MANUSMRITI IS THE MOST ENLIGHTENED, PERFECT AND THE GREATEST CIVIL CODE EVER KNOWN TO HUMANITY.
In this series only those Sloka-s have been selected for exposition that confront all misgivings / untrue perceptions about the wisdom of Manusmrti prevailing all around and facilitate accurate interpretation of the scripture.
Lokanam Tu Vivrddhayartham Mukhabahurupadatah I
Brahmanam Ksatriyam Vaisyam Sudram Ca Niravartayat II I / 21 II
For the overall development of all, He created Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra analogous to four important constituents of human body i.e. mouth, arms, thighs and feet.
Mouth, arms, thighs and feet are the integral parts of human body that have been specifically selected by Maharsi Manu as these are instruments of performing action. Though human body has several other constituents equally or more important yet Maharsi Manu selected ONLY these four and none else. Actions performed through these constituents directly affect human existence in every form. There are other organs of external actions too, yet those do not directly participate in overall existence, sustenance and development of human life.
Maharsi Manu heralded the most important message of the legendary scripture Manusmriti by selecting these four organs – Message of Karma. It is Karma alone that is supreme of all in this world.
Mouth is responsible for eating, speaking, teaching and learning for the whole body.
Arms accomplish so many actions yet the most intensive action lies in defence from external onslaughts.
Thighs act to earn and provide support to the entire body.
Feet are responsible for movement of entire body without which mouth, arms and thighs would be rendered non-functional.
They are very well integrated, functionally well-coordinated and inseparable from one another. If anyone of these happens to mal-function, entire body is rendered severely handicapped or non-productive.
Same is the order of Varna in society. If society is a human body, Brahmana-s constitute mouth, Ksatriya-s constitute arms, Vaisya-s constitute thighs and Sudra-s, feet. Actions of these four are the most basic activities of any society essential for their existence, survival and development. There is no activity whatsoever, that does not fall in the ambit of any of these four Varna-s. It is the primacy and inevitability of these actions classified into four sub-groups of society known as Varna-s that allowed it to survive for thousands of years with no sign of it’s being re-packaged in any manner. If any one member of the Varna order refuses to act or rendered disabled, entire society would begin it’s journey down the hill, towards utter ruination.
Every Varna is equally important. Sudra is as much unavoidable, important and honourable as Brahmana. Vaisya is as much required as Ksatriya.
Only to drive home these points of ponder meaningfully that Maharsi Manu compared human body with that of a well-ordered society under the umbrella of Varna system. It has been misunderstood by some that Brahmana originated from the mouth of Prajapati Brahma, Ksatriya from His arms, Vaisya from His thighs and lastly, Sudra from His feet owing to some semi-literate writer known as Kulluka Bhatt, intentionally or otherwise. With that misinterpretation, Sudra-s were being derogated as having originated from the feet which is entirely diabolical and untrue.
To be continued….