Georg Bühler's translation of Manusmrti, Oxford 1886


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Georg Bühler's translation of Manusmrti, Oxford 1886 (public domain)

Chapter 1

mnum! @ka¢m! AasInm! Ai-gMy mh;Ry>, àitpUJy ywaNyaym! #d< vcnm! Aäuvn!. 1£01

1.1. The great sages approached Manu, who was seated with a collected mind, and, having duly worshipped him, spoke as follows:

-gvn! svRv[aRna< ywavdœ AnupUvRz>, ANtrà-vana< c xmaRn! nae v­…m! AhRis. 1£02

1.2. '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.

Tvm! @kae ýSy svRSy ivxanSy Svy<-uv>, AicNTySy£AàmeySy kayRtÅvawRivt! à-ae. 1£03

1.3. '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.'

s tE> p&òs! twa sMyg! Aimt£Aaeja mhaTmi->, àTyuvac£ACyR tan! svaRn! mh;IRn! £ ïUytam! #it. 1£04

1.4. He, whose power is measureless, being thus asked by the high-minded great sages, duly honoured them, and answered, 'Listen!'

AasIdœ #dm! tmae-Utm! Aà}atm! Al][m!, AàtKyRm! Aiv}ey< àsuÝm! #v svRt>. 1£05

1.5. This (universe) existed in the shape of Darkness, unperceived, destitute of distinctive marks, unattainable by reasoning, unknowable, wholly immersed, as it were, in deep sleep.

tt> Svy<-Urœ -gvan! AVy­ae VyÃyÚ! #dm!, mha-Utaid v&Ä£Aaeja> àaÊrœ AasIt! tmaenud>. 1£06

1.6. 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.

yae Asav! AtIiNÔy¢aý> sUúmae AVy­> snatn>, svR-Utmyae AicNTy> s @v Svym! %Ó-aE., 1£07

1.7. 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).

sae Ai-Xyay zrIrat! Svat! iss&]urœ ivivxa> àja>, Ap @v ssjR£AdaE tasu vIyRm! Avas&jt!. 1£08

1.8. 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.

tdœ A{fm! A-vΉ hEm< shöa. 1£09

1.9. 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.

Aapae nra #it àae­a Aapae vE nrsUnv>, ta ydœ ASyayn< pUv¡ ten naray[> Sm&t>. 1£10

1.10. 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.

yt! tt! kar[m! AVy­< inTy< sdœ£Asdœ£ATmk<, tdœ£ivs&ò> s pué;ae laeke äüa£#it kITyRte. 1£11

1.11. 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) Brahman.

tiSmÚ! A{fe s -gvan! %i;Tva pirvTsrm!, Svym! @vaTmnae Xyanat! tdœ A{fm! Akraedœ iÖxa. 1£12

1.12. The divine one resided in that egg during a whole year, then he himself by his thought (alone) divided it into two halves;

ta_ya< s zkla_ya< c idv< -Uim< c inmRme, mXye Vyaem idzz! c£Aòav! Apa< Swan< c zañt<. 1£13

1.13. 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.

%ÓbhR£ATmnz! c£@v mn> sdœ£Asdœ£ATmkm!, mnsz! c£APyh

1.14. 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) lordly;

mhaNtm! @v c£ATman< svaRi[ iÇ£gu[ain c, iv;ya[a< ¢hIt¨i[ znE> p£#iNÔyai[ c. 1£15

1.15. 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.

te;a< Tv! Avyvan! sUúman! ;{[am! APyimt£Aaejsam!, s

1.16. But, joining minute particles even of those six, which possess measureless power, with particles of himself, he created all beings.

yn! mUitR£Avyva> sUúmas! tain£#maNyaïyiNt ;qœ, tSmat! £ zrIrm! #Tya÷s! tSy mUit¡ mnIi;[>. 1£17

1.17. 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.)

tdœ AaivziNt -Utain mhaiNt sh kmRi->, mnz! c£AvyvE> sUúmE> svR-Utk«dœ AVyym!. 1£18

1.18. That the great elements enter, together with their functions and the mind, through its minute parts the framer of all beings, the imperishable one.

te;am! #d< tu sÝana< pué;a[a< mha£Aaejsam!, sUúma_yae mUitRmaÇa_y> s<-vTyVyyadœ Vyym!. 1£19

1.19. But from minute body (-framing) particles of these seven very powerful Purushas springs this (world), the perishable from the imperishable.

Aa*a*Sy gu[< Tv! @;am! Avaßaeit pr> pr>, yae yae yavitwz! c£@;a< s s tavdœ gu[> Sm&t>. 1£20

1.20. 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.

sveR;a< tu s namain kmaRi[ c p&wkœ p&wkœ, vedzBde_y @v£AdaE p&wkœ s

1.21. But in the beginning he assigned their several names, actions, and conditions to all (created beings), even according to the words of the Veda.

kmaRTmna< c devana< sae As&jt! àai[na< à-u>, saXyana< c g[< sUúm< y}< c£@v snatnm!. 1£22

1.22. 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.

Ai¶£vayu£riv_ys! tu Çy< äü snatnm!, Êdaeh y}isiÏ£AwRm! \C£yjuS£sam£l][m!. 1£23

1.23. 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.

kal< kaliv-­Iz! c n]Çai[ ¢ha sagran! £ zElan! smain iv;main c. 1£24

1.24. Time and the divisions of time, the lunar mansions and the planets, the rivers, the oceans, the mountains, plains, and uneven ground.

tpae vac< rit< c£@v kam< c ³aexm! @v c, s&iò< ssjR c£@v£#ma< öòum! #½Ú! #ma> àja>. 1£25

1.25. Austerity, speech, pleasure, desire, and anger, this whole creation he likewise produced, as he desired to call these beings into existence.

kmR[a< c ivvekaw¡ xmR£AxmaER Vyvecyt!, ÖNÖErœ Ayaejyc! c£#ma> suo£Ê>oaidi-> àja>. 1£26

1.26. 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 pleasure.

A{Vyae maÇa ivnaizNyae dzaxaRna< tu ya> Sm&ta>, tai-> saxRm! #d< sv¡ s<-vTynupUvRz>. 1£27

1.27. But with the minute perishable particles of the five (elements) which have been mentioned, this whole (world) is framed in due order.

y< tu kmRi[ yiSmn! s Nyyu“ àwm< à-u>, s tdœ @v Svy< -eje s&Jyman> pun> pun>. 1£28

1.28. 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.

ih<ö£Aih<öe m&Ê£³ªre xmR£AxmaRv! \t£An&te, ydœ ySy sae Adxat! sgeR tt! tSy Svym! Aaivzt!. 1£29

1.29. 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.

ywa£\tu£il¼aNy&tv> Svym! @v£\tupyRye, Svain SvaNyi-p*Nte twa kmaRi[ deihn>. 1£30

1.30. 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.

laekana< tu ivv&iÏ£Aw¡ muo£ba÷£^é£padt>, äaü[< ]iÇy< vEZy< zUÔ< c inrvtRyt!. 1£31

1.31. 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 his feet.

iÖxa k«Tva£ATmnae dehm! AxeRn pué;ae A-vt!, AxeRn narI tSya< s ivrajm! As&jt! à-u>. 1£32

1.32. Dividing his own body, the Lord became half male and half female; with that (female) he produced Virag.

tps! tÞva£As&jdœ y< tu s Svy< pué;ae ivraqœ, t< ma< ivÄ£ASy svRSy öòar< iÖjsÄma>. 1£33

1.33. 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.

Ah< àja> iss&]us! tu tps! tÞva su£Êírm!, ptIn! àjanam! As&j< mh;IRn! Aaidtae dz,1£34

1.34. Then I, desiring to produce created beings, performed very difficult austerities, and (thereby) called into existence ten great sages, lords of created beings,

mrIicm! AiÇ£Ai¼rsaE pulSTy< pulh< ³tum!, àcets< visó< c -&gu< nardm! @v c. 1£35

1.35. Mariki, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Praketas, Vasishtha, Bhrigu, and Narada.

@te mnU, devan! devinkaya. 1£36

1.36. They created seven other Manus possessing great brilliancy, gods and classes of gods and great sages of measureless power,


1.37. 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,

iv*utae Azin£me"a

1.38. Lightnings, thunderbolts and clouds, imperfect (rohita) and perfect rainbows, falling meteors, supernatural noises, comets, and heavenly lights of many kinds,

ikÚran! vanran! mTSyan! ivivxa. 1£39

1.39 (Horse-faced) Kinnaras, monkeys, fishes, birds of many kinds, cattle, deer, men, and carnivorous beasts with two rows of teeth,


1.40. Small and large worms and beetles, moths, lice, flies, bugs, all stinging and biting insects and the several kinds of immovable things.

@vm! @tErœ #d< sv¡ mdœ£inyaegan! mhaTmi->, ywakmR tpaeyaegat! s&ò< Swavr£j¼mm!. 1£41

1.41. 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.

ye;a< tu ya†;< kmR -Utanam! #h kIitRtm!, tt! twa vae Ai-xaSyaim ³myaeg< c jNmin. 1£42

1.42. 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.

pzvz! c m&gaz! c£@v Vyalaz! c£%-ytaedt>, r]a. 1£43

1.43. Cattle, deer, carnivorous beasts with two rows of teeth, Rakshasas, Pisakas, and men are born from the womb.

A{faja> pi][> spaR n³a mTSyaz! c k½pa>, yain c£@v<£àkarai[ SwljaNyaEdkain c. 1£44

1.44. From eggs are born birds, snakes, crocodiles, fishes, tortoises, as well as similar terrestrial and aquatic (animals).

Svedj< d

1.45. From hot moisture spring stinging and biting insects, lice, flies, bugs, and all other (creatures) of that kind which are produced by heat.

%iѾa> Swavra> sveR bIj£ka{fàraeih[>, Aae;Xy> )lpakaNta b÷£pu:p£)l£%pga>. 1£46

1.46. 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;

Apu:pa> )lvNtae ye te vnSpty> Sm&ta>, pui:p[> )ilnz! c£@v v&]as! tu£%-yt> Sm&ta>. 1£47

1.47. (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.

gu½£guLm< tu ivivx< twa£@v t&[jaty>, bIj£ka{féha{yev àtana vLLy @v c. 1£48

1.48. 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 from slips.

tmsa b÷£êpe[ veiòta> kmRhetuna, ANt>£s<}a -vNTyete suo£Ê>o£smiNvta>. 1£49

1.49. These (plants) which are surrounded by multiform Darkness, the result of their acts (in former existences), possess internal consciousness and experience pleasure and pain.

@tdœ£ANtas! tu gtyae äüa*a> smudaùta>, "aere AiSmn! -Uts

1.50. 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).

@v< sv¡ s s&òœva£#d< ma< c£AicNTy£pra³m>, AaTmNyNtdRxe -Uy> kal< kalen pIfyn!. 1£51

1.51. 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.

yda s devae jagitR tdœ @v< ceòte jgt!, yda Svipit zaNt£ATma tda sv¡ inmIlit. 1£52

1.52. When that divine one wakes, then this world stirs; when he slumbers tranquilly, then the universe sinks to sleep.

tiSmn! Svipit tu SvSwe kmR£ATman> zrIir[>, SvkmR_yae invtRNte mnz! c Glainm! \½it. 1£53

1.53. But when he reposes in calm sleep, the corporeal beings whose nature is action, desist from their actions and mind becomes inert.

yugpt! tu àlIyNte yda tiSmn! mhaTmin, tda£Ay< svR-UtaTma suo< Svipit inv&Rt>. 1£54

1.54. 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.

tmae Ay< tu smaiïTy icr< itóit s£#iNÔy>, n c Sv< k…éte kmR tda£%T³amit mUitRt>. 1£55

1.55. 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.

yda£A[umaiÇkae -UTva bIj< Swaõu cir:[u c, smaivzit s

1.56. 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.

@v< s ja¢t! £ Svßa_yam! #d< sv¡ cr£Acrm!, s. 1£57

1.57. Thus he, the imperishable one, by (alternately) waking and slumbering, incessantly revivifies and destroys this whole movable and immovable (creation).

#d< zaô< tu k«Tva£AsaE mam! @v Svym! Aaidt>, ivixvdœ ¢ahyam! Aas mrIic£AdI—s! Tv! Ah< munIn!. 1£58

1.58. 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.

@tdœ vae Ay< -&gu> zaô< ïaviy:yTyzest>, @tΉ ih mÄae Aixjge svRm! @;ae Aiol< muin>. 1£59

1.59. Bhrigu, here, will fully recite to you these Institutes; for that sage learned the whole in its entirety from me.

tts! twa s ten£%­ae mhi;R£mnuna -&gu>, tan! AävIdœ \;In! svaRn! àItaTma ïUytam! #it. 1£60

1.60. Then that great sage Bhrigu, being thus addressed by Manu, spoke, pleased in his heart, to all the sages, 'Listen!'

Svay<-uvSy£ASy mnae> ;fœv àja> Sva> Sva mhaTmanae mha£Aaejs>. 1£61

1.61. 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 beings,

Svaraeic;z! c£%Ämz! c tamsae rEvts! twa, ca]u;z! c mhateja ivvSvt! £ sut @v c. 1£62

1.62. (Are) Svarokisha, Auttami, Tamasa, Raivata, Kakshusha, possessing great lustre, and the son of Vivasvat.

Svay<-uv£A*a> sÝ£@te mnvae -Uirtejs>, Sve Sve ANtre svRm! #dm! %Tpa*£Apuz! cr£Acrm!. 1£63

1.63. 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 him).

inme;a dz c£AòaE c kaóa iÇ kla, iÇ Syadœ AhaeraÇ< tu tavt>. 1£64

1.64. 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.

AhaeraÇe iv-jte sUyaeR manu;£dEivke, raiÇ> Svßay -Utana< ceòayE kmR[am! Ah>. 1£65

1.65. 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.

ipÈye raiÇ£AhnI mas> àiv-ags! tu p]yae>, kmR£ceòaSv! Ah> k«:[> zu¬> Svßay zvRrI. 1£66

1.66. 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.

dEve raiÇ£AhnI v;¡ àiv-ags! tyae> pun>, Ahs! tÇ£%dgyn< raiÇ> Syadœ di][aynm!. 1£67

1.67. 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.

äaüSy tu ]pahSy yt! àma[< smast>, @kEkzae yugana< tu ³mzs! tn! inbaext. 1£68

1.68. 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.

cTvayaR÷> shöai[ vsaR[a< tt! k«t< yugm!, tSy tavt! £ ztI s. 1£69

1.69. 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.

#tre;u s£s

1.70. In the other three ages with their twilights preceding and following, the thousands and hundreds are diminished by one (in each).

ydœ @tt! pirs

1.71. These twelve thousand (years) which thus have been just mentioned as the total of four (human) ages, are called one age of the gods.

dEivkana< yugana< tu shö< pirs

1.72. 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.

tdœ vE yugshöaNt< äaü< pu{ym! Ahrœ ivÊ>, raiÇ< c tavtIm! @v te AhaeraÇivdae jna>. 1£73

1.73. 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.

tSy sae Ah£inRzSy£ANte àsuÝ> àitbuXyte, àitbuÏz! c s&jit mn> sdœ£Asdœ£ATmkm!. 1£74

1.74. At the end of that day and night he who was asleep, awakes and, after awaking, creates mind, which is both real and unreal.

mn> s&iò< ivk…éte cae*man< iss&]ya, Aakaz< jayte tSmat! tSy zBd< gu[< ivÊ>. 1£75

1.75. 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 latter.

Aakazat! tu ivk…vaR[at! svRgNxvh> zuic>, blva|! jayte vayu> s vE SpzR£gu[ae mt>. 1£76

1.76. But from ether, modifying itself, springs the pure, powerful wind, the vehicle of all perfumes; that is held to possess the quality of touch.

vayaerœ Aip ivk…vaR[adœ ivraeic:[u tmaenudm!, Jyaeitrœ %Tp*te -aSvt! tdœ êp£gu[m! %Cyte. 1£77

1.77. Next from wind modifying itself, proceeds the brilliant light, which illuminates and dispels darkness; that is declared to possess the quality of colour;

Jyaeit;z! c ivk…vaR[adœ Aapae rs£gu[a> Sm&ta>, AÑ(ae gNx£gu[a -Uimrœ #Tye;a s&iòrœ Aaidt>. 1£78

1.78. 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 beginning.

ydœ àag! Öadzsahöm! %idt< dEivk< yugm!, tdœ @ksÝit£gu[< mNvNtrm! #h£%Cyte. 1£79

1.79. 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 (Manvantara).

mNvNtra{ys s

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