Just the way there are 18 Puranas, there are said to be 18 Smritis too. However unlike the list of the Puranas the lists of the 18 Smritis are inconsistent.

One list can be found here. There are some other separate lists too across various Smritis and other texts (eg. here).


  1. Which list to follow to know which are the 18 Smritis?
  2. Since Smritis mostly derive their authority from Manu, when we still have the Manusmriti with us, what was the story/ need for 18 Smritis which have a few contradictions despite all deriving authority from Manu?
  3. Since they’re 18 in number and currently explaining the same thing, did they originally explain different different aspects of dharma from Manu? Eg. One explains law, one explains prayashchitta one explains varnashrama, etc.

Note: I’ve explained why 18 Puranas here. I expect a similar answer for why 18 Smritis.

  • 1
    Woah! aren't you on a spree today! ;)
    – Vivikta
    Mar 16 at 12:03
  • @Vivikta the spree is now over😄. Had these questions since sometime now.
    – Adiyarkku
    Mar 16 at 12:20
  • smriti = purana. Mar 21 at 10:53


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