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Vasishtha Samhita – Text On Law

Vasishtha Samhita is a text on sacred law ascribed to Sage Vasishta. It is only after knowing and following the sacred law that a religious man becomes worthy of praise in this world and after death. Vasistha Samhita explains ways of conduct for the student, the householder, and the hermit. The geographical limits and physical features of Aryavarta and Brahmavarta are also mentioned. The nomenclature of the four castes and the reasons for calling the first three castes as twice born are described. The ways of levying taxes are also described.

Penance is prescribed in cases of miscarriage of justice. Twelve kinds of sins are recognized, and their status and definitions are given. Penance for wine drinkers and procedures for them are prescribed. The duties of the householder, the hermit and the religious mendicant and the ascetic are delineated in the texts. The right of parents to give away their son in adoption is also given, along with the procedural description of the mode of taking a son in adoption by a man or a woman. The duties of a king in adjudicating lawsuits and three kinds of proofs recognized by law courts are given in detail.