Sunday, March 20, 2022

The Laws of Manu (Manusmriti)

THE LAWS OF MANU (Manu, Indian, 200 BCE-200 CE)

The first Manu (called "Swayambhuva Manu," son of the god Brahma, and in some sense the first human) had a discussion with Bhrigu, a rishi (enlightened person) who was one of the Saptarshis, the Seven Great Sages. Their topics were the proper duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues, and so on. This talk is the basis of the Manusmriti or Laws [better, "Written Texts"] of Manu, the earliest Hindu legal text, and one of the first Sanskrit texts to be translated into English. The East India Company used in the making their administrative law code.

  • Over fifty ancient manuscripts of the Manusmriti are known.
  • It has long been known outside of India, and used in ancient Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia.


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