14 strange Rules and Cruelties in Hindu scriptures – 12 Jun 12


Yesterday I published a friend’s list of crazy rules in the Bible and mentioned that it is not only Christianity that prescribes outdated and cruel actions in its holy scripture. Hinduism, does not lack of them either! I know the original scriptures in Sanskrit but it was easy to search for the translations online.

If a person of lower caste adopts the occupation of a higher caste, the king ought to deprive him of all his property and expel him from his kingdom. (Manusmriti, X: 96)

If a Shudra (lowest caste member) dares to give moral lessons to a Brahmin, the king is to get him punished by pouring hot oil in his ear and mouth. (Manusmriti, VII: 272)

Similarly, if a Shudra occupies the same seat as a Brahmin, he is to be punished by branding his waist (with hot rod) or getting his buttocks cut! (Manusmriti, VIII: 281)

Even if the husband is morally degraded, engaged in an affair with another woman and is devoid of knowledge and other qualities, the wife must treat him like a god. (Manusmriti, V: 154)

Women should never be allowed by their guardians to act independently. (Manusmriti, IX: 2)

If a person of lower varna (caste) has sexual intercourse with a woman of higher varna, with or without her consent, he is to be killed. (Manusmriti, VIII: 366)

If a Brahmin (highest caste) abuses a Shudra (lowest caste), he is to be fined mildly, but if a Shudra abuses a Brahmin, he is to be killed. (Manusmriti, VIII: 267/268)

If a Brahmin (highest caste) kills a Shudra (lowest caste), he is to perform penance by killing a cat, frog, owl or crow, etc. (Manusmriti, XI: 131)

Non-believers, including freethinkers, rationalists and Buddhists, are not to be entertained respectfully as guests; though, mercifully, they may be given food. (Manusmriti, MS IV: 30)

The families of non-believers are destroyed sooner than later. (Manusmriti, MS III: 65)

If a woman should not grant her man his desire, he should bribe her. If she still does not grant him his desire, he should hit her with a stick or with his hand, and overcome her, saying: 'With power, with glory I take away your glory!' Thus she becomes inglorious. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 6.4.7)

It is the highest duty of the woman to burn herself after her husband. (Brahma Purana 80.75)

When a woman, proud of her relations [or abilities] deceives her husband (with another man), then the king should [ensure that] she be torn apart by dogs in place much frequented by people. And the evil man should be burnt in a bed of red-hot iron. (Manusmriti, MS VIII: 371/372)

Offering presents (to a woman), romping (with her), touching her ornaments and dress, sitting with her on a bed, all these acts are considered adulterous acts. (Manusmriti, MS VIII: 357)

Tomorrow I will make a similar list for Muslims and the Quran.

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