Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Manusmriti included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Manusmṛti

A code of conduct written by Manu alias Mānavācārya who was the father of man-kind for the harmonious existence of a social life. The book contains twelve chapters. The first chapter deals with the origin of the Smṛti and the origin of the world. No other Smṛti begins like this and so it is believed that this chapter must have been added to it later. The contents of each of the other eleven chapters are given below:

Second chapter.

It deals with the sense organs and stresses the importance of conquering and controlling them. It describes the qualities of a brahmin.

Third chapter.

It contains the duties of a householder after his course of study of the Vedas. Eight different kinds of marriages are described in it. It also deals with methods of giving protection to women and children.

Fourth chapter.

Duties of a brāhmaṇa, study of the Vedas and responsibilities of a Snātaka are all described in this chapter.

Fifth chapter.

This deals with pure and impure foods, impurity and methods of purification, women and their responsibilities.

Sixth Chapter.

This contains the duties of those who have entered the āśrama of Vānaprastha and also of ascetics.

Seventh chapter.

It deals with the duties of Kings and ministers.

Eighth chapter.

It deals with law and justice. It contains laws for the proper conduct of justice and includes ways and means of settling disputes and handling cases of debts, sale without right, partnership, duels, theft, prostitution, boundary disputes and all such matters as are to be decided by a court of law.

Ninth chapter.

It deals with the duties of a husband and wife. It also contains matters relating to property rights, partition and the duties of a King with regard to these.

Tenth chapter.

It deals with the duties of the different castes, mixed castes and the duties of one in times of danger.

Eleventh chapter.

It deals first with penance, observation of Vratas, Yāgas, Yajñas and fee to the priests. It then deals with punishments of crimes, expiation for murder, prostitution etc.

Twelfth chapter.

It deals with the theory of births and describes how your deeds in the present life are directive of the nature of life of your next birth. What deeds would fetch you what life is also explained. It contains instructions on Ātmajñāna and the way to obtain mokṣa (absolute bliss).

The basis of the present Hindu Law is Manusmṛti and it is believed to have been written in B.C. 500.

[Page 482a]

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: