Here are the "Brahmin" selections by Thoreau from The Laws of Menu, appearing in The Dial, January 1843.
One can readily understand the importance of these for Thoreau as "A Way" to make a life...to instigate Action from Principle.
43. "When a Brahmin springs to light, he is born above the world, the chief of all creatures, assigned to guard the treasury of duties religious and civil."
44. "Whatever exists in the universe, is all in effect the wealth of the Brahmin, since the Brahmin is entitled to it all by his primogeniture and eminence of birth."
45. "The Brahmin eats but his own food; wears but his own apparel; and bestows but his own in alms: through the benevolence of the Brahmin, indeed, other mortals enjoy life."
46. "Although Brahmins employ themselves in all sorts of mean occupation, they must invariably be honored; for they are something transcendently divine."
47. "He must avoid service for hire."
48. "He may either store up grain for three years, or garner up enough for one year, or collect what may last three days, or make no provision for the morrow."
49. "Let him never, for the sake of a subsistence, have recourse to popular conversation; let him live by the conduct of a priest, neither crooked, nor artful, nor blended with the manners of the mercantile class."
50. "Let him not have nimble hands, restless feet, or voluble eyes; let him not be crooked in his ways; let him not be flippant in his speech, nor intelligent in doing mischief."
51. "He must not gain wealth by any art that pleases the sense; nor by any prohibited art; nor, whether he be rich or poor, indiscriminately."
52. "Though permitted to receive presents, let him avoid a habit of taking them; since, by taking many gifts, his divine light soon fades."
53. "A twice-born man, void of true devotion, and not having read the Veda, yet eager to take a gift, sinks down together with it, as with a boat of stone in deep water."
54. "A Brahmin should constantly shun worldly honor, as he would shun poison; and rather constantly seek disrespect, as he would seek nectar."
55. "For, though scorned, he may sleep with pleasure; with pleasure may he awake; with pleasure may he pass through this life: but the scorner utterly perishes."
56. "All that depends on another gives pain; all that depends on himself gives pleasure; let him know this to be in few words the definition of pleasure and of pain."As for the Brahmin who keeps house,-"Let him say what is true, but let him say what is pleasing; let him speak no disagreeable truth, nor let him speak agreeable falsehood : this is a primeval rule."
57. "Let him say 'well and good,' or let him say 'well' only; but let him not maintain fruitless enmity and altercation with any man.''" Giving no pain to any creature, let him collect virtue by degrees, for the sake of acquiring a companion to the next world, as the white ant by degrees builds his nest."
58. "For, in his passage to the next world, neither his father, nor his mother, nor his wife, nor his son, nor his kinsmen, will remain in his company: his virtue alone will adhere to him."
59. "Single is each man born; single he dies; single he receives the reward of his good, and single the punishment of his evil, deeds."
60. "When he leaves his corpse, like a log or a lump of clay, on the ground, his kindred retire with averted faces; but his virtue accompanies his soul."
61. "Continually, therefore, by degrees, let him collect virtue, for the sake of securing an inseparable companion; since, with virtue for his guide, he will traverse a gloom- how hard to be traversed! "
62. "Alone, in some solitary place, let him constantly meditate on the divine nature of the soul; for, by such meditation, he will obtain happiness."
63. "When the father of a family preceives his muscles become flaccid, and his hair gray, and sees the child of his child, let him then seek refuge in a forest:"
64. "Then, having reposited his holy fires, as the law directs, in his mind, let him live without external fire, without a mansion, wholly silent, feeding on roots and fruit;"
65. "Not solicitous for the means of gratification, chaste as a student, sleeping on the bare earth, in the haunts of pious hermits, without one selfish affection, dwelling at the roots of trees; for the purpose of uniting his soul with the divine spirit."
66. "Or, if he has any incurable disease, let him advance in a straight path, towards the invincible north-eastern point, feeding on water and air, till his mortal frame totally decay, and his soul become united with the Supreme."
67. "A Brahmin having shuffled off his body by any of those modes, which great sages practiced; and becoming void of sorrow and fear, rises to exaltation in the divine essence."
68. "Departing from his house, taking with him pure implements, his water pot and staff, keeping silence, unallured by desire of the objects near him, let him enter into the fourth order."
69. "Alone let him constantly dwell, for the sake of his own felicity; observing the happiness of a solitary man, who neither forsakes nor is forsaken, let him live without a companion."
70. "Let him have no culinary fire, no domicile: let him, when very hungry, go to the town for food; let him patiently bear disease; let his mind be firm: let him study to know God, and fix his attention on God alone."
71. "An earthen water-pot, the roots of large trees, coarse vesture, total solitude, equanimity toward all creatures, these are the characteristics of a Brahmin set free."
72. "Let him not wish for death; let him not wish for life; let him expect his appointed time, as a hired servant expects his wages."Entirely withdrawn from the world,-"without any companion but his own soul, let him live in this world, seeking the bliss of the next."
73. "Late in the day let the Sannyasi beg food: for missing it, let him not be sorrowful; nor for gaining it let him be glad; let him care only for a sufficiency to support life, but let him not be anxious about his utensils "
74. "Let him reflect also, with exclusive application of mind, on the subtil, indivisible essence of the supreme spirit, and its complete existence in all beings, whether extremely high, or extremely low."
75. "Thus, having gradually abandoned all earthly attachments, and indifference to all pains of opposite things, as honor, and dishonor, and the like, he remains absorbed in the divine essence."
76. "A mansion with bones for its rafters and beams; with nerves and tendons for cords; with muscles and blood for mortar; with skin for its outward covering, filled with no sweet perfume, but loaded with faeces and urine; "
77. "A mansion infested by age and by sorrow; the seat of malady, harassed with pains, haunted with the quality of darkness, and incapable of standing long; such a mansion of the vital soul, let its occupier always cheerfully quit."
78. "As a tree leaves the bank of a river, when it falls in, or as a bird leaves the branch of a tree at his pleasure, thus he, who leaves his body by necessity, or by legal choice, is delivered from the ravening shark, or crocodile, of the world."