Dharmashastras

Dharmashastras

 

ancient Indian religious and legal treatises. Written by various theological schools, the dharmashastras were not a collection of legal canons having the force of law. They were rather collections of rules and prescriptions regulating the social and personal life of individuals, depending on class and caste, and contained not only legal but also religious, moral and ethical, and other standards of conduct considered virtuous by Brahmanism. Most of the best-known dharmashastras were written from the first to the fourth centuries A.D. The dharmashastras contain valuable information about the life of ancient Indian society. The best-known dharmashastras are the Manava Dharmashastra (Code of Manu), the Yajnavalkya Smriti, and the Narada Smriti. A total of more than 20 dharmashastras are known, either in fragments or in their entirety.

References in periodicals archive ?
His consciousness reveals a chaotic mix of incommensurate, even opposed, notions derived from the discourse of vamashramadharma in the Dharmashastras, the Upanishadic guna theory, (9) and the principles of karma, (10) all tendentiously assimilated to uphold a dualist Madhva metaphysics (99).
The dharmashastras deal with both religious as well as legal duty.
Kirkwood's (1989) identification of "truthfulness as a standard," can be traced to the Dharmashastras.
We believe that more exceptions to the rule will be found through a more careful exploration of the codes of Manu and the larger group of Dharmashastra texts.
Further, in the Hindu tradition, the Dharmashastras (the Treatises on Dharma) express the ideas that women are lower in the social order than men and that this is a result of negative karmic circumstances.
This irony can possibly be explained by the historical fact that the Hindu personal code, derived from the dharmashastras, has never gained the foundational value for the Hindu community that the sharia has gained for the Muslim community.