HOME
The Info List - Smriti



--- Advertisement ---


(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

DIVISIONS

* Samhita
Samhita
* Brahmana * Aranyaka * Upanishads

Upanishads RIG VEDIC

* Aitareya * Kaushitaki

SAMA VEDIC

* Chandogya * Kena

YAJUR VEDIC

* Brihadaranyaka * Isha * Taittiriya * Katha * Shvetashvatara * Maitri

ATHARVA VEDIC

* Mundaka * Mandukya * Prashna

Other scriptures

* Bhagavad Gita * Agamas

RELATED HINDU TEXTS

Vedangas

* Shiksha * Chandas * Vyakarana * Nirukta * Kalpa * Jyotisha

Puranas BRAHMA PURANAS

* Brahma
Brahma
* Brahmānda * Brahmavaivarta * Markandeya * Bhavishya

VAISHNAVA PURANAS

* Vishnu
Vishnu
* Bhagavata * Naradiya * Garuda * Padma * Vamana * Kurma * Matsya

SHAIVA PURANAS

* Shiva
Shiva
* Linga * Skanda * Vayu * Agni
Agni

Itihasa

* Ramayana
Ramayana
* Mahabharata

Shastras and sutras

* Dharma Shastra
Shastra
* Artha
Artha
Śastra * Kamasutra * Brahma Sutras * Samkhya Sutras * Mimamsa Sutras * Nyāya Sūtras * Vaiśeṣika Sūtra * Yoga
Yoga
Sutras * Pramana
Pramana
Sutras * Charaka Samhita
Samhita
* Sushruta Samhita
Samhita
* Natya Shastra
Shastra
* Panchatantra * Divya Prabandha * Tirumurai * Ramcharitmanas * Yoga Vasistha * Swara yoga * Shiva
Shiva
Samhita
Samhita
* Gheranda Samhita
Samhita
* Panchadasi * Vedantasara * Stotra
Stotra

Timeline

* Chronology of Hindu texts

* v * t * e

SMRITI (Sanskrit : स्मृति, IAST : _Smṛti_), literally "that which is remembered," refers to a body of Hindu texts usually attributed to an author, traditionally written down but constantly revised, in contrast to Śrutis (the Vedic literature) considered authorless, that were transmitted verbally across the generations and fixed. _Smriti_ is a derivative secondary work and is considered less authoritative than _Sruti_ in Hinduism, except in Mimamsa school of Hindu philosophy .

The Smrti literature is a corpus of diverse varied texts. This corpus includes, but is not limited to the six Vedāngas (the auxiliary sciences in the Vedas), the epics (the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyana ), the Dharmasūtras and Dharmaśāstras (or Smritiśāstras), the Arthasaśāstras, the Purānas , the Kāvya or poetical literature, extensive _Bhasyas_ (reviews and commentaries on _Shrutis_ and non-Shruti texts), and numerous _Nibandhas_ (digests) covering politics, ethics (_Nitisastras_), culture, arts and society.

Each Smriti
Smriti
text exists in many versions, with many different readings. Smritis were considered fluid and freely rewritten by anyone in ancient and medieval Hindu
Hindu
tradition.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology

* 2 Texts

* 2.1 The structure of Smriti
Smriti
texts

* 3 Role of Smrti in Hindu
Hindu
Law

* 3.1 Earliest Smriti
Smriti
on Hindu
Hindu
Law: Dharma-sūtras * 3.2 Later Smriti
Smriti
on Hindu
Hindu
Law: Dharma-smriti * 3.3 Bhasya on Dharma-smriti

* 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links

ETYMOLOGY

_Smrti_ is a Sanskrit word, from the root Smara (स्मर), which means "remembrance, reminiscence, thinking of or upon, calling to mind", or simply "memory". The word is found in ancient Vedic literature, such as in section 7.13 of the Chandogya Upanishad . In later and modern scholarly usage, the term refers to tradition, memory, as well as a vast post-Vedic canon of "tradition that is remembered". David Brick states that the original meaning of smriti was simply tradition, and not texts.

_Smriti_ is also symbolic synonym for number 18, from the 18 scholars who are credited in Indian tradition for writing dharma-related smriti texts (most have been lost). In linguistic traditions, _Smrti_ is the name of a type of verse meter. In Hindu
Hindu
mythology, _Smriti_ is the name of the daughter of _Dharma_ and _Medha_.

In scholarly literature, Smriti
Smriti
is also spelled as _Smṛti_.

TEXTS

_Smrtis_ represent the remembered, written tradition in Hinduism. The Smrti literature is a vast corpus of derivative work. All _Smriti_ texts are regarded to ultimately be rooted in or inspired by _Shruti_.

The _Smrti_ corpus includes, but is not limited to:

* The six Vedāngas (grammar, meter, phonetics, etymology, astronomy and rituals), * The Itihasa (literally means "so indeed it was"), Epics (the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyana),

* The texts on the four proper goals or aims of human life:

* Dharma : These texts discuss _dharma_ from various religious, social, duties, morals and personal ethics perspective. Each of six major schools of Hinduism has its own literature on dharma. Examples include Dharma-sutras (particularly by Gautama , Apastamba , Baudhayana and Vāsiṣṭha ) and Dharma-sastras (particularly Manusmṛti , Yājñavalkya Smṛti , Nāradasmṛti and Viṣṇusmṛti ). At personal dharma level, this includes many chapters of Yogasutras . * Artha
Artha
: Artha-related texts discuss _artha_ from individual, social and as a compendium of economic policies, politics and laws. For example, the _ Arthashastra _ of Chanakya , the Kamandakiya Nitisara, Brihaspati Sutra, and Sukra Niti. Olivelle states that most Artha-related treatises from ancient India have been lost. * Kama
Kama
: These discuss arts, emotions, love, erotics, relationships and other sciences in the pursuit of pleasure. The Kamasutra of Vātsyāyana is most well known. Others texts include Ratirahasya , Jayamangala, Smaradipika, Ratimanjari, Ratiratnapradipika, Ananga Ranga among others. * Moksha
Moksha
: These develop and debate the nature and process of liberation, freedom and spiritual release. Major treatises on the pursuit of moksa include the later Upanishads (early Upanishads are considered _Sruti_ literature), Vivekachudamani
Vivekachudamani
,and the sastras on Yoga
Yoga
.

* The Purānas (literally, "of old"), * The Kāvya or poetical literature, * The extensive _Bhasyas_ (reviews and commentaries on _Shrutis_ and non-Shruti texts), * The sutras and shastras of the various schools of Hindu
Hindu
philosophy * The numerous _Nibandhas_ (digests) covering politics, medicine (_Caraka Samhita
Samhita
_), ethics (_Nitisastras_), culture, arts and society.

THE STRUCTURE OF SMRITI TEXTS

The _Smrti_ texts structurally branched, over time, from so-called the "limbs of the Vedas", or auxiliary sciences for perfecting grammar and pronunciation (part of Vedāngas). For example, the attempt to perfect the art of rituals led to the science of _Kalpa_, which branched into three Kalpa-sūtras: Srauta-sūtras, Grhya-sūtras, and Dharma-sūtras (estimated to have been composed between 600-200 BCE). The Srauta-sutras became texts describing the perfect performance of public ceremonies (solemn community yajnas ), the Grhya-sutras described perfect performance of home ceremonies and domestic rites of passage, and Dharma-sutras described jurisprudence, rights and duties of individuals in four Ashrama stages of life, and social ethics. The Dharma-sūtras themselves became the foundations for a large canon of texts, and branched off as numerous Dharma-sastra texts.

Jan Gonda states that the initial stages of Smriti
Smriti
texts structurally developed in the form of a new prose genre named Sūtras, that is "aphorism, highly compact precise expression that captured the essence of a fact, principle, instruction or idea". This brevity in expression, states Gonda, was likely necessitated by the fact that writing technology had not developed yet or not in vogue, in order to store growing mass of knowledge, and all sorts of knowledge was transferred from one generation to the next through the process of memorization, verbal recitation and listening in the 1st millennium BCE. Compressed content allowed more essential, densely structured knowledge to be memorized and verbally transferred to the next generation in ancient India.

ROLE OF SMRTI IN HINDU LAW

_Smrtis_ contribute to exposition of the Hindu
Hindu
Dharma but are considered less authoritative than _Śrutis _ (the Vedic corpus that includes early Upanishads).

EARLIEST SMRITI ON HINDU LAW: DHARMA-SūTRAS

The root texts of ancient Hindu
Hindu
jurisprudence and law are the _Dharma-sūtras_. These express that Shruti, Smriti
Smriti
and Acara are sources of jurisprudence and law. The precedence of these sources is declared in the opening verses of each of the known, surviving Dharma-sūtras. For example,

The source of Dharma is the Veda, as well as the tradition , and practice of those who know the Veda. – Gautama Dharma-sūtra 1.1-1.2

The Dharma is taught in each Veda, in accordance with which we will explain it. What is given in the tradition is the second, and the conventions of cultured people are the third. – Baudhayana Dharma-sūtra 1.1.1-1.1.4

The Dharma is set forth in the vedas and the Traditional Texts . When these do not address an issue, the practice of cultured people becomes authoritative. – Vāsiṣṭha Dharma-sūtra 1.4-1.5 — Translated by Donald Davis, The Spirit of Hindu
Hindu
Law

LATER SMRITI ON HINDU LAW: DHARMA-SMRITI

The _Smritis_, such as Manusmriti, Naradasmriti, Yajnavalkya Smrti and Parashara Smriti, expanded this definition, as follows,

वेदोऽखिलो धर्ममूलं स्मृतिशीले च तद्विदाम् । आचारश्चैव साधूनामात्मनस्तुष्टिरेव च ॥

Translation 1: The whole Veda is the (first) source of the sacred law, next the tradition and the virtuous conduct of those who know the (Veda further), also the customs of holy men, and (finally) self-satisfaction (_Atmanastushti_). Translation 2: The root of the religion is the entire Veda, and (then) the tradition and customs of those who know (the Veda), and the conduct of virtuous people, and what is satisfactory to oneself. —  Manusmriti
Manusmriti
2.6

वेदः स्मृतिः सदाचारः स्वस्य च प्रियमात्मनः । एतच्चतुर्विधं प्राहुः साक्षाद् धर्मस्य लक्षणम् ॥

Translation 1: The Veda, the sacred tradition, the customs of virtuous men, and one's own pleasure, they declare to be the fourfold means of defining the sacred law. Translation 2: The Veda, tradition, the conduct of good people, and what is pleasing to oneself – they say that is four fold mark of religion. —  Manusmriti
Manusmriti
2.12

The Yajnavalkya Smriti
Smriti
includes four Vedas, six Vedangas, Purana, Nyaya, Mimamsa and other sastras, in addition to the ethical conduct of the wise, as sources of knowledge and through which sacred law can be known. It explains the scope of the Dharma as follows,

Rites, proper conduct, Dama (self-restraint), Ahimsa (non-violence), charity, self-study, work, realisation of Atman (Self, Soul) through Yoga
Yoga
– all these are Dharma . — Yajnavalkya Smriti
Smriti
1.8

Levinson states that the role of _Shruti_ and _Smriti_ in Hindu
Hindu
law is as a source of guidance, and its tradition cultivates the principle that "the facts and circumstances of any particular case determine what is good or bad". The later Hindu texts include fourfold sources of _Dharma_, states Levinson, which include _Atmanastushti_ (satisfaction of one's conscience), _Sadacara_ (local norms of virtuous individuals), _Smriti_ and _Sruti_.

BHASYA ON DHARMA-SMRITI

Medhatithi's philosophical analysis of and commentary on criminal, civil and family law in Dharmasastras, particularly of Manusmriti, using Nyaya and Mimamsa theories, is the oldest and the most widely studied tertiary _Smriti_.

SEE ALSO

* Smarta * Śruti * Sastra * Sūtra * Yuga Dharma

REFERENCES

* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty (1988), Textual Sources for the Study of Hinduism, Manchester University Press, ISBN 0-7190-1867-6 , pages 2-3 * ^ _A_ _B_ James Lochtefeld (2002), "Smrti", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 2: N–Z, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0823931798 , page 656-657 * ^ _A_ _B_ Sheldon Pollock (2011), Boundaries, Dynamics and Construction of Traditions in South Asia (Editor: Federico Squarcini), Anthem, ISBN 978-0857284303 , pages 41-58 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ smRti Monier-Williams' Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon, Germany * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ _I_ Purushottama Bilimoria (2011), The idea of Hindu
Hindu
law, Journal of Oriental Society of Australia, Vol. 43, pages 103-130 * ^ _A_ _B_ Roy Perrett (1998), Hindu
Hindu
Ethics: A Philosophical Study, University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 978-0824820855 , pages 16-18 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Gerald Larson (1993), The Trimūrti of Smṛti in classical Indian thought, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 43, No. 3, pages 373-388 * ^ Brick, David. 2006. pp. 295-301 * ^ Manmatha Nath Dutt, _A Prose English Translation of Srimadbhagavatam_, p. RA3-PA5, at Google Books * ^ literally morality, ethics, law, duty, right living * ^ literally, prudence * ^ Janet Gyatso (1992). _In the Mirror of Memory: Reflections on Mindfulness and Remembrance in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism_. SUNY Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-7914-1077-6 . * ^ Stephanie Witzel and Michael Witzel (2003), Vedic Hinduism, in The Study of Hinduism (Editor: A Sharma), ISBN 978-1570034497 , page 80 * ^ M Winternitz, History of Indian Literature, Volume 1-3, Motilal Barnarsidass, Delhi, Reprinted in 2010, ISBN 978-8120802643 * ^ Tadeusz Skorupski (1988), Review: Manu Swajambhuwa, Manusmryti, Czyli Traktat o Zacności; Watsjajana Mallanga, Kamasutra, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain Chapter 1 verse 43 onwards - Rules of State and Duties of Rulers; Chapter 1 verse 424 onwards - Guidelines on infrastructure for economy; Chapter 1 verse 550 onwards - Guidelines on treasury management, law and military; Chapter 2 - Functions of state officials, etc * ^ Patrick Olivelle (2011), Language, Texts, and Society: Explorations in Ancient Indian Culture and Religion, Anthem Press, ISBN 978-0857284310 , page 174 * ^ Alan Soble (2005), Sex from Plato to Paglia, ISBN 978-0313334245 , page 493 * ^ Karl Potter (2009), The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Vol. 1: Bibliography, and Vols. 2-8, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120803084 ; Preview - the site includes Smriti
Smriti
literature of Hinduism, also Buddhism and Jainism * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Gavin Flood (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521438780 , pages 53-56 * ^ John E. Mitchiner (2000), Traditions of the Seven Rsis, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120813243 , page xviii * ^ _A_ _B_ Jan Gonda (1977), The Ritual Sutras, in A History of Indian Literature: Veda and Upanishads, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, ISBN 978-3447018234 , pages 466-474 * ^ James Lochtefeld (2002), "Smrti", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 2: N–Z, Rosen Publishing. ISBN 9780823931798 , pages 656 and 461 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Donald Davis (2010), The Spirit of Hindu
Hindu
Law, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521877046 , page 27 * ^ _A_ _B_ The Laws of Manu 2.6 with footnotes George Bühler (Translator), The Sacred Books of the East , Vol. 25, Oxford University Press * ^ _A_ _B_ Brian Smith and Wendy Doniger (1992), The Laws of Manu, Penguin, ISBN 978-0140445404 , pages 17-18

* ^ Yajnavalkya Smriti, Srisa Chandra Vidyarnava (Translator), The Sacred Books of the East, Vol 21, page 15; Srirama Ramanujachari, Yajñavalkya Smṛti, Dharma Teachings of Yajñavalkya, Srimantham Math, Madras * ^ Sanskrit: Yajnavalkya Smriti
Smriti
page 27; Transliteration: Yajnavalkya-Smrti Chapter 1, Thesaurus Indogermanischer Text und Sprachmaterialien, Germany; QUOTE: "Ijya Acāra Dama Ahimsa Dāna Svādhyāya Karmanam, Ayam tu Paramo Dharma yad Yogena Atman Darshanam" * ^ _A_ _B_ David Levinson (2002), Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment, Volume 1, SAGE Publications, ISBN 978-0761922582 , page 829 * ^ Donald Davis (2010), The Spirit of Hindu
Hindu
Law, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521877046 , pages 27-29 * ^ Donald Davis (2006), A realist view of Hindu
Hindu
law, Ratio Juris, Vol. 19, Issue 3, pages 287-313

* ^ Medhatithi - History of Dharmasastra PV Kane; Also see: G JHA (1920), Manu Smrti with Bhasya of Medhatithi, 5 vols, University of Calcutta Press

SOURCES

* Brick, David. “Transforming Tradition into Texts: The Early Development of Smrti.” ‘‘Journal of Indian Philosophy’’ 34.3 (2006): 287–302. * Davis, Jr. Donald R. Forthcoming. _The Spirit of Hindu
Hindu
Law_. * Filliozat, Pierre-Sylvain (2004), "Ancient Sanskrit Mathematics: An Oral Tradition and a Written Literature", in Chemla, Karine ; Cohen, Robert S.; Renn, Jürgen; et al., _History of Science, History of Text (Boston Series in the Philosophy of Science)_, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 254 pages, pp. 137-157, pp. 360–375, ISBN 9781402023200 * Lingat, Robert. 1973. _The Classical Law of India_. Trans. J. Duncan M. Derrett. Berkeley: University of California Press. * Rocher, Ludo. “ Hindu
Hindu
Conceptions of Law.” ‘‘Hastings Law Journal’’ 29.6 (1978): 1284–1305. * Staal, Frits (1986), _The Fidelity of Oral Tradition and the Origins of Science_, Mededelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie von Wetenschappen, Afd. Letterkunde, NS 49, 8. Amsterdam: North Holland Publishing Company, 40 pages

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Arsha Vidya Gurukulam * Sanskrit site with comprehensive library of texts * Smriti
Smriti
on Hindupedia, the Hindu
Hindu
Encyclopedia

* v * t * e

Hinduism topics

* Portal
Portal
* Category
Category
* Glossary * Commons

PHILOSOPHY

CONCEPTS

* Brahman * Om * Ishvara
Ishvara
* Atman * Maya * Karma
Karma
* Samsara

* Purusharthas

* Dharma * Artha
Artha
* Kama
Kama
* Moksha
Moksha

* Niti

* Ahimsa * Asteya * Aparigraha *