If on the other hand, Manu Samhita is supposed to be the work of different
authors under the designation of Manu, then these laws represent the opinion of a later
author. Manus definitions of marriages agree accurately with those of
not quite precisely with those of the earlier lawgivers.
While assigning higher merit to the sons born of the first four kinds
of marriages, 13 he gives legal recognition to the sons born of the last four kinds of
marriages, that are blame worthy. This contradicts his former assertion about marriages.
14 He says: 'but from the remaining (four) blamable marriages spring sons who are cruel
and speakers of untruth, who hate the Veda and the sacred law. 15
Prof. Buhler, in his introduction to the Laws of Manu.'
underlined a passage in the Mahabharata 17 which refers to the authority of Manu. It is
the Sakuntalopakhyanam, where King Dushyanta tries to persuade the heroine to a
Gandharva marriage, which he tries to prove legal by quoting the authority of Manu. The
narration runs thus:
Learn that among these rites, as Manu Svayambhuva has formerly
declared, the first four are lawful and recommended for a Brahmana; know, O blameless one,
that six, according to their order, are lawful for a Kshatriya. But the Rakshasa rite also
is prescribed for Vaisya and Sudra. In Manu we have seen that he admits as legal
six kinds of marriages for a Brahmana, and the four last for a Kshatriya.