The Laws of Manu

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Overview

The several Brahmin hands who wrote the Laws of Manu drew on jurisprudence, philosophy and religion to create an extraordinary, encyclopaedic model of how life should be lived, in public and in private, by Untouchables as well as by priests and kings, by women as well as men.

The Sanskrit text was first translated into English in 1794, and translations into other European languages swiftly followed. For Nietzsche the humane wisdom of Manu far surpassed that of the New Testament; for the British Raj it seemed to be the perfect tool with which to rule the Hindu. No understanding of modern India is possible without it, and in the richness of its ideas, its aphoristic profundity and its relevance to universal human dilemmas Manu stands beside the great epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

Many commentators find Manu contradictory and ambiguous; other perceive a clear thematic integrity; and the argument is renewed by Wendy Doniger and Brian K. Smith in their illuminating introduction. Wendy Doniger provides a landmark translation, the first authoritative English rendering this century. It is also the first to set the unadultered text in narrative form, making it accessible and enjoyable both to specialist scholars and to a wider audience.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140445404
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 831,979
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Table of Contents

The Laws of Manu Acknowledgments

INTRODUCTION

Part I: The History of the Text
1. The Importance of The Laws of Manu
2. The History of the Text in Europe: the British and Nietzsche
3. The Vedic Background: Food and Eaters
4. The Revaluation of All Values: Violence and Vegetarianism
5. The Authority of the Beda in Manu

Part II: The Structure and Meaning of the Text
1. The Coherence of Manu
2. Law in Extremity
3. Contradictions in Manu
4. "Between the idea/And the reality"

Part III: The Translation
1. Why Buhler is Not Good Enough
2. The Continuous Narrative
3. Translating Against the Commentaries
4. The Text and the Critical Apparatus

THE LAWS OF MANU

Chapter I
Verses 1-4; Introducction; 5-20 Creation of the Universe; 21-30 Creation of Innate Activities; 31-5 Creation of the Social Order; 36-50 Creation of Creatures; 51-7 Brahma Sleeps and Wakes; 58-63 The Teaching of the Manus; 64-7 Time; 68-74 The Ages; 75-8 Creation of the Elements; 79-86 The Ages; 87-91 Duties of the Social Classes; 92-101 Pre-eminence of Priests; 102-10 Fruits of this Teaching; 111-19 Contents of This Teaching

Chapter 2
1-5 The Value of Desire; 6-16 Canon and Tradition; 17-24 The Sacred Geography of India; 25-9 The Transformative Rituals; 30-35 The Name-giving; 36-49 Initiation; 41-7 The Period of Vedic Study; 48-51 The Student's Begging; 52-7 The Student's Eating; 58-65 Washing; 66-7 Transformative Ceremonies for Women; 68-73 Vedic Recitation; 74-87 "Om" and the Verse to the Sun-god; 88-100 Controlling the Sensory Powers; 101-4 Chanting the Verse to the Sun-god; 105-7 Reciting the Veda; 108-16 People to whom the Veda Should and Should Not Be Taught; 117-33 Greeting People; 134-9 Showing Respect; 140-43 Teachers and Priests; 144-53 The Teacher and the Parents; 154-8 Seniority by Knowledge of the Veda; 159-63 Modest Behaviour; 164-7 Inner Heat and Veda Study; 168-72 Initiation as Birth; 173-93 Proper Conduct for the Student; 194-206 Reverence to the Guru; 207-9 Reverence to the Guru's Son; 210-17 Caution with the Guru's Wife; 218-24 More Proper Conduct for the Student; 225-37 The Guru and the Parents; 238-42 People from whom One May Learn the Veda; 243-9 The Perpetual Student

Chapter 3
1-3 Entering the Householder Stage; 4-7 Choosing a Wife; 8-11 Qualities to Avoid in a Wife; 12-19 Wives of Various Classes; 20-35 The Eight Forms of Marraige; 36-44 Results of Good and Bad Marriages; 45-50 Begetting Children; 51-4 Against the Bride-price; 55-63 The Importance of Treating Women Well; 64-6 The Importance of Vedic Verses; 67-74 The Five Great Sacrifices; 75-9 The Importance of the Householder; 80-83 Duties of the Householder; 84-6 Offerings to the Gods; 87-93 Propitiatory Offerings; 94-8 Giving Alms; 99-115 Treatment of Guests; 116-18 Eating Leftovers; 119-21 The Honey-mixture; 122-3 The Ceremony for the Dead; 124-37 People to Invite to the Ceremony for the Dead; 138-44 People Not to Invite to the Ceremony for the Dead; 145-9 More People to Invite to the Ceremony for the Dead; 150-68 More People Not to Invite to the Ceremony for the Dead; 169-75 Types of Adulterers Not to Invite; 176-82 People who Should Not Be at the Ceremony for the Dead; 183-6 Still More People to Invite to the Ceremony for the Dead; 187-90 The Invitation to the Ceremony for the Dead; 191-200 Ancestors of the Ancestors; 201-5 The Ritual to the Gods; 206-10 Preparing the Ceremony for the Dead; 211-13 The Ritual to the Gods; 214-23 The Ceremony for the Dead; 224-30 The Meal; 231-5 The Entertainment; 236-42 Potential Pollutions at the Meal; 243-8 Feeding Uninvited Guests; 249-50 More Potential Pollutions at the Meal; 251-9 The End of the Ceremony; 260-65 Disposing of Leftovers; 266-72 Benefits of Offering Various Foods; 273-82 Auspicious Days for the Ceremony; 283-6 Fruits of the Ceremony

Chapter 4
1-12 Occupations for the Householder; 13-20 The Behaviour of the Householder; 21-4 Interior Sacrifices; 25-8 The Sacrifices of the Householder; 29-39 The Behaviour of the Householder; 40-44 Women that a Householder Should Avoid; 45-52 A Householder's Excretions; 53-81 General Comportment of a Householder; 84-91 Hells for those who Accept Gifts from Bad Kings; 92-8 Daily Rituals; 99-127 Occasions when the Veda Should Not Be Recited; 128-44 Miscellaneous Prohibitions for a Vedic Graduate; 145-9 Veda Recitation; 150-64 General Comportment of a Vedic Graduate; 165-9 Prohibitions against Harming Priests; 170-74 Avoiding Irreligion; 175-85 General Comportment of a Vedic Graduate; 186-91 Accepting Gifts; 192-200 Hypocrites; 201-4 General Comportment of a Vedic Graduate; 205-23 People whose Food One Should Not Eat; 224-8 Generosity; 229-37 Rewards for Giving Specific Gifts; 238-46 Rewards for Religious Merit after Death; 247-56 Gifts that may be Accepted; 257-60 The Meditation of a Vedic Graduate

Chapter 5
1-4 Fatal Flaws; 5-10 Forbidden Foods; 11-18 Forbidden Birds, Fish and Animals; 19-21 Restorations for Eating Forbidden Foods; 22-5 Food that May be Eaten; 26-44 Meat that May Be Eaten; 46-56 Advantages of Not Eating Meat; 57-66 Pollution after Deaths and Births; 67-73 Pollution after the Death of Children and Women; 74-8 Pollution after a Death at a Distance; 79-84 Pollution after Other Deaths; 85-92 Other Pollutions; 93-9 The Purification of Kings; 100-104 The Death of a Distant Relative; 105-9 Sources of Purification; 110-14 Purification of Metals; 15-26 Purification of Various Objects; 127-31 Things that Are Always Clean; 132-45 Purification of the Polluted Body; 146-51 The Dependence of Women; 152-60 Obedience to the Husband; 161-4 Consequences, for Unfaithful Women; 165-9 The Death of a Wife

Chapter 6
1-4 The Forest-dweller's Departure; 5-11 The Forest-dweller's Rituals; 12-21 The Forest-dweller's Food; 22-30 The Forest-dweller's Inner Heat; 31-2 The Forest-dweller's Death; 33-41 The Ascetic's Departure; 42-9 The Ascetic's Behaviour; 50-60 The Ascetic's Begging; 61-5 The Ascetic's Meditation on Transmigration; 66-72 The Ascetic's Duty and Breath-suppression; 73-5 The Ascetic's Meditation on Transmigration; 76-81 The Ascetic's Death; 82-5 The Ascetic's Veda; 86-90 Householder Ascetics; 91-4 The Ten-fold Duty; 95-7 Householder Renouncers

Chapter 7
1-8 The King as Incarnation of the Gods; 9-13 The Anger of the King; 14-19 The Rod of Punishment; 20-31 Incorrect and Correct Punishment; 32-5 The Good King; 36-42 The Humility of the King; 44-53 The Eighteen Vices; 54-62 Ministers; 63-8 The Ambassador; 69-77 Fortifications; 78-81 Other Officials; 82-6 Giving Gifts to Priests; 87-98 Warfare; 99-101 Four Ways of Accomplishing Goals; 102-6 Readiness; 107-9 The Four Expedients; 110-13 Guarding the Kingdom; 114-19 The Appointment of Officials; 120-24 Guarding against Corruption; 124-32 Wages and Taxation; 133-6 Protecting Learned Priests; 137-40 Tax Exemptions for the Poor; 141-4 Protecting the Subjects; 145-53 The King's Day; 154-8 The Circle of Enemies and Allies; 159-76 The Six Tactics; 177-80 The Essence of Political Policy; 181-8 Marching; 189-94 Deploying Troops; 195-7 Laying Siege; 198-200 The Four Expedients; 201-11 Behaviour in Victory; 212-15 Behaviour in Extremity; 216-20 The King's Food and Poision; 221-6 The King's Relaxations

Chapter 8
1-3 The King as Judge; 4-7 The Eighteen Causes of Legal Action; 8-11 The Judges; 12-22 The Dangers of Injustice; 23-6 Investigative Techniques; 27-9 The Property of Women and Children; 30-34 Property Lost and Found; 35-9 Treasure Trove; 40-46 General Principles of Law; 47-51 Debtors and Creditors; 52-60 Debtors who Violate Court Procedures; 61-78 Witnesses in Cases of Debt; 79-88 Charging the Witnesses; 89-101 Consequences of Giving False Evidence; 103-8 Reasons and Redemptions for Giving False Evidence; 109-16 Oaths and Ordeals; 117-23 Punishments for Giving False Evidence; 124-30 Forms of Punishment; 131-9 The Measurements of Fines; 140-62 Interest Rates, Loans, and Pledges; 163-8 Contracts; 169-75 The King's Behaviour; 176-8 Debts; 179-96 Deposits; 197-202 Sale without Ownership; 203-5 Bride-price; 206-13 Sacrificial Gifts to Officiating Priests; 214-17 Failure to Pay Wages; 218-23 Breach of Contract; 224-9 Flawed and Invalid Weddings; 230-36 Responsibilities of Herdsmen; 237-44 Damage Done by Livestock; 245-66 Boundary Disputes; 267-78 Verbal Assault; 279-87 Physical Assault; 288-9 Damage to Property; 290-98 Traffic Accidents; 299-300 Corporal Punishment; 301-9 The King's Right to Tax; 310-13 The King's Duty to Punish; 314-18 The Punishment of Thieves by the King; 319-38 Punishments for Various Thefts; 339-43 Permissible Thefts; 344-51 Acts of Violence; 352-63 Sexual Misconduct; 364-8 The Corruption of Maidens; 369-70 Lesbianism; 371-3 Adultery; 374-8 Punishments for Inter-class Sexuality; 379-81 Priests Exempt from Capital Punishment; 382-5 More Punishments for Inter-class Sexuality; 386-97 Miscellaneous Rules; 398-403 Duties and Fixed Prices; 404-9 Ferry-fares and Boat-fares; 410-20 The Work of Commoners and Servants

Chapter 9
1-4 The Dependence of Women; 5-18 Why Women Should Be Guarded; 19-21 Restorations for Women's Errors; 22-5 The Dependence of Women on Husbands; 26-30 The Importance of Women; 31-40 The Son Born in the Husband's Field; 41-55 The Danger of Sowing in Another Man's Field; 56-70 Producing Male Heirs by Appointment; 71-3 Rejection of a Bride; 74-9 Separation from or Hatred of a Husband; 80-84 Rejection of a Wife; 85-7 Wives of Various Classes; 88-92 The Father's Duty to Give his Daughter; 93-100 Against the Bride-price; 101-2 Fidelity: Marriage in a Nutshell; 103-10 Inheritance of the Eldest Son; 111-19 Inheritance of the Other Sons and Daughters; 120-21 Inheritance of the Son Born in the Field; 122-6 Inheritance of Sons of Various Wives; 127-36 Inheritance through Appointed Daughters; 137-9 Salvation through Sons; 140-2 Sons' Roles in the Funeral Ritual; 143-7 Disinheritance of Sons of Appointed Daughters; 148-57 Inheritance of Sons of Wives of Various Classes; 158-81 Twelve Kinds of Sons; 182-91 Miscellaneous Heirs; 192-200 Inheritance of the Mother's Estate; 201-6 Inheritance of Defective Sons and Educated Sons; 207-19 Inheritance of Divided and United Brothers; 220-28 The Evils of Gambling; 229-34 Miscellaneous Punishments Inflicted by the King; 235-42 Punishments by the King for Major Crimes; 243-7 Fines Not to Revert to the King; 248-9 Corporal and Capital Punishment by the King; 250-55 Duties of a King; 256-71 Detection and Punishment of Thieves; 272-93 More Miscellaneous Punishments by the King; 294-297 The Elements of the Kingdom; 298-302 The King's Behaviour, like the Ages; 303-12 The King's Behaviour, like the Gods'; 313-25 The King's Deference to Priests; 326-36 The Duties of Commoners and Servants

Chapter 10
1-4 The Four Classes; 5-10 Sons and Outcasts Born "with-the-grain"; 11-19 Outcasts Born "against-the-grain"; 20-23 Outlaws and their Offspring; 24-31 Excluded Classes Born "against-the-grain"; 32-40 The Offspring of Excluded Classes and Aliens; 41-4 Risen and Fallen Degraded Castes; 45-9 The Occupations of Aliens and Outcasts; 50-56 The Treatment of Outcasts; 57-61 The Character and Behaviour of Outcasts; 62-8 Rising in Caste through Virtue; 69-73 The Seed and the Field; 74-80 The Occupations of the Twice-born; 81-94 Priests Living as Rulers or Commoners; 95-100 Rulers, Commoners, and Servants Living as Other Classes; 101-4 Priests in Adversity; 105-8 Famous Priests in Adversity; 109-17 Three Courses and Seven Ways for Priests in Adversity; 118-20 Rulers in Extremity; 121-5 Servants in Adversity; 126-31 The Duties of Servants

Chapter 11
1-4 Vedic Graduates who Beg; 5-10 Supporting Dependants; 11-26 Obtaining Sacrificial Materials from Others; 27-30 Sacrificing in Extremity; 31-5 The Priest's Right to Punish; 36-43 People who Should Not Give the Daily Fire Sacrifice; 44-7 Restorations; 48-54 Physical Results of Unrestored Crimes; 55-9 The Major Crimes; 60-67 The Minor Crimes; 68-71 Crimes that Cause Loss of Caste; 72-90 Restorations for Killing a Priest; 91-8 Restorations for Drinking Liquor; 99-102 Restorations for Stealing Gold; 103-7 Restorations for Killing a Cow; 118-24 Restorations for Shedding Semen; 125-6 Restorations for Loss of Caste; 127-31 Restorations for Killing People other than Priests; 132-46 Resorations for Killing Animals; 147-50 Restorations for Drinking Intoxicating Drinks; 151-61 Restorations for Eating Forbidden Foods; 162-9 Restorations for Theft; 170-79 Restorations for Having Sex with Forbidden Women; 180-91 Restorations for Associating with Fallen Men; 192-7 Reentering the Community; 198-204 Miscellaneous Restorations; 205-10 Restorations for Insulting Priests; 211-20 Descriptions of Vows of Restoration; 221-6 General Restorations; 227-33 Remorse; 234-45 Inner Heat as Restoration; 246-8 Veda as Restoration; 249-61 Particular Vedic Verses as Restorations; 262-6 Veda as Restoration

Chapter 12
1-2 The Fruits of Actions; 3-11 Acts of Mind, Speech, and Body; 12-15 The Knower of the Field; 16-23 Construction of the Body for Hell; 24-38 The Three Qualities of the Self; 39-53 Transmigrations according to Qualities; 54-72 Transmigrations according to Crimes; 73-81 The Torments of Hells and Transmigrations; 82-5 Acts that Bring about the Supreme Good; 86-90 Vedic Activity; 91-3 Knowledge of the Self; 94-106 The Value of Knowing the Veda; 107-15 Authorities and Legal Assemblies; 116-26 Meditation on the Self

Bibliography
Index and Glossary

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