HINDU ENCYCLOPEDIA

सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Smriti and Sruthi>"

Word

Smriti and Sruthi

Sanskrit

In General

Sruti are the revelations, the Rishis do not composed them from their intellect, but just saw them (Srutim Pasyanti munayah). They are apaurusheya, not created by any man. The Samhita part of four Vedas and Brahmana, Aranyaka, Upanishads which are an integral part of Veda come under Sruti. The vast literature of Agama and Tantra also come under Sruti. All the other literature of Hindu origin like Upavedas, Purana, Itihasa, Vedangas, Dharmasastra come under Smriti. There are around 50 texts like Manusmriti which takes the name Smriti as suffix, though these are not the only text in Smriti in the broad sense of the term.

The Vedic words cannot be and must not be changed at any time and on any account. The religious acts said in Smriti and in the Kalpa are not independent priest craft; they are some spiritual doctrines consistent with logical and practical utility; their intentions are honest and they are based on Sruti in all context.

Whenever there is a conflict among the various Smrti doctrines then what is said in Sruti is learned and decided. Similarly according to the various ages and in different regions the customs of the Smriti are modified but not the Sruti. Smrti makes things easy for the common man to follow Sruti by rules and regulations. Sruthi is the remembered text that came about when Rishies remembered what they have seen in their revelations as Sruti. The authorship of Smriti goes to the perticular Rishies as they are not revelations but an intellectual work. Smritis are advices by Rishis on what can be followed by various classes of people or casts in performing their duty. In the Vedic age Cast system was not by Parentage but by the quality of a person, his education and job and thus discriminations said to be in the texts were somewhat reasonable. But later the cast became an automatically acquired status by Parentage and the discrimination became a prejudice against lower cast people.

Veda

The Samhita part of four Vedas are the major part said as Sruthi, The Brahmana, Aranyaka, Upanishad of every recession of Veda also come under Sruthi. The Vast literature of Agama and Tantra also come under Sruti

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