1. I will declare the duties of kings, (and) show how a king
should conduct himself, how he was created, and how (he can
obtain) highest success.
2. A Kshatriya, who has received according to the rule the
sacrament prescribed by the Veda, must duly protect this whole
3. For, when these creatures, being without a king, through
fear dispersed in all directions, the Lord created a king for
the protection of this whole (creation),
4. Taking (for that purpose) eternal particles of Indra,
of the Wind, of Yama, of the Sun, of Fire, of Varuna, of the
Moon, and of the Lord of wealth (Kubera).
5. Because a king has been formed of particles of those lords
of the gods, he therefore surpasses all created beings in lustre;
6. And, like the sun, he burns eyes and hearts; nor can anybody
on earth even gaze on him.
7. Through his (supernatural) power he is Fire and Wind,
he Sun and Moon, he the Lord of justice (Yama), he Kubera, he
Varuna, he great Indra.
8. Even an infant king must not be despised, (from an idea)
that he is a (mere) mortal; for he is a great deity in human
9. Fire burns one man only, if he carelessly approaches it,
the fire of a king's (anger) consumes the (whole) family, together
with its cattle and its hoard of property.
10. Having fully considered the purpose, (his) power, and
the place and the time, he assumes by turns many (different)
shapes for the complete attainment of justice.
11. He, in whose favour resides Padma, the goddess of fortune,
in whose valour dwells victory, in whose anger abides death,
is formed of the lustre of all (gods).
12. The (man), who in his exceeding folly hates him, will
doubtlessly perish; for the king quickly makes up his mind to
destroy such (a man).
13. Let no (man), therefore, transgress that law which favourites,
nor (his orders) which inflict pain on those in disfavour.
14. For the (king's) sake the Lord formerly created his own
son, Punishment, the protector of all creatures, (an incarnation
of) the law, formed of Brahman's glory.
15. Through fear of him all created beings, both the immovable
and the movable, allow themselves to be enjoyed and swerve not
from their duties.
16. Having fully considered the time and the place (of the
offence), the strength and the knowledge (of the offender),
let him justly inflict that (punishment) on men who act unjustly.
17. Punishment is (in reality) the king (and) the male, that
the manager of affairs, that the ruler, and that is called the
surety for the four orders' obedience to the law.
18. Punishment alone governs all created beings, punishment
alone protects them, punishment watches over them while they
sleep; the wise declare punishment (to be identical with) the
19. If (punishment) is properly inflicted after (due) consideration,
it makes all people happy; but inflicted without consideration,
it destroys everything.
20. If the king did not, without tiring, inflict punishment
on those worthy to be punished, the stronger would roast the
weaker, like fish on a spit;
21. The crow would eat the sacrificial cake and the dog would
lick the sacrificial viands, and ownership would not remain
with any one, the lower ones would (usurp the place of) the
22. The whole world is kept in order by punishment, for a
guiltless man is hard to find; through fear of punishment the
whole world yields the enjoyments (which it owes).
23. The gods, the Danavas, the Gandharvas, the Rakshasas,
the bird and snake deities even give the enjoyments (due from
them) only, if they are tormented by (the fear of) punishment.
24. All castes (varna) would be corrupted (by intermixture),
all barriers would be broken through, and all men would rage
(against each other) in consequence of mistakes with respect
25. But where Punishment with a black hue and red eyes stalks
about, destroying sinners, there the subjects are not disturbed,
provided that he who inflicts it discerns well.
26. They declare that king to be a just inflicter of punishment,
who is truthful, who acts after due consideration, who is wise,
and who knows (the respective value of) virtue, pleasure, and
27. A king who properly inflicts (punishment), prospers with
respect to (those) three (means of happiness); but he who is
voluptuous, partial, and deceitful will be destroyed, even through
the (unjust) punishment (which he inflicts).
28. Punishment (possesses) a very bright lustre, and is hard
to be administered by men with unimproved minds; it strikes
down the king who swerves from his duty, together with his relatives.
29. Next it will afflict his castles, his territories, the
whole world together with the movable and immovable (creation),
likewise the sages and the gods, who (on the failure of offerings)
ascend to the sky.
30. (Punishment) cannot be inflicted justly by one who has
no assistant, (nor) by a fool, (nor) by a covetous man, (nor)
by one whose mind is unimproved, (nor) by one addicted to sensual
31. By him who is pure (and) faithful to his promise, who
acts according to the Institutes (of the sacred law), who has
good assistants and is wise, punishment can be (justly) inflicted.
32. Let him act with justice in his own domain, with rigour
chastise his enemies, behave without duplicity towards his friends,
and be lenient towards Brahmanas.
33. The fame of a king who behaves thus, even though he subsist
by gleaning, is spread in the world, like a drop of oil on water.
34. But the fame of a king who acts in a contrary manner
and who does not subdue himself, diminishes in extent among
men like a drop of clarified butter in water.
35. The king has been created (to be) the protector of the
castes (varna) and orders, who, all according to their rank,
discharge their several duties.
36. Whatever must be done by him and by his servants for
the protection of his people, that I will fully declare to you
in due order.
37. Let the king, after rising early in the morning, worship
Brahmanas who are well versed in the threefold sacred science
and learned (in polity), and follow their advice.
38. Let him daily worship aged Brahmanas who know the Veda
and are pure; for he who always worships aged men, is honoured
even by Rakshasas.
39. Let him, though he may already be modest, constantly
learn modesty from them; for a king who is modest never perishes.
40. Through a want of modesty many kings have perished, together
with their belongings; through modesty even hermits in the forest
have gained kingdoms.
41. Through a want of humility Vena perished, likewise king
Nahusha, Sudas, the son of Pigavana, Sumukha, and Nemi.
42. But by humility Prithu and Manu gained sovereignty, Kubera
the position of the Lord of wealth, and the son of Gadhi the
rank of a Brahmana.
43. From those versed in the three Vedas let him learn the
threefold (sacred science), the primeval science of government,
the science of dialectics, and the knowledge of the (supreme)
Soul; from the people (the theory of) the (various) trades and
44. Day and night he must strenuously exert himself to conquer
his senses; for he (alone) who has conquered his own senses,
can keep his subjects in obedience.
45. Let him carefully shun the ten vices, springing from
love of pleasure, and the eight, proceeding from wrath, which
(all) end in misery.
46. For a king who is attached to the vices springing from
love of pleasure, loses his wealth and his virtue, but (he who
is given) to those arising from anger, (loses) even his life.
47. Hunting, gambling, sleeping by day, censoriousness, (excess
with) women, drunkenness, (an inordinate love for) dancing,
singing, and music, and useless travel are the tenfold set (of
vices) springing from love of pleasure.
48. Tale-bearing, violence, treachery, envy, slandering,
(unjust) seizure of property, reviling, and assault are the
eightfold set (of vices) produced by wrath.
49. That greediness which all wise men declare to be the
root even of both these (sets), let him carefully conquer; both
sets (of vices) are produced by that.
50. Drinking, dice, women, and hunting, these four (which
have been enumerated) in succession, he must know to be the
most pernicious in the set that springs from love of pleasure.
51. Doing bodily injury, reviling, and the seizure of property,
these three he must know to be the most pernicious in the set
produced by wrath.
52. A self-controlled (king) should know that in this set
of seven, which prevails everywhere, each earlier-named vice
is more abominable (than those named later).
53. (On a comparison) between vice and death, vice is declared
to be more pernicious; a vicious man sinks to the nethermost
(hell), he who dies, free from vice, ascends to heaven.
54. Let him appoint seven or eight ministers whose ancestors
have been royal servants, who are versed in the sciences, heroes
skilled in the use of weapons and descended from (noble) families
and who have been tried.
55. Even an undertaking easy (in itself) is (sometimes) hard
to be accomplished by a single man; how much (harder is it for
a king), especially (if he has) no assistant, (to govern) a
kingdom which yields great revenues.
56. Let him daily consider with them the ordinary (business,
referring to) peace and war, (the four subjects called) sthana,
the revenue, the (manner of) protecting (himself and his kingdom),
and the sanctification of his gains (by pious gifts).
57. Having (first) ascertained the opinion of each (minister)
separately and (then the views) of all together, let him do
what is (most) beneficial for him in his affairs.
58. But with the most distinguished among them all, a learned
Brahmana, let the king deliberate on the most important affairs
which relate to the six measures of royal policy.
59. Let him, full of confidence, always entrust to that (official)
all business; having taken his final resolution with him, let
him afterwards begin to act.
60. He must also appoint other officials, (men) of integrity,
(who are) wise, firm, well able to collect money, and well tried.
61. As many persons as the due performance of his business
requires, so many skilful and clever (men), free from sloth,
let him appoint.
62. Among them let him employ the brave, the skilful, the
high-born, and the honest in (offices for the collection of)
revenue, (e.g.) in mines, manufactures, and storehouses, (but)
the timid in the interior of his palace.
63. Let him also appoint an ambassador who is versed in all
sciences, who understands hints, expressions of the face and
gestures, who is honest, skilful, and of (noble) family.
64. (Such) an ambassador is commended to a king (who is)
loyal, honest, skilful, possessing a good memory, who knows
the (proper) place and time (for action, who is) handsome, fearless,
65. The army depends on the official (placed in charge of
it), the due control (of the subjects) on the army, the treasury
and the (government of) the realm on the king, peace and its
opposite (war) on the ambassador.
66. For the ambassador alone makes (kings') allies and separates
allies; the ambassador transacts that business by which (kings)
are disunited or not.
67. With respect to the affairs let the (ambassador) explore
the expression of the countenance, the gestures and actions
of the (foreign king) through the gestures and actions of his
confidential (advisers), and (discover) his designs among his
68. Having learnt exactly (from his ambassador) the designs
of the foreign king, let (the king) take such measures that
he does not bring evil on himself.
69. Let him settle in a country which is open and has a dry
climate, where grain is abundant, which is chiefly (inhabited)
by Aryans, not subject to epidemic diseases (or similar troubles),
and pleasant, where the vassals are obedient and his own (people
easily) find their livelihood.
70. Let him build (there) a town, making for his safety a
fortress, protected by a desert, or a fortress built of (stone
and) earth, or one protected by water or trees, or one (formed
by an encampment of armed) men or a hill-fort.
71. Let him make every effort to secure a hill-fort, for
amongst all those (fortresses mentioned) a hill-fort is distinguished
by many superior qualities.
72. The first three of those (various kinds of fortresses)
are inhabited by wild beasts, animals living in holes and aquatic
animals, the last three by monkeys, men, and gods respectively.
73. As enemies do not hurt these (beings, when they are)
sheltered by (their) fortresses, even so foes (can) not injure
a king who has taken refuge in his fort.
74. One bowman, placed on a rampart, is a match in battle
for one hundred (foes), one hundred for ten thousand; hence
it is prescribed (in the Sastras that a king will posses) a
75. Let that (fort) be well supplied with weapons, money,
grain and beasts of burden, with Brahmanas, with artisans, with
engines, with fodder, and with water.
76. Let him cause to be built for himself, in the centre
of it, a spacious palace, (well) protected, habitable in every
season, resplendent (with whitewash), supplied with water and
77. Inhabiting that, let him wed a consort of equal caste
(varna), who possesses auspicious marks (on her body), and is
born in a great family, who is charming and possesses beauty
and excellent qualities.
78. Let him appoint a domestic priest (purohita) and choose
officiating priests (ritvig); they shall perform his domestic
rites and the (sacrifices) for which three fires are required.
79. A king shall offer various (Srauta) sacrifices at which
liberal fees (are distributed), and in order to acquire merit,
he shall give to Brahmanas enjoyments and wealth.
80. Let him cause the annual revenue in his kingdom to be
collected by trusty (officials), let him obey the sacred law
in (his transactions with) the people, and behave like a father
towards all men.
81. For the various (branches of business) let him appoint
intelligent supervisors; they shall inspect all (the acts) of
those men who transact his business.
82. Let him honour those Brahmanas who have returned from
their teacher's house (after studying the Veda); for that (money
which is given) to Brahmanas is declared to be an imperishable
treasure for kings.
83. Neither thieves nor foes can take it, nor can it be lost;
hence an imperishable store must be deposited by kings with
84. The offering made through the mouth of a Brahmana, which
is neither spilt, nor falls (on the ground), nor ever perishes,
is far more excellent than Agnihotras.
85. A gift to one who is not a Brahmana (yields) the ordinary
(reward; a gift) to one who calls himself a Brahmana, a double
(reward); a gift to a well-read Brahmana, a hundred-thousandfold
(reward); (a gift) to one who knows the Veda and the Angas (Vedaparaga,
a reward) without end.
86. For according to the particular qualities of the recipient
and according to the faith (of the giver) a small or a great
reward will be obtained for a gift in the next world.
87. A king who, while he protects his people, is defied by
(foes), be they equal in strength, or stronger, or weaker, must
not shrink from battle, remembering the duty of Kshatriyas.
88. Not to turn back in battle, to protect the people, to
honour the Brahmanas, is the best means for a king to secure
89. Those kings who, seeking to slay each other in battle,
fight with the utmost exertion and do not turn back, go to heaven.
90. When he fights with his foes in battle, let him not strike
with weapons concealed (in wood), nor with (such as are) barbed,
poisoned, or the points of which are blazing with fire.
91. Let him not strike one who (in flight) has climbed on
an eminence, nor a eunuch, nor one who joins the palms of his
hands (in supplication), nor one who (flees) with flying hair,
nor one who sits down, nor one who says 'I am thine;'
92. Nor one who sleeps, nor one who has lost his coat of
mail, nor one who is naked, nor one who is disarmed, nor one
who looks on without taking part in the fight, nor one who is
fighting with another (foe);
93. Nor one whose weapons are broken, nor one afflicted (with
sorrow), nor one who has been grievously wounded, nor one who
is in fear, nor one who has turned to flight; (but in all these
cases let him) remember the duty (of honourable warriors).
94. But the (Kshatriya) who is slain in battle, while he
turns back in fear, takes upon himself all the sin of his master,
whatever (it may be);
95. And whatever merit (a man) who is slain in flight may
have gained for the next (world), all that his master takes.
96. Chariots and horses, elephants, parasols, money, grain,
cattle, women, all sorts of (marketable) goods and valueless
metals belong to him who takes them (singly) conquering (the
97. A text of the Veda (declares) that (the soldiers) shall
present a choice portion (of the booty) to the king; what has
not been taken singly, must be distributed by the king among
all the soldiers.
98. Thus has been declared the blameless, primeval law for
warriors; from this law a Kshatriya must not depart, when he
strikes his foes in battle.
99. Let him strive to gain what he has not yet gained; what
he has gained let him carefully preserve; let him augment what
he preserves, and what he has augmented let him bestow on worthy
100. Let him know that these are the four means for securing
the aims of human (existence); let him, without ever tiring,
properly employ them.
101. What he has not (yet) gained, let him seek (to gain)
by (his) army; what he has gained, let him protect by careful
attention; what he has protected, let him augment by (various
modes of) increasing it; and what he has augmented, let him
liberally bestow (on worthy men).
102. Let him be ever ready to strike, his prowess constantly
displayed, and his secrets constantly concealed, and let him
constantly explore the weaknesses of his foe.
103. Of him who is always ready to strike, the whole world
stands in awe; let him therefore make all creatures subject
to himself even by the employment of force.
104. Let him ever act without guile, and on no account treacherously;
carefully guarding himself, let him always fathom the treachery
which his foes employ.
105. His enemy must not know his weaknesses, but he must
know the weaknesses of his enemy; as the tortoise (hides its
limbs), even so let him secure the members (of his government
against treachery), let him protect his own weak points.
106. Let him plan his undertakings (patiently meditating)
like a heron; like a lion, let him put forth his strength; like
a wolf, let him snatch (his prey); like a hare, let him double
107. When he is thus engaged in conquest, let him subdue
all the opponents whom he may find, by the (four) expedients,
conciliation and the rest.
108. If they cannot be stopped by the three first expedients,
then let him, overcoming them by force alone, gradually bring
them to subjection.
109. Among the four expedients, conciliation and the rest,
the learned always recommend conciliation and (the employment
of) force for the prosperity of kingdoms.
110. As the weeder plucks up the weeds and preserves the
corn, even so let the king protect his kingdom and destroy his
111. That king who through folly rashly oppresses his kingdom,
(will), together with his relatives, ere long be deprived of
his life and of his kingdom.
112. As the lives of living creatures are destroyed by tormenting
their bodies, even so the lives of kings are destroyed by their
oppressing their kingdoms.
113. In governing his kingdom let him always observe the
(following) rules; for a king who governs his kingdom well,
114. Let him place a company of soldiers, commanded (by a
trusty officer), the midst of two, three, five or hundreds of
villages, (to be) a protection of the kingdom.
115. Let him appoint a lord over (each) village, as well
as lords of ten villages, lords of twenty, lords of a hundred,
and lords of a thousand.
116. The lord of one village himself shall inform the lord
of ten villages of the crimes committed in his village, and
the ruler of ten (shall make his report) to the ruler of twenty.
117. But the ruler of twenty shall report all such (matters)
to the lord of a hundred, and the lord of a hundred shall himself
give information to the lord of a thousand.
118. Those (articles) which the villagers ought to furnish
daily to the king, such as food, drink, and fuel, the lord of
one village shall obtain.
119. The ruler of ten (villages) shall enjoy one kula (as
much land as suffices for one family), the ruler of twenty five
kulas, the superintendent of a hundred villages (the revenues
of) one village, the lord of a thousand (the revenues of) a
120. The affairs of these (officials), which are connected
with (their) villages and their separate business, another minister
of the king shall inspect, (who must be) loyal and never remiss;
121. And in each town let him appoint one superintendent
of all affairs, elevated in rank, formidable, (resembling) a
planet among the stars.
122. Let that (man) always personally visit by turns all
those (other officials); let him properly explore their behaviour
in their districts through spies (appointed to) each.
123. For the servants of the king, who are appointed to protect
(the people), generally become knaves who seize the property
of others; let him protect his subjects against such (men).
124. Let the king confiscate the whole property of those
(officials) who, evil-minded, may take money from suitors, and
125. For women employed in the royal service and for menial
servants, let him fix a daily maintenance, in proportion to
their position and to their work.
126. One pana must be given (daily) as wages to the lowest,
six to the highest, likewise clothing every six months and one
drona of grain every month.
127. Having well considered (the rates of) purchase and (of)
sale, (the length of) the road, (the expense for) food and condiments,
the charges of securing the goods, let the king make the traders
128. After (due) consideration the king shall always fix
in his realm the duties and taxes in such a manner that both
he himself and the man who does the work receive (their due)
129. As the leech, the calf, and the bee take their food
little by little, even so must the king draw from his realm
moderate annual taxes.
130. A fiftieth part of (the increments on) cattle and gold
may be taken by the king, and the eighth, sixth, or twelfth
part of the crops.
131. He may also take the sixth part of trees, meat, honey,
clarified butter, perfumes, (medical) herbs, substances used
for flavouring food, flowers, roots, and fruit;
132. Of leaves, pot-herbs, grass, (objects) made of cane,
skins, of earthen vessels, and all (articles) made of stone.
133. Though dying (with want), a king must not levy a tax
on Srotriyas, and no Srotriya, residing in his kingdom, must
perish from hunger.
134. The kingdom of that king, in whose dominions a Srotriya
pines with hunger, will even, ere long, be afflicted by famine.
135. Having ascertained his learning in the Veda and (the
purity of) his conduct, the king shall provide for him means
of subsistence in accordance with the sacred law, and shall
protect him in every way, as a father (protects) the lawful
son of his body.
136. Whatever meritorious acts (such a Brahmana) performs
under the full protection of the king, thereby the king's length
of life, wealth, and kingdom increase.
137. Let the king make the common inhabitants of his realm
who live by traffic, pay annually some trifle, which is called
138. Mechanics and artisans, as well as Sudras who subsist
by manual labour, he may cause to work (for himself) one (day)
in each month.
139. Let him not cut up his own root (by levying no taxes),
nor the root of other (men) by excessive greed; for by cutting
up his own root (or theirs), he makes himself or them wretched.
140. Let the king, having carefully considered (each) affair,
be both sharp and gentle; for a king who is both sharp and gentle
is highly respected.
141. When he is tired with the inspection of the business
of men, let him place on that seat (of justice) his chief minister,
(who must be) acquainted with the law, wise, self-controlled,
and descended from a (noble) family.
142. Having thus arranged all the affairs (of) his (government),
he shall zealously and carefully protect his subjects.
143. That (monarch) whose subjects are carried off by robbers
(Dasyu) from his kingdom, while they loudly call (for help),
and he and his servants are (quietly) looking on, is a dead
and not a living (king).
144. The highest duty of a Kshatriya is to protect his subjects,
for the king who enjoys the rewards, just mentioned, is bound
to (discharge that) duty.
145. Having risen in the last watch of the night, having
performed (the rite of) personal purification, having, with
a collected mind, offered oblations in the fire, and having
worshipped Brahmanas, he shall enter the hall of audience which
must possess the marks (considered) auspicious (for a dwelling).
146. Tarrying there, he shall gratify all subjects (who come
to see him by a kind reception) and afterwards dismiss them;
having dismissed his subjects, he shall take counsel with his
147. Ascending the back of a hill or a terrace, (and) retiring
(there) in a lonely place, or in a solitary forest, let him
consult with them unobserved.
148. That king whose secret plans other people, (though)
assembled (for the purpose), do not discover, (will) enjoy the
whole earth, though he be poor in treasure.
149. At the time of consultation let him cause to be removed
idiots, the dumb, the blind, and the deaf, animals, very aged
men, women, barbarians, the sick, and those deficient in limbs.
150. (Such) despicable (persons), likewise animals, and particularly
women betray secret council; for that reason he must be careful
with respect to them.
151. At midday or at midnight, when his mental and bodily
fatigues are over, let him deliberate, either with himself alone
or with his (ministers), on virtue, pleasure, and wealth,
152. On (reconciling) the attainment of these (aims) which
are opposed to each other, on bestowing his daughters in marriage,
and on keeping his sons (from harm),
153. On sending ambassadors, on the completion of undertakings
(already begun), on the behaviour of (the women in) his harem,
and on the doings of his spies.
154. On the whole eightfold business and the five classes
(of spies), on the goodwill or enmity and the conduct of the
circle (of neighbours he must) carefully (reflect).
155. On the conduct of the middlemost (prince), on the doings
of him who seeks conquest, on the behaviour of the neutral (king),
and (on that) of the foe (let him) sedulously (meditate).
156. These (four) constituents (prakriti, form), briefly
(speaking), the foundation of the circle (of neighbours); besides,
eight others are enumerated (in the Institutes of Polity) and
(thus) the (total) is declared to be twelve.
157. The minister, the kingdom, the fortress, the treasury,
and the army are five other (constituent elements of the circle);
for, these are mentioned in connexion with each (of the first
twelve; thus the whole circle consists), briefly (speaking,
of) seventy-two (constituent parts).
158. Let (the king) consider as hostile his immediate neighbour
and the partisan of (such a) foe, as friendly the immediate
neighbour of his foe, and as neutral (the king) beyond those
159. Let him overcome all of them by means of the (four)
expedients, conciliation and the rest, (employed) either singly
or conjointly, (or) by bravery and policy (alone).
160. Let him constantly think of the six measures of royal
policy (guna, viz.) alliance, war, marching, halting, dividing
the army, and seeking protection.
161. Having carefully considered the business (in hand),
let him resort to sitting quiet or marching, alliance or war,
dividing his forces or seeking protection (as the case may require).
162. But the king must know that there are two kinds of alliances
and of wars, (likewise two) of both marching and sitting quiet,
and two (occasions for) seeking protection.)
163. An alliance which yields present and future advantages,
one must know to be of two descriptions, (viz.) that when one
marches together (with an ally) and the contrary (when the allies
164. War is declared to be of two kinds, (viz.) that which
is undertaken in season or out of season, by oneself and for
one's own purposes, and (that waged to avenge) an injury done
to a friend.
165. Marching (to attack) is said to be twofold, (viz. that
undertaken) by one alone when an urgent matter has suddenly
arisen, and (that undertaken) by one allied with a friend.
166. Sitting quiet is stated to be of two kinds, (viz. that
incumbent) on one who has gradually been weakened by fate or
in consequence of former acts, and (that) in favour of a friend.
167. If the army stops (in one place) and its master (in
another) in order to effect some purpose, that is called by
those acquainted with the virtues of the measures of royal policy,
the twofold division of the forces.
168. Seeking refuge is declared to be of two kinds, (first)
for the purpose of attaining an advantage when one is harassed
by enemies, (secondly) in order to become known among the virtuous
(as the protege of a powerful king).
169. When (the king) knows (that) at some future time his
superiority (is) certain, and (that) at the time present (he
will suffer) little injury, then let him have recourse to peaceful
170. But when he thinks all his subjects to be exceedingly
contented, and (that he) himself (is) most exalted (in power),
then let him make war.
171. When he knows his own army to be cheerful in disposition
and strong, and (that) of his enemy the reverse, then let him
march against his foe.
172. But if he is very weak in chariots and beasts of burden
and in troops, then let him carefully sit quiet, gradually conciliating
173. When the king knows the enemy to be stronger in every
respect, then let him divide his army and thus achieve his purpose.
174. But when he is very easily assailable by the forces
of the enemy, then let him quickly seek refuge with a righteous,
175. That (prince) who will coerce both his (disloyal) subjects
and the army of the foe, let him ever serve with every effort
like a Guru.
176. When, even in that (condition), he sees (that) evil
is caused by (such) protection, let him without hesitation have
recourse to war.
177. By all (the four) expedients a politic prince must arrange
(matters so) that neither friends, nor neutrals, nor foes are
superior to himself.
178. Let him fully consider the future and the immediate
results of all undertakings, and the good and bad sides of all
179. He who knows the good and the evil (which will result
from his acts) in the future, is quick in forming resolutions
for the present, and understands the consequences of past (actions),
will not be conquered.
180. Let him arrange everything in such a manner that no
ally, no neutral or foe may injure him; that is the sum of political
181. But if the king undertakes an expedition against a hostile
kingdom, then let him gradually advance, in the following manner,
against his foe's capital.
182. Let the king undertake his march in the fine month Margasirsha,
or towards the months of Phalguna and Kaitra, according to the
(condition of his) army.
183. Even at other times, when he has a certain prospect
of victory, or when a disaster has befallen his foe, he may
advance to attack him.
184. But having duly arranged (all affairs) in his original
(kingdom) and what relates to the expedition, having secured
a basis (for his operations) and having duly dispatched his
185. Having cleared the three kinds of roads, and (having
made) his sixfold army (efficient), let him leisurely proceed
in the manner prescribed for warfare against the enemy's capital.
186. Let him be very much on his guard against a friend who
secretly serves the enemy and against (deserters) who return
(from the enemy's camp); for such (men are) the most dangerous
187. Let him march on his road, arraying (his troops) like
a staff (i.e. in an oblong), or like a waggon (i.e. in a wedge),
or like a boar (i.e. in a rhombus), or like a Makara (i.e. in
two triangles, with the apices joined), or like a pin (i.e.
in a long line), or like a Garuda (i.e. in a rhomboid with far-extended
188. From whatever (side) he apprehends danger, in that (direction)
let him extend his troops, and let him always himself encamp
in an array, shaped like a lotus.
189. Let him allot to the commander-in-chief, to the (subordinate)
general, (and to the superior officers) places in all directions,
and let him turn his front in that direction whence he fears
190. On all sides let him place troops of soldiers, on whom
he can rely, with whom signals have been arranged, who are expert
both in sustaining a charge and in charging, fearless and loyal.
191. Let him make a small number of soldiers fight in close
order, at his pleasure let him extend a large number in loose
ranks; or let him make them fight, arranging (a small number)
in the needle-array, (and a large number) in the thunderbolt-array.
192. On even ground let him fight with chariots and horses,
in water-bound places with boats and elephants, on (ground)
covered with trees and shrubs with bows, on hilly ground with
swords, targets, (and other) weapons.
193. (Men born in) Kurukshetra, Matsyas, Pankalas, and those
born in Surasena, let him cause to fight in the van of the battle,
as well as (others who are) tall and light.
194. After arranging his troops, he should encourage them
(by an address) and carefully inspect them; he should also mark
the behaviour (of the soldiers) when they engage the enemy.
195. When he has shut up his foe (in a town), let him sit
encamped, harass his kingdom, and continually spoil his grass,
food, fuel, and water.
196. Likewise let him destroy the tanks, ramparts, and ditches,
and let him assail the (foe unawares) and alarm him at night.
197. Let him instigate to rebellion those who are open to
such instigations, let him be informed of his (foe's) doings,
and, when fate is propitious, let him fight without fear, trying
198. He should (however) try to conquer his foes by conciliation,
by (well-applied) gifts, and by creating dissension, used either
separately or conjointly, never by fighting, (if it can be avoided.)
199. For when two (princes) fight, victory and defeat in
the battle are, as experience teaches, uncertain; let him therefore
avoid an engagement.
200. (But) if even those three before-mentioned expedients
fail, then let him, duly exerting himself, fight in such a manner
that he may completely conquer his enemies.
201. When he has gained victory, let him duly worship the
gods and honour righteous Brahmanas, let him grant exemptions,
and let him cause promises of safety to be proclaimed.
202. But having fully ascertained the wishes of all the (conquered),
let him place there a relative of the (vanquished ruler on the
throne), and let him impose his conditions.
203. Let him make authoritative the lawful (customs) of the
(inhabitants), just as they are stated (to be), and let him
honour the (new king) and his chief servants with precious gifts.
204. The seizure of desirable property which causes displeasure,
and its distribution which causes pleasure, are both recommendable,
(if they are) resorted to at the proper time.
205. All undertakings (in) this (world) depend both on the
ordering of fate and on human exertion; but among these two
(the ways of) fate are unfathomable; in the case of man's work
action is possible.
206. Or (the king, bent on conquest), considering a friend,
gold, and land (to be) the triple result (of an expedition),
may, using diligent care, make peace with (his foe) and return
(to his realm).
207. Having paid due attention to any king in the circle
(of neighbouring states) who might attack him in the rear, and
to his supporter who opposes the latter, let (the conqueror)
secure the fruit of the expedition from (the prince whom he
attacks), whether (he may have become) friendly or (remained)
208. By gaining gold and land a king grows not so much in
strength as by obtaining a firm friend, (who), though weak,
(may become) powerful in the future.
209. A weak friend (even) is greatly commended, who is righteous
(and) grateful, whose people are contented, who is attached
and persevering in his undertakings.
210. The wise declare him (to be) a most dangerous foe, who
is wise, of noble race, brave, clever, liberal, grateful, and
211. Behaviour worthy of an Aryan, knowledge of men, bravery,
a compassionate disposition, and great liberality are the virtues
of a neutral (who may be courted).
212. Let the king, without hesitation, quit for his own sake
even a country (which is) salubrious, fertile, and causing an
increase of cattle.
213. For times of need let him preserve his wealth; at the
expense of his wealth let him preserve his wife; let him at
all events preserve himself even by (giving up) his wife and
214. A wise (king), seeing that all kinds of misfortunes
violently assail him at the same time, should try all (the four)
expedients, be it together or separately, (in order to save
215. On the person who employs the expedients, on the business
to be accomplished, and on all the expedients collectively,
on these three let him ponder and strive to accomplish his ends.
216. Having thus consulted with his ministers on all these
(matters), having taken exercise, and having bathed afterwards,
the king may enter the harem at midday in order to dine.
217. There he may eat food, (which has been prepared) by
faithful, incorruptible (servants) who know the (proper) time
(for dining), which has been well examined (and hallowed) by
sacred texts that destroy poison.
218. Let him mix all his food with medicines (that are) antidotes
against poison, and let him always be careful to wear gems which
219. Well-tried females whose toilet and ornaments have been
examined, shall attentively serve him with fans, water, and
220. In like manner let him be careful about his carriages,
bed, seat, bath, toilet, and all his ornaments.
221. When he has dined, he may divert himself with his wives
in the harem; but when he has diverted himself, he must, in
due time, again think of the affairs of state.
222. Adorned (with his robes of state), let him again inspect
his fighting men, all his chariots and beasts of burden, the
weapons and accoutrements.
223. Having performed his twilight-devotions, let him, well
armed, hear in an inner apartment the doings of those who make
secret reports and of his spies.
224. But going to another secret apartment and dismissing
those people, he may enter the harem, surrounded by female (servants),
in order to dine again.
225. Having eaten there something for the second time, and
having been recreated by the sound of music, let him go to rest
and rise at the proper time free from fatigue.
226. A king who is in good health must observe these rules;
but, if he is indisposed, he may entrust all this (business)
to his servants.
1. A king, desirous of investigating law cases, must enter
his court of justice, preserving a dignified demeanour, together
with Brahmanas and with experienced councillors.
2. There, either seated or standing, raising his right arm,
without ostentation in his dress and ornaments, let him examine
the business of suitors,
3. Daily (deciding) one after another (all cases) which fall
under the eighteen titles (of the law) according to principles
drawn from local usages. and from the Institutes of the sacred
4. Of those (titles) the first is the non-payment of debts,
(then follow), (2) deposit and pledge, (3) sale without ownership,
(4) concerns among partners, and (5) resumption of gifts,
5. (6) Non-payment of wages, (7) non-performance of agreements,
(8) rescission of sale and purchase, (9) disputes between the
owner (of cattle) and his servants,
6. (10) Disputes regarding boundaries, (11) assault and (12)
defamation, (13) theft, (14) robbery and violence, (15) adultery,
7. (16) Duties of man and wife, (17) partition (of inheritance),
(18) gambling and betting; these are in this world the eighteen
topics which give rise to lawsuits.
8. Depending on the eternal law, let him decide the suits
of men who mostly contend on the titles just mentioned.
9. But if the king does not personally investigate the suits,
then let him appoint a learned Brahmana to try them.
10. That (man) shall enter that most excellent court, accompanied
by three assessors, and fully consider (all) causes (brought)
before the (king), either sitting down or standing.
11. Where three Brahmanas versed in the Vedas and the learned
(judge) appointed by the king sit down, they call that the court
of (four-faced) Brahman.
12. But where justice, wounded by injustice, approaches and
the judges do not extract the dart, there (they also) are wounded
(by that dart of injustice).
13. Either the court must not be entered, or the truth must
be spoken; a man who either says nothing or speaks falsely,
14. Where justice is destroyed by injustice, or truth by
falsehood, while the judges look on, there they shall also be
15. 'Justice, being violated, destroys; justice, being preserved,
preserves: therefore justice must not be violated, lest violated
justice destroy us.'
16. For divine justice (is said to be) a bull (vrisha); that
(man) who violates it (kurute 'lam) the gods consider to be
(a man despicable like) a Sudra (vrishala); let him, therefore,
beware of violating justice.
17. The only friend who follows men even after death is justice;
for everything else is lost at the same time when the body (perishes).
18. One quarter of (the guilt of) an unjust (decision) falls
on him who committed (the crime), one quarter on the (false)
witness, one quarter on all the judges, one quarter on the king.
19. But where he who is worthy of condemnation is condemned,
the king is free from guilt, and the judges are saved (from
sin); the guilt falls on the perpetrator (of the crime alone).
20. A Brahmana who subsists only by the name of his caste
(gati), or one who merely calls himself a Brahmana (though his
origin be uncertain), may, at the king's pleasure, interpret
the law to him, but never a Sudra.
21. The kingdom of that monarch, who looks on while a Sudra
settles the law, will sink (low), like a cow in a morass.
22. That kingdom where Sudras are very numerous, which is
infested by atheists and destitute of twice-born (inhabitants),
soon entirely perishes, afflicted by famine and disease.
23. Having occupied the seat of justice, having covered his
body, and having worshipped the guardian deities of the world,
let him, with a collected mind, begin the trial of causes.
24. Knowing what is expedient or inexpedient, what is pure
justice or injustice, let him examine the causes of suitors
according to the order of the castes (varna).
25. By external signs let him discover the internal disposition
of men, by their voice, their colour, their motions, their aspect,
their eyes, and their gestures.
26. The internal (working of the) mind is perceived through
the aspect, the motions, the gait, the gestures, the speech,
and the changes in the eye and of the face.
27. The king shall protect the inherited (and other) property
of a minor, until he has returned (from his teacher's house)
or until he has passed his minority.
28. In like manner care must be taken of barren women, of
those who have no sons, of those whose family is extinct, of
wives and widows faithful to their lords, and of women afflicted
29. A righteous king must punish like thieves those relatives
who appropriate the property of such females during their lifetime.
30. Property, the owner of which has disappeared, the king
shall cause to be kept as a deposit during three years; within
the period of three years the owner may claim it, after (that
term) the king may take it.
31. He who says, 'This belongs to me,' must be examined according
to the rule; if he accurately describes the shape, and the number
(of the articles found) and so forth, (he is) the owner, (and)
ought (to receive) that property.
32. But if he does not really know the time and the place
(where it was) lost, its colour, shape, and size, he is worthy
of a fine equal (in value) to the (object claimed).
33. Now the king, remembering the duty of good men, may take
one-sixth part of property lost and afterwards found, or one-tenth,
or at least one-twelfth.
34. Property lost and afterwards found (by the king's servants)
shall remain in the keeping of (special) officials; those whom
the king may convict of stealing it, he shall cause to be slain
by an elephant.
35. From that man who shall truly say with respect to treasure-trove,
'This belongs to me,' the king may take one-sixth or one-twelfth
36. But he who falsely says (so), shall be fined in one-eighth
of his property, or, a calculation of (the value of) the treasure
having been made, in some smaller portion (of that).
37. When a learned Brahmana has found treasure, deposited
in former (times), he may take even the whole (of it); for he
is master of everything.
38. When the king finds treasure of old concealed in the
ground let him give one half to Brahmanas and place the (other)
half in his treasury.
39. The king obtains one half of ancient hoards and metals
(found) in the ground, by reason of (his giving) protection,
(and) because he is the lord of the soil.
40. Property stolen by thieves must be restored by the king
to (men of) all castes (varna); a king who uses such (property)
for himself incurs the guilt of a thief.
41. (A king) who knows the sacred law, must inquire into
the laws of castes (gati), of districts, of guilds, and of families,
and (thus) settle the peculiar law of each.
42. For men who follow their particular occupations and abide
by their particular duty, become dear to people, though they
may live at a distance.
43. Neither the king nor any servant of his shall themselves
cause a lawsuit to be begun, or hush up one that has been brought
(before them) by (some) other (man).
44. As a hunter traces the lair of a (wounded) deer by the
drops of blood, even so the king shall discover on which side
the right lies, by inferences (from the facts).
45. When engaged in judicial proceedings he must pay full
attention to the truth, to the object (of the dispute), (and)
to himself, next to the witnesses, to the place, to the time,
and to the aspect.
46. What may have been practised by the virtuous, by such
twice-born men as are devoted to the law, that he shall establish
as law, if it be not opposed to the (customs of) countries,
families, and castes (gati).
47. When a creditor sues (before the king) for the recovery
of money from a debtor, let him make the debtor pay the sum
which the creditor proves (to be due).
48. By whatever means a creditor may be able to obtain possession
of his property, even by those means may he force the debtor
and make him pay.
49. By moral suasion, by suit of law, by artful management,
or by the customary proceeding, a creditor may recover property
lent; and fifthly, by force.
50. A creditor who himself recovers his property from his
debtor, must not be blamed by the king for retaking what is
51. But him who denies a debt which is proved by good evidence,
he shall order to pay that debt to the creditor and a small
fine according to his circumstances.
52. On the denial (of a debt) by a debtor who has been required
in court to pay it, the complainant must call (a witness) who
was present (when the loan was made), or adduce other evidence.
53. (The plaintiff) who calls a witness not present at the
transaction, who retracts his statements, or does not perceive
that his statements (are) confused or contradictory;
54. Or who having stated what he means to prove afterwards
varies (his case), or who being questioned on a fact duly stated
by himself does not abide by it;
55. Or who converses with the witnesses in a place improper
for such conversation; or who declines to answer a question,
properly put, or leaves (the court);
56. Or who, being ordered to speak, does not answer, or does
not prove what he has alleged; or who does not know what is
the first (point), and what the second, fails in his suit.
57. Him also who says 'I have witnesses,' and, being ordered
to produce them, produces them not, the judge must on these
(same) grounds declare to be non-suited.
58. If a plaintiff does not speak, he may be punished corporally
or fined according to the law; if (a defendant) does not plead
within three fortnights, he has lost his cause.
59. In the double of that sum which (a defendant) falsely
denies or on which (the plaintiff) falsely declares, shall those
two (men) offending against justice be fined by the king.
60. (A defendant) who, being brought (into court) by the
creditor, (and) being questioned, denies (the debt), shall be
convicted (of his falsehood) by at least three witnesses (who
must depose) in the presence of the Brahmana (appointed by)
61. I will fully declare what kind of men may be made witnesses
in suits by creditors, and in what manner those (witnesses)
must give true (evidence).
62. Householders, men with male issue, and indigenous (inhabitants
of the country, be they) Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, or Sudras, are
competent, when called by a suitor, to give evidence, not any
persons whatever (their condition may be) except in cases of
63. Trustworthy men of all the (four) castes (varna) may
be made witnesses in lawsuits, (men) who know (their) whole
duty, and are free from covetousness; but let him reject those
(of an) opposite (character).
64. Those must not be made (witnesses) who have an interest
in the suit, nor familiar (friends), companions, and enemies
(of the parties), nor (men) formerly convicted (of perjury),
nor (persons) suffering under (severe) illness, nor (those)
tainted (by mortal sin).
65. The king cannot be made a witness, nor mechanics and
actors, nor a: Srotriya, nor a student of the Veda, nor (an
ascetic) who has given up (all) connexion (with the world),
66. Nor one wholly dependent, nor one of bad fame, nor a
Dasyu, nor one who follows forbidden occupations, nor an aged
(man), nor an infant, nor one (man alone), nor a man of the
lowest castes, nor one deficient in organs of sense,
67. Nor one extremely grieved, nor one intoxicated, nor a
madman, nor one tormented by hunger or thirst, nor one oppressed
by fatigue, nor one tormented by desire, nor a wrathful man,
nor a thief.
68. Women should give evidence for women, and for twice-born
men twice-born men (of the) same (kind), virtuous Sudras for
Sudras, and men of the lowest castes for the lowest.
69. But any person whatsoever, who has personal knowledge
(of an act committed) in the interior apartments (of a house),
or in a forest, or of (a crime causing) loss of life, may give
evidence between the parties.
70. On failure (of qualified witnesses, evidence) may given
(in such cases) by a woman, by an infant, by an aged man, by
a pupil, by a relative, by a slave, or by a hired servant.
71. But the (judge) should consider the evidence of infants,
aged and diseased men, who (are apt to) speak untruly, as untrustworthy,
likewise that of men with disordered minds.
72. In all cases of violence, of theft and adultery, of defamation
and assault, he must not examine the (competence of) witnesses
73. On a conflict of the witnesses the king shall accept
(as true) the evidence of the) majority; if (the conflicting
parties are) equal in number, (that of) those distinguished
by good qualities; on a difference between (equally) distinguished
(witnesses, that of) the best among the twice-born.
74. Evidence in accordance with what has actually been seen
or heard, is admissible; a witness who speaks truth in those
(cases), neither loses spiritual merit nor wealth.
75. A witness who deposes in an assembly of honourable men
(Arya) anything else but what he has seen or heard, falls after
death headlong into hell and loses heaven.
76. When a man (originally) not appointed to be a witness
sees or hears anything and is (afterwards) examined regarding
it, he must declare it (exactly) as he saw or heard it.
77. One man who is free from covetousness may be (accepted
as) witness; but not even many pure women, because the understanding
of females is apt to waver, nor even many other men, who are
tainted with sin.
78. What witnesses declare quite naturally, that must be
received on trials; (depositions) differing from that, which
they make improperly, are worthless for (the purposes of) justice.
79. The witnesses being assembled in the court in the presence
of the plaintiff and of the defendant, let the judge examine
them, kindly exhorting them in the following manner:
80. 'What ye know to have been mutually transacted in this
matter between the two men before us, declare all that in accordance
with the truth; for ye are witnesses in this (cause).
81. 'A witness who speaks the truth in his evidence, gains
(after death) the most excellent regions (of bliss) and here
(below) unsurpassable fame; such testimony is revered by Brahman
82. 'He who gives false evidence is firmly bound by Varuna's
fetters, helpless during one hundred existences; let (men therefore)
give true evidence.
83. 'By truthfulness a witness is purified, through truthfulness
his merit grows, truth must, therefore, be spoken by witnesses
of all castes (varna).
84. 'The Soul itself is the witness of the Soul, and the
Soul is the refuge of the Soul; despise not thy own Soul, the
supreme witness of men.
85. 'The wicked, indeed, say in their hearts, "Nobody
sees us;" but the gods distinctly see them and the male
within their own breasts.
86. 'The sky, the earth, the waters, (the male in) the heart,
the moon, the sun, the fire, Yama and the wind, the night, the
two twilights, and justice know the conduct of all corporeal
87. The (judge), being purified, shall ask in the forenoon
the twice-born (witnesses) who (also have been) purified, (and
stand) facing the north or the east, to give true evidence in
the presence of (images of) the gods and of Brahmanas.
88. Let him examine a Brahmana (beginning with) 'Speak,'
a Kshatriya (beginning with) 'Speak the truth,' a Vaisya (admonishing
him) by (mentioning) his kine, grain, and gold, a Sudra (threatening
him) with (the guilt of) every crime that causes loss of caste;
89. (Saying), 'Whatever places (of torment) are assigned
(by the sages) to the slayer of a Brahmana, to the murderer
of women and children, to him who betrays a friend, and to an
ungrateful man, those shall be thy (portion), if thou speakest
90. '(The reward) of all meritorious deeds which thou, good
man, hast done since thy birth, shall become the share of the
dogs, if in thy speech thou departest from the truth.
91. 'If thou thinkest, O friend of virtue, with respect to
thyself, "I am alone," (know that) that sage who witnesses
all virtuous acts and all crimes, ever resides in thy heart.
92. 'If thou art not at variance with that divine Yama, the
son of Vivasvat, who dwells in thy heart, thou needest neither
visit the Ganges nor the (land of the) Kurus.
93. 'Naked and shorn, tormented with hunger and thirst, and
deprived of sight, shall the man who gives false evidence, go
with a potsherd to beg food at the door of his enemy.
94. 'Headlong, in utter darkness shall the sinful man tumble
into hell, who being interrogated in a judicial inquiry answers
one question falsely.
95. 'That man who in a court (of justice) gives an untrue
account of a transaction (or asserts a fact) of which he was
not an eye-witness, resembles a blind man who swallows fish
with the bones.
96. 'The gods are acquainted with no better man in this world
than him, of whom his conscious Soul has no distrust, when he
97. 'Learn now, O friend, from an enumeration in due order,
how many relatives he destroys who gives false evidence in several
98. 'He kills five by false Testimony regarding (small) cattle,
he kills ten by false testimony regarding kine, he kills a hundred
by false evidence concerning horses, and a thousand by false
evidence concerning men.
99. 'By speaking falsely in a cause regarding gold, he kills
the born and the unborn; by false evidence concerning land,
he kills everything; beware, therefore, of false evidence concerning
100. 'They declare (false evidence) concerning water, concerning
the carnal enjoyment of women, and concerning all gems, produced
in water, or consisting of stones (to be) equally (wicked) as
a lie concerning land.
101. 'Marking well all the evils (which are produced) by
perjury, declare thou openly everything as (thou hast) heard
or seen (it).'
102. Brahmanas who tend cattle, who trade, who are mechanics,
actors (or singers), menial servants or usurers, the (judge)
shall treat like Sudras.
103. In (some) cases a man who, though knowing (the facts
to be) different, gives such (false evidence) from a pious motive,
does not lose heaven; such (evidence) they call the speech of
104. Whenever the death of a Sudra, of a Vaisya, of a Kshatriya,
or of a Brahmana would be (caused) by a declaration of the truth,
a falsehood may be spoken; for such (falsehood) is preferable
to the truth.
105. Such (witnesses) must offer to Sarasvati oblations of
boiled rice (karu) which are sacred to the goddess of speech,
(thus) performing the best penance in order to expiate the guilt
of that falsehood.
106. Or such (a witness) may offer according to the rule,
clarified butter in the fire, reciting the Kushmanda texts,
or the Rik, sacred to Varuna, 'Untie, O Varuna, the uppermost
fetter,' or the three verses addressed to the Waters.
107. A man who, without being ill, does not give evidence
in (cases of) loans and the like within three fortnights (after
the summons), shall become responsible for the whole debt and
(pay) a tenth part of the whole (as a fine to the king).
108. The witness to whom, within seven days after he has
given evidence, happens (a misfortune through) sickness, a fire,
or the death of a relative, shall be made to pay the debt and
109. If two (parties) dispute about matters for which no
witnesses are available, and the (judge) is unable to really
ascertain the truth, he may cause it to be discovered even by
110. Both by the great sages and the gods oaths have been
taken for the purpose of (deciding doubtful) matters; and Vasishtha
even swore an oath before king (Sudas), the son of Pigavana.
111. Let no wise man swear an oath falsely, even in a trifling
matter; for he who swears an oath falsely is lost in this (world)
and after death.
112. No crime, causing loss of caste, is committed by swearing
(falsely) to women, the objects of one's desire, at marriages,
for the sake of fodder for a cow, or of fuel, and in (order
to show) favour to a Brahmana.
113. Let the (judge) cause a Brahmana to swear by his veracity,
a Kshatriya by his chariot or the animal he rides on and by
his weapons, a Vaisya by his kine, grain, and gold, and a Sudra
by (imprecating on his own head the guilt) of all grievous offences
114. Or the (judge) may cause the (party) to carry fire or
to dive under water, or severally to touch the heads of his
wives and children.
115. He whom the blazing fire burns not, whom the water forces
not to come (quickly) up, who meets with no speedy misfortune,
must be held innocent on (the strength of) his oath.
116. For formerly when Vatsa was accused by his younger brother,
the fire, the spy of the world, burned not even a hair (of his)
by reason of his veracity.
117. Whenever false evidence has been given in any suit,
let the (judge) reverse the judgment, and whatever has been
done must be (considered as) undone.
118. Evidence (given) from covetousness, distraction, terror,
friendship, lust, wrath, ignorance, and childishness is declared
(to be) invalid.
119. I will propound in (due) order the particular punishments
for him who gives false evidence from any one of these motives.
120. (He who commits perjury) through covetousness shall
be fined one thousand (panas), (he who does it) through distraction,
in the lowest amercement; (if a man does it) through fear, two
middling amercements shall be paid as a fine, (if he does it)
through friendship, four times the amount of the lowest (amercement).
121. (He who does it) through lust, (shall pay) ten times
the lowest amercement, but (he who does it) through wrath, three
times the next (or second amercement); (he who does it) through
ignorance, two full hundreds, but (he who does it) through childishness,
one hundred (panas).
122. They declare that the wise have prescribed these fines
for perjury, in order to prevent a failure of justice, and in
order to restrain injustice.
123. But a just king shall fine and banish (men of) the three
(lower) castes (varna) who have given false evidence, but a
Brahmana he shall (only) banish.
124. Manu, the son of the Self-existent (Svayambhu), has
named ten places on which punishment may be (made to fall) in
the cases of the three (lower) castes (varna); but a Brahmana
shall depart unhurt (from the country).
125. (These are) the organ, the belly, the tongue, the two
hands, and fifthly the two feet, the eye, the nose, the two
ears, likewise the (whole) body.
126. Let the (king), having fully ascertained the motive,
the time and place (of the offence), and having considered the
ability (of the criminal to suffer) and the (nature of the)
crime, cause punishment to fall on those who deserve it.
127. Unjust punishment destroys reputation among men, and
fame (after death), and causes even in the next world the loss
of heaven; let him, therefore, beware of (inflicting) it.
128. A king who punishes those who do not deserve it, and
punishes not those who deserve it, brings great infamy on himself
and (after death) sinks into hell.
129. Let him punish first by (gentle) admonition, afterwards
by (harsh) reproof, thirdly by a fine, after that by corporal
130. But when he cannot restrain such (offenders) even by
corporal punishment, then let him apply to them even all the
four (modes cojointly).
131. Those technical names of (certain quantities of) copper,
silver, and gold, which are generally used on earth for the
purpose of business transactions among men, I will fully declare.
132. The very small mote which is seen when the sun shines
through a lattice, they declare (to be) the least of (all) quantities
and (to be called) a trasarenu (a floating particle of dust).
133. Know (that) eight trasarenus (are equal) in bulk (to)
a liksha (the egg of a louse), three of those to one grain of
black mustard (ragasarshapa), and three of the latter to a white
134. Six grains of white mustard are one middle-sized barley-corn,
and three barley-corns one krishnala (raktika, or gunga-berry);
five krishnalas are one masha (bean), and sixteen of those one
135. Four suvarnas are one pala, and ten palas one dharana;
two krishnalas (of silver), weighed together, must be considered
one mashaka of silver.
136. Sixteen of those make a silver dharana, or purana; but
know (that) a karsha of copper is a karshapana, or pana.
137. Know (that) ten dharanas of silver make one satamana;
four suvarnas must be considered (equal) in weight to a nishka.
138. Two hundred and fifty panas are declared (to be) the
first (or lowest) amercement, five (hundred) are considered
as the mean (or middlemost), but one thousand as the highest.
139. A debt being admitted as due, (the defendant) shall
pay five in the hundred (as a fine), if it be denied (and proved)
twice as much; that is the teaching of Manu.
140. A money-lender may stipulate as an increase of his capital,
for the interest, allowed by Vasishtha, and take monthly the
eightieth part of a hundred.
141. Or, remembering the duty of good men, he may take two
in the hundred (by the month), for he who takes two in the hundred
becomes not a sinner for gain.
142. Just two in the hundred, three, four, and five (and
not more), he may take as monthly interest according to the
order of the castes (varna).
143. But if a beneficial pledge (i.e. one from which profit
accrues, has been given), he shall receive no interest on the
loan; nor can he, after keeping (such) a pledge for a very long
time, give or sell it.
144. A pledge (to be kept only) must not be used by force,
(the creditor), so using it, shall give up his (whole) interest,
or, (if it has been spoilt by use) he shall satisfy the (owner)
by (paying its) original price; else he commits a theft of the
145. Neither a pledge nor a deposit can be lost by lapse
of time; they are both recoverable, though they have remained
long (with the bailee).
146. Things used with friendly assent, a cow, a camel, a
riding-horse, and (a beast) made over for breaking in, are never
lost (to the owner).
147. (But in general) whatever (chattel) an owner sees enjoyed
by others during ten years, while, though present, he says nothing,
that (chattel) he shall not recover.
148. If (the owner is) neither an idiot nor a minor and if
(his chattel) is enjoyed (by another) before his eyes, it is
lost to him by law; the adverse possessor shall retain that
149. A pledge, a boundary, the property of infants, an (open)
deposit, a sealed deposit, women, the property of the king and
the wealth of a Srotriya are not lost in consequence of (adverse)
150. The fool who uses a pledge without the permission of
the owner, shall remit half of his interest, as a compensation
for (such) use.
151. In money transactions interest paid at one time (not
by instalments) shall never exceed the double (of the principal);
on grain, fruit, wool or hair, (and) beasts of burden it must
not be more than five times (the original amount).
152. Stipulated interest beyond the legal rate, being against
(the law), cannot be recovered; they call that a usurious way
(of lending); (the lender) is (in no case) entitled to (more
than) five in the hundred.
153. Let him not take interest beyond the year, nor such
as is unapproved, nor compound interest, periodical interest,
stipulated interest, and corporal interest.
154. He who, unable to pay a debt (at the fixed time), wishes
to make a new contract, may renew the agreement, after paying
the interest which is due.
155. If he cannot pay the money (due as interest), he may
insert it in the renewed (agreement); he must pay as much interest
as may be due.
156. He who has made a contract to carry goods by a wheeled
carriage for money and has agreed to a certain place or time,
shall not reap that reward, if he does not keep to the place
and the time (stipulated).
157. Whatever rate men fix, who are expert in sea-voyages
and able to calculate (the profit) according to the place, the
time, and the objects (carried), that (has legal force) in such
cases with respect to the payment (to be made).
158. The man who becomes a surety in this (world) for the
appearance of a (debtor), and produces him not, shall pay the
debt out of his own property.
159. But money due by a surety, or idly promised, or lost
at play, or due for spirituous liquor, or what remains unpaid
of a fine and a tax or duty, the son (of the party owing it)
shall not be obliged to pay.
160. This just mentioned rule shall apply to the case of
a surety for appearance (only); if a surety for payment should
die, the (judge) may compel even his heirs to discharge the
161. On what account then is it that after the death of a
surety other than for payment, whose affairs are fully known,
the creditor may (in some cases) afterwards demand the debt
(of the heirs)?
162. If the surety had received money (from him for whom
he stood bail) and had money enough (to pay), then (the heir
of him) who received it, shall pay (the debt) out of his property;
that is the settled rule.
163. A contract made by a person intoxicated, or insane,
or grievously disordered (by disease and so forth), or wholly
dependent, by an infant or very aged man, or by an unauthorised
(party) is invalid.
164. That agreement which has been made contrary to the law
or to the settled usage (of the virtuous), can have no legal
force, though it be established (by proofs).
165. A fraudulent mortgage or sale, a fraudulent gift or
acceptance, and (any transaction) where he detects fraud, the
(judge) shall declare null and void.
166. If the debtor be dead and (the money borrowed) was expended
for the family, it must be paid by the relatives out of their
own estate even if they are divided.
167. Should even a person wholly dependent make a contract
for the behoof of the family, the master (of the house), whether
(living) in his own country or abroad, shall not rescind it.
168. What is given by force, what is enjoyed by force, also
what has been caused to be written by force, and all other transactions
done by force, Manu has declared void.
169. Three suffer for the sake of others, witnesses, a surety,
and judges; but four enrich themselves (through others), a Brahmana,
a money-lender, a merchant, and a king.
170. No king, however indigent, shall take anything that
ought not to be taken, nor shall he, however wealthy, decline
taking that which he ought to take, be it ever so small.
171. In consequence of his taking what ought not to be taken,
or of his refusing what ought to be received, a king will be
accused of weakness and perish in this (world) and after death.
172. By taking his due, by preventing the confusion of the
castes (varna), and by protecting the weak, the power of the
king grows, and he prospers in this (world) and after death.
173. Let the prince, therefore, like Yama, not heeding his
own likings and dislikings, behave exactly like Yama, suppressing
his anger and controlling himself.
174. But that evil-minded king who in his folly decides causes
unjustly, his enemies soon subjugate.
175. If, subduing love and hatred, he decides the causes
according to the law, (the hearts of) his subjects turn towards
him as the rivers (run) towards the ocean.
176. (The debtor) who complains to the king that his creditor
recovers (the debt) independently (of the court), shall be compelled
by the king to pay (as a fine) one quarter (of the sum) and
to his (creditor) the money (due).
177. Even by (personal) labour shall the debtor make good
(what he owes) to his creditor, if he be of the same caste or
of a lower one; but a (debtor) of a higher caste shall pay it
gradually (when he earns something).
178. According to these rules let the king equitably decide
between men, who dispute with each other the matters, which
are proved by witnesses and (other) evidence.
179. A sensible man should make a deposit (only) with a person
of (good) family, of good conduct, well acquainted with the
law, veracious, having many relatives, wealthy, and honourable
180. In whatever manner a person shall deposit anything in
the hands of another, in the same manner ought the same thing
to be received back (by the owner); as the delivery (was, so
must be) the re-delivery.
181. He who restores not his deposit to the depositor at
his request, may be tried by the judge in the depositor's absence.
182. On failure of witnesses let the (judge) actually deposit
gold with that (defendant) under some pretext or other through
spies of suitable age and appearance (and afterwards demand
183. If the (defendant) restores it in the manner and shape
in which it was bailed, there is nothing (of that description)
in his hands, for which others accuse him.
184. But if he restores not that gold, as be ought, to those
(spies), then he shall be compelled by force to restore both
(deposits); that is a settled rule of law.
185. An open or a sealed deposit must never be returned to
a near relative (of the depositor during the latter's lifetime);
for if (the recipient) dies (without delivering them), they
are lost, but if he does not die, they are not lost.
186. But (a depositary) who of his own accord returns them
to a near relative of a deceased (depositor), must not be harassed
(about them) by the king or by the depositor's relatives.
187. And (in doubtful cases) he should try to obtain that
object by friendly means, without (having recourse to) artifice,
or having inquired into (depositary's) conduct, he should settle
(the matter) with gentle means.
188. Such is the rule for obtaining back all those open deposits;
in the case of a sealed deposit (the depositary) shall incur
no (censure), unless he has taken out something.
189. (A deposit) which has been stolen by thieves or washed
away by water or burned by fire, (the bailee) shall not make
it good, unless he took part of it (for himself).
190. Him who appropriates a deposit and him (who asks for
it) without having made it, (the judge) shall try by all (sorts
of) means, and by the oaths prescribed in the Veda.
191. He who does not return a deposit and he who demands
what he never bailed shall both be punished like thieves, or
be compelled to pay a fine equal (to the value of the object
retained or claimed).
192. The king should compel him who does not restore an open
deposit, and in like manner him who retains a sealed deposit,
to pay a fine equal (to its value).
193. That man who by false pretences may possess himself
of another's property, shall be publicly punished by various
(modes of) corporal (or capital) chastisement, together with
194. If a deposit of a particular description or quantity
is bailed by anybody in the presence of a number (of witnesses),
it must be known to be of that particular (description and quantity;
the depositary) who makes a false statement (regarding it) is
liable to a fine.
195. But if anything is delivered or received privately,
it must be privately returned; as the bailment (was, so should
be) the re-delivery.
196. Thus let the king decide (causes) concerning a deposit
and a friendly loan (for use) without showing (undue) rigour
to the depositary.
197. If anybody sells the property of another man, without
being the owner and without the assent of the owner, the (judge)
shall not admit him who is a thief, though he may not consider
himself as a thief, as a witness (in any case).
198. If the (offender) is a kinsman (of the owner), he shall
be fined six hundred panas; if he is not a kinsman, nor has
any excuse, he shall be guilty of theft.
199. A gift or sale, made by anybody else but the owner,
must be considered as null and void, according to the rule in
200. Where possession is evident, but no title is perceived,
there the title (shall be) a proof (of ownership), not possession;
such is the settled rule.
201. He who obtains a chattel in the market before a number
(of witnesses), acquires that chattel with a clear legal title
202. If the original (seller) be not producible, (the buyer)
being exculpated by a public sale, must be dismissed by the
king without punishment, but (the former owner) who lost the
chattel shall receive it (back from the buyer).
203. One commodity mixed with another must not be sold (as
pure), nor a bad one (as good), nor less (than the proper quantity
or weight), nor anything that is not at hand or that is concealed.
204. If, after one damsel has been shown, another be given
to the bridegroom, he may marry them both for the same price;
that Manu ordained.
205. He who gives (a damsel in marriage), having first openly
declared her blemishes, whether she be insane, or afflicted
with leprosy, or have lost her virginity, is not liable to punishment.
206. If an officiating priest, chosen to perform a sacrifice,
abandons his work, a share only (of the fee) in proportion to
the work (done) shall be given to him by those who work with
207. But he who abandons his work after the sacrificial fees
have been given, shall obtain his full share and cause to be
performed (what remains) by another (priest).
208. But if (specific) fees are ordained for the several
parts of a rite, shall he (who performs the part) receive them,
or shall they all share them?
209. The Adhvaryu priest shall take the chariot, and the
Brahman at the kindling of the fires (Agnyadhana) a horse, the
Hotri priest shall also take a horse, and the Udgatri the cart,
(used) when (the Soma) is purchased.
210. The (four) chief priests among all (the sixteen), who
are entitled to one half, shall receive a moiety (of the fee),
the next (four) one half of that, the set entitled to a third
share, one third, and those entitled to a fourth a quarter.
211. By the application of these principles the allotment
of shares must be made among those men who here (below) perform
their work conjointly.
212. Should money be given (or promised) for a pious purpose
by one man to another who asks for it, the gift shall be void,
if the (money is) afterwards not (used) in the manner (stated).
213. But if the (recipient) through pride or greed tries
to enforce (the fulfilment of the promise), he shall be compelled
by the king to pay one suvarna as an expiation for his theft.
214. Thus the lawful subtraction of a gift has been fully
explained; I will next propound (the law for) the non-payment
215. A hired (servant or workman) who, without being ill,
out of pride fails to perform his work according to the agreement,
shall be fined eight krishnalas and no wages shall be paid to
216. But (if he is really) ill, (and) after recovery performs
(his work) according to the original agreement, he shall receive
his wages even after (the lapse of) a very long time.
217. But if he, whether sick or well, does not (perform or)
cause to be performed (by others) his work according to his
agreement, the wages for that work shall not be given to him,
even (if it be only) slightly incomplete.
218. Thus the law for the non-payment of wages has been completely
stated; I will next explain the law concerning men who break
219. If a man belonging to a corporation inhabiting a village
or a district, after swearing to an agreement, breaks it through
avarice, (the king) shall banish him from his realm,
220. And having imprisoned such a breaker of an agreement,
he shall compel him to pay six nishkas, (each of) four suvarnas,
and one satamana of silver.
221. A righteous king shall apply this law of fines in villages
and castes (gati) to those who break an agreement.
222. If anybody in this (world), after buying or selling
anything, repent (of his bargain), he may return or take (back)
that chattel within ten days.
223. But after (the lapse of) ten days he may neither give
nor cause it to be given (back); both he who takes it (back)
and he who gives it (back, except by consent) shall be fined
by the king six hundred (panas).
224. But the king himself shall impose a fine of ninety-six
panas on him who gives a blemished damsel (to a suitor) without
informing (him of the blemish).
225. But that man who, out of malice, says of a maiden, 'She
is not a maiden,' shall be fined one hundred (panas), if he
cannot prove her blemish.
226. The nuptial texts are applied solely to virgins, (and)
nowhere among men to females who have lost their virginity,
for such (females) are excluded from religious ceremonies.
227. The nuptial texts are a certain proof (that a maiden
has been made a lawful) wife; but the learned should know that
they (and the marriage ceremony are complete with the seventh
step (of the bride around the sacred fire).
228. If anybody in this (world) repent of any completed transaction,
(the king) shall keep him on the road of rectitude in accordance
with the rules given above.
229. I will fully declare in accordance with the true law
(the rules concerning) the disputes, (arising) from the transgressions
of owners of cattle and of herdsmen.
230. During the day the responsibility for the safety (of
the cattle rests) on the herdsman, during the night on the owner,
(provided they are) in his house; (if it be) otherwise, the
herdsman will be responsible (for them also during the night).
231. A hired herdsman who is paid with milk, may milk with
the consent of the owner the best (cow) out of ten; such shall
be his hire if no (other) wages (are paid).
232. The herdsman alone shall make good (the loss of a beast)
strayed, destroyed by worms, killed by dogs or (by falling)
into a pit, if he did not duly exert himself (to prevent it).
233. But for (an animal) stolen by thieves, though he raised
an alarm, the herdsman shall not pay, provided he gives notice
to his master at the proper place and time.
234. If cattle die, let him carry to his master their ears,
skin, tails, bladders, tendons, and the yellow concrete bile,
and let him point out their particular. marks.
235. But if goats or sheep are surrounded by wolves and the
herdsman does not hasten (to their assistance), lie shall be
responsible for any (animal) which a wolf may attack and kill.
236. But if they, kept in (proper) order, graze together
in the forest, and a wolf, suddenly jumping on one of them,
kills it, the herdsman shall bear in that case no responsibility.
237. On all sides of a village a space, one hundred dhanus
or three samya-throws (in breadth), shall be reserved (for pasture),
and thrice (that space) round a town.
238. If the cattle do damage to unfenced crops on that (common),
the king shall in that case not punish the herdsmen.
239. (The owner of the field) shall make there a hedge over
which a camel cannot look, and stop every gap through which
a dog or a boar can thrust his head.
240. (If cattle do mischief) in an enclosed field near a
highway or near a village, the herdsman shall be fined one hundred
(but cattle), unattended by a herdsman, (the watchman in
the field) shall drive away.
241. (For damage) in other fields (each head of) cattle shall
(pay a fine of one (pana) and a quarter, and in all (cases the
value of) the crop (destroyed) shall be made good to the owner
of the field; that is the settled rule.
242. But Manu has declared that no fine shall be paid for
(damage done by) a cow within ten days after her calving, by
bulls and by cattle sacred to the gods, whether they are attended
by a herdsman or not.
243. If (the crops are destroyed by) the husbandman's (own)
fault, the fine shall amount to ten times as much as (the king's)
share; but the fine (shall be) only half that amount if (the
fault lay) with the servants and the farmer had no knowledge
244. To these rules a righteous king shall keep in (all cases
of) transgressions by masters, their cattle, and herdsmen.
245. If a dispute has arisen between two villages concerning
a boundary, the king shall settle the limits in the month of
Gyaishtha, when the landmarks are most distinctly visible.
246. Let him mark the boundaries (by) trees, (e.g.) Nyagrodhas,
Asvatthas, Kimsukas, cotton-trees, Salas, Palmyra palms, and
trees with milky juice,
247. By clustering shrubs, bamboos of different kinds, Samis,
creepers and raised mounds, reeds, thickets of Kubgaka; thus
the boundary will not be forgotten.
248. Tanks, wells, cisterns, and fountains should be built
where boundaries meet, as well as temples,
249. And as he will see that through men's ignorance of the
boundaries trespasses constantly occur in the world, let him
cause to be made other hidden marks for boundaries,
250. Stones, bones, cow's hair, chaff, ashes, potsherds,
dry cowdung, bricks, cinders, pebbles, and sand,
251. And whatever other things of a similar kind the earth
does not corrode even after a long time, those he should cause
to be buried where one boundary joins (the other).
252. By these signs, by long continued possession, and by
constantly flowing streams of water the king shall ascertain
the boundary (of the land) of two disputing parties.
253. If there be a doubt even on inspection of the marks,
the settlement of a dispute regarding boundaries shall depend
254. The witnesses, (giving evidence) regarding a boundary,
shall be examined concerning the landmarks in the presence of
the crowd of the villagers and also of the two litigants.
255. As they, being questioned, unanimously decide, even
so he shall record the boundary (in writing), together with
256. Let them, putting earth on their heads, wearing chaplets
(of red flowers) and red dresses, being sworn each by (the rewards
for) his meritorious deeds, settle (the boundary) in accordance
with the truth.
257. If they determine (the boundary) in the manner stated,
they are guiltless (being) veracious witnesses; but if they
determine it unjustly, they shall be compelled to pay a fine
of two hundred (panas).
258. On failure of witnesses (from the two villages, men
of) the four neighbouring villages, who are pure, shall make
(as witnesses) a decision concerning the boundary in the presence
of the king.
259. On failure of neighbours (who are) original inhabitants
(of the country and can be) witnesses with respect to the boundary,
(the king) may hear the evidence even of the following inhabitants
of the forest.
260. (Viz.) hunters, fowlers, herdsmen, fishermen, root-diggers,
snake-catchers, gleaners, and other foresters.
261. As they, being examined, declare the marks for the meeting
of the boundaries (to be), even so the king shall justly cause
them to be fixed between the two villages.
262. The decision concerning the boundary-marks of fields,
wells, tanks, of gardens and houses depends upon (the evidence
of) the neighbours.
263. Should the neighbours give false evidence, when men
dispute about a boundary-mark, the king shall make each of them
pay the middlemost amercement as a fine.
264. He who by intimidation possesses himself of a house,
a tank, a garden, or a field, shall be fined five hundred (panas);
(if he trespassed) through ignorance, the fine (shall be) two
265. If the boundary cannot be ascertained (by any evidence),
let a righteous king with (the intention of) benefiting them
(all), himself assign (his) land (to each); that is the settled
266. Thus the law for deciding boundary (disputes) has been
fully declared, I will next propound the (manner of) deciding
(cases of) defamation.
267. A Kshatriya, having defamed a Brahmana, shall be fined
one hundred (panas); a Vaisya one hundred and fifty or two hundred;
a Sudra shall suffer corporal punishment.
268. A Brahmana shall be fined fifty (panas) for defaming
a Kshatriya; in (the case of) a Vaisya the fine shall be twenty-five
(panas); in (the case of) a Sudra twelve.
269. For offences of twice-born men against those of equal
caste (varna, the fine shall be) also twelve (panas); for speeches
which ought not to be uttered, that (and every fine shall be)
270. A once-born man (a Sudra), who insults a twice-born
man with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out; for
he is of low origin.
271. If he mentions the names and castes (gati) of the (twice-born)
with contumely, an iron nail, ten fingers long, shall be thrust
red-hot into his mouth.
272. If he arrogantly teaches Brahmanas their duty, the king
shall cause hot oil to be poured into his mouth and into his
273. He who through arrogance makes false statements regarding
the learning (of a caste-fellow), his country, his caste (gati),
or the rites by which his body was sanctified, shall be compelled
to pay a fine of two hundred (panas).
274. He who even in accordance with the true facts (contemptuously)
calls another man one-eyed, lame, or the like (names), shall
be fined at least one karshapana.
275. He who defames his mother, his father, his wife, his
brother, his son, or his teacher, and he who gives not the way
to his preceptor, shall be compelled to pay one hundred (panas).
276. (For mutual abuse) by a Brahmana and a Kshatriya a fine
must be imposed by a discerning (king), on the Brahmana the
lowest amercement, but on the Kshatriya the middlemost.
277. A Vaisya and a Sudra must be punished exactly in the
same manner according to their respective castes, but the tongue
(of the Sudra) shall not be cut out; that is the decision.
278. Thus the rules for punishments (applicable to cases)
of defamation have been truly declared; I will next propound
the decision (of cases) of assault.
279. With whatever limb a man of a low caste does hurt to
(a man of the three) highest (castes), even that limb shall
be cut off; that is the teaching of Manu.
280. He who raises his hand or a stick, shall have his hand
cut off; he who in anger kicks with his foot, shall have his
foot cut off.
281. A low-caste man who tries to place himself on the same
seat with a man of a high caste, shall be branded on his hip
and be banished, or (the king) shall cause his buttock to be
282. If out of arrogance he spits (on a superior), the king
shall cause both his lips to be cut off; if he urines (on him),
the penis; if he breaks wind (against him), the anus.
283. If he lays hold of the hair (of a superior), let the
(king) unhesitatingly cut off his hands, likewise (if he takes
him) by the feet, the beard, the neck, or the scrotum.
284. He who breaks the skin (of an equal) or fetches blood
(from him) shall be fined one hundred (panas), he who cuts a
muscle six nishkas, he who breaks a bone shall be banished.
285. According to the usefulness of the several (kinds of)
trees a fine must be inflicted for injuring them; that is the
286. If a blow is struck against men or animals in order
to (give them) pain, (the judge) shall inflict a fine in proportion
to the amount of pain (caused).
287. If a limb is injured, a wound (is caused), or blood
(flows, the assailant) shall be made to pay (to the sufferer)
the expenses of the cure, or the whole (both the usual amercement
and the expenses of the cure as a) fine (to the king).
288. He who damages the goods of another, be it intentionally
or unintentionally, shall give satisfaction to the (owner) and
pay to the king a fine equal to the (damage).
289. In the case of (damage done to) leather, or to utensils
of leather, of wood, or of clay, the fine (shall be) five times
their value; likewise in the case of (damage to) flowers, roots,
290. They declare with respect to a carriage, its driver
and its owner, (that there are) ten cases in which no punishment
(for damage done) can be inflicted; in other cases a fine is
291. When the nose-string is snapped, when the yoke is broken,
when the carriage turns sideways or back, when the axle or a
wheel is broken,
292. When the leather-thongs, the rope around the neck or
the bridle are broken, and when (the driver) has loudly called
out, 'Make way,' Manu has declared (that in all these cases)
no punishment (shall be inflicted).
293. But if the cart turns off (the road) through the driver's
want of skill, the owner shall be fined, if damage (is done),
two hundred (panas).
294. If the driver is skilful (but negligent), he alone shall
be fined; if the driver is unskilful, the occupants of the carriage
(also) shall be each fined one hundred (panas).
295. But if he is stopped on his way by cattle or by (another)
carriage, and he causes the death of any living being, a fine
shall without doubt be imposed.
296. If a man is killed, his guilt will be at once the same
as (that of) a thief; for large animals such as cows, elephants,
camels or horses, half of that.
297. For injuring small cattle the fine (shall be) two hundred
(panas); the fine for beautiful wild quadrupeds and birds shall
amount to fifty (panas).
298. For donkeys, sheep, and goats the fine shall be five
mashas; but the punishment for killing a dog or a pig shall
be one masha.
299. A wife, a son, a slave, a pupil, and a (younger) brother
of the full blood, who have committed faults, may be beaten
with a rope or a split bamboo,
300. But on the back part of the body (only), never on a
noble part; he who strikes them otherwise will incur the same
guilt as a thief.
301. Thus the whole law of assault (and hurt) has been declared
completely; I will now explain the rules for the decision (in
cases) of theft.
302. Let the king exert himself to the utmost to punish thieves;
for, if he punishes thieves, his fame grows and his kingdom
303. That king, indeed, is ever worthy of honour who ensures
the safety (of his subjects); for the sacrificial session (sattra,
which he, as it were, performs thereby) ever grows in length,
the safety (of his subjects representing) the sacrificial fee.
304. A king who (duly) protects (his subjects) receives from
each and all the sixth part of their spiritual merit; if he
does not protect them, the sixth part of their demerit also
(will fall on him).
305. Whatever (merit a man gains by) reading the Veda, by
sacrificing, by charitable gifts, (or by) worshipping (Gurus
and gods), the king obtains a sixth part of that in consequence
of his duly protecting (his kingdom).
306. A king who protects the created beings in accordance
with the sacred law and smites those worthy of corporal punishment,
daily offers (as it were) sacrifices at which hundred thousands
(are given as) fees.
307. A king who does not afford protection, (yet) takes his
share in kind, his taxes, tolls and duties, daily presents and
fines, will (after death) soon sink into hell.
308. They declare that a king who affords no protection,
(yet) receives the sixth part of the produce, takes upon himself
all the foulness of his whole people.
309. Know that a king who heeds not the rules (of the law),
who is an atheist, and rapacious, who does not protect (his
subjects, but) devours them, will sink low (after death).
310. Let him carefully restrain the wicked by three methods,-
by imprisonment by putting them in fetters, and by various (kinds
of) corporal punishments.
311. For by punishing the wicked and by favouring the virtuous,
kings are constantly sanctified, just as twice-born men by sacrifices.
312. A king who desires his own welfare must always forgive
litigants, infants, aged and sick men, who inveigh against him.
313. He who, being abused by men in pain, pardons (them),
will in reward of that (act) be exalted in heaven; but he who,
(proud) of his kingly state, forgives them not, will for that
(reason) sink into hell.
314. A thief shall, running, approach the king, with flying
hair, confessing that theft (and saying), 'Thus have I done,
315. (And he must) carry on his shoulder a pestle, or a club
of Khadira wood, or a spear sharp at both ends, or an iron staff.
316. Whether he be punished or pardoned, the thief is freed
from the (guilt of) theft; but the king, if he punishes not,
takes upon himself the guilt of the thief.
317. The killer of a learned Brahmana throws his guilt on
him who eats his food, an adulterous wife on her (negligent)
husband, a (sinning) pupil or sacrificer on (their negligent)
teacher (or priest), a thief on the king (who pardons him).
318. But men who have committed crimes and have been punished
by the king, go to heaven, being pure like those who performed
319. He who steals the rope or the water-pot from a well,
or damages a hut where water is distributed, shall pay one masha
as a fine and restore the (article abstracted or damaged) in
its (proper place).
320. On him who steals more than ten kumbhas of grain corporal
punishment (shall be inflicted); in other cases he shall be
fined eleven times as much, and shall pay to the (owner the
value of his) property.
321. So shall corporal punishment be inflicted for stealing
more than a hundred (palas) of articles sold by the weight,
(i.e.) of gold, silver, and so forth, and of most excellent
322. For (stealing) more than fifty (palas) it is enacted
that the hands (of the offender) shall be cut off; but in other
cases, let him inflict a fine of eleven times the value.
323. For stealing men of noble family and especially women
and the most precious gems, (the offender) deserves corporal
(or capital) punishment.
324. For stealing large animals, weapons, or medicines, let
the king fix a punishment, after considering the time and the
purpose (for which they were destined).
325. For (stealing) cows belonging to Brahmanas, piercing
(the nostrils of) a barren cow, and for stealing (other) cattle
(belonging to Brahmanas, the offender) shall forthwith lose
half his feet.
326. (For stealing) thread, cotton, drugs causing fermentation,
cowdung, molasses, sour milk, sweet milk, butter-milk, water,
327. Vessels made of bamboo or other cane, salt of various
kinds, earthen (vessels), earth and ashes,
328. Fish, birds, oil, clarified butter, meat, honey, and
other things that come from beasts,
329. Or other things of a similar kind, spirituous liquor,
boiled rice, and every kind of cooked food, the fine (shall
be) twice the value (of the stolen article).
330. For flowers, green corn, shrubs, creepers, trees, and
other unhusked (grain) the fine (shall be) five krishnalas.
331. For husked grain, vegetables, roots, and fruit the fine
(shall be) one hundred (panas) if there is no connexion (between
the owner and the thief), fifty (panas) if such a connexion
332. An offence (of this description), which is committed
in the presence (of the owner) and with violence, will be robbery;
if (it is committed) in his absence, it will be theft; likewise
if (the possession of) anything is denied after it has been
333. On that man who may steal (any of) the above-mentioned
articles, when they are prepared for (use), let the king inflict
the first (or lowest) amercement; likewise on him who may steal
(a sacred) fire out of the room (in which it is kept).
334. With whatever limb a thief in any way commits (an offence)
against men, even of that (the king) shall deprive him in order
to prevent (a repetition of the crime).
335. Neither a father, nor a teacher, nor a friend, nor a
mother, nor a wife, nor a son, nor a domestic priest must be
left unpunished by a king, if they do not keep within their
336. Where another common man would be fined one karshapana,
the king shall be fined one thousand; that is the settled rule.
337. In (a case of) theft the guilt of a Sudra shall be eightfold,
that of a Vaisya sixteenfold, that of a Kshatriya two-and-thirtyfold,
338. That of a Brahmana sixty-fourfold, or quite a hundredfold,
or (even) twice four-and-sixtyfold; (each of them) knowing the
nature of the offence.
339. (The taking of) roots and of fruit from trees, of wood
for a (sacrificial) fire, and of grass for feeding cows, Manu
has declared (to be) no theft.
340. A Brahmana, seeking to obtain property from a man who
took what was not given to him, either by sacrificing for him
or by teaching him, is even like a thief.
341. A twice-born man, who is travelling and whose provisions
are exhausted, shall not be fined, if he takes two stalks of
sugar-cane or two (esculent) roots from the field of another
342. He who ties up unbound or sets free tied up (cattle
of other men), he who takes a slave, a horse, or a carriage
will have incurred the guilt of a thief.
343. A king who punishes thieves according to these rules,
will gain fame in this world and after death unsurpassable bliss.
344. A king who desires to gain the throne of Indra and imperishable
eternal fame, shall not, even for a moment, neglect (to punish)
the man who commits violence.
345. He who commits violence must be considered as the worst
offender, (more wicked) than a defamer, than a thief, and than
he who injures (another) with a staff.
346. But that king who pardons the perpetrator of violence
quickly perishes and incurs hatred.
347. Neither for friendship's sake, nor for the sake of great
lucre, must a king let go perpetrators of violence, who cause
terror to all creatures.
348. Twice-born men may take up arms when (they are) hindered
(in the fulfilment of their duties, when destruction (threatens)
the twice-born castes (varna) in (evil) times,
349. In their own defence, in a strife for the fees of officiating
priests, and in order to protect women and Brahmanas; he who
(under such circumstances) kills in the cause of right, commits
350. One may slay without hesitation an assassin who approaches
(with murderous intent), whether (he be one's) teacher, a child
or an aged man, or a Brahmana deeply versed in the Vedas.
351. By killing an assassin the slayer incurs no guilt, whether
(he does it) publicly or secretly; in that case fury recoils
352. Men who commit adultery with the wives of others, the
king shall cause to be marked by punishments which cause terror,
and afterwards banish.
353. For by (adultery) is caused a mixture of the castes
(varna) among men; thence (follows) sin, which cuts up even
the roots and causes the destruction of everything.
354. A man formerly accused of (such) offences, who secretly
converses with another man's wife, shall pay the first (or lowest)
355. But a man, not before accused, who (thus) speaks with
(a woman) for some (reasonable) cause, shall not incur any guilt,
since in him there is no transgression.
356. He who addresses the wife of another man at a Tirtha,
outside the village, in a forest, or at the confluence of rivers,
suffer (the punishment for) adulterous acts (samgrahana).
357. Offering presents (to a woman), romping (with her),
touching her ornaments and dress, sitting with her on a bed,
all (these acts) are considered adulterous acts (samgrahana).
358. If one touches a woman in a place (which ought) not
(to be touched) or allows (oneself to be touched in such a spot),
all (such acts done) with mutual consent are declared (to be)
359. A man who is not a Brahmana ought to suffer death for
adultery (samgrahana); for the wives of all the four castes
even must always be carefully guarded.
360. Mendicants, bards, men who have performed the initiatory
ceremony of a Vedic sacrifice, and artisans are not prohibited
from speaking to married women.
361. Let no man converse with the wives of others after he
has been forbidden (to do so); but he who converses (with them),
in spite of a prohibition, shall be fined one suvarna.
362. This rule does not apply to the wives of actors and
singers, nor (of) those who live on (the intrigues of) their
own (wives); for such men send their wives (to others) or, concealing
themselves, allow them to hold criminal intercourse.
363. Yet he who secretly converses with such women, or with
female slaves kept by one (master), and with female ascetics,
shall be compelled to pay a small fine.
364. He who violates an unwilling maiden shall instantly
suffer corporal punishment; but a man who enjoys a willing maiden
shall not suffer corporal punishment, if (his caste be) the
same (as hers).
365. From a maiden who makes advances to a (man of) high
(caste), he shall not take any fine; but her, who courts a (man
of) low (caste), let him force to live confined in her house.
366. A (man of) low (caste) who makes love to a maiden (of)
the highest (caste) shall suffer corporal punishment; he who
addresses a maiden (on) equal (caste) shall pay the nuptial
fee, if her father desires it.
367. But if any man through insolence forcibly contaminates
a maiden, two of his fingers shall be instantly cut off, and
he shall pay a fine of six hundred (panas).
368. A man (of) equal (caste) who defiles a willing maiden
shall not suffer the amputation of his fingers, but shall pay
a fine of two hundred (panas) in order to deter him from a repetition
(of the offence).
369. A damsel who pollutes (another) damsel must be fined
two hundred (panas), pay the double of her (nuptial) fee, and
receive ten (lashes with a) rod.
370. But a woman who pollutes a damsel shall instantly have
(her head) shaved or two fingers cut off, and be made to ride
(through the town) on a donkey.
371. If a wife, proud of the greatness of her relatives or
(her own) excellence, violates the duty which she owes to her
lord, the king shall cause her to be devoured by dogs in a place
frequented by many.
372. Let him cause the male offender to be burnt on a red-hot
iron bed; they shall put logs under it, (until) the sinner is
burned (to death).
373. On a man (once) convicted, who is (again) accused within
a year, a double fine (must be inflicted); even thus (must the
fine be doubled) for (repeated) intercourse with a Vratya and
374. A Sudra who has intercourse with a woman of a twice-born
caste (varna), guarded or unguarded, (shall be punished in the
following manner): if she was unguarded, he loses the part (offending)
and all his property; if she was guarded, everything (even his
375. (For intercourse with a guarded Brahmana a Vaisya shall
forfeit all his property after imprisonment for a year; a Kshatriya
shall be fined one thousand (panas) and be shaved with the urine
(of an ass).
376. If a Vaisya or a Kshatriya has connexion with an unguarded
Brahmana, let him fine the Vaisya five hundred (panas) and the
Kshatriya one thousand.
377. But even these two, if they offend with a Brahmani (not
only) guarded (but the wife of an eminent man), shall be punished
like a Sudra or be burnt in a fire of dry grass.
378. A Brahmana who carnally knows a guarded Brahmani against
her will, shall be fined one thousand (panas); but he shall
be made to pay five hundred, if he had connexion with a willing
379. Tonsure (of the head) is ordained for a Brahmana (instead
of) capital punishment; but (men of) other castes shall suffer
380. Let him never slay a Brahmana, though he have committed
all (possible) crimes; let him banish such an (offender), leaving
all his property (to him) and (his body) unhurt.
381. No greater crime is known on earth than slaying a Brahmana;
a king, therefore, must not even conceive in his mind the thought
of killing a Brahmana.
382. If a Vaisya approaches a guarded female of the Kshatriya
caste, or a Kshatriya a (guarded) Vaisya woman, they both deserve
the same punishment as in the case of an unguarded Brahmana
383. A Brahmana shall be compelled to pay a fine of one thousand
(panas) if he has intercourse with guarded (females of) those
two (castes); for (offending with) a (guarded) Sudra female
a fine of one thousand (panas shall be inflicted) on a Kshatriya
or a Vaisya.
384. For (intercourse with) an unguarded Kshatriya a fine
of five hundred (panas shall fall) on a Vaisya; but (for the
same offence) a Kshatriya shall be shaved with the urine (of
a donkey) or (pay) the same fine.
385. A Brahmana who approaches unguarded females (of the)
Kshatriya or Vaisya (castes), or a Sudra female, shall be fined
five hundred (panas); but (for intercourse with) a female (of
the) lowest (castes), one thousand.
386. That king in whose town lives no thief, no adulterer,
no defamer, no man guilty of violence, and no committer of assaults,
attains the world of Sakra (Indra).
387. The suppression of those five in his dominions secures
to a king paramount sovereignty among his peers and fame in
388. A sacrificer who forsakes an officiating priest, and
an officiating priest who forsakes a sacrificer, (each being)
able to perform his work and not contaminated (by grievous crimes),
must each be fined one hundred (panas).
389. Neither a mother, nor a father, nor a wife, nor a son
shall be cast off; he who casts them off, unless guilty of a
crime causing loss of caste, shall be fined six hundred (panas).
390. If twice-born men dispute among each other concerning
the duty of the orders, a king who desires his own welfare should
not (hastily) decide (what is) the law.
391. Having shown them due honor, he should, with (the assistance
of) Brahmanas, first soothe them by gentle (speech) and afterwards
teach them their duty.
392. A Brahmana who does not invite his next neighbour and
his neighbour next but one, (though) both (he) worthy (of the
honour), to a festival at which twenty Brahmanas are entertained,
is liable to a fine of one masha.
393. A Srotriya who does not entertain a virtuous Srotriya
at auspicious festive rites, shall be made to pay him twice
(the value of) the meal and a masha of gold (as a fine to the
394. A blind man, an idiot, (a cripple) who moves with the
help of a board, a man full seventy years old, and he who confers
benefits on Srotriyas, shall not be compelled by any (king)
to pay a tax.
395. Let the king always treat kindly a Srotriya, a sick
or distressed man, an infant and an aged or indigent man, a
man of high birth, and an honourable man (Arya).
396. A washerman shall wash (the clothes of his employers)
gently on a smooth board of Salmaliwood he shall not return
the clothes (of one person) for those (of another), nor allow
anybody (but the owner) to wear them.
397. A weaver (who has received) ten palas (of thread), shall
return (cloth weighing) one pala more; he who acts differently
shall be compelled to pay a fine of twelve (panas).
398. Let the king take one-twentieth of that (amount) which
men, well acquainted with the settlement of tolls and duties
(and) skilful in (estimating the value of) all kinds of merchandise,
may fix as the value for each saleable commodity.
399. Let the king confiscate the whole property of (a trader)
who out of greed exports goods of which the king has a monopoly
or (the export of which is) forbidden.
400. He who avoids a custom-house (or a toll), he who buys
or sells at an improper time, or he who makes a false statement
in enumerating (his goods), shall be fined eight times (the
amount of duty) which he tried to evade.
401. Let (the king) fix (the rates for) the purchase and
sale of all marketable goods, having (duly) considered whence
they come, whither they go, how long they have been kept, the
(probable) profit and the (probable) outlay.
402. Once in five nights, or at the close of each fortnight,
let the king publicly settle the prices for the (merchants).
403. All weights and measures must be duly marked, and once
in six months let him re-examine them.
404. At a ferry an (empty) cart shall be made to pay one
pana, a man's (load) half a pana, an animal and a woman one
quarter of a (pana), an unloaded man one-half of a quarter.
405. Carts (laden) with vessels full (of merchandise) shall
be made to pay toll at a ferry according to the value (of the
goods), empty vessels and men without luggage some trifle.
406. For a long passage the boat-hire must be proportioned
to the places and times; know that this (rule refers) to (passages
along) the banks of rivers; at sea there is no settled (freight).
407. But a woman who has been pregnant two months or more,
an ascetic, a hermit in the forest, and Brahmanas who are students
of the Veda, shall not be made to pay toll at a ferry.
408. Whatever may be damaged in a boat by the fault of the
boatmen, that shall be made good by the boatmen collectively,
(each paying) his share.
409. This decision in suits (brought) by passengers (holds
good only) in case the boatmen are culpably negligent on the
water; in the case of (an accident) caused by (the will of)
the gods, no fine can be (inflicted on them).
410. (The king) should order a Vaisya to trade, to lend money,
to cultivate the land, or to tend cattle, and a Sudra to serve
the twice-born castes
411. (Some wealthy) Brahmana shall compassionately support
both a Kshatriya and a Vaisya, if they are distressed for a
livelihood, employing them on work (which is suitable for) their
412. But a Brahmana who, because he is powerful, out of greed
makes initiated (men of the) twice-born (castes) against their
will do the work of slaves, shall be fined by the king six hundred
413. But a Sudra, whether bought or unbought, he may compel
to do servile work; for he was created by the Self-existent
(Svayambhu) to be the slave of a Brahmana.
414. A Sudra, though emancipated by his master, is not released
from servitude; since that is innate in him, who can set him
free from it?
415. There are slaves of seven kinds, (viz.) he who is made
a captive under a standard, he who serves for his daily food,
he who is born in the house, he who is bought and he who is
given, he who is inherited from ancestors, and he who is enslaved
by way of punishment.
416. A wife, a son, and a slave, these three are declared
to have no property; the wealth which they earn is (acquired)
for him to whom they belong.
417. A Brahmana may confidently seize the goods of (his)
Sudra (slave); for, as that (slave) can have no property, his
master may take his possessions.
418. (The king) should carefully compel Vaisyas and Sudra
to perform the work (prescribed) for them; for if these two
(castes) swerved from their duties, they would throw this (whole)
world into confusion.
419. Let him daily look after the completion of his undertakings,
his beasts of burden, and carriages, (the collection of) his
revenues and the disbursements, his mines and his treasury.
420. A king who thus brings to a conclusion. all the legal
business enumerated above, and removes all sin, reaches the
highest state (of bliss).
1. I will now propound the eternal laws for a husband and
his wife who keep to the path of duty, whether they be united
2. Day and night woman must be kept in dependence by the
males (of) their (families), and, if they attach themselves
to sensual enjoyments, they must be kept under one's control.
3. Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects
(her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman
is never fit for independence.
4. Reprehensible is the father who gives not (his daughter
in marriage) at the proper time; reprehensible is the husband
who approaches not (his wife in due season), and reprehensible
is the son who does not protect his mother after her husband
5. Women must particularly be guarded against evil inclinations,
however trifling (they may appear); for, if they are not guarded,
they will bring sorrow on two families.
6. Considering that the highest duty of all castes, even
weak husbands (must) strive to guard their wives.
7. He who carefully guards his wife, preserves (the purity
of) his offspring, virtuous conduct, his family, himself, and
his (means of acquiring) merit.
8. The husband, after conception by his wife, becomes an
embryo and is born again of her; for that is the wifehood of
a wife (gaya), that he is born (gayate) again by her.
9. As the male is to whom a wife cleaves, even so is the
son whom she brings forth; let him therefore carefully guard
his wife, in order to keep his offspring pure.
10. No man can completely guard women by force; but they
can be guarded by the employment of the (following) expedients:
11. Let the (husband) employ his (wife) in the collection
and expenditure of his wealth, in keeping (everything) clean,
in (the fulfilment of) religious duties, in the preparation
of his food, and in looking after the household utensils.
12. Women, confined in the house under trustworthy and obedient
servants, are not (well) guarded; but those who of their own
accord keep guard over themselves, are well guarded.
13. Drinking (spirituous liquor), associating with wicked
people, separation from the husband, rambling abroad, sleeping
(at unseasonable hours), and dwelling in other men's houses,
are the six causes of the ruin of women.
14. Women do not care for beauty, nor is their attention
fixed on age; (thinking), '(It is enough that) he is a man,'
they give themselves to the handsome and to the ugly.
15. Through their passion for men, through their mutable
temper, through their natural heartlessness, they become disloyal
towards their husbands, however carefully they may be guarded
in this (world).
16. Knowing their disposition, which the Lord of creatures
laid in them at the creation, to be such, (every) man should
most strenuously exert himself to guard them.
17. (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of
their) bed, (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires,
wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.
18. For women no (sacramental) rite (is performed) with sacred
texts, thus the law is settled; women (who are) destitute of
strength and destitute of (the knowledge of) Vedic texts, (are
as impure as) falsehood (itself), that is a fixed rule.
19. And to this effect many sacred texts are sung also in
the Vedas, in order to (make) fully known the true disposition
(of women); hear (now those texts which refer to) the expiation
of their (sins).
20. 'If my mother, going astray and unfaithful, conceived
illicit desires, may my father keep that seed from me,' that
is the scriptural text.
21. If a woman thinks in her heart of anything that would
pain her husband, the (above-mentioned text) is declared (to
be a means for) completely removing such infidelity.
22. Whatever be the qualities of the man with whom a woman
is united according to the law, such qualities even she assumes,
like a river (united) with the ocean.
23. Akshamala, a woman of the lowest birth, being united
to Vasishtha and Sarangi, (being united) to Mandapala, became
worthy of honour.
24. These and other females of low birth have attained eminence
in this world by the respective good qualities of their husbands.
25. Thus has been declared the ever pure popular usage (which
regulates the relations) between husband and wife; hear (next)
the laws concerning children which are the cause of happiness
in this world and after death.
26. Between wives (striyah) who (are destined) to bear children,
who secure many blessings, who are worthy of worship and irradiate
(their) dwellings, and between the goddesses of fortune (sriyah,
who reside) in the houses (of men), there is no difference whatsoever.
27. The production of children, the nurture of those born,
and the daily life of men, (of these matters) woman is visibly
28. Offspring, (the due performance on religious rites, faithful
service, highest conjugal happiness and heavenly bliss for the
ancestors and oneself, depend on one's wife alone.
29. She who, controlling her thoughts, speech, and acts,
violates not her duty towards her lord, dwells with him (after
death) in heaven, and in this world is called by the virtuous
a faithful (wife, sadhvi)
30. But for disloyalty to her husband a wife is censured
among men, and (in her next life) she is born in the womb of
a jackal and tormented by diseases, the punishment of her sin.
31. Listen (now) to the following holy discussion, salutary
to all men, which the virtuous (of the present day) and the
ancient great sages have held concerning male offspring.
32. They (all) say that the male issue (of a woman) belongs
to the lord, but with respect to the (meaning of the term) lord
the revealed texts differ; some call the begetter (of the child
the lord), others declare (that it is) the owner of the soil.
33. By the sacred tradition the woman is declared to be the
soil, the man is declared to be the seed; the production of
all corporeal beings (takes place) through the union of the
soil with the seed.
34. In some cases the seed is more distinguished, and in
some the womb of the female; but when both are equal, the offspring
is most highly esteemed.
35. On comparing the seed and the receptacle (of the seed),
the seed is declared to be more important; for the offspring
of all created beings is marked by the characteristics of the
36. Whatever (kind on seed is sown in a field, prepared in
due season, (a plant) of that same kind, marked with the peculiar
qualities of the seed, springs up in it.
37. This earth, indeed, is called the primeval womb of created
beings; but the seed develops not in its development any properties
of the womb.
38. In this world seeds of different kinds, sown at the proper
time in the land, even in one field, come forth (each) according
to its kind.
39. The rice (called) vrihi and (that called) sali, mudga-beans,
sesamum, masha-beans, barley, leeks, and sugar-cane, (all) spring
up according to their seed.
40. That one (plant) should be sown and another be produced
cannot happen; whatever seed is sown, (a plant of) that kind
even comes forth.
41. Never therefore must a prudent well-trained man, who
knows the Veda and its Angas and desires long life, cohabit
with another's wife.
42. With respect to this (matter), those acquainted with
the past recite some stanzas, sung by Vayu (the Wind, to show)
that seed must not be sown by (any) man on that which belongs
43. As the arrow, shot by (a hunter) who afterwards hits
a wounded (deer) in the wound (made by another), is shot in
vain, even so the seed, sown on what belongs to another, is
quickly lost (to the sower).
44. (Sages) who know the past call this earth (prithivi)
even the wife of Prithu; they declare a field to belong to him
who cleared away the timber, and a deer to him who (first) wounded
45. He only is a perfect man who consists (of three persons
united), his wife, himself, and his offspring; thus (says the
Veda), and (learned) Brahmanas propound this (maxim) likewise,
'The husband is declared to be one with the wife.'
46. Neither by sale nor by repudiation is a wife released
from her husband; such we know the law to be, which the Lord
of creatures (Pragapati) made of old.
47. Once is the partition (of the inheritance) made, (once
is) a maiden given in marriage, (and) once does (a man) say,'
I will give;' each of those three (acts is done) once only.
48. As with cows, mares, female camels, slave-girls, buffalo-cows,
she-goats, and ewes, it is not the begetter (or his owner) who
obtains the offspring, even thus (it is) with the wives of others.
49. Those who, having no property in a field, but possessing
seed-corn, sow it in another's soil, do indeed not receive the
grain of the crop which may spring up.
50. If (one man's) bull were to beget a hundred calves on
another man's cows, they would belong to the owner of the cows;
in vain would the bull have spent his strength.
51. Thus men who have no marital property in women, but sow
their seed in the soil of others, benefit the owner of the woman;
but the giver of the seed reaps no advantage.
52. If no agreement with respect to the crop has been made
between the owner of the field and the owner of the seed, the
benefit clearly belongs to the owner of the field; the receptacle
is more important than the seed.
53. But if by a special contract (a field) is made over (to
another) for sowing, then the owner of the seed and the owner
of the soil are both considered in this world as sharers of
54. If seed be carried by water or wind into somebody's field
and germinates (there), the (plant sprung from that) seed belongs
even to the owner of the field, the owner of the seed does not
receive the crop.
55. Know that such is the law concerning the offspring of
cows, mares, slave-girls, female camels, she-goats, and ewes,
as well as of females of birds and buffalo-cows.
56. Thus the comparative importance of the seed and of the
womb has been declared to you; I will next propound the law
(applicable) to women in times of misfortune.
57. The wife of an elder brother is for his younger (brother)
the wife of a Guru; but the wife of the younger is declared
(to be) the daughter-in-law of the elder.
58. An elder (brother) who approaches the wife of the younger,
and a younger (brother who approaches) the wife of the elder,
except in times of misfortune, both become outcasts, even though
(they were duly) authorised.
59. On failure of issue (by her husband) a woman who has
been authorised, may obtain, (in the) proper (manner prescribed),
the desired offspring by (cohabitation with) a brother-in-law
or (with some other) Sapinda (of the husband).
60. He (who is) appointed to (cohabit with) the widow shall
(approach her) at night anointed with clarified butter and silent,
(and) beget one son, by no means a second.
61. Some (sages), versed in the law, considering the purpose
of the appointment not to have been attained by those two (on
the birth of the first), think that a second (son) may be lawfully
procreated on (such) women.
62. But when the purpose of the appointment to (cohabit with)
the widow bas been attained in accordance with the law, those
two shall behave towards each other like a father and a daughter-in-law.
63. If those two (being thus) appointed deviate from the
rule and act from carnal desire, they will both become outcasts,
(as men) who defile the bed of a daughter-in-law or of a Guru.
64. By twice-born men a widow must not be appointed to (cohabit
with) any other (than her husband); for they who appoint (her)
to another (man), will violate the eternal law.
65. In the sacred texts which refer to marriage the appointment
(of widows) is nowhere mentioned, nor is the re-marriage of
widows prescribed in the rules concerning marriage.
66. This practice which is reprehended by the learned of
the twice-born castes as fit for cattle is said (to have occurred)
even among men, while Vena ruled.
67. That chief of royal sages who formerly possessed the
whole world, caused a confusion of the castes (varna), his intellect
being destroyed by lust.
68. Since that (time) the virtuous censure that (man) who
in his folly appoints a woman, whose husband died, to (bear)
children (to another man).
69. If the (future) husband of a maiden dies after troth
verbally plighted, her brother-in-law shall wed her according
to the following rule.
70. Having, according to the rule, espoused her (who must
be) clad in white garments and be intent on purity, he shall
approach her once in each proper season until issue (be had).
71. Let no prudent man, after giving his daughter to one
(man), give her again to another; for he who gives (his daughter)
whom he had before given, incurs (the guilt of) speaking falsely
regarding a human being.
72. Though (a man) may have accepted a damsel in due form,
he may abandon (her if she be) blemished, diseased, or deflowered,
and (if she have been) given with fraud.
73. If anybody gives away a maiden possessing blemishes without
declaring them, (the bridegroom) may annul that (contract) with
the evil-minded giver.
74. A man who has business (abroad) may depart after securing
a maintenance for his wife; for a wife, even though virtuous,
may be corrupted if she be distressed by want of subsistence.
75. If (the husband) went on a journey after providing (for
her), the wife shall subject herself to restraints in her daily
life; but if he departed without providing (for her), she may
subsist by blameless manual work.
76. If the husband went abroad for some sacred duty, (she)
must wait for him eight years, if (he went) to (acquire) learning
or fame six (years), if (he went) for pleasure three years.
77. For one year let a husband bear with a wife who hates
him; but after (the lapse of) a year let him deprive her of
her property and cease to cohabit with her.
78. She who shows disrespect to (a husband) who is addicted
to (some evil) passion, is a drunkard, or diseased, shall be
deserted for three months (and be) deprived of her ornaments
79. But she who shows aversion towards a mad or outcast (husband),
a eunuch, one destitute of manly strength, or one afflicted
with such diseases as punish crimes, shall neither be cast off
nor be deprived of her property.
80. She who drinks spirituous liquor, is of bad conduct,
rebellious, diseased, mischievous, or wasteful, may at any time
be superseded (by another wife).
81. A barren wife may be superseded in the eighth year, she
whose children (all) die in the tenth, she who bears only daughters
in the eleventh, but she who is quarrelsome without delay.
82. But a sick wife who is kind (to her husband) and virtuous
in her conduct, may be superseded (only) with her own consent
and must never be disgraced.
83. A wife who, being superseded, in anger departs from (her
husband's) house, must either be instantly confined or cast
off in the presence of the family.
84. But she who, though having been forbidden, drinks spirituous
liquor even at festivals, or goes to public spectacles or assemblies,
shall be fined six krishnalas.
85. If twice-born men wed women of their own and of other
(lower castes), the seniority, honour, and habitation of those
(wives) must be (settled) according to the order of the castes
86. Among all (twice-born men) the wife of equal caste alone,
not a wife of a different caste by any means, shall personally
attend her husband and assist him in his daily sacred rites.
87. But he who foolishly causes that (duty) to be performed
by another, while his wife of equal caste is alive, is declared
by the ancients (to be) as (despicable) as a Kandala (sprung
from the) Brahmana (caste).
88. To a distinguished, handsome suitor (of) equal (caste)
should (a father) give his daughter in accordance with the prescribed
rule, though she have not attained (the proper age).
89. (But) the maiden, though marriageable, should rather
stop in (the father's) house until death, than that he should
ever give her to a man destitute of good qualities.
90. Three years let a damsel wait, though she be marriageable;
but after that time let her choose for herself a bridegroom
(of) equal (caste and rank).
91. If, being not given in marriage, she herself seeks a
husband, she incurs no guilt, nor (does) he whom she weds.
92. A maiden who choses for herself, shall not take with
her any ornaments, given by her father or her mother, or her
brothers; if she carries them away, it will be theft.
93. But he who takes (to wife) a marriageable damsel, shall
not pay any nuptial fee to her father; for the (latter) will
lose his dominion over her in consequence of his preventing
(the legitimate result of the appearance of) her enemies.
94. A man, aged thirty years, shall marry a maiden of twelve
who pleases him, or a man of twenty-four a girl eight years
of age; if (the performance of) his duties would (otherwise)
be impeded, (he must marry) sooner.
95. The husband receives his wife from the gods, (he does
not wed her) according to his own will; doing what is agreeable
to the gods, he must always support her (while she is) faithful.
96. To be mothers were women created, and to be fathers men;
religious rites, therefore, are ordained in the Veda to be performed
(by the husband) together with the wife.
97. If, after the nuptial fee has been paid for a maiden,
the giver of the fee dies, she shall be given in marriage to
his brother, in case she consents.
98. Even a Sudra ought not to take a nuptial fee, when he
gives away his daughter; for he who takes a fee sell his daughter,
covering (the transaction by another name).
99. Neither ancients nor moderns who were good men have done
such (a deed) that, after promising (a daughter) to one man,
they have her to another;
100. Nor, indeed, have we heard, even in former creations,
of such (a thing as) the covert sale of a daughter for a fixed
price, called a nuptial fee.
101. 'Let mutual fidelity continue until death,' this may
be considered as the summary of the highest law for husband
102. Let man and woman, united in marriage, constantly exert
themselves, that (they may not be) disunited (and) may not violate
their mutual fidelity.
103. Thus has been declared to you the law for a husband
and his wife, which is intimately connected with conjugal happiness,
and the manner of raising offspring in times of calamity; learn
(now the law concerning) the division of the inheritance.
104. After the death of the father and of the mother, the
brothers, being assembled, may divide among themselves in equal
shares the paternal (and the maternal) estate; for, they have
no power (over it) while the parents live.
105. (Or) the eldest alone may take the whole paternal estate,
the others shall live under him just as (they lived) under their
106. Immediately on the birth of his first-born a man is
(called) the father of a son and is freed from the debt to the
manes; that (son), therefore, is worthy (to receive) the whole
107. That son alone on whom he throws his debt and through
whom he obtains immortality, is begotten for (the fulfilment
of) the law; all the rest they consider the offspring of desire.
108. As a father (supports) his sons, so let the eldest support
his younger brothers, and let them also in accordance with the
law behave towards their eldest brother as sons (behave towards
109. The eldest (son) makes the family prosperous or, on
the contrary, brings it to ruin; the eldest (is considered)
among men most worthy of honour, the eldest is not treated with
disrespect by the virtuous.
110. If the eldest brother behaves as an eldest brother (ought
to do), he (must be treated) like a mother and like a father;
but if he behaves in a manner unworthy of an eldest brother,
he should yet be honoured like a kinsman.
111. Either let them thus live together, or apart, if (each)
desires (to gain) spiritual merit; for (by their living) separate
(their) merit increases, hence separation is meritorious.
112. The additional share (deducted) for the eldest shall
be one-twentieth (of the estate) and the best of all chattels,
for the middlemost half of that, but for the youngest one-fourth.
113. Both the eldest and the youngest shall take (their shares)
according to (the rule just) stated (each of) those who are
between the eldest and the youngest, shall have the share (prescribed
for the) middlemost.
114. Among the goods of every kind the eldest shall take
the best (article), and (even a single chattel) which is particularly
good, as well as the best of ten (animals).
115. But among (brothers) equally skilled in their occupations,
there is no additional share, (consisting of the best animal)
among ten; some trifle only shall be given to the eldest as
a token of respect.
116. If additional shares are thus deducted, one must allot
equal shares (out of the residue to each); but if no deduction
is made, the allotment of the shares among them shall be (made)
in the following manner.
117. Let the eldest son take one share in excess, the (brother)
born next after him one (share) and a half, the younger ones
one share each; thus the law is settled.
118. But to the maiden (sisters) the brothers shall severally
give (portions) out of their shares, each out of his share one-fourth
part; those who refuse to give (it), will become outcasts.
119. Let him never divide (the value of) a single goat or
sheep, or a (single beast) with uncloven hoofs; it is prescribed
(that) a single goat or sheep (remaining after an equal division,
belongs) to the eldest alone.
120. If a younger brother begets a son on the wife of the
elder, the division must then be made equally; this the law
121. The representative (the son begotten on the wife) is
not invested with the right of the principal (the eldest brother
to an additional share); the principal (became) a father on
the procreation (of a son by his younger brother); hence one
should give a share to the (son begotten on the wife of the
elder brother) according to the rule (stated above).
122. If there be a doubt, how the division shall be made,
in case the younger son is born of the elder wife and the elder
son of the younger wife,
123. (Then the son) born of the first wife shall take as
his additional share one (most excellent) bull; the next best
bulls (shall belong) to those (who are) inferior on account
of their mothers.
124. But the eldest (son, being) born of the eldest wife,
shall receive fifteen cows and a bull, the other sons may then
take shares according to (the seniority of) their mothers; that
is a settled rule.
125. Between sons born of wives equal (in caste) (and) without
(any other) distinction no seniority in right of the mother
exists; seniority is declared (to be) according to birth.
126. And with respect to the Subrahmanya (texts) also it
is recorded that the invocation (of Indra shall be made) by
the first-born, of twins likewise, (conceived at one time) in
the wombs (of their mothers) the seniority is declared (to depend)
on (actual) birth.
127. He who has no son may make his daughter in the following
manner an appointed daughter (putrika, saying to her husband),
'The (male) child, born of her, shall perform my funeral rites.'
128. According to this rule Daksha, himself, lord of created
beings, formerly made (all his female offspring) appointed daughters
in order to multiply his race.
129. He gave ten to Dharma, thirteen to Kasyapa, twenty-seven
to King Soma, honouring (them) with an affectionate heart.
130. A son is even (as) oneself, (such) a daughter is equal
to a son; how can another (heir) take the estate, while such
(an appointed daughter who is even) oneself, lives?
131. But whatever may be the separate property of the mother,
that is the share of the unmarried daughter alone; and the son
of an (appointed) daughter shall take the whole estate of (his
maternal grandfather) who leaves no son.
132. The son of an (appointed) daughter, indeed, shall (also)
take the estate of his (own) father, who leaves no (other) son;
he shall (then) present two funeral cakes to his own father
and to his maternal grandfather.
133. Between a son's son and the son of an (appointed) daughter
there is no difference, neither with respect to worldly matters
nor to sacred duties; for their father and mother both sprang
from the body of the same (man).
134. But if, after a daughter has been appointed, a son be
born (to her father), the division (of the inheritance) must
in that (case) be equal; for there is no right of primogeniture
for a woman.
135. But if an appointed daughter by accident dies without
(leaving) a son, the husband of the appointed daughter may,
without hesitation, take that estate.
136. Through that son whom (a daughter), either not appointed
or appointed, may bear to (a husband) of equal (caste), his
maternal grandfather (has) a son's son; he shall present the
funeral cake and take the estate.
137. Through a son he conquers the worlds, through a son's
son he obtains immortality, but through his son's grandson he
gains the world of the sun.
138. Because a son delivers (trayate) his father from the
hell called Put, he was therefore called put-tra (a deliverer
from Put) by the Self-existent (Svayambhu) himself.
139. Between a son's son and the son of a daughter there
exists in this world no difference; for even the son of a daughter
saves him (who has no sons) in the next world, like the son's
140. Let the son of an appointed daughter first present a
funeral cake to his mother, the second to her father, the funeral
to his father's father.
141. Of the man who has an adopted (Datrima) son possessing
all good qualities, that same (son) shall take the inheritance,
though brought from another family.
142. An adopted son shall never take the family (name) and
the estate of his natural father; the funeral cake follows the
family (name) and the estate, the funeral offerings of him who
gives (his son in adoption) cease (as far as that son is concerned).
143. The son of a wife, not appointed (to have issue by another),
and he whom (an appointed female, already) the mother of a son,
bears to her brother-in-law, are both unworthy of a share, (one
being) the son of an adulterer and (the other) produced through
144. Even the male (child) of a female (duly) appointed,
not begotten according to the rule (given above), is unworthy
of the paternal estate; for he was procreated by an outcast.
145. A son (legally) begotten on such an appointed female
shall inherit like a legitimate son of the body; for that seed
and the produce belong, according to the law, to the owner of
146. He who takes care of his deceased brother's estate and
of his widow, shall, after raising up a son for his brother,
give that property even to that (son).
147. If a woman (duly) appointed bears a son to her brother-in-law
or to another (Sapinda), that (son, if he is) begotten through
desire, they declare (to be) incapable of inheriting and to
be produced in vain.
148. The rules (given above) must be understood (to apply)
to a distribution among sons of women of the same (caste); hear
(now the law) concerning those begotten by one man on many wives
of different (castes).
149. If there be four wives of a Brahmana in the direct order
of the castes, the rule for the division (of the estate) among
the sons born of them is as follows:
150. The (slave) who tills (the field), the bull kept for
impregnating cows, the vehicle, the ornaments, and the house
shall be given as an additional portion to the Brahmana (son),
and one most excellent share.
151. Let the son of the Brahmana (wife) take three shares
of the (remainder of the) estate, the son of the Kshatriya two,
the son of the Vaisya a share and a half, and the son of the
Sudra may take one share.
152. Or let him who knows the law make ten shares of the
whole estate, and justly distribute them according to the following
153. The Brahmana (son) shall take four shares, son of the
Kshatriya (wife) three, the son of the Vaisya shall have two
parts, the son of the Sudra may take one share.
154. Whether (a Brahmana) have sons or have no sons (by wives
of the twice-born castes), the (heir) must, according to the
law, give to the son of a Sudra (wife) no more than a tenth
(part of his estate).
155. The son of a Brahmana, a Kshatriya, and a Vaisya by
a Sudra (wife) receives no share of the inheritance; whatever
his father may give to him, that shall be his property.
156. All the sons of twice-born men, born of wives of the
same caste, shall equally divide the estate, after the others
have given to the eldest an additional share.
157. For a Sudra is ordained a wife of his own caste only
(and) no other; those born of her shall have equal shares, even
if there be a hundred sons.
158. Among the twelve sons of men whom Manu, sprung from
the Self-existent (Svayambhu), enumerates, six are kinsmen and
heirs, and six not heirs, (but) kinsmen.
159. The legitimate son of the body, the son begotten on
a wife, the son adopted, the son made, the son secretly born,
and the son cast off, (are) the six heirs and kinsmen.
160. The son of an unmarried damsel, the son received with
the wife, the son bought, the son begotten on a re-married woman,
the son self-given, and the son of a Sudra female, (are) the
six (who are) not heirs, (but) kinsmen.
161. Whatever result a man obtains who (tries to) cross a
(sheet of) water in an unsafe boat, even that result obtains
he who (tries to) pass the gloom (of the next world) with (the
help of) bad (substitutes for a real) son.
162. If the two heirs of one man be a legitimate son of his
body and a son begotten on his wife, each (of the two sons),
to the exclusion of the other, shall take the estate of his
163. The legitimate son of the body alone (shall be) the
owner of the paternal estate; but, in order to avoid harshness,
let him allow a maintenance to the rest.
164. But when the legitimate son of the body divides the
paternal estate, he shall give one-sixth or one-fifth part of
his father's property to the son begotten on the wife.
165. The legitimate son and the son of the wife (thus) share
the father's estate; but the other tell become members of the
family, and inherit according to their order (each later named
on failure of those named earlier).
166. Him whom a man begets on his own wedded wife, let him
know to be a legitimate son of the body (Aurasa), the first
167. He who was begotten according to the peculiar law (of
the Niyoga) on the appointed wife of a dead man, of a eunuch,
or of one diseased, is called a son begotten on a wife (Kshetraga).
168. That (boy) equal (by caste) whom his mother or his father
affectionately give, (confirming the gift) with (a libation
of) water, in times of distress (to a man) as his son, must
be considered as an adopted son (Datrima).
169. But he is considered a son made (Kritrima) whom (a man)
makes his son, (he being) equal (by caste), acquainted with
(the distinctions between) right and wrong, (and) endowed with
170. If (a child) be born in a man's house and his father
be not known, he is a son born secretly in the house (Gudhotpanna),
and shall belong to him of whose wife he was born.
171. He whom (a man) receives as his son, (after he has been)
deserted by his parents or by either of them, is called a son
cast off (Apaviddha).
172. A son whom a damsel secretly bears in the house of her
father, one shall name the son of an unmarried damsel (Kanina,
and declare) such offspring of an unmarried girl (to belong)
to him who weds her (afterwards).
173. If one marries, either knowingly or unknowingly, a pregnant
(bride), the child in her womb belongs to him who weds her,
and is called (a son) received with the bride (Sahodha).
174. If a man buys a (boy), whether equal or unequal (in
good qualities), from his father and mother for the sake of
having a son, that (child) is called a (son) bought (Kritaka).
175. If a woman abandoned by her husband, or a widow, of
her own accord contracts a second marriage and bears (a son),
he is called the son of a re-married woman (Paunarbhava).
176. If she be (still) a virgin, or one who returned (to
her first husband) after leaving him, she is worthy to again
perform with her second (or first deserted) husband the (nuptial)
177. He who, having lost his parents or being abandoned (by
them) without (just) cause, gives himself to a (man), is called
a son self-given (Svayamdatta).
178. The son whom a Brahmana begets through lust on a Sudra
female is, (though) alive (parayan), a corpse (sava), and hence
called a Parasava (a living corpse).
179. A son who is (begotten) by a Sudra on a female slave,
or on the female slave of his slave, may, if permitted (by his
father), take a share (of the inheritance); thus the law is
180. These eleven, the son begotten on the wife and the rest
as enumerated (above), the wise call substitutes for a son,
(taken) in order (to prevent) a failure of the (funeral) ceremonies.
181. Those sons, who have been mentioned in connection with
(the legitimate son of the body), being begotten by strangers,
belong (in reality) to him from whose seed they sprang, but
not to the other (man who took them).
182. If among brothers, sprung from one (father), one have
a son, Manu has declared them all to have male offspring through
183. If among all the wives of one husband one have a son,
Manu declares them all (to be) mothers of male children through
184. On failure of each better (son), each next inferior
(one) is worthy of the inheritance; but if there be many (of)
equal (rank), they shall all share the estate.
185. Not brothers, nor fathers, (but) sons take the paternal
estate; but the father shall take the inheritance of (a son)
who leaves no male issue, and his brothers.
186. To three (ancestors) water must be offered, to three
the funeral cake is given, the fourth (descendant is) the giver
of these (oblations), the fifth has no connection (with them).
187. Always to that (relative within three degrees) who is
nearest to the (deceased) Sapinda the estate shall belong; afterwards
a Sakulya shall be (the heir, then) the spiritual teacher or
188. But on failure of all (heirs) Brahmanas (shall) share
the estate, (who are) versed the in the three Vedas, pure and
self-controlled; thus the law is not violated.
189. The property of a Brahmana must never be taken by the
king, that is a settled rule; but (the property of men) of other
castes the king may take on failure of all (heirs).
190. (If the widow) of (a man) who died without leaving issue,
raises up to him a son by a member of the family (Sagotra),
she shall deliver to that (son) the whole property which belonged
to the (deceased).
191. But if two (sons), begotten by two (different men),
contend for the property (in the hands) of their mother, each
shall take, to the exclusion of the other, what belonged to
192. But when the mother has died, all the uterine brothers
and the uterine sisters shall equally divide the mother's estate.
193. Even to the daughters of those (daughters) something
should be given, as is seemly, out of the estate of their maternal
grandmother, on the score of affection.
194. What (was given) before the (nuptial) fire, what (was
given) on the bridal procession, what was given in token of
love, and what was received from her brother, mother, or father,
that is called the sixfold property of a woman.
195. (Such property), as well as a gift subsequent and what
was given (to her) by her affectionate husband, shall go to
her offspring, (even) if she dies in the lifetime of her husband.
196. It is ordained that the property (of a woman married)
according to the Brahma, the Daiva, the Arsha, the Gandharva,
or the Pragapatya rite (shall belong) to her husband alone,
if she dies without issue.
197. But it is prescribed that the property which may have
been given to a (wife) on an Asura marriage or (one of the)
other (blamable marriages, shall go) to her mother and to her
father, if she dies without issue.
198. Whatever property may have been given by her father
to a wife (who has co-wives of different castes), that the daughter
(of the) Brahmani (wife) shall take, or that (daughter's) issue.
199. Women should never make a hoard from (the property of)
their families which is common to many, nor from their own (husbands'
particular) property without permission.
200. The ornaments which may have been worn by women during
their husbands' lifetime, his heirs shall not divide; those
who divide them become outcasts.
201. Eunuchs and outcasts, (persons) born blind or deaf,
the insane, idiots and the dumb, as well as those deficient
in any organ (of action or sensation), receive no share.
202. But it is just that (a man) who knows (the law) should
give even to all of them food and raiment without stint, according
to his ability; he who gives it not will become all outcast.
203. If the eunuch and the rest should somehow or other desire
to (take) wives, the offspring of such among them as have children
is worthy of a share.
204. Whatever property the eldest (son) acquires (by his
own exertion) after the father's death, a share of that (shall
belong) to his younger (brothers), provided they have made a
due progress in learning.
205. But if all of them, being unlearned, acquire property
by their labour, the division of that shall be equal, (as it
is) not property acquired by the father; that is a settled rule.
206. Property (acquired) by learning belongs solely to him
to whom (it was given), likewise the gift of a friend, a present
received on marriage or with the honey-mixture.
207. But if one of the brothers, being able (to maintain
himself) by his own occupation, does not desire (a share of
the family) property, he may be made separate (by the others)
receiving a trifle out of his share to live upon.
208. What one (brother) may acquire by his labour without
using the patrimony, that acquisition, (made solely) by his
own effort, he shall not share unless by his own will (with
209. But if a father recovers lost ancestral property, he
shall not divide it, unless by his own will, with his sons,
(for it is) self-acquired (property).
210. If brothers, (once) divided and living (again) together
(as coparceners), make a second partition, the division shall
in that case be equal; in such a case there is no right of primogeniture.
211. If the eldest or the youngest (brother) is deprived
of his share, or if either of them dies, his share is not lost
(to his immediate heirs).
212. His uterine brothers, having assembled together, shall
equally divide it, and those brothers who were reunited (with
him) and the uterine sisters.
213. An eldest brother who through avarice may defraud the
younger ones, shall no (longer hold the position of) the eldest,
shall not receive an (eldest son's additional) share, and shall
be punished by the king.
214. All brothers who habitually commit forbidden acts, are
unworthy of (a share of) the property, and the eldest shall
not make (anything his) separate property without giving (an
equivalent) to his younger brothers.
215. If undivided brethren, (living with their father,) together
make an exertion (for gain), the father shall on no account
give to them unequal shares (on a division of the estate).
216. But a son, born after partition, shall alone take the
property of his father, or if any (of the other sons) be reunited
with the (father), he shall share with them.
217. A mother shall obtain the inheritance of a son (who
dies) without leaving issue, and, if the mother be dead, the
paternal grandmother shall take the estate.
218. And if, after all the debts and assets have been duly
distributed according to the rule, any (property) be afterwards
discovered, one must divide it equally.
219. A dress, a vehicle, ornaments, cooked food, water, and
female (slaves), property destined for pious uses or sacrifices,
and a pasture-ground, they declare to be indivisible.
220. The division (of the property) and the rules for allotting
(shares) to the (several) sons, those begotten on a wife and
the rest, in (due) order, have been thus declared to you; hear
(now) the laws concerning gambling.
221. Gambling and betting let the king exclude from his realm;
those two vices cause the destruction of the kingdoms of princes.
222. Gambling and betting amount to open theft; the king
shall always exert himself in suppressing both (of them).
223. When inanimate (things) are used (for staking money
on them), that is called among men gambling (dyuta), when animate
beings are used (for the same purpose), one must know that to
be betting (samahvaya).
224. Let the king corporally punish all those (persons) who
either gamble and bet or afford (an opportunity for it), likewise
Sudras who assume the distinctive marks of twice-born (men).
225. Gamblers, dancers and singers, cruel men, men belonging
to an heretical sect, those following forbidden occupations,
and sellers of spirituous liquor, let him instantly banish from
226. If such (persons who are) secret thieves, dwell in the
realm of a king, they constantly harass his good subjects by
their forbidden practices.
227. In a former Kalpa this (vice of) gambling has been seen
to cause great enmity; a wise man, therefore, should not practise
it even for amusement.
228. On every man who addicts himself to that (vice) either
secretly or openly, the king may inflict punishment according
to his discretion.
229. But a Kshatriya, a Vaisya, and a Sudra who are unable
to pay a fine, shall discharge the debt by labour; a Brahmana
shall pay it by installments.
230. On women, infants, men of disordered mind, the poor
and the sick, the king shall inflict punishment with a whip,
a cane, or a rope and the like.
231. But those appointed (to administer public) affairs,
who, baked by the fire of wealth, mar the business of suitors,
the king shall deprive of their property.
232. Forgers of royal edicts, those who corrupt his ministers,
those who slay women, infants, or Brahmanas, and those who serve
his enemies, the king shall put to death.
233. Whenever any (legal transaction) has been completed
or (a punishment) been inflicted according to the law, he shall
sanction it and not annul it.
234. Whatever matter his ministers or the judge may settle
improperly, that the king himself shall (re-) settle and fine
(them) one thousand (panas).
235. The slayer of a Brahmana, (A twice-born man) who drinks
(the spirituous liquor called) Sura, he who steals (the gold
of a Brahmana), and he who violates a Guru's bed, must each
and all be considered as men who committed mortal sins (mahapataka).
236. On those four even, if they do not perform a penance,
let him inflict corporal punishment and fines in accordance
with the law.
237. For violating a Guru's bed, (the mark of) a female part
shall be (impressed on the forehead with a hot iron); for drinking
(the spirituous liquor called) Sura, the sign of a tavern; for
stealing (the gold of a Brahmana), a dog's foot; for murdering
a Brahmana, a headless corpse.
238. Excluded from all fellowship at meals, excluded from
all sacrifices, excluded from instruction and from matrimonial
alliances, abject and excluded from all religious duties, let
them wander over (this) earth.
239. Such (persons) who have been branded with (indelible)
marks must be cast off by their paternal and maternal relations,
and receive neither compassion nor a salutation; that is the
teaching of Manu.
240. But (men of) all castes who perform the prescribed penances,
must not be branded on the forehead by the king, but shall be
made to pay the highest amercement.
241. For (such) offences the middlemost amercement shall
be inflicted on a Brahmana, or he may be banished from the realm,
keeping his money and his chattels.
242. But (men of) other (castes), who have unintentionally
committed such crimes, ought to be deprived of their whole property;
if (they committed them) intentionally, they shall be banished.
243. A virtuous king must not take for himself the property
of a man guilty of mortal sin; but if he takes it out of greed,
he is tainted by that guilt (of the offender).
244. Having thrown such a fine into the water, let him offer
it to Varuna, or let him bestow it on a learned and virtuous
245. Varuna is the lord of punishment, for he holds the sceptre
even over kings; a Brahmana who has learnt the whole Veda is
the lord of the whole world.
246. In that (country), where the king avoids taking the
property of (mortal) sinners, men are born in (due) time (and
247. And the crops of the husbandmen spring up, each as it
was sown, and the children die not, and no misshaped (offspring)
248. But the king shall inflict on a base-born (Sudra), who
intentionally gives pain to Brahmanas, various (kinds of) corporal
punishment which cause terror.
249. When a king punishes an innocent (man), his guilt is
considered as great as when he sets free a guilty man; but (he
acquires) merit when he punishes (justly).
250. Thus the (manner of) deciding suits (falling) under
the eighteen titles, between two litigant parties, has been
declared at length.
251. A king who thus duly fulfils his duties in accordance
with justice, may seek to gain countries which he has not yet
gained, and shall duly protect them when he has gained them.
252. Having duly settled his country, and having built forts
in accordance with the Institutes, he shall use his utmost exertions
to remove (those men who are nocuous like) thorns.
253. By protecting those who live as (becomes) Aryans and
by removing the thorns, kings, solely intent on guarding their
subjects, reach heaven.
254. The realm of that king who takes his share in kind,
though he does not punish thieves, (will be) disturbed and he
(will) lose heaven.
255. But if his kingdom be secure, protected by the strength
of his arm, it will constantly flourish like a (well)- watered
256. Let the king who sees (everything) through his spies,
discover the two sorts of thieves who deprive others of their
property, both those who (show themselves) openly and those
who (lie) concealed.
257. Among them, the open rogues (are those) who subsist
by (cheating in the sale of) various marketable commodities,
but the concealed rogues are burglars, robbers in forests, and
258. Those who take bribes, cheats and rogues, gamblers,
those who live by teaching (the performance of) auspicious ceremonies,
sanctimonious hypocrites, and fortune-tellers,
259. Officials of high rank and physicians who act improperly,
men living by showing their proficiency in arts, and clever
260. These and the like who show themselves openly, as well
as others who walk in disguise (such as) non-Aryans who wear
the marks of Aryans, he should know to be thorns (in the side
of his people).
261. Having detected them by means of trustworthy persons,
who, disguising themselves, (pretend) to follow the same occupations
and by means of spies, wearing various disguises, he must cause
them to be instigated (to commit offences), and bring them into
262. Then having caused the crimes, which they committed
by their several actions, to be proclaimed in accordance with
the facts, the king shall duly punish them according to their
strength and their crimes.
263. For the wickedness of evil-minded thieves, who secretly
prowl over this earth, cannot be restrained except by punishment.
264. Assembly-houses, houses where water is distributed or
cakes are sold, brothels, taverns and victualler's shops, cross-roads,
well-known trees, festive assemblies, and play-houses and concert-rooms,
265. Old gardens, forests, the shops of artisans, empty dwellings,
natural and artificial groves,
266. These and the like places the king shall cause to be
guarded by companies of soldiers, both stationary and patrolling,
and by spies, in order to keep away thieves.
267. By the means of clever reformed thieves, who associate
with such (rogues), follow them and know their various machinations,
he must detect and destroy them.
268. Under the pretext of (offering them) various dainties,
of introducing them to Brahmanas, and on the pretence of (showing
them) feats of strength, the (spies) must make them meet (the
officers of justice).
269. Those among them who do not come, and those who suspect
the old (thieves employed by the king), the king shall attack
by force and slay together with their friends, blood relations,
270. A just king shall not cause a thief to be put to death,
(unless taken) with the stolen goods (in his possession); him
who (is taken) with the stolen goods and the implements (of
burglary), he may, without hesitation, cause to be slain.
271. All those also who in villages give food to thieves
or grant them room for (concealing their implements), he shall
cause to be put to death.
272. Those who are appointed to guard provinces and his vassals
who have been ordered (to help), he shall speedily punish like
thieves, (if they remain) inactive in attacks (by robbers).
273. Moreover if (a man), who subsists by (the fulfilment
of) the law, departs from the established rule of the law, the
(king) shall severely punish him by a fine, (because he) violated
274. Those who do not give assistance according to their
ability when a village is being plundered, a dyke is being destroyed,
or a highway robbery committed, shall be banished with their
goods and chattels.
275. On those who rob the king's treasury and those who persevere
in opposing (his commands), he shall inflict various kinds of
capital punishment, likewise on those who conspire with his
276. But the king shall cut off the hands of those robbers
who, breaking into houses, commit thefts at night, and cause
them to be impaled on a pointed stake.
277. On the first conviction, let him cause two fingers of
a cut-purse to be amputated; on the second, one hand and one
foot; on the third, he shall suffer death.
278. Those who give (to thieves) fire, food, arms, or shelter,
and receivers of stolen goods, the ruler shall punish like thieves.
279. Him who breaks (the dam of) a tank he shall slay (by
drowning him) in water or by (some other) (mode of) capital
punishment; or the offender may repair the (damage), but shall
be made to pay the highest amercement.
280. Those who break into a (royal) storehouse, an armoury,
or a temple, and those who steal elephants, horses, or chariots,
he shall slay without hesitation.
281. But he who shall take away the water of a tank, made
in ancient times, or shall cut off the supply of water, must
be made to pay the first (or lowest) amercement.
282. But he who, except in a case of extreme necessity, drops
filth on the king's high-road, shall pay two karshapanas and
immediately remove (that) filth.
283. But a person in urgent necessity, an aged man, a pregnant
woman, or a child, shall be reprimanded and clean the (place);
that is a settled rule.
284. All physicians who treat (their patients) wrongly (shall
pay) a fine; in the case of animals, the first (or lowest);
in the case of human beings, the middlemost (amercement).
285. He who destroys a bridge, the flag (of a temple or royal
palace), a pole, or images, shall repair the whole (damage)
and pay five hundred (panas).
286. For adulterating unadulterated commodities, and for
breaking gems or for improperly boring (them), the fine is the
first (or lowest) amercement.
287. But that man who behaves dishonestly to honest (customers)
or cheats in his prices, shall be fined in the first or in the
288. Let him place all prisons near a high-road, where the
suffering and disfigured offenders can be seen.
289. Him who destroys the wall (of a town), or fills up the
ditch (round a town), or breaks a (town)- gate, he shall instantly
290. For all incantations intended to destroy life, for magic
rites with roots (practised by persons) not related (to him
against whom they are directed), and for various kinds of sorcery,
a fine of two hundred (panas) shall be inflicted.
291. He who sells (for seed-corn that which is) not seed-corn,
he who takes up seed (already sown), and he who destroys a boundary
(-mark), shall be punished by mutilation.
292. But the king shall cause a goldsmith who behaves dishonestly,
the most nocuous of all the thorns, to be cut to pieces with
293. For the theft of agricultural implements, of arms and
of medicines, let the king award punishment, taking into account
the time (of the offence) and the use (of the object).
294. The king and his minister, his capital, his realm, his
treasury, his army, and his ally are the seven constituent parts
(of a kingdom); (hence) a kingdom is said to have seven limbs
295. But let him know (that) among these seven constituent
parts of a kingdom (which have been enumerated) in due order,
each earlier (named) is more important and (its destruction)
the greater calamity.
296. Yet in a kingdom containing seven constituent parts,
which is upheld like the triple staff (of an ascetic), there
is no (single part) more important (than the others), by reason
of the importance of the qualities of each for the others.
297. For each part is particularly qualified for (the accomplishment
of) certain objects, (and thus) each is declared to be the most
important for that particular purpose which is effected by its
298. By spies, by a (pretended) display of energy, and by
carrying out (various) undertakings, let the king constantly
ascertain his own and his enemy's strength;
299. Moreover, all calamities and vices; afterwards, when
he has fully considered their relative importance, let him begin
300. (Though he be) ever so much tired (by repeated failures),
let him begin his operations again and again; for fortune greatly
favours the man who (strenuously) exerts himself in his undertakings.
301. The various ways in which a king behaves (resemble)
the Krita, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali ages; hence the king is
identified with the ages (of the world).
302. Sleeping he represents the Kali (or iron age), waking
the Dvapara (or brazen) age, ready to act the Treta (or silver
age), but moving (actively) the Krita (or golden) age.
303. Let the king emulate the energetic action of Indra,
of the Sun, of the Wind, of Yama, of Varuna, of the Moon, of
the Fire, and of the Earth.
304. As Indra sends copious rain during the four months of
the rainy season, even so let the king, taking upon himself
the office of Indra, shower benefits on his kingdom.
305. As the Sun during eight months (imperceptibly) draws
up the water with his rays, even so let him gradually draw his
taxes from his kingdom; for that is the office in which he resembles
306. As the Wind moves (everywhere), entering (in the shape
of the vital air) all created beings, even so let him penetrate
(everywhere) through his spies; that is the office in which
he resembles the Wind.
307. As Yama at the appointed time subjects to his rule both
friends and foes, even so all subjects must be controlled by
the king; that is the office in which he resembles Yama.
308. As (a sinner) is seen bound with ropes by Varuna, even
so let him punish the wicked; that is his office in which he
309. He is a king, taking upon himself the office of the
Moon, whose (appearance) his subjects (greet with as great joy)
as men feel on seeing the full moon.
310. (If) he is ardent in wrath against criminals and endowed
with brilliant energy, and destroys wicked vassals, then his
character is said (to resemble) that of Fire.
311. As the Earth supports all created beings equally, thus
(a king) who supports all his subjects, (takes upon himself)
the office of the Earth.
312. Employing these and other means, the king shall, ever
untired, restrain thieves both in his own dominions and in (those
313. Let him not, though fallen into the deepest distress,
provoke Brahmanas to anger; for they, when angered, could instantly
destroy him together with his army and his vehicles.
314. Who could escape destruction, when he provokes to anger
those (men), by whom the fire was made to consume all things,
by whom the (water of the) ocean was made undrinkable, and by
whom the moon was made to wane and to increase again?
315. Who could prosper, while he injures those (men) who
provoked to anger, could create other worlds and other guardians
of the world, and deprive the gods of their divine station?
316. What man, desirous of life, would injure them to whose
support the (three) worlds and the gods ever owe their existence,
and whose wealth is the Veda?
317. A Brahmana, be he ignorant or learned, is a great divinity,
just as the fire, whether carried forth (for the performance
of a burnt-oblation) or not carried forth, is a great divinity.
318. The brilliant fire is not contaminated even in burial-places,
and, when presented with oblations (of butter) at sacrifices,
it again increases mightily.
319. Thus, though Brahmanas employ themselves in all (sorts
of) mean occupations, they must be honoured in every way; for
(each of) them is a very great deity.
320. When the Kshatriyas become in any way overbearing towards
the Brahmanas, the Brahmanas themselves shall duly restrain
them; for the Kshatriyas sprang from the Brahmanas.
321. Fire sprang from water, Kshatriyas from Brahmanas, iron
from stone; the all-penetrating force of those (three) has no
effect on that whence they were produced.
322. Kshatriyas prosper not without Brahmanas, Brahmanas
prosper not without Kshatriyas; Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, being
closely united, prosper in this (world) and in the next.
323. But (a king who feels his end drawing nigh) shall bestow
all his wealth, accumulated from fines, on Brahmanas, make over
his kingdom to his son, and then seek death in battle.
324. Thus conducting himself (and) ever intent on (discharging)
his royal duties, a king shall order all his servants (to work)
for the good of his people.
325. Thus the eternal law concerning the duties of a king
has been fully declared; know that the following rules apply
in (due) order to the duties of Vaisyas and Sudras.
326. After a Vaisya has received the sacraments and has taken
a wife, he shall be always attentive to the business whereby
he may subsist and to (that of) tending cattle.
327. For when the Lord of creatures (Pragapati) created cattle,
he made them over to the Vaisya; to the Brahmana, and to the
king he entrusted all created beings.
328. A Vaisya must never (conceive this) wish, I will not
keep cattle; and if a Vaisya is willing (to keep them), they
must never be kept by (men of) other (castes).
329. (A Vaisya) must know the respective value of gems, of
pearls, of coral, of metals, of (cloth) made of thread, of perfumes,
and of condiments.
330. He must be acquainted with the (manner of) sowing of
seeds, and of the good and bad qualities of fields, and he must
perfectly know all measures and weights.
331. Moreover, the excellence and defects of commodities,
the advantages and disadvantages of (different) countries, the
(probable) profit and loss on merchandise, and the means of
properly rearing cattle.
332. He must be acquainted with the (proper), wages of servants,
with the various languages of men, with the manner of keeping
goods, and (the rules of) purchase and sale.
333. Let him exert himself to the utmost in order to increase
his property in a righteous manner, and let him zealously give
food to all created beings.
334. But to serve Brahmanas (who are) learned in the Vedas,
householders, and famous (for virtue) is the highest duty of
a Sudra, which leads to beatitude.
335. (A Sudra who is) pure, the servant of his betters, gentle
in his speech, and free from pride, and always seeks a refuge
with Brahmanas, attains (in his next life) a higher caste.
336. The excellent law for the conduct of the (four) castes
(varna), (when they are) not in distress, has been thus promulgated;
now hear in order their (several duties) in times of distress.
1. Let the three twice-born castes (varna), discharging their
(prescribed) duties, study (the Veda); but among them the Brahmana
(alone) shall teach it, not the other two; that is an established
2. The Brahmana must know the means of subsistence (prescribed)
by law for all, instruct the others, and himself live according
to (the law)
3. On account of his pre-eminence, on account of the superiority
of his origin, on account of his observance of (particular)
restrictive rules, and on account of his particular sanctification
the Brahmana is the lord of (all) castes (varna).
4. Brahmana, the Kshatriya, and the Vaisya castes (varna)
are the twice-born ones, but the fourth, the Sudra, has one
birth only; there is no fifth (caste).
5. In all castes (varna) those (children) only which are
begotten in the direct order on wedded wives, equal (in caste
and married as) virgins, are to be considered as belonging to
the same caste (as their fathers)
6. Sons, begotten by twice-born man on wives of the next
lower castes, they declare to be similar (to their fathers,
but) blamed on account of the fault (inherent) in their mothers.
7. Such is the eternal law concerning (children) born of
wives one degree lower (than their husbands); know (that) the
following rule (is applicable) to those born of women two or
three degrees lower.
8. From a Brahmana a with the daughter of a Vaisya is born
(a son) called an Ambashtha, with the daughter of a sudra a
Nishada, who is also called Parasava.
9. From a Kshatriya and the daughter of a Sudra springs a
being, called Ugra, resembling both a Kshatriya and a Sudra,
ferocious in his manners, and delighting in cruelty.
10. Children of a Brahmana by (women of) the three (lower)
castes, of a Kshatriya by (wives of) the two (lower) castes,
and of a Vaisya by (a wife of) the one caste (below him) are
all six called base-born (apasada).
11. From a Kshatriya by the daughter of a Brahmana is born
(a son called) according to his caste (gati) a Suta; from a
Vaisya by females of the royal and the Brahmana (castes) spring
a Magadha and a Vaideha.
12. From a Sudra are born an Ayogava, a Kshattri, and a Kandala,
the lowest of men, by Vaisya, Kshatriya, and Brahmana) females,
(sons who owe their origin to) a confusion of the castes.
13. As an Ambashtha and an Ugra, (begotten) in the direct
order on (women) one degree lower (than their husbands) are
declared (to be), even so are a Kshattri and a Vaidehaka, though
they were born in the inverse order of the castes (from mothers
one degree higher than the fathers).
14. Those sons of the twice-born, begotten on wives of the
next lower castes, who have been enumerated in due order, they
call by the name Anantaras (belonging to the next lower caste),
on account of the blemish (inherent) in their mothers.
15. A Brahmana begets on the daughter of an Ugra an Avrita,
on the daughter of an Ambashtha an Abhira, but on a female of
the Ayogava (caste) a Dhigvana.
16. From a Sudra spring in the inverse order (by females
of the higher castes) three base-born (sons, apasada), an Ayogava,
a Kshattri, and a Kandala, the lowest of men;
17. From a Vaisya are born in the inverse order of the castes
a Magadha and a Vaideha, but from a Kshatriya a Suta only; these
are three other base-born ones (apasada).
18. The son of a Nishada by a Sudra female becomes a Pukkasa
by caste (gati), but the son of a Sudra by a Nishada female
is declared to be a Kukkutaka.
19. Moreover, the son of by Kshattri by an Ugra female is
called a Svapaka; but one begotten by a Vaidehaka on an Ambashtha
female is named a Vena.
20. Those (sons) whom the twice-born beget on wives of equal
caste, but who, not fulfilling their sacred duties, are excluded
from the Savitri, one must designate by the appellation Vratyas.
21. But from a Vratya (of the) Brahmana (caste) spring the
wicked Bhriggakantaka, the Avantya, the Vatadhana, the Pushpadha,
and the Saikha.
22. From a Vratya (of the) Kshatriya (caste), the Ghalla,
the Malla, the Likkhivi, the Nata, the Karana, the Khasa, and
23. From a Vratya (of the) Vaisya (caste) are born a Sudhanvan,
an Akarya, a Karusha, a Viganman, a Maitra, and a Satvata.
24. By adultery (committed by persons) of (different) castes,
by marriages with women who ought not to be married, and by
the neglect of the duties and occupations (prescribed) to each,
are produced (sons who owe their origin) to a confusion the
25. I will (now) fully enumerate those (sons) of mixed origin,
who are born of Anulomas and of Pratilomas, and (thus) are mutually
26. The Suta, the Vaidehaka, the Kandala, that lowest of
mortals, the Magadha, he of the Kshattri caste (gati), and the
27. These six (Pratilomas) beget similar races (varna) on
women of their own (caste), they (also) produce (the like) with
females of their mother's caste (gati), and with females (of)
28. As a (Brahmana) begets on (females of) two out of the
three (twice-born castes a son similar to) himself, (but inferior)
on account of the lower degree (of the mother), and (one equal
to himself) on a female of his own race, even so is the order
in the case of the excluded (races, vahya).
29. Those (six mentioned above) also beget, the one on the
females of the other, a great many (kinds of) despicable (sons),
even more sinful than their (fathers), and excluded (from the
Aryan community, vahya).
30. Just as a Sudra begets on a Brahmana female a being excluded
(from the Aryan community), even so (a person himself) excluded
pro creates with (females of) the four castes (varna, sons)
more (worthy of being) excluded (than he himself).
31. But men excluded (by the Aryans, vahya), who approach
females of higher rank, beget races (varna) still more worthy
to be excluded, low men (hina) still lower races, even fifteen
32. A Dasyu begets on an Ayogava (woman) a Sairandhra, who
is skilled in adorning and attending (his master), who, (though)
not a slave, lives like a slave, (or) subsists by snaring (animals).
33. A Vaideha produces (with the same) a sweet-voiced Maitreyaka,
who, ringing a bell at the appearance of dawn, continually.
praises (great) men.
34. A Nishada begets (on the same) a Margava (or) Dasa, who
subsists by working as a boatman, (and) whom the inhabitants
of Aryavarta call a Kaivarta.
35. Those three base-born ones are severally begot on Ayogava
women, who wear the clothes of the dead, are wicked, and eat
36. From a Nishada springs (by a woman of the Vaideha caste)
a Karavara, who works in leather; and from a Vaidehaka (by women
of the Karavara and Nishada castes), an Andhra and a Meda, who
dwell outside the village.
37. From a Kandala by a Vaideha woman is born a Pandusopaka,
who deals in cane; from a Nishada (by the same) an Ahindika.
38. But from a Kandala by a Pukkasa woman is born the sinful
Sopaka, who lives by the occupations of his sire, and is ever
despised by good men.
39. A Nishada woman bears to a Kandala a son (called) Antyavasayin,
employed in burial-grounds, and despised even by those excluded
(from the Aryan community).
40. These races, (which originate) in a confusion (of the
castes and) have been described according to their fathers and
mothers, may be known by their occupations, whether they conceal
or openly show themselves.
41. Six sons, begotten (by Aryans) on women of equal and
the next lower castes (Anantara), have the duties of twice-born
men; but all those born in consequence of a violation (of the
law) are, as regards their duties, equal to Sudras.
42. By the power of austerities and of the seed (from which
they sprang), these (races) obtain here among men more exalted
or lower rank in successive births.
43. But in consequence of the omission of the sacred rites,
and of their not consulting Brahmanas, the following tribes
of Kshatriyas have gradually sunk in this world to the condition
44. (Viz.) the Paundrakas, the Kodas, the Dravidas, the Kambogas,
the Yavanas, the Sakas, the Paradas, the Pahlavas, the Kinas,
the Kiratas, and the Daradas.
45. All those tribes in this world, which are excluded from
(the community of) those born from the mouth, the arms, the
thighs, and the feet (of Brahman), are called Dasyus, whether
they speak the language of the Mlekkhas (barbarians) or that
of the Aryans.
46. Those who have been mentioned as the base-born (offspring,
apasada) of Aryans, or as produced in consequence of a violation
(of the law, apadhvamsaga), shall subsist by occupations reprehended
by the twice-born.
47. To Sutas (belongs) the management of horses and of chariots;
to Ambashthas, the art of healing; to Vaidehakas, the service
of women; to Magadhas, trade;
48. Killing fish to Nishadas; carpenters' work to the Ayogava;
to Medas, Andhras, Kunkus, and Madgus, the slaughter of wild
49. To Kshattris, Ugras, and Pukkasas, catching and killing
(animals) living in holes; to Dhigvanas, working in leather;
to Venas, playing drums.
50. Near well-known trees and burial-grounds, on mountains
and in groves, let these (tribes) dwell, known (by certain marks),
and subsisting by their peculiar occupations.
51. But the dwellings of Kandalas and Svapakas shall be outside
the village, they must be made Apapatras, and their wealth (shall
be) dogs and donkeys.
52. Their dress (shall be) the garments of the dead, (they
shall eat) their food from broken dishes, black iron (shall
be) their ornaments, and they must always wander from place
53. A man who fulfils a religious duty, shall not seek intercourse
with them; their transactions (shall be) among themselves, and
their marriages with their equals.
54. Their food shall be given to them by others (than an
Aryan giver) in a broken dish; at night they shall not walk
about in villages and in towns.
55. By day they may go about for the purpose of their work,
distinguished by marks at the king's command, and they shall
carry out the corpses (of persons) who have no relatives; that
is a settled rule.
56. By the king's order they shall always execute the criminals,
in accordance with the law, and they shall take for themselves
the clothes, the beds, and the ornaments of (such) criminals.
57. A man of impure origin, who belongs not to any caste,
(varna, but whose character is) not known, who, (though) not
an Aryan, has the appearance of an Aryan, one may discover by
58. Behaviour unworthy of an Aryan, harshness, cruelty, and
habitual neglect of the prescribed duties betray in this world
a man of impure origin.
59. A base-born man either resembles in character his father,
or his mother, or both; he can never conceal his real nature.
60. Even if a man, born in a great family, sprang from criminal
intercourse, he will certainly possess the faults of his (father),
be they small or great.
61. But that kingdom in which such bastards, sullying (the
purity of) the castes, are born, perishes quickly together with
62. Dying, without the expectation of a reward, for the sake
of Brahmanas and of cows, or in the defence of women and children,
secures beatitude to those excluded (from the Aryan community,
63. Abstention from injuring (creatures), veracity, abstention
from unlawfully appropriating (the goods of others), purity,
and control of the organs, Manu has declared to be the summary
of the law for the four castes.
64. If (a female of the caste), sprung from a Brahmana and
a Sudra female, bear (children) to one of the highest caste,
the inferior (tribe) attains the highest caste within the seventh
65. (Thus) a Sudra attains the rank of a Brahmana, and (in
a similar manner) a Brahmana sinks to the level of a Sudra;
but know that it is the same with the offspring of a Kshatriya
or of a Vaisya.
66. If (a doubt) should arise, with whom the preeminence
(is, whether) with him whom an Aryan by chance begot on a non-Aryan
female, or (with the son) of a Brahmana woman by a non-Aryan,
67. The decision is as follows: 'He who was begotten by an
Aryan on a non-Aryan female, may become (like to) an Aryan by
his virtues; he whom an Aryan (mother) bore to a non-Aryan father
(is and remains) unlike to an Aryan.'
68. The law prescribes that neither of the two shall receive
the sacraments, the first (being excluded) on account of the
lowness of his origin, the second (because the union of his
parents was) against the order of the castes.
69. As good seed, springing up in good soil, turns out perfectly
well, even so the son of an Aryan by an Aryan woman is worthy
of all the sacraments.
70. Some sages declare the seed to be more important, and
others the field; again others (assert that) the seed and the
field (are equally important); but the legal decision on this
point is as follows:
71. Seed, sown on barren ground, perishes in it; a (fertile)
field also, in which no (good) seed (is sown), will remain barren.
72. As through the power of the seed (sons) born of animals
became sages who are honoured and praised, hence the seed is
declared to be more important.
73. Having considered (the case of) a non-Aryan who acts
like an Aryan, and (that of) an Aryan who acts like a non-Aryan,
the creator declared, 'Those two are neither equal nor unequal.'
74. Brahmanas who are intent on the means (of gaining union
with) Brahman and firm in (discharging) their duties, shall
live by duly performing the following six acts, (which are enumerated)
in their (proper) order.
75. Teaching, studying, sacrificing for himself, sacrificing
for others, making gifts and receiving them are the six acts
(prescribed) for a Brahmana.
76. But among the six acts (ordained) for him three are his
means of subsistence, (viz.) sacrificing for others, teaching,
and accepting gifts from pure men.
77. (Passing) from the Brahmana to the Kshatriya, three acts
(incumbent on the former) are forbidden, (viz.) teaching, sacrificing
for others, and, thirdly, the acceptance of gifts.
78. The same are likewise forbidden to a Vaisya, that is
a settled rule; for Manu, the lord of creatures (Pragapati),
has not prescribed them for (men of) those two (castes).
79. To carry arms for striking and for throwing (is prescribed)
for Kshatriyas as a means of subsistence; to trade, (to rear)
cattle, and agriculture for Vaisyas; but their duties are liberality,
the study of the Veda, and the performance of sacrifices.
80. Among the several occupations the most commendable are,
teaching the Veda for a Brahmana, protecting (the people) for
a Kshatriya, and trade for a Vaisya.
81. But a Brahmana, unable to subsist by his peculiar occupations
just mentioned, may live according to the law applicable to
Kshatriyas; for the latter is next to him in rank.
82. If it be asked, 'How shall it be, if he cannot maintain
himself by either (of these occupations?' the answer is), he
may adopt a Vaisya's mode of life, employing himself in agriculture
and rearing cattle.
83. But a Brahmana, or a Kshatriya, living by a Vaisya's
mode of subsistence, shall carefully avoid (the pursuit of)
agriculture, (which causes) injury to many beings and depends
84. (Some) declare that agriculture is something excellent,
(but) that means of subsistence is blamed by the virtuous; (for)
the wooden (implement) with iron point injuries the earth and
(the beings) living in the earth.
85. But he who, through a want of means of subsistence, gives
up the strictness with respect to his duties, may sell, in order
to increase his wealth, the commodities sold by Vaisyas, making
(however) the (following) exceptions.
86. He must avoid (selling) condiments of all sorts, cooked
food and sesamum, stones, salt, cattle, and human (beings),
87. All dyed cloth, as well as cloth made of hemp, or flax,
or wool, even though they be not dyed, fruit, roots, and (medical)
88. Water, weapons, poison, meat, Soma, and perfumes of all
kinds, fresh milk, honey, sour milk, clarified butter, oil,
wax, sugar, Kusa-grass;
89. All beasts of the forest, animals with fangs or tusks,
birds, spirituous liquor, indigo, lac, and all one-hoofed beasts.
90. But he who subsists by agriculture, may at pleasure sell
unmixed sesamum grains for sacred purposes, provided he himself
has grown them and has not kept them long.
91. If he applies sesamum to any other purpose but food,
anointing, and charitable gifts, he will be born (again) as
a worm and, together with his ancestors, be plunged into the
ordure of dogs.
92. By (selling) flesh, salt, and lac a Brahmana at once
becomes an outcast; by selling milk he becomes (equal to) a
Sudra in three days.
93. But by willingly selling in this world other (forbidden)
commodities, a Brahmana assumes after seven nights the character
of a Vaisya.
94. Condiments may be bartered for condiments, but by no
means salt for (other) condiments; cooked food (may be exchanged)
for (other kinds of) cooked food, and sesamum seeds for grain
in equal quantities.
95. A Kshatriya who has fallen into distress, may subsist
by all these (means); but he must never arrogantly adopt the
mode of life (prescribed for his) betters.
96. A man of low caste who through covetousness lives by
the occupations of a higher one, the king shall deprive of his
property and banish.
97. It is better (to discharge) one's own (appointed) duty
incompletely than to perform completely that of another; for
he who lives according to the law of another (caste) is instantly
excluded from his own.
98. A Vaisya who is unable to subsist by his own duties,
may even maintain himself by a Sudra's mode of life, avoiding
(however) acts forbidden (to him), and he should give it up,
when he is able (to do so).
99. But a Sudra, being unable to find service with the twice-born
and threatened with the loss of his sons and wife (through hunger),
may maintain himself by handicrafts.
100. (Let him follow) those mechanical occupations and those
various practical arts by following which the twice-born are
101. A Brahmana who is distressed through a want of means
of subsistence and pines (with hunger), (but) unwilling to adopt
a Vaisya's mode of life and resolved to follow his own (prescribed)
path, may act in the following manner.
102. A Brahmana who has fallen into distress may accept (gifts)
from anybody; for according to the law it is not possible (to
assert) that anything pure can be sullied.
103. By teaching, by sacrificing for, and by accepting gifts
from despicable (men) Brahmanas (in distress) commit not sin;
for they (are as pure) as fire and water.
104. He who, when in danger of losing his life, accepts food
from any person whatsoever, is no more tainted by sin than the
sky by mud.
105. Agigarta, who suffered hunger, approached in order to
slay (his own) son, and was not tainted by sin, since he (only)
sought a remedy against famishing.
106. Vamadeva, who well knew right and wrong, did not sully
himself when, tormented (by hunger), he desired to eat the flesh
of a dog in order to save his life.
107. Bharadvaga, a performer of great austerities, accepted
many cows from the carpenter Bribu, when he was starving together
with his sons in a lonely forest.
108. Visvamitra, who well knew what is right or wrong, approached,
when he was tormented by hunger, (to eat) the haunch of a dog,
receiving it the hands of a Kandala.
109. On (comparing) the acceptance (of gifts from low men),
sacrificing (for them), and teaching (them), the acceptance
of gifts is the meanest (of those acts) and (most) reprehensible
for a Brahmana (on account of its results) in the next life.
110. (For) assisting in sacrifices and teaching are (two
acts) always performed for men who have received the sacraments;
but the acceptance of gifts takes place even in (case the giver
is) a Sudra of the lowest class.
111. The guilt incurred by offering sacrifices for teaching
(unworthy men) is removed by muttering (sacred texts) and by
burnt offerings, but that incurred by accepting gifts (from
them) by throwing (the gifts) away and by austerities.
112. A Brahmana who is unable to maintain himself, should
(rather) glean ears or grains from (the field of) any (man);
gleaning ears is better than accepting gifts, picking up single
grains is declared to be still more laudable.
113. If Brahmanas, who are Snatakas, are pining with hunger,
or in want of (utensils made of) common metals, or of other
property, they may ask the king for them; if he is not disposed
to be liberal, he must be left.
114. (The acceptance on an untilled field is less blamable
than (that of) a tilled one; (with respect to) cows, goats,
sheep, gold, grain, and cooked food, (the acceptance of) each
earlier-named (article is less blamable than of the following
115. There are seven lawful modes of acquiring property,
(viz.) inheritance, finding or friendly donation, purchase,
conquest, lending at interest, the performance of work, and
the acceptance of gifts from virtuous men.
116. Learning, mechanical arts, work for wages, service,
rearing cattle, traffic, agriculture, contentment (with little),
alms, and receiving interest on money, are the ten modes of
subsistence (permitted to all men in times of distress).
117. Neither a Brahmana, nor a Kshatriya must lend (money
at) interest; but at his pleasure (either of them) may, in times
of distress when he requires money) for sacred purposes, lend
to a very sinful man at a small interest.
118. A Kshatriya (king) who, in times of distress, takes
even the fourth part (of the crops), is free from guilt, if
he protects his subjects to the best of his ability.
119. His peculiar duty is conquest, and he must not turn
back in danger; having protected the Vaisyas by his weapons,
he may cause the legal tax to be collected;
120. (Viz.) from Vaisyas one-eighth as the tax on grain,
one-twentieth (on the profits on gold and cattle), which amount
at least to one Karshapana; Sudras, artisans, and mechanics
(shall) benefit (the king) by (doing) work (for him).
121. If a Sudra, (unable to subsist by serving Brahmanas,)
seeks a livelihood, he may serve Kshatriyas, or he may also
seek to maintain himself by attending on a wealthy Vaisya.
122. But let a (Sudra) serve Brahmanas, either for the sake
of heaven, or with a view to both (this life and the next);
for he who is called the servant of a Brahmana thereby gains
all his ends.
123. The service of Brahmanas alone is declared (to be) an
excellent occupation for a Sudra; for whatever else besides
this he may perform will bear him no fruit.
124. They must allot to him out of their own family (-property)
a suitable maintenance, after considering his ability, his industry,
and the number of those whom he is bound to support.
125. The remnants of their food must be given to him, as
well as their old clothes, the refuse of their grain, and their
old household furniture.
126. A Sudra cannot commit an offence, causing loss of caste
(pataka), and he is not worthy to receive the sacraments; he
has no right to (fulfil) the sacred law (of the Aryans, yet)
there is no prohibition against (his fulfilling certain portions
of) the law.
127. (Sudras) who are desirous to gain merit, and know (their)
duty, commit no sin, but gain praise, if they imitate the practice
of virtuous men without reciting sacred texts.
128. The more a (Sudra), keeping himself free from envy,
imitates the behaviour of the virtuous, the more he gains, without
being censured, (exaltation in) this world and the next.
129. No collection of wealth must be made by a Sudra, even
though he be able (to do it); for a Sudra who has acquired wealth,
gives pain to Brahmanas.
130. The duties of the four castes (varna) in times of distress
have thus been declared, and if they perform them well, they
will reach the most blessed state.
131. Thus all the legal rules for the four castes have been
proclaimed; I next will promulgate the auspicious rules for
1. Him who wishes (to marry for the sake of having) offspring,
him who wishes to perform a sacrifice, a traveller, him who
has given away all his property, him who begs for the sake of
his teacher, his father, or his mother, a student of the Veda,
and a sick man,
2. These nine Brahmanas one should consider as Snatakas,
begging in order to fulfil the sacred law; to such poor men
gifts must be given in proportion to their learning.
3. To these most excellent among the twice-born, food and
presents (of money) must be given; it is declared that food
must be given to others outside the sacrificial enclosure.
4. But a king shall bestow, as is proper, jewels of all sorts,
and presents for the sake of sacrifices on Brahmanas learned
in the Vedas.
5. If a man who has a wife weds a second wife, having begged
money (to defray the marriage expenses, he obtains) no advantage
but sensual enjoyment; but the issue (of his second marriage
belongs) to the giver of the money.
6. One should give, according to one's ability, wealth to
Brahmanas learned in the Veda and living alone; (thus) one obtains
after death heavenly bliss.
7. He who may possess (a supply of) food sufficient to maintain
those dependant on him during three years or more than that,
is worthy to drink the Soma-juice.
8. But a twice-born man, who, though possessing less than
that amount of property, nevertheless drinks the Soma-juice,
does not derive any benefit from that (act), though he may have
formerly drunk the Soma-juice.
9. (If) an opulent man (is) liberal towards strangers, while
his family lives in distress, that counterfeit virtue will first
make him taste the sweets (of fame, but afterwards) make him
swallow the poison (of punishment in hell).
10. If (a man) does anything for the sake of his happiness
in another world, to the detriment of those whom he is bound
to maintain, that produces evil results for him, both while
he lives and when he is dead.
11. If a sacrifice, (offered) by (any twice-born) sacrificer,
(and) especially by a Brahmana, must remain incomplete through
(the want of) one requisite, while a righteous king rules,
12. That article (required) for the completion of the sacrifice,
may be taken (forcibly) from the house of any Vaisya, who possesses
a large number of cattle, (but) neither performs the (minor)
sacrifices nor drinks the Soma-juice;
13. (Or) the (sacrificer) may take at his pleasure two or
three (articles required for a sacrifice) from the house of
a Sudra; for a Sudra has no business with sacrifices.
14. If (a man) possessing one hundred cows, kindles not the
sacred fire, or one possessing a thousand cows, drinks not the
Soma-juice, a (sacrificer) may unhesitatingly take (what he
requires) from the houses of those two, even (though they be
Brahmanas or Kshatriyas);
15. (Or) he may take (it by force or fraud) from one who
always takes and never gives, and who refuses to give it; thus
the fame (of the taker) will spread and his merit increase.
16. Likewise he who has not eaten at (the time of) six meals,
may take at (the time of) the seventh meal (food) from a man
who neglects his sacred duties, without (however) making a provision
for the morrow,
17. Either from the threshing-floor, or from a field, or
out of the house, or wherever he finds it; but if (the owner)
asks him, he must confess to him that (deed and its cause).
18. (On such occasions) a Kshatriya must never take the property
of a (virtuous Brahmana; but he who is starving may appropriate
the possessions of a Dasyu, or of one who neglects his sacred
19. He who takes property from the wicked and bestows it
on the virtuous, transforms himself into a boat, and carries
both (over the sea of misfortune).
20. The property of those who zealously offer sacrifices,
the wise call the property of the gods; but the wealth of those
who perform no sacrifices is called the property of the Asuras.
21. On him (who, for the reasons stated, appropriates another's
possessions), a righteous king shall not inflict punishment;
for (in that case) a Brahmana pines with hunger through the
Kshatriya's want of care.
22. Having ascertained the number of those dependent on such
a man, and having fully considered his learning and his conduct,
the king shall allow him, out of his own property, a maintenance
whereon he may live according to the law;
23. And after allotting to him a maintenance, the king must
protect him in every way; for he obtains from such (a man) whom
he protects, the part of his spiritual merit.
24. A Brahmana shall never beg from a Sudra property for
a sacrifice; for a sacrificer, having begged (it from such a
man), after death is born (again) as a Kandala.
25. A Brahmana who, having begged any property for a sacrifice,
does not use the whole (for that purpose), becomes for a hundred
years a (vulture of the kind called) Bhasa, or a crow.
26. That sinful man, who, through covetousness, seizes the
property of the gods, or the property of Brahmanas, feeds in
another world on the leavings of vultures.
27. In case the prescribed animal and Soma-sacrifices cannot
be performed, let him always offer at the change of the year
a Vaisvanari Ishti as a penance (for the omission).
28. But a twice-born, who, without being in distress, performs
his duties according to the law for times of distress, obtains
no reward for them in the next world; that is the opinion (of
29. By the Visve-devas, by the Sadhyas, and by the great
sages (of the) Brahmana (caste), who were afraid of perishing
in times of distress, a substitute was made for the (principal)
30. That evil-minded man, who, being able (to fulfil) the
original law, lives according to the secondary rule, reaps no
reward for that after death.
31. A Brahmana who knows the law need not bring any (offence)
to the notice of the king; by his own power alone be can punish
those men who injure him.
32. His own power is greater than the power of the king;
the Brahmana therefore, may punish his foes by his own power
33. Let him use without hesitation the sacred texts, revealed
by Atharvan and by Angiras; speech, indeed, is the weapon of
the Brahmana, with that he may slay his enemies.
34. A Kshatriya shall pass through misfortunes which have
befallen him by the strength of his arms, a Vaisya and a Sudra
by their wealth, the chief of the twice-born by muttered prayers
35. The Brahmana is declared (to be) the creator (of the
world), the punisher, the teacher, (and hence) a benefactor
(of all created beings); to him let no man say anything unpropitious,
nor use any harsh words.
36. Neither a girl, nor a (married) young woman, nor a man
of little learning, nor a fool, nor a man in great suffering,
nor one uninitiated, shall offer an Agnihotra.
37. For such (persons) offering a burnt-oblation sink into
hell, as well as he to whom that (Agnihotra) belongs; hence
the person who sacrifices (for another) must be skilled in (the
performance of) Vaitana (rites), and know the whole Veda.
38. A Brahmana who, though wealthy, does not give, as fee
for the performance of an Agnyadheya, a horse sacred to Pragapati,
becomes (equal to one) who has not kindled the sacred fires.
39. Let him who has faith and controls his senses perform
other meritorious acts, but let him on no account offer sacrifices
at which he gives smaller fees (than those prescribed).
40. The organs (of sense and action), honour, (bliss in)
heaven, longevity, fame, offspring, and cattle are destroyed
by a sacrifice at which (too) small sacrificial fees are given;
hence a man of small means should not offer a (Srauta) sacrifice.
41. A Brahmana who, being an Agnihotrin, voluntarily neglects
the sacred fires, shall perform a lunar penance during one month;
for that (offence) is equal to the slaughter of a son.
42. Those who, obtaining wealth from Sudras, (and using that)
offer an Agnihotra, are priests officiating for Sudras, (and
hence) censured among those who recite the Veda.
43. Treading with his foot on the heads of those fools who
worship a fire (kindled at the expense) of a Sudra, the giver
(of the wealth) shall always pass over his miseries (in the
44. A man who omits a prescribed act, or performs a blamable
act, or cleaves to sensual enjoyments, must perform a penance.
45. (All) sages prescribe a penance for a sin unintentionally
committed; some declare, on the evidence of the revealed texts,
(that it may be performed) even for an intentional (offence).
46. A sin unintentionally committed is expiated by the recitation
of Vedic texts, but that which (men) in their folly commit intentionally,
by various (special) penances.
47. A twice-born man, having become liable to perform a penance,
be it by (the decree of) fate or by (an act) committed in a
former life, must not, before the penance has been performed,
have intercourse with virtuous men.
48. Some wicked men suffer a change of their (natural) appearance
in consequence of crimes committed in this life, and some in
consequence of those committed in a former (existence).
49. He who steals the gold (of a Brahmana) has diseased nails;
a drinker of (the spirituous liquor called) Sura, black teeth;
the slayer of a Brahmana, consumption; the violator of a Guru's
bed, a diseased skin;
50. An informer, a foul-smelling nose; a calumniator, a stinking
breath; a stealer of grain, deficiency in limbs; he who adulterates
(grain), redundant limbs;
51. A stealer of (cooked) food, dyspepsia; a stealer of the
words (of the Veda), dumbness a stealer of clothes, white leprosy;
a horse-stealer, lameness.
52. The stealer of a lamp will become blind; he who extinguishes
it will become one-eyed; injury (to sentient beings) is punished
by general sickliness; an adulterer (will have) swellings (in
53. Thus in consequence of a remnant of (the guilt of former)
crimes, are born idiots, dumb, blind, deaf, and deformed men,
who are (all) despised by the virtuous.
54. Penances, therefore, must always be performed for the
sake of purification, because those whose sins have not been
expiated, are born (again) with disgraceful marks.
55. Killing a Brahmana, drinking (the spirituous liquor called)
Sura, stealing (the gold of a Brahmana), adultery with a Guru's
wife, and associating with such (offenders), they declare (to
be) mortal sins (mahapataka).
56. Falsely attributing to oneself high birth, giving information
to the king (regarding a crime), and falsely accusing one's
teacher, (are offences) equal to slaying a Brahmana.
57. Forgetting the Veda, reviling the Vedas, giving false
evidence, slaying a friend, eating forbidden food, or (swallowing
substances) unfit for food, are six (offences) equal to drinking
58. Stealing a deposit, or men, a horse, and silver, land,
diamonds and (other) gems, is declared to be equal to stealing
the gold (of a Brahmana).
59. Carnal intercourse with sisters by the same mother, with
(unmarried) maidens, with females of the lowest castes, with
the wives of a friend, or of a son, they declare to be equal
to the violation of a Guru's bed.
60. Slaying kine, sacrificing for those who are unworthy
to sacrifice, adultery, selling oneself, casting off one's teacher,
mother, father, or son, giving up the (daily) study of the Veda,
and neglecting the (sacred domestic) fire,
61. Allowing one's younger brother to marry first, marrying
before one's elder brother, giving a daughter to, or sacrificing
for, (either brother),
62. Defiling a damsel, usury, breaking a vow, selling a tank,
a garden, one's wife, or child,
63. Living as a Vratya, casting off a relative, teaching
(the Veda) for wages, learning (the Veda) from a paid teacher,
and selling goods which one ought not to sell,
64. Superintending mines (or factories) of any sort, executing
great mechanical works, injuring (living) plants, subsisting
on (the earnings of) one's wife, sorcery (by means of sacrifices),
and working (magic by means of) roots, (and so forth),
65. Cutting down green trees for firewood, doing acts for
one's own advantage only, eating prohibited food,
66. Neglecting to kindle the sacred fires, theft, non-payment
of (the three) debts, studying bad books, and practising (the
arts of) dancing and singing,
67. Stealing grain, base metals, or cattle, intercourse with
women who drink spirituous liquor, slaying women, Sudras, Vaisyas,
or Kshatriyas, and atheism, (are all) minor offences, causing
loss of caste (Upapataka).
68. Giving pain to a Brahmana (by a blow), smelling at things
which ought not to be smelt at, or at spirituous liquor, cheating,
and an unnatural offence with a man, are declared to cause the
loss of caste (Gatibhramsa)
69. Killing a donkey, a horse, a camel, a deer, an elephant,
a goat, a sheep, a fish, a snake, or a buffalo, must be known
to degrade (the offender) to a mixed caste (Samkarikarana).
70. Accepting presents from blamed men, trading, serving
Sudras, and speaking a falsehood, make (the offender) unworthy
to receive gifts (Apatra).
71. Killing insects, small or large, or birds, eating anything
kept close to spirituous liquors, stealing fruit, firewood,
or flowers, (are offences) which make impure (Malavaha).
72. Learn (now) completely those penances, by means of which
all the several offences mentioned (can) be expiated.
73. For his purification the slayer of a Brahmana shall make
a hut in the forest and dwell (in it) during twelve years, subsisting
on alms and making the skull of a dead man his flag.
74. Or let him, of his own free will, become (in a battle)
the target of archers who know (his purpose); or he may thrice
throw himself headlong into a blazing fire;
75. Or he may offer a horse-sacrifice, a Svargit, a Gosava,
an Abhigit, a Visvagit, a Trivrit, or an Agnishtut;
76. Or, in order to remove (the guilt of) slaying a Brahmana,
he may walk one hundred yoganas, reciting one of the Vedas,
eating little, and controlling his organs;
77. Or he may present to a Brahmana, learned in the Vedas,
whole property, as much wealth as suffices for the maintenance
(of the recipient), or a house together with the furniture;
78. Or, subsisting on sacrificial food, he may walk against
the stream along (the whole course of the river) Sarasvati;
or, restricting his food (very much), he may mutter thrice the
Samhita of a Veda.
79. Having shaved off (all his hair), he may dwell at the
extremity of the village, or in a cow-pen, or in a hermitage,
or at the root of a tree, taking pleasure in doing good to cows
80. He who unhesitatingly abandons life for the sake of Brahmanas
or of cows, is freed from (the guilt of) the murder of a Brahmana,
and (so is he) who saves (the life of) a cow, or of a Brahmana.
81. If either he fights at least three times (against robbers
in defence of) a Brahmana's (property), or reconquers the whole
property of a Brahmana, or if he loses his life for such a cause,
he is freed (from his guilt).
82. He who thus (remains) always firm in his vow, chaste,
and of concentrated mind, removes after the lapse of twelve
years (the guilt of) slaying a Brahmana.
83. Or he who, after confessing his crime in an assembly
of the gods of the earth (Brahnanas), and the gods of men (Kshatriyas),
bathes (with the priests) at the close of a horse-sacrifice,
is (also) freed (from guilt).
84. The Brahmana is declared (to be) the root of the sacred
law and the Kshatriya its top; hence he who has confessed his
sin before an assembly of such men, becomes pure.
85. By his origin alone a Brahmana is a deity even for the
gods, and (his teaching is) authoritative for men, because the
Veda is the foundation for that.
86. (If) only three of them who are learned in the Veda proclaim
the expiation for offences, that shall purify the (sinners);
for the words of learned men are a means of purification.
87. A Brahmana who, with a concentrated mind, follows any
of the (above-mentioned) rules, removes the sin committed by
slaying a Brahmana through his self-control.
88. For destroying the embryo (of a Brahmana, the sex of
which was) unknown, for slaying a Kshatriya or a Vaisya who
are (engaged in or) have offered a (Vedic) sacrifice, or a (Brahmana)
woman who has bathed after temporary uncleanness (Atreyi), he
must perform the same penance,
89. Likewise for giving false evidence (in an important cause),
for passionately abusing the teacher, for stealing a deposit,
and for killing (his) wife or his friend:
90. This expiation has been prescribed for unintentionally
killing a Brahmana; but for intentionally slaying a Brahmana
no atonement is ordained.
91. A twice-born man who has (intentionally) drunk, through
delusion of mind, (the spirituous liquor called) Sura shall
drink that liquor boiling-hot; when his body has been completely
scalded by that, he is freed from his guilt;
92. Or he may drink cow's urine, water, milk, clarified butter
or (liquid) cowdung boiling-hot, until he dies;
93. Or, in order to remove (the guilt of) drinking Sura,
he may eat during a year once (a day) at night grains (of rice)
or oilcake, wearing clothes made of cowhair and his own hair
in braids and carrying (a wine cup as) a flag.
94. Sura, indeed, is the dirty refuse (mala) of grain, sin
also is called dirt (mala); hence a Brahmana, a Kshatriya, and
a Vaisya shall not drink Sura.
95. Sura one must know to be of three kinds, that distilled
from molasses (gaudi), that distilled from ground rice, and
that distilled from Madhuka-flowers (madhvi); as the one (named
above) even so are all (three sorts) forbidden to the chief
of the twice-born.
96. Sura, (all other) intoxicating drinks and decoctions
and flesh are the food of the Yakshas, Rakshasas, and Pisakas;
a Brahmana who eats (the remnants of) the offerings consecrated
to the gods, must not partake of such (substances).
97. A Brahmana, stupefied by drunkenness, might fall on something
impure, or (improperly) pronounce Vedic (texts), or commit some
other act which ought not to be committed.
98. When the Brahman (the Veda) which dwells in his body
is (even) once (only) deluged with spirituous liquor, his Brahmanhood
forsakes him and he becomes a Sudra.
99. The various expiations for drinking (the spirituous liquors
called) Sura have thus been explained; I will next proclaim
the atonement for stealing the gold (of a Brahmana).
100. A Brahmana who has stolen the gold (of a Brahmana) shall
go to the king and, confessing his deed, say, 'Lord, punish
101. Taking (from him) the club (which he must carry), the
king himself shall strike him once, by his death the thief becomes
pure; or a Brahmana (may purify himself) by austerities.
102. He who desires to remove by austerities the guilt of
stealing the gold (of a Brahmana), shall perform the penance
(prescribed) for the slayer of a Brahmana, (living) in a forest
and dressed in (garments) made of bark.
103. By these penances a twice-born man may remove the guilt
incurred by a theft (of gold); but he may atone for connexion
with a Guru's wife by the following penances.
104. He who has violated his Guru's bed, shall, after confessing
his crime, extend himself on a heated iron bed, or embrace the
red-hot image (of a woman); by dying he becomes pure;
105. Or, having himself cut off his organ and his testicles
and having taken them in his joined hands, he may walk straight
towards the region of Nirriti (the south-west), until he falls
106. Or, carrying the foot of a bedstead, dressed in (garments
of) bark and allowing his beard to grow, he may, with a concentrated
mind, perform during a whole year the Krikkhra (or hard, penance),
revealed by Pragapati, in a lonely forest;
107. Or, controlling his organs, he may during three months
continuously perform the lunar penance, (subsisting) on sacrificial
food or barley-gruel, in order to remove (the guilt of) violating
a Guru's bed.
108. By means of these penances men who have committed mortal
sins (Mahapataka) may remove their guilt, but those who committed
minor offences, causing loss of caste, (Upapataka, can do it)
by the various following penances.
109. He who has committed a minor offence by slaying a cow
(or bull) shall drink during (the first) month (a decoction
of) barley-grains; having shaved all his hair, and covering
himself with the hide (of the slain cow), he must live in a
110. During the two (following) months he shall eat a small
(quantity of food) without any factitious salt at every fourth
meal-time, and shall bathe in the urine of cows, keeping his
organs under control.
111. During the day he shall follow the cows and, standing
upright, inhale the dust (raised by their hoofs); at night,
after serving and worshipping them, he shall remain in the (posture,
112. Controlling himself and free from anger, he must stand
when they stand, follow them when they walk, and seat himself
when they lie down.
113. (When a cow is) sick, or is threatened by danger from
thieves, tigers, and the like, or falls, or sticks in a morass,
he must relieve her by all possible means:
114. In heat, in rain, or in cold, or when the wind blows
violently, he must not seek to shelter himself, without (first)
sheltering the cows according to his ability.
115. Let him not say (a word), if a cow eats (anything) in
his own or another's house or field or on the threshing-floor,
or if a calf drinks (milk).
116. The slayer of a cow who serves cows in this manner,
removes after three months the guilt which he incurred by killing
117. But after he has fully performed the penance, he must
give to (Brahmanas) learned in the Veda ten cows and a bull,
(or) if he does not possess (so much property) he must offer
to them all he has.
118. Twice-born men who have committed (other) minor offences
(Upapataka), except a student who has broken his vow (Avakirnin),
may perform, in order to purify themselves, the same penance
or also a lunar penance.
119. But a student who has broken his vow shall offer at
night on a crossway to Nirriti a one-eyed ass, according to
the rule of the Pakayagnas.
120. Having offered according to the rule oblations in the
fire, he shall finally offer (four) oblations of clarified butter
to Vata, to Indra, to the teacher (of the gods, Brihaspati)
and to Agni, reciting the Rik verse 'May the Maruts grant me,' &c.
121. Those who know the Veda declare that a voluntary effusion
of semen by a twice-born (youth) who fulfils the vow (of studentship
constitutes) a breach of that vow.
122. The divine light which the Veda imparts to the student,
enters, if he breaks his vow, the Maruts, Puruhuta (Indra),
the teacher (of the gods, Brihaspati) and Pavaka (Fire).
123. When this sin has been committed, he shall go begging
to seven houses, dressed in the hide of the (sacrificed) ass,
proclaiming his deed.
124. Subsisting on a single (daily meal that consists) of
the alms obtained there and bathing at (the time of) the three
savanas (morning, noon, and evening), he becomes pure after
(the lapse of) one year.
125. For committing with intent any of the deeds which cause
loss of caste (Gatibhramsakara), (the offender) shall perform
a Samtapana Krikkhra; (for doing it) unintentionally, (the Krikkhra)
revealed by Pragapati.
126. As atonement for deeds which degrade to a mixed caste
(Samkara), and for those which make a man unworthy to receive
gifts (Apatra), (he shall perform) the lunar (penance) during
a month; for (acts) which render impure (Malinikaraniya) he
shall scald himself during three days with (hot) barley-gruel.
127. One fourth (of the penance) for the murder of a Brahmana
is prescribed (as expiation) for (intentionally) killing a Kshatriya,
one-eighth for killing a Vaisya; know that it is one-sixteenth
for killing a virtuous Sudra.
128. But if a Brahmana unintentionally kills a Kshatriya,
he shall give, in order to purify himself, one thousand cows
and a bull;
129. Or he may perform the penance prescribed for the murderer
of a Brahmana during three years, controlling himself, wearing
his hair in braids, staying far away from the village, and dwelling
at the root of a tree.
130. A Brahmana who has slain a virtuous Vaisya, shall perform
the same penance during one year, or he may give one hundred
cows and one (bull).
131. He who has slain a Sudra, shall perform that whole penance
during six months, or he may also give ten white cows and one
bull to a Brahmana.
132. Having killed a cat, an ichneumon, a blue jay, a frog,
a dog, an iguana, an owl, or a crow, he shall perform the penance
for the murder of a Sudra;
133. Or he may drink milk during three days, or walk one
hundred yoganas, or bathe in a river, or mutter the hymn addressed
to the Waters.
134. For killing a snake, a Brahmana shall give a spade of
black iron, for a eunuch a load of straw and a masha of lead;
135. For a boar a pot of clarified butter, for a partridge
a drona of sesamum-grains, for a parrot a calf two years old,
for a crane (a calf) three years old.
136. If he has killed a Hamsa, a Balaka, a heron, a peacock,
a monkey, a falcon, or a Bhasa, he shall give a cow to a Brahmana.
137. For killing a horse, he shall give a garment, for (killing)
an elephant, five black bulls, for (killing) a goat, or a sheep,
a draught-ox, for killing a donkey, (a calf) one year old;
138. But for killing carnivorous wild beasts, he shall give
a milch-cow, for (killing) wild beasts that are not carnivorous,
a heifer, for killing a camel, one krishnala.
139. For killing adulterous women of the four castes, he
must give, in order to purify himself, respectively a leathern
bag, a bow, a goat, or a sheep.
140. A twice-born man, who is unable to atone by gifts for
the slaughter of a serpent and the other (creatures mentioned),
shall perform for each of them, a Krikkhra (penance) in order
to remove his guilt.
141. But for destroying one thousand (small) animals that
have bones, or a whole cart-load of boneless (animals), he shall
perform the penance (prescribed) for the murder of a Sudra.
142. But for killing (small) animals which have bones, he
should give some trifle to a Brahmana; if he injures boneless
(animals), he becomes pure by a suppressing his breath (pranayama).
143. For cutting fruit-trees, shrubs, creepers, lianas, or
flowering plants, one hundred Rikas must be muttered.
144. (For destroying) any kind of creature, bred in food,
in condiments, in fruit, or in flowers, the expiation is to
eat clarified butter.
145. If a man destroys for no good purpose plants produced
by cultivation, or such as spontaneously spring up in the forest,
he shall attend a cow during one day, subsisting on milk alone.
146. The guilt incurred intentionally or unintentionally
by injuring (created beings) can be removed by means of these
penances; hear (now, how) all (sins) committed by partaking
of forbidden food (or drink, can be expiated).
147. He who drinks unintentionally (the spirituous liquor,
called) Varuni, becomes pure by being initiated (again); (even
for drinking it) intentionally (a penance) destructive to life
must not be imposed; that is a settled rule.
148. He who has drunk water which has stood in a vessel used
for keeping (the spirituous liquor, called) Sura, or other intoxicating
drinks, shall drink during five (days and) nights (nothing but)
milk in which the Sankhapushpi (plant) has been boiled.
149. He who has touched spirituous liquor, has given it away,
or received it in accordance with the rule, or has drunk water
left by a Sudra, shall drink during three days water in which
Kusa-grass has been boiled.
150. But when a Brahmana who has partaken of Soma-juice,
has smelt the odour exhaled by a drinker of Sura, he becomes
pure by thrice suppressing his breath in water, and eating clarified
151. (Men of) the three twice-born castes who have unintentionally
swallowed ordure or urine, or anything that has touched Sura,
must be initiated again.
152. The tonsure, (wearing) the sacred girdle, (carrying)
a staff, going to beg, and the vows (incumbent on a student),
are omitted on the second initiation of twice-born men.
153. But he who has eaten the food of men, whose food must
not be eaten, or the leavings of women and Sudras, or forbidden
flesh, shall drink barley (-gruel) during seven (days and) nights.
154. A twice-born man who has drunk (fluids that have turned)
sour, or astringent decoctions, becomes, though (these substances
may) not (be specially) forbidden, impure until they have been
155. A twice-born man, who has swallowed the urine or ordure
of a village pig, of a donkey, of a camel, of a jackal, of a
monkey, or of a crow, shall perform a lunar penance.
156. He who has eaten dried meat, mushrooms growing on the
ground, or (meat, the nature of) which is unknown, (or) such
as had been kept in a slaughter-house, shall perform the same
157. The atonement for partaking of (the meat of) carnivorous
animals, of pigs, of camels, of cocks, of crows, of donkeys,
and of human flesh, is a Tapta Krikkhra (penance).
158. If a twice-born man, who has not returned (home from
his teacher's house), eats food, given at a monthly (Sraddha,)
he shall fast during three days and pass one day (standing)
159. But a student who on any occasion eats honey or meat,
shall perform an ordinary Krikkhra (penance), and afterwards
complete his vow (of studentship).
160. He who eats what is left by a cat, by a crow, by a mouse
(or rat), by a dog, or by an ichneumon, or (food) into which
a hair or an insect has fallen, shall drink (a decoction of)
the Brahmasuvarkala (plant).
161. He who desires to be pure, must not eat forbidden food,
and must vomit up such as he has eaten unintentionally, or quickly
atone for it by (various) means of purification.
162. The various rules respecting penances for eating forbidden
food have been thus declared; hear now the law of those penances
which remove the guilt of theft.
163. The chief of the twice-born, having voluntarily stolen
(valuable) property, grain, or cooked food, from the house of
a caste-fellow, is purified by performing Krikkhra (penances)
during a whole year.
164. The lunar penance has been declared to be the expiation
for stealing men and women, and (for wrongfully appropriating)
a field, a house, or the water of wells and cisterns.
165. He who has stolen objects of small value from the house
of another man, shall, after restoring the (stolen article),
perform a Samtapana Krikkhra for his purification.
166. (To swallow) the five products of the cow (pankagavya)
is the atonement for stealing eatables of various kinds, a vehicle,
a bed, a seat, flowers, roots, or fruit.
167. Fasting during three (days and) nights shall be (the
penance for stealing) grass, wood, trees, dry food, molasses,
clothes, leather, and meat.
168. To subsist during twelve days on (uncooked) grains (is
the penance for stealing) gems, pearls, coral, copper, silver,
iron, brass, or stone.
169. (For stealing) cotton, silk, wool, an animal with cloven
hoofs, or one with uncloven hoofs, a bird, perfumes, medicinal
herbs, or a rope (the penance is to subsist) during three days
170. By means of these penances, a twice-born man may remove
the guilt of theft; but the guilt of approaching women who ought
not to be approached (agamya), he may expiate by (the following)
171. He who has had sexual intercourse with sisters by the
same mother, with the wives of a friend, or of a son, with unmarried
maidens, and with females of the lowest castes, shall perform
the penance, prescribed for the violation of a Guru's bed.
172. He who has approached the daughter of his father's sister,
(who is almost equal to) a sister, (the daughter) of his mother's
sister, or of his mother's full brother, shall perform a lunar
173. A wise man should not take as his wife any of these
three; they must not be wedded because they are (Sapinda-) relatives,
he who marries (one of them), sinks low.
174. A man who has committed a bestial crime, or an unnatural
crime with a female, or has had intercourse in water, or with
a menstruating woman, shall perform a Samtapana Krikkhra.
175. A twice-born man who commits an unnatural offence with
a male, or has intercourse with a female in a cart drawn by
oxen, in water, or in the day-time, shall bathe, dressed in
176. A Brahmana who unintentionally approaches a woman of
the Kandala or of (any other) very low caste, who eats (the
food of such persons) and accepts (presents from them) becomes
an outcast; but (if he does it) intentionally, he becomes their
177. An exceedingly corrupt wife let her husband confine
to one apartment, and compel her to perform the penance which
is prescribed for males in cases of adultery.
178. If, being solicited by a man (of) equal (caste), she
(afterwards) is again unfaithful, then a Krikkhra and a lunar
penance are prescribed as the means of purifying her.
179. The sin which a twice-born man commits by dallying one
night with a Vrishali, he removes in three years, by subsisting
on alms and daily muttering (sacred texts).
180. The atonement (to be performed) by sinners (of) four
(kinds) even, has been thus declared; hear now the penances
for those who have intercourse with outcasts.
181. He who associates with an outcast, himself becomes an
outcast after a year, not by sacrificing for him, teaching him,
or forming a matrimonial alliance with him, but by using the
same carriage or seat, or by eating with him.
182. He who associates with any one of those outcasts, must
perform, in order to atone for (such) intercourse, the penance
prescribed for that (sinner).
183. The Sapindas and Samanodakas of an outcast must offer
(a libation of) water (to him, as if he were dead), outside
(the village), on an inauspicious day, in the evening and in
the presence of the relatives, officiating priests, and teachers.
184. A female slave shall upset with her foot a pot filled
with water, as if it were for a dead person; (his Sapindas)
as well as the Samanodakas shall be impure for a day and a night;
185. But thenceforward it shall be forbidden to converse
with him, to sit with him, to give him a share of the inheritance,
and to hold with him such intercourse as is usual among men;
186. And (if he be the eldest) his right of primogeniture
shall be withheld and the additional share, due to the eldest
son; and his stead a younger brother, excelling in virtue, shall
obtain the share of the eldest.
187. But when he has performed his penance, they shall bathe
with him in a holy pool and throw down a new pot, filled with
188. But he shall throw that pot into water, enter his house
and perform, as before, all the duties incumbent on a relative.
189. Let him follow the same rule in the case of female outcasts;
but clothes, food, and drink shall be given to them, and they
shall live close to the (family-) house.
190. Let him not transact any business with unpurified sinners;
but let him in no way reproach those who have made atonement.
191. Let him not dwell together with the murderers of children,
with those who have returned evil for good, and with the slayers
of suppliants for protection or of women, though they may have
been purified according to the sacred law.
192. Those twice-born men who may not have been taught the
Savitri (at the time) prescribed by the rule, he shall cause
to perform three Krikkhra (penances) and afterwards initiate
them in accordance with the law.
193. Let him prescribe the same (expiation) when twice-born
men, who follow forbidden occupations or have neglected (to
learn) the Veda, desire to perform a penance.
194. If Brahmanas acquire property by a reprehensible action,
they become pure by relinquishing it, muttering prayers, and
195. By muttering with a concentrated mind the Savitri three
thousand times, (dwelling) for a month in a cow-house, (and)
subsisting on milk, (a man) is freed from (the guilt of) accepting
presents from a wicked man.
196. But when he returns from the cow-house, emaciated with
his fast, and reverently salutes, (the Brahmanas) shall ask
him, 'Friend, dost thou desire to become our equal?'
197. If he answers to the Brahmanas, 'Forsooth, (I will not
offend again), 'he shall scatter (some) grass for the cows;
if the cows hallow that place (by eating the grass) the (Brahmana)
shall re-admit him (into their community).
198. He who has sacrificed for Vratyas, or has performed
the obsequies of strangers, or a magic sacrifice (intended to
destroy life) or an Ahina sacrifice, removes (his guilt) by
three Krikkhra (penances).
199. A twice-born man who has cast off a suppliant for protection,
or has (improperly) divulged the Veda, atones for his offence,
if he subsists during a year on barley.
200. He who has been bitten by a dog, a jackal, or a donkey,
by a tame carnivorous animal, by a man, a horse, a camel, or
a (village-) pig, becomes pure by suppressing his breath (Pranayama).
201. To eat during a month at each sixth mealtime (only),
to recite the Samhita (of a Veda), and (to perform) daily the
Sakala oblations, are the means of purifying those excluded
from society at repasts (Apanktya).
202. A Brahmana who voluntarily rode in a carriage drawn
by camels or by asses, and he who bathed naked, become pure
by suppressing his breath (Pranayama).
203. He who has relieved the necessities of nature, being
greatly pressed, either without (using) water or in water, becomes
pure by bathing outside (the village) in his clothes and by
touching a cow.
204. Fasting is the penance for omitting the daily rites
prescribed by the Veda and for neglecting the special duties
of a Snataka.
205. He who has said 'Hum' to a Brahmana, or has addressed
one of his betters with 'Thou,' shall bathe, fast during the
remaining part of the day, and appease (the person offended)
by a reverential salutation.
206. He who has struck (a Brahmana) even with a blade of
grass, tied him by the neck with a cloth, or conquered him in
an altercation, shall appease him by a prostration.
207. But he who, intending to hurt a Brahmana, has threatened
(him with a stick and the like) shall remain in hell during
a hundred years; he who (actually) struck him, during one thousand
208. As many particles of dust as the blood of a Brahmana
causes to coagulate, for so many thousand years shall the shedder
of that (blood) remain in hell.
209. For threatening a Brahmana, (the offender) shall perform
a Krikkhra, for striking him an Atikrikkhra, for shedding his
blood a Krikkhra and an Atikrikkhra.
210. For the expiation of offences for which no atonement
has been prescribed, let him fix a penance after considering
(the offender's) strength and the (nature of the) offence.
211. I will (now) describe to you those means, adopted by
the gods, the sages, and the manes, through which a man may
remove his sins.
212. A twice-born man who performs (the Krikkhra penance),
revealed by Pragapati, shall eat during three days in the morning
(only), during (the next) three days in the evening (only),
during the (following) three days (food given) unasked, and
shall fast during another period of three days.
213. (Subsisting on) the urine of cows, cowdung, milk, sour
milk, clarified butter, and a decoction of Kusa-grass, and fasting
during one (day and) night, (that is) called a Samtapana Krikkhra.
214. A twice-born man who performs an Atikrikkhra (penance),
must take his food during three periods of three days in the
manner described above, (but) one mouthful only at each meal,
and fast during the last three days.
215. A Brahmana who performs a Taptakrikkhra (penance) must
drink hot water, hot milk, hot clarified butter and (inhale)
hot air, each during three days, and bathe once with a concentrated
216. A fast for twelve days by a man who controls himself
and commits no mistakes, is called a Paraka Krikkhra, which
removes all guilt.
217. If one diminishes (one's food daily by) one mouthful
during the dark (half of the month) and increases (it in the
same manner) during the bright half, and bathes (daily) at the
time of three libations (morning, noon, and evening), that is
called a lunar penance (Kandrayana).
218. Let him follow throughout the same rule at the (Kandrayana,
called) yavamadhyama (shaped like a barley-corn), (but) let
him (in that case) begin the lunar penance, (with a) controlled
(mind), on the first day of the bright half (of the month).
219. He who performs the lunar penance of ascetics, shall
eat (during a month) daily at midday eight mouthfuls, controlling
himself and consuming sacrificial food (only).
220. If a Brahmana, with concentrated mind, eats (during
a month daily) four mouthfuls in a morning and four after sunset,
(that is) called the lunar penance of children.
221. He who, concentrating his mind, eats during a month
in any way thrice eighty mouthfuls of sacrificial food, dwells
(after death) in the world of the moon.
222. The Rudras, likewise the Adityas, the Vasus and the
Maruts, together with the great sages, practised this (rite)
in order to remove all evil.
223. Burnt oblations, accompanied by (the recitation of)
the Mahavyahritis, must daily be made (by the penitent) himself,
and he must abstain from injuring (sentient creatures), speak
the truth, and keep himself free from anger and from dishonesty.
224. Let him bathe three times each day and thrice each night,
dressed in his clothes; let him on no account talk to women,
Sudras, and outcasts.
225. Let him pass the time standing (during the day) and
sitting (during the night), or if he is unable (to do that)
let him lie on the (bare) ground; let him be chaste and observe
the vows (of a student) and worship his Gurus, the gods, and
226. Let him constantly mutter the Savitri and (other) purificatory
texts according to his ability; (let him) carefully (act thus)
on (the occasion of) all (other) vows (performed) by way of
227. By these expiations twice-born men must be purified
whose sins are known, but let him purify those whose sins are
not known by (the recitation of) sacred texts and by (the performance
of) burnt oblations.
228. By confession, by repentance, by austerity, and by reciting
(the Veda) a sinner is freed from guilt, and in case no other
course is possible, by liberality.
229. In proportion as a man who has done wrong, himself confesses
it, even so far he is freed from guilt, as a snake from its
230. In proportion as his heart loathes his evil deed, even
so far is his body freed from that guilt.
231. He who has committed a sin and has repented, is freed
from that sin, but he is purified only by (the resolution of)
ceasing (to sin and thinking) 'I will do so no more.'
232. Having thus considered in his mind what results will
arise from his deeds after death, let him always be good in
thoughts, speech, and actions.
233. He who, having either unintentionally or intentionally
committed a reprehensible deed, desires to be freed from (the
guilt on it, must not commit it a second time.
234. If his mind be uneasy with respect to any act, let him
repeat the austerities (prescribed as a penance) for it until
they fully satisfy (his conscience).
235. All the bliss of gods and men is declared by the sages
to whom the Veda was revealed, to have austerity for its root,
austerity for its middle, and austerity for its end.
236. (The pursuit of sacred) knowledge is the austerity of
a Brahmana, protecting (the people) is the austerity of a Kshatriya,
(the pursuit of) his daily business is the austerity of a Vaisya,
and service the austerity of a Sudra.
237. The sages who control themselves and subsist on fruit,
roots, and air, survey the three worlds together with their
moving and immovable (creatures) through their austerities alone.
238. Medicines, good health, learning, and the various divine
stations are attained by austerities alone; for austerity is
the means of gaining them.
239. Whatever is hard to be traversed, whatever is hard to
be attained, whatever is hard to be reached, whatever is hard
to be performed, all (this) may be accomplished by austerities;
for austerity (possesses a power) which it is difficult to surpass.
240. Both those who have committed mortal sin (Mahapataka)
and all other offenders are severally freed from their guilt
by means of well-performed austerities.
241. Insects, snakes, moths, bees, birds and beings, bereft
of motion, reach heaven by the power of austerities.
242. Whatever sin men commit by thoughts, words, or deeds,
that they speedily burn away by penance, if they keep penance
as their only riches.
243. The gods accept the offerings of that Brahmana alone
who has purified himself by austerities, and grant to him all
244. The lord, Pragapati, created these Institutes (of the
sacred law) by his austerities alone; the sages likewise obtained
(the revelation of) the Vedas through their austerities.
245. The gods, discerning that the holy origin of this whole
(world) is from austerity, have thus proclaimed the incomparable
power of austerity.
246. The daily study of the Veda, the performance of the
great sacrifices according to one's ability, (and) patience
(in suffering) quickly destroy all guilt, even that caused by
247. As a fire in one moment consumes with its bright flame
the fuel that has been placed on it, even so he who knows the
Veda destroys all guilt by the fire of knowledge.
248. The penances for sins (made public) have been thus declared
according to the law; learn next the penances for secret (sins).
249. Sixteen suppressions of the breath (Pranayama) accompanied
by (the recitation of) the Vyahritis and of the syllable Om,
purify, if they are repeated daily, after a month even the murderer
of a learned Brahmana.
250. Even a drinker of (the spirituous liquor called) Sura
becomes pure, if he mutters the hymn (seen) by Kutsa, 'Removing
by thy splendour our guilt, O Agni,' &c., (that seen) by
Vasishtha, 'With their hymns the Vasishthas woke the Dawn,' &c.,
the Mahitra (hymn) and (the verses called) Suddhavatis.
251. Even he who has stolen gold, instantly becomes free
from guilt, if he once mutters (the hymn beginning with the
words) 'The middlemost brother of this beautiful, ancient Hotri-priest'
and the Sivasamkalpa.
252. The violator of a Guru's bed is freed (from sin), if
he repeatedly recites the Havishpantiya (hymn), (that beginning)
'Neither anxiety nor misfortune,' (and that beginning) 'Thus,
verily, thus,' and mutters the hymn addressed to Purusha.
253. He who desires to expiate sins great or small, must
mutter during a year the Rit-verse 'May we remove thy anger,
O Varuna,' &c., or 'Whatever offence here, O Varuna,' &c.
254. That man who, having accepted presents which ought not
to be accepted, or having eaten forbidden food, mutters the
Taratsamandiya (Rikas), becomes pure after three days.
255. But he who has committed many sins, becomes pure, if
he recites during a month the (four verses) addressed to Soma
and Rudra, and the three verses (beginning) 'Aryaman, Varuna,
and Mitra,' while he bathes in a river.
256. A grievous offender shall mutter the seven verses (beginning
with) 'Indra,' for half a year; but he who has committed any
blamable act in water, shall subsist during a month on food
obtained by begging.
257. A twice-born man removes even very great guilt by offering
clarified butter with the sacred texts belonging to the Sakala-homas,
or by muttering the Rik, (beginning) 'Adoration.'
258. He who is stained by mortal sin, becomes pure, if, with
a concentrated mind, he attends cows for a year, reciting the
Pavamani (hymns) and subsisting on alms.
259. Or if, pure (in mind and in body), he thrice repeats
the Samhita of the Veda in a forest, sanctified by three Paraka
(penances), he is freed from all crimes causing loss of caste
260. But if (a man) fasts during three days, bathing thrice
a day, and muttering (in the water the hymn seen by) Aghamarshana,
he is (likewise) freed from all sins causing loss of caste.
261. As the horse-sacrifice, the king of sacrifices, removes
all sin, even so the Aghamarshana hymn effaces all guilt.
262. A Brahmana who retains in his memory the Rig-veda is
not stained by guilt, though he may have destroyed these three
worlds, though he may eat the food of anybody.
263. He who, with a concentrated mind, thrice recites the
Riksamhita, or (that of the) Yagur-veda; or (that of the) Sama-veda
together with the secret (texts, the Upanishads), is completely
freed from all sins.
264. As a clod of earth, falling into a great lake, is quickly
dissolved, even so every sinful act is engulfed in the threefold
265. The Rikas, the Yagus (-formulas) which differ (from
the former), the manifold Saman (-songs), must be known (to
form) the triple Veda; he who knows them, (is called) learned
in the Veda.
266. The initial triliteral Brahman on which the threefold
(sacred science) is based, is another triple Veda which must
be kept secret; he who knows that, (is called) learned in the
1. 'O sinless One, the whole sacred law, (applicable) to
the four castes, has been declared by thee; communicate to us
(now), according to the truth, the ultimate retribution for
2. To the great sages (who addressed him thus) righteous
Bhrigu, sprung from Manu, answered, 'Hear the decision concerning
this whole connexion with actions.'
3. Action, which springs from the mind, from speech, and
from the body, produces either good or evil results; by action
are caused the (various) conditions of men, the highest, the
middling, and the lowest.
4. Know that the mind is the instigator here below, even
to that (action) which is connected with the body, (and) which
is of three kinds, has three locations, and falls under ten
5. Coveting the property of others, thinking in one's heart
of what is undesirable, and adherence to false (doctrines),
are the three kinds of (sinful) mental action.
6. Abusing (others, speaking) untruth, detracting from the
merits of all men, and talking idly, shall be the four kinds
of (evil) verbal action.
7. Taking what has not been given, injuring (creatures) without
the sanction of the law, and holding criminal intercourse with
another man's wife, are declared to be the three kinds of (wicked)
8. (A man) obtains (the result of) a good or evil mental
(act) in his mind, (that of) a verbal (act) in his speech, (that
of) a bodily (act) in his body.
9. In consequence of (many) sinful acts committed with his
body, a man becomes (in the next birth) something inanimate,
in consequence (of sins) committed by speech, a bird, or a beast,
and in consequence of mental (sins he is re-born in) a low caste.
10. That man is called a (true) tridandin in whose mind these
three, the control over his speech (vagdanda), the control over
his thoughts (manodanda), and the control over his body (kayadanda),
are firmly fixed.
11. That man who keeps this threefold control (over himself)
with respect to all created beings and wholly subdues desire
and wrath, thereby assuredly gains complete success.
12. Him who impels this (corporeal) Self to action, they
call the Kshetragna (the knower of the field); but him who does
the acts, the wise name the Bhutatman (the Self consisting of
13. Another internal Self that is generated with all embodied
(Kshetragnas) is called Giva, through which (the Kshetragna)
becomes sensible of all pleasure and pain in (successive) births.
14. These two, the Great One and the Kshetragna, who are
closely united with the elements, pervade him who resides in
the multiform created beings.
15. From his body innumerable forms go forth, which constantly
impel the multiform creatures to action.
16. Another strong body, formed of particles (of the) five
(elements and) destined to suffer the torments (in hell), is
produced after death (in the case) of wicked men.
17. When (the evil-doers) by means of that body have suffered
there the torments imposed by Yama, (its constituent parts)
are united, each according to its class, with those very elements
(from which they were taken).
18. He, having suffered for his faults, which are produced
by attachment to sensual objects, and which result in misery,
approaches, free from stains, those two mighty ones.
19. Those two together examine without tiring the merit and
the guilt of that (individual soul), united with which it obtains
bliss or misery both in this world and the next.
20. If (the soul) chiefly practises virtue and vice to a
small degree, it obtains bliss in heaven, clothed with those
21. But if it chiefly cleaves to vice and to virtue in a
small degree, it suffers, deserted by the elements, the torments
inflicted by Yama.
22. The individual soul, having endured those torments of
Yama, again enters, free from taint, those very five elements,
each in due proportion.
23. Let (man), having recognised even by means of his intellect
these transitions of the individual soul (which depend) on merit
and demerit, always fix his heart on (the acquisition of) merit.
24. Know Goodness (sattva), Activity (ragas), and Darkness
(tamas) to be the three qualities of the Self, with which the
Great One always completely pervades all existences.
25. When one of these qualities wholly predominates in a
body, then it makes the embodied (soul) eminently distinguished
for that quality.
26. Goodness is declared (to have the form of) knowledge,
Darkness (of) ignorance, Activity (of) love and hatred; such
is the nature of these (three) which is (all-) pervading and
clings to everything created.
27. When (man) experiences in his soul a (feeling) full of
bliss, a deep calm, as it were, and a pure light, then let him
know (that it is) among those three (the quality called) Goodness.
28. What is mixed with pain and does not give satisfaction
to the soul one may know (to be the quality of) Activity, which
is difficult to conquer, and which ever draws embodied (souls
towards sensual objects).
29. What is coupled with delusion, what has the character
of an undiscernible mass, what cannot be fathomed by reasoning,
what cannot be fully known, one must consider (as the quality
30. I will, moreover, fully describe the results which arise
from these three qualities, the excellent ones, the middling
ones, and the lowest.
31. The study of the Vedas, austerity, (the pursuit of) knowledge,
purity, control over the organs, the performance of meritorious
acts and meditation on the Soul, (are) the marks of the quality
32. Delighting in undertakings, want of firmness, commission
of sinful acts, and continual indulgence in sensual pleasures,
(are) the marks of the quality of Activity.
33. Covetousness, sleepiness, pusillanimity, cruelty, atheism,
leading an evil life, a habit of soliciting favours, and inattentiveness,
are the marks of the quality of Darkness.
34. Know, moreover, the following to be a brief description
of the three qualities, each in its order, as they appear in
the three (times, the present, past, and future).
35. When a (man), having done, doing, or being about to do
any act, feels ashamed, the learned may know that all (such
acts bear) the mark of the quality of Darkness.
36. But, when (a man) desires (to gain) by an act much fame
in this world and feels no sorrow on failing, know that it (bears
the mark of the quality of) Activity.
37. But that (bears) the mark of the quality of Goodness
which with his whole (heart) he desires to know, which he is
not ashamed to perform, and at which his soul rejoices.
38. The craving after sensual pleasures is declared to be
the mark of Darkness, (the pursuit of) wealth (the mark) of
Activity, (the desire to gain) spiritual merit the mark of Goodness;
each later) named quality is) better than the preceding one.
39. I will briefly declare in due order what transmigrations
in this whole (world a man) obtains through each of these qualities.
40. Those endowed with Goodness reach the state of gods,
those endowed with Activity the state of men, and those endowed
with Darkness ever sink to the condition of beasts; that is
the threefold course of transmigrations.
41. But know this threefold course of transmigrations that
depends on the (three) qualities (to be again) threefold, low,
middling, and high, according to the particular nature of the
acts and of the knowledge (of each man).
42. Immovable (beings), insects, both small and great, fishes,
snakes, and tortoises, cattle and wild animals, are the lowest
conditions to which (the quality of) Darkness leads.
43. Elephants, horses, Sudras, and despicable barbarians,
lions, tigers, and boars (are) the middling states, caused by
(the quality of) Darkness.
44. Karanas, Suparnas and hypocrites, Rakshasas and Pisakas
(belong to) the highest (rank of) conditions among those produced
45. Ghallas, Mallas, Natas, men who subsist by despicable
occupations and those addicted to gambling and drinking (form)
the lowest (order of) conditions caused by Activity.
46. Kings and Kshatriyas, the domestic priests of kings,
and those who delight in the warfare of disputations (constitute)
the middling (rank of the) states caused by Activity.
47. The Gandharvas, the Guhyakas, and the servants of the
gods, likewise the Apsarases, (belong all to) the highest (rank
of) conditions produced by Activity.
48. Hermits, ascetics, Brahmanas, the crowds of the Vaimanika
deities, the lunar mansions, and the Daityas (form) the first
(and lowest rank of the) existences caused by Goodness.
49. Sacrificers, the sages, the gods, the Vedas, the heavenly
lights, the years, the manes, and the Sadhyas (constitute) the
second order of existences, caused by Goodness.
50. The sages declare Brahma, the creators of the universe,
the law, the Great One, and the Undiscernible One (to constitute)
the highest order of beings produced by Goodness.
51. Thus (the result) of the threefold action, the whole
system of transmigrations which (consists) of three classes,
(each) with three subdivisions, and which includes all created
beings, has been fully pointed out.
52. In consequence of attachment to (the objects of) the
senses, and in consequence of the non-performance of their duties,
fools, the lowest of men, reach the vilest births.
53. What wombs this individual soul enters in this world
and in consequence of what actions, learn the particulars of
that at large and in due order.
54. Those who committed mortal sins (mahapataka), having
passed during large numbers of years through dreadful hells,
obtain, after the expiration of (that term of punishment), the
55. The slayer of a Brahmana enters the womb of a dog, a
pig, an ass, a camel, a cow, a goat, a sheep, a deer, a bird,
a Kandala, and a Pukkasa.
56. A Brahmana who drinks (the spirituous liquor called)
Sura shall enter (the bodies) of small and large insects, of
moths, of birds, feeding on ordure, and of destructive beasts.
57. A Brahmana who steals (the gold of a Brahmana shall pass)
a thousand times (through the bodies) of spiders, snakes and
lizards, of aquatic animals and of destructive Pisakas.
58. The violator of a Guru's bed (enters) a hundred times
(the forms) of grasses, shrubs, and creepers, likewise of carnivorous
(animals) and of (beasts) with fangs and of those doing cruel
59. Men who delight in doing hurt (become) carnivorous (animals);
those who eat forbidden food, worms; thieves, creatures consuming
their own kind; those who have intercourse with women of the
lowest castes, Pretas.
60. He who has associated with outcasts, he who has approached
the wives of other men, and he who has stolen the property of
a Brahmana become Brahmarakshasas.
61. A man who out of greed has stolen gems, pearls or coral,
or any of the many other kinds of precious things, is born among
62. For stealing grain (a man) becomes a rat, for stealing
yellow metal a Hamsa, for stealing water a Plava, for stealing
honey a stinging insect, for stealing milk a crow, for stealing
condiments a dog, for stealing clarified butter an ichneumon;
63. For stealing meat a vulture, for stealing fat a cormorant,
for stealing oil a winged animal (of the kind called) Tailapaka,
for stealing salt a cricket, for stealing sour milk a bird (of
the kind called) Balaka.
64. For stealing silk a partridge, for stealing linen a frog,
for stealing cotton-cloth a crane, for stealing a cow an iguana,
for stealing molasses a flying-fox;
65. For stealing fine perfumes a musk-rat, for stealing vegetables
consisting of leaves a peacock, for stealing cooked food of
various kinds a porcupine, for stealing uncooked food a hedgehog.
66. For stealing fire he becomes a heron, for stealing household-utensils
a mason-wasp, for stealing dyed clothes a francolin-partridge;
67. For stealing a deer or an elephant a wolf, for stealing
a horse a tiger, for stealing fruit and roots a monkey, for
stealing a woman a bear, for stealing water a black-white cuckoo,
for stealing vehicles a camel, for stealing cattle a he-goat.
68. That man who has forcibly taken away any kind of property
belonging to another, or who has eaten sacrificial food (of)
which (no portion) had been offered, inevitably becomes an animal.
69. Women, also, who in like manner have committed a theft,
shall incur guilt; they will become the females of those same
creatures (which have been enumerated above).
70. But (men of the four) castes who have relinquished without
the pressure of necessity their proper occupations, will become
the servants of Dasyus, after migrating into despicable bodies.
71. A Brahmana who has fallen off from his duty (becomes)
an Ulkamukha Preta, who feeds on what has been vomited; and
a Kshatriya, a Kataputana (Preta), who eats impure substances
72. A Vaisya who has fallen off from his duty becomes a Maitrakshagyotika
Preta, who feeds on pus; and a Sudra, a Kailasaka (Preta, who
feeds on moths).
73. In proportion as sensual men indulge in sensual pleasures,
in that same proportion their taste for them grows.
74. By repeating their sinful acts those men of small understanding
suffer pain here (below) in various births;
75. (The torture of) being tossed about in dreadful hells,
Tamisra and the rest, (that of) the Forest with sword-leaved
trees and the like, and (that of) being bound and mangled;
76. And various torments, the (pain of) being devoured by
ravens and owls, the heat of scorching sand, and the (torture
of) being boiled in jars, which is hard to bear;
77. And births in the wombs (of) despicable (beings) which
cause constant misery, and afflictions from cold and heat and
terrors of various kinds,
78. The (pain of) repeatedly lying in various wombs and agonizing
births, imprisonment in fetters hard to bear, and the misery
of being enslaved by others,
79. And separations from their relatives and dear ones, and
the (pain of) dwelling together with the wicked, (labour in)
gaining wealth and its loss, (trouble in) making friends and
(the appearance of) enemies,
80. Old age against which there is no remedy, the pangs of
diseases, afflictions of many various kinds, and (finally) unconquerable
81. But with whatever disposition of mind (a man) forms any
act, he reaps its result in a (future) body endowed with the
82. All the results, proceeding from actions, have been thus
pointed out; learn (next) those acts which secure supreme bliss
to a Brahmana.
83. Studying the Veda, (practising) austerities, (the acquisition
of true) knowledge, the subjugation of the organs, abstention
from doing injury, and serving the Guru are the best means for
attaining supreme bliss.
84. (If you ask) whether among all these virtuous actions,
(performed) here below, (there be) one which has been declared
more efficacious (than the rest) for securing supreme happiness
85. (The answer is that) the knowledge of the Soul is stated
to be the most excellent among all of them; for that is the
first of all sciences, because immortality is gained through
86. Among those six (kinds of) actions (enumerated) above,
the performance of) the acts taught in the Veda must ever be
held to be most efficacious for ensuring happiness in this world
and the next.
87. For in the performance of the acts prescribed by the
Veda all those (others) are fully comprised, (each) in its turn
in the several rules for the rites.
88. The acts prescribed by the Veda are of two kinds, such
as procure an increase of happiness and cause a continuation
(of mundane existence, pravritta), and such as ensure supreme
bliss and cause a cessation (of mundane existence, nivritta).
89. Acts which secure (the fulfilment of) wishes in this
world or in the next are called pravritta (such as cause a continuation
of mundane existence); but acts performed without any desire
(for a reward), preceded by (the acquisition) of (true) knowledge,
are declared to be nivritta (such as cause the cessation of
90. He who sedulously performs acts leading to future births
(pravritta) becomes equal to the gods; but he who is intent
on the performance of those causing the cessation (of existence,
nivritta) indeed, passes beyond (the reach of) the five elements.
91. He who sacrifices to the Self (alone), equally recognising
the Self in all created beings and all created beings in the
Self, becomes (independent like) an autocrat and self-luminous.
92. After giving up even the above-mentioned sacrificial
rites, a Brahmana should exert himself in (acquiring) the knowledge
of the Soul, in extinguishing his passions, and in studying
93. For that secures the attainment of the object of existence,
especially in the case of a Brahmana, because by attaining that,
not otherwise, a twice-born man has gained all his ends.
94. The Veda is the eternal eye of the manes, gods, and men;
the Veda-ordinance (is) both beyond the sphere of (human) power,
and beyond the sphere of (human) comprehension; that is a certain
95. All those traditions (smriti) and those despicable systems
of philosophy, which are not based on the Veda, produce no reward
after death; for they are declared to be founded on Darkness.
96. All those (doctrines), differing from the (Veda), which
spring up and (soon) perish, are worthless and false, because
they are of modern date.
97. The four castes, the three worlds, the four orders, the
past, the present, and the future are all severally known by
means of the Veda.
98. Sound, touch, colour, taste, and fifthly smell are known
through the Veda alone, (their) production (is) through the
(Vedic rites, which in this respect are) secondary acts.
99. The eternal lore of the Veda upholds all created beings;
hence I hold that to be supreme, which is the means of (securing
happiness to) these creatures.
100. Command of armies, royal authority, the office of a
judge, and sovereignty over the whole world he (only) deserves
who knows the Veda-science.
101. As a fire that has gained strength consumes even trees
full of sap, even so he who knows the Veda burns out the taint
of his soul which arises from (evil) acts.
102. In whatever order (a man) who knows the true meaning
of the Veda-science may dwell, he becomes even while abiding
in this world, fit for the union with Brahman.
103. (Even forgetful) students of the (sacred) books are
more distinguished than the ignorant, those who remember them
surpass the (forgetful) students, those who possess a knowledge
(of the meaning) are more distinguished than those who (only)
remember (the words), men who follow (the teaching of the texts)
surpass those who (merely) know (their meaning).
104. Austerity and sacred learning are the best means by
which a Brahmana secures supreme bliss; by austerities he destroys
guilt, by sacred learning he obtains the cessation of (births
105. The three (kinds of evidence), perception, inference,
and the (sacred) Institutes which comprise the tradition (of)
many (schools), must be fully understood by him who desires
perfect correctness with respect to the sacred law.
106. He alone, and no other man, knows the sacred law, who
explores the (utterances) of the sages and the body of the laws,
by (modes of) reasoning, not repugnant to the Veda-lore.
107. Thus the acts which secure supreme bliss have been exactly
and fully described; (now) the secret portion of these Institutes,
proclaimed by Manu, will be taught.
108. If it be asked how it should be with respect to (points
of) the law which have not been (specially) mentioned, (the
answer is), 'that which Brahmanas (who are) Sishtas propound,
shall doubtlessly have legal (force).'
109. Those Brahmanas must be considered as Sishtas who, in
accordance with the sacred law, have studied the Veda together
with its appendages, and are able to adduce proofs perceptible
by the senses from the revealed texts.
110. Whatever an assembly, consisting either of at least
ten, or of at least three persons who follow their prescribed
occupations, declares to be law, the legal (force of) that one
must not dispute.
111. Three persons who each know one of the three principal
Vedas, a logician, a Mimamsaka, one who knows the Nirukta, one
who recites (the Institutes of) the sacred law, and three men
belonging to the first three orders shall constitute a (legal)
assembly, consisting of at least ten members.
112. One who knows the Rig-veda, one who knows the Yagur-veda,
and one who knows the Sama-veda, shall be known (to form) an
assembly consisting of at least three members (and competent)
to decide doubtful points of law.
113. Even that which one Brahmana versed in the Veda declares
to be law, must be considered (to have) supreme legal (force,
but) not that which is proclaimed by myriads of ignorant men.
114. Even if thousands of Brahmanas, who have not fulfilled
their sacred duties, are unacquainted with the Veda, and subsist
only by the name of their caste, meet, they cannot (form) an
assembly (for settling the sacred law).
115. The sin of him whom dunces, incarnations of Darkness,
and unacquainted with the law, instruct (in his duty), falls,
increased a hundredfold, on those who propound it.
116. All that which is most efficacious for securing supreme
bliss has been thus declared to you; a Brahmana who does not
fall off from that obtains the most excellent state.
117. Thus did that worshipful deity disclose to me, through
a desire of benefiting mankind, this whole most excellent secret
of the sacred law.
118. Let (every Brahmana), concentrating his mind, fully
recognise in the Self all things, both the real and the unreal,
for he who recognises the universe in the Self, does not give
his heart to unrighteousness.
119. The Self alone is the multitude of the gods, the universe
rests on the Self; for the Self produces the connexion of these
embodied (spirits) with actions.
120. Let him meditate on the ether as identical with the
cavities (of the body), on the wind as identical with the organs
of motions and of touch, on the most excellent light as the
same with his digestive organs and his sight, on water as the
same with the (corporeal) fluids, on the earth as the same with
the solid parts (of his body);
121. On the moon as one with the internal organ, on the quarters
of the horizon as one with his sense of hearing, on Vishnu as
one with his (power of) motion, on Hara as the same with his
strength, on Agni (Fire) as identical with his speech, on Mitra
as identical with his excretions, and on Pragapati as one with
his organ of generation.
122. Let him know the supreme Male (Purusha, to be) the sovereign
ruler of them all, smaller even than small, bright like gold,
and perceptible by the intellect (only when) in (a state of)
sleep (-like abstraction).
123. Some call him Agni (Fire), others Manu, the Lord of
creatures, others Indra, others the vital air, and again others
124. He pervades all created beings in the five forms, and
constantly makes them, by means of birth, growth and decay,
revolve like the wheels (of a chariot).
125. He who thus recognises the Self through the Self in
all created beings, becomes equal (-minded) towards all, and
enters the highest state, Brahman.
126. A twice-born man who recites these Institutes, revealed
by Manu, will be always virtuous in conduct, and will reach
whatever condition he desires.