a Bull, stands firm on his four feet; nor does any advantage accrue to men from iniquity;

82. 'But in the following ages, by reason of unjust gains, he is deprived successively of one foot; and even just emoluments, through the prevalence of theft, falsehood, and fraud, are gradually diminished by a fourth part.

83. ‘Men, free from disease, attain all sorts of prosperity, and live four hundred years in the Crita age; but, in the Treta and the succeeding ages, their life is lessened gradually by one quarter.

84. ‘The life of mortals, which is mentioned in the Veda, the rewards of good works, and the powers of embodied spirits, are fruits proportioned among men to the order of the four ages.

85. 'Some duties are performed by good men in the Crita age; others, in the Treta; some, in the Dwapara; others, in the Cali; in proportion as those ages decrease in length.

86. ‘In the Crita the prevailing virtue is declared to be in devotion; in the Treta, divine knowledge; in the Dwapara, holy sages call sacrifice the duty chiefly performed; in the Cali, liberality alone.

87. 'For the sake of preserving this universe, the Being, supremely glorious, allotted separate duties to those who sprang respectively from his mouth, his arm, his thigh, and his foot.

88. 'To Brahmens he assigned the duties of reading the Veda
, of teaching it, of sacrificing, of assisting others to sacrifice, of giving alms, if they be rich, and, if indigent, of receiving gifts:

89. 'To defend the people, to give alms, to sacrifice, to read the Veda, to shun the allurements of sensual gratification, are, in a few words, the duties of a Chatriya:

90. 'To keep herds of cattle, to bestow largesses, to sacrifice, to read the scripture, to carry on trade, to lend at interest, and to cultivate land are prescribed or permitted to a Vaisya:

91. 'One principal duty the supreme Ruler assigns to a Sudra; namely, to serve the before-mentioned classes, without depreciating their worth.

92. 'Man is declared purer above the navel; but the self-creating Power declared the purest part of him to be his mouth.

93. 'Since the Brahmen sprang from the most excellent part, since he was the first born, and since he possesses the Veda, he is by right the chief of this whole creation.

94. 'Him, the Being, who exists of himself, produced in the beginning from his own mouth, that, having performed holy rites, he might present clarified butter to the Gods, and cakes of rice to the progenitors of mankind, for the preservation of this world:

95. 'What created being then can surpass Him, with whose mouth the Gods of the firmament continually feast on clarified butter, and the manes of ancestors, on hallowed cakes?

96. 'Of created things, the most excellent are those which are animated; of the animated, those which subsist by intelligence; of the intelligent, mankind; and of men, the sacerdotal class;

97. 'Of priests, those eminent in learning; of the learned, those who know their duty; of those who know it, such as perform it virtuously; and of the virtuous, those who seek beatitude from a perfect acquaintance with scriptural doctrine.

98. 'The very birth of Brahmens is a constant incarnation of Dherma, God of Justice; for the Brahmen is born to promote justice, and to procure ultimate happiness.

99. 'When a Brahmen springs to light, he is born above the world, the chief of all creatures, assigned to guard the treasury of duties, religious and civil.

100. 'Whatever exists in the universe, is all in effect, though not in form, the wealth of the Brahmen; since the Brahmen is entitled to it all by his primogeniture and eminence of birth:

101. 'The Brahmen eats but his own food; wears but his own apparel; and bestows but his own in alms: through the benevolence of the Brahmen, indeed, other mortals enjoy life.

102. 'To declare the sacerdotal duties, and those of the other classes in due order, the sage Menu, sprung from the self-existing, promulged this code of laws:

103. 'A code which must be studied with extreme ease by every learned Brahmen, and fully explained to his disciples, but must be taught by no other man of an inferior class.

104. 'The Brahmen who studies this book, having performed sacred rites, is perpetually free from offence in thought, in word, and in deed;

105. 'He confers purity on his living family, on his ancestors, and on his descendants, as far as the seventh person; and He alone deserves to possess this whole earth.

106. 'This most excellent code produces every thing auspicious; this code increases understanding; this code procures fame and long life; this code leads to supreme bliss.

107. 'In this book appears the system of law in its full extent, with the good and bad properties of human actions, and the immemorial customs of the four classes.

108. 'Immemorial custom is transcendent law, approved in the sacred scripture, and in the codes of divine legislators: let every man, therefore, of the three principal classes, who has a due reverence for the supreme spirit which dwells in him, diligently and constantly observe immemorial custom;

109. 'A man of the priestly, military, or commercial class, who deviates from immemorial usage, tastes not the fruit of the Veda; but, by an exact observance of it, he gathers that fruit in perfection.

110. 'Thus have holy sages, well knowing that law is grounded on immemorial custom, embraced, as the root of all piety, good usages long established.

111. ‘The creation of this universe, the forms of institution and education, with the observances and behaviour of a student in theology; the best rules for the ceremony on his return from the mansion of his preceptor;

112. ‘The law of marriage in general, and of nuptials in different forms; the regulations for the great sacraments, and the manner, primevally settled, of performing obsequies;

113. ‘The modes of gaining subsistence, and the rules to be observed by the master of a family; the allowance and prohibition of diet, with the purification of men and utensils;

114. ‘Laws concerning women, the devotion of hermits, and of anchorets wholly intent on final beatitude, the whole duty of a king, and the judicial decision of controversies,

115. ‘With the law of evidence and examination; laws concerning husband and wife, canons of inheritance; the prohibition of gaming, and the punishments of criminals;

116. ‘Rules ordained for the mercantile and servile classes, with the origin of those that are mixed; the duties and rights of all the classes in time of distress for subsistence; and the penances for expiating sins;

117. ‘The several transmigrations in this universe, caused by offences of three kinds, with the ultimate bliss attending good actions, on the full trial of vice and virtue;

118. 'All these titles of law, promulgated by Menu, and occasionally the customs of different countries, different tribes, and different families, with rules concerning hereticks and companies of traders, are discussed in this code.

119. 'Even as Menu, at my request, formerly revealed this divine Sastra, hear it now from me without any diminution or addition.
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Re: The Ordinances of Menu, by Sir William Jones

Postby admin » Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:59 am


On Education; or on the Sacerdotal Class, and The First Order.

1. 'Know that system of duties, which is revered by such as are learned in the Vedas, and impressed, as the means of attaining beatitude, on the hearts of the just, who are ever exempt from hatred and inordinate affection.

2. 'Self-love is no laudable motive, yet an exemption from self-love is not to be found in this world: on self-love is grounded the study of scripture, and the practice of actions recommended in it.

3. ‘Eager desire to act has its root in expectation of some advantage; and with such expectation are sacrifices performed; the rules of religious austerity and abstinence from sins are all known to arise from hope of remuneration,

4. 'Not a single act here below appears ever to be done by a man free from self-love; whatever he performed, it is wrought from his desire of a reward.

5. ‘He, indeed, who should persist in discharging these duties without any view to their fruit, would attain hereafter the state of the immortals, and even in this life, would enjoy all the virtuous gratifications, that his fancy could suggest.

6. 'The roots of law are the whole Veda, the ordinances and moral practices of such as perfectly understand it, the immemorial customs of good men, and, in cases quite indifferent, self-satisfaction.

7. 'Whatever law has been ordained for any person by Menu, that law is fully declared in the Veda: for He was perfect in divine knowledge:

8. 'A man of true learning, who has viewed this complete system with the eye of sacred wisdom, cannot fail to perform all those duties, which are ordained on the authority of the Veda.

9. 'No doubt, that man who shall follow the rules prescribed in the Sruti and in the Smriti, will acquire fame in this life, and, in the next, inexpressible happiness:

10. 'By Sruti, or what was heard from above, is meant the Veda; and by Smriti, or what was remembered from the beginning, the body of law: those two must not be oppugned by heterodox arguments; since from those two, proceeds the whole system of duties.

11. 'Whatever man of the three highest classes, having addicted himself to heretical books, shall treat with contempt those two roots of law, he must be driven, as an Atheist and a scorner of revelation, from the company of the virtuous.

12. 'The Scripture, the codes of law, approved usage, and, in all indifferent cases, self- satisfaction, the wise have openly declared to be the quadruple description of the juridical system.

13 'A knowledge of right is a sufficient incentive for men unattached to wealth or to sensuality; and to those who seek a knowledge of right, the supreme authority is divine revelation;

14. 'But, when there are two sacred texts, apparently inconsistent, both are held to be law; for both are pronounced by the wise to be valid and reconcileable;

15. 'Thus in the Vida are these texts: "let the sacrifice be when the sun has arisen,” and, before it has risen,” and, "when neither sun nor stars can be seen:" the sacrifice, therefore, may be performed at any or all of those times.

16. 'He, whose life is regulated by holy texts, from his conception even to his funeral pile, has a decided right to study this code; but no other man whatsoever.

17. 'Between the two divine rivers Saraswati and Drishadwati, lies the tract of land, which the sages have named Brahmaverta, because it was frequented by Gods:

18. 'The custom preserved by immemorial tradition in that country among the four pure classes, and among those which are mixed, is called approved usage.

19. 'Curushetra, Matsya, Panchala, or Canyacubja, and Suratena, or Mathura, form the region called Brahmarshi, distinguished from Brahmaverta:

20. 'From a Bahmen who was born in that country, let all men on earth learn their several usages.

21. 'That country which lies between Himawat and Vinshya, to the east of Vinasana, and to the west of Prayaga, is celebrated by the title of Medhya-disa, or the central region.

22. 'As far as the eastern, and as far as the western oceans, between the two mountains just mentioned, lies the tract which the wise have named Ariaverta, or inhabited by respectable men.

23. 'That land, on which the black antelope naturally grazes, is held fit for the performance of sacrifices; but the land of Mlech’has, or those who speak barbarously, differs widely from it.

24. ‘Let the three first classes invariably dwell in those before-mentioned countries; but a Sudra, distressed for subsistence, may sojourn wherever he chuses.

25. 'Thus has the origin of law been succinctly declared to you, together with the formation of this universe: now learn the laws of the several classes.

26. 'With auspicious acts prescribed by the Veda, must ceremonies on conception, and so forth, be duly performed, which purify the bodies of the three classes in this life, and qualify them for the next.

27. 'By oblations to fire during the mother’s pregnancy, by holy rites on the birth of the child, by the tonsure of his head with a lock of hair left on it, by the ligation of the sacrificial cord, are the seminal and uterine taints of the three classes wholly removed:

28. 'By studying the Veda, by religious observances, by oblations to fire, by the ceremony of Traividia, by offering to the Gods and Manes, by the procreation of children, by the five great sacraments, and by solemn sacrifices, this human body is rendered fit for a divine state.

29. 'Before the section of the navel string, a ceremony is ordained on the birth of a male; he must be made, while sacred texts are pronounced, to taste a little honey and clarified butter from a golden spoon.  

30. ‘Let the father perform or, if absent, cause to be performed, on the tenth or twelfth day after the birth, the ceremony of giving a name; or on some fortunate day of the moon, at a lucky hour, and under the influence of a star with good qualities.

31. 'The first part of a Brahmen's compound name should indicate holiness; of a Cshatriya's, power; of a Vaisya's, wealth; and of a Sudra's contempt:

32. ‘Let the Second part of the priest's name imply prosperity; of the soldier’s, preservation; of the merchant’s, nourishment; of the servant's, humble attendance.

33. ‘The names of women should be agreeable, soft, clear, captivating the fancy, auspicious, ending in long vowels, resembling words of benediction.

34. 'In the fourth month the child should be carried out of the house to see the sun: in the sixth month, he should be fed with rice; or that may be done, which, by the custom of the family, is thought most propitious.

33. ‘By the command of the Veda, the ceremony of tonsure should be legally performed by the three first classes in the first or third year after birth.

36. ‘In the eighth year from the conception of a Brahmen, in the eleventh from that of a Cshatriya, and in the twelfth from that of a Vaisya, let the father invest the child with the mark of his class:

37. ‘Should a Brahmen, or his father for him, be desirous of his advancement in sacred knowledge; a Cshatriya, of extending his power; or a Vaisya of engaging in mercantile business; the investiture may be made in the fifth, sixth, or eighth years respectively.

38. 'The ceremony of investiture hallowed by the gayatri must not be delayed, in the case of a priest, beyond the fifteenth year; nor in that of a soldier, beyond the twenty-second; nor in that of a merchant, beyond the twenty-fourth.

39. 'After that all youths of these three classes, who have not been invested at the proper time, become vratyas, or outcasts, degraded from the gayatri, and contemned by the virtuous:

40. 'With such impure men, let no Brahmen, even in distress for subsistence, ever form a connexion  in law, either by the study of the Veda, or by affinity.

41. ‘Let students in theology wear for their mantles, the hides of black antelopes, of common deer, or of goats, with lower vests of woven sana, of cshuma, and of wool, in the direct order of their classes.

42. 'The girdle of a priest must be made of munja, in a triple cord, smooth and soft; that of a warrior must be a bow string of murva; that of a merchant, a triple thread of sana.

43 ‘If the munja be not procurable, their zones must be formed respectively of the grasses cusa asmantaca, valvaja, in triple strings with one, three, or five knots, according to the family custom.

44. 'The sacrificial thread of a Brahmen must be made of cotton, so as to be put on over his head, in three strings; that of a Cshatriya, of sana thread only; that of a Vaisya of woollen thread.

43. 'A priest ought by law to carry a staff of Bilva or Palasa; a soldier, of Bata or Chadira; a merchant of Venu of Udumbara:  

46 'The staff of a priest must be of such length as to reach his hair; that of a soldier, to reach his forehead; and that of a merchant, to reach his nose.

47. ‘Let all the staves be straight, without fracture, of a handsome appearance, not likely to terrify men, with their bark perfect, unhurt by fire.

48. 'Having taken a legal staff to his liking, and standing opposite to the sun, let the student thrice walk round the fire from left to right, and perform, according to law, the ceremony of asking food:

49. 'The most excellent of the three classes, being girt with the sacrificial thread, must ask food with the respectful word bhavati, at the beginning of the phrase; those of the second class, with that word in the middle; and those of the third, with that word at the end.

50. 'Let him first beg food of his mother, or of his sister, or of his mother’s whole sister; then of some other female who will not disgrace him.

51. 'Having collected as much of the desired food as he has occasion for, and having presented it without guile to his preceptor, let him eat some of it, being duly purified, with his face to the east:

52. 'If he seek long life, he should eat with his face to the east, if exalted fame to the south; if prosperity to the west; if truth and its reward to the north.

53. 'Let the student, having performed his ablution, always eat his food without distraction of mind; and, having eaten, let him thrice wash his mouth completely, sprinkling with water the six hollow parts of his head, or his eyes, ears, and nostrils.

54. 'Let him honour all his food, and eat it without contempt; when he sees it, let him rejoice and be calm, and pray, that he may always obtain it.

55. ‘Food, eaten constantly with respect, gives muscular force and generative power; but, eaten irreverently, destroys them both.

56. 'He must beware of giving any man what he leaves; and of eating any thing between morning and evening: he must also beware of eating too much, and of going any whither with a remnant of his food unswallowed.

57. ‘Excessive eating is prejudicial to health, to fame, and to future bliss in Heaven; it is injurious to virtue, and odious among men: he must, for these reasons, by all means avoid it.

58. ‘Let a Brahmen at all times perform the ablution with the pure part of his hand denominated from the Veda, or with the part sacred to the Lord of creatures, or with that dedicated to the Gods; but never with the part named from the Pitris:

59. ‘The pure part under the root of the thumb is called Brahma, that at the root of the little finger, Caya; that at the tips of the fingers, Daiva; and the part between the thumb and index Pitrya.

60. 'Let him first sip water thrice; then twice wipe his mouth; and lastly touch with water the six before mentioned cavities, his breast and his head.

61. 'He who knows the law and seeks purity will ever perform his ablution with the pure part of his hand, and with water neither hot nor frothy, standing in a lonely place, and turning to the east or the north.

62. ‘A Brahmen is purified by water that reaches his bosom; a Catriya, by water descending to his throat; a Vaisya, by water barely taken into his mouth; a Sudra by water touched with the extremity of his lips.

63. ‘A youth of the three highest classes is named upaviti, when his right hand is extended for the cord to pass ever his head and be fixed on his left shoulder; when his left hand is extended, that the thread may be placed on his right shoulder, he is called prachinaviti; and niviti, when it is fastened on his neck.

64. ‘His girdle, his leathern mantle, his staff, his sacrificial cord, and his ewer, he must throw into the water, when they are worn out or broken, and receive others hallowed by mystical texts.

65. 'The ceremony of cesanta, or cutting off the hair, is ordained for a priest in the sixteenth year from conception; for a soldier, in the twenty-second; for a merchant, two years later than that.

66. ‘The same ceremonies, except that of the sacrificial thread, must be duly performed for women at the same age and in the same order, that the body may be made perfect; but without any text from the Veda:

67. ‘The nuptial ceremony is considered as the complete institution of women, ordained for them in the Veda, together with reverence to their husbands, dwelling first in their fathers family, the business of the house, and attention to sacred fire.

68. 'Such is the real law of institution for the twice born; an institution in which their second birth clearly consists, and which causes their advancement in holiness: now learn to what duties they must afterwards apply themselves.

69. 'The venerable preceptor, having girt his pupil with the thread, must first instruct him in purification, in good customs, in the management of the consecrated fire, and in the holy rites of morning, noon, and evening.

70. 'When the student is going to read the Veda, he must perform an ablution, as the law ordains, with his face to the north and, having paid scriptural homage, he must receive instruction, wearing a clean vest, his members being duly composed:

71. 'At the beginning and end of the lecture, he must always clasp both the feet of his preceptor; and he must read with both his hands closed: (this is called scripture homage.)

72. 'With crossed hands let him clasp the feet of his tutor, touching the left foot with his left, and the right, with his right hand.

73. 'When he is prepared for the lecture, the preceptor, constantly attentive, must say: "hoa! read;" and at the close,of the lesson he must say: "take rest.”

74. 'A Brahmen, beginning and ending a lecture on the Veda, must always pronounce to himself the syllable om; for, unless the syllable om precede, his learning will slip away from him; and, unless it follow, nothing will be long retained.

75. 'If he have sitten on culms of cusa with their points toward the east, and be purified by rubbing that holy grass on both his hands, and be further prepared by three suppressions of breath each equal in time to five short vowels, he then may fitly pronounce om.

76. ‘Brahma milked out, as it were, from the three Vedas, the letter A, the letter U, and the letter M, which form by their coalition the triliteral monosyllable, together with three mysterious words, bhur, bhuvah, fwer, or earth, sky, heaven:

77. ‘From the three Vedas, also, the Lord of creatures, incomprehensibly exalted, successively milked out the three measures of that ineffable text, beginning with the word tad, and entitled savitri or gayatri.

78. ‘A priest who shall know the Veda, and shall pronounce to himself, both morning and evening, that syllable, and that holy text preceded by the three words, shall attain the sanctity which the Veda confers;

79. ‘And a twice born man, who shall a thousand times repeat those three (or om, the vyahritis, and the gayatri,) apart from the multitude, shall be released in a month even from a great offence, as a snake from his slough.

80. 'The priest, the soldier, and the merchant, who shall neglect this mysterious text, and fail to perform in due season his peculiar acts of piety, shall meet with contempt among the virtuous.

81. ‘The three great immutable words, preceded by the triliteral syllable, and followed by the gayatri which consists of three measures, must be considered as the mouth, or principal part of the Veda:

82. ‘Whoever shall repeat, day by day, for three years, without negligence, that sacred text, shall hereafter approach the divine essence, move as freely as air, and assume an ethereal form.

83. 'The triliteral monosyllable is an emblem of the supreme, the suppressions of breath with a mind fixed on God are the highest devotion; but nothing is more exalted than the gayatri: a declaration of truth is more excellent than silence.

84. 'All rites ordained in the Veda, oblations to fire, and solemn sacrifices pass away; but that which passes not away, is declared to be the syllable om, thence called acshara; since it is a symbol of God, the Lord of created beings.

85. 'The act of repeating his Holy Name is ten times better than the appointed sacrifice; an hundred times better when it is heard by no man; and a thousand times better when it is purely mental:

86. 'The four domestic sacraments which are accompanied with the appointed sacrifice, are not equal, though all be united, to a sixteenth part of the sacrifice performed by a repetition of the gayatri:

87. 'By the sole repetition of the gayatri, a priest may indubitably attain beatitude, let him perform, or not perform, any other religious act; if he be Maitra, or a friend to all creatures, he is justly named Brahmena, or united to the Great One.

88. 'In restraining the organs which run wild among ravishing sensualities, a wise man will apply diligent care, like a charioteer in managing restive horses.

89. 'Those eleven organs, to which the first sages gave names, I will comprehensively enumerate as the law considers them in due order.

90. 'The nose is the fifth after the ears, the skin, the eyes, and the tongue; and the organs of speech are reckoned the tenth, after those of excretion and generation, and the hands and feet:

91. ‘Five of them, the ear and the rest in succession, learned men have called organs of sense; and the others, organs of action:

92. ‘The heart must be considered as the eleventh; which, by its natural property, comprises both sense and action; and which being subdued, the two other sets, with five in each, are also controled.

93. ‘A man, by the attachment of his organs to sensual pleasure incurs certain guilt; but, having wholly subdued them, he thence attains heavenly bliss.

94. 'Desire is never satisfied with the enjoyment of desired objects; as the fire is not appeased with clarified butter; it only blazes more vehemently.

95. ‘Whatever man may obtain all those gratifications, or whatever man may resign them completely, the resignation of all pleasures is far better than the attainment of them.

96. 'The organs being strongly attached to sensual delights cannot so effectually be restrained by avoiding incentives to pleasure, as by a constant pursuit of divine knowledge.

97. ‘To a man contaminated by sensuality neither the Vedas, nor liberality, nor sacrifices, nor strict observances, nor pious austerities, ever procure felicity.

98. ‘He must be considered as really triumphant over his organs, who, on hearing and touching, on feeing and tasting and smelling, what  may please or offend the senses, neither greatly rejoices nor greatly repines:

99. 'But, when one among all his organs fails, by that single failure his knowledge of God passes away, as water flows through one hole in a leathern bottle.

100. 'Having kept all his members of sense and action under control, and obtained also command over his heart, he will enjoy every advantage, even though he reduce not his body by religious austerities.

101. ‘At the morning twilight let him stand repeating the gayatri until he see the fun; and at evening twilight, let him repeat it sitting, until the stars distinctly appear:

102. 'He who stands repeating it at the morning twilight, removes all unknown nocturnal sin; and he who repeats it sitting at evening twilight, disperses the taint, that has unknowingly been contracted in the day;

103. 'But he who stands not repeating it in the morning, and sits not repeating it in the evening, must be precluded, like a Sudra, from every sacred observance of the twice born classes.

104. 'Near pure water, with his organs holden under control, and retiring from circumspection to some unfrequented place, let him pronounce the gayatri, performing daily ceremonies.

105. 'In reading the Vedangas, or grammar, prosody, mathematics, and so forth, or even such parts of the Veda as ought constantly to be read, there is no prohibition on particular days; nor in pronouncing the texts appointed for oblations to fire:

106. 'Of that, which must constantly be read, and is therefore called Brahmasatra, there can be no such prohibition; and the oblation to fire, according to the Veda, produces good fruit, though accompanied with the text vashat, which on other occasions must be intermitted on certain days.

107. 'For him, who shall persist a whole year in reading the Veda, his organs being kept in subjection, and his body pure, there will always rise good fruit from his offerings of milk and curds, of clarified butter and honey.

108. 'Let the twice born youth, who has been girt with the sacrificial cord, collect wood for the holy fire, beg food of his relations, sleep on a low bed, and perform such offices as may please his preceptor, until his return to the house of his natural father.

109. 'Ten persons may legally be instructed in the Veda; the son of a spiritual teacher; a boy who is assiduous; one who can impart other knowledge; one who is just; one who is pure; one who is friendly; one who is powerful; one who can bestow wealth; one who is honest; and one who is related by blood.

110. 'Let not a sensible teacher tell any other what he is not asked, nor what he is asked improperly; but let him however intelligent, act in the multitude as if he were dumb:

111. 'Of the two persons, him, who illegally asks, and him, who illegally answers, one will die, or incur odium.

112. 'Where virtue, and wealth sufficient to secure it, are not found, or diligent attention, at least proportioned to the holiness of the subject, in that soil divine instruction must not be sown: it would perish like fine seed in barren land.

113. 'A teacher of the Veda should rather die with his learning, than sow it in sterile soil, even though he be in grievous distress for subsistence.

114. 'Sacred Learning, having approached a Brahmen, said to him: "I am thy precious gem; preserve me with care; deliver me not to a scorner; (so preserved I shall become supremely strong.)

115. 'But communicate me, as to a vigilent depository of thy gem, to that student, whom thou shalt know to be pure, to have subdued his passions, to perform the duties of his order.”

116. 'He who shall acquire knowledge of the Veda without the assent of his preceptor, incurs the guilt of stealing the scripture, and shall sink to the region of torment.

117. 'From whatever teacher a student has received instruction, either popular, ceremonial, or sacred, let him first salute his instructor, when they meet.

118. 'A Brahmen, who completely governs his passions, though he know the gayatri only, is more honourable than he, who governs not his passions, who eats all sorts of food, and sells all sorts of commodities, even though he know the three Vedas.

119. 'When a superior sits on a couch or bench, let not an inferior sit on it with him; and, if an inferior be sitting on a couch, let him rise to salute a superior.

120. 'The vital spirits of a young man mount upwards to depart from him, when an elder approaches; but by rising and salutation he recovers them.  

121. 'A youth who habitually greets and constantly reveres the aged, obtains an increase of four things; life, knowledge, fame, strength.

122. 'After the word of salutation, a Brahmen must address an elder; saying, "I am such an one," pronouncing his own name.

123. 'If any persons, through ignorance of the Sanscrit language, understand not the import of his name, to them should a learned man say, "It is I;" and in that manner he should address all classes of women.

124. ‘In the salutation he should pronounce, after his own name, the vocative particle bhos; for the particle bhos is held by the wise to have the same property with names fully expressed.

125. 'A Brahmen should thus be saluted in return: "May’st thou live long, excellent man!” and at the end of his name, the vowel and preceding consonant should be lengthened, with an acute accent, to three syllabick moments or short vowels.

Notwithstanding the degree to which the furious passions enter into the character of the Hindu, all witnesses agree in representing him as a timid being. With more apparent capacity of supporting pain than any other race of men; and, on many occasions, a superiority to the fear of death, which cannot be surpassed, this people run from danger with more trepidation and eagerness than has been almost ever witnessed in any other part of the globe.

It is the mixture of this fearfulness, with their antisocial passions, which has given existence to that litigiousness of character which almost all witnesses have ascribed to this ancient race. As often as courage fails them in seeking a more daring gratification to their hatred or revenge, their malignity finds a vent in the channel of litigation. “That pusillanimity and sensibility of spirit,” says Mr, Orme, “which renders the Gentoos incapable of supporting the contentions of danger, disposes them as much to prosecute litigious contests. No people are of more inveterate and steady resentments in civil disputes. The only instance in which they seem to have a contempt for money, is their profusion of it in procuring the redress and revenge of injuries at the bar of justice. Although they can, with great resignation, see themselves plundered to the utmost by their superiors, they become mad with impatience, when they think themselves defrauded of any part of their property by their equals. Nothing can be more adapted to the feminine spirit of a Gentoo, than the animosities of a lawsuit.”

A modification of the same passions gives rise to another, and seemingly a strong ingredient in the Hindu character, a propensity to the war of contentious tongues. The following picture, if not finely, is at least clearly drawn. “The timidity of the Hindu may, in general, prevent his fighting, boxing, or shedding of blood; but it by no means restrains him from scolding and upbraiding his neighbours. In this respect they are the most litigious and quarrel-some of all men. Have two persons a misunderstanding? Let them meet in the street and they will upbraid each other for an hour together, with every foul epithet of abuse which their imagination can suggest, or their language supply. A few natives engaged in one of these bickerings display a furious gesticulation; a volubility of words and coarseness of expression which leave the eloquence of Billingsgate far behind.”

-- The History of British India, vol. I, by James Mill

126. 'That Brahmen, who knows not the form of returning a salutation, must not be saluted by a man of learning: as a Sudra, even so is he.

127. 'Let a learned man ask a priest, when he meets him, if his devotion prospers; a warriour, if he is unhurt; a merchant, if his wealth is secure; and one of the servile class, if he enjoys good health; using respectively the words, cusalam, anamayam, cshemam, and arogyam.

128. 'He, who has just performed a solemn sacrifice and ablution, must not be addressed by his name, even though he be a younger man; but he, who knows the law, should accost him with the vocative particle, or with bhavat, the the pronoun of respect.

129. 'To the wife of another, and to any woman not related by blood, he must say, “bhavati, and amiable sister.”

130. ‘To his uncles paternal and maternal, to his wife’s father, to performers of the sacrifice, and to spiritual teachers; he must say, "I am such an one”—rising up to salute them, even though younger than himself.

131. 'The sister of his mother, the wife of his maternal uncle, his own wife’s mother, and the sister of his father, must be saluted like the wife of his father or preceptor: they are equal to his father’s or his preceptor’s wife.

132. 'The wife of his brother, if she be of the same class, must be saluted every day; but his paternal and maternal kinswomen need only be greeted on his return from a journey.

133. 'With the sister of his father and of his mother, and with his own elder sister, let him demean himself as with his mother; though his mother be more venerable than they.

134. 'Fellow citizens are equal for ten years; dancers and singers, for five; learned theologians, for less than three; but persons related by blood, for a short time: that is, a greater difference of age destroys their equality.

135. 'The student must consider a Brahmen, though but ten years old, and a Cshatriya, though aged a hundred years, as father and son; as between those two, the young Brahmen is to be respected as the father.

136. 'Wealth, kindred, age, moral conduct, and, fifthly, divine knowledge, entitle men to respect; but that which is last mentioned in order, is the most respectable.  

137. 'Whatever man of the three highest classes possesses the most of those five, both in number and degree, that man is entitled to most respect; even a Sudra, if he have entered the tenth decad of his age.

138. ‘Way must be made for a man in a wheeled carriage, or above ninety years old, or afflicted with disease, or carrying a burthen for a woman; for a priest just returned from the mansion of his preceptor; for a prince, and for a bridegroom:

139. 'Among all those, if they be met at one time, the priest just returned home and the prince are most to be honoured; and of those two, the priest just returned, should be treated with more respect than the prince.

140 'That priest who girds his pupil with the sacrificial cord, and afterwards instructs him in the whole Veda, with the law of sacrifice and the sacred Upanishads, holy sages call an acharya:

141. 'But, he, who for his livelihood, gives instruction in a part only of the Veda, or in grammar, and in other Vedangas, is called an updahyaya, or sublecturer.

142. 'The father, who performs the ceremonies on conception and the like, according to law, and who nourishes the child with his first rice, has the epithet of guru, or venerable.

143. 'He, who receives a stipend for preparing the holy fire, for conducting the paca and agnishtoma, and for performing other sacrifices, is called in this code the ritwij of his employer.

144. 'He, who truly and faithfully fills both ears with the Veda, must be considered as equal to a mother; he must be revered as a father; him the pupil must never grieve.

145. 'A mere acharya, or a teacher of the gayatri only, surpasses ten upadhyayas; a father, a hundred such acharyas; and a mother, a thousand natural fathers.

146. 'Of him, who gives natural birth, and him, who gives knowledge of the whole Veda, the giver of sacred knowledge is the more venerable father; since the second or divine birth ensures life to the twice born both in this world and hereafter eternally.

147. 'Let a man consider that as a mere human birth, which his parents gave him for their mutual gratification, and which he receives after lying in the womb;

148. 'But that birth, which his principal acharya, who knows the whole Veda, procures for him by his divine mother the gayatri, is a true birth: that birth is exempt from age and from death.

140. 'Him, who confers on a man the benefit of sacred learning, whether it be little or much, let him know to be here named guru, or venerable father, in consequence of that heavenly benefit.

150. 'A Brahmen, who is the giver of spiritual birth, the teacher of prescribed duty, is by right called the father of an old man, though himself be a child.

151. 'Cavi, or the learned, child of Angiras, taught his paternal uncles and cousins to read the Veda, and, excelling them in divine knowledge, said to them, "little sons:"

152. 'They, moved with resentment, asked the Gods the meaning of that expression; and the Gods, being assembled, answered them: "The child has addressed you properly;  

152. 'For an unlearned man is in truth a child; and he who teaches him the Veda, is his father: holy sages have always said child to an ignorant man, and father to a teacher of scripture.”

154. 'Greatness is not conferred by years, not by gray hairs, not by wealth, not by powerful kindred: the divine sages have established this rule; "Whoever has read the Vedas and their Angas, he among us is great."

155. 'The seniority of priests is from sacred learning; of warriours from valour; of merchants from abundance of grain; of the servile class only from priority of birth.

156. 'A man is not therefore aged, because his head is gray: him, surely, the Gods considered as aged, who, though young in years, has read and understands the Veda.

157. 'As an elephant made of wood, as an antelope made of leather, such is an unlearned Brahmen: those three have nothing but names.

158. 'As an eunuch is unproductive with women, as cow with a cow is unprolifick, as liberality to a fool is fruitless, so is a Brahmen useless, if he read not the holy texts.

159. 'Good instruction must be given without pain to the instructed; and sweet gentle speech must be used by a preceptor, who cherishes virtue.

160. 'He, whose discourse and heart are pure, and ever perfectly guarded, attains all the fruit arising from his complete course of studying the Veda.

161. 'Let not a man be querulous even though in pain; let him not injure another in deed or in thought; let him not even utter a word, by which his fellow creature may suffer uneasiness; since that will obstruct his own progress to future beatitude.

162. ‘A Brahmen should constantly shun worldly honour, as he should shun poison; and rather constantly seek disrespect, as he would seek nectar;

163. 'For though scorned, he may sleep with pleasure; with pleasure may he awake; with pleasure may he pass through this life: but the scorner utterly perishes.

164. 'Let the twice born youth, whose soul has been formed by this regular succession of prescribed acts, collect by degrees, while he dwells with his preceptor, the devout habits proceeding from the study of scripture.

165. ‘With various modes of devotion, and with austerities ordained by the law, must the whole Veda be read, and above all the sacred Upanishads, by him, who has received a new birth.

166. 'Let the best of the twice born classes, intending to practise devotion, continually repeat the reading of scripture; since a repetition of reading the scripture is here styled the highest devotion of a Brahmen.

167. Yes verily; that student in theology performs the highest act of devotion with his whole body, to the extremities of his nails, even though he be so far sensual as to wear a chaplet of sweet flowers, who to the utmost of his ability daily reads the Veda.

168. ‘A twice born man, who not having studied the Veda, applies diligent attention to a different and worldly study, soon falls, even when living, to the condition of a Sudra; and his descendants after him.

169. 'The first birth is from a natural mother; the second, from the ligation of the zone; the third from the due performance of the sacrifice; such are the births of him who is usually called twice born, according to a Text of the Veda:

170. Among them his divine birth is that, which is distinguished by the ligation of the zone, and sacrificial cord; and in that birth the Gayatri is his mother, and the Acharya, his father.

171. ' Sages call the Acharya father, from his giving instruction in the Veda: nor can any holy rite be performed by a young man, before his investiture.

172. 'Till he be invested with the signs of his class, he must not pronounce any sacred text, except what ought to be used in obsequies to an ancestor; since he is on a level with a Sudra before his new birth from the revealed scripture:

173. 'From him, who has been duly invested, are required both the performance of devout acts and the study of the Veda in order, preceded by stated ceremonies.

174. 'Whatever sort of leathern mantle, sacrificial thread, and zone, whatever staff, and whatever under-apparel are ordained, as before mentioned, for a youth of each class, the like must also be used in his religious acts.

175. 'These following rules must a Brahmachari or student in theology, observe, while he dwells with his preceptor; keeping all his members under control, for the sake of increasing his habitual devotion.

176. 'Day by day, having bathed and being purified, let him offer fresh water to the Gods, the Sages, and the Manes; let him show respect to the images of the deities, and bring wood for the oblation to fire.

177. 'Let him abstain from honey, from flesh meat, from perfumes, from chaplets of flowers, from sweet vegetable juices, from women, from all sweet substances turned acid, and from injury to animated beings;

178. 'From unguents for his limbs, and from black powder for his eyes, from wearing sandals, and carrying an umbrella, from sensual desires, from wrath, from covetousness, from dancing, and from vocal and instrumental musick;

179. 'From gaming, from disputes, from detraction, and from falsehood, from embracing or wantonly looking at women, and from disservice to other men.

180. 'Let him constantly sleep alone: let him never waste his own manhood; for he, who voluntarily wastes his manhood, violates the rule of his order, and becomes an avacirni:

181. 'A twice born youth, who has involuntarily wasted his manly strength during sleep, must repeat with reverence, having bathed and paid homage to the sun, this text of scripture: "Again let my strength return to me.”

182. 'Let him carry water pots, flowers, cow-dung, fresh earth, and cusa-grass, as much as may be useful to his preceptor; and let him perform every day the duty of a religious mendicant.

183. 'Each day must a Brahmen student receive his food by begging, with due care, from the houses of persons renowned for discharging their duties, and not deficient in performing the sacrifices which the Veda ordains.

184. 'Let him not beg from the cousins of his preceptor; nor from his own cousins; nor from other kinsmen by the father's side, or by the mother's; but, if other houses be not accessible, let him begin with the last of those in order, avoiding the first;

185. 'Or, if none of those houses just mentioned can be found, let him go begging through the whole district, round the village, keeping his organs in subjection, and remaining silent; but let him turn away from such as have committed any deadly sin.

186. 'Having brought logs of wood from a distance, let him place them in the open air; and with them let him make an oblation to fire without remissness, both evening and morning.

187. 'He, who for seven successive days omits the ceremony of begging food, and offers not wood to the sacred fire, must perform the penance of an avacirni, unless he be afflicted with illness.

188. 'Let the student persist constantly in such begging, but let him not eat the food of one person only: the subsistence of a student by begging is held equal to fasting in religious merit.

189. 'Yet, when he is asked in a solemn act in honour of the Gods or the Manes, he may eat at his pleasure the food of a single person; observing, however, the laws of abstinence and the austerity of an anchoret: thus the rule of his order is kept inviolate.

190. 'This duty of a mendicant is ordained by the wise for a Brahmen only; but no such act is appointed for a warriour, or for a merchant.

191. 'Let the scholar, when commanded by his preceptor, and even when he has received no command, always exert himself in reading, and in all acts useful to his teacher.

192. 'Keeping in due subjection his body, his speech, his organs of sense, and his heart, let him stand, with the palms of his hands joined, looking at the face of his preceptor.

193. 'Let him always keep his right arm uncovered, be always decently apparelled, and properly composed; and when his instructor says, “be seated,” let him sit opposite to his venerable guide.

194. 'In the presence of his preceptor let him always eat less, and wear a coarser mantle with worse appendages; let him rise before, and go to rest after his tutor.

195. 'Let him not answer his teacher’s orders, or converse with him, reclining on a bed; nor sitting, nor eating, nor standing, nor with an averted face:

196. 'But let him both answer and converse. if his preceptor sit, standing up; if he stand, advancing toward him; if he advance, meeting him; if he run, hastening after him;

197. 'If his face be averted, going round to front him, from left to right; if he be at a little distance, approaching him; if reclined, bending to him; and, if he stand ever so far off, running toward him.

198. 'When his teacher is nigh, let his couch or his bench be always placed low: when his preceptor’s eye can observe him, let him not sit carelessly at ease.

199. 'Let him never pronounce the mere name of his tutor, even in his absence; nor ever mimick his gait, his speech, or his manner.

200. 'In whatever place, either true but censorious, or false and defamatory, discourse is held concerning his teacher, let him there cover his ears or remove to another place:

201. 'By censuring his preceptor, though justly, he will be born an ass; by falsely defaming him, a dog; by using his goods without leave, a small worm; by envying his merit, a larger insect or reptile.

202. 'He must not serve his tutor by the intervention of another, while himself stands aloof; nor must he attend him in a passion, nor when a woman is near; from a carriage or raised seat he must descend to salute his heavenly director.

203. 'Let him not sit with his preceptor to the leeward, or to the windward of him; nor let him say any thing which the venerable man cannot hear.

204. 'He may sit with his teacher in a carriage drawn by bulls, horses, or camels; on a terrace, on a pavement of stones, or on a mat of woven grass; on a rock, on a wooden bench, or in a boat.

205. 'When his tutor’s tutor is near, let him demean himself as if his own were present; nor let him, unless ordered by his spiritual father, prostrate himself in his presence before his natural father, or paternal uncle.

206. 'This is likewise ordained as his constant behaviour toward his other instructors in science; toward his elder paternal kinsmen; toward all who may restrain him from sin, and all who give him salutary advice.

207. 'Toward men also, who are truly virtuous, let him always behave as toward his preceptor; and, in like manner, toward the sons of his teacher, who are entitled to respect as older men, and are not students; and toward the paternal kinsmen of his venerable tutor.

208. 'The son of his preceptor, whether younger or of equal age, or a student, if he be capable of teaching the Veda, deserves the same honour with the preceptor himself, when he is present at any sacrificial act:

209. 'But he must not perform for the son of his teacher, the duty of rubbing his limbs, or of bathing him, or of eating what he leaves, or of washing his feet.

210. 'The wives of his preceptor, if they be of the same class, must receive equal honour with their venerable husband; but if they be of a different class, they must be honoured only by rising and salutation.

211. 'For no wife of his teacher must he perform the offices of pouring scented oil on them, of attending them while they bathe, of rubbing their legs and arms, or of decking their hair;

212. 'Nor must a young wife of his preceptor be greeted even by the ceremony of touching her feet, if he have completed his twentieth year, or can distinguish virtue from vice.

213. 'It is the nature of women in this world to cause the seduction of men; for which reason the wise are never unguarded in the company of females:

214. 'A female indeed, is able to draw from the right path in this life not a fool only, but even a sage, and can lead him in subjection to desire or to wrath.

215. 'Let not a man, therefore, sit in a sequestered place with his nearest female relations: the assemblage of corporeal organs is powerful enough to snatch wisdom from the wise.

216. 'A young student may, as the law directs, make prostration at his pleasure on the ground before a young wife of his tutor, saying, "I am such an one;"

217. 'And on his return from a journey, he must once touch the feet of his preceptor’s aged wife, and salute her each day by prostration, calling to mind the practice of virtuous men.

218. 'As he who digs deep with a spade comes to a spring of water, so the student, who humbly serves his teacher, attains the knowledge which lies deep in his teacher’s mind.

219. 'Whether his head be shorn, or his hair long, or one lock be bound above in a knot, let not the sun ever set or rise while he lies asleep in the village.

220. 'If the sun should rise or set, while he sleeps through sensual indulgence, and knows it not, he must fast a whole day, repeating the gayatri:

221. 'He, who has been surprised asleep by the setting or by the rising sun, and performs not that penance, incurs great guilt.

222. 'Let him adore God both at sunrise and at sunset, as the law ordains, having made his ablution and keeping his organs controled; and, with fixed attention, let him repeat the text, which he ought to repeat, in a place free from impurity.

223. 'If a woman or a Sudra perform any act leading to the chief temporal good, let the student be careful to emulate it; and he may do whatever gratifies his heart, unless it be forbidden by law:

224. 'The chief temporal good is by some declared to consist in virtue and wealth; by some, in wealth and lawful pleasure; by some, in virtue alone; by others, in wealth alone; but the chief good here below is an assemblage of all three: this is a sure decision.

225. 'A teacher of the Veda is the image of God, a natural father, the image of Brahma; a mother, the image of the earth; an elder whole brother, the image of the soul:

226. ‘Therefore a spiritual and a natural father, a mother, and an elder brother, are not to be treated with disrespect, especially by a Brahmen, though the student be grievously provoked.

227. 'That pain and care which a mother and father undergo in producing and rearing children, cannot be compensated in an hundred years.

228. 'Let every man constantly do what may please his parents; and, on all occasions, what may please his preceptor: when those three are satisfied, his whole course of devotion is accomplished.

229. 'Due reverence to those three is considered as the highest devotion; and without their approbation he must perform no other duty.

230. 'Since they alone are held equal to the three worlds; they alone, to the three principal orders; they alone, to the three Vedas; they alone, to the three fires:

231. 'The natural father is considered as the garhapatya, or nuptial fire; the mother as the dacshina, or ceremonial; the spiritual guide, as the ahavaniya or sacrificial: this triad of fires is most venerable.

232. 'He, who neglects not those three, when he becomes a house-keeper, will ultimately obtain dominion over the three worlds; and his body being irradiated like a God, he will enjoy supreme bliss in heaven.

233. By honouring his mother he gains this terrestrial world; by honouring his father, the intermediate, or etherial; and, by assiduous attention to his preceptor, even the celestial world of Brahma:

234. ‘All duties are completely performed by that man, by whom those three are completely honoured; but to him by whom they are dishonoured, all other acts of duty are fruitless.

235. 'As long as those three live, so long he must perform no other duty for his own sake; but delighting in what may conciliate their affections and gratify their wishes, he must from day to day assiduously wait on them:

236. 'Whatever duty he may perform in thought, word, or deed, with a view to the next world, without derogation from his respect to them; he must declare to them his entire performance of it.

237. 'By honouring those three, without more, a man essentially does whatever ought to be done: this is the highest duty, appearing before us like Dherma himself, and every other act is an upadherma, or subordinate duty.

238. 'A believer in scripture may receive pure knowledge even from a Sudra; a lesson of the highest virtue, even from a Chandala; and a woman, bright as a gem, even from the basest family:

239. 'Even from poison may nectar be taken; even from a child, gentleness of speech; even from a foe, prudent conduct; and even from an impure substance, gold.

240. 'From every quarter, therefore, must be selected women bright as gems, knowledge, virtue, purity, gentle speech, and various liberal arts.

241. 'In case of necessity, a student is required to learn the Veda from one who is not a Brahmen, and, as long as that instruction continues, to honour his instructor with obsequious assiduity;

242. 'But a pupil who leeks the incomparable path to heaven, should not live to the end of his days in the dwelling of a preceptor who is no Brahmen, or who has not read all the Vedas with their Angas.

243. 'If he anxiously desire to pass his whole life in the house of a sacerdotal teacher, he must serve him with assiduous care, till he be released from his mortal frame:

244. 'That Brahmen, who has dutifully attended his preceptor, till the dissolution of his body, passes directly to the eternal mansion of God.

245. 'Let not a student, who knows his duty, present any gift to his preceptor before his return home, but when, by his tutor’s permission, he is going to perform the ceremony on his return, let him give the venerable man some valuable thing to the best of his power;

246. 'A field, or gold, a jewel, a cow, or an horse, an umbrella, a pair of sandals, a stool, corn, cloths, or even any very excellent vegetable: thus will he gain the affectionate remembrance of his instructor.

247. 'The student for life must, if his teacher die, attend on his virtuous son, or his widow, or on one of his paternal kinsmen, with the same respect which he showed to the living:

248. 'Should none of those be alive, he must occupy the station of his preceptor, the seat, and the place of religious exercises; must continually pay due attention to the fires, which he had consecrated; and must prepare his own soul for heaven.

249. 'The twice born man, who shall thus without intermission have passed the time of his studentship, shall ascend, after death, to the most exalted of regions, and no more again spring to birth in this lower world.  
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Re: The Ordinances of Menu, by Sir William Jones

Postby admin » Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:59 am


On Marriage; or on the Second Order.

1. 'The discipline of a student in the three Vedas may be continued for thirty-six years, in the house of his preceptor; or for half that time, or for a quarter of it, or until he perfectly comprehend them:

2. 'A student, whose rules have not been violated, may assume the order of a married man, after he has read in succession a sacha, or branch from each of the three, or from two, or from any one of them.

3. 'Being justly applauded for the strict performance of his duty, and having received from his natural or spiritual father the sacred gift of the Veda, let him sit on an elegant bed, decked with a garland of flowers, and let his father honour him before his nuptials, with a present of a cow.

4. ‘Let the twice born man, having obtained the consent of his venerable guide, and having performed his ablution with stated ceremonies, on his return home, as the law directs, espouse a wife of the same class with himself and endued with the marks of excellence.

5. ‘She, who is not descended from his paternal or maternal ancestors, within the sixth degree, and who is not known by her family name to be of the same primitive stock with his father or mother, is eligible by a twice born man for nuptials and holy union:

6. In connecting himself with a wife, let him studiously avoid the ten following families, be they ever so great, or ever so rich in kine, goats, sheep, gold and grain:  

7. 'The family which has omitted prescribed acts of religion; that which has produced no male children; that in which the Veda has not been read; that which has thick hair on the body; and those, which have been subject to hemorrhoids, to phthisis, to dispepsia, to epilepsy, to leprosy, and to elephantiasis.

8. ‘Let him not marry a girl with reddish hair, nor with any deformed limb; nor one troubled with habitual sickness; nor one either with no hair or with too much; nor one immoderately talkative; nor one with inflamed eyes;

9. ‘Nor one with the name of a constellation, of a tree or of a river, of a barbarous nation, or of a mountain, of a winged creature, a snake, or a slave; nor with any name raising an image of terrour.

10. 'Let him chuse for his wife a girl, whose form has no defect; who has an agreeable name; who walks gracefully like a phenicopteros, or like a young elephant; whose hair and teeth are moderate respectively in quantity and in size; whose body has exquisite softness.

11. 'Her, who has no brother, or whose father is not well known, let no sensible man espouse, through fear lest, in the former case, her father should take her first son as his own to perform his obsequies; or, in the second case, lest an illicit marriage should be contracted.

12. ‘For the first marriage of the twice born classes, a woman of the same class is recommended; but for such as are impelled by inclination to marry again, women in the direct order of the classes are to be preferred:

13. 'A Sudra woman only must be the wife of a Sudra; she and a Vaisya, of a Vaisya; they two and a Cshatriya, of a Cshatriya; those two and a Brahman of a Brahmen.

14. ‘A woman of the servile class is not mentioned, even in the recital of any ancient story, as the first wife of a Brahmen or of a Cshatriya, though in the greatest difficulty to find a suitable match.

15. ‘Men of the twice born classes, who through weakness of intellect, irregularly marry women of the lowest class, very soon degrade their families and progeny to the state of Sudras:

16. ‘According to Atri and to (Gotama) the son of Utathya, he who thus marries a woman of the servile class, if he be a priest, is degraded instantly; according to Saunaca, on the birth of a son, if he be a warriour; and, if he be a merchant, on the birth of a son’s son, according to (me) Bhrigu.

17. 'A Brahmen, if he take a Sudra to his bed, as his first wife, links to the regions of torment; if he beget a child by her, he loses even his priestly rank:

18. 'His sacrifices to the Gods, his oblations to the Manes, and his hospitable attentions to strangers, must be supplied principally by her; but the Gods and Manes will not eat such offerings; nor can heaven be attained by such hospitality.

19. ‘For the crime of him, who thus illegally drinks the moisture of a Sudra's lips, who is tainted by her breath, and who even begets a child on her body, the law declares no expiation.

20. 'Now learn compendiously the eight forms of the nuptial ceremony, used by the four classes, some good and some bad in this world, and in the next:

21. 'The ceremony of Brahma, of the Devas of the Rishis, of the Prajapatis, of the Asuras, of the Gandharvas, and of the Racshasas; the eighth and basest is that of the Pisachas.

22. ‘Which of them is permitted by law to each class and what are the good and bad properties  of each ceremony, all this I will fully declare to you, together with the qualities, good and bad, of the offspring.

23. 'Let mankind know, that the six first in direct order are by some held valid in the case of a priest; the four last, in that of a warriour; and the same four, except the Racshasa marriage, in the cases of a merchant and a man of the servile class:

24. Some consider the four first only as approved in the case of a priest; one, that of Racshasas, as peculiar to a soldier; and that of Asuras, to a mercantile and a servile man:

23. 'But in this code, three of the five last are held legal, and two illegal: the ceremonies of Pisachas and Asuras must never be performed.

26. 'For a military man the before mentioned marriages of Gandharvas and Racshasas, whether separate or mixed, as when a girl is made captive by her lover, after a victory over her kinsmen, are permitted by law.

27. 'The gift of a daughter, clothed only with a single robe, to a man learned in the Veda, whom her father voluntarily invites, and respectfully receives, is the nuptial right called Brahma.

28. ‘The rite which sages call Daiva, is the gift of a daughter, whom her father has decked in gay attire, when the sacrifice is already begun, to the officiating priest, who performs that act of religion.

29. 'When the father gives his daughter away, after having received from the bridegroom one pair of kine, or two pairs, for uses prescribed by law, that marriage is termed Arsha.

30. The nuptial rite called Prajapatya, is when the father gives away his daughter with due honour, saying distinctly, "May both of you perform together your civil and religious duties!”

31. 'When the bridegroom, having given as much wealth as he can afford to the father and paternal kinsmen, and to the damsel herself, takes her voluntarily as his bride, that marriage is named Asura.

32. ‘The reciprocal connection of a youth and a damsel, with mutual desire, is the marriage denominated Gandharva, contracted for the purpose of amorous embraces, and proceeding from sensual inclination.

33. 'The seizure of a maiden by force from her house, while she weeps and calls for assistance, after her kinsmen and friends have been slain in battle, or wounded, and their houses broken open, is the marriage styled Racshasa.

34. 'When the lover secretly embraces the damsel, either sleeping or flushed with strong liquor, or disordered in her intellect, that sinful marriage, called Pisacha, is the eighth and the basest.

35. ‘The gift of daughters in marriage by the sacerdotal class, is most approved, when they previously have poured water into the hands of the bridegroom; but the ceremonies of the other classes may be performed according to their several fancies.

36. 'Among these nuptial rites, what quality is ascribed by Menu to each, hear now ye Brahmens, hear it all from me, who fully declare it!

37. 'The son of a Brahm, or wife by the first ceremony, redeems from sin, if he perform virtuous acts, ten ancestors, ten descendants, and himself the twenty-first person.

38. 'A son, born of a wife by the Daiva nuptials, redeems seven and seven in higher and lower degrees; of a wife by the Arsha three and three; of a wife by the Prajapatya six and six.

39. ‘By four marriages, the Brahma and so forth, in direct order, are born sons illumined by the Veda, learned men, beloved by the learned,

40. 'Adorned with beauty, and with the quality of goodness, wealthy, famed, amply gratified with lawful enjoyments, performing all duties, and living an hundred years:

41. 'But in the other four base marriages, which remain, are produced sons acting cruelly, speaking falsely, abhorring the Veda, and the duties prescribed in it.

42. 'From the blameless nuptial rites of men springs a blameless progeny; from the reprehensible, a reprehensible offspring: let mankind, therefore, studiously avoid the culpable forms of marriage.

43. 'The ceremony of joining hands is appointed for those, who marry women of their own class; but, with women of a different class, the following nuptial ceremonies are to be observed:

44. 'By a Cshatriya on her marriage with a Brahmen, an arrow must be held in her hand; by a Vaisya woman, with a bridegroom of the sacerdotal or military class, a whip; and by a Sudra bride, marrying a priest a soldier, or a merchant, must be held the skirt of a mantle.

45. 'Let the husband approach his wife in due season, that is, at the time fit for pregnancy; let him be constantly satisfied with her alone; but, except on the forbidden days of the moon, he may approach her, being affectionately disposed, even out of due season, with a desire of conjugal intercourse.

46. 'Sixteen days and nights in each month, with four distinct days neglected by the virtuous, are called the natural season of women:

47. 'Of those sixteen, the four first, the eleventh, and the thirteenth, are reprehended: the ten remaining nights are approved.

48. 'Some say, that on the even nights are conceived sons; on the odd nights daughters; therefore let the man, who wishes for a son, approach his wife in due season on the even nights;

49. 'But a boy is in truth produced by the greater quantity of the male strength; and a girl by a greater quantity of the female; by equality, an hermaphrodite, or a boy and a girl; by weakness or deficiency, is occasioned a failure of conception.

50. 'He, who avoids conjugal embraces on the six reprehended nights and on eight others, is equal in chastity to a Brahmachari, in whichever of the two next orders he may live.

51: ‘Let no father, who knows the law, receive a gratuity, however small, for giving his daughter in marriage; since the man, who, through avarice, takes a gratuity for that purpose, is a seller of his offspring.

52. 'Whatever male relations, through delusion of mind, take possession of a woman’s property, be it only her carriages or her clothes, such offenders will sink to a region of torment.

53. 'Some say that the bull and cow given in the nuptial ceremony of the Rishis, are a bribe to the father; but this is untrue: a bribe indeed, whether large or small, is an actual sale of the daughter.

54. 'When money or goods are given to damsels, whose kinsmen receive them not for their own use, it is no sale: it is merely a token of courtesy and affection to the brides.

55. 'Married women must be honoured and adorned by their fathers and brethren, by their husbands, and by the brethren of their husbands, if they seek abundant prosperity:

56. ‘Where females are honoured, there the deities are pleased; but where they are dishonoured, there all religious acts become fruitless.

57. 'Where female relations are made miserable, the family of him who makes them so, very soon wholly perishes; but, where they are not unhappy, the family always increases.  

58. 'On whatever houses the women of a family, not being duly honoured, pronounce an imprecation, those houses, with all that belong to them, utterly perish, as if destroyed by a sacrifice for the death of an enemy.

59. 'Let those women, therefore, be continually  supplied with ornaments, apparel and food, at festivals and at jubilees, by men desirous of wealth.

60. ‘In whatever family the husband is contented with his wife, and the wife with her husband, in that house will fortune be assuredly permanent.

61. 'Certainly, if the wife be not elegantly attired, she will not exhilarate her husband; and if her lord want hilarity, offspring will not be produced.

62. 'A wife being gaily adorned, her whole house is embellished; but, if she be destitute of ornament, all will be deprived of decoration.

63. ‘By culpable marriages, by omission of prescribed ceremonies, by neglect of reading the Veda, and by irreverence toward a Brahmen, great families are sunk to a low state.

64. ‘So they are by practising manual arts, by lending at interest and other pecuniary transactions, by begetting children on Sudras only, by traffick in kine, horses, and carriages, by agriculture and by attendance on a king.

65. ‘By sacrificing for such as have no right to sacrifice, and by denying a future compensation for good works, great families, being deprived of sacred knowledge, are quickly destroyed;

66. 'But families, enriched by a knowledge of the Veda, though possessing little temporal wealth, are numbered among the great, and acquire exalted fame.

67. 'Let the house-keeper perform domestic religious rites, with the nuptial fire, according to law, and the ceremonies of the five great sacraments, and the several acts which must day by day be performed.

68 'A house-keeper has five places of slaughter, or where small living creatures may be slain; his kitchen hearth, his grindstone, his broom, his pestle and mortar, his water pot; by using which, he becomes in bondage to sin:

69. ‘For the sake of expiating offences committed ignorantly in those places mentioned in order, the five great sacraments were appointed by eminent sages to be performed each day by such as keep house.

70. 'Teaching and studying the scripture is the sacrament of the Veda; offering cakes and water, the sacrament of the Manes; an oblation to fire, the sacrament of the Deities; giving rice or other food to living creatures, the sacrament of spirits; receiving guests with honour, the sacrament of men;

71. 'Whoever omits not those five great ceremonies, if he have ability to perform them, is untainted by the sins of the five slaughtering places, even though he constantly reside at home;

72. 'But whoever cherishes not five orders of beings, namely, the deities; those, who demand hospitality; those, whom he ought by law to maintain; his departed forefathers; and himself; that man lives not even though he breathe.

73. ‘Some call the five sacraments ahuta and huta, prahuta, brahmya-huta and prasita:

74. 'Ahuta, or unoffered, is divine study; huta, or offered, is the oblation to fire; prahuta, or well offered, is the food given to spirits; brahmya-huta, is respect shewn to twice born guests; and prasita, or well eaten, is the offering of rice or water to the manes of ancestors.

75. 'Let every man in this second order employ himself daily in reading the scripture, and in performing the sacrament of the Gods; for, being employed in the sacrament of deities, he supports this whole animal and vegetable world;

76. 'Since his oblation of clarified butter, duly cast into the flame, ascends in smoke to the fire; from the fire it falls in rain; from rain comes vegetable food; and from such food animals derive their subsistence.

77. 'As all creatures subsist by receiving support from air, thus all orders of men exist by receiving support from house-keepers;

78. 'And since men of the three other orders are each day nourished by them with divine learning and with food, a house-keeper is for this reason of the most eminent order:

79. 'That order, therefore, must be constantly sustained with great care by the man who seeks unperishable bliss in heaven, and in this world pleasurable sensations; an order which cannot be sustained by men with uncontrolled organs.

80. 'The divine sages, the manes, the gods, the spirits, and guests, pray for benefits to masters of families; let these honours, therefore, be done to them by the house-keeper who knows his duty;

81. 'Let him honour the Sages by studying the Veda: the Gods, by oblations to fire ordained by law; the Manes, by pious obsequies; men by supplying them with food; and spirits, by gifts to all animated creatures.

82. 'Each day let him perform a sraddha with boiled rice and the like, or with water, or with milk, roots, and fruit; for thus he obtains favour from departed progenitors.

83. 'He may entertain one Brahmen in that sacrament among the five, which is performed for the Pitris; but, at the oblation to all the Gods, let him not invite even a single priest.

84. 'In his domestic fire for dressing the food of all the Gods, after the prescribed ceremony, let a Brahmen make an oblation each day to these following divinities;

85. ‘First to Agni, god of fire, and to the Lunar God, severally; then, to both of them at once; next to the assembled gods; and afterwards, to Dhanwantari, god of medicine;

86. 'To Cuhu', goddess of the day, when the new moon is discernible; to Anumati, goddess of the day, after the opposition; to Prajapati, or the Lord of Creatures; to DYAVA and Prithivi, goddesses of sky and earth; and lastly, to the fire of the good sacrifice.

87. ‘Having thus, with fixed attention, offered clarified butter in all quarters, proceeding from the east in a southern direction to Indra, Yama, Varuna, and the god Soma, let him offer his gift to animated creatures:

88. 'Saying, “I salute the Maruts," or Winds, let him throw dressed rice near the door; saying, "I salute the water gods,” in water; and on his pestle and mortar, saying, "I salute the gods of large trees."

89. ‘Let him do the like in the north east, or near his pillow, to Sri, the goddess of abundance; in the south west, or at the foot of his bed, to the propitious goddess Bgadracali; in the centre of his mansion, to Brahma and his household God;

90. ‘To all the Gods assembled, let him throw up his oblation in the open air; by day, to the spirits who walk in light; and by night, to those who walk in darkness:

91. In the building on his house top, or behind his back, let him cast his oblation for the welfare ‘f all creatures; and what remains let him give to the Pitris with his face toward the south:

92. 'The share of dogs, of outcasts, of dog-feeders, of sinful men, punished with elephantiasis or consumption, of crows, and of reptiles, let him drop on the ground by little and little.

93. ‘A Brahmen, who thus each day shall honour all beings, will go to the highest region in a straight path, in an irradiated form.

94. 'When he has performed his duty of making oblations, let him cause his guest to take food before himself; and let him give a portion of rice, as the law ordains, to the mendicant who studies the Veda:

95. ‘Whatever fruit shall be obtained by that student, as the reward of his virtue, when he shall have given a cow to his preceptor, according to law, the like reward to virtue shall be obtained by the twice born house-keeper, when he has given a mouthful of rice to the religious mendicant.

96. 'To a Brahmen who knows the true principle of the Veda, let him present a portion of rice, or a pot of water, garnished with fruit and flowers, due ceremonies having preceded:

97. 'Shares of oblations to the Gods, or to the Manes, utterly perish, when presented, through delusion of mind, by men regardless of duty, to such ignorant Brahmens as are mere ashes;

98. 'But an offering in the fire of a sacerdotal mouth, which richly blazes with true knowledge and piety, will release the giver from distress, and even from deadly sin.

99. 'To the guest who comes of his own accord, let him offer a seat and water, with such food as he is able to prepare, after the due rites of courtesy.

100. 'A Brahmen coming as a guest, and not received with just honour, takes to himself all the reward of the house-keeper’s former virtue, even though he had been so temporate as to live on the gleanings of harvests, and so pious as to make oblations in five distinct fires.

101. 'Grass and earth to sit on, water to wash the feet, and, fourthly affectionate speech are at no time deficient in the mansions of the good, although they may be indigent.

102. 'A Brahmen, staying but one night as a guest, is called an atithi; since continuing so short a time, he is not even a sojourner for a whole tithi, or day of the moon.

103. 'The house-keeper must not consider as an atithi a mere visitor of the same town, or a Brahmen, who attends him on business, even though he come to the house where his wife dwells, and where his fires are kindled,

104. 'Should any house-keepers be so senseless, as to seek, on pretence of being guests, the food of others, they would fall after death, by reason of that baseness, to the condition of cattle belonging to the giver of such food.

105. 'No guest must be dismissed in the evening by a house keeper; he is sent by the retiring sun; and, whether he come in fit season or unseasonably, he must not sojourn in the house without entertainment.

106. 'Let not himself eat any delicate food, without asking his guest to partake of it: the satisfaction of a guest will assuredly bring the house-keeper wealth, reputation, long life, and a place in heaven.

107. 'To the highest guest in the best form, to the lowest in the worst, to the equal, equally, let him offer seats, resting places, couches; giving them proportionable attendance, when they depart; and honour as long as they stay.

108. 'Should another guest arrive, when the oblation to all the Gods is concluded, for him also let the house-keeper prepare food, according to his ability; but let him not repeat his offerings to animated beings.

109. ‘Let no Brahmen guest proclaim his family and ancestry for the sake of an entertainment; since he, who thus proclaims them, is called by the wife a vantasi, or foul-feeding demon.

110. 'A military man is not denominated a guest in the house of a Brahmen; nor a man of the commercial or servile class; nor his familiar friend; nor his paternal kinsman; nor his preceptor:

111. 'But if a warriour come to his house in the form of a guest, let food be prepared for him, according to his desire, after the beforementioned Brahmens have eaten.

112. 'Even to a merchant or a labourer, approaching his house in the manner of guests, let him give food, showing marks of benevolence at the same time with his domesticks:

113. 'To others, as familiar friends, and the rest before-named, who come with affection to his place of abode, let him serve a repast at the same time with his wife and himself, having amply provided it according to his best means.

114. 'To a bride, and to a damsel, to the sick, and to pregnant women, let him give food, even before his guests, without hesitation.

115. 'The idiot, who first eats his own mess, without having presented food to the persons just enumerated, knows not, while he crams, that he will himself be food after death for bandogs and vultures.

116. 'After the repast of the Brahmen guest, of his kinsmen, and his domesticks, the married couple may eat what remains untouched.

117. 'The house-keeper, having honoured spirits, holy sages, men, progenitors, and household gods, may feed on what remains after those oblations.

118. 'He, who eats what has been dressed for himself only, eats nothing but sin: a repast on what remains after the sacrament is called the banquet of the good.

119. ‘After a year from the reception of a visitor, let the house-keeper again honour a king, a sacrificer, a student returned from his preceptor, a son-in-law, a father-in-law, and a maternal uncle, with a madhuperca, or present of honey, curds, and fruit.

120. ‘A king or a Brahmen arriving at the celebration of the sacrament, are to be honoured with a madhuperca; but not, if the sacrament be over: this is a settled rule.

121. ‘In the evening let the wife make an offering of the dressed food, but without pronouncing any text of the Veda: one oblation to the assembled gods, thence named Vaidwadeva, is ordained both for evening and morning.

122. ‘From month to month, on the dark day of the moon, let a twice born man, having finished the daily sacrament of the Pitris, and his fire being still blazing, perform the solemn sraddha, called pindanwaharya:

123. ‘Sages have distinguished the monthly sraddha by the title of anwaharya, or after eaten, that is, eaten after the pinda or ball of rice; and it must be performed with extreme care, and with flesh meat in the best condition.

124. ‘What Brahmens must be entertained at that ceremony, and who must be accepted, how many are to be fed, and with what sorts of food, on all those articles, without omission, I will fully discourse.

125. At the sraddha of the gods he may entertain two Brahmens; at that of his father, paternal grandfather, and paternal great-grandfather, three; or one only at that of the god; and one at that for his three paternal ancestors: though he abound in wealth, let him not be solicitous to entertain a large company.

126. ‘A large company destroys these five advantages;  reverence to priests, propriety of time and place, purity, and the acquisition of virtuous Brahmens: let him not therefore, endeavour to feed a superfluous number.

127. 'This act of due honour to departed souls, 'on the dark day of the moon, is famed by the appellation of pitrya, or ancestral: the legal ceremony, in honour of departed spirits, rewards with continual fruit, a man engaged in such obsequies.

128. 'Oblations to the gods and to ancestors should be given to a most reverend Brahmen, perfectly conversant with the Veda; since what is given to him produces the greatest reward.

129. 'By entertaining one learned man at the oblation to the gods and at that to ancestors, he gains more exalted fruit than by feeding a multitude, who know not the holy texts.

130. 'Let him inquire into the ancestry, even in a remote degree, of a Brahmen, who has advanced to the end of the Veda: such a man, if sprung from good men, is a fit partaker of oblations to gods and to ancestors; such a man may justly be called an atithi, or guest.

131. 'Surely, though a million of men, unlearned in holy texts, were to receive food, yet a single man, learned in scripture, and fully satisfied with his entertainment, would be of more value than all of them together.

132. 'Food, consecrated to the gods and the manes, must be presented to a theologian of eminent learning; for certainly, when hands are smeared with blood, they cannot be cleaned with blood only, nor can sin he removed by the company of sinners,

133. ‘As many mouthfuls as an unlearned man shall swallow at an oblation to the gods and to ancestors, so many red hot iron balls must the giver of the sraddha swallow in the next world.

134. 'Some Brahmens are intent on scriptural knowledge; others, on austere devotion; some are intent both on religious austerity and on the study of the Veda; others on the performance of sacred rites:

135. ‘Oblations to the manes of ancestors ought to be placed with care before such as are intent on sacred learning: but offerings to the gods may be presented, with due ceremonies, to Brahmens of all the four descriptions.

136. 'There may be a Brahmen, whose father had not studied the scripture, though the son has advanced to the end of the Veda; or there may be one, whose son has not read the Veda, though the father had travelled to the end of it:

137. ‘Of those two let mankind consider him as the superiour, whose father had studied the scripture, yet for the sake of performing rites with holy texts, the other is worthy of honour.

138. ‘Let no man, at the prescribed obsequies, give food to an intimate friend; since advantage to a friend must be procured by gifts of different property: to that Brahmen let the performer of a sraddha give food, whom he considers neither as a friend nor as a foe.

139. ‘For him, whose obsequies and offerings of clarified butter are provided chiefly through friendship, no fruit is reserved in the next life, on account either of his obsequies or of his offerings.

140. ‘The man, who, through delusion of intellect, forms temporal connexions by obsequies, is excluded from heavenly mansions, as a giver of the sraddha for the sake of friendship, and the meanest of twice born men:

141. 'Such a convivial present, by men of the three highest classes, is called the gift of Pisachas, and remains fixed here below, like a blind cow in one stall,

142. 'As a husbandman, having sown feed in a barren soil, reaps no grain, thus a performer of holy rites, having given clarified butter to an unlearned Brahmen, attains no reward in heaven;

143. 'But a present made, as the law ordains, to a learned theologian, renders both the giver and the receiver partakers of good fruits in this world and in the next.

144. 'If no learned Brahmen be at hand, he may at his pleasure invite a friend to the sraddha, but not a foe, be he ever so learned; since the oblation, being eaten by a foe, loses all fruit in the life to come.

145. 'With great care let him give food at the sraddha to a priest, who has gone through the scripture, but has chiefly studied the Rigveda; to one, who has read all the branches, but principally those of the Yajush; or to one who has finished the whole, with particular attention to  the Saman:

146. 'Of that man whose oblation has been eaten, after due honours, by any one of those three Brahmens, the ancestors are constantly satisfied as high as the seventh person, or to the sixth degree.

147. 'This is the chief rule in offering the sraddha to the gods and to ancestors: but the following may be considered as a subsidiary rule, where no such learned priests can he found, and is ever observed by good men:

148. 'Let him entertain his maternal grandfather, his maternal uncle, the son of his sister, the father of his wife, his spiritual guide, the son of his daughter, or her husband, his maternal cousin, his officiary priest, or the performer of his sacrifice.

149. ‘ For an oblation to the gods, let not the man, who knows what is law, scrupulously inquire into the parentage of a Brahmen; but for a prepared oblation to ancestors let him examine it with strict care.

150. 'Those Brahmens, who have committed any inferiour theft or any of the higher crimes, who are deprived of virility, or who profess a disbelief in a future state, Menu has pronounced unworthy of honour at a sraddha to the gods or to ancestors.

151. ‘To a student in theology, who has not read the Veda, to a man punished for past crimes by being born without a prepuce, to a gamester, and to such as perform many sacrifices for other men, let him never give food at the sacred obsequies,

152. ‘Physicians, image worshippers for gain, sellers of meat, and such as live by low traffick, must be shunned in oblations both to the deities and to progenitors.

153. 'A public servant of the whole town, or of the prince, a man with whitlows on his nails, or with black yellow teeth, an opposer of his preceptor, a deserter of the sacred fire, and an usurer,

154. 'A phthisical man, a feeder of cattle, one omitting the five great sacraments, a contemner of Brahmens, a younger brother married before the elder, an elder brother not married before the younger, and a man who subsists by the wealth of many relations,

155. 'A dancer, one who has violated the rule of chastity in the first or fourth order, the husband of a Sudra, the son of a twice married woman, a man who has lost one eye, and a husband in whose house an adulterer dwells,

156. 'One who teaches the Veda for wages, and one who gives wages to such a teacher, the pupil of a Sudra, and the Sudra preceptor, a rude speaker, and the son of an adulteress, born either before or after the death of the husband,

157. 'A forsaker, without just cause, of his mother, father or preceptor, and a man who forms a connexion, either by scriptural or connubial affinity, with great sinners,

158. 'A house-burner, a giver of poison, an eater of food offered by the son of an adulteress, a seller of the moon plant, a species of mountain rue, a navigator of the ocean, a poetical encomiast, an oilman, and a suborner of perjury,

159. 'A wrangler with his father, an employer of gamesters for his own benefit, a drinker of intoxicating spirits, a man punished for sin with elephantiasis, one of evil repute, a cheat, and a seller of liquids,

160. 'A maker of bows and arrows, the husband of a younger sister married before the elder of the whole blood, an injurer of his friend, the keeper of a gaming-house, and a father instructed in the Veda by his own son,

161. 'An epileptick person, one who has the erysipelas or the leprosy, a common informer, a lunatick, a blind man, and a despiser of scripture, must all be shunned.

162. 'A tamer of elephants, bulls, horses, or camels, a man who subsists by astrology, a keeper of birds, and one who teaches the use of arms,

163. 'He, who diverts watercourses, and he, who is gratified by obstructing them, he, who builds houses for gain, a messenger, and a planter of trees for pay,

164. 'A breeder of sporting dogs, a falconer, a seducer of damsels, a man delighting in mischief, a Brahmen living as a Sudra, a sacrificer to the inferiour gods only,

165. 'He, who observes not approved customs, and he, who regards not prescribed duties, a constant importunate asker of favours, he, who supports himself by tillage, a clubfooted man, and one despised by the virtuous,

166. ‘A shepherd, a keeper of buffalos, the husband of a twice married woman, and the remover of dead bodies for pay, are to be avoided with great care.

167. 'Those lowest of Brahmens, whose manners are contemptible, who are not admissible into company at a repast, an exalted and learned priest must avoid at both sraddhas.

168. 'A Brahmen unlearned in holy writ, is extinguished in an instant like a fire of dry grass: to him the oblation must not be given; for the clarified butter must not be poured on ashes.

169. 'What retribution is prepared in the next life for the giver of food to men inadmissible into company, at the sraddha to the gods and to ancestors, I will now declare without omission.

170. 'On that food, which has been given to Brahmens who have violated the rules of their order, to the younger brother married before the elder, and to the rest who are not admissible into company, the Racshases eagerly feast.

171. 'He, who makes a marriage contract with the connubial fire, while his elder brother continues unmarried, is called a perivettri; and the elder brother a perivitti:

172. ‘The perivettri, the perivitti, the damsel thus wedded, the giver of her in wedlock, and, fifthly, the performer of the nuptial sacrifice, all sink to a region of torment.

173. ‘He, who lasciviously dallies with the widow of his deceased brother, though she be legally married to him, is denominated the husband of a didhishu,

174. 'Two sons, named a cunda and a golaca, are born in adultery; the cunda, while the husband is alive, and the golaca, when the husband is dead:

175. ‘Those animals begotten by adulterers, destroy, both in this world and in the next, the food presented to them by such as make oblations to the gods or to the manes.

176. 'The foolish giver of a sraddha loses, in a future life, the fruit of as many admissible guests, as a thief or the like person, inadmissible into company, might be able to see.

177. 'A blind man placed where one with eyes might have seen, destroys the reward of ninety; he, who has lost one eye, of sixty; a leper, of an hundred; one punished with elephantiasis, of a thousand.

178. 'Of the gift at a sraddha, to as many Brahmens, as a sacrificer for a Sidra might be able to touch on the body, the fruit is lost to the giver, if he invite such a wretch;

179. 'And if a Brahmen who knows the Veda, receive through covetousness a present from such a sacrificer, he speedily sinks to perdition, like a figure of unburnt clay in water.

180. 'Food given to a seller of the moon plant, becomes ordure in another world; to a physician purulent blood; and the giver will be a reptile bred in them: if offered to an image worshipper, it is thrown away; if to an usurer, infamous.

181. 'That which is given to a trader, endures neither in this life nor in the next, and that bestowed on a Brahmen, who has married a widow, resembles clarified butter poured on ashes as an oblation to fire.

182. 'That food, which is given to other base and inadmissible men, before mentioned, the wise have pronounced to be no more than animal oil, blood, flesh, skin, and bones.

183. 'Now learn comprehensively, by what Brahmens a company may be purified, when it has been defiled by inadmissable persons; Brahmens, the chief of their class, the purifiers of every assembly.

184. 'Those priests must be considered as the purifiers of a company who are most learned in all the Vedas and all their Angas, together with their defendants who have read the whole scripture;

185 ‘A priest learned in a principal part of the Yajurveda; one who keeps the five fires constantly burning; one skilled in a principal part of the Rigveda; one who explains the six Vedangas; the son of a Brahmi, or woman married by the Brahma ceremony; and one who chants the principal Saman;

186. 'One who propounds the sense of the Vedas, which he learnt from his preceptor, a student who has given a thousand cows for pious uses, and a Brahmen a hundred years old, must all be considered as the purifiers of a party at a sraddha.

187. 'On the day before the sacred obsequies, or on the very day when they are prepared, let the performer of them invite, with due honour, such Brahmens as have been mentioned; usually one superiour, who has three inferiour to him.

188. 'The Brahmen, who has been invited to a sraddha for departed ancestors, must be continually abstemious; he must not even read the Vedas; and he who performs the ceremony, must act in the same manner.

189. 'Departed ancestors, no doubt, are attendant on such invited Brahmens; hovering around them like pure spirits, and sitting by them, when they are seated.

190. 'The priest who having been duly invited to a sraddha, breaks the appointment, commits a grievous offence, and in his next birth becomes a hog.

191. ‘He, who caresses a Sudra woman, after he has been invited to sacred obsequies, takes on himself all the sin that has been committed by the giver of the repast.

192. 'The Pitris or great progenitors, are free from wrath, intent on purity, ever exempt from sensual passions, endued with exalted qualities: they are primeval divinities, who have laid arms aside.

193. 'Hear now completely, from whom they sprang; who they are; by whom and by what ceremonies they are to be honoured.

194. 'The sons of Marichi and of all the other Rishis, who were the offspring of Menu, son of Brahma, are called the companies of Pitris, or forefathers.

195. 'The Somasads, who sprang from Viraj, are declared to be the ancestors of the Sadhyhas; and the Agnishwattas, who are famed among created beings as the children of Marichi, to be the progenitors of the Devas.

196. 'Of the Daityas, the Danavas, the Yacpas, the Gandharvas, the Uragas, or Serpents, the Racshashes, the Garudas, and the Cinnaras, the ancestors are Barhishads descended from Atri;

197. 'Of Brahmens, those named Somapas; of Cshatriyas, the Havishmats; of Vaisyas, those called Abjyapas; of Sudras, the Sucalins:

198. 'The Somapas descended from Me, Bhrigu; the Havishmats, from Angiras; the Ajyapas, from Pulastya; the Sucalins, from Vasisht’ha.

199. 'Those who are, and those who are not, consumable by fire, called Agnidagdhas, and Anagnidagdhas, the Cavyas, the Barhishads, the Agnishwattas, and the Saumyas, let mankind consider as the chief progenitors of Brahmens.

200. 'Of those just enumerated, who are generally reputed the principal tribes of Pitris, the sons and grandsons indefinitely, are also in this world considered as great progenitors.

201. 'From the Rishis come the Pitris, or patriarchs; from the Pitris, both Devas and Danavas; from the Devas, this whole world of animals and vegetables, in due order.

202. 'Mere water, offered with faith to the progenitors of men, in vessels of silver, or adorned with silver, proves the source of incorruption.

203. ‘An oblation by Brahmens to their ancestors transcends an oblation to the deities; because that to the deities is considered as the opening and completion of that to ancestors:

204. 'As a preservative of the oblation to the patriarchs, let the house-keeper begin with an offering to the gods; for the Racshases rend in pieces an oblation which has no such preservative.

205. 'Let an offering to the gods be made at the beginning and end of the sraddha: it must not begin and end with an offering to ancestors; for he who begins and ends it with an oblation to the Pitris, quickly perishes with his progeny.

206. 'Let the Brahmen smear with cow dung a purified and sequestered piece of ground; and let him, with great care, select a place with a declivity toward the south:

207. 'The divine manes are always pleased with an oblation in empty glades, naturally clean, on the banks of rivers, and in solitary spots.

208. 'Having duly made an ablution with water, let him place the invited Brahmens, who have also performed their ablutions, one by one, on allotted seats purified with cusa-grass.

209. 'When he has placed them with reverence on their seats, let him honour them, (having first honoured the Gods) with fragrant garlands and sweet odours.

210. ‘Having brought water for them with cusa-grass and tila, let the Brahmen, with the Brahmens, pour the oblation, as the law directs, on the holy fire.

211. 'First, as it is ordained, having satisfied Agni, Soma and Yama, with clarified butter, let him proceed to satisfy the manes of his progenitors.

212. ‘If he have no consecrated fire, as if he be yet unmarried, or his wife be just deceased, let him drop the oblation into the hand of a Brahmen; since, what fire is, even such is a Brahmen; as priests who know the Veda declare:

213. 'Holy sages call the chief of the twice born the gods of obsequies, free from wrath, with placid aspects, of a primeval race, employed in the advancement of human creatures.

212. 'Having walked in order from east to south, and thrown into the fire all the ingredients of his oblation, let him sprinkle water on the ground with his right hand.

215. 'From the remainder of the clarified butter having formed three balls of rice, let him offer them, with fixed attention, in the same manner as the water, his face being turned to the south:

216. 'Then, having offered those balls, after due ceremonies and with an attentive mind, to the manes of his father, his paternal grandfather, and great grandfather, let him wipe the same hand with the roots of cusa, which he had before used, for the sake of his paternal ancestors in the fourth, fifth, and sixth degrees, who are the partakers of the rice and clarified butter thus wiped off.

217. 'Having made an ablution, returning toward the north, and thrice suppressing his breath slowly, let him salute the Gods of the six seasons, and the Pitris also, being well acquainted with proper texts of the Veda.

218. 'Whatever water remains in his ewer, let him carry back deliberately near the cakes of rice; and with fixed attention, let him smell those cakes, in order as they were offered:

219. 'Then, taking a small portion of the cakes in order, let him first, as the law directs, cause the Brahmens to eat of them, while they are seated.

220. 'If his father be alive, let him offer the sraddha to his ancestors in three higher degrees; or let him cause his own father to eat, as a Brahmen at the obsequies:

221. 'Should his father be dead, and his grandfather living, let him, in celebrating the name of his father, that is, in performing obsequies to him, celebrate also his paternal great grandfather;

222. 'Either the paternal grandfather may partake of the sraddha (so has Menu declared) or the grandson, authorized by him, may perform the ceremony at his discretion.

223. 'Having poured water, with cusa-grass and tila, into the hands of the Brahmens, let him give them the upper part of the cakes, saying, Swadha to the manes!"

224. 'Next, having himself brought with both hands, a vessel full of rice, let him, still meditating on the Pitris, place it before the Brahmens without precipitation.

225. 'Rice taken up, but not supported with both hands, the malevolent Asuras quickly rend in pieces.

226. 'Broths, potherbs, and other eatables accompanying the rice, together with milk and curds, clarified butter and honey, let him first place on the ground, after he has made an ablution; and let his mind be intent on no other object:

227. 'Let him add spiced puddings, and milky messes of various sorts, roots of herbs and ripe fruits, savoury meats and sweet smelling drinks.

228. 'Then being duly purified, and with perfect presence of mind, let him take up all the dishes, one by one, and present them in order to the Brahmens, proclaiming their qualities.

229. 'Let him at no time drop a tear; let him on no account be angry; let him say nothing false; let him not touch the eatables with his foot; let him not even shake the dishes:

220. 'A tear sends the messes to restless ghosts; anger, to foes; falsehood, to dogs; contact with his foot, to demons; agitation, to sinners.

231. 'Whatever is agreeable to the Brahmens, let him give without envy; and let him discourse on the attributes of God: such discourse is expected by the manes.

232. ‘At the obsequies to ancestors, he must let the Brahmens hear passages from the Veda, from the codes of law, from moral tales, from heroick poems, from the Puranas, and from theological texts.

233. ‘Himself being delighted, let him give delight to the Brahmens, and invite them to eat of the provisions by little and little; attracting them often with the dressed rice and other eatables, and mentioning their good properties.

234. 'To the son of his daughter, though a student in theology, let him carefully give food at the sraddha; offering him a blanket from Nepal as his aeat, and sprinkling the ground with tila.

235. 'Three things are held pure at such obsequies, the daughter, son, the Nepal blanket, and the tila; and three things are praised in it by the wise, cleanliness, freedom from wrath, and want of precipitate haste.

236. 'Let all the dressed food be very hot; and let the Brahmens eat it in silence; nor let them declare the qualities of the food, even though asked by the giver.

237. 'As long as the messes continue warm, as long as they eat in silence, as long as the qualities of the food are not declared by them, so long the manes feast on it.
238. 'What a Brahmen eats with his head covered, what he eats with his face to the south, what he eats with sandals on his feet, the demons assuredly devour.

239. 'Let not a Chandala, a town boar, a cock, a dog, a woman in her courses, or an eunuch, see the Brahmens eating:

240. 'That which any one of them sees at the oblation to fire, at a solemn donation of cows and gold, at a repast given to Brahmens, at holy rites to the gods, and at the obsequies to ancestors, produces not the intended fruit:

241. ‘The boar destroys it by his smell; the cock, by the air of his wings; the dog, by the cast of a look; the man of the lowest class, by the touch.

242. 'If a lame man, or a man with one eye, or a man with a limb defective or redundant, be even a servant of the giver, him also let his master remove from the place.

244. 'Should another Brahmen, or a mendicant, come to his house for food, let him, having obtained permission from the invited Brahmens, entertain the stranger to the best of his power.

244. 'Having brought together all the sorts of food, as dressed rice and the like, and Sprinkling them with water, let him place them before the Brahmens, who have eaten; dropping some on the blades of cusa-grass, which have been spread on the ground.

245. 'What remains in the dishes, and what has been dropped on the blades of cusa, must be considered as the portion of deceased Brahmens, not girt with the sacrificial thread, and of such as have deserted unreasonably the women of their own tribe.

246. 'The residue, that has fallen on the ground at the sraddha to the manes, the wise have decided to be the share of all the Servants, who are not crooked in their ways, nor lazy and ill disposed.

247. ‘Before the obsequies to ancestors as far as the sixth degree, they must be performed to a Brahmen recently deceased; but the performer of them must, in that case, give the sraddha without the ceremony to the gods, and offer only one round cake; and these obsequies for a single ancestor should be annually performed on the day of his death:

248. ‘When, afterwards, the obsequies to ancestors as far as the sixth degree, inclusively of him, are performed according to law, then must the offering of cakes be made by the defendants in the manner before ordained for the monthly ceremonies.

249. 'That fool, who, having eaten of the sraddha, gives the residue of it to a man of the servile class, falls headlong down to the hell named Calasutra.

250. ‘Should the eater of a sraddha enter, on the same day, the bed of a seducing woman, his ancestors would sleep for that month on her excrement.

251. 'Having, by the word swaditam, asked the Brahmens if they have eaten well, let him give them, being satisfied, water for an ablution, and courteously say to them, "Rest either at home or here.”

252. 'Then let the Brahmens address him, saying swadha; for in all ceremonies relating to deceased ancestors, the word swadha is the highest benison.

253. ‘After that, let him inform those, who have eaten of the food that remains; and being instructed by the Brahmens, let him dispose of it as they may direct.

254. 'At the clole of the sraddha to his ancestors, he must ask if the Brahmens are satisfied, by the word swadita after that for his family by the word susruta; after that for his own advancement, by the word sampanna, after that which has been offered to the gods, by the word ruchita.

255. ‘The afternoon, the cusa-grass, the cleansing of the ground, the tilas, the liberal gifts of food, the due preparation for the repast and the company of most exalted Brahmens, are true riches in the obsequies to ancestors.

256. 'The blades of cusa, the holy texts, the forenoon, all the oblations, which will presently be enumerated, and the purification before mentioned, are to be considered as wealth in the sraddha to the gods:

257. ‘Such wild grains as are eaten by hermits, milk, the juice of the moonplant, meat untainted, and salt unprepared by art, are held things fit, in their own nature, for the last mentioned offering.

258. ‘Having dismissed the invited brahmens, keeping his mind attentive, and his speech suppressed, let him, after an ablution, look toward the south, and ask these blessings of the Pitris:

259. "May generous givers abound in our house! may the scriptures be studied, and progeny increase in it! may faith never depart from us! and may we have much to bestow on the needy!"

260. 'Thus having ended the sraddha, let him cause a cow, a priest, a kid, or the fire, to devour what remains of the cakes; or let him cast them into the waters.

261. ‘Some make the offering of the round cakes after the repast of the Brahmens; some cause the birds to eat what remains, or cast it into water or fire.

262. ‘Let a lawful wife, ever dutiful to her lord, and constantly honouring his ancestors, eat the middlemost of the three cakes, or that offered to his paternal grandfather, with due ceremonies, praying for offspring:

263. 'So may she bring forth a son, who will be long lived, famed, and strong minded, wealthy, having numerous descendants, endued with the best of qualities, and performing all duties religious and civil.

26 4. 'Then, having washed both his hands and sipped water, let him prepare some rice for his paternal kinsmen; 2nd, having given it them with due reverence, let him prepare food also for his maternal relations.

265. 'Let the residue continue in its place, until the Brahmens have been dismissed; and then let him perform the remaining domestick sacraments.

266. 'What sort of oblations, given duly to the manes, are capable of satisfying them, for a long time or for eternity, I will now declare without omission.

267. 'The ancestors of men are satisfied a whole month with tila, rice, barley, black lentils or vetches, water, roots, and fruit, given with prescribed ceremonies;

268. 'Two months, with fish; three months, with venison; four, with mutton; five, with the flesh of such birds, as the twice born may eat:

269. 'Six months, with the flesh of kids; seven, with that of spotted deer; eight, with that of the deer, or antelope, called ena; nine, with that of the ruru:

270. 'Ten months are they satisfied with the flesh of wild boars and wild buffalos; eleven, with that of rabbits or hares, and of tortoises;

271. 'A whole year with the milk of cows, and food made of that milk; from the flesh of the long eared white goat, their satisfaction endures twelve years.

272. 'The potherb calasaca, the fish mahasalca, or the diodon, the flesh of a rhinoceros, or of an iron-coloured kid, honey, and all such forest grains as are eaten by hermits, are formed for their satisfaction without end.

273. 'Whatever pure food, mixed with honey, a man offers on the thirteenth day of the moon, in the season of rain, and under the lunar asterism Magha, has likewise a ceaseless duration.

274. "Oh! may that man, say the manes, be born in our line, who may give us milky food, with honey and pure butter, both on the thirteenth of the moon, and when the shadow of an elephant falls to the east!"

275. 'Whatever a man, endued with strong faith, piously offers, as the law has directed, becomes a perpetual unperishable gratification to his ancestors in the other world:

276. 'The tenth and so forth, except the fourteenth, in the dark half of the month, are the lunar days mod approved for sacred obsequies: as they are, so are not the others.

277. 'He, who does honour to the manes, on even lunar days, and under even lunar stations, enjoys all his desires; on odd lunar days, and under odd lunar asterisms, he procures an illustrious race.

278. 'As the latter or dark half of the month surpasses, for the celebration of obsequies, the former, or bright half, so the latter half of the day surpasses, for the same purpose, the former half of it.

279; 'The oblation to ancestors must be duly made, even to the conclusion of it with the distribution to the servants, (or even to the close of life,) in the form prescribed, by a Brahmen wearing his thread on his right shoulder, proceeding from left to right, without remissness, and with cusa-grass in his hand.

280. 'Obsequies must not be performed by night; since the night is called racshasi or infested by demons; nor while the sun is rising or setting, nor when it has just risen.

281. 'A house-keeper, unable to give a monthly repast, may perform obsequies here below, according to the sacred ordinance, only thrice a year, in the seasons of hemanta, grishma, and versha; but the five sacraments he must perform daily.

282. 'The sacrificial oblation at obsequies to ancestors, is ordained to be made in no vulgar fire; nor should the monthly sraddha of that Brahmen, who keeps a perpetual fire, be made on any day, except on that of the conjunction.

283. 'When a twice born man, having performed his ablution, offers a satisfaction to the manes with water only, being unable to give a repast, he gains by that offering all the fruit of a sraddha.

284. 'The wise call our fathers, Vasus; our paternal grandfathers, Rudras; our paternal great grandfathers, Adityas; (that is all are to be revered as deities,) and to this effect there is a primeval text in the Veda.

285. 'Let a man, who is able, continually feed on vighasa, and continually feed on amrita; by vighasa is meant the residue of a repast at obsequies; and by amrita, the residue of a sacrifice to the gods.

286. 'This complete system of rules, for the five sacraments and the like, has been declared to you: now hear the law for those means of subsistence, which the chief of the twice born may seek.  
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Re: The Ordinances of Menu, by Sir William Jones

Postby admin » Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:59 am


On Economicks; and Private Morals.

1. 'Let a Brahmen, having dwelt with a preceptor during the first quarter of a man’s life, pass the second quarter of human life in his own house, when he has contracted a legal marriage.

2. ‘He must live, with no injury, or with the least possible injury, to animated beings, by pursuing those means of gaining subsistence, which are strictly prescribed by law, except in times of distress:

3. 'For the sole purpose of supporting life, let him acquire property by those irreproachable occupations, which are peculiar to his class, and unattended with bodily pain.

4. 'He may live by rita and amrita, or, if necessary, by mrita or pramrita, or even by satyanrita; but never let him subsist by swavritti:

5. 'By rita, must be understood lawful gleaning and gathering; by amrita, what is given unasked; by mrita, what is asked as alms, tillage is called pramrita;

6. 'Traffick and money lending are satyanrita; even by them, when he is deeply distressed, may he support life; but service for hire is named swavritti, or dog living, and of course he must by all means avoid it.  

7. 'He may either store up grain for three years; or garner up enough for one year; or collect what may last three days, or make no provision for the morrow.

8. 'Of the four Brahmens keeping house, who follow those four different modes, a preference is given to the last in order successively; as to him, who most completely by virtue has vanquished the world:

9. 'One of them subsists by all the six means of livelihood; another by three of them; a third by two only; and a fourth lives barely on continually teaching the Veda.

10. 'He, who sustains himself by picking up grains and ears, must attach himself to some altar of consecrated fire, but constantly perform those rites only, which end with the dark and bright fortnights and with the solstices.  

11. 'Let him never, for the sake of a subsistence, have recourse to popular conversation; let him live by the conduct of a priest, neither crooked, nor artful, nor blended with the manners of the mercantile class.

12. 'Let him, if he seek happiness, be firm in perfect content, and check all desire of acquiring more than he possesses; for happiness has its root in content, and discontent is the root of misery.

13. 'A Brahmen keeping house, and supporting himself, by any of the legal means before-mentioned, must discharge these following duties, which conduce to fame, length of life, and beatitude.

14. 'Let him daily, without sloth, perform his peculiar duty, which the Veda prescribes; for he who performs that duty, as well as he is able; attains the highest path to supreme bliss.

15. 'He must not gain wealth by musick or dancing, or by any art that pleases the sense; nor by any prohibited art; nor, whether he be rich or poor, must he receive gifts indiscriminately.

16. 'Let him not, from a selfish appetite, be strongly addicted to any sensual gratification; let him, by improving his intellect, studiously preclude an excessive attachment to such pleasures, even though lawful.

17. 'All kinds of wealth, that may impede his reading the Veda, let him wholly abandon, persisting by all means in the study of scripture; for that will be found his most beneficial attainment.

18. 'Let him pass through this life, bringing his apparel, his discourse, and his frame of mind, to conformity with his age, his occupations, his property, his divine knowledge, and his family.

19. 'Each day let him examine those holy books, which soon give increase of wisdom; and those, which teach the means of acquiring wealth; those, which are salutary to life; and those nigamas, which are explanatory of the Veda;

20. 'Since, as far as a man studies completely the system of sacred literature, so far only can he become eminently learned, and so far may his learning shine brightly.

21. 'The sacramental oblations to sages, to the gods, to spirits, to men, and to his ancestors, let him constantly perform to the best of his power.

22. 'Some, who well know the ordinances for those oblations, perform not always externally the five great sacraments, but continually make offerings in their own organs of sensation and intellect:

23. 'Some constantly sacrifice their breath in their speech, when they instruct others, or praise God aloud, and their speech in their breath, when they meditate in silence; perceiving in their speech and breath, employed, the unperishable fruit of a sacrificial offering:

24. 'Other Brahmens incessantly perform those sacrifices with scriptural knowledge only; seeing with the eye of divine learning, that scriptural knowledge is the root of every ceremonial observance.

25. 'Let a Brahmen perpetually make oblations to consecrated fire at the beginning and end of day and night, and at the close of each fortnight, or at the conjunction and opposition:

26. 'At the season, when old grain is usually consumed, let him offer new grain for a plentiful harvest; and at the close of the season, let him perform the rites called adhvara; at the solstices, let him sacrifice cattle; at the end of the year, let his oblations be made with the juice of the moon plant:

27. 'Not having offered grain for the harvest, nor cattle at the time of the solstice, let no Brahmen, who keeps hallowed fire, and wishes for long life, taste rice or flesh;

28. 'Since the holy fires, not being honoured with new grain and with a sacrifice of cattle, are greedy for rice and flesh, and seek to devour his vital spirits.

29. 'Let him take care, to the utmost of his power, that no guest sojourn in his house unhonoured with a seat, with food, with a bed, with water, with esculent roots, and with fruit:

30. 'But let him not honour with his conversation such as do forbidden acts; such as subsist, like cats, by interested craft; such as believe not the scripture; such as oppugn it by sophisms; or such as live like rapacious water birds.

31. 'With oblations to the gods and to ancestors, let him do reverence to Brahmens of the second order, who are learned in theology, who have returned home from their preceptors, after having performed their religious duties and fully studied the Veda; but men of an opposite description let him avoid.  

32. 'Gifts must be made by each housekeeper, as far as he has ability, to religious mendicants, though heterodox; and a just portion must be reserved, without inconvenience to his family, for all sentient beings, animal and vegetable.

33. 'A priest, who is master of a family, and pines with hunger, may seek wealth from a king of the military class, from a sacrificer, or his own pupil, but from no person else, unless all other helps fail: thus will he shew his respect for the law.

34. 'Let no priest, who keeps house, and is able to procure food, ever waste himself with hunger; nor, when he has any substance, let him wear old or sordid clothes.

35. 'His hair, nails, and beard being clipped, his passions, subdued; his mantle, white; his body, pure; let him diligently occupy himself in reading the Veda, and be constantly intent on such acts, as may be salutary to him.

36. 'Let him carry a staff of Venu, an ewer with water in it, a handful of cusa-grass, or a copy of the Veda; with a pair of bright golden rings in his ears.

37. 'He must not gaze on the sun whether rising or setting, or eclipsed, or reflected in water, or advanced to the middle of the sky.

38. 'Over a string, to which a calf is tied, let him not step; nor let him run while it rains; nor let him look on his own image in water; this is a settled rule.

39. 'By a mound of earth, by a cow, by an idol, by a Brahmen, by a pot of clarified butter, or of honey, by a place where four ways meet, and by large trees well known in the district, let him pass with his right hand toward them.

40. 'Let him not, though mad with desire, approach his wife, when her courses appear; nor let him then sleep with her in the same bed;

41. 'Since the knowledge, the manhood, the strength, the eye-sight, even the vital spirit of him, who approaches his wife thus defiled, utterly perish;

42. 'But the knowledge, the manhood, the strength, the fight, and the life of him, who avoids her in that date of defilement, are greatly increased.

43. 'Let him neither eat with his wife, nor look at her eating, or sneezing, or yawning, or sitting carelessly at her ease;

44. 'Nor let a Brahmen, who desires manly strength, behold her setting off her eyes with black powder, or scenting herself with essences, or baring her bosom, or bringing forth a child.

45. 'Let him not eat his food, wearing only a single cloth; nor let him bathe quite naked; nor let him eject urine or feces in the highway, nor on ashes, nor where kine are grazing.

46. 'Nor on tilled ground, nor in water, nor on wood raised for burning, nor, unless he be in great need, on a mountain, nor on the ruins of a temple, nor at any time on a nest of white ants,

47. 'Nor in ditches with living creatures in them, nor walking, nor standing, nor on the bank of a river, nor on the summit of a mountain:

48. 'Nor let him ever eject them, looking at things moved by the wind, or at fire, or at a priest, or at the sun, or at water, or at cattle;

49. 'But let him void his excrements, having covered the earth with wood, potherbs, dry leaves and grass, or the like, carefully suppressing his utterance, wrapping up his breast and his head:

50. 'By day let him void them with his face to the north; by night, with his face to the south; at sun rise and at sun set, in the same manner as by day;

51. 'In the shade or in darkness, whether by day or by night, let a Brahmen ease nature with his face turned as he pleases; and in places where he fears injury to life, from wild beasts or from reptiles.

52. 'Of him, who should urine against fire, against the sun, or the moon, against a twice born man, a cow, or the wind, all the sacred knowledge would perish.

53. 'Let him not blow the fire with his mouth; let him not see his wife naked; let him not throw any soul thing into fire; nor let him warm his feet in it;

54. 'Nor let him place it in a chafing dish under his bed; nor let him stride over it; nor let him keep it, while he sleeps, at his feet: let him do nothing that may be injurious to life.

55. 'At the time of sunrise or sunset, let him not eat, nor travel, nor lie down to rest; let him not idly draw lines on the ground; nor let him take off his own chaplet of flowers.

56. 'Let him not cast into the water either urine or ordure, nor saliva, nor cloth, or any other thing soiled with impurity, nor blood, nor any kinds of poison.

57. 'Let him not sleep alone in an empty house; nor let him wake a sleeping man superiour to himself in wealth and in learning; nor let him speak to a woman at the time of her courses; nor let him go to perform a sacrifice, unattended by an officiating priest.

58. 'In a temple of consecrated fire, in the pasture of kine, in the presence of Brahmens, in reading the Veda, and in eating his food, let him hold out his right arm uncovered.

59. 'Let him not interrupt a cow while she is drinking, nor give notice to any, whose milk or water she drinks; nor let him who knows right from wrong, and sees in the sky the bow of Indra, show it to any man.

60. 'Let him not inhabit a town, in which civil and religious duties are neglected; nor for a long time, one in which diseases are frequent; let him not begin a journey alone; let him not reside long on a mountain.

61. 'Let him not dwell in a city governed by a Sudra king, nor in one surrounded with men unobservant of their duties, nor in one abounding with professed hereticks, nor in one swarming with low born outcasts.

62. Let him eat no vegetable, from which the oil has been extracted; nor indulge his appetite to satiety; nor eat either too early or too late; nor take any food in the evening, if he have eaten to fullness in the morning.

63. 'Let him make no vain corporeal exertion: let him not sip water taken up with his closed fingers: let him eat nothing placed in his lap: let him never take pleasure in asking idle questions.

64. 'Let him neither dance, nor sing, nor play on musical instruments, except it religious rites; nor let him strike his arm, or gnash his teeth, or make a braying noise, though agitated by passion.

65. 'Let him not wash his feet in a pan of mixed yellow metal; nor let him eat from a broken dish, nor where his mind is disturbed with anxious apprehensions.

66. 'Let him not use either slippers or clothes, or a sacerdotal string, or an ornament, or a garland, or a water pot, which before have been used by another.

67. 'With untrained beasts of burden let him not travel; nor with such as are oppressed by hunger or by disease; nor with such as have imperfect horns, eyes, or hoofs; nor with such as have ragged tails:

68. 'But let him constantly travel with beasts well trained, whose pace is quick, who bear all the marks of a good breed, who have an agreeable colour, and a beautiful form; giving them very little pain with his whip.

69. 'The sun in the sign of Canya, the smoke of a burning corse, and a broken seat, must be shunned: he must never cut his own hair and nails, nor ever tear his nails with his teeth.

70. 'Let him not break mould or clay without cause: let him not cut grass with his nails: let him neither indulge any vain fancy, nor do any act that can bring no future advantage:

71. 'He, who thus idly breaks clay, or cuts grass, or bites his nails, will speedily sink to ruin; and so shall a detractor, and an unclean person.

72. 'Let him use no contumelious phrase; let him wear no garland except on his hair: to ride on the back of a bull or cow, is in all modes culpable.

73. 'Let him not pass, otherwise than by the gate, into a walled town or an enclosed house; and by night let him keep aloof from the roots of trees.

74. 'Never let him play with dice: let him not put off his sandals with his hand: let him not eat, while he reclines on a bed, nor what is placed in his hand, or on a bench;

75. 'Nor, when the sun is set, let him eat any thing mixed with tila; nor let him ever, in this world, sleep quite naked; nor let him go any whither with a remnant of food in his mouth.

76. 'Let him take his food, having sprinkled his feet with water; but never let him sleep with his feet wet: he, who takes his food with his feet so sprinkled, will attain long life.

77. 'Let him never advance into a place undistinguishable by his eye, or not easily passable: never let him look at urine or ordure; nor let him pass a river swimming with his arms.

78. 'Let not a man, who desires to enjoy long life, stand upon hair, nor upon ashes, bones, or potsherds, nor upon seeds of cotton, nor upon husks of grain.

79. 'Nor let him tarry even under the shade of the same tree with outcafts for great crimes, nor with Chandalas, nor with Puccasas, nor with idiots, nor with men proud of wealth, nor with washermen and other vile persons, nor with Antyavasayins.

80. 'Let him not give even temporal advice to a Sudra; nor, except to his own servant, what remains from his table; nor clarified butter, of which part has been offered to the gods; nor let him in person give spiritual counsel to such a man, nor personally inform him of the legal expiation for his sin:

81. 'Surely he, who declares the law to a servile man, and he, who instructs him in the mode of expiating sin, except by the intervention of a priest, sinks with that very man into the hell named Asamvrita.

82. 'Let him not stroke his head with both hands; nor let him even touch it, while food remains in his mouth; not without bathing it, let him bathe his body.

83. 'Let him not in anger lay hold of hair, or smite any one on the head; nor let him, after his head has been rubbed with oil, touch with oil any of his limbs.

84. 'From a king, not born in the military class, let him accept no gift, nor from such as keep a slaughter-house or an oil press, or put out a vintner’s flag, or subsist by the gain of prostitutes:

85. 'One oil press is as bad as ten slaughter-houses; one vintner’s flag, as ten oil presses; one prostitute, as ten vintner’s flags; one such king, as ten prostitutes;

86. 'With a slaughterer, therefore, who employs ten thousand slaughter-houses, a king, not a soldier by birth, is declared to be on a level; and, a gift from him is tremendous.

87. 'He, who receives a present from an avaricious king and a transgressor of the sacred ordinances, goes in succession to the following twenty-one hells:

88. 'Tamisra, Andhatamisra, Maharaurava, Raurava, Naraca, Calasutra, and Mahanaraca;

89. 'Sanjivana, Mahavichi, Tapana, Sampratapana, Sanhata, Sacacola, Cudmala, Putimrittica;

90. 'Lohasancu, or iron spiked, and Rijisha, Pant’hana, the river Salmali, Asipatravana, or the sword-leaved, forest, and Lohangaraca, or the pit of red hot charcoal.

91. 'Brahmens, who know this law, who speak the words of the Veda, and who seek bliss after death, accept no gifts from a king.

92. 'Let the house-keeper wake in the time sacred to Brahmi, the goddess of speech, that is in the last watch of the night: let him then reflect on virtue and virtuous emoluments, on the bodily labour which they require, and on the whole meaning and very essence of the Veda.

93. 'Having risen, having done what nature makes necessary, having then purified himself and fixed his attention, let him stand a long time repeating the gayatri for the first or morning twilight; as he must for the last or evening twilight in its proper time.

94. By continued repetition of the gayatri, at the twilights, the holy sages acquire length of days, perfect knowledge, reputation during life, fame after death, and celestial glory.

93. 'Having duly performed the upacarma, or domestick ceremony with sacred fire, at the full moon of Sravana, or of Bhadra, let the Brahmen, fully exerting his intellectual powers, read the Vedas during four months and one fortnight:

96. 'Under the lunar asterism Pushya, or on the first day of the bright half of Magha, and in the first part of the day, let him perform out of the town, the ceremony called the utserga of the Vedas.

97. 'Having performed that ceremony out of town, as the law directs, let him desist from reading for one intermediate night winged with two days, or for that day and that following night only;

98. 'But after that intermission, let him attentively read the Vedas in the bright fortnights and in the dark fortnights let him constantly read all the Vedangas.

99. 'He must never read the Veda without accents and letters well pronounced; nor ever in the presence of Sudras; nor having begun to read it in the last watch of the night, must he, though fatigued, deep again.

100. 'By the rule just mentioned let him continually, with his faculties exerted, read the Mantras, or holy texts, composed in regular measures; and, when he is under no restraint, let him read both the Mantras and the Brahmanas, or chapters on the attributes of God.

101. 'Let a reader of the Veda, and a teacher of it to his pupils, in the form prescribed, always avoid reading on the following prohibited days.

102. 'By night, when the wind meets his ear, and by day when the dust is collected, he must not read in the season of rain; since both those times are declared unfit for reading, by such as know when the Veda ought to be read.

103. 'In lightning, thunder, and rain, or during the fall of large fireballs on all sides, at such times Menu has ordained the reading of scripture to be deferred till the same time next day.

104. 'When the priest perceives those accidents occurring at once, while his fires are kindled for morning and evening sacrifices, then let him know, that the Veda must not be read; and when clouds are seen gathered out of season.

105. 'On the occasion of a preternatural sound from the sky, of an earthquake, or an obscuration of the heavenly bodies, even in due season, let him know, that his reading must be postponed till the proper time:

106. 'But if, while his fires are blazing, the sound of lightning and thunder is heard without rain, his reading must be discontinued, only while the phenomenon lasts; the remaining event, or rain also, happening, it must cease for a night and a day.

107. 'The reading of such, as wish to attain the excellent reward of virtue, must continually be suspended in towns and in cities, and always where an ofsensive smell prevails.

108. 'In a district, through which a corpse is carried, and in the presence of an unjust person, the reading of scripture must cease; and while the sound of weeping is heard; and in a promiscuous assembly of men.

109. 'In water, near midnight, and while the two natural excretions are made, or with a remnant of food in the mouth, or when the sraddha has recently been eaten, let no man even meditate in his heart on the holy texts.

110. 'A learned Brahmen, having received an invitation to the obsequies of a single ancestor, must not read the Veda for three days; nor when the king has a son born; nor when the dragon’s head causes an eclipse.

111. 'As long as the scent and unctuosity of perfumes remain on the body of a learned priest, who has partaken of an entertainment, so long he must abstain from pronouncing the texts of the Veda.

112. 'Let him not read lolling on a couch, nor with his feet raised on a bench, nor with his thighs crossed, nor having lately swallowed meat, or the rice and other food given on the birth or death of a relation;

113. 'Nor in a cloud of dust, nor while arrows whiz, or a lute sounds, nor in either of the twilights, nor at conjunction, nor on the fourteenth day, nor at the opposition, nor on the eighth day of the moon:

114. 'The dark lunar day destroys the spiritual teacher; the fourteenth destroys the learner; the eighth and the day of the full moon destroy all remembrance of scripture; for which reasons he must avoid reading on those lunar days.

115. 'Let no Brahmen read, while dust falls like a shower, nor while the quarters of the firmament are inflamed, nor while shakals yell, nor while dogs bark or yelp, nor while asses or camels bray, nor while men in company chatter.

116. 'He must not read near a cemetery, near a town, or in a pasture for kine; nor in a mantle worn before a time of dalliance; nor having just received the present usual at obsequies:

117. 'Be it an animal, or a thing inanimate, or whatever be the gift at a sraddha, let him not, having lately accepted it, read the Veda; for such a Brahmen is said to have his mouth in his hand.

118. 'When the town is beset by robbers, or an alarm has been raised by fire, and in all terrors from strange phenomena, let him know, that his lecture must be suspended till the due time after the cause of terror has ceased.

119. 'The suspension of reading scripture, after a performance of the upacarma and utserga, must be for three whole nights, by the man who seeks virtue more than knowledge; also for one day and night, on the eighth lunar days which follow those ceremonies, and on the nights at the close of the seasons.

120. 'Never let him read on horseback, nor on a tree, nor on an elephant, nor in a boat, nor on an ass, nor on a camel, nor standing on barren ground, nor borne in a carriage;

121. 'Nor during a verbal altercation, nor during a mutual assault, nor with an army, nor in battle, nor after food, while his hand is moist from walking, nor with an indigestion, nor after vomiting, nor with four eructations;

122. 'Nor without notice to a guest just arrived, nor while the wind vehemently blows, nor when blood gushes from his body, nor when it is wounded by a weapon.

123. 'While the strain of the Saman meets his ear, he shall not read the Rich, or the Yajush; nor any part of the Veda, when he has just concluded the whole; nor any other part, when he has just finished the book entitled Aranyaca:

124. 'The Rigveda is held sacred to the gods; the Yajurveda relates to mankind; the Samaveda concerns the manes of ancestors, and the sound of it, when chanted, raises therefore a notion of something impure.

125 'Knowing this collection of rules, let the learned read the Veda on every lawful day, having first repeated, in order, the pure essence of the three Vedas, namely, the pranava, the vyahritis, and the gayatri.

126. 'If a beast used in agriculture, a frog, a cat, a dog, a snake, an ichneumon, or a rat, pass between the lecturer and his pupil, let him know, that the lecture must be intermitted for a day and a night.

127. 'Two occasions, when the Veda must not be read, let a Brahmen constantly observe with great care; namely, when the place for reading it is impure, and when he is himself unpurified.

128. 'On the dark night of the moon, and the eighth, on the night of the full moon, and on the fourteenth, let a Brahmen, who keeps house, be continually chaste as a student in theology, even in the season of nuptial-embraces.

129. 'Let him not bathe, haying just eaten; nor while he is afflicted with disease; nor in the middle of the night; nor with many clothes; nor in a pool of water imperfectly known.

130. 'Let him not intentionally pass over the shadow of sacred images, of a natural or spiritual father, of a king, of a Brahmen, who keeps house, or of any reverend personage; nor of a red-haired or copper-coloured man, nor of one who has just performed a sacrifice.

131. 'At noon or at midnight, or having eaten flesh at a sraddha, or in either of the twilights, let him not long tarry where four ways meet.

132. 'He must not stand knowingly near oil and other things, with which a man has rubbed his body, or water in which he has washed himself, or feces and urine, or blood, or mucus, or any thing chewed and spitten out, or any thing vomited.

133. 'Let him shew no particular attention to his enemy or his enemy’s friend, to an unjust person, to a thief, or to the wife of another man;

134. 'Since nothing is known in this world so obstructive to length of days, as the culpable attention of a man to the wife of another.

135. 'Never let him, who desires an increase of wealth, despise a warriour, a serpent, or a priest versed in scripture, how mean soever they may appear;

136. 'Since those three, when contemned, may destroy a man; let a wife man therefore, always beware of treating those three with contempt:

137. 'Nor should he despise even himself on account of previous miscarriages; let him pursue fortune till death, nor ever think her hard to be attained.

138. 'Let him say what is true, but let him say what is pleasing; let him speak no disagreeable truth, nor let him speak agreeable falsehood: this is a primeval rule.

139. 'Let him say "well and good,” or let him say “well” only; but let him not maintain fruitless enmity and altercation with any man.

140. 'Let him not journey too early in the morning or too late in the evening, nor too near the mid-day, nor with an unknown companion, nor alone, nor with men of the servile class.

141. 'Let him not insult those who want a limb, or have a limb redundant, who are unlearned, who are advanced in age, who have no beauty, who have no wealth, or who are of an ignoble race.

142. 'Let no priest, unwashed after food, touch with his hand a cow, a Brahmen, or fire; nor being in good health and unpurified, let him even look at the luminaries in the firmament:

143. 'But, having accidentally touched them before his purification, let him ever sprinkle, with water in the palm of his hand, his organs of sensation, all his limbs, and his navel.

144. 'Not being in pain from disease, let him never without cause touch the cavities of his body; and carefully let him avoid his concealed hair.

143. 'Let him be intent on those propitious observances which lead to good fortune, and on the discharge of his customary duties, his body and mind being pure, and his members kept in subjection; let him constantly without remissness repeat the gayatri, and present his oblation to fire:

146. 'To those who are intent on good fortune and on the discharge of their duties, who are always pure, who repeat the holy text, and make oblations to fire, no calamity happens.

147. 'In due season, let him ever study the scripture without negligence; for the sages call that his principal duty: every other duty is declared to be subordinate.

148. 'By reading the Veda continually, by purity of body and mind, by rigorous devotion, and by doing no injury to animated creatures, he brings to remembrance his former birth:

149. 'A Brahmen, remembering his former birth, again reads the Veda, and by reading it constantly, attains bliss without end.

150. 'On the days of the conjunction and opposition, let him constantly make those oblations, which are hallowed by the gayatri, and those which avert misfortune; but on the eighth and ninth lunar days of the three dark fortnights, after the end of Agrahayan, let him always do reverence to the manes of ancestors.

151. 'Far from the mansion of holy fire, let him remove all ordure; far let him remove water, in which feet have been washed; far let him remove all remnants of food, and all seminal impurity.

152. 'At the beginning of each day let him discharge his feces, bathe, rub his teeth, apply a collirium to his eyes, adjust his dress, and adore the gods.

153. 'On the dark lunar day, and on the other monthly parvans, let him visit the images of deities and brahmens eminent in virtue, and the ruler of the land, for the sake of protection, and those whom he is bound to revere.

154. 'Let him humbly greet venerable men, who visit him, and give them his own seat; let him fit near them, closing the palms of his hands; and when they depart, let him walk some way behind them.

155. 'Let him practise, without intermission, that system of approved usages, which is the root of all duty religious and civil, declared at large in the scriptural and sacred law tracts, together with the ceremonies peculiar to each act:

156. 'Since by such practice long life is attained; by such practice is gained wealth unperishable; such practice baffles every mark of ill fortune:

157. 'But by an opposite practice, a man surely sinks to contempt in this world, has always a large portion of misery, is afflicted with disease and short-lived;

158. 'While the man who is observant of approved usages, endued with faith in scripture, and free from a spirit of detraction, lives a hundred years, even though he bear no bodily mark of a prosperous life.

159. 'Whatever act depends on another man, that act let him carefully shun; but whatever depends on himself, to that let him studiously attend:

160. All that depends on another, gives pain; and all that depends on himself, gives pleasure; let him know this to be in few words the definition of pleasure and pain.

161. 'When an act, neither prescribed nor prohibited, gratifies the mind of him who performs it, let him perform it with diligence, but let him avoid its opposite.

162. 'Him, by whom he was invested with the sacrificial thread, him, who explained the Veda, or even a part of it, his mother, and his father, natural or spiritual, let him never oppose, nor priests, nor cows, nor persons truly devout.

163. 'Denial of a future state, neglect of the scripture, and contempt of the deities, envy and hatred, vanity and pride, wrath and severity, let him at all times avoid.

164. 'Let him not, when angry, throw a stick at another man, nor smite him with any thing; unless he be a son or a pupil; those two he may chastise for their improvement in learning.

165. 'A twice born man, who barely assaults a Brahmen with intention to hurt him, shall be whirled about for a century in the hell named Tamisra;

166. 'But, having smitten him in anger and by design, even with a blade of grass, he shall be born, in one and twenty transmigrations, from the wombs of impure quadrupeds.

167. 'He, who, through ignorance of the law, sheds blood from the body of a Brahmen, not engaged in battle, shall feel excessive pain in his future life:

168. 'As many particles of dust as the blood shall roll up from the ground, for so many years shall the shedder of that blood be mangled by other animals in his next birth.

169. 'Let not him then, who knows this law, even assault a Brahmen at any time, nor strike him even with grass, nor cause blood to gush from his body.

170. 'Even here below an unjust man attains no felicity; nor he, whose wealth proceeds from giving false evidence; nor he, who constantly takes delight in mischief.

171. 'Though oppressed by penury, in consequence of his righteous dealings, let him never give his mind to unrighteousness; for he may observe the speedy overthrow of iniquitous and sinful men.

172. 'Iniquity, committed in this world, produces not fruit immediately, but, like the earth, in due season; and, advancing by little and little, it eradicates the man who committed it.

173. 'Yes; iniquity, once committed, fails not of producing fruit to him, who wrought it; if not in his own person, yet in his sons; or, if not in his sons, yet in his grandsons:

174. 'He grows rich for awhile through unrighteousness; then he beholds good things; then it is, that he vanquishes his foes; but he perishes at length from his whole root upwards.

173. 'Let a man continually take pleasure in truth, in justice, in laudable practices, and in purity; let him chastise those whom he may chastise in a legal mode; let him keep in subjection his speech, his arm, and his appetite:

176. 'Wealth and pleasures, repugnant to law, let him shun; and even lawful acts, which may cause future pain, or be offensive to mankind.

177. 'Let him not have nimble hands, restless feet, or voluble eyes; let him not be crooked in his ways; let him not be flippant in his speech, nor intelligent in doing mischief.

178. 'Let him walk in the path of good men; the path in which his parents and forefathers walked: while he moves in that path he can give no offence.

179. 'With an attendant on consecrated fire, a performer of holy rites, and a teacher of the Veda, with his maternal uncle, with his guest or a dependent, with a child, with a man either aged or sick, with a physician, with his paternal kindred, with his relations by marriage, and with cousins on the side of his mother,

180. 'With his mother herself, or with his father, with his kinswomen, with his brother, with his son, his wife, or his daughter, and with his whole set of servants let him have no strife.

181. 'A house-keeper, who shuns altercation with those just mentioned, is released from all secret faults; and, by suppressing all such disputes, he obtains a victory over the following worlds:

182. 'The teacher of the Veda secures him the world of Brahma; his father, the world of the Sun, or of the Prajapetis; his guest, the world of Indra; his attendants on holy fire, the world of Devas;

183. 'His female relations, the world of celestial nymphs; his maternal cousins, the world of the Visvadevas; his relations by affinity, the world of waters; his mother and maternal uncle give him power on earth;

184. 'Children, old men, poor dependents, and sick persons, must be considered as rulers of the pure ether; his elder brother, as equal to his father; his wife and son, as his own body;

185. 'His assemblage of servants, as his own shadow; his daughter, as the highest object of tenderness: let him therefore, when offended by any of those, bear the offence without indignation.

186. 'Though permitted to receive presents, let him avoid a habit of taking them; since, by taking many gifts, his divine light soon fades.

187. 'Let no man of sense, who has not fully informed himself of the law concerning gifts of particular things, accept a present, even though he pine with hunger.

188. 'The man who knows not that law, yet accepts gold or gems, land, a horse, a cow, food, raiment, oils, or clarified butter, becomes mere ashes, like wood consumed by fire:

189. 'Gold and gems burn up his nourishment and life; land and a cow, his body; a horse, his eyes; raiment, his skin; clarified butter, his manly strength; oils, his progeny.

190. 'A twice born man, void of true devotion, and not having read the Veda, yet eager to take a gift, sinks down, together with it, as with a boat of stone in deep water.

191. 'Let him then, who knows not the law, be fearful of presents from this or that giver; since an ignorant man, even by a small gift, may become helpless as a cow in a bog.

192. 'Let no man, apprized of this law, present even water to a priest, who acts like a cat, nor to him, who acts like a bittern, nor to him, who is unlearned in the Veda;

193. 'Since property, though legally gained, if it be given to either of those three, becomes prejudicial in the next world, both to the giver and receiver:

194. 'As he, who tries to pass over deep water in a boat of stone, sinks to the bottom, so those two ignorant men, the receiver and the giver, sink to a region of torment.

195. 'A covetous wretch, who continually displays the flag of virtue, a pretender, a deluder of the people, is declared to be the man who acts like a cat; he is an injurious hypocrite, a detractor from the merits of all men.  

196. 'A twice born man, with his eyes dejected, morose, intent on his own advantage, sly, and falsely demure, is he who acts like a bittern.

197. 'Such priests, as live like bitterns, and such as demean themselves like cats, fall by that sinful conduct into the hell called Andhatamisra.

198. 'Let no man, having committed sin, perform a penance under the pretext of austere devotion, disguising his crime under fictitious religion, and deceiving both women and low men:

199. 'Such impostors, though Brahmens, are despised in the next life, and in this, by all who pronounce holy texts; and every religious act fraudulently performed gees to evil beings.

200. 'He, who has no right to distinguishing marks, yet gains a subsistence by wearing false marks of distinction, takes to himself the sin committed by those who are entitled to such marks, and shall again be born from the womb of a brute animal.

201. 'Never let him bathe in the pool of another man; for he who bathes in it without licence, takes to himself a small portion of the sins, which the maker of the pool has committed.

202. 'He, who appropriates to his own use the carriage, the bed, the seat, the well, the garden, or the house of another man, who has not delivered them to him, assumes a fourth part of the guilt of their owner.

203. 'In rivers, in ponds dug by holy persons, and in lakes, let him always bathe; in rivulets also, and in torrents.

204. 'A wise man should constantly discharge all the moral duties, though he perform not constantly the ceremonies of religion; since he falls low, if, while he performs ceremonial acts only, he discharge not his moral duties.

205. 'Never let a priest eat pare of a sacrifice not begun with texts of the Veda, nor of one performed by a common sacrificer, by a woman or by an eunuch:

206. 'When those persons offer the clarified butter, it brings misfortune to good men, and raises aversion in the deities; such oblations, therefore, he must carefully shun.

207. 'Let him never eat the food of the insane, the wrathful, or the sick; nor that, on which lice have fallen; nor that, which has designedly been touched by a foot;

208. 'Nor that, which has been looked at by the slayer of a priest, or by any other deadly sinner, or has even been touched by a woman in her courses, or pecked by a bird, or approached by a dog;

209. 'Nor food which has been smelled by a cow; nor particularly that which has been proclaimed for all comers; nor the food of associated knaves, or of harlots; nor that which is contemned by the learned in scripture;

210. 'Nor that of a thief or a publick singer, of a carpenter, of an usurer, of one who has recently come from a sacrifice, of a niggardly churl, or of one bound with fetters;

211. 'Of one publickly defamed, of an eunuch, of an unchaste woman, or of a hypocrite; nor any sweet thing turned acid, nor what has been kept a whole night; nor the food of a servile man, nor the orts of another;

212. 'Nor the food of a physician, or of a hunter, or of a dishonest man, or of an eater of orts; nor that of any cruel person; nor of a woman in childbed; nor of him, who rises prematurely from table to make an ablution; nor of her whose ten days of purification have not elapsed;

213. 'Nor that, which is given without due honour to honourable men; nor any flesh which has not been sacrificed; nor the food of a woman, who has neither a husband nor a son; nor that of a foe, nor that of the whole town, nor that of an outcast, nor that on which any person has sneezed;

214. 'Nor that of a backbiter, or of a false witness; nor of one who sells the reward of his sacrifice; nor of a publick dancer, or a tailor; nor of him who has returned evil for good;

215. 'Nor that of a blacksmith, or a man of the tribe called Nishada, nor of a stage-player, nor of a worker in gold or in cane, nor of him who sells weapons;

216. 'Nor of those who train hunting dogs, or sell fermented liquor; nor of him who washes clothes, or who dyes them; nor of any malevolent person; nor of one who ignorantly suffers an adulterer to dwell under his roof;

217. 'Nor of those who knowingly bear with the paramours of their own wives, or are constantly in subjection to women; nor food given for the dead before ten days of purification have passed; nor any food whatever, but that which satisfies him.

218. 'Food given by a king, impairs his manly vigour; by one of the servile class, his divine light; by goldsmiths, his life; by leather-cutters, his good name:

219. 'Given by cooks and the like mean artizans, it destroys his offspring; by a washerman, his muscular strength; but the food of knavish associates and harlots excludes him from heaven:

220. 'The food of a physician is purulent; that of a libidinous woman, seminal; that of an usurer, seculent; that of a weapon-seller, filthy:

221. 'That of all others, mentioned in order, whose food must never be tasted, is held equal by the wife to the skin, bones, and hair of the dead.

222. 'Having unknowingly swallowed the food of any such persons, he must fast during three days; but, having eaten it knowingly, he must perform the same harsh penance, as if he had tasted any seminal impurity, ordure, or urine.

223. 'Let no learned priest eat the dressed grain of a servile man, who performs no parental obsequies; but having no other means to live, he may take from him raw grain enough for a single night.

224. 'The deities, having well considered the food of a niggard, who has read the scripture, and that of an usurer, who bestows gifts liberally, declared the food of both to be equal in quality;

225. 'But Brahma, advancing towards the gods, thus addressed them: "Make not that equal, which in truth is unequal; since the food of a liberal man is purified by faith, while that of a learned miser is defiled by his want of faith in what he has read.”

226. 'Let each wealthy man continually and sedulously perform sacred rites, and consecrate pools or gardens with faith; since those two acts, accomplished with faith and with riches honestly gained, procure an unperishable reward:

227. 'If he meet with fit objects of benevolence, let him constantly bestow gifts on them, both at sacrifices and consecrations, to the best of his power and with a cheerful heart;

228. 'Such a gift, how small soever, bestowed on request without grudging, passes to a worthy object, who will secure the giver from all evil.

229. 'A giver of water obtains content; a giver of food, extreme bliss; a giver of tila, desired offspring; a giver of a lamp, unblemished eyesight;

230. 'A giver of land obtains landed property; a giver of gems or gold, long life; a giver of a house, the most exalted mansion; a giver of silver, exquisite beauty;  

231. ‘A giver of clothes, the same station with Chandra; a giver of a horse, the same station with Aswi; a giver of a bull, eminent fortune; a giver of a cow, the mansion of Surya;

232. 'A giver of a carriage or a bed, an excellent comfort; a giver of safety, supreme dominion; a giver of grain, perpetual delight; a giver of scriptural knowledge, union with God:

233. 'Among all those gifts, of water, food, kine, land, clothes, tila, gold, clarified butter, and the rest, a gift of spiritual knowledge is consequently the most important;  

234. 'And for whatever purpose a man bestows any gift, for a similar purpose he shall receive, with due honour, a similar reward.

234. 'Both he, who respectfully bestows a present, and he who respectfully accepts it, shall go to a seat of bliss; but, if they act otherwise, to a region of horror.

236. 'Let not a man be proud of his rigorous devotion; let him not, having sacrificed, utter a falsehood; let him not, though injured, insult a priest; having made a donation, let him never proclaim it:

237. 'By falsehood, the sacrifice becomes vain; by pride, the merit of devotion is lost; by insulting priests, life is diminished; and by proclaiming a largess, its fruit is destroyed.

238. 'Giving no pain to any creature, let him collect virtue by degrees, for the sake of acquiring a companion to the next world, as the white ant by degrees builds his nest;

239. 'For, in his passage to the next world, neither his father, nor his mother, nor his wife, nor his son, nor his kinsmen, will remain in his company: his virtue alone will adhere to him.

240. 'Single is each man born; single he dies; single he receives the reward of his good, and single the punishment of his evil deeds:

241. 'When he leaves his corse, like a log or a lump of clay, on the ground, his kindred retire with averted faces; but his virtue accompanies his soul.

242. 'Continually, therefore, by degrees, let him collect virtue, for the sake of securing an inseparable companion; since with virtue for his guide, he will traverse a gloom, how hard to be traversed!

243. 'A man, habitually virtuous, whose offences have been expiated by devotion, is instantly conveyed after death to the higher world, with a radiant form and a body of ethereal substance.

244. 'He, who seeks to preserve an exalted rank, must constantly form connexions with the highest: and best families, but avoid the worst and the meanest;

245. 'Since a priest, who connects himself with the best and highest of men, avoiding the lowest and worst, attains eminence; but sinks, by an opposite conduct, to the class of the servile.

246. 'He, who perseveres in good actions, in subduing his passions, in bestowing largesses, in gentleness of manners, who bears hardships patiently, who associates not with the malignant, who gives pain to no sentient being, obtains final beatitude.

247. 'Wood, water, roots, fruit, and food placed before him without his request, he may accept from all men; honey also, and protection from danger.

248. 'Gold, or other alms, voluntary brought and presented, but unasked and unpromised, Brahma considered as receivable even from a sinner:

249. 'Of him, who shall disdain to accept such alms, neither will the manes eat the funeral oblations for fifteen years, nor will the fire convey the burnt sacrifice to the gods.

250. 'A bed, houses, blades of cusa, perfumes, water, flowers, jewels, butter-milk, ground rice, fish, new milk, flesh meat, and green vegetables, let him not proudly reject.

251. 'When he wishes to relieve his natural parents or spiritual father, his wife or others, whom he is bound to maintain, or when he is preparing to honour deities or guests, he may receive gifts from any person, but must not gratify himself with such presents:

252. 'If his parents, however, be dead, or if he live without them in his own house, let him, when he seeks nourishment for himself, receive presents invariably from good men alone.

253. 'A labourer in tillage, a family friend, a herdsman, a slave, a barber, a poor stranger offering his humble duty, are men of the servile class, who may eat the food of their superiours:

254. 'As the nature of the poor stranger is, as the work is, which he desires to perform, and as he may show most respect to the master of the house, even thus let him offer his service;

255. 'For he, who describes himself to worthy men, in a manner contrary to truth, is the most sinful wretch in this world: he is the worst of thieves, a stealer of minds.

256. 'All things have their sense ascertained by speech; in speech they have their basis; and from speech they proceed: consequently, a falsifier of speech falsifies every thing.

257. 'When he has paid, as the law directs, his debts to the sages, to the manes, and to the gods, by reading the scripture, begetting a son, and performing regular sacrifices, he may resign all to his son of mature age, and reside in his family house, with no employment, but that of an umpire.

258. 'Alone, in some solitary place, let him constantly meditate on the divine nature of the soul, for by such meditation he will attain happiness.

259. 'Thus has been declared the mode, by which a Brahmen, who keeps house, must continually subsist, together with the rule of devotion ordained for a pupil returned from his preceptor; a laudable rule, which increases the best of the three equalities.

260. 'A priest, who lives always by these rules, who knows the ordinances of the Veda, who is freed from the bondage of sin, shall be absorbed in the divine essence.
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Re: The Ordinances of Menu, by Sir William Jones

Postby admin » Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:59 am


On Diet, Purification, and Women.

1. The sages, having heard those laws delivered for the conduct of house-keepers, thus addressed the high-minded Bhrigu, who proceeded, in a former birth, from the genius of fire.

2. 'How, Lord, can death prevail over Brahmens, who know the scriptural ordinances, and perform their duties as they have been declared?'

3. Then he, whose disposition was perfect virtue, even Bhrigu, the son of Menu, thus answered the great Rishis. 'Hear from what sin proceeds the inclination of death, to destroy the chief of the twice born:

4. 'Through a neglect of reading the Veda, through a desertion of approved usages, through supine remissness in performing holy rites, and through various offences in diet, the genius of death becomes eager to destroy them.

5. 'Garlick, onions, leeks, and mushrooms, (which no twice born man must eat) and all vegetables raised in dung.

6. 'Red gums or resins, exuding from trees, and juices from wounded stems, the fruit selu, and the thickened milk of a cow within ten days after her calving, a priest must avoid with great care.

7. 'Rice pudding boiled with tila, frumenty, rice-milk, and baked bread, which have not been first offered to some deity, flesh meat also, the food of gods, and clarified butter, which have not first been touched, while holy texts were recited,

8. 'Fresh milk from a cow, whose ten days are not passed, the milk of a camel, or any quadruped with a hoof not cloven, that of an ewe, and that of a cow in heat, or whose calf is dead or absent from her,

9. 'That of any forest beast, except the buffalo, the milk of a woman, and any thing naturally sweet but acidulated, must all be carefully shunned:

10. 'But among such acids, butter-milk may be swallowed, and every preparation of butter-milk, and all acids extracted from pure flowers, roots, or fruit not cut with iron.

11. 'Let every twice born man avoid carnivorous birds, and such as live in towns, and quadrupeds with uncloven hoofs, except those allowed by the Veda, and the bird called tittibha;

11. 'The sparrow, the water bird plava, the phenicopteros, the chacravaca, the breed of the town cock, the sarasa, the rajjuvala, the woodpecker,  and the parot male and female;

13. 'Birds, that strike with their beaks, web-footed birds, the coyashti, those who wound with strong talons, and those who dive to devour fish; let him avoid meat kept at a slaughter-house, and dried meat,

14. 'The heron, the raven, the chanjana, all amphibious fish eaters, tame hogs, and fish of every sort, hut those expressly permitted.

15. 'He, who eats the flesh of any animal, is called the eater of that animal itself; and a fish eater is an eater of all flesh; from fish, therefore, he must diligently abstain:

16. 'Yet the two fish called pat'hina and rohita, may be eaten by the guests, when offered at a repast in honour of the gods or the manes; and so may the rajiva, the sinhatunda, and the sasalka of every species.

17. 'Let him not eat the flesh of any solitary animals, nor of unknown beasts or birds, though by general words declared eatable, nor of any creature with five claws;

18. 'The hedgehog and porcupine, the lizard godha the gandaca, the tortoise, and the rabbit or hare, wise legislators declare lawful food among five toed animals; and all quadrupeds, camels excepted, which have but one row of teeth.

19. 'The twice born man, who has intentionally eaten a mushroom, the flesh of a tame hog, or a town cock, a leek, or an onion, or garlick, is degraded immediately;

20. 'But having undesignedly tasted either of those six things, he must perform the penance santapana, or the chandriyana, which anchorets, practise; for other things he must fast a whole day.

21. 'One of those harsh penances, called prajapatya, the twice born man must perform annually,  to purify him from the unknown taint of illicit food; but he must do particular penance for such food intentionally eaten.

22. 'Beasts and birds of excellent sorts may be slain by Brahmens for sacrifice, or for the sustenance of those, whom they are bound to support; since Agastya did this of old.

23. 'No doubt in the primeval sacrifices by holy men, and in oblations by those of the priestly and military tribes, the flesh of such beasts and birds, as may be legally eaten, was presented to the deities.

24. 'That which may be eaten or drunk when fresh, without blame, may be swallowed, if touched with oil, though it has been kept a whole night; and so may the remains of clarified butter:

25. 'And every mess prepared with barley or wheat, or with dressed milk, may be eaten by the twice born, although not sprinkled with oil.

26. 'Thus has the food, allowed or forbidden to a twice born man, been comprehensively mentioned: I will now propound the special rules for eating and for avoiding flesh meat.

27. 'He should taste meat, which has been hallowed for a sacrifice with appropriated texts, and once only, when a priest shall desire him, and when he is performing a legal act, or in danger of losing life.

28. 'For the sustenance of the vital spirit, Brahma created all this animal and vegetable system; and all that is moveable or immoveable, that spirit devours.

29. 'Things fixed are eaten by creatures with locomotion; toothless animals, by animals with teeth; those without hands, by those to whom hands were given; and the timid by the bold.

30. 'He, who eats according to law, commits no sin, even though every day he tastes the flesh of such animals, as may lawfully be tasted; since both animals, who may be eaten, and those who eat them, were equally created by Brahma.

31. 'It is delivered as a rule of the gods, that meat must be swallowed only for the purpose of sacrifice; but it is a rule of gigantick demons, that it may be swallowed tor any other purpose.

32. 'No sin is committed by him, who having honoured the deities and the manes, eats flesh meat, which he has bought, or which he has himself acquired, or which has been given him by another:

33. 'Let no twice born man, who knows the law, and is not in urgent distress, eat flesh without observing this rule; for he, unable to save himself, will be devoured in the next world by those animals, whose flesh he has thus illegally swallowed.

34. 'The sin of him, who kills deer for gain, is not so heinous, with respect to the punishment in another life, as that of him, who eats flesh meat in vain, or not previously offered as a sacrifice:

35. 'But the man, who, engaged in holy rites according to law, refuses to eat it, shall sink in another world, for twenty-one births, to the state of a beast.

36. 'Never let a priest eat the flesh of cattle unhallowed with mantras, but let him eat it, observing the primeval rule, when it has been hallowed with those texts of the Veda.

37. 'Should he have an earnest desire to taste flesh meat, he may gratify his fancy by forming the image of some beast with clarified butter thickened, or he may form it with dough, but never let him indulge a wish to kill any beast in vain:

38. 'As many hairs as grow on the beast, so many similar deaths shall the slayer of it, for his own satisfaction in this world, endure in the next from birth to birth.

39. 'By the self-existing in person were hearts created for sacrifice; and the sacrifice was ordained for the increase of this universe: the slaughterer therefore of beasts for sacrifice is in truth no slaughterer.

40. Gramineous plants, cattle, timber-trees, amphibious animals, and birds, which have been destroyed for the purpose of sacrifice, attain in €he next world exalted births.

41. 'On a solemn offering to a guest, at a sacrifice and in holy rites to the manes or to the gods, but on those occasions only, may cattle be slain: this law Menu enacted.

42. 'The twice born man, who knowing the meaning and principles of the Veda, slays cattle on the occasions mentioned, conveys both himself and those cattle to the summit of beatitude.

43. 'Let no twice born man, whose mind is improved by learning, hurt animals without the sanction of scripture, even though in pressing distress, whether he live in his own house, or in that of his preceptor, or in a forest.

44. 'That hurt, which the scripture ordains, and which is done in this world of moveable and immoveable creatures, he must consider as no hurt at all; since law shone forth from the light of the scripture.

45. 'He, who injures animals, that are not injurious, from a wish to give himself pleasure, adds nothing to his own happiness, living or dead;

46. 'While he, who gives no creature willingly the pain of confinement or death, but seeks the good of all sentient beings enjoys bliss without end.

47. 'He, who injures no animated creature, shall attain without hardship whatever he thinks of, whatever he strives for, whatever he fixes his mind on.

48. 'Flesh meat cannot be procured without injury to animals, and the slaughter of animals obstructs the path to beatitude; from flesh meat, therefore, let man abstain:

49. 'Attentively considering the formation of bodies, and the death or confinement of embodied spirits, let him abstain from eating flesh meat of any kind.

50. 'The man who forsakes not the law, and eats not flesh meat, like a blood thirsty demon, shall attain good will in this world, and shall not be afflicted with maladies.

51. 'He, who consents to the death of an animal; he, who kills it; he, who dissects it; he, who buys it; he, who sells it; he, who dresses it; he, who serves it up; and he, who makes it his food; these are eight principals in the slaughter.

52. 'Not a mortal exists more sinful than he, who without an oblation to the manes or the gods, desires to enlarge his own flesh with the flesh of another creature.

53. 'The man, who performs annually, for a hundred years, an aswamedha, or sacrifice of a horse, and the man who abstains from flesh meat, enjoy for their virtue an equal reward.

54. 'By subsisting on pure fruit and on roots, and by eating such grains as are eaten by hermits, a man reaps not so high a reward, as by carefully abstaining from animal food.

55. "Me he (man fa) will devour in the next world, whose flesh I eat in this life:" thus should a flesh eater speak, and thus the learned pronounce the true derivation of the word mansa, or flesh.

56. 'In lawfully tasting meat, in drinking fermented liquor, in caressing women, there is no turpitude; for to such enjoyments men are naturally prone; but a virtuous abstinence from them produces a signal compensation.

57. 'Now will I promulgate the rules of purification for the dead, and the modes of purifying inanimate things, as the law prescribes them for the four classes in due order.

58. 'When a child has teethed, and when, after teething, his head has been shorn, and when he has been girt with his thread, and when, being full grown, he dies, all his kindred are impure: on the birth of a child the law is the same.

59. 'By a dead body, the sapindas are rendered impure in law for ten days, or until the fourth day, when the bones have been gathered up, or for three days, or for one day only, according to the qualities of the deceased:

60. 'Now the relation of the sapindas, or men connected by the funeral cake, ceases with the seventh person, or in the sixth degree of ascent or descent, and that of samanodacas, or those connected by an equal oblation of water, ends only, when their births and family names are no longer known.

61. 'As this impurity, by reason of a dead kinsman, is ordained for sapindas, even thus it is ordained on a child-birth, for those who seek absolute purity.  

62. 'Uncleanness, on account of the dead, is ordained for all; but on the birth of a child, for the mother and father: impurity, for ten days after the child-birth, affects the mother only; but the father, having bathed, becomes pure.

63. 'A man, having wasted his manhood, is purified by bathing; but after begetting a child on a parapurva, he must meditate for three days on his impure state.

64. 'In one day and night, added to nights three times three, the sapindas are purified after touching the corpse; but the samanodacas in three days.

65. 'A pupil in theology, having performed the ceremony of burning his deceased preceptor, becomes pure in ten nights: he is equal, in that case, to the sapindas, who carry out the dead.

66. 'In a number of nights, equal to the number of months from conception, a woman is purified on a miscarriage; and a woman in her courses is rendered pure by bathing, when her effusion of blood has quite stopped.

67. 'For deceased male children, whose heads have not been shorn, purity is legally obtained in one night; but for those, on whom that ceremony has been performed, a purification of three nights is required.

68. 'A dead child under the age of two years, let his kinsmen carry out, having decked him with flowers, and bury him in pure ground, without collecting his bones at a future time:

69. 'Let no ceremony with fire be performed for him, nor that of sprinkling water; but his kindred, having left him like a piece of wood in the forest, shall be unclean for three days.

70. 'For a child under the age of three years, the ceremony with water shall not be performed by his kindred; but if his teeth be completely grown, or a name have been given him, they may perform it, or not, at their option.

71. 'A fellow student in theology being dead, three days of impurity are ordained; and on the birth of a samanodaca, purification is required for three nights.

72. 'The relations of betrothed but unmarried damsels, are in three days made pure; and, in as many, are their paternal kinsmen purified after their marriage:

73. 'Let them eat vegetable food without factitious, that is, only with native salt; let them bathe for three days at intervals; let them taste no flesh meat; and let them sleep apart on the ground.

74. 'This rule, which ordains impurity by reason of the dead, relates to the case of one dying near his kinsmen; but, in the case of one dying at a distance, the following rule must be observed by those who share the same cake, and by those who share only the same water:

75. 'The man, who hears that a kinsman is dead in a distant country, becomes unclean, if ten days after the death have not passed, for the remainder of those ten days only;

76. 'But if the ten days have elapsed, he is impure for three nights, and, if a year have expired, he is purified merely by touching water.

77. 'If, after the lapse of ten days, he know the death of a kinsman, or the birth of a male child, he must purify himself by bathing together with his clothes.

78. 'Should a child, whose teeth are not grown, or should a samanodaca die in a distant region, the kinsman, having bathed with his apparel, becomes immediately pure.

79. 'If, during the ten days, another death or another birth intervene, a Brahmen remains impure only till those ten days have elapsed.

80. 'A spiritual teacher being dead, the sages declare his pupil impure for three days; but for a day and a night, if the son or wife of the teacher be deceased; such is the sacred ordinance.

81. 'For a reader of the whole Veda, who dwells in the same house, a man is unclean three nights; but for a maternal uncle, a pupil, an officiating priest, and a distant kinsman, only one night winged with two days.

82. 'On the death of a military king, in whose dominion he lives, his impurity lasts while the sun or the stars give light; but it lasts a whole day, on the death of a priest who has not read the whole Veda, or of a spiritual guide, who has read only part of it, with its Angas.

83. 'A man of the sacerdotal class becomes pure in ten days; of the warlike, in twelve; of the commercial, in five; of the servile, in a month.

84. 'Let no man prolong the days of impurity; let him not intermit the ceremonies to be performed with holy fires; while he performs those rites, even though he be a sapinda, he is not impure.

85. 'He, who has touched a Chandala, a woman in her courses, an outcast for deadly sin, a new born child, a corpse, or one who has touched a corpse, is made pure by bathing.

86. 'If, having sprinkled his mouth with water, and been long intent on his devotion, he see an unclean person, let him repeat, as well as he is able, the solar texts of the Veda, and those which confer purity.

87. 'Should a Brahmen touch a human bone moist with oil, he is purified by bathing; if it be not oily, by stroking a cow, or by looking at the sun, having sprinkled his mouth duly with water.

88. 'A student in theology shall not perform the ceremony of pouring water at obsequies, until he have completed his course of religious acts; but if, after the completion of them, he thus make an offering of water, he becomes pure in three nights.

89. 'For those, who discharge not their prescribed duties; for those, whose fathers were of a lower class than their mothers; for those, who wear a dress of religion unauthorized by the Veda; and for those, who illegally kill themselves, the ceremony of giving funeral water is forbidden by law;

90. 'And for women imitating such hereticks, as wear an unlawful dress, and for such women as live at their own pleasure, or have caused an abortion, or have stricken their husbands, or have drunk any spirituous liquor.

91. 'A student violates not the rules of his order, by carrying out, when dead, his own instructor in the Vedas, who invested him with his holy cord, or his teacher of particular chapters, or his reverend expounder of their meaning, or his father, or his mother.

92. 'Let men carry out a dead Sudra by the southern gate of the town; but the twice born, in due order, by the western, northern, and eastern gates.

93. 'No taint of impurity can light on kings or students in theology, while employed in discharging their several duties, nor on those who have actually begun a sacrifice; for the first are then placed on the seat of Indra, and the others are always equally pure with the celestial spirit.

94. 'To a king, on the throne of magnanimity, the law ascribes instant purification, because his throne was raised for the protection of his people and the supply of their nourishment:

95. 'It is the same with the kinsmen of those who die in battle, after the king has been slain, or have been killed by lightning, or legally by the king himself, or in defence of a cow, or of a priest; and with all those whom the king wishes to be pure.

96. 'The corporeal frame of a king is composed of particles from Soma, Agni, Surya, Pavana, Indra, Cuvera, Varuna, and Yama, the eight guardian deities of the world:

97. 'By those guardians of men in substance is the king pervaded, and he cannot by law be impure; since by those tutelar gods are the purity and impurity of mortals both caused and removed.

98.' By a soldier discharging the duties of his class, and slain in the field with brandished weapons, the highest sacrifice is, in that instant, complete; and so is his purification: this law is fixed.

99. 'A priest having performed funeral rites, is purified by touching water; a soldier, by touching his horse or elephant, or his arms; a husbandman, by touching his goad, or the halter of his cattle; a servant, by touching his staff.

100. 'This mode of purifying sapindas, O chief of the twice born, has been fully declared to you! learn now the purification required on the death of kinsmen less intimately connected.

101. 'A Brahmen, having carried out a dead Brahmen, though not a sapinda, with the affection of a kinsman, or any of those nearly related to him by his mother, becomes pure in three days;

102. 'But, if he taste the food offered by their sapindas, he is purified in ten days; and in one day, if he neither partake of their food, nor dwell in the same house.

103. If he voluntarily follow a corpse, whether of a paternal kinsman or of another, and afterwards bathe with his apparel, he is made pure by touching fire and tasting clarified butter.

104. 'Let no kinsman, whilst any of his own class are at hand, cause a deceased Brahmen to be carried out by a Sudra; since the funeral rite, polluted by the touch of a servile man, obstructs his passage to heaven.

105. 'Sacred learning, austere devotion, fire, holy aliment, earth, the mind, water, smearing with cow-dung, air, prescribed acts of religion, the sun, and time, are purifiers of embodied spirits;

106. 'But of all pure things, purity in acquiring wealth is pronounced the most excellent: since he, who gains wealth with clean hands, is truly pure; not he, who is purified merely with earth and water.

107. 'By forgiveness of injuries, the learned are purified; by liberality, those who have neglected their duty; by pious meditation, those who have secret faults; by devout austerity, those who best know the Veda.

108. 'By water and earth is purified what ought to be made pure; a river, by its current; a woman, whose thoughts have been impure, by her monthly discharge, and the chief of twice born men, by fixing his mind wholly on God.

109. 'Bodies are cleansed by water; the mind is purified by truth; the vital spirit, by theology and devotion; the understanding, by clear knowledge.

110. 'Thus have you heard me declare the precise rules for purifying animal bodies: hear now the modes of restoring purity to various inanimate things.

111. 'Of brilliant metals, of gems, and of every thing made with stone, the purification, ordained by the wife, is with ashes, water, and earth.

112. 'A golden vessel, not smeared, is cleansed with water only; and every thing produced in water, as coral, shells or pearls, and every stony substance, and a silver vessel not enchased.

113. 'From a junction of water and fire arose gold and silver; and they two, therefore, are best purified by the elements whence they sprang.

114. 'Vessels of copper, iron, brass, pewter, tin and lead, may be fitly cleansed with ashes, with acids, or with water.

115. 'The purification ordained for all sorts of liquids, is by stirring them with cusa-grass; for cloths folded by sprinkling them with hallowed water; for wooden utensils, by planeing them.  

116. f'For the sacrificial pots to hold clarified butter and juice of the moon plant, by rubbing them with the hand, and washing them, at the time of the sacrifice:

117. 'Implements to wash the rice, to contain the oblations, to cast them into the fire, to collect, winnow, and prepare the grain, must be purified with water made hot.

118. 'The purification by sprinkling is ordained for grain and cloths in large quantities; but to purify them in small parcels, which a man may easily carry, they must be washed.

119. 'Leathern utensils, and such as are made with cane, must generally be purified in the same manner with cloths; green vegetables, roots, and fruit, in the same manner with grain;

120. 'Silk and woollen stuff, with saline earths; blankets from Nepala with pounded arishtas, or nimba fruit; vests and long drawers, with the fruit of the Bilva; mantles of cshuma, with white mustard seeds.

121. 'Utensils made of shells or horn, of bones or of ivory, must be cleansed by him who knows the law, as mantles of cshuma are purified, with the addition of cows urine or of water.

122. 'Grass, firewood, and straw, are purified by sprinkling them with water; a house, by rubbing, brushing, and smearing with cow-dung; an earthen pot, by a second burning:

123. But an earthen pot, which has been touched with any spirituous liquor, with urine, with ordure, with spittle, with pus, or with blood, cannot, even by another burning, be rendered pure.

124. Land is cleansed by five modes; by sweeping, by smearing with cow-dung, by sprinkling with cow's urine, by scraping, or by letting a cow pass a day and a night on it.

125. 'A thing nibbled by a bird, smelt at by a cow, shaken with a foot, sneezed on, or defiled by lice, is purified by earth scattered over it.

126. 'As long as the scent or moisture, caused by any impurity, remain on the thing soiled, so long must earth and water be repeatedly used in all purifications of things inanimate.

127. 'The gods declared three pure things peculiar to Brahmens; what has been defiled without their knowledge, what, in cases of doubt, they sprinkle with water; and what they commend with their speech.

128. 'Waters are pure, as far as a cow goes to quench her thirst in them, if they flow over clean earth, and are sullied by no impurity, but have a good scent, colour, and taste.

129. 'The hand of an artist, employed in his art, is always pure; so is every vendible commodity, when exposed to sale; and that food is always clean, which a student in theology has begged and received: such is the sacred rule.

130. 'The mouth of a woman is constantly pure; a bird is pure on the fall of fruit, which he has pecked; a sucking animal, on the flowing of the milk; a dog, on his catching the deer:

131. The flesh of a wild beast slain by dogs, Menu pronounces pure; and that of an animal slain by other carnivorous creatures, or by men of the mixed class, who subsist by hunting.

132. All the cavities above the navel are pure, and all below it, unclean; so are all excretions that fall from the body.

133. 'Gnats, clear drops from the mouth of a speaker, a shadow, a cow, a horse, sun beams, dust, earth, air and fire, must all be considered as clean, even when they touch an unclean thing.

134. 'For the cleansing of vessels, which have held ordure or urine, earth and water must be used, as long as they are needful; and the same for cleansing the twelve corporeal impurities:

135. 'Oily exudations, seminal fluids, blood, dandruff, urine, feces, ear-wax, nail-parings, phlegm, tears, concretions on the eyes, and sweat, are the twelve impurities of the human frame.

136. 'By the man who desires purity, one piece of earth, together with water, must be used for the conduit of urine, three for that of the feces; so, ten for one hand, that is, the left; then seven for both: but if necessary, more must he used.

137. 'Such is the purification of married men; that of students must be double; that of hermits, triple; that of men wholly recluse, quadruple.

138. 'Let each man sprinkle the cavities of his body, and taste water in due form, when he has discharged urine or feces; when he is going to read the Veda; and, invariably, before he takes his food:

139. 'First, let him thrice taste water; then, twice let him wipe his mouth, if he be of a twice born class, and desire corporeal purity; but a woman or servile man may once respectively make that ablution.

140. 'Sudras, engaged in religious duties, must perform each month the ceremony of shaving their heads; their food must be the orts of Brahmens; and their mode of purification, the same with that of a Vaisya.

141. 'Such drops of water, as fall from the mouth or any part of the body, render it not unclean; nor hairs of the beard that enter the mouth; nor what adheres awhile to the teeth.

142. 'Drops, which trickle on the feet of a man holding water for others, are held equal to waters flowing over pure earth: by them he is not defiled.

143. 'He, who carries in any manner an inanimate burden, and is touched by any thing impure, is cleansed by making an ablution, without laying his burden down.

144. 'Having vomited, or been purged, let him bathe and taste clarified butter, but, it he have eaten already, let him only perform an ablution: for him, who has been connected with a woman, bathing is ordained by law.

145. 'Having slumbered, having sneezed, having eaten, having spitten, having told untruths, having drunk water, and going to read sacred books, let him, though pure, wash his mouth.

146. 'This perfect system of rules for purifying men of all classes, and for cleansing inanimate things, has been declared to you: hear now the laws concerning women.

147. 'By a girl, or by a young woman, or by a woman advanced in years, nothing must be done, even in her own dwelling place, according to her mere pleasure:

148. 'In childhood must a female be dependent on her father; in youth, on her husband; her lord being dead, on her sons; if she have no sons, on the near kinsmen of her husband; if he he left no kinsmen, on those of her father; if she have no paternal kinsmen, on the sovereign: a woman must never seek independence.

149. 'Never let her wish to separate herself from her father, her husband, or her sons; for, by a separation from them, the exposes both families to contempt.

150. 'She must always live with a cheerful temper, with good management in the affairs of the house, with great care of the household furniture, and with a frugal hand in all her expences.

151. 'Him, to whom her father has given her, or her brother with the paternal assent, let her obsequiously honour, while he lives; and, when he dies, let her never neglect him.

152. 'The recitation of holy texts, and the sacrifice ordained by the lord of creatures, are used in marriages for the sake of procuring good fortune to brides; but the first gift, or troth plighted by the husband, is the primary cause and origin of marital dominion.

153. 'When the husband has performed the nuptial rites with texts from the Veda, he gives bliss continually to his wife here below, both in season and out of season; and he will give her happiness in the next world.

154. 'Though inobservant of approved usages, or enamoured of another woman, or devoid of good qualities, yet a husband must constantly be revered as a god by a virtuous wife.

155. 'No sacrifice is allowed to women apart from their husbands, no religious rite, no fasting: as far only as a wife honours her lord, so far she is exalted in heaven.

156. A faithful wife, who wishes to attain in heaven the mansion of her husband, must do nothing unkind to him, be he living or dead:

157. 'Let her emaciate her body, by living voluntarily on pure flowers, roots, and fruit; but let her not, when her lord is deceased, even pronounce the name of another man.

158. 'Let her continue till death forgiving all injuries, performing harsh duties, avoiding every sensual pleasure, and cheerfully practising the incomparable rules of virtue, which have been followed by such women, as were devoted to one only husband.

159 'Many thousands of Brahmens, having avoided sensuality from their early youth, and having left no issue in their families, have ascended, nevertheless, to heaven;

160. 'And, like those abstemious men, a virtuous wife ascends to heaven, though she have no child, if, after the decease of her lord, she devote herself to pious austerity:

161. 'But a widow, who, from a wish to bear children, slights her deceased husband by marrying again, brings disgrace on herself here below, and shall be excluded from the seat of her lord.

162. 'Issue, begotten on a woman by any other than her husband, is here declared to be no progeny of hers; no more than a child, begotten on the wife of another man, belongs to the begetter: nor is a second husband allowed, in any part of this code, to a virtuous woman.

163. 'She, who neglects her former (purva) lord, though of a lower class, and takes another (para) of a higher, becomes despicable in this world, and is called parapurva, or one who had a different husband before.

164. 'A married woman, who violates the duty which she owes to her lord, brings infamy on herself in this life, and, in the next, shall enter the womb of a shakal, or be afflicted with elephantiasis, and other diseases, which punish crimes;

165. 'While she, who slights not her lord, but keeps her mind, speech, and body, devoted to him, attains his heavenly mansion, and by good men is called sadhvi, or virtuous.

166. 'Yes; by this course of life it is, that a woman, whose mind, speech, and body are kept in subjection, acquires high renown in this world, and, in the next, the same abode with her husband.

167. 'A twice born man, versed in sacred ordinances, must burn with hallowed fire and fit implements of sacrifice, his wife dying before him, if she was of his own class, and lived by these rules:

168. 'Having thus kindled sacred fires and performed funeral rites to his wife, who died before him, he may again marry, and again light the nuptial fire.

169. 'Let him not cease to perform day by day, according to the preceding rules, the five great sacraments; and having taken a lawful comfort, let him dwell in his house during the second period of his life.
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Re: The Ordinances of Menu, by Sir William Jones

Postby admin » Sat Jul 24, 2021 7:00 am


On Devotion; or on the Third and Fourth Orders.

1. 'Having thus remained in the order of a house-keeper, as the law ordains, let the twice born man, who had before completed his studentship, dwell in a forest, his faith being firm and his organs wholly subdued.

2. 'When the father of a family, perceives his muscles become flaccid and his hair gray, and sees the child of his child, let him then seek refuge in a forest:

3. 'Abandoning all food eaten in towns, and all his household utensils, let him repair to the lonely wood, committing the care of his wife to her sons, or accompanied by her, if she chuse to attend him.

4. 'Let him take up his consecrated fire, and all his domestick implements of making oblations to it, and, departing from the town to the forest, let him dwell in it with complete power over his organs of sense and of action.

5. 'With many sorts of pure food, such as holy sages used to eat, with green herbs, roots, and fruit, let him perform the five great sacraments before mentioned, introducing them with due ceremonies.

6. 'Let him wear a black antelope’s hide, or a vesture of bark; let him bathe evening and morning; let him suffer the hairs of his head, his beard, and his nails to grow continually.

7. 'From such food, as himself may eat, let him, to the utmost of his power, make offerings and give alms; and with presents of water, roots, and fruit, let him honour those who visit his hermitage.

8. 'Let him be constantly engaged in reading the Veda; patient of all extremities, universally benevolent, with a mind intent on the Supreme Being; a perpetual giver, but no receiver of gifts; with tender affection for all animated bodies.

9. 'Let him, as the law directs, make oblations on the hearth with three sacred fires; not omitting, in due time, the ceremonies to be performed at the conjunction and opposition of the moon.

10. 'Let him also perform the sacrifice ordained in honour of the lunar constellations, make the prescribed offering of new grain, and solemnize holy rites every four months, and at the winter and summer solstices.

11. 'With pure grains, the food of ancient sages, growing in the vernal and autumnal seasons, and brought home by himself, let him severally make, as the law ordains, the oblations of cakes and boiled grain;

12. 'And, having presented to the gods, that purest oblation which the wild woods produced, let him eat what remains, together with some native salt, which himself collected.

13. 'Let him eat green herbs, flowers, roots, and fruit, that grow on earth or in water, and the productions of pure trees, and oils formed in fruits.

14. 'Honey and flesh meat he must avoid, and all sorts of mushrooms, the plant bhustrina, that named sighruca, and the fruit of the sleshmataca.

15. 'In the month Aswina let him cast away the food of sages, which he before had laid up, and his vesture, then become old, and his herbs, roots, and fruit.

16. 'Let him not eat the produce of plowed land, though abandoned by any man who owns it, nor fruits and roots produced in a town, even though hunger oppress him.

17. 'He may eat what is mellowed by fire, and he may eat what is ripened by time; and either let him break hard fruits with a stone, or let his teeth serve as a pestle.

18. 'Either let him pluck enough for a day, or let him gather enough for a month; or let him collect enough for six months, or lay up enough for a year.

19. 'Having procured food, as he is able, he may eat it at eve or in the morning; or he may take only every fourth, or every eighth, such regular meal;

20. 'Or, by the rules of the lunar penance, he may eat a mouthful more each day of the bright, and a mouthful less each day of the dark fortnight; or he may eat only once, at the close of each fortnight, a mess of boiled grains:

21. Or he may constantly live on flowers and roots, and on fruit matured by time, which has fallen spontaneously, strictly observing the laws ordained for hermits.

22. 'Let him slide backwards and forwards on the ground; or let him stand a whole day on tiptoe; or let him continue in motion rising and sitting alternately; but at sunrise, at noon, and at sunset, let him go to the waters and bathe.

23. 'In the hot season, let him sit exposed to five fires, four blazing around him with the sun above; in the rains, let him stand uncovered, without even a mantle, where the clouds pour the heaviest showers; and in the cold season, let him wear humid vesture; and let him increase by degrees the austerity of his devotion:

24. 'Performing his ablution at the three Savanas, let him give satisfaction to the manes and to the gods; and, enduring harsher and harsher mortifications, let him dry up his bodily frame.

25. 'Then having reposited his holy fires, as the law directs, in his mind, let him live without external fire, without a mansion, wholly silent, feeding on roots and fruit;

26. 'Not solicitous for the means of gratification, chaste as a student, sleeping on the bare earth, in the hants of pious hermits, without one selfish affection, dwelling at the roots of trees.  

27. 'From devout Brahmens let him receive alms to support life, or from other house-keepers of twice born classes, who dwell in the forest:

28. 'Or the hermit may bring food from a town, having received it in a basket of leaves, in his naked hand, or in a potsherd; and then let him swallow eight mouthfuls.

29. 'These and other rules must a Brahmen, who retires to the woods, diligently practise; and, for the purpose of uniting his soul with the Divine Spirit, let him study the various Upanishads of scripture, or chapters on the essence and attributes of God,

30. 'Which have been studied with reverence by anchorites versed in theology, and by housekeepers, who dwelt afterwards in forests, for the sake of increasing their sublime knowledge and devotion, and for the purification of their bodies.

31. 'Or, if he has any incurable disease, let him advance in a straight path, towards the invincible north eastern point, feeding on water and air, till his mortal frame totally decay, and his soul become united with the Supreme.

32. 'A Brahmen, having shuffled off his body by any of those modes, which great sages practised, and becoming void of sorrow and fear, rises to exaltation in the divine essence.

"Mortal coil" is a poetic term for the troubles of daily life and the strife and suffering of the world. It is used in the sense of a burden to be carried or abandoned. To "shuffle off this mortal coil" is to die, exemplified in the "To be, or not to be" soliloquy in Shakespeare's Hamlet...

Arthur Schopenhauer, in his Parerga and Paralipomena which was written in German, Volume 2, § 232a, conjectured that this phrase might have been involved in a typesetter's error or a slip of the author's pen.

Should there not have been originally 'shuttled off'? This verb itself no longer exists but 'shuttle' is an implement used in weaving. Accordingly, the meaning might be: 'when we have unwound and worked off this coil of mortality.'

In this way, the length of our life is metaphorically the length of thread that is coiled on a spool, a metaphor related to the ancient Greek mythological figures of the Fates. As humans live, the thread is unwound from the coil by the shuttle of the loom of time.

However, there are no other references in the speech to thread, looms, or weaving, and the remaining content of the speech matches the usage of coil, coile, or coyle to mean turmoil.

-- Mortal Coil, by Wikipedia

33. 'Having thus performed religious acts in a forest during the third portion of his life, let him become a Sannyasi for the fourth portion of it, abandoning all sensual affections, and wholly reposing in the Supreme Spirit:

34. 'The man who has passed from order to order, has made oblations to fire on his respective changes of state, and has kept his members in subjection, but, tired with so long a course of giving alms and making offerings, thus reposes himself entirely on God, shall be raised, after death, to glory.

35. 'When he has paid his three debts to the sages, the manes, and the gods, let him apply his mind to final beatitude; but low shall He fall who presumes to seek beatitude without having discharged those debts;

36. 'After he has read the Vedas in the form prescribed by law, has legally begotten a son, and has performed sacrifices to the best of his power, he has paid his three debts, and may then apply his heart to eternal bliss;

37. 'But if a Brahmen have not read the Veda, if he have not begotten a son, and if he have not performed sacrifices, yet shall aim at final beatitude, he shall sink to a place of degradation.

38. 'Having performed the sacrifice of Praja'peti, accompanied with a gift of all his wealth, and having reposited in his mind the sacrificial fires, a Brahmen may proceed from his house, that is, from the second order, or he may proceed even from the first, to the condition of a Sannyasi.

39. 'Higher worlds are illuminated with the glory of that man, who passes from his house into the fourth order, giving exemption from fear to all animated beings, and pronouncing the mystick words of the Veda:

40. 'To the Brahmen, by whom not even the smallest dread has been occasioned by sentient creatures, there can be no dread from any quarter whatever, when he obtains a release from his mortal body.

41. 'Departing from his house, taking with him pure implements, his water-pot and staff, keeping silence, unallured by desire of the objects near him, let him enter into the fourth order.

42. 'Alone let him constantly dwell, for the sake of his own felicity; observing the happiness of a solitary man, who neither forsakes nor is forsaken, let him live without a companion.

43. 'Let him have no culinary fire, no domicil; let him, when very hungry, go to the town for food; let him patiently bear disease; let his mind be firm; let him study to know God, and fix his attention on God alone.

44. 'An earthen water-pot, the roots of large trees, coarse vesture, total solitude, equanimity toward all creatures, these are the characteristicks of a Brahmen set free.

45. 'Let him not wish for death; let him not wish for life; let him expect his appointed time, as a hired servant expects his wages.

46. 'Let him advance his foot purified by looking down, lest he touch any thing impure; let him drink water purified by straining with a cloth, lest he hurt some insect; let him, if he chuse to speak, utter words purified by truth; let him by all means keep his heart purified.

47. 'Let him bare a reproachful speech with patience; let him speak reproachfully to no man; let him not, on account of this frail and feverish body, engage in hostility with any one living.

48. 'With an angry man, let him not in his turn be angry; abused, let him speak mildly; nor let him utter a word relating to vain illusory things and confined within seven gates, the five organs of sense, the heart and the intellect; or this world, with three above and three below it.

49. 'Delighted with meditating on the Supreme Spirit, sitting fixed in such meditation, without needing any thing earthly, without one sensual desire, without any companion but his own soul, let him live in this world seeking the bliss of the next.

50. 'Neither by explaining omens and prodigies, nor by skill in astrology and palmistry, nor by casuistry and expositions of holy texts, let him at any time gain his daily support.

51. 'Let him not go near a house frequented by hermits, or priests, or birds, or dogs, or other beggars.

52. 'His hair, nails, and beard being clipped, bearing with him a dish, a staff, and a water-pot, his whole mind being fixed on God, let him wander about continually, without giving pain to animal or vegetable beings.

53. 'His dishes must have no fracture, nor must they be made of bright metals: the purification ordained for them must be with water alone, like that of the vessels for a sacrifice.

54. 'A gourd, a wooden bowl, an earthen dish, or a basket made of reeds, has Menu, son of the Self-existing, declared fit vessels to receive the food of Brahmens devoted to God.

55. 'Only once a day let him demand food; let him not habituate him to eat much at a time; for an anchorite, habituated to eat much, becomes inclined to sensual gratifications.

An anchorite or anchoret (female: anchoress) is someone who, for religious reasons, withdraws from secular society so as to be able to lead an intensely prayer-orientated, ascetic, or Eucharist-focused life. Whilst anchorites are frequently considered to be a type of religious hermit, unlike hermits they were required to take a vow of stability of place, opting for permanent enclosure in cells often attached to churches. Also unlike hermits, anchorites were subject to a religious rite of consecration that closely resembled the funeral rite, following which they would be considered dead to the world, a type of living saint. Anchorites had a certain autonomy, as they did not answer to any ecclesiastical authority other than the bishop.

The anchoritic life is one of the earliest forms of Christian monasticism. In the Catholic Church today, it is one of the "Other Forms of Consecrated Life" and governed by the same norms as the consecrated eremitic life. In England, the earliest recorded anchorites existed in the 11th century. Their highest number—around 200 anchorites—were recorded in the 13th century....

Between 1536 and 1539, the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered by Henry VIII effectively brought the anchorite tradition to an end in England.

-- Anchorite, by Wikipedia

56. 'At the time when the smoke of kitchen fires has ceased, when the pestle lies motionless, when the burning charcoal is extinguished, when people have eaten, and when dishes are removed, that is, late in the day, let the Sannyasi always beg food.

57. 'For missing it, let him not be sorrowful; nor for gaining it, let him be glad; let him care only for a sufficiency to support life, but let him not be anxious about his utensils.

58. 'Let him constantly disdain to receive food after humble reverence; since, by receiving it in consequence of an humble salutation, a Sannyasi, though free, becomes a captive.

59. 'By eating little and by sitting in solitary places, let him restrain those organs which are naturally hurried away by sensual desires.

60. 'By the coercion of his members, by the absence of hate and affection, and by giving no pain to sentient creatures, he becomes fit for immortality.

61. 'Let him reflect on the transmigrations of men caused by their sinful deeds, on their downfall into a region of darkness, and their torments in the mansion of Yama;

62. 'On their separation from those whom they love, and their union with those whom they hate, on their strength overpowered by old age, and their bodies racked with disease;

63. 'On their agonizing departure from this corporeal frame, their formation again in the womb, and the glidings of this vital spirit through ten thousand millions of uterine passages;

64. 'On the misery attached to embodied spirits from a violation of their duties, and the unperishable bliss attached to them from their abundant performance of all duties, religious and civil.

What does Catholicism believe about the relationship between the body and spirit? As Catholics we understand from scripture and Tradition that as human beings we are created in the image and likeness of God. We believe we are created as “embodied spirits,” which means our souls are not separate from our bodies, or our bodies from our souls. Just as through the mystery of the Incarnation we believe that Jesus Christ is simultaneously fully human and fully divine, and that his humanity cannot somehow be separated from his divinity or his divinity somehow dissected from his humanity, so too we believe that from our conception our souls and bodies are interrelated. Indeed, this is one of the reasons we believe in the resurrection of the body. Not only did Jesus Christ rise with a glorified body, but we too will be given “glorified bodies” upon resurrection that will perpetuate this embodied spirit dynamic in eternal life.

-- Embodied Spirits, by Very Rev. Jeff Nicolas

65. 'Let him reflect also, with exclusive application of mind, on the subtil indivisible essence of the Supreme Spirit, and its complete existence in all beings, whether extremely high or extremely low.

66. 'Equal-minded towards all creatures, in what order soever he may have been placed, let him fully discharge his duty though he bear not the visible marks of his order: the visible mark, or mere name of his order, is by no means an effective discharge of his duty;

67. 'As, although the fruit of the tree cataca purify water, yet a man cannot purify water by merely pronouncing the name of that fruit: he must throw it, when pounded, into the jar.

68. 'For the sake of preserving minute animals by night and by day, let him walk, though with pain to his own body, perpetually looking on the ground.

69. 'Let a Sannyasi, by way of expiation for the death of those creatures, which he may have destroyed unknowingly by day or by night, make six suppressions of his breath, having duly bathed:

70. 'Even three suppressions of breath, made according to the divine rule, accompanied with the triverbal phrase (bhurbhuvah swah) and the trileteral syllable (om) may be considered as the highest devotion of a Brahmen;

71. 'For as the dross and impurities of metallick ores are consumed by fire, thus are the sinful acts of the human organ consumed by suppressions of the breath, while the mystick words, and the measures of the gayatri are revolved in the mind.

72. 'Let him thus, by such suppressions of breath, burn away his offences; by reflecting intensely on the steps of ascent to beatitude, let him destroy sin; by coercing his members, let him restrain all sensual attachments; by meditating on the intimate union of his own soul and the divine essence, let him extinguish all qualities repugnant to the nature of God.

73. 'Let him observe, with extreme application of mind, the progress of this internal spirit through various bodies, high and low; a progress hard to be discerned by men with unimproved intellects.

74. 'He, who fully understands the perpetual omnipresence of God, can be led no more captive by criminal acts; but he, who possesses not that sublime knowledge, shall wander again through the world.

This word “wander” describes the way many fall away from Christ. They don’t normally just wake up one day and decide to walk away from the faith. The process is far more gradual than that, like a sheep slowly eating its way across a pasture and drifting from the rest of the flock. I have seen this sad tale played out too many times during my years as a pastor. Someone once active in church gradually distances himself from the rest of the church. Volunteer service is dropped, followed by a gradual decline in church attendance. This wandering one might think at first that he can keep up a pattern of Bible reading and prayer on his own, but over time that grows more irregular and then may even stop altogether. This wandering one eventually becomes a former follower of Christ, a completely lost sheep...

Jesus is in the midst of this process because he came to seek and to save the lost. He came to a fallen human race that we might be brought back. He gave of himself completely to bring us home. Let us follow him in giving of ourselves for those who are wandering.

-- “The Wandering Christian”, Matthew 18:10-20, by

75. 'By injuring nothing animated, by subduing all sensual appetites, by devout rites ordained in the Veda, and by rigorous mortifications, men obtain, even in this life, the state of beatitude.

76. 'A mansion with bones for its rafters and beams; with nerves and tendons, for cords; with muscles and blood, for mortar; with skin, for its outward covering; filled with no sweet perfume, but loaded with feces and urine;

77. 'A mansion infected by age and by sorrow, the seat of malady, harassed with pains, haunted with the quality of darkness, and incapable of standing long; such a mansion of the vital soul let its occupier always cheerfully quit:

This note is merely a summary of Saint Teresa of Avila’s great book on Catholic mysticism, The Interior Castle, which was first published in 1588. The Saint herself, a Carmelite nun, was a great mystic, and her personal style of writing demonstrates that she composed The Interior Castle from profound personal experience.

1. The soul. Saint Teresa of Avila begins her famous book about the soul’s progress in prayer and virtue by lamenting how little effort many people make to care for their immortal souls. She states that “faith tells us that we possess souls” made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, we should take time to consider the “soul’s great dignity and beauty,” and to “carefully preserve the soul’s beauty.” (Intr. 11; IC 28-29)

2. The castle metaphor. Teresa envisions the soul “as if it were a castle made of a single diamond” in which there are seven mansions (each mansion containing many rooms). The outer walls of this castle constitute the human body. Outside the castle there are many “venomous creatures” who represent the attraction of sin which the soul is now trying to overcome. Those outside the castle are paralyzed by sin. (IC 28)

3. God dwells in the soul. A central concept of Teresa’s spirituality is the realization that God is immanent – that is, He dwells within the innermost mansion of the human soul (thus, using Teresa’s image of the castle, He dwells in the seventh mansion). “All harm comes to us from failing to realize that God is near.” For “the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21).

4. The soul’s mission. The soul can journey within these mansions to unite itself to God, so as to plant itself, like a tree, in the “living waters of life.” This journey to God is the soul’s essential mission. Even in this lifetime, the soul can make it all the way to the seventh mansion where it is completely united with God. This journey is completed in Heaven where the soul experiences the beatific vision. (IC 33)

5. The soul’s enemy: mortal sin. If we knew how much damage one mortal sin does to the soul, Teresa believes we would go to the “greatest trouble imaginable” to avoid committing such a sin. “No thicker darkness” clouds the soul than mortal sin: it produces nothing but “misery and filth,” bringing “endless and eternal evils in its train.” (IC 33-34)

6. The journey begins with forgiveness. We need to “beg” God to “deliver us” from such evil, and to redeem ourselves “in the blood of Christ,” so as to “remove the pitch which blackens the diamond.” (IC 35)

7. We enter the castle through prayer. Escaping the “snakes and other poisonous creatures” that live outside the castle, and redeemed by God’s boundless mercy, the soul enters the castle through prayer. “Souls without prayer are like people whose bodies and limbs are paralyzed.” (IC 31)

-- The Soul's Journey to God: A Concise Summary of Saint Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, by Catholic Strength

78. 'As a tree leaves the bank of a river, when it falls in, or as a bird leaves the branch of a tree at his pleasure, thus he, who leaves his body by necessity or by legal choice, is delivered from the ravening shark, or crocodile of the world.

79. Letting his good acts descend (by the law of the Veda,) to those who love him, and his evil deeds, to those who hate him, he may attain, through devout meditation, the eternal spirit.

80. 'When, having well considered the nature and consequence of sin, he becomes averse from all sensual delights, he then attains bliss in this world; bliss which shall endure after death.

81. 'Thus having gradually abandoned all earthly attachments, and indifferent to all pairs of opposite things, as honour and dishonour, and the like, he remains absorbed in the divine essence.

82. 'All that has now been declared, is obtained by pious meditation; but no man who is ignorant of the Supreme Spirit, can gather the fruit of mere ceremonial acts.

83. 'Let him constantly study that part of the Veda, which relates to sacrifice; that which treats of subordinate deities; that which reveals the nature of the supreme God; and whatever is declared in the Upanishads.

84. 'This holy scripture is a sure refuge, even for those who understand not its meaning, and of course, for those who understand it; this Veda is a sure resource for those who seek bliss above; this is a sure resource for those who seek bliss eternal.

85. 'That Brahmen, who becomes a Sannyasi by this discipline, announced in due order, shakes off sin here below, and reaches the most high.

80. 'This general law has been revealed to you for anchorites with subdued minds: now learn the particular discipline of those who become recluses according to the Veda, that is, of anchorites in the first of the four degrees.

87. 'The student, the married man, the hermit, and the anchorite, are the offspring, though in four orders, of married men keeping house;

88. 'And all, or even any of those orders, assumed in their turn, according to the sacred ordinances, lead the Brahmen, who acts by the preceding rules, to the highest mansion.


When the soul comes to the seventh mansion, she enters into spiritual marriage with her bridegroom, the King. The soul has penetrated to the very center of itself “where His Majesty alone dwells.” Teresa refers to this place in the soul as a “second Heaven.”

The soul “is brought into this mansion by means of an intellectual vision” where the “Most Holy Trinity reveals Itself in all three Persons. Here all three Persons communicate Themselves to the soul and speak to the soul” (IC 209). Teresa is, no doubt, recounting here what she experienced when she entered the seventh mansion. She indicates that in addition to this experience she also was granted a vision of Jesus “in great splendor, beauty and majesty” after receiving communion. Jesus spoke to her at that moment.

There are many wonderful effects produced in the soul as a result of this spiritual marriage. These include:

– a “self-forgetfulness which is so complete that it really seems as though the soul no longer entirely is she employed seeking the honor of God”

– there is produced in the soul “a great desire to suffer” and the soul bears no “enmity to those who ill-treat them”

– the soul has a “marked detachment from everything,” experiences “no aridities or interior trials,” but always maintains a “tender love” for the Lord, wanting always to give “Him praise”

– the soul experiences almost constant “tranquility”

– the soul has “no lack of crosses,” but they do not “unsettle” the soul’s peace

– the soul “loses its fear” and acquires great “strength” to serve the Lord and the Church

– the soul is ready to bear any cross for the love of the Bridegroom

– the soul experiences the almost constant “presence” of the Bridegroom

(IC 210-231)

Teresa returns to the image of the silkworm to help describe the transformation the soul has undergone in the seventh mansion. This worm, which after much toil and labor, emerged from its cocoon as a beautiful white butterfly (in the fifth mansion), “dies, and with the greatest joy, because Christ is now its life.” The soul is now “endowed with the life of God.”

St. Paul’s exclamation, “I have been crucified with Christ, I live, not I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:19-20), is illustrative of what has happened to the soul. In fact, Teresa points to Paul as a preeminent example of this total transformation in Christ, for having so completely united himself to the Lord through visions, prayer and contemplation, he was ready to suffer “terrible trials” for the Lord, never remaining idle.

Teresa ends her book by reminding her nuns that prayer is not a thing in and of itself, as if for personal enjoyment and to satisfy a quest for mystical phenomena. Rather, prayer is necessary to acquire the strength that makes one fit for service, and to lead souls to God. She also reminds her nuns that humility is the foundation of the interior castle. “Without humility all will be lost” (IC 229, 37).

-- The Soul's Journey to God: A Concise Summary of Saint Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, by Catholic Strength

89. 'But of all those, the house-keeper observing the regulations of the Sruti and Smriti, may be called the chief; since he supports the three other orders.

90. 'As all rivers, female and male, run to their determined place in the sea, thus men of all other orders, repair to their fixed place in the mansion of the house-keeper.

91. 'By Brahmens, placed in these four orders, a tenfold system of duties must ever be sedulously practised:

92. 'Content, returning good for evil, resistance to sensual appetites, abstinence from illicit gain, purification, coercion of the organs, knowledge of scripture, knowledge of the Supreme Spirit, veracity, and freedom from wrath, form their tenfold system of duties.

93. 'Such Brahmens, as attentively read the ten precepts of duty, and after reading, carefully practise them, attain the most exalted condition.

94. 'A Brahmen having practised with organs under command, this tenfold system of duty, having heard the Upanishads explained, as the law directs, and who has discharged his three debts, may become an anchorite, in the house of his son, according to the Veda;

95. 'And, having abandoned all ceremonial acts, having expiated all his offences, having obtained a command over his organs, and having perfectly understood the scripture, he may live at his ease, while the household affairs are conducted by his son.

96. 'When he thus has relinquished all forms, is intent on his own occupation, and free from every other desire, when, by devoting himself to God, he has effaced sin, he then attains the supreme path of glory.

97. 'This fourfold regulation for the sacerdotal class, has thus been made known to you; a just regulation, producing endless fruit after death: next, learn the duty of kings, or the military class.'
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Re: The Ordinances of Menu, by Sir William Jones

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