मनु स्मृति and its colonial translation
What more should we expect from translations of Manu smriti who translate ‘मनु स्मृति’ as ‘the code of Manu’. With this colonial, abridged and lethargic translation known across the scholastic world that malign मनु स्मृति as lowly, narrow minded and racial treatise cannot give you right idea of ancient Bharat’s sociology. For that, you must start your inquiry from roots.
मनु,मानस,मानव – all share same philosophical root i.e. मन or to think or ‘minding – the process of thinking’. Manu’s code, therefore, is a treatise of social relations for living beings who has special faculty called मन i.e. मानव धर्म शाश्त्र – A treatise (शाश्त्र) of social relations (धर्म) among beings endowed with power of reasoning (मानस).
मनु स्मृति lays emphasis on reason, the thinking faculty, in the ordering of man’s social relations. It stands for a planned society. It is scientific technique and not mere congeries of consistent concepts.
Beauty of this code of conduct is that it can be readily studied from different stand-points. A student of philosophy may be interested in finding Manu’s strict adherence to Vedic thoughts. A student of astronomy can find Manu’s treatise as reflection of cosmology. A student of ethics can derive abstract ideas of virtue and justice. A student of history may imagine society of past that is represented in मनु स्मृति. A student of medicine finds prevention of diseases. A student of sociology finds image of prosperous society.
Pity is that so many so called intellectuals limited themselves to colonial and vested interest based translations and interpolation and termed this treatise as communal and narrow minded. No one wants to give fresh thoughts.
How far did you go to understand this treatise and modernize it for 21st century?( Remember, as a part of your dharma(धर्म), you must spend 25% time of the day in Nation Development (Rest is reserved for personal life अर्थ(earning),काम(recreation,sports, family life),मोक्ष(rest,meditation and sleep))). If you consider yourself smart and intelligent then this can become your best tool to start with. Understand and experiment.)