Manu: general characteristics (briefly), the main content

Manu is a collection of rules and norms (dharma).Their main task - to determine the behavior of the Indian people in their daily lives.

urgency of research

Why study the laws of Manu?Feature allows you to identify the source of culture and socio-economic history of India.This civilization is one of the oldest in the world.It has developed in the Indus Valley more than four millennia ago.Centers that were Harappa civilization and Mahendzho-Laro.In a place where there were these cities were carried out archaeological excavations.Their results have established the fact that the centers of the ancient Indian civilization had well developed handicraft industry, trade and agriculture.There was in them, and stratification of society.This period of the history of Indian science has scant information.

most extensive data about the culture and socio-economic relations of the Indian people are for the time period, which begins in the second half of the first millennium BC.e.and ends with the first century AD.This so-called Magadha-maudiysky period during which there is the largest public education not only in India but throughout the ancient East.He was the Mauryan Empire.

literary monuments of this period are the numerous religious ritual and legal Brahmin compilation - dharmashastr and dharmasutr.Among them are the best known at this time.These include dharmashastr or Manu.

General description

Religious and moral instruction contained in the poetic form - that is the law of Manu.General characteristics of this collection gives an idea of ​​the individual and social life of the people of ancient India.It is believed that the instructions set out in this code are given on behalf of the demi-god Manu, the legendary ancestor of all mankind.

word "dharma" is derived from the Sanskrit.It means "one that supports and embraces all things."Dharma - is the eternal cosmic order or law, which includes customary law and standards set by the state.Dharma has always been considered as the law of social and individual life.Follow it all had to fail.

very important in the life of the ancient Indian people were the Laws of Manu.General characteristics of the sources, the structure of this collection has now been thoroughly researched by scientists-historians.


twelve chapters include in its membership Manu.General characteristics and specific features of a set of rules such that all of his article (and there are 2685) set out in the form of couplets (slokas).This ritmitizirovannaya flow characteristic of many religious acts of the ancient states.An example is the Bible.

What are the Laws of Manu (general characteristics)?Briefly the main thrust of the document can be understood from the description of its chapters.The first sets out the details of the universe and the divine self-existent (the Creator).It is said there about the origin of Varna (4 core classes), as well as the role of the Brahmins, guarding treasures of universal law, predestined for all people.

In the second chapter the story of Indian education, adhering to the rule of law.According to this person must be initiated into the knowledge of Vedas.Only in this case it can be considered prepared for a new spiritual existence.The second chapter tells the story of the role played by rituals and customs in the life of an orthodox Hindu.It said, and the sacred wisdom, which is dharmashastr.

What other trends include Manu?General characteristics of the set of rules describes the requirements and standards applicable to family life.They can be found in Chapter III.The text in this section refers to the right of marriage (Anuloma) and the consequences of improper family ties (pratilom).Here are nominated and requirements conducted rites.

Chapters IV to VI provides information about daily hygiene, methods of sacralization of everyday life, as well as the correct daily routine.They are also prohibited the transfer deeds, describes the rituals of cleansing and lifestyle.

What other rules contain Manu?General characteristics of the seventh chapter may give an idea of ​​dharma, which must adhere to the king.We present in this story about the role played by the punishment and justice, policing and protection "of all creatures."Are given in Chapter VII advice on tax, administrative, military, and other businesses.

interesting Manu, characteristic of the articles of this document regarding the reasons for which must go to court.Altogether there are 18. They are stated in chapter VIII.According to the laws of Manu The lawsuit may be a criminal offense or breach of contractual relations, violence or theft, assault or slander, adultery, dice and so. D. Are described in this chapter, the rules of the decision on punishment.It also speaks of the innocence of those who acted to protect women from violence, a child or a Brahmin priest.

behavior in the family as described by the laws of Manu.General characteristics of the ninth chapter gives an overview of the property and personal rights as husband and wife, as well as their responsibilities and rights of inheritance.We present here the role of the king, imposing penalties for violations of the rules described.

in Chapter X of the Laws of Manu you can find the rules for the city of Varna.They include 7 of the ways in which it may acquire property and 10 ways that are permissible for the existence of those who are in distress.

XI chapter regulates life untouchable caste, which appears at the conclusion of mezhvarnovyh mixed, irregular marriages performed in violation of dharma.

in chapter XII provides instruction regarding the rituals and worship, as well as the responsibilities of the participants.It also tells of the responsibility carried by people with little control over her own body, thoughts and words.

These are the Laws of Manu.General characteristics (briefly) all chapters allows you to get an idea of ​​this document.

shaping society

Social stratification of the ancient Indian people began in the depths of the existing tribal communities.Characteristics of the Laws of Manu allows you to get this process the most complete picture.

tribal relations gradually decompose.This process was part of the historical development of society.The more powerful and strong labor is concentrated in the hands of their military protection, management and priestly duties.The result of this was the development of property and social inequality, the emergence of slavery.Tribal leadership has become a tribal aristocracy.

social division in ancient India took place on the caste system.The entire population was divided into four groups - Varna:

- Brahmins (priests);

- Vaishya (farmers);

- Kshatriyas (warriors);

- Sudras (untouchables).

Feature Laws of Manu gives a clear idea of ​​what are the basic criteria for dividing the population into groups.For example, the Brahmans had to study the Vedas since eight years.They were considered adults from the age of sixteen.Kshatriya was necessary to study the Vedas to eleven years.Their majority is attained to the age of twenty-two.With twelve years of studying the Vedas Vashj.They are according to the Laws of Manu became adults only twenty-four years.

Another criterion which allows to identify a person belonging to a certain varna was the fact of his birth.Over time, there were mixed marriages.In this regard, there was another division and social status of man, which takes into account the origin of his parents.

separate Varna is untouchable (Sudras).They could not settle in habitats of other classes, and dress according to the Laws of Manu, they were only in rags.According to the legal status of these people equated to the dogs.

basis of the social structure of ancient Indian state is the community.It was a collective of free farmers, or, more simply, the village.The community in ancient India - an independent self-governing body.If we talk about the Laws of Manu, the characteristic of art.219 is a concrete confirmation of the fact that the team was able to free farmers to maintain itself economically, even making deals with individuals.

formation of castes (jati)

With the development of society and the deepening of the process of division of labor continued the process of separation.A clear understanding of this gives Manu (general characteristics).The division of varna and jati (castes) in India and there are today.

In the medieval state existed following hierarchy:

- the highest caste, class represented by medium and large feudal lords;

- lower castes, which included merchants and moneylenders, petty feudal lords and landowners.

Jati unlike Varna is a kind of corporation.Inside castes were formed governments, there were specific rituals, customs and rituals.This company fully supports its members and stood in defense of their interests.

about many specifics India can tell Manu (general characteristics).The division of varna and jati existed only in that State.This caste has a strict hierarchical system.Manu allowed to marry only among the members of jati, asserted hereditary membership, and so on. D.


studying the laws of Manu, a general description of the sources of public relations of the institutions of the state is evident.All of them are grouped into separate branches of law.Moreover, several main directions.This is criminal law and property rights, as well as the right to inheritance and compulsory.All of them are reflected in the Laws of Manu.

particularly well developed in ancient India had the right to property.Its main component is considered a possession (bhukti) Regulation (Swami) and use (Bhagya).

Those who study the Laws of Manu, the characteristic of the heads of this document will point to multiple regulations aimed at protecting the property rights of various kinds of movable property, livestock, equipment, grain and slaves.Belonged to a man and could land.However, it became the property over a long period of ownership of it (30-60 years), provided in good faith with her treatment.Whoever threw his land during planting or harvest, according to the Laws of Manu should have been fined.The same punishment was waiting for and the one who broke the rules of sale.

on various aspects of social life of ancient India show us the Laws of Manu.Characteristics of the main institutions of law gives an insight into the situation in the State powerless slaves.They could be the property of the community or individual.Some slaves worked directly with the state.

mandatory right

According to the Laws of Manu any of the treaties considered as a voluntary agreement.Certain obligations imposed on the other side, which caused damage or unduly enriched.

rules of the law of ancient India described the possible types of contracts, as well as their main provisions and arising from this relationship.It was believed that the document was valid only in the case of a voluntary agreement between the parties.The contract concluded drunk or insane person, as well as a child or slave power did not.In this, too, pointed to the Laws of Manu.General characteristics and main contents of the chapters relating to the Law Institute, suggests that the most well-developed loan agreement.The rule of law in this matter reflected the habits that were formed over many centuries.For example, in ancient India was widespread usury.This legitimized were high interest rates under such agreements.Debtor of the rule of law was the lender completely dependent.It permits the preparation of a debt constraint and cunning, strength and so on.. In Manu protection against such action was not provided.In addition, the debtor who dared to file a complaint to the lender, he was subjected to a fine.Do not relieved from his duties even death.The debt is automatically passed to relatives.High lending rates and the plight of the population were the cause of widespread institution of debt slavery.

The law of ancient India a special place was given to the personal contract of employment.Article Laws of Manu opportunities servants and workers are often mentioned together.Rights of those who worked under a contract of employment of personnel often violated.On the employee on every occasion fined as a result of which he almost never received payment due to him.This is the plight of people forced to give up liberty for normal maintenance.At the same time Manu recommended upper castes avoided wage labor.

Family and marriage

This branch of law reflects the ninth chapter of the Laws of Manu.The very first article of its claim to the subordinate position of women in the family, which must unquestioningly obey her father and her husband and son.In the absence of such a king should be appointed guardian.

The Laws of Manu says, and that the father has no right to take his daughter for a reward.However, in ancient India, marriage is nothing veiled sales.Often the couple had a big age difference.This situation was due to the low marriage age.

under the laws of Manu's younger brother did not have the right to marry before the elder.Also, rules forbade marriage of blood relatives up to the seventh generation.Separate articles are devoted to the protection of his wife and "purity of posterity."These charges Manu lay on her husband (chapter IX, Art. 6, 7).


In ancient India had its own traditions.According to regulations, according to the Laws of Manu, the father's property were to receive only sons.Inheritance had no right imbeciles, state criminals, people expelled from caste, and so on. D. My wife had the right to own property alone his son if he did not have children.

In Manu was established the order of succession.The legacy was not to include all donated.The property passed into the hands of native sons.If they were not, all their belongings given to the sons of his daughter.Further, the heirs were considered sons left the house and then taken back.In the absence of such property could all go to the guru.It was the priest of the home.If there was not his, nor daughters, all their belongings were sent to the royal treasury.

Based on the analysis of the Laws of Manu, we can conclude that they are the oldest example of the law of succession.Wills at the time were not prepared.The right of inheritance passed only on this set of rules.

court and punishment

In Manu reflected the concepts relating to criminal law as a "relapse", "form of guilt", "complicity" and "burden of guilt", depending on to what varna belongs guiltyor the victim.

Represents a collection of rules and norms of ancient India and the types of crimes.They are divided into:

- government;

- against property;

- against the person;

- encroaching on family relationships.

sanctioned by the law of Manu and various punishments.Among them:

- the death penalty;

- mutilation;

- exile;

- fines;

- imprisonment;

- shaving the head (for a Brahmin).

processes both in criminal and in civil cases were the same and had a competitive nature.The Supreme Court administers the king with the Brahmins.In addition, the relevant authorities had in all administrative units.For every ten villages administered the judicial board.All things considered, based on the hierarchy of castes.

main source of evidence is evidence.And for the court, they have a different value.Everything depended on supplies witness to a certain varna.As evidence, the test could be used by fire, water, weights, and so on. D.

king as the supreme judge of the Laws of Manu, was entitled to an annual amnesties.