1. The great sages approached Manu, who was seated with a collected mind, 
and, having duly worshipped him, spoke as follows: 

     2. 'Deign, divine one, to declare to us precisely and in due order the 
sacred laws of each of the (four chief) castes (varna) and of the intermediate 

     3. 'For thou, O Lord, alone knowest the purport, (i.e.) the rites, and the 
knowledge of the soul, (taught) in this whole ordinance of the Self-existent
     (Svayambhu), which is unknowable and unfathomable.' 

     4. He, whose power is measureless, being thus asked by the high-minded 
great sages, duly honoured them, and answered, 'Listen!' 

     5. This (universe) existed in the shape of Darkness, unperceived, destitute 
of distinctive marks, unattainable by reasoning, unknowable, wholly
     immersed, as it were, in deep sleep. 

     6. Then the divine Self-existent (Svayambhu, himself) indiscernible, (but) 
making (all) this, the great elements and the rest, discernible, appeared with
     irresistible (creative) power, dispelling the darkness. 

     7. He who can be perceived by the internal organ (alone), who is subtile, 
indiscernible, and eternal, who contains all created beings and is
     inconceivable, shone forth of his own (will). 

     8. He, desiring to produce beings of many kinds from his own body, first 
with a thought created the waters, and placed his seed in them. 

     9. That (seed) became a golden egg, in brilliancy equal to the sun; in that 
(egg) he himself was born as Brahman, the progenitor of the whole world. 

     10. The waters are called narah, (for) the waters are, indeed, the 
offspring of Nara; as they were his first residence (ayana), he thence is named

     11. From that (first) cause, which is indiscernible, eternal, and both real 
and unreal, was produced that male (Purusha), who is famed in this world
     (under the appellation of) Brahman. 

     12. The divine one resided in that egg during a whole year, then he himself 
by his thought (alone) divided it into two halves; 

     13. And out of those two halves he formed heaven and earth, between them 
the middle sphere, the eight points of the horizon, and the eternal abode of
     the waters. 

     14. From himself (atmanah) he also drew forth the mind, which is both real 
and unreal, likewise from the mind egoism, which possesses the function of
     self-consciousness (and is) lordly; 

     15. Moreover, the great one, the soul, and all (products) affected by the 
three qualities, and, in their order, the five organs which perceive the objects 

     16. But, joining minute particles even of those six, which possess 
measureless power, with particles of himself, he created all beings. 

     17. Because those six (kinds of) minute particles, which form the 
(creator's) frame, enter (a-sri) these (creatures), therefore the wise call his 
     sarira, (the body.) 

     18. That the great elements enter, together with their functions and the 
mind, through its minute parts the framer of all beings, the imperishable one. 

     19. But from minute body (-framing) particles of these seven very powerful 
Purushas springs this (world), the perishable from the imperishable. 

     20. Among them each succeeding (element) acquires the quality of the 
preceding one, and whatever place (in the sequence) each of them occupies,
     even so many qualities it is declared to possess. 

     21. But in the beginning he assigned their several names, actions, and 
conditions to all (created beings), even according to the words of the Veda. 

     22. He, the Lord, also created the class of the gods, who are endowed with 
life, and whose nature is action; and the subtile class of the Sadhyas, and
     the eternal sacrifice. 

     23. But from fire, wind, and the sun he drew forth the threefold eternal 
Veda, called Rik, Yagus, and Saman, for the due performance of the sacrifice. 

     24. Time and the divisions of time, the lunar mansions and the planets, the 
rivers, the oceans, the mountains, plains, and uneven ground. 

     25. Austerity, speech, pleasure, desire, and anger, this whole creation he 
likewise produced, as he desired to call these beings into existence. 

     26. Moreover, in order to distinguish actions, he separated merit from 
demerit, and he caused the creatures to be affected by the pairs (of opposites),
     such as pain and pleasure. 

     27. But with the minute perishable particles of the five (elements) which 
have been mentioned, this whole (world) is framed in due order. 

     28. But to whatever course of action the Lord at first appointed each (kind 
of beings), that alone it has spontaneously adopted in each succeeding

     29. Whatever he assigned to each at the (first) creation, noxiousness or 
harmlessness, gentleness or ferocity, virtue or sin, truth or falsehood, that 
     (afterwards) spontaneously to it. 

     30. As at the change of the seasons each season of its own accord assumes 
its distinctive marks, even so corporeal beings (resume in new births) their
     (appointed) course of action. 

     31. But for the sake of the prosperity of the worlds he caused the 
Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra to proceed from his mouth, 
     arms, his thighs, and his feet. 

     32. Dividing his own body, the Lord became half male and half female; with 
that (female) he produced Virag. 

     33. But know me, O most holy among the twice-born, to be the creator of 
this whole (world), whom that male, Virag, himself produced, having
     performed austerities. 

     34. Then I, desiring to produce created beings, performed very difficult 
austerities, and (thereby) called into existence ten great sages, lords of 

     35. Mariki, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Praketas, Vasishtha, 
Bhrigu, and Narada. 

     36. They created seven other Manus possessing great brilliancy, gods and 
classes of gods and great sages of measureless power, 

     37. Yakshas (the servants of Kubera, the demons called) Rakshasas and 
Pisakas, Gandharvas (or musicians of the gods), Apsarases (the dancers of
     the gods), Asuras, (the snake-deities called) Nagas and Sarpas, (the bird-
deities called) Suparnas and the several classes of the manes, 

     38. Lightnings, thunderbolts and clouds, imperfect (rohita) and perfect 
rainbows, falling meteors, supernatural noises, comets, and heavenly lights of
     many kinds, 

     39 (Horse-faced) Kinnaras, monkeys, fishes, birds of many kinds, cattle, 
deer, men, and carnivorous beasts with two rows of teeth, 

     40. Small and large worms and beetles, moths, lice, flies, bugs, all 
stinging and biting insects and the several kinds of immovable things. 

     41. Thus was this whole (creation), both the immovable and the movable, 
produced by those high-minded ones by means of austerities and at my
     command, (each being) according to (the results of) its actions. 

     42. But whatever act is stated (to belong) to (each of) those creatures 
here below, that I will truly declare to you, as well as their order in respect 

     43. Cattle, deer, carnivorous beasts with two rows of teeth, Rakshasas, 
Pisakas, and men are born from the womb. 

     44. From eggs are born birds, snakes, crocodiles, fishes, tortoises, as 
well as similar terrestrial and aquatic (animals). 

     45. From hot moisture spring stinging and biting insects, lice, flies, 
bugs, and all other (creatures) of that kind which are produced by heat. 

     46. All plants, propagated by seed or by slips, grow from shoots; annual 
plants (are those) which, bearing many flowers and fruits, perish after the
     ripening of their fruit; 

     47. (Those trees) which bear fruit without flowers are called vanaspati 
(lords of the forest); but those which bear both flowers and fruit are called

     48. But the various plants with many stalks, growing from one or several 
roots, the different kinds of grasses, the climbing plants and the creepers
     spring all from seed or from slips. 

     49. These (plants) which are surrounded by multiform Darkness, the result 
of their acts (in former existences), possess internal consciousness and
     experience pleasure and pain. 

     50. The (various) conditions in this always terrible and constantly 
changing circle of births and deaths to which created beings are subject, are 
stated to
     begin with (that of) Brahman, and to end with (that of) these (just 
mentioned immovable creatures). 

     51. When he whose power is incomprehensible, had thus produced the universe 
and men, he disappeared in himself, repeatedly suppressing one period
     by means of the other. 

     52. When that divine one wakes, then this world stirs; when he slumbers 
tranquilly, then the universe sinks to sleep. 

     53. But when he reposes in calm sleep, the corporeal beings whose nature is 
action, desist from their actions and mind becomes inert. 

     54. When they are absorbed all at once in that great soul, then he who is 
the soul of all beings sweetly slumbers, free from all care and occupation. 

     55. When this (soul) has entered darkness, it remains for a long time 
united with the organs (of sensation), but performs not its functions; it then 
     the corporeal frame. 

     56. When, being clothed with minute particles (only), it enters into 
vegetable or animal seed, it then assumes, united (with the fine body), a (new)
     corporeal frame. 

     57. Thus he, the imperishable one, by (alternately) waking and slumbering, 
incessantly revivifies and destroys this whole movable and immovable

     58. But he having composed these Institutes (of the sacred law), himself 
taught them, according to the rule, to me alone in the beginning; next I (taught
     them) to Mariki and the other sages. 

     59. Bhrigu, here, will fully recite to you these Institutes; for that sage 
learned the whole in its entirety from me. 

     60. Then that great sage Bhrigu, being thus addressed by Manu, spoke, 
pleased in his heart, to all the sages, 'Listen!' 

     61. Six other high-minded, very powerful Manus, who belong to the race of 
this Manu, the descendant of the Self-existent (Svayambhu), and who have
     severally produced created beings, 

     62. (Are) Svarokisha, Auttami, Tamasa, Raivata, Kakshusha, possessing great 
lustre, and the son of Vivasvat. 

     63. These seven very glorious Manus, the first among whom is Svayambhuva, 
produced and protected this whole movable and immovable (creation),
     each during the period (allotted to him). 

     64. Eighteen nimeshas (twinklings of the eye, are one kashtha), thirty 
kashthas one kala, thirty kalas one muhurta, and as many (muhurtas) one day and

     65. The sun divides days and nights, both human and divine, the night 
(being intended) for the repose of created beings and the day for exertion. 

     66. A month is a day and a night of the manes, but the division is 
according to fortnights. The dark (fortnight) is their day for active exertion, 
the bright
     (fortnight) their night for sleep. 

     67. A year is a day and a night of the gods; their division is (as 
follows): the half year during which the sun progresses to the north will be the 
day, that
     during which it goes southwards the night. 

     68. But hear now the brief (description of) the duration of a night and a 
day of Brahman and of the several ages (of the world, yuga) according to their

     69. They declare that the Krita age (consists of) four thousand years (of 
the gods); the twilight preceding it consists of as many hundreds, and the
     twilight following it of the same number. 

     70. In the other three ages with their twilights preceding and following, 
the thousands and hundreds are diminished by one (in each). 

     71. These twelve thousand (years) which thus have been just mentioned as 
the total of four (human) ages, are called one age of the gods. 

     72. But know that the sum of one thousand ages of the gods (makes) one day 
of Brahman, and that his night has the same length. 

     73. Those (only, who) know that the holy day of Brahman, indeed, ends after 
(the completion of) one thousand ages (of the gods) and that his night
     lasts as long, (are really) men acquainted with (the length of) days and 

     74. At the end of that day and night he who was asleep, awakes and, after 
awaking, creates mind, which is both real and unreal. 

     75. Mind, impelled by (Brahman's) desire to create, performs the work of 
creation by modifying itself, thence ether is produced; they declare that
     sound is the quality of the latter. 

     76. But from ether, modifying itself, springs the pure, powerful wind, the 
vehicle of all perfumes; that is held to possess the quality of touch. 

     77. Next from wind modifying itself, proceeds the brilliant light, which 
illuminates and dispels darkness; that is declared to possess the quality of 

     78. And from light, modifying itself, (is produced) water, possessing the 
quality of taste, from water earth which has the quality of smell; such is the
     creation in the beginning. 

     79. The before-mentioned age of the gods, (or) twelve thousand (of their 
years), being multiplied by seventy-one, (constitutes what) is here named the
     period of a Manu (Manvantara). 

     80. The Manvantaras, the creations and destructions (of the world, are) 
numberless; sporting, as it were, Brahman repeats this again and again. 

     81. In the Krita age Dharma is four-footed and entire, and (so is) Truth; 
nor does any gain accrue to men by unrighteousness. 

     82. In the other (three ages), by reason of (unjust) gains (agama), Dharma 
is deprived successively of one foot, and through (the prevalence of) theft,
     falsehood, and fraud the merit (gained by men) is diminished by one fourth 
(in each). 

     83. (Men are) free from disease, accomplish all their aims, and live four 
hundred years in the Krita age, but in the Treta and (in each of) the succeeding
     (ages) their life is lessened by one quarter. 

     84. The life of mortals, mentioned in the Veda, the desired results of 
sacrificial rites and the (supernatural) power of embodied (spirits) are fruits
     proportioned among men according to (the character of) the age. 

     85. One set of duties (is prescribed) for men in the Krita age, different 
ones in the Treta and in the Dvapara, and (again) another (set) in the Kali, in 
     proportion as (those) ages decrease in length. 

     86. In the Krita age the chief (virtue) is declared to be (the performance 
of) austerities, in the Treta (divine) knowledge, in the Dvapara (the
     performance of) sacrifices, in the Kali liberality alone. 

     87. But in order to protect this universe He, the most resplendent one, 
assigned separate (duties and) occupations to those who sprang from his mouth,
     arms, thighs, and feet. 

     88. To Brahmanas he assigned teaching and studying (the Veda), sacrificing 
for their own benefit and for others, giving and accepting (of alms). 

     89. The Kshatriya he commanded to protect the people, to bestow gifts, to 
offer sacrifices, to study (the Veda), and to abstain from attaching himself
     to sensual pleasures; 

     90. The Vaisya to tend cattle, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to 
study (the Veda), to trade, to lend money, and to cultivate land. 

     91. One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Sudra, to serve meekly 
even these (other) three castes. 

     92. Man is stated to be purer above the navel (than below); hence the Self-
existent (Svayambhu) has declared the purest (part) of him (to be) his

     93. As the Brahmana sprang from (Brahman's) mouth, as he was the first-
born, and as he possesses the Veda, he is by right the lord of this whole

     94. For the Self-existent (Svayambhu), having performed austerities, 
produced him first from his own mouth, in order that the offerings might be
     conveyed to the gods and manes and that this universe might be preserved. 

     95. What created being can surpass him, through whose mouth the gods 
continually consume the sacrificial viands and the manes the offerings to the

     96. Of created beings the most excellent are said to be those which are 
animated; of the animated, those which subsist by intelligence; of the 
     mankind; and of men, the Brahmanas; 

     97. Of Brahmanas, those learned (in the Veda); of the learned, those who 
recognise (the necessity and the manner of performing the prescribed duties);
     of those who possess this knowledge, those who perform them; of the 
performers, those who know the Brahman. 

     98. The very birth of a Brahmana is an eternal incarnation of the sacred 
law; for he is born to (fulfil) the sacred law, and becomes one with Brahman. 

     99. A Brahmana, coming into existence, is born as the highest on earth, the 
lord of all created beings, for the protection of the treasury of the law. 

     100. Whatever exists in the world is, the property of the Brahmana; on 
account of the excellence of his origin The Brahmana is, indeed, entitled to 

     101. The Brahmana eats but his own food, wears but his own apparel, bestows 
but his own in alms; other mortals subsist through the benevolence of
     the Brahmana. 

     102. In order to clearly settle his duties those of the other (castes) 
according to their order, wise Manu sprung from the Self-existent, composed 
     Institutes (of the sacred Law). 

     103. A learned Brahmana must carefully study them, and he must duly 
instruct his pupils in them, but nobody else (shall do it). 

     104. A Brahmana who studies these Institutes (and) faithfully fulfils the 
duties (prescribed therein), is never tainted by sins, arising from thoughts, 
     or deeds. 

     105. He sanctifies any company (which he may enter), seven ancestors and 
seven descendants, and he alone deserves (to possess) this whole earth. 

     106. (To study) this (work) is the best means of securing welfare, it 
increases understanding, it procures fame and long life, it (leads to) supreme 

     107. In this (work) the sacred law has been fully stated as well as the 
good and bad qualities of (human) actions and the immemorial rule of conduct,
     (to be followed) by all the four castes (varna). 

     108. The rule of conduct is transcendent law, whether it be taught in the 
revealed texts or in the sacred tradition; hence a twice-born man who
     possesses regard for himself, should be always careful to (follow) it. 

     109. A Brahmana who departs from the rule of conduct, does not reap the 
fruit of the Veda, but he who duly follows it, will obtain the full reward. 

     110. The sages who saw that the sacred law is thus grounded on the rule of 
conduct, have taken good conduct to be the most excellent root of all

     111. The creation of the universe, the rule of the sacraments, the 
ordinances of studentship, and the respectful behaviour (towards Gurus), the 
     excellent rule of bathing (on return from the teacher's house), 

     112. (The law of) marriage and the description of the (various) marriage-
rites, the regulations for the great sacrifices and the eternal rule of the 

     113. The description of the modes of (gaining) subsistence and the duties 
of a Snataka, (the rules regarding) lawful and forbidden food, the purification
     of men and of things, 

     114. The laws concerning women, (the law) of hermits, (the manner of 
gaining) final emancipation and (of) renouncing the world, the whole duty of a
     king and the manner of deciding lawsuits, 

     115. The rules for the examination of witnesses, the laws concerning 
husband and wife, the law of (inheritance and) division, (the law concerning)
     gambling and the removal of (men nocuous like) thorns, 

     116. (The law concerning) the behaviour of Vaisyas and Sudras, the origin 
of the mixed castes, the law for all castes in times of distress and the law of

     117. The threefold course of transmigrations, the result of (good or bad) 
actions, (the manner of attaining) supreme bliss and the examination of the
     good and bad qualities of actions, 

     118. The primeval laws of countries, of castes (gati), of families, and the 
rules concerning heretics and companies (of traders and the like)- (all that)
     Manu has declared in these Institutes. 

     119. As Manu, in reply to my questions, formerly promulgated these 
Institutes, even so learn ye also the (whole work) from me. 

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