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Manusmriti 4:73:- Let him not enter a walled village or house except by the gate, and by night let him keep away from trees.

I don't understand why Manusmriti talks about this unnecessary law. What's wrong with trees during the night? Modern science says that as plants release CO2 during the night, we should not go near them. Is this the same reason behind the Manusmriti verse or is there any mythological explanation for this?

  • Good question: I cannot find any reason for this. Have you looked in the puranas? – Wikash_ Dec 16 '19 at 23:04
  • All I heard is that plants also get inactive during nights (sleep would be an exaggeration). So therefore, sages asked us to avoid being when they aren't active. – user19357 Dec 17 '19 at 6:12
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That is not the exact verse. MS 4.73 says

He shall not enter a walled village or house, except through the gate. At night, he shalt, keep away, at a long distance, from the roots of trees.—(73)

This verse comes under the Personal Cleanliness section.

The first part is common sense - avoid jumping over the wall when you have the gate. You can end up soiling your clothes, dirty your hands etc.

The second part is saying to keep away from the roots lest you end up slipping on the roots and dirty yourself. The trees referred here are the ones whose roots come out of the surface.

So in short it has nothing to do with CO2 or mythology.

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