1. The great sages approached Manu, who was seated with a collected mind, and, having
duly worshipped him, spoke as follows:
2. 'Deign, divine one, to declare to us precisely and in due order the sacred laws of
each of the (four chief) castes (varna) and of the intermediate ones.
3. 'For thou, O Lord, alone knowest the purport, (i.e.) the rites, and the knowledge of
the soul, (taught) in this whole ordinance of the Self-existent (Svayambhu), which is
unknowable and unfathomable.'
4. He, whose power is measureless, being thus asked by the high-minded great sages,
duly honoured them, and answered, 'Listen!'
5. This (universe) existed in the shape of Darkness, unperceived, destitute of
distinctive marks, unattainable by reasoning, unknowable, wholly immersed, as it were, in
6. Then the divine Self-existent (Svayambhu, himself) indiscernible, (but) making (all)
this, the great elements and the rest, discernible, appeared with irresistible (creative)
power, dispelling the darkness.
7. He who can be perceived by the internal organ (alone), who is subtile,
indiscernible, and eternal, who contains all created beings and is inconceivable, shone
forth of his own (will).
8. He, desiring to produce beings of many kinds from his own body, first with a thought
created the waters, and placed his seed in them.
9. That (seed) became a golden egg, in brilliancy equal to the sun; in that (egg) he
himself was born as Brahman, the progenitor of the whole world.
10. The waters are called narah, (for) the waters are, indeed, the offspring of Nara;
as they were his first residence (ayana), he thence is named Narayana.
11. From that (first) cause, which is indiscernible, eternal, and both real and unreal,
was produced that male (Purusha), who is famed in this world (under the appellation of)
12. The divine one resided in that egg during a whole year, then he himself by his
thought (alone) divided it into two halves;
13. And out of those two halves he formed heaven and earth, between them the middle
sphere, the eight points of the horizon, and the eternal abode of the waters.
14. From himself (atmanah) he also drew forth the mind, which is both real and unreal,
likewise from the mind egoism, which possesses the function of self-consciousness (and is)
15. Moreover, the great one, the soul, and all (products) affected by the three
qualities, and, in their order, the five organs which perceive the objects of sensation.
16. But, joining minute particles even of those six, which possess measureless power,
with particles of himself, he created all beings.
17. Because those six (kinds of) minute particles, which form the (creator's) frame,
enter (a-sri) these (creatures), therefore the wise call his frame sarira, (the body.)
18. That the great elements enter, together with their functions and the mind, through
its minute parts the framer of all beings, the imperishable one.
19. But from minute body (-framing) particles of these seven very powerful Purushas
springs this (world), the perishable from the imperishable.
20. Among them each succeeding (element) acquires the quality of the preceding one, and
whatever place (in the sequence) each of them occupies, even so many qualities it is
declared to possess.
21. But in the beginning he assigned their several names, actions, and conditions to
all (created beings), even according to the words of the Veda.
22. He, the Lord, also created the class of the gods, who are endowed with life, and
whose nature is action; and the subtile class of the Sadhyas, and the eternal sacrifice.
23. But from fire, wind, and the sun he drew forth the threefold eternal Veda, called
Rik, Yagus, and Saman, for the due performance of the sacrifice.
24. Time and the divisions of time, the lunar mansions and the planets, the rivers, the
oceans, the mountains, plains, and uneven ground.
25. Austerity, speech, pleasure, desire, and anger, this whole creation he likewise
produced, as he desired to call these beings into existence.
26. Moreover, in order to distinguish actions, he separated merit from demerit, and he
caused the creatures to be affected by the pairs (of opposites), such as pain and
27. But with the minute perishable particles of the five (elements) which have been
mentioned, this whole (world) is framed in due order.
28. But to whatever course of action the Lord at first appointed each (kind of beings),
that alone it has spontaneously adopted in each succeeding creation.
29. Whatever he assigned to each at the (first) creation, noxiousness or harmlessness,
gentleness or ferocity, virtue or sin, truth or falsehood, that clung (afterwards)
spontaneously to it.
30. As at the change of the seasons each season of its own accord assumes its
distinctive marks, even so corporeal beings (resume in new births) their (appointed)
course of action.
31. But for the sake of the prosperity of the worlds he caused the Brahmana, the
Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra to proceed from his mouth, his arms, his thighs, and
32. Dividing his own body, the Lord became half male and half female; with that
(female) he produced Virag.
33. But know me, O most holy among the twice-born, to be the creator of this whole
(world), whom that male, Virag, himself produced, having performed austerities.
34. Then I, desiring to produce created beings, performed very difficult austerities,
and (thereby) called into existence ten great sages, lords of created beings,
35. Mariki, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Praketas, Vasishtha, Bhrigu, and
36. They created seven other Manus possessing great brilliancy, gods and classes of
gods and great sages of measureless power,
37. Yakshas (the servants of Kubera, the demons called) Rakshasas and Pisakas,
Gandharvas (or musicians of the gods), Apsarases (the dancers of the gods), Asuras, (the
snake-deities called) Nagas and Sarpas, (the bird-deities called) Suparnas and the several
classes of the manes,
38. Lightnings, thunderbolts and clouds, imperfect (rohita) and perfect rainbows,
falling meteors, supernatural noises, comets, and heavenly lights of many kinds,
39 (Horse-faced) Kinnaras, monkeys, fishes, birds of many kinds, cattle, deer, men, and
carnivorous beasts with two rows of teeth,
40. Small and large worms and beetles, moths, lice, flies, bugs, all stinging and
biting insects and the several kinds of immovable things.
41. Thus was this whole (creation), both the immovable and the movable, produced by
those high-minded ones by means of austerities and at my command, (each being) according
to (the results of) its actions.
42. But whatever act is stated (to belong) to (each of) those creatures here below,
that I will truly declare to you, as well as their order in respect to birth.
43. Cattle, deer, carnivorous beasts with two rows of teeth, Rakshasas, Pisakas, and
men are born from the womb.
44. From eggs are born birds, snakes, crocodiles, fishes, tortoises, as well as similar
terrestrial and aquatic (animals).
45. From hot moisture spring stinging and biting insects, lice, flies, bugs, and all
other (creatures) of that kind which are produced by heat.
46. All plants, propagated by seed or by slips, grow from shoots; annual plants (are
those) which, bearing many flowers and fruits, perish after the ripening of their fruit;
47. (Those trees) which bear fruit without flowers are called vanaspati (lords of the
forest); but those which bear both flowers and fruit are called vriksha.
48. But the various plants with many stalks, growing from one or several roots, the
different kinds of grasses, the climbing plants and the creepers spring all from seed or
49. These (plants) which are surrounded by multiform Darkness, the result of their acts
(in former existences), possess internal consciousness and experience pleasure and pain.
50. The (various) conditions in this always terrible and constantly changing circle of
births and deaths to which created beings are subject, are stated to begin with (that of)
Brahman, and to end with (that of) these (just mentioned immovable creatures).
51. When he whose power is incomprehensible, had thus produced the universe and men, he
disappeared in himself, repeatedly suppressing one period by means of the other.
52. When that divine one wakes, then this world stirs; when he slumbers tranquilly,
then the universe sinks to sleep.
53. But when he reposes in calm sleep, the corporeal beings whose nature is action,
desist from their actions and mind becomes inert.
54. When they are absorbed all at once in that great soul, then he who is the soul of
all beings sweetly slumbers, free from all care and occupation.
55. When this (soul) has entered darkness, it remains for a long time united with the
organs (of sensation), but performs not its functions; it then leaves the corporeal frame.
56. When, being clothed with minute particles (only), it enters into vegetable or
animal seed, it then assumes, united (with the fine body), a (new) corporeal frame.
57. Thus he, the imperishable one, by (alternately) waking and slumbering, incessantly
revivifies and destroys this whole movable and immovable (creation).
58. But he having composed these Institutes (of the sacred law), himself taught them,
according to the rule, to me alone in the beginning; next I (taught them) to Mariki and
the other sages.
59. Bhrigu, here, will fully recite to you these Institutes; for that sage learned the
whole in its entirety from me.
60. Then that great sage Bhrigu, being thus addressed by Manu, spoke, pleased in his
heart, to all the sages, 'Listen!'
61. Six other high-minded, very powerful Manus, who belong to the race of this Manu,
the descendant of the Self-existent (Svayambhu), and who have severally produced created
62. (Are) Svarokisha, Auttami, Tamasa, Raivata, Kakshusha, possessing great lustre, and
the son of Vivasvat.
63. These seven very glorious Manus, the first among whom is Svayambhuva, produced and
protected this whole movable and immovable (creation), each during the period (allotted to
64. Eighteen nimeshas (twinklings of the eye, are one kashtha), thirty kashthas one
kala, thirty kalas one muhurta, and as many (muhurtas) one day and night.
65. The sun divides days and nights, both human and divine, the night (being intended)
for the repose of created beings and the day for exertion.
66. A month is a day and a night of the manes, but the division is according to
fortnights. The dark (fortnight) is their day for active exertion, the bright (fortnight)
their night for sleep.
67. A year is a day and a night of the gods; their division is (as follows): the half
year during which the sun progresses to the north will be the day, that during which it
goes southwards the night.
68. But hear now the brief (description of) the duration of a night and a day of
Brahman and of the several ages (of the world, yuga) according to their order.
69. They declare that the Krita age (consists of) 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, the thousands
and hundreds are diminished by one (in each).
71. These twelve thousand (years) which thus have been just mentioned as the total of
four (human) ages, are called one age of the gods.
72. But know that the sum of one thousand ages of the gods (makes) one day of Brahman,
and that his night has the same length.
73. Those (only, who) know that the holy day of Brahman, indeed, ends after (the
completion of) one thousand ages (of the gods) and that his night lasts as long, (are
really) men acquainted with (the length of) days and nights.
74. At the end of that day and night he who was asleep, awakes and, after awaking,
creates mind, which is both real and unreal.
75. Mind, impelled by (Brahman's) desire to create, performs the work of creation by
modifying itself, thence ether is produced; they declare that sound is the quality of the
76. But from ether, modifying itself, springs the pure, powerful wind, the vehicle of
all perfumes; that is held to possess the quality of touch.
77. Next from wind modifying itself, proceeds the brilliant light, which illuminates
and dispels darkness; that is declared to possess the quality of colour;
78. And from light, modifying itself, (is produced) water, possessing the quality of
taste, from water earth which has the quality of smell; such is the creation in the
79. The before-mentioned age of the gods, (or) twelve thousand (of their years), being
multiplied by seventy-one, (constitutes what) is here named the period of a Manu
80. The Manvantaras, the creations and destructions (of the world, are) numberless;
sporting, as it were, Brahman repeats this again and again.
81. In the Krita age Dharma is four-footed and entire, and (so is) Truth; nor does any
gain accrue to men by unrighteousness.
82. In the other (three ages), by reason of (unjust) gains (agama), Dharma is deprived
successively of one foot, and through (the prevalence of) theft, falsehood, and fraud the
merit (gained by men) is diminished by one fourth (in each).
83. (Men are) free from disease, accomplish all their aims, and live four hundred years
in the Krita age, but in the Treta and (in each of) the succeeding (ages) their life is
lessened by one quarter.
84. The life of mortals, mentioned in the Veda, the desired results of sacrificial
rites and the (supernatural) power of embodied (spirits) are fruits proportioned among men
according to (the character of) the age.
85. One set of duties (is prescribed) for men in the Krita age, different ones in the
Treta and in the Dvapara, and (again) another (set) in the Kali, in a proportion as
(those) ages decrease in length.
86. In the Krita age the chief (virtue) is declared to be (the performance of)
austerities, in the Treta (divine) knowledge, in the Dvapara (the performance of)
sacrifices, in the Kali liberality alone.
87. But in order to protect this universe He, the most resplendent one, assigned
separate (duties and) occupations to those who sprang from his mouth, arms, thighs, and
88. To Brahmanas he assigned teaching and studying (the Veda), sacrificing for their
own benefit and for others, giving and accepting (of alms).
89. The Kshatriya he commanded to protect the people, to bestow gifts, to offer
sacrifices, to study (the Veda), and to abstain from attaching himself to sensual
90. The Vaisya to tend cattle, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the
Veda), to trade, to lend money, and to cultivate land.
91. One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Sudra, to serve meekly even these
(other) three castes.
92. Man is stated to be purer above the navel (than below); hence the Self-existent
(Svayambhu) has declared the purest (part) of him (to be) his mouth.
93. As the Brahmana sprang from (Brahman's) mouth, as he was the first-born, and as he
possesses the Veda, he is by right the lord of this whole creation.
94. For the Self-existent (Svayambhu), having performed austerities, produced him first
from his own mouth, in order that the offerings might be conveyed to the gods and manes
and that this universe might be preserved.
95. What created being can surpass him, through whose mouth the gods continually
consume the sacrificial viands and the manes the offerings to the dead?
96. Of created beings the most excellent are said to be those which are animated; of
the animated, those which subsist by intelligence; of the intelligent, mankind; and of
men, the Brahmanas;
97. Of Brahmanas, those learned (in the Veda); of the learned, those who recognise (the
necessity and the manner of performing the prescribed duties); of those who possess this
knowledge, those who perform them; of the performers, those who know the Brahman.
98. The very birth of a Brahmana is an eternal incarnation of the sacred law; for he is
born to (fulfil) the sacred law, and becomes one with Brahman.
99. A Brahmana, coming into existence, is born as the highest on earth, the lord of all
created beings, for the protection of the treasury of the law.
100. Whatever exists in the world is, the property of the Brahmana; on account of the
excellence of his origin The Brahmana is, indeed, entitled to all.
101. The Brahmana eats but his own food, wears but his own apparel, bestows but his own
in alms; other mortals subsist through the benevolence of the Brahmana.
102. In order to clearly settle his duties those of the other (castes) according to
their order, wise Manu sprung from the Self-existent, composed these Institutes (of the
103. A learned Brahmana must carefully study them, and he must duly instruct his pupils
in them, but nobody else (shall do it).
104. A Brahmana who studies these Institutes (and) faithfully fulfils the duties
(prescribed therein), is never tainted by sins, arising from thoughts, words, or deeds.
105. He sanctifies any company (which he may enter), seven ancestors and seven
descendants, and he alone deserves (to possess) this whole earth.
106. (To study) this (work) is the best means of securing welfare, it increases
understanding, it procures fame and long life, it (leads to) supreme bliss.
107. In this (work) the sacred law has been fully stated as well as the good and bad
qualities of (human) actions and the immemorial rule of conduct, (to be followed) by all
the four castes (varna).
108. The rule of conduct is transcendent law, whether it be taught in the revealed
texts or in the sacred tradition; hence a twice-born man who possesses regard for himself,
should be always careful to (follow) it.
109. A Brahmana who departs from the rule of conduct, does not reap the fruit of the
Veda, but he who duly follows it, will obtain the full reward.
110. The sages who saw that the sacred law is thus grounded on the rule of conduct,
have taken good conduct to be the most excellent root of all austerity.
111. The creation of the universe, the rule of the sacraments, the ordinances of
studentship, and the respectful behaviour (towards Gurus), the most excellent rule of
bathing (on return from the teacher's house),
112. (The law of) marriage and the description of the (various) marriage-rites, the
regulations for the great sacrifices and the eternal rule of the funeral sacrifices,
113. The description of the modes of (gaining) subsistence and the duties of a Snataka,
(the rules regarding) lawful and forbidden food, the purification of men and of things,
114. The laws concerning women, (the law) of hermits, (the manner of gaining) final
emancipation and (of) renouncing the world, the whole duty of a king and the manner of
115. The rules for the examination of witnesses, the laws concerning husband and wife,
the law of (inheritance and) division, (the law concerning) gambling and the removal of
(men nocuous like) thorns,
116. (The law concerning) the behaviour of Vaisyas and Sudras, the origin of the mixed
castes, the law for all castes in times of distress and the law of penances,
117. The threefold course of transmigrations, the result of (good or bad) actions, (the
manner of attaining) supreme bliss and the examination of the good and bad qualities of
118. The primeval laws of countries, of castes (gati), of families, and the rules
concerning heretics and companies (of traders and the like)- (all that) Manu has declared
in these Institutes.
119. As Manu, in reply to my questions, formerly promulgated these Institutes, even so
learn ye also the (whole work) from me.
1. Learn that sacred law which is followed by men learned (in the Veda) and assented to
in their hearts by the virtuous, who are ever exempt from hatred and inordinate affection.
2. To act solely from a desire for rewards is not laudable, yet an exemption from that
desire is not (to be found) in this (world): for on (that) desire is grounded the study of
the Veda and the performance of the actions, prescribed by the Veda.
3. The desire (for rewards), indeed, has its root in the conception that an act can
yield them, and in consequence of (that) conception sacrifices are performed; vows and the
laws prescribing restraints are all stated to be kept through the idea that they will bear
4. Not a single act here (below) appears ever to be done by a man free from desire; for
whatever (man) does, it is (the result of) the impulse of desire.
5. He who persists in discharging these (prescribed duties) in the right manner,
reaches the deathless state and even in this (life) obtains (the fulfilment of) all the
desires that he may have conceived.
6. The whole Veda is the (first) source of the sacred law, next the tradition and the
virtuous conduct of those who know the (Veda further), also the customs of holy men, and
7. Whatever law has been ordained for any (person) by Manu, that has been fully
declared in the Veda: for that (sage was) omniscient.
8. But a learned man after fully scrutinising all this with the eye of knowledge,
should, in accordance with the authority of the revealed texts, be intent on (the
performance of) his duties.
9. For that man who obeys the law prescribed in the revealed texts and in the sacred
tradition, gains fame in this (world) and after death unsurpassable bliss.
10. But by Sruti (revelation) is meant the Veda, and by Smriti (tradition) the
Institutes of the sacred law: those two must not be called into question in any matter,
since from those two the sacred law shone forth.
11. Every twice-born man, who, relying on the Institutes of dialectics, treats with
contempt those two sources (of the law), must be cast out by the virtuous, as an atheist
and a scorner of the Veda.
12. The Veda, the sacred tradition, the customs of virtuous men, and one's own
pleasure, they declare to be visibly the fourfold means of defining the sacred law.
13. The knowledge of the sacred law is prescribed for those who are not given to the
acquisition of wealth and to the gratification of their desires; to those who seek the
knowledge of the sacred law the supreme authority is the revelation (Sruti).
14. But when two sacred texts (Sruti) are conflicting, both are held to be law; for
both are pronounced by the wise (to be) valid law.
15. (Thus) the (Agnihotra) sacrifice may be (optionally) performed, at any time after
the sun has risen, before he has risen, or when neither sun nor stars are visible; that
(is declared) by Vedic texts.
16. Know that he for whom (the performance of) the ceremonies beginning with the rite
of impregnation (Garbhadhana) and ending with the funeral rite (Antyeshti) is prescribed,
while sacred formulas are being recited, is entitled (to study) these Institutes, but no
other man whatsoever.
17. That land, created by the gods, which lies between the two divine rivers Sarasvati
and Drishadvati, the (sages) call Brahmavarta.
18. The custom handed down in regular succession (since time immemorial) among the
(four chief) castes (varna) and the mixed (races) of that country, is called the conduct
of virtuous men.
19. The plain of the Kurus, the (country of the) Matsyas, Pankalas, and Surasenakas,
these (form), indeed, the country of the Brahmarshis (Brahmanical sages, which ranks)
immediately after Brahmavarta.
20. From a Brahmana, born in that country, let all men on earth learn their several
21. That (country) which (lies) between the Himavat and the Vindhya (mountains) to the
east of Prayaga and to the west of Vinasana (the place where the river Sarasvati
disappears) is called Madhyadesa (the central region).
22. But (the tract) between those two mountains (just mentioned), which (extends) as
far as the eastern and the western oceans, the wise call Aryavarta (the country of the
23. That land where the black antelope naturally roams, one must know to be fit for the
performance of sacrifices; (the tract) different from that (is) the country of the
24. Let twice-born men seek to dwell in those (above-mentioned countries); but a Sudra,
distressed for subsistence, may reside anywhere.
25. Thus has the origin of the sacred law been succinctly described to you and the
origin of this universe; learn (now) the duties of the castes (varna).
26. With holy rites, prescribed by the Veda, must the ceremony on conception and other
sacraments be performed for twice-born men, which sanctify the body and purify (from sin)
in this (life) and after death.
27. By burnt oblations during (the mother's) pregnancy, by the Gatakarman (the ceremony
after birth), the Kauda (tonsure), and the Maungibandhana (the tying of the sacred girdle
of Munga grass) is the taint, derived from both parents, removed from twice-born men.
28. By the study of the Veda, by vows, by burnt oblations, by (the recitation of)
sacred texts, by the (acquisition of the) threefold sacred science, by offering (to the
gods, Rishis, and manes), by (the procreation of) sons, by the great sacrifices, and by
(Srauta) rites this (human) body is made fit for (union with) Brahman.
29. Before the navel-string is cut, the Gatakarman (birth-rite) must be performed for a
male (child); and while sacred formulas are being recited, he must be fed with gold,
honey, and butter.
30. But let (the father perform or) cause to be performed the Namadheya (the rite of
naming the child), on the tenth or twelfth (day after birth), or on a lucky lunar day, in
a lucky muhurta, under an auspicious constellation.
31. Let (the first part of) a Brahmana's name (denote something) auspicious, a
Kshatriya's be connected with power, and a Vaisya's with wealth, but a Sudra's (express
32. (The second part of) a Brahmana's (name) shall be (a word) implying happiness, of a
Kshatriya's (a word) implying protection, of a Vaisya's (a term) expressive of thriving,
and of a Sudra's (an expression) denoting service.
33. The names of women should be easy to pronounce, not imply anything dreadful,
possess a plain meaning, be pleasing and auspicious, end in long vowels, and contain a
word of benediction.
34. In the fourth month the Nishkramana (the first leaving of the house) of the child
should be performed, in the sixth month the Annaprasana (first feeding with rice), and
optionally (any other) auspicious ceremony required by (the custom of) the family.
35. According to the teaching of the revealed texts, the Kudakarman (tonsure) must be
performed, for the sake of spiritual merit, by all twice-born men in the first or third
36. In the eighth year after conception, one should perform the initiation (upanayana)
of a Brahmana, in the eleventh after conception (that) of a Kshatriya, but in the twelfth
that of a Vaisya.
37. (The initiation) of a Brahmana who desires proficiency in sacred learning should
take place in the fifth (year after conception), (that) of a Kshatriya who wishes to
become powerful in the sixth, (and that) of a Vaisya who longs for (success in his)
business in the eighth.
38. The (time for the) Savitri (initiation) of a Brahmana does not pass until the
completion of the sixteenth year (after conception), of a Kshatriya until the completion
of the twenty-second, and of a Vaisya until the completion of the twenty-fourth.
39. After those (periods men of) these three (castes) who have not received the
sacrament at the proper time, become Vratyas (outcasts), excluded from the Savitri
(initiation) and despised by the Aryans.
40. With such men, if they have not been purified according to the rule, let no
Brahmana ever, even in times of distress, form a connexion either through the Veda or by
41. Let students, according to the order (of their castes), wear (as upper dresses) the
skins of black antelopes, spotted deer, and he-goats, and (lower garments) made of hemp,
flax or wool.
42. The girdle of a Brahmana shall consist of a of a triple cord of Munga grass, smooth
and soft; (that) of a Kshatriya, of a bowstring, made of Murva fibres; (that) of a Vaisya,
of hempen threads.
43. If Munga grass (and so forth) be not procurable, (the girdles) may be made of Kusa,
Asmantaka, and Balbaga (fibres), with a single threefold knot, or with three or five
(knots according to the custom of the family).
44. The sacrificial string of a Brahmana shall be made of cotton, (shall be) twisted to
the right, (and consist) of three threads, that of a Kshatriya of hempen threads, (and)
that of a Vaisya of woollen threads.
45. A Brahmana shall (carry), according to the sacred law, a staff of Bilva or Palasa;
a Kshatriya, of Vata or Khadira; (and) a Vaisya, of Pilu or Udumbara.
46. The staff of a Brahmana shall be made of such length as to reach the end of his
hair; that of a Kshatriya, to reach his forehead; (and) that of a Vaisya, to reach (the
tip of his) nose.
47. Let all the staves be straight, without a blemish, handsome to look at, not likely
to terrify men, with their bark perfect, unhurt by fire.
48. Having taken a staff according to his choice, having worshipped the sun and walked
round the fire, turning his right hand towards it, (the student) should beg alms according
to the prescribed rule.
49. An initiated Brahmana should beg, beginning (his request with the word) lady
(bhavati); a Kshatriya, placing (the word) lady in the middle, but a Vaisya, placing it at
the end (of the formula).
50. Let him first beg food of his mother, or of his sister, or of his own maternal
aunt, or of (some other) female who will not disgrace him (by a refusal).
51. Having collected as much food as is required (from several persons), and having
announced it without guile to his teacher, let him eat, turning his face towards the east,
and having purified himself by sipping water.
52. (His meal will procure) long life, if he eats facing the east; fame, if he turns to
the south; prosperity, if he turns to the west; truthfulness, if he faces the east.
53. Let a twice-born man always eat his food with concentrated mind, after performing
an ablution; and after he has eaten, let him duly cleanse himself with water and sprinkle
the cavities (of his head).
54. Let him always worship his food, and eat it without contempt; when he sees it, let
him rejoice, show a pleased face, and pray that he may always obtain it.
55. Food, that is always worshipped, gives strength and manly vigour; but eaten
irreverently, it destroys them both.
56. Let him not give to any man what he leaves, and beware of eating between (the two
meal-times); let him not over-eat himself, nor go anywhere without having purified himself
(after his meal).
57. Excessive eating is prejudicial to health, to fame, and to (bliss in) heaven; it
prevents (the acquisition of) spiritual merit, and is odious among men; one ought, for
these reasons, to avoid it carefully.
58. Let a Brahmana always sip water out of the part of the hand (tirtha) sacred to
Brahman, or out of that sacred to Ka (Pragapati), or out of (that) sacred to the gods,
never out of that sacred to the manes.
59. They call (the part) at the root of the thumb the tirtha sacred to Brahman, that at
the root of the (little) finger (the tirtha) sacred to Ka (Pragapati), (that) at the tips
(of the fingers, the tirtha) sacred to the gods, and that below (between the index and the
thumb, the tirtha) sacred to the manes.
60. Let him first sip water thrice; next twice wipe his mouth; and, lastly, touch with
water the cavities (of the head), (the seat of) the soul and the head.
61. He who knows the sacred law and seeks purity shall always perform the rite of
sipping with water neither hot nor frothy, with the (prescribed) tirtha, in a lonely
place, and turning to the east or to the north.
62. A Brahmana is purified by water that reaches his heart, a Kshatriya by water
reaching his throat, a Vaisya by water taken into his mouth, (and) a Sudra by water
touched with the extremity (of his lips).
63. A twice-born man is called upavitin when his right arm is raised (and the
sacrificial string or the dress, passed under it, rests on the left shoulder); (when his)
left (arm) is raised (and the string, or the dress, passed under it, rests on the right
shoulder, he is called) prakinavitin; and nivitin when it hangs down (straight) from the
64. His girdle, the skin (which serves as his upper garment), his staff, his
sacrificial thread, (and) his water-pot he must throw into water, when they have been
damaged, and take others, reciting sacred formulas.
65. (The ceremony called) Kesanta (clipping the hair) is ordained for a Brahmana in the
sixteenth year (from conception); for a Kshatriya, in the twenty-second; and for a Vaisya,
two (years) later than that.
66. This whole series (of ceremonies) must be performed for females (also), in order to
sanctify the body, at the proper time and in the proper order, but without (the recitation
of) sacred texts.
67. The nuptial ceremony is stated to be the Vedic sacrament for women (and to be equal
to the initiation), serving the husband (equivalent to) the residence in (the house of
the) teacher, and the household duties (the same) as the (daily) worship of the sacred
68. Thus has been described the rule for the initiation of the twice-born, which
indicates a (new) birth, and sanctifies; learn (now) to what duties they must afterwards
69. Having performed the (rite of) initiation, the teacher must first instruct the
(pupil) in (the rules of) personal purification, of conduct, of the fire-worship, and of
the twilight devotions.
70. But (a student) who is about to begin the Study (of the Veda), shall receive
instruction, after he has sipped water in accordance with the Institutes (of the sacred
law), has made the Brahmangali, (has put on) a clean dress, and has brought his organs
under due control.
71. At the beginning and at the end of (a lesson in the) Veda he must always clasp both
the feet of his teacher, (and) he must study, joining his hands; that is called the
Brahmangali (joining the palms for the sake of the Veda).
72. With crossed hands he must clasp (the feet) of the teacher, and touch the left
(foot) with his left (hand), the right (foot) with his right (hand).
73. But to him who is about to begin studying, the teacher always unwearied, must say:
Ho, recite! He shall leave off (when the teacher says): Let a stoppage take place!
74. Let him always pronounce the syllable Om at the beginning and at the end of (a
lesson in) the Veda; (for) unless the syllable Om precede (the lesson) will slip away
(from him), and unless it follow it will fade away.
75. Seated on (blades of Kusa grass) with their points to the east, purified by
Pavitras (blades of Kusa grass), and sanctified by three suppressions of the breath
(Pranayama), he is worthy (to pronounce) the syllable Om.
76. Pragapati (the lord of creatures) milked out (as it were) from the three Vedas the
sounds A, U, and M, and (the Vyahritis) Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah.
77. Moreover from the three Vedas Pragapati, who dwells in the highest heaven
(Parameshthin), milked out (as it were) that Rik-verse, sacred to Savitri (Savitri), which
begins with the word tad, one foot from each.
78. A Brahmana, learned in the Veda, who recites during both twilights that syllable
and that (verse), preceded by the Vyahritis, gains the (whole) merit which (the recitation
of) the Vedas confers.
79. A twice-born man who (daily) repeats those three one thousand times outside (the
village), will be freed after a month even from great guilt, as a snake from its slough.
80. The Brahmana, the Kshatriya, and the Vaisya who neglect (the recitation of) that
Rik-verse and the timely (performance of the) rites (prescribed for) them, will be blamed
among virtuous men.
81. Know that the three imperishable Mahavyahritis, preceded by the syllable Om, and
(followed) by the three-footed Savitri are the portal of the Veda and the gate leading (to
union with) Brahman.
82. He who daily recites that (verse), untired, during three years, will enter (after
death) the highest Brahman, move as free as air, and assume an ethereal form.
83. The monosyllable (Om) is the highest Brahman, (three) suppressions of the breath
are the best (form of) austerity, but nothing surpasses the Savitri truthfulness is better
84. All rites ordained in the Veda, burnt oblations and (other) sacrifices, pass away;
but know that the syllable (Om) is imperishable, and (it is) Brahman, (and) the Lord of
85. An offering, consisting of muttered prayers, is ten times more efficacious than a
sacrifice performed according to the rules (of the Veda); a (prayer) which is inaudible
(to others) surpasses it a hundred times, and the mental (recitation of sacred texts) a
86. The four Pakayagnas and those sacrifices which are enjoined by the rules (of the
Veda) are all together not equal in value to a sixteenth part of the sacrifice consisting
of muttered prayers.
87. But, undoubtedly, a Brahmana reaches the highest goal by muttering prayers only;
(whether) he perform other (rites) or neglect them, he who befriends (all creatures) is
declared (to be) a (true) Brahmana.
88. A wise man should strive to restrain his organs which run wild among alluring
sensual objects, like a charioteer his horses.
89. Those eleven organs which former sages have named, I will properly (and) precisely
enumerate in due order,
90. (Viz.) the ear, the skin, the eyes, the tongue, and the nose as the fifth, the
anus, the organ of generation, hands and feet, and the (organ of) speech, named as the
91. Five of them, the ear and the rest according to their order, they call organs of
sense, and five of them, the anus and the rest, organs of action.
92. Know that the internal organ (manas) is the eleventh, which by its quality belongs
to both (sets); when that has been subdued, both those sets of five have been conquered.
93. Through the attachment of his organs (to sensual pleasure) a man doubtlessly will
incur guilt; but if he keep them under complete control, he will obtain success (in
gaining all his aims).
94. Desire is never extinguished by the enjoyment of desired objects; it only grows
stronger like a fire (fed) with clarified butter.
95. If one man should obtain all those (sensual enjoyments) and another should renounce
them all, the renunciation of all pleasure is far better than the attainment of them.
96. Those (organs) which are strongly attached to sensual pleasures, cannot so
effectually be restrained by abstinence (from enjoyments) as by a constant (pursuit of
97. Neither (the study of) the Vedas, nor liberality, nor sacrifices, nor any
(self-imposed) restraint, nor austerities, ever procure the attainment (of rewards) to a
man whose heart is contaminated (by sensuality).
98. That man may be considered to have (really) subdued his organs, who on hearing and
touching and seeing, on tasting and smelling (anything) neither rejoices nor repines.
99. But when one among all the organs slips away (from control), thereby (man's) wisdom
slips away from him, even as the water (flows) through the one (open) foot of a
100. If he keeps all the (ten) organs as well as the mind in subjection, he may gain
all his aims, without reducing his body by (the practice) of Yoga.
101. Let him stand during the morning twilight, muttering the Savitri until the sun
appears, but (let him recite it), seated, in the evening until the constellations can be
102. He who stands during the morning twilight muttering (the Savitri), removes the
guilt contracted during the (previous) night; but he who (recites it), seated, in the
evening, destroys the sin he committed during the day.
103. But he who does not (worship) standing in the morning, nor sitting in the evening,
shall be excluded, just like a Sudra, from all the duties and rights of an Aryan.
104. He who (desires to) perform the ceremony (of the) daily (recitation), may even
recite the Savitri near water, retiring into the forest, controlling his organs and
concentrating his mind.
105. Both when (one studies) the supplementary treatises of the Veda, and when (one
recites) the daily portion of the Veda, no regard need be paid to forbidden days, likewise
when (one repeats) the sacred texts required for a burnt oblation.
106. There are no forbidden days for the daily recitation, since that is declared to be
a Brahmasattra (an everlasting sacrifice offered to Brahman); at that the Veda takes the
place of the burnt oblations, and it is meritorious (even), when (natural phenomena,
requiring) a cessation of the Veda-study, take the place of the exclamation Vashat.
107. For him who, being pure and controlling his organs, during a year daily recites
the Veda according to the rule, that (daily recitation) will ever cause sweet and sour
milk, clarified butter and honey to flow.
108. Let an Aryan who has been initiated, (daily) offer fuel in the sacred fire, beg
food, sleep on the ground and do what is beneficial to this teacher, until (he performs
the ceremony of) Samavartana (on returning home).
109. According to the sacred law the (following) ten (persons, viz.) the teacher's son,
one who desires to do service, one who imparts knowledge, one who is intent on fulfilling
the law, one who is pure, a person connected by marriage or friendship, one who possesses
(mental) ability, one who makes presents of money, one who is honest, and a relative, may
be instructed (in the Veda).
110. Unless one be asked, one must not explain (anything) to anybody, nor (must one
answer) a person who asks improperly; let a wise man, though he knows (the answer), behave
among men as (if he were) an idiot.
111. Of the two persons, him who illegally explains (anything), and him who illegally
asks (a question), one (or both) will die or incur (the other's) enmity.
112. Where merit and wealth are not (obtained by teaching) nor (at least) due
obedience, in such (soil) sacred knowledge must not be sown, just as good seed (must) not
(be thrown) on barren land.
113. Even in times of dire distress a teacher of the Veda should rather die with his
knowledge than sow it in barren soil.
114. Sacred Learning approached a Brahmana and said to him: 'I am thy treasure,
preserve me, deliver me not to a scorner; so (preserved) I shall become supremely strong.'
115. 'But deliver me, as to the keeper of thy treasure, to a Brahmana whom thou shalt
know to be pure, of subdued senses, chaste and attentive.'
116. But he who acquires without permission the Veda from one who recites it, incurs
the guilt of stealing the Veda, and shall sink into hell.
117. (A student) shall first reverentially salute that (teacher) from whom he receives
(knowledge), referring to worldly affairs, to the Veda, or to the Brahman.
118. A Brahmana who completely governs himself, though he know the Savitri only, is
better than he who knows the three Vedas, (but) does not control himself, eats all (sorts
of) food, and sells all (sorts of goods).
119. One must not sit down on a couch or seat which a superior occupies; and he who
occupies a couch or seat shall rise to meet a (superior), and (afterwards) salute him.
120. For the vital airs of a young man mount upwards to leave his body when an elder
approaches; but by rising to meet him and saluting he recovers them.
121. He who habitually salutes and constantly pays reverence to the aged obtains an
increase of four (things), (viz.) length of life, knowledge, fame, (and) strength.
122. After the (word of) salutation, a Brahmana who greets an elder must pronounce his
name, saying, 'I am N. N.'
123. To those (persons) who, when a name is pronounced, do not understand (the meaning
of) the salutation, a wise man should say, 'It is I;' and (he should address) in the same
manner all women.
124. In saluting he should pronounce after his name the word bhoh; for the sages have
declared that the nature of bhoh is the same as that of (all proper) names.
125. A Brahmana should thus be saluted in return, 'May'st thou be long-lived, O gentle
one!' and the vowel 'a' must be added at the end of the name (of the person addressed),
the syllable preceding it being drawn out to the length of three moras.
126. A Brahmana who does not know the form of returning a salutation, must not be
saluted by a learned man; as a Sudra, even so is he.
127. Let him ask a Brahmana, on meeting him, after (his health, with the word) kusala,
a Kshatriya (with the word) anamaya, a Vaisya (with the word) kshema, and a Sudra (with
the word) anarogya.
128. He who has been initiated (to perform a Srauta sacrifice) must not be addressed by
his name, even though he be a younger man; he who knows the sacred law must use in
speaking to such (a man the particle) bhoh and (the pronoun) bhavat (your worship).
129. But to a female who is the wife of another man, and not a blood-relation, he must
say, 'Lady' (bhavati) or 'Beloved sister!'
130. To his maternal and paternal uncles, fathers-in-law, officiating priests, (and
other) venerable persons, he must say, 'I am N. N.,' and rise (to meet them), even though
they be younger (than himself).
131. A maternal aunt, the wife of a maternal uncle, a mother-in-law, and a paternal
aunt must be honoured like the wife of one's teacher; they are equal to the wife of one's
132. (The feet of the) wife of one's brother, if she be of the same caste (varna), must
be clasped every day; but (the feet of) wives of (other) paternal and maternal relatives
need only be embraced on one's return from a journey.
133. Towards a sister of one's father and of one's mother, and towards one's own elder
sister, one must behave as towards one's mother; (but) the mother is more venerable than
134. Fellow-citizens are called friends (and equals though one be) ten years (older
than the other), men practising (the same) fine art (though one be) five years (older than
the other), Srotriyas (though) three years (intervene between their ages), but
blood-relations only (if the) difference of age be very small.
135. Know that a Brahmana of ten years and Kshatriya of a hundred years stand to each
other in the relation of father and son; but between those two the Brahmana is the father.
136. Wealth, kindred, age, (the due performance of) rites, and, fifthly, sacred
learning are titles to respect; but each later-named (cause) is more weighty (than the
137. Whatever man of the three (highest) castes possesses most of those five, both in
number and degree, that man is worthy of honour among them; and (so is) also a Sudra who
has entered the tenth (decade of his life).
138. Way must be made for a man in a carriage, for one who is above ninety years old,
for one diseased, for the carrier of a burden, for a woman, for a Snataka, for the king,
and for a bridegroom.
139. Among all those, if they meet (at one time), a Snataka and the king must be (most)
honoured; and if the king and a Snataka (meet), the latter receives respect from the king.
140. They call that Brahmana who initiates a pupil and teaches him the Veda together
with the Kalpa and the Rahasyas, the teacher (akarya, of the latter).
141. But he who for his livelihood teaches a portion only of the Veda, or also the
Angas of the Veda, is called the sub-teacher (upadhyaya).
142. That Brahmana, who performs in accordance with the rules (of the Veda) the rites,
the Garbhadhana (conception-rite), and so forth, and gives food (to the child), is called
the Guru (the venerable one).
143. He who, being (duly) chosen (for the purpose), performs the Agnyadheya, the
Pakayagnas, (and) the (Srauta) sacrifices, such as the Agnishtoma (for another man), is
called (his) officiating priest.
144. That (man) who truthfully fills both his ears with the Veda, (the pupil) shall
consider as his father and mother; he must never offend him.
145. The teacher (akarya) is ten times more venerable than a sub-teacher (upadhyaya),
the father a hundred times more than the teacher, but the mother a thousand times more
than the father.
146. Of him who gives natural birth and him who gives (the knowledge of) the Veda, the
giver of the Veda is the more venerable father; for the birth for the sake of the Veda
(ensures) eternal (rewards) both in this (life) and after death.
147. Let him consider that (he received) a (mere animal) existence, when his parents
begat him through mutual affection, and when he was born from the womb (of his mother).
148. But that birth which a teacher acquainted with the whole Veda, in accordance with
the law, procures for him through the Savitri, is real, exempt from age and death.
149. (The pupil) must know that that man also who benefits him by (instruction in) the
Veda, be it little or much, is called in these (Institutes) his Guru, in consequence of
that benefit (conferred by instruction in) the Veda.
150. That Brahmana who is the giver of the birth for the sake of the Veda and the
teacher of the prescribed duties becomes by law the father of an aged man, even though he
himself be a child.
151. Young Kavi, the son of Angiras, taught his (relatives who were old enough to be)
fathers, and, as he excelled them in (sacred) knowledge, he called them 'Little sons.'
152. They, moved with resentment, asked the gods concerning that matter, and the gods,
having assembled, answered, 'The child has addressed you properly.'
153. 'For (a man) destitute of (sacred) knowledge is indeed a child, and he who teaches
him the Veda is his father; for (the sages) have always said "child" to an
ignorant man, and "father" to a teacher of the Veda.'
154. Neither through years, nor through white (hairs), nor through wealth, nor through
(powerful) kinsmen (comes greatness). The sages have made this law, 'He who has learnt the
Veda together with the Angas (Anukana) is (considered) great by us.'
155. The seniority of Brahmanas is from (sacred) knowledge, that of Kshatriyas from
valour, that of Vaisyas from wealth in grain (and other goods), but that of Sudras alone
156. A man is not therefore (considered) venerable because his head is gray; him who,
though young, has learned the Veda, the gods consider to be venerable.
157. As an elephant made of wood, as an antelope made of leather, such is an unlearned
Brahmana; those three have nothing but the names (of their kind).
158. As a eunuch is unproductive with women, as a cow with a cow is unprolific, and as
a gift made to an ignorant man yields no reward, even so is a Brahmana useless, who (does)
not (know) the Rikas.
159. Created beings must be instructed in (what concerns) their welfare without giving
them pain, and sweet and gentle speech must be used by (a teacher) who desires (to abide
by) the sacred law.
160. He, forsooth, whose speech and thoughts are pure and ever perfectly guarded, gains
the whole reward which is conferred by the Vedanta.
161. Let him not, even though in pain, (speak words) cutting (others) to the quick; let
him not injure others in thought or deed; let him not utter speeches which make (others)
afraid of him, since that will prevent him from gaining heaven.
162. A Brahmana should always fear homage as if it were poison; and constantly desire
(to suffer) scorn as (he would long for) nectar.
163. For he who is scorned (nevertheless may) sleep with an easy mind, awake with an
easy mind, and with an easy mind walk here among men; but the scorner utterly perishes.
164. A twice-born man who has been sanctified by the (employment of) the means,
(described above) in due order, shall gradually and cumulatively perform the various
austerities prescribed for (those who) study the Veda.
165. An Aryan must study the whole Veda together with the Rahasyas, performing at the
same time various kinds of austerities and the vows prescribed by the rules (of the Veda).
166. Let a Brahmana who desires to perform austerities, constantly repeat the Veda; for
the study of the Veda is declared (to be) in this world the highest austerity for a
167. Verily, that twice-born man performs the highest austerity up to the extremities
of his nails, who, though wearing a garland, daily recites the Veda in private to the
utmost of his ability.
168. A twice-born man who, not having studied the Veda, applies himself to other (and
worldly study), soon falls, even while living, to the condition of a Sudra and his
descendants (after him).
169. According to the injunction of the revealed texts the first birth of an Aryan is
from (his natural) mother, the second (happens) on the tying of the girdle of Munga grass,
and the third on the initiation to (the performance of) a (Srauta) sacrifice.
170. Among those (three) the birth which is symbolised by the investiture with the
girdle of Munga grass, is his birth for the sake of the Veda; they declare that in that
(birth) the Sivitri (verse) is his mother and the teacher his father.
171. They call the teacher (the pupil's) father because he gives the Veda; for nobody
can perform a (sacred) rite before the investiture with the girdle of Munga grass.
172. (He who has not been initiated) should not pronounce (any) Vedic text excepting
(those required for) the performance of funeral rites, since he is on a level with a Sudra
before his birth from the Veda.
173. The (student) who has been initiated must be instructed in the performance of the
vows, and gradually learn the Veda, observing the prescribed rules.
174. Whatever dress of skin, sacred thread, girdle, staff, and lower garment are
prescribed for a (student at the initiation), the like (must again be used) at the
(performance of the) vows.
175. But a student who resides with his teacher must observe the following restrictive
rules, duly controlling all his organs, in order to increase his spiritual merit.
176. Every day, having bathed, and being purified, he must offer libations of water to
the gods, sages and manes, worship (the images of) the gods, and place fuel on (the sacred
177. Let him abstain from honey, meat, perfumes, garlands, substances (used for)
flavouring (food), women, all substances turned acid, and from doing injury to living
178. From anointing (his body), applying collyrium to his eyes, from the use of shoes
and of an umbrella (or parasol), from (sensual) desire, anger, covetousness, dancing,
singing, and playing (musical instruments),
179. From gambling, idle disputes, backbiting, and lying, from looking at and touching
women, and from hurting others.
180. Let him always sleep alone, let him never waste his manhood; for he who
voluntarily wastes his manhood, breaks his vow.
181. A twice-born student, who has involuntarily wasted his manly strength during
sleep, must bathe, worship the sun, and afterwards thrice mutter the Rik-verse (which
begins), 'Again let my strength return to me.'
182. Let him fetch a pot full of water, flowers, cowdung, earth, and Kusa grass, as
much as may be required (by his teacher), and daily go to beg food.
183. A student, being pure, shall daily bring food from the houses of men who are not
deficient in (the knowledge of) the Veda and in (performing) sacrifices, and who are
famous for (following their lawful) occupations.
184. Let him not beg from the relatives of his teacher, nor from his own or his
mother's blood-relations; but if there are no houses belonging to strangers, let him go to
one of those named above, taking the last-named first;
185. Or, if there are no (virtuous men of the kind) mentioned above, he may go to each
(house in the) village, being pure and remaining silent; but let him avoid Abhisastas
(those accused of mortal sin).
186. Having brought sacred fuel from a distance, let him place it anywhere but on the
ground, and let him, unwearied, make with it burnt oblations to the sacred fire, both
evening and morning.
187. He who, without being sick, neglects during seven (successive) days to go out
begging, and to offer fuel in the sacred fire, shall perform the penance of an Avakirnin
(one who has broken his vow).
188. He who performs the vow (of studentship) shall constantly subsist on alms, (but)
not eat the food of one (person only); the subsistence of a student on begged food is
declared to be equal (in merit) to fasting.
189. At his pleasure he may eat, when invited, the food of one man at (a rite) in
honour of the gods, observing (however the conditions on his vow, or at a (funeral meal)
in honor of the manes, behaving (however) like a hermit.
190. This duty is prescribed by the wise for a Brahmana only; but no such duty is
ordained for a Kshatriya and a Vaisya.
191. Both when ordered by his teacher, and without a (special) command, (a student)
shall always exert himself in studying (the Veda), and in doing what is serviceable to his
192. Controlling his body, his speech, his organs (of sense), and his mind, let him
stand with joined hands, looking at the face of his teacher.
193. Let him always keep his right arm uncovered, behave decently and keep his body
well covered, and when he is addressed (with the words), 'Be seated,' he shall sit down,
facing his teacher.
194. In the presence of his teacher let him always eat less, wear a less valuable dress
and ornaments (than the former), and let him rise earlier (from his bed), and go to rest
195. Let him not answer or converse with (his teacher), reclining on a bed, nor
sitting, nor eating, nor standing, nor with an averted face.
196. Let him do (that), standing up, if (his teacher) is seated, advancing towards him
when he stands, going to meet him if he advances, and running after him when he runs;
197. Going (round) to face (the teacher), if his face is averted, approaching him if he
stands at a distance, but bending towards him if he lies on a bed, and if he stands in a
198. When his teacher is nigh, let his bed or seat be low; but within sight of his
teacher he shall not sit carelessly at ease.
199. Let him not pronounce the mere name of his teacher (without adding an honorific
title) behind his back even, and let him not mimic his gait, speech, and deportment.
200. Wherever (people) justly censure or falsely defame his teacher, there he must
cover his ears or depart thence to another place.
201. By censuring (his teacher), though justly, he will become (in his next birth) an
ass, by falsely defaming him, a dog; he who lives on his teacher's substance, will become
a worm, and he who is envious (of his merit), a (larger) insect.
202. He must not serve the (teacher by the intervention of another) while he himself
stands aloof, nor when he (himself) is angry, nor when a woman is near; if he is seated in
a carriage or on a (raised) seat, he must descend and afterwards salute his (teacher).
203. Let him not sit with his teacher, to the leeward or to the windward (of him); nor
let him say anything which his teacher cannot hear.
204. He may sit with his teacher in a carriage drawn by oxen, horses, or camels, on a
terrace, on a bed of grass or leaves, on a mat, on a rock, on a wooden bench, or in a
205. If his teacher's teacher is near, let him behave (towards him) as towards his own
teacher; but let him, unless he has received permission from his teacher, not salute
venerable persons of his own (family).
206. This is likewise (ordained as) his constant behaviour towards (other) instructors
in science, towards his relatives (to whom honour is due), towards all who may restrain
him from sin, or may give him salutary advice.
207. Towards his betters let him always behave as towards his teacher, likewise towards
sons of his teacher, born by wives of equal caste, and towards the teacher's relatives
both on the side of the father and of the mother.
208. The son of the teacher who imparts instruction (in his father's stead), whether
younger or of equal age, or a student of (the science of) sacrifices (or of other Angas),
deserves the same honour as the teacher.
209. (A student) must not shampoo the limbs of his teacher's son, nor assist him in
bathing, nor eat the fragments of his food, nor wash his feet.
210. The wives of the teacher, who belong to the same caste, must be treated as
respectfully as the teacher; but those who belong to a different caste, must be honoured
by rising and salutation.
211. Let him not perform for a wife of his teacher (the offices of) anointing her,
assisting her in the bath, shampooing her limbs, or arranging her hair.
212. (A pupil) who is full twenty years old, and knows what is becoming and unbecoming,
shall not salute a young wife of his teacher (by clasping) her feet.
213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this (world); for that reason the wise
are never unguarded in (the company of) females.
214. For women are able to lead astray in (this) world not only a fool, but even a
learned man, and (to make) him a slave of desire and anger.
215. One should not sit in a lonely place with one's mother, sister, or daughter; for
the senses are powerful, and master even a learned man.
216. But at his pleasure a young student may prostrate himself on the ground before the
young wife of a teacher, in accordance with the rule, and say, 'I, N. N., (worship thee, O
217. On returning from a journey he must clasp the feet of his teacher's wife and daily
salute her (in the manner just mentioned), remembering the duty of the virtuous.
218. As the man who digs with a spade (into the ground) obtains water, even so an
obedient (pupil) obtains the knowledge which lies (hidden) in his teacher.
219. A (student) may either shave his head, or wear his hair in braids, or braid one
lock on the crown of his head; the sun must never set or rise while he (lies asleep) in
220. If the sun should rise or set while he is sleeping, be it (that he offended)
intentionally or unintentionally, he shall fast during the (next) day, muttering (the
221. For he who lies (sleeping), while the sun sets or rises, and does not perform
(that) penance, is tainted by great guilt.
222. Purified by sipping water, he shall daily worship during both twilights with a
concentrated mind in a pure place, muttering the prescribed text according to the rule.
223. If a woman or a man of low caste perform anything (leading to) happiness, let him
diligently practise it, as well as (any other permitted act) in which his heart finds
224. (Some declare that) the chief good consists in (the acquisition of) spiritual
merit and wealth, (others place it) in (the gratification of) desire and (the acquisition
of) wealth, (others) in (the acquisition of) spiritual merit alone, and (others say that
the acquisition of) wealth alone is the chief good here (below); but the (correct)
decision is that it consists of the aggregate of (those) three.
225. The teacher, the father, the mother, and an elder brother must not be treated with
disrespect, especially by a Brahmana, though one be grievously offended (by them).
226. The teacher is the image of Brahman, the father the image of Pragipati (the lord
of created beings), the mother the image of the earth, and an (elder) full brother the
image of oneself.
227. That trouble (and pain) which the parents undergo on the birth of (their)
children, cannot be compensated even in a hundred years.
228. Let him always do what is agreeable to those (two) and always (what may please)
his teacher; when those three are pleased, he obtains all (those rewards which)
229. Obedience towards those three is declared to be the best (form of) austerity; let
him not perform other meritorious acts without their permission.
230. For they are declared to be the three worlds, they the three (principal) orders,
they the three Vedas, and they the three sacred fires.
231. The father, forsooth, is stated to be the Garhapatya fire, the mother the
Dakshinagni, but the teacher the Ahavaniya fire; this triad of fires is most venerable.
232. He who neglects not those three, (even after he has become) a householder, will
conquer the three worlds and, radiant in body like a god, he will enjoy bliss in heaven.
233. By honouring his mother he gains this (nether) world, by honouring his father the
middle sphere, but by obedience to his teacher the world of Brahman.
234. All duties have been fulfilled by him who honours those three; but to him who
honours them not, all rites remain fruitless.
235. As long as those three live, so long let him not (independently) perform any other
(meritorious acts); let him always serve them, rejoicing (to do what is) agreeable and
beneficial (to them).
236. He shall inform them of everything that with their consent he may perform in
thought, word, or deed for the sake of the next world.
237. By (honouring) these three all that ought to be done by man, is accomplished; that
is clearly the highest duty, every other (act) is a subordinate duty.
238. He who possesses faith may receive pure learning even from a man of lower caste,
the highest law even from the lowest, and an excellent wife even from a base family.
239. Even from poison nectar may be taken, even from a child good advice, even from a
foe (a lesson in) good conduct, and even from an impure (substance) gold.
240. Excellent wives, learning, (the knowledge of) the law, (the rules of) purity, good
advice, and various arts may be acquired from anybody.
241. It is prescribed that in times of distress (a student) may learn (the Veda) from
one who is not a Brahmana; and that he shall walk behind and serve (such a) teacher, as
long as the instruction lasts.
242. He who desires incomparable bliss (in heaven) shall not dwell during his whole
life in (the house of) a non-Brahmanical teacher, nor with a Brahmana who does not know
the whole Veda and the Angas.
243. But if (a student) desires to pass his whole life in the teacher's house, he must
diligently serve him, until he is freed from this body.
244. A Brahmana who serves his teacher till the dissolution of his body, reaches
forthwith the eternal mansion of Brahman.
245. He who knows the sacred law must not present any gift to his teacher before (the
Samavartana); but when, with the permission of his teacher, he is about to take the
(final) bath, let him procure (a present) for the venerable man according to his ability,
246. (Viz.) a field, gold, a cow, a horse, a parasol and shoes, a seat, grain, (even)
vegetables, (and thus) give pleasure to his teacher.
247. (A perpetual student) must, if his teacher dies, serve his son (provided he be)
endowed with good qualities, or his widow, or his Sapinda, in the same manner as the
248. Should none of these be alive, he must serve the sacred fire, standing (by day)
and sitting (during the night), and thus finish his life.
249. A Brahmana who thus passes his life as a student without breaking his vow, reaches
(after death) the highest abode and will not be born again in this world.
1. The vow (of studying) the three Vedas under a teacher must be kept for thirty-six
years, or for half that time, or for a quarter, or until the (student) has perfectly
2. (A student) who has studied in due order the three Vedas, or two, or even one only,
without breaking the (rules of) studentship, shall enter the order of householders.
3. He who is famous for (the strict performance of) his duties and has received his
heritage, the Veda, from his father, shall be honoured, sitting on a couch and adorned
with a garland, with (the present of) a cow (and the honey-mixture).
4. Having bathed, with the permission of his teacher, and performed according to the
rule the Samavartana (the rite on returning home), a twice-born man shall marry a wife of
equal caste who is endowed with auspicious (bodily) marks.
5. A damsel who is neither a Sapinda on the mother's side, nor belongs to the same
family on the father's side, is recommended to twice-born men for wedlock and conjugal
6. In connecting himself with a wife, let him carefully avoid the ten following
families, be they ever so great, or rich in kine, horses, sheep, grain, or (other)
7. (Viz.) one which neglects the sacred rites, one in which no male children (are
born), one in which the Veda is not studied, one (the members of) which have thick hair on
the body, those which are subject to hemorrhoids, phthisis, weakness of digestion,
epilepsy, or white or black leprosy.
8. Let him not marry a maiden (with) reddish (hair), nor one who has a redundant
member, nor one who is sickly, nor one either with no hair (on the body) or too much, nor
one who is garrulous or has red (eyes),
9. Nor one named after a constellation, a tree, or a river, nor one bearing the name of
a low caste, or of a mountain, nor one named after a bird, a snake, or a slave, nor one
whose name inspires terror.
10. Let him wed a female free from bodily defects, who has an agreeable name, the
(graceful) gait of a Hamsa or of an elephant, a moderate (quantity of) hair on the body
and on the head, small teeth, and soft limbs.
11. But a prudent man should not marry (a maiden) who has no brother, nor one whose
father is not known, through fear lest (in the former case she be made) an appointed
daughter (and in the latter) lest (he should commit) sin.
12. For the first marriage of twice-born men (wives) of equal caste are recommended;
but for those who through desire proceed (to marry again) the following females, (chosen)
according to the (direct) order (of the castes), are most approved.
13. It is declared that a Sudra woman alone (can be) the wife of a Sudra, she and one
of his own caste (the wives) of a Vaisya, those two and one of his own caste (the wives)
of a Kshatriya, those three and one of his own caste (the wives) of a Brahmana.
14. A Sudra woman is not mentioned even in any (ancient) story as the (first) wife of a
Brahmana or of a Kshatriya, though they lived in the (greatest) distress.
15. Twice-born men who, in their folly, wed wives of the low (Sudra) caste, soon
degrade their families and their children to the state of Sudras.
16. According to Atri and to (Gautama) the son of Utathya, he who weds a Sudra woman
becomes an outcast, according to Saunaka on the birth of a son, and according to Bhrigu he
who has (male) offspring from a (Sudra female, alone).
17. A Brahmana who takes a Sudra wife to his bed, will (after death) sink into hell; if
he begets a child by her, he will lose the rank of a Brahmana.
18. The manes and the gods will not eat the (offerings) of that man who performs the
rites in honour of the gods, of the manes, and of guests chiefly with a (Sudra wife's)
assistance, and such (a man) will not go to heaven.
19. For him who drinks the moisture of a Sudra's lips, who is tainted by her breath,
and who begets a son on her, no expiation is prescribed.
20. Now listen to (the) brief (description of) the following eight marriage-rites used
by the four castes (varna) which partly secure benefits and partly produce evil both in
this life and after death.
21. (They are) the rite of Brahman (Brahma), that of the gods (Daiva), that of the
Rishis (Arsha), that of Pragapati (Pragapatya), that of the Asuras (Asura), that of the
Gandharvas (Gandharva), that of the Rhashasas (Rakshasa), and that of the Pisakas
22. Which is lawful for each caste (varna) and which are the virtues or faults of each
(rite), all this I will declare to you, as well as their good and evil results with
respect to the offspring.
23. One may know that the first six according to the order (followed above) are lawful
for a Brahmana, the four last for a Kshatriya, and the same four, excepting the Rakshasa
rite, for a Vaisya and a Sudra.
24. The sages state that the first four are approved (in the case) of a Brahmana, one,
the Rakshasa (rite in the case) of a Kshatriya, and the Asura (marriage in that) of a
Vaisya and of a Sudra.
25. But in these (Institutes of the sacred law) three of the five (last) are declared
to be lawful and two unlawful; the Paisaka and the Asura (rites) must never be used.
26. For Kshatriyas those before-mentioned two rites, the Gandharva and the Rakshasa,
whether separate or mixed, are permitted by the sacred tradition.
27. The gift of a daughter, after decking her (with costly garments) and honouring (her
by presents of jewels), to a man learned in the Veda and of good conduct, whom (the
father) himself invites, is called the Brahma rite.
28. The gift of a daughter who has been decked with ornaments, to a priest who duly
officiates at a sacrifice, during the course of its performance, they call the Daiva rite.
29. When (the father) gives away his daughter according to the rule, after receiving
from the bridegroom, for (the fulfilment of) the sacred law, a cow and a bull or two
pairs, that is named the Arsha rite.
30. The gift of a daughter (by her father) after he has addressed (the couple) with the
text, 'May both of you perform together your duties,' and has shown honour (to the
bridegroom), is called in the Smriti the Pragapatya rite.
31. When (the bridegroom) receives a maiden, after having given as much wealth as he
can afford, to the kinsmen and to the bride herself, according to his own will, that is
called the Asura rite.
32. The voluntary union of a maiden and her lover one must know (to be) the Gandharva
rite, which springs from desire and has sexual intercourse for its purpose.
33. The forcible abduction of a maiden from her home, while she cries out and weeps,
after (her kinsmen) have been slain or wounded and (their houses) broken open, is called
the Rakshasa rite.
34. When (a man) by stealth seduces a girl who is sleeping, intoxicated, or disordered
in intellect, that is the eighth, the most base and sinful rite of the Pisakas.
35. The gift of daughters among Brahmanas is most approved, (if it is preceded) by (a
libation of) water; but in the case of other castes (it may be performed) by (the
expression of) mutual consent.
36. Listen now to me, ye Brahmanas, while I fully declare what quality has been
ascribed by Manu to each of these marriage-rites.
37. The son of a wife wedded according to the Brahma rite, if he performs meritorious
acts, liberates from sin ten ancestors, ten descendants and himself as the twenty-first.
38. The son born of a wife, wedded according to the Daiva rite, likewise (saves) seven
ancestors and seven descendants, the son of a wife married by the Arsha rite three (in the
ascending and descending lines), and the son of a wife married by the rite of Ka
(Pragapati) six (in either line).
39. From the four marriages, (enumerated) successively, which begin with the Brahma
rite spring sons, radiant with knowledge of the Veda and honoured by the Sishtas (good
40. Endowded with the qualities of beauty and goodness, possessing wealth and fame,
obtaining as many enjoyments as they desire and being most righteous, they will live a
41. But from the remaining (four) blamable marriages spring sons who are cruel and
speakers of untruth, who hate the Veda and the sacred law.
42. In the blameless marriages blameless children are born to men, in blamable
(marriages) blamable (offspring); one should therefore avoid the blamable (forms of
43. The ceremony of joining the hands is prescribed for (marriages with) women of equal
caste (varna); know that the following rule (applies) to weddings with females of a
different caste (varna).
44. On marrying a man of a higher caste a Kshatriya bride must take hold of an arrow, a
Vaisya bride of a goad, and a Sudra female of the hem of the (bridegroom's) garment.
45. Let (the husband) approach his wife in due season, being constantly satisfied with
her (alone); he may also, being intent on pleasing her, approach her with a desire for
conjugal union (on any day) excepting the Parvans.
46. Sixteen (days and) nights (in each month), including four days which differ from
the rest and are censured by the virtuous, (are called) the natural season of women.
47. But among these the first four, the eleventh and the thirteenth are (declared to
be) forbidden; the remaining nights are recommended.
48. On the even nights sons are conceived and daughters on the uneven ones; hence a man
who desires to have sons should approach his wife in due season on the even (nights).
49. A male child is produced by a greater quantity of male seed, a female child by the
prevalence of the female; if (both are) equal, a hermaphrodite or a boy and a girl; if
(both are) weak or deficient in quantity, a failure of conception (results).
50. He who avoids women on the six forbidden nights and on eight others, is (equal in
chastity to) a student, in whichever order he may live.
51. No father who knows (the law) must take even the smallest gratuity for his
daughter; for a man who, through avarice, takes a gratuity, is a seller of his offspring.
52. But those (male) relations who, in their folly, live on the separate property of
women, (e.g. appropriate) the beasts of burden, carriages, and clothes of women, commit
sin and will sink into hell.
53. Some call the cow and the bull (given) at an Arsha wedding 'a gratuity;' (but) that
is wrong, since (the acceptance of) a fee, be it small or great, is a sale (of the
54. When the relatives do not appropriate (for their use) the gratuity (given), it is
not a sale; (in that case) the (gift) is only a token of respect and of kindness towards
55. Women must be honoured and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and
brothers-in-law, who desire (their own) welfare.
56. Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not
honoured, no sacred rite yields rewards.
57. Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that
family where they are not unhappy ever prospers.
58. The houses on which female relations, not being duly honoured, pronounce a curse,
perish completely, as if destroyed by magic.
59. Hence men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honour women on holidays and
festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes, and (dainty) food.
60. In that family, where the husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her
husband, happiness will assuredly be lasting.
61. For if the wife is not radiant with beauty, she will not attract her husband; but
if she has no attractions for him, no children will be born.
62. If the wife is radiant with beauty, the whole house is bright; but if she is
destitute of beauty, all will appear dismal.
63. By low marriages, by omitting (the performance of) sacred rites, by neglecting the
study of the Veda, and by irreverence towards Brahmanas, (great) families sink low.
64. By (practising) handicrafts, by pecuniary transactions, by (begetting) children on
Sudra females only, by (trading in) cows, horses, and carriages, by (the pursuit of)
agriculture and by taking service under a king,
65. By sacrificing for men unworthy to offer sacrifices and by denying (the future
rewards for good) works, families, deficient in the (knowledge of the) Veda, quickly
66. But families that are rich in the knowledge of the Veda, though possessing little
wealth, are numbered among the great, and acquire great fame.
67. With the sacred fire, kindled at the wedding, a householder shall perform according
to the law the domestic ceremonies and the five (great) sacrifices, and (with that) he
shall daily cook his food.
68. A householder has five slaughter-houses (as it were, viz.) the hearth, the
grinding-stone, the broom, the pestle and mortar, the water-vessel, by using which he is
bound (with the fetters of sin).
69. In order to successively expiate (the offences committed by means) of all these
(five) the great sages have prescribed for householders the daily (performance of the
five) great sacrifices.
70. Teaching (and studying) is the sacrifice (offered) to Brahman, the (offerings of
water and food called) Tarpana the sacrifice to the manes, the burnt oblation the
sacrifice offered to the gods, the Bali offering that offered to the Bhutas, and the
hospitable reception of guests the offering to men.
71. He who neglects not these five great sacrifices, while he is able (to perform
them), is not tainted by the sins (committed) in the five places of slaughter, though he
constantly lives in the (order of) house (-holders).
72. But he who does not feed these five, the gods, his guests, those whom he is bound
to maintain, the manes, and himself, lives not, though he breathes.
73. They call (these) five sacrifices also, Ahuta, Huta, Prahuta, Brahmya-huta, and
74. Ahuta (not offered in the fire) is the muttering (of Vedic texts), Huta the burnt
oblation (offered to the gods), Prahuta (offered by scattering it on the ground) the Bali
offering given to the Bhutas, Brahmya-huta (offered in the digestive fire of Brahmanas),
the respectful reception of Brahmana (guests), and Prasita (eaten) the (daily oblation to
the manes, called) Tarpana.
75. Let (every man) in this (second order, at least) daily apply himself to the private
recitation of the Veda, and also to the performance of the offering to the gods; for he
who is diligent in the performance of sacrifices, supports both the movable and the
76. An oblation duly thrown into the fire, reaches the sun; from the sun comes rain,
from rain food, therefrom the living creatures (derive their subsistence).
77. As all living creatures subsist by receiving support from air, even so (the members
of) all orders subsist by receiving support from the householder.
78. Because men of the three (other) orders are daily supported by the householder with
(gifts of) sacred knowledge and food, therefore (the order of) householders is the most
79. (The duties of) this order, which cannot be practised by men with weak organs, must
be carefully observed by him who desires imperishable (bliss in) heaven, and constant
happiness in this (life).
80. The sages, the manes, the gods, the Bhutas, and guests ask the householders (for
offerings and gifts); hence he who knows (the law), must give to them (what is due to
81. Let him worship, according to the rule, the sages by the private recitation of the
Veda, the gods by burnt oblations, the manes by funeral offerings (Sraddha), men by (gifts
of) food, and the Bhutas by the Bali offering.
82. Let him daily perform a funeral sacrifice with food, or with water, or also with
milk, roots, and fruits, and (thus) please the manes.
83. Let him feed even one Brahmana in honour of the manes at (the Sraddha), which
belongs to the five great sacrifices; but let him not feed on that (occasion) any Brahmana
on account of the Vaisvadeva offering.
84. A Brahmana shall offer according to the rule (of his Grihya-sutra a portion) of the
cooked food destined for the Vaisvadeva in the sacred domestic fire to the following
85. First to Agni, and (next) to Soma, then to both these gods conjointly, further to
all the gods (Visve Devah), and (then) to Dhanvantari,
86. Further to Kuhu (the goddess of the new-moon day), to Anumati (the goddess of the
full-moon day), to Pragapati (the lord of creatures), to heaven and earth conjointly, and
finally to Agni Svishtakrit (the fire which performs the sacrifice well).
87. After having thus duly offered the sacrificial food, let him throw Bali offerings
in all directions of the compass, proceeding (from the east) to the south, to Indra, Yama,
Varuna, and Soma, as well as to the servants (of these deities).
88. Saying, '(Adoration) to the Maruts,' he shall scatter (some food) near the door,
and (some) in water, saying, '(Adoration to the waters;' he shall throw (some) on the
pestle and the mortar, speaking thus, '(Adoration) to the trees.'
89. Near the head (of the bed) he shall make an offering to Sri (fortune), and near the
foot (of his bed) to Bhadrakali; in the centre of the house let him place a Bali for
Brahman and for Vastoshpati (the lord of the dwelling) conjointly.
90. Let him throw up into the air a Bali for all the gods, and (in the day-time one)
for the goblins roaming about by day, (and in the evening one) for the goblins that walk
91. In the upper story let him offer a Bali to Sarvatmabhuti; but let him throw what
remains (from these offerings) in a southerly direction for the manes.
92. Let him gently place on the ground (some food) for dogs, outcasts, Kandalas
(Svapak), those afflicted with diseases that are punishments of former sins, crows, and
93. That Brahmana who thus daily honours all beings, goes, endowed with a resplendent
body, by a straight road to the highest dwelling-place (i.e. Brahman).
94. Having performed this Bali offering, he shall first feed his guest and, according
to the rule, give alms to an ascetic (and) to a student.
95. A twice-born householder gains, by giving alms, the same reward for his meritorious
act which (a student) obtains for presenting, in accordance with the rule, a cow to his
96. Let him give, in accordance with the rule, to a Brahmana who knows the true meaning
of the Veda, even (a small portion of food as) alms, or a pot full of water, having
garnished (the food with seasoning, or the pot with flowers and fruit).
97. The oblations to gods and manes, made by men ignorant (of the law of gifts), are
lost, if the givers in their folly present (shares of them) to Brahmanas who are mere
98. An offering made in the mouth-fire of Brahmanas rich in sacred learning and
austerities, saves from misfortune and from great guilt.
99. But let him offer, in accordance with the rule, to a guest who has come (of his own
accord) a seat and water, as well as food, garnished (with seasoning), according to his
100. A Brahmana who stays unhonoured (in the house), takes away (with him) all the
spiritual merit even of a man who subsists by gleaning ears of corn, or offers oblations
in five fires.
101. Grass, room (for resting), water, and fourthly a kind word; these (things) never
fail in the houses of good men.
102. But a Brahmana who stays one night only is declared to be a guest (atithi); for
because he stays (sthita) not long (anityam), he is called atithi (a guest).
103. One must not consider as a guest a Brahmana who dwells in the same village, nor
one who seeks his livelihood by social intercourse, even though he has come to a house
where (there is) a wife, and where sacred fires (are kept).
104. Those foolish householders who constantly seek (to live on) the food of others,
become, in consequence of that (baseness), after death the cattle of those who give them
105. A guest who is sent by the (setting) sun in the evening, must not be driven away
by a householder; whether he have come at (supper-) time or at an inopportune moment, he
must not stay in the house without entertainment.
106. Let him not eat any (dainty) food which he does not offer to his guest; the
hospitable reception of guests procures wealth, fame, long life, and heavenly bliss.
107. Let him offer (to his guests) seats, rooms, beds, attendance on departure and
honour (while they stay), to the most distinguished in the best form, to the lower ones in
a lower form, to equals in an equal manner.
108. But if another guest comes after the Vaisvadeva offering has been finished, (the
householder) must give him food according to his ability, (but) not repeat the Bali
109. A Brahmana shall not name his family and (Vedic) gotra in order to obtain a meal;
for he who boasts of them for the sake of a meal, is called by the wise a foul feeder
110. But a Kshatriya (who comes) to the house of a Brahmana is not called a guest
(atithi), nor a Vaisya, nor a Sudra, nor a personal friend, nor a relative, nor the
111. But if a Kshatriya comes to the house of a Brahmana in the manner of a guest, (the
house-holder) may feed him according to his desire, after the above-mentioned Brahmanas
112. Even a Vaisya and a Sudra who have approached his house in the manner of guests,
he may allow to eat with his servants, showing (thereby) his compassionate disposition.
113. Even to others, personal friends and so forth, who have come to his house out of
affection, he may give food, garnished (with seasoning) according to his ability, (at the
same time) with his wife.
114. Without hesitation he may give food, even before his guests, to the following
persons, (viz.) to newly-married women, to infants, to the sick, and to pregnant women.
115. But the foolish man who eats first without having given food to these (persons)
does, while he crams, not know that (after death) he himself will be devoured by dogs and
116. After the Brahmanas, the kinsmen, and the servants have dined, the householder and
his wife may afterwards eat what remains.
117. Having honoured the gods, the sages, men, the manes, and the guardian deities of
the house, the householder shall eat afterwards what remains.
118. He who prepares food for himself (alone), eats nothing but sin; for it is ordained
that the food which remains after (the performance of) the sacrifices shall be the meal of
119. Let him honour with the honey-mixture a king, an officiating priest, a Snataka,
the teacher, a son-in-law, a father-in-law, and a maternal uncle, (if they come) again
after a full year (has elapsed since their last visit).
120. A king and a Srotriya, who come on the performance of a sacrifice, must be
honoured with the honey-mixture, but not if no sacrifice is being performed; that is a
121. But the wife shall offer in the evening (a portion) of the dressed food as a
Bali-oblation, without (the recitation of) sacred formulas; for that (rite which is called
the) Vaisvadeva is prescribed both for the morning and the evening.
122. After performing the Pitriyagna, a Brahmana who keeps a sacred fire shall offer,
month by month, on the new-moon day, the funeral sacrifice (Sraddha, called)
123. The wise call the monthly funeral offering to the manes Anvaharya (to be offered
after the cakes), and that must be carefully performed with the approved (sorts of) flesh
124. I will fully declare what and how many (Brahmanas) must be fed on that (occasion),
who must be avoided, and on what kinds of food (they shall dine).
125. One must feed two (Brahmanas) at the offering to the gods, and three at the
offering to the manes, or one only on either occasion; even a very wealthy man shall not
be anxious (to entertain) a large company.
126. A large company destroys these five (advantages) the respectful treatment (of the
invited, the propriety of) place and time, purity and (the selection of) virtuous Brahmana
(guests); he therefore shall not seek (to entertain) a large company.
127. Famed is this rite for the dead, called (the sacrifice sacred to the manes (and
performed) on the new-moon day; if a man is diligent in (performing) that, (the reward of)
the rite for the dead, which is performed according to Smarta rules, reaches him
128. Oblations to the gods and manes must be presented by the givers to a Srotriya
alone; what is given to such a most worthy Brahmana yields great reward.
129. Let him feed even one learned man at (the sacrifice) to the gods, and one at (the
sacrifice) to the manes; (thus) he will gain a rich reward, not (if he entertains) many
who are unacquainted with the Veda.
130. Let him make inquiries even regarding the remote (ancestors of) a Brahmana who has
studied an entire (recension of the) Veda; (if descended from a virtuous race) such a man
is a worthy recipient of gifts (consisting) of food offered to the gods or to the manes,
he is declared (to procure as great rewards as) a guest (atithi).
131. Though a million of men, unaquainted with the Rikas, were to dine at a (funeral
sacrifice), yet a single man, learned in the Veda, who is satisfied (with his
entertainment), is worth them all as far as the (production of) spiritual merit (is
132. Food sacred to the manes or to the gods must be given to a man distinguished by
sacred knowledge; for hands, smeared with blood, cannot be cleansed with blood.
133. As many mouthfuls as an ignorant man swallows at a sacrifice to the gods or to the
manes, so many red-hot spikes, spears, and iron balls must (the giver of the repast)
swallow after death.
134. Some Brahmanas are devoted to (the pursuit of) knowledge, and others to (the
performance of) austerities; some to austerities and to the recitation of the Veda, and
others to (the performance of) sacred rites.
135. Oblations to the manes ought to be carefully presented to those devoted to
knowledge, but offerings to the gods, in accordance with the reason (of the sacred law),
to (men of) all the four (above-mentioned classes).
136. If there is a father ignorant of the sacred texts whose son has learned one whole
recension of the Veda and the Angas, and a son ignorant of the sacred texts whose father
knows an entire recension of the Veda and the Angas,
137. Know that he whose father knows the Veda, is the more venerable one (of the two);
yet the other one is worthy of honour, because respect is due to the Veda (which he has
138. Let him not entertain a personal friend at a funeral sacrifice; he may gain his
affection by (other) valuable gifts; let him feed at a Sraddha a Brahmana whom he
considers neither as a foe nor as a friend.
139. He who performs funeral sacrifices and offerings to the gods chiefly for the sake
of (gaining) friends, reaps after death no reward for Sraddhas and sacrifices.
140. That meanest among twice-born men who in his folly contracts friendships through a
funeral sacrifice, loses heaven, because he performed a Sraddha for the sake of
141. A gift (of food) by twice-born men, consumed with (friends and relatives), is said
to be offered to the Pisakas; it remains in this (world) alone like a blind cow in one
142. As a husbandman reaps no harvest when he has sown the seed in barren soil, even so
the giver of sacrificial food gains no reward if he presented it to a man unacquainted
with the Rikas.
143. But a present made in accordance with the rules to a learned man, makes the giver
and the recipient partakers of rewards both in this (life) and after death.
144. (If no learned Brahmana be at hand), he may rather honour a (virtuous) friend than
an enemy, though the latter may be qualified (by learning and so forth); for sacrificial
food, eaten by a foe, bears no reward after death.
145. Let him (take) pains (to) feed at a Sraddha an adherent of the Rig-veda who has
studied one entire (recension of that) Veda, or a follower of the Yagur-veda who has
finished one Sakha, or a singer of Samans who (likewise) has completed (the study of an
146. If one of these three dines, duly honoured, at a funeral sacrifice, the ancestors
of him (who gives the feast), as far as the seventh person, will be satisfied for a very
147. This is the chief rule (to be followed) in offering sacrifices to the gods and
manes; know that the virtuous always observe the following subsidiary rule.
148. One may also entertain (on such occasions) one's maternal grandfather, a maternal
uncle, a sister's son, a father-in-law, one's teacher, a daughter's son, a daughter's
husband, a cognate kinsman, one's own officiating priest or a man for whom one offers
149. For a rite sacred to the gods, he who knows the law will not make (too close)
inquiries regarding an (invited) Brahmana; but when one performs a ceremony in honour of
the manes, one must carefully examine (the qualities and parentage of the guest).
150. Manu has declared that those Brahmanas who are thieves, outcasts, eunuchs, or
atheists are unworthy (to partake) of oblations to the gods and manes.
151. Let him not entertain at a Sraddha one who wears his hair in braids (a student),
one who has not studied (the Veda), one afflicted with a skin-disease, a gambler, nor
those who sacrifice for a multitude (of sacrificers).
152. Physicians, temple-priests, sellers of meat, and those who subsist by shop-keeping
must be avoided at sacrifices offered to the gods and to the manes.
153. A paid servant of a village or of a king, man with deformed nails or black teeth,
one who opposes his teacher, one who has forsaken the sacred fire, and a usurer;
154. One suffering from consumption, one who subsists by tending cattle, a younger
brother who marries or kindles the sacred fire before the elder, one who neglects the five
great sacrifices, an enemy of the Brahmana race, an elder brother who marries or kindles
the sacred fire after the younger, and one who belongs to a company or corporation,
155. An actor or singer, one who has broken the vow of studentship, one whose (only or
first) wife is a Sudra female, the son of a remarried woman, a one-eyed man, and he in
whose house a paramour of his wife (resides);
156. He who teaches for a stipulated fee and he who is taught on that condition, he who
instructs Sudra pupils and he whose teacher is a Sudra, he who speaks rudely, the son of
an adulteress, and the son of a widow,
157. He who forsakes his mother, his father, or a teacher without a (sufficient)
reason, he who has contracted an alliance with outcasts either through the Veda or through
158. An incendiary, a prisoner, he who eats the food given by the son of an adulteress,
a seller of Soma, he who undertakes voyages by sea, a bard, an oil-man, a suborner to
159. He who wrangles or goes to law with his father, the keeper of a gambling-house, a
drunkard, he who is afflicted with a disease (in punishment of former) crimes, he who is
accused of a mortal sin, a hypocrite, a seller of substances used for flavouring food,
160. A maker of bows and of arrows, he who lasciviously dallies with a brother's widow,
the betrayer of a friend, one who subsists by gambling, he who learns (the Veda) from his
161. An epileptic man, who suffers from scrofulous swellings of the glands, one
afflicted with white leprosy, an informer, a madman, a blind man, and he who cavils at the
Veda must (all) be avoided.
162. A trainer of elephants, oxen, horses, or camels, he who subsists by astrology, a
bird-fancier, and he who teaches the use of arms,
163. He who diverts water-courses, and he who delights in obstructing them, an
architect, a messenger, and he who plants trees (for money),
164. A breeder of sporting-dogs, a falconer, one who defiles maidens, he who delights
in injuring living creatures, he who gains his subsistence from Sudras, and he who offers
sacrifices to the Ganas,
165. He who does not follow the rule of conduct, a (man destitute of energy like a)
eunuch, one who constantly asks (for favours), he who lives by agriculture, a club-footed
man, and he who is censured by virtuous men,
166. A shepherd, a keeper of buffaloes, the husband of a remarried woman, and a carrier
of dead bodies, (all these) must be carefully avoided.
167. A Brahmana who knows (the sacred law) should shun at (sacrifices) both (to the
gods and to the manes) these lowest of twice-born men, whose conduct is reprehensible, and
who are unworthy (to sit) in the company (at a repast).
168. As a fire of dry grass is (unable to consume the offerings and is quickly)
extinguished, even so (is it with) an unlearned Brahmana; sacrificial food must not be
given to him, since it (would be) offered in ashes.
169. I will fully declare what result the giver obtains after death, if he gives food,
destined for the gods or manes, to a man who is unworthy to sit in the company.
170. The Rakshasas, indeed, consume (the food) eaten by Brahmanas who have not
fulfilled the vow of studentship, by a Parivettri and so forth, and by other men not
admissible into the company.
171. He must be considered as a Parivettri who marries or begins the performance of the
Agnihotra before his elder brother, but the latter as a Parivitti.
172. The elder brother who marries after the younger, the younger brother who marries
before the elder, the female with whom such a marriage is contracted, he who gives her
away, and the sacrificing priest, as the fifth, all fall into hell.
173. He who lasciviously dallies with the widow of a deceased brother, though she be
appointed (to bear a child by him) in accordance with the sacred law, must be known to be
174. Two (kinds of) sons, a Kunda and a Golaka, are born by wives of other men; (he who
is born) while the husband lives, will be a Kunda, and (he who is begotten) after the
husband's death, a Golaka.
175. But those two creatures, who are born of wives of other men, cause to the giver
the loss (of the rewards), both in this life and after death, for the food sacred to gods
or manes which has been given (to them).
176. The foolish giver (of a funeral repast) does not reap the reward for as many
worthy guests as a man, inadmissible into company, can look on while they are feeding.
177. A blind man by his presence causes to the giver (of the feast) the loss of the
reward for ninety (guests), a one-eyed man for sixty, one who suffers from white leprosy
for a hundred, and one punished by a (terrible) disease for a thousand.
178. The giver (of a Sraddha) loses the reward, due for such a non-sacrificial gift,
for as many Brahmanas as a (guest) who sacrifices for Sudras may touch (during the meal)
with his limbs.
179. And if a Brahmana, though learned in the Veda, accepts through covetousness a gift
from such (a man), he will quickly perish, like a vessel of unburnt clay in water.
180 (Food) given to a seller of Soma becomes ordure, (that given) to a physician pus
and blood, but (that presented) to a temple-priest is lost, and (that given) to a usurer
finds no place (in the world of the gods).
181. What has been given to a Brahmana who lives by trade that is not (useful) in this
world and the next, and (a present) to a Brahmana born of a remarried woman (resembles) an
oblation thrown into ashes.
182. But the wise declare that the food which (is offered) to other unholy,
inadmissible men, enumerated above, (is turned into) adipose secretions, blood, flesh,
marrow, and bone.
183. Now hear by what chief of twice-born men a company defiled by (the presence of)
unworthy (guests) is purified, and the full (description of) the Brahmanas who sanctify a
184. Those men must be considered as the sanctifiers of a company who are most learned
in all the Vedas and in all the Angas, and who are the descendants of Srotriyas.
185. A Trinakiketa, one who keeps five sacred fires, a Trisuparna, one who is versed in
the six Angas, the son of a woman married according to the Brahma rite, one who sings the
186. One who knows the meaning of the Veda, and he who expounds it, a student, one who
has given a thousand (cows), and a centenarian must be considered as Brahmanas who
sanctify a company.
187. On the day before the Sraddha-rite is performed, or on the day when it takes
place, let him invite with due respect at least three Brahmanas, such as have been
188. A Brahmana who has been invited to a (rite) in honour of the manes shall always
control himself and not recite the Veda, and he who performs the Sraddha (must act in the
189. For the manes attend the invited Brahmanas, follow them (when they walk) like the
wind, and sit near them when they are seated.
190. But a Brahmana who, being duly invited to a rite in honour of the gods or of the
manes, in any way breaks (the appointment), becomes guilty (of a crime), and (in his next
birth) a hog.
191. But he who, being invited to a Sraddha, dallies with a Sudra woman, takes upon
himself all the sins which the giver (of the feast) committed.
192. The manes are primeval deities, free from anger, careful of purity, ever chaste,
averse from strife, and endowed with great virtues.
193. Now learn fully from whom all these (manes derive) their origin, and with what
ceremonies they ought to be worshipped.
194. The (various) classes of the manes are declared to be the sons of all those sages,
Mariki and the rest, who are children of Manu, the son of Hiranyagarbha.
195. The Somasads, the sons of Virag, are stated to be the manes of the Sadhyas, and
the Agnishvattas, the children of Mariki, are famous in the world (as the manes) of the
196. The Barhishads, born of Atri, are recorded to be (the manes) of the Daityas,
Danavas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Snake-deities, Rakshasas, Suparnas, and a Kimnaras,
197. The Somapas those of the Brahmanas, the Havirbhugs those of the Kshatriyas, the
Agyapas those of the Vaisyas, but the Sukalins those of the Sudras.
198. The Somapas are the sons of Kavi (Bhrigu), the Havishmats the children of Angiras,
the Agyapas the offspring of Pulastya, but the Sukalins (the issue) of Vasishtha.
199. One should know that (other classes), the Agnidagdhas, the Anagnidagdhas, the
Kavyas, the Barhishads, the Agnishvattas, and the Saumyas, are (the manes) of the
200. But know also that there exist in this (world) countless sons and grandsons of
those chief classes of manes which have been enumerated.
201. From the sages sprang the manes, from the manes the gods and the Danavas, but from
the gods the whole world, both the movable and the immovable in due order.
202. Even water offered with faith (to the manes) in vessels made of silver or adorned
with silver, produces endless (bliss).
203. For twice-born men the rite in honour of the manes is more important than the rite
in honour of the gods; for the offering to the gods which precedes (the Sraddhas), has
been declared to be a means of fortifying (the latter).
204. Let him first invite a (Brahmana) in honour of the gods as a protection for the
(offering to the manes); for the Rakshasas destroy a funeral sacrifice which is left
without such a protection.
205. Let him make (the Sraddha) begin and end with (a rite) in honour of the gods; it
shall not begin and end with a (rite) to the manes; for he who makes it begin and end with
a (rite) in honour of the manes, soon perishes together with his progeny.
206. Let him smear a pure and secluded place with cowdung, and carefully make it
sloping towards the south.
207. The manes are always pleased with offerings made in open, naturally pure places,
on the banks of rivers, and in secluded spots.
208. The (sacrificer) shall make the (invited) Brahmanas, who have duly performed their
ablutions, sit down on separate, prepared seats, on which blades of Kusa grass have been
209. Having placed those blameless Brahmanas on their seats, he shall honour them with
fragrant garlands and perfumes, beginning with (those who are invited in honour of) the
210. Having presented to them water, sesamum grains, and blades of Kusa grass, the
Brahmana (sacrificer) shall offer (oblations) in the sacred fire, after having received
permission (to do so) from (all) the Brahmana (guests) conjointly.
211. Having first, according to the rule, performed, as a means of protecting (the
Sraddha), oblations to Agni, to Soma, and to Yama, let him afterwards satisfy the manes by
a gift of sacrificial food.
212. But if no (sacred) fire (is available), he shall place (the offerings) into the
hand of a Brahmana; for Brahmanas who know the sacred texts declare, 'What fire is, even
such is a Brahmana.'
213. They (also) call those first of twice-born men the ancient deities of the funeral
sacrifice, free from anger, easily pleased, employed in making men prosper.
214. After he has performed (the oblations) in the fire, (and) the whole series of
ceremonies in such a manner that they end in the south, let him sprinkle water with his
right hand on the spot (where the cakes are to be placed).
215. But having made three cakes out of the remainder of that sacrificial food, he
must, concentrating his mind and turning towards the south, place them on (Kusa grass)
exactly in the same manner in which (he poured out the libations of) water.
216. Having offered those cakes according to the (prescribed) rule, being pure, let him
wipe the same hand with (the roots of) those blades of Kusa grass for the sake of the
(three ancestors) who partake of the wipings (lepa).
217. Having (next) sipped water, turned round (towards the north), and thrice slowly
suppressed his breath, (the sacrificer) who knows the sacred texts shall worship (the
guardian deities of) the six seasons and the manes.
218. Let him gently pour out the remainder of the water near the cakes, and, with fixed
attention, smell those cakes, in the order in which they were placed (on the ground).
219. But taking successively very small portions from the cakes, he shall make those
seated Brahmana eat them, in accordance with the rule, before (their dinner).
220. But if the (sacrificer's) father is living, he must offer (the cakes) to three
remoter (ancestors); or he may also feed his father at the funeral sacrifice as (one of
the) Brahmana (guests).
221. But he whose father is dead, while his grandfather lives, shall, after pronouncing
his father's name, mention (that of) his great-grandfather.
222. Manu has declared that either the grandfather may eat at that Sraddha (as a
guest), or (the grandson) having received permission, may perform it, as he desires.
223. Having poured water mixed with sesamum, in which a blade of Kusa grass has been
placed, into the hands of the (guests), he shall give (to each) that (above-mentioned)
portion of the cake, saying, 'To those, Svadha!'
224. But carrying (the vessel) filled with food with both hands, the (sacrificer)
himself shall gently place it before the Brahmanas, meditating on the manes.
225. The malevolent Asuras forcibly snatch away that food which is brought without
being held with both hands.
226. Let him, being pure and attentive, carefully place on the ground the seasoning
(for the rice), such as broths and pot herbs, sweet and sour milk, and honey,
227. (As well as) various (kinds of) hard food which require mastication, and of soft
food, roots, fruits, savoury meat, and fragrant drinks.
228. All this he shall present (to his guests), being pure and attentive, successively
invite them to partake of each (dish), proclaiming its qualities.
229. Let him on no account drop a tear, become angry or utter an untruth, nor let him
touch the food with his foot nor violently shake it.
230. A tear sends the (food) to the Pretas, anger to his enemies, a falsehood to the
dogs, contact with his foot to the Rakshasas, a shaking to the sinners.
231. Whatever may please the Brahmanas, let him give without grudging it; let him give
riddles from the Veda, for that is agreeable to the manes.
232. At a (sacrifice in honour) of the manes, he must let (his guests) hear the Veda,
the Institutes of the sacred law, legends, tales, Puranas, and Khilas.
233. Himself being delighted, let him give delight to the Brahmanas, cause them to
partake gradually and slowly (of each dish), and repeatedly invite (them to eat) by
(offering) the food and (praising) its qualities.
234. Let him eagerly entertain at a funeral sacrifice a daughter's son, though he be a
student, and let him place a Nepal blanket on the on the seat (of each guest), scattering
sesamum grains on the ground.
235. There are three means of sanctification, (to be used) at a Sraddha, a daughter's
son, a Nepal blanket, and sesamum grains; and they recommend three (other things) for it,
cleanliness, suppression of anger, and absence of haste.
236. All the food must be very hot, and the (guests) shall eat in silence; (even
though) asked by the giver (of the feast), the Brahmanas shall not proclaim the qualities
of the sacrificial food.
237. As long as the food remains warm, as long as they eat in silence, as long as the
qualities of the food are not proclaimed, so long the manes partake (of it).
238. What (a guest) eats, covering his head, what he eats with his face turned towards
the south, what he eats with sandals on (his feet), that the Rakshasas consume.
239. A Kandala, a village pig, a cock, a dog, a menstruating woman, and a eunuch must
not look at the Brahmanas while they eat.
240. What (any of) these sees at a burnt-oblation, at a (solemn) gift, at a dinner
(given to Brahmanas), or at any rite in honour of the gods and manes, that produces not
the intended result.
241. A boar makes (the rite) useless by inhaling the smell (of the offerings), a cock
by the air of his wings, a dog by throwing his eye (on them), a low-caste man by touching
242. If a lame man, a one-eyed man, one deficient in a limb, or one with a redundant
limb, be even the servant of the performer (of the Sraddha), he must be removed from that
place (where the Sraddha is held).
243. To a Brahmana (householder), or to an ascetic who comes for food, he may, with the
permission of (his) Brahmana (guests), show honour according to his ability.
244. Let him mix all the kinds of food together, sprinkle them with water and put them,
scattering them (on Kusa grass), down on the ground in front of (his guests), when they
have finished their meal.
245. The remnant (in the dishes), and the portion scattered on Kusa grass, shall be the
share of deceased (children) who received not the sacrament (of cremation) and of those
who (unjustly) forsook noble wives.
246. They declare the fragments which have fallen on the ground at a (Sraddha) to the
manes, to be the share of honest, dutiful servants.
247. But before the performance of the Sapindikarana, one must feed at the funeral
sacrifice in honour of a (recently-) deceased Aryan (one Brahmana) without (making an
offering) to the gods, and give one cake only.
248. But after the Sapindikarana of the (deceased father) has been performed according
to the sacred law, the sons must offer the cakes with those ceremonies, (described above.)
249. The foolish man who, after having eaten a Sraddha (-dinner), gives the leavings to
a Sudra, falls headlong into the Kalasutra hell.
250. If the partaker of a Sraddha (-dinner) enters on the same day the bed of a Sudra
female, the manes of his (ancestors) will lie during that month in her ordure.
251. Having addressed the question, 'Have you dined well?' (to his guests), let him
give water for sipping to them who are satisfied, and dismiss them, after they have sipped
water, (with the words) 'Rest either (here or at home)!'
252. The Brahmana (guests) shall then answer him, 'Let there be Svadha;' for at all
rites in honour of the manes the word Svadha is the highest benison.
253. Next let him inform (his guests) who have finished their meal, of the food which
remains; with the permission of the Brahmanas let him dispose (of that), as they may
254. At a (Sraddha) in honour of the manes one must use (in asking of the guests if
they are satisfied, the word) svaditam; at a Goshthi-sraddha, (the word) susrutam; at a
Vriddhi-sraddha, (the word) sampannam; and at (a rite) in honour of the gods, (the word)
255. The afternoon, Kusa grass, the due preparation of the dwelling, sesamum grains,
liberality, the careful preparation of the food, and (the company of) distinguished
Brahmanas are true riches at all funeral sacrifices.
256. Know that Kusa grass, purificatory (texts), the morning, sacrificial viands of all
kinds, and those means of purification, mentioned above, are blessings at a sacrifice to
257. The food eaten by hermits in the forest, milk, Soma-juice, meat which is not
prepared (with spices), and salt unprepared by art, are called, on account of their
nature, sacrificial food.
258. Having dismissed the (invited) Brahmanas, let him, with a concentrated mind,
silent and pure, look towards the south and ask these blessings of the manes:
259. 'May liberal men abound with us! May (our knowledge of) the Vedas and (our)
progeny increase! May faith not forsake us! May we have much to give (to the needy)!'
260. Having thus offered (the cakes), let him, after (the prayer), cause a cow, a
Brahmana, a goat, or the sacred fire to consume those cakes, or let him throw them into
261. Some make the offering of the cakes after (the dinner); some cause (them) to be
eaten by birds or throw them into fire or into water.
262. The (sacrificer's) first wife, who is faithful and intent on the worship of the
manes, may eat the middle-most cake, (if she be) desirous of bearing a son.
263. (Thus) she will bring forth a son who will be long-lived, famous, intelligent,
rich, the father of numerous offspring, endowed with (the quality of) goodness, and
264. Having washed his hands and sipped water, let him prepare (food) for his paternal
relations and, after giving it to them with due respect, let him feed his maternal
265. But the remnants shall be left (where they lie) until the Brahmanas have been
dismissed; afterwards he shall perform the (daily) domestic Bali-offering; that is a
settled (rule of the) sacred law.
266. I will now fully declare what kind of sacrificial food, given to the manes
according to the rule, will serve for a long time or for eternity.
267. The ancestors of men are satisfied for one month with sesamum grains, rice,
barley, masha beans, water, roots, and fruits, which have been given according to the
268. Two months with fish, three months with the meat of gazelles, four with mutton,
and five indeed with the flesh of birds,
269. Six months with the flesh of kids, seven with that of spotted deer, eight with
that of the black antelope, but nine with that of the (deer called) Ruru,
270. Ten months they are satisfied with the meat of boars and buffaloes, but eleven
months indeed with that of hares and tortoises,
271. One year with cow-milk and milk-rice; from the flesh of a long-eared white he-goat
their satisfaction endures twelve years.
272. The (vegetable called) Kalasaka, (the fish called) Mahasalka, the flesh of a
rhinoceros and that of a red goat, and all kinds of food eaten by hermits in the forest
serve for an endless time.
273. Whatever (food), mixed with honey, one gives on the thirteenth lunar day in the
rainy season under the asterism of Maghah, that also procures endless (satisfaction).
274. 'May such a man (the manes say) be born in our family who will give us milk-rice,
with honey and clarified butter, on the thirteenth lunar day (of the month of Bhadrapada)
and (in the afternoon) when the shadow of an elephant falls towards the east.'
275. Whatever (a man), full of faith, duly gives according to the prescribed rule, that
becomes in the other world a perpetual and imperishable (gratification) for the manes.
276. The days of the dark half of the month, beginning with the tenth, but excepting
the fourteenth, are recommended for a funeral sacrifice; (it is) not thus (with) the
277. He who performs it on the even (lunar) days and under the even constellations,
gains (the fulfilment of) all his wishes; he who honours the manes on odd (lunar days) and
under odd (constellations), obtains distinguished offspring.
278. As the second half of the month is preferable to the first half, even so the
afternoon is better for (the performance of) a funeral sacrifice than the forenoon.
279. Let him, untired, duly perform the (rites) in honour of the manes in accordance
with the prescribed rule, passing the sacred thread over the right shoulder, proceeding
from the left to the right (and) holding Kusa grass in his hands, up to the end (of the
280. Let him not perform a funeral sacrifice at night, because the (night) is declared
to belong to the Rakshasas, nor in the twilight, nor when the sun has just risen.
281. Let him offer here below a funeral sacrifice, according to the rule given above,
(at least) thrice a year, in winter, in summer, and in the rainy season, but that which is
included among the five great sacrifices, every day.
282. The burnt-oblation, offered at a sacrifice to the manes, must not be made in a
common fire; a Brahmana who keeps a sacred fire (shall) not (perform) a funeral sacrifice
except on the new-moon day.
283. Even when a Brahmana, after bathing, satisfies the manes with water, he obtains
thereby the whole reward for the performance of the (daily) Sraddha.
284. They call (the manes of) fathers Vasus, (those of) grandfathers Rudras, and (those
of) great-grandfathers Adityas; thus (speaks) the eternal Veda.
285. Let him daily partake of the vighasa and daily eat amrita (ambrosia); but vighasa
is what remains from the meal (of Brahmana guests) and the remainder of a sacrifice (is
286. Thus all the ordinances relating to the five (daily great) sacrifices have been
declared to you; hear now the law for the manner of living fit for Brahmanas.
1. Having dwelt with a teacher during the fourth part of (a man's) life, a Brahmana
shall live during the second quarter (of his existence) in his house, after he has wedded
2. A Brahmana must seek a means of subsistence which either causes no, or at least
little pain (to others), and live (by that) except in times of distress.
3. For the purpose of gaining bare subsistence, let him accumulate property by
(following those) irreproachable occupations (which are prescribed for) his (caste),
without (unduly) fatiguing his body.
4. He may subsist by Rita (truth), and Amrita (ambrosia), or by Mrita (death) and by
Pramrita (what causes many deaths); or even by (the mode) called Satyanrita (a mixture of
truth and falsehood), but never by Svavritti (a dog's mode of life).
5. By Rita shall be understood the gleaning of corn; by Amrita, what is given unasked;
by Mrita, food obtained by begging and agriculture is declared to be Pramrita.
6. But trade and (money-lending) are Satyanrita, even by that one may subsist. Service
is called Svavritti; therefore one should avoid it.
7. He may either possess enough to fill a granary, or a store filling a grain-jar; or
he may collect what suffices for three days, or make no provision for the morrow.
8. Moreover, among these four Brahmana householders, each later-(named) must be
considered more distinguished, and through his virtue to have conquered the world more
9. One of these follows six occupations, another subsists by three, one by two, but the
fourth lives by the Brahmasattra.
10. He who maintains himself by picking up grains and ears of corn, must be always
intent on (the performance of) the Agnihotra, and constantly offer those Ishtis only,
which are prescribed for the days of the conjunction and opposition (of the moon), and for
11. Let him never, for the sake of subsistence, follow the ways of the world; let him
live the pure, straightforward, honest life of a Brahmana.
12. He who desires happiness must strive after a perfectly contented disposition and
control himself; for happiness has contentment for its root, the root of unhappiness is
the contrary (disposition).
13. A Brahmana, who is a Snataka and subsists by one of the (above-mentioned) modes of
life, must discharge the (following) duties which secure heavenly bliss, long life, and
14. Let him, untired, perform daily the rites prescribed for him in the Veda; for he
who performs those according to his ability, attains to the highest state.
15. Whether he be rich or even in distress, let him not seek wealth through pursuits to
which men cleave, nor by forbidden occupations, nor (let him accept presents) from any
(giver whosoever he may be).
16. Let him not, out of desire (for enjoyments), attach himself to any sensual
pleasures, and let him carefully obviate an excessive attachment to them, by (reflecting
on their worthlessness in) his heart.
17. Let him avoid all (means of acquiring) wealth which impede the study of the Veda;
(let him maintain himself) anyhow, but study, because that (devotion to the Veda-study
secures) the realisation of his aims.
18. Let him walk here (on earth), bringing his dress, speech, and thoughts to a
conformity with his age, his occupation, his wealth, his sacred learning, and his race.
19. Let him daily pore over those Institutes of science which soon give increase of
wisdom, those which teach the acquisition of wealth, those which are beneficial (for other
worldly concerns), and likewise over the Nigamas which explain the Veda.
20. For the more a man completely studies the Institutes of science, the more he fully
understands (them), and his great learning shines brightly.
21. Let him never, if he is able (to perform them), neglect the sacrifices to the
sages, to the gods, to the Bhutas, to men, and to the manes.
22. Some men who know the ordinances for sacrificial rites, always offer these great
sacrifices in their organs (of sensation), without any (external) effort.
23. Knowing that the (performance of the) sacrifice in their speech and their breath
yields imperishable (rewards), some always offer their breath in their speech, and their
speech in their breath.
24. Other Brahmanas, seeing with the eye of knowledge that the performance of those
rites has knowledge for its root, always perform them through knowledge alone.
25. A Brahmana shall always offer the Agnihotra at the beginning or at the end of the
day and of the night, and the Darsa and Paurnamasa (Ishtis) at the end of each half-month,
26. When the old grain has been consumed the (Agrayana) Ishti with new grain, at the
end of the (three) seasons the (Katurmasya-) sacrifices, at the solstices an animal
(sacrifice), at the end of the year Soma-offerings.
27. A Brahmana, who keeps sacred fires, shall, if he desires to live long, not eat new
grain or meat, without having offered the (Agrayana) Ishti with new grain and an
28. For his fires, not being worshipped by offerings of new grain and of an animal,
seek to devour his vital spirits, (because they are) greedy for new grain and flesh.
29. No guest must stay in his house without being honoured, according to his ability,
with a seat, food, a couch, water, or roots and fruits.
30. Let him not honour, even by a greeting, heretics, men who follow forbidden
occupations, men who live like cats, rogues, logicians, (arguing against the Veda,) and
those who live like herons.
31. Those who have become Snatakas after studying the Veda, or after completing their
vows, (and) householders, who are Srotriyas, one must worship by (gifts of food) sacred to
gods and manes, but one must avoid those who are different.
32. A householder must give (as much food) as he is able (to spare) to those who do not
cook for themselves, and to all beings one must distribute (food) without detriment (to
one's own interest).
33. A Snataka who pines with hunger, may beg wealth of a king, of one for whom he
sacrifices, and of a pupil, but not of others; that is a settled rule.
34. A Snataka who is able (to procure food) shall never waste himself with hunger, nor
shall he wear old or dirty clothes, if he possesses property.
35. Keeping his hair, nails, and beard clipped, subduing his passions by austerities,
wearing white garments and (keeping himself) pure, he shall be always engaged in studying
the Veda and (such acts as are) conducive to his welfare.
36. He shall carry a staff of bamboo, a pot full of water, a sacred string, a bundle of
Kusa grass, and (wear) two bright golden ear-rings.
37. Let him never look at the sun, when he sets or rises, is eclipsed or reflected in
water, or stands in the middle of the sky.
38. Let him not step over a rope to which a calf is tied, let him not run when it
rains, and let him not look at his own image in water; that is a settled rule.
39. Let him pass by (a mound of) earth, a cow, an idol, a Brahmana, clarified butter,
honey, a crossway, and well-known trees, turning his right hand towards them.
40. Let him, though mad with desire, not approach his wife when her courses appear; nor
let him sleep with her in the same bed.
41. For the wisdom, the energy, the strength, the sight, and the vitality of a man who
approaches a woman covered with menstrual excretions, utterly perish.
42. If he avoids her, while she is in that condition, his wisdom, energy, strength,
sight, and vitality will increase.
43. Let him not eat in the company of his wife, nor look at her, while she eats,
sneezes, yawns, or sits at her ease.
44. A Brahmana who desires energy must not look at (a woman) who applies collyrium to
her eyes, has anointed or uncovered herself or brings forth (a child).
45. Let him not eat, dressed with one garment only; let him not bathe naked; let him
not void urine on a road, on ashes, or in a cow-pen,
46. Nor on ploughed land, in water, on an altar of bricks, on a mountain, on the ruins
of a temple, nor ever on an ant-hill,
47. Nor in holes inhabited by living creatures, nor while he walks or stands, nor on
reaching the bank of a river, nor on the top of a mountain.
48. Let him never void faeces or urine, facing the wind, or a fire, or looking towards
a Brahmana, the sun, water, or cows.
49. He may ease himself, having covered (the ground) with sticks, clods, leaves, grass,
and the like, restraining his speech, (keeping himself) pure, wrapping up his body, and
covering his head.
50. Let him void faeces and urine, in the daytime turning to the north, at night
turning towards the south, during the two twilights in the same (position) as by day.
51. In the shade or in darkness a Brahmana may, both by day and at night, do it,
assuming any position he pleases; likewise when his life is in danger.
52. The intellect of (a man) who voids urine against a fire, the sun, the moon, in
water, against a Brahmana, a cow, or the wind, perishes.
53. Let him not blow a fire with his mouth; let him not look at a naked woman; let him
not throw any impure substance into the fire, and let him not warm his feet at it.
54. Let him not place (fire) under (a bed or the like); nor step over it, nor place it
(when he sleeps) at the foot-(end of his bed); let him not torment living creatures.
55. Let him not eat, nor travel, nor sleep during the twilight; let him not scratch the
ground; let him not take off his garland.
56. Let him not throw urine or faeces into the water, nor saliva, nor (clothes) defiled
by impure substances, nor any other (impurity), nor blood, nor poisonous things.
57. Let him not sleep alone in a deserted dwelling; let him not wake (a superior) who
is sleeping; let him not converse with a menstruating woman; nor let him go to a
sacrifice, if he is not chosen (to be officiating priest).
58. Let him keep his right arm uncovered in a place where a sacred fire is kept, in a
cow-pen, in the presence of Brahmanas, during the private recitation of the Veda, and at
59. Let him not interrupt a cow who is suckling (her calf), nor tell anybody of it. A
wise man, if he sees a rainbow in the sky, must not point it out to anybody.
60. Let him not dwell in a village where the sacred law is not obeyed, nor (stay) long
where diseases are endemic; let him not go alone on a journey, nor reside long on a
61. Let him not dwell in a country where the rulers are Sudras, nor in one which is
surrounded by unrighteous men, nor in one which has become subject to heretics, nor in one
swarming with men of the lowest castes.
62. Let him not eat anything from which the oil has been extracted; let him not be a
glutton; let him not eat very early (in the morning), nor very late (in the evening), nor
(take any food) in the evening, if he has eaten (his fill) in the morning.
63. Let him not exert himself without a purpose; let him not drink water out of his
joined palms; let him not eat food (placed) in his lap; let him not show (idle) curiosity.
64. Let him not dance, nor sing, nor play musical instruments, nor slap (his limbs),
nor grind his teeth, nor let him make uncouth noises, though he be in a passion.
65. Let him never wash his feet in a vessel of white brass; let him not eat out of a
broken (earthen) dish, nor out of one that (to judge) from its appearance (is) defiled.
66. Let him not use shoes, garments, a sacred string, ornaments, a garland, or a
water-vessel which have been used by others.
67. Let him not travel with untrained beasts of burden, nor with (animals) that are
tormented by hunger or disease, or whose horns, eyes, and hoofs have been injured, or
whose tails have been disfigured.
68. Let him always travel with (beasts) which are well broken in, swift, endowed with
lucky marks, and perfect in colour and form, without urging them much with the goad.
69. The morning sun, the smoke rising from a (burning) corpse, and a broken seat must
be avoided. Let him not clip his nails or hair, and not tear his nails with his teeth.
70. Let him not crush earth or clods, nor tear off grass with his nails; let him not do
anything that is useless or will have disagreeable results in the future.
71. A man who crushes clods, tears off grass, or bites his nails, goes soon to
perdition, likewise an informer and he who neglects (the rules of) purification.
72. Let him not wrangle; let him not wear a garland over (his hair). To ride on the
back of cows (or of oxen) is anyhow a blamable act.
73. Let him not enter a walled village or house except by the gate, and by night let
him keep at a long distance from the roots of trees.
74. Let him never play with dice, nor himself take off his shoes; let him not eat,
lying on a bed, nor what has been placed in his hand or on a seat.
75. Let him not eat after sunset any (food) containing sesamum grains; let him never
sleep naked, nor go anywhere unpurified (after meals).
76. Let him eat while his feet are (yet) wet (from the ablution), but let him not go to
bed with wet feet. He who eats while his feet are (still) wet, will attain long life.
77. Let him never enter a place, difficult of access, which is impervious to his eye;
let him not look at urine or ordure, nor cross a river (swimming) with his arms.
78. Let him not step on hair, ashes, bones, potsherds, cotton-seed or chaff, if he
desires long life.
79. Let him not stay together with outcasts, nor with Kandalas, nor with Pukkasas, nor
with fools, nor with overbearing men, nor with low-caste men, nor with Antyavasayins.
80. Let him not give to a Sudra advice, nor the remnants (of his meal), nor food
offered to the gods; nor let him explain the sacred law (to such a man), nor impose (upon
him) a penance.
81. For he who explains the sacred law (to a Sudra) or dictates to him a penance, will
sink together with that (man) into the hell (called) Asamvrita.
82. Let him not scratch his head with both hands joined; let him not touch it while he
is impure, nor bathe without (submerging) it.
83. Let him avoid (in anger) to lay hold of (his own or other men's) hair, or to strike
(himself or others) on the head. When he has bathed (submerging) his head, he shall not
touch any of his limbs with oil.
84. Let him not accept presents from a king who is not descended from the Kshatriya
race, nor from butchers, oil-manufacturers, and publicans, nor from those who subsist by
the gain of prostitutes.
85. One oil-press is as (bad) as ten slaughter-houses, one tavern as (bad as) ten
oil-presses, one brothel as (bad as) ten taverns, one king as (bad as) ten brothels.
86. A king is declared to be equal (in wickedness) to a butcher who keeps a hundred
thousand slaughter-houses; to accept presents from him is a terrible (crime).
87. He who accepts presents from an avaricious king who acts contrary to the Institutes
(of the sacred law), will go in succession to the following twenty-one hells:
88. Tamisra, Andhatamisra, Maharaurava, Raurava, the Kalasutra hell, Mahanaraka,
89. Samgivana, Mahaviki, Tapana, Sampratapana, Samghata, Sakakola, Kudmala,
90. Lohasanku, Rigisha, Pathin, the (flaming) river, Salmala, Asipatravana, and
91. Learned Brahmanas, who know that, who study the Veda and desire bliss after death,
do not accept presents from a king.
92. Let him wake in the muhurta, sacred to Brahman, and think of (the acquisition of)
spiritual merit and wealth, of the bodily fatigue arising therefrom, and of the true
meaning of the Veda.
93. When he has risen, has relieved the necessities of nature and carefully purified
himself, let him stand during the morning twilight, muttering for a long time (the
Gayatri), and at the proper time (he must similarly perform) the evening (devotion).
94. By prolonging the twilight devotions, the sages obtained long life, wisdom, honour,
fame, and excellence in Vedic knowledge.
95. Having performed the Upakarman according to the prescribed rule on (the full moon
of the month) Sravana, or on that of Praushthapada (Bhadrapada), a Brahmana shall
diligently study the Vedas during four months and a half.
96. When the Pushya-day (of the month Pausha), or the first day of the bright half of
Magha has come, a Brahmana shall perform in the forenoon the Utsargana of the Vedas.
97. Having performed the Utsarga outside (the village), as the Institutes (of the
sacred law) prescribe, he shall stop reading during two days and the intervening night, or
during that day (of the Utsarga) and (the following) night.
98. Afterwards he shall diligently recite the Vedas during the bright (halves of the
months), and duly study all the Angas of the Vedas during the dark fortnights.
99. Let him not recite (the texts) indistinctly, nor in the presence of Sudras; nor let
him, if in the latter part of the night he is tired with reciting the Veda, go again to
100. According to the rule declared above, let him recite the daily (portion of the)
Mantras, and a zealous Brahmana, (who is) not in distress, (shall study) the Brahmana and
101. Let him who studies always avoid (reading) on the following occasions when the
Veda-study is forbidden, and (let) him who teaches pupils according to the prescribed rule
(do it likewise).
102. Those who know the (rules of) recitation declare that in the rainy season the
Veda-study must be stopped on these two (occasions), when the wind is audible at night,
and when it whirls up the dust in the day-time.
103. Manu has stated, that when lightning, thunder, and rain (are observed together),
or when large fiery meteors fall on all sides, the recitation must be interrupted until
the same hour (on the next day, counting from the occurrence of the event).
104. When one perceives these (phenomena) all together (in the twilight), after the
sacred fires have been made to blaze (for the performance of the Agnihotra), then one must
know the recitation of the Veda to be forbidden, and also when clouds appear out of
105. On (the occasion of) a preternatural sound from the sky, (of) an earthquake, and
when the lights of heaven are surrounded by a halo, let him know that (the Veda-study must
be) stopped until the same hour (on the next day), even if (these phenomena happen) in the
106. But when lightning and the roar of thunder (are observed) after the sacred fires
have been made to blaze, the stoppage shall last as long as the light (of the sun or of
the stars is visible); if the remaining (above-named phenomenon, rain, occurs, the reading
shall cease), both in the day-time and at night.
107. For those who wish to acquire exceedingiy great merit, a continual interruption of
the Veda-study (is prescribed) in villages and in towns, and (the Veda-study must) always
(cease) when any kind of foul smell (is perceptible).
108. In a village where a corpse lies, in the presence of a (man who lives as
unrighteously as a) Sudra, while (the sound of) weeping (is heard), and in a crowd of men
the (recitation of the Veda must be) stopped.
109. In water, during the middle part of the night, while he voids excrements, or is
impure, and after he has partaken of a funeral dinner, a man must not even think in his
heart (of the sacred texts).
110. A learned Brahmana shall not recite the Veda during three days, when he has
accepted an invitation to a (funeral rite) in honour of one ancestor (ekoddishta), or when
the king has become impure through a birth or death in his family (sutaka), or when Rahu
by an eclipse makes the moon impure.
111. As long as the smell and the stains of the (food given) in honour of one ancestor
remain on the body of a learned Brahmana, so long he must not recite the Veda.
112. While lying on a bed, while his feet are raised (on a bench), while he sits on his
hams with a cloth tied round his knees, let him not study, nor when he has eaten meat or
food given by a person impure on account of a birth or a death,
113. Nor during a fog, nor while the sound of arrows is audible, nor during both the
twilights, nor on the new-moon day, nor on the fourteenth and the eighth (days of each
half-month), nor on the full-moon day.
114. The new-moon day destroys the teacher, the fourteenth (day) the pupil, the eighth
and the full-moon days (destroy all remembrance of) the Veda; let him therefore avoid
(reading on) those (days).
115. A Brahmana shall not recite (the Veda) during a dust-storm, nor while the sky is
preternaturally red, nor while jackals howl, nor while the barking of dogs, the braying of
donkeys, or the grunting of camels (is heard), nor while (he is seated) in a company.
116. Let him not study near a burial-ground, nor near a village, nor in a cow-pen, nor
dressed in a garment which he wore during conjugal intercourse, nor after receiving a
present at a funeral sacrifice.
117. Be it an animal or a thing inanimate, whatever be the (gift) at a Sraddha, let him
not, having just accepted it, recite the Veda; for the hand of a Brahmana is his mouth.
118. When the village has been beset by robbers, and when an alarm has been raised by
fire, let him know that (the Veda-study must be) interrupted until the same hour (on the
next day), and on (the occurrence of) all portents.
119. On (the occasion of) the Upakarman and (of) the Vedotsarga an omission (of the
Veda-study) for three days has been prescribed, but on the Ashtakas and on the last nights
of the seasons for a day and a night.
120. Let him not recite the Veda on horseback, nor on a tree, nor on an elephant, nor
in a boat (or ship), nor on a donkey, nor on camel, nor standing on barren ground, nor
riding in a carriage,
121. Nor during a verbal altercation, nor during a mutual assault, nor in a camp, nor
during a battle, nor when he has just eaten, nor during an indigestion, nor after
vomiting, nor with sour eructations,
122. Nor without receiving permission from a guest (who stays in his house), nor while
the wind blows vehemently, nor while blood flows from his body, nor when he is wounded by
123. Let him never recite the Rig-veda or the Yagur-veda while the Saman (melodies) are
heard; (let him stop all Veda-study for a day and a night) after finishing a Veda or after
reciting an Aranyaka.
124. The Rig-veda is declared to be sacred to the gods, the Yagur-veda sacred to men,
and the Sama-veda sacred to the manes; hence the sound of the latter is impure (as it
125. Knowing this, the learned daily repeat first in due order the essence of the three
(Vedas) and afterwards the (text of the) Veda.
126. Know that (the Veda-study must be) interrupted for a day and a night, when cattle,
a frog, a cat, a dog, a snake, an ichneumon, or a rat pass between (the teacher and his
127. Let a twice-born man always carefully interrupt the Veda-study on two (occasions,
viz.) when the place where he recites is impure, and when he himself is unpurified.
128. A twice-born man who is a Snataka shall remain chaste on the new-moon day, on the
eighth (lunar day of each half-month), on the full-moon day, and on the fourteenth, even
(if they fall) in the period (proper for conjugal intercourse).
129. Let him not bathe (immediately) after a meal, nor when he is sick, nor in the
middle of the night, nor frequently dressed in all his garments, nor in a pool which he
does not perfectly know.
130. Let him not intentionally step on the shadow of (images of) the gods, of a Guru,
of a king, of a Snataka, of his teacher, of a reddish-brown animal, or of one who has been
initiated to the performance of a Srauta sacrifice (Dikshita).
131. At midday and at midnight, after partaking of meat at a funeral dinner, and in the
two twilights let him not stay long on a cross-road.
132. Let him not step intentionally on things used for cleansing the body, on water
used for a bath, on urine or ordure, on blood, on mucus, and on anything spat out or
133. Let him not show particular attention to an enemy, to the friend of an enemy, to a
wicked man, to a thief, or to the wife of another man.
134. For in this world there is nothing so detrimental to long life as criminal
conversation with another man's wife.
135. Let him who desires prosperity, indeed, never despise a Kshatriya, a snake, and a
learned Brahmana, be they ever so feeble.
136. Because these three, when treated with disrespect, may utterly destroy him; hence
a wise man must never despise them.
137. Let him not despise himself on account of former failures; until death let him
seek fortune, nor despair of gaining it.
138. Let him say what is true, let him say what is pleasing, let him utter no
disagreeable truth, and let him utter no agreeable falsehood; that is the eternal law.
139. (What is) well, let him call well, or let him say 'well' only; let him not engage
in a useless enmity or dispute with anybody.
140. Let him not journey too early in the morning, nor too late in the evening, nor
just during the midday (heat), nor with an unknown (companion), nor alone, nor with
141. Let him not insult those who have redundant limbs or are deficient in limbs, nor
those destitute of knowledge, nor very aged men, nor those who have no beauty or wealth,
nor those who are of low birth.
142. A Brahmana who is impure must not touch with his hand a cow, a Brahmana, or fire;
nor, being in good health, let him look at the luminaries in the sky, while he is impure.
143. If he has touched these, while impure, let him always sprinkle with his hand water
on the organs of sensation, all his limbs, and the navel.
144. Except when sick he must not touch the cavities (of the body) without a reason,
and he must avoid (to touch) the hair on the secret (parts).
145. Let him eagerly follow the (customs which are) auspicious and the rule of good
conduct, be careful of purity, and control all his organs, let him mutter (prayers) and,
untired, daily offer oblations in the fire.
146. No calamity happens to those who eagerly follow auspicious customs and the rule of
good conduct, to those who are always careful of purity, and to those who mutter (sacred
texts) and offer burnt-oblations.
147. Let him, without tiring, daily mutter the Veda at the proper time; for they
declare that to be one's highest duty; (all) other (observances) are called secondary
148. By daily reciting the Veda, by (the observance of the rules of) purification, by
(practising) austerities, and by doing no injury to created beings, one (obtains the
faculty of) remembering former births.
149. He who, recollecting his former existences, again recites the Veda, gains endless
bliss by the continual study of the Veda.
150. Let him always offer on the Parva-days oblations to Savitri and such as avert evil
omens, and on the Ashtakas and Anvashtakas let him constantly worship the manes.
151. Far from his dwelling let him remove urine (and ordure), far (let him remove) the
water used for washing his feet, and far the remnants of food and the water from his bath.
152. Early in the morning only let him void faeces, decorate (his body), bathe, clean
his teeth, apply collyrium to his eyes, and worship the gods.
153. But on the Parva-days let him go to visit the (images of the) gods, and virtuous
Brahmanas, and the ruler (of the country), for the sake of protection, as well as his
154. Let him reverentially salute venerable men (who visit him), give them his own
seat, let him sit near them with joined hands and, when they leave, (accompany them),
walking behind them.
155. Let him, untired, follow the conduct of virtuous men, connected with his
occupations, which has been fully declared in the revealed texts and in the sacred
tradition (Smriti) and is the root of the sacred law.
156. Through virtuous conduct he obtains long life, through virtuous conduct desirable
offspring, through virtuous conduct imperishable wealth; virtuous conduct destroys (the
effect of) inauspicious marks.
157. For a man of bad conduct is blamed among people, constantly suffers misfortunes,
is afflicted with diseases, and short-lived.
158. A man who follows the conduct of the virtuous, has faith and is free from envy,
lives a hundred years, though he be entirely destitute of auspicious marks.
159. Let him carefully avoid all undertakings (the success of) which depends on others;
but let him eagerly pursue that (the accomplishment of) which depends on himself.
160. Everything that depends on others (gives) pain, everything that depends on oneself
(gives) pleasure; know that this is the short definition of pleasure and pain.
161. When the performance of an act gladdens his heart, let him perform it with
diligence; but let him avoid the opposite.
162. Let him never offend the teacher who initiated him, nor him who explained the
Veda, nor his father and mother, nor (any other) Guru, nor cows, nor Brahmanas, nor any
men performing austerities.
163. Let him avoid atheism, cavilling at the Vedas, contempt of the gods, hatred, want
of modesty, pride, anger, and harshness.
164. Let him, when angry, not raise a stick against another man, nor strike (anybody)
except a son or a pupil; those two he may beat in order to correct them.
165. A twice-born man who has merely threatened a Brahmana with the intention of (doing
him) a corporal injury, will wander about for a hundred years in the Tamisra hell.
166. Having intentionally struck him in anger, even with a blade of grass, he will be
born during twenty-one existences in the wombs (of such beings where men are born in
punishment of their) sins.
167. A man who in his folly caused blood to flow from the body of a Brahmana who does
not attack him, will suffer after death exceedingly great pain.
168. As many particles of dust as the blood takes up from the ground, during so many
years the spiller of the blood will be devoured by other (animals) in the next world.
169. A wise man should therefore never threaten a Brahmana, nor strike him even with a
blade of grass, nor cause his blood to flow.
170. Neither a man who (lives) unrighteously, nor he who (acquires) wealth (by telling)
falsehoods, nor he who always delights in doing injury, ever attain happiness in this
171. Let him, though suffering in consequence of his righteousness, never turn his
heart to unrighteousness; for he will see the speedy overthrow of unrighteous, wicked men.
172. Unrighteousness, practised in this world, does not at once produce its fruit, like
a cow; but, advancing slowly, it cuts off the roots of him who committed it.
173. If (the punishment falls) not on (the offender) himself, (it falls) on his sons,
if not on the sons, (at least) on his grandsons; but an iniquity (once) committed, never
fails to produce fruit to him who wrought it.
174. He prospers for a while through unrighteousness, then he gains great good fortune,
next he conquers his enemies, but (at last) he perishes (branch and) root.
175. Let him always delight in truthfulness, (obedience to) the sacred law, conduct
worthy of an Aryan, and purity; let him chastise his pupils according to the sacred law;
let him keep his speech, his arms, and his belly under control.
176. Let him avoid (the acquisition of) wealth and (the gratification of his) desires,
if they are opposed to the sacred law, and even lawful acts which may cause pain in the
future or are offensive to men.
177. Let him not be uselessly active with his hands and feet, or with his eyes, nor
crooked (in his ways), nor talk idly, nor injure others by deeds or even think of it.
178. Let him walk in that path of holy men which his fathers and his grandfathers
followed; while he walks in that, he will not suffer harm.
179. With an officiating or a domestic priest, with a teacher, with a maternal uncle, a
guest and a dependant, with infants, aged and sick men, with learned men, with his
paternal relatives, connexions by marriage and maternal relatives,
180. With his father and his mother, with female relatives, with a brother, with his
son and his wife, with his daughter and with his slaves, let him not have quarrels.
181. If he avoids quarrels with these persons, he will be freed from all sins, and by
suppressing (all) such (quarrels) a householder conquers all the following worlds.
182. The teacher is the lord of the world of Brahman, the father has power over the
world of the Lord of created beings (Pragapati), a guest rules over the world of Indra,
and the priests over the world of the gods.
183. The female relatives (have power) over the world of the Apsarases, the maternal
relatives over that of the Visve Devas, the connexions by marriage over that of the
waters, the mother and the maternal uncle over the earth.
184. Infants, aged, poor and sick men must be considered as rulers of the middle
sphere, the eldest brother as equal to one's father, one's wife and one's son as one's own
185. One's slaves as one's shadow, one's daughter as the highest object of tenderness;
hence if one is offended by (any one of) these, one must bear it without resentment.
186. Though (by his learning and sanctity) he may be entitled to accept presents, let
him not attach himself (too much) to that (habit); for through his accepting (many)
presents the divine light in him is soon extinguished.
187. Without a full knowledge of the rules, prescribed by the sacred law for the
acceptance of presents, a wise man should not take anything, even though he may pine with
188. But an ignorant (man) who accepts gold, land, a horse, a cow, food, a dress,
sesamum-grains, (or) clarified butter, is reduced to ashes like (a piece of) wood.
189. Gold and food destroy his longevity, land and a cow his body, a horse his eye
(sight), a garment his skin, clarified butter his energy, sesamum-grains his offspring.
190. A Brahmana who neither performs austerities nor studies the Veda, yet delights in
accepting gifts, sinks with the (donor into hell), just as (he who attempts to cross over
in) a boat made of stone (is submerged) in the water.
191. Hence an ignorant (man) should be afraid of accepting any presents; for by reason
of a very small (gift) even a fool sinks (into hell) as a cow into a morass.
192. (A man) who knows the law should not offer even water to a Brahmana who acts like
a cat, nor to a Brahmana who acts like a heron, nor to one who is unacquainted with the
193. For property, though earned in accordance with prescribed rules, which is given to
these three (persons), causes in the next world misery both to the giver and to the
194. As he who (attempts to) cross water in a boat of stone sinks (to the bottom), even
so an ignorant donor and an ignorant donee sink low.
195. (A man) who, ever covetous, displays the flag of virtue, (who is) a hypocrite, a
deceiver of the people, intent on doing injury, (and) a detractor (from the merits) of all
men, one must know to be one who acts like a cat.
196. That Brahmana, who with downcast look, of a cruel disposition, is solely intent on
attaining his own ends, dishonest and falsely gentle, is one who acts like a heron.
197. Those Brahmanas who act like herons, and those who display the characteristics of
cats, fall in consequence of that wicked mode of acting into (the hell called)
198. When he has committed a sin, let him not perform a penance under the pretence
(that the act is intended to gain) spiritual merit, (thus) hiding his sin under (the
pretext of) a vow and deceiving women and Sudras.
199. Such Brahmanas are reprehended after death and in this (life) by those who expound
the Veda, and a vow, performed under a false pretence, goes to the Rakshasas.
200. He who, without being a student, gains his livelihood by (wearing) the dress of a
student, takes upon himself the guilt of (all) students and is born again in the womb of
201. Let him never bathe in tanks belonging to other men; if he bathes (in such a one),
he is tainted by a portion of the guilt of him who made the tank.
202. He who uses without permission a carriage, a bed, a seat, a well, a garden or a
house belonging to an (other man), takes upon himself one fourth of (the owner's) guilt.
203. Let him always bathe in rivers, in ponds, dug by the gods (themselves), in lakes,
and in waterholes or springs.
204. A wise man should constantly discharge the paramount duties (called yama), but not
always the minor ones (called niyama); for he who does not discharge the former, while he
obeys the latter alone, becomes an outcast.
205. A Brahmana must never eat (a dinner given) at a sacrifice that is offered by one
who is not a Srotriya, by one who sacrifices for a multitude of men, by a woman, or by a
206. When those persons offer sacrificial viands in the fire, it is unlucky for holy
(men) it displeases the gods; let him therefore avoid it.
207. Let him never eat (food given) by intoxicated, angry, or sick (men), nor that in
which hair or insects are found, nor what has been touched intentionally with the foot,
208. Nor that at which the slayer of a learned Brahmana has looked, nor that which has
been touched by a menstruating woman, nor that which has been pecked at by birds or
touched by a dog,
209. Nor food at which a cow has smelt, nor particularly that which has been offered by
an invitation to all comers, nor that (given) by a multitude or by harlots, nor that which
is declared to be had by a learned (man),
210. Nor the food (given) by a thief, a musician, a carpenter, a usurer, one who has
been initiated (for the performance of a Srauta sacrifice), a miser, one bound with
211. By one accused of a mortal sin (Abhisasta), a hermaphrodite, an unchaste woman, or
a hypocrite, nor (any sweet thing) that has turned sour, nor what has been kept a whole
night, nor (the food) of a Sudra, nor the leavings (of another man),
212. Nor (the food given) by a physician, a hunter, a cruel man, one who eats the
fragments (of another's meal), nor the food of an Ugra, nor that prepared for a woman in
childbed, nor that (given at a dinner) where (a guest rises) prematurely (and) sips water,
nor that (given by a woman) whose ten days of impurity have not elapsed,
213. Nor (food) given without due respect, nor (that which contains) meat eaten for no
sacred purpose, nor (that given) by a female who has no male (relatives), nor the food of
an enemy, nor that (given) by the lord of a town, nor that (given) by outcasts, nor that
on which anybody has sneezed;
214. Nor the food (given) by an informer, by one who habitually tells falsehoods, or by
one who sells (the rewards for) sacrifices, nor the food (given) by an actor, a tailor, or
an ungrateful (man),
215. By a blacksmith, a Nishada, a stage-player, a goldsmith, a basket-maker, or a
dealer in weapons,
216. By trainers of hunting dogs, publicans, a washerman, a dyer, a pitiless (man), and
a man in whose house (lives) a paramour (of his wife),
217. Nor (the food given) by those who knowingly bear with paramours (of their wives),
and by those who in all matters are ruled by women, nor food (given by men) whose ten days
of impurity on account of a death have not passed, nor that which is unpalatable.
218. The food of a king impairs his vigour, the food of a Sudra his excellence in
sacred learning, the food of a goldsmith his longevity, that of a leather-cutter his fame;
219. The food of an artisan destroys his offspring, that of a washerman his (bodily)
strength; the food of a multitude and of harlots excludes him from (the higher) worlds.
220. The food of a physician (is as vile as) pus, that of an unchaste woman (equal to)
semen, that of a usurer (as vile as) ordure, and that of a dealer in weapons (as bad as)
221. The food of those other persons who have been successively enumerated as such
whose food must not be eaten, the wise declare (to be as impure as) skin, bones, and hair.
222. If he has unwittingly eaten the food of one of those, (he must) fast for three
days; if he has eaten it intentionally, or (has swallowed) semen, ordure, or urine, he
must perform a Krikkhra penance.
223. A Brahmana who knows (the law) must not eat cooked food (given) by a Sudra who
performs no Sraddhas; but, on failure of (other) means of subsistence, he may accept raw
(grain), sufficient for one night (and day).
224. The gods, having considered (the respective merits) of a niggardly Srotriya and of
a liberal usurer, declared the food of both to be equal (in quality).
225. The Lord of created beings (Pragapati) came and spake to them, 'Do not make that
equal, which is unequal. The food of that liberal (usurer) is purified by faith; (that of
the) of the) other (man) is defiled by a want of faith.'
226. Let him, without tiring, always offer sacrifices and perform works of charity with
faith; for offerings and charitable works made with faith and with lawfully-earned money,
(procure) endless rewards.
227. Let him always practise, according to his ability, with a cheerful heart, the duty
of liberality, both by sacrifices and by charitable works, if he finds a worthy recipient
(for his gifts.)
228. If he is asked, let him always give something, be it ever so little, without
grudging; for a worthy recipient will (perhaps) be found who saves him from all (guilt).
229. A giver of water obtains the satisfaction (of his hunger and thirst), a giver of
food imperishable happiness, a giver of sesamum desirable offspring, a giver of a lamp a
most excellent eyesight.
230. A giver of land obtains land, a giver of gold long life, a giver of a house most
excellent mansions, a giver of silver (rupya) exquisite beauty (rupa),
231. A giver of a garment a place in the world of the moon, a giver of a horse (asva) a
place in the world of the Asvins, a giver of a draught-ox great good fortune, a giver of a
cow the world of the sun;
232. A giver of a carriage or of a bed a wife, a giver of protection supreme dominion,
a giver of grain eternal bliss, a giver of the Veda (brahman) union with Brahman;
233. The gift of the Veda surpasses all other gifts, water, food, cows, land, clothes,
sesamum, gold, and clarified butter.
234. For whatever purpose (a man) bestows any gift, for that same purpose he receives
(in his next birth) with due honour its (reward).
235. Both he who respectfully receives (a gift), and he who respectfully bestows it, go
to heaven; in the contrary case (they both fall) into hell.
236. Let him not be proud of his austerities; let him not utter a falsehood after he
has offered a sacrifice; let him not speak ill of Brahmanas, though he be tormented (by
them); when he has bestowed (a gift), let him not boast of it.
237. By falsehood a sacrifice becomes vain, by self-complacency (the reward for)
austerities is lost, longevity by speaking evil of Brahmanas, and (the reward of) a gift
238. Giving no pain to any creature, let him slowly accumulate spiritual merit, for the
sake (of acquiring) a companion to the next world, just as the white ant (gradually raises
239. For in the next world neither father, nor mother, nor wife, nor sons, nor
relations stay to be his companions; spiritual merit alone remains (with him).
240. Single is each being born; single it dies; single it enjoys (the reward of its)
virtue; single (it suffers the punishment of its) sin.
241. Leaving the dead body on the ground like a log of wood, or a clod of earth, the
relatives depart with averted faces; but spiritual merit follows the (soul).
242. Let him therefore always slowly accumulate spiritual merit, in order (that it may
be his) companion (after death); for with merit as his companion he will traverse a gloom
difficult to traverse.
243. (That companion) speedily conducts the man who is devoted to duty and effaces his
sins by austerities, to the next world, radiant and clothed with an ethereal body.
244. Let him, who desires to raise his race, ever form connexions with the most
excellent (men), and shun all low ones.
245. A Brahmana who always connects himself with the most excellent (ones), and shuns
all inferior ones, (himself) becomes most distinguished; by an opposite conduct he becomes
246. He who is persevering, gentle, (and) patient, shuns the company of men of cruel
conduct, and does no injury (to living creatures), gains, if he constantly lives in that
manner, by controlling his organs and by liberality, heavenly bliss.
247. He may accept from any (man), fuel, water, roots, fruit, food offered without
asking, and honey, likewise a gift (which consists in) a promise of protection.
248. The Lord of created beings (Pragapati) has declared that alms freely offered and
brought (by the giver himself) may be accepted even from a sinful man, provided (the gift)
had not been (asked for or) promised beforehand.
249. During fifteen years the manes do not eat (the food) of that man who disdains a
(freely-offered gift), nor does the fire carry his offerings (to the gods).
250. A couch, a house, Kusa grass, perfumes, water, flowers, jewels, sour milk, grain,
fish, sweet milk, meat, and vegetables let him not reject, (if they are voluntarily
251. He who desires to relieve his Gurus and those whom he is bound to maintain, or
wishes to honour the gods and guests, may accept (gifts) from anybody; but he must not
satisfy his (own hunger) with such (presents).
252. But if his Gurus are dead, or if he lives separate from them in (another) house,
let him, when he seeks a subsistence, accept (presents) from good men alone.
253. His labourer in tillage, a friend of his family, his cow-herd, his slave, and his
barber are, among Sudras, those whose food he may eat, likewise (a poor man) who offers
himself (to be his slave).
254. As his character is, as the work is which he desires to perform, and as the manner
is in which he means to serve, even so (a voluntary slave) must offer himself.
255. He who describes himself to virtuous (men), in a manner contrary to truth, is the
most sinful (wretch) in this world; he is a thief who makes away with his own self.
256. All things (have their nature) determined by speech; speech is their root, and
from speech they proceed; but he who is dishonest with respect to speech, is dishonest in
257. When he has paid, according to the law, his debts to the great sages, to the
manes, and to the gods, let him make over everything to his son and dwell (in his house),
not caring for any worldly concerns.
258. Alone let him constantly meditate in solitude on that which is salutary for his
soul; for he who meditates in solitude attains supreme bliss.
259. Thus have been declared the means by which a Brahmana householder must always
subsist, and the summary of the ordinances for a Snataka, which cause an increase of
holiness and are praiseworthy.
260. A Brahmana who, being learned in the lore of the Vedas, conducts himself in this
manner and daily destroys his sins, will be exalted in Brahman's world.
1. The sages, having heard the duties of a Snataka thus declared, spoke to great-souled
Bhrigu, who sprang from fire:
2. 'How can Death have power over Brahmanas who know the sacred science, the Veda,
(and) who fulfil their duties as they have been explained (by thee), O Lord? '
3. Righteous Bhrigu, the son of Manu, (thus) answered the great sages: 'Hear, (in
punishment) of what faults Death seeks to shorten the lives of Brahmanas!'
4. 'Through neglect of the Veda-study, through deviation from the rule of conduct,
through remissness (in the fulfilment of duties), and through faults (committed by eating
forbidden) food, Death becomes eager to shorten the lives of Brahmanas.'
5. Garlic, leeks and onions, mushrooms and (all plants), springing from impure
(substances), are unfit to be eaten by twice-born men.
6. One should carefully avoid red exudations from trees and (juices) flowing from
incisions, the Selu (fruit), and the thickened milk of a cow (which she gives after
7. Rice boiled with sesamum, wheat mixed with butter, milk and sugar, milk-rice and
flour-cakes which are not prepared for a sacrifice, meat which has not been sprinkled with
water while sacred texts were recited, food offered to the gods and sacrificial viands,
8. The milk of a cow (or other female animal) within ten days after her calving, that
of camels, of one-hoofed animals, of sheep, of a cow in heat, or of one that has no calf
9. (The milk) of all wild animals excepting buffalo-cows, that of women, and all
(substances turned) sour must be avoided.
10. Among (things turned) sour, sour milk, and all (food) prepared of it may be eaten,
likewise what is extracted from pure flowers, roots, and fruit.
11. Let him avoid all carnivorous birds and those living in villages, and one-hoofed
animals which are not specially permitted (to be eaten), and the Tittibha (Parra Jacana),
12. The sparrow, the Plava, the Hamsa, the Brahmani duck, the village-cock, the Sarasa
crane, the Raggudala, the woodpecker, the parrot, and the starling,
13. Those which feed striking with their beaks, web-footed birds, the Koyashti, those
which scratch with their toes, those which dive and live on fish, meat from a
slaughter-house and dried meat,
14. The Baka and the Balaka crane, the raven, the Khangaritaka, (animals) that eat
fish, village-pigs, and all kinds of fishes.
15. He who eats the flesh of any (animal) is called the eater of the flesh of that
(particular creature), he who eats fish is an eater of every (kind of) flesh; let him
therefore avoid fish.
16. (But the fish called) Pathina and (that called) Rohita may be eaten, if used for
offerings to the gods or to the manes; (one may eat) likewise Ragivas, Simhatundas, and
Sasalkas on all (occasions).
17. Let him not eat solitary or unknown beasts and birds, though they may fall under
(the categories of) eatable (creatures), nor any five-toed (animals).
18. The porcupine, the hedgehog, the iguana, the rhinoceros, the tortoise, and the hare
they declare to be eatable; likewise those (domestic animals) that have teeth in one jaw
only, excepting camels.
19. A twice-born man who knowingly eats mushrooms, a village-pig, garlic, a
village-cock, onions, or leeks, will become an outcast.
20. He who unwittingly partakes of (any of) these six, shall perform a Samtapana
(Krikkhra) or the lunar penance (Kandrayana) of ascetics; in case (he who has eaten) any
other (kind of forbidden food) he shall fast for one day (and a night ).
21. Once a year a Brahmana must perform a Krikkhra penance, in order to atone for
unintentionally eating (forbidden food) but for intentionally (eating forbidden food he
must perform the penances prescribed) specially.
22. Beasts and birds recommended (for consumption) may be slain by Brahmanas for
sacrifices, and in order to feed those whom they are bound to maintain; for Agastya did
this of old.
23. For in ancient (times) the sacrificial cakes were (made of the flesh) of eatable
beasts and birds at the sacrifices offered by Brahmanas and Kshatriyas.
24. All lawful hard or soft food may be eaten, though stale, (after having been) mixed
with fatty (substances), and so may the remains of sacrificial viands.
25. But all preparations of barley and wheat, as well as preparations of milk, may be
eaten by twice-born men without being mixed with fatty (substances), though they may have
stood for a long time.
26. Thus has the food, allowed and forbidden to twice-born men, been fully described; I
will now propound the rules for eating and avoiding meat.
27. One may eat meat when it has been sprinkled with water, while Mantras were recited,
when Brahmanas desire (one's doing it), when one is engaged (in the performance of a rite)
according to the law, and when one's life is in danger.
28. The Lord of creatures (Pragapati) created this whole (world to be) the sustenance
of the vital spirit; both the immovable and the movable (creation is) the food of the
29. What is destitute of motion is the food of those endowed with locomotion; (animals)
without fangs (are the food) of those with fangs, those without hands of those who possess
hands, and the timid of the bold.
30. The eater who daily even devours those destined to be his food, commits no sin; for
the creator himself created both the eaters and those who are to be eaten (for those
31. 'The consumption of meat (is befitting) for sacrifices,' that is declared to be a
rule made by the gods; but to persist (in using it) on other (occasions) is said to be a
proceeding worthy of Rakshasas.
32. He who eats meat, when he honours the gods and manes, commits no sin, whether he
has bought it, or himself has killed (the animal), or has received it as a present from
33. A twice-born man who knows the law, must not eat meat except in conformity with the
law; for if he has eaten it unlawfully, he will, unable to save himself, be eaten after
death by his (victims).
34. After death the guilt of one who slays deer for gain is not as (great) as that of
him who eats meat for no (sacred) purpose.
35. But a man who, being duly engaged (to officiate or to dine at a sacred rite),
refuses to eat meat, becomes after death an animal during twenty-one existences.
36. A Brahmana must never eat (the flesh of animals unhallowed by Mantras; but,
obedient to the primeval law, he may eat it, consecrated with Vedic texts.
37. If he has a strong desire (for meat) he may make an animal of clarified butter or
one of flour, (and eat that); but let him never seek to destroy an animal without a
38. As many hairs as the slain beast has, so often indeed will he who killed it without
a (lawful) reason suffer a violent death in future births.
39. Svayambhu (the Self-existent) himself created animals for the sake of sacrifices;
sacrifices (have been instituted) for the good of this whole (world); hence the
slaughtering (of beasts) for sacrifices is not slaughtering (in the ordinary sense of the
40. Herbs, trees, cattle, birds, and (other) animals that have been destroyed for
sacrifices, receive (being reborn) higher existences.
41. On offering the honey-mixture (to a guest), at a sacrifice and at the rites in
honour of the manes, but on these occasions only, may an animal be slain; that (rule) Manu
42. A twice-born man who, knowing the true meaning of the Veda, slays an animal for
these purposes, causes both himself and the animal to enter a most blessed state.
43. A twice-born man of virtuous disposition, whether he dwells in (his own) house,
with a teacher, or in the forest, must never, even in times of distress, cause an injury
(to any creature) which is not sanctioned by the Veda.
44. Know that the injury to moving creatures and to those destitute of motion, which
the Veda has prescribed for certain occasions, is no injury at all; for the sacred law
shone forth from the Veda.
45. He who injures innoxious beings from a wish to (give) himself pleasure, never finds
happiness, neither living nor dead.
46. He who does not seek to cause the sufferings of bonds and death to living
creatures, (but) desires the good of all (beings), obtains endless bliss.
47. He who does not injure any (creature), attains without an effort what he thinks of,
what he undertakes, and what he fixes his mind on.
48. Meat can never be obtained without injury to living creatures, and injury to
sentient beings is detrimental to (the attainment of) heavenly bliss; let him therefore
shun (the use of) meat.
49. Having well considered the (disgusting) origin of flesh and the (cruelty of)
fettering and slaying corporeal beings, let him entirely abstain from eating flesh.
50. He who, disregarding the rule (given above), does not eat meat like a Pisaka,
becomes dear to men, and will not be tormented by diseases.
51. He who permits (the slaughter of an animal), he who cuts it up, he who kills it, he
who buys or sells (meat), he who cooks it, he who serves it up, and he who eats it, (must
all be considered as) the slayers (of the animal).
52. There is no greater sinner than that (man) who, though not worshipping the gods or
the manes, seeks to increase (the bulk of) his own flesh by the flesh of other (beings).
53. He who during a hundred years annually offers a horse-sacrifice, and he who
entirely abstains from meat, obtain the same reward for their meritorious (conduct).
54. By subsisting on pure fruit and roots, and by eating food fit for ascetics (in the
forest), one does not gain (so great) a reward as by entirely avoiding (the use of) flesh.
55. 'Me he (mam sah)' will devour in the next (world), whose flesh I eat in this
(life); the wise declare this (to be) the real meaning of the word 'flesh' (mamsah).
56. There is no sin in eating meat, in (drinking) spirituous liquor, and in carnal
intercourse, for that is the natural way of created beings, but abstention brings great
57. I will now in due order explain the purification for the dead and the purification
of things as they are prescribed for the four castes (varna).
58. When (a child) dies that has teethed, or that before teething has received (the
sacrament of) the tonsure (Kudakarana) or (of the initiation), all relatives (become)
impure, and on the birth (of a child) the same (rule) is prescribed.
59. It is ordained (that) among Sapindas the impurity on account of a death (shall
last) ten days, (or) until the bones have been collected, (or) three days or one day only.
60. But the Sapinda-relationship ceases with the seventh person (in the ascending and
descending lines), the Samanodaka-relationship when the (common) origin and the (existence
of a common family)- name are no (longer) known.
61. As this impurity on account of a death is prescribed for (all) Sapindas, even so it
shall be (held) on a birth by those who desire to be absolutely pure.
62. (Or while) the impurity on account of a death is common to all (Sapindas), that
caused by a birth (falls) on the parents alone; (or) it shall fall on the mother alone,
and the father shall become pure by bathing;
63. But a man, having spent his strength, is purified merely by bathing; after
begetting a child (on a remarried female), he shall retain the impurity during three days.
64. Those who have touched a corpse are purified after one day and night (added to)
three periods of three days; those who give libations of water, after three days.
65. A pupil who performs the Pitrimedha for his deceased teacher, becomes also pure
after ten days, just like those who carry the corpse out (to the burial-ground).
66. (A woman) is purified on a miscarriage in as many (days and) nights as months
(elapsed after conception), and a menstruating female becomes pure by bathing after the
menstrual secretion has ceased (to flow).
67. (On the death) of children whose tonsure (Kudakarman) has not been performed, the
(Sapindas) are declared to become pure in one (day and) night; (on the death) of those who
have received the tonsure (but not the initiation, the law) ordains (that) the
purification (takes place) after three days.
68. A child that has died before the completion of its second year, the relatives shall
carry out (of the village), decked (with flowers, and bury it) in pure ground, without
collecting the bones (afterwards).
69. Such (a child) shall not be burnt with fire, and no libations of water shall be
offered to it; leaving it like a (log of) wood in the forest, (the relatives) shall remain
impure during three days only.
70. The relatives shall not offer libations to (a child) that has not reached the third
year; but if it had teeth, or the ceremony of naming it (Namakarman) had been performed,
(the offering of water is) optional.
71. If a fellow-student has died, the Smriti prescribes an impurity of one day; on a
birth the purification of the Samanodakas is declared (to take place) after three (days
72. (On the death) of females (betrothed but) not married (the bridegroom and his)
relatives are purified after three days, and the paternal relatives become pure according
to the same rule.
73. Let (mourners) eat food without factitious salt, bathe during three days, abstain
from meat, and sleep separate on the ground.
74. The above rule regarding impurity on account of a death has been prescribed (for
cases where the kinsmen live) near (the deceased); (Sapinda) kinsmen and (Samanodaka)
relatives must know the following rule (to refer to cases where deceased lived) at a
distance (from them).
75. He who may hear that (a relative) residing in a distant country has died, before
ten (days after his death have elapsed), shall be impure for the remainder of the period
of ten (days and) nights only.
76. If the ten days have passed, he shall be impure during three (days and) nights; but
if a year has elapsed (since the occurrence of the death), he becomes pure merely by
77. A man who hears of a (Sapinda) relative's death, or of the birth of a son after the
ten days (of impurity have passed), becomes pure by bathing, dressed in his garments.
78. If an infant (that has not teethed), or a (grownup relative who is) not a Sapinda,
die in a distant country, one becomes at once pure after bathing in one's clothes.
79. If within the ten days (of impurity) another birth or death happens, a Brahmana
shall remain impure only until the (first) period of ten days has expired.
80. They declare that, when the teacher (akarya) has died, the impurity (lasts) three
days; if the (teacher's) son or wife (is dead, it lasts) a day and a night; that is a
81. For a Srotriya who resides with (him out of affection), a man shall be impure for
three days; for a maternal uncle, a pupil, an officiating priest, or a maternal relative,
for one night together with the preceding and following days.
82. If the king in whose realm he resides is dead, (he shall be impure) as long as the
light (of the sun or stars shines), but for (an intimate friend) who is not a Srotriya
(the impurity lasts) for a whole day, likewise for a Guru who knows the Veda and the
83. A Brahmana shall be pure after ten days, a Kshatriya after twelve, a Vaisya after
fifteen, and a Sudra is purified after a month.
84. Let him not (unnecessarily) lengthen the period of impurity, nor interrupt the
rites to be performed with the sacred fires; for he who performs that (Agnihotra) rite
will not be impure, though (he be) a (Sapinda) relative.
85. When he has touched a Kandala, a menstruating woman, an outcast, a woman in
childbed, a corpse, or one who has touched a (corpse), he becomes pure by bathing.
86. He who has purified himself by sipping water shall, on seeing any impure (thing or
person), always mutter the sacred texts, addressed to Surya, and the Pavamani (verses).
87. A Brahmana who has touched a human bone to which fat adheres, becomes pure by
bathing; if it be free from fat, by sipping water and by touching (afterwards) a cow or
looking at the sun.
88. He who has undertaken the performance of a vow shall not pour out libations (to the
dead) until the vow has been completed; but when he has offered water after its
completion, he becomes pure in three days only.
89. Libations of water shall not be offered to those who (neglect the prescribed rites
and may be said to) have been born in vain, to those born in consequence of an illegal
mixture of the castes, to those who are ascetics (of heretical sects), and to those who
have committed suicide,
90. To women who have joined a heretical sect, who through lust live (with many men),
who have caused an abortion, have killed their husbands, or drink spirituous liquor.
91. A student does not break his vow by carrying out (to the place of cremation) his
own dead teacher (akarya), sub-teacher (upadhyaya), father, mother, or Guru.
92. Let him carry out a dead Sudra by the southern gate of the town, but (the corpses
of) twice-born men, as is proper, by the western, northern, or eastern (gates).
93. The taint of impurity does not fall on kings, and those engaged in the performance
of a vow, or of a Sattra; for the (first are) seated on the throne of Indra, and the (last
two are) ever pure like Brahman.
94. For a king, on the throne of magnanimity, immediate purification is prescribed, and
the reason for that is that he is seated (there) for the protection of (his) subjects.
95. (The same rule applies to the kinsmen) of those who have fallen in a riot or a
battle, (of those who have been killed) by lightning or by the king, and (of those who
perished fighting) for cows and Brahmanas, and to those whom the king wishes (to be pure).
96. A king is an incarnation of the eight guardian deities of the world, the Moon, the
Fire, the Sun, the Wind, Indra, the Lords of wealth and water (Kubera and Varuna), and
97. Because the king is pervaded by those lords of the world, no impurity is ordained
for him; for purity and impurity of mortals is caused and removed by (those) lords of the
98. By him who is slain in battle with brandished weapons according to the law of the
Kshatriyas, a (Srauta) sacrifice is instantly completed, and so is the period of impurity
(caused by his death); that is a settled rule.
99. (At the end of the period of impurity) a Brahmana who has performed the necessary
rites, becomes pure by touching water, a Kshatriya by touching the animal on which he
rides, and his weapons, a Vaisya by touching his goad or the nose-string (of his oxen), a
Sudra by touching his staff.
100. Thus the purification (required) on (the death of) Sapindas has been explained to
you, O best of twice-born men; hear now the manner in which men are purified on the death
of any (relative who is) not a Sapinda.
101. A Brahmana, having carried out a dead Brahmana who is not a Sapinda, as (if he
were) a (near) relative, or a near relative of his mother, becomes pure after three days;
102. But if he eats the food of the (Sapindas of the deceased), he is purified in ten
days, (but) in one day, if he does not eat their food nor dwells in their house.
103. Having voluntarily followed a corpse, whether (that of) a paternal kinsman or (of)
a stranger, he becomes pure by bathing, dressed in his clothes, by touching fire and
eating clarified butter.
104. Let him not allow a dead Brahmana to be carried out by a Sudra, while men of the
same caste are at hand; for that burnt-offering which is defiled by a Sudra's touch is
detrimental to (the deceased's passage to) heaven.
105. The knowledge (of Brahman) austerities, fire, (holy) food, earth, (restraint of)
the internal organ, water, smearing (with cowdung), the wind, sacred rites, the sun, and
time are the purifiers of corporeal (beings).
106. Among all modes of purification, purity in (the acquisition of) wealth is declared
to be the best; for he is pure who gains wealth with clean hands, not he who purifies
himself with earth and water.
107. The learned are purified by a forgiving disposition, those who have committed
forbidden actions by liberality, secret sinners by muttering (sacred texts), and those who
best know the Veda by austerities.
108. By earth and water is purified what ought to be made pure, a river by its current,
a woman whose thoughts have been impure by the menstrual secretion, a Brahmana by
abandoning the world (samnyasa).
109. The body is cleansed by water, the internal organ is purified by truthfulness, the
individual soul by sacred learning and austerities, the intellect by (true) knowledge.
110. Thus the precise rules for the purification of the body have been declared to you;
hear now the decision (of the law) regarding the purification of the various (inanimate)
111. The wise ordain that all (objects) made of metal, gems, and anything made of stone
are to be cleansed with ashes, earth, and water.
112. A golden vessel which shows no stains, becomes pure with water alone, likewise
what is produced in water (as shells and coral), what is made of stone, and a silver
(vessel) not enchased.
113. From the union of water and fire arose the glittering gold and silver; those two,
therefore, are best purified by (the elements) from which they sprang.
114. Copper, iron, brass, pewter, tin, and lead must be cleansed, as may be suitable
(for each particular case), by alkaline (substances), acids or water.
115. The purification prescribed for all (sorts of) liquids is by passing two blades of
Kusa grass through them, for solid things by sprinkling (them with water), for (objects)
made of wood by planing them.
116. At sacrifices the purification of (the Soma cups called) Kamasas and Grahas, and
of (other) sacrificial vessels (takes place) by rubbing (them) with the hand, and
(afterwards) rinsing (them with water).
117. The Karu and (the spoons called) Sruk and Sruva must be cleaned with hot water,
likewise (the wooden sword, called) Sphya, the winnowing-basket (Surpa), the cart (for
bringing the grain), the pestle and the mortar.
118. The manner of purifying large quantities of grain and of cloth is to sprinkle them
with water; but the purification of small quantities is prescribed (to take place) by
119. Skins and (objects) made of split cane must be cleaned like clothes; vegetables,
roots, and fruit like grain;
120. Silk and woollen stuffs with alkaline earth; blankets with pounded Arishta
(fruit); Amsupattas with Bel fruit; linen cloth with (a paste of) yellow mustard.
121. A man who knows (the law) must purify conch-shells, horn, bone and ivory, like
linen cloth, or with a mixture of cow's urine and water.
122. Grass, wood, and straw become pure by being sprinkled (with water), a house by
sweeping and smearing (it with cowdung or whitewash), an earthen (vessel) by a second
123. An earthen vessel which has been defiled by spirituous liquor, urine, ordure,
saliva, pus or blood cannot be purified by another burning.
124. Land is purified by (the following) five (modes, viz.) by sweeping, by smearing
(it with cowdung), by sprinkling (it with cows' urine or milk), by scraping, and by cows
staying (on it during a day and night).
125. (Food) which has been pecked at by birds, smelt at by cows, touched (with the
foot), sneezed on, or defiled by hair or insects, becomes pure by scattering earth (over
126. As long as the (foul) smell does not leave an (object) defiled by impure
substances, and the stain caused by them (does not disappear), so long must earth and
water be applied in cleansing (inanimate) things.
127. The gods declared three things (to be) pure to Brahmanas, that (on which) no
(taint is) visible, what has been washed with water, and what has been commended (as pure)
by the word (of a Brahmana).
128. Water, sufficient (in quantity) in order to slake the thirst of a cow, possessing
the (proper) smell, colour, and taste, and unmixed with impure substances, is pure, if it
is collected on (pure) ground.
129. The hand of an artisan is always pure, so is (every vendible commodity) exposed
for sale in the market, and food obtained by begging which a student holds (in his hand)
is always fit for use; that is a settled rule.
130. The mouth of a woman is always pure, likewise a bird when he causes a fruit to
fall; a calf is pure on the flowing of the milk, and a dog when he catches a deer.
131. Manu has declared that the flesh (of an animal) killed by dogs is pure, likewise
(that) of a (beast) slain by carnivorous (animals) or by men of low caste (Dasyu), such as
132. All those cavities (of the body) which lie above the navel are pure, (but) those
which are below the navel are impure, as well as excretions that fall from the body.
133. Flies, drops of water, a shadow, a cow, a horse, the rays of the sun, dust, earth,
the wind, and fire one must know to be pure to the touch.
134. In order to cleanse (the organs) by which urine and faeces are ejected, earth and
water must be used, as they may be required, likewise in removing the (remaining ones
among) twelve impurities of the body.
135. Oily exudations, semen, blood, (the fatty substance of the) brain, urine, faeces,
the mucus of the nose, ear-wax, phlegm, tears, the rheum of the eyes, and sweat are the
twelve impurities of human (bodies).
136. He who desires to be pure, must clean the organ by one (application of) earth, the
anus by (applying earth) three (times), the (left) hand alone by (applying it) ten
(times), and both (hands) by (applying it) seven (times).
137. Such is the purification ordained for householders; (it shall be) double for
students, treble for hermits, but quadruple for ascetics.
138. When he has voided urine or faeces, let him, after sipping water, sprinkle the
cavities, likewise when he is going to recite the Veda, and always before he takes food.
139. Let him who desires bodily purity first sip water three times, and then twice wipe
his mouth; but a woman and a Sudra (shall perform each act) once (only).
140. Sudras who live according to the law, shall each month shave (their heads); their
mode of purification (shall be) the same as that of Vaisyas, and their food the fragments
of an Aryan's meal.
141. Drops (of water) from the mouth which do not fall on a limb, do not make (a man)
impure, nor the hair of the moustache entering the mouth, nor what adheres to the teeth.
142. Drops which trickle on the feet of him who offers water for sipping to others,
must be considered as equal to (water collected on the ground; they render him not impure.
143. He who, while carrying anything in any manner, is touched by an impure (person or
thing), shall become pure, if he performs an ablution, without putting down that object.
144. He who has vomited or purged shall bathe, and afterwards eat clarified butter; but
if (the attack comes on) after he has eaten, let him only sip water; bathing is prescribed
for him who has had intercourse with a woman.
145. Though he may be (already) pure, let him sip water after sleeping, sneezing,
eating, spitting, telling untruths, and drinking water, likewise when he is going to study
146. Thus the rules of personal purification for men of all castes, and those for
cleaning (inanimate) things, have been fully declared to you: hear now the duties of
147. By a girl, by a young woman, or even by an aged one, nothing must be done
independently, even in her own house.
148. In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when
her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be independent.
149. She must not seek to separate herself from her father, husband, or sons; by
leaving them she would make both (her own and her husband's) families contemptible.
150. She must always be cheerful, clever in (the management of her) household affairs,
careful in cleaning her utensils, and economical in expenditure.
151. Him to whom her father may give her, or her brother with the father's permission,
she shall obey as long as he lives, and when he is dead, she must not insult (his memory).
152. For the sake of procuring good fortune to (brides), the recitation of benedictory
texts (svastyayana), and the sacrifice to the Lord of creatures (Pragapati) are used at
weddings; (but) the betrothal (by the father or guardian) is the cause of (the husband's)
dominion (over his wife).
153. The husband who wedded her with sacred texts, always gives happiness to his wife,
both in season and out of season, in this world and in the next.
154. Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure (elsewhere), or devoid of good
qualities, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife.
155. No sacrifice, no vow, no fast must be performed by women apart (from their
husbands); if a wife obeys her husband, she will for that (reason alone) be exalted in
156. A faithful wife, who desires to dwell (after death) with her husband, must never
do anything that might displease him who took her hand, whether he be alive or dead.
157. At her pleasure let her emaciate her body by (living on) pure flowers, roots, and
fruit; but she must never even mention the name of another man after her husband has died.
158. Until death let her be patient (of hardships), self-controlled, and chaste, and
strive (to fulfil) that most excellent duty which (is prescribed) for wives who have one
159. Many thousands of Brahmanas who were chaste from their youth, have gone to heaven
without continuing their race.
160. A virtuous wife who after the death of her husband constantly remains chaste,
reaches heaven, though she have no son, just like those chaste men.
161. But a woman who from a desire to have offspring violates her duty towards her
(deceased) husband, brings on herself disgrace in this world, and loses her place with her
husband (in heaven).
162. Offspring begotten by another man is here not (considered lawful), nor (does
offspring begotten) on another man's wife (belong to the begetter), nor is a second
husband anywhere prescribed for virtuous women.
163. She who cohabits with a man of higher caste, forsaking her own husband who belongs
to a lower one, will become contemptible in this world, and is called a remarried woman
164. By violating her duty towards her husband, a wife is disgraced in this world,
(after death) she enters the womb of a jackal, and is tormented by diseases (the
punishment of) her sin.
165. She who, controlling her thoughts, words, and deeds, never slights her lord,
resides (after death) with her husband (in heaven), and is called a virtuous (wife).
166. In reward of such conduct, a female who controls her thoughts, speech, and
actions, gains in this (life) highest renown, and in the next (world) a place near her
167. A twice-born man, versed in the sacred law, shall burn a wife of equal caste who
conducts herself thus and dies before him, with (the sacred fires used for) the Agnihotra,
and with the sacrificial implements.
168. Having thus, at the funeral, given the sacred fires to his wife who dies before
him, he may marry again, and again kindle (the fires).
169. (Living) according to the (preceding) rules, he must never neglect the five
(great) sacrifices, and, having taken a wife, he must dwell in (his own) house during the
second period of his life.
1. A twice-born Snataka, who has thus lived according to the law in the order of
householders, may, taking a firm resolution and keeping his organs in subjection, dwell in
the forest, duly (observing the rules given below).
2. When a householder sees his (skin) wrinkled, and (his hair) white, and. the sons of
his sons, then he may resort to the forest.
3. Abandoning all food raised by cultivation, and all his belongings, he may depart
into the forest, either committing his wife to his sons, or accompanied by her.
4. Taking with him the sacred fire and the implements required for domestic
(sacrifices), he may go forth from the village into the forest and reside there, duly
controlling his senses.
5. Let him offer those five great sacrifices according to the rule, with various kinds
of pure food fit for ascetics, or with herbs, roots, and fruit.
6. Let him wear a skin or a tattered garment; let him bathe in the evening or in the
morning; and let him always wear (his hair in) braids, the hair on his body, his beard,
and his nails (being unclipped).
7. Let him perform the Bali-offering with such food as he eats, and give alms according
to his ability; let him honour those who come to his hermitage with alms consisting of
water, roots, and fruit.
8. Let him be always industrious in privately reciting the Veda; let him be patient of
hardships, friendly (towards all), of collected mind, ever liberal and never a receiver of
gifts, and compassionate towards all living creatures.
9. Let him offer, according to the law, the Agnihotra with three sacred fires, never
omitting the new-moon and full-moon sacrifices at the proper time.
10. Let him also offer the Nakshatreshti, the Agrayana, and the Katurmasya
(sacrifices), as well as the Turayana and likewise the Dakshayana, in due order.
11. With pure grains, fit for ascetics, which grow in spring and in autumn, and which
he himself has collected, let him severally prepare the sacrificial cakes (purodasa) and
the boiled messes (karu), as the law directs.
12. Having offered those most pure sacrificial viands, consisting of the produce of the
forest, he may use the remainder for himself, (mixed with) salt prepared by himself.
13. Let him eat vegetables that grow on dry land or in water, flowers, roots, and
fruits, the productions of pure trees, and oils extracted from forest-fruits.
14. Let him avoid honey, flesh, and mushrooms growing on the ground (or elsewhere, the
vegetables called) Bhustrina, and Sigruka, and the Sleshmantaka fruit.
15. Let him throw away in the month of Asvina the food of ascetics, which he formerly
collected, likewise his worn-out clothes and his vegetables, roots, and fruit.
16. Let him not eat anything (grown on) ploughed (land), though it may have been thrown
away by somebody, nor roots and fruit grown in a village, though (he may be) tormented (by
17. He may eat either what has been cooked with fire, or what has been ripened by time;
he either may use a stone for grinding, or his teeth may be his mortar.
18. He may either at once (after his daily meal) cleanse (his vessel for collecting
food), or lay up a store sufficient for a month, or gather what suffices for six months or
for a year.
19. Having collected food according to his ability, he may either eat at night (only),
or in the day-time (only), or at every fourth meal-time, or at every eighth.
20. Or he may live according to the rule of the lunar penance (Kandrayana, daily
diminishing the quantity of his food) in the bright (half of the month) and (increasing
it) in the dark (half); or he may eat on the last days of each fortnight, once (a day
only), boiled barley-gruel.
21. Or he may constantly subsist on flowers, roots, and fruit alone, which have been
ripened by time and have fallen spontaneously, following the rule of the (Institutes) of
22. Let him either roll about on the ground, or stand during the day on tiptoe, (or)
let him alternately stand and sit down; going at the Savanas (at sunrise, at midday, and
at sunset) to water in the forest (in order to bathe).
23. In summer let him expose himself to the heat of five fires, during the rainy season
live under the open sky, and in winter be dressed in wet clothes, (thus) gradually
increasing (the rigour of) his austerities.
24. When he bathes at the three Savanas (sunrise, midday, and sunset), let him offer
libations of water to the manes and the gods, and practising harsher and harsher
austerities, let him dry up his bodily frame.
25. Having reposited the three sacred fires in himself, according to the prescribed
rule, let him live without a fire, without a house, wholly silent, subsisting on roots and
26. Making no effort (to procure) things that give pleasure, chaste, sleeping on the
bare ground, not caring for any shelter, dwelling at the roots of trees.
27. From Brahmanas (who live as) ascetics, let him receive alms, (barely sufficient) to
support life, or from other householders of the twice-born (castes) who reside in the
28. Or (the hermit) who dwells in the forest may bring (food) from a village, receiving
it either in a hollow dish (of leaves), in (his naked) hand, or in a broken earthen dish,
and may eat eight mouthfuls.
29. These and other observances must a Brahmana who dwells in the forest diligently
practise, and in order to attain complete (union with) the (supreme) Soul, (he must study)
the various sacred texts contained in the Upanishads,
30. (As well as those rites and texts) which have been practised and studied by the
sages (Rishis), and by Brahmana householders, in order to increase their knowledge (of
Brahman), and their austerity, and in order to sanctify their bodies;
31. Or let him walk, fully determined and going straight on, in a north-easterly
direction, subsisting on water and air, until his body sinks to rest.
32. A Brahmana, having got rid of his body by one of those modes practised by the great
sages, is exalted in the world of Brahman, free from sorrow and fear.
33. But having thus passed the third part of (a man's natural term of) life in the
forest, he may live as an ascetic during the fourth part of his existence, after
abandoning all attachment to worldly objects.
34. He who after passing from order to order, after offering sacrifices and subduing
his senses, becomes, tired with (giving) alms and offerings of food, an ascetic, gains
bliss after death.
35. When he has paid the three debts, let him apply his mind to (the attainment of)
final liberation; he who seeks it without having paid (his debts) sinks downwards.
36. Having studied the Vedas in accordance with the rule, having begat sons according
to the sacred law, and having offered sacrifices according to his ability, he may direct
his mind to (the attainment of) final liberation.
37. A twice-born man who seeks final liberation, without having studied the Vedas,
without having begotten sons, and without having offered sacrifices, sinks downwards.
38. Having performed the Ishti, sacred to the Lord of creatures (Pragapati), where (he
gives) all his property as the sacrificial fee, having reposited the sacred fires in
himself, a Brahmana may depart from his house (as an ascetic).
39. Worlds, radiant in brilliancy, become (the portion) of him who recites (the texts
regarding) Brahman and departs from his house (as an ascetic), after giving a promise of
safety to all created beings.
40. For that twice-born man, by whom not the smallest danger even is caused to created
beings, there will be no danger from any (quarter), after he is freed from his body.
41. Departing from his house fully provided with the means of purification (Pavitra),
let him wander about absolutely silent, and caring nothing for enjoyments that may be
offered (to him).
42. Let him always wander alone, without any companion, in order to attain (final
liberation), fully understanding that the solitary (man, who) neither forsakes nor is
forsaken, gains his end.
43. He shall neither possess a fire, nor a dwelling, he may go to a village for his
food, (he shall be) indifferent to everything, firm of purpose, meditating (and)
concentrating his mind on Brahman.
44. A potsherd (instead of an alms-bowl), the roots of trees (for a dwelling), coarse
worn-out garments, life in solitude and indifference towards everything, are the marks of
one who has attained liberation.
45. Let him not desire to die, let him not desire to live; let him wait for (his
appointed) time, as a servant (waits) for the payment of his wages.
46. Let him put down his foot purified by his sight, let him drink water purified by
(straining with) a cloth, let him utter speech purified by truth, let him keep his heart
47. Let him patiently bear hard words, let him not insult anybody, and let him not
become anybody's enemy for the sake of this (perishable) body.
48. Against an angry man let him not in return show anger, let him bless when he is
cursed, and let him not utter speech, devoid of truth, scattered at the seven gates.
49. Delighting in what refers to the Soul, sitting (in the postures prescribed by the
Yoga), independent (of external help), entirely abstaining from sensual enjoyments, with
himself for his only companion, he shall live in this world, desiring the bliss (of final
50. Neither by (explaining) prodigies and omens, nor by skill in astrology and
palmistry, nor by giving advice and by the exposition (of the Sastras), let him ever seek
to obtain alms.
51. Let him not (in order to beg) go near a house filled with hermits, Brahmanas,
birds, dogs, or other mendicants.
52. His hair, nails, and beard being clipped, carrying an alms-bowl, a staff, and a
water-pot, let him continually wander about, controlling himself and not hurting any
53. His vessels shall not be made of metal, they shall be free from fractures; it is
ordained that they shall be cleansed with water, like (the cups, called) Kamasa, at a
54. A gourd, a wooden bowl, an earthen (dish), or one made of split cane, Manu, the son
of Svayambhu, has declared (to be) vessels (suitable) for an ascetic.
55. Let him go to beg once (a day), let him not be eager to obtain a large quantity (of
alms); for an ascetic who eagerly seeks alms, attaches himself also to sensual enjoyments.
56. When no smoke ascends from (the kitchen), when the pestle lies motionless, when the
embers have been extinguished, when the people have finished their meal, when the remnants
in the dishes have been removed, let the ascetic always go to beg.
57. Let him not be sorry when he obtains nothing, nor rejoice when he obtains
(something), let him (accept) so much only as will sustain life, let him not care about
the (quality of his) utensils.
58. Let him disdain all (food) obtained in consequence of humble salutations, (for)
even an ascetic who has attained final liberation, is bound (with the fetters of the
Samsara) by accepting (food given) in consequence of humble salutations.
59. By eating little, and by standing and sitting in solitude, let him restrain his
senses, if they are attracted by sensual objects.
60. By the restraint of his senses, by the destruction of love and hatred, and by the
abstention from injuring the creatures, he becomes fit for immortality.
61. Let him reflect on the transmigrations of men, caused by their sinful deeds, on
their falling into hell, and on the torments in the world of Yama,
62. On the separation from their dear ones, on their union with hated men, on their
being overpowered by age and being tormented with diseases,
63. On the departure of the individual soul from this body and its new birth in
(another) womb, and on its wanderings through ten thousand millions of existences,
64. On the infliction of pain on embodied (spirits), which is caused by demerit, and
the gain of eternal bliss, which is caused by the attainment of their highest aim, (gained
through) spiritual merit.
65. By deep meditation let him recognise the subtile nature of the supreme Soul, and
its presence in all organisms, both the highest and the lowest.
66. To whatever order he may be attached, let him, though blemished (by a want of the
external marks), fulfil his duty, equal-minded towards all creatures; (for) the external
mark (of the order) is not the cause of (the acquisition of) merit.
67. Though the fruit of the Kataka tree (the clearing-nut) makes water clear, yet the
(latter) does not become limpid in consequence of the mention of the (fruit's) name.
68. In order to preserve living creatures, let him always by day and by night, even
with pain to his body, walk, carefully scanning the ground.
69. In order to expiate (the death) of those creatures which he unintentionally injures
by day or by night, an ascetic shall bathe and perform six suppressions of the breath.
70. Three suppressions of the breath even, performed according to the rule, and
accompanied with the (recitation of the) Vyahritis and of the syllable Om, one must know
to be the highest (form of) austerity for every Brahmana.
71. For as the impurities of metallic ores, melted in the blast (of a furnace), are
consumed, even so the taints of the organs are destroyed through the suppression of the
72. Let him destroy the taints through suppressions of the breath, (the production of)
sin by fixed attention, all sensual attachments by restraining (his senses and organs),
and all qualities that are not lordly by meditation.
73. Let him recognise by the practice of meditation the progress of the individual soul
through beings of various kinds, (a progress) hard to understand for unregenerate men.
74. He who possesses the true insight (into the nature of the world), is not fettered
by his deeds; but he who is destitute of that insight, is drawn into the circle of births
75. By not injuring any creatures, by detaching the senses (from objects of enjoyment),
by the rites prescribed in the Veda, and by rigorously practising austerities, (men) gain
that state (even) in this (world).
76-77. Let him quit this dwelling, composed of the five elements, where the bones are
the beams, which is held together by tendons (instead of cords), where the flesh and the
blood are the mortar, which is thatched with the skin, which is foul-smelling, filled with
urine and ordure, infested by old age and sorrow, the seat of disease, harassed by pain,
gloomy with passion, and perishable.
78. He who leaves this body, (be it by necessity) as a tree (that is torn from) the
river-bank, or (freely) like a bird (that) quits a tree, is freed from the misery (of this
world, dreadful like) a shark.
79. Making over (the merit of his own) good actions to his friends and (the guilt of)
his evil deeds to his enemies, he attains the eternal Brahman by the practice of
80. When by the disposition (of his heart) he becomes indifferent to all objects, he
obtains eternal happiness both in this world and after death.
81. He who has in this manner gradually given up all attachments and is freed from all
the pairs (of opposites), reposes in Brahman alone.
82. All that has been declared (above) depends on meditation; for he who is not
proficient in the knowledge of that which refers to the Soul reaps not the full reward of
the performance of rites.
83. Let him constantly recite (those texts of) the Veda which refer to the sacrifice,
(those) referring to the deities, and (those) which treat of the Soul and are contained in
the concluding portions of the Veda (Vedanta).
84. That is the refuge of the ignorant, and even that (the refuse) of those who know
(the meaning of the Veda); that is (the protection) of those who seek (bliss in) heaven
and of those who seek endless (beatitude).
85. A twice-born man who becomes an ascetic, after the successive performance of the
above-mentioned acts, shakes off sin here below and reaches the highest Brahman.
86. Thus the law (valid) for self-restrained ascetics has been explained to you; now
listen to the (particular) duties of those who give up (the rites prescribed by) the Veda.
87. The student, the householder, the hermit, and the ascetic, these (constitute) four
separate orders, which all spring from (the order of) householders.
88. But all (or) even (any of) these orders, assumed successively in accordance with
the Institutes (of the sacred law), lead the Brahmana who acts by the preceding (rules) to
the highest state.
89. And in accordance with the precepts of the Veda and of the Smriti, the housekeeper
is declared to be superior to all of them; for he supports the other three.
90. As all rivers, both great and small, find a resting-place in the ocean, even so men
of all orders find protection with householders
91. By twice-born men belonging to (any of) these four orders, the tenfold law must be
ever carefully obeyed.
92. Contentment, forgiveness, self-control, abstention from unrighteously appropriating
anything, (obedience to the rules of) purification, coercion of the organs, wisdom,
knowledge (of the supreme Soul), truthfulness, and abstention from anger, (form) the
93. Those Brahmanas who thoroughly study the tenfold law, and after studying obey it,
enter the highest state.
94. A twice-born man who, with collected mind, follows the tenfold law and has paid his
(three) debts, may, after learning the Vedanta according to the prescribed rule, become an
95. Having given up (the performance of) all rites, throwing off the guilt of his
(sinful) acts, subduing his organs and having studied the Veda, he may live at his ease
under the protection of his son.
96. He who has thus given up (the performance of) all rites, who is solely intent on
his own (particular) object, (and) free from desires, destroys his guilt by his
renunciation and obtains the highest state.
97. Thus the fourfold holy law of Brahmanas, which after death (yields) imperishable
rewards, has been declared to you; now learn the duty of kings.
1. I will declare the duties of kings, (and) show how a king should conduct himself,
how he was created, and how (he can obtain) highest success.
2. A Kshatriya, who has received according to the rule the sacrament prescribed by the
Veda, must duly protect this whole (world).
3. For, when these creatures, being without a king, through fear dispersed in all
directions, the Lord created a king for the protection of this whole (creation),
4. Taking (for that purpose) eternal particles of Indra, of the Wind, of Yama, of the
Sun, of Fire, of Varuna, of the Moon, and of the Lord of wealth (Kubera).
5. Because a king has been formed of particles of those lords of the gods, he therefore
surpasses all created beings in lustre;
6. And, like the sun, he burns eyes and hearts; nor can anybody on earth even gaze on
7. Through his (supernatural) power he is Fire and Wind, he Sun and Moon, he the Lord
of justice (Yama), he Kubera, he Varuna, he great Indra.
8. Even an infant king must not be despised, (from an idea) that he is a (mere) mortal;
for he is a great deity in human form.
9. Fire burns one man only, if he carelessly approaches it, the fire of a king's
(anger) consumes the (whole) family, together with its cattle and its hoard of property.
10. Having fully considered the purpose, (his) power, and the place and the time, he
assumes by turns many (different) shapes for the complete attainment of justice.
11. He, in whose favour resides Padma, the goddess of fortune, in whose valour dwells
victory, in whose anger abides death, is formed of the lustre of all (gods).
12. The (man), who in his exceeding folly hates him, will doubtlessly perish; for the
king quickly makes up his mind to destroy such (a man).
13. Let no (man), therefore, transgress that law which favourites, nor (his orders)
which inflict pain on those in disfavour.
14. For the (king's) sake the Lord formerly created his own son, Punishment, the
protector of all creatures, (an incarnation of) the law, formed of Brahman's glory.
15. Through fear of him all created beings, both the immovable and the movable, allow
themselves to be enjoyed and swerve not from their duties.
16. Having fully considered the time and the place (of the offence), the strength and
the knowledge (of the offender), let him justly inflict that (punishment) on men who act
17. Punishment is (in reality) the king (and) the male, that the manager of affairs,
that the ruler, and that is called the surety for the four orders' obedience to the law.
18. Punishment alone governs all created beings, punishment alone protects them,
punishment watches over them while they sleep; the wise declare punishment (to be
identical with) the law.
19. If (punishment) is properly inflicted after (due) consideration, it makes all
people happy; but inflicted without consideration, it destroys everything.
20. If the king did not, without tiring, inflict punishment on those worthy to be
punished, the stronger would roast the weaker, like fish on a spit;
21. The crow would eat the sacrificial cake and the dog would lick the sacrificial
viands, and ownership would not remain with any one, the lower ones would (usurp the place
of) the higher ones.
22. The whole world is kept in order by punishment, for a guiltless man is hard to
find; through fear of punishment the whole world yields the enjoyments (which it owes).
23. The gods, the Danavas, the Gandharvas, the Rakshasas, the bird and snake deities
even give the enjoyments (due from them) only, if they are tormented by (the fear of)
24. All castes (varna) would be corrupted (by intermixture), all barriers would be
broken through, and all men would rage (against each other) in consequence of mistakes
with respect to punishment.
25. But where Punishment with a black hue and red eyes stalks about, destroying
sinners, there the subjects are not disturbed, provided that he who inflicts it discerns
26. They declare that king to be a just inflicter of punishment, who is truthful, who
acts after due consideration, who is wise, and who knows (the respective value of) virtue,
pleasure, and wealth.
27. A king who properly inflicts (punishment), prospers with respect to (those) three
(means of happiness); but he who is voluptuous, partial, and deceitful will be destroyed,
even through the (unjust) punishment (which he inflicts).
28. Punishment (possesses) a very bright lustre, and is hard to be administered by men
with unimproved minds; it strikes down the king who swerves from his duty, together with
29. Next it will afflict his castles, his territories, the whole world together with
the movable and immovable (creation), likewise the sages and the gods, who (on the failure
of offerings) ascend to the sky.
30. (Punishment) cannot be inflicted justly by one who has no assistant, (nor) by a
fool, (nor) by a covetous man, (nor) by one whose mind is unimproved, (nor) by one
addicted to sensual pleasures.
31. By him who is pure (and) faithful to his promise, who acts according to the
Institutes (of the sacred law), who has good assistants and is wise, punishment can be
32. Let him act with justice in his own domain, with rigour chastise his enemies,
behave without duplicity towards his friends, and be lenient towards Brahmanas.
33. The fame of a king who behaves thus, even though he subsist by gleaning, is spread
in the world, like a drop of oil on water.
34. But the fame of a king who acts in a contrary manner and who does not subdue
himself, diminishes in extent among men like a drop of clarified butter in water.
35. The king has been created (to be) the protector of the castes (varna) and orders,
who, all according to their rank, discharge their several duties.
36. Whatever must be done by him and by his servants for the protection of his people,
that I will fully declare to you in due order.
37. Let the king, after rising early in the morning, worship Brahmanas who are well
versed in the threefold sacred science and learned (in polity), and follow their advice.
38. Let him daily worship aged Brahmanas who know the Veda and are pure; for he who
always worships aged men, is honoured even by Rakshasas.
39. Let him, though he may already be modest, constantly learn modesty from them; for a
king who is modest never perishes.
40. Through a want of modesty many kings have perished, together with their belongings;
through modesty even hermits in the forest have gained kingdoms.
41. Through a want of humility Vena perished, likewise king Nahusha, Sudas, the son of
Pigavana, Sumukha, and Nemi.
42. But by humility Prithu and Manu gained sovereignty, Kubera the position of the Lord
of wealth, and the son of Gadhi the rank of a Brahmana.
43. From those versed in the three Vedas let him learn the threefold (sacred science),
the primeval science of government, the science of dialectics, and the knowledge of the
(supreme) Soul; from the people (the theory of) the (various) trades and professions.
44. Day and night he must strenuously exert himself to conquer his senses; for he
(alone) who has conquered his own senses, can keep his subjects in obedience.
45. Let him carefully shun the ten vices, springing from love of pleasure, and the
eight, proceeding from wrath, which (all) end in misery.
46. For a king who is attached to the vices springing from love of pleasure, loses his
wealth and his virtue, but (he who is given) to those arising from anger, (loses) even his
47. Hunting, gambling, sleeping by day, censoriousness, (excess with) women,
drunkenness, (an inordinate love for) dancing, singing, and music, and useless travel are
the tenfold set (of vices) springing from love of pleasure.
48. Tale-bearing, violence, treachery, envy, slandering, (unjust) seizure of property,
reviling, and assault are the eightfold set (of vices) produced by wrath.
49. That greediness which all wise men declare to be the root even of both these
(sets), let him carefully conquer; both sets (of vices) are produced by that.
50. Drinking, dice, women, and hunting, these four (which have been enumerated) in
succession, he must know to be the most pernicious in the set that springs from love of
51. Doing bodily injury, reviling, and the seizure of property, these three he must
know to be the most pernicious in the set produced by wrath.
52. A self-controlled (king) should know that in this set of seven, which prevails
everywhere, each earlier-named vice is more abominable (than those named later).
53. (On a comparison) between vice and death, vice is declared to be more pernicious; a
vicious man sinks to the nethermost (hell), he who dies, free from vice, ascends to
54. Let him appoint seven or eight ministers whose ancestors have been royal servants,
who are versed in the sciences, heroes skilled in the use of weapons and descended from
(noble) families and who have been tried.
55. Even an undertaking easy (in itself) is (sometimes) hard to be accomplished by a
single man; how much (harder is it for a king), especially (if he has) no assistant, (to
govern) a kingdom which yields great revenues.
56. Let him daily consider with them the ordinary (business, referring to) peace and
war, (the four subjects called) sthana, the revenue, the (manner of) protecting (himself
and his kingdom), and the sanctification of his gains (by pious gifts).
57. Having (first) ascertained the opinion of each (minister) separately and (then the
views) of all together, let him do what is (most) beneficial for him in his affairs.
58. But with the most distinguished among them all, a learned Brahmana, let the king
deliberate on the most important affairs which relate to the six measures of royal policy.
59. Let him, full of confidence, always entrust to that (official) all business; having
taken his final resolution with him, let him afterwards begin to act.
60. He must also appoint other officials, (men) of integrity, (who are) wise, firm,
well able to collect money, and well tried.
61. As many persons as the due performance of his business requires, so many skilful
and clever (men), free from sloth, let him appoint.
62. Among them let him employ the brave, the skilful, the high-born, and the honest in
(offices for the collection of) revenue, (e.g.) in mines, manufactures, and storehouses,
(but) the timid in the interior of his palace.
63. Let him also appoint an ambassador who is versed in all sciences, who understands
hints, expressions of the face and gestures, who is honest, skilful, and of (noble)
64. (Such) an ambassador is commended to a king (who is) loyal, honest, skilful,
possessing a good memory, who knows the (proper) place and time (for action, who is)
handsome, fearless, and eloquent.
65. The army depends on the official (placed in charge of it), the due control (of the
subjects) on the army, the treasury and the (government of) the realm on the king, peace
and its opposite (war) on the ambassador.
66. For the ambassador alone makes (kings') allies and separates allies; the ambassador
transacts that business by which (kings) are disunited or not.
67. With respect to the affairs let the (ambassador) explore the expression of the
countenance, the gestures and actions of the (foreign king) through the gestures and
actions of his confidential (advisers), and (discover) his designs among his servants.
68. Having learnt exactly (from his ambassador) the designs of the foreign king, let
(the king) take such measures that he does not bring evil on himself.
69. Let him settle in a country which is open and has a dry climate, where grain is
abundant, which is chiefly (inhabited) by Aryans, not subject to epidemic diseases (or
similar troubles), and pleasant, where the vassals are obedient and his own (people
easily) find their livelihood.
70. Let him build (there) a town, making for his safety a fortress, protected by a
desert, or a fortress built of (stone and) earth, or one protected by water or trees, or
one (formed by an encampment of armed) men or a hill-fort.
71. Let him make every effort to secure a hill-fort, for amongst all those (fortresses
mentioned) a hill-fort is distinguished by many superior qualities.
72. The first three of those (various kinds of fortresses) are inhabited by wild
beasts, animals living in holes and aquatic animals, the last three by monkeys, men, and
73. As enemies do not hurt these (beings, when they are) sheltered by (their)
fortresses, even so foes (can) not injure a king who has taken refuge in his fort.
74. One bowman, placed on a rampart, is a match in battle for one hundred (foes), one
hundred for ten thousand; hence it is prescribed (in the Sastras that a king will posses)
75. Let that (fort) be well supplied with weapons, money, grain and beasts of burden,
with Brahmanas, with artisans, with engines, with fodder, and with water.
76. Let him cause to be built for himself, in the centre of it, a spacious palace,
(well) protected, habitable in every season, resplendent (with whitewash), supplied with
water and trees.
77. Inhabiting that, let him wed a consort of equal caste (varna), who possesses
auspicious marks (on her body), and is born in a great family, who is charming and
possesses beauty and excellent qualities.
78. Let him appoint a domestic priest (purohita) and choose officiating priests
(ritvig); they shall perform his domestic rites and the (sacrifices) for which three fires
79. A king shall offer various (Srauta) sacrifices at which liberal fees (are
distributed), and in order to acquire merit, he shall give to Brahmanas enjoyments and
80. Let him cause the annual revenue in his kingdom to be collected by trusty
(officials), let him obey the sacred law in (his transactions with) the people, and behave
like a father towards all men.
81. For the various (branches of business) let him appoint intelligent supervisors;
they shall inspect all (the acts) of those men who transact his business.
82. Let him honour those Brahmanas who have returned from their teacher's house (after
studying the Veda); for that (money which is given) to Brahmanas is declared to be an
imperishable treasure for kings.
83. Neither thieves nor foes can take it, nor can it be lost; hence an imperishable
store must be deposited by kings with Brahmanas.
84. The offering made through the mouth of a Brahmana, which is neither spilt, nor
falls (on the ground), nor ever perishes, is far more excellent than Agnihotras.
85. A gift to one who is not a Brahmana (yields) the ordinary (reward; a gift) to one
who calls himself a Brahmana, a double (reward); a gift to a well-read Brahmana, a
hundred-thousandfold (reward); (a gift) to one who knows the Veda and the Angas
(Vedaparaga, a reward) without end.
86. For according to the particular qualities of the recipient and according to the
faith (of the giver) a small or a great reward will be obtained for a gift in the next
87. A king who, while he protects his people, is defied by (foes), be they equal in
strength, or stronger, or weaker, must not shrink from battle, remembering the duty of
88. Not to turn back in battle, to protect the people, to honour the Brahmanas, is the
best means for a king to secure happiness.
89. Those kings who, seeking to slay each other in battle, fight with the utmost
exertion and do not turn back, go to heaven.
90. When he fights with his foes in battle, let him not strike with weapons concealed
(in wood), nor with (such as are) barbed, poisoned, or the points of which are blazing
91. Let him not strike one who (in flight) has climbed on an eminence, nor a eunuch,
nor one who joins the palms of his hands (in supplication), nor one who (flees) with
flying hair, nor one who sits down, nor one who says 'I am thine;'
92. Nor one who sleeps, nor one who has lost his coat of mail, nor one who is naked,
nor one who is disarmed, nor one who looks on without taking part in the fight, nor one
who is fighting with another (foe);
93. Nor one whose weapons are broken, nor one afflicted (with sorrow), nor one who has
been grievously wounded, nor one who is in fear, nor one who has turned to flight; (but in
all these cases let him) remember the duty (of honourable warriors).
94. But the (Kshatriya) who is slain in battle, while he turns back in fear, takes upon
himself all the sin of his master, whatever (it may be);
95. And whatever merit (a man) who is slain in flight may have gained for the next
(world), all that his master takes.
96. Chariots and horses, elephants, parasols, money, grain, cattle, women, all sorts of
(marketable) goods and valueless metals belong to him who takes them (singly) conquering
97. A text of the Veda (declares) that (the soldiers) shall present a choice portion
(of the booty) to the king; what has not been taken singly, must be distributed by the
king among all the soldiers.
98. Thus has been declared the blameless, primeval law for warriors; from this law a
Kshatriya must not depart, when he strikes his foes in battle.
99. Let him strive to gain what he has not yet gained; what he has gained let him
carefully preserve; let him augment what he preserves, and what he has augmented let him
bestow on worthy men.
100. Let him know that these are the four means for securing the aims of human
(existence); let him, without ever tiring, properly employ them.
101. What he has not (yet) gained, let him seek (to gain) by (his) army; what he has
gained, let him protect by careful attention; what he has protected, let him augment by
(various modes of) increasing it; and what he has augmented, let him liberally bestow (on
102. Let him be ever ready to strike, his prowess constantly displayed, and his secrets
constantly concealed, and let him constantly explore the weaknesses of his foe.
103. Of him who is always ready to strike, the whole world stands in awe; let him
therefore make all creatures subject to himself even by the employment of force.
104. Let him ever act without guile, and on no account treacherously; carefully
guarding himself, let him always fathom the treachery which his foes employ.
105. His enemy must not know his weaknesses, but he must know the weaknesses of his
enemy; as the tortoise (hides its limbs), even so let him secure the members (of his
government against treachery), let him protect his own weak points.
106. Let him plan his undertakings (patiently meditating) like a heron; like a lion,
let him put forth his strength; like a wolf, let him snatch (his prey); like a hare, let
him double in retreat.
107. When he is thus engaged in conquest, let him subdue all the opponents whom he may
find, by the (four) expedients, conciliation and the rest.
108. If they cannot be stopped by the three first expedients, then let him, overcoming
them by force alone, gradually bring them to subjection.
109. Among the four expedients, conciliation and the rest, the learned always recommend
conciliation and (the employment of) force for the prosperity of kingdoms.
110. As the weeder plucks up the weeds and preserves the corn, even so let the king
protect his kingdom and destroy his opponents.
111. That king who through folly rashly oppresses his kingdom, (will), together with
his relatives, ere long be deprived of his life and of his kingdom.
112. As the lives of living creatures are destroyed by tormenting their bodies, even so
the lives of kings are destroyed by their oppressing their kingdoms.
113. In governing his kingdom let him always observe the (following) rules; for a king
who governs his kingdom well, easily prospers.
114. Let him place a company of soldiers, commanded (by a trusty officer), the midst of
two, three, five or hundreds of villages, (to be) a protection of the kingdom.
115. Let him appoint a lord over (each) village, as well as lords of ten villages,
lords of twenty, lords of a hundred, and lords of a thousand.
116. The lord of one village himself shall inform the lord of ten villages of the
crimes committed in his village, and the ruler of ten (shall make his report) to the ruler
117. But the ruler of twenty shall report all such (matters) to the lord of a hundred,
and the lord of a hundred shall himself give information to the lord of a thousand.
118. Those (articles) which the villagers ought to furnish daily to the king, such as
food, drink, and fuel, the lord of one village shall obtain.
119. The ruler of ten (villages) shall enjoy one kula (as much land as suffices for one
family), the ruler of twenty five kulas, the superintendent of a hundred villages (the
revenues of) one village, the lord of a thousand (the revenues of) a town.
120. The affairs of these (officials), which are connected with (their) villages and
their separate business, another minister of the king shall inspect, (who must be) loyal
and never remiss;
121. And in each town let him appoint one superintendent of all affairs, elevated in
rank, formidable, (resembling) a planet among the stars.
122. Let that (man) always personally visit by turns all those (other officials); let
him properly explore their behaviour in their districts through spies (appointed to) each.
123. For the servants of the king, who are appointed to protect (the people), generally
become knaves who seize the property of others; let him protect his subjects against such
124. Let the king confiscate the whole property of those (officials) who, evil-minded,
may take money from suitors, and banish them.
125. For women employed in the royal service and for menial servants, let him fix a
daily maintenance, in proportion to their position and to their work.
126. One pana must be given (daily) as wages to the lowest, six to the highest,
likewise clothing every six months and one drona of grain every month.
127. Having well considered (the rates of) purchase and (of) sale, (the length of) the
road, (the expense for) food and condiments, the charges of securing the goods, let the
king make the traders pay duty.
128. After (due) consideration the king shall always fix in his realm the duties and
taxes in such a manner that both he himself and the man who does the work receive (their
129. As the leech, the calf, and the bee take their food little by little, even so must
the king draw from his realm moderate annual taxes.
130. A fiftieth part of (the increments on) cattle and gold may be taken by the king,
and the eighth, sixth, or twelfth part of the crops.
131. He may also take the sixth part of trees, meat, honey, clarified butter, perfumes,
(medical) herbs, substances used for flavouring food, flowers, roots, and fruit;
132. Of leaves, pot-herbs, grass, (objects) made of cane, skins, of earthen vessels,
and all (articles) made of stone.
133. Though dying (with want), a king must not levy a tax on Srotriyas, and no
Srotriya, residing in his kingdom, must perish from hunger.
134. The kingdom of that king, in whose dominions a Srotriya pines with hunger, will
even, ere long, be afflicted by famine.
135. Having ascertained his learning in the Veda and (the purity of) his conduct, the
king shall provide for him means of subsistence in accordance with the sacred law, and
shall protect him in every way, as a father (protects) the lawful son of his body.
136. Whatever meritorious acts (such a Brahmana) performs under the full protection of
the king, thereby the king's length of life, wealth, and kingdom increase.
137. Let the king make the common inhabitants of his realm who live by traffic, pay
annually some trifle, which is called a tax.
138. Mechanics and artisans, as well as Sudras who subsist by manual labour, he may
cause to work (for himself) one (day) in each month.
139. Let him not cut up his own root (by levying no taxes), nor the root of other (men)
by excessive greed; for by cutting up his own root (or theirs), he makes himself or them
140. Let the king, having carefully considered (each) affair, be both sharp and gentle;
for a king who is both sharp and gentle is highly respected.
141. When he is tired with the inspection of the business of men, let him place on that
seat (of justice) his chief minister, (who must be) acquainted with the law, wise,
self-controlled, and descended from a (noble) family.
142. Having thus arranged all the affairs (of) his (government), he shall zealously and
carefully protect his subjects.
143. That (monarch) whose subjects are carried off by robbers (Dasyu) from his kingdom,
while they loudly call (for help), and he and his servants are (quietly) looking on, is a
dead and not a living (king).
144. The highest duty of a Kshatriya is to protect his subjects, for the king who
enjoys the rewards, just mentioned, is bound to (discharge that) duty.
145. Having risen in the last watch of the night, having performed (the rite of)
personal purification, having, with a collected mind, offered oblations in the fire, and
having worshipped Brahmanas, he shall enter the hall of audience which must possess the
marks (considered) auspicious (for a dwelling).
146. Tarrying there, he shall gratify all subjects (who come to see him by a kind
reception) and afterwards dismiss them; having dismissed his subjects, he shall take
counsel with his ministers.
147. Ascending the back of a hill or a terrace, (and) retiring (there) in a lonely
place, or in a solitary forest, let him consult with them unobserved.
148. That king whose secret plans other people, (though) assembled (for the purpose),
do not discover, (will) enjoy the whole earth, though he be poor in treasure.
149. At the time of consultation let him cause to be removed idiots, the dumb, the
blind, and the deaf, animals, very aged men, women, barbarians, the sick, and those
deficient in limbs.
150. (Such) despicable (persons), likewise animals, and particularly women betray
secret council; for that reason he must be careful with respect to them.
151. At midday or at midnight, when his mental and bodily fatigues are over, let him
deliberate, either with himself alone or with his (ministers), on virtue, pleasure, and
152. On (reconciling) the attainment of these (aims) which are opposed to each other,
on bestowing his daughters in marriage, and on keeping his sons (from harm),
153. On sending ambassadors, on the completion of undertakings (already begun), on the
behaviour of (the women in) his harem, and on the doings of his spies.
154. On the whole eightfold business and the five classes (of spies), on the goodwill
or enmity and the conduct of the circle (of neighbours he must) carefully (reflect).
155. On the conduct of the middlemost (prince), on the doings of him who seeks
conquest, on the behaviour of the neutral (king), and (on that) of the foe (let him)
156. These (four) constituents (prakriti, form), briefly (speaking), the foundation of
the circle (of neighbours); besides, eight others are enumerated (in the Institutes of
Polity) and (thus) the (total) is declared to be twelve.
157. The minister, the kingdom, the fortress, the treasury, and the army are five other
(constituent elements of the circle); for, these are mentioned in connexion with each (of
the first twelve; thus the whole circle consists), briefly (speaking, of) seventy-two
158. Let (the king) consider as hostile his immediate neighbour and the partisan of
(such a) foe, as friendly the immediate neighbour of his foe, and as neutral (the king)
beyond those two.
159. Let him overcome all of them by means of the (four) expedients, conciliation and
the rest, (employed) either singly or conjointly, (or) by bravery and policy (alone).
160. Let him constantly think of the six measures of royal policy (guna, viz.)
alliance, war, marching, halting, dividing the army, and seeking protection.
161. Having carefully considered the business (in hand), let him resort to sitting
quiet or marching, alliance or war, dividing his forces or seeking protection (as the case
162. But the king must know that there are two kinds of alliances and of wars,
(likewise two) of both marching and sitting quiet, and two (occasions for) seeking
163. An alliance which yields present and future advantages, one must know to be of two
descriptions, (viz.) that when one marches together (with an ally) and the contrary (when
the allies act separately).
164. War is declared to be of two kinds, (viz.) that which is undertaken in season or
out of season, by oneself and for one's own purposes, and (that waged to avenge) an injury
done to a friend.
165. Marching (to attack) is said to be twofold, (viz. that undertaken) by one alone
when an urgent matter has suddenly arisen, and (that undertaken) by one allied with a
166. Sitting quiet is stated to be of two kinds, (viz. that incumbent) on one who has
gradually been weakened by fate or in consequence of former acts, and (that) in favour of
167. If the army stops (in one place) and its master (in another) in order to effect
some purpose, that is called by those acquainted with the virtues of the measures of royal
policy, the twofold division of the forces.
168. Seeking refuge is declared to be of two kinds, (first) for the purpose of
attaining an advantage when one is harassed by enemies, (secondly) in order to become
known among the virtuous (as the protege of a powerful king).
169. When (the king) knows (that) at some future time his superiority (is) certain, and
(that) at the time present (he will suffer) little injury, then let him have recourse to
170. But when he thinks all his subjects to be exceedingly contented, and (that he)
himself (is) most exalted (in power), then let him make war.
171. When he knows his own army to be cheerful in disposition and strong, and (that) of
his enemy the reverse, then let him march against his foe.
172. But if he is very weak in chariots and beasts of burden and in troops, then let
him carefully sit quiet, gradually conciliating his foes.
173. When the king knows the enemy to be stronger in every respect, then let him divide
his army and thus achieve his purpose.
174. But when he is very easily assailable by the forces of the enemy, then let him
quickly seek refuge with a righteous, powerful king.
175. That (prince) who will coerce both his (disloyal) subjects and the army of the
foe, let him ever serve with every effort like a Guru.
176. When, even in that (condition), he sees (that) evil is caused by (such)
protection, let him without hesitation have recourse to war.
177. By all (the four) expedients a politic prince must arrange (matters so) that
neither friends, nor neutrals, nor foes are superior to himself.
178. Let him fully consider the future and the immediate results of all undertakings,
and the good and bad sides of all past (actions).
179. He who knows the good and the evil (which will result from his acts) in the
future, is quick in forming resolutions for the present, and understands the consequences
of past (actions), will not be conquered.
180. Let him arrange everything in such a manner that no ally, no neutral or foe may
injure him; that is the sum of political wisdom.
181. But if the king undertakes an expedition against a hostile kingdom, then let him
gradually advance, in the following manner, against his foe's capital.
182. Let the king undertake his march in the fine month Margasirsha, or towards the
months of Phalguna and Kaitra, according to the (condition of his) army.
183. Even at other times, when he has a certain prospect of victory, or when a disaster
has befallen his foe, he may advance to attack him.
184. But having duly arranged (all affairs) in his original (kingdom) and what relates
to the expedition, having secured a basis (for his operations) and having duly dispatched
185. Having cleared the three kinds of roads, and (having made) his sixfold army
(efficient), let him leisurely proceed in the manner prescribed for warfare against the
186. Let him be very much on his guard against a friend who secretly serves the enemy
and against (deserters) who return (from the enemy's camp); for such (men are) the most
187. Let him march on his road, arraying (his troops) like a staff (i.e. in an oblong),
or like a waggon (i.e. in a wedge), or like a boar (i.e. in a rhombus), or like a Makara
(i.e. in two triangles, with the apices joined), or like a pin (i.e. in a long line), or
like a Garuda (i.e. in a rhomboid with far-extended wings).
188. From whatever (side) he apprehends danger, in that (direction) let him extend his
troops, and let him always himself encamp in an array, shaped like a lotus.
189. Let him allot to the commander-in-chief, to the (subordinate) general, (and to the
superior officers) places in all directions, and let him turn his front in that direction
whence he fears danger.
190. On all sides let him place troops of soldiers, on whom he can rely, with whom
signals have been arranged, who are expert both in sustaining a charge and in charging,
fearless and loyal.
191. Let him make a small number of soldiers fight in close order, at his pleasure let
him extend a large number in loose ranks; or let him make them fight, arranging (a small
number) in the needle-array, (and a large number) in the thunderbolt-array.
192. On even ground let him fight with chariots and horses, in water-bound places with
boats and elephants, on (ground) covered with trees and shrubs with bows, on hilly ground
with swords, targets, (and other) weapons.
193. (Men born in) Kurukshetra, Matsyas, Pankalas, and those born in Surasena, let him
cause to fight in the van of the battle, as well as (others who are) tall and light.
194. After arranging his troops, he should encourage them (by an address) and carefully
inspect them; he should also mark the behaviour (of the soldiers) when they engage the
195. When he has shut up his foe (in a town), let him sit encamped, harass his kingdom,
and continually spoil his grass, food, fuel, and water.
196. Likewise let him destroy the tanks, ramparts, and ditches, and let him assail the
(foe unawares) and alarm him at night.
197. Let him instigate to rebellion those who are open to such instigations, let him be
informed of his (foe's) doings, and, when fate is propitious, let him fight without fear,
trying to conquer.
198. He should (however) try to conquer his foes by conciliation, by (well-applied)
gifts, and by creating dissension, used either separately or conjointly, never by
fighting, (if it can be avoided.)
199. For when two (princes) fight, victory and defeat in the battle are, as experience
teaches, uncertain; let him therefore avoid an engagement.
200. (But) if even those three before-mentioned expedients fail, then let him, duly
exerting himself, fight in such a manner that he may completely conquer his enemies.
201. When he has gained victory, let him duly worship the gods and honour righteous
Brahmanas, let him grant exemptions, and let him cause promises of safety to be
202. But having fully ascertained the wishes of all the (conquered), let him place
there a relative of the (vanquished ruler on the throne), and let him impose his
203. Let him make authoritative the lawful (customs) of the (inhabitants), just as they
are stated (to be), and let him honour the (new king) and his chief servants with precious
204. The seizure of desirable property which causes displeasure, and its distribution
which causes pleasure, are both recommendable, (if they are) resorted to at the proper
205. All undertakings (in) this (world) depend both on the ordering of fate and on
human exertion; but among these two (the ways of) fate are unfathomable; in the case of
man's work action is possible.
206. Or (the king, bent on conquest), considering a friend, gold, and land (to be) the
triple result (of an expedition), may, using diligent care, make peace with (his foe) and
return (to his realm).
207. Having paid due attention to any king in the circle (of neighbouring states) who
might attack him in the rear, and to his supporter who opposes the latter, let (the
conqueror) secure the fruit of the expedition from (the prince whom he attacks), whether
(he may have become) friendly or (remained) hostile.
208. By gaining gold and land a king grows not so much in strength as by obtaining a
firm friend, (who), though weak, (may become) powerful in the future.
209. A weak friend (even) is greatly commended, who is righteous (and) grateful, whose
people are contented, who is attached and persevering in his undertakings.
210. The wise declare him (to be) a most dangerous foe, who is wise, of noble race,
brave, clever, liberal, grateful, and firm.
211. Behaviour worthy of an Aryan, knowledge of men, bravery, a compassionate
disposition, and great liberality are the virtues of a neutral (who may be courted).
212. Let the king, without hesitation, quit for his own sake even a country (which is)
salubrious, fertile, and causing an increase of cattle.
213. For times of need let him preserve his wealth; at the expense of his wealth let
him preserve his wife; let him at all events preserve himself even by (giving up) his wife
and his wealth.
214. A wise (king), seeing that all kinds of misfortunes violently assail him at the
same time, should try all (the four) expedients, be it together or separately, (in order
to save himself.)
215. On the person who employs the expedients, on the business to be accomplished, and
on all the expedients collectively, on these three let him ponder and strive to accomplish
216. Having thus consulted with his ministers on all these (matters), having taken
exercise, and having bathed afterwards, the king may enter the harem at midday in order to
217. There he may eat food, (which has been prepared) by faithful, incorruptible
(servants) who know the (proper) time (for dining), which has been well examined (and
hallowed) by sacred texts that destroy poison.
218. Let him mix all his food with medicines (that are) antidotes against poison, and
let him always be careful to wear gems which destroy poison.
219. Well-tried females whose toilet and ornaments have been examined, shall
attentively serve him with fans, water, and perfumes.
220. In like manner let him be careful about his carriages, bed, seat, bath, toilet,
and all his ornaments.
221. When he has dined, he may divert himself with his wives in the harem; but when he
has diverted himself, he must, in due time, again think of the affairs of state.
222. Adorned (with his robes of state), let him again inspect his fighting men, all his
chariots and beasts of burden, the weapons and accoutrements.
223. Having performed his twilight-devotions, let him, well armed, hear in an inner
apartment the doings of those who make secret reports and of his spies.
224. But going to another secret apartment and dismissing those people, he may enter
the harem, surrounded by female (servants), in order to dine again.
225. Having eaten there something for the second time, and having been recreated by the
sound of music, let him go to rest and rise at the proper time free from fatigue.
226. A king who is in good health must observe these rules; but, if he is indisposed,
he may entrust all this (business) to his servants.
1. A king, desirous of investigating law cases, must enter his court of justice,
preserving a dignified demeanour, together with Brahmanas and with experienced
2. There, either seated or standing, raising his right arm, without ostentation in his
dress and ornaments, let him examine the business of suitors,
3. Daily (deciding) one after another (all cases) which fall under the eighteen titles
(of the law) according to principles drawn from local usages. and from the Institutes of
the sacred law.
4. Of those (titles) the first is the non-payment of debts, (then follow), (2) deposit
and pledge, (3) sale without ownership, (4) concerns among partners, and (5) resumption of
5. (6) Non-payment of wages, (7) non-performance of agreements, (8) rescission of sale
and purchase, (9) disputes between the owner (of cattle) and his servants,
6. (10) Disputes regarding boundaries, (11) assault and (12) defamation, (13) theft,
(14) robbery and violence, (15) adultery,
7. (16) Duties of man and wife, (17) partition (of inheritance), (18) gambling and
betting; these are in this world the eighteen topics which give rise to lawsuits.
8. Depending on the eternal law, let him decide the suits of men who mostly contend on
the titles just mentioned.
9. But if the king does not personally investigate the suits, then let him appoint a
learned Brahmana to try them.
10. That (man) shall enter that most excellent court, accompanied by three assessors,
and fully consider (all) causes (brought) before the (king), either sitting down or
11. Where three Brahmanas versed in the Vedas and the learned (judge) appointed by the
king sit down, they call that the court of (four-faced) Brahman.
12. But where justice, wounded by injustice, approaches and the judges do not extract
the dart, there (they also) are wounded (by that dart of injustice).
13. Either the court must not be entered, or the truth must be spoken; a man who either
says nothing or speaks falsely, becomes sinful.
14. Where justice is destroyed by injustice, or truth by falsehood, while the judges
look on, there they shall also be destroyed.
15. 'Justice, being violated, destroys; justice, being preserved, preserves: therefore
justice must not be violated, lest violated justice destroy us.'
16. For divine justice (is said to be) a bull (vrisha); that (man) who violates it
(kurute 'lam) the gods consider to be (a man despicable like) a Sudra (vrishala); let him,
therefore, beware of violating justice.
17. The only friend who follows men even after death is justice; for everything else is
lost at the same time when the body (perishes).
18. One quarter of (the guilt of) an unjust (decision) falls on him who committed (the
crime), one quarter on the (false) witness, one quarter on all the judges, one quarter on
19. But where he who is worthy of condemnation is condemned, the king is free from
guilt, and the judges are saved (from sin); the guilt falls on the perpetrator (of the
20. A Brahmana who subsists only by the name of his caste (gati), or one who merely
calls himself a Brahmana (though his origin be uncertain), may, at the king's pleasure,
interpret the law to him, but never a Sudra.
21. The kingdom of that monarch, who looks on while a Sudra settles the law, will sink
(low), like a cow in a morass.
22. That kingdom where Sudras are very numerous, which is infested by atheists and
destitute of twice-born (inhabitants), soon entirely perishes, afflicted by famine and
23. Having occupied the seat of justice, having covered his body, and having worshipped
the guardian deities of the world, let him, with a collected mind, begin the trial of
24. Knowing what is expedient or inexpedient, what is pure justice or injustice, let
him examine the causes of suitors according to the order of the castes (varna).
25. By external signs let him discover the internal disposition of men, by their voice,
their colour, their motions, their aspect, their eyes, and their gestures.
26. The internal (working of the) mind is perceived through the aspect, the motions,
the gait, the gestures, the speech, and the changes in the eye and of the face.
27. The king shall protect the inherited (and other) property of a minor, until he has
returned (from his teacher's house) or until he has passed his minority.
28. In like manner care must be taken of barren women, of those who have no sons, of
those whose family is extinct, of wives and widows faithful to their lords, and of women
afflicted with diseases.
29. A righteous king must punish like thieves those relatives who appropriate the
property of such females during their lifetime.
30. Property, the owner of which has disappeared, the king shall cause to be kept as a
deposit during three years; within the period of three years the owner may claim it, after
(that term) the king may take it.
31. He who says, 'This belongs to me,' must be examined according to the rule; if he
accurately describes the shape, and the number (of the articles found) and so forth, (he
is) the owner, (and) ought (to receive) that property.
32. But if he does not really know the time and the place (where it was) lost, its
colour, shape, and size, he is worthy of a fine equal (in value) to the (object claimed).
33. Now the king, remembering the duty of good men, may take one-sixth part of property
lost and afterwards found, or one-tenth, or at least one-twelfth.
34. Property lost and afterwards found (by the king's servants) shall remain in the
keeping of (special) officials; those whom the king may convict of stealing it, he shall
cause to be slain by an elephant.
35. From that man who shall truly say with respect to treasure-trove, 'This belongs to
me,' the king may take one-sixth or one-twelfth part.
36. But he who falsely says (so), shall be fined in one-eighth of his property, or, a
calculation of (the value of) the treasure having been made, in some smaller portion (of
37. When a learned Brahmana has found treasure, deposited in former (times), he may
take even the whole (of it); for he is master of everything.
38. When the king finds treasure of old concealed in the ground let him give one half
to Brahmanas and place the (other) half in his treasury.
39. The king obtains one half of ancient hoards and metals (found) in the ground, by
reason of (his giving) protection, (and) because he is the lord of the soil.
40. Property stolen by thieves must be restored by the king to (men of) all castes
(varna); a king who uses such (property) for himself incurs the guilt of a thief.
41. (A king) who knows the sacred law, must inquire into the laws of castes (gati), of
districts, of guilds, and of families, and (thus) settle the peculiar law of each.
42. For men who follow their particular occupations and abide by their particular duty,
become dear to people, though they may live at a distance.
43. Neither the king nor any servant of his shall themselves cause a lawsuit to be
begun, or hush up one that has been brought (before them) by (some) other (man).
44. As a hunter traces the lair of a (wounded) deer by the drops of blood, even so the
king shall discover on which side the right lies, by inferences (from the facts).
45. When engaged in judicial proceedings he must pay full attention to the truth, to
the object (of the dispute), (and) to himself, next to the witnesses, to the place, to the
time, and to the aspect.
46. What may have been practised by the virtuous, by such twice-born men as are devoted
to the law, that he shall establish as law, if it be not opposed to the (customs of)
countries, families, and castes (gati).
47. When a creditor sues (before the king) for the recovery of money from a debtor, let
him make the debtor pay the sum which the creditor proves (to be due).
48. By whatever means a creditor may be able to obtain possession of his property, even
by those means may he force the debtor and make him pay.
49. By moral suasion, by suit of law, by artful management, or by the customary
proceeding, a creditor may recover property lent; and fifthly, by force.
50. A creditor who himself recovers his property from his debtor, must not be blamed by
the king for retaking what is his own.
51. But him who denies a debt which is proved by good evidence, he shall order to pay
that debt to the creditor and a small fine according to his circumstances.
52. On the denial (of a debt) by a debtor who has been required in court to pay it, the
complainant must call (a witness) who was present (when the loan was made), or adduce
53. (The plaintiff) who calls a witness not present at the transaction, who retracts
his statements, or does not perceive that his statements (are) confused or contradictory;
54. Or who having stated what he means to prove afterwards varies (his case), or who
being questioned on a fact duly stated by himself does not abide by it;
55. Or who converses with the witnesses in a place improper for such conversation; or
who declines to answer a question, properly put, or leaves (the court);
56. Or who, being ordered to speak, does not answer, or does not prove what he has
alleged; or who does not know what is the first (point), and what the second, fails in his
57. Him also who says 'I have witnesses,' and, being ordered to produce them, produces
them not, the judge must on these (same) grounds declare to be non-suited.
58. If a plaintiff does not speak, he may be punished corporally or fined according to
the law; if (a defendant) does not plead within three fortnights, he has lost his cause.
59. In the double of that sum which (a defendant) falsely denies or on which (the
plaintiff) falsely declares, shall those two (men) offending against justice be fined by
60. (A defendant) who, being brought (into court) by the creditor, (and) being
questioned, denies (the debt), shall be convicted (of his falsehood) by at least three
witnesses (who must depose) in the presence of the Brahmana (appointed by) the king.
61. I will fully declare what kind of men may be made witnesses in suits by creditors,
and in what manner those (witnesses) must give true (evidence).
62. Householders, men with male issue, and indigenous (inhabitants of the country, be
they) Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, or Sudras, are competent, when called by a suitor, to give
evidence, not any persons whatever (their condition may be) except in cases of urgency.
63. Trustworthy men of all the (four) castes (varna) may be made witnesses in lawsuits,
(men) who know (their) whole duty, and are free from covetousness; but let him reject
those (of an) opposite (character).
64. Those must not be made (witnesses) who have an interest in the suit, nor familiar
(friends), companions, and enemies (of the parties), nor (men) formerly convicted (of
perjury), nor (persons) suffering under (severe) illness, nor (those) tainted (by mortal
65. The king cannot be made a witness, nor mechanics and actors, nor a: Srotriya, nor a
student of the Veda, nor (an ascetic) who has given up (all) connexion (with the world),
66. Nor one wholly dependent, nor one of bad fame, nor a Dasyu, nor one who follows
forbidden occupations, nor an aged (man), nor an infant, nor one (man alone), nor a man of
the lowest castes, nor one deficient in organs of sense,
67. Nor one extremely grieved, nor one intoxicated, nor a madman, nor one tormented by
hunger or thirst, nor one oppressed by fatigue, nor one tormented by desire, nor a
wrathful man, nor a thief.
68. Women should give evidence for women, and for twice-born men twice-born men (of
the) same (kind), virtuous Sudras for Sudras, and men of the lowest castes for the lowest.
69. But any person whatsoever, who has personal knowledge (of an act committed) in the
interior apartments (of a house), or in a forest, or of (a crime causing) loss of life,
may give evidence between the parties.
70. On failure (of qualified witnesses, evidence) may given (in such cases) by a woman,
by an infant, by an aged man, by a pupil, by a relative, by a slave, or by a hired
71. But the (judge) should consider the evidence of infants, aged and diseased men, who
(are apt to) speak untruly, as untrustworthy, likewise that of men with disordered minds.
72. In all cases of violence, of theft and adultery, of defamation and assault, he must
not examine the (competence of) witnesses (too strictly).
73. On a conflict of the witnesses the king shall accept (as true) the evidence of the)
majority; if (the conflicting parties are) equal in number, (that of) those distinguished
by good qualities; on a difference between (equally) distinguished (witnesses, that of)
the best among the twice-born.
74. Evidence in accordance with what has actually been seen or heard, is admissible; a
witness who speaks truth in those (cases), neither loses spiritual merit nor wealth.
75. A witness who deposes in an assembly of honourable men (Arya) anything else but
what he has seen or heard, falls after death headlong into hell and loses heaven.
76. When a man (originally) not appointed to be a witness sees or hears anything and is
(afterwards) examined regarding it, he must declare it (exactly) as he saw or heard it.
77. One man who is free from covetousness may be (accepted as) witness; but not even
many pure women, because the understanding of females is apt to waver, nor even many other
men, who are tainted with sin.
78. What witnesses declare quite naturally, that must be received on trials;
(depositions) differing from that, which they make improperly, are worthless for (the
purposes of) justice.
79. The witnesses being assembled in the court in the presence of the plaintiff and of
the defendant, let the judge examine them, kindly exhorting them in the following manner:
80. 'What ye know to have been mutually transacted in this matter between the two men
before us, declare all that in accordance with the truth; for ye are witnesses in this
81. 'A witness who speaks the truth in his evidence, gains (after death) the most
excellent regions (of bliss) and here (below) unsurpassable fame; such testimony is
revered by Brahman (himself).
82. 'He who gives false evidence is firmly bound by Varuna's fetters, helpless during
one hundred existences; let (men therefore) give true evidence.
83. 'By truthfulness a witness is purified, through truthfulness his merit grows, truth
must, therefore, be spoken by witnesses of all castes (varna).
84. 'The Soul itself is the witness of the Soul, and the Soul is the refuge of the
Soul; despise not thy own Soul, the supreme witness of men.
85. 'The wicked, indeed, say in their hearts, "Nobody sees us;" but the gods
distinctly see them and the male within their own breasts.
86. 'The sky, the earth, the waters, (the male in) the heart, the moon, the sun, the
fire, Yama and the wind, the night, the two twilights, and justice know the conduct of all
87. The (judge), being purified, shall ask in the forenoon the twice-born (witnesses)
who (also have been) purified, (and stand) facing the north or the east, to give true
evidence in the presence of (images of) the gods and of Brahmanas.
88. Let him examine a Brahmana (beginning with) 'Speak,' a Kshatriya (beginning with)
'Speak the truth,' a Vaisya (admonishing him) by (mentioning) his kine, grain, and gold, a
Sudra (threatening him) with (the guilt of) every crime that causes loss of caste;
89. (Saying), 'Whatever places (of torment) are assigned (by the sages) to the slayer
of a Brahmana, to the murderer of women and children, to him who betrays a friend, and to
an ungrateful man, those shall be thy (portion), if thou speakest falsely.
90. '(The reward) of all meritorious deeds which thou, good man, hast done since thy
birth, shall become the share of the dogs, if in thy speech thou departest from the truth.
91. 'If thou thinkest, O friend of virtue, with respect to thyself, "I am
alone," (know that) that sage who witnesses all virtuous acts and all crimes, ever
resides in thy heart.
92. 'If thou art not at variance with that divine Yama, the son of Vivasvat, who dwells
in thy heart, thou needest neither visit the Ganges nor the (land of the) Kurus.
93. 'Naked and shorn, tormented with hunger and thirst, and deprived of sight, shall
the man who gives false evidence, go with a potsherd to beg food at the door of his enemy.
94. 'Headlong, in utter darkness shall the sinful man tumble into hell, who being
interrogated in a judicial inquiry answers one question falsely.
95. 'That man who in a court (of justice) gives an untrue account of a transaction (or
asserts a fact) of which he was not an eye-witness, resembles a blind man who swallows
fish with the bones.
96. 'The gods are acquainted with no better man in this world than him, of whom his
conscious Soul has no distrust, when he gives evidence.
97. 'Learn now, O friend, from an enumeration in due order, how many relatives he
destroys who gives false evidence in several particular cases.
98. 'He kills five by false Testimony regarding (small) cattle, he kills ten by false
testimony regarding kine, he kills a hundred by false evidence concerning horses, and a
thousand by false evidence concerning men.
99. 'By speaking falsely in a cause regarding gold, he kills the born and the unborn;
by false evidence concerning land, he kills everything; beware, therefore, of false
evidence concerning land.
100. 'They declare (false evidence) concerning water, concerning the carnal enjoyment
of women, and concerning all gems, produced in water, or consisting of stones (to be)
equally (wicked) as a lie concerning land.
101. 'Marking well all the evils (which are produced) by perjury, declare thou openly
everything as (thou hast) heard or seen (it).'
102. Brahmanas who tend cattle, who trade, who are mechanics, actors (or singers),
menial servants or usurers, the (judge) shall treat like Sudras.
103. In (some) cases a man who, though knowing (the facts to be) different, gives such
(false evidence) from a pious motive, does not lose heaven; such (evidence) they call the
speech of the gods.
104. Whenever the death of a Sudra, of a Vaisya, of a Kshatriya, or of a Brahmana would
be (caused) by a declaration of the truth, a falsehood may be spoken; for such (falsehood)
is preferable to the truth.
105. Such (witnesses) must offer to Sarasvati oblations of boiled rice (karu) which are
sacred to the goddess of speech, (thus) performing the best penance in order to expiate
the guilt of that falsehood.
106. Or such (a witness) may offer according to the rule, clarified butter in the fire,
reciting the Kushmanda texts, or the Rik, sacred to Varuna, 'Untie, O Varuna, the
uppermost fetter,' or the three verses addressed to the Waters.
107. A man who, without being ill, does not give evidence in (cases of) loans and the
like within three fortnights (after the summons), shall become responsible for the whole
debt and (pay) a tenth part of the whole (as a fine to the king).
108. The witness to whom, within seven days after he has given evidence, happens (a
misfortune through) sickness, a fire, or the death of a relative, shall be made to pay the
debt and a fine.
109. If two (parties) dispute about matters for which no witnesses are available, and
the (judge) is unable to really ascertain the truth, he may cause it to be discovered even
by an oath.
110. Both by the great sages and the gods oaths have been taken for the purpose of
(deciding doubtful) matters; and Vasishtha even swore an oath before king (Sudas), the son
111. Let no wise man swear an oath falsely, even in a trifling matter; for he who
swears an oath falsely is lost in this (world) and after death.
112. No crime, causing loss of caste, is committed by swearing (falsely) to women, the
objects of one's desire, at marriages, for the sake of fodder for a cow, or of fuel, and
in (order to show) favour to a Brahmana.
113. Let the (judge) cause a Brahmana to swear by his veracity, a Kshatriya by his
chariot or the animal he rides on and by his weapons, a Vaisya by his kine, grain, and
gold, and a Sudra by (imprecating on his own head the guilt) of all grievous offences
114. Or the (judge) may cause the (party) to carry fire or to dive under water, or
severally to touch the heads of his wives and children.
115. He whom the blazing fire burns not, whom the water forces not to come (quickly)
up, who meets with no speedy misfortune, must be held innocent on (the strength of) his
116. For formerly when Vatsa was accused by his younger brother, the fire, the spy of
the world, burned not even a hair (of his) by reason of his veracity.
117. Whenever false evidence has been given in any suit, let the (judge) reverse the
judgment, and whatever has been done must be (considered as) undone.
118. Evidence (given) from covetousness, distraction, terror, friendship, lust, wrath,
ignorance, and childishness is declared (to be) invalid.
119. I will propound in (due) order the particular punishments for him who gives false
evidence from any one of these motives.
120. (He who commits perjury) through covetousness shall be fined one thousand (panas),
(he who does it) through distraction, in the lowest amercement; (if a man does it) through
fear, two middling amercements shall be paid as a fine, (if he does it) through
friendship, four times the amount of the lowest (amercement).
121. (He who does it) through lust, (shall pay) ten times the lowest amercement, but
(he who does it) through wrath, three times the next (or second amercement); (he who does
it) through ignorance, two full hundreds, but (he who does it) through childishness, one
122. They declare that the wise have prescribed these fines for perjury, in order to
prevent a failure of justice, and in order to restrain injustice.
123. But a just king shall fine and banish (men of) the three (lower) castes (varna)
who have given false evidence, but a Brahmana he shall (only) banish.
124. Manu, the son of the Self-existent (Svayambhu), has named ten places on which
punishment may be (made to fall) in the cases of the three (lower) castes (varna); but a
Brahmana shall depart unhurt (from the country).
125. (These are) the organ, the belly, the tongue, the two hands, and fifthly the two
feet, the eye, the nose, the two ears, likewise the (whole) body.
126. Let the (king), having fully ascertained the motive, the time and place (of the
offence), and having considered the ability (of the criminal to suffer) and the (nature of
the) crime, cause punishment to fall on those who deserve it.
127. Unjust punishment destroys reputation among men, and fame (after death), and
causes even in the next world the loss of heaven; let him, therefore, beware of
128. A king who punishes those who do not deserve it, and punishes not those who
deserve it, brings great infamy on himself and (after death) sinks into hell.
129. Let him punish first by (gentle) admonition, afterwards by (harsh) reproof,
thirdly by a fine, after that by corporal chastisement.
130. But when he cannot restrain such (offenders) even by corporal punishment, then let
him apply to them even all the four (modes cojointly).
131. Those technical names of (certain quantities of) copper, silver, and gold, which
are generally used on earth for the purpose of business transactions among men, I will
132. The very small mote which is seen when the sun shines through a lattice, they
declare (to be) the least of (all) quantities and (to be called) a trasarenu (a floating
particle of dust).
133. Know (that) eight trasarenus (are equal) in bulk (to) a liksha (the egg of a
louse), three of those to one grain of black mustard (ragasarshapa), and three of the
latter to a white mustard-seed.
134. Six grains of white mustard are one middle-sized barley-corn, and three
barley-corns one krishnala (raktika, or gunga-berry); five krishnalas are one masha
(bean), and sixteen of those one suvarna.
135. Four suvarnas are one pala, and ten palas one dharana; two krishnalas (of silver),
weighed together, must be considered one mashaka of silver.
136. Sixteen of those make a silver dharana, or purana; but know (that) a karsha of
copper is a karshapana, or pana.
137. Know (that) ten dharanas of silver make one satamana; four suvarnas must be
considered (equal) in weight to a nishka.
138. Two hundred and fifty panas are declared (to be) the first (or lowest) amercement,
five (hundred) are considered as the mean (or middlemost), but one thousand as the
139. A debt being admitted as due, (the defendant) shall pay five in the hundred (as a
fine), if it be denied (and proved) twice as much; that is the teaching of Manu.
140. A money-lender may stipulate as an increase of his capital, for the interest,
allowed by Vasishtha, and take monthly the eightieth part of a hundred.
141. Or, remembering the duty of good men, he may take two in the hundred (by the
month), for he who takes two in the hundred becomes not a sinner for gain.
142. Just two in the hundred, three, four, and five (and not more), he may take as
monthly interest according to the order of the castes (varna).
143. But if a beneficial pledge (i.e. one from which profit accrues, has been given),
he shall receive no interest on the loan; nor can he, after keeping (such) a pledge for a
very long time, give or sell it.
144. A pledge (to be kept only) must not be used by force, (the creditor), so using it,
shall give up his (whole) interest, or, (if it has been spoilt by use) he shall satisfy
the (owner) by (paying its) original price; else he commits a theft of the pledge.
145. Neither a pledge nor a deposit can be lost by lapse of time; they are both
recoverable, though they have remained long (with the bailee).
146. Things used with friendly assent, a cow, a camel, a riding-horse, and (a beast)
made over for breaking in, are never lost (to the owner).
147. (But in general) whatever (chattel) an owner sees enjoyed by others during ten
years, while, though present, he says nothing, that (chattel) he shall not recover.
148. If (the owner is) neither an idiot nor a minor and if (his chattel) is enjoyed (by
another) before his eyes, it is lost to him by law; the adverse possessor shall retain
149. A pledge, a boundary, the property of infants, an (open) deposit, a sealed
deposit, women, the property of the king and the wealth of a Srotriya are not lost in
consequence of (adverse) enjoyment.
150. The fool who uses a pledge without the permission of the owner, shall remit half
of his interest, as a compensation for (such) use.
151. In money transactions interest paid at one time (not by instalments) shall never
exceed the double (of the principal); on grain, fruit, wool or hair, (and) beasts of
burden it must not be more than five times (the original amount).
152. Stipulated interest beyond the legal rate, being against (the law), cannot be
recovered; they call that a usurious way (of lending); (the lender) is (in no case)
entitled to (more than) five in the hundred.
153. Let him not take interest beyond the year, nor such as is unapproved, nor compound
interest, periodical interest, stipulated interest, and corporal interest.
154. He who, unable to pay a debt (at the fixed time), wishes to make a new contract,
may renew the agreement, after paying the interest which is due.
155. If he cannot pay the money (due as interest), he may insert it in the renewed
(agreement); he must pay as much interest as may be due.
156. He who has made a contract to carry goods by a wheeled carriage for money and has
agreed to a certain place or time, shall not reap that reward, if he does not keep to the
place and the time (stipulated).
157. Whatever rate men fix, who are expert in sea-voyages and able to calculate (the
profit) according to the place, the time, and the objects (carried), that (has legal
force) in such cases with respect to the payment (to be made).
158. The man who becomes a surety in this (world) for the appearance of a (debtor), and
produces him not, shall pay the debt out of his own property.
159. But money due by a surety, or idly promised, or lost at play, or due for
spirituous liquor, or what remains unpaid of a fine and a tax or duty, the son (of the
party owing it) shall not be obliged to pay.
160. This just mentioned rule shall apply to the case of a surety for appearance
(only); if a surety for payment should die, the (judge) may compel even his heirs to
discharge the debt.
161. On what account then is it that after the death of a surety other than for
payment, whose affairs are fully known, the creditor may (in some cases) afterwards demand
the debt (of the heirs)?
162. If the surety had received money (from him for whom he stood bail) and had money
enough (to pay), then (the heir of him) who received it, shall pay (the debt) out of his
property; that is the settled rule.
163. A contract made by a person intoxicated, or insane, or grievously disordered (by
disease and so forth), or wholly dependent, by an infant or very aged man, or by an
unauthorised (party) is invalid.
164. That agreement which has been made contrary to the law or to the settled usage (of
the virtuous), can have no legal force, though it be established (by proofs).
165. A fraudulent mortgage or sale, a fraudulent gift or acceptance, and (any
transaction) where he detects fraud, the (judge) shall declare null and void.
166. If the debtor be dead and (the money borrowed) was expended for the family, it
must be paid by the relatives out of their own estate even if they are divided.
167. Should even a person wholly dependent make a contract for the behoof of the
family, the master (of the house), whether (living) in his own country or abroad, shall
not rescind it.
168. What is given by force, what is enjoyed by force, also what has been caused to be
written by force, and all other transactions done by force, Manu has declared void.
169. Three suffer for the sake of others, witnesses, a surety, and judges; but four
enrich themselves (through others), a Brahmana, a money-lender, a merchant, and a king.
170. No king, however indigent, shall take anything that ought not to be taken, nor
shall he, however wealthy, decline taking that which he ought to take, be it ever so
171. In consequence of his taking what ought not to be taken, or of his refusing what
ought to be received, a king will be accused of weakness and perish in this (world) and
172. By taking his due, by preventing the confusion of the castes (varna), and by
protecting the weak, the power of the king grows, and he prospers in this (world) and
173. Let the prince, therefore, like Yama, not heeding his own likings and dislikings,
behave exactly like Yama, suppressing his anger and controlling himself.
174. But that evil-minded king who in his folly decides causes unjustly, his enemies
175. If, subduing love and hatred, he decides the causes according to the law, (the
hearts of) his subjects turn towards him as the rivers (run) towards the ocean.
176. (The debtor) who complains to the king that his creditor recovers (the debt)
independently (of the court), shall be compelled by the king to pay (as a fine) one
quarter (of the sum) and to his (creditor) the money (due).
177. Even by (personal) labour shall the debtor make good (what he owes) to his
creditor, if he be of the same caste or of a lower one; but a (debtor) of a higher caste
shall pay it gradually (when he earns something).
178. According to these rules let the king equitably decide between men, who dispute
with each other the matters, which are proved by witnesses and (other) evidence.
179. A sensible man should make a deposit (only) with a person of (good) family, of
good conduct, well acquainted with the law, veracious, having many relatives, wealthy, and
180. In whatever manner a person shall deposit anything in the hands of another, in the
same manner ought the same thing to be received back (by the owner); as the delivery (was,
so must be) the re-delivery.
181. He who restores not his deposit to the depositor at his request, may be tried by
the judge in the depositor's absence.
182. On failure of witnesses let the (judge) actually deposit gold with that
(defendant) under some pretext or other through spies of suitable age and appearance (and
afterwards demand it back).
183. If the (defendant) restores it in the manner and shape in which it was bailed,
there is nothing (of that description) in his hands, for which others accuse him.
184. But if he restores not that gold, as be ought, to those (spies), then he shall be
compelled by force to restore both (deposits); that is a settled rule of law.
185. An open or a sealed deposit must never be returned to a near relative (of the
depositor during the latter's lifetime); for if (the recipient) dies (without delivering
them), they are lost, but if he does not die, they are not lost.
186. But (a depositary) who of his own accord returns them to a near relative of a
deceased (depositor), must not be harassed (about them) by the king or by the depositor's
187. And (in doubtful cases) he should try to obtain that object by friendly means,
without (having recourse to) artifice, or having inquired into (depositary's) conduct, he
should settle (the matter) with gentle means.
188. Such is the rule for obtaining back all those open deposits; in the case of a
sealed deposit (the depositary) shall incur no (censure), unless he has taken out
189. (A deposit) which has been stolen by thieves or washed away by water or burned by
fire, (the bailee) shall not make it good, unless he took part of it (for himself).
190. Him who appropriates a deposit and him (who asks for it) without having made it,
(the judge) shall try by all (sorts of) means, and by the oaths prescribed in the Veda.
191. He who does not return a deposit and he who demands what he never bailed shall
both be punished like thieves, or be compelled to pay a fine equal (to the value of the
object retained or claimed).
192. The king should compel him who does not restore an open deposit, and in like
manner him who retains a sealed deposit, to pay a fine equal (to its value).
193. That man who by false pretences may possess himself of another's property, shall
be publicly punished by various (modes of) corporal (or capital) chastisement, together
with his accomplices.
194. If a deposit of a particular description or quantity is bailed by anybody in the
presence of a number (of witnesses), it must be known to be of that particular
(description and quantity; the depositary) who makes a false statement (regarding it) is
liable to a fine.
195. But if anything is delivered or received privately, it must be privately returned;
as the bailment (was, so should be) the re-delivery.
196. Thus let the king decide (causes) concerning a deposit and a friendly loan (for
use) without showing (undue) rigour to the depositary.
197. If anybody sells the property of another man, without being the owner and without
the assent of the owner, the (judge) shall not admit him who is a thief, though he may not
consider himself as a thief, as a witness (in any case).
198. If the (offender) is a kinsman (of the owner), he shall be fined six hundred
panas; if he is not a kinsman, nor has any excuse, he shall be guilty of theft.
199. A gift or sale, made by anybody else but the owner, must be considered as null and
void, according to the rule in judicial proceedings.
200. Where possession is evident, but no title is perceived, there the title (shall be)
a proof (of ownership), not possession; such is the settled rule.
201. He who obtains a chattel in the market before a number (of witnesses), acquires
that chattel with a clear legal title by purchase.
202. If the original (seller) be not producible, (the buyer) being exculpated by a
public sale, must be dismissed by the king without punishment, but (the former owner) who
lost the chattel shall receive it (back from the buyer).
203. One commodity mixed with another must not be sold (as pure), nor a bad one (as
good), nor less (than the proper quantity or weight), nor anything that is not at hand or
that is concealed.
204. If, after one damsel has been shown, another be given to the bridegroom, he may
marry them both for the same price; that Manu ordained.
205. He who gives (a damsel in marriage), having first openly declared her blemishes,
whether she be insane, or afflicted with leprosy, or have lost her virginity, is not
liable to punishment.
206. If an officiating priest, chosen to perform a sacrifice, abandons his work, a
share only (of the fee) in proportion to the work (done) shall be given to him by those
who work with him.
207. But he who abandons his work after the sacrificial fees have been given, shall
obtain his full share and cause to be performed (what remains) by another (priest).
208. But if (specific) fees are ordained for the several parts of a rite, shall he (who
performs the part) receive them, or shall they all share them?
209. The Adhvaryu priest shall take the chariot, and the Brahman at the kindling of the
fires (Agnyadhana) a horse, the Hotri priest shall also take a horse, and the Udgatri the
cart, (used) when (the Soma) is purchased.
210. The (four) chief priests among all (the sixteen), who are entitled to one half,
shall receive a moiety (of the fee), the next (four) one half of that, the set entitled to
a third share, one third, and those entitled to a fourth a quarter.
211. By the application of these principles the allotment of shares must be made among
those men who here (below) perform their work conjointly.
212. Should money be given (or promised) for a pious purpose by one man to another who
asks for it, the gift shall be void, if the (money is) afterwards not (used) in the manner
213. But if the (recipient) through pride or greed tries to enforce (the fulfilment of
the promise), he shall be compelled by the king to pay one suvarna as an expiation for his
214. Thus the lawful subtraction of a gift has been fully explained; I will next
propound (the law for) the non-payment of wages.
215. A hired (servant or workman) who, without being ill, out of pride fails to perform
his work according to the agreement, shall be fined eight krishnalas and no wages shall be
paid to him.
216. But (if he is really) ill, (and) after recovery performs (his work) according to
the original agreement, he shall receive his wages even after (the lapse of) a very long
217. But if he, whether sick or well, does not (perform or) cause to be performed (by
others) his work according to his agreement, the wages for that work shall not be given to
him, even (if it be only) slightly incomplete.
218. Thus the law for the non-payment of wages has been completely stated; I will next
explain the law concerning men who break an agreement.
219. If a man belonging to a corporation inhabiting a village or a district, after
swearing to an agreement, breaks it through avarice, (the king) shall banish him from his
220. And having imprisoned such a breaker of an agreement, he shall compel him to pay
six nishkas, (each of) four suvarnas, and one satamana of silver.
221. A righteous king shall apply this law of fines in villages and castes (gati) to
those who break an agreement.
222. If anybody in this (world), after buying or selling anything, repent (of his
bargain), he may return or take (back) that chattel within ten days.
223. But after (the lapse of) ten days he may neither give nor cause it to be given
(back); both he who takes it (back) and he who gives it (back, except by consent) shall be
fined by the king six hundred (panas).
224. But the king himself shall impose a fine of ninety-six panas on him who gives a
blemished damsel (to a suitor) without informing (him of the blemish).
225. But that man who, out of malice, says of a maiden, 'She is not a maiden,' shall be
fined one hundred (panas), if he cannot prove her blemish.
226. The nuptial texts are applied solely to virgins, (and) nowhere among men to
females who have lost their virginity, for such (females) are excluded from religious
227. The nuptial texts are a certain proof (that a maiden has been made a lawful) wife;
but the learned should know that they (and the marriage ceremony are complete with the
seventh step (of the bride around the sacred fire).
228. If anybody in this (world) repent of any completed transaction, (the king) shall
keep him on the road of rectitude in accordance with the rules given above.
229. I will fully declare in accordance with the true law (the rules concerning) the
disputes, (arising) from the transgressions of owners of cattle and of herdsmen.
230. During the day the responsibility for the safety (of the cattle rests) on the
herdsman, during the night on the owner, (provided they are) in his house; (if it be)
otherwise, the herdsman will be responsible (for them also during the night).
231. A hired herdsman who is paid with milk, may milk with the consent of the owner the
best (cow) out of ten; such shall be his hire if no (other) wages (are paid).
232. The herdsman alone shall make good (the loss of a beast) strayed, destroyed by
worms, killed by dogs or (by falling) into a pit, if he did not duly exert himself (to
233. But for (an animal) stolen by thieves, though he raised an alarm, the herdsman
shall not pay, provided he gives notice to his master at the proper place and time.
234. If cattle die, let him carry to his master their ears, skin, tails, bladders,
tendons, and the yellow concrete bile, and let him point out their particular. marks.
235. But if goats or sheep are surrounded by wolves and the herdsman does not hasten
(to their assistance), lie shall be responsible for any (animal) which a wolf may attack
236. But if they, kept in (proper) order, graze together in the forest, and a wolf,
suddenly jumping on one of them, kills it, the herdsman shall bear in that case no
237. On all sides of a village a space, one hundred dhanus or three samya-throws (in
breadth), shall be reserved (for pasture), and thrice (that space) round a town.
238. If the cattle do damage to unfenced crops on that (common), the king shall in that
case not punish the herdsmen.
239. (The owner of the field) shall make there a hedge over which a camel cannot look,
and stop every gap through which a dog or a boar can thrust his head.
240. (If cattle do mischief) in an enclosed field near a highway or near a village, the
herdsman shall be fined one hundred (panas); (but cattle), unattended by a herdsman, (the
watchman in the field) shall drive away.
241. (For damage) in other fields (each head of) cattle shall (pay a fine of one (pana)
and a quarter, and in all (cases the value of) the crop (destroyed) shall be made good to
the owner of the field; that is the settled rule.
242. But Manu has declared that no fine shall be paid for (damage done by) a cow within
ten days after her calving, by bulls and by cattle sacred to the gods, whether they are
attended by a herdsman or not.
243. If (the crops are destroyed by) the husbandman's (own) fault, the fine shall
amount to ten times as much as (the king's) share; but the fine (shall be) only half that
amount if (the fault lay) with the servants and the farmer had no knowledge of it.
244. To these rules a righteous king shall keep in (all cases of) transgressions by
masters, their cattle, and herdsmen.
245. If a dispute has arisen between two villages concerning a boundary, the king shall
settle the limits in the month of Gyaishtha, when the landmarks are most distinctly
246. Let him mark the boundaries (by) trees, (e.g.) Nyagrodhas, Asvatthas, Kimsukas,
cotton-trees, Salas, Palmyra palms, and trees with milky juice,
247. By clustering shrubs, bamboos of different kinds, Samis, creepers and raised
mounds, reeds, thickets of Kubgaka; thus the boundary will not be forgotten.
248. Tanks, wells, cisterns, and fountains should be built where boundaries meet, as
well as temples,
249. And as he will see that through men's ignorance of the boundaries trespasses
constantly occur in the world, let him cause to be made other hidden marks for boundaries,
250. Stones, bones, cow's hair, chaff, ashes, potsherds, dry cowdung, bricks, cinders,
pebbles, and sand,
251. And whatever other things of a similar kind the earth does not corrode even after
a long time, those he should cause to be buried where one boundary joins (the other).
252. By these signs, by long continued possession, and by constantly flowing streams of
water the king shall ascertain the boundary (of the land) of two disputing parties.
253. If there be a doubt even on inspection of the marks, the settlement of a dispute
regarding boundaries shall depend on witnesses.
254. The witnesses, (giving evidence) regarding a boundary, shall be examined
concerning the landmarks in the presence of the crowd of the villagers and also of the two
255. As they, being questioned, unanimously decide, even so he shall record the
boundary (in writing), together with their names.
256. Let them, putting earth on their heads, wearing chaplets (of red flowers) and red
dresses, being sworn each by (the rewards for) his meritorious deeds, settle (the
boundary) in accordance with the truth.
257. If they determine (the boundary) in the manner stated, they are guiltless (being)
veracious witnesses; but if they determine it unjustly, they shall be compelled to pay a
fine of two hundred (panas).
258. On failure of witnesses (from the two villages, men of) the four neighbouring
villages, who are pure, shall make (as witnesses) a decision concerning the boundary in
the presence of the king.
259. On failure of neighbours (who are) original inhabitants (of the country and can
be) witnesses with respect to the boundary, (the king) may hear the evidence even of the
following inhabitants of the forest.
260. (Viz.) hunters, fowlers, herdsmen, fishermen, root-diggers, snake-catchers,
gleaners, and other foresters.
261. As they, being examined, declare the marks for the meeting of the boundaries (to
be), even so the king shall justly cause them to be fixed between the two villages.
262. The decision concerning the boundary-marks of fields, wells, tanks, of gardens and
houses depends upon (the evidence of) the neighbours.
263. Should the neighbours give false evidence, when men dispute about a boundary-mark,
the king shall make each of them pay the middlemost amercement as a fine.
264. He who by intimidation possesses himself of a house, a tank, a garden, or a field,
shall be fined five hundred (panas); (if he trespassed) through ignorance, the fine (shall
be) two hundred (panas).
265. If the boundary cannot be ascertained (by any evidence), let a righteous king with
(the intention of) benefiting them (all), himself assign (his) land (to each); that is the
266. Thus the law for deciding boundary (disputes) has been fully declared, I will next
propound the (manner of) deciding (cases of) defamation.
267. A Kshatriya, having defamed a Brahmana, shall be fined one hundred (panas); a
Vaisya one hundred and fifty or two hundred; a Sudra shall suffer corporal punishment.
268. A Brahmana shall be fined fifty (panas) for defaming a Kshatriya; in (the case of)
a Vaisya the fine shall be twenty-five (panas); in (the case of) a Sudra twelve.
269. For offences of twice-born men against those of equal caste (varna, the fine shall
be) also twelve (panas); for speeches which ought not to be uttered, that (and every fine
shall be) double.
270. A once-born man (a Sudra), who insults a twice-born man with gross invective,
shall have his tongue cut out; for he is of low origin.
271. If he mentions the names and castes (gati) of the (twice-born) with contumely, an
iron nail, ten fingers long, shall be thrust red-hot into his mouth.
272. If he arrogantly teaches Brahmanas their duty, the king shall cause hot oil to be
poured into his mouth and into his ears.
273. He who through arrogance makes false statements regarding the learning (of a
caste-fellow), his country, his caste (gati), or the rites by which his body was
sanctified, shall be compelled to pay a fine of two hundred (panas).
274. He who even in accordance with the true facts (contemptuously) calls another man
one-eyed, lame, or the like (names), shall be fined at least one karshapana.
275. He who defames his mother, his father, his wife, his brother, his son, or his
teacher, and he who gives not the way to his preceptor, shall be compelled to pay one
276. (For mutual abuse) by a Brahmana and a Kshatriya a fine must be imposed by a
discerning (king), on the Brahmana the lowest amercement, but on the Kshatriya the
277. A Vaisya and a Sudra must be punished exactly in the same manner according to
their respective castes, but the tongue (of the Sudra) shall not be cut out; that is the
278. Thus the rules for punishments (applicable to cases) of defamation have been truly
declared; I will next propound the decision (of cases) of assault.
279. With whatever limb a man of a low caste does hurt to (a man of the three) highest
(castes), even that limb shall be cut off; that is the teaching of Manu.
280. He who raises his hand or a stick, shall have his hand cut off; he who in anger
kicks with his foot, shall have his foot cut off.
281. A low-caste man who tries to place himself on the same seat with a man of a high
caste, shall be branded on his hip and be banished, or (the king) shall cause his buttock
to be gashed.
282. If out of arrogance he spits (on a superior), the king shall cause both his lips
to be cut off; if he urines (on him), the penis; if he breaks wind (against him), the
283. If he lays hold of the hair (of a superior), let the (king) unhesitatingly cut off
his hands, likewise (if he takes him) by the feet, the beard, the neck, or the scrotum.
284. He who breaks the skin (of an equal) or fetches blood (from him) shall be fined
one hundred (panas), he who cuts a muscle six nishkas, he who breaks a bone shall be
285. According to the usefulness of the several (kinds of) trees a fine must be
inflicted for injuring them; that is the settled rule.
286. If a blow is struck against men or animals in order to (give them) pain, (the
judge) shall inflict a fine in proportion to the amount of pain (caused).
287. If a limb is injured, a wound (is caused), or blood (flows, the assailant) shall
be made to pay (to the sufferer) the expenses of the cure, or the whole (both the usual
amercement and the expenses of the cure as a) fine (to the king).
288. He who damages the goods of another, be it intentionally or unintentionally, shall
give satisfaction to the (owner) and pay to the king a fine equal to the (damage).
289. In the case of (damage done to) leather, or to utensils of leather, of wood, or of
clay, the fine (shall be) five times their value; likewise in the case of (damage to)
flowers, roots, and fruit.
290. They declare with respect to a carriage, its driver and its owner, (that there
are) ten cases in which no punishment (for damage done) can be inflicted; in other cases a
fine is prescribed.
291. When the nose-string is snapped, when the yoke is broken, when the carriage turns
sideways or back, when the axle or a wheel is broken,
292. When the leather-thongs, the rope around the neck or the bridle are broken, and
when (the driver) has loudly called out, 'Make way,' Manu has declared (that in all these
cases) no punishment (shall be inflicted).
293. But if the cart turns off (the road) through the driver's want of skill, the owner
shall be fined, if damage (is done), two hundred (panas).
294. If the driver is skilful (but negligent), he alone shall be fined; if the driver
is unskilful, the occupants of the carriage (also) shall be each fined one hundred
295. But if he is stopped on his way by cattle or by (another) carriage, and he causes
the death of any living being, a fine shall without doubt be imposed.
296. If a man is killed, his guilt will be at once the same as (that of) a thief; for
large animals such as cows, elephants, camels or horses, half of that.
297. For injuring small cattle the fine (shall be) two hundred (panas); the fine for
beautiful wild quadrupeds and birds shall amount to fifty (panas).
298. For donkeys, sheep, and goats the fine shall be five mashas; but the punishment
for killing a dog or a pig shall be one masha.
299. A wife, a son, a slave, a pupil, and a (younger) brother of the full blood, who
have committed faults, may be beaten with a rope or a split bamboo,
300. But on the back part of the body (only), never on a noble part; he who strikes
them otherwise will incur the same guilt as a thief.
301. Thus the whole law of assault (and hurt) has been declared completely; I will now
explain the rules for the decision (in cases) of theft.
302. Let the king exert himself to the utmost to punish thieves; for, if he punishes
thieves, his fame grows and his kingdom prospers.
303. That king, indeed, is ever worthy of honour who ensures the safety (of his
subjects); for the sacrificial session (sattra, which he, as it were, performs thereby)
ever grows in length, the safety (of his subjects representing) the sacrificial fee.
304. A king who (duly) protects (his subjects) receives from each and all the sixth
part of their spiritual merit; if he does not protect them, the sixth part of their
demerit also (will fall on him).
305. Whatever (merit a man gains by) reading the Veda, by sacrificing, by charitable
gifts, (or by) worshipping (Gurus and gods), the king obtains a sixth part of that in
consequence of his duly protecting (his kingdom).
306. A king who protects the created beings in accordance with the sacred law and
smites those worthy of corporal punishment, daily offers (as it were) sacrifices at which
hundred thousands (are given as) fees.
307. A king who does not afford protection, (yet) takes his share in kind, his taxes,
tolls and duties, daily presents and fines, will (after death) soon sink into hell.
308. They declare that a king who affords no protection, (yet) receives the sixth part
of the produce, takes upon himself all the foulness of his whole people.
309. Know that a king who heeds not the rules (of the law), who is an atheist, and
rapacious, who does not protect (his subjects, but) devours them, will sink low (after
310. Let him carefully restrain the wicked by three methods,- by imprisonment by
putting them in fetters, and by various (kinds of) corporal punishments.
311. For by punishing the wicked and by favouring the virtuous, kings are constantly
sanctified, just as twice-born men by sacrifices.
312. A king who desires his own welfare must always forgive litigants, infants, aged
and sick men, who inveigh against him.
313. He who, being abused by men in pain, pardons (them), will in reward of that (act)
be exalted in heaven; but he who, (proud) of his kingly state, forgives them not, will for
that (reason) sink into hell.
314. A thief shall, running, approach the king, with flying hair, confessing that theft
(and saying), 'Thus have I done, punish me;'
315. (And he must) carry on his shoulder a pestle, or a club of Khadira wood, or a
spear sharp at both ends, or an iron staff.
316. Whether he be punished or pardoned, the thief is freed from the (guilt of) theft;
but the king, if he punishes not, takes upon himself the guilt of the thief.
317. The killer of a learned Brahmana throws his guilt on him who eats his food, an
adulterous wife on her (negligent) husband, a (sinning) pupil or sacrificer on (their
negligent) teacher (or priest), a thief on the king (who pardons him).
318. But men who have committed crimes and have been punished by the king, go to
heaven, being pure like those who performed meritorious deeds.
319. He who steals the rope or the water-pot from a well, or damages a hut where water
is distributed, shall pay one masha as a fine and restore the (article abstracted or
damaged) in its (proper place).
320. On him who steals more than ten kumbhas of grain corporal punishment (shall be
inflicted); in other cases he shall be fined eleven times as much, and shall pay to the
(owner the value of his) property.
321. So shall corporal punishment be inflicted for stealing more than a hundred (palas)
of articles sold by the weight, (i.e.) of gold, silver, and so forth, and of most
322. For (stealing) more than fifty (palas) it is enacted that the hands (of the
offender) shall be cut off; but in other cases, let him inflict a fine of eleven times the
323. For stealing men of noble family and especially women and the most precious gems,
(the offender) deserves corporal (or capital) punishment.
324. For stealing large animals, weapons, or medicines, let the king fix a punishment,
after considering the time and the purpose (for which they were destined).
325. For (stealing) cows belonging to Brahmanas, piercing (the nostrils of) a barren
cow, and for stealing (other) cattle (belonging to Brahmanas, the offender) shall
forthwith lose half his feet.
326. (For stealing) thread, cotton, drugs causing fermentation, cowdung, molasses, sour
milk, sweet milk, butter-milk, water, or grass,
327. Vessels made of bamboo or other cane, salt of various kinds, earthen (vessels),
earth and ashes,
328. Fish, birds, oil, clarified butter, meat, honey, and other things that come from
329. Or other things of a similar kind, spirituous liquor, boiled rice, and every kind
of cooked food, the fine (shall be) twice the value (of the stolen article).
330. For flowers, green corn, shrubs, creepers, trees, and other unhusked (grain) the
fine (shall be) five krishnalas.
331. For husked grain, vegetables, roots, and fruit the fine (shall be) one hundred
(panas) if there is no connexion (between the owner and the thief), fifty (panas) if such
a connexion exists.
332. An offence (of this description), which is committed in the presence (of the
owner) and with violence, will be robbery; if (it is committed) in his absence, it will be
theft; likewise if (the possession of) anything is denied after it has been taken.
333. On that man who may steal (any of) the above-mentioned articles, when they are
prepared for (use), let the king inflict the first (or lowest) amercement; likewise on him
who may steal (a sacred) fire out of the room (in which it is kept).
334. With whatever limb a thief in any way commits (an offence) against men, even of
that (the king) shall deprive him in order to prevent (a repetition of the crime).
335. Neither a father, nor a teacher, nor a friend, nor a mother, nor a wife, nor a
son, nor a domestic priest must be left unpunished by a king, if they do not keep within
336. Where another common man would be fined one karshapana, the king shall be fined
one thousand; that is the settled rule.
337. In (a case of) theft the guilt of a Sudra shall be eightfold, that of a Vaisya
sixteenfold, that of a Kshatriya two-and-thirtyfold,
338. That of a Brahmana sixty-fourfold, or quite a hundredfold, or (even) twice
four-and-sixtyfold; (each of them) knowing the nature of the offence.
339. (The taking of) roots and of fruit from trees, of wood for a (sacrificial) fire,
and of grass for feeding cows, Manu has declared (to be) no theft.
340. A Brahmana, seeking to obtain property from a man who took what was not given to
him, either by sacrificing for him or by teaching him, is even like a thief.
341. A twice-born man, who is travelling and whose provisions are exhausted, shall not
be fined, if he takes two stalks of sugar-cane or two (esculent) roots from the field of
342. He who ties up unbound or sets free tied up (cattle of other men), he who takes a
slave, a horse, or a carriage will have incurred the guilt of a thief.
343. A king who punishes thieves according to these rules, will gain fame in this world
and after death unsurpassable bliss.
344. A king who desires to gain the throne of Indra and imperishable eternal fame,
shall not, even for a moment, neglect (to punish) the man who commits violence.
345. He who commits violence must be considered as the worst offender, (more wicked)
than a defamer, than a thief, and than he who injures (another) with a staff.
346. But that king who pardons the perpetrator of violence quickly perishes and incurs
347. Neither for friendship's sake, nor for the sake of great lucre, must a king let go
perpetrators of violence, who cause terror to all creatures.
348. Twice-born men may take up arms when (they are) hindered (in the fulfilment of
their duties, when destruction (threatens) the twice-born castes (varna) in (evil) times,
349. In their own defence, in a strife for the fees of officiating priests, and in
order to protect women and Brahmanas; he who (under such circumstances) kills in the cause
of right, commits no sin.
350. One may slay without hesitation an assassin who approaches (with murderous
intent), whether (he be one's) teacher, a child or an aged man, or a Brahmana deeply
versed in the Vedas.
351. By killing an assassin the slayer incurs no guilt, whether (he does it) publicly
or secretly; in that case fury recoils upon fury.
352. Men who commit adultery with the wives of others, the king shall cause to be
marked by punishments which cause terror, and afterwards banish.
353. For by (adultery) is caused a mixture of the castes (varna) among men; thence
(follows) sin, which cuts up even the roots and causes the destruction of everything.
354. A man formerly accused of (such) offences, who secretly converses with another
man's wife, shall pay the first (or lowest) amercement.
355. But a man, not before accused, who (thus) speaks with (a woman) for some
(reasonable) cause, shall not incur any guilt, since in him there is no transgression.
356. He who addresses the wife of another man at a Tirtha, outside the village, in a
forest, or at the confluence of rivers, suffer (the punishment for) adulterous acts
357. Offering presents (to a woman), romping (with her), touching her ornaments and
dress, sitting with her on a bed, all (these acts) are considered adulterous acts
358. If one touches a woman in a place (which ought) not (to be touched) or allows
(oneself to be touched in such a spot), all (such acts done) with mutual consent are
declared (to be) adulterous (samgrahana).
359. A man who is not a Brahmana ought to suffer death for adultery (samgrahana); for
the wives of all the four castes even must always be carefully guarded.
360. Mendicants, bards, men who have performed the initiatory ceremony of a Vedic
sacrifice, and artisans are not prohibited from speaking to married women.
361. Let no man converse with the wives of others after he has been forbidden (to do
so); but he who converses (with them), in spite of a prohibition, shall be fined one
362. This rule does not apply to the wives of actors and singers, nor (of) those who
live on (the intrigues of) their own (wives); for such men send their wives (to others)
or, concealing themselves, allow them to hold criminal intercourse.
363. Yet he who secretly converses with such women, or with female slaves kept by one
(master), and with female ascetics, shall be compelled to pay a small fine.
364. He who violates an unwilling maiden shall instantly suffer corporal punishment;
but a man who enjoys a willing maiden shall not suffer corporal punishment, if (his caste
be) the same (as hers).
365. From a maiden who makes advances to a (man of) high (caste), he shall not take any
fine; but her, who courts a (man of) low (caste), let him force to live confined in her
366. A (man of) low (caste) who makes love to a maiden (of) the highest (caste) shall
suffer corporal punishment; he who addresses a maiden (on) equal (caste) shall pay the
nuptial fee, if her father desires it.
367. But if any man through insolence forcibly contaminates a maiden, two of his
fingers shall be instantly cut off, and he shall pay a fine of six hundred (panas).
368. A man (of) equal (caste) who defiles a willing maiden shall not suffer the
amputation of his fingers, but shall pay a fine of two hundred (panas) in order to deter
him from a repetition (of the offence).
369. A damsel who pollutes (another) damsel must be fined two hundred (panas), pay the
double of her (nuptial) fee, and receive ten (lashes with a) rod.
370. But a woman who pollutes a damsel shall instantly have (her head) shaved or two
fingers cut off, and be made to ride (through the town) on a donkey.
371. If a wife, proud of the greatness of her relatives or (her own) excellence,
violates the duty which she owes to her lord, the king shall cause her to be devoured by
dogs in a place frequented by many.
372. Let him cause the male offender to be burnt on a red-hot iron bed; they shall put
logs under it, (until) the sinner is burned (to death).
373. On a man (once) convicted, who is (again) accused within a year, a double fine
(must be inflicted); even thus (must the fine be doubled) for (repeated) intercourse with
a Vratya and a Kandali.
374. A Sudra who has intercourse with a woman of a twice-born caste (varna), guarded or
unguarded, (shall be punished in the following manner): if she was unguarded, he loses the
part (offending) and all his property; if she was guarded, everything (even his life).
375. (For intercourse with a guarded Brahmana a Vaisya shall forfeit all his property
after imprisonment for a year; a Kshatriya shall be fined one thousand (panas) and be
shaved with the urine (of an ass).
376. If a Vaisya or a Kshatriya has connexion with an unguarded Brahmana, let him fine
the Vaisya five hundred (panas) and the Kshatriya one thousand.
377. But even these two, if they offend with a Brahmani (not only) guarded (but the
wife of an eminent man), shall be punished like a Sudra or be burnt in a fire of dry
378. A Brahmana who carnally knows a guarded Brahmani against her will, shall be fined
one thousand (panas); but he shall be made to pay five hundred, if he had connexion with a
379. Tonsure (of the head) is ordained for a Brahmana (instead of) capital punishment;
but (men of) other castes shall suffer capital punishment.
380. Let him never slay a Brahmana, though he have committed all (possible) crimes; let
him banish such an (offender), leaving all his property (to him) and (his body) unhurt.
381. No greater crime is known on earth than slaying a Brahmana; a king, therefore,
must not even conceive in his mind the thought of killing a Brahmana.
382. If a Vaisya approaches a guarded female of the Kshatriya caste, or a Kshatriya a
(guarded) Vaisya woman, they both deserve the same punishment as in the case of an
unguarded Brahmana female.
383. A Brahmana shall be compelled to pay a fine of one thousand (panas) if he has
intercourse with guarded (females of) those two (castes); for (offending with) a (guarded)
Sudra female a fine of one thousand (panas shall be inflicted) on a Kshatriya or a Vaisya.
384. For (intercourse with) an unguarded Kshatriya a fine of five hundred (panas shall
fall) on a Vaisya; but (for the same offence) a Kshatriya shall be shaved with the urine
(of a donkey) or (pay) the same fine.
385. A Brahmana who approaches unguarded females (of the) Kshatriya or Vaisya (castes),
or a Sudra female, shall be fined five hundred (panas); but (for intercourse with) a
female (of the) lowest (castes), one thousand.
386. That king in whose town lives no thief, no adulterer, no defamer, no man guilty of
violence, and no committer of assaults, attains the world of Sakra (Indra).
387. The suppression of those five in his dominions secures to a king paramount
sovereignty among his peers and fame in the world.
388. A sacrificer who forsakes an officiating priest, and an officiating priest who
forsakes a sacrificer, (each being) able to perform his work and not contaminated (by
grievous crimes), must each be fined one hundred (panas).
389. Neither a mother, nor a father, nor a wife, nor a son shall be cast off; he who
casts them off, unless guilty of a crime causing loss of caste, shall be fined six hundred
390. If twice-born men dispute among each other concerning the duty of the orders, a
king who desires his own welfare should not (hastily) decide (what is) the law.
391. Having shown them due honor, he should, with (the assistance of) Brahmanas, first
soothe them by gentle (speech) and afterwards teach them their duty.
392. A Brahmana who does not invite his next neighbour and his neighbour next but one,
(though) both (he) worthy (of the honour), to a festival at which twenty Brahmanas are
entertained, is liable to a fine of one masha.
393. A Srotriya who does not entertain a virtuous Srotriya at auspicious festive rites,
shall be made to pay him twice (the value of) the meal and a masha of gold (as a fine to
394. A blind man, an idiot, (a cripple) who moves with the help of a board, a man full
seventy years old, and he who confers benefits on Srotriyas, shall not be compelled by any
(king) to pay a tax.
395. Let the king always treat kindly a Srotriya, a sick or distressed man, an infant
and an aged or indigent man, a man of high birth, and an honourable man (Arya).
396. A washerman shall wash (the clothes of his employers) gently on a smooth board of
Salmaliwood he shall not return the clothes (of one person) for those (of another), nor
allow anybody (but the owner) to wear them.
397. A weaver (who has received) ten palas (of thread), shall return (cloth weighing)
one pala more; he who acts differently shall be compelled to pay a fine of twelve (panas).
398. Let the king take one-twentieth of that (amount) which men, well acquainted with
the settlement of tolls and duties (and) skilful in (estimating the value of) all kinds of
merchandise, may fix as the value for each saleable commodity.
399. Let the king confiscate the whole property of (a trader) who out of greed exports
goods of which the king has a monopoly or (the export of which is) forbidden.
400. He who avoids a custom-house (or a toll), he who buys or sells at an improper
time, or he who makes a false statement in enumerating (his goods), shall be fined eight
times (the amount of duty) which he tried to evade.
401. Let (the king) fix (the rates for) the purchase and sale of all marketable goods,
having (duly) considered whence they come, whither they go, how long they have been kept,
the (probable) profit and the (probable) outlay.
402. Once in five nights, or at the close of each fortnight, let the king publicly
settle the prices for the (merchants).
403. All weights and measures must be duly marked, and once in six months let him
404. At a ferry an (empty) cart shall be made to pay one pana, a man's (load) half a
pana, an animal and a woman one quarter of a (pana), an unloaded man one-half of a
405. Carts (laden) with vessels full (of merchandise) shall be made to pay toll at a
ferry according to the value (of the goods), empty vessels and men without luggage some
406. For a long passage the boat-hire must be proportioned to the places and times;
know that this (rule refers) to (passages along) the banks of rivers; at sea there is no
407. But a woman who has been pregnant two months or more, an ascetic, a hermit in the
forest, and Brahmanas who are students of the Veda, shall not be made to pay toll at a
408. Whatever may be damaged in a boat by the fault of the boatmen, that shall be made
good by the boatmen collectively, (each paying) his share.
409. This decision in suits (brought) by passengers (holds good only) in case the
boatmen are culpably negligent on the water; in the case of (an accident) caused by (the
will of) the gods, no fine can be (inflicted on them).
410. (The king) should order a Vaisya to trade, to lend money, to cultivate the land,
or to tend cattle, and a Sudra to serve the twice-born castes
411. (Some wealthy) Brahmana shall compassionately support both a Kshatriya and a
Vaisya, if they are distressed for a livelihood, employing them on work (which is suitable
for) their (castes).
412. But a Brahmana who, because he is powerful, out of greed makes initiated (men of
the) twice-born (castes) against their will do the work of slaves, shall be fined by the
king six hundred (panas).
413. But a Sudra, whether bought or unbought, he may compel to do servile work; for he
was created by the Self-existent (Svayambhu) to be the slave of a Brahmana.
414. A Sudra, though emancipated by his master, is not released from servitude; since
that is innate in him, who can set him free from it?
415. There are slaves of seven kinds, (viz.) he who is made a captive under a standard,
he who serves for his daily food, he who is born in the house, he who is bought and he who
is given, he who is inherited from ancestors, and he who is enslaved by way of punishment.
416. A wife, a son, and a slave, these three are declared to have no property; the
wealth which they earn is (acquired) for him to whom they belong.
417. A Brahmana may confidently seize the goods of (his) Sudra (slave); for, as that
(slave) can have no property, his master may take his possessions.
418. (The king) should carefully compel Vaisyas and Sudra to perform the work
(prescribed) for them; for if these two (castes) swerved from their duties, they would
throw this (whole) world into confusion.
419. Let him daily look after the completion of his undertakings, his beasts of burden,
and carriages, (the collection of) his revenues and the disbursements, his mines and his
420. A king who thus brings to a conclusion. all the legal business enumerated above,
and removes all sin, reaches the highest state (of bliss).
1. I will now propound the eternal laws for a husband and his wife who keep to the path
of duty, whether they be united or separated.
2. Day and night woman must be kept in dependence by the males (of) their (families),
and, if they attach themselves to sensual enjoyments, they must be kept under one's
3. Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her
sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.
4. Reprehensible is the father who gives not (his daughter in marriage) at the proper
time; reprehensible is the husband who approaches not (his wife in due season), and
reprehensible is the son who does not protect his mother after her husband has died.
5. Women must particularly be guarded against evil inclinations, however trifling (they
may appear); for, if they are not guarded, they will bring sorrow on two families.
6. Considering that the highest duty of all castes, even weak husbands (must) strive to
guard their wives.
7. He who carefully guards his wife, preserves (the purity of) his offspring, virtuous
conduct, his family, himself, and his (means of acquiring) merit.
8. The husband, after conception by his wife, becomes an embryo and is born again of
her; for that is the wifehood of a wife (gaya), that he is born (gayate) again by her.
9. As the male is to whom a wife cleaves, even so is the son whom she brings forth; let
him therefore carefully guard his wife, in order to keep his offspring pure.
10. No man can completely guard women by force; but they can be guarded by the
employment of the (following) expedients:
11. Let the (husband) employ his (wife) in the collection and expenditure of his
wealth, in keeping (everything) clean, in (the fulfilment of) religious duties, in the
preparation of his food, and in looking after the household utensils.
12. Women, confined in the house under trustworthy and obedient servants, are not
(well) guarded; but those who of their own accord keep guard over themselves, are well
13. Drinking (spirituous liquor), associating with wicked people, separation from the
husband, rambling abroad, sleeping (at unseasonable hours), and dwelling in other men's
houses, are the six causes of the ruin of women.
14. Women do not care for beauty, nor is their attention fixed on age; (thinking), '(It
is enough that) he is a man,' they give themselves to the handsome and to the ugly.
15. Through their passion for men, through their mutable temper, through their natural
heartlessness, they become disloyal towards their husbands, however carefully they may be
guarded in this (world).
16. Knowing their disposition, which the Lord of creatures laid in them at the
creation, to be such, (every) man should most strenuously exert himself to guard them.
17. (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat
and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.
18. For women no (sacramental) rite (is performed) with sacred texts, thus the law is
settled; women (who are) destitute of strength and destitute of (the knowledge of) Vedic
texts, (are as impure as) falsehood (itself), that is a fixed rule.
19. And to this effect many sacred texts are sung also in the Vedas, in order to (make)
fully known the true disposition (of women); hear (now those texts which refer to) the
expiation of their (sins).
20. 'If my mother, going astray and unfaithful, conceived illicit desires, may my
father keep that seed from me,' that is the scriptural text.
21. If a woman thinks in her heart of anything that would pain her husband, the
(above-mentioned text) is declared (to be a means for) completely removing such
22. Whatever be the qualities of the man with whom a woman is united according to the
law, such qualities even she assumes, like a river (united) with the ocean.
23. Akshamala, a woman of the lowest birth, being united to Vasishtha and Sarangi,
(being united) to Mandapala, became worthy of honour.
24. These and other females of low birth have attained eminence in this world by the
respective good qualities of their husbands.
25. Thus has been declared the ever pure popular usage (which regulates the relations)
between husband and wife; hear (next) the laws concerning children which are the cause of
happiness in this world and after death.
26. Between wives (striyah) who (are destined) to bear children, who secure many
blessings, who are worthy of worship and irradiate (their) dwellings, and between the
goddesses of fortune (sriyah, who reside) in the houses (of men), there is no difference
27. The production of children, the nurture of those born, and the daily life of men,
(of these matters) woman is visibly the cause.
28. Offspring, (the due performance on religious rites, faithful service, highest
conjugal happiness and heavenly bliss for the ancestors and oneself, depend on one's wife
29. She who, controlling her thoughts, speech, and acts, violates not her duty towards
her lord, dwells with him (after death) in heaven, and in this world is called by the
virtuous a faithful (wife, sadhvi)
30. But for disloyalty to her husband a wife is censured among men, and (in her next
life) she is born in the womb of a jackal and tormented by diseases, the punishment of her
31. Listen (now) to the following holy discussion, salutary to all men, which the
virtuous (of the present day) and the ancient great sages have held concerning male
32. They (all) say that the male issue (of a woman) belongs to the lord, but with
respect to the (meaning of the term) lord the revealed texts differ; some call the
begetter (of the child the lord), others declare (that it is) the owner of the soil.
33. By the sacred tradition the woman is declared to be the soil, the man is declared
to be the seed; the production of all corporeal beings (takes place) through the union of
the soil with the seed.
34. In some cases the seed is more distinguished, and in some the womb of the female;
but when both are equal, the offspring is most highly esteemed.
35. On comparing the seed and the receptacle (of the seed), the seed is declared to be
more important; for the offspring of all created beings is marked by the characteristics
of the seed.
36. Whatever (kind on seed is sown in a field, prepared in due season, (a plant) of
that same kind, marked with the peculiar qualities of the seed, springs up in it.
37. This earth, indeed, is called the primeval womb of created beings; but the seed
develops not in its development any properties of the womb.
38. In this world seeds of different kinds, sown at the proper time in the land, even
in one field, come forth (each) according to its kind.
39. The rice (called) vrihi and (that called) sali, mudga-beans, sesamum, masha-beans,
barley, leeks, and sugar-cane, (all) spring up according to their seed.
40. That one (plant) should be sown and another be produced cannot happen; whatever
seed is sown, (a plant of) that kind even comes forth.
41. Never therefore must a prudent well-trained man, who knows the Veda and its Angas
and desires long life, cohabit with another's wife.
42. With respect to this (matter), those acquainted with the past recite some stanzas,
sung by Vayu (the Wind, to show) that seed must not be sown by (any) man on that which
belongs to another.
43. As the arrow, shot by (a hunter) who afterwards hits a wounded (deer) in the wound
(made by another), is shot in vain, even so the seed, sown on what belongs to another, is
quickly lost (to the sower).
44. (Sages) who know the past call this earth (prithivi) even the wife of Prithu; they
declare a field to belong to him who cleared away the timber, and a deer to him who
(first) wounded it.
45. He only is a perfect man who consists (of three persons united), his wife, himself,
and his offspring; thus (says the Veda), and (learned) Brahmanas propound this (maxim)
likewise, 'The husband is declared to be one with the wife.'
46. Neither by sale nor by repudiation is a wife released from her husband; such we
know the law to be, which the Lord of creatures (Pragapati) made of old.
47. Once is the partition (of the inheritance) made, (once is) a maiden given in
marriage, (and) once does (a man) say,' I will give;' each of those three (acts is done)
48. As with cows, mares, female camels, slave-girls, buffalo-cows, she-goats, and ewes,
it is not the begetter (or his owner) who obtains the offspring, even thus (it is) with
the wives of others.
49. Those who, having no property in a field, but possessing seed-corn, sow it in
another's soil, do indeed not receive the grain of the crop which may spring up.
50. If (one man's) bull were to beget a hundred calves on another man's cows, they
would belong to the owner of the cows; in vain would the bull have spent his strength.
51. Thus men who have no marital property in women, but sow their seed in the soil of
others, benefit the owner of the woman; but the giver of the seed reaps no advantage.
52. If no agreement with respect to the crop has been made between the owner of the
field and the owner of the seed, the benefit clearly belongs to the owner of the field;
the receptacle is more important than the seed.
53. But if by a special contract (a field) is made over (to another) for sowing, then
the owner of the seed and the owner of the soil are both considered in this world as
sharers of the (crop).
54. If seed be carried by water or wind into somebody's field and germinates (there),
the (plant sprung from that) seed belongs even to the owner of the field, the owner of the
seed does not receive the crop.
55. Know that such is the law concerning the offspring of cows, mares, slave-girls,
female camels, she-goats, and ewes, as well as of females of birds and buffalo-cows.
56. Thus the comparative importance of the seed and of the womb has been declared to
you; I will next propound the law (applicable) to women in times of misfortune.
57. The wife of an elder brother is for his younger (brother) the wife of a Guru; but
the wife of the younger is declared (to be) the daughter-in-law of the elder.
58. An elder (brother) who approaches the wife of the younger, and a younger (brother
who approaches) the wife of the elder, except in times of misfortune, both become
outcasts, even though (they were duly) authorised.
59. On failure of issue (by her husband) a woman who has been authorised, may obtain,
(in the) proper (manner prescribed), the desired offspring by (cohabitation with) a
brother-in-law or (with some other) Sapinda (of the husband).
60. He (who is) appointed to (cohabit with) the widow shall (approach her) at night
anointed with clarified butter and silent, (and) beget one son, by no means a second.
61. Some (sages), versed in the law, considering the purpose of the appointment not to
have been attained by those two (on the birth of the first), think that a second (son) may
be lawfully procreated on (such) women.
62. But when the purpose of the appointment to (cohabit with) the widow bas been
attained in accordance with the law, those two shall behave towards each other like a
father and a daughter-in-law.
63. If those two (being thus) appointed deviate from the rule and act from carnal
desire, they will both become outcasts, (as men) who defile the bed of a daughter-in-law
or of a Guru.
64. By twice-born men a widow must not be appointed to (cohabit with) any other (than
her husband); for they who appoint (her) to another (man), will violate the eternal law.
65. In the sacred texts which refer to marriage the appointment (of widows) is nowhere
mentioned, nor is the re-marriage of widows prescribed in the rules concerning marriage.
66. This practice which is reprehended by the learned of the twice-born castes as fit
for cattle is said (to have occurred) even among men, while Vena ruled.
67. That chief of royal sages who formerly possessed the whole world, caused a
confusion of the castes (varna), his intellect being destroyed by lust.
68. Since that (time) the virtuous censure that (man) who in his folly appoints a
woman, whose husband died, to (bear) children (to another man).
69. If the (future) husband of a maiden dies after troth verbally plighted, her
brother-in-law shall wed her according to the following rule.
70. Having, according to the rule, espoused her (who must be) clad in white garments
and be intent on purity, he shall approach her once in each proper season until issue (be
71. Let no prudent man, after giving his daughter to one (man), give her again to
another; for he who gives (his daughter) whom he had before given, incurs (the guilt of)
speaking falsely regarding a human being.
72. Though (a man) may have accepted a damsel in due form, he may abandon (her if she
be) blemished, diseased, or deflowered, and (if she have been) given with fraud.
73. If anybody gives away a maiden possessing blemishes without declaring them, (the
bridegroom) may annul that (contract) with the evil-minded giver.
74. A man who has business (abroad) may depart after securing a maintenance for his
wife; for a wife, even though virtuous, may be corrupted if she be distressed by want of
75. If (the husband) went on a journey after providing (for her), the wife shall
subject herself to restraints in her daily life; but if he departed without providing (for
her), she may subsist by blameless manual work.
76. If the husband went abroad for some sacred duty, (she) must wait for him eight
years, if (he went) to (acquire) learning or fame six (years), if (he went) for pleasure
77. For one year let a husband bear with a wife who hates him; but after (the lapse of)
a year let him deprive her of her property and cease to cohabit with her.
78. She who shows disrespect to (a husband) who is addicted to (some evil) passion, is
a drunkard, or diseased, shall be deserted for three months (and be) deprived of her
ornaments and furniture.
79. But she who shows aversion towards a mad or outcast (husband), a eunuch, one
destitute of manly strength, or one afflicted with such diseases as punish crimes, shall
neither be cast off nor be deprived of her property.
80. She who drinks spirituous liquor, is of bad conduct, rebellious, diseased,
mischievous, or wasteful, may at any time be superseded (by another wife).
81. A barren wife may be superseded in the eighth year, she whose children (all) die in
the tenth, she who bears only daughters in the eleventh, but she who is quarrelsome
82. But a sick wife who is kind (to her husband) and virtuous in her conduct, may be
superseded (only) with her own consent and must never be disgraced.
83. A wife who, being superseded, in anger departs from (her husband's) house, must
either be instantly confined or cast off in the presence of the family.
84. But she who, though having been forbidden, drinks spirituous liquor even at
festivals, or goes to public spectacles or assemblies, shall be fined six krishnalas.
85. If twice-born men wed women of their own and of other (lower castes), the
seniority, honour, and habitation of those (wives) must be (settled) according to the
order of the castes (varna).
86. Among all (twice-born men) the wife of equal caste alone, not a wife of a different
caste by any means, shall personally attend her husband and assist him in his daily sacred
87. But he who foolishly causes that (duty) to be performed by another, while his wife
of equal caste is alive, is declared by the ancients (to be) as (despicable) as a Kandala
(sprung from the) Brahmana (caste).
88. To a distinguished, handsome suitor (of) equal (caste) should (a father) give his
daughter in accordance with the prescribed rule, though she have not attained (the proper
89. (But) the maiden, though marriageable, should rather stop in (the father's) house
until death, than that he should ever give her to a man destitute of good qualities.
90. Three years let a damsel wait, though she be marriageable; but after that time let
her choose for herself a bridegroom (of) equal (caste and rank).
91. If, being not given in marriage, she herself seeks a husband, she incurs no guilt,
nor (does) he whom she weds.
92. A maiden who choses for herself, shall not take with her any ornaments, given by
her father or her mother, or her brothers; if she carries them away, it will be theft.
93. But he who takes (to wife) a marriageable damsel, shall not pay any nuptial fee to
her father; for the (latter) will lose his dominion over her in consequence of his
preventing (the legitimate result of the appearance of) her enemies.
94. A man, aged thirty years, shall marry a maiden of twelve who pleases him, or a man
of twenty-four a girl eight years of age; if (the performance of) his duties would
(otherwise) be impeded, (he must marry) sooner.
95. The husband receives his wife from the gods, (he does not wed her) according to his
own will; doing what is agreeable to the gods, he must always support her (while she is)
96. To be mothers were women created, and to be fathers men; religious rites,
therefore, are ordained in the Veda to be performed (by the husband) together with the
97. If, after the nuptial fee has been paid for a maiden, the giver of the fee dies,
she shall be given in marriage to his brother, in case she consents.
98. Even a Sudra ought not to take a nuptial fee, when he gives away his daughter; for
he who takes a fee sell his daughter, covering (the transaction by another name).
99. Neither ancients nor moderns who were good men have done such (a deed) that, after
promising (a daughter) to one man, they have her to another;
100. Nor, indeed, have we heard, even in former creations, of such (a thing as) the
covert sale of a daughter for a fixed price, called a nuptial fee.
101. 'Let mutual fidelity continue until death,' this may be considered as the summary
of the highest law for husband and wife.
102. Let man and woman, united in marriage, constantly exert themselves, that (they may
not be) disunited (and) may not violate their mutual fidelity.
103. Thus has been declared to you the law for a husband and his wife, which is
intimately connected with conjugal happiness, and the manner of raising offspring in times
of calamity; learn (now the law concerning) the division of the inheritance.
104. After the death of the father and of the mother, the brothers, being assembled,
may divide among themselves in equal shares the paternal (and the maternal) estate; for,
they have no power (over it) while the parents live.
105. (Or) the eldest alone may take the whole paternal estate, the others shall live
under him just as (they lived) under their father.
106. Immediately on the birth of his first-born a man is (called) the father of a son
and is freed from the debt to the manes; that (son), therefore, is worthy (to receive) the
107. That son alone on whom he throws his debt and through whom he obtains immortality,
is begotten for (the fulfilment of) the law; all the rest they consider the offspring of
108. As a father (supports) his sons, so let the eldest support his younger brothers,
and let them also in accordance with the law behave towards their eldest brother as sons
(behave towards their father).
109. The eldest (son) makes the family prosperous or, on the contrary, brings it to
ruin; the eldest (is considered) among men most worthy of honour, the eldest is not
treated with disrespect by the virtuous.
110. If the eldest brother behaves as an eldest brother (ought to do), he (must be
treated) like a mother and like a father; but if he behaves in a manner unworthy of an
eldest brother, he should yet be honoured like a kinsman.
111. Either let them thus live together, or apart, if (each) desires (to gain)
spiritual merit; for (by their living) separate (their) merit increases, hence separation
112. The additional share (deducted) for the eldest shall be one-twentieth (of the
estate) and the best of all chattels, for the middlemost half of that, but for the
113. Both the eldest and the youngest shall take (their shares) according to (the rule
just) stated (each of) those who are between the eldest and the youngest, shall have the
share (prescribed for the) middlemost.
114. Among the goods of every kind the eldest shall take the best (article), and (even
a single chattel) which is particularly good, as well as the best of ten (animals).
115. But among (brothers) equally skilled in their occupations, there is no additional
share, (consisting of the best animal) among ten; some trifle only shall be given to the
eldest as a token of respect.
116. If additional shares are thus deducted, one must allot equal shares (out of the
residue to each); but if no deduction is made, the allotment of the shares among them
shall be (made) in the following manner.
117. Let the eldest son take one share in excess, the (brother) born next after him one
(share) and a half, the younger ones one share each; thus the law is settled.
118. But to the maiden (sisters) the brothers shall severally give (portions) out of
their shares, each out of his share one-fourth part; those who refuse to give (it), will
119. Let him never divide (the value of) a single goat or sheep, or a (single beast)
with uncloven hoofs; it is prescribed (that) a single goat or sheep (remaining after an
equal division, belongs) to the eldest alone.
120. If a younger brother begets a son on the wife of the elder, the division must then
be made equally; this the law is settled.
121. The representative (the son begotten on the wife) is not invested with the right
of the principal (the eldest brother to an additional share); the principal (became) a
father on the procreation (of a son by his younger brother); hence one should give a share
to the (son begotten on the wife of the elder brother) according to the rule (stated
122. If there be a doubt, how the division shall be made, in case the younger son is
born of the elder wife and the elder son of the younger wife,
123. (Then the son) born of the first wife shall take as his additional share one (most
excellent) bull; the next best bulls (shall belong) to those (who are) inferior on account
of their mothers.
124. But the eldest (son, being) born of the eldest wife, shall receive fifteen cows
and a bull, the other sons may then take shares according to (the seniority of) their
mothers; that is a settled rule.
125. Between sons born of wives equal (in caste) (and) without (any other) distinction
no seniority in right of the mother exists; seniority is declared (to be) according to
126. And with respect to the Subrahmanya (texts) also it is recorded that the
invocation (of Indra shall be made) by the first-born, of twins likewise, (conceived at
one time) in the wombs (of their mothers) the seniority is declared (to depend) on
127. He who has no son may make his daughter in the following manner an appointed
daughter (putrika, saying to her husband), 'The (male) child, born of her, shall perform
my funeral rites.'
128. According to this rule Daksha, himself, lord of created beings, formerly made (all
his female offspring) appointed daughters in order to multiply his race.
129. He gave ten to Dharma, thirteen to Kasyapa, twenty-seven to King Soma, honouring
(them) with an affectionate heart.
130. A son is even (as) oneself, (such) a daughter is equal to a son; how can another
(heir) take the estate, while such (an appointed daughter who is even) oneself, lives?
131. But whatever may be the separate property of the mother, that is the share of the
unmarried daughter alone; and the son of an (appointed) daughter shall take the whole
estate of (his maternal grandfather) who leaves no son.
132. The son of an (appointed) daughter, indeed, shall (also) take the estate of his
(own) father, who leaves no (other) son; he shall (then) present two funeral cakes to his
own father and to his maternal grandfather.
133. Between a son's son and the son of an (appointed) daughter there is no difference,
neither with respect to worldly matters nor to sacred duties; for their father and mother
both sprang from the body of the same (man).
134. But if, after a daughter has been appointed, a son be born (to her father), the
division (of the inheritance) must in that (case) be equal; for there is no right of
primogeniture for a woman.
135. But if an appointed daughter by accident dies without (leaving) a son, the husband
of the appointed daughter may, without hesitation, take that estate.
136. Through that son whom (a daughter), either not appointed or appointed, may bear to
(a husband) of equal (caste), his maternal grandfather (has) a son's son; he shall present
the funeral cake and take the estate.
137. Through a son he conquers the worlds, through a son's son he obtains immortality,
but through his son's grandson he gains the world of the sun.
138. Because a son delivers (trayate) his father from the hell called Put, he was
therefore called put-tra (a deliverer from Put) by the Self-existent (Svayambhu) himself.
139. Between a son's son and the son of a daughter there exists in this world no
difference; for even the son of a daughter saves him (who has no sons) in the next world,
like the son's son.
140. Let the son of an appointed daughter first present a funeral cake to his mother,
the second to her father, the funeral to his father's father.
141. Of the man who has an adopted (Datrima) son possessing all good qualities, that
same (son) shall take the inheritance, though brought from another family.
142. An adopted son shall never take the family (name) and the estate of his natural
father; the funeral cake follows the family (name) and the estate, the funeral offerings
of him who gives (his son in adoption) cease (as far as that son is concerned).
143. The son of a wife, not appointed (to have issue by another), and he whom (an
appointed female, already) the mother of a son, bears to her brother-in-law, are both
unworthy of a share, (one being) the son of an adulterer and (the other) produced through
144. Even the male (child) of a female (duly) appointed, not begotten according to the
rule (given above), is unworthy of the paternal estate; for he was procreated by an
145. A son (legally) begotten on such an appointed female shall inherit like a
legitimate son of the body; for that seed and the produce belong, according to the law, to
the owner of the soil.
146. He who takes care of his deceased brother's estate and of his widow, shall, after
raising up a son for his brother, give that property even to that (son).
147. If a woman (duly) appointed bears a son to her brother-in-law or to another
(Sapinda), that (son, if he is) begotten through desire, they declare (to be) incapable of
inheriting and to be produced in vain.
148. The rules (given above) must be understood (to apply) to a distribution among sons
of women of the same (caste); hear (now the law) concerning those begotten by one man on
many wives of different (castes).
149. If there be four wives of a Brahmana in the direct order of the castes, the rule
for the division (of the estate) among the sons born of them is as follows:
150. The (slave) who tills (the field), the bull kept for impregnating cows, the
vehicle, the ornaments, and the house shall be given as an additional portion to the
Brahmana (son), and one most excellent share.
151. Let the son of the Brahmana (wife) take three shares of the (remainder of the)
estate, the son of the Kshatriya two, the son of the Vaisya a share and a half, and the
son of the Sudra may take one share.
152. Or let him who knows the law make ten shares of the whole estate, and justly
distribute them according to the following rule:
153. The Brahmana (son) shall take four shares, son of the Kshatriya (wife) three, the
son of the Vaisya shall have two parts, the son of the Sudra may take one share.
154. Whether (a Brahmana) have sons or have no sons (by wives of the twice-born
castes), the (heir) must, according to the law, give to the son of a Sudra (wife) no more
than a tenth (part of his estate).
155. The son of a Brahmana, a Kshatriya, and a Vaisya by a Sudra (wife) receives no
share of the inheritance; whatever his father may give to him, that shall be his property.
156. All the sons of twice-born men, born of wives of the same caste, shall equally
divide the estate, after the others have given to the eldest an additional share.
157. For a Sudra is ordained a wife of his own caste only (and) no other; those born of
her shall have equal shares, even if there be a hundred sons.
158. Among the twelve sons of men whom Manu, sprung from the Self-existent (Svayambhu),
enumerates, six are kinsmen and heirs, and six not heirs, (but) kinsmen.
159. The legitimate son of the body, the son begotten on a wife, the son adopted, the
son made, the son secretly born, and the son cast off, (are) the six heirs and kinsmen.
160. The son of an unmarried damsel, the son received with the wife, the son bought,
the son begotten on a re-married woman, the son self-given, and the son of a Sudra female,
(are) the six (who are) not heirs, (but) kinsmen.
161. Whatever result a man obtains who (tries to) cross a (sheet of) water in an unsafe
boat, even that result obtains he who (tries to) pass the gloom (of the next world) with
(the help of) bad (substitutes for a real) son.
162. If the two heirs of one man be a legitimate son of his body and a son begotten on
his wife, each (of the two sons), to the exclusion of the other, shall take the estate of
his (natural) father.
163. The legitimate son of the body alone (shall be) the owner of the paternal estate;
but, in order to avoid harshness, let him allow a maintenance to the rest.
164. But when the legitimate son of the body divides the paternal estate, he shall give
one-sixth or one-fifth part of his father's property to the son begotten on the wife.
165. The legitimate son and the son of the wife (thus) share the father's estate; but
the other tell become members of the family, and inherit according to their order (each
later named on failure of those named earlier).
166. Him whom a man begets on his own wedded wife, let him know to be a legitimate son
of the body (Aurasa), the first in rank.
167. He who was begotten according to the peculiar law (of the Niyoga) on the appointed
wife of a dead man, of a eunuch, or of one diseased, is called a son begotten on a wife
168. That (boy) equal (by caste) whom his mother or his father affectionately give,
(confirming the gift) with (a libation of) water, in times of distress (to a man) as his
son, must be considered as an adopted son (Datrima).
169. But he is considered a son made (Kritrima) whom (a man) makes his son, (he being)
equal (by caste), acquainted with (the distinctions between) right and wrong, (and)
endowed with filial virtues.
170. If (a child) be born in a man's house and his father be not known, he is a son
born secretly in the house (Gudhotpanna), and shall belong to him of whose wife he was
171. He whom (a man) receives as his son, (after he has been) deserted by his parents
or by either of them, is called a son cast off (Apaviddha).
172. A son whom a damsel secretly bears in the house of her father, one shall name the
son of an unmarried damsel (Kanina, and declare) such offspring of an unmarried girl (to
belong) to him who weds her (afterwards).
173. If one marries, either knowingly or unknowingly, a pregnant (bride), the child in
her womb belongs to him who weds her, and is called (a son) received with the bride
174. If a man buys a (boy), whether equal or unequal (in good qualities), from his
father and mother for the sake of having a son, that (child) is called a (son) bought
175. If a woman abandoned by her husband, or a widow, of her own accord contracts a
second marriage and bears (a son), he is called the son of a re-married woman
176. If she be (still) a virgin, or one who returned (to her first husband) after
leaving him, she is worthy to again perform with her second (or first deserted) husband
the (nuptial) ceremony.
177. He who, having lost his parents or being abandoned (by them) without (just) cause,
gives himself to a (man), is called a son self-given (Svayamdatta).
178. The son whom a Brahmana begets through lust on a Sudra female is, (though) alive
(parayan), a corpse (sava), and hence called a Parasava (a living corpse).
179. A son who is (begotten) by a Sudra on a female slave, or on the female slave of
his slave, may, if permitted (by his father), take a share (of the inheritance); thus the
law is settled.
180. These eleven, the son begotten on the wife and the rest as enumerated (above), the
wise call substitutes for a son, (taken) in order (to prevent) a failure of the (funeral)
181. Those sons, who have been mentioned in connection with (the legitimate son of the
body), being begotten by strangers, belong (in reality) to him from whose seed they
sprang, but not to the other (man who took them).
182. If among brothers, sprung from one (father), one have a son, Manu has declared
them all to have male offspring through that son.
183. If among all the wives of one husband one have a son, Manu declares them all (to
be) mothers of male children through that son.
184. On failure of each better (son), each next inferior (one) is worthy of the
inheritance; but if there be many (of) equal (rank), they shall all share the estate.
185. Not brothers, nor fathers, (but) sons take the paternal estate; but the father
shall take the inheritance of (a son) who leaves no male issue, and his brothers.
186. To three (ancestors) water must be offered, to three the funeral cake is given,
the fourth (descendant is) the giver of these (oblations), the fifth has no connection
187. Always to that (relative within three degrees) who is nearest to the (deceased)
Sapinda the estate shall belong; afterwards a Sakulya shall be (the heir, then) the
spiritual teacher or the pupil.
188. But on failure of all (heirs) Brahmanas (shall) share the estate, (who are) versed
the in the three Vedas, pure and self-controlled; thus the law is not violated.
189. The property of a Brahmana must never be taken by the king, that is a settled
rule; but (the property of men) of other castes the king may take on failure of all
190. (If the widow) of (a man) who died without leaving issue, raises up to him a son
by a member of the family (Sagotra), she shall deliver to that (son) the whole property
which belonged to the (deceased).
191. But if two (sons), begotten by two (different men), contend for the property (in
the hands) of their mother, each shall take, to the exclusion of the other, what belonged
to his father.
192. But when the mother has died, all the uterine brothers and the uterine sisters
shall equally divide the mother's estate.
193. Even to the daughters of those (daughters) something should be given, as is
seemly, out of the estate of their maternal grandmother, on the score of affection.
194. What (was given) before the (nuptial) fire, what (was given) on the bridal
procession, what was given in token of love, and what was received from her brother,
mother, or father, that is called the sixfold property of a woman.
195. (Such property), as well as a gift subsequent and what was given (to her) by her
affectionate husband, shall go to her offspring, (even) if she dies in the lifetime of her
196. It is ordained that the property (of a woman married) according to the Brahma, the
Daiva, the Arsha, the Gandharva, or the Pragapatya rite (shall belong) to her husband
alone, if she dies without issue.
197. But it is prescribed that the property which may have been given to a (wife) on an
Asura marriage or (one of the) other (blamable marriages, shall go) to her mother and to
her father, if she dies without issue.
198. Whatever property may have been given by her father to a wife (who has co-wives of
different castes), that the daughter (of the) Brahmani (wife) shall take, or that
199. Women should never make a hoard from (the property of) their families which is
common to many, nor from their own (husbands' particular) property without permission.
200. The ornaments which may have been worn by women during their husbands' lifetime,
his heirs shall not divide; those who divide them become outcasts.
201. Eunuchs and outcasts, (persons) born blind or deaf, the insane, idiots and the
dumb, as well as those deficient in any organ (of action or sensation), receive no share.
202. But it is just that (a man) who knows (the law) should give even to all of them
food and raiment without stint, according to his ability; he who gives it not will become
203. If the eunuch and the rest should somehow or other desire to (take) wives, the
offspring of such among them as have children is worthy of a share.
204. Whatever property the eldest (son) acquires (by his own exertion) after the
father's death, a share of that (shall belong) to his younger (brothers), provided they
have made a due progress in learning.
205. But if all of them, being unlearned, acquire property by their labour, the
division of that shall be equal, (as it is) not property acquired by the father; that is a
206. Property (acquired) by learning belongs solely to him to whom (it was given),
likewise the gift of a friend, a present received on marriage or with the honey-mixture.
207. But if one of the brothers, being able (to maintain himself) by his own
occupation, does not desire (a share of the family) property, he may be made separate (by
the others) receiving a trifle out of his share to live upon.
208. What one (brother) may acquire by his labour without using the patrimony, that
acquisition, (made solely) by his own effort, he shall not share unless by his own will
(with his brothers).
209. But if a father recovers lost ancestral property, he shall not divide it, unless
by his own will, with his sons, (for it is) self-acquired (property).
210. If brothers, (once) divided and living (again) together (as coparceners), make a
second partition, the division shall in that case be equal; in such a case there is no
right of primogeniture.
211. If the eldest or the youngest (brother) is deprived of his share, or if either of
them dies, his share is not lost (to his immediate heirs).
212. His uterine brothers, having assembled together, shall equally divide it, and
those brothers who were reunited (with him) and the uterine sisters.
213. An eldest brother who through avarice may defraud the younger ones, shall no
(longer hold the position of) the eldest, shall not receive an (eldest son's additional)
share, and shall be punished by the king.
214. All brothers who habitually commit forbidden acts, are unworthy of (a share of)
the property, and the eldest shall not make (anything his) separate property without
giving (an equivalent) to his younger brothers.
215. If undivided brethren, (living with their father,) together make an exertion (for
gain), the father shall on no account give to them unequal shares (on a division of the
216. But a son, born after partition, shall alone take the property of his father, or
if any (of the other sons) be reunited with the (father), he shall share with them.
217. A mother shall obtain the inheritance of a son (who dies) without leaving issue,
and, if the mother be dead, the paternal grandmother shall take the estate.
218. And if, after all the debts and assets have been duly distributed according to the
rule, any (property) be afterwards discovered, one must divide it equally.
219. A dress, a vehicle, ornaments, cooked food, water, and female (slaves), property
destined for pious uses or sacrifices, and a pasture-ground, they declare to be
220. The division (of the property) and the rules for allotting (shares) to the
(several) sons, those begotten on a wife and the rest, in (due) order, have been thus
declared to you; hear (now) the laws concerning gambling.
221. Gambling and betting let the king exclude from his realm; those two vices cause
the destruction of the kingdoms of princes.
222. Gambling and betting amount to open theft; the king shall always exert himself in
suppressing both (of them).
223. When inanimate (things) are used (for staking money on them), that is called among
men gambling (dyuta), when animate beings are used (for the same purpose), one must know
that to be betting (samahvaya).
224. Let the king corporally punish all those (persons) who either gamble and bet or
afford (an opportunity for it), likewise Sudras who assume the distinctive marks of
225. Gamblers, dancers and singers, cruel men, men belonging to an heretical sect,
those following forbidden occupations, and sellers of spirituous liquor, let him instantly
banish from his town.
226. If such (persons who are) secret thieves, dwell in the realm of a king, they
constantly harass his good subjects by their forbidden practices.
227. In a former Kalpa this (vice of) gambling has been seen to cause great enmity; a
wise man, therefore, should not practise it even for amusement.
228. On every man who addicts himself to that (vice) either secretly or openly, the
king may inflict punishment according to his discretion.
229. But a Kshatriya, a Vaisya, and a Sudra who are unable to pay a fine, shall
discharge the debt by labour; a Brahmana shall pay it by installments.
230. On women, infants, men of disordered mind, the poor and the sick, the king shall
inflict punishment with a whip, a cane, or a rope and the like.
231. But those appointed (to administer public) affairs, who, baked by the fire of
wealth, mar the business of suitors, the king shall deprive of their property.
232. Forgers of royal edicts, those who corrupt his ministers, those who slay women,
infants, or Brahmanas, and those who serve his enemies, the king shall put to death.
233. Whenever any (legal transaction) has been completed or (a punishment) been
inflicted according to the law, he shall sanction it and not annul it.
234. Whatever matter his ministers or the judge may settle improperly, that the king
himself shall (re-) settle and fine (them) one thousand (panas).
235. The slayer of a Brahmana, (A twice-born man) who drinks (the spirituous liquor
called) Sura, he who steals (the gold of a Brahmana), and he who violates a Guru's bed,
must each and all be considered as men who committed mortal sins (mahapataka).
236. On those four even, if they do not perform a penance, let him inflict corporal
punishment and fines in accordance with the law.
237. For violating a Guru's bed, (the mark of) a female part shall be (impressed on the
forehead with a hot iron); for drinking (the spirituous liquor called) Sura, the sign of a
tavern; for stealing (the gold of a Brahmana), a dog's foot; for murdering a Brahmana, a
238. Excluded from all fellowship at meals, excluded from all sacrifices, excluded from
instruction and from matrimonial alliances, abject and excluded from all religious duties,
let them wander over (this) earth.
239. Such (persons) who have been branded with (indelible) marks must be cast off by
their paternal and maternal relations, and receive neither compassion nor a salutation;
that is the teaching of Manu.
240. But (men of) all castes who perform the prescribed penances, must not be branded
on the forehead by the king, but shall be made to pay the highest amercement.
241. For (such) offences the middlemost amercement shall be inflicted on a Brahmana, or
he may be banished from the realm, keeping his money and his chattels.
242. But (men of) other (castes), who have unintentionally committed such crimes, ought
to be deprived of their whole property; if (they committed them) intentionally, they shall
243. A virtuous king must not take for himself the property of a man guilty of mortal
sin; but if he takes it out of greed, he is tainted by that guilt (of the offender).
244. Having thrown such a fine into the water, let him offer it to Varuna, or let him
bestow it on a learned and virtuous Brahmana.
245. Varuna is the lord of punishment, for he holds the sceptre even over kings; a
Brahmana who has learnt the whole Veda is the lord of the whole world.
246. In that (country), where the king avoids taking the property of (mortal) sinners,
men are born in (due) time (and are) long-lived,
247. And the crops of the husbandmen spring up, each as it was sown, and the children
die not, and no misshaped (offspring) is born.
248. But the king shall inflict on a base-born (Sudra), who intentionally gives pain to
Brahmanas, various (kinds of) corporal punishment which cause terror.
249. When a king punishes an innocent (man), his guilt is considered as great as when
he sets free a guilty man; but (he acquires) merit when he punishes (justly).
250. Thus the (manner of) deciding suits (falling) under the eighteen titles, between
two litigant parties, has been declared at length.
251. A king who thus duly fulfils his duties in accordance with justice, may seek to
gain countries which he has not yet gained, and shall duly protect them when he has gained
252. Having duly settled his country, and having built forts in accordance with the
Institutes, he shall use his utmost exertions to remove (those men who are nocuous like)
253. By protecting those who live as (becomes) Aryans and by removing the thorns,
kings, solely intent on guarding their subjects, reach heaven.
254. The realm of that king who takes his share in kind, though he does not punish
thieves, (will be) disturbed and he (will) lose heaven.
255. But if his kingdom be secure, protected by the strength of his arm, it will
constantly flourish like a (well)- watered tree.
256. Let the king who sees (everything) through his spies, discover the two sorts of
thieves who deprive others of their property, both those who (show themselves) openly and
those who (lie) concealed.
257. Among them, the open rogues (are those) who subsist by (cheating in the sale of)
various marketable commodities, but the concealed rogues are burglars, robbers in forests,
and so forth.
258. Those who take bribes, cheats and rogues, gamblers, those who live by teaching
(the performance of) auspicious ceremonies, sanctimonious hypocrites, and fortune-tellers,
259. Officials of high rank and physicians who act improperly, men living by showing
their proficiency in arts, and clever harlots,
260. These and the like who show themselves openly, as well as others who walk in
disguise (such as) non-Aryans who wear the marks of Aryans, he should know to be thorns
(in the side of his people).
261. Having detected them by means of trustworthy persons, who, disguising themselves,
(pretend) to follow the same occupations and by means of spies, wearing various disguises,
he must cause them to be instigated (to commit offences), and bring them into his power.
262. Then having caused the crimes, which they committed by their several actions, to
be proclaimed in accordance with the facts, the king shall duly punish them according to
their strength and their crimes.
263. For the wickedness of evil-minded thieves, who secretly prowl over this earth,
cannot be restrained except by punishment.
264. Assembly-houses, houses where water is distributed or cakes are sold, brothels,
taverns and victualler's shops, cross-roads, well-known trees, festive assemblies, and
play-houses and concert-rooms,
265. Old gardens, forests, the shops of artisans, empty dwellings, natural and
266. These and the like places the king shall cause to be guarded by companies of
soldiers, both stationary and patrolling, and by spies, in order to keep away thieves.
267. By the means of clever reformed thieves, who associate with such (rogues), follow
them and know their various machinations, he must detect and destroy them.
268. Under the pretext of (offering them) various dainties, of introducing them to
Brahmanas, and on the pretence of (showing them) feats of strength, the (spies) must make
them meet (the officers of justice).
269. Those among them who do not come, and those who suspect the old (thieves employed
by the king), the king shall attack by force and slay together with their friends, blood
relations, and connexions.
270. A just king shall not cause a thief to be put to death, (unless taken) with the
stolen goods (in his possession); him who (is taken) with the stolen goods and the
implements (of burglary), he may, without hesitation, cause to be slain.
271. All those also who in villages give food to thieves or grant them room for
(concealing their implements), he shall cause to be put to death.
272. Those who are appointed to guard provinces and his vassals who have been ordered
(to help), he shall speedily punish like thieves, (if they remain) inactive in attacks (by
273. Moreover if (a man), who subsists by (the fulfilment of) the law, departs from the
established rule of the law, the (king) shall severely punish him by a fine, (because he)
violated his duty.
274. Those who do not give assistance according to their ability when a village is
being plundered, a dyke is being destroyed, or a highway robbery committed, shall be
banished with their goods and chattels.
275. On those who rob the king's treasury and those who persevere in opposing (his
commands), he shall inflict various kinds of capital punishment, likewise on those who
conspire with his enemies.
276. But the king shall cut off the hands of those robbers who, breaking into houses,
commit thefts at night, and cause them to be impaled on a pointed stake.
277. On the first conviction, let him cause two fingers of a cut-purse to be amputated;
on the second, one hand and one foot; on the third, he shall suffer death.
278. Those who give (to thieves) fire, food, arms, or shelter, and receivers of stolen
goods, the ruler shall punish like thieves.
279. Him who breaks (the dam of) a tank he shall slay (by drowning him) in water or by
(some other) (mode of) capital punishment; or the offender may repair the (damage), but
shall be made to pay the highest amercement.
280. Those who break into a (royal) storehouse, an armoury, or a temple, and those who
steal elephants, horses, or chariots, he shall slay without hesitation.
281. But he who shall take away the water of a tank, made in ancient times, or shall
cut off the supply of water, must be made to pay the first (or lowest) amercement.
282. But he who, except in a case of extreme necessity, drops filth on the king's
high-road, shall pay two karshapanas and immediately remove (that) filth.
283. But a person in urgent necessity, an aged man, a pregnant woman, or a child, shall
be reprimanded and clean the (place); that is a settled rule.
284. All physicians who treat (their patients) wrongly (shall pay) a fine; in the case
of animals, the first (or lowest); in the case of human beings, the middlemost
285. He who destroys a bridge, the flag (of a temple or royal palace), a pole, or
images, shall repair the whole (damage) and pay five hundred (panas).
286. For adulterating unadulterated commodities, and for breaking gems or for
improperly boring (them), the fine is the first (or lowest) amercement.
287. But that man who behaves dishonestly to honest (customers) or cheats in his
prices, shall be fined in the first or in the middlemost amercement.
288. Let him place all prisons near a high-road, where the suffering and disfigured
offenders can be seen.
289. Him who destroys the wall (of a town), or fills up the ditch (round a town), or
breaks a (town)- gate, he shall instantly banish.
290. For all incantations intended to destroy life, for magic rites with roots
(practised by persons) not related (to him against whom they are directed), and for
various kinds of sorcery, a fine of two hundred (panas) shall be inflicted.
291. He who sells (for seed-corn that which is) not seed-corn, he who takes up seed
(already sown), and he who destroys a boundary (-mark), shall be punished by mutilation.
292. But the king shall cause a goldsmith who behaves dishonestly, the most nocuous of
all the thorns, to be cut to pieces with razors.
293. For the theft of agricultural implements, of arms and of medicines, let the king
award punishment, taking into account the time (of the offence) and the use (of the
294. The king and his minister, his capital, his realm, his treasury, his army, and his
ally are the seven constituent parts (of a kingdom); (hence) a kingdom is said to have
seven limbs (anga).
295. But let him know (that) among these seven constituent parts of a kingdom (which
have been enumerated) in due order, each earlier (named) is more important and (its
destruction) the greater calamity.
296. Yet in a kingdom containing seven constituent parts, which is upheld like the
triple staff (of an ascetic), there is no (single part) more important (than the others),
by reason of the importance of the qualities of each for the others.
297. For each part is particularly qualified for (the accomplishment of) certain
objects, (and thus) each is declared to be the most important for that particular purpose
which is effected by its means.
298. By spies, by a (pretended) display of energy, and by carrying out (various)
undertakings, let the king constantly ascertain his own and his enemy's strength;
299. Moreover, all calamities and vices; afterwards, when he has fully considered their
relative importance, let him begin his operations.
300. (Though he be) ever so much tired (by repeated failures), let him begin his
operations again and again; for fortune greatly favours the man who (strenuously) exerts
himself in his undertakings.
301. The various ways in which a king behaves (resemble) the Krita, Treta, Dvapara, and
Kali ages; hence the king is identified with the ages (of the world).
302. Sleeping he represents the Kali (or iron age), waking the Dvapara (or brazen) age,
ready to act the Treta (or silver age), but moving (actively) the Krita (or golden) age.
303. Let the king emulate the energetic action of Indra, of the Sun, of the Wind, of
Yama, of Varuna, of the Moon, of the Fire, and of the Earth.
304. As Indra sends copious rain during the four months of the rainy season, even so
let the king, taking upon himself the office of Indra, shower benefits on his kingdom.
305. As the Sun during eight months (imperceptibly) draws up the water with his rays,
even so let him gradually draw his taxes from his kingdom; for that is the office in which
he resembles the Sun.
306. As the Wind moves (everywhere), entering (in the shape of the vital air) all
created beings, even so let him penetrate (everywhere) through his spies; that is the
office in which he resembles the Wind.
307. As Yama at the appointed time subjects to his rule both friends and foes, even so
all subjects must be controlled by the king; that is the office in which he resembles
308. As (a sinner) is seen bound with ropes by Varuna, even so let him punish the
wicked; that is his office in which he resembles Varuna.
309. He is a king, taking upon himself the office of the Moon, whose (appearance) his
subjects (greet with as great joy) as men feel on seeing the full moon.
310. (If) he is ardent in wrath against criminals and endowed with brilliant energy,
and destroys wicked vassals, then his character is said (to resemble) that of Fire.
311. As the Earth supports all created beings equally, thus (a king) who supports all
his subjects, (takes upon himself) the office of the Earth.
312. Employing these and other means, the king shall, ever untired, restrain thieves
both in his own dominions and in (those of) others.
313. Let him not, though fallen into the deepest distress, provoke Brahmanas to anger;
for they, when angered, could instantly destroy him together with his army and his
314. Who could escape destruction, when he provokes to anger those (men), by whom the
fire was made to consume all things, by whom the (water of the) ocean was made
undrinkable, and by whom the moon was made to wane and to increase again?
315. Who could prosper, while he injures those (men) who provoked to anger, could
create other worlds and other guardians of the world, and deprive the gods of their divine
316. What man, desirous of life, would injure them to whose support the (three) worlds
and the gods ever owe their existence, and whose wealth is the Veda?
317. A Brahmana, be he ignorant or learned, is a great divinity, just as the fire,
whether carried forth (for the performance of a burnt-oblation) or not carried forth, is a
318. The brilliant fire is not contaminated even in burial-places, and, when presented
with oblations (of butter) at sacrifices, it again increases mightily.
319. Thus, though Brahmanas employ themselves in all (sorts of) mean occupations, they
must be honoured in every way; for (each of) them is a very great deity.
320. When the Kshatriyas become in any way overbearing towards the Brahmanas, the
Brahmanas themselves shall duly restrain them; for the Kshatriyas sprang from the
321. Fire sprang from water, Kshatriyas from Brahmanas, iron from stone; the
all-penetrating force of those (three) has no effect on that whence they were produced.
322. Kshatriyas prosper not without Brahmanas, Brahmanas prosper not without
Kshatriyas; Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, being closely united, prosper in this (world) and in
323. But (a king who feels his end drawing nigh) shall bestow all his wealth,
accumulated from fines, on Brahmanas, make over his kingdom to his son, and then seek
death in battle.
324. Thus conducting himself (and) ever intent on (discharging) his royal duties, a
king shall order all his servants (to work) for the good of his people.
325. Thus the eternal law concerning the duties of a king has been fully declared; know
that the following rules apply in (due) order to the duties of Vaisyas and Sudras.
326. After a Vaisya has received the sacraments and has taken a wife, he shall be
always attentive to the business whereby he may subsist and to (that of) tending cattle.
327. For when the Lord of creatures (Pragapati) created cattle, he made them over to
the Vaisya; to the Brahmana, and to the king he entrusted all created beings.
328. A Vaisya must never (conceive this) wish, I will not keep cattle; and if a Vaisya
is willing (to keep them), they must never be kept by (men of) other (castes).
329. (A Vaisya) must know the respective value of gems, of pearls, of coral, of metals,
of (cloth) made of thread, of perfumes, and of condiments.
330. He must be acquainted with the (manner of) sowing of seeds, and of the good and
bad qualities of fields, and he must perfectly know all measures and weights.
331. Moreover, the excellence and defects of commodities, the advantages and
disadvantages of (different) countries, the (probable) profit and loss on merchandise, and
the means of properly rearing cattle.
332. He must be acquainted with the (proper), wages of servants, with the various
languages of men, with the manner of keeping goods, and (the rules of) purchase and sale.
333. Let him exert himself to the utmost in order to increase his property in a
righteous manner, and let him zealously give food to all created beings.
334. But to serve Brahmanas (who are) learned in the Vedas, householders, and famous
(for virtue) is the highest duty of a Sudra, which leads to beatitude.
335. (A Sudra who is) pure, the servant of his betters, gentle in his speech, and free
from pride, and always seeks a refuge with Brahmanas, attains (in his next life) a higher
336. The excellent law for the conduct of the (four) castes (varna), (when they are)
not in distress, has been thus promulgated; now hear in order their (several duties) in
times of distress.
1. Let the three twice-born castes (varna), discharging their (prescribed) duties,
study (the Veda); but among them the Brahmana (alone) shall teach it, not the other two;
that is an established rule.
2. The Brahmana must know the means of subsistence (prescribed) by law for all,
instruct the others, and himself live according to (the law)
3. On account of his pre-eminence, on account of the superiority of his origin, on
account of his observance of (particular) restrictive rules, and on account of his
particular sanctification the Brahmana is the lord of (all) castes (varna).
4. Brahmana, the Kshatriya, and the Vaisya castes (varna) are the twice-born ones, but
the fourth, the Sudra, has one birth only; there is no fifth (caste).
5. In all castes (varna) those (children) only which are begotten in the direct order
on wedded wives, equal (in caste and married as) virgins, are to be considered as
belonging to the same caste (as their fathers)
6. Sons, begotten by twice-born man on wives of the next lower castes, they declare to
be similar (to their fathers, but) blamed on account of the fault (inherent) in their
7. Such is the eternal law concerning (children) born of wives one degree lower (than
their husbands); know (that) the following rule (is applicable) to those born of women two
or three degrees lower.
8. From a Brahmana a with the daughter of a Vaisya is born (a son) called an Ambashtha,
with the daughter of a sudra a Nishada, who is also called Parasava.
9. From a Kshatriya and the daughter of a Sudra springs a being, called Ugra,
resembling both a Kshatriya and a Sudra, ferocious in his manners, and delighting in
10. Children of a Brahmana by (women of) the three (lower) castes, of a Kshatriya by
(wives of) the two (lower) castes, and of a Vaisya by (a wife of) the one caste (below
him) are all six called base-born (apasada).
11. From a Kshatriya by the daughter of a Brahmana is born (a son called) according to
his caste (gati) a Suta; from a Vaisya by females of the royal and the Brahmana (castes)
spring a Magadha and a Vaideha.
12. From a Sudra are born an Ayogava, a Kshattri, and a Kandala, the lowest of men, by
Vaisya, Kshatriya, and Brahmana) females, (sons who owe their origin to) a confusion of
13. As an Ambashtha and an Ugra, (begotten) in the direct order on (women) one degree
lower (than their husbands) are declared (to be), even so are a Kshattri and a Vaidehaka,
though they were born in the inverse order of the castes (from mothers one degree higher
than the fathers).
14. Those sons of the twice-born, begotten on wives of the next lower castes, who have
been enumerated in due order, they call by the name Anantaras (belonging to the next lower
caste), on account of the blemish (inherent) in their mothers.
15. A Brahmana begets on the daughter of an Ugra an Avrita, on the daughter of an
Ambashtha an Abhira, but on a female of the Ayogava (caste) a Dhigvana.
16. From a Sudra spring in the inverse order (by females of the higher castes) three
base-born (sons, apasada), an Ayogava, a Kshattri, and a Kandala, the lowest of men;
17. From a Vaisya are born in the inverse order of the castes a Magadha and a Vaideha,
but from a Kshatriya a Suta only; these are three other base-born ones (apasada).
18. The son of a Nishada by a Sudra female becomes a Pukkasa by caste (gati), but the
son of a Sudra by a Nishada female is declared to be a Kukkutaka.
19. Moreover, the son of by Kshattri by an Ugra female is called a Svapaka; but one
begotten by a Vaidehaka on an Ambashtha female is named a Vena.
20. Those (sons) whom the twice-born beget on wives of equal caste, but who, not
fulfilling their sacred duties, are excluded from the Savitri, one must designate by the
21. But from a Vratya (of the) Brahmana (caste) spring the wicked Bhriggakantaka, the
Avantya, the Vatadhana, the Pushpadha, and the Saikha.
22. From a Vratya (of the) Kshatriya (caste), the Ghalla, the Malla, the Likkhivi, the
Nata, the Karana, the Khasa, and the Dravida.
23. From a Vratya (of the) Vaisya (caste) are born a Sudhanvan, an Akarya, a Karusha, a
Viganman, a Maitra, and a Satvata.
24. By adultery (committed by persons) of (different) castes, by marriages with women
who ought not to be married, and by the neglect of the duties and occupations (prescribed)
to each, are produced (sons who owe their origin) to a confusion the castes.
25. I will (now) fully enumerate those (sons) of mixed origin, who are born of Anulomas
and of Pratilomas, and (thus) are mutually connected.
26. The Suta, the Vaidehaka, the Kandala, that lowest of mortals, the Magadha, he of
the Kshattri caste (gati), and the Ayogava,
27. These six (Pratilomas) beget similar races (varna) on women of their own (caste),
they (also) produce (the like) with females of their mother's caste (gati), and with
females (of) higher ones.
28. As a (Brahmana) begets on (females of) two out of the three (twice-born castes a
son similar to) himself, (but inferior) on account of the lower degree (of the mother),
and (one equal to himself) on a female of his own race, even so is the order in the case
of the excluded (races, vahya).
29. Those (six mentioned above) also beget, the one on the females of the other, a
great many (kinds of) despicable (sons), even more sinful than their (fathers), and
excluded (from the Aryan community, vahya).
30. Just as a Sudra begets on a Brahmana female a being excluded (from the Aryan
community), even so (a person himself) excluded pro creates with (females of) the four
castes (varna, sons) more (worthy of being) excluded (than he himself).
31. But men excluded (by the Aryans, vahya), who approach females of higher rank, beget
races (varna) still more worthy to be excluded, low men (hina) still lower races, even
fifteen (in number).
32. A Dasyu begets on an Ayogava (woman) a Sairandhra, who is skilled in adorning and
attending (his master), who, (though) not a slave, lives like a slave, (or) subsists by
33. A Vaideha produces (with the same) a sweet-voiced Maitreyaka, who, ringing a bell
at the appearance of dawn, continually. praises (great) men.
34. A Nishada begets (on the same) a Margava (or) Dasa, who subsists by working as a
boatman, (and) whom the inhabitants of Aryavarta call a Kaivarta.
35. Those three base-born ones are severally begot on Ayogava women, who wear the
clothes of the dead, are wicked, and eat reprehensible food.
36. From a Nishada springs (by a woman of the Vaideha caste) a Karavara, who works in
leather; and from a Vaidehaka (by women of the Karavara and Nishada castes), an Andhra and
a Meda, who dwell outside the village.
37. From a Kandala by a Vaideha woman is born a Pandusopaka, who deals in cane; from a
Nishada (by the same) an Ahindika.
38. But from a Kandala by a Pukkasa woman is born the sinful Sopaka, who lives by the
occupations of his sire, and is ever despised by good men.
39. A Nishada woman bears to a Kandala a son (called) Antyavasayin, employed in
burial-grounds, and despised even by those excluded (from the Aryan community).
40. These races, (which originate) in a confusion (of the castes and) have been
described according to their fathers and mothers, may be known by their occupations,
whether they conceal or openly show themselves.
41. Six sons, begotten (by Aryans) on women of equal and the next lower castes
(Anantara), have the duties of twice-born men; but all those born in consequence of a
violation (of the law) are, as regards their duties, equal to Sudras.
42. By the power of austerities and of the seed (from which they sprang), these (races)
obtain here among men more exalted or lower rank in successive births.
43. But in consequence of the omission of the sacred rites, and of their not consulting
Brahmanas, the following tribes of Kshatriyas have gradually sunk in this world to the
condition of Sudras;
44. (Viz.) the Paundrakas, the Kodas, the Dravidas, the Kambogas, the Yavanas, the
Sakas, the Paradas, the Pahlavas, the Kinas, the Kiratas, and the Daradas.
45. All those tribes in this world, which are excluded from (the community of) those
born from the mouth, the arms, the thighs, and the feet (of Brahman), are called Dasyus,
whether they speak the language of the Mlekkhas (barbarians) or that of the Aryans.
46. Those who have been mentioned as the base-born (offspring, apasada) of Aryans, or
as produced in consequence of a violation (of the law, apadhvamsaga), shall subsist by
occupations reprehended by the twice-born.
47. To Sutas (belongs) the management of horses and of chariots; to Ambashthas, the art
of healing; to Vaidehakas, the service of women; to Magadhas, trade;
48. Killing fish to Nishadas; carpenters' work to the Ayogava; to Medas, Andhras,
Kunkus, and Madgus, the slaughter of wild animals;
49. To Kshattris, Ugras, and Pukkasas, catching and killing (animals) living in holes;
to Dhigvanas, working in leather; to Venas, playing drums.
50. Near well-known trees and burial-grounds, on mountains and in groves, let these
(tribes) dwell, known (by certain marks), and subsisting by their peculiar occupations.
51. But the dwellings of Kandalas and Svapakas shall be outside the village, they must
be made Apapatras, and their wealth (shall be) dogs and donkeys.
52. Their dress (shall be) the garments of the dead, (they shall eat) their food from
broken dishes, black iron (shall be) their ornaments, and they must always wander from
place to place.
53. A man who fulfils a religious duty, shall not seek intercourse with them; their
transactions (shall be) among themselves, and their marriages with their equals.
54. Their food shall be given to them by others (than an Aryan giver) in a broken dish;
at night they shall not walk about in villages and in towns.
55. By day they may go about for the purpose of their work, distinguished by marks at
the king's command, and they shall carry out the corpses (of persons) who have no
relatives; that is a settled rule.
56. By the king's order they shall always execute the criminals, in accordance with the
law, and they shall take for themselves the clothes, the beds, and the ornaments of (such)
57. A man of impure origin, who belongs not to any caste, (varna, but whose character
is) not known, who, (though) not an Aryan, has the appearance of an Aryan, one may
discover by his acts.
58. Behaviour unworthy of an Aryan, harshness, cruelty, and habitual neglect of the
prescribed duties betray in this world a man of impure origin.
59. A base-born man either resembles in character his father, or his mother, or both;
he can never conceal his real nature.
60. Even if a man, born in a great family, sprang from criminal intercourse, he will
certainly possess the faults of his (father), be they small or great.
61. But that kingdom in which such bastards, sullying (the purity of) the castes, are
born, perishes quickly together with its inhabitants.
62. Dying, without the expectation of a reward, for the sake of Brahmanas and of cows,
or in the defence of women and children, secures beatitude to those excluded (from the
Aryan community, vahya.)
63. Abstention from injuring (creatures), veracity, abstention from unlawfully
appropriating (the goods of others), purity, and control of the organs, Manu has declared
to be the summary of the law for the four castes.
64. If (a female of the caste), sprung from a Brahmana and a Sudra female, bear
(children) to one of the highest caste, the inferior (tribe) attains the highest caste
within the seventh generation.
65. (Thus) a Sudra attains the rank of a Brahmana, and (in a similar manner) a Brahmana
sinks to the level of a Sudra; but know that it is the same with the offspring of a
Kshatriya or of a Vaisya.
66. If (a doubt) should arise, with whom the preeminence (is, whether) with him whom an
Aryan by chance begot on a non-Aryan female, or (with the son) of a Brahmana woman by a
67. The decision is as follows: 'He who was begotten by an Aryan on a non-Aryan female,
may become (like to) an Aryan by his virtues; he whom an Aryan (mother) bore to a
non-Aryan father (is and remains) unlike to an Aryan.'
68. The law prescribes that neither of the two shall receive the sacraments, the first
(being excluded) on account of the lowness of his origin, the second (because the union of
his parents was) against the order of the castes.
69. As good seed, springing up in good soil, turns out perfectly well, even so the son
of an Aryan by an Aryan woman is worthy of all the sacraments.
70. Some sages declare the seed to be more important, and others the field; again
others (assert that) the seed and the field (are equally important); but the legal
decision on this point is as follows:
71. Seed, sown on barren ground, perishes in it; a (fertile) field also, in which no
(good) seed (is sown), will remain barren.
72. As through the power of the seed (sons) born of animals became sages who are
honoured and praised, hence the seed is declared to be more important.
73. Having considered (the case of) a non-Aryan who acts like an Aryan, and (that of)
an Aryan who acts like a non-Aryan, the creator declared, 'Those two are neither equal nor
74. Brahmanas who are intent on the means (of gaining union with) Brahman and firm in
(discharging) their duties, shall live by duly performing the following six acts, (which
are enumerated) in their (proper) order.
75. Teaching, studying, sacrificing for himself, sacrificing for others, making gifts
and receiving them are the six acts (prescribed) for a Brahmana.
76. But among the six acts (ordained) for him three are his means of subsistence,
(viz.) sacrificing for others, teaching, and accepting gifts from pure men.
77. (Passing) from the Brahmana to the Kshatriya, three acts (incumbent on the former)
are forbidden, (viz.) teaching, sacrificing for others, and, thirdly, the acceptance of
78. The same are likewise forbidden to a Vaisya, that is a settled rule; for Manu, the
lord of creatures (Pragapati), has not prescribed them for (men of) those two (castes).
79. To carry arms for striking and for throwing (is prescribed) for Kshatriyas as a
means of subsistence; to trade, (to rear) cattle, and agriculture for Vaisyas; but their
duties are liberality, the study of the Veda, and the performance of sacrifices.
80. Among the several occupations the most commendable are, teaching the Veda for a
Brahmana, protecting (the people) for a Kshatriya, and trade for a Vaisya.
81. But a Brahmana, unable to subsist by his peculiar occupations just mentioned, may
live according to the law applicable to Kshatriyas; for the latter is next to him in rank.
82. If it be asked, 'How shall it be, if he cannot maintain himself by either (of these
occupations?' the answer is), he may adopt a Vaisya's mode of life, employing himself in
agriculture and rearing cattle.
83. But a Brahmana, or a Kshatriya, living by a Vaisya's mode of subsistence, shall
carefully avoid (the pursuit of) agriculture, (which causes) injury to many beings and
depends on others.
84. (Some) declare that agriculture is something excellent, (but) that means of
subsistence is blamed by the virtuous; (for) the wooden (implement) with iron point
injuries the earth and (the beings) living in the earth.
85. But he who, through a want of means of subsistence, gives up the strictness with
respect to his duties, may sell, in order to increase his wealth, the commodities sold by
Vaisyas, making (however) the (following) exceptions.
86. He must avoid (selling) condiments of all sorts, cooked food and sesamum, stones,
salt, cattle, and human (beings),
87. All dyed cloth, as well as cloth made of hemp, or flax, or wool, even though they
be not dyed, fruit, roots, and (medical) herbs
88. Water, weapons, poison, meat, Soma, and perfumes of all kinds, fresh milk, honey,
sour milk, clarified butter, oil, wax, sugar, Kusa-grass;
89. All beasts of the forest, animals with fangs or tusks, birds, spirituous liquor,
indigo, lac, and all one-hoofed beasts.
90. But he who subsists by agriculture, may at pleasure sell unmixed sesamum grains for
sacred purposes, provided he himself has grown them and has not kept them long.
91. If he applies sesamum to any other purpose but food, anointing, and charitable
gifts, he will be born (again) as a worm and, together with his ancestors, be plunged into
the ordure of dogs.
92. By (selling) flesh, salt, and lac a Brahmana at once becomes an outcast; by selling
milk he becomes (equal to) a Sudra in three days.
93. But by willingly selling in this world other (forbidden) commodities, a Brahmana
assumes after seven nights the character of a Vaisya.
94. Condiments may be bartered for condiments, but by no means salt for (other)
condiments; cooked food (may be exchanged) for (other kinds of) cooked food, and sesamum
seeds for grain in equal quantities.
95. A Kshatriya who has fallen into distress, may subsist by all these (means); but he
must never arrogantly adopt the mode of life (prescribed for his) betters.
96. A man of low caste who through covetousness lives by the occupations of a higher
one, the king shall deprive of his property and banish.
97. It is better (to discharge) one's own (appointed) duty incompletely than to perform
completely that of another; for he who lives according to the law of another (caste) is
instantly excluded from his own.
98. A Vaisya who is unable to subsist by his own duties, may even maintain himself by a
Sudra's mode of life, avoiding (however) acts forbidden (to him), and he should give it
up, when he is able (to do so).
99. But a Sudra, being unable to find service with the twice-born and threatened with
the loss of his sons and wife (through hunger), may maintain himself by handicrafts.
100. (Let him follow) those mechanical occupations and those various practical arts by
following which the twice-born are (best) served.
101. A Brahmana who is distressed through a want of means of subsistence and pines
(with hunger), (but) unwilling to adopt a Vaisya's mode of life and resolved to follow his
own (prescribed) path, may act in the following manner.
102. A Brahmana who has fallen into distress may accept (gifts) from anybody; for
according to the law it is not possible (to assert) that anything pure can be sullied.
103. By teaching, by sacrificing for, and by accepting gifts from despicable (men)
Brahmanas (in distress) commit not sin; for they (are as pure) as fire and water.
104. He who, when in danger of losing his life, accepts food from any person
whatsoever, is no more tainted by sin than the sky by mud.
105. Agigarta, who suffered hunger, approached in order to slay (his own) son, and was
not tainted by sin, since he (only) sought a remedy against famishing.
106. Vamadeva, who well knew right and wrong, did not sully himself when, tormented (by
hunger), he desired to eat the flesh of a dog in order to save his life.
107. Bharadvaga, a performer of great austerities, accepted many cows from the
carpenter Bribu, when he was starving together with his sons in a lonely forest.
108. Visvamitra, who well knew what is right or wrong, approached, when he was
tormented by hunger, (to eat) the haunch of a dog, receiving it the hands of a Kandala.
109. On (comparing) the acceptance (of gifts from low men), sacrificing (for them), and
teaching (them), the acceptance of gifts is the meanest (of those acts) and (most)
reprehensible for a Brahmana (on account of its results) in the next life.
110. (For) assisting in sacrifices and teaching are (two acts) always performed for men
who have received the sacraments; but the acceptance of gifts takes place even in (case
the giver is) a Sudra of the lowest class.
111. The guilt incurred by offering sacrifices for teaching (unworthy men) is removed
by muttering (sacred texts) and by burnt offerings, but that incurred by accepting gifts
(from them) by throwing (the gifts) away and by austerities.
112. A Brahmana who is unable to maintain himself, should (rather) glean ears or grains
from (the field of) any (man); gleaning ears is better than accepting gifts, picking up
single grains is declared to be still more laudable.
113. If Brahmanas, who are Snatakas, are pining with hunger, or in want of (utensils
made of) common metals, or of other property, they may ask the king for them; if he is not
disposed to be liberal, he must be left.
114. (The acceptance on an untilled field is less blamable than (that of) a tilled one;
(with respect to) cows, goats, sheep, gold, grain, and cooked food, (the acceptance of)
each earlier-named (article is less blamable than of the following ones).
115. There are seven lawful modes of acquiring property, (viz.) inheritance, finding or
friendly donation, purchase, conquest, lending at interest, the performance of work, and
the acceptance of gifts from virtuous men.
116. Learning, mechanical arts, work for wages, service, rearing cattle, traffic,
agriculture, contentment (with little), alms, and receiving interest on money, are the ten
modes of subsistence (permitted to all men in times of distress).
117. Neither a Brahmana, nor a Kshatriya must lend (money at) interest; but at his
pleasure (either of them) may, in times of distress when he requires money) for sacred
purposes, lend to a very sinful man at a small interest.
118. A Kshatriya (king) who, in times of distress, takes even the fourth part (of the
crops), is free from guilt, if he protects his subjects to the best of his ability.
119. His peculiar duty is conquest, and he must not turn back in danger; having
protected the Vaisyas by his weapons, he may cause the legal tax to be collected;
120. (Viz.) from Vaisyas one-eighth as the tax on grain, one-twentieth (on the profits
on gold and cattle), which amount at least to one Karshapana; Sudras, artisans, and
mechanics (shall) benefit (the king) by (doing) work (for him).
121. If a Sudra, (unable to subsist by serving Brahmanas,) seeks a livelihood, he may
serve Kshatriyas, or he may also seek to maintain himself by attending on a wealthy
122. But let a (Sudra) serve Brahmanas, either for the sake of heaven, or with a view
to both (this life and the next); for he who is called the servant of a Brahmana thereby
gains all his ends.
123. The service of Brahmanas alone is declared (to be) an excellent occupation for a
Sudra; for whatever else besides this he may perform will bear him no fruit.
124. They must allot to him out of their own family (-property) a suitable maintenance,
after considering his ability, his industry, and the number of those whom he is bound to
125. The remnants of their food must be given to him, as well as their old clothes, the
refuse of their grain, and their old household furniture.
126. A Sudra cannot commit an offence, causing loss of caste (pataka), and he is not
worthy to receive the sacraments; he has no right to (fulfil) the sacred law (of the
Aryans, yet) there is no prohibition against (his fulfilling certain portions of) the law.
127. (Sudras) who are desirous to gain merit, and know (their) duty, commit no sin, but
gain praise, if they imitate the practice of virtuous men without reciting sacred texts.
128. The more a (Sudra), keeping himself free from envy, imitates the behaviour of the
virtuous, the more he gains, without being censured, (exaltation in) this world and the
129. No collection of wealth must be made by a Sudra, even though he be able (to do
it); for a Sudra who has acquired wealth, gives pain to Brahmanas.
130. The duties of the four castes (varna) in times of distress have thus been
declared, and if they perform them well, they will reach the most blessed state.
131. Thus all the legal rules for the four castes have been proclaimed; I next will
promulgate the auspicious rules for penances.
1. Him who wishes (to marry for the sake of having) offspring, him who wishes to
perform a sacrifice, a traveller, him who has given away all his property, him who begs
for the sake of his teacher, his father, or his mother, a student of the Veda, and a sick
2. These nine Brahmanas one should consider as Snatakas, begging in order to fulfil the
sacred law; to such poor men gifts must be given in proportion to their learning.
3. To these most excellent among the twice-born, food and presents (of money) must be
given; it is declared that food must be given to others outside the sacrificial enclosure.
4. But a king shall bestow, as is proper, jewels of all sorts, and presents for the
sake of sacrifices on Brahmanas learned in the Vedas.
5. If a man who has a wife weds a second wife, having begged money (to defray the
marriage expenses, he obtains) no advantage but sensual enjoyment; but the issue (of his
second marriage belongs) to the giver of the money.
6. One should give, according to one's ability, wealth to Brahmanas learned in the Veda
and living alone; (thus) one obtains after death heavenly bliss.
7. He who may possess (a supply of) food sufficient to maintain those dependant on him
during three years or more than that, is worthy to drink the Soma-juice.
8. But a twice-born man, who, though possessing less than that amount of property,
nevertheless drinks the Soma-juice, does not derive any benefit from that (act), though he
may have formerly drunk the Soma-juice.
9. (If) an opulent man (is) liberal towards strangers, while his family lives in
distress, that counterfeit virtue will first make him taste the sweets (of fame, but
afterwards) make him swallow the poison (of punishment in hell).
10. If (a man) does anything for the sake of his happiness in another world, to the
detriment of those whom he is bound to maintain, that produces evil results for him, both
while he lives and when he is dead.
11. If a sacrifice, (offered) by (any twice-born) sacrificer, (and) especially by a
Brahmana, must remain incomplete through (the want of) one requisite, while a righteous
12. That article (required) for the completion of the sacrifice, may be taken
(forcibly) from the house of any Vaisya, who possesses a large number of cattle, (but)
neither performs the (minor) sacrifices nor drinks the Soma-juice;
13. (Or) the (sacrificer) may take at his pleasure two or three (articles required for
a sacrifice) from the house of a Sudra; for a Sudra has no business with sacrifices.
14. If (a man) possessing one hundred cows, kindles not the sacred fire, or one
possessing a thousand cows, drinks not the Soma-juice, a (sacrificer) may unhesitatingly
take (what he requires) from the houses of those two, even (though they be Brahmanas or
15. (Or) he may take (it by force or fraud) from one who always takes and never gives,
and who refuses to give it; thus the fame (of the taker) will spread and his merit
16. Likewise he who has not eaten at (the time of) six meals, may take at (the time of)
the seventh meal (food) from a man who neglects his sacred duties, without (however)
making a provision for the morrow,
17. Either from the threshing-floor, or from a field, or out of the house, or wherever
he finds it; but if (the owner) asks him, he must confess to him that (deed and its
18. (On such occasions) a Kshatriya must never take the property of a (virtuous
Brahmana; but he who is starving may appropriate the possessions of a Dasyu, or of one who
neglects his sacred duties.
19. He who takes property from the wicked and bestows it on the virtuous, transforms
himself into a boat, and carries both (over the sea of misfortune).
20. The property of those who zealously offer sacrifices, the wise call the property of
the gods; but the wealth of those who perform no sacrifices is called the property of the
21. On him (who, for the reasons stated, appropriates another's possessions), a
righteous king shall not inflict punishment; for (in that case) a Brahmana pines with
hunger through the Kshatriya's want of care.
22. Having ascertained the number of those dependent on such a man, and having fully
considered his learning and his conduct, the king shall allow him, out of his own
property, a maintenance whereon he may live according to the law;
23. And after allotting to him a maintenance, the king must protect him in every way;
for he obtains from such (a man) whom he protects, the part of his spiritual merit.
24. A Brahmana shall never beg from a Sudra property for a sacrifice; for a sacrificer,
having begged (it from such a man), after death is born (again) as a Kandala.
25. A Brahmana who, having begged any property for a sacrifice, does not use the whole
(for that purpose), becomes for a hundred years a (vulture of the kind called) Bhasa, or a
26. That sinful man, who, through covetousness, seizes the property of the gods, or the
property of Brahmanas, feeds in another world on the leavings of vultures.
27. In case the prescribed animal and Soma-sacrifices cannot be performed, let him
always offer at the change of the year a Vaisvanari Ishti as a penance (for the omission).
28. But a twice-born, who, without being in distress, performs his duties according to
the law for times of distress, obtains no reward for them in the next world; that is the
opinion (of the sages).
29. By the Visve-devas, by the Sadhyas, and by the great sages (of the) Brahmana
(caste), who were afraid of perishing in times of distress, a substitute was made for the
30. That evil-minded man, who, being able (to fulfil) the original law, lives according
to the secondary rule, reaps no reward for that after death.
31. A Brahmana who knows the law need not bring any (offence) to the notice of the
king; by his own power alone be can punish those men who injure him.
32. His own power is greater than the power of the king; the Brahmana therefore, may
punish his foes by his own power alone.
33. Let him use without hesitation the sacred texts, revealed by Atharvan and by
Angiras; speech, indeed, is the weapon of the Brahmana, with that he may slay his enemies.
34. A Kshatriya shall pass through misfortunes which have befallen him by the strength
of his arms, a Vaisya and a Sudra by their wealth, the chief of the twice-born by muttered
prayers and burnt-oblations.
35. The Brahmana is declared (to be) the creator (of the world), the punisher, the
teacher, (and hence) a benefactor (of all created beings); to him let no man say anything
unpropitious, nor use any harsh words.
36. Neither a girl, nor a (married) young woman, nor a man of little learning, nor a
fool, nor a man in great suffering, nor one uninitiated, shall offer an Agnihotra.
37. For such (persons) offering a burnt-oblation sink into hell, as well as he to whom
that (Agnihotra) belongs; hence the person who sacrifices (for another) must be skilled in
(the performance of) Vaitana (rites), and know the whole Veda.
38. A Brahmana who, though wealthy, does not give, as fee for the performance of an
Agnyadheya, a horse sacred to Pragapati, becomes (equal to one) who has not kindled the
39. Let him who has faith and controls his senses perform other meritorious acts, but
let him on no account offer sacrifices at which he gives smaller fees (than those
40. The organs (of sense and action), honour, (bliss in) heaven, longevity, fame,
offspring, and cattle are destroyed by a sacrifice at which (too) small sacrificial fees
are given; hence a man of small means should not offer a (Srauta) sacrifice.
41. A Brahmana who, being an Agnihotrin, voluntarily neglects the sacred fires, shall
perform a lunar penance during one month; for that (offence) is equal to the slaughter of
42. Those who, obtaining wealth from Sudras, (and using that) offer an Agnihotra, are
priests officiating for Sudras, (and hence) censured among those who recite the Veda.
43. Treading with his foot on the heads of those fools who worship a fire (kindled at
the expense) of a Sudra, the giver (of the wealth) shall always pass over his miseries (in
the next world).
44. A man who omits a prescribed act, or performs a blamable act, or cleaves to sensual
enjoyments, must perform a penance.
45. (All) sages prescribe a penance for a sin unintentionally committed; some declare,
on the evidence of the revealed texts, (that it may be performed) even for an intentional
46. A sin unintentionally committed is expiated by the recitation of Vedic texts, but
that which (men) in their folly commit intentionally, by various (special) penances.
47. A twice-born man, having become liable to perform a penance, be it by (the decree
of) fate or by (an act) committed in a former life, must not, before the penance has been
performed, have intercourse with virtuous men.
48. Some wicked men suffer a change of their (natural) appearance in consequence of
crimes committed in this life, and some in consequence of those committed in a former
49. He who steals the gold (of a Brahmana) has diseased nails; a drinker of (the
spirituous liquor called) Sura, black teeth; the slayer of a Brahmana, consumption; the
violator of a Guru's bed, a diseased skin;
50. An informer, a foul-smelling nose; a calumniator, a stinking breath; a stealer of
grain, deficiency in limbs; he who adulterates (grain), redundant limbs;
51. A stealer of (cooked) food, dyspepsia; a stealer of the words (of the Veda),
dumbness a stealer of clothes, white leprosy; a horse-stealer, lameness.
52. The stealer of a lamp will become blind; he who extinguishes it will become
one-eyed; injury (to sentient beings) is punished by general sickliness; an adulterer
(will have) swellings (in his limbs).
53. Thus in consequence of a remnant of (the guilt of former) crimes, are born idiots,
dumb, blind, deaf, and deformed men, who are (all) despised by the virtuous.
54. Penances, therefore, must always be performed for the sake of purification, because
those whose sins have not been expiated, are born (again) with disgraceful marks.
55. Killing a Brahmana, drinking (the spirituous liquor called) Sura, stealing (the
gold of a Brahmana), adultery with a Guru's wife, and associating with such (offenders),
they declare (to be) mortal sins (mahapataka).
56. Falsely attributing to oneself high birth, giving information to the king
(regarding a crime), and falsely accusing one's teacher, (are offences) equal to slaying a
57. Forgetting the Veda, reviling the Vedas, giving false evidence, slaying a friend,
eating forbidden food, or (swallowing substances) unfit for food, are six (offences) equal
to drinking Sura.
58. Stealing a deposit, or men, a horse, and silver, land, diamonds and (other) gems,
is declared to be equal to stealing the gold (of a Brahmana).
59. Carnal intercourse with sisters by the same mother, with (unmarried) maidens, with
females of the lowest castes, with the wives of a friend, or of a son, they declare to be
equal to the violation of a Guru's bed.
60. Slaying kine, sacrificing for those who are unworthy to sacrifice, adultery,
selling oneself, casting off one's teacher, mother, father, or son, giving up the (daily)
study of the Veda, and neglecting the (sacred domestic) fire,
61. Allowing one's younger brother to marry first, marrying before one's elder brother,
giving a daughter to, or sacrificing for, (either brother),
62. Defiling a damsel, usury, breaking a vow, selling a tank, a garden, one's wife, or
63. Living as a Vratya, casting off a relative, teaching (the Veda) for wages, learning
(the Veda) from a paid teacher, and selling goods which one ought not to sell,
64. Superintending mines (or factories) of any sort, executing great mechanical works,
injuring (living) plants, subsisting on (the earnings of) one's wife, sorcery (by means of
sacrifices), and working (magic by means of) roots, (and so forth),
65. Cutting down green trees for firewood, doing acts for one's own advantage only,
eating prohibited food,
66. Neglecting to kindle the sacred fires, theft, non-payment of (the three) debts,
studying bad books, and practising (the arts of) dancing and singing,
67. Stealing grain, base metals, or cattle, intercourse with women who drink spirituous
liquor, slaying women, Sudras, Vaisyas, or Kshatriyas, and atheism, (are all) minor
offences, causing loss of caste (Upapataka).
68. Giving pain to a Brahmana (by a blow), smelling at things which ought not to be
smelt at, or at spirituous liquor, cheating, and an unnatural offence with a man, are
declared to cause the loss of caste (Gatibhramsa)
69. Killing a donkey, a horse, a camel, a deer, an elephant, a goat, a sheep, a fish, a
snake, or a buffalo, must be known to degrade (the offender) to a mixed caste
70. Accepting presents from blamed men, trading, serving Sudras, and speaking a
falsehood, make (the offender) unworthy to receive gifts (Apatra).
71. Killing insects, small or large, or birds, eating anything kept close to spirituous
liquors, stealing fruit, firewood, or flowers, (are offences) which make impure
72. Learn (now) completely those penances, by means of which all the several offences
mentioned (can) be expiated.
73. For his purification the slayer of a Brahmana shall make a hut in the forest and
dwell (in it) during twelve years, subsisting on alms and making the skull of a dead man
74. Or let him, of his own free will, become (in a battle) the target of archers who
know (his purpose); or he may thrice throw himself headlong into a blazing fire;
75. Or he may offer a horse-sacrifice, a Svargit, a Gosava, an Abhigit, a Visvagit, a
Trivrit, or an Agnishtut;
76. Or, in order to remove (the guilt of) slaying a Brahmana, he may walk one hundred
yoganas, reciting one of the Vedas, eating little, and controlling his organs;
77. Or he may present to a Brahmana, learned in the Vedas, whole property, as much
wealth as suffices for the maintenance (of the recipient), or a house together with the
78. Or, subsisting on sacrificial food, he may walk against the stream along (the whole
course of the river) Sarasvati; or, restricting his food (very much), he may mutter thrice
the Samhita of a Veda.
79. Having shaved off (all his hair), he may dwell at the extremity of the village, or
in a cow-pen, or in a hermitage, or at the root of a tree, taking pleasure in doing good
to cows and Brahmanas.
80. He who unhesitatingly abandons life for the sake of Brahmanas or of cows, is freed
from (the guilt of) the murder of a Brahmana, and (so is he) who saves (the life of) a
cow, or of a Brahmana.
81. If either he fights at least three times (against robbers in defence of) a
Brahmana's (property), or reconquers the whole property of a Brahmana, or if he loses his
life for such a cause, he is freed (from his guilt).
82. He who thus (remains) always firm in his vow, chaste, and of concentrated mind,
removes after the lapse of twelve years (the guilt of) slaying a Brahmana.
83. Or he who, after confessing his crime in an assembly of the gods of the earth
(Brahnanas), and the gods of men (Kshatriyas), bathes (with the priests) at the close of a
horse-sacrifice, is (also) freed (from guilt).
84. The Brahmana is declared (to be) the root of the sacred law and the Kshatriya its
top; hence he who has confessed his sin before an assembly of such men, becomes pure.
85. By his origin alone a Brahmana is a deity even for the gods, and (his teaching is)
authoritative for men, because the Veda is the foundation for that.
86. (If) only three of them who are learned in the Veda proclaim the expiation for
offences, that shall purify the (sinners); for the words of learned men are a means of
87. A Brahmana who, with a concentrated mind, follows any of the (above-mentioned)
rules, removes the sin committed by slaying a Brahmana through his self-control.
88. For destroying the embryo (of a Brahmana, the sex of which was) unknown, for
slaying a Kshatriya or a Vaisya who are (engaged in or) have offered a (Vedic) sacrifice,
or a (Brahmana) woman who has bathed after temporary uncleanness (Atreyi), he must perform
the same penance,
89. Likewise for giving false evidence (in an important cause), for passionately
abusing the teacher, for stealing a deposit, and for killing (his) wife or his friend:
90. This expiation has been prescribed for unintentionally killing a Brahmana; but for
intentionally slaying a Brahmana no atonement is ordained.
91. A twice-born man who has (intentionally) drunk, through delusion of mind, (the
spirituous liquor called) Sura shall drink that liquor boiling-hot; when his body has been
completely scalded by that, he is freed from his guilt;
92. Or he may drink cow's urine, water, milk, clarified butter or (liquid) cowdung
boiling-hot, until he dies;
93. Or, in order to remove (the guilt of) drinking Sura, he may eat during a year once
(a day) at night grains (of rice) or oilcake, wearing clothes made of cowhair and his own
hair in braids and carrying (a wine cup as) a flag.
94. Sura, indeed, is the dirty refuse (mala) of grain, sin also is called dirt (mala);
hence a Brahmana, a Kshatriya, and a Vaisya shall not drink Sura.
95. Sura one must know to be of three kinds, that distilled from molasses (gaudi), that
distilled from ground rice, and that distilled from Madhuka-flowers (madhvi); as the one
(named above) even so are all (three sorts) forbidden to the chief of the twice-born.
96. Sura, (all other) intoxicating drinks and decoctions and flesh are the food of the
Yakshas, Rakshasas, and Pisakas; a Brahmana who eats (the remnants of) the offerings
consecrated to the gods, must not partake of such (substances).
97. A Brahmana, stupefied by drunkenness, might fall on something impure, or
(improperly) pronounce Vedic (texts), or commit some other act which ought not to be
98. When the Brahman (the Veda) which dwells in his body is (even) once (only) deluged
with spirituous liquor, his Brahmanhood forsakes him and he becomes a Sudra.
99. The various expiations for drinking (the spirituous liquors called) Sura have thus
been explained; I will next proclaim the atonement for stealing the gold (of a Brahmana).
100. A Brahmana who has stolen the gold (of a Brahmana) shall go to the king and,
confessing his deed, say, 'Lord, punish me!'
101. Taking (from him) the club (which he must carry), the king himself shall strike
him once, by his death the thief becomes pure; or a Brahmana (may purify himself) by
102. He who desires to remove by austerities the guilt of stealing the gold (of a
Brahmana), shall perform the penance (prescribed) for the slayer of a Brahmana, (living)
in a forest and dressed in (garments) made of bark.
103. By these penances a twice-born man may remove the guilt incurred by a theft (of
gold); but he may atone for connexion with a Guru's wife by the following penances.
104. He who has violated his Guru's bed, shall, after confessing his crime, extend
himself on a heated iron bed, or embrace the red-hot image (of a woman); by dying he
105. Or, having himself cut off his organ and his testicles and having taken them in
his joined hands, he may walk straight towards the region of Nirriti (the south-west),
until he falls down (dead);
106. Or, carrying the foot of a bedstead, dressed in (garments of) bark and allowing
his beard to grow, he may, with a concentrated mind, perform during a whole year the
Krikkhra (or hard, penance), revealed by Pragapati, in a lonely forest;
107. Or, controlling his organs, he may during three months continuously perform the
lunar penance, (subsisting) on sacrificial food or barley-gruel, in order to remove (the
guilt of) violating a Guru's bed.
108. By means of these penances men who have committed mortal sins (Mahapataka) may
remove their guilt, but those who committed minor offences, causing loss of caste,
(Upapataka, can do it) by the various following penances.
109. He who has committed a minor offence by slaying a cow (or bull) shall drink during
(the first) month (a decoction of) barley-grains; having shaved all his hair, and covering
himself with the hide (of the slain cow), he must live in a cow-house.
110. During the two (following) months he shall eat a small (quantity of food) without
any factitious salt at every fourth meal-time, and shall bathe in the urine of cows,
keeping his organs under control.
111. During the day he shall follow the cows and, standing upright, inhale the dust
(raised by their hoofs); at night, after serving and worshipping them, he shall remain in
the (posture, called) virasana.
112. Controlling himself and free from anger, he must stand when they stand, follow
them when they walk, and seat himself when they lie down.
113. (When a cow is) sick, or is threatened by danger from thieves, tigers, and the
like, or falls, or sticks in a morass, he must relieve her by all possible means:
114. In heat, in rain, or in cold, or when the wind blows violently, he must not seek
to shelter himself, without (first) sheltering the cows according to his ability.
115. Let him not say (a word), if a cow eats (anything) in his own or another's house
or field or on the threshing-floor, or if a calf drinks (milk).
116. The slayer of a cow who serves cows in this manner, removes after three months the
guilt which he incurred by killing a cow.
117. But after he has fully performed the penance, he must give to (Brahmanas) learned
in the Veda ten cows and a bull, (or) if he does not possess (so much property) he must
offer to them all he has.
118. Twice-born men who have committed (other) minor offences (Upapataka), except a
student who has broken his vow (Avakirnin), may perform, in order to purify themselves,
the same penance or also a lunar penance.
119. But a student who has broken his vow shall offer at night on a crossway to Nirriti
a one-eyed ass, according to the rule of the Pakayagnas.
120. Having offered according to the rule oblations in the fire, he shall finally offer
(four) oblations of clarified butter to Vata, to Indra, to the teacher (of the gods,
Brihaspati) and to Agni, reciting the Rik verse 'May the Maruts grant me,' &c.
121. Those who know the Veda declare that a voluntary effusion of semen by a twice-born
(youth) who fulfils the vow (of studentship constitutes) a breach of that vow.
122. The divine light which the Veda imparts to the student, enters, if he breaks his
vow, the Maruts, Puruhuta (Indra), the teacher (of the gods, Brihaspati) and Pavaka
123. When this sin has been committed, he shall go begging to seven houses, dressed in
the hide of the (sacrificed) ass, proclaiming his deed.
124. Subsisting on a single (daily meal that consists) of the alms obtained there and
bathing at (the time of) the three savanas (morning, noon, and evening), he becomes pure
after (the lapse of) one year.
125. For committing with intent any of the deeds which cause loss of caste
(Gatibhramsakara), (the offender) shall perform a Samtapana Krikkhra; (for doing it)
unintentionally, (the Krikkhra) revealed by Pragapati.
126. As atonement for deeds which degrade to a mixed caste (Samkara), and for those
which make a man unworthy to receive gifts (Apatra), (he shall perform) the lunar
(penance) during a month; for (acts) which render impure (Malinikaraniya) he shall scald
himself during three days with (hot) barley-gruel.
127. One fourth (of the penance) for the murder of a Brahmana is prescribed (as
expiation) for (intentionally) killing a Kshatriya, one-eighth for killing a Vaisya; know
that it is one-sixteenth for killing a virtuous Sudra.
128. But if a Brahmana unintentionally kills a Kshatriya, he shall give, in order to
purify himself, one thousand cows and a bull;
129. Or he may perform the penance prescribed for the murderer of a Brahmana during
three years, controlling himself, wearing his hair in braids, staying far away from the
village, and dwelling at the root of a tree.
130. A Brahmana who has slain a virtuous Vaisya, shall perform the same penance during
one year, or he may give one hundred cows and one (bull).
131. He who has slain a Sudra, shall perform that whole penance during six months, or
he may also give ten white cows and one bull to a Brahmana.
132. Having killed a cat, an ichneumon, a blue jay, a frog, a dog, an iguana, an owl,
or a crow, he shall perform the penance for the murder of a Sudra;
133. Or he may drink milk during three days, or walk one hundred yoganas, or bathe in a
river, or mutter the hymn addressed to the Waters.
134. For killing a snake, a Brahmana shall give a spade of black iron, for a eunuch a
load of straw and a masha of lead;
135. For a boar a pot of clarified butter, for a partridge a drona of sesamum-grains,
for a parrot a calf two years old, for a crane (a calf) three years old.
136. If he has killed a Hamsa, a Balaka, a heron, a peacock, a monkey, a falcon, or a
Bhasa, he shall give a cow to a Brahmana.
137. For killing a horse, he shall give a garment, for (killing) an elephant, five
black bulls, for (killing) a goat, or a sheep, a draught-ox, for killing a donkey, (a
calf) one year old;
138. But for killing carnivorous wild beasts, he shall give a milch-cow, for (killing)
wild beasts that are not carnivorous, a heifer, for killing a camel, one krishnala.
139. For killing adulterous women of the four castes, he must give, in order to purify
himself, respectively a leathern bag, a bow, a goat, or a sheep.
140. A twice-born man, who is unable to atone by gifts for the slaughter of a serpent
and the other (creatures mentioned), shall perform for each of them, a Krikkhra (penance)
in order to remove his guilt.
141. But for destroying one thousand (small) animals that have bones, or a whole
cart-load of boneless (animals), he shall perform the penance (prescribed) for the murder
of a Sudra.
142. But for killing (small) animals which have bones, he should give some trifle to a
Brahmana; if he injures boneless (animals), he becomes pure by a suppressing his breath
143. For cutting fruit-trees, shrubs, creepers, lianas, or flowering plants, one
hundred Rikas must be muttered.
144. (For destroying) any kind of creature, bred in food, in condiments, in fruit, or
in flowers, the expiation is to eat clarified butter.
145. If a man destroys for no good purpose plants produced by cultivation, or such as
spontaneously spring up in the forest, he shall attend a cow during one day, subsisting on
146. The guilt incurred intentionally or unintentionally by injuring (created beings)
can be removed by means of these penances; hear (now, how) all (sins) committed by
partaking of forbidden food (or drink, can be expiated).
147. He who drinks unintentionally (the spirituous liquor, called) Varuni, becomes pure
by being initiated (again); (even for drinking it) intentionally (a penance) destructive
to life must not be imposed; that is a settled rule.
148. He who has drunk water which has stood in a vessel used for keeping (the
spirituous liquor, called) Sura, or other intoxicating drinks, shall drink during five
(days and) nights (nothing but) milk in which the Sankhapushpi (plant) has been boiled.
149. He who has touched spirituous liquor, has given it away, or received it in
accordance with the rule, or has drunk water left by a Sudra, shall drink during three
days water in which Kusa-grass has been boiled.
150. But when a Brahmana who has partaken of Soma-juice, has smelt the odour exhaled by
a drinker of Sura, he becomes pure by thrice suppressing his breath in water, and eating
151. (Men of) the three twice-born castes who have unintentionally swallowed ordure or
urine, or anything that has touched Sura, must be initiated again.
152. The tonsure, (wearing) the sacred girdle, (carrying) a staff, going to beg, and
the vows (incumbent on a student), are omitted on the second initiation of twice-born men.
153. But he who has eaten the food of men, whose food must not be eaten, or the
leavings of women and Sudras, or forbidden flesh, shall drink barley (-gruel) during seven
(days and) nights.
154. A twice-born man who has drunk (fluids that have turned) sour, or astringent
decoctions, becomes, though (these substances may) not (be specially) forbidden, impure
until they have been digested.
155. A twice-born man, who has swallowed the urine or ordure of a village pig, of a
donkey, of a camel, of a jackal, of a monkey, or of a crow, shall perform a lunar penance.
156. He who has eaten dried meat, mushrooms growing on the ground, or (meat, the nature
of) which is unknown, (or) such as had been kept in a slaughter-house, shall perform the
157. The atonement for partaking of (the meat of) carnivorous animals, of pigs, of
camels, of cocks, of crows, of donkeys, and of human flesh, is a Tapta Krikkhra (penance).
158. If a twice-born man, who has not returned (home from his teacher's house), eats
food, given at a monthly (Sraddha,) he shall fast during three days and pass one day
(standing) in water.
159. But a student who on any occasion eats honey or meat, shall perform an ordinary
Krikkhra (penance), and afterwards complete his vow (of studentship).
160. He who eats what is left by a cat, by a crow, by a mouse (or rat), by a dog, or by
an ichneumon, or (food) into which a hair or an insect has fallen, shall drink (a
decoction of) the Brahmasuvarkala (plant).
161. He who desires to be pure, must not eat forbidden food, and must vomit up such as
he has eaten unintentionally, or quickly atone for it by (various) means of purification.
162. The various rules respecting penances for eating forbidden food have been thus
declared; hear now the law of those penances which remove the guilt of theft.
163. The chief of the twice-born, having voluntarily stolen (valuable) property, grain,
or cooked food, from the house of a caste-fellow, is purified by performing Krikkhra
(penances) during a whole year.
164. The lunar penance has been declared to be the expiation for stealing men and
women, and (for wrongfully appropriating) a field, a house, or the water of wells and
165. He who has stolen objects of small value from the house of another man, shall,
after restoring the (stolen article), perform a Samtapana Krikkhra for his purification.
166. (To swallow) the five products of the cow (pankagavya) is the atonement for
stealing eatables of various kinds, a vehicle, a bed, a seat, flowers, roots, or fruit.
167. Fasting during three (days and) nights shall be (the penance for stealing) grass,
wood, trees, dry food, molasses, clothes, leather, and meat.
168. To subsist during twelve days on (uncooked) grains (is the penance for stealing)
gems, pearls, coral, copper, silver, iron, brass, or stone.
169. (For stealing) cotton, silk, wool, an animal with cloven hoofs, or one with
uncloven hoofs, a bird, perfumes, medicinal herbs, or a rope (the penance is to subsist)
during three days (on) milk.
170. By means of these penances, a twice-born man may remove the guilt of theft; but
the guilt of approaching women who ought not to be approached (agamya), he may expiate by
(the following) penances.
171. He who has had sexual intercourse with sisters by the same mother, with the wives
of a friend, or of a son, with unmarried maidens, and with females of the lowest castes,
shall perform the penance, prescribed for the violation of a Guru's bed.
172. He who has approached the daughter of his father's sister, (who is almost equal
to) a sister, (the daughter) of his mother's sister, or of his mother's full brother,
shall perform a lunar penance.
173. A wise man should not take as his wife any of these three; they must not be wedded
because they are (Sapinda-) relatives, he who marries (one of them), sinks low.
174. A man who has committed a bestial crime, or an unnatural crime with a female, or
has had intercourse in water, or with a menstruating woman, shall perform a Samtapana
175. A twice-born man who commits an unnatural offence with a male, or has intercourse
with a female in a cart drawn by oxen, in water, or in the day-time, shall bathe, dressed
in his clothes.
176. A Brahmana who unintentionally approaches a woman of the Kandala or of (any other)
very low caste, who eats (the food of such persons) and accepts (presents from them)
becomes an outcast; but (if he does it) intentionally, he becomes their equal.
177. An exceedingly corrupt wife let her husband confine to one apartment, and compel
her to perform the penance which is prescribed for males in cases of adultery.
178. If, being solicited by a man (of) equal (caste), she (afterwards) is again
unfaithful, then a Krikkhra and a lunar penance are prescribed as the means of purifying
179. The sin which a twice-born man commits by dallying one night with a Vrishali, he
removes in three years, by subsisting on alms and daily muttering (sacred texts).
180. The atonement (to be performed) by sinners (of) four (kinds) even, has been thus
declared; hear now the penances for those who have intercourse with outcasts.
181. He who associates with an outcast, himself becomes an outcast after a year, not by
sacrificing for him, teaching him, or forming a matrimonial alliance with him, but by
using the same carriage or seat, or by eating with him.
182. He who associates with any one of those outcasts, must perform, in order to atone
for (such) intercourse, the penance prescribed for that (sinner).
183. The Sapindas and Samanodakas of an outcast must offer (a libation of) water (to
him, as if he were dead), outside (the village), on an inauspicious day, in the evening
and in the presence of the relatives, officiating priests, and teachers.
184. A female slave shall upset with her foot a pot filled with water, as if it were
for a dead person; (his Sapindas) as well as the Samanodakas shall be impure for a day and
185. But thenceforward it shall be forbidden to converse with him, to sit with him, to
give him a share of the inheritance, and to hold with him such intercourse as is usual
186. And (if he be the eldest) his right of primogeniture shall be withheld and the
additional share, due to the eldest son; and his stead a younger brother, excelling in
virtue, shall obtain the share of the eldest.
187. But when he has performed his penance, they shall bathe with him in a holy pool
and throw down a new pot, filled with water.
188. But he shall throw that pot into water, enter his house and perform, as before,
all the duties incumbent on a relative.
189. Let him follow the same rule in the case of female outcasts; but clothes, food,
and drink shall be given to them, and they shall live close to the (family-) house.
190. Let him not transact any business with unpurified sinners; but let him in no way
reproach those who have made atonement.
191. Let him not dwell together with the murderers of children, with those who have
returned evil for good, and with the slayers of suppliants for protection or of women,
though they may have been purified according to the sacred law.
192. Those twice-born men who may not have been taught the Savitri (at the time)
prescribed by the rule, he shall cause to perform three Krikkhra (penances) and afterwards
initiate them in accordance with the law.
193. Let him prescribe the same (expiation) when twice-born men, who follow forbidden
occupations or have neglected (to learn) the Veda, desire to perform a penance.
194. If Brahmanas acquire property by a reprehensible action, they become pure by
relinquishing it, muttering prayers, and (performing) austerities.
195. By muttering with a concentrated mind the Savitri three thousand times, (dwelling)
for a month in a cow-house, (and) subsisting on milk, (a man) is freed from (the guilt of)
accepting presents from a wicked man.
196. But when he returns from the cow-house, emaciated with his fast, and reverently
salutes, (the Brahmanas) shall ask him, 'Friend, dost thou desire to become our equal?'
197. If he answers to the Brahmanas, 'Forsooth, (I will not offend again), 'he shall
scatter (some) grass for the cows; if the cows hallow that place (by eating the grass) the
(Brahmana) shall re-admit him (into their community).
198. He who has sacrificed for Vratyas, or has performed the obsequies of strangers, or
a magic sacrifice (intended to destroy life) or an Ahina sacrifice, removes (his guilt) by
three Krikkhra (penances).
199. A twice-born man who has cast off a suppliant for protection, or has (improperly)
divulged the Veda, atones for his offence, if he subsists during a year on barley.
200. He who has been bitten by a dog, a jackal, or a donkey, by a tame carnivorous
animal, by a man, a horse, a camel, or a (village-) pig, becomes pure by suppressing his
201. To eat during a month at each sixth mealtime (only), to recite the Samhita (of a
Veda), and (to perform) daily the Sakala oblations, are the means of purifying those
excluded from society at repasts (Apanktya).
202. A Brahmana who voluntarily rode in a carriage drawn by camels or by asses, and he
who bathed naked, become pure by suppressing his breath (Pranayama).
203. He who has relieved the necessities of nature, being greatly pressed, either
without (using) water or in water, becomes pure by bathing outside (the village) in his
clothes and by touching a cow.
204. Fasting is the penance for omitting the daily rites prescribed by the Veda and for
neglecting the special duties of a Snataka.
205. He who has said 'Hum' to a Brahmana, or has addressed one of his betters with
'Thou,' shall bathe, fast during the remaining part of the day, and appease (the person
offended) by a reverential salutation.
206. He who has struck (a Brahmana) even with a blade of grass, tied him by the neck
with a cloth, or conquered him in an altercation, shall appease him by a prostration.
207. But he who, intending to hurt a Brahmana, has threatened (him with a stick and the
like) shall remain in hell during a hundred years; he who (actually) struck him, during
one thousand years.
208. As many particles of dust as the blood of a Brahmana causes to coagulate, for so
many thousand years shall the shedder of that (blood) remain in hell.
209. For threatening a Brahmana, (the offender) shall perform a Krikkhra, for striking
him an Atikrikkhra, for shedding his blood a Krikkhra and an Atikrikkhra.
210. For the expiation of offences for which no atonement has been prescribed, let him
fix a penance after considering (the offender's) strength and the (nature of the) offence.
211. I will (now) describe to you those means, adopted by the gods, the sages, and the
manes, through which a man may remove his sins.
212. A twice-born man who performs (the Krikkhra penance), revealed by Pragapati, shall
eat during three days in the morning (only), during (the next) three days in the evening
(only), during the (following) three days (food given) unasked, and shall fast during
another period of three days.
213. (Subsisting on) the urine of cows, cowdung, milk, sour milk, clarified butter, and
a decoction of Kusa-grass, and fasting during one (day and) night, (that is) called a
214. A twice-born man who performs an Atikrikkhra (penance), must take his food during
three periods of three days in the manner described above, (but) one mouthful only at each
meal, and fast during the last three days.
215. A Brahmana who performs a Taptakrikkhra (penance) must drink hot water, hot milk,
hot clarified butter and (inhale) hot air, each during three days, and bathe once with a
216. A fast for twelve days by a man who controls himself and commits no mistakes, is
called a Paraka Krikkhra, which removes all guilt.
217. If one diminishes (one's food daily by) one mouthful during the dark (half of the
month) and increases (it in the same manner) during the bright half, and bathes (daily) at
the time of three libations (morning, noon, and evening), that is called a lunar penance
218. Let him follow throughout the same rule at the (Kandrayana, called) yavamadhyama
(shaped like a barley-corn), (but) let him (in that case) begin the lunar penance, (with
a) controlled (mind), on the first day of the bright half (of the month).
219. He who performs the lunar penance of ascetics, shall eat (during a month) daily at
midday eight mouthfuls, controlling himself and consuming sacrificial food (only).
220. If a Brahmana, with concentrated mind, eats (during a month daily) four mouthfuls
in a morning and four after sunset, (that is) called the lunar penance of children.
221. He who, concentrating his mind, eats during a month in any way thrice eighty
mouthfuls of sacrificial food, dwells (after death) in the world of the moon.
222. The Rudras, likewise the Adityas, the Vasus and the Maruts, together with the
great sages, practised this (rite) in order to remove all evil.
223. Burnt oblations, accompanied by (the recitation of) the Mahavyahritis, must daily
be made (by the penitent) himself, and he must abstain from injuring (sentient creatures),
speak the truth, and keep himself free from anger and from dishonesty.
224. Let him bathe three times each day and thrice each night, dressed in his clothes;
let him on no account talk to women, Sudras, and outcasts.
225. Let him pass the time standing (during the day) and sitting (during the night), or
if he is unable (to do that) let him lie on the (bare) ground; let him be chaste and
observe the vows (of a student) and worship his Gurus, the gods, and Brahmanas.
226. Let him constantly mutter the Savitri and (other) purificatory texts according to
his ability; (let him) carefully (act thus) on (the occasion of) all (other) vows
(performed) by way of penance.
227. By these expiations twice-born men must be purified whose sins are known, but let
him purify those whose sins are not known by (the recitation of) sacred texts and by (the
performance of) burnt oblations.
228. By confession, by repentance, by austerity, and by reciting (the Veda) a sinner is
freed from guilt, and in case no other course is possible, by liberality.
229. In proportion as a man who has done wrong, himself confesses it, even so far he is
freed from guilt, as a snake from its slough.
230. In proportion as his heart loathes his evil deed, even so far is his body freed
from that guilt.
231. He who has committed a sin and has repented, is freed from that sin, but he is
purified only by (the resolution of) ceasing (to sin and thinking) 'I will do so no more.'
232. Having thus considered in his mind what results will arise from his deeds after
death, let him always be good in thoughts, speech, and actions.
233. He who, having either unintentionally or intentionally committed a reprehensible
deed, desires to be freed from (the guilt on it, must not commit it a second time.
234. If his mind be uneasy with respect to any act, let him repeat the austerities
(prescribed as a penance) for it until they fully satisfy (his conscience).
235. All the bliss of gods and men is declared by the sages to whom the Veda was
revealed, to have austerity for its root, austerity for its middle, and austerity for its
236. (The pursuit of sacred) knowledge is the austerity of a Brahmana, protecting (the
people) is the austerity of a Kshatriya, (the pursuit of) his daily business is the
austerity of a Vaisya, and service the austerity of a Sudra.
237. The sages who control themselves and subsist on fruit, roots, and air, survey the
three worlds together with their moving and immovable (creatures) through their
238. Medicines, good health, learning, and the various divine stations are attained by
austerities alone; for austerity is the means of gaining them.
239. Whatever is hard to be traversed, whatever is hard to be attained, whatever is
hard to be reached, whatever is hard to be performed, all (this) may be accomplished by
austerities; for austerity (possesses a power) which it is difficult to surpass.
240. Both those who have committed mortal sin (Mahapataka) and all other offenders are
severally freed from their guilt by means of well-performed austerities.
241. Insects, snakes, moths, bees, birds and beings, bereft of motion, reach heaven by
the power of austerities.
242. Whatever sin men commit by thoughts, words, or deeds, that they speedily burn away
by penance, if they keep penance as their only riches.
243. The gods accept the offerings of that Brahmana alone who has purified himself by
austerities, and grant to him all he desires.
244. The lord, Pragapati, created these Institutes (of the sacred law) by his
austerities alone; the sages likewise obtained (the revelation of) the Vedas through their
245. The gods, discerning that the holy origin of this whole (world) is from austerity,
have thus proclaimed the incomparable power of austerity.
246. The daily study of the Veda, the performance of the great sacrifices according to
one's ability, (and) patience (in suffering) quickly destroy all guilt, even that caused
by mortal sins.
247. As a fire in one moment consumes with its bright flame the fuel that has been
placed on it, even so he who knows the Veda destroys all guilt by the fire of knowledge.
248. The penances for sins (made public) have been thus declared according to the law;
learn next the penances for secret (sins).
249. Sixteen suppressions of the breath (Pranayama) accompanied by (the recitation of)
the Vyahritis and of the syllable Om, purify, if they are repeated daily, after a month
even the murderer of a learned Brahmana.
250. Even a drinker of (the spirituous liquor called) Sura becomes pure, if he mutters
the hymn (seen) by Kutsa, 'Removing by thy splendour our guilt, O Agni,' &c., (that
seen) by Vasishtha, 'With their hymns the Vasishthas woke the Dawn,' &c., the Mahitra
(hymn) and (the verses called) Suddhavatis.
251. Even he who has stolen gold, instantly becomes free from guilt, if he once mutters
(the hymn beginning with the words) 'The middlemost brother of this beautiful, ancient
Hotri-priest' and the Sivasamkalpa.
252. The violator of a Guru's bed is freed (from sin), if he repeatedly recites the
Havishpantiya (hymn), (that beginning) 'Neither anxiety nor misfortune,' (and that
beginning) 'Thus, verily, thus,' and mutters the hymn addressed to Purusha.
253. He who desires to expiate sins great or small, must mutter during a year the
Rit-verse 'May we remove thy anger, O Varuna,' &c., or 'Whatever offence here, O
254. That man who, having accepted presents which ought not to be accepted, or having
eaten forbidden food, mutters the Taratsamandiya (Rikas), becomes pure after three days.
255. But he who has committed many sins, becomes pure, if he recites during a month the
(four verses) addressed to Soma and Rudra, and the three verses (beginning) 'Aryaman,
Varuna, and Mitra,' while he bathes in a river.
256. A grievous offender shall mutter the seven verses (beginning with) 'Indra,' for
half a year; but he who has committed any blamable act in water, shall subsist during a
month on food obtained by begging.
257. A twice-born man removes even very great guilt by offering clarified butter with
the sacred texts belonging to the Sakala-homas, or by muttering the Rik, (beginning)
258. He who is stained by mortal sin, becomes pure, if, with a concentrated mind, he
attends cows for a year, reciting the Pavamani (hymns) and subsisting on alms.
259. Or if, pure (in mind and in body), he thrice repeats the Samhita of the Veda in a
forest, sanctified by three Paraka (penances), he is freed from all crimes causing loss of
260. But if (a man) fasts during three days, bathing thrice a day, and muttering (in
the water the hymn seen by) Aghamarshana, he is (likewise) freed from all sins causing
loss of caste.
261. As the horse-sacrifice, the king of sacrifices, removes all sin, even so the
Aghamarshana hymn effaces all guilt.
262. A Brahmana who retains in his memory the Rig-veda is not stained by guilt, though
he may have destroyed these three worlds, though he may eat the food of anybody.
263. He who, with a concentrated mind, thrice recites the Riksamhita, or (that of the)
Yagur-veda; or (that of the) Sama-veda together with the secret (texts, the Upanishads),
is completely freed from all sins.
264. As a clod of earth, falling into a great lake, is quickly dissolved, even so every
sinful act is engulfed in the threefold Veda.
265. The Rikas, the Yagus (-formulas) which differ (from the former), the manifold
Saman (-songs), must be known (to form) the triple Veda; he who knows them, (is called)
learned in the Veda.
266. The initial triliteral Brahman on which the threefold (sacred science) is based,
is another triple Veda which must be kept secret; he who knows that, (is called) learned
in the Veda.
1. 'O sinless One, the whole sacred law, (applicable) to the four castes, has been
declared by thee; communicate to us (now), according to the truth, the ultimate
retribution for (their) deeds.'
2. To the great sages (who addressed him thus) righteous Bhrigu, sprung from Manu,
answered, 'Hear the decision concerning this whole connexion with actions.'
3. Action, which springs from the mind, from speech, and from the body, produces either
good or evil results; by action are caused the (various) conditions of men, the highest,
the middling, and the lowest.
4. Know that the mind is the instigator here below, even to that (action) which is
connected with the body, (and) which is of three kinds, has three locations, and falls
under ten heads.
5. Coveting the property of others, thinking in one's heart of what is undesirable, and
adherence to false (doctrines), are the three kinds of (sinful) mental action.
6. Abusing (others, speaking) untruth, detracting from the merits of all men, and
talking idly, shall be the four kinds of (evil) verbal action.
7. Taking what has not been given, injuring (creatures) without the sanction of the
law, and holding criminal intercourse with another man's wife, are declared to be the
three kinds of (wicked) bodily action.
8. (A man) obtains (the result of) a good or evil mental (act) in his mind, (that of) a
verbal (act) in his speech, (that of) a bodily (act) in his body.
9. In consequence of (many) sinful acts committed with his body, a man becomes (in the
next birth) something inanimate, in consequence (of sins) committed by speech, a bird, or
a beast, and in consequence of mental (sins he is re-born in) a low caste.
10. That man is called a (true) tridandin in whose mind these three, the control over
his speech (vagdanda), the control over his thoughts (manodanda), and the control over his
body (kayadanda), are firmly fixed.
11. That man who keeps this threefold control (over himself) with respect to all
created beings and wholly subdues desire and wrath, thereby assuredly gains complete
12. Him who impels this (corporeal) Self to action, they call the Kshetragna (the
knower of the field); but him who does the acts, the wise name the Bhutatman (the Self
consisting of the elements).
13. Another internal Self that is generated with all embodied (Kshetragnas) is called
Giva, through which (the Kshetragna) becomes sensible of all pleasure and pain in
14. These two, the Great One and the Kshetragna, who are closely united with the
elements, pervade him who resides in the multiform created beings.
15. From his body innumerable forms go forth, which constantly impel the multiform
creatures to action.
16. Another strong body, formed of particles (of the) five (elements and) destined to
suffer the torments (in hell), is produced after death (in the case) of wicked men.
17. When (the evil-doers) by means of that body have suffered there the torments
imposed by Yama, (its constituent parts) are united, each according to its class, with
those very elements (from which they were taken).
18. He, having suffered for his faults, which are produced by attachment to sensual
objects, and which result in misery, approaches, free from stains, those two mighty ones.
19. Those two together examine without tiring the merit and the guilt of that
(individual soul), united with which it obtains bliss or misery both in this world and the
20. If (the soul) chiefly practises virtue and vice to a small degree, it obtains bliss
in heaven, clothed with those very elements.
21. But if it chiefly cleaves to vice and to virtue in a small degree, it suffers,
deserted by the elements, the torments inflicted by Yama.
22. The individual soul, having endured those torments of Yama, again enters, free from
taint, those very five elements, each in due proportion.
23. Let (man), having recognised even by means of his intellect these transitions of
the individual soul (which depend) on merit and demerit, always fix his heart on (the
acquisition of) merit.
24. Know Goodness (sattva), Activity (ragas), and Darkness (tamas) to be the three
qualities of the Self, with which the Great One always completely pervades all existences.
25. When one of these qualities wholly predominates in a body, then it makes the
embodied (soul) eminently distinguished for that quality.
26. Goodness is declared (to have the form of) knowledge, Darkness (of) ignorance,
Activity (of) love and hatred; such is the nature of these (three) which is (all-)
pervading and clings to everything created.
27. When (man) experiences in his soul a (feeling) full of bliss, a deep calm, as it
were, and a pure light, then let him know (that it is) among those three (the quality
28. What is mixed with pain and does not give satisfaction to the soul one may know (to
be the quality of) Activity, which is difficult to conquer, and which ever draws embodied
(souls towards sensual objects).
29. What is coupled with delusion, what has the character of an undiscernible mass,
what cannot be fathomed by reasoning, what cannot be fully known, one must consider (as
the quality of) Darkness.
30. I will, moreover, fully describe the results which arise from these three
qualities, the excellent ones, the middling ones, and the lowest.
31. The study of the Vedas, austerity, (the pursuit of) knowledge, purity, control over
the organs, the performance of meritorious acts and meditation on the Soul, (are) the
marks of the quality of Goodness.
32. Delighting in undertakings, want of firmness, commission of sinful acts, and
continual indulgence in sensual pleasures, (are) the marks of the quality of Activity.
33. Covetousness, sleepiness, pusillanimity, cruelty, atheism, leading an evil life, a
habit of soliciting favours, and inattentiveness, are the marks of the quality of
34. Know, moreover, the following to be a brief description of the three qualities,
each in its order, as they appear in the three (times, the present, past, and future).
35. When a (man), having done, doing, or being about to do any act, feels ashamed, the
learned may know that all (such acts bear) the mark of the quality of Darkness.
36. But, when (a man) desires (to gain) by an act much fame in this world and feels no
sorrow on failing, know that it (bears the mark of the quality of) Activity.
37. But that (bears) the mark of the quality of Goodness which with his whole (heart)
he desires to know, which he is not ashamed to perform, and at which his soul rejoices.
38. The craving after sensual pleasures is declared to be the mark of Darkness, (the
pursuit of) wealth (the mark) of Activity, (the desire to gain) spiritual merit the mark
of Goodness; each later) named quality is) better than the preceding one.
39. I will briefly declare in due order what transmigrations in this whole (world a
man) obtains through each of these qualities.
40. Those endowed with Goodness reach the state of gods, those endowed with Activity
the state of men, and those endowed with Darkness ever sink to the condition of beasts;
that is the threefold course of transmigrations.
41. But know this threefold course of transmigrations that depends on the (three)
qualities (to be again) threefold, low, middling, and high, according to the particular
nature of the acts and of the knowledge (of each man).
42. Immovable (beings), insects, both small and great, fishes, snakes, and tortoises,
cattle and wild animals, are the lowest conditions to which (the quality of) Darkness
43. Elephants, horses, Sudras, and despicable barbarians, lions, tigers, and boars
(are) the middling states, caused by (the quality of) Darkness.
44. Karanas, Suparnas and hypocrites, Rakshasas and Pisakas (belong to) the highest
(rank of) conditions among those produced by Darkness.
45. Ghallas, Mallas, Natas, men who subsist by despicable occupations and those
addicted to gambling and drinking (form) the lowest (order of) conditions caused by
46. Kings and Kshatriyas, the domestic priests of kings, and those who delight in the
warfare of disputations (constitute) the middling (rank of the) states caused by Activity.
47. The Gandharvas, the Guhyakas, and the servants of the gods, likewise the Apsarases,
(belong all to) the highest (rank of) conditions produced by Activity.
48. Hermits, ascetics, Brahmanas, the crowds of the Vaimanika deities, the lunar
mansions, and the Daityas (form) the first (and lowest rank of the) existences caused by
49. Sacrificers, the sages, the gods, the Vedas, the heavenly lights, the years, the
manes, and the Sadhyas (constitute) the second order of existences, caused by Goodness.
50. The sages declare Brahma, the creators of the universe, the law, the Great One, and
the Undiscernible One (to constitute) the highest order of beings produced by Goodness.
51. Thus (the result) of the threefold action, the whole system of transmigrations
which (consists) of three classes, (each) with three subdivisions, and which includes all
created beings, has been fully pointed out.
52. In consequence of attachment to (the objects of) the senses, and in consequence of
the non-performance of their duties, fools, the lowest of men, reach the vilest births.
53. What wombs this individual soul enters in this world and in consequence of what
actions, learn the particulars of that at large and in due order.
54. Those who committed mortal sins (mahapataka), having passed during large numbers of
years through dreadful hells, obtain, after the expiration of (that term of punishment),
the following births.
55. The slayer of a Brahmana enters the womb of a dog, a pig, an ass, a camel, a cow, a
goat, a sheep, a deer, a bird, a Kandala, and a Pukkasa.
56. A Brahmana who drinks (the spirituous liquor called) Sura shall enter (the bodies)
of small and large insects, of moths, of birds, feeding on ordure, and of destructive
57. A Brahmana who steals (the gold of a Brahmana shall pass) a thousand times (through
the bodies) of spiders, snakes and lizards, of aquatic animals and of destructive Pisakas.
58. The violator of a Guru's bed (enters) a hundred times (the forms) of grasses,
shrubs, and creepers, likewise of carnivorous (animals) and of (beasts) with fangs and of
those doing cruel deeds.
59. Men who delight in doing hurt (become) carnivorous (animals); those who eat
forbidden food, worms; thieves, creatures consuming their own kind; those who have
intercourse with women of the lowest castes, Pretas.
60. He who has associated with outcasts, he who has approached the wives of other men,
and he who has stolen the property of a Brahmana become Brahmarakshasas.
61. A man who out of greed has stolen gems, pearls or coral, or any of the many other
kinds of precious things, is born among the goldsmiths.
62. For stealing grain (a man) becomes a rat, for stealing yellow metal a Hamsa, for
stealing water a Plava, for stealing honey a stinging insect, for stealing milk a crow,
for stealing condiments a dog, for stealing clarified butter an ichneumon;
63. For stealing meat a vulture, for stealing fat a cormorant, for stealing oil a
winged animal (of the kind called) Tailapaka, for stealing salt a cricket, for stealing
sour milk a bird (of the kind called) Balaka.
64. For stealing silk a partridge, for stealing linen a frog, for stealing cotton-cloth
a crane, for stealing a cow an iguana, for stealing molasses a flying-fox;
65. For stealing fine perfumes a musk-rat, for stealing vegetables consisting of leaves
a peacock, for stealing cooked food of various kinds a porcupine, for stealing uncooked
food a hedgehog.
66. For stealing fire he becomes a heron, for stealing household-utensils a mason-wasp,
for stealing dyed clothes a francolin-partridge;
67. For stealing a deer or an elephant a wolf, for stealing a horse a tiger, for
stealing fruit and roots a monkey, for stealing a woman a bear, for stealing water a
black-white cuckoo, for stealing vehicles a camel, for stealing cattle a he-goat.
68. That man who has forcibly taken away any kind of property belonging to another, or
who has eaten sacrificial food (of) which (no portion) had been offered, inevitably
becomes an animal.
69. Women, also, who in like manner have committed a theft, shall incur guilt; they
will become the females of those same creatures (which have been enumerated above).
70. But (men of the four) castes who have relinquished without the pressure of
necessity their proper occupations, will become the servants of Dasyus, after migrating
into despicable bodies.
71. A Brahmana who has fallen off from his duty (becomes) an Ulkamukha Preta, who feeds
on what has been vomited; and a Kshatriya, a Kataputana (Preta), who eats impure
substances and corpses.
72. A Vaisya who has fallen off from his duty becomes a Maitrakshagyotika Preta, who
feeds on pus; and a Sudra, a Kailasaka (Preta, who feeds on moths).
73. In proportion as sensual men indulge in sensual pleasures, in that same proportion
their taste for them grows.
74. By repeating their sinful acts those men of small understanding suffer pain here
(below) in various births;
75. (The torture of) being tossed about in dreadful hells, Tamisra and the rest, (that
of) the Forest with sword-leaved trees and the like, and (that of) being bound and
76. And various torments, the (pain of) being devoured by ravens and owls, the heat of
scorching sand, and the (torture of) being boiled in jars, which is hard to bear;
77. And births in the wombs (of) despicable (beings) which cause constant misery, and
afflictions from cold and heat and terrors of various kinds,
78. The (pain of) repeatedly lying in various wombs and agonizing births, imprisonment
in fetters hard to bear, and the misery of being enslaved by others,
79. And separations from their relatives and dear ones, and the (pain of) dwelling
together with the wicked, (labour in) gaining wealth and its loss, (trouble in) making
friends and (the appearance of) enemies,
80. Old age against which there is no remedy, the pangs of diseases, afflictions of
many various kinds, and (finally) unconquerable death.
81. But with whatever disposition of mind (a man) forms any act, he reaps its result in
a (future) body endowed with the same quality.
82. All the results, proceeding from actions, have been thus pointed out; learn (next)
those acts which secure supreme bliss to a Brahmana.
83. Studying the Veda, (practising) austerities, (the acquisition of true) knowledge,
the subjugation of the organs, abstention from doing injury, and serving the Guru are the
best means for attaining supreme bliss.
84. (If you ask) whether among all these virtuous actions, (performed) here below,
(there be) one which has been declared more efficacious (than the rest) for securing
supreme happiness to man,
85. (The answer is that) the knowledge of the Soul is stated to be the most excellent
among all of them; for that is the first of all sciences, because immortality is gained
86. Among those six (kinds of) actions (enumerated) above, the performance of) the acts
taught in the Veda must ever be held to be most efficacious for ensuring happiness in this
world and the next.
87. For in the performance of the acts prescribed by the Veda all those (others) are
fully comprised, (each) in its turn in the several rules for the rites.
88. The acts prescribed by the Veda are of two kinds, such as procure an increase of
happiness and cause a continuation (of mundane existence, pravritta), and such as ensure
supreme bliss and cause a cessation (of mundane existence, nivritta).
89. Acts which secure (the fulfilment of) wishes in this world or in the next are
called pravritta (such as cause a continuation of mundane existence); but acts performed
without any desire (for a reward), preceded by (the acquisition) of (true) knowledge, are
declared to be nivritta (such as cause the cessation of mundane existence).
90. He who sedulously performs acts leading to future births (pravritta) becomes equal
to the gods; but he who is intent on the performance of those causing the cessation (of
existence, nivritta) indeed, passes beyond (the reach of) the five elements.
91. He who sacrifices to the Self (alone), equally recognising the Self in all created
beings and all created beings in the Self, becomes (independent like) an autocrat and
92. After giving up even the above-mentioned sacrificial rites, a Brahmana should exert
himself in (acquiring) the knowledge of the Soul, in extinguishing his passions, and in
studying the Veda.
93. For that secures the attainment of the object of existence, especially in the case
of a Brahmana, because by attaining that, not otherwise, a twice-born man has gained all
94. The Veda is the eternal eye of the manes, gods, and men; the Veda-ordinance (is)
both beyond the sphere of (human) power, and beyond the sphere of (human) comprehension;
that is a certain fact.
95. All those traditions (smriti) and those despicable systems of philosophy, which are
not based on the Veda, produce no reward after death; for they are declared to be founded
96. All those (doctrines), differing from the (Veda), which spring up and (soon)
perish, are worthless and false, because they are of modern date.
97. The four castes, the three worlds, the four orders, the past, the present, and the
future are all severally known by means of the Veda.
98. Sound, touch, colour, taste, and fifthly smell are known through the Veda alone,
(their) production (is) through the (Vedic rites, which in this respect are) secondary
99. The eternal lore of the Veda upholds all created beings; hence I hold that to be
supreme, which is the means of (securing happiness to) these creatures.
100. Command of armies, royal authority, the office of a judge, and sovereignty over
the whole world he (only) deserves who knows the Veda-science.
101. As a fire that has gained strength consumes even trees full of sap, even so he who
knows the Veda burns out the taint of his soul which arises from (evil) acts.
102. In whatever order (a man) who knows the true meaning of the Veda-science may
dwell, he becomes even while abiding in this world, fit for the union with Brahman.
103. (Even forgetful) students of the (sacred) books are more distinguished than the
ignorant, those who remember them surpass the (forgetful) students, those who possess a
knowledge (of the meaning) are more distinguished than those who (only) remember (the
words), men who follow (the teaching of the texts) surpass those who (merely) know (their
104. Austerity and sacred learning are the best means by which a Brahmana secures
supreme bliss; by austerities he destroys guilt, by sacred learning he obtains the
cessation of (births and) deaths.
105. The three (kinds of evidence), perception, inference, and the (sacred) Institutes
which comprise the tradition (of) many (schools), must be fully understood by him who
desires perfect correctness with respect to the sacred law.
106. He alone, and no other man, knows the sacred law, who explores the (utterances) of
the sages and the body of the laws, by (modes of) reasoning, not repugnant to the
107. Thus the acts which secure supreme bliss have been exactly and fully described;
(now) the secret portion of these Institutes, proclaimed by Manu, will be taught.
108. If it be asked how it should be with respect to (points of) the law which have not
been (specially) mentioned, (the answer is), 'that which Brahmanas (who are) Sishtas
propound, shall doubtlessly have legal (force).'
109. Those Brahmanas must be considered as Sishtas who, in accordance with the sacred
law, have studied the Veda together with its appendages, and are able to adduce proofs
perceptible by the senses from the revealed texts.
110. Whatever an assembly, consisting either of at least ten, or of at least three
persons who follow their prescribed occupations, declares to be law, the legal (force of)
that one must not dispute.
111. Three persons who each know one of the three principal Vedas, a logician, a
Mimamsaka, one who knows the Nirukta, one who recites (the Institutes of) the sacred law,
and three men belonging to the first three orders shall constitute a (legal) assembly,
consisting of at least ten members.
112. One who knows the Rig-veda, one who knows the Yagur-veda, and one who knows the
Sama-veda, shall be known (to form) an assembly consisting of at least three members (and
competent) to decide doubtful points of law.
113. Even that which one Brahmana versed in the Veda declares to be law, must be
considered (to have) supreme legal (force, but) not that which is proclaimed by myriads of
114. Even if thousands of Brahmanas, who have not fulfilled their sacred duties, are
unacquainted with the Veda, and subsist only by the name of their caste, meet, they cannot
(form) an assembly (for settling the sacred law).
115. The sin of him whom dunces, incarnations of Darkness, and unacquainted with the
law, instruct (in his duty), falls, increased a hundredfold, on those who propound it.
116. All that which is most efficacious for securing supreme bliss has been thus
declared to you; a Brahmana who does not fall off from that obtains the most excellent
117. Thus did that worshipful deity disclose to me, through a desire of benefiting
mankind, this whole most excellent secret of the sacred law.
118. Let (every Brahmana), concentrating his mind, fully recognise in the Self all
things, both the real and the unreal, for he who recognises the universe in the Self, does
not give his heart to unrighteousness.
119. The Self alone is the multitude of the gods, the universe rests on the Self; for
the Self produces the connexion of these embodied (spirits) with actions.
120. Let him meditate on the ether as identical with the cavities (of the body), on the
wind as identical with the organs of motions and of touch, on the most excellent light as
the same with his digestive organs and his sight, on water as the same with the
(corporeal) fluids, on the earth as the same with the solid parts (of his body);
121. On the moon as one with the internal organ, on the quarters of the horizon as one
with his sense of hearing, on Vishnu as one with his (power of) motion, on Hara as the
same with his strength, on Agni (Fire) as identical with his speech, on Mitra as identical
with his excretions, and on Pragapati as one with his organ of generation.
122. Let him know the supreme Male (Purusha, to be) the sovereign ruler of them all,
smaller even than small, bright like gold, and perceptible by the intellect (only when) in
(a state of) sleep (-like abstraction).
123. Some call him Agni (Fire), others Manu, the Lord of creatures, others Indra,
others the vital air, and again others eternal Brahman.
124. He pervades all created beings in the five forms, and constantly makes them, by
means of birth, growth and decay, revolve like the wheels (of a chariot).
125. He who thus recognises the Self through the Self in all created beings, becomes
equal (-minded) towards all, and enters the highest state, Brahman.
126. A twice-born man who recites these Institutes, revealed by Manu, will be always
virtuous in conduct, and will reach whatever condition he desires.