According to Manu 2.6,

vedo'khilo dharmamūlaṃ smṛtiśīle ca tadvidām |
ācāraścaiva sādhūnāmātmanastuṣṭireva ca || 6 ||
The entire Veda is the root-source of Dharma; also the Conscientious Recollection of righteous persons versed in the Veda, the Practice of Good (and learned) Men, and their self-satisfaction.—(6)

It's proclaiming the entire Veda to be the root-source of dharma. How the Vedas, that too collectively, bring about convictions about dharma and adharma? There are many portions in the Vedas which ain't apparently dealing with dharma. Moreover, smṛti-s ain't included in the Vedas but mentioned separately in the given verse.

I wonder how do the entire Vedas (including samhitā, etc.) deal with dharma? Like, do we have even handful of instances where the Samhitā-s are apparently dealing with dharma? So, what are the implications and connotations of "the entire Vedas" here?

  • The dharmasutras part of the kalpasutra and the brahamanas contain some verses.
    – Adiyarkku
    Mar 25, 2021 at 6:19
  • 1
    @Archit Updated the question. I was looking for dharmic injunctions from the samhita portions of the Vedas. Mar 25, 2021 at 6:26
  • Did you check Medhatithi's commentary? @Mr.Sigma.
    – Rickross
    Mar 25, 2021 at 12:50
  • What do you think dharma means? is it just morals ? No. There is varnashrama dharma, stri dharma, apat dharma, raja dharma etc. it's all duties. Entire Vedas is about all these duties, hence dharma-mulam
    – ram
    Mar 26, 2021 at 0:12
  • your question is too broad and by asking what the implications and connotations are you're asking for opinions. see forum rules Mar 26, 2021 at 4:29

2 Answers 2


There is no consensus on this issue. Some think dharma (righteousness) is based on scripture and others disagree.

Bhishma said, 'Some say that righteousness consists in what has been upheld in the Srutis. Others do not agree to this. I would not censure them that say so. Everything, again, has not been laid down in the Srutis.’

Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Section CIX

  • I am asking how the entire Vedas, as included frog hymns, be considered the source of dharma? Apr 9, 2021 at 13:09

Quoting some portions from the introduction part of the book "Dharmasutras The Law Codes of Apastamba, Gautama, Baudhayana, and Vasistha", Translated from the Original Sanskrit and Edited by PATRICK OLIVELLE.

Apastamba proposes a principle that becomes a cornerstone of later thinking on the sources of dharma. He says that originally all rules of dharma were contained in the Vedas, but now parts of those Vedas are lost. The theory of the ‘lost Veda’ is used as a hermeneutical strategy to theoretically derive all dharma from the Veda, while in practice providing for other sources. The customs from which some elements of dharma are derived are actually based on lost vedic texts, which can be ‘inferred’ from the existence of these customs (A 1.4.8; 1.12.10– 11). Thus, we have the distinction between ‘explicit vedic texts’ (pratyaksa s´ruti) and ‘inferred vedic texts’ (anumita s´ruti). This hermeneutical principle permitted A¯pastamba to recognize the customs among good people as a guide to proper living, that is, as dharma, while maintaining the theological fiction of the Veda as the sole source of dharma.

Gautama (1.1–2) gives the three sources of dharma that become standard in later literature: the Veda and the tradition (smr ti) and practice (acara) of those who know the Veda. Baudhayana (1.1.3–4) explicitly calls smr ˚ ti the second source, and the practice of cultured people (s´ista) the third.

So, this argument seems sound and explains your query well because we indeed have lost huge portions of the Vedas.

  • I am asking how the entire Vedas, as included frog hymns, be considered the source of dharma? Apr 9, 2021 at 13:09
  • The last para of the question is giving the impression that you are aware that Vedic Samhitas don't really deal much with Dharma and related questions then how to explain the Manu verse. My answer clears that doubt. If your focus is only on the "frog hymns" then the question changes considerably @BasedShaiva
    – Rickross
    Apr 9, 2021 at 15:51

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