Manu

The New England Transcendentalists were highly indebted to Orientalist writing, especially Ralph Waldo Emerson, Amos Bronson Alcott, and Henry David Thoreau.  Several of Emerson's favorite doctrines, among them the Over-Soul, Compensation, Illusion, and Fate, have distinct analogues in the Hindu systems with which he was familiar.  Thoreau's knowledge of Indian and Far Eastern concepts began in 1840 when Emerson loaned him an English translation of the Laws of Manu.  Thoreau's life would be forever changed.  His first encounter with the thought of Manu (also known as Menu) led him to immerse himself in Hindu cosmology and values.  His devotion to Hindu texts--inaugurated by Manu--was unmatched by any American of his generation.