1. 1

    मनुमेकाग्रमासीनमभिगम्य महर्षयः । प्रतिपूज्य यथान्यायमिदं वचनमब्रुवन् ॥ १ ॥

    The great sages approached Manu, who was seated with a collected mind, and, having duly worshipped him, spoke as follows

  2. 2

    भगवन् सर्ववर्णानां यथावदनुपूर्वशः । अन्तरप्रभवानां च धर्मान्नो वक्तुमर्हसि ॥ २ ॥

    Deign, divine one, to declare to us precisely and in due order the sacred laws of each of the (four chief) castes (varna) and of the intermediate ones.

  3. 3

    त्वमेको ह्यस्य सर्वस्य विधानस्य स्वयम्भुवः । अचिन्त्यस्याप्रमेयस्य कार्यतत्त्वार्थवित् प्रभो ॥ ३ ॥

    For thou, O Lord, alone knowest the purport, (i.e.) the rites, and the knowledge of the soul, (taught) in this whole ordinance of the Self-existent (Svayambhu), which is unknowable and unfathomable.

  4. 4

    स तैः पृष्टस्तथा सम्यगमितोजा महात्मभिः । प्रत्युवाचार्च्य तान् सर्वान् महर्षींश्रूयतामिति ॥ ४ ॥

    He, whose power is measureless, being thus asked by the high-minded great sages, duly honoured them, and answered, ’Listen!’

  5. 5

    आसीदिदं तमोभूतमप्रज्ञातमलक्षणम् । अप्रतर्क्यमविज्ञेयं प्रसुप्तमिव सर्वतः ॥ ५ ॥

    This (universe) existed in the shape of Darkness, unperceived, destitute of distinctive marks, unattainable by reasoning, unknowable, wholly immersed, as it were, in deep sleep.