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What are Smritis?

Among Shruti and Smriti texts, what scriptures can be classified as Smritis and why

are the key religious text of Hindus. Their essence is in Upanisads, and the essence of Unanisads is in Geeta. Mahabharata, the grand epic, is considered “Pancham Veda” or the fifth Veda besides the four.  Vyasa’s Mahabharta along with Valmiki’s Ramayana and 18 Puranas are considered epics and narrative texts.

An another set of scriptures called Sutra, Agam, Tantra and Smritis not only provide us with epistemological explanation for Vedas but also describe some codes and rules of Hinduism. Vedas are called literature and all others are called literature. Smritis are also called Dharmashastra. There are 18 prominent Smritis. Let’s know more about them.

We all know about the Smruti. But Manu himself mentions six Smritis besides his own : Atri, Vasishtha, Bhrigu, Vaikhanas and Shunaka. One other Smriti belonged to the son of Utathya. Parashara also excluded his own name and instead included 19 names. He also left out Brihaspati, Yama and Vyasa besides himself, but included Kashyapa, Gargya and Pracheta.

Vasishtha included five names - Gautama, Prajapati, Manu, Yama and Harit. Gautama has not mentioned any other’s Smriti except that of Manu. Apstamba has mentioned 10 names in which Kunika and Pushkarsadi are included. Bodhayan has mentioned seven Smritikar namely Aupajamghini, Katya, Kashyapa, Gautama, Prajapati, Maudagalya and Harit. has mentioned 20 names barring Bodhayan, where he mentions himself by two different names of Shankha and Likhit.

Kumaril has mentioned 18 Dharm-Samhitas (codes of religion) in his “Tantra-Vartika”. In a scripture called “Chatuvinshtimat”, as many as 24 theologist are mentioned. Paithinasi has included 36 Smritis. “Vruddha-Gautam Smriti” mentions 57 theologies. In the same way, in “Virmitrodaya” has mentioned 18 Smritis, 18 sub-Smritis and 21 others Smritikars.

The prominent Smirits are Manu Smriti, Vyas Smriti, Laghu Vishnu Smriti, Apstamba Smriti, Vashishth Smriti, Parashara Smriti, Brihat-Parashara Smriti, Atri Smriti, Laghu Shankh Smriti, Vishwamitra Smriti, Yama Smriti, Laghu Smriti, Brihadyama Smriti, Vriddha Shatatapa Smriti, Shatatapa Smriti, Laghu Shatatapa Smriti, Vriddha Gautam Smriti, Brihaspati Smriti, Yajnavalkya Smriti, Brihadyogi Yajnavalkya Smriti.
Widgets Magazine
Widgets Magazine