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(Sanskrit मनु) Literally, "Man par excellence or the representative man and father of the human race, mankind, thinking creature, man, wise, thinking, intelligent, mental power, sicklefruit, fenugreek, prayer, thought, sacred text, spell, incantation."

From Hindu mythology, the progenitor and lawgiver of the human race.

“Who was Manu, the son of Swayambhuva? The secret doctrine tells us that this Manu was no man, but the representation of the first human races evolved with the help of the Dhyan-Chohans (Devas, Elohim) at the beginning of the first round. But we are told in his Laws (Book I. 80) that there are fourteen Manus for every Kalpa -- or interval from creation to creation -- and that in the present divine age, there have been as yet seven Manus... We are told in the Sacred Hindu scriptures that the first Manu produced six other Manus (seven primary Manus in all), and these produced in their turn each seven other Manus (Bhrigu I, 61-63) -- the production of the latter standing in the occult treatises as 7 x 7. Just as each planetary Round commences with the appearance of a ‘Root Manu’ (Dhyan Chohan) and closes with a ‘Seed-Manu,’ so a Root and a Seed Manu appear respectively at the beginning and the termination of the human period on any particular planet.” - H.P. Blavatsky

"The first Manu was Swáyambhuva, then came Swárochisha, then Auttami, then Támasa, then Raivata, then Chákshusha: these six Manus have passed away. The Manu who presides over the seventh Manwantara, which is the present period, is Vaivaswata, the son of the sun...

"The unequalled energy of Vishńu combining with the quality of goodness, and effecting the preservation of created things, presides over all the Manwantaras in the form of a divinity. Of a portion of that divinity Yajna was born in the Swáyambhuva Manwantara, the will-begotten progeny of Ákútí. When the Swárochisha Manwantara had arrived, that divine Yajna was born as Ajita, along with the Tushita gods, the sons of Tushitá. In the third Manwantara, Tushita was again born of Satyá, as Satya, along with the class of deities so denominated. In the next period, Satya became Hari, along with the Haris, the children of Harí. The excellent Hari was again born in the Raivata Manwantara, of Sambhúti, as Mánasa, along with the gods called Abhútarajasas. In the next period, Vishńu was born of Vikunthi, as Vaikuntha, along with the deities called Vaikunthas. In the present Manwantara, Vishńu was again born as Vámana, the son of Kaśyapa by Adití. With three paces he subdued the worlds, and gave them, freed from all embarrassment, to Purandara. These are the seven persons by whom, in the several Manwantaras, created beings have been protected. Because this whole world has been pervaded by the energy of the deity, he is entitled Vishńu, from the root Vis, 'to enter' or 'pervade;' for all the gods, the Manus, the seven Rishis, the sons of the Manus, the Indras the sovereigns of the gods, all are but the impersonated might of Vishńu." - Vishnu Purana