Vedas are considered to be shruti because it has divine origin. Is there any law book that can be considered as shruti, like manu Smriti(I know it is Smriti it is just an example).

Or the law book that deriv it law from vedas.

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    The Brahmanas of the Vedas are considered the law book of the Shrutis. They are the basis that the Dharma shastras like the Manusmriti written on. – Ikshvaku Mar 7 at 12:49
  • @Ikshvaku can you give some examples from Brahmanas that speaks about law. – Dark Knight Mar 7 at 13:24
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    Shrutis dont speak any "Laws". They only give Spiritual knowledge. Samhitas are Hymms to Devas. Brahmanas and Aranyakas explain Rituals and Upanishads give Vedanta Philosophy. Some manual books for Vedic Yajnas are written called Shrauta Sutras. – Sethu Srivatsa Koduru Mar 7 at 14:12
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    Brahmanas arent law books. They explain Yajnas based on context and deeply symbolic. Agree with second statement. Smriti is only applicable if they dont contradict Shruti – Sethu Srivatsa Koduru Mar 7 at 14:35
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    The very premise of shruti and smriti cannot be intermixed. Both are different and for good reasons. – Vivikta Mar 7 at 14:41

Is there any shruti law book in Hinduism?

The shruti "lawbook" is the Brahmana section of the Vedas. This is the basis on which the Dharma shastras are written. The Brahmanas describe how to conduct yajnas (rituals), how to use the Samhita mantras in the yajnas, and also Dharma in general.

Āpastamba (1.4.10) — ‘the injunctions are those laid down in the Brāhmaṇas’

Medieval Manusmriti commentator Medhatithi says:

This Dharma is learnt from such passages in the Brāhmaṇas as containing the ‘liṅ’ [Sanskrit injunctive verb form] and other injunctive expressions.

But injunctions (vidhi) are not only found in the Brahmanas; they are also found in the Samhitas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads, but they are mainly found in the Brahmanas.

Some vidhis mentioned in the Brahmanas:

Therefore, there are several wives for one man, but not several husbands for a woman simultaneously - Aitareya Brahmana III. 3.

That which was impure came out afterwards, wine is that ampurity, this became attached to the Kshatriya, hence it is that superiors, daughters-in-law, and the father-in-law drink the wine and go on talking; evil indeed is impurity, hence the Brahmana, should not drink the wine; lest he be attached to evil - Brahmana texted cited by Kumarila Bhatta in Tantra Vartika

The Kshatriya should say to the Brahmana - "the drinking of wine does no harm to him who knows this" - Brahmana texted cited by Kumarila Bhatta in Tantra Vartika

When a Shudra woman is the mistress of an Arya, she does not seek wealth for prosperity. Therefore, the priests do not bestow royal consecration on the son of a Vaishya woman. - Ashwamedha section, Taittiriya Brahmana

He who is about to enter on the vow, touches water while standing between the Âhavanîya and Gârhapatya fires, with his face turned towards east. - Shatapatha Brahmana, first verse.

And many more verses like this.

  • Aitareya Brahmana III. 3., can you give source for this verse – Dark Knight Mar 7 at 18:44
  • @DarkKnight Aitareya Brahmana 3.3 IS the source for the verse. – Ikshvaku Mar 7 at 20:48
  • @DarkKnight If you're asking who references this verse, Bharuci was a commentator on the Manusmriti before Medhatithi, and he cites this Brahmana verse in the Manusmriti section on marriage. – Ikshvaku Mar 7 at 20:51

There is no need of a "Vedic law book" as the law giving part is supposed to be dealt with in one of the 6 Vedangas called Kalpa.

There are 6 limbs (angas) (some call them supplements) of Vedas collectively known as the Vedangas.

The Vedanga (Sanskrit: वेदाङ्ग vedāṅga, "limbs of the Veda") are six auxiliary disciplines of Hinduism that developed in ancient times, and have been connected with the study of the Vedas. These are:

Shiksha (śikṣā): phonetics, phonology, pronunciation. This auxiliary discipline has focused on the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, accent, quantity, stress, melody and rules of euphonic combination of words during a Vedic recitation.

Chandas (chandas): prosody. This auxiliary discipline has focused on the poetic meters, including those based on fixed number of syllables per verse, and those based on fixed number of morae per verse.

Vyakarana (vyākaraṇa): grammar and linguistic analysis. This auxiliary discipline has focused on the rules of grammar and linguistic analysis to establish the exact form of words and sentences to properly express ideas.

Nirukta (nirukta): etymology, explanation of words, particularly those that are archaic and have ancient uses with unclear meaning. This auxiliary discipline has focused on linguistic analysis to help establish the proper meaning of the words, given the context they are used in.

Kalpa (kalpa): ritual instructions. This field focused on standardizing procedures for Vedic rituals, rites of passage rituals associated with major life events such as birth, wedding and death in family, as well as discussing the personal conduct and proper duties of an individual in different stages of his life.

Jyotisha (jyotiṣa): Auspicious time for rituals, astrology and astronomy.This auxiliary Vedic discipline focused on time keeping.

Thus it is not job of the Vedas to propound the laws (although some laws are found in them). The necessary details are meant to be found in one it's Angas viz: the Kalpas.

And, these Dharmasutras/Shastras, which are the law books, are part of Kalpasutras.

In the Introduction of the book "Dharmasūtras - The Law Codes Of Āpastamba, Gautama, Baudhāyana And Vasiṣṭha"" the author writes:

The Dharmasutras are part of the Vedic Supplements and are written primarily in the sutra style, even though verses are interspersed and the sutras are not as succinct as those of Panini. The Dharmasutras form part of the ‘ritual expositions’ known collectively as Kalpasutras that include three types of expositions: ´Srautasutras dealing with vedic rituals, Grhyasutras dealing with domestic rituals, and Dharmasutras. Only two Dharmasutras, however, those of Apastamba and Baudhayana, have come down as part of a larger Kalpasutra.

So, basically it's an unreasonable demand to have a Shruti law giving book when such laws supposed to be (and already) part of a Vedic supplement/limb.


What do these Smritis mention as the source of Law? We need to check this and all mention Veda itself as the primary source of Law.

Apasthambha Dharma Sutras first verse:

And now we shall explain the accepted customary Laws, the authority for which rests on their acceptance by those who know the Law and on the Vedas.

Gautama Dharmasutras first verse:

The source of Law is the Veda, as well as the tradition and practice of those who know the Veda.

So, it is not required to have a separate Shruti Law book when these Smritis are having the laws based on Vedas only.

Manu Smriti clearly says that doctrines which are against Vedas are flawed and will perish.

12.95. All those traditions (smriti) and those despicable systems of philosophy, which are not based on the Veda, produce no reward after death; for they are declared to be founded on Darkness.

That means Manu Smriti and other similar law giving scriptures have compiled those laws in accordance with Vedas. Hence it is sufficient to study them if one is to know the laws pertaining to Vedic religion. There is no need of a separate Shruti Law book.

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    Kalpa sutras, dharma shastras, etc. are based on the Brahmana section of the Veda. – Ikshvaku Mar 7 at 16:23
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    I know that the Dharma Shastras/Sutras extensively quote from Brahmanas/Aranyakas. Does not mean Brahmanas become the Law Books because of that reason. Since Kalpa is an Anga of Veda it is supposed to be based on Veda and an extension too.@Ikshvaku. Manu Smriti also says the Smritis which are not based on Vedas are flawed and will perish. That does not mean Veda is the Law Book and not Manu Smriti. – Rickross Mar 8 at 5:49
  • Veda is literally the lawbook. Dharma is based on Veda. – Ikshvaku Mar 8 at 12:24
  • Literally? I know that "Dharma is based on Veda" @Ikshvaku and Brahmanas are not the Law Books like you've said. They need not be. Every scripture is meant to do some things that others won't. – Rickross Mar 8 at 12:33
  • I'm saying there is nothing wrong calling the Vedas "lawbook". I think what the OP was trying to ask is, "Is dharma based on the Vedas just like how they are based on the dharma shastras?" He just called it "law book" to convey a general point. ' – Ikshvaku Mar 8 at 12:37

There can not be a Sruti law book in Hindu Dharma. The reason is that the existence of a Sruti law book will imply God running the universe. God does not run the universe.

Resorting to Prakrti, Nature, which is My own Power, I send forth again and again this multitude of beings that are without any freedom, owing to Nature's sway over them.

Gita 9.8

These activities do not in any way bind Me, because I remain detached like one unconcerned in their midst.

Gita 9.9

Moreover the existence of a Sruti law book will imply all such laws governing society can not be modified even if such laws are harmful. Smriti texts acknowledge the right to change laws that are harmful.

However, discard the desire (kama) and material wealth (artha) if contrary to Dharma; as also, any usage or custom or rules regarded as source of Dharma if at any time they were to lead to unhappiness or arouse people's indignation.

Manu Smriti 4.176

Nehru could change Hindu laws in the 1950s precisely because Hindu laws are not considered as given by God but are man made.

  • "Nehru could change Hindu laws in the 1950s precisely because Hindu laws are not considered as given by God but are man made." --- Nehru wouldn't/couldn't have change the laws if they were made by God? Why did he have that much respect for God? – Rickross Mar 8 at 12:01
  • I don't know what he would have done to Hindu laws if they were regarded as by God. He did not change the Muslim laws because they are regarded as given by Allah. Even Modi has been very careful not to change Muslim laws. – Pradip Gangopadhyay Mar 8 at 13:13

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