It is popular traditional belief that Manu Smriti was there before Ramayana and Mahabharata.

So does Manu Smriti find any mention in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata?

Are any passages quoted in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata?

Any other Smritis like the Parashara, Yajnavalkya, Vishnu, Narada etc mentioned and quoted in the Epics?

1 Answer 1


Yes, in both the epics, Manusmṛti is referenced.

1. Valmiki Ramayan

God Rama invokes it after fatally hurting Vali.

Chapter 18, Book IV : Kishkindha Kanda

Valmiki Ramayan

शक्यम् त्वया अपि तत् कार्यम् धर्मम् एव अनुवर्तता । श्रूयते मनुना गीतौ श्लोकौ चारित्र वत्सलौ ॥ गृहीतौ धर्म कुशलैः तथा तत् चरितम् मयाअ ॥ ४-१८-३० ॥

  1. "Had you pursued rightness you too would have done the same deed in imposing such a punishment, and we hear two verses that are given to the advocacy of good conventions, which the experts of rightness have also accepted, and which are said to be coined by Manu, and I too conducted myself only as detailed in those verses of law. [4-18-30]

2. Mahabharata

References to Manu abounds in the Mahabharata, a few examples of which being.

Section XLI, Astika Parva, Adi Parva,


Sauti said -

The gods cause rain, and rain produces grains and herbs, which are always useful to man. Manu says, a ruler of the destinies of men is equal (in dignity) to ten Veda-studying priests.


Section XLIV, Anusasanika Parva, Anushasana Parva

Bhishma said -

If, instead of selecting a husband for herself, she acts otherwise, she incurs the reproach of Prajapati herself. One should wed that girl who is not a Sapinda of one’s mother or of the same Gotra with one’s father. Even this is the usage (consistent with the sacred law) which Manu has declared.'

  • Are there mentions about otuer Smritis? Jul 2, 2022 at 5:15
  • Umm.. I don't think so. To my limited knowledge, Other smritis not mentioned in the epics, :) @Optimus
    – Vivikta
    Jul 2, 2022 at 9:57
  • @Vivikta what about Dharmasutras?
    – Haridasa
    Feb 19 at 19:31

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