Manusmriti is the most enlightened, perfect and the greatest civil code ever known to humanity.
In this series only those Slokas have been selected for exposition that confront all misgivings/untrue perceptions about the wisdom of Manusmrti prevailing all around and facilitate accurate interpretation.
Vaisyastu Krtsamskarah Krtva Daraparigraham I
Vartayam Nityayuktaha Syatpasunam Caiva Raksane II X / 1 II
After completition of all Samskara-s, Vaisya must engage himself in trade and tending animals after being betrothed.
After all Samskara-s are successfully accomplished and education in Guru’s hermitage completed, Vaisya is expected to pursue the profession of trade and animal care assigned to the Varna after being married and settled as a householder.
Sarasaram Ca Bhandanam Desamam Ca Gunagunan I
Labhalabham Ca Panyanam Pasunam Parivardhanam II X / 4 II
Vaisya must know merits and demerits of ware, salient features of countries, loss-profit of sale ware and methods of conservation of animals.
Vaisya must be conversant with all articles and objects that may matter in his profession of trade and animal care. He is expected to know profit and loss associated with all tradeable objects as well as methods of conservation of animals. He must also know distant regions and territories where he may have to travel in course of his profession of trade.
Vipranam Vedavidusam Grhasthanam Yasasvinam I
Susrusaiva Tu Sudrasya Dharmo Naisreyasah Parah II X / 7 II
Serving Brahmana-s being knower of Veda-s and accomplished householders is the natural Dharma of Sudras.
Only reason for being Sudra is aversion to learning. In absence of learning and erudition, only occupation left for a Sudra is serving those who are engaged in service of society and humanity on higher planes of rendition. It is well established that Sudra-s enjoy a respectable domain in Maharsi Manu’s ordered society and they are mandated to serve only the accomplished ones.
Brahmanadyasrayo Nityamutkrstam Jatimasnute II X / 8 II
Sudra serving accomplished ones of Brahamana and other Varna-s, soft-spoken, devoid of ego, pure and consecrated internally, are attained to Dvija Varna.
Even conscientious pursuit of Sudra–Dharma too, opens doors to higher planes of existence as selfless pursuit of one’s Sva–Dharma leads to self-consecration followed by emancipation from Maya ultimately. Serving three Varna-s by Sudra-s is as sacrosanct as learning of Veda-s by Brahamana-s, warfare by Ksatriya-s and pursuing commerce by Vaisya-s. Absence of egoism ensures, ripples of divinity emanating from the Absolute Infinite are duly received and assimilated.
Brahmanaha Ksatriyo Vaisyastrayo Varna Dvijatayaha I
Caturtha Ekajatistu Sudro Nasti Tu Pamcamaha II X / 9 II
Brahamana, Ksatriya and Vaisya are Dvija while the fourth one being once born Sudra. No fifth one exists.
As a measure of re-assertion, Maharsi Manu has unequivocally established, only four Varna-s exist with Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaisya as Dvija and fourth one, Sudra. First three are Dvija i.e. twice born with purported second birth meant for initiation into Vedic education. Since Sudra do not opt for Vedic precepts, they are regarded as ‘once born’. Entire society is thus accounted for within the spectrum of four Varna-s and no Varna as fifth one has been provided for.
Mukhabahurupajjanam Ya Loke Jatayo Bahih I
Mlecchavacascaryavacaha Sarve Te Dasyavaha Smrtaha II X / 10 II
Other than these four in society, irrespective of whether they speak Aryana or Mleccha, are all known as Dasyu.
All those who do not belong to either of four Varna-s of Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaisya or Sudra, have been categorised as Dasyu-s by Maharsi Manu. It does not really matter which language they speak, whether rich language of the Aryana-s or the inferior one of Mleccha-s. Thus, order of Varna-s is sacrosanct and inviolable for the sake of smooth organisation of society.
Sudro Brahmanatameti Brahmanascaiti Sudratam I
Ksatriyajjatamevam Tu Vidyadvaisyattathaiva Ca II X / 14 II
Sudra may become Brahamana and Brahamana, Sudra. Same is true with Ksatriya and Vaisya too.
Four orders of Varna-s of Brahamana, Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra are meticulously defined on the basis of abundance of Guna-s alone. No other criterion exerts any role in that process. As a measure of natural corollary, if a Brahamana loses his attributes essential for being a Brahamana, he may be re-categorised Ksatriya, Vaisya or even Sudra based on abundance of Guna in a revised situation. Primacy of Guna-s and Karma-s is thus, re-established being sacrosanct.
All these injunctions and mandates are entirely Varna-neutral.