The Manusmriti otherwise known as Manusamhita is the religious code of Manu about human conduct. This outstanding and authoritative work of Manu deals with Hindu religion, society and way of life. Of all of the smritis, it is considered to be the exceptional. Manusmriti laid the foundation of Hindu law and is still relevant in the Hindu legal and ethical structures of the present day, in one form or the other. What more is that it has universal appeal and applicability and, therefore, is cosmopolitan in nature. It is structured and written on the essence of the Vedas. It touches every element of human lifestyles and behavior and Manusmriti is divided into twelve chapters and its contain 2694 couplets.
Manusmriti is written by:
This book is written by Manu during his period. This book is all about laws, religion and human life.
12th chapters of Manusmriti
In the very first chapter of Manusmriti, there has been discussions about the creation of the Brahman (the supreme soul), the water, the universe, three Vedas, time, space, man and woman, Gods, demons, day and night, four yugas, Brahmins and other Varnas, heaven and hell, duties (karma), virtues and vices.
◆The second chapter
This chapter discusses approximately Dharma, Dharmashastras, will and purpose, way of achieving hell or heaven, moksha, way of turning into a two times-born, destruction of demerits by means of right take a look at of Vedas and recitation of vedic hymns, various samskaras and celibacy. In this chapter there is also discussion of the qualities of teacher (guru) and disciple and mode of behaviour and relation between them, orders of social behaviour, salutation among the relatives and different age-groups.
The third chapter describes about eight types of marriage, good and bad types of marriage, worthy and unworthy maidens for marriage, happy married life, pleasures and displeasures of wife, forbidden sexual life, evil consequences of inter-varna marriages etc. In this chapter there are also the rules, methods and merits of performing Shraddhas, benefits and manner of giving alms, duties of householder towards guests and the praise for the life of a householder.
The fourth chapter of Manusmriti describes about rules of four varnas and Grahastha Ashram, rules about sexual relations, rules about bathing, fooding, prayers and seeing sun. It also explains about non-acceptance of charity from the king, desertion of a Sudra King and an enemy, prohibition of disrespect to idol and Brahmin, reward of politeness and truthfulness etc.
In the fifth part Manu examines about obligations of a couple, reasons for death, disallowance of meat eating and non-consumable food sources.
Through the 6th chapter Manu has examined about the time and rules of Vanaprastha and Sanyasa Ashrams, good cause, dress and home.
The seventh chapter deals with the King, his duties, qualities and procedure of appointment of his ministers, penalty to corrupt officials, payment of taxes, control and suppression of enemies, the rules of eating, sleeping etc. by the king.
The eighth chapter Manu has examined about law, its organization, equity, witnesses, various sorts and levels of discipline, credits and interests, exchange and business, obligations of the state towards fallen ladies and so on.
The ninth chapter of Manusmriti analyses about various aspects of social organisations like duties of women, their protection, Niyoga or levirate, six kinds of Stridhan (wife’s property), evils and penitence of unlawful sex etc.
The tenth chapter elaborates about the relations, rules and patterns of behaviour among the varnas, importance of Brahmins, and the difference among the high and the low classes.
The eleventh chapter discusses about rules of giving alms to students, rules of performing sacrifices, various vices and penitence, also penitence for animal slaughter, debauchery and destruction of vegetation.
◆ Twelfth chapter:-
The twelfth and the last chapter of Manusmriti deals with Karma, Heaven and Hell. It also discusses about the five elements that constitute human body, the consequences of various karmas and the differences of karmas leading to rebirth in different kinds of creatures.