Ashok Singhal and relevance of Manu Smriti
April 20, 2006
Hindu Society is often trashed by the ultra-left, Dalits and Christian groups for its apparent belief in Manu Smirit. Ashok Sighal of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, here clearly explains that Manu smirit is not relevant to the modern Hindu society and it has been overwhelmingly rejected by our religious leaders.
Ashok Singhal, President, Vishva Hindu Parishad wrote:
The “Manu Smriti” or the “Yagyavalkya Smriti” has no connection with Adi Manu or the Sage Yagyavalkya. The “Smritis” were written during the reign of Pushyamitra about 2200 years ago. There is no reference of such Smritis in the Mahabharata.
There are two portions in the Smritis – one is ‘Yama’ and the other is ‘Niyama’. ‘Yama’ consists of eternal values while the ‘Niyamas’ were the periodic governing laws or codes of conduct meant for running the affairs of the state of the then kings. There are more than three hundred Smritis. They have little to do with the eternal values of Dharma. These have been responsible for gross discrimination that is alien to our concept of ‘Ekaatmataa’ (Ekaatm Bhaava/Integralism) that is expounded in our ancient scriptures – the Shrutis (the four Vedas – the eternal revealed scriptures) and the Upanishads.
Caste untouchability never existed in our society. It is the creation of the Muslim rule because those who put up a fight and did not convert to Islam were punished for their commitment to their indigenous ethos and thrown out of the society as untouchables. These heroic people are enlisted as scheduled castes. We must differentiate between the ‘scheduled castes’ and the ‘Shudras’. Shudras were held with respect before the advent of the Smritis and the scheduled castes are of recent origin created during the muslim rule.
The Vishva Hindu Parishad totally rejects the “Manu Smriti” as it has no place in a civilized society. The Adi Manu Smriti is the Gita as revealed in Chapter IV of the Gita. The Dharma Sansad and the Margadarshak Mandal of Vishva Hindu Parishad constituted of Dharmacharyas, Sants, Mahamandaleshwars and Mahants have totally rejected caste untouchability as prevalent in the Hindu society today. They have decided to give ‘Mantra Deeksha’ without any discrimination.
In the Vedas, there is no discrimination amongst the four Varnas. All are considered genius and masterminds in their own fields and all looked upon one another with respect. Recitation of the Vedic Mantras in daily life was practiced by the entire society irrespective of Varna. As for the Ashram Vyavastha, it enabled the individual-self to gradually unfold and expand his/her horizon of consciousness from micro-self through family, creed, nationality and ultimately attained absolute perfection by identifying with the universal self, the omnipresent divine self. Man started his journey as an individual Brahmachari, proceeded to Grihastha Ashram, then Vaanaprastha Ashram when he dedicated himself to the service of humanity, and finally accepted the Sannyaas Ashram in which he had to surrender his individual self at the feet of the divine for ultimate salvation.