Posted: 14 February 2011 at 7:37pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by JanakiRaghunath
I too am about a bit dubious about going to the Manu Smriti because some passages, like Lola said, are a bit - er - "uncomfortable" to say the list, like the whole passage about women having to do Sati, the things they have to undergo when they become widows, etc. Vedas and Upanishads in my opinion are the best sources for scriptures since they are believed to be the direct word of God.
Sati is there in Manu's Smritis? Very much doubt it, since the Ikshvaku dynasty, being descendants of Manu (Granted, there were 2 Manus - one that lawgiver, and other the ancestor of the Raghu dynasty) and none of the widows in that lineage, including Kaushalya, Kaikeyi or Sumitra, ever committed it. Had it been there, they would have. Yeah, Manu's Smritis does contain a lot of misogynic content, but it's a smriti (done from memory), not a shruti (handed over orally), and as per Hindu scriptural theory, more prone to error, and less time-independent. Besides, historically, not all schools of Hindu jurisprudence recommended sati (I'm talking classical age - the Maurya empire, the Gupta empire, et al).
Upanishads are philosophy - they're not so much divine directives as much as interpretations.
Edited by _Vrish_ - 14 February 2011 at 7:40pm