The Manu Smṛiti is mentioned in a lot of other scriptures, but it is not ever truly endorsed, unlike other scriptures. In the Manu Smṛiti, Manu says he got it from "the Imperishable One," which is a strangely ambiguous source. In fact, as discussed in this question, the law from "the Imperishable One," contradicts the general law, which implies it is not from a primordial deity. Also, the Manu Smṛiti references what Manu himself said, which means the "the Imperishable One" did this after Manu was born, which would seem weirdly late for a primordial deity to do.

वैश्यं प्रति तथैवैते निवर्तेरन्निति स्थितिः । न तौ प्रति हि तान् धर्मान् मनुराह प्रजापतिः ॥ ७८ ॥

vaiśyaṃ prati tathaivaite nivarteranniti sthitiḥ | na tau prati hi tān dharmān manurāha prajāpatiḥ || 78 ||

For the Vaiśya also these three should cease,—such is the law; since Prajāpati Manu has not prescribed these duties for those two (castes).—(78)

Is there anything in scripture that details the character of Manu? Is he honest and helpful or is he deceiving and unhelpful like Indra, and his words should not be taken at face value?

  • The Manusmriti itself doesn't speaks anuthing about its author. According to Pauranic literature, Manu is the title of the person who owns the cosmos for a time of 71 yuga cycles, called Manvantara. The time of 14 Manus is equal to a single day of Prajapati Brahma. Currently we are living in the time of the 8th Manu. It is widely believed that the Manusmriti's composer was the 1st Manu, who is the progenitor of humankind(Manava) through his sister-cum-wife Shatarupa. Kings like Prithu & Dhruva were born in his lineage. Oct 27 '21 at 14:11
  • @AnubrataBit The first part of the Manu Smṛiti, which has nothing to do with dharma, is Manu speaking. Then, for the entire dharma-related part it is Bhrigu speaking for some reason. Manu says he got the law from the ambiguously named "the Imperishable One" and he taught Bhrigu the law. Oct 27 '21 at 14:14
  • Since the 1st Manu named Svayambhuva was created by Brahma, the term 'Imperishable One' might refer refer to Him. Oct 27 '21 at 14:26
  • @AnubrataBit There are many possible known entities it could refer to in Hinduism, let alone unknown ones. Oct 27 '21 at 14:31

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