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Dharm Shaastra

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Dharm Shaastra
See also    Dharm,      Smriti  (for Smriti's names)

A book containing precepts of spiritual, moral and worldly wisdom. These precepts teach what is proper thought and conduct in various aspects of human life and what is not. These instructions are for both individual and government. There are four main sources to know one's Dharm -
(1) All Ved,
(2) The Law Books put together - Smriti,
(3) The conduct of cultured good people who understand Ved - this is neither always true, nor easy to follow, because many a time they might have behaved in the way then had behaved in some special circumstances, so in this situation we will have to weigh them. Again the question arises against what to weigh them? Ved? Smriti? Own conscience? what? Examples are - Parashraam's killing of his mother, Krishn's Raas Leelaa, killing of Abhimanyu by 6 people etc etc.
(4) Satisfaction of one's own conscience - this is purely subjective.

But the Smriti are the best and un There are at least 20 recognized books on the subject. They are either called Smriti or Dharm Sootra.

Among the ancient books, Manu Smriti is by far the best known and most valuable. Among the modern books, Aangiras Smriti is very valuable. Some of the other valuable books are - Apastambh Smriti, Bhartrihari Smriti, Vashishth Smriti, and Yaagyavalkya Smriti. The author of Manu Smriti is not the father of the mankind (Manu), nor he should be confused with Vaivaswat Manu - the first recorded Aarya King. Vashishth is not the first sage of this name who was the contemporary of King Harishchandra, or with the second famous Vashishth, who wad the royal Priest of Dasharath, and who was the descendent of the first Vashishth. The third Vashishth was the author of the book on Dharm Shaastra and lived centuries later than the second Vashishth.
[Aangiras, p 189]

Hindu Dharm Shaastra
Dharm Shaastra consists of 8 books containing the spiritual, moral and worldly wisdom in the form of precepts. 7 Books - by Aapastambh, Baudhaayan, Bhartrihari, Vashishth, Yaagyavalkya, the unnamed author of Manu Smriti and Dhammpad - were written during 500 BC and 700 BC. These books guide an individual towards achieving the spiritual and worldly success and happiness. They guide a society to attain high levels of morality, justice and fairness, so as to benefit all members of society.
[Aangiras, p 415]


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 05/03/13