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Samvarta Smriti – Important – Contents

Samvarta smriti is a upa smriti or minor code of conduct in 217 verses.

Samvarta smriti was composed by Samvarta in response to the queries of certain sages who approached him for instruction. The work confines itself to;
  • prescriptions for the four stages of life of a student,
  • householder,
  • hermit and mendicant;
  • food regulations for them;
  • pollution on the death of relatives; and
  • expiatory penance for sins.
However, rules of Samvarta on subjects other than these, such as vyavahara (legal processes), rajadharma (polity), ahnika (daily worship), possession of property and cognizable offenses are quoted by commentators like Vishwarupa, Medhatithi, Haradatta ad Apararka, and also in dharma nibandhas.

Moreover Samvarta Smriti was included in the list of lawgivers by the ancient lawgiver Yajnavalkya.

It has, therefore, been surmised that the available Samvarta Smriti is a redaction of certain topics from a larger work of Samvarta.

Samvarta Smriti gives prescriptions on a number of things, including purificatory achamana (sipping of water), food and drink, sleep and study.

Among sins for which expiatory penance and atonement are specified are killing of other living beings, drinking liquor, theft, adultery, association with sinners, cow-slaughter, murder and consuming forbidden food and drink.

The repetition of the Vedic Gayatri mantra is prescribed as a potent antidote for sins (Samvarta Smriti 213 – 15). Dharyadesha (the land of righteousness), where the rules are effective, is stated to be the land where the black antelope roams about at will (Samvarta Smriti I.4).