The ancient scripture, Manu sutras, is also called Manu Smriti and Manu Sashtra. The universe was created by Lord Brahma. His son is the Sun God and his son is Manu, who is the ruler of our world. It is considered the first Hindu treatise which laid down the principles of the Hindu religion, the cast division, social conduct and laws etc.It must be remembered that these religious doctrines were preached several thousands of years ago and the socio-economic and religious conditions were vastly different in those days. The laws were strict and so was the punishment. Unfortunately without understanding this most important factor, a lot of self styled intellectuals criticize them.
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 ones.
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 Narayana.
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 of sensation.
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 frame 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 creation.
29. Whatever he assigned to each at the (first) creation, noxiousness or harmlessness, gentleness or ferocity, virtue or sin, truth or falsehood, that clung (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.