is perfectly certain that India never saw a more learned Sanskrit
scholar, a deeper metaphysician, a more wonderful orator,
and a more fearless denunciator of any evil, than Dayanand,
since the time of Sankarcharya."
"Let a student* who has not violated his vows of Brahmachaarya(student-life),
and has conducted himself, righteously according to
the advice of his preceptor, enter married life after
he has studied with their subsidiary sciences, the four
Vedaas, three Vedas, two Vedas, or one Veda only." MANU
him, who has faithfully discharged his duties towards
his preceptor and received from his father, - natural
or spiritual (i.e., the teacher), the gift of the knowledge
of the Veda, sit on an elegant bed, decked with a garland
of flowers; and let his father ( natural or spiritual)
honor him with the present of a cow." MANU 3: 3. A female
student possessed of the aforesaid qualification should
also be honored in the same way by her father.
a twice-born man (Braahman, Kshatriya, and Vaish) after
having obtained the consent of his teacher and taken
the bath ( prescribed for the ceremony of Return Home
from the seminary), return home and espouse a maid,
of his own Class, endowed with excellent qualities."
MANU 3: 4.
*Male or female
girl, who is not descended on his mother's side within
the sixth degree and does not bear the same family name
(Gotra) as his father's. is eligible for marriage."
MANU 3: 5.
is a fact that "we do not love or value a thing, that
we are familiar with, so much as one that is hidden
from our view." SHATHAPATHA BRAAHMANA. For instance,
if a person has heard a great deal about the sweetness
of sugar, but never tasted it, his mind is taken up
with the desire of tasting it. Or when we hear a person,
who is not known to us, highly extolled for his excellent
qualities, it makes us very eager to make his acquaintance.
For the same reason, a man should marry a girl, who
comes from a distant country and is not a near relative
either on his mother's side or father's side.*
The advantages and disadvantages of distant and near
marriages respectively are:-
two persons who have, in their childhood, lived near
each other, played and quarreled together, loved one
another, noticed each other's faults, imperfections,
ebullitions of temper
*At Washington city before
the National Medical Association long since in the
session there, Dr. S.M. Bewis made the following shocking
statement: "My researches give me authority to say
that over ten per cent of the deaf and dumb, and over
five percent of the blind , and nearly fifteen percent
of the idiotic in our State institutions for subject
of these effects, are the offspring of kindred parents."
misbehaviors, and perhaps sometimes, even each other
undressed, if married to each other, can never love
each other to the extent desired.
marriage of near relatives does not improve the race
from want of interchange of fluids and essences (such
as blood) of the body, it rather deteriorates it,.
This is analogous to the addition of water to water,
no new quality being produced.
the addition of sugar and such medicines as ginger,
improves the taste and quality of milk, so does the
marriage of people, who are not related to each other
(either on father's or on mother's side), improve
in the case of an invalid, change of climate and diet
very often effects a cure, so does marriage with foreigners
or distant people improve the health of the parties
and prove beneficial in every other respect.
the parties are nearly related to each other and live
amongst their people, the sorrows and joys of one
the other and there will be many occasions for family
disputes to arise; while marriages among distant
people and consequent separation from relatives
lengthen the thread of mutual love. This is not
the case when they live near their people.
marriages are contracted with people of foreign or
distant countries, things and news from those countries
can be easily obtained (and consequently relations
between different countries become closely established).
This not possible when people marry near relatives
or persons living near their homes, or, in their own
Sanskrit a daughter is called duhitri (from
Du - distant, Hit - good), because the marriage
of a girl to a man who comes from a distant country
or distant part of the same country is productive
the bride's people do not live very far from her husband's
home, there is a possibility of her parents becoming
poor, as whenever she visits her parents, they will
have to give her something or other by the way of
their people live near at hand, on any slight friction
taking place between the husband and the wife, she,
feeling assured that her people will support her,
will at once leave her husband and go to her parents.
That may become the cause of mutual reviling and wrangling,
for, women, as a rule, are so easily offended and
"In connecting himself with wife, let a man studiously
avoid the following ten families, be they ever so great
in political power or rank, or ever so rich in cows,
goats, horses, elephants, gold or grain."* MANU 3: 6.
*Similarly, while choosing a husband,
let a girl avoid a man from the aforesaid families.
family which is not religious, that which is destitute
of men of character, that in which the study of the
Veda is neglected, that the members whereof have long
and thick hair on the body and that which is subject
to such diseases as Piles, consumption, Asthma, Bronchitis,
Dyspepsia, Epilepsy, Leprosy, and Albinism; because
all these faults and diseases are transmitted to the
offspring.* Therefore both husband and
*A good example is given by Sir
Alfred Garrod, who writes:- "A few years since, I was
consulted by a gentleman laboring under a severe form
of gout with chalk stones, and although not more than
fifty years old, hea had suffered from the disease for
a long period. On inquiry, i ascertained that for upwards
of four centuries the eldest son of the family had invariably
been afflicted with gout when he came into possession
of the family estate." (Gout and Rheumatic Gout, by H.A.
Garrod, M.D., F.R.S.) - (Marriage and Disease, by S.A.
As to advice respecting marriage, it may at once be said
that those already suffering from any form of tubercular
disease should not marry. Neither should anyone marry
a member of a family in whicn consumption or other form
of tubercular disease is common. - (Marriage and Disease,
by S.A. Strahan, p. 212).
should come from good (physically, morally and intellectually)
families." MANU 3: 7.
*Epilepsy is, in fact, one of
the most strongly hereditary of all diseases. In this
respect, it is on a footing with the suicidal impulse,
melancholia, drunkenness, and gout. Dr. Russell Renolds
found heredity well marked in 31 per cent of his cases,
and says, " I am therefore, led to believe that an hereditary
tendency of epilepsy is much more common that it is generally
represented to be by recent writers on the subject." Echeverria
said 28 per cent of all cases coming under his notice
were hereditary. Webster in England, and Esquirol in France,
declared that a third of all cases of epilepsy depended
on family taint, while Dr. Gowers, one of the greatest
authorities on the subject, asserts that no less than
36 per cent of all epilepsy has hereditary transmitted
predisposition as a foundation.
myself have records of 143 consecutive cases of epilepsy,
as they appeared for admission into an asylum for the
insane. There were 93 males and 50 females. Of the males,
344 per cent were members of families in which either
epilepsy or insanity of some description had already
appeared; of the females, 50 per cent belonged to the
same classes; while in 398 of the total of both sexes
there was positive evidence of hereditary taint. I would
also remark that in a considerable number of my cases,
no history of any kind could be obtained.- (Marriage
and Disease, by S.A. Strahan, p - 134-135)
88 - 89
a man never marry one who is pale and anaemic, nor one
who is altogether a bigger and stronger person than
himself or has a redundant member,* nor one who is an
invalid, nor one either with no hair or too much hair
or too much hair,** nor one immoderately talkative,
nor one with red*** eyes." MANU 3: 8.
*All families in which diabetes
occurs should be looked upon with suspicion, and should
epilepsy, idiocy, insanity, or deaf-mutism also have appeared
in the family, it is a very grave question whether marriage
should be ventured upon. -(Marriage and disease, by S.A.
**Here we do at times find cases to support the theory,
but it is amongst those less grave characters which, while
unmistakably marked, do not so rapidly go to extinction
of the family that we must find our strongest proof, among
such characters are hore-lip, cleft palate, club-foot
squint, cataract supernumerary fingers or toes, color-blindness,
premature baldness, or greyness, deaf-mutbifida, and the
like; or on the other hand, where the characters physiological.
Instances of repeated transmission of any or all of the
above-mentioned characters can be found everywhere around,
and , doubtless, cases will present to the mind of the
reader.. -(Marriage and Disease, by Dr. S.A. .Strahan,
still more peculiar case was that of Edward Lambart,
"the human porcupine", as he was called; this man's
skin was covered by warty projections which were periodically
moulted. He had six sons and two grandsons similarly
affected, while the females of the family escaped; the
two grandsons mentioned having seven sisters who were
free from the peculiarity. (Dr.S.A. Strahan's Marriage
and Disease, p. 71).
the village of Koshilovo (Grodno Government) there are
over 50 peasants who have more than usual number of
fingers. According to interesting particulars published
in the Novoe Vremye, they are all descendants of a peasant
who married in the first half of the last century, and
who had extra fingers on one of his hands. In the present
generation this abnormality is reported to the extent
of 2, 3, 4, and 5 even additional fingers. Some cases
simply show a thumb duplicated from the first joint.
As the result of intermarriage the deformity is spreading
to neighboring villages. It dispenses the young men
from military service, however sound they may be constitutionally."
- (the Eugenics Review, London.).
***The word in the text is Bhura or brown. But I think
this is not right. Very likely there has been a slip
of the pen here. The word in the verse which has been
translated into Bhura (brown) is Fingalaa which has
been rendered into Pilaa or yellow in the author's book
called Sanskaar Vidhi. Here however, it seems that the
word means red. -Tr.
one with the name of star,* of a tree,** or of a river,***
or of a mountain,**** nor one bearing a name denoting
low origin,^ or servility,^^ nor one named after a bird,+
, a snake, ++ nor one whose name inspires terror." MANU
3: 9. These names are despicable and belong to other
things as well.+++
him choose for his wife, a girl who has a graceful figure
without any deformity, who has a pretty name, who walks
gracefully like a swan or an elephant, who has fine
hair and lovely teeth, and whose body is exquisitely
soft." MANU 3: 10.
~ What is the best time for marriage and which is
the best form?
A. ~ The best time for marriage, for a girl, is from
the sixteenth to the twenty-fourth year of her life
and for a man, from the twenty-fifth to the forty-eighth
year. The marriage of a girl of sixteen to a man of
twenty-five years is called Inferior marriage. Of a
girl of eighteen or twenty with a man of thirty-five
or forty is called medium marriage. Of a girl of twenty-four
with a man of forty-eight is called superior marriage.
best form of marriage is that by choice (Swayamvara),
after the education of the contracting parties is finished
and their Brahmacharya for the aforesaid period completed.
Happy is the country wherein the people devote themselves
to the pursuit of knowledge, live chaste lives, and
adopt the aforesaid form of marriage. Down into the
depths of misery sinks that country wherein the people
do not practice Brahmacharya, nor acquire knowledge,
*As Ashvini, Rohni, etc.
**As Rose, etc.
***Such as Ganges, etc.
^Kali (Black), etc.
^^Chaandali (an outcast), etc.
+ Mend, Parrot, etc.
++ As Naagi (snake), etc.
+++ The idea of the sage Manu seems to be that the people
should not give ugly name to their children. -Tr.
and marriage between the unsuitable, are prevalent,
for, marriage preceded by the practice of Brahmacharya
and perfection of knowledge is the basis of all true
reform and the source of all true happiness; the reverse
of it brings on the absolute ruin of people who follow
~Says Paraasara, the Law giver:-
"A girl at the age of eight is called Gauree,*
at nine, Rohinee,** at ten, Kanya,***
thereafter she is called
Rajaswalaa.**** If she is not married before she
becomes Rajaswalaa (i.e., till the tenth year), her
father, , mother and elder brother, all of them shall
go to hell.
~ Says the Brahma Puraana (that has just been
composed by us) "In one second after birth, a girl is
called Gauree, in two seconds she becomes Rohinee,
in three, Kanya, and thereafter Rajaswalaa.
If she be not married till she become Rajaswalaa, her
father, mother, brother, sister and maternal uncle,
one and all shall go to hell."
~ The verses, you have quoted, are not authoritative.
~ Why are they not authoritative? If Brahma's verses
are not authoritative how could yours be?
~ Well! Well! Do you not hold even Parasaasara and
Kashi Naath as authorities?
**Gauree means fair and is also
the name of the wife of Mahaadeva one of the incarnations
of the deity mentioned in the Puraana.
**Rohinee means red, it is also the nme of the wife of
Vasudeva, a Puranic God.
***Kanya, a maid.
**** One that mentruates. (This has been just composed
Do you not hold Brahmaa an authority? Is Brahma
not greater than Paraasara and Kaashi Naath? If you
do not believe in Brahma, we reject your Paraasara
and Kaashi Naath.
~Your quotation cannot be held authoritative, because
it teaches an impossibility. One thousand seconds are
taken in childbirth alone, how could a girl , then,
be married when she is only one, two or three seconds
old; nor can any good result from a marriage at such
and impossible age.
~ If our verses convey an impossible meaning, so do
yours; because a marriage even at the age of eight,
nine, or ten years is useless, for it is only at the
age of twenty-five year, that a man's body is properly
developed and the reproductive element perfected, and
it is at the age of sixteen, that a woman's body is
strong enough and her reproductive organs sufficiently
developed to bear good and healthy children.*
reproduction of children in a girl of eitht years is
an impossibility. Besides naming girls, as, Gauree
(fair) and Rohinee (red), is simply absurd, because
a girl may be dark as well as fair. Again Gauree wa
sthe wife of Mahaadeva and Rohinee of Vasudeva, whom
you Puranics (Hindus) regard as mothers. You imagine
your girls as representing Gauree and Rohinee, how could
you then be justified in marrying them to do so? How
could it ever be in conformity with the dictates of
follows, therefore, that both your verses and ours are
absolutely wrong and devoid of authority. Just as we
composed a few verses and palmed them off as Brahma's,
so have other people forged those verses and in order
to stamp them with authority have passed them off as
*In his book Sushruta, the great
surgeon, Dhanwantri forbids sexual connection between
persons who are under the aforesaid ages thus:- "If a
girl under sixteen conceive of a man under twenty-five
years, she very often miscarries but if she does not miscarry
and the child is born at full time he does not live long,
but if he does live long, he is nothing bu a weakling;
never should, therefore, a man have sexual intercourse
with a girl of a very tender age." SUSHRUTA Sutra sthana
10:47, 48. The perusal of the principles (of Sexual Physiology)
laid down in scientific books observation of the laws
of nature and reasoning on this subject cannot but lead
one to the irresistible conclusion that a man and a woman,
undertwenty-five and sixteen years respectively, are not
fit for discharging reproductive functions. All those
who violate the above principles come to grief.
of Paraasara and other sages. It is best, therefore,
to reject all these so-called authorities and recognize
the Veda alone as the proper authority in all
matters and set accordingly.
is better that men and women should remain single till
death rather than marry unsuitables; i.e., persons of
mutually unsuitable qualities, characteristics and temperaments
should never marry each other." MANU 9: 89
Manu:- "Let a maid wait for three years after she has
begun to menstruate and then let her choose for herself
a husband, who is her equal." MANU 9:90. A girl menstruates
once a month and, therefore, it is after she has menstruated
thirty-six times in three years that she becomes marriageable
but not before.
this goes to prove that it is not right or proper that
marriages before aforesaid period, or of unsuitables,
should ever take place.
~Should marriage be under the control of parents
or the contracting parties themselves?
~ It is best that it should be under the control of
the contracting parties. Even if parents ever think
of arranging a match, it should, under no circumstances,
ever be done without the consent of the parties for
when people choose their partners for life themselves,
there is less likelihood of mutual disagreement and
the children born of such a union are also of a superior
is nothing but trouble in store for those whose marriage
is not of their own choice - they having been simply
forced into it. The real factors in marriage are the
bride and the bridegroom, and not their parents. It
is they who will be happy if they agree well together
and they alone will suffer if they disagree.
whatsoever family the husband is contented with his
wife, and the wife with her husband, it is there and
there only that happiness, wealth and honor dwell permanently."
MANU 3: 60. And wheresoever the husband and the wife
disagree and squable, there is nothing but misery, poverty,
Swaymvara marriage, i.e., marriage by choice
- the most ancient form of marriage in India - is the
vest form of marriage. Before a man and a maid think
of marrying, they should see that they suit each other
in point of knowledge and disposition, character, beauty,
age, strength, family,* stature, and built of body and
the like. Until they suit each other in all these things,
no happiness can result from marriage. Nor can marriage
in early life ever lead to any beneficial result.
man alone, who, after having taken the vows of Brahmacharya
at the time of his initiation (Upnayana) into it and
observed them strictly in student life, has perfected
his knowledge, refined his character, and who is well-dressed
and enters married life in the full bloom of youth is
as if born again (in knowledge and wisdom).
makes a name for himself and enjoys happiness. He is
firm and courageous; his mind is centered on the increase
of knowledge and attainment of wisdom. Men or learning
and piety give him their helping hand to elevate him.
He is thus honored amongst them. Those who marry without
having previously practiced Brahmacharya and
acquired knowledge and culture, or who do so at an early
life, are absolutely ruined, nor are they ever respected
by the wise and the learned." RIG VEDA 3:8: 4.
*Vide Page 85 where the list of
families with whom no marriage connections should be formed
is given. -Tr.
girls, who are virgins, resembling cows that have never
been milked before, who have passed the period of childhood
and are about to leave single lives, are well-educated
and cultured, fit to bear all the responsibilities of
married life, and are in the full bloom of youth, who,
by the practice of Brahmacharya, have reached
a state of excellence and wisdom, which only those of
great learning and high virtues can attain, marry husbands
of mature age and bear children by them." RIG VEDA 3:55:
16.Never should they think of men even in their dreams
in early life. This alone can give them happiness in
this world and herafter. Early marriage i even more
harmful to a woman than to a woman.
as men, quick on perception and action, energetic, in
full youth, strong in body and capable of discharging
reproductive functions marry maidens, who are young,
dear to their hearts, and enjoy life to a good old age(a
hundred years or more), and are well-blessed with children
and grand-children, so should all men and women do.
Since seasons, mornings and evenings, days and nights,
all tend to take away the beauty and strength of the
body and bring on old age, I (whether a man or a woman),
should practice Brahmcharya, acquire knowledge,
perfect my character, gain in strength of body and soul
and attain full youth before I get married." RIG VEDA
1:178: 1. All those who violate these principles of
marriage do so against the teachings of the Vedas, hence
they never can be happy.
long as in this country (India), sages and seers, emperors
and kings and other people followed the aforesaid system
of marriage by choice (Swamvarivivah) precede by a life
of Bramacharya devoted to the acquisition of
knowledge and culture and perfection of the body, it
continually progressed and prospered. Since its inhabitants
have neglected Brahmacharya and the pursuit of
have instead, taken to child-marriage - and that too
under the control of the parents, - India has been steadily
declining. It, therefore, behoves all good and sensible
men to do away with this pernicious system, and introduce
instead, marriage by choice in accordance with the divisions
into Classes, (Varna Vyavasthoo) which should be based
on the qualifications, accomplishments and character
of the individuals.
O.~ He, whose parents are Brahmans, is a Brahman
indeed. But can a person, whose parents are not Brahmans
ever become a Braahman ( the highest class).
~ Yes. Many, in the past, have become Braahmans
many in the present do and many in future, will. Here
are some of the historical proofs. In the Chhaandogya
Upnishad we read that the sage Javaal of
an unknown Class became a Braahman. In the Mahaahaarata,
it is written that Mishwaamitra, Kshatriya (second
class) became a Braahman, so did the sage Maatang
an outcast by birth. Even at the present day, he who
possesses the qualification, character and knowledge
of a Braahman is respected as such and the ignorant
are treated as Shoodraas (lowest class). So will
it be in the future.
How can the body formed out of the reproductive elements
- male and female - change in character and assume a
new form suitable for another Class.
~ A man does not become a Braahman because his
body was the product of the reproductive elements derived
from the bodies of Braahmanparents. Says Manu,
"The study of the true sciences, the practice of Brahmacharya,
the performance of Homa, the acceptance of truth
and rejection of untruth the dissemination of true knowledge
leading a virtuous life as enjoined by the Veda,
the performance of seasonal Homa, the reproduction
of good children, faithful discharge of the five
Great Daily Duties, and doing such other good works
as are productive of beneficial results to the community,
such as developing technical arts, association with
the good and the learned, truthfulness in word, deed
and thought, and devotion to public good and the like,
all these things go make a Braahman" MANU 2:
do you not believe in this verse?
~ Well, then, why do you believe that the division into
Classes is based on the accident of birth?
It is not I alone who think so. There are many others
who believe with me, it being the most ancient usage
from time immemorial. Do you oppose even the most ancient
~ No! But on account of your perverted understanding
is it that our understanding you call perverted, whilst
you think yours is rightly directed?
~ Simply because you call a usage, which is only six
or seven generations old, as the most ancient custom,
whilst we call that custom ancient which has been in
vogue from the time of the revelation of the Veda
or that of Creation of the world to the present day.
you not see in this world that good parents some-time
get wicked children, and good children have wicked parents,
at other time both are good or bad? Why cannot the Braahman
children then become Shoodraas or vice-versa?
You people are sunk in doubt and ignorance. Se, what
the great sage Manu says:-
"Let children walk in the footsteps of their forefathers,
but only if they be good, not otherwise; since by treading
the path of good and pious men, no one ever comes to
grief." MANU 4: 178. Do you believe this?
~ Besides, whatever has been revealed in the Veda
by God is ancient, but whatsoever is opposed to it can
never be called ancient. Should all people believe like
this or not?
He who refuses to believe in it should be asked. "If
a person's father be poor and he grows rich, should
hem therefore, through the pride of his father's poverty,
throw away his wealth? If a man's father be blind, should
his son also pluck his eyes out?
a man's father be of low character, should his son also
be do wicked deeds'? No, never. On the other hand, it
behoves all men to imbibe their parents' virtues only,
not their vices. He who believes that one's Class is
determined by the accident of his birth, not by his
own character, accomplishments and acquisitions, should
be asked do it is that he does not recognize a man a
Braahman, even when he has left his Class and
become an outcast, or has turned a Christian or a Muhammadan.
only answer he can give is that he has left off the
performance of duties required of a Braahman.
If proves, therefore, that only those who faithfully
discharge the high duties of a Braahman, can
be called Braahmans. even if a low-born man were
to possess qualifications, accomplishments and character
of a superior Class, he should be recognized
as such; and if a man, high-born though he be, were
to act like a man of an inferior Class, he should
be relegated to it.
Yajur Veda says "Braahmans were born of His - God's
- mouth, Kshatriyaas, out of His arm, Vaishayaas, out
of His thighs, and Shoodraas, out of His feet." Now
just as the mouth can never become an arm, nor can an
arm become the mouth, so can never a Braahman become
a Kshatriya, etc., nor, can the latter become the former.
~ Your translation of the aforesaid mantra is wrong.
The word His has reference to the word Purusha
, the Formless All-pervading Being, in the preceding
mantra. Being Formless He could not have such organs
as the mouth. Were He to possess these organs, He could
never be Omnipresent, nor therefore Omnipotent, no could
He then create and sustain this universe and resolve
it into the elementary condition, nor dispense justice
to the souls according to their deeds good or bad, nor
could He be Omniscient, Unborn, Immortal and the like.
true meaning, therefore, of this mantra is that it this
universe created and sustained by the Omnipresent God,
he who is the (mukh) head, leader among men, is called
a Braahman, he in whom power and strength (Baahu*)
reside preeminently in a Kshatriya. He who travels about
from place to place
*Baahu, verily is strength, verily
Baahu is power." Shatpatha Braahman.
the purposes of trade, etc., and obtains all things
(for the community) on the strength of his thighs (i.e.
is the support of the community just as the thighs are
that of the human body) is called a Vaishya,
lastly a Shoodra is like feet, the lowermost
part of the body, because he is ignorant.*
authorities translate this mantra in the same way; as
for instances, the Shatapatha Braahman says,
"These (Braahmans) are said to be born out of the head
as they are the heads - leaders". Just as the head is
the highest organ in the body, so is that man the nobles
and the best in the body of politic whose knowledge
is perfect and whose acquisitions, accomplishments and
character are of the highest order amongst men. He is,
therefore, called a Braahman.
it is as impossible for any thing to be born out of
the mouth of God (Since being without a body, He has
no mouth nor any other organ) as the marriage of the
son of a barren woman. Had Braahmans been born
out of the mouth of God, it being their material cause,
their bodies ought to have been round, like the mouth,
in shape. Likewise the bodies of Kshatriyaas, Vaishayaas,
and Shoodraas ought to have been like arms, thighs
and feet respectively in shape, but they are not so.
even supposing some were born in the manner you speak
of, those who were born out of the mouth and other organs
might have justly been entitled to be called Braahmans,
etc., but not you who were born, like other men, out
of your mother's womb. Why should you then pride yourselves
on being Braahmans when you did not come out
of the mouth of God? We have proved, therefore, that
you translation of the aforesaid mantra is wrong, whilst
ours is right.
sage Manu holds the same view. Says he " "As the son
of a Shoodraa may attain the rank of a Braahmanif
he were to possess his qualifications, character and
accomplishments, and as the son of a Braahman
*And therefore fit for menial
a Shoodraa, if he sinks to his level in his character,
inclinations and manners even so must it be with him
who springs from a Kshatriya; even so with him
who is born of a Vaishya. In other words, a person
should be ranked with the Class whose qualifications,
accomplishments and character he possesses." MANU 10:
65. It is written in the A'pastambha Sootraas
that "A low Class man may, by leading a virtuous life,
rise to the level of a higher Class man and he should
be ranked as such. In like manner a high Class man can
by leading a sinful life, sink down to the level of
a Class low than his, and should be considered as such."
same law applies to women in determining their Class.
the application of this law, each Class, being comprised
of individuals who possess all the qualifications that
are necessary for admission into it, is kept in a stage
of unadulterated purity, that is to say, no Kshatriya,
Vaishya or Shoodraa is allowed to enter into
or remain in the Braahmana Class. Similarly,
Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shoodraa Classes
also remain unadulterated. In short, there can be no
admixture of Classes, hence no class will be disgraced
or become the subject of reproach in the public eye.
a family has only one child and that enters into a different
Class, who will then look after the old folks? Besides,
the family line will die out. How would you provide
for such cases?
~ Neither will the old people be neglected nor will
the family line come to an end, because the State -
Political and Education Assemblies* - will provide them
with children of their own Class in exchange for their
own children, hence, there will be no confusions or
chaos in the society.
of all persons should be determined according to their
qualifications, accomplishments and character in the
twenty-fifth on the sixteenth year, according as they
are males or females. They should also marry persons
of their own Class, namely, A Braahman, a Braahman
woman; Kshatriya a Kshatriya woman: A
Vaishya, a Vaishya woman, and a Shoodra,
a Shoodraa woman. It is then and then only that
the people will faithfully discharge the duties of their
respective Classes and secure, thereby, perfect harmony.
*See Chapter 6 of this book for
the composition and powers of these assemblies. - Tr.
and teaching, performing , Yajna* and assisting others
in doing it, giving alms, and receiving gifts - these
six are duties of a Braahman." MANU 1: 88. But
should be borne in mind that "The receiving of gifts
is a mean thing."
the mind from entertaining sinful thoughts.
the senses from the pursuit of unrighteousness and
directing them, instead, in the path of rectitude.
a pure, chaste life by the practice of lifeBrahmacharya.
purity (of mind and body)**.
firm faith in the power of truth and righteousness
and being perfectly indifferent to the applause or
censure of the world, pleasure or pain heat or cold,
hunger or thirst, profit and or loss, honor or disgrace,
and sorrow or joy, in the discharge of one's duties.
tender heartedness, humility, straightforwardness
and simplicity of character.
a profound knowledge of the Veda and other
Shaastraas, attaining the ability to teach
others, the power to discriminate between right and
wrong, and the knowledge of all things (animate or
inanimate) as they really are.
a perfect knowledge of all entities - from earthly
things to God - and
*Yajna is the application
of the knowledge of the physical, chemical and physiological
and the like properties of material substances and
of psychological ones of mental substances. It, therefore,
generally requires the association of men and objects.
"The word Yajna which originally indicates any action
requiring association of men and objects, productive
of beneficial results is always translated by European
Scholars, as sacrifice. The notion of sacrifice is
a purely Christian notion and has no place in the
Vedic philosophy. It is foreign to the genuine religion
of India. Hence all translations in which the word
sacrifice occurs are to rejected as fallacious." -
The terminology fo the Vedaas and European Scholars.
Manu says: "Water washes off the impurities of the
body, truth exalts the mind, knowledge and strict
devotion to duty elevate the soul and possession
of ideas refines the intellect."
proper application thereof.
perfect faith in the Veda,
in the past and future life of the soul,
of righteousness and knowledge and
with the good and the learned,
cheerfully serving the father, mother tutor, and the
altruistic teachers of humanity and never maligning
fifteen characteristics and accomplishments must be
found in a person, before he or she can be called a
Braahman or a Braahmani (female)." Bhagvat
protect people by the administration of perfect justice
without fear or favor, i.e., by showing due respect
to the good and punishing the wicked.
spend money in furthering the cause of truth and justice
and in advancing knowledge and serving the deserving.
perform Homaand other Yajnaas.
study the Veda and other Shaastraas
shun the allurements of sensual gratification by perfect
control of the senses and thereby constantly augment
the powers of the body and the soul." MANU 1: 89.
be fearless in fighting with enemies though they be
in thousands and he be single handed.
be bold, and dignifies and fee from all weakness.
be firm of resolution and cool under difficulties.
be clever in the discharge of public duties and in
the pursuit of studies and never to run away as to
be just in dealings with all and always to keep his
These eleven are the duties and qualifications of a Kshatriya.
*If the field could be won by
running away or putting the enemy on a false track or
through strategem, he should do so
keep herds of cattle, breed, improve and multiply
spend money, etc., in the advancement of knowledge
perform Yajnaas, such as Homa.
study the Veda and other Shaastraas
lend money on interest.*
These are the duties and qualifications of a Vaishya>
behoves a Shoodraato earn his living by faithfully
serving Braahmans, Kshatriyaas and Vaishyaas,
without showing and disrespect, jealousy and conceit.
This one thing alone is a Shoodraa's duty and
qualification." MANU 1: 91.
duties and qualifications of all the four Classes have
thus briefly been described. All individuals should
be placed in different Classes according to their qualifications,
accomplishments and character. By adopting this system
all will advance in every respect, because the higher
Classes will be in constant fear of their children being
degraded to the Shoodraa Class, if they are not
properly educated. The same fear will also make the
children acquire knowledge and culture. Whilst the lower
Classes will be stimulated to exert themselves for admission
into the Classes above them.
recapitulate, the education of the community and the
preaching of religion should be entrusted to Braahmaans,
because they, being men of profound learning and exemplary
character, can discharge those duties most satisfactory.
By entrusting the affairs of the State to Kshatriyas,
a country never suffers through misrule or mismanagement.
the cattle, business, etc., should be entrusted to Vaishyaas,
as they can do this work properly. A Shoodraa
is to do menial service, because being ignorant through
lack of education, he is fitted for nothing higher,
but can minister to the physical requirements of the
*The rate of interest should range
from 3 to 16 per cent, per annum and should never exceed
this. When the debtor has paid back double of what was
lent to him, even the principal must be considered as
paid off. The debtor should never pay at rates exceeding
the above limit. Nor should any one lend money at a higher
is the duty of the ruler and other responsible persons
to see that all the four Classes discharge their duties
The marriage, by mutual consent, of two such persons
as have, through the regular practice of Brahmacharya
acquired perfect knowledge, righteousness, and culture,
is called Brahma.
The giving away of a beautifully dressed daughter
(by her father), to one, who officiates at a great
Yajna, is called Deva.
is that kind of marriage, solemnized in lieu of consideration
received from the bridegroom.
is the marriage relation into which both parties enter
with sole object of furthering the cause of righteousness.
is a form of marriage solemnized after both the bride
and the bridegroom have been bribed.
is the reciprocal (sexual) congress of a youth and
a maiden with a mutual desire proceeding from lust,
in which (all social) laws have been utterly disregarded.
is the forcible or fraudulent abduction of a maiden
from her home.
is the forcible deduction of a girl, while she
is sleeping, intoxicated or disordered in intellect.
all these 8 kinds of marriage, Brahma is
the best, Deva and Praajaapatya are
middling quality, A'rhsa, A'sura and Ghaandharva
of inferior quality, Raakhssa is base, whilst
Paishaacha is the lowest and most wicked.
should be borne in mind that the bride and the bridegroom
should not before marriage be allowed to meet each
other in retirement, since, such a meeting of young
people may lead to bad consequences.
boys and girls become of a marriageable age,* in
other words, when only 6 or 12 months are left in
the completion of their Brahmacharya and
education, let the photographs or picture of boys
be sent to the teachers of Girls' schools, and those
of girls, to those of Boys' schools.
the teachers then send for the diaries** of those
who are alike in outward appearance, and study them
carefully. When they find any two students (one
male and the other female), resemble each other
in disposition, temperament, character, and accomplishments,
and consider them suited to each other for marriage,
let them place the photo and the diary of one in
the hands of the other, and ask them to inform them
of their intention (i.e., whether they would care
to marry each other or not).
the be quite willing to marry each other, let the
Return home ceremony of both be performed simultaneously.
They should be allowed to converse with each other
or hold a discussion (on any subject to test each
other's knowledge and ability) in the presence of
their tutors, parents and other respectable people.
questions or answers, on any confidential subjects,
one would like to put, or give to the other, should
be done in writing before the assembly. As soon
as they feel that their love for each other is strong
enough to entitle them to marry and have, consequently,
made up their minds to do so, the very best arrangement
should be made with regard to their diet so that
their bodies, that had weakened through the practice
*Minimum marriageable age
for a girl is 16 years, while that for a boy 25 years.
**These diaries should be kept even since children
are born, first by parents, and then by tutors when
they have left home and joined their schools. In these
books should be recorded whatever the parents and
tutors have noticed in their children or pupils with
regard to their dispositions, temperaments, general
behavior, habits, character, physical ailments, as
manifested in sport, everything in connection with
the development of their bodies and gradual unfolding
of their minds.-Tr
and hard life of Brahmacharya, and strict
devotion to studies, may soon, gain in muscles and
strength just as the new moon grows into the full
moon. Afterwards, on the day, the bride has ceased
to menstruate and taken her bat of purification,
let a Vedi be made and a pavilion erected*
and Homa performed with clarified butter
and odoriferous substances, etc. Let the bride and
the bridegroom invite learned men and women on this
occasion and honor them properly.
them then do all that is necessary, for the occasion
in accordance with the directions given in our book
called the Sanskaara Vidhi, on the day which
has been previously decided upon for the purpose
of generating a new life and most cheerfully go
through the ceremony of joining hands before all,
and finish the whole marriage ceremony by 10 pm
or 12pm and retire.
the husband follow the proper method of discharging
semen and the wife that of drawing it up. As far
as possible, they should never waste their reproductive
elements perfected and preserved by the practice
of Brahmacharya, because, the children born
of the union of such reproductive elements (male
and female) are of a very superior order.
during the act of sexual intercourse the semen is
about to be discharged, let them be quite still,
let the nose of one be quite opposite to that of
the other, and the eyes of one to those of the other
and so on; in other words, their bodies should be
straight, and their minds perfectly happy. Their
bodies should not bend one way or the other.
the husband relax his body, and the wife, as soon
as the semen enters her vagina, draw up her breath,
pull together her genitals and draw up the semen,
so that it finally rest in the uterus.** an enlightened
woman will know at that very moment if she has conceived.
any case non- appearance of menses at the end of
the month will make it clear to all if conception
has taken place. Let them both then have a bath
in clean water. Let them take as much milk as they
desire,*** and go to sleep in their respective beds.
This plan should be followed whenever they wish
to generate a new life. When after one month the
menses do not appear, and they are consequently
*Should the bride and the
bridegroom care to have their marriage celebrated
in the presence of their tutors, let it be done there
(i.e., in the seminary), otherwise the house of the
bride's parents is the proper place for it.
** This is a very delicate subject. It would not be
proper to dwell on it any further. These few remarks
should suffice to suggest all that my be necessary.
*** It should be first boiled with dry ginger, satton,
cardamom and then cooled down before it is taken.
that conception has taken place, the husband should
not approach his wife for one year, for, by following
this advice, a child of a very superior order is
born and the children that follow are also as good
as the first-born; whilst on the other hand, by
violating this law the reproductive element is uselessly
lost, the lives of the husband and the wife are
shortened and they are afflicted with diverse diseases.
But they should, by no means, cease to treat each
other most lovingly.
the husband preserve his reproductive element and
the wife take care of her child in utero. They should
conduct themselves in the matter of diet and dress
in such a manner that the husband may not lose his
reproductive element even in sleep, while the body
of the child in utero is ell nourished and grows
in beauty, loveliness, strength and energy, and
the child is born during the 10th (lunar) month
wife should particularly take care of herself from
the 4th month but more particularly from the 8th.
She should never use purgatives, dry, non-nutritious
articles, intoxicants and other substances that
are prejudicial to the growth of intellect and physical
strength. On the other hand she should use such
articles of food and drink as good rice, wheat,
lentils and other pulses, clarified butter, and
should also vary her diet intelligently according
to the climate of the locality (she lives in) and
the season of the year.* There are two Sanskaars
to be performed during conception, viz., one in
the 4th month called Punsavana** and the
other in the 8th called Simantonayana.***
These should be performed in a fitting manner.
confinement the mother and her child should be most
carefully looked after. About 2 inches from the
navel the cord should be tied with a stout but soft
ligature, and then cut off in front of it. It should
be tied in such a manner that not a drop of blood
escapes from the child's body. The mother and the
child should then be given a bath with warm and
scented water. The room should be well cleansed
and Homa performed with clarified butter
and odoriferous substances. The father should, then,
utter "thy name is Veda" in the right ear
of the child and dip a gold pencil in a mixture
of honey and
*Shunthipaaka and Saubhagya
Shunthipaaka should be kept ready before hand for
use (These preparations are considered as highly invigorating
to the system). Such nutritious substances as milk
ad butter, and condiments and medicine as ginger enter
into their composition.-Tr.
**/*** The object of these Sanskaars is to influence
the physical and mental development of the child n
utero by publicly charging the enviente woman to carry
out certain instructions relation to her physical
and intellectual well-being. Be it noted that this
is the most impressionable period during pregnancy.-Tr.
butter and write (the syllable ) Aum on it
tongue, and let it also lick a little of this mixture
off the pencil, and then hand over the child to
its mother. Let her suckle it if it be inclined
to take the breast. If there be no milk in its mother's
breast let it be suckled by some other woman who
has been thoroughly examined (as to her general
health, the quality and quantity of her milk, etc.).
the child and its mother be then removed to another
clean, capacious and well-ventilated room wherein
they should be kept, and Homa performed with
clarified butter and odoriferous substances daily,
morning and evening. Let the child be suckled for
the first six-days by its mother who should be fed
on a variety of light and nourishing foods. She
should also have her private parts seen to.
the sixth day let the lying-in-woman leave her room
and engage a wet-nurse for her child. He wet-nurse
should be fed on good and wholesome foods and drinks.
She should suckle the child a well as nurse it.
The mother should keep a watchful eye over her child
so that it is not neglected in any way. Let her
also apply some plaster over her breasts in order
to check the flow of milk. She should also diet
the parents of the child perform the Naming
ceremony (on the 11th day of its birth) and other
Sanskaars in due course of time. When the
wife menstruates again and takes her bath of purification,
let them both (i.e., her husband as well as herself)
follow the plan of generating a new life that has
been set forth above>
sage Manu says on the subject:-
"He that is contented with his own wife and avoids
conjugal embraces on the eight forbidden nights
and is .Ritugaami* is a Brahmachari
a married man though he be." MANU 3: 50
the husband is quite contented wit his wife, and
the wife with her husband, in that family alone
all prosperity, fortune and happiness perpetually
dwell. And wherever they disagree and squabble there
poverty, ill-fortune and misery are assuredly permanent."
*i.e., follows the plan of
generating a new life as has been laid down. -Tr.
if the wife do not love and please her husband,
being unhappy he will not be sexually excited, and,
consequently no offspring will be produced. But
even if the children are born, they are very wicked
and of a low type." MANU 3: 61.
the husband does not please his wife, she being
unhappy, the whole family is unhappy and miserable;
but if the wife be quite contended with her husband,
the whole family enjoys felicity." MANU 3: 62.
women be always propitiated (worshipped) by their
fathers and brothers, by their husbands and the
brothers of their husbands, in other words, they
should speak sweetly to them and provide them with
good food, nice clothes and ornaments, and thereby
keep them happy. Those who seek great prosperity
and happiness should never inflict pain on women."
MANU 3: 55.
women are honored (worshipped), in that family great
men are born; but where they are not honored, there
all acts are fruitless. Where women pass their days
in misery and sorrow because of the misdeed (such
as adultery) of their husbands that family soon
entirely perishes, but where they are happy because
of the good conduct of their husbands, the family
continually prospers." MANU 3: 56, 57.
women, therefore, be always honored by being given
presents of clothes an ornaments, and supplied with
good food at festivals, jubilees and he like occasions,
and thereby made happy by those men who are desirous
of wealth and prosperity." MANU 3: 59.
In these quotations the word worshipped, of course,
means duly honored. Let the husband and the wife
whenever they separate from or meet each other for
the first time during the day or the night, greet
each other with Namastay which means , I
a woman attend to her household work most cheerfully
and with great dexterity keep her utensils and apparel
clean, her house tidy, her furniture free from dust,
all eatables pure clean, and free from dirt. Let
her never be lavish in expenditure. Let her cooking
be done so nicely that the food may act on the system
like a good medicine and keep away disease (bodily
and mental). Let her keep a proper account of her
(income and ) expenditure, and show it to her husband
(if necessary), use her servants properly and see
that nothing goes wrong in the house. MANU 5: 150.
a man accept (the hand of) a good woman, precious
stone of different kinds, knowledge, truth purity,
gentle speech and various technical arts from all
men and from all countries." MANU 2: 240.
a man utter what is true; but let him say what is
pleasing, i.e. good for others. Let him not speak
a disagreeable truth (e.g., let him never call a
one-eyed man, one-eyed). Not to let him speak an
agreeable falsehood. This is the Eternal Dharma
(true conduct of life). Let him speak
i.e., what is good for others, but let him not maintain
fruitless enmity and altercation wit any." MANU
4: 138-139. Let him say what is good for another,
even though it may offend him. In the Mahabhaarat
the sage Vidur says: "In this world, O Dhritraashtra,
there are many people who would say sweet things
to please and flatter others; but rare is the man
who would say or hear a truth which is unpleasant
to his ears but really conducive to his good." Mahaabhaarat,
Udyoga Parva, Vidur Niti.
behaves all good men to point out one's faults and
shortcomings to one's face and her their own (from
others). But the way with the wicked is that they
talk of one's merits to one face, whilst they speak
of his demerits behind his back. So long as a man
does not reveal his defects to another, he cannot
get rid to them nor can be acquire good qualities.
Let a man never speak ill of another. Detracting
from one's merits or as his merits, and of his demerits
as demerits constitutes Nindaa or misrepresentation;
whilst speaking of a man's merits as his merits,
and of his demerits as demerits constitutes Stuti,
whilst untruthfulness in speech constitutes Nindaa.
the husband and the wife daily read and recite the
Veda and other Shaastraas that give
increase of wisdom, teach the means of acquiring
wealth, and promote their welfare. Let them also
carefully revise what they had studied during their
student life and teach the same. Since as far as
a man thoroughly understands the Shaatraas,
so far can his knowledge and wisdom advance, and
so far his love for them grow." MANU 4: 19, 20.
him constantly perform the Five Great Daily Duties,
viz., Brahmayajna, Devayajna, Valivaishwadevayajna,
Pitriyajna and Atithiyajna, to the best of his power.
Out of these five Yajnas we have already
described the first two in the preceding chapter.
Yajna. it comprises studying and teaching the
Veda and other Shaatraas, morning and
evening devotions and practice of Yoga.
it comprises the feeding of fire with clarified butter
and odoriferous substances, association with the learned
and the good, cultivation of purity, truthfulness
and similar other good qualities, and the advancement
of knowledge. These two Yajnas should be performed
daily (during the twilights).
is said in the Atharva Veda, "The Homa substances
(such as clarified butter, musk, camphor, saffron)
used in the morning homa keep the air pure
and wholesome till the next morning, while those
burnt in the evening Homa keep the air pure
till the evening and thereby promote health, strength
and intellect.." ATHARVA VEDA 19:7: 3, 4.
Dwija should, therefore, perform his Sandhya
upaasanaa (devotioins) and Agnihotra (Homa),
daily at sunrise and sunset." SHADYINSHA BRAHMANS
who neglects these two duties daily in the morning
and in the evening, should be excluded from the
society of Dwijaas, (the three upper classes
of regenerates) in other words, he should be treated
as a Shoodra."MANU 2: 103.
O ~.Why should not Sandhyaa be performed three
times a day?
Day and night do not meet three times a day. Light
darkness meet but twice in 24 hours, i.e., in the
morning and in the evening. Should a man refuse
to believe this and persist in midday, he should
be asked to perform his Sandhyaa at midnight.
Should he be willing to do so, let him also do it
at the union of a prahara,* of an hour with
an hour, of a minute with a minute, of second with
a second. This he would find impossible to do.
not a single authority of any Shaastraa is
to be found in support of this practice. Hence,
it is right to perform Sandhya and Homa
only twice a day, not three times . time is no doubt
divided in to three periods - past, the present,
and the future, - but Sandhyahas nothing
to with this division.
consists in serving learned men, great teachers, scholars,
one's father, mother, old people, great men, and great
Yajna is divided into 2 parts:-
1.Shradhaa is derived from shrat - truth.
That by which truth is accepted is called shradhaa
whilst that which is done with Shradha; i.e., with
the object of embracing truth, is called Shradha.
*A Prahara is equal to 3 hours,-Tr.
Tarpana is anything done to please one's
father, mother and other elders (who are alive).
And make them happy.* Tarpana is again sub-divided into three parts:-
A ~ Deva Tarpana. "We serve Brahma**
and the like Devaas. We serve Brahma'swife
and the like Devis. We serve Brahma's
sons, disciples and the like. We serve Brahma's
companions and assistants."
Shatapatha Brahmmana says:-
"Verily, the learned are Devaas."
is one who has mastered the four Vedaas,
along with their subsidiary sciences. Even those
who are a little less learned than a Brahma
are called Devaas. the wives of a Brahma
and other Devaas who are also learned men
like their husbands, are calledDevis.
Rishi Tarpana. This consists in serving
and honoring learned men like Marichi,
the great grandson of Braahmaa, who teaches
boys, learned women, like the wives of Marichi
and other great teachers, who teach girls, their
learned sons, daughters and pupils , comppanions
and assistants (who are also teachers).
Tarpanaconsists in thoroughly satisfying Pitars
by offering them most regularly good food, clothes,
beautiful conveyances, etc.; in other words, it
consists in lovingly serving them the doing everything
in one's power to keep their bodies healthy and
their souls happy.
following are the different kinds of Pitars:-
Somasada is one who is well-versed in the
spiritual and physical sciences.
Agnishwaatais one who is well-versed in
the science of Agni, i.e., heat, light,
electricity and the like (forces).
*It should be borne in mind
that this yajna is meant for the living and not for
the dead. (The author condemns the practice of offering
oblations to the manes, which is in vogue at present
** Since Brahma was the first man to master all the
four Vedas, this word has come to mean master of the
four Vedas. It is title like Vyaasa, literally diameter
and therefore, one whose intellect has penetrated
the subtle meaning of the Vedas.
Barhishadis one who is engaged in advancing
knowledge and doing other useful works.
Somapaais one who is the guardian of health
and strength, who uses essences of powerful herbs,
etc., and thus frees himself as well as others
from disease. In other words he is a doctor.
Havirbhuja is a learned man who lives on
foods and drinks other than meat and spirituous
A'jypa is one who protects highly useful
objects, and eats and drinks butter, milk, and
the like articles.
one who employs his time in furthering the cause
of truth and righteousness.
Yama, ( a judge) is one who administers
justice and thereby protects the good and punishes
(father) is one who provides food for his
children, honors and protects them. He is also
the author of their being.
(mother) is one who honors her children by giving
them food and doing other useful things for them.
the mother of one's father.
mahi - the grandmother of one's father.
and other relations.
of the same stock of bearing the same surname,
and other old men and women.
Vaishwadeva Yajna, consists of three parts:-
the meal is ready, let the householder take all
kinds of cooked food other than sour, salt and
alkaline, such as contain sugar, butter and milk,
fetch fire out of the hearth, and throw oblations
of the food into it reciting the mantraas
beginning with Om Agnaye Swaha all the
while. The sageManu holds the same view.
"Let a Dwija perform Homa in the
(kitchen) fire with whatever has been cooked in
the kitchen for the purpose of purifying its air
in the following manner." MANU 3: 84.
him place some food on a (ordinary) plate or leaf-plate
after reciting each of the specific Mantraas
in all directions of the compass beginning with
the east. Let this food be offered to an atithi,
and in his absence thrown into the fire.
let him place salt food, such as pulses, rice,
vegetables and bread in 6 parts (on a plate) on
the ground reciting the specific mantraas
at the time. Here is an authority from Manu
for this act.
him gently place on the ground some food for dogs,
fallen wretches, outcasts, those afflicted with
terrible diseases ( such as lepers), birds ( as
crows), insects (as ants.") MANU 3: 92.
him the give this food to one who is hungry, distressed,
diseased, or to dogs, crows and other such creatures.
The object of performing Homa is to purify
the kitchen air, whilst that of offering food is
to atone for the unintentional injury done to various
~ Atithi Yajna. An Atithi is one whose
date of coming is not certain or fixed. Whenever
a Sanyaasi, who is virtuous and a preacher
of truth, itinerates for the good of all, is a perfect
scholar, is a Yogi of the highest order,
happens to visit a house-holder let him offer him
water to wash his feet and face, and to sip, and
then offer a comfortable seat respectfully, give
him good food and drink and other good things (such
as clothes), and thus serve him most diligently
and make quite comfortable.
let him benefit himself by his good company by learning
such things in Physical and Spiritual Science, and
would help him in acquiring virtue, wealth (worldly
possessions), in gratifying legitimate desires,
and obtaining salvation. Let him conduct himself
in accordance with his good advice. On suitable
occasions, even a house-holder and a king can be
honored as atithis, but
him never honor even by a greeting those that revile
the Vedaas or conduct themselves against
their teachings, those that lead anti-Vedic lives,
tell lies, practice frauds and live like cats, [Just
as cats hide themselves and keep staring at rats
and then in a moment pounce upon them, kill them
and fill their stomachs; likewise are such men as
gain their selfish ends by lying , cheating and
acting in other ways like cats. They are, therefore,
called cat-like] those that are obstinate, stubborn
and vain, do not know anything themselves nor would
they follow the advice of another, (i.e., those
who follow the dong-in-the-manger policy,) those
that are sophists and talk
like the Vedaantistsof the present day who
declare that they are Brahma, the world is
a delusion, the Vedaas and Shaastraas
and even God are fictitious and spin similar other
yarns, those that live like herons )Just as a heron
stands quietly on one leg as if in deep meditation
but really keeps a watchful eye on some fish all
the time to whose life it soon puts an end , and
thereby accomplishes its selfish end, so do the
Vairaagees and Khaakis of today who
are very stubborn, obstinate and enemies of the
Veda, such men are, therefore, called heron-like)."
Such men if honored multiply, increase sin and unrighteousness
in the world, they are not only themselves do such
works as bring about their degradation but also
sink their followers to the lowest depths of ignorance
The uses of these 5 Great Daily Duties (Yajnas)
is the cause of advancement in knowledge, culture,
righteousness and refinement of manners, etc.
causes the purification of air, rain and water, and
thereby conduces to the happiness of the world. The
use of pure air for respiration, pure water, and pure
food promotes health, strength, energy and intellect,
which in their turn help men to acquire virtue, wealth,
gratify (righteous) desires, and attain salvation.
Since Agnihotra purifies the air, water, etc.,
it is also called Devayajna.
service of father , mother , other learned persons
and great souls, leads to the increase of knowledge
and wisdom which help a man to discriminate between
Right and Wrong. The acceptance of what is right
and the rejection of what is wrong makes him happy.<.li>
It is also right to serve our father, mother,
tutor, in return of the services they rendered
us while we were young. The faithful performance
of this Yajna saves us from the charge
Yajna. Its uses are the same as have been mentioned
before. [Briefly speaking, they are as follows:
of the kitchen air.
discharge of our obligations towards the sick,
the needy, the fallen and towards those faithful
and useful animals and birds, etc. which are dependent
on us for sustenance.
is also a kind of atonement for the pain and suffering
we unknowingly inflict on the lower creation in
the daily routine of our lives. -Tr]
long as there are no atithisof the highest
order in this world, progress cannot be made.
they go about in all countries (of the world),
teaching and preaching truth, no hypocritical
and fraudulent practices can flourish.
house-holders can also easily attain true spiritual
knowledge in all places.
religion prevails among all men.
there are atithis, doubts cannot be dispelled,
and without the removal of doubts, there can be
no firm faith. How can then there be any happiness
without firm faith?
a man wake up early in the morning at (about 4 A.M.),
having relieved the necessities of nature (and taken
a bath), let him think upon the means of acquiring
virtue and wealth, and upon the causation of his
bodily diseases (if any) and contemplate God." MANU
should never lead an unrighteous life. Unrighteousness
practiced in this world does not go unpunished,
nor does it immediately produce its fruit (like
a cow). This is the reason why the ignorant do not
fear sin, but it must be borne in mind that the
practice of unrighteousness advancing slowly cuts
off the very root of your happiness." MANU 4: 174.
worker of iniquity crosses the bounds of righteousness
just as water in a tank breaks as under its banks
and runs in all directions,
does he, through the practice of untruthfulness,
deceit, and fraud, in other words through transgressing
the commandments of the Vedas that are true
guardians (of human happiness), and through hypocrisy,
take possession of other people's wealth and property,
and prospers for a while, next with this wealth
he obtains nice foods and drinks, good clothes,
jewelry, houses and carriages, and wins social position
and fame, even conquers his enemies through foul
means, but at last he soon perishes like a tree
whose root has been cut off."
a learned man always honestly instruct his pupils
in the ways of truthfulness and righteousness, as
taught by the Veda (viz., freedom from prejudice
and partiality, the practice of truth and justice,
and the rejection of untruth) and in nobility of
character and purity." MANU 4: 175.
him never quarrel or wrangle with one who officiates
at a Yajna, with a teacher of truth and unrighteousness,
with a maternal uncle, an atithi and a dependent.,
with children, ages and sick men, with a doctor
of medicine, with people springing from the same
paternal stock or belonging to the same Class
as he, connects by marriage (such as a father-in-law)
and friends, with his wife, and his daughter, and
with his servants." MANU 4: 171, 181.
Dwija, who does not practice Tapaassuch
as the practice of Brahmacharya, truthfulness,
one who dos not study (the Veda), one who is eager
to accept gifts; these three sink into the greatest
depths of misery and rain on account of their wicked
deeds, just as he who attempts to
an ocean in a boat made of stone sinks down" MANU
They no doubt sink but they also carry the donors
down with them, for, "Wealth although earned by
righteous means, given to the aforesaid three, ruins
the donor in this very life, and the recipient in
the next." MANU 4: 193.
he who attempts to cross the water in a boat of
stone, sinks to the bottom, even so an ignorant
donor and an ignorant donee sink low; in other words
are afflicted with misery and pain." MANU 4: 194
Imposters should neither be trusted nor served. They
are of the following 11 types:-
(Literally one who displays the flag or virtue), is
one who does not practice any virtue, but defrauds others
in the name of virtue. MANU 4: 195
- a covetous wretch.
is a deceitful person.
one who brags of his greatness before others.
is one who does injury to living creatures or bears
malice to others.
is one who mixes with all kinds of men - good or bad
- such a person should be considered a rogue and a mean
fellow like a cat.
is one who always looks down (whilst walking) in order
to be considered a very virtuous person.
one who is of a cruel, vindictive nature, even ready
to take one's life, if one has happened to do him
a slight injury in order to revenge himself. MANU
Saadhantatpara is one who is solely intent on attaining
his selfish end, even through fraud, injustice, and
is one who persists in his obstinacy even though he
knows he is in the wrong.
Viniti is one who id falsely demure and puts on
a saintly appearance (to deceive) others). He should
be considered a low wretch like a heron.
is therefore, behoves all me and women "to accumulate
virtue by degrees for obtaining happiness in the next
world by giving pain to no living creature, just as
the white ant gradually raises its hill." For, "in
the next world, neither father, nor mother nor wife,
nor sons, nor relations, can befriend anyone. Virtue
alone helps him there. Single is each soul born; single
it dies; single it enjoys the reward of its virtue
- happiness; single it suffers the consequence of
its sin - pain." MANU 4: 238 - 240.
should be borne in mind. "A man commits a sin and
thereby obtains something which he brings home, where
all his family members enjoy it, but they do not suffer
the consequences of his sin, it is he alone, who committed
the sin, that reaps the consequences thereof." MAHABHAARAT
a man dies, his relations leave his corpse like (like
a log or) a lump of clay on the ground, and retire
with averted faces.. No one accompanies him. It is
9his) virtue alone that bears his company." MANU 4:
a man, therefore, continually practice virtue for
the sake of securing happiness in the next world,
since it is through the help of virtue* alone that
the soul can cross the ocean of misery and sorrow
so hard to cross. A man who regards, virtue alone
as the highest thing (in the world), and whose sins
have been destroyed through the practice of righteousness,
attains to that All-glorious Being whose body is A'kaash
~ the most Beautiful Supreme Spirit ~ by virtue of
Dharma alone." MANU 4: 242, 243.
who is preserving, gentle in disposition, subjugates
passions, shuns the company of cruel and wicked men,
injures no sentient creature, lives a virtuous life,
keeps his mind under thorough control, bestows on
others the gift of knowledge, etc., attains happiness."
MANU 4: 246 *The word which
I have translated into virtue, is Dharma. I have already
noted that this word is most difficult to translate.
No single word in the English language can express
its manifold meaning. Sometimes, I have translated
it into virtue, sometimes into justice, at other times
into truth etc. Briefly, it is the practice of truth,
justice and righteousness, devotion to duty, freedom
from hatred, malice and anger, etc., and love towards
all living creatures. Its ten characteristics will
be described in the next Chapter. ~ Tr.
it should also be borne in mind that " All things
have their nature ascertained by speech; in speech
they have their basis and from speech they proceed;
consequently he that falsifies his speech is guilty
of theft and like sins." MANU 4: 256.
a man, therefore, always avoid sins, such as untruthfulness
in speech, and practice virtue, since through virtuous
conduct, in other words, the practice of Brahmacharya
and subjugation of passion, etc., he obtains long
life, through virtuous conduct good offspring, through
virtuous conduct imperishable wealth, virtuous conduct
destroys all vices. For a man of bad character sinks
to contempt in the eyes of all good men, is afflicted
with misery, suffers from diverse diseases, and is
short-lived." MANU 4: 156, 157.
act depends on another, that let him studiously avoid
but whatever act depends upon himself, that let him
diligently pursue." MANU 4: 159.
"Dependence is pain, whilst independence is happiness.
Let him know this to be the brief definition of happiness
and pain." MANU 4: 160.
whatever is (in its very nature) dependent upon both
should be done with each other's approval, because
the relation between the husband and his wife is such
that they cannot be independent of each other, in
other words, they should treat each other most lovingly
and live harmoniously. They should never quarrel with
each other, nor commit adultery. The wife, subject
to her husband's control, should be supreme in the
house, whilst all
other than those relating to the household should
e under the control of the husband. They should prevent
each other from contracting vices, in other words,
it should be borne in mind that after marriage, the
husband and the wife entirely belong to each other,
that is, their hearts, their feelings and their bodies
from top to toe (reproductive-elements and all included),
become subject to each other's control.
them never do anything against each other's wish.
Of all things likely to upset their happy relations,
the worst are adultery and fornication, etc. Let them
avoid these. Let the husband always remain contented
with his wife, and the wife with her husband. If they
belong to the Brahman Class, let the husband
teach boys, and his wife, if she be well-educated,
them make them learned by preaching and lecturing
to them on various subjects. The husband is the adorable
God for the wife, and the wife is the adorable goddess
for the husband. As long as boys and girls remain
in their respective seminaries, let them look upon
their teachers as their parents, whilst the teacher
should consider their pupils as their children.
"He alone is a wise man, who is never idle nor lazy,
nor affected by pleasure or pain, profit or loss,
honor or dishonor, public applause or censure, has
always a firm faith in Dharma, and cannot be
tempted by sensual object." MAHAABHAARAT VIDURPRAJAAGAR,
practice virtue and avoid sin, abstain from speaking
ill of God, of the Vedas, and of righteous living,
have unbounded faith in God, verily these are the
duties of a wise man. The first qualification of a
wise man is that he should be able to grasp the most
abstruse subject in a very short time, should devote
years of his life to the study of the Shaastras
(true sciences) and thinking over them, apply his
knowledge for the good of others, never do anything
for his selfish gain, should not give his opinion
unasked or interrupt another in his speech.
alone is a wise scholar who does not desire for the
unattainable, nor broods over his losses nor loses
his head in misfortune.
alone is a wise scholar who is well-versed in all
kinds of knowledge, is a very clever debator, can
speak on any subject, is a good logician, has a good
memory, can easily give a true exposition of the Shaastras.
he alone is entitled to be called a wise man whose
intellectual up-building is in conformity with truth
(as he knows it), who hears the Shaastras read
that are in harmony with reason, who never steps beyond
the bounds of good, righteous men.
such teachers (make and female) exist, knowledge,
righteousness, and good conduct advance and thereby
"He who has neither read a Shaastra, nor heard
it read, is extremely vain, builds castles in the
air though poor, wishes to obtain things without any
exertion on his 0part, is called a fool by the wise."
MAHAABHAARAT VIDURPRAJAAGAR 35.
who enter an assembly or another man's house in-invited
and occupies a seat above his rank, jabbers a great
deal without being asked (to speak), is very credulous
-i.e. trust s the untrustworthy or believes that ought
not to be believed, is verily a fool and the lowest
of the low.
such men occupy the positions of teachers, preachers,
and preceptors, and are honored, there ignorance,
unrighteousness, band manners, discord, strife and
disunion grow and thereby misery and sorrow increase.
mental inertia, use of intoxicants, infatuation, idle
gossip, neglect of studies, vanity, and want of Brahmacharya,
these seven vices are to found among students." MAHAABHARAT
VIDURPRAJAAGAR, 39. Such students can never acquire
can a pleasure-hunter acquire knowledge? And how can
a student enjoy sensuous pleasures (and yet acquire
learning)? Let a pleasure-hunter bid farewell to knowledge
and let a seeker after knowledge bid farewell to sensuous
pleasure; since without doing this, no man can ever
They alone who practice virtue, subjugate their passions
and never lose their reproductive element, are true
Brahmacharis and become learned men." MAHAABHARAT
follows, therefore, tht the teachers and students
should possess excellent qualities. The teachers should
so endeavor as to produce in their scholars such good
qualities as truthfulness in word, deed and thought,
culture, self-control, gentleness of disposition,
perfect development of mind and body, so that they
may become well-versed in the Vedas and Shaastras.
the teachers should always be diligent in eradicating
the evil habits of their scholars and in imparting
knowledge. The scholars should always cultivate
mental tranquility, love for their tutors, thoughtfulness
and habits of diligence. They should so exert themselves
as to acquire perfect knowledge, perfect Dharma,
perfect development of body (to enable them to live
to the fullest age allotted to man), and learn to
labor. Such are the duties of Brahmans
The duties of Kshatriyaas will be described
in the chapter on Government.
duties of Vaishyaas are to learn the languages
of various countries, the methods of different trades,
the (current) prices or rates (of different articles)
the art of buying and selling, to travel in different
countries (for the purposes of trade, etc.,, engage
in profitable business, rear cattle and other animals,
improve agriculture, augment wealth and spend it for
the advancement of knowledge and Dharma, to
be truthful in speech and free from hypocrisy, conduct
business with honesty, and look after all things in
such a way that nothing is wasted or lost.
duties of a Shudra are to be clever in all
kinds of manual* service, expert in cooking, to serve
the twice-born with love, and make his livelihood
by it. The twice-born should provide him with board
and lodging, clothes and pay all the expenses of his
marriage, etc., or pay him a monthly salary. All the
four Classes should work harmoniously and be
of one mind in doing public good and promoting righteousness,
and share each other's joys and sorrows, pleasure
and pain and further the good of their country and
of their people with all their heart, with all their
soul, and with all the material resources at their
husband and the wife should never live apart from
each other, since the "use of animal food and intoxicants
such as spirituous liquors, association with the wicked,
separation from the husband, wandering about uselessly
by herself from place to place with object of visiting
so-called saintly persons (who are all really imposters),
sleeping and dwelling in another man's house (through
wantonness) are the six vices that are apt to contaminate
a woman's character." MANU 9: 13. These very vices
contaminate a man's character as well.
*This is what erroneously called
menial service. ~ Tr.
Separation between the husband and the wife is of
Firstly, that caused by one of the parties going abroad
on business and , secondly, that caused by the death
of one of them. Separation of the first kind can be
avoided if the husband takes his wife along with him
whenever he goes abroad. The object of this injunction
is that the husband and the wife should not live apart
from each other for long.
~Should a man or a woman marry more than once?
~ Not when the other party is alive.
~Can one party re-marry when the other is dead?
~ Yes. Says the sage Manu on this subject. " A man
or a woman, who ahs simply gone through the ceremony
of joining hands* but whose marriage has not been
consummated, is entitled to re-marry." MANU 9:179
re-marriage is absolutely prohibited in the case of
a twice born man or woman (i.e., one belonging to
a Brahman, Kshatriya or Vaishya Class who has
had sexual intercourse with his or her consort.
~What are the evils of re-marriage** (in the case
of such persons)?
~ The following are the principal evils:-
of love between the husband and the wife, since either
of them can desert the other whenever he or she so desires,
and marry another person.***
the death of one party, the other will take away the
property of his or her deceased consort when he or she
marries again. This will give rise to family disputes.
a widow re marries, many a noble family will be blotted
out of existence, and its property destroyed (by constant
*Joining hands is the chief
element in the Vedic ceremony of marriage.
** Re-marriage includes Polygamy and Polyandry.
***This arrangement seems to apply to marriage after
divorce. ~ Tr.
involves loss of true conjugal love and infraction of
duty towards the departed husband or wife.
these reasons, re-marriage, polygamy and polyandry
are prohibited in the case of the twice born.
~ If one of the parties dies leaving no male issue,
even then the family line will become extinct. Besides,
if re-marriage be not allowed, the widows and widowers
will resort to adultery and fornication, procure abortion,
and will commit wicked deeds of a kindred nature.
For these reasons re-marriage is desirable.
~ No. If the widows and widowers desire to practice
Brahmacharya, no such evil consequences will
accrue. Again, if the widow or widower adopts a boy
of her and his Class, the family line will be continued
and there will be no danger of adultery being restored
to. Those, however, who cannot control their passions
may beget children by having recourse to Niyoga.
Q. ~ What are the differences between re-marriage
and Niyoga?A. ~
marriage the bride leaves her paternal roof, lives
with her husband, and her relations with her relations
with her father's family cease to be very close;
on the contrary. The widow (in case she contracts
Niyoga) continues to live in her deceased husband's
children begotten of marriage inherit the property
of their mother's husband, whereas, offspring begotten
of Niyoga on a widow are not regarded as children
of the begetter and consequently they don't take
his surname, nor can they be claimed by him. They
are spoken fo as the children of their mother's
deceased husband, take his surname, inherit his
property and live in his house.
people are required to serve and help each other,
while those that contract Niyoga have to abandon
all relations (after the stipulated period).
relation of marriage is life-long, while the contract
of Niyoga ceases to be operative after the desired
object has been attained.
husband and the wife help each other in the performance
of their house hold duties, while those that have
that have contracted Niyoga discharge the duties
of their respective households.
~ Do the same laws apply to Niyoga and marriage, or
are they different in each case?
~ They are little different. A few differences have
already been enumerated, and here are some more:-
married couple can produce children up to the limit
of ten, while that connected by Niyoga cannot produce
more than two or four.
as marriage is allowed only in the case of a bachelor
and a maid, likewise only a widow and a widower
can enter into the relation of Niyoga, but never
a bachelor and a maid.
married couple always lives together but not that
connected by Niyoga. Such persons should come together
only when they intend to generate a new life. Whether
Niyoga is contracted for the benefit of the widow
or of the widower, the relation is dissolved after
the second conception.
the widow rear the children for two or three years
and hand them to her husband by Niyoga, in case
it has been entered into for his behalf. In this
way a widow can give birth to two children for
herself and two for each of the four husbands
by Niyoga. Similarly a widower can beget two children
for himself and two for each of the four wives
by Niyoga. Thus ten children in all can be produced
by means of Niyoga.
is what the Veda declares:-
"O thou who art fit to procreate and art strong, do
thou raise upon the married wife or upon these widows,
with whom thou hast contracted Niyoga, good children,
and make them happy. Do thou beget with on thy married
wife ten children, and consider her the eleventh (member
the family). O woman! Let ten children be raised on
thee by the married husband or thy husbands by Niyoga
and do thou consider thy husband as the eleventh (member
of thy family)." Rig Veda 10: 85, 48.
Vedic injunction requires that among Braahmannas,
Kshatriyaas and Vaishyaas a couple should in no case
produce more than ten children, other wise the offspring
are sure to be weak, both physically and intellectually,
and short-lived. Even such parents grow feeble, do
not live long, are afflicted with disease and consequently
endure untold sufferings.
~ But Niyoga looks like adultery.
Just as sexual connection between persons that are
not married is called adultery, so is sexual congress
between widows and widowers not connected by Niyoga
is an adulterous relation. Form this it follows that
just as marriage solemnized according to the law is
not fornication, even so Niyoga contracted according
to the law cannot be termed fornication.
one's virgin daughter co-habits with a bachelor after
the marriage ceremony, enjoined by the Shaastras,
has been duly performed, this act is not regarded
as adulterous or sinful, nor does it inspire shame,
for the same reasons, Niyoga performed according to
the Vedic injunction should not be regarded sinful,
nor should it inspire a feeling of shame.
~ This is alright but it looks like prostitution.
~ No. A prostitute sticks to no particular man, nor
is she governed in her sexual relation by any specific
laws, while Niyoga marriage is governed by definite
laws.. Just as one does not feel any shame in giving
away his daughter in marriage to another person, in
like manner there ought to be no shame in contracting
Niyoga. People who are given to illicit intercourse
do not give up this wicked habit even after marriage.
~ To us it seems that Niyoga is a sinful practice.
~ If you think that Niyoga is sinful, why don't you
regard marriage also as sinful? The sin rather consists
in preventing people from contracting Niyoga, for
according to the Divine laws of Nature, natural appetites
cannot be controlled unless one be self-abnegating,
profoundly learned, and a Yogi of the highest
order. Don't you consider it a sin to procure abortion,
destroy the fetus and inflict great mental suffering
on widows and widowers (by preventing them from contracting
Niyoga). For, so long as they are
desire for children and sexual enjoyment will drive
people to the necessity of forming secret relations,
if the laws of State or Society disallow lawful gratification.
The only proper way of preventing adultery and illicit
intimacies is to let those, who can control their
passions, do without Niyoga or even marriage, but
those who do not possess so much self-restraint must
marry, and in case of emergency contract Niyoga, so
that the chances of illicit intercourse may be greatly
minimized, love between the husband and the wife enhanced,
and consequently good children born, the human race
improved, and the practice of feticide put a stop
and Niyoga will do away with such wicked practices
as illicit intimacy between a low Class man and a
High class woman, or between a High class man and
a Low Class woman (such as a public woman), contamination
of noble families, extinction of the family line,
mental anguish of bachelors and maids, of widows and
widowers, feticide and the like crimes. For these
reasons, contraction of Niyoga is desirable.
~ What conditions should be observed in the performance
of the Niyoga ceremony?
is solemnized publicly even as marriage is.
as in marriage, the consent of the bride and the
bridegroom and approval of good men are essential,
even so it is in Niyoga, in other words, when a
man and a woman have agreed to contract Niyoga,
they should declare before an assembly of their
male and female relations that they ent4er into
the relation of Niyoga for begetting children, they
will have sexual congress for generating anew life
once a month, in case conception takes place they
will not co-habit for one year. If they should go
against that declaration they should be considered
sinners and should be liable to punishment by the
State and the Society.
~Should the relation of Niyoga be entered into with
a member of one's own Class or with that of a different
Class as well?
~ A woman should contract Niyoga with a member of
one's own Class or with that of a higher Class, that
is, a Vaishaya woman with a Braahman, a Kshatriya
or aVaishaya; a Kshatriya woman with Kshatriya or
a Braahman; a Brahman woman with a Braahman. The object
of this is that the spermatic fluid should always
be of a man of the same Class as the woman or of a
higher Class, never
a lower one. The object (of God) in creating man and
woman is that they should produce children in accordance
with the dictates of true religion as enjoined by
~ Why should a man contract Niyoga when he can marry
~ We have already said that according to the injunctions
of the Veda and the Shaastra among the twice-born
a man or a woman may marry only once, never a second
time. Justice demands that a bachelor, should be married
to a virgin. It is unjust and therefore wrong for
a widower to marry a virgin, and for a widow to marry
a bachelor. Just as a bachelor does not like to marry
a widow, so no virgin would like to marry a widower.
If no virgin will marry a widower, and no bachelor
will marry a widow, men and women will feel the necessity
of contracting Niyoga. Moreover, dharma consists in
mating likes alone.
~ are there any Vedic and Shaastric authorities in
favor of Niyoga, as there are in support of the marriage
~ "O man and woman (connected by Niyoga), just as
a widow, co-habits with her husband by Niyoga and
produces children for him, and a wife co-habits with
her husband by marriage and produces children for
him, likewise (it may be asked) where both of you
were during the day and during the night, and where
you slept, who you are, and what your native place
is." RIG VEDA 10: 40, 2.
indicates that man and wife should always live together
whether at home or abroad, and that a widow may also
take unto herself a husband by Niyoga and obtain children,
even as a virgin takes unto herself, a husband by
marriage, who raises upon her.*
*Q. ~ Supposing the deceased
husband of a widow had no younger brother, with whom
should she contract Niyoga?
~ With her devar, but the word devar does not mean
what you think. For the Nirukta says "The second husband
by Niyoga of a widow, be he the younger borther of
her deceased husband or his elder brother, or of a
man of her won Class or of a higher Class, is called
widow! Dothou give up thinking of they deceased husband
and choose another from among living men. But thou
must understand and remember that if thou should contractest
Niyoga for the benefit of thy second husband with
whom thou are united by performing the ceremony of
joining hands, the child resulting from this union
shall belong to him; but if thou interest into relation
of Niyoga for thy benefit, the child shall be thine.
Do thou bear this in mind. Let thy husband by Niyoga
also follow this law." RIG VEDA 18,8.
thou O woman that givest no pain to thy husband or
devar (husband by Niyoga), art kind to animals in
this Order of householders, walk assiduously in the
path of righteousness and justice, art well-versed
in all the shaastraas, hast children and grandchildren,
givest birth to valiant the brave boys, desirest a
second husband (by Niyoga), and bestoweth happiness
on all, accept a man of they choice as thy husband
or devar , and always perform the Homa which is the
duty of every householder." ATHARVA VEDA 14:, 2, 18.
sage Manu also sanctions the marriage of virgin widows.
Says he "A virgin widow may marry the younger or the
elder brother of her deceased husband." MANU.
~ How many times can a man or woman enter into the
relation of Niyoga? What are the husbands, by marriage
or by Niyoga, of a woman, called?
~ "O woman! Thy first husband with whom thou art united
by marriage is named Soma, called so because
hw was a chaste bachelor (before marriage). Thy second
husband with whom thou art connected by Niyoga is
named Gaandharva, called so because he had already
lived with another woman (to whom he had been united
by marriage). Thy third husband, (by Niyoga) is named
Agni (fire), called so because he so very passionate.
All thy other husbands from the fourth to the eleventh
are called men."
man may also contract Niyoga with eleven women (one
after the other), just as a woman may enter into the
relation of Niyoga with eleven men (one after the
other), as sanctioned by the Veda in the following
unto thyself the eleventh husband by Niyoga." RIG
VEDA 10: 85, 45.
~ Why should not the world eleven be taken to refer
to ten sons and the husband as the eleventh (member
of the family)?
~ Such an interpretation will not even sanction a
second husband and therefore go against such Shaatric
injunctions as have been quoted above (We reproduce
some of them here).
as a widow takes into her self a devar, etc." "The
second husband by Niyoga of a widow, etc." "So thou
O woman that givest no pain to�..devar (husband by
Niyoga)", etc. "Thy second husband�is named Gaandharva."
sage Manu also declares:-
failure of issue (by her deceased husband), a widow
may contract Niyoga with a widower (if bothe of them
be desirous of getting children), who may be her deceased
husband's younger or elder brother or his cousin within
the sixth degree or a man of her Class or of a higher
elder brother, who approaches the wife of the younger,
and a younger brother, who approaches the wife of
the elder, when the necessity of getting children
has ceased to operate, even though united by Niyoga,
shall be degraded (from their Class). In other words,
Niyoga lasts only so long as two or four children
are not born according as it has been contracted for
the benefit of one of the parties, or of both. They
should not approach each other after this. In this
way ten children may be produced by successive Niyogas.
congress after this is regarded as proceeding from
lust. Hence, those who resort to it are degraded (from
their Class). Even if married people co-habit with
each other after they have produced ten children,
they are considered lustful and held in great contempt,
because marriage and Niyoga are entered into for the
object of getting children but not for the gratification
of passions like animals.
~ Can a woman contract Niyoga only after the death
of her husband or even when he is alive?
~ This relation can be entered into even in the lifetime
of the husband (or of the wife). Here is Vedic text
n support of this view.
a man is incapable of producing children, let him
address his wife as follows:- O thou that art desirous
of getting children do not expect me to raise offspring
upon thee. Do thou, therefore, seek another husband."
RIG VEDA 10: 10, 10. The woman seeking to contract
Niyoga, should, however, continue to serve her husband
by marriage; similarly when a woman on account of
some chronic disease is rendered incapable of bearing
children, let her address the following words to her
husband. "My lord! Do not expect me to bear any children.
Do thou, therefore, contract Niyoga with a widow."
Here are some historical proofs as well in support
of this doctrine:-
and Maadri, wives of king Pandu had recourse to Niyoga.
Vyas, on the death of his brothers, Chidraangad and
Niyoga with their wives and begot Dhritraashtra on
Ambikaa, Paandu on Ambaalika and Vidur on a Shoodra
sage Manu declares:-
"If a husband has gone abroad in furtherance of some
righteous cause, let his wife wait for eight years;
if for he acquisition of knowledge and glory, for
six years; if for the pursuit of material ends, for
three years. If after the expiry of the prescribed
periods he does not turn up, she may contract Niyoga
and obtain children." MANU 9: 76.
the husband (by marriage) return, the contract of
Niyoga shall become null and void. Similarly it is
enjoined in case of the husband that " if the wife
be sterile, let the husband wait for eight years after
marriage; if all of her children die, for then years,
if she bears only daughters and no sons, for eleven
years, if she be a termagant, let him forsake her
immediately, and enter into Niyoga with another lady
and beget children upon her." MANU 9: 81.
if the husband be very cruel, let his wife forsake
him, and bear children by Niyoga who will succeed
to the property of her husband by marriage.
these authorities and arguments go to prove that it
is the duty of each man to preserve and perpetuate
his family line and thereby improve the race by emans
of Swayamvar Vivah - marriage by choice - and Niyoga.
as an Aurasa, a son born of marriage, is entitled
to inherit the property of his father, so is a Kshestrajna
- a son born of Niyoga." MANU.
and women should always bear in mind that the (male
or female) reproductive element is invaluable. Whosoever
wastes this invaluable fluid in illicit intercourse
with other people's wives, prostitutes, or lewd men,
is the greatest fool, because even a farmer or a gardener,
ignorant though he be, does not sow the seed in a
field or a garden that is not his own. When it is
true in the case of an ordinary seed and of an ignorant
not that wastes the human see - the best of all seeds
- in an undesirable soil, be regarded as the greatest
fool, since he does not reap the fruit thereof. It
is written in the Braahman Granth, "A son is part
of his father's self." The Saama Veda also declares:-
"O son! Thou art sprung out of my spermatic fluid
which is drawn from all the bodily organs and from
the heart. Thou art, therefore, my own self. Mayest
thou never die before me. Mayest thou live for a hundred
years." SAAMA VEDA. It is a sin of the deepest dye
to sow the seed, out of which great souls and distinguished
men have sprung, in a bad soil (such as a prostitute)
or to let a good soil be impregnated with a bad seed.
~ What is the good of the institution of marriage?
This relation restricts the liberty of people and
entails great suffering on them. Therefore it is desirable
that a couple should continue to live as man and wife
as long as they love each other, and separate when
they are tired of each other.
~ This is what beast and birds do. It does not become
men to act like this. If the institution of marriage
did not exist, all the amenities of domestic life
would come to an end. None will serve another. Downright
adultery and illicit connections will increase, all
men and women will be afflicted with disease, physically
and mentally, an will consequently die young, no one
will fear another or be controlled by public opinion.
Families upon families will be blotted out of existence
in consequence of disease, physical and mental degeneration
and premature death due to downright adultery and
one will have a title to succeed to another's property,
nor will any person be able to retain possession of
anything for any great length of time. All these evils
can be best avoided by marriage.
Monogamy being the rule (i.e., if one man be allowed
to have only one wife, and one woman only one husband)
what will a person do, if the wife be encienti ir
afflicted with some chronic disease, or if the husband
be a valetudinarian and either of them cannot control
himself or herself on account of extreme youth?
~ We have answered this objection while treating of
Niyoga. If a man be not able to control his passions
while his wife and she is pregnant, he may contract
Niyoga with a (widow) and beget offspring on her,
but let him never misconduct himself with a prostitute
or commit adultery. Let a man, as far as possible,
desire for what he has not got, preserve what he has
got, try to increase what he has preserved, and spend
it in doing good to his country.
every man perform the duties of his Class and Order,
as set forth above, mot faithfully, assiduously and
zealously, and apply himself heart and soul so the
attainment of righteous ends, and expend his wealth
in the pursuit thereof. Let him diligently serve his
father, mother, father-in-law, and mother-in-law,
and maintain loving relations with friends, neighbors,
the king, learned and holy men.
him treat the unrighteous and the wicked with non-chalance,
in other words, bear them no malice and endeavor to
reform them. Let him ungrudgingly spend his wealth
in securing for his children the benefits of wide
culture and liberal education, and try his best to
make them perfect scholars and men of culture. Let
him do righteous deeds, and thereby try to attain
salvation so that he may enjoy eternal (extreme) bliss.
like the following should never be regarded as authoritative.
["Even a degraded twice-born man is superior to Shudra
who has conquered his lower self, just as a cow that
does not yield milk is worthy of worship, a she-donkey
is not worshipped even though she yields milk. The
following are prohibited in Kaliyuga (iron age) :-
into Sanyaas (the Order of Renunciation).
flesh balls in a ceremony relating to the manes.
of issue on a widow by her husband (by Niyoga)
scriptures enjoin that a widow may take unto herself
a second husband in the following cases:-
the husband has gone abroad and cannot be traced.
he be dead.
he has turned a Sanyasi
he be impotent
he be excommunicated."]
above verses are from the apocryphal Parashar Smriti.
It is downright prejudice, sheer injustice, and a
great sin to regard a wicked twice-born man better
than a virtuous Shudra. If a cow, whether it yield
mil or not, is cared for by the milkman, the she-donkey
is equally an object of care for the potter.* Even
the illustration is defective, since the twice-born
man and the Shudra belong to the human species -bovine
and asinine. Should even an illustration from the
animal kingdom be partly applicable to human beings,
this verse cannot be regarded as true by learned men,
it being oppose to the reason.
and cow-sacrifice not being enjoined by the Vedaas,
their condemnation in the Kaliyuga (iron age) alone
must surely be regarded as opposed to the Vedaas.
If it is thought necessary to condemn these wicked
practices in the Kaliyuga, it follows that they are
permissible in the other three Yugas (viz., Golden,
Silver, Bronze ages); but is absolutely impossible
that such wicked practices should prevail during ages**
when righteousness reigned supreme.
initiation into the Order of Sanyaas finds sanction
in the Vedas another Shaastras, therefore it is foolish
to interdict it. If indulgence in flesh foods is interdicted
(which it undoubtedly is), then the prohibition should
apply equally to all ages. Why should the author of
these verses be barking like a dog, i.e., indulging
*Donkeys are very often used
by potters in India for carrying pottery from place
to place. Tr.
** The period covered by Creation is called Brahmadina
(God's day), while the period covered by Dissolution
is called Braahmaratri (God's night): Brahmadina (God's
day) is divided into 1,000 Chaturyugis, each of which
is again divided into 4 Yugas or ages, these are:-
Yuga or Golden age = 1,728,000 years.
Yuga or Silver age = 1,296,000 years
Yuga or Bronze age = 864,000 years
or Iron age = 432,000 years
orthodox believe that these Yugas influence the conduct
of the human race for good or for evil, hence they have
given these Yugas the names of Golden, Silver, Bronze
and Iron respectively. The author does not share this
view. - Tr.
when Niyoga is clearly allowed by the Veda. If the
husband has gone abroad and during his absence the
wife contracts Niyoga, whose wife will she be regarded
if the husband (by marriage) returns? It may be replied
that she would belong by right to him who married
her. This is perfectly right, but this provision is
not laid down in the Paraashar Smritti. Are there
only five occasions of emergencies on which a woman
may find it necessary to have recourse to Niyoga?
These occasions are more than five in number. Here
are some others:-
illness of the husband
differences with the husband, etc.
verses like these are, unworthy of belief.
~ Well sir! Have you no faith even in what the Parashar
~ Nothing that is opposed to the Vedas ought to be
believed in, no matter who has taught it. Moreover,
these are not the words of Parashar. People write
books in the name of eminent men like Brahma, Vasishtha,
Rama, Shiva, Vishnu and Devi so that these books,
being stamped with the authority of universally esteemed
great men and women, may be acceptable to the whole
world, and the real authors and their successors)
may be pecuniarily benefited to a great extent.
is for this reason that they write books replete with
foolish and mythical stories. Among the Smrities,
the Manu Smriti alone is authentic, the interpolated
verses being excepted. What has been said about the
Smrities applies with equal force to all apocryphal
~ Is the Order of householders the highest or the
lowest of Orders?
~ Each of the orders is noble in its own place. Says
"Just as all rivers and rivulets meander till they
find a resting place in the ocean, so do men of all
Orders find protection with householders. The men
of no Order can properly discharge their duties without
the help of householders." MANU 6: 90.
all living creatures subsist by receiving support
from air, even so do the men of all Orders subsist
by receiving support from the householder. Because
men of the three other Orders - Brahamcharya, Vaanaprasth
and Sanyaas - are daily supported by the house holder
with gifts of food, &c., the Orders of householders
is the most excellent Order, In other words, it is
the pivot upon which the entire A'shram (Order) system
duties of this Order, which cannot be practiced by
men who are cowardly and possess a poor physique,
must be faithfully discharged by those who desire
uninterrupted happiness in this world and imperishable
bliss hereafter." MANU 3: 79
the concerns of life are, therefore, dependent on
the Order of householders. If this Order did not exist,
the human species would not be propagated, the consequently
the Orders of Brahmacharya Vaanaprasth and
Sanyaas could not be called into existence.
Whosoever speaks ill of this Order is himself worthy
of contempt, but whosoever speaks well of it deserves
be it remembered that this Order can be fruitful of
happiness only when both the husband and the wife
are contented with each other, are learned and energetic,
and fully know their duties. The chief causes which
contribute to the happiness of householders are Brahmacharya
and marriage by choice of which we have already treated.
have thus briefly discoursed on Return Home, Marriage
and Married Life in this Chapter. We shall treat of
the orders of Vanaprasth and Sanyaas
in the next.