Imatges de pÓgina

tuous wife. As far only as she is obedient to her lord, so far is she exalted in heaven.

71. She must always be cheerful, skilful in her management of the affairs of the house, careful in cleaning the household furniture, and not too lavish in her expenditure.

72. She who commits no offence against her lord, but is devoted to him in mind, speech, and body, acquires high renown in this world, and in the next the same abode with her husband.

73. And when her husband is dead, let her not even pronounce the name of another man, but let her continue till her own death, forgiving all injuries, performing austerities, and avoiding every sensual pleasure.

Duties of the Brahman in the third order or quarter of his life, as a

Vānaprastha, or Hermit. 74. When the householder perceives wrinkles on his body, and his hair gray, consigning his wife to the care of his sons, let him then have recourse to the forest.

75. From such food as himself may eat, let him to the best of his ability make offerings and give alms, and with water, roots, fruit, and other presents let him honour all who visit his hermitage.

76. Let him be constantly engaged in the study of Scripture, patient of extremities, benevolent, composed in mind, a constant giver but no receiver of gifts, tenderly affectionate towards all animated bodies.

77. Not solicitous for the means of gratification, his organs properly kept in subjection, sleeping on the bare ground, without one selfish affection, dwelling at the roots of trees.

78. Let him emaciate his bodily frame, enduring harsher and harsher mortifications. A Brahman who has banished sorrow and fear becomes exalted in the divine world.

Duties of the Brahman in the fourth order or quarter of his life, as a

Bhikshu, or Religious Mendicant. 79. Having thus passed his time in the forests during the third portion of his life, let him for the fourth portion of it become a Parivrājaka (or religious mendicant), abandoning all sensual connexions.

80. His hair, nails, and beard being clipped, bearing with him a dish, a staff, and a water-pot, intent on religious meditation, let him wander about continually without causing pain to any creature.

81. Let him not long for death, let him not long for life, let him expect his appointed time as a hired servant his wages.

82. By the restraint of his sensual organs, by the gradual extinction of affection and hatred, and by abstinence from injury to sentient beings, he becomes fit for immortality.

83. Let him bear opprobrious speech with patience, let him not treat any one with contempt, with an angry man let him not in his turn be angry, when cursed let him utter a blessing.

84. By eating little food, and by standing and sitting in solitary places, let him suppress those organs that are hurried away by sensual objects.

85. A mansion infested by decrepitude and sorrow, the seat of malady, harassed by pains, haunted with the darkness of passion, transient and formed of earth, such a mansion let him cheerfully quit.

86. In this manner having by little and little abandoned all earthly attachments, and having by devotion of himself to God effaced sin, he then attains the supreme path of glory.

87. By Brahmans, placed in these four orders, a (system of) duty having ten characteristics must be sedulously practised.

88. Contentment, returning good for evil, self-command, honesty, purification, coercion of the organs, knowledge of science, wisdom, veracity, and freedom from anger, form their tenfold system of duty. THE SECOND, OR MILITARY CLASS (OR KSHATRIYAS).

The King 89. By a Kshatriya (or man of the military class), who has received in due form the investiture prescribed by the Vedas, the protection of all these (his dominions) is to be made according to rule.

90. The military class does not flourish without the sacerdotal, nor does the sacerdotal prosper without the military; the sacerdotal and military classes, when associated together, obtain increase in this world and the next.


91. For if the world were without a king it would be agitated by fear, therefore the Supreme Ruler created a king for the sake of the protection of all this (universe).

92. A king, even though a child, must not be treated with contempt from an idea that he is a mere mortal; for he is a mighty divinity that appears in human shape.

93. A king should apply all his efforts to the suppression of robbers; for by the suppression of such wicked men his fame and territory obtain increase.

94. By the protection of the virtuous and the extirpation of evil doers, monarchs who devote themselves to the care of their subjects attain paradise.

95. As a husbandman plucks up weeds and preserves his corn, thus let a king destroy the iniquitous and protect his country.

96. But that monarch who takes a revenue without restraining the wicked, of such an one the dominions become troubled, and he himself is excluded from heaven.

97. But of him whose realm is supported by the strength of his arm and free from terror, the dominions continually flourish like a tree duly watered.

98. Let him diligently suppress the unrighteous by three methods—by coercion, by confinement, and by various kinds of capital punishment.

99. If the king were not with the greatest activity to inflict punishment on the guilty, the stronger would roast the weak like fish on a spit.

100. The crow would peck the consecrated offering, and the dog would lick the clarified butter ; ownership would remain with nobody, all barriers would be broken down.

101. The whole human race is kept under controul by punishment, for an innocent man is difficult to be found: through fear of punishment the whole universe is fitted for the enjoyment of its blessings.

102. Injustice is considered to attach to a king as much in releasing the man who deserves punishment, as in punishing the man who deserves it not; but justice to one who inflicts it with proper discrimination.

103. Day and night must he exert every effort to gain the victory over his passions, since that king alone whose passions are subdued can keep his subjects also in subjection.

Administration of Justice. 104. Neither the king himself nor the king's officer ought ever to promote litigation, or to neglect a law-suit when brought before him by another.

105. As a hunter tracks the lurking-place of the (wounded) deer by the drops of blood, so must a king investigate the direction in which justice lies by deliberate arguments.

106. Where justice, being wounded by iniquity, approaches the court, and the judges extract not the dart, there those judges also shall be wounded by it.

107. Either the court must not be entered, or truth must be declared : that man is criminal who either remains silent or says what is false.

108. By truth is a witness purified from sin; by truth is justice advanced: truth must, therefore, be spoken by witnesses of

every class.

109. The man who, being arrived in a court of justice, gives an imperfect account of a transaction, the truth of which he has not clearly ascertained, shall resemble a blind man who eats fish along with the bones.

110. The merit of every virtuous act which thou hast done, O good man, since thy birth, shall depart from thee to the dogs, if thou speak falsely.

111. Headlong in utter darkness shall the guilty wretch tumble into hell, who, being asked a question in judicial inquiry, answers falsely.

112. The sinful say in their hearts, “None sees us.” Yes; the gods distinctly see them, and so does the spirit within their breasts.

113. Though thou thinkest to thyself, O good friend, “I am alone,” there resides in thy bosom an Omniscient being, the inspector of thy goodness or of thy wickedness.

114. The soul itself is its own witness ; the soul itself is its own refuge: offend not thy own soul, the supreme internal witness of men.

115. The firmament, the earth, the waters, the human heart, the moon, the sun, the fire, the Judge of departed souls, the wind, the night, the two twilights, and justice, are acquainted with the conduct of all corporeal beings.

THE THIRD OR COMMERCIAL CLASS (OR VAISHYAS). 116. Let the Vaishya, having received investiture with the sacrificial thread, and having married a wife, be always attentive to his business of agriculture and trade, and the tending of cattle.

117. Since the Lord of the world, having created cattle, intrusted them to the care of the Vaishya, while he intrusted the whole human species to the Brahman and Kshatriya.

118. Let him be acquainted with the proper seasons for sowing seeds, and with the bad or good qualities of land, the excellence or defects of commodities, the advantages and disadvantages of different regions.

119. Of gems, pearls, and coral ; of metals, woven cloths, perfumes, and condiments, let him know the prices both high and low.

120. Let him know the just wages of servants, and the various dialects of men, the best mode of keeping goods, and every thing connected with purchase and sale.

121. Let him exert his utmost efforts to augment his property by all righteous means; and let him, to the best of his power, contribute toward the support and nourishment. of all creatures.

THE FOURTH OR SERVILE CLASS (OR SHŪDRAS). 122. Attendance on illustrious Brahmans, who are householders and learned in the Vedas, is of itself the highest duty of a Shūdra, and conducive to his heavenly reward.

123. Pure (in body and mind), serving the three higher classes, mild in speech, never arrogant, ever firm in his dependence on the sacerdotal class, he may obtain the highest class in another transmigration.

124. Avoidance of injury to animated beings, veracity, honesty, cleanliness, and command over the organs of sense, form the compendious system of duties which Manu has ordained for all the four classes.

« AnteriorContinua »