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Questions tagged [dharma-shastras]

Dharmaśāstra (Sanskrit: धर्मशास्त्र) is a genre of Sanskrit texts, and refers to the treatises (shastras) of Hinduism on dharma. 

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93 views

How is prāyaścitta different from daṇḍa? Are both complementary to each other?

How is prāyaścitta (atonement or expiation) different from daṇḍa (punishment sanctioned by the king)? Is prāyaścitta a voluntary/self-imposed punishment for a sin that one commits? Are both ...
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Why do only some Brahmins have a tuft of hair? Is it mandatory to cut the tuft of hair before leaving India?

Why is it that some Brahmins have a tuft of hair and some don't? Is it optional? Furthermore, the great Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan before leaving to Cambridge University cut his tuft ...
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Eating vegetarian beef as a Hindu

Eating meat is prohibited in Manu Smriti. The people who eat vegetarian beef have the same impure thought as the people who eat real beef. Should vegetarian beef be prohibited for Hindus?
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Why do people do evil actions? Is it due to karma?

Why do people do evil actions? Is it due to karma? People who do evil actions do so because they get evil thoughts and desires. Why do they think these evil thoughts and desires? What do the ...
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What does the Bhagavad Gita mean when it says caste is based on Gunas? Does it mean trained, external behavior, or genetic predisposition?

What does the Bhagavad Gita mean when it says caste is based on Gunas? Does it mean trained, external behavior, or genetic predisposition? For reference, this verse says, 4.13 - The [social] ...
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31 views

Why is intercaste marriage bad? [duplicate]

Why is intercaste marriage bad? Is this just a case of Brahminical oppression to subdue the lower castes, or is there any spiritual, dharmic, or beneficial reason behind this practice? What do the ...
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97 views

What is the reason behind men/women tying a waist band?

I have seen many men wearing a waist band or thread around their waist, red or black color. It's called Karbuta in Marathi. Is there any significance behind wearing it?
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Has any ancient or medieval Vedic scholar refuted the guna-based varna theory?

Followers of Vivekananda and reformist Hindus today such as Arya Samaj believe that caste is determined by someone's external behavior. For example, if someone is pious, he should be a Brahmin. Has ...
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85 views

Can Brahmins atone for the sin of drinking liquor through other means than suicide?

According to Hinduism, there are 5 mortal sins, or mahapatakas. They are: One who steals gold [of a Brahmana], who drinks Sura [rice or grain based alcohol], who has sex with the Guru's wife and ...
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Liberated souls come back [duplicate]

Do the souls which attained moksha in this creation again come back to earth to undergo birth and death process in the next creation which takes place after mahapralay?
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What does the Vedic literature speak about pre-marital sex and sexual abstinence? [duplicate]

I understand that unlike Abrahamic religions, sex is primarily not a taboo in our Sanatana Dharma. However, I would like to know what is laid out in the scriptures regarding 'pre-marital sex' and ...
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Availability of English translations for commentaries of Gautama Dharmasūtra

Gautama Dharmasūtra is a Sanskrit text and likely one of the oldest Hindu Dharmasutras (600-200 BCE), whose manuscripts have survived into the modern age. From this source There are two extant ...
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Can I trim / shave my own head being a Brahmin?

Can I trim my own head hair being a Brahmin? Is this against the Hindu Dharma? Thanks
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1answer
142 views

Is levirate marriage allowed in Hinduism? [duplicate]

Wikipedia defines it as: Levirate marriage is a type of marriage in which the brother of a deceased man is obliged to marry his brother's widow. The term levirate is itself a derivative of the ...
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Is BG 16.23 referring to Vedas or dharma śāstras?

BG 16.23 yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya vartate kāma-kārataḥ na sa siddhim avāpnoti na sukhaṁ na parāṁ gatim Ignoring the precept of the scriptures, he who acts under the impulsion of passion, ...
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Are Dharma sutras different from Dharma Shastra?

When one searches for Dharma Shastra, books like manu smriti, and various other smriti comes, but when one searches for dharma sutras, baudhayana sutras and the likes come. What is the difference ...
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How can an unmarried person repay their debt to parents and ancestors?

How can a person not interested in marriage (because they think it's a waste of time and money, also causes one to lose their peace of mind) repay their debt to parents and ancestors? Does adopting a ...
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Is crossing the ocean (Samudrollanghana) a taboo in Hinduism? [duplicate]

As per the below wiki link, crossing the ocean is considered a taboo in hinduism. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kala_pani_(taboo) The link gives quote from a dharmashastra which prohibits ...
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Is it a sin for promiscuous, unmarried women to have sex with many men?

As discussed in this question, many ancient Vedic scholars believe that the Vedas declare that it is not sinful for grihastha men to have sex with promiscuous, unmarried women. This question is now ...
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How do Sri Vaishnavas interpret this Sutra of the Apastamba Dharma Sutras?

Apastamba Dharma Sutras (2.9.21.13) - Abandoning truth and falsehood, pleasure and pain, the Vedas, this world and the next, he shall seek the ātman. My question is about the abandoning the "truth ...
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Is it against dharma if a single son is following brahmacharya? Can an only son be a brahmachari even if he's not a sannyasi?

There is a story of Agastya muni. He saw his ancestors lying upside down without attaining salvation. They said that it is because there is no one to continue their family because Agastya muni did ...
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Which Veda Shaka, Gotra etc, will a person should follow after he was converted into Brahmin, Kshatriya or Vaishya?

All Smritis are clear that Varna is primarily based on birth. A person born as a Brahmin will lose his status if his conduct is not good, but even if a person born as a Shudra has good conduct, he ...
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What is the punishment for those who discriminate on basis of birth?

Is there any punishment in Sanatan Dharma for those who discriminate on basis of birth. By discrimination, I mean depriving someone of some basic rights like education, drinking water from public ...
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Which came first, dharma śāstras and smṛtis or the people that followed them?

This is a chicken-and-egg problem. Did the dharma śāstras and smṛtis come first and then people started following them or people already had some unwritten rules and they were then codified into ...
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How much dharma shastras can be applied in practical life? [closed]

There is in flood of questions on dharma shastras, how much of it can be really applied in practical life? Some verses that can be practically applied that which are not part of country's laws.
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Is the Manusmriti written to favor a particular class of the society?

Critics say the Manusmriti is pro-Brahmin, and written by casteist Brahmins by favoring particular section of society and thereby oppressing Shudras, women, and other lower castes. Is this argument ...
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What does this statement mean in the Atri Smriti about the Devas enjoying girls?

These verses are cited in the work known as the Mitākṣarā, commentary on Yajnavalkya Smriti: “A woman is not rendered guilty by her connection with her paramour, nor a Brãhmaia by his performance ...
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Where does the Nilamata Purana sanction consumption of alcohol?

According to Bodhayana Dharma Sutra 1.1.2.4: Now (the customs peculiar) to the north are, to deal in wool, to drink rum, to sell animals that have teeth in the upper and in the lower jaws, to ...
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Is it a sin for a man to have sex with women who aren't his wife(s)?

This section of the Manusmriti on wisdomlib.org talks about what constitutes adultery. In this section, it is clearly said that for a man, adultery constitutes engaging in sex with the wife of ...
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Who was the author of the Manusmriti?

Who was the author of the Manusmriti? Now many of you might say "Manu", but it's actually not quite clear from the text itself. First of all, the word "Manusmriti" means "recollection of Manu", ...
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Which Dharma Sutras are valid according to Sri Vaishnavas?

Which Dharma Sutras are valid? Is every Dharma Sutra named after a historic Rishi with the affix "Sutra" or "Shastra" or "Smriti" valid? On wisdomlib.org for this Manusmriti verse, Ganganath Jha ...
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Does Narada Maharishi permit having sex with prostitutes and promiscuous girls? Need commentary

Note, that this question is NOT a duplicate of this, or this, or even this. This verse from the Narada Smriti permits sex with promiscuous women, prostitutes, and unmarried women freely: 12.78 - ...
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Is this verse from the Brihaspati Smriti telling to kill rape victims?

This verse appears to enjoin killing rape victims: When a woman has been enjoyed against her will, she shall be kept in the house well guarded, smeared (with ashes), lying on a low couch, and ...
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Does Hinduism permit having sex with female slaves? [duplicate]

This verse from the Narada Dharma Shastra apparently permits sexual intercourse with promiscuous women, prostitutes, and female slaves: Nārada (12.78).—‘Intercourse is permitted with a wanton woman ...
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Does Neo-Vedanta reject Dharma Shastras? If so, why?

Do Neo-Vedantins reject the authority of the Dharma Shastras? If so, why?
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Do scriptures allow Hindus to marry foreigners?

Do scriptures allow Hindus to marry foreigners, or non-Hindus of other races? Inter-caste marriage has its restrictions, but what about interracial marriages?
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Does Vedic karma yield fruit in foreign countries? Will it give adverse results?

Do religious rituals bear effect in other countries like America, UK, mleccha deshas? Do vedic rites like sandhya-vandana, tarpana, shraddha give phala in countries other than India (Bharata varsha / ...
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1answer
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What scriptures say about left arm twitching / quivering / throbbing?

What scriptures say about left arm twitching? Some sites say it is a good indication, whereas some say it is good for ladies only and not good for men.
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Is it a sin to have sex with promiscuous, unmarried women?

According to Hindu scriptures, it is a sin for a man to have sex with most women who aren't his wives. An ancient acharya says that it is permissible (not sinful) to have sex with your wife(s) and ...
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What is Virahatya (Killing of a hero)?

Here is what the Manusmriti 11.41 says: If a Brāhmaṇa who has set up the fires neglects them wilfully, he shall perform the ‘Cāndrāyaṇa’ penance for a month; as his offence is equal to the ...
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What are the Prajapatya, Chandrayana, and Krcchra penances?

The Dharmashastras prescribe various penances such as the Prajapatya, Chandrayana, and Krccha penances. For example, here is a verse from the Manusmriti: On having had intercourse with one’s ...
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1answer
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Performing Pooja, japa etc during wife's monthly period

My question is should the men in the household perform sandhyavandanam,, Pooja and japa when the woman in the family is during her monthly menstrual cycle. We do not have provision to spare the only ...
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What is the reason behind closing the village/street/agrahara temple in case of a death in the nearby area?

I have seen this several times, that temples are closed if there is a death in the houses in the vicinity. To clarify, vicinity has a variable scope here; sometimes it's a street, sometimes an ...
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What do smritis say about giving away one's own children to someone else?

What do smritis and dharma shastras say about giving away one's children (boy/girl) to someone else as daana (i.e charity) or as a worker? What is the take on giving children as daana? Not specific ...
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What are the rules associated with the ritual of kshoura/kshavaram (shaving of hair)? And do these differ between sampradayas? [duplicate]

Almost all samparadayas and communities have some set of rules associated with the kshoura karma. There are rules related not just to the days on which such activities can be performed but also ...
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1answer
200 views

Which Dharma Shastra books is Devdutt Patnaik referring to here? [closed]

In this article on his website, Devdutt Patnaik says: The Dharmashastras need to be located in this context. They were books that speculated on appropriate human conduct. They focussed more on “...
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What is the Hindu(mainly Vedantic) opinion of lying to do good in the world?

Manu Smriti (4.138) सत्यं ब्रूयात् प्रियं ब्रूयान्न ब्रूयात् सत्यमप्रियम् । प्रियं च नानृतं ब्रूयादेष धर्मः सनातनः ॥ १३८ ॥ satyaṃ brūyāt priyaṃ brūyānna brūyāt satyamapriyam | priyaṃ ca ...
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1answer
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Online version of Vedas, Puranas, Sutras, and Shastras in Devanagari/Sanskrit [duplicate]

Wondering if there are any/all of these online somewhere in a copyleft format (free / open source / public domain, or something similar to that), in the original Devanagari script in Sanskrit, in ...
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How to reconcile prāyaścitta (expiation) involving death with suicide (itself a big sin)?

A twice-born person, having, through folly, drunk wine, shall drink wine red-hot; he becomes freed from his guilt, when his body has been completely burnt by it. — (90) (Manusmriti verse 11....
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How does manu smriti has mentions of tribes which were not present at the time of manu?

pauṇḍrakāścauḍradraviḍāḥ kāmbojā yavanāḥ śakāḥ |  pāradāpahlavāścīnāḥ kirātā daradāḥ khaśāḥ || 44 || The Puṇḍrakas, the Coḍas, the Draviḍas, the Kāmbojas, the Yavanas, the Śākas, the Pāradas, ...