Hindu Laws Promoting Slavery - Manusmriti
Manusmriti Created Hindu Apartheid & Slavery System
The caste system is a creation of Hinduism which divides hindus in four castes according to manusmriti, i.e.
1. Brahmins (priests) - Considered as holy as gods. All their actions are holy & unquestionable.
2. Kshatriyas (warriors, rulers, kings etc.) - Those who handled weapons.
3. Vaishya (Businessmen/traders) - Buying , selling, lending etc.
4. Shudras (Slaves, Anaryans, Dalits) - People with no human rights and worthy of eternal condemnation.
The manusmriti is much criticized by low castes ( dalits or shudras ) in india as it institutionalized slavery system in hindu society. The low caste people were relegated to less than animals without any rights. They were called untouchables (achoot) and supposed to be so unholy that even their shadow was considered polluting. Many animals are worshipped in hinduism such as monkey god Hanuman, dog god Kaal Bhairav , Elephant god Ganesha, cow as godess Kamdhenu , bull as god Nandi, rat, snake, ant etc., hence animals had better human rights than low caste people in rigid traditional hindu society. The low caste were allotted filthy jobs such as cleaning and carrying human excreta. They were supposed to live outside habitations & were supposed to make a big noise while entering a habitation announcing their arrival & telling people to move away in order to avoid getting polluted. They had no rights for getting education, wealth , luxury, house etc. It seems like hindu society was practicing and propagating intellectual cannibalism. It is also suspected that the myth of Manu and his writings i.e. Manu smriti (slavery system) was a creation of a brahmin called Sumati Bhargava during the reign of a brahmin king Pusyamitra Sunga (around 180 BCE) who was persecuting buddhists & promoting Brahminism(ie hinduism). He had set a prize of 100 gold coins on every buddhist and jain monks head and hence caused their slaughter & bloodshed. Buddhists & jains were relegated tolow caste and were called sramanas & malecchas. The ultimate aim of creating the myth of manu ( & manusmriti) was to justify the slavery system as of divine origin so as to make it palatable to masses practising hinduism with the motive to make the upper caste (brahmins) rich & influential as it promised haven to those who helped and gave donations to brahmins.
WHAT AMBEDKAR SAYS ABOUT MANUSMRITI
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, a lawyer and Dalit politician, and the chief architect of Indian constitution writes this about the Manusmriti in his book "Revolution and Counter-Revolution in India"
" It (Buddhism) did not remain as one of the many diverse religions then in vogue. Ashoka made it the religion of the state. This of course was the greatest blow to Brahmanism. The Brahmins lost all state patronage and were neglected to a secondary and subsidiary position in the Empire of Ashoka.
Indeed it may be said to have been suppressed for the simple reason that Ashoka prohibited all animal sacrifices which constituted the very essence of Brahmanic religion.
The Brahmins had not only lost state patronage but they lost their occupation which mainly consisted in performing sacrifices for a fee which often times was very substantial and which constituted their chief source of living. The Brahmins therefore lived as the suppressed and Depressed Classes 2 for nearly 140 years during which the Maurya Empire lasted.
A rebellion against the Buddhist state was the only way of escape left to the suffering Brahmins and there is special reason why Pushyamitra should raise the banner of revolt against the rule of the Mauryas. Pushyamitra was a Sung by Gotra.
The Sungas were Samvedi Brahmins,3 who believed in animal sacrifices and soma sacrifices. The Sungas were therefore quite naturally smarting under the prohibition on animal sacrifices throughout the Maurya Empire proclaimed in the very Rock Edict by Ashoka.
No wonder if Pushyamitra who as a Samvedi Brahmin was the first to conceive the passion to end the degradation of the Brahmin by destroying the Buddhist state which was the cause of it and to free them to practise their Brahmanic religion.
That the object of the Regicide by Pushyamitra was to destroy Buddhism as a state religion and to make the Brahmins the sovereign rulers of India so that with the political power of the state behind it Brahmanism may triumph over Buddhism is borne out by two other circumstances.
The first circumstance relates to the conduct of Pushyamitra himself. There is evidence that Pushyamitra after he ascended the throne performed the Ashvamedha Yajna or the horse sacrifice, the vedic rite which could only be performed by a paramount sovereign. As Vincent Smith observes :
"The exaggerated regard for the sanctity of animal life, which was one of the most cherished features of Buddhism, and the motive of Ashoka's most characterisitic legislation, had necessarily involved the prohibition of bloody sacrifices, which are essential to certain forms of Brahmanical worship, and were believed by the orthodox to possess the highest saving efficacy. The memorable horse sacrifices of Pushyamitra marked an early stage in the Brahmanical reaction, which was fully developed five centuries later in the time of Samudragupta and his successors."
Then there is evidence that Pushyamitra after his accession launched a violent and virulent campaign of persecution against Buddhists and Buddhism.
How pitiless was the persecution and of Buddhism by Pushyamitra can be gauged from the Proclamation which he issued against the Buddhist monks. By this proclamation Pushyamitra set a price of 100 gold pieces on the head of every Buddhist monk & hence their slaughter.
"The condition of the Buddhists under the imperial sway of the Sungas, orthodox and bigotted, can be more easily imagined than described. From Chinese authorities it is known that many Buddhists still do not pronounce the name of Pushyamitra without a curse."
If the Revolution of Pushyamitra was a purely political revolution there was no need for him to have launched a compaign of persecution against Buddhism which was not very different to the compaign of persecution launched by the Mahmud of Ghazni against Hinduism. This is one piece of circumatantial evidence which proves that the aim of Pushyamitra was to overthrow Buddhism and establish Brahmanism in its place.
Another piece of evidence which shows that the origin and purpose of the revolution by Pushyamitra against the Mauryas was to destroy Buddhism and establish Brahmanism is evidenced by the promulgation of Manu Smriti as a code of laws.However one must note that kingdom of Sungas was a small one.Hence the above discussion does not hold good for overall Indian scenario.
The Manu Smriti is said to be divine in its origin. It is said to be revealed to man by Manu to whom it was revealed by the Swayambhu (i.e. the Creator). This claim, as will be seen from the reference already made to it, is set out in the Code itself. It is surprising that nobody has cared to examine the grounds of such a claim. The result is that there is a complete failure to realise the significance, place and position of the Manu Smriti in the history of India. This is true even of the historians of India although the Manu Smriti is a record of the greatest social revolution that Hindu society has undergone. There can however be no doubt that the claim made in the Manu Smriti regarding its authorship is an utter fraud and the beliefs arising out of this false claim are quite untenable.
The name Manu had a great prestige in the ancient history of India and it is with the object to invest the code with this ancient prestige that its authorship was attributed to Manu. That this was a fraud to deceive people is beyond question. The code itself is signed[f62] in the family name of Bhrigu as was the ancient custom. "The Text Composed by Bhrigu (entitled) "The Dharma Code of Manu" is the real title of the work. The name Bhrigu is subscribed to the end of every chapter of the Code itself. We have therefore the family name of the author of the Code. His personal name is not disclosed in the Book. All the same it was known to many. The Author of Narada Smriti writing in about the 4th Century A.D. knew the name of the author of the Manu Smriti and gives out the secret. According to Narada it was one Sumati Bhargava who composed the Code of Manu. Sumati Bhargava is not a legendary name, and must have been historical person for even Medhatithe[f63] the great commentator on the Code of Manu held the view that this Manu was 'a certain individual'. Manu therefore is the assumed name of Sumati Bhargava who is the real author of Manu Smriti.
When did this Sumati Bhargava compose this Code? It is not possible to give any precise date for its composition. But quite a precise period during which it was composed can be given. According to scholars whose authority cannot be questioned Sumati Bhargava must have composed the Code which he deliberately called Munu Smriti between 170 B.C. and 150 B.C. Now if one bears in mind the fact that the Brahmanic Revolution by Pushyamitra took place in 185 B.C. there remains no doubt that the code known as Manu Smriti was promulgated by Pushyamitra as embodying the principles of Brahmanic Revolution against the Buddhist state of the Mauryas. That the Manu Smriti forms the Institutes of Brahmanism and are a proof that Pushyamitra Revolution was not a purely personal adventure will be clear to any one who cares to note the following peculiarities relating to the Manu Smriti"
Needless to say, the Manusmriti has been criticised and condemned. Manusmriti's detractors feel that some of its injunctions favor one community (the Brahmins) over others. It is also accused of trying to imply that the Shudras as races foreign to India. Almost all of its injunctions pertaining to the Shudras are seen as tools for their exploitation. While it is sometimes claimed (with almost no evidence) that certain passages of Manusmriti which are highly biased against Shudras are later additions or interpolations, it must be noted that atleast some of the statements in the Manusmriti against Shudras were already present by the time of Shankaracharya (7th-8th Century CE), who quotes them in some of his commentaries. So it is unlikely that these so-called interpolations, if there were any, were done much later than the writing of the text itself.
Extracts from the Manusmriti Promoting Slavery
The great sages approached Manu, who was seated with a collected mind, and, having duly worshipped him, spoke as follows:
Divine one, to declare to us precisely and in due order the sacred laws of each of the [four]
castes [varnas] and of the intermediate ones.
Manu said : For the sake of the prosperity of the worlds he [Brahma] caused the Brahmin, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya and the Shudra to proceed forth from his mouth, his arms, his thighs and his feet. But in order to protect this universe, He, the most resplendent one[Brahma], assigned
separate [duties and] occupations to those who sprang from his mouth, arms, thighs and feet.
To Brahmins he assigned teaching and studying [the Veda], sacrificing for their own benefit and for others, giving and accepting [of alms]. 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.The Vaisya to tend cattle, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study [the Veda], to trade, to lend money, and to cultivate land. One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Shudra, to serve meekly even these [other] three castes. The Brahmin, Kshatriya and the Vaishya castes are the twice-born ones, but the fourth, the Shudra, has one birth only.
On account of his preeminence, on account of the superiority of his origin, on account of his observance of restrictive rules and on account of his particular sanctification, the Brahmin is the lord of [all] castes. Let the three twice-born castes, discharging their [prescribed] duties, study [the Veda], but among them the Brahmin [alone] shall teach it, not the other two; that is an established rule.
As the Brahmin 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 creation. A Brahmin, coming into existence, is born the highest on earth, the lord of all created beings, for the protection of the treasury of the law. Whatever exists in the world is the property of the Brahmin. On account of the excellence of his origin the Brahmin is, indeed, entitled to all.
Whatever law has been ordained for any [person] by Manu, that has been fully declared in the Veda, for that [sage was] omniscient.
Knowledge is the austerity of the Brahmin, protecting is the austerity of the Kshatriya, his daily business is the austerity of the Vaisya, and service [of the 'upper' castes] the austerity of a Shudra.
Let [the first part of] a Brahmin's name [denote something] auspicious, a Kshatriya's be connected with power, and a Vaisya's with wealth, but a Shudra's [express something] contemptible. [The second part of] a Brahmin's [name] shall be [a word] implying happiness, of a Kshatriya's [a word] implying protection, of a Vaisya's [a term] expressive of thriving, and of a Shudra's [an expression] denoting service. Kshatriyas prosper not without Brahmins [and] Brahmins prosper not without Kshatriyas.
Brahmins and Kshatriyas, being closely united, prosper in this [world] and in the next. But to serve Brahmins [who are] learned in the Vedas, householders and famous [for virtue] is the highest duty of a Shudra, which leads to beatitude. [A Shudra who is] pure, the servant of his betters, gentle in speech and free from pride and always seeks refuge with Brahmins, attains [in his next life] a higher caste.
The whole world is kept in order by punishment . [So] let him [the king] act with justice in his own domains, chastise his enemies, behave without duplicity towards his friends, and be lenient towards the Brahmins. The king has been created [to be] the protector of the castes and orders, who, all according to their rank, discharge their several duties. Let the king, after rising early in the morning, worship the Brahmins who are well-versed in the three-fold sacred science and learned and follow their advice . Though dying [with want] a king must not levy a tax on Srotriyas (priests) and no Srotriya residing in his kingdom must perish from hunger. A king, desirous of investigating law cases, must enter his court of justice, preserving a dignified demeanor, together with Brahmins and with experienced councilors . A Brahmin who subsists only by the name of his caste or one who merely calls himself a Brahmin may, at the king's pleasure, interpret the law to him, but never a Shudra. The kingdom of that monarch who looks on while a Shudra settles the law will sink [low] like a cow in a morass.
That kingdom where Shudras are very numerous, which is infested by atheists and destitute of twice-born ('upper' caste) [inhabitants], soon entirely perishes, afflicted by famine and disease. [The king] should carefully compel Vaisyas and Shudras to perform the work [prescribed] for them; for if these two [castes] swerved from their duties, they would throw this [whole] world into confusion.
A Kshatriya, having defamed a Brahmin, shall be fined one hundred [panas]; a Vaisya one
hundred and fifty or two hundred; a Shudra shall suffer corporal punishment. A once-born man (Shudra) who insults a twice-born ('upper' caste) man with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out, for he is of low origin. If he mentions the names and castes of the ['twice-born'] with contempt, an iron nail, ten fingers long, shall be thrust red-hot into his mouth. If he [a Shudra] arrogantly teaches Brahmins their duty, the king shall cause hot oil to be poured into his mouth and into his ears.
A low-caste man who tries to place himself on the same seat with a man of high caste shall be branded on his hip and be banished, or [the king] shall cause his buttock to be gashed. (Any form of punishment for this 'crime').
If out of arrogance he [a Shudra] spits [on a superior] the king shall cause both his lips to be cut off.
If he [a Shudra] lays hold of the hair [of a superior] let the [king] unhesitatingly cut off his hands.
He who strikes [a Brahmin] even with a blade of grass . shall appease him by a prostration. But he who, intending to hurt a Brahmin, threatens [him with a stick and the like] shall remain in hell for a hundred years; he who [actually] strikes him [shall remain in hell] for a thousand years.
A Chandala (the 'lowest' caste), a village pig, a cock, a dog, a menstruating women and a eunuch must not look at the Brahmins when they eat.
Let him [a Brahmin] not dwell in a country where the rulers are Shudras . nor in one swarming with men of the lowest caste . Let him not give advice to a Shudra . for he who explains the sacred law [to a Shudra] or dictates him to a penance will sink together with that [man] into the hell [called] Asamvrita. Let him not recite [the Vedas] indistinctly, nor in the presence of Shudras . When he [a Brahmin] has touched a Chandala, a menstruating woman, an outcast, a woman in childbed, a corpse or one who has touched [a corpse], he becomes pure by bathing . Let him not allow a dead Brahmin to be carried out by a Shudra while men of the same caste are at hand, for that burnt offering which is defiled by a Shudra's touch is detrimental to [the deceased's passage to] heaven. A Brahmin who unintentionally approaches a woman of the Chandala or of [any other] very low caste, who eats [the food of such persons] and accepts [gifts from them] becomes an outcast, but [if he does it] intentionally he becomes their equal.
The dwellings of Chandalas and Svapakas [people of very 'low' caste] shall be outside the village and their wealth [shall be] dogs and donkeys. 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 to place . At night they shall not walk about in villages and in towns. 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.
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. It is better to [discharge] one's own [appointed caste] 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 . Let a [Shudra] serve Brahmins, 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 Brahmin thereby gains all his ends. The service of Brahmins alone is declared [to be] an excellent occupation for a Shudra, for whatever else besides this he may perform will bear him no fruit.
No collection of wealth must be made by a Shudra, even though he be able [to do it], for a Shudra who has acquired wealth gives pain to Brahmins.
He who has associated with outcasts, he who has approached the wives of other men and he who has stolen the property of a Brahmin becomes [after death] a brahmarakshas [fierce devil]. It is declared that a Shudra woman alone [can be] the wife of a Shudra, she and one of his own caste [the wives] of a Vaishya, those two and one of his own caste [the wives] of a Kshatriya, those three and one of his own caste [the wives] of a Brahmin . Twice-born ('upper' caste) men, who, in their folly, wed wives of the low [Shudra] caste soon degrade their families and their children to the state of Shudras. According to Atri and to [Gautama] the son of Uthaya, he who weds a Shudra woman becomes an outcast . A Brahmin who takes a Shudra wife to his bed will [after death] sink into hell; if he begets a child by her he will lose the rank of a Brahmin.
A [man of ] low [caste] who makes love to a maiden [of] the highest [caste] shall suffer corporal punishment.
The property of a Brahmin 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]. Let the king corporally punish all those [persons] who either gamble and bet or afford [an opportunity for it], likewise Shudras who assume the distinctive marks of twice-born [men].
Never slay a Brahmin, though he [may] have committed all [possible] crimes . No greater crime is known on earth than slaying a Brahmin. A king, therefore, must not even conceive in his mind the thought of killing a Brahmin. A Brahmin, be he ignorant or learned, is a great divinity, just as the fire, whether carried forth [for the performance of a sacrifice] or not carried forth, is a great divinity. Thus, though Brahmins employ themselves in all [sorts of] mean occupations they must be honoured in every way, for [each of] them is a very great deity. [The king] should order a Vaisya to trade, to lend money, to cultivate the land or to tend cattle, and a Shudra to serve the twice-born castes . A Brahmin who, because he is powerful,out of greed makes initiated [men of the] twice-born [castes] against their will to do the work of slaves, shall be fined by the king six hundred [panas]. But a Shudra, whether bought or not bought, he may compel to do servile work, for he was created by the Self-Existent (swayambhu) to be the slave of a Brahmin. A Shudra, though emancipated by his master, is not released from servitude; since that is innate in him, who can set him free?
A Brahmin may confidently seize the goods of [his] Shudra [slave], for, as that [slave] can have no property, his master may take his possessions . That sinful man, who, through covetousness, seizes the property of the gods or the property of Brahmins feeds in another world on the leavings of vultures. The Brahmin is declared [to be] the creator [of the world], the punisher, the teacher [and hence] a benefactor [of all created beings], to himlet no man say anything unpropitious nor use any harsh words.