Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 25.djvu/44

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

which he himself agrees. Hence it is not doubtful that Kâmandakfs references point to a work of Manu which, though highly esteemed, did not hold the same paramount position as Bhrigu's version of Manu's laws. In other words, Kâmandaki's Manu must have been the property of a particular school, and that was just the case with the Mânava Dharma-sûtra. The fact that all the known Dharma-sûtras contain a more or less detailed description of the duties of kings agrees well with this supposition, and so does the circumstance that Kâmandaki's Nîtisâra is either really an ancient work, composed long before the beginning of our era, or at least a later recension of such an old book[1]. These are all the certain indications of the former existence of a Mânava Dharma-sûtra which I have been able to find. It is possible that the same work is also alluded to in some verses of the twelfth and thirteenth Parvans of the Mahâbhârata. But this question is, as we shall see below, surrounded with great difficulties, and its solution somewhat doubtful. Among the passages, discussed above, none are so important as Vasishtha's quotations. The remainder contribute, however, to give a more definite idea of the range of subjects included in the lost work, and they confirm the conclusion, drawn from the former, that the Mânava Dharma-sûtra closely resembled our Manu-smriti.

The investigations concerning the last point, the question if any traces of a connexion of our Manu-smriti with the writings of the Mânava school are discoverable, have hitherto led, as stated above, to a negative result. They were, of course, directed to a comparison of the Mânava Grihya-sûtra with the Dharmasâstra, as both works of 

  1. The work claims to be the composition of a pupil of Kandragupta's famous minister, Kânakya Kautilya or Kautalya, to whom a portion of the Maṅgalâkarana is dedicated, and who is frequently referred to as the Guru or teacher. Though there is no clear evidence corroborating this statement, there is also none to rebut it. In favour of this claim speaks the fact that the name of the author is a nomen gentile. For among the ancient writers the practice of signing their books with the family-name is almost universal. Later it seems to have fallen into disuse. The Nîtisâra is quoted by the oldest commentator of Manu, Medhâtithi.