Is Tantra part of the Sruti or Smriti? I am a bit confused about where to place Tantra. Please answer with references.

  • 1
    Have a look at this answer : Are the Agamas part of the Vedas. It talks about Tantra too. Basically as per this answer you’d place the tantra in the agama section
    – Archit
    Mar 12 at 3:36
  • So, what I understood from that answer is Tantra is neither part of Sruti nor Smriti. It is a distinct type of religious literature that does not fall in any category. Correct me if I am wrong. Mar 12 at 4:19
  • 1
    Yes :) it falls under the third Agama category. But Agamas dedicated specifically to Devi is called Tantra. Your Q is nice though sorry I forgot to upvote earlier
    – Archit
    Mar 12 at 4:41
  • it is smriti. I think this may be a duplicate question. Mar 12 at 4:53

Tantra is placed under Sruti by Kulluka Bhatta. He is one of the famous commentators on Manu Smriti. In his commentary on Manu Smriti (Chapter II, Verse 1: Learn the Law always adhered to by people who are erudite, virtuous, and free from love and hate, the Law assented to by the heart.), he quoted Harita, who said that there are two types of Srutis - Veda and Tantra. Here is what he said -

श्रुतिश्च द्विबिधा वैदिकी तान्त्रिकीच (śrutiśca dbibidhā vaidikī tantrikīca)

However, Manu himself declared that Sruti (Scripture) should be recognized as the Veda. (Chapter II, Verse 10).

श्रुतिस्तु वेदोबिज्ञेयो (śrutistu vedabigya)

So Manu himself did not recognize Tantra as Sruti and he is the authority.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism (Vol. 2) by James Lochtefeld also included Tantra under the Smriti category.

So Tantra is part of Smriti.


  1. Manava Dharma Sastra with the commentaries of Medhatithi, Sarvajnanarayana, Kulluka, Raghavananda, Nandana and Ramachandra by Vishvanath Narayan Mandlik [in Sanskrit] (Page - 88, 104)
  2. Encyclopaedia of Tantra Volume I by Sadhu Santideva [in English] (Page - 8)
  3. Manu's code of Law - a critical Edition and translation of Manava Dharmashastra by Patrick Olivelle (Page 94)
  4. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism (Vol. 2) by James Lochtefeld

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