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Manu Samhita/Smriti with Six Commentaries

Sunday, 07 July 2013 / Published in Articles / 2,950 views

By Hari Parshad Das.

Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
For those who are adept at reading Sanskrit and wish to study the Manu Samhita (in parts or in entirety), I’ve managed to find and upload the entire Manu Samhita with Six Commentaries in Devanagari Script.
If this link is not working for any reason, I have uploaded the same file to another location:
Kindly Note:

For those who are ISKCON devotees, there is sometimes a tendency to pick out principles out of the Manu Samhita and try to think of applying them in our society. This is at many times discouraged by Srila Prabhupada and other acharyas of our Sampradaya, who state often that the Hari-bhakti-vilasa is the de-facto smriti literature for a vaishnava society. The application of the Manu Smriti has been discouraged many times by our acharyas as seen in the following quotes:

(a) “Yes, but we do not keep him shudra. A devotee is no longer shudra. We are creating brahmanas. Just like these Europeans and Americans. They, according to Manu-samhita, are mlecchas, yavanas. But we are not keeping them mlecchas and yavanas. They are brahmanas.” (Srila Prabhupada’s Room Conversation, 5 June 1974)
(b) “It is to be understood that the propagation of Mayavada philosophy by Sri Mahadeva and the propagation through Manu of social religious scriptures by Lord Brahma were both meant for bewildering unqualified people.” — (Appendix to ‘Brahmana and Vaishava’ of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura)
(c) “The varnashrama system continued purely for a long time, until Jamadagni and his son Parashuram, of kshatriya natures, claimed themselves as brahmanas. By following a varna contrary to their nature out of self interest, they created friction between the brahmana and ksatriya classes. Because of this seed of enmity between the two classes, the procedure of
judging varna by birth became fixed. In time, this system of varnas without reference to nature entered covertly in the Manu-samhita and other scriptures.” (Sri Krishna Samhita of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura)

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has clearly said in his quote (above) that the social principles in Manu Samhita are for bewildering unqualified people. Therefore, the uploader humbly suggests devotees that this literature be seen only from the point of view of study and not from the point of view of social application.

This upload is now made available for the pleasure of the devotees of Lord Hari by,

their servant,

hari parshad das.

7 Responses to “Manu Samhita/Smriti with Six Commentaries”

  1. Raja Gopala das says :

    “… Jamadagni and his son Parashuram, of kshatriya natures, claimed themselves as brahmanas. By following a varna contrary to their nature out of self interest, they created friction between the brahmana and ksatriya classes. …”

    Is this in contrast with what Srila Prabhupda states in his commentary of BG 3.35? Or is there description of two different Parasurama’s? This because in the one instance it’s about originally a brahmana and in the other instance it is mentioned that Parasurama was originally a ksatriya.

    Confusing but not really since sastra is second to guru … :)

  2. This text has many problems. First of all if Manu samhita is so bad why is he sharing it with us?

    Hari Parshad says:
    “who state often that the Hari-bhakti-vilasa is the de-facto smriti literature for a vaishnava society.”

    Hari Bhakti Vilasa is not a substitute for Manu Samhita. Manu Samhita is a dharma sastra, while Hari Bhaktivilasa is a Pancaratrika text. They serve two different purpose and are not interchangeable.

    Hari Parshad says:

    “The application of the Manu Smriti has been discouraged many times by our acharyas as seen in the following quotes:”

    This is simply not true. There are about 53 hits in the Veda base to the word “Manu Samhita” all of them positive. Hari Parshad mistakenly says that Srila Prabhupada and other acaryas say that we should not implement them in society but this is the exact opposite of what Srila Prabhupada says. In the purport to Bhagavad-gita 2.21 SP states that it is “the lawbook for mankind.” Laws are meant to be followed not just studied.

    In BG 3.21 purport SP writes:

    “A teacher must follow the principles of sastra (scripture) to reach the common man. The teacher cannot manufacture rules against the principles of revealed scriptures. The revealed scriptures, like Manu-samhita and similar others, are considered the standard books to be followed by human society. Thus the leader’s teaching should be based on the principles of the standard rules as they are practiced by the great teachers.” Here again SP says that they are to be followed, which means to apply the rules of Manu.

    And specifically in his purport to BG 16.7 SP describes the modern concept of womanly life (feminism) as demonic and instead we should follow the dictates of Manu Samhita.

    In his purport to SB 1.9.27 SP writes “Actually the qualified brahmanas are meant to give direction to the kings for proper administration in terms of the scriptures like the Manu-samhita and Dharma-sastras of Parasara.”

    In purport to SB 2.1.36 SP writes “The Manu-samhita is the standard lawbook for humanity, and every human being is advised to follow this great book of social knowledge.”

    “Thus there is no peace in the world. The conclusion is that if we want real peace and order in the human society, we must follow the principles laid down by the Manu-samhita and confirmed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna.” SB7.8.48 purport


  3. part 2

    There are numerous similar statements that are in direct contradiction to what Hari Parshad.

    Regarding other acarya like Srila Bhakti Siddhanta and Bhaktivine Thakura we understand through Srila Prabhupada if we want to get the right understanding. And since it clear that Srila Prabhupada often quoted Manu Samhita as the Law Books for mankind that his stand is the same as the previous acaryas.

    Still we would like to point that Hari Parshad has taken the quote of BSST from the appendix of the Brahmana and Vaisnava debate out of context. First we should note that BSST quotes or mentions Manu 24 times in that text mostly as supporting evidence to substantiate his position. If Manu is wrong why would BSST use it as supporting evidence? When we read the text surrounding the small snippet provided by Hari Parshad the true meaning manifests itself. This text is in regards to Sukadeva Gosvami who was a paramahamsa and not obliged to follow Manu Samhita and Varnashrama dharma. Others who are bewildered by the material energy, that means us, do have to follow it.

    “According to the injunction na prakatatvam iha bhakta janasya paçyet—“a devotee should not be seen from a materialistic point of view,” the disciplic succession from Vyasadeva does not consider that spiritual masters are burnt in the blazing fire of material existence. The nature of the material world is that whether one’s son is honest or dishonest, everyone should give up the worship of Hari, cry out “O my son!” and forget Krsna. But the similar expression displayed by Vyasa is simply to increase the ignorance of the mundane fruitive workers and bewilder them. Actually Sukadeva was a great Vaisnava and a renounced paramahamsa. Remaining aloof from his association is not acceptable to Vyasa and his descendants. In order to convince the materialists of this fact, such a pastime was enacted by Sri Vyasadeva. The pastimes of Sri Sanatana Gosvami suffering pain from boils and Sri Krsnacandra being hit by the arrow of a hunter named Uddhava were both enacted to increase the illusion of ignorant people. It is to be understood that the propagation of Mayavada philosophy by Sri Mahadeva and the propagation through Manu of social religious scriptures by Lord Brahmä were both meant for bewildering unqualified people.


  4. part 3

    Sri Sukadeva was an ideal personality and spiritual master of the entire world. As soon as he completed his study with Vyasadeva, he set out to bestow mercy on all living entities. From the external point of view the return of paramahamsa Sri Sukadeva to the royal assembly of Pariksit and his association with Suuta Gosvami may create apparent contradictions, but according to the considerations of paramahamsas, these were pure standards of behavior. One who does not accept this commits an offence at the feet of the spiritual master.”

    And when we read the whole of the Brahmana Vaisnava debate BSST is not condemning dharma sastras like Manu nor is he advocating that we not follow dharma. BSST himself was a very moral and upright person who strictly followed dharma and was the one who pushed the principle that “purity is the force.”

    There is actually a concordance that shows verses from Manu that are found in the Srimad Bhagavatam for example MS 2.215 and SB 9.19.17.

  5. part 4

    Baladeva Vidya Bhusana says:

    “”If matter were accepted as the original cause of creation, all the authorized scriptures in the world would be useless, for in every scripture, especially the Vedic scriptures like the Manu-smrti, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is said to be the ultimate creator. The Manu-smrti is considered the highest Vedic direction to humanity. Manu is the giver of law to mankind, and in the Manu-smrti it is clearly stated that before the creation the entire universal space was darkness, without information and without variety, and was in a state of complete suspension, like a dream. Everything was darkness. The Supreme Personality of Godhead then entered the universal space, and although He is invisible, He created the visible cosmic manifestation. In the material world the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not manifested by His personal presence, but the presence of the cosmic manifestation in different varieties is the proof that everything has been created under His direction. He entered the universe with all creative potencies, and thus He removed the darkness of the unlimited space. … If one tries to nullify the conclusions of the Vedas by accepting an unauthorized scripture or so-called scripture, it will be very hard for him to come to the right conclusion about the Absolute Truth. The system for adjusting two contradictory scriptures is to refer to the Vedas, for references from the Vedas are accepted as final judgments. When we refer to a particular scripture, it must be authorized, and for this authority it must strictly follow the Vedic injunctions. If someone presents an alternative doctrine he himself has manufactured, that doctrine will prove itself useless, for any doctrine that tries to prove that Vedic evidence is meaningless immediately proves itself meaningless. The followers of the Vedas unanimously accept the authority of Manu and Parasara in the disciplic succession.” CC1.6.14-15 purport

  6. part 5

    Regarding Bhaktivinode’s Krsna Samhita, if any text needs to be approached with great caution it is not Manu Samhita but Krsna Samhita. This text was written for a very specific audience, the Bhadraloka of late 19th century Bengal. It was an experiment by BVT in his earliest preaching days and he never repeated it. So to take a quote from this text without seeing what else BVT wrote on the subject is a formal for disaster

    BVT wrote:

    “”The Manu-samhita and other dharma-sastras written down by other great sages are smrti-sastras, corollaries written in pursuance of the original sruti-sastras known as the Vedas, which are eternal transcendental sound directly manifested from the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, and are thus absolutely self-perfected and free of mundane defect. Being corollaries in pursuance of the directions of the Vedas, the dharma-sastras are held in high esteem, just as the law books defining authorized and unauthorized actions in human society are similarly highly regarded throughout civilized society.” Jaiva Dharma chapter 3

    `The sattvika-vaisnava-puranas, the religious laws of Manu, the six schools of Vedic philosophy, and the entire literature and medical science of the Vedas are the four perfected subjects directly spoken by the Supreme Lord. In an attempt to distort their clear and primary purport no one must challenge or debate upon these topics.’ Jaiva Dharma chapter 18

    “5. Are the conclusions of a bona fide acarya and an unauthorized acarya the same?
    After carefully discussing the Vedas and the Vedanta-sutras, the acaryas have drawn two kinds of conclusions. Srimat Sankaracarya preached the philosophy of monism based on the conclusions put forth by the sages like Dattatreya, Astavakra, and Durvasa. This is one kind of conclusion. The Vaisnava acaryas preach the science of pure devotional service based on the conclusion put forth by the great souls like Narada, Prahlada, Dhruva, and Manu. This is other kind of conclusion.
    (Sri Manah-siksa Chapter 9)


  7. 6

    BVT continued.

    11. What is the difference between Sat-kriya-sara-dipika and the smrti composed by the karmis?
    To protect the constitutional duties of the devotees, Srimad Gopala Bhatta Gosvami composed the book Sat-kriya-sara-dipika. According to Vedic injunctions, Aniruddha Bhatta, Bhima Bhatta, and Srimad Govindananda Bhatta wrote separate smrtis for the karmis. Sri Narayana Bhatta also wrote a book about the injunctions of the smrtis for the karmis, and Sri Bhavadeva Bhatta wrote a similar book for persons who are fond of Vedic rituals. The Sat-kriya-sara-dipika was composed from authentic statements of the Vedas, Puranas, and dharma-sastras, headed by the Manu-samhita. After carefully considering the subject of nama-aparadha, and rejecting the process of worshiping the forefathers and the demigods, Srimad Gopala Bhatta Gosvami wrote Sat-kriya-sara-dipika for the benefit of the devotees of Govinda who are either outcastes or situated on the platform of varnasrama. (Bhaktivinode Vani Vaibhava 36)

    Jiva Gosvami in his Tattva Sandharba 12.2 quotes Manu and Mahabharata as major authorities.

    “This is why the Mahabharata (Adi-parva 1.267) and Manusamhita state, “One should complement one’s understanding of the Vedas with the help of the ltihasas and Puranas.” And elsewhere it is stated, “The Puranasa are called by that name because they complete.” It is not possible to “complete” or explain the meaning of the Vedas with something that is not Vedic in nature, just as it is improper to finish an incomplete gold bracelet with lead.”

    In conclusion is clear that we are supposed to apply Manu Samhita to our life. To get a good understanding of Manu Samhita and how it applies to Daiva Varnashrama Dharma HH Bhakti Vidyapurna Swami has given many seminars and courses on it and you can download and listen to them at this location

    If one is concerned that some texts in Manu regarding caste by birth have been interpolated then as Vallabhacarya has suggested one should resort to the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam and if there is a contradiction then the later texts should be accepted.

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