Narada, Codes of

Narada, Codes of


(Narada Smriti), one of the best-known of the Dharmashastras—ancient Hindu collections of rules and prescriptions regulating social and personal life in accordance with the teachings of Brahmanism. Tradition ascribes the compilation of the Codes of Narada to the Brahman sage Narada. They are usually ascribed to the fourth to sixth centuries.

The Codes of Narada are an important source for the history and culture of ancient and early medieval India. Their content differs significantly from that of other Dharmashastras in that they contain precepts pertaining exclusively to civil and criminal law. Religious conduct, worship, and other matters usually found in the literature of the smriti are not discussed in this collection. The Codes of Narada provide valuable information about slaveholding, family relationships, the organization of handicraft production, history, and culture.


“Zakony Narady.” In Khrestomatiia po istorii Drevnego Vostoka. Moscow, 1963. Pages 420–22.
Institutes of Narada . . . . Calcutta, 1885.


Kane, P. V. History of Dharmasastra, 6 vols. Poona, 1930–58.