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This Is An Essay That Explains The Origins And What The "L Aws Of Manu" Are All About

1394 words - 6 pages

The Laws of ManuThe Laws of Manu have drawn the attention of Western minds to Hindu ideals and how those principles influenced the day-to-day life of the four different classes within Hindu society. The rules and regulations that are contained in the law are considered to be universal to all and everlasting. The laws of Manu were a collection of writings that were legal and ethical in nature, dealing with the following problems. Beginning with the function of the four castes, supremacy of the priestly caste, perpetuation of the priestly caste, conduct of men in the secular life, and conduct of men in the religious life. The document about to be presented deals with caste system and gender roles.The laws of Manu were believed to be written between the first century B.C.E. and third century B.C.E. The Laws of Manu is one of the best known of the Sanskrit texts that was compiled from diverse ancient sources and provided detailed rules, presumably directed to Brahman priests, governing ritual and daily life. In particular they seek to validate and preserve the high caste position of the Brahmans. Brahma created Manu, the first man. From Manu came the four different types of people, as the creator Brahma determined. From Manu's head came the Brahmins, the best and most holy people. Out of Manu's hands came the Kshatriyas, the rulers and warriors. The craftsmen came from his thighs and are called Vaisyas. The remainder of the people came from Manu's feet and are known as Sudras. The caste system became more complicated as time went on, with literally thousands of sub castes coming into existence. Today the caste system is still an integral part of the social order of India, even though the Indian government has outlawed it.To begin, the Varna is describing how the people were placed into the four different levels of society. The Brahmins, Kshatriya and the Vaisya castes are the twice born ones. On the other hand, the fourth caste the Sudras, only get one birth. The Brahmins were Priests that were assigned to teaching and studying the Vedas. They were supposed to sacrifice their own benefits for the good of others, and abstain from any sensual or sexual pleasure. The Vaisya were to tend to the cattle, study the Veda, trade, and cultivate land. The Sudra's were not assigned to do anything but to serve the other three caste levels.Next, the Jatis was about (inter-marrying) groups that are divided along occupational, sectarian, and regional lines. The males were to do there work where the needed to be, but when they were done, they were to return outside the village. The kandalas were the lowest of men, and they could kill fish, do carpentry, and slaughter wild animals, but their dwellings were to be outside the village. Their dress was to be the garments of the dead, and they must eat food off broken dishes and wander from place to place. A man who fulfills a religious duty, should not seek intercourse with a women from a higher caste. They must marry...

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