In sanathan dharma, there is a concept called 'adhikara nirnayam'. It says about who all are eligible to read or recite or hear a particular scripture or stotra etc.,

Most of the scriptures mention the qualities needed for a person to read it.

Is there any such eligibility criteria for reading Manusmrithi?

2 Answers 2


The last verse of the extant version of Manu Smriti says:

12.126. A twice-born man who recites these Institutes, revealed by Manu, will be always virtuous in conduct, and will reach whatever condition he desires.

This hints that only twice born persons are qualified to recite/read Manu Smriti.

Vyasa Smriti, however, explicitly states that only Dvijas, who wear the sacred thread, are qualified to read any Smritis.

Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas are called the twice-born. Their first births take place when they are delivered of their mother's womb ; their second, when they duly accept the Gayatri Mantra from their preceptors (21).

Thus made twice-born, and free from all other faults, they become entitled to study the Vedas, Smritis and Puranas (22).

(Chapter 1, Verses 21 and 22)


Quoting verses from Manusmriti -

1.102 - For the knowledge of deeds of brahmin and other varnas , the wise Manu , son of Brahma , has created this Manusmriti shastra.

1.103 - A learned brahmin should study this shastra diligently and preach it well to disciples.A person of any other varna should not preach it .

2.16 - From conception to funeral , for whom the sacraments have been prescribed , are entitled to this shastra

and as Rickross pointed out in his answer:

12.126 - The dvija who reads Manu-composed scripture propounded by Bhrigu , remains ethical and attains whatever state he desires.

so it is clear only brahmins are allowed to recite and preach manusmriti , while kshtriyas and vaishyas can read it .

However Dr. Surendra Kumar in Vishhudh Manusmriti declares all 4 verses as interpolated.

For 1.102 and 1.103 - https://archive.org/details/dr.surendrakumar/page/n277/mode/2up?view=theater

For 2.16 (in his book 2.16 is actually 1.135) - https://archive.org/details/dr.surendrakumar/page/n299/mode/2up?view=theater

For 12.126 https://archive.org/details/dr.surendrakumar/page/n1195/mode/2up?view=theater

  • while kshtriyas and vaishyas can read it where it is given?
    – hanugm
    Dec 21, 2021 at 5:47
  • 1
    @hanugm in ganganath jha 's notes wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/… see at bottom of page
    – Raghav
    Dec 21, 2021 at 5:48
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    @hanugm I have edited my answer , 12.126 says all 3 varnas can read it
    – Raghav
    Dec 21, 2021 at 6:25
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    12.126 was already given in my answer so there is no use of adding it to your answer @Raghav
    – Rickross
    Dec 21, 2021 at 7:03
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    @Adiyarkku okayy , I will take care in future from now on
    – Raghav
    Dec 21, 2021 at 9:54

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