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|Realising the Ideals of the Puranas||
The noble characters who figure in the Puranas serve as an ideal for all of us to follow. When we read their stories we are inspired by their example and we ask ourselves why we cannot be like them ourselves, why we should not share their qualities. But, even if we wanted to emulate their lives, would we be able to live like them without deviating at any time from the high principles that they upheld? Man ...
|Smritis and Allied Works||
Manu, Parasara, Yajnavalkya, Gautama, Harita, Yama, Visnu, Sankha, Likhita, Brhaspati, Daksa, Angiras, Pracetas, Samvarta, Acanas, Atri, Apastamba and Satatapa are the eighteen sages who mastered the Vedas with their superhuman power and derived the Smrtis from them. Their works are known after them like Manusmrti, Yajnavalkya-smrti, Parasara-Smrti and so on, and they contain all that we need to know about all the dharmas to be adhered to and ...
Vaidyanatha Diksita's own name for his work is Smrti-Muktaphala-Nibhandana-Grantha. We know very little about the author of this extremely useful book. Diksita must have lived some two hundred years ago; he belonged to Kandiramanikkam, near Nacciyarkoil (in Tanjavur district). It must be noted that he himself practised the dharmas he had dealt with in his nibhandana and he is also believed to have performed big sacrifices. ...
|Freedom and Discipline||
There are a hundred thousand aspects to be considered in a man's life. Rules cannot be laid down to determine each and every one of them. That would be tantamount to making a legal enactment. Laws are indeed necessary to keep a man bound to a system. Our sastras do contain many do's and dont's, many rules of conduct. There is much talk today of freedom and democracy. In practice what do we see? Freedom has ...
|Signs and Marks||
If we call ourselves Hindus we must bear certain external marks, outward symbols. The boy scouts have a uniform of their own. Army and navy men are distinguished by certain insignia. There are number of divisions in police force. Even though their functions will not change if they wear one another's uniforms or badges, there is a strict rule with regard to their dress and insignia. The policeman's cap must ...
|Smritis - not Independent Works||
There is a wrong impression about the dharmasastras even among those who treat them with respect. They think that the rules and duties of the Smrtis were formulated by their authors on their own. They call these authors 'lawgivers' who, in their opinion, laid down 'laws' that reflect their own views. Further they think that the dharmasastras were composed in the same way as our Constitution. Such a view give rise to another ...
|The Source of Smritis is the Vedas||
The best testimony to the claim that the Smrtis are founded on the Vedas is provided by the words of mahakavi(great poet). Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhva, the founders of our religio-philosophical systems, proclaim that our dharmasastras are in accord with the Vedas. But they had, each of them, a doctrine to establish. Besides they had also the goal before them of preserving the tradition and they would not naturally go against it. With a poet ...
|Sruti-Smriti - Srauta-Smarta||
To discriminate between Sruti and Smrti is not correct. Sruti, Smrti and the Puranas, all three belong to the same tradition. Sankara is said to be the abode of the three('Sruti-Smrti-Purananam alayam'). If the three were at variance with one another how can they exist in harmony in the same person? Those who follow the tradition of Acarya are called 'Smartas'. The word'Smarta' ...
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