Is it permissible to deny the authority of Manusmriti considering that all the four major schools of Hinduism(Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism and Smarta tradition) only consider Vedas and Upanishads as their scriptural authority?

Edit: My question has more to do with authority of Manusmriti than its acceptance in society. Can a normal follower of one of the above mentioned schools of Hinduism do away with Manusmriti by denying it while still following the other dharmic philosophies?

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    @Surya Parashara Smriti might be of the Kaliyuga without technology. IMHO, every Smriti is outdated now because of technology. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 16:00
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    From here: "The Smritis (Dharma Shastras) themselves suggest that some of the laws should be changed if they are found offensive to future generation" - I think this answers your question. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 16:26
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    I personally believe we need another Smriti suitable for present time impregnated with Upanishadic wisdom. Traditional Smritis seem outdated. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 17:07
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    @Rohit. "there is no fall of humankind" - that's very vague definition and subject to interpretation. So before you make blanket statements like 'Constitution isn't based on Dharma' (A isn't B) - you need to have a clear understanding of B. No one can ever have a clear understanding of Dharma. It changes with time. That is why we have a Constitution which is also amended from time to time. No single scripture, Hindu or otherwise can capture the entire Dharma. New rules get added all the time. The Constitution is the best you get. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 16:07
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    @sv. "there lies your problem" - here lies your problem, not mine as you are not gonna believe Karma theory nor Karma theory is sentient enough to explain itself unto you. "Your are mixing religious concepts like karma, yuga cycles and what not with day to day affairs of humans" - Mixture is needed according to the mind whose philosophy is grounded on Karma theory. I do not dream, I am not social reformer. These are just theoretical ideas. Btw, Meanwhile you can freely romanticize with the constitution. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 17:27

4 Answers 4


Argument 1a)

Manusmriti 4.176 says

  1. Let him avoid (the acquisition of) wealth and (the gratification of his) desires, if they are opposed to the sacred law, and even lawful acts which may cause pain in the future or are offensive to men.

Hence, even any lawful act which may cause pain in the future and are offensive to men , like casteism/varna implementation by birth, have to be avoided as per manusmriti itself.

Argument 1b)

Manu Smriti, Chapter 2, Verse 12 ( http://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/manusmriti-with-the-commentary-of-medhatithi/d/doc145585.html ) says

वेदः स्मृतिः सदाचारः स्वस्य च प्रियमात्मनः । एतच्चतुर्विधं प्राहुः साक्षाद् धर्मस्य लक्षणम् ॥ १२ ॥

vedaḥ smṛtiḥ sadācāraḥ svasya ca priyamātmanaḥ |

etaccaturvidhaṃ prāhuḥ sākṣād dharmasya lakṣaṇam || 12 ||

The Veda, the Smṛti, the Practice of cultured Men(Sadaachaara), and what is agreeable to oneself(one's own Inner Conscience)—these directly constitute the fourfold means of knowing Dharma.

--> conclusion: So, even manusmriti which upholds vedas and smriti for knowing dharma, "that manusmriti itself also" puts Sadaachaar and what is agreeable to oneself(one's own Inner Conscience) - on equal footing to knowing Dharma/ethical moral practise


Please see : The Bhagavad-Gita, with the commentary of Sri Shankaracharya, Translated to English by Alladi Mahadeva Sastri. https://archive.org/details/Bhagavad-Gita.with.the.Commentary.of.Sri.Shankaracharya

Shankaracharya in his own Gita Bhasya 18.66 declares the following:

https://ia800304.us.archive.org/8/items/Bhagavad-Gita.with.the.Commentary.of.Sri.Shankaracharya/Bhagavad-Gita.with.the.Commentary.of.Sri.Shankaracharya.pdf see Pg 529 of the PDF (or Pg 513 as mentioned in bookpages topright)

Shruti is an authority only in matters not perceived by ordinary instruments of knowledge such as pratyaksha or immediate perception - ie, it is an authority to the mutual relations of things to an ends, but not in matters lying within range of pratyaksha; indeed sruti is intended as authority only for knowing what is beyond knowledge. Wherefore it is not possible it is supposed to the notion of "I" which arises in the connection with the aggregate of the body etc, and which is evidently due to illusion is only a figurative idea.

A hundred statements of sruti may declare that fire is cold or that it is dark; still they possess no authrity in the matter.If shruti shoud at all declare that fire is cold or that it is dark; we would still suppose that it intends quite a different meaning from the apparent one, for its authority can not be otherwise maintained: we should in no way attach a meaning , which is otherwise opposed to other authorities or its own declaration.

--> conclusion : Hence, in matter of this wordly's immediate perception matters even shruti(veda) is not given the authrity, the perceptive knowledge and reasoning are given more weightage. Hence, the notions of human equality and justice and no caste-creed, which were espounded by vivekanada,dayanand saraswati etc too, deal with this worldly matter, where perception and deduction-reasoning will hold authority over vedas(shruti). So obviously smriti which have even far less authority in any matter(and if smriti's any text conflict with vedas , then vedas hold supreme), then smriti authority can also be denied - on the basis of Shankracharya's quoted text.


ref: http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/volume_6/epistles_second_series/124_sir.htm

Swami Vivekananda said regarding ignoring bad directives in Hindu scripture:

Such a God I have seen in my life, and his commands I live to follow. "The Smritis and the Puranas are productions of men of limited intelligence and are full of fallacies, errors, the feelings of class and malice. Only parts of them breathing broadness of spirit and love are acceptable, the rest are to be rejected."

[Complete-Works / Volume 6 / Epistles – Second Series / CXXIV] http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/volume_6/epistles_second_series/124_sir.htm


Vedas are canonical scriptures(pramanas) in each astika sect. But Manusmriti is not a canonical scripture in all sects. It is canonical for Smarta sect . But Arya samaj only considers Veda as canonical scripture, they even have their own different Vishuddha manusmriti. Nath sampradyaya does not consider Manusmriti as canonical scripture. So, it is permissible to deny authority of Manusmriti as per the convention of the sect, which the person follows.

5) Kapalika is non-puranic form of shavism. Puranas (which are smritis) are not considered as canonical there. So, in these type of non-smriti shaivite sects manusmriti will not be applicable

6) Lingayat Shaivism does not consider even vedas as pramana, but still given respect. Vachanas are canonical. Hence, entire corpus smriti text are not authority there.

7) If so many official sects can officially deny manumsirit/entire smriti as canonical authority, then obviously a non-sectarian hindu individual(who is not officially affiliated to any sect of hinduism) can also deny the Manusmriti to be canonical for him, and he can still be a scripturally valid Hindu.

8) refer to https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/400/13287

The Smritis (Dharma Shastras) themselves suggest that some of the laws should be changed if they are found offensive to future generation:

"However, discard the desire (kama) and material wealth (artha) if contrary to Dharma; as also, any usage or custom or rules regarded as source of Dharma if at any time they were to lead to unhappiness or arouse people's indignation. (Manu Smriti 4.176)

9) refer: refer to https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/400/13287

Both Sruti and Smriti cannot override human reason. I am posting here two quotes on the importance of reason:

Acharya Shankara, for example, in his Gita Bhasya 18.66 says:

"The appeal to the infallibility of the Vedic injunction is misconceived. The infallibility in question refers only to the unseen forces or apurva, and is admissible only in regards to matters not confined to the sphere of direct perceptions, etc. ..... Even a hundred statements of sruti to the effect that fire is cold and non-luminous won't prove valid. If it does make such a statement, its import will have to be interpreted differently. Otherwise, validity won't attach to it. Nothing in conflict with the means of valid cognition or with its own statements may be imputed to sruti."

10) refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%80gama_(Hinduism)#Relation_to_the_Vedas_and_Upanishads

The Vedas and Upanishads are common scriptures of Hinduism, states Dhavamony, while the Agamas are sacred texts of specific sects of Hinduism. The surviving Vedic literature can be traced to the 1st millennium BCE and earlier, while the surviving Agamas can be traced to 1st millennium of the common era. The Vedic literature, in Shaivism, is primary and general, while Agamas are special treatise. In terms of philosophy and spiritual precepts, no Agama that goes against the Vedic literature, states Dhavamony, will be acceptable to the Shaivas.Similarly, the Vaishnavas treat the Vedas along with the Bhagavad Gita as the main scripture, and the Samhitas (Agamas) as exegetical and exposition of the philosophy and spiritual precepts therein.The Shaktas have a similar reverence for the Vedic literature and view the Tantras (Agamas) as the fifth Veda.

The heritage of the Agamas, states Krishna Shivaraman, was the "Vedic peity maturing in the monism of the Upanishads presenting the ultimate spiritual reality as Brahman and the way to realizing as portrayed in the Gita". David Smith remarks, that "a key feature of the Tamil Saiva Siddhanta, one might almost say its defining feature, is the claim that its source lies in the Vedas as well as the Agamas, in what it calls the Vedagamas".[35] This school's view can be summed up as,

The Veda is the cow, the true Agama its milk.
— Umapati, Translated by David Smith

---->conclusion: only vedas and upanishads form the common scriptures of hinduism, rest are sectarian. Hence, manusmriti is not canonical text except for Smarta sect (also see https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/26097/13287 ).

**BUT Now, even inside Smarta sect: there are two OPINIONS/SUBSCHOOLS **

SUBSCHOOL 10.1: "Smarta's sub-school, who think that all smritis have equal authority for every yuga, but Dharmaśāstra Nibandhanas have reconciliation authority ":

quoting from https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/15063/13287 In the book, Hindu Dharma: The Universal Way of Life, Swami Chandrasekharendra Saraswati hints that all smṛtis are relevant in every yuga and any differences between various smṛtis are reconciled in the Dharmaśāstra Nibandhanas adapted to the region where you live.

Smṛtis and Allied Works

Manu, Parāśara, Yājñavalkya, Gautama, Hārīta, Yama, Vişņu, Śaňkha, Likhita, Brhaspati, Dakşa, Angiras, Pracetas, Sarihvarta, Acanas, Atri, Apastamba and Satatapa are the eighteen sages who mastered the Vedas with their superhuman power and derived the Smrtis from them. Their works are known after them like Manusmrti, Yajñavalkya-smrti, Parasara-smrti and so on, and they contain all that we need to know about all the dharmas to be adhered to and all the rituals to be performed during our entire life. Apart from these eighteen, there are eighteen subsidiary Smṛtis called Upasmṛtis(1). It is customary to include the Bhagavadgīta among the Smṛtis.

What we find in one Smṛti may not be found in another. There may also be differences between one Smṛti and another. These give rise to doubts which are sought to be cleared by works called "Dharmaśāstra Nibandhanas".

There are some Smrtis that do not contain instructions with regard to all observances. For instance, some do not mention sandhyavandanas. The reason must be it is such a common rite that everybody is expected to know it. Then some omit the Śrāddhas ceremony and some others are silent on various types of "pollution" (for instance, that due to the birth of a child in the family or the death of a relative). Certain matters are taken for granted. After all, we do not have to be told about how to breathe or eat.

The nibandhanas do not leave out any rite or dharma. Differences between various Smṛtis are sought to be reconciled in them.

Each region follows its own nibandhana. In the North, it is the one authored by Kasinatha Upadhyaya. In Maharastra, it is the Mitaksara: it has the force of law and is accepted as such by the law courts. Niraayasindhu by Kamalakara Bhatta is also accepted as an authority there. In the South, the Vaidyanatha-Diksitiyan by Vaidyanatha Diksita is followed. These are the important authorities for householders. Sannyasins follow Visvesvara-samhita. In Tamil Nadu the Dharmasastra means the Vaidyanatha-Diksitiyam. This nibandhana has been translated into Tamil.

(1) The authors of these are : Jabali, Naciketas, Skanda, Laugăkşi, Kăéyapa, Vyăsa, Sanatkumāra, Śantanu, Janaka, Vyāghra, Kātyāyana, Jātukarnya, Kapiñjala, Baudhāyana, Kāņāda, Viśvāmiktra, Paițhinasa, Gobhila. - Rā. Ga.

OPINION/SUBSCHOOL 10.2: Smarta sub-school, who think that in kaliyuga Parashara smriti has authority, not manusmriti: refer to: https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/14977/13287 refer to : http://www.astrojyoti.com/pdfs/DevanagariFiles/13Parashara_Smriti.pdf Chapter 1, Sloka 24(same chapter) makes it precise as to which rules to be applied in which age.

Krite tu Manava Dharmastretayam Gowtamah Smritaha|| Dwapare Sankhalikhitah Kalou Parashara Smritaha||

For Krita Manu's laws apply,Gowtama's for Treta ,in Dwapara those written by Sankha and Likhita apply and "Prashara Smriti is the one that applies in Kali" .

11) Also see book about imagined-manuvad:

Shashi Shekhar Sharma, Imagined Manuvād: the Dharmaśāstras and their interpreters, Rupa & Co., 2005 https://books.google.co.in/books/about/Imagined_Manuv%C4%81d.html?id=IJacAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y

12) refer Is there any verse or historical evidence suggesting that manusmriti is more authoritative than other smritis?

13) refer: https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/784/13287

Vivekananda says many unholy acts and ridiculous stories in vedas. The correct meaning of the statement "The Vedas are beginning less and eternal" is that the law or truth revealed by them to man is permanent and changeless.

14) British colonialists made huge propaganda regarding projecting manusmriti as canonical text for even non-Smarta hindus, and giving illusion that Britishers were governing Hindus as per their own religious law .

refer : by madhu kishwar https://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/h_es/h_es_kishw_mythic_frameset.htm

by Rajiv malhotra http://creative.sulekha.com/follow-up-on-manusmriti-to-my-article-in-outlook-india_135208_blog

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    How are puranas bad? I know smritis are a little controversial as they talk about caste system, money, punishment. Which makes people insecure. But puranas don't even talk about caste or anything they just keep their deities as supreme. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 14:32
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    update: I have added "shankarachrya's official comment regarding limitations on shruti etc authority in particular cases" . Please see argument (2) of my answer
    – zaxebo1
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 0:15
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    @AnubhavJha: Whatever you are saying that can form another answer. So please elaborate your point of view(POV) , with references and deductions as separate answer in detail, so that we can understand your POV better.
    – zaxebo1
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 0:19
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    "even lawful acts which may cause pain in the future" - thieves find it painful to be put in jail, can we stop putting thieves in jail ?
    – ram
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 6:33
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    Well researched and written.
    – Lokesh
    Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 10:43

The Manusmriti verse 4.176,

He shall, avoid such wealth and pleasures as are opposed to righteousness, as also righteousness if it be conducive to unhappiness, or disapproved by the people.—(176)

DOES NOT, in any way, mean that one is free to make up his own notions of dharma, nor does it mean that one should change dharma if they don't like it.

What it actually means is what the commentator Medhātithi says:

Or, again (one should avoid), such acts as are ‘disapproved by the people,’ as being blameworthy; e.g., the killing (at sacrifices) of the bull, which should not be killed; and the act of eating its flesh is more blameworthy than that of eating other kinds of flesh.

This prohibition is with a view to perceptible results, just like the prohibition of touching a snake. Ordinary men, being ignorant, would not know that the killing of the bull is permitted (under special conditions), and would therefore make it known that the sacrificer of the bull is an unrighteous person; and, as a large majority of men are illiterate, even cultured persons, not caring to investigate the source of the popular opinion, would avoid the person (as unrighteous). This is what has been said in the passage—‘the king being righteous,’ etc., etc..

What this means is that you are not obligated to carry out an optional karma in the Vedas if the ordinary people don't like it and if they will hurt you or tarnish your reputation if you do carry it out.

But Medhātithi then states:

What we have said above, is in accordance with the explanation provided by older writers. As a matter of fact, however, it can never be right to reject, on the strength of Smṛti, what has been enjoined by the Veda. The right example of the act aimed at by the Text is as follows: The custom of ‘niyoga’ (‘begetting of a child on the widowed sister-in-law’) is sanctioned by Smṛtis; but it is not performed, because it is ‘deprecated by the people;’ or, again, when one is supporting an unprotected young woman, entirely through pity,—if people show their disapproval by giving out that ‘she appeals to hiś generosity because she is a woman,’—then the said righteous act of supporting would be one that is ‘deprecated by the people.’—(176)

So, what this verse means is that you are not obligated to follow a Smriti custom if the people don't like it or if it makes them unhappy (thereby possibly hurting you).


Short answer to your question is no. Long answer waits ahead however before you read I must mention that this article was written upon special request by a brother to target some specific people hence some occasional taunts were used those taunts are not meant for anyone on this platform so if anyone finds any taunts I request them to kindly ignore those lines as those are not meant for people of this platform.


Most people who claim Manusmriti to be invalid try to prove their personal opinion by stating that Shrutis alone are permanent however this narrative is created by them not out of genuine faith but simply to force and twist the scriptures to support their own deranged mindset and existing notions of political correctness. There are a number of scriptures that states clearly that Manusmriti is the most authoritative Dharma Shastra and is valid forever the most prominent and authoritative amongst them being a Shruti itself.

Krishna Yajur Veda Taitreya Samhita Khand 2 Prapatakha 2 Anuvak 10 slok 2 states: वै तिष्यः सोमः पूर्णमासः साक्षाद् एव ब्रह्मवर्चसम् अव रुन्द्धे परिश्रिते याजयति ब्रह्मवर्चसस्य परिगृहीत्यै श्वेतायै श्वेतवत्सायै दुग्धम् मथितम् आज्यम् अभवत्य् आज्यम् प्रोक्षणम् आज्येन मार्जयन्ते यावद् एव ब्रह्मवर्चसं तत् सर्वं करोत्य् अति ब्रह्मवर्चसं क्रियत इत्य् आहुः । ईश्वरो दुश्चर्मा भवितोर् इति मानवी ऋचौ धाय्ये कुर्याद् यद् वै किं च मनुर् अवदत् तद् भेषजम्। This is a mantra explaining rituals done in order to attain splendour from the gods stating that too much splendour causes ego and can make one a leper, hence to attain fruits of work and yet not become immersed in ego and walk on the path of self destruction, Manusmriti must be followed for that alone is capable of ensuring people do not go astray.


When the false claim of only Shrutis are permanent while smritis can be edited is debunked by providing evidence from the Vedas, some people try to misquote the Manusmriti Chapter 2 verse 10 which states: "श्रुतिस्तु वेदो विज्ञेयो धर्मशास्त्रं तु वै स्मृतिः । ते सर्वार्थेष्वमीमांस्ये ताभ्यां धर्मो हि निर्बभौ ॥" which means "by Sruti (revelation) is meant the Veda, and by Smriti Dharmashastra is meant: those two must not be called into question in any matter, since from those two the sacred law shone forth. By quoting this verse the raitas try to prove since Manusmriti itself states none of the Dharma Shastras are to be questioned or demeaned there must be no problem if a new Dharma Shastra is made or Manusmriti not followed. This argument however has two major defects as firstly the verses states clearly that Dharma Shastras are not to be questioned, a command which the raitas most shamelessly ignore while misquoting the verses; secondly if we are to consider command of this verse alone even that makes Manusmriti even more supreme for the other Dharma Shastras whenever talk about Manu states Manusmriti to be supreme and guiding source for Dharma and other Dharma Shastras a few example of which are the Parashara Smriti Chapter 1 verse 21 and the Brihaspati Smriti Samskarakandam verse 13.

Some people misquote the Parashara Smriti Chapter 1 verse 22 and Brihaspati Smriti Samskarakandam verse 14 out of context to render Manusmriti obsolete by stating that these verses have declared that for different yugas different smritis are applied. However there are two defects in this polemic as firstly this very Parashara Smriti had stated already and very clear in Chapter 1 verse 20-21 that in the end of each Kalpa the Vedas and Smritis are lost and when a kalpa begins the Ishvars decleare and expound the same vedas again while Manu declears law in each kalpa creation and destruction goes in a cycle but laws remain eternal forever as the same vedas and smritis available in any other kalpa are the same we have and shall be the same that shall be given anew to the next kalpa, in simple terms contents of neither the Vedas nor the Manusmriti ever changes; secondly even if we take the verse 22 alone that verse states clearly that for Kaliyug Parashara Smriti is most effective hence renders the wish of raitas to write a new Smriti void and only makes raitas self contradictory. The Parashara Smriti Chapter 1 verse 21 which states "न कश्चिद्वेदकर्ता च वेदं स्मृत्वा चतुर्मुखः तथैवधर्मान्स्मरति मनुः कल्पान्तरेऽन्तरे" is especially critical to prove the fact that Manusmriti is constant and most authoritative as the verse clearly states it is Manu who expounds Smriti at the beginning of each kalpa and determines Dharma which implies that if any Smriti is to be formed it must be in conformity with the Manusmriti and not in any way against it for it is the very basis of Smriti Dharma just like vedas are basis of Shruti Dharma, a fact stared clearly by stating "just like Tridevas expounds Vedas Manu expounds Smriti"; in the same way the Brihaspati Smriti Samskarakandam verse 13 states: "वेदार्थप्रतिबद्धत्वात् प्रामाण्यं तु मनोः स्मृतम् । मन्वर्थविपरीता तु या स्मृतिः मा न शम्यते ॥" which means that the Manusmriti is in absolute accordance with the Vedas and their meanings, any Smriti which is contradictory to the Manusmriti must be deemed void even Brihaspati Smriti is not superior to or more authoritative than Manusmriti.

It can also be understood from what these smritis say about the Manusmriti that the statement of different smritis being more efficient for different yugas simply implies that these smritis must be applied first in the other three yugas except Satya as in the other three yugas Dharma deteriorates and following Manusmriti becomes difficult. In order to being back stability and Dharma it must be done slowly so that before Manusmriti is implemented the people are already prepared to follow it. Also the verses quoted by the raitas even if observed completely out of context in no way states Manusmriti to be invalid or obsolete in any way but rather only states in each yuga there are Dharma Shastras more effective to prepare people to follow Dharma however none of the Dharma Shastras and not even shrutis deem Manusmriti void but whenever the scriptures talk about Manusmriti they simply assert its authority and praises it.

A thing that I observed is some people quoting certain verses of the Manusmriti itself such as Chapter 4 verse 176 however I would like to remind those people about Manusmriti Chapter 2 verse 10 which has already stated that shruti and Smriti can not be called into question. As for the verse 176 of Chapter 4 it must be kept in mind that Chapter 4 refers to duties of householders and refers to their conduct and does not deny Authority of any Dharma Shastras.


Some raitas argue that Manusmriti may have been very important even as per Shrutis however it can not be applied in different Yugas as Parashara Smriti Chapter 1 verse 22 states Manusmriti is mainly for Kaliyug, however though this claim has been refuted in the earlier point, account must be given from the Itihasas as well to show clearly that Manusmriti indeed was applied in Treta, Dvapas and Kaliyug as well (the references to its use and success in Kaliyug shall be dealt with in a seperate point).

The Mahabharata Vana Parva Chapter 3 verse 2 states: "परस्थितं मानुयान्तीमे बराह्मणा वेदपारगाः न चास्मि पालने शक्तॊ बहुदुःखसमन्वितः" which means if the people in general and especially Bramhins in particular forget command of the Vedas and does not follow the Vedas and the Manusmriti such disobedience causes widespread misery, pain and chaos (a fact well proven by the existing conditions prevalent throughout the country compared to the greatness this country posessed during the time when Manusmriti was the constitution). Another remarkable instance in the Mahabharata is in Santi Parva Chapter 121 while describing an ideal kingdom in verse 10 before beginning the lesson it is stated that the description is stated as was explained by Manu Maharaj and laws laid down by him which clearly implies importance the Manusmriti held in Mahabharata era which refutes the raita statement of Manusmriti being invalid in other yugas. Memtion must especially be made of the Bhagvad Gita in this regards as it is a part of the Mahabharata and regarded very highly by all Hindu sampraday and against whom even raitas do not dare to do propaganda; the Bhagvad Gita states clearly in Chapter 16 verse 23 that scriptures must be followed; amongst scriptures Vedas are most authoritative and quotes from the Vedas regarding Manusmriti have been provided already.

Bhisma states in Mahabharata Santi Parva Chapter 67 verses 6-7 that the product of the chaotic condition is anarchy, a state in which no laws are followed and there is no discipline or goodwill in the people which makes them an easy target for the more united enemies such as robbers and thieves. Bhisma describes matsyanaya or rule of the fish in Mahabharata Santi Parva Chapter 67 verse 17 stating it to be a product of anarchy and further saying that in matsyanaya right and wrong is decided by strength alone and the stronger torture the weaker ones for their own profit, in simple words just like the bigger fishes eats up the smaller fish, in matsyanaya the stronger humans feed upon the weaker ones. It is further stated in Mahabharata Santi Parva Chapter 67 verses 18-21 that in order to get relieved from this anarchist and tyrannical situation the people first figured out the causes of problems, then created rules to eradicate the crisis however they knew that a person will be required to enact the rules with force so they went to Bramha who gave them the Dharma Shastras and the system of Veidic monarchy along with the monarch Swyambhu Manu. Hence the origin of monarchy occurred in order to counter the prevalent lawlessness and crime. Manusmriti Chapter 7 verse 3 states the same origin of the Veidic monarchy stating the system was created so that the world may stay safe and all creatures protected. These verses when viewed in light of the ones quoted previously only affirms more the fact that Manusmriti indeed has been described as the most ideal lawbook in the Mahabharata. It must also be noted that Matsyanaya as described by Bhisma not only refers to the worst phase possible from perspective of Dharma but even the worse of atheists find such conditions of Matsyanaya as repulsive and vile; it is stated that in order to remove such depressing conditions and restore Dharma the Manusmriti was expounded by Manu. Manusmriti, a text stated to be most efficient for Satyayug was actually used under the most depressing of conditions that perhaps may not occur even in Kaliyug again and was effective in establishing Dharma in such dark times hence it is only logical that the Manusmriti is most authoritative even in terms of applicability for not only is its function to restore Dharma when conditions are most repulsive but also to maintain Dharma in the best of times.


The most authoritative amongst all acharyas in Kaliyug is considered Adi Shankaracharya as per scriptures and since this article deals with the subject exclusively from point of view of scriptures evidence must be provided from them. The Kurma Puran Purva Bhag Chapter 30 verses 33-34 states clearly that in the Kali-yuga, lord Rudra (known as Nila-Lohita) will incarnate on earth in order to reestablish the principles and doctrines of the Shrutis and Smritis in order to bring welfare for all his devotees and if we observe the deeds and preachings of Adi Shankaracharya, it is he who did this work. In the Linga Puran Purva Bhag Chapter 40 verses 19-25 it has been stated that in Kali-yuga, even Bramhans become critics of the Vedas and other scriptures in order to carry forward their own agenda, in such time, lord Rudra (Nila-Lohita) incarnates as Shankara in order to reestablish the doctrines of the Vedas and other scriptures. Adi Shankaracharyas confirms this notion in Mathamnaya Setu verse 64 where Adi Shankaracharya states he is the chief spiritual master in Kaliyug having already stated in verse 51 of the same work that those who ascend to the seat of Shankaracharya of the four Mathas in due procedure prescribed by Adi Shankaracharya are to be regarded as his direct incarnation which in turn makes them incarnation of Shiva himself. Having known this we must now know what Adi Shankaracharya and other Shankaracharyas have to say on the matter. Adi Shankaracharya states in Mathamnaya Setu verse 61: "इत्येवं मनुरप्याह गौतमोऽपि विशेषतः। विशिष्टशिष्टाचारोऽपि मूलादेव प्रसिद्ध्यति ॥" which means the Manusmriti defines conduct to be observed by those in power and such conduct as prescribed is stated to be Dharma and is as necessary as their source which are the Vedas; in Mathamnaya Setu verse 62-63 further stating that whatever judgements are given by the king and the Acharya must be as per injunctions of the scriptures which here specifically refers to Manusmriti as evident from the previous quoted verse. Also, the present Shankaracharya of Puri Govardhan Matha Shri Nischalanand Swarasatti has stated clearly throughout whenever addressing any questions regarding Dharma that Manusmriti must be followed an instance of this declaration was given by him inside the Supreme Court of India itself where he stated the reasons for his statements in details and not even the chief justice dared defy him (the videos are available on the YouTube channel of Puri Govardhan Matha).

Another notable mention must be made of Dharma Samrat Shri Karpatri Maharaj however before his views are stated it must be told that he was hailed as Dharma Samrat not by some random people but by various contemporary chief Acharyas of the various ancient sampraday and eminent personalities (we have almost over a 150+ letters preserved as proves). To know the ideology and thoughts of Karpatri Maharaj the books such as "Marxvad Aur Ramrajya", "Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh Aur Hindu Dharm" and "Vichar Piyush" are some key texts written by Karpatri Maharaj himself and throughout these works especially in Marxvad Aur Ramrajya he can be found widely quoting the Manusmriti and arguing in favor of its implementation especially in Marxvad Aur Ramrajya page 147 where while describing Ramrajya, Karpatri Maharaj states clearly that only that can be called an ideal kingdom or Ramrajya where life is governed by scriptures and from the life and works of Karpatri Maharaj it is quiet clear that Manusmriti plays the key role in this structure according to him.

Before one may say what has been provided is the perspective of Advaits alone, some facts must be stated to them. Firstly all the difference between various Hindu sects has been entirely based on philosophy and not on conduct to be observed in the material realm, a fact one can easily observe if they study the bhasya of the Bramhsutra done by various Acharyas of different Vedanta sects and see what they say about the statements concerning who has right to veidic study, what should be conduct of Varnashram Dharma and other such topics in all of which all the Acharyas have regarded Manusmriti as authority. Secondly, as stated earlier Karpatri Maharaj was given the title of Dharma Samrat by chief Acharyas of all Hindu sampraday for the reason that everyone agreed and accepted what he had to say regarding conduct to be observed by Hindus which yet again confirms the fact that despite philosophical difference all the traditional Acharyas agreed on subjects related to behavior and regarded Manusmriti as an authority.


If a system is man made it shall have flaws and in case if a system is man made and promoted in the name of God it is not only pure blasphemy but also will mean its creator was a fake person and knew his system was faulty and hence tried to use the name of God only yo further his agenda which shall mean such a system is fraudulent and hence unworthy of being followed. Such a conclusion will obviously state clearly that such a doctrine made on falsities is a false system and hence can not be word of God and such a case have been observed in the case of Islam Christianity and Judaism (shall be making a detailed post on this soon) and hence it is evident that a scripture stating itself to be word of God is not enough.

The Hindu scriptures are replete with verses stating them to be word of God, to quote a few are the Shukla Yajur Veda Book 31 verse 7, Atharva Veda Book 15 Hymn 6 verse 10-12, Chandogya Upanishad Chapter 7 Section 1 verse 4, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Chapter 2 Section 4 verse 10, Bramh Sutra Chapter 1 Section 3 verse 28, Manusmriti Chapter 12 verse 94, Mahabharata Adi Parva Chapter 1 verse 14, Mahabharata Adi Parva Chapter verse 204, Mahabharata Santi Parva Chapter 232 verse 26, Bhagvad Gita Chapter 9 verse 16-17, Bhagvad Gita Chapter 15 verse 15, Shrimad Bhagvatam Book 1 Chapter 1 verse 1, Shrimad Bhagvatam Book 1 Chapter 4 verse 20, Shrimad Bhagvatam Book 3 Chapter 12 verse 39, and the Skand Puran Prabasha Khand Section 1 Chapter 2 verses 3-5. However, as stated earlier simply verses claiming authenticity of a scripture alone is not enough and some additional evidence is required to state they indeed are words of God and not fake books like the abrahamic scriptures.

To prove the authenticity of the scriptures there is a measure in the scriptures themselves which is logical even to the most critical and scientific minds. Ishvar is said to be the creator and perfect which means creation and command of Ishvar must be perfect as well and hence not become self contradictory in the first place nor become corrupt under any circumstances. The Bramh Shutra Chapter 1 Section 3 verses 29 and the Mahabharata Santi Parva Chapter 232 verse 25 clearly states that the shastras such as the Vedas Upanishads Puranas Itihasas and Dharma Shastras are constant, unchanged and can never be corrupted, the Manusmriti Chapter 12 verse 96 further states that all those doctrines, differing from the Vedas which spring up soon perish are worthless and false because they are creation of humans against that of Ishvar. The shastras can be considered word of Ishvar only if what has been stated about them is true and they really are incorruptible hence authenticity of the scriptures must be proven in order to state them to be word of Ishvar. The Krishna Yajur Veda Taitreya Samhita Khand 2 Prapatakha 2 Anuvak 10 slok 2 states clearly that the Manusmriti is ultimate and the fact that the Manusmriti is intact and still existing while civilizations perceived to be more ancient than the Manusmriti such as that of the Mayans and Aztecs is long extinct while others are but a micro minority or hardly clinging to their doctrines through aid of brute force and money alone without any trace of divinity.

It must also be kept in mind that if there was any interpolation in the scriptures and if they were now word of Ishvar they would have surely been filled with contradictory statements however there are no contradiction in the Hindu scriptures and while some fools have tried to state contradiction they have failed miserably and shall continue to fail. Also, making any interpolation in the shastras is not possible since any interpolation shall require inserting additional verses into the scriptures but their style of composition have ensured such attempt fails, also trying to insert verses shall fail as trying that can be easily caught due to subject dealt with in the scriptures and their authenticity shall yet stay preserved. Yet another distinct feature of the Sanatan shastras is that they were historically transmitted orally alone as stated earlier until Shri Veda Vyasa came and compiled all the scriptures in written forms, however the oral tradition still stayed and continues to this date; Sanatan Dharma gives a special emphasis on Guru shishya parampara or in simple words the tradition of transmitting knowledge from Guru to their disciple who would pass down the information to their disciples when they themselves become Guru and so on all of which can be traced back to the very start of the world hence what was available about the scriptures 10000 years ago is still available in the same form though all information may not be disclosed to the public for the scriptures contains knowledge of extremely destructive weapons as well however if one tries to cross check the shastras present with the various such ancient Guru paramparas one shall find that the exact same thing is written in the scriptures of every such tradition, in simple words what is written in the Rig Veda belonging to the Shankaracharyas is the same one will find in Rig Veda available with any other such ancient Guru parampara which is yet another prove of authenticity of the scriptures. This fact is well proven indeed as if one tries to check the Manusmriti available with any of the ancient Guru paramparas they shall find the exact same version present with all of them. Also, this fact is even more solidified when we study the six main commentaries of the Manusmriti that have been deemed authoritative which were done by Medhatithi, Sarvajnanarayana, Kulluka Bhatta, Raghavananda, Nandana, and Ramachandra; the striking factor about these being the fact that while all these commentaries are from entirely different times or from entire different centuries to be precise all done by people from different Guru parampara and from different perspectives, all these commentaries contains the commentaries on the exact same verses and while their interpretation differs from one commenter to another, the verses do not change in any of these documents either.


It can be concluded from the countless evidences provided, Manusmriti is accepted as the most authoritative Dharma Shastra by all section of scriptures and Hindu sampraday. It must also be reminded to the reader again that Adi Shankaracharya and the post of Shankaracharya which is chief authority in Dharma for our times has stated clearly that Manusmriti must be followed to ensure Dharma is intact. Special mention must be made again of the fact that the Manusmriti is well preserved as well and evidence to back this claim also has been provided. The most important part is the Manusmriti was used to restore Dharma when adharma was at its peak, it was also used to ensure Dharma is maintained during the best of times and was enacted in both the best and worst phases of Hindu history. Hence it can be concluded that contrary to all the propaganda done by raitas that Manusmriti is not binding, whatever scriptures talks about Manusmriti states in every way that Manusmriti is binding, ultimate and compulsory as well for not only those who considers themselves truly dharmic and seek perfection on path of Dharma but also for welfare of the entire Hindu population and restoration of Dharma.


Credits of the writing and compilation belongs to: Jalandhar.

  • The Shanti Parva quote is clearly about something Manu said, but not the Manu smriti sacred-texts.com/hin/m12/m12a120.htm Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 23:41
  • Also like all Hindu scripture, there is nothing against killing someone outside the Chatur varna (any more than the life you kill on a daily basis). Do you really think removing the law against murder will not cause "chaos." Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 23:55
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    @abhibbaa kindly atleast read the Mahabharata properly the link u shared is a prose translation not the verse to text and is divided into sections hence If u equate Chapter number with section number u will find wrong references in the first place. Secondly your downvoting won't change the truth. Kindly try to refute the article with scriptural references. The most important part is you couldn't answer the refutation of ur Parashara Smriti quote which u couldn't answer in the first place. Either provide an answer or keep ranting I don't reply to rants only facts are acceptable. Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 4:18
  • You do know what prose means right? Just not in rhyme or meter. The Mahabharata in Sanskrit is in prose as well. Translating it does not change the chapter numbers, especially with an online format that does not care about page length. Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 11:04

Yes, because the Padma Purāṇa does not mention it, which means it is not a Smṛti of the main canon. Maybe from this, it could be an "upasmṛti," but still it would not be that important.

Similarly Smṛtis endowed with the three qualities are proclaimed by the sages. O you of an auspicious appearance, they are sāttvika, rājasa and tāmasa. Vāsiṣṭha, Hārīta, Vyāsa, Pārāśara, Bhāradvāja and Kāśyapa are said to sāttvika, giving (i.e. leading to) salvation and auspicious. Yājñavalkya Ātreya, so also Taittira, Dākṣa and Kātyāyana and Vaiṣṇava are rājasa, giving (i.e. leading to) heaven, and auspicious. Gautama, Bārhaspatya, Sāṃvarta, Yama, Sāṃkhya and Auśanasa are said to be tāmasa, and giving (i.e. leading to) hell. What is the use of talking much in the case of the Purāṇas and the Smṛtis also? The tāmasa do lead to hell. A wise one should avoid them. As the occasion has come, I have told you all the auspicious doctrines. Listen. I shall tell you about the nature of the remaining birth (i.e. of the other incarnations) of Viṣṇu.

That being said "the rules of Manu" are mentioned a bunch of times in canon scripture and the Pārāśara Smṛti mentions it a bunch. However, one thing keeps coming up that canon scripture never truly endorses it, just repeats it. That shows that it had a big effect on the characters in Hindu stories, not that it is true. Just like the Quran and Bible having a big effect on the world does not make them true. Thus, while Manu's rules exist, it could be that Manu was simply wrong or deceitful. He apparently got it from "the Imperishable One," whoever that is.

Maybe the Manu Smṛiti is true scripture, but it was meant to deceive, because apparently deceitful scriptures are a thing according to the Padma Purāṇa. The Padma Purāṇa also makes it extremely clear that the deceitful scriptures are still from God, not random people off the street.

P.S. The Manu Smṛiti has this weird verse that scriptures lose virtue.

इतरेष्वागमाद् धर्मः पादशस्त्ववरोपितः । चौरिकानृतमायाभिर्धर्मश्चापैति पादशः ॥ ८२ ॥

itareṣvāgamād dharmaḥ pādaśastvavaropitaḥ | caurikānṛtamāyābhirdharmaścāpaiti pādaśaḥ || 82 ||

In the other Cycles, virtue fell off from the scriptures, foot by foot; and on account of theft, falsehood and fraud, virtuous acts deteriorated foot by foot—(82).

Important note: There is the possible argument the Manu Smriti is actually mentioned, but called the Kāśyapa. This is possible, because Kaśyapa is Manu the first human reborn as I explained here. However, the Kāśyapa/Kaśyapa Smriti exists as a separate text, so it appears he was just responsible for both. Also, there is literally no reason for Manu not to mention his other name, except to deceive (although weirdly it seems to avoid people believing him in this case (shows he is not all bad)).

https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/the-padma-purana/d/doc365820.html https://archive.org/stream/ParasharaSmriti/SriParasharaSmrithiPdf_djvu.txt https://archive.org/stream/ParasharaSmriti/SriParasharaSmrithiPdf_djvu.txt

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