The Manu Smriti on Caste Violence
#1
Namaste Everyone,

As you may know, the Manu Smriti is a Hindu scripture that receives a significant amount of criticism due to its treatment of women and lower castes. A frequently-quoted verse that I found floating on anti-Hindu websites seems to condone caste violence:

Quote:30. Killing of a woman, a Shudra or an atheist is not sinful. Woman is an embodiment of the worst desires, hatred, deceit, jealousy and bad character. Women should never be given freedom. (Manu IX. 17 and V. 47, 147)

I decided to investigate this claim using George Buhler's translation of the Manu Smriti (available at sacred-texts.com).

This is what Manu Smriti V. 47 says:
Quote: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.

This is what Manu Smriti V. 147 says:
Quote:147. By a girl, by a young woman, or even by an aged one, nothing must be done independently, even in her own house.

This is what Manu Smriti IX. 17 says:
Quote: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.

None of the verses say anything about killing women, Shudras, or atheists.
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#2
I would suggest that you post your flaky tripe on the anti-Hindu websites and instead discuss something of value over here (which I am less hopeful of given your troll-like past).
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#3
In the post above, I could not find any link to the 'anti-Hindu website' from which the supposed misattribution to ManuSmriti was quoted.

However, the absence of a murderous verse isn't enough to let the Manu Smriti off the hook. From the translation which apologists consider passable, the sacred texts one, it is easy enough to find instances of...

institutionalized casteist contempt,

Quote:II. 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 something) contemptible.

II. 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.

...ostracization for causes nobody today would consider criminal

Quote:III.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.

...opportunity denial (for weren't the Vedas the education of the times?)

Quote:IV. 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.

IV. 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.

...all coupled with generous counsel of misogyny!

Quote:V. 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.

And now, apologists have the gall to say that critics ought to be assuaged that despite all of the above, the Manusmriti is not exactly 'murderous'.

Really? Maybe the quote in the 'anti-Hindu' website got its verses wrong. But what about the barbaric punishments prescribed in Chapter VIII? Since the thread title is 'The Manu Smriti on Caste Violence', we would be remiss to exclude Chapter VIII (Warning: Reader discretion advised. Wonder why this book isn't banned when these are!)

Quote: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 anus.

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.







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#4
TTCUSM, please do not beat around the bush or skirt around with what your actual intent is. If you want to highlight mistranslations of Manusrmiti, say so explicitly. Do not use misleading titles/logic.

You said:
Quote:As you may know, the Manu Smriti is a Hindu scripture that receives a significant amount of criticism due to its treatment of women and lower castes.

The criticism is well deserved. However what you tried to imply with the statements that followed is dubious.

I don't think I'm wrong in assuming that you know full well where members of this forum stand on Manusmriti. Given that, what you are trying to do amounts to trolling. You've earned yourself a warning.
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#5
Having gone through the misogynistic garbage in verses 146-169 in Ch. V, I would concur that TTCUSM has shot himself in the foot again.
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#6
This seems to be an inherent cognitive dissonance with the authors of these ancient texts. Even in the Bible, it says "Thou Shalt not Kill", yet Leviticus and Deuteronomy says the vilest things and demands blood punishment for something like opposing your parents. Deriving morality from "holy" texts is a bad idea and always will be.
And Hinduism's albatross about its neck is the damning caste system.. a quote from the MS, lumps together a human being with a corpse in terms of uncleanliness! A corpse!! How disgusting is that? No
"It's alright, I rarely meet anyone who's able to read it properly. Although personally, I never thought that it to be an odd of a name. Once I give people the pronunciation, they tend to remember my name by easily associating me with it. A unique face, a unique moniker."
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#7
(12-Jul-2011, 07:08 AM)TTCUSM Wrote: Namaste Everyone,

As you may know, the Manu Smriti is a Hindu scripture that receives a significant amount of criticism due to its treatment of women and lower castes. A frequently-quoted verse that I found floating on anti-Hindu websites seems to condone caste violence:

Quote:30. Killing of a woman, a Shudra or an atheist is not sinful. Woman is an embodiment of the worst desires, hatred, deceit, jealousy and bad character. Women should never be given freedom. (Manu IX. 17 and V. 47, 147)

I decided to investigate this claim using George Buhler's translation of the Manu Smriti (available at sacred-texts.com).

This is what Manu Smriti V. 47 says:
Quote: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.

This is what Manu Smriti V. 147 says:
Quote:147. By a girl, by a young woman, or even by an aged one, nothing must be done independently, even in her own house.

This is what Manu Smriti IX. 17 says:
Quote: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.

None of the verses say anything about killing women, Shudras, or atheists.
Here is the verse in Manu Smriti which says killing women is a minor offense & only cause loss of caste.
Manu11:67. 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)
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#8
Now that we know killing women is considered a minor offense according to Manu 11:67,I think I'll paste just a few more verses from the smritis in case TTCUSM think there's no other violent & discriminatory sanctions against women.

A cheating woman must be eaten by dogs
Manu 8:371. 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.

Purify yourself with a gift if you kill adulterous women
Manu 11:139. 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.

Women are despicable & can't be trusted
Manu 7:150. (Such) despicable (persons), likewise animals, and particularly women betray secret council; for that reason he must be careful with respect to them.

Wife can have no property & wealth
Manu 8:416. 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.

Manu confirms war booty is legal according to Vedas & describes what can be taken as spoils which includes women
ManuVII 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 (the possessor).
Manu VII: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.


WOMEN ARE THE ROOT OF EVIL
Mahabharata 13:XXXVIII
“Yudhishthira said, ‘O best of the Bharatas, I wish to hear thee discourse on the disposition of women. Women are said to be the root of all evil. They are all regarded as exceedingly frail.’
(p.5)
“Panchachuda said, ‘Even if high-born and endued with beauty and possessed of protectors, women wish to transgress the restraints assigned to them. This fault truly stains them, O Narada! There is nothing else that is more sinful than women. Verily, women, are the root of all faults”
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#9
TTCUSM wrote:None of the verses say anything about killing women, Shudras, or atheists."

I've already given verses from manu that advocates killing women,now I'll show you some verses that are brutal & discriminatory towards atheists & sudras too.

Atheists & Sudras must perish
Manu 8:22. 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 disease.

Atheists must be cast out for questioning Vedas
Laws of Manu 2:10. 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.

Manu 4:163. Let him avoid atheism, cavilling at the Vedas, contempt of the gods,hatred, want of modesty, pride, anger, and harshness.

Sudras will always be the slave of Brahmins
Laws of Manu 8:413. 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?

Sudras can’t own property
Manu 8:417. 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.

Sudras must remain in poverty
Manu X: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.

Sudras are despicable
Manu 8:16 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.

Any more lies,Mr. TTCUSM?
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#10
TTCUSM wrote:None of the verses say anything about killing women, Shudras, or atheists."

Here's another verse from manu that says stealing from the houses of Vaisyas & Sudras is not a sin
Manu XI:12-13 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;
(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.

Here's a few verses from the most sacred & authoritative Hindu scriptures,the Vedas,which calls for the slaying of the godless (aka Atheists)

Atharva Veda 11:2:23 Homage be paid him with ten Sakvari verses who stands established in the air's mid-region, slaying non-sacrificing God-despisers!

Rg Veda 3:24:1. AGNI, subdue opposing bands, and drive our enemies away.Invincible,slay godless foes:give splendour to the worshipper

Rig Veda 7:93:5 When two great hosts, arrayed against each other, meet clothed with brightness, in the fierce encounter.Stand ye beside the godly,smite the godless; and still assist the men who press the Soma.

Rig Veda 1:CLXXVI:4 Slay everyone who pours no gift, who, hard to reach, delights thee not.Bestow on us what wealth he hath: this even the worshipper awaits

Ath Veda 4:30:5 I bend the bow for Rudra that his arrow may strike and slay the hater of devotion.I rouse and order battle for the people, and I have penetrated Earth and Heaven.

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#11
Quote: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.

I think that the Vedas are getting a bum deal in general -- they are not given credit for being considerate in limiting the articles that may be taken at pleasure to only "two or three".

:-)
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