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The Manusmṛti (or "Laws of Manu", Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Manusmṛti मनुस्मृति; also known as Mānava-Dharmaśāstra मानवधर्मशास्त्र) is the most important and earliest metrical work of the Dharmaśāstra
Dharmaśāstra
textual tradition of Hinduism.[1] The text presents itself as a discourse given by Manu, the progenitor of mankind, to a group of seers, or rishis, who beseech him to tell them the "law of all the social classes" (1.2). Manu became the standard point of reference for all future Dharmaśāstras that followed it. According to Hindu tradition, the Manu smruti records the words of Brahma.[2] The Sanskrit
Sanskrit
text was edited in 1913 by P. H. Pandya and in 1920 by J.R. Gharpure. The text was first translated into English (from manuscripts) in 1794 by Sir William Jones. The text's fame spread outside India, long before the colonial era. The medieval era Buddhistic law of Myanmar
Myanmar
and Thailand
Thailand
are also ascribed to Manu,[3][4] and the text influenced past Hindu kingdoms in Cambodia and Indonesia.[5] Manusmriti
Manusmriti
is also called the Mānava- Dharmaśāstra
Dharmaśāstra
or Laws of Manu (human).[6]

Contents

1 Date and context 2 Structure

2.1 Creation of the world 2.2 Sources of the law 2.3 Dharma
Dharma
of the four Varnas 2.4 Determination of Karmayoga

3 Contents

3.1 On virtues and outcast 3.2 On personal choices, behaviors and morals 3.3 On women's rights 3.4 On statecraft and rules of war

4 Commentaries

4.1 Bhāruci 4.2 Medhātithi 4.3 Govindarāja 4.4 Kullūka 4.5 Nārāyana 4.6 Nandana 4.7 Others

5 Significance and role in history

5.1 In ancient and medieval India 5.2 In British India 5.3 Outside India

6 Comparison with other dharmasastras 7 Modern reception 8 Editions and translations 9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 External links

Date and context[edit] Eighteenth century philologists Sir William Jones and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel assigned Manusmriti
Manusmriti
to the period of around 1250 BCE and 1000 BCE respectively.[7][8][9] Most scholars consider the text a composite put together over a long period of time, although Olivelle (2010) argues that the complex and consistent structure of the text suggests a single author or chairman.[10] Manusmriti, Olivelle states, was not a new document, it drew on other texts, and it reflects "a crystallization of an accumulated knowledge" in ancient India.[11] The root of theoretical models within Manusmriti rely on at least two shastras that pre-date it: artha (statecraft and legal process), and dharma (an ancient Indian concept that includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and others discussed in various Dharmasutras
Dharmasutras
older than Manusmriti).[11] Its contents can be traced to Kalpasutras of the Vedic era, which led to the development of Smartasutras consisting of Grihyasutras and Dharmasutras.[12] The foundational texts of Manusmriti
Manusmriti
include many of these sutras, all from an era preceding the common era. Most of these ancient texts are now lost, and only four of have survived: the law codes of Apastamba, Gautama, Baudhayana and Vasishtha.[13] Structure[edit] The modern version of the text has been subdivided into twelve Adhyayas (chapters), but the original text had no such division.[14] The text covers different topics, and is unique among ancient Indian texts in using “transitional verses” to mark the end of one subject and the start of the next.[14] The text can be broadly divided into four, each of different length. and each further divided into subsections:[14]

Creation of the world Source of dharma The dharma of the four social classes Law of karma, rebirth and final liberation

The text is composed in metric Shlokas (verses), in the form of a dialogue between an exalted teacher and disciples who are eager to learn about the various aspects of dharma.[15] The first 58 verses are attributed by the text to Manu, while the remaining more than two thousand verses are attributed to his student Bhrigu.[15] Olivelle lists the subsections as follows:[16] Creation of the world[edit] The Sarvasya Sambhavah (Origin, creation of the World) section has one hundred nineteen verses, describing how the world was created out of complete darkness, the cosmic egg, the cyclic nature of time and all existence.[17] Sources of the law[edit] The Dharmasya Yonih (Sources of the Law) has twenty-four verses, and one transition verse.[16] These verses state what the text considers as the proper and just sources of law:

वेदोऽखिलो धर्ममूलं स्मृतिशीले च तद्विदाम् । आचारश्चैव साधूनामात्मनस्तुष्टिरेव च ॥ Translation 1: The whole Veda is the (first) source of the sacred law, next the tradition and the virtuous conduct of those who know the (Veda further), also the customs of holy men, and (finally) self-satisfaction (Atmana santushti).[18] Translation 2: The root of the religion is the entire Veda, and (then) the tradition and customs of those who know (the Veda), and the conduct of virtuous people, and what is satisfactory to oneself.[19] —  Manusmriti
Manusmriti
2.6

वेदः स्मृतिः सदाचारः स्वस्य च प्रियमात्मनः । एतच्चतुर्विधं प्राहुः साक्षाद् धर्मस्य लक्षणम् ॥ Translation 1: The Veda, the sacred tradition, the customs of virtuous men, and one's own pleasure, they declare to be the fourfold means of defining the sacred law.[18] Translation 2: The Veda, tradition, the conduct of good people, and what is pleasing to oneself – they say that is four fold mark of religion.[19] —  Manusmriti
Manusmriti
2.12

This section of Manusmriti, like other Hindu law
Hindu law
texts, includes fourfold sources of Dharma, states Levinson, which include Atmana santushti (satisfaction of one's conscience), Sadachara (local norms of virtuous individuals), Smriti
Smriti
and Sruti.[20][21][22] Dharma
Dharma
of the four Varnas[edit] Further information: Varna (Hinduism)

3.1 Rules Relating to Law (2.25 – 10.131)

3.1.1 Rules of Action in Normal Times (2.26 – 9.336)

3.1.1.1 Fourfold Dharma
Dharma
of a Brahmin
Brahmin
(2.26 – 6.96) (contains the longest section of Manusmriti, 3.1, called dharmavidhi)[14] 3.1.1.2 Rules of Action for a King (7.1 – 9.324) (contains 960 verses, includes description of institutions and officials of state, how officials are to be appointed, tax laws, rules of war, the role and limits on the power of the king, and long sections on eighteen grounds for litigation, including those related to non-delivery under contract, breach of contract, non-payment of wages, property disputes, inheritance disputes, humiliation and defamation, physical assault, theft, violence of any form, injury, sexual crimes against women, public safety, and others; the section also includes rules of evidence, rules on interrogation of witnesses, and the organization of court system)[23] 3.1.1.3 Rules of Action for Vaiśyas and Śūdras (9.326 – 9.335) (shortest section, eight rules for Vaishyas, two for Shudras, but some applicable laws to these two classes are discussed generically in verses 2.26 – 9.324)[24]

3.1.2 Rules of Action in Times of Adversity (10.1 – 11.129) (contains revised rules on the state machinery and four varnas in the times of war, famine or other emergencies)[25]

3.2 Rules Relating to Penance (11.1 – 11.265) (includes rules of proportionate punishment; instead of fines, incarceration or death, discusses penance or social isolation as a form of punishment for certain crimes)[25]

The verses 6.97, 9.325, 9.336 and 10.131 are transitional verses.[16] Olivelle notes instances of likely interpolation and insertions in the notes to this section, in both the presumed vulgate version and the critical edition.[26] Determination of Karmayoga[edit] The verses 12.1, 12.2 and 12.82 are transitional verses.[16] This section is in a different style than the rest of the text, raising questions whether this entire chapter was added later. While there is evidence that this chapter was extensively redacted over time, however it is unclear whether the entire chapter is of a later era.[27]

4.1 Fruits of Action (12.3-81) (section on actions and consequences, personal responsibility, action as a means of moksha – the highest personal bliss)[27] 4.2 Rules of Action for Supreme Good (12.83-115) (section on karma, duties and responsibilities as a means of supreme good)[27]

The closing verses of Manusmriti
Manusmriti
declares,

एवं यः सर्वभूतेषु पश्यत्यात्मानमात्मना । स सर्वसमतामेत्य ब्रह्माभ्येति परं पदम् ॥ He who thus recognizes in his individual soul (Self, Atman), the universal soul that exists in all beings, becomes equal-minded towards all, and enters the highest state, Brahman.

—  Manusmriti
Manusmriti
12.125, Calcutta manuscript with Kulluka Bhatta commentary[28][29]

Contents[edit] The structure and contents of the Manusmriti
Manusmriti
suggest it to be a document predominantly targeted at the Brahmins (priestly class) and the Kshatriyas (king, administration and warrior class).[30] The text dedicates 1,034 verses, the largest portion, on laws for and expected virtues of Brahmins, and 971 verses for Kshatriyas.[31] The statement of rules for the Vaishyas (merchant class) and the Shudras (artisans and working class) in the text is extraordinarily brief. Olivelle suggests that this may be because the text was composed to address the balance "between the political power and the priestly interests", and because of the rise in foreign invasions of India in the period it was composed.[30] On virtues and outcast[edit] Manusmriti
Manusmriti
lists and recommends virtues in many verses. For example, verse 6.75 recommends non-violence towards everyone and temperance as key virtues,[32][33] while verse 10.63 preaches that all four varnas must abstain from injuring any creature, abstain from falsehood and abstain from appropriating property of others.[34][35] Similarly, in verse 4.204, states Olivelle, some manuscripts of Manusmriti
Manusmriti
list the recommended virtues to be, "compassion, forbearance, truthfulness, non-injury, self-control, not desiring, meditation, serenity, sweetness and honesty" as primary, and "purification, sacrifices, ascetic toil, gift giving, vedic recitation, restraining the sexual organs, observances, fasts, silence and bathing" as secondary.[36] A few manuscripts of the text contain a different verse 4.204, according to Olivelle, and list the recommended virtues to be, "not injuring anyone, speaking the truth, chastity, honesty and not stealing" as central and primary, while "not being angry, obedience to the teacher, purification, eating moderately and vigilance" to desirable and secondary.[36] In other discovered manuscripts of Manusmriti, including the most translated Calcutta manuscript, the text declares in verse 4.204 that the ethical precepts under Yamas
Yamas
such as Ahimsa
Ahimsa
(non-violence) are paramount while Niyamas such as Ishvarapranidhana
Ishvarapranidhana
(contemplation of personal god) are minor, and those who do not practice the Yamas
Yamas
but obey the Niyamas alone become an outcast.[37][38] On personal choices, behaviors and morals[edit] Manusmriti
Manusmriti
has numerous verses on duties a person has towards himself and to others, thus including moral codes as well as legal codes.[39] This is similar to, states Olivelle, the modern contrast between informal moral concerns to birth out of wedlock in the developed nations, along with simultaneous legal protection for children who are born out of wedlock.[39] Personal behaviors covered by the text are extensive. For example, verses 2.51-2.56, recommend that a monk must go on his begging round, collect almsfood and present it to his teacher first, then eat. One should revere whatever food one gets and eat it without disdain, states Manusmriti, but never overeat, as eating too much harms health.[40] In verse 5.47, the text states that work becomes without effort when a man contemplates, undertakes and does what he loves to do and when he does so without harming any creature.[41] Numerous verses relate to the practice of meat eating, how it causes injury to living beings, why it is evil, and the morality of vegetarianism.[39] Yet, the text balances its moral tone as an appeal to one's conscience, states Olivelle. For example, verse 5.56 as translated by Olivelle states, "there is no fault in eating meat, in drinking liquor, or in having sex; that is the natural activity of creatures. Abstaining from such activity, however, brings greatest rewards."[42] On women's rights[edit] Manusmriti
Manusmriti
offers an internally differing and complex perspective on women's rights.[43] The text, for example, declares that a marriage cannot be dissolved by a woman or a man, in verse 8.101-8.102.[44] Yet, the text, in other sections, allows either to dissolve the marriage. For example, verses 9.72-9.81 allow the man or the woman to get out of a fraudulent marriage or an abusive marriage, and remarry; the text also provides legal means for a woman to remarry when her husband has been missing or has abandoned her.[45] It preaches chastity to widows such as in verses 5.158-5.160, opposes a woman marrying someone outside her own social class as in verses 3.13-3.14.[46] In other verses, such as 2.67-2.69 and 5.148-5.155, Manusmriti
Manusmriti
preaches that as a girl, she should obey and seek protection of her father, as a young woman her husband, and as a widow her son; and that a woman should always worship her husband as a god.[47] In verses 3.55-3.56, Manusmriti
Manusmriti
also declares that "women must be honored and adorned", and "where women are revered, there the gods rejoice; but where they are not, no sacred rite bears any fruit".[48][49] Elsewhere, in verses 5.147-5.148, states Olivelle, the text declares, "a woman must never seek to live independently".[50] Simultaneously, states Olivelle, the text presupposes numerous practices such a marriages outside varna, such as between a Brahmin man and a Shudra woman in verses 9.149-9.157, a widow getting pregnant with a child of a man she is not married to in verses 9.57-9.62, marriage where a woman in love elopes with her man, and then grants legal rights in these cases such as property inheritance rights in verses 9.143-9.157, and the legal rights of the children so born.[51] The text also presumes that a married woman may get pregnant by a man other than her husband, and dedicates verses 8.31-8.56 to conclude that the child's custody belongs to the woman and her legal husband, and not to the man she got pregnant with.[52][53] Manusmriti
Manusmriti
provides a woman with property rights to six types of property in verses 9.192-9.200. These include those she received at her marriage, or as gift when she eloped or when she was taken away, or as token of love before marriage, or as gifts from her biological family, or as received from her husband subsequent to marriage, and also from inheritance from deceased relatives.[54] Flavia Agnes states that Manusmriti
Manusmriti
is a complex commentary from women's rights perspective, and the British colonial era codification of women's rights based on it for Hindus, and from Islamic texts for Muslims, picked and emphasized certain aspects while it ignored other sections.[43] This construction of personal law during the colonial era created a legal fiction around Manusmriti's historic role as a scripture in matters relating to women in South Asia.[43][55] On statecraft and rules of war[edit] Chapter 7 of the Manusmriti
Manusmriti
discusses the duties of a king, what virtues he must have, what vices he must avoid.[56] In verses 7.54 - 7.76, the text identifies precepts to be followed in selecting ministers, ambassadors and officials, as well as the characteristics of well fortified capital. Manusmriti
Manusmriti
then lays out the laws of just war, stating that first and foremost, war should be avoided by negotiations and reconciliations.[56][57] If war becomes necessary, states Manusmriti, a soldier must never harm civilians, non-combatants or someone who has surrendered, that use of force should be proportionate, and other rules.[56] Fair taxation guidelines are described in verses 7.127 to 7.137.[56][57] Commentaries[edit] There are numerous classical commentaries on the Manusmṛti written in the medieval period. Bhāruci[edit] Bhāruci is the oldest known commentator on the Manu Smṛti. Kane places him in the late 10th or early 11th century,[58] Olivelle places him in the 8th century,[59] and Derrett places him between 600-800 CE.[59][60] From these three opinions we can place Bhāruci anywhere from the early 7th century CE to the early 11th century CE. Bhāruci's commentary, titled Manu-sastra-vivarana, has far fewer number of verses than the Kullūka-Calcutta vulgate version in circulation since the British colonial era, and it refers to more ancient texts that are believed to be lost. It is also called Raja-Vimala, and J Duncan M Derrett states Bharuci was "occasionally more faithful to his source's historical intention" than other commentators.[61] Medhātithi[edit] Medhātithi commentary on Manu Smṛti has been widely studied. Scholars such as Buhler, Kane, and Lingat believe he was from north India, likely the Kashmir region. His commentary on Manusmriti
Manusmriti
is estimated to be from 9th to 11th century.[62] Govindarāja[edit] Govindarāja's commentary, titled Manutika, is an 11th-century commentary on Manusmriti, referred to by Jimutavahana and Laksmidhara, and was plagiarized by Kullūka, states Olivelle.[63] Kullūka[edit] Kullūka's commentary, titled Manvarthamuktavali, along with his version of the Manusmrti manuscript has been "vulgate" or default standard, most studied version, since it was discovered in 18th-century Calcutta by the British colonial officials.[63] It is the most reproduced and famous, not because, according to Olivelle, it is the oldest or because of its excellence, but because it was the lucky version found first.[63] The Kullūka commentary dated to be sometime between the 13th to 15th century, adds Olivelle, is mostly a plagiary of Govindaraja commentary from about the 11th century, but with Kullūka's criticism of Govindaraja.[63] Nārāyana[edit] Nārāyana's commentary, titled Manvarthavivrtti, is probably from the 14th century and little is known about the author.[63] This commentary includes many variant readings, and Olivelle found it useful in preparing a critical edition of the Manusmriti
Manusmriti
text in 2005.[63] Nandana[edit] Nandana was from south India, and his commentary, titled Nandini, provides a useful benchmark on Manusmriti
Manusmriti
version and its interpretation in the south.[63] Others[edit] Other known medieval era commentaries on Manusmriti
Manusmriti
include those by Sarvajnanarayana, Raghavananda and Ramacandra.[63][64] Significance and role in history[edit] In ancient and medieval India[edit] Scholars doubt Manusmriti
Manusmriti
was ever administered as law text in ancient or medieval Hindu society. David Buxbaum states, "in the opinion of the best contemporary orientalists, it [Manusmriti] does not, as a whole, represent a set of rules ever actually administered in Hindustan. It is in great part an ideal picture of that which, in the view of a Brahmin, ought to be law".[65] Donald Davis writes, "there is no historical evidence for either an active propagation or implementation of Dharmasastra [Manusmriti] by a ruler or any state – as distinct from other forms of recognizing, respecting and using the text. Thinking of Dharmasastra as a legal code and of its authors as lawgivers is thus a serious misunderstanding of its history".[66] Other scholars have expressed the same view, based on epigraphical, archeological and textual evidence from medieval Hindu kingdoms in Gujarat, Kerala
Kerala
and Tamil Nadu, while acknowledging that Manusmriti
Manusmriti
was influential to the South Asian history of law and was a theoretical resource.[67][68] In British India[edit] Main article: Hindu law Prior to the British colonial rule, Sharia
Sharia
(Islamic law) for Muslims in South Asia had been codified as Fatawa-e-Alamgiri, but laws for non-Muslims – such as Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis – were not codified during the 600 years of Islamic rule.[69] With the arrival of the British colonial officials, Manusmriti
Manusmriti
played a historic role in constructing a legal system for non-Muslims in South Asia and early Western perceptions about the ancient and medieval Indian society.[70] In the 18th century, the earliest British of the East India Company acted as agents of the Mughal emperor. As the British colonial rule took over the political and administrative powers in India, it was faced with various state responsibilities such as legislative and judiciary functions.[71] The East India Company, and later the British Crown, sought profits for its British shareholders through trade as well as sought to maintain effective political control with minimal military engagement.[72] The administration pursued a path of least resistance, relying upon co-opted local intermediaries that were mostly Muslims and some Hindus in various princely states.[72] The British exercised power by avoiding interference and adapting to law practices as explained by the local intermediaries.[73] The existing legal texts for Muslims, and resurrected Manusmriti
Manusmriti
manuscript thus helped the colonial state sustain the pre-colonial religious and political law and conflicts, well into the late nineteenth century.[71][72][74] The colonial policy on the system of personal laws for India, for example, was expressed by Governor-General Hastings in 1772 as follows,

That in all suits regarding inheritance, marriage, caste and other religious usages or institutions, the law of the Koran with respect to Mahometans [Muslims], and those of the Shaster with respect to Gentoos [Hindus] shall be invariably be adhered to. — Warren Hastings, August 15, 1772[75]

For Muslims of India, the British accepted sharia as the legal code for Muslims, based on texts such the al-Sirjjiyah and Fatawa-i Alamgiri written under sponsorship of Aurangzeb.[76][77][78] For Hindus and other non-Muslims such as Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Tribal people, this information was unavailable.[71] The substance of Hindu law, was derived by the British colonial officials from Manusmriti, and it became the first Dharmasastra that was translated in 1794.[79][70] The British colonial officials, for practice, attempted to extract from the Dharmaśāstra, the English categories of law and religion for the purposes of colonial administration.[80][81] The British colonial officials, however, mistook the Manusmriti
Manusmriti
as codes of law, failed to recognize that it was a commentary on morals and law and not a statement of positive law.[74][76] The colonial officials of the early 19th century also failed to recognize that Manusmriti
Manusmriti
was one of many competing Dharmasastra texts, it was not in use for centuries during the Islamic rule period of India.[74][76] The officials resurrected Manusmriti, constructed statements of positive law from the text for non-Muslims, in order to remain faithful to its policy of using sharia for the South Asian Muslim population.[70][74][76] Manusmriti, thus played a role in constructing the Anglo-Hindu law, as well as Western perceptions about ancient and medieval era Hindu culture
Hindu culture
from the colonial times.[82] Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im states the significance and role of Manusmriti
Manusmriti
in governing India during the colonial era as follows (abridged),[77]

The [British] colonial administration began the codification of Hindu and Muslim laws in 1772 and continued through the next century, with emphasis on certain texts as the authentic "sources" of the law and custom of Hindus and Muslims, which in fact devalued and retarded those dynamic social systems. The codification of complex and interdependent traditional systems froze certain aspects of the status of women, for instance, outside the context of constantly evolving social and economic relations, which in effect limited or restricted women's rights. The selectivity of the process, whereby colonial authorities sought the assistance of Hindu and Muslim religious elites in understanding the law, resulted in the Brahminization and Islamization of customary laws [in British India]. For example, the British orientalist scholar William Jones translated the key texts Al Sirjjiyah in 1792 as the Mohammedan Law of Inheritance, and Manusmriti in 1794 as the Institutes of Hindu Law or the Ordinances of Manu. In short, British colonial administrators reduced centuries of vigorous development of total ethical, religious and social systems to fit their own preconceived European notions of what Muslim and Hindu "law" should be. — Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Sharia[77]

Outside India[edit] The Dharma-sastras, particularly Manusmriti, states Anthony Reid,[83] were "greatly honored in Burma (Myanmar), Siam (Thailand), Cambodia and Java-Bali (Indonesia) as the defining documents of the natural order, which kings were obliged to uphold. They were copied, translated and incorporated into local law code, with strict adherence to the original text in Burma and Siam, and a stronger tendency to adapt to local needs in Java (Indonesia)".[83][84][85] The medieval era derived texts and Manusmriti
Manusmriti
manuscripts in Southeast Asia are, however, quite different than the "vulgate" version that has been in use since its first use in British India. The role of then extant Manusmriti
Manusmriti
as a historic foundation of law texts for the people of Southeast Asia has been very important, states Hooker.[86] Comparison with other dharmasastras[edit] Further information: Dharma
Dharma
and Dharmashastra Along with Manusmriti
Manusmriti
(Manava Dharmasastra), ancient India had between eighteen and thirty six competing Dharma-sastras, states John Bowker.[12] Many of these texts have been lost completely or in parts, but they are referred to in other ancient Indian texts suggesting that they were influential in some regions or time. Of the numerous jurisprudence-related commentaries and Smriti
Smriti
texts, after Manu Smriti and other than the older Dharma
Dharma
Sutras, Yajnavalkya Smriti
Smriti
has attracted the attention of many scholars, followed by Narada Smriti and Parashara Smriti
Smriti
(the oldest Dharma-smriti).[87] Evidence suggests that Yajnavalkya Smriti, state Ghose and other scholars, was the more referred to text than Manu Smriti, in matters of governance and practice. This text, of unclear date of composition, but likely to be a few centuries after Manusmriti, is more "concise, methodical, distilled and liberal".[88] According to Jois,

Regarding the 18 titles of law, Yajnavalkya follows the same pattern as in Manu with slight modifications. On matters such as women's rights of inheritance and right to hold property, status of Sudras, and criminal penalty, Yajnavalkya is more liberal than Manu. (...) He deals exhaustively on subjects like creation of valid documents, law of mortgages, hypothecation, partnership and joint ventures. — M Rama Jois, Legal and Constitutional History of India[89]

Jois suggests that the Yajnavalkya Smriti
Smriti
text liberal evolution may have been influenced by Buddhism
Buddhism
in ancient India.[88] The Yajnavalkya text is also different from Manu text in adding chapters to the organization of monasteries, land grants, deeds execution and other matters. The Yajnavalkya text was more referred to by many Hindu kingdoms of the medieval era, as evidenced by the commentary of 12th-century Vijñāneśvara, titled Mitakshara.[90] Modern reception[edit] The Manusmrti is considered an important source for the sociological history of ancient and medieval India and has been subject to varying opinions. The Manu Smriti
Smriti
was one of the first Sanskrit
Sanskrit
texts studied by the European philologists. It was first translated into English by Sir William Jones. His version was published in 1794.[91] He considered Manu's laws to be older than the laws of Solon as well as the Lycurgus. He also mentions that the latter had been adopted from Manu. William Jones writes:-

The laws of Manu very probably were considerably older than those of Solon or even of Lycurgus, although the promulgation of them, before they were reduced to writing, might have been covered with the first monarchies established in Egypt and India.[92]

British administrative requirements encouraged their interest in the Dharmashastras, which they believed to be legal codes. In fact, these were not codes of law but norms related to social obligations and ritual requirements.[93] In his book Bible in India, Louis Jacolliot writes that:-

Manu Smriti
Smriti
was the foundation upon which the Egyptian, the Persian, the Grecian and the Roman codes of law were built and that the influence of Manu is still felt in Europe.[92]

The "Law of Manu" was cited favorably by Friedrich Nietzsche, as he deemed it to "be incomparably spiritual and superior work" to the Christian Bible,[94] and he endorsed the political exclusion that Manu's system was considered to bring.[95] Nietzsche furthermore considered the caste system to be a good idea, and stated that "caste-order, order of rank is just a formula for the supreme law of life itself", a "natural order, lawfulness par excellence",[96][97] adding that, "to prepare a book of law in the style of Manu means to give a people the right to become master one day, to become perfect, - to aspire to the highest art of life."[97] The Law of Manu was also cited unfavorably by Nietzsche, as he denounce[d] the way Manu dealt with the outcastes, saying that "perhaps there is nothing that outrages our feelings more" [98] adding that, "Toward a critique of the Manu Law Book[:] The whole book is founded on the holy lie. ... We find a species of man, the priestly, which ... believes in its own superiority ... . ... Power through the lie ... . Fanatics do not invent such carefully thought-out systems of oppression—The most cold-blooded reflection was at work here ... ."[99] In his book Revolution and Counter-Revolution in India, Dalit
Dalit
leader B. R. Ambedkar
B. R. Ambedkar
asserted that Manu Smriti
Smriti
was written by a sage named Brigu
Brigu
during the times of Pushyamitra of Sangha in connection with social pressures caused by the rise of Buddhism.[100] However, historian Romila Thapar
Romila Thapar
considers these claims to be exaggerations. Thapar writes that archaeological evidence casts doubt on the claims of Buddhist persecution by Pushyamitra.[101] Support of the Buddhist faith by the Shungas at some point is suggested by an epigraph on the gateway of Bharhut, which mentions its erection "during the supremacy of the Shungas"[102] Hinduism
Hinduism
does not evangelize.[103] Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj, held the text to be authentic and authoritative.[104] Other admirers of the text have included Annie Besant,[105] P.D. Ouspensky,[106] Pandurang Shastri Athavale,[107] Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan[108] Louis Jacolliot,[109] William Robertson[110] among others. Editions and translations[edit]

The Institutes of Hindu Law: Or, The Ordinances of Manu, Calcutta: Sewell & Debrett, 1796. Translation by G. Bühler (1886). Sacred Books of the East: The Laws of Manus (Vol. XXV). Oxford.  Olivelle, Patrick (2004). The Law Code of Manu. New York: OUP. ISBN 0192802712.  Olivelle, Patrick (2005). Manu's Code of Law: A Critical Edition and Translation of the Mānava-Dharmaśāstra. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-195-17146-2.  Pranjivan Harihar Pandya (ed.), Manusmriti; With a commentary called Manvarth Muktavali by Kullooka Bhatt, Bombay, 1913. J.I. Shastri (ed.), Manusmriti
Manusmriti
with Kullukabhatta Commentary (1972-1974), reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120807662. Ramacandra Varma Shastri, Manusmr̥ti: Bhāratīya ācāra-saṃhitā kā viśvakośa, Śāśvata Sāhitya Prakāśana, 1997.

See also[edit]

Classical Hindu law Classical Hindu law
Hindu law
in practice

Notes[edit]

^ e.g. Flood 1996:56 and Olivelle 2005. ^ Olivelle(2004), p. xx. ^ Steven Collins (1993), The discourse of what is primary, Journal of Indian philosophy, Volume 21, pages 301-393 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 3-4 ^ Robert Lingat (1973), The Classical Law of India, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520018983, page 77 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 18-19, 41 ^ William Wilson Hunter. The Indian Empire: Its People, History and Products. Routledge. p. 114.  ^ For composition between 200 BCE and 200 CE see: Avari, p. 142. For dating of composition "between the second century BCE and third century CE" see: Flood (1996), p. 56. For dating of Manu Smriti
Smriti
in "final form" to the 2nd century CE, see: Keay, p. 103. For dating as completed some time between 200 BCE and 100 CE see: Hopkins, p. 74. For probable origination during the 2nd or 3rd centuries AD, see: Kulke and Rothermund, p. 85. For the text as preserved dated to around the 1st century BCE. see: Encyclopedia Britannica, retrieved 2013-10-08  ^ Glimpses of Indian Culture, Dinkar Joshi, p.51 ISBN 9788176501903 ^ Patrick Olivelle. Manu's Code of Law. Oxford University Press. p. 19.  ^ a b Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 41-49 ^ a b John Bowker (2012), The Message and the Book: Sacred Texts of the World's Religions, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0300179293, pages 179-180 ^ Patrick Olivelle (1999), Dharmasutras
Dharmasutras
- the law codes of ancient India, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-192838822, pages xxiv-xxv, 280-314 ^ a b c d Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 7-8 ^ a b Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 25-27 ^ a b c d Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 9-10 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 9-10, 87-92 ^ a b The Laws of Manu 2.6 with footnotes George Bühler (Translator), The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 25, Oxford University Press ^ a b Brian Smith and Wendy Doniger (1992), The Laws of Manu, Penguin, ISBN 978-0140445404, pages 17-18 ^ David Levinson (2002), Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment, Volume 1, SAGE Publications, ISBN 978-0761922582, page 829 ^ Davis Jr, Donald R. (2007). "On Ātmastuṣṭi as a Source of Dharma". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 127 (3): 279–96.  ^ Werner Menski, Hindu Law: Beyond Tradition and Modernity (Delhi: Oxford UP, 2003), p.126 and Domenico Francavilla, The Roots of Hindu Jurisprudence: Sources of Dharma
Dharma
and Interpretation in Mīmāṃsā and Dharmaśāstra. Corpus Iuris Sanscriticum. Vol. 7 (Torino: CESMEO, 2006), pp.165–76. ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 10-15, 154-205 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 16, 8-14, 206-207 ^ a b Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 16-17, 208-229 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 237-350, 914-982 ^ a b c Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 10, 17-19, 230-236, 290-292 ^ Robert Lingat (1973), The Classical Law of India, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520018983, page 86 ^ The Laws of Manu 12.125 George Bühler (Translator), The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 25, Oxford University Press, page 513 ^ a b Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 16, 62-65 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, page 41 ^ The Laws of Manu 6.75 George Bühler (Translator), The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 25, Oxford University Press, page 212 ^ J Duncan M Derrett (1975), Bharuci's commentary on the Manusmrti, Schriftenreihe des Sudasien-Instituts der Universitat Heidelberg, ISBN 978-3515018586, page 23 ^ The Laws of Manu 10.63 George Bühler (Translator), The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 25, Oxford University Press, page 416 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 208-214, 337 ^ a b Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, page 275 ^ The Laws of Manu 4.204 George Bühler (translator), The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 25, Oxford University Press, page 160-161 ^ J Duncan M Derrett (1975), Bharuci's commentary on the Manusmrti, Schriftenreihe des Sudasien-Instituts der Universitat Heidelberg, ISBN 978-3515018586, pages 30, 439-440 ^ a b c Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 31-32 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, page 97 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, page 140 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 31-32, 138-147, 558-593 ^ a b c Flavia Agnes (2001), Law and Gender Inequality: The Politics of Women's Rights in India, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195655247, pages 41-45 ^ Robert Lingat (1973), The Classical Law of India, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520018983, page 84 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 190-207, 746-809 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 31-32, 108-123, 138-147 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 98, 146-147 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, page 111 ^ Sanskrit: यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः । यत्रैतास्तु न पूज्यन्ते सर्वास्तत्राफलाः क्रियाः The Laws of Manu 3.55-3.56 George Bühler (Translator), The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 25, Oxford University Press, page 85 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, page 146 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 31-32, 194-207, 755-809 ^ Robert Lingat (1973), The Classical Law of India, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520018983, pages 83-84 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 182-193, 659-706 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 200-201, 746-809 ^ Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im (2010), Islam and the Secular State, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0674034563, pages 149, 289 ^ a b c d Robert Lingat (1973), The Classical Law of India, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520018983, pages 81-82 ^ a b Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 154-166, 613-658 ^ Kane, P. V., History of Dharmaśāstra, (Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1975), Volume I, Part I, 566. ^ a b Olivelle, Patrick, "Dharmaśāstra: A Literary History", page 29. ^ J Duncan M Derrett (1975), Bharuci's commentary on the Manusmrti, Schriftenreihe des Sudasien-Instituts der Universitat Heidelberg, ISBN 978-3515018586 ^ J Duncan J Derrett (1977), Essays in Classical and Modern Hindu Law, Brill Academic, ISBN 978-9004048089, pages 10-17, 36-37 with footnote 75a ^ Kane, P. V., History of Dharmaśāstra, (Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1975), Volume I, Part II, 583. ^ a b c d e f g h Patrick Olivelle (2005), Manu's Code of Law, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195171464, pages 367-369 ^ Visvanath Narayan Mandlik (1886), Manavadharmaśastram, 5 volumes, OCLC 83427487 ^ David Buxbaum (1998), Family Law and Customary Law in Asia: A Contemporary Legal Perspective, Springer Academic, ISBN 978-9401757942, page 204 ^ Donald Davis (2010), The Spirit of Hindu Law, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521877046, page 14 ^ Werner Menski (2009), Hindu Law: Beyond Tradition and Modernity, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195699210, Chapters 2 & 4 ^ Donald R Davis Jr (2005), Intermediate Realms of Law: Corporate Groups and Rulers in Medieval India, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Volume 48, Issue 1, pages 92–117 ^ Lariviere, Richard W. (November 1989). "Justices and Paṇḍitas: Some Ironies in Contemporary Readings of the Hindu Legal Past". Journal of Asian Studies. Association for Asian Studies. 48 (4): 757–769. doi:10.2307/2058113. JSTOR 2058113.  ^ a b c Donald Davis (2010), The Spirit of Hindu Law, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521877046, page 13-16, 166-179 ^ a b c Tomothy Lubin et al (2010), Hinduism
Hinduism
and Law: An Introduction (Editors: Lubin and Davis), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521716260, Chapter 1 ^ a b c Washbrook, D. A. (1981). "Law, State and Agrarian Society in Colonial India". Modern Asian Studies. 15 (3): 649–721. doi:10.1017/s0026749x00008714. JSTOR 312295.  ^ Kugle, Scott Alan (May 2001). "Framed, Blamed and Renamed: The Recasting of Islamic Jurisprudence in Colonial South Asia". Modern Asian Studies. Cambridge University Press. 35 (2): 257–313. doi:10.1017/s0026749x01002013. JSTOR 313119.  ^ a b c d Ludo Rocher (1978), Hindu Conceptions of Law, Hastings Law Journal, Volume 29, pages 1283-1297 ^ Rocher, Ludo (1972). "Indian Response to Anglo-Hindu Law". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 92 (3): 419–424. JSTOR 600567.  ^ a b c d Michael Anderson (1995), Institutions and Ideologies: A SOAS South Asia Reader (Studies in Asian Topics, Editors: David Arnold, Peter Robb), Routledge, ISBN 978-0700702848, Chapter 10; K Ewing (1988), Sharia
Sharia
and ambiguity in South Asian Islam, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520055759 ^ a b c Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im (2010), Islam and the Secular State, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0674034563, pages 149-150 ^ A digest of Moohummudan law on the subjects to which it is usually applied by British courts of justice in India Neil Baillie, Smith, Elder & Co. London ^ Flood (1996), page 56 ^ Ludo Rocher, "Hindu Law and Religion: Where to draw the line?" in Malik Ram Felicitation Volume. ed. S.A.J. Zaidi (New Delhi, 1972), 190–1. ^ J.D.M. Derrett, Religion, Law, and the State in India (London: Faber, 1968), 96; For a related distinction between religious and secular law in Dharmaśāstra, see Lubin, Timothy (2007). "Punishment and Expiation: Overlapping Domains in Brahmanical Law". Indologica Taurinensia. 33: 93–122. SSRN 1084716 .  ^ For reviews of the British misappropriations of Dharmaśāstra, see: Lariviere, Richard W. (November 1989). "Justices and Paṇḍitas: Some Ironies in Contemporary Readings of the Hindu Legal Past". Journal of Asian Studies. Association for Asian Studies. 48 (4): 757–769. doi:10.2307/2058113. JSTOR 2058113.  and Rocher, Ludo (June 1993). "Law Books in an Oral Culture: The Indian Dharmaśāstras". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 137 (2): 254–267. JSTOR 986732.  ^ a b Anthony Reid (1988), Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450-1680: The lands below the winds, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0300047509, pages 137-138 ^ Victor Lieberman (2014), Burmese Administrative Cycles, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691612812, pages 66-68; Also see discussion of 13th-century Wagaru Dhamma-sattha / 11th century Manu Dhammathat manuscripts discussion ^ On Laws of Manu in 14th-century Thailand's Ayuthia kingdom named after Ayodhya, see David Wyatt (2003), Thailand: A Short History, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0300084757, page 61; Robert Lingat (1973), The Classical Law of India, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520018983, pages 269-272 ^ Hooker, M. B. (February 1978). "The Indian-Derived Law Texts of Southeast Asia". The Journal of Asian Studies. 37 (2): 201–219. doi:10.2307/2054162. JSTOR 2054162.  ^ M Rama Jois (2004), Legal and Constitutional History of India, Universal Law Publishing, ISBN 978-8175342064, pages 19-34 ^ a b M Rama Jois (2004), Legal and Constitutional History of India, Universal Law Publishing, ISBN 978-8175342064, page 31 ^ M Rama Jois (2004), Legal and Constitutional History of India, Universal Law Publishing, ISBN 978-8175342064, pages 31-32 ^ M Rama Jois (2004), Legal and Constitutional History of India, Universal Law Publishing, ISBN 978-8175342064, page 32 ^ For Manu Smriti
Smriti
as one of the first Sanskrit
Sanskrit
texts noted by the British and translation by Sir William Jones in 1794, see: Flood (1996), p. 56. ^ a b V. Krishna Rao. Expansion of Cultural Imperalism Through Globalisation. Manak Publications. p. 82.  ^ For British interest in Dharmashastras due to administrative needs, and their misinterpretation of them as legal codes rather than as social and ritual texts, see: Thapar (2002), pp. 2-3. ^ Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist (1888), 56-57. ^ Routledge, Daniel Conway, "Nietzsche and the Political", p.36 ^ "Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography", p. 515, Julian Young, Cambridge University Press ^ a b Nietzsche: The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols: And Other Writings, Aaron Ridley, Cambridge University Press, P.58 ^ Walter Kaufmann, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (Princeton University Press 1974), Fourth Edition, at p.225, citing Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols (1889) at s. 3 ^ Walter Kaufmann, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (Princeton University Press 1974), Fourth Edition, at p.302, citing The Will To Power (1901, 1910, 1911) at s.142 ^ Revolution and Counter-Revolution in India[unreliable source?] ^ Romila Thapar, Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, Oxford University Press (1960) p. 200. ^ John Marshall, "An Historical and Artistic Description of Sanchi", from A Guide to Sanchi, citing p. 11. Calcutta: Superintendent, Government Printing (1918). Pp. 7-29 on line, Project South Asia. ^ K. V. Rao, Socialism, Secularism, and Democracy in India, pp. 28-30. Nagendra K. Singh, Enforcement of Human Rights in Peace and War and the Future of Humanity, p. 35. Martinus Nijhoff (1986) ISBN 9024733022 ^ The Light of Truth, Chapter 4 ^ The Pedigree of Man: Four Lectures Delivered at the Twenty-eighth Anniversary Meetings of the Theosophical Society, at Adyar, December, 1903. Theosophical Publishing Society. 1904.  ^ Indian culture, B. Chakravorty, Reliance Pub. House, 1999 ^ Glimpses of Life of Lord Krishna, from the Discourses of Rev. His Holiness Shastri Shri Pandurang V. Athavale, Associated Advertisers & Printers, p. 223 ^ [1], Commonism, the Manifesto of a New Social Order, Indu Prakash Singh, p.443 ^ Expansion of Cultural Imperalism Through Globalisation ^ Orientalism, Poetry, and the Millennium: The Checkered Life of Nathaniel Brassey Halhed, 1751-1830, Rosane Rocher, Motilal Banarsidass, 1983

References[edit]

Jha, Ganganath (1920). Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya of Medhātithi. Motilal Banarsidass
Motilal Banarsidass
Publishers. ISBN 81-208-1155-0.  Flood, Gavin (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43878-0.  Hopkins, Thomas J. (1971). The Hindu Religious Tradition. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company.  Koenraad Elst: Manu as a Weapon against Egalitarianism. Nietzsche and Hindu Political Philosophy, in: Siemens, Herman W. / Roodt, Vasti (Hg.): Nietzsche, Power and Politics. Rethinking Nietzsche’s Legacy for Political Thought, Berlin / New York 2008, 543-582. Keay, John (2000). India: A History. New York: Grove Press. ISBN 0-8021-3797-0.  Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (1986). A History of India. New York: Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-88029-577-5.  Thapar, Romila (2002). Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24225-4.   Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "The Laws of Manu". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  Olivelle, Patrick (2010). "Dharmasastra: A Literary History". In Lubin, Timothy; Krishnan, Jayanth; Davis, Jr. Donald R. Law and Hinduism: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521716260. 

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