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Ramana Maharshi => General topics => Topic started by: Nagaraj on March 24, 2009, 07:28:44 PM

Title: Let us Live by the ideals laid down by Manu Smriti
Post by: Nagaraj on March 24, 2009, 07:28:44 PM
Dear Forum Members,

This Forum has definitely become an excellent place for Sat Sangha. No doubt about it. I take this opportunity th thank those behind the creation of this Forum. I thank Graham and Team for all your efforts!

Manu Smriti is the most important and earliest metrical work of the Dharmasastra textual tradition of Hinduism.

It contains:

1. Origin of the World
2. Sources of the Law
3. Dharma of the Four Social Classes
4. Determination Regarding Engagement in Action

I dedicate this thread in highlighting the important points from Manu Smriti which relate to our daily life. It also forms an important aspect in our Spiritual growth within - The Self.

I felt it more important to study the aspect of (3) AND (4) above, hence I will mostly posting Manu Smriti's important points from (3) & (4)


Title: Re: Let us Live by the ideals laid down by Manu Smriti
Post by: Nagaraj on March 24, 2009, 07:37:45 PM
Learn that sacred law which is followed by men learned (in the Veda) and assented to in their hearts by the
virtuous, who are ever exempt from hatred and inordinate affection.

To act solely from a desire for rewards is not laudable, yet an exemption from that desire is not to be
found in this world: for on that desire is grounded the study of the Veda and the performance of the actions,
prescribed by the Veda.

The entire message of Gita can be summarised by the one dictum of Krishna. You have right only to perform action but have no right towards the fruits of your action hence perform action without any desire for the fruits of your action.

There is an exemption to this i.e. Manu says that even to perform your action without desire towards the fruits by itself is a desire. It is by this desire alone one begins to study the Vedas and By this Desire alone one performs actions

Like Ramanar has said that we should have only desire to realise the Self and not anything else

The desire for rewards, indeed, has its root in the conception that an act can yield them, and in
consequence of that conception sacrifices are performed; vows and the laws prescribing restraints are all
stated to be kept through the idea that they will bear fruit.

Actions are performed only with the intention that it can get back something out of it. In this way one performs sacrifices, vows etc are to be performed strictly with the laws laid down by the Shastras.

Its clear, Manu says every actions are performed for fruits. There is no escape to it. But What he says is to strictly follow the rules prescribed to perform the actions for Sacrifices. i.e. 

Its everybody's desire to have a 'Siva Puja' at home, i.e. to perform Abhisheka etc... everyday. But the performer must strictly follow the rules prescribed for the performance of 'Siva Puja' like the prescribed Achara (Closely translated to Cleanliness), Madi Cooking (Very cleanly cooked food) i.e. the cooking person's mind has to be clean while cooking the food. One should observe absolute silence. One should not eat onion, garlic and some specific vegetables, one should never ever eat outside in restaurents etc.. one should not eat in everybody's houses. etc.. there are many more such rules. We have to strictly follow these rules to perform a Siva Puja. There rules are laid down so that we may perform actions with only the most essential desire for fruits for our actions so that it may guide us further for our evolution.

If one is not able to strictly follow the rules prescribed for performing a Siva Puja, one should be wise and not take up a Siva Puja. It amounts to breaking the code of Manu. It will take one to a wrong path. One must consult ones own Guru about the matter and act according to the command of the Guru.

Here is a story. Once a devotee went to Abhinava Vidya Theertha 35th Sringeri Acharyal and asked him that he is unable to sit down to perform the Siva Puja because of some injury in his legs and that he is able to only sit in a chair alone. please relieve me of my duty to perform the Puja. as he could not imagine sitting in a chair and performing Siva Puja. The Acharyal said, in that case, make a table exclusively for your Siva Puja little higher than your chair so that you can perform the Puja as usual. Dont come to ask me if you can stop performing something. I can only say some way so that you can continue to perform your puja. this should be the attitude. just because something is difficult we should not think about stopping the entire thing, rather we should consult our Guru in such matters and act accordingly.

Not a single act here (below) appears ever to be done by a man free from desire; for whatever (man) does, it
is (the result of) the impulse of desire.

Action = Desire, If we perform an action its only due to consequence of a desire.

He who persists in discharging these prescribed duties in the right manner, reaches the deathless state and
even in this life obtains the fulfilment of all the desires that he may have conceived.

If these rules laid down by Manu (inspired from Vedas) are followed in the right manner, one realises the Self, the only Goal of Human birth.

Title: Re: Let us Live by the ideals laid down by Manu Smriti
Post by: vinita on March 25, 2009, 10:50:03 PM
all this rings so true.....
Title: Re: Let us Live by the ideals laid down by Manu Smriti
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 26, 2009, 09:42:03 AM
Dear Nagaraj,

Manu after elaborating all Sastras, finally says this:

These Sastras would get modified according to times.  These are
not true for all times to come.  When it changes, you have to ask
the elders and the learned, whether such a change is alright.  This
is what is happening today.  All castes excepting the last one, should have tuft of hair.  Brahmin men should not wear any uppercloth.
Sannyasis should have their heads shaven only on full moon day.
Anyone excepting the last caste, should not eat the previous day's
food, if cooked.  We are not able to follow any of these.  Then, in
such situations, people should ask the learned and elders as to
what is correct.       
Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Let us Live by the ideals laid down by Manu Smriti
Post by: Nagaraj on March 26, 2009, 12:46:37 PM
Dear Subramanian,

What you have said is very true. But today we are amidst such confusion, we have Sastras in one hand, the Government in one hand, the westernization of culture has modified what is acceptable and what is not. We have millions of Gurus (including all religions) in this Kali yuga, there is such deterioration! There is no way out! today one cannot say what is the Dharma of the day! what is right and what is wrong!

Its like the eternal confusion - should one live like Sri Rama or Sri Krishna!  :) Both are impossible

Title: Re: Let us Live by the ideals laid down by Manu Smriti
Post by: vinita on March 26, 2009, 03:03:41 PM
i dunno if this is the right context...and whether what was written by manu got distorted over time. But there are a couple of lines attributed to him (or some say they were written by Tulsidas) that smack of chauvinism. If one were to live by those lines / "ideals"(????????), there would be a lot of negatism.