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rights of all the classes in time of distress for subsistence; and the penances for expiating sins;

117. The several transmigrations in this universe, caused by offences of three kinds, with the ultimate bliss attending good actions, on the full trial of vice and virtue;

118. All these titles of law, promulgated by MENU, and occasionally the customs of different countries, different tribes, and different families, with rules concerning hereticks and companies of traders, are discussed in this code.

119. Even as MENU, at my request, formerly revealed this divine Sastra, hear it now from me without any diminution or addition.




1. Know that system of duties, which is revered by such as are learned in the Vedas, and impressed, as the means of attaining beatitude, on the hearts of the just, who are ever exempt from hatred and inordinate affection.

2. Self-love is no laudable motive, yet an exemption from self-love is not to be found in this world : on self-love is grounded the study of scripture, and the practice of actions recommended in it.

3. Eager desire to act has its root in expectation of some advantage; and with such expectation are sacrifices performed; the rules of religious austerity and abstinence from sins are all known to arise from hope of remuneration.

4. Not a single act here below appears ever to be done by a man free from self-love; whatever he performs, it is wrought from his desire of a reward.

5. He, indeed, who should persist in discharging these duties without any view to their fruit, would attain hereafter the state of the immortals, and even in this life, would enjoy all the virtuous gratifications, that his fancy could suggest.

6. The roots of law are the whole Véda, the ordinances and moral practices of such as perfectly understand it, the immemorial customs of good men, and, in cases quite indifferent, self-satisfaction.

7. Whatever law has been ordained for any person by MENU, that law is fully declared in the Véda : for He was perfect in divine knowledge :

8. A man of true learning, who has viewed this complete system with the eye of sacred wisdom, cannot fail to per

form all those duties, which are ordained on the authority of the Véda.

9. No doubt, that man who shall follow the rules prescribed in the Sruti and in the Smršti, will acquire fame in this life, and, in the next, inexpressible happiness :

10. By Sruti, or what was heard from above, is meant the Véda ; and by Smršti, or what was remembered from the beginning, the body of law: those two must not be oppugned by heterodox arguments; since from those two, proceeds the whole system of duties.

11. Whatever man of the three highest classes, having addicted himself to heretical books, shall treat with contempt those two roots of law, he must be driven, as an Atheist and a scorner of revelation, from the company of the virtuous.

12. The scripture, the codes of law, approved usage, and, in all indifferent cases, self-satisfaction, the wise have openly declared to be the quadruple description of the juridical system.

13. A knowledge of right is a sufficient incentive for men unattached to wealth or to sensuality; and to those who seek a knowledge of right, the supreme authority is divine revelation;

14. But, when there are two sacred texts, apparently inconsistent, both are held to be law; for both are pronounced by the wise to be valid and reconcilable;

15. Thus in the Véda are these texts : “ let the sacrifice be when the sun has arisen,” and, “ before it has risen,” and, “when neither sun nor stars can be seen :" the sacrifice, therefore, may be performed at any or all of those times.

16. He, whose life is regulated by holy texts, from his conception even to his funeral pile, has a decided right to study this code; but no other man whatsoever.

17. BETWEEN the two divine rivers Saraswati and Drăshadwatí, lies the tract of land, which the sages have named Brahmáverta, because it was frequented by Gods :

18. The custom preserved by immemorial tradition in that country, among the four pure classes, and among those which are mixed, is called approved usage.

19. Curucshétra, Matsya, Panchála, or Cányacubja, and

Súraséna, or Mathurà, form the region called Brahmarshi, distinguished from Brahmáverta :

20. From a Bráhmen who was born in that country, let all men on earth learn their several usages.

21. That country which lies between Himawat and Vindhya, to the east of Vinasana, and to the west of Prayaga, is celebrated by the title of Medhyadésa, or the central region.

22. As far as the eastern, and as far as the western oceans, between the two mountains just mentioned, lies the tract which the wise have named Aryáverta, or inhabited by respectable men.

23. That land, on which the black antelope naturally grazes, is held fit for the performance of sacrifices; but the land of Mléch' has or those who speak barbarously, differs widely from it.

24. Let the three first classes invariably dwell in those before-mentioned countries; but a Súdra, distressed for subsistence, may sojourn wherever he chooses.

25. Thus has the origin of law been succinctly declared to you, together with the formation of this universe: learn the laws of the several classes.


* The word "universe," has, by an errour of the press, been printed in Italick instead of Roman letters, as it originally stood in Sir W. Jones's works. It may not be uninteresting to observe, that the word sarva, employed here to signify the universe, in its original and primary sense implies all, or the whole. Hence it is employed as an epithet of Siva, as well as of Vishnu, by the worshippers of those Gods, agreeably to the Hindu doctrine, that contemplates the universal whole through any one of its multiform parts. In the account given in Enfield's History of Philosophy,' it will be seen that ZARVA was the chief of all the Gods among the Persians, and produced the good and evil principles, or HORMISDA and SATANA. I think, from the evident connexion between the religious systems of the Persians and the Hindus, the identity of the god ZARVA and the Sarva of India must be incontestible; and we are thus enabled to take a new and most accurate view of the real nature of the Magian religion. In it we find the same prevailing idea common in all the theogonies of the ancients, namely, the finite nature of their gods, and their subordinate rank, as the personifications or the powers of the boundless whole, that is, of nature. Moses Chorenensis speaks of the same mythological character under the name of ZEROVAN. Anquetil du Perron in his Zend Avesta, a

1 Vol. I. p. 64.

% Tom. II. 90. n. 2.

26. With auspicious acts prescribed by the Véda, must ceremonies on conception, and so forth, be duly performed, which purify the bodies of the three classes in this life, and qualify them for the next.

27. By oblations to fire during the mother's pregnancy, by holy rites on the birth of the child, by the tonsure of his head with a lock of hair left on it, by the ligation of the sacrificial cord, are the seminal and uterine taints of the three classes wholly removed :

28. By studying the Véda, by religious observances, by oblations to fire, by the ceremony of Traividya, by offering to the Gods and Manes, by the procreation of children, by the five great sacraments, and by solemn sacrifices, this human body is rendered fit for a divine state.

29. Before the section of the navel string a ceremony is ordained on the birth of a male: he must be made, while sacred texts are pronounced, to taste a little honey and clarified butter from a golden spoon.

30. Let the father perform or, if absent, cause to be performed, on the tenth or twelfth day after the birth, the ceremony of giving a name; or on some fortunate day of the moon, at a lucky hour, and under the influence of a star with good qualities.

31. The first part of a Brahmen's compound name should indicate holiness; of a Cshatriya's, power; of a Vaisya's, wealth; and of a Súdra's, contempt.

32. Let the second part of the priest's name imply prosperity; of the soldier's, preservation; of the merchant's, nourishment; of the servant's, humble attendance.

33. The names of women should be agreeable, soft, clear, captivating the fancy, auspicious, ending in long vowels, resembling words of benediction.

34. In the fourth month the child should be carried out

likewise mentions ZERVAN, whom he considers as time personified ; but the sense of the word Sarva or Sarvam enables us at once to find a clue to the real nature of “the chief of all the Gods." Good and evil were, under this point of view, the inevitable results or offspring of material existence; and the pantheism which saw God in all, by the language of personification, made Sarva, or the whole, the parent of the two principles, which were named HORMISDA and SATANA.

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