Manu maharishi was not biased and promoter of castism.
He propagated varn vyastha which was based on merits not on basis of birth. In later times some ignorant Brahmins for fulfilling their wicked desires, to secure advantage over others framed interpolations in Manu smriti to prove castism based on birth.
Following are the shaloks from Manu smriti which promotes varn vyastha based on merits.
2/157. As an elephant made of wood, as an antelope made of leather, such is an unlearned Brahmana; those three have nothing but the names (of their kind).
2/28. By the study of the Veda, by vows, by burnt oblations, by (the recitation of) sacred texts, by the (acquisition of the) threefold sacred science, by offering (to the gods, Rishis, and manes), by (the procreation of) sons, by the great sacrifices, and by (Srauta) rites this (human) body is made fit for (union with) Brahman.
(The above shalok proves that by great dedication and works only a person can become Brahmin not by merely taking birth to a Brahmin father )
The varn of a person was decided after completion of his education. Two births were considered for a person in Vedic period. First was when he was born to his parents second was after completing his education. It was after second birth (twice born) varn of person was decided. The following shalok from Manu smriti proves this concept.
2/148. But that birth which a teacher acquainted with the whole Veda, in accordance with the law, procures for him through the Savitri, is real, exempt from age and death.
2/146. Of him who gives natural birth and him who gives (the knowledge of) the Veda, the giver of the Veda is the more venerable father; for the birth for the sake of the Veda (ensures) eternal (rewards) both in this (life) and after death.
(The second birth after education is considered as more important than the first birth)
A person who remained uneducated with the knowledge of Vedas was considered a Sudra. Sudra varn was not based on birth but on merits.
10/4. Brahmana, the Kshatriya, and the Vaisya castes (Varna) are the twice-born (educated) ones, but the fourth, the Sudra, has one birth only; there is no fifth (caste).
2/172. He who has not been initiated with teaching of the Vedas is like a Sudra.
Manu also advised not to insult person of lower Varna.
4/141. Let him not insult those who have redundant limbs or are deficient in limbs, nor those destitute of knowledge, nor very aged men, nor those who have no beauty or wealth, nor those who are of low birth.
Why Manu started varn vyastha?
1/31. But for the sake of the prosperity of the worlds he caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra varn origin in form of body of society as its mouth, its arms, its thighs, and its feet.
(Few ignorant considers sudras origin from feet of god which is totally wrong as god is considered as formless in Vedas so from where feet’s or head of formless god will originate)
Then god prescribed different occupations for different Varna.
1/87. But in order to protect this universe He, the most resplendent one, assigned separate (duties and) occupations to those as done in a body by mouth, arms, thighs, and feet.
1/88. To Brahmanas he assigned teaching and studying (the Veda), sacrificing for their own benefit and for others, giving and accepting (of alms).
1/89. The Kshatriya he commanded to protect the people, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Veda), and to abstain from attaching himself to sensual pleasures;
1/90. The Vaisya to tend cattle, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Veda), to trade, to lend money, and to cultivate land.
1/91. One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Sudra, to serve these (other) three castes.
(Manu considered anyone who is quality less as a Sudra so any uneducated person is fit only for service work for others so Manu advised service work for sudras.)
Manu also advised changing of allotted Varna in Manu smriti. This option proves that varn vyastha was changeable and not based on birth but on merits.
10/65. (Thus) a Sudra attains the rank of a Brahmana, and (in a similar manner) a Brahmana sinks to the level of a Sudra; but know that it is the same with the offspring of a Kshatriya or of a Vaisya.
9/335. (A Sudra who is) pure, accompanies betters, gentle in his speech, and free from pride, and always seeks a refuge with Brahmanas, attains a higher Varna (Brahmana, Kshatriya or Vaisya) based on his qualities.
4/245. A Brahmana who always connects himself with the most excellent (ones), and shuns all inferior ones, (himself) becomes most distinguished; by an opposite conduct he becomes a Sudra.
(There is English proverb that company makes a man better) it seems that Manu smriti is origin of this proverb.
2/103. But he who does not worships in morning, nor in the evening, is like a Sudra and he shall be excluded, just like a Sudra, from all the duties and rights of an Aryan.
2/168. A twice-born man who, not having studied the Veda, applies himself to other (and worldly study), soon falls, even while living, to the condition of a Sudra and his descendants (after him).
2/126. A Brahmana who does not know the form of returning a salutation, they must not be saluted by a learned man; they must be considered as a Sudra.
Any Sudra can teach the other castes also
2/238. He who possesses faith may receive pure learning even from a man of lower caste (Sudra), the highest law even from the lowest, and an excellent wife even from a base family.
2/241. It is prescribed that in times of distress (a student) may learn (the Veda) from one who is not a Brahmana; and that he shall walk behind and serve (such a) teacher, as long as the instruction lasts
Superior Rights given by Manu to sudras
2/136. Wealth, kindred, age, (the due performance of) rites, and, fifthly, sacred learning are titles to respect; but each later-named (cause) is more weighty (than the preceding ones).
2/137. Whatever man of the three (highest) castes possesses most of those five, both in number and degree, that man is worthy of honour among them; and (so is) also a Sudra who has entered the tenth (decade of his life).
(In above shalok Manu gives respect to any Sudra who is in tenth decade of life.)
3/116. After the Brahmanas, the kinsmen, and the servants have dined, the householder and his wife may afterwards eat what remains.
(House holders are advised by Manu to dine after sudras or servants)
8/335. Neither a father, nor a teacher, nor a friend, nor a mother, nor a wife, nor a son, nor a domestic priest must be left unpunished by a king, if they do not keep within their duty.
8/336. Where another common man would be fined one karshapana, the king shall be fined one thousand; that is the settled rule.
8/337. In (a case of) theft the guilt of a Sudra shall be eightfold, that of a Vaisya sixteen fold, that of a Kshatriya two-and-thirtyfold,
8/338. That of a Brahmana sixty-fourfold, or quite a hundredfold, or (even) twice four-and-sixtyfold; (each of them) knowing the nature of the offence.
(Manu advises strict punishment for a higher varn Brahman than a lower varn Sudra. The above shaloks proves that Manu was not biased for sudras. He considered sin as bigger one for learned one than for ignorant one)
Following are the examples of changing of varn vyastha in past.
Rishi Brahma son Manu swayambhu himself born to a Brahman became Kshatriya king.
Manu eldest son Priyavrat became king, a Kshatriya. Out of his ten sons seven became kings while three became Brahman. Their names were Mahavir, Kavi and Savan. (Ref bhagwat puran chap.5)
Kavash –ailush was born to a Sudra and attained varn of a Rishi. He became mantra-drashta to numerous Vedic mantras in Rig-Veda 10th Mandal.
Jabala’s son Satyakaam born from unknown father became Rishi by his qualities.
In similar way son of a Dasi (maid) Kanav became a Rishi.
Matang became a Rishi after his birth in low Varna.
Maharishi Valmiki was born in inferior Varna and became Rishi.
Mahatma Vidur was born to a Dasi (maid) and became prime minister of Dhritrasthra.
Raja Vishavnath a Kshatriya became a Brahman Rishi Vishwamitra
There are many examples of varn vyastha to inferior level.
Ravan king of Lanka was son of a Brahmin Rishi Pultasya.
Shri Ram ancestor Raja Raghu’s son Pravidh was declared inferior varn due to lack of qualities.
Shri ram ancestor Raja Samar’s son Asmanjhas was declared Sudra due to his bad qualities.
Now compare the above shaloks with the below ones from Manu smriti
9/317. A Brahmana, be he ignorant or learned, is a great divinity, just as the fire, whether carried forth (for the performance of a burnt-oblation) or not carried forth, is a great divinity.
9/319. Thus, though Brahmanas employ themselves in all (sorts of) mean (inferior)
Occupations, they must be honoured in every way; for (each of) them is a very great deity.
8/20. A Brahmana who subsists only by the name of his caste (gati), or one who merely calls himself a Brahmana (though his origin be uncertain), may, at the king's pleasure, interpret the law to him, but never a Sudra.
8/21. The kingdom of that monarch, who looks on while a Sudra settles the law, will sink (low), like a cow in a morass.
8/270. A once-born man (a Sudra), who insults a twice-born man with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out; for he is of low origin.
8/271. If he mentions the names and castes (gati) of the (twice-born) with contumely, an iron nail, ten fingers long, shall be thrust red-hot into his mouth.
8/272. If he arrogantly teaches Brahmanas their duty, the king shall cause hot oil to be poured into his mouth and into his ears.
8/417. A Brahmana may confidently seize the goods of (his) Sudra (slave); for, as that (slave) can have no property, his master may take his possessions.
3/156. He who teaches for a stipulated fee and he who is taught on that condition, he who instructs Sudra pupils and he whose teacher is a Sudra, he who speaks rudely, the son of an adulteress, and the son of a widow,
4/80. Let him not give to a Sudra advice, nor the remnants (of his meal), nor food offered to the gods; nor let him explain the sacred law (to such a man), nor impose (upon him) a penance.
4/81. For he who explains the sacred law (to a Sudra) or dictates to him a penance, will sink together with that (man) into the hell (called) Asamvrita.
4/99. Let him not recite (the texts) indistinctly, nor in the presence of Sudras; nor let him, if in the latter part of the night he is tired with reciting the Veda, go again to sleep.
The above examples proves that interpolations had been done in Manu smriti and if in a single book two different self contradicting statements are given then it’s definite that the unacceptable one of them is false. Manu smriti advices sudras based on merits not on basis of birth, varn decided after completion of studies, right of change of Varna’s, stricter punishment for upper non sudras. Thus how can we blame Manu smriti of biased towards sudras. It is interpolations which are responsible for such heinous crime and to be rejected.
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