In other religions there are the books which tell you how to live your life, what is allowed what is not allowed etc. Is there such book in Hinduism as well, I've only read the summarised editions of the epics like Mahabharata, Ramayana etc.

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    Yes, these are the Dharmashastras.
    – PAI
    Sep 17 at 6:24

Yes. The scriptures which discuss duty of daily life are the Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras.

athātas-sāmayācārikān dharmān vyākhyāsyāmaḥ || 1 ||
1. Now, therefore, we will teach the Dharmas which form part of the duty of daily life, as they have been decided by the agreement [of those who know the law].

dharmajña samayaḥ pramāṇam || 2 ||
2. The authority [for Dharma] is the agreement of those who know the law.

Apastamba Sutra 1.1.1

2.12. The Veda, the sacred tradition, the customs of virtuous men, and one’s own pleasure, they declare to be visibly the fourfold means of defining the sacred law.

Manu Smriti

7. The Sruti, the Smriti, the conduct of good men, what appears pleasant to one's own self, and the desire which springs from a good resolution, are said to be the roots of Dharma.

Yajnavalkya Smriti

1.1. The Veda is the source of the sacred law,
1.2. And the tradition and practice of those who know the (Veda).
1.4. If (authorities) of equal force are conflicting, (either may be followed at) pleasure.

Gautama Sutra

These verses are from the beginning of the respective scriptures. They each mention the sacred law and what composes sacred law. The entire texts are devoted to discussing dharma and way of life according to scriptural law. The rules and restrictions are mentioned as well.

As explicitly mentioned in Gautama, remember that only in conflicts, either scriptural rule may be followed. Scriptural law cannot be rejected at one's own pleasure.

  • Just want to know if these scriptures are meant to be words from scholars or word from god himself. Who wrote these scriptures. Sep 24 at 4:54
  • @VivekKumar Many of the Rishis who wrote these scriptures were the Rishis to whom the Vedas were revealed. These texts may have been composed by humans, but they are based on the Vedas. The Dharmasutras (like Apastamba and Gautama) are part of the Kalpa Vedangas, which are part of the Vedanga, which is based on study of the Vedas. The Dharmashastras (like Manu and Yajnavalkya) are based on these Dharmasutras. Just because they were written by humans does not mean that they are not divinely inspired.
    – PAI
    Sep 24 at 6:03
  • Got it. So, it's not directly the word of god like some other religions. Sep 24 at 6:18
  • @VivekKumar Yes, you’re right. What I quoted isn’t directly the word of God.
    – PAI
    Sep 24 at 6:43

You need to differentiate between Hinduism and Abharamic faiths, because they have a definition of Sin, Halal, Haram, etc. but you won't find such things in Hinduism because the scenarios have contexts to it and you should act upon Dharma, For example, if Ravan would have waged a war to avenge his sister's (surpankha) honor that would have been Dharma but he abducted the wife of another man and inturn committed Adharma, Now both are acts of vengeance but one is driven by lust and other by brotherly love. So if we make a rule that "a brother has to always protect the honor of his sisters" that would leave the means of following the rule up to the individual hence terrorism, khalifates and crucades. I hope I am able to deliver my point clearly.

  • For that, you need to first read Vedas then Vedang then Upanishads then Darshans. Sep 17 at 11:10
  • Sure thing. Thanks. Sep 17 at 13:44
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