On manu sm.rti

Me: So,does iPengu here have a point when he says

One of the problems of Manu Samhita is that people focus on punishments there but if we instead concentrate on moral values it promotes then it becomes perfectly Hindu in every way.

SV: Actually people don’t “focus” on the penal codes of Manu,they just quote those and pretend they belong to a more civilized jurisprudence and penal codes(which is patently false but let that pass). And such pretnce is used to give you reason to ignore the Hindu dharma “saastras. What we should get at is not really the “morality” of Manu because there is today a “moral scheme” based on a certain worldview which needs to be combated before you get to the morality itself.

The basic questions of whether nature should be seen as the teacher or ideals(which change with time) as guidance,whether human should be trusted or system,should be raised whose answers can be found in dharma. Penal code or moral code will be corollaries to these axiomatic things.

Me: You still get the point that is made, SV?

SV: Well he is saying look at the moral code not penal code. I fear that won’t get us anywhere as an exercise because of the underlying worldview and assumptions of the moral codeonce you take cognizance of the fact that its implications will be not in “good practices for people” but an actual guide to jurispudence and penal codes. maanava dharma “saastra was never the former,so even seeing it that way would be problematic. And for the latter,it’s a more systematic and systemic work.


maanava dharma “saastra was never the former

Was never a moral code,you mean?

SV: It was never meant as a micro level moral code for individuals,but a guide for those designing the collective moral codes.

SV: Individual,var.na,gender,etc are all explained not in prescriptive terms,but as insights into understanding things at a collective level. For instance as R Ganesh says explain the tree to explain a forest. That does not amount to giving codes for the tree but giving insight into understanding tree thereby forest.

SV: The prescriptive codes for individuals don’t come from these but from the specific code books of each group,lineage,etc

SV: Similarly with the word sanaatana,it is sanaatana because it applies at all times to all peoples,because it is talking about unchanging principles of nature.



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