/man"ooh/, n. Hindu Myth.
the progenitor and lawgiver of the human race.

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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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      in the mythology of India, the first man, and the legendary author of an important Sanskrit code of law, the Manu-smṛti. The name is cognate with the Indo-European “man” and also has an etymological connection with the Sanskrit verb man-, “to think.” 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 traced their genealogy back to him, either through his son (the solar line) or his daughter (the lunar line).

      In the story of the great flood, Manu combines the characteristics of Noah with those of Adam. The Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa recounts how he was warned by a fish, to whom he had done a kindness, that a flood would destroy the whole of humanity. He therefore built a boat, as the fish advised. When the flood came, he tied this boat to the fish's horn and was safely steered to a resting place on a mountaintop. When the flood receded, Manu, the sole human survivor, performed a sacrifice, pouring oblations of butter and sour milk into the waters. After a year there was born from the waters a woman who announced herself as “the daughter of Manu.” These two then became the ancestors of a new human race to replenish the earth. In the Mahābhārata (“Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty”), the fish is identified with the god Brahmā, while in the Purāṇas (“Ancient Lore”) it is Matsya, the fish incarnation of the lord Vishnu.

      In the cosmological speculations of later Hinduism, a day in the life of Brahmā is divided into 14 periods called manvantara, each of which lasts for 306,720,000 years. In every secondary cycle the world is recreated, and a new Manu appears to become the father of the next human race. The present age is considered the seventh Manu cycle.

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Universalium. 2010.

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