Manu, semilegendary Hindu lawgiver. Traditionally ascribed to him are the Laws of Manu, best known of the Sanskrit smriti texts (see Sanskrit literature). They were compiled, probably between 200 B.C. and A.D. 200, from diverse ancient sources and provide detailed rules, presumably directed to Brahman priests, governing ritual and daily life. In particular they seek to validate and preserve the high caste position of the Brahmans.

See The Laws of Manu, tr. by G. Bühler (1886, repr. 1967).

In the mythology of India, the first man and the legendary author of the Manu-smrti. Manu appears in the Vedas as the performer of the first sacrifice. He is also known as the first king, and most rulers of medieval India claimed him as an ancestor. In the story of the great flood, Manu combines the characteristics of Noah and Adam. He built a boat after being warned of the flood by a fish. His boat came to rest on a mountaintop, and as the flood receded Manu poured out an oblation of milk and butter. A year later a woman calling herself the “daughter of Manu” was born from the waters, and these two became the parents of a new human race to replenish the earth.

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Manu may refer to:


* Manú National Park, Peru
* Manú River, in southeastern Peru


In acting:

  • Manu Intiraymi, an American actor, best known as "Icheb" on the television series Star Trek: Voyager
  • Manu Narayan, an American actor, and lead singer of the band DARUNAM

In sports:

In other fields:

Religion and mythology

In Hinduism:

In Ancient Mesopotamia:


  • Manu, a genus of prehistoric birds accepted as ancestors of the albatross
  • Manu, a 1991 French children's animated television series
  • Manu, a character in the 2000 French adult film Baise-moi

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