Smritis are the scriptures of sanathan dharma, providing the rules and regulations to lead life. In general, a Hindu should follow the smriti texts by Rishis. There is no ambiguity in it.

Every country has its own constitution. India has its constitution. Indian constitution may disallow several statements in Hindu smritis and vice versa.

In such context, is it inevitable for a Hindu to treat constitution as a smriti? Or did any dharma sastra explicitly tell that law of the land (constitution), eithe under king's rule or in democratic rule, should also/only be treated as a smriti?

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    Constitution was written by a human being. What knowledge of Dharma or super natural he had?
    – Rickross
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 4:57
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    It's utmost necessary that one follows the rules and laws of the country or place one's living in, even if those "constitutional laws" are against the "dharmika prescriptions" of the Shastras (for ex: Practising Sati & Untouchability and other "illegal" practices) lest one will definitely invite judicial legal actions and possible imprisonments, etc..
    – Vivikta
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 9:03
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    @Vivikta - you don't need the law's sanction to practice either touchability or untouchability. personal touch is a personal matter. you cannot force someone to touch someone else. that is fascism.
    – ram
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 19:11
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    @Vivikta - here is an analaogy/whataboutism you love - what you're claiming is no different from a thief calling the indian penal code as 'interpolated by evil interpolators'. Neither Sati nor untouchability is against Shastras, nor were they interpolated into shastras by "evil" people. Sati has and will always be voluntary. People made it mandatory, hence it got abolished altogether. Untouchability is practiced even within one's own body, and one's own family and one's own home. If I touch my ass, I have to wash my hand. If I touch a person who hasn't bathed, I have to bathe.
    – ram
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 0:06
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    Wow, Dear @mar again resorting to more typical straw-man arguement. Constitution howsoever flawed it is, it's pratyaksha - anyone (without any "previous birth-merit") can verify it if it's effective or ineffective. At least on paper it does not hold "pre-birth" prejudices and "bad characteristics" to any gender or varna., that's another thing how it might be implemented. "Sati has been "voluntary" (but, only women are supposed to do that, coz why not - marriage is a one person effort?) - only a कलियुगी patriarch" cud have imagined and written such heinous malady in the sacred texts.
    – Vivikta
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 3:15

1 Answer 1


Yes and No - Because the idea of constitution as we know it today is western. Hindu society should follow rules based on Hindu scriptures. There is a hierarchy of the main scriptures with revealed texts being the most authoritative These scriptures are Vedas and Tantras. Shaiva Agamas and Vaishnava Samhitas are also considered revealed texts by different sectarians.

Second is "Fifth Veda" or Itihasa and Puranic texts. These are not revealed texts but have sanction from mantra and other portions of Vedas. They were written by Vyasa, except Ramayana which was written by Valmiki under the blessings of Mata Sita. Some Puranas are said to contain blemishes and are classified based on Gunas. Shaiva scriptures consider Vishnu and his puranas Tamasic, and vice-versa. Some Puranas are claimed to be better than all others, and a few are claimed equal/superior to revealed texts like the Kalika Purana. Itihasa also is claimed to be equal and superior to Vedas. But overall, they are #2 since they are not revealed.

#3 is Smriti. These are semi-sacred, remembered scriptures. Although the words of Manu have Vedic sanction, it is not referring to Manusmriti since this was not authored by Manu himself. Smritis or remembered texts are to be discarded if they go against revealed texts and Fifth Veda.

So yes we should definitely use Smriti rules for society if they do not contradict other sacred scriptures. It also depends on which sect you are following. It is debated which smriti should be considered best for the present age or Kali Yuga


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