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appears that the doctrines of the Mânava Grihya-sûtra differ very considerably from those of our Mânava Dharmasâtra. All that has been brought forward in substantiation of this portion of Professor Max Müller's hypothesis is that as close an affinity exists between the Vishnusmriti, the modern recension of the Kâthaka Dharma-sûtra, and our Manu-smriti, as is found between the Kâthaka and Mânava Grihya-sûtras and between the Kâthaka and Mânava Samhitâs, and that hence the Vedic original of the Manu-smriti may be supposed to have belonged to the Mânava school[1]. The conclusive force of this argument is no doubt somewhat weakened, as Dr. von Bradke has pointed out, by the fact that the Vishnu-smriti is not the original Kâthaka Dharma-sûtra. But to reject it altogether on account of this circumstance would be going too far. For the agreement between the Smritis of Manu and Vishnu extends to many subjects where the latter shows no traces of recasting, and may be reasonably supposed to faithfully represent the original Dharma-sûtra. Nevertheless a full reconsideration of this point is indispensable. Before we proceed to that, it will, however, be advisable first to supplement Professor Max Müller's arguments against the antiquity of our Manu-smriti by the discussion of some of its passages which clearly admit an acquaintance with a large body of older legal literature and particularly with Dharma-sûtras, and, secondly, to re-examine and complete the proof for the former existence of a Mânava Dharma-sûtra and for its having been the precursor of the metrical law-book.

Among the passages of the Manu-smriti which disprove the claim, set up by its author, to be the first legislator, and which show that he had many predecessors, the first place must be allotted to its statements regarding controversies and conflicting decisions on certain points of the ritual and of the law. Such cases are by no means rare. Thus the observances of 'some,' with respect to the order of the several ceremonies at a Srâddha[2] and to the disposal 




  1. Professor Jolly, Sacred Books of the East, vol. vii, pp. xxvi–xxvii; and Dr. von Bradke, Jour. Germ. Or. Soc. vol. xxxii, pp. 438–441.
  2. The same difference of opinion is mentioned in Sâṅkhâyana Grihya-sûtra IV, 1, 10.