There are many scriptures which contain contradictory verses. If a scripture has contradictions (For eg Manusmriti statement on women which are both good and later on questionable) does that mean it is interpolated and is not to be followed?

  • There are no contradictions (or very rare) among shrutis. They are presented as it is. There is however a lot of contradiction in smiritis, they contradict other smritis, shrutis or even themselves at times. They were compiled at a very later stage, with multiple independent people involved (most probably) with whatever knowledge was left at that time. They might also have a lot of glorified personal opinions of the authors. In case of any contradiction, shurits should be referred. In case of Manusmiriti, they aren't primary religous texts, hence, not important enough.
    – user29449
    Nov 25, 2023 at 4:00
  • The first quote found in this answer (hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/16510/4732) gives a rule on how to deal with scriptural contradictions
    – Rickross
    Nov 25, 2023 at 6:00

2 Answers 2


First see the text as a whole not in verses, for example, the Bhagavad Gita may seem contradictory at first even Arjuna feels that way, but Bhagavan Sri Krishna explains how to reconcile this. Two, some texts have been interpolated and some are meant to be amended rather. I suggest you should go though Shrutis and refer to Smirtis as secondary sources.

  • this is the correct answer. all contradictions are only apparent. with right guru, all doubts get cleared.
    – ram
    Dec 9, 2023 at 15:39
  • Agreed, but first, one must decide what school of thought they're going through and read those sutras it's good to have a path laid out for you that you can walk on, and once you are knowledgeable enough on it you can start to alter it. A good guru and a true guru is hard to find. One who is ideally versed in Sanskrit should read smritis, not the law books, but like Ithihasas, Sutras even. Vedas require another level of understanding.
    – Haridasa
    Dec 10, 2023 at 14:30

"Acceptable question & sometimes reader of all scriptures may become confused personality".


To avoid contradictions the scriptures must be read according to SHAASTRAAS, because SHAASTRAS give high priority to GODs than writers / comprehenders.

SHAASTRA VIDHI says a human must read

  1. Raamaayana & Mahabhaarata (Srimad BHAGAVAD GITA)
  2. CHATURVEDAM for pleasing GODS by offerings/prayers
  3. NYAASATHILAKAM for understanding AATMAN
  4. YOGASUTRA for understanding mind
  5. LOKATANTRA for understanding humans. Under LOKATANTRA

A. Manusmriti (Human life /rules/rituals),

B. Vedaantasaaram (Divine thoughts and actions),

C. Arthashaastra (way to rule),

D. NEETISHATAKAM(Judgement and Laws),


F. RAAJAGUHYAM(secrets of Kingdom rule),

G. SOONYAM(ways to combat/destroy enemies)

etc. are more contradictory in many parts and against verses/practice delivered by GOD KRISHNA in Bhagavad Gita because PURE FAITH on GOD VARIED among humans in every MILLENIUM.

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