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Vishnu Smriti In Hindu Religion – Dharma Shastra Revealed By Bhagavan Vishnu

Vishnu Smriti in Hindu religion derives its name from an old Dharmasutra called Vishnu Dharma Sutra or Vaishnava Dharma Sutra of the Kathaka school of Krishna Yajur Veda, which was subsequently remodeled into a Smriti. This Dharma Shastra was revealed by Bhagavan Vishnu.

Vishnu Smriti is partly written in prose and partly in verse. The present form of the work, however, probably originated not earlier than 300 CE though some place it between 100 and 300 CE.

The book contains 100 chapters. The number of chapters seems to have been purposefully brought to the round figure of a hundred to coincide with the number of names of Bhagavan Vishnu counted in the 98th chapter.

Subject Matter Of Vishnu Smriti

Vishnu Smriti deal with a number of subjects, such as

  • The duties of varnas and the ashramas
  • Rajadharma
  • Punishment of various offenses
  • Karshapana and small measures
  • Debtors and creditors
  • General rules about ordeals
  • Twelve kinds of sons
  • Offspring of mixed marriages
  • Stridhana
  • Sixteen samskaras
  • Funeral rites
  • Twenty one hells
  • Various kinds of penances
  • Prayaschitta for killing a Brahmin and for drinking wine
  • Desirable and undesirable forms of wealth
  • Pancha maha yagna (the five duties of householder)
  • Worship of Vasudeva
  • General rules and conduct for a snataka
  • Value of self restraint
  • Works of public utility such as digging wells and lakes
  • Anatomy of the bones, muscles, arteries and so on
  • Rewards of studying Vishnu Smriti

Besides, Vishnu Smriti refers to social customs; the days of the week, Trimurti and tirthas situated in the South.

Vishnu smriti has been printed several times in India. The editions of Jivananda, Dr Joly and M.N.Dutt are the best known.