The Minor Law Books (SBE33), by Julius Jolly, , at sacred-texts.com
* 1. 1 If a man has promised to render service and fails to render it, it is termed Breach of a Contract of Service, a title of law.
* 2. The sages have distinguished five sorts of attendants according to law. Among these are four sorts of labourers; the slaves (are the fifth category, of which there are) fifteen species.
* 3. 3 A student, an apprentice, a hired servant, and fourthly, an official; these must be regarded as labourers; slaves are those born in the house and the rest.
* 4. 4 The sages have declared that the state of dependence is common to all these; but that their respective position and income depends on their particular caste and occupation.
* 5. 5 Know that there are two sorts of occupations; pure work and impure work. Impure work is that done by slaves. Pure work is that done by labourers.
* 6. 6 Sweeping the gateway, the privy, the road,
and the place for rubbish; shampooing the secret parts of the body; gathering and putting away the leavings of food, ordure, and urine,
* 7. And lastly, rubbing the master's limbs when desired; this should be regarded as impure work. All other work besides this is pure.
* 8. 8 Till he has mastered science, let a student attend diligently on his teacher. The same conduct has to be observed by him towards his teacher's wife and son.
* 9. 9 Let him preserve chastity and beg alms, lying on a low couch and using no ornaments. Let him go to rest after and rise before all (others who are staying at) his teacher's house,
* 10. Let him never come or stay without his teacher's bidding. His (teacher's) call he must obey without hesitation, when he is able to do so.
11. Let him read at the proper time, when his teacher is not averse to it, sitting on a lower seat than his teacher, by his side, or on a bench, and paying attention (to what he says).
12. 12 Science, like the current of a stream, is constantly advancing towards the plain. Therefore, let one studying science be humble towards his teacher.
* 13. 13 His teacher shall correct him, if he does not
pay obedience to him, scolding him or chastising him with a rope or with a small shoot of cane.
14. 14 (The teacher) must not strike him a heavy blow, nor (must he beat him) on a noble part or on the chest; and he must encourage him, after having chastised him. Otherwise the king shall punish him.
* 15. 15 After having completed his studies, let him give the customary present to his teacher and turn home. The conduct of a pupil has been declared.
* 16. 16 If (a young man) wishes to be initiated into the art of his own craft, with the sanction of his relations, he must go and live with a master, the duration of his apprenticeship having been fixed.
* 17. 17 The master shall teach him at his own house and feed him. He must not employ him in work of a different description, and treat him like a son.
* 18. 18 If one forsakes a master, who instructs him
and whose character is unexceptionable, he may be compelled by forcible means to remain (at the master's house), and he deserves corporal punishment and confinement.
* 19. 19 Though his course of instruction be completed, an apprentice must continue to reside at the house of his master, till the fixed period has expired. The profit of whatever work he may be doing there belongs to his master.
* 20. 20 When he has learnt the art of his craft within the (stipulated) period, the apprentice shall reward his master as plentifully as he can, and return home, after having taken leave of him.
21. 21 Or, a certain fee having been agreed upon and the skill of the pupil examined, the apprentice shall take (his fee) and shall not go to live in the house of another man.
* 22. Hired servants are of three kinds: highest, middlemost, and lowest. The wages due for their labour are fixed in proportion to their skill and to the value of their services.
* 23. Soldiers constitute the highest class, agriculturists the middle class, and porters the lowest class. These are the three classes of hired servants.
* 24. 24 One appointed to manage the property (of the family) and to superintend the household, must also be regarded as a labourer. He is also termed Kautumbika (the general family servant).
* 25. Thus have the four classes of servants doing pure work been enumerated. All the others do dirty work and are slaves, of whom there are fifteen kinds.
* 26. 26 One born at (his master's) house; one purchased;
one received (by gift); one obtained by inheritance; one maintained during a general famine; one pledged by his rightful owner;
* 27. One released from a heavy debt; one made captive in a fight; one won through a wager; one who has come forward declaring, 'I am thine;' an apostate from asceticism; one enslaved for a stipulated period;
* 28. One who has become a slave in order to get a maintenance; one enslaved on account of his connexion with a female slave; and one self-sold. These are the fifteen classes of slaves as declared in law.
* 29. Among these, the four named first cannot be released from bondage, except by the favour of their owners. Their bondage is hereditary.
* 30. 30 Should any one out of them (however) save his master's life, when his life is in peril, he shall be released from slavery and shall take a son's share (of his master's wealth).
* 31. 31 One maintained during a famine is released from bondage if he gives a pair of oxen. It is not
by labour (alone) that the value of the food consumed during a famine can be repaid.
* 32. One pledged (is released) when his master redeems him by discharging the debt. If, however, he causes (the pledgee) to take him in lieu of payment, he becomes equal to a purchased slave.
* 33. 33 It is by paying his debt with interest, that a debtor is released from slavery. One enslaved for a stipulated period recovers freedom on the expiration of that period.
* 34. One who has come forward declaring, 'I am thine,' one made a prisoner in war, and one won through a wager, these are released on giving a substitute whose capacity for work is equal to theirs.
* 35. 35 An apostate from asceticism shall become the king's slave. He can never be emancipated, nor is there any expiation of his crime.
* 36. 36 One who has become a slave in order to get a maintenance, is released at once on giving up the said subsistence. One enslaved on account of his being connected with a female slave is released on parting with her.
* 37. That wretch who, being independent, sells himself, is the vilest of slaves. He cannot be released from bondage.
* 38. 38 Those who are sold after having been captured by robbers, and those who are enslaved by forcible means, must be emancipated by the king. Their slavery is not legal.
* 39. 39 In the inverse order of the (four) castes,
slavery is not ordained, except where a man violates the duties peculiar to his caste. Slavery (in that respect) is analogous to the condition of a wife.
* 40. 40 If one not his own master offers himself (as a slave), saying, 'I am thine,' he (to whom he has offered himself) may not dispose of him. His former master may recover him when he likes.
* 41. 41 Three persons are declared to have no proprietary right: a wife, a slave, and a son. Whatever property they acquire shall be made over to him to whom they belong.
* 42. 42 He who pleased in his mind wishes to emancipate his own slave, shall take from his (the slave's) shoulders a jar filled with water and smash it.
* 43. He shall sprinkle his head with the water, which must contain whole grain and flowers, and
having declared him a free man three times, he shall dismiss him with his face turned towards the east 1.
131:1 V, 1-4. Persons bound to obedience. A.
131:3 'A student,' one studying divine science. 'A pupil,' an apprentice. Vîramitrodaya, &c.
131:4 Their respective position depends on their caste, and their income depends on their occupation. A.
131:5 5-7. Unclean occupations. A.
131:6 The term 'sweeping' has to be construed with all four nouns, the gateway and the rest. 'The privy,' i.e. a hole or other receptacle of impure substances. 'The place for rubbish,' i.e. a place where the dust and other sweepings from the house are deposited. Vîramitrodaya.
132:8 He must obey his teacher's wife and son, as much as the teacher himself. A.
8-11. Vishnu XXVIII, and the references in the Notes to that Chapter.
132:9 9-15. Rules of conduct for a student. A.
132:12 'The current of a stream,' meaning a river, advances into the plain, and so does science. Therefore one engaged in studying it should always be lowly and humble. A.
132:13 13-14. Gautama II, 42-44; Âpastamba I, 28, 26, 31; Manu VIII, 299, 300. p. 133
13. Scolding him, i.e. abusing him. A. The Nepalese MS. has a better reading of this clause: 'Or he shall beat him without hurting him, with' &c.
133:14 A teacher, though angry, must not strike his pupil severely, nor on a noble part, nor on the chest. After having beaten him, he must again encourage him. If the teacher, actuated by an excess of anger, beats him too severely, the pupil shall announce it to the king, who shall punish the teacher. A.
133:15 Manu II, 245; Yâgñavalkya I, 51; Âpastamba I, II, 30, I; Gautama IX, 1; Vishnu XXVIII, 42.
133:16 16-21. Rules for an apprentice. A.
16. The teacher must make an agreement in this form, 'Let this apprentice stay with me so and so long.' Vîramitrodaya.
133:17 The teacher shall cause the pupil to do the work peculiar to his own profession, and no other work, and shall feed him and instruct him at his own house. He shall treat him like a son, and not like a labourer. A.
133:18 If a pupil forsakes his teacher, though the latter has not committed a mortal sin or other heavy crime, the teacher may compel him by forcible means to remain at his house. A.
134:19 The whole gain of that work which is done by the apprentice while staying at the house of his master after completing his course of instruction, belongs to the master, and not to the apprentice. A. Yâgñavalkya II, 184.
134:20 After the lapse of the stipulated period, i.e. when the time fixed for his apprenticeship has expired. A.
134:21 The apprentice shall receive whatever fee has been agreed upon, after his skill has been examined by the master. A. The only MS. of the earlier recension of the Nârada-smriti breaks off at this paragraph. The remainder of the present translation has been done from the more recent recension of the Nârada-smriti. See Introduction.
135:24 'The property,' meaning fields or ready money, &c. 'One appointed to manage it,' i.e. one deputed to administrate it. Vîramitrodaya, p. 405.
135:26 26-28. 'One born at (his master's) house,' one born of a female slave in the house (of her master). 'One received (by gift),' one obtained by the acceptance of a gift and the like. 'One obtained by inheritance,' a slave of the father or other ancestor. 'One maintained during a general famine,' one whose life has been preserved, during a period of dearth, in order that he might do service (for his preserver). 'One pledged by his rightful owner,' one reduced to the condition of a pledge, for a loan received (by his master). 'One released from a heavy debt,' one enslaved for debt, whose debt has been paid and who has thereby become the slave (of him who paid the debt). 'One made captive in a fight,' one defeated in a combat and enslaved by the victorious party. 'One won through a wager,' one gained through the success of a cause, which was preceded by an agreement in this form, 'If I am defeated in this quarrel, I will be thy slave.' 'One who has come forward declaring, "I am thine,"' one who has promised of his own accord to become the slave of another man. 'An apostate from asceticism,' one who has forsaken the order of religious ascetics. 'One enslaved for a stipulated period,' one obtained through an agreement in this form, 'I will be thy slave for such a space of time.' 'One who has become a slave in order to get a maintenance,' one who has offered himself as a slave, on condition that food shall always be given to him. 'One enslaved on account of his connexion with a female slave:' by a female slave is meant a female house-slave; one enslaved for connexion with her is one who has married her through love, and has thus been reduced to the status of a stave. 'One self-sold' is one who has sold himself. p. 136 These are the fifteen species (of slaves). Mitâksharâ, p. 268. Manu VIII, 415.
136:30 This rule is applicable to any of the fifteen sorts of slaves. Mitâksharâ, p. 269. Other commentators cite an encounter with a tiger as an instance of a perilous situation. The slave, in order to obtain release from slavery, must have risked his own life in rescuing his master.
136:31 The objection that a slave cannot give a pair of oxen, as he has no property of his own according to Nârada himself (V, 41), may be met by the argument that the dominion of slaves over affectionate gifts and the like is universally acknowledged, just as the right of a woman to dispose of Strîdhana given to her as an affectionate present. See the gloss on this text in Colebrooke's Digest, III, I, 43.
137:33 Yâgñavalkya II, 182.
137:35 Yâgñavalkya II, 183.
137:36 The Mitâksharâ (p. 270) declares that sexual intercourse with a slave is prohibited. Yâgñavalkya II, 182.
137:38 Yâgñavalkya II, 182.
137:39 As a man of the highest caste may marry a wife of an p. 138 inferior caste or of his own caste, whereas a woman of the highest caste is forbidden to marry a man of inferior caste, the same rule should be observed with regard to a slave. Vîramitrodaya, p. 406. An ascetic who violates the duties of his order is liable to become the slave of his inferior in caste even. Mitâksharâ, p. 271. Yâgñavalkya II, 183; Manu VIII, 410-414.
138:40 If a man, after having promised to become the slave of one man, enters the service of another man afterwards, that other man must relinquish him. 'One not his own master,' i.e. the slave of another man. Vîramitrodaya, p. 411.
138:41 41. According to the standard commentators the purport of this rule is merely to indicate the want of independence of wives, sons, and slaves in the disposal of their property. See Professor Bühler's note on Manu VIII, 416. Identical with Manu VIII, 416.
138:42 42, 43. The breaking of a water-pot which the slave is carrying on his shoulder is said to be indicative of the discontinuance of the former slave's office to carry water. The solemn smashing of a water-jar (ghata-sphota) forms the principal part of another ceremony of a totally different character as well, viz. of the ceremony of expulsion from caste.
139:1 The Indian MSS. and some quotations insert the following paragraph here, which is omitted in the Nepalese MS. and in other quotations:—
‘* 44. From that time let it be said that this slave is cherished by the favour of his master. His food may be eaten, and presents accepted from him, and he shall be respected (by worthy persons).’