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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What is the significance of bride leading the groom during Saptapadi?

This question has nothing to do with feminism or anything else. In Vedic or Hindu religion every step has deep meaning or significance. I know the significance of sacred oaths taken during Saptapadi. ...
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158 views

Why is food smelt by a cow impure when cow's dung and urine is used for purification rites?

Manu-smṛti 5.123: पक्षिजग्धं गवा घ्रातमवधूतमवक्षुतम् । दूषितं केशकीटैश्च मृत्प्रक्षेपेण शुध्यति ॥ १२३ ॥ pakṣijagdhaṃ gavā ghrātamavadhūtamavakṣutam | dūṣitaṃ keśakīṭaiśca ...
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168 views

What is the story of Kapila son of Prahlada?

It is well-known that there are four Ashramas or stages of life in Hinduism: Brahmacharis or celibates, Grihastis or householder, Vanaprasthis or forest-dwellers, and Sanyasis or ascetics. What is ...
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203 views

Is Adi Shankaracharya's commentary on the Adhyatma Patala available online in English?

It is well-known that Adi Shankaracharya wrote commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishada, the Brahma Sutras, and the Vishnu Sahasranamam. But there's one commentary that's not as well known. ...
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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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110 views

Have any Hindu acharyas commented on the amendability of Dharma Shastras?

A poster writes "This samudrolanghana [loss of caste due to seafaring] was made up fear so that Brahmins learned in Vedas don't move out of the country and lose the Veda sakha." However, this is all ...
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499 views

Why should temples be closed during an eclipse?

Any reference in the Hindu scriptures (Vedas, Agamas, shastras, etc.) on why temples should remain closed during an eclipse (grahana)?
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668 views

What is the difference between Sati and Jauhar?

Is Jauhar the same as Sati? If not what is the difference and what is the origin of these terms?
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156 views

Why do Brahmacharis who break the vow of celibacy need to sacrifice a donkey as atonement?

From Apastamba Dharma Sutras 1.9.26.8: A [student] who has broken the vow of chastity, shall offer to Nirṛiti an ass, according to the manner of the Pāka-yajña-rites. This same Prayaschitta is ...
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102 views

Is it okay to Ignore Jananashucha from distant relative(but sapinda)

Janaashucha is the period of impurity after birth in family. Manu Smriti prescribes Janashucha for the period of 10,12,15,30 days for the four Varnas respectively A Brahmana shall be pure after ...
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210 views

Verses about homosexuality

I am looking for verses in scriptures which mention homosexuality specifically, that is man having sex with man or woman having sex with woman, not vague terms like napumsaka or kliba which can mean ...
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63 views

Do one needs to follow his own Dharma Sutra or all Dharma Sutras?

I have read that there are many Dharma Sutra like Apasthamba Sutra, Gauthama Sutra, Baudhyana Sutra,etc. My question is that Do we need to follow only his own Dharma Sutra got by birth or all of the ...
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Is it true that Madhvācārīs used to emboss their bodies with hot iron blocks?

This article, Urdhapundra – The Vaishnavite Tilak, claims: The Madhvacharis use hot iron blocks to emboss their bodies, especially the shoulders, with the four symbols of Vishnu. Questions: Is ...
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References from scriptures about prohibition of menstruating women from temples, pujas etc

I am doing a research on this topic and searching for references for it. I am especially looking for references to Ashaucha related to menses, any specific guideline regarding what actions are ...
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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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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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How to thank god in sanskrit/hindi in Sanatan Dharm?

How to thank god in sanskrit/hindi in Sanatan Dharm? As christians use hallelujah, muslim use allahmudillah !!
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779 views

How is the ritual of Vratyastoma performed?

Vratyastoma, is a ritual performed by Vratyas (people who have failed to perform Upanayana in time) to readmit themselves to the fold of Varnashrama Dharma. Many Westerners who convert into Hinduism ...
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107 views

What are the impure substances from which prohibited food grows

Manu RIshi talks about prohibited food items in Manu Smriti verse 5.5, the original verse is लशुनं गृञ्जनं चैव पलाण्डुं कवकानि च । अभक्ष्याणि द्विजातीनाममेध्यप्रभवानि च ॥ ५ ॥ Garlic, leeks ...
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64 views

Forgotten culture from centuries

Many people want to follow their culture as their ancestor was following centuries back. But unfortunately they are not having enough knowledge about this, so they are forced to neglect and start ...
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74 views

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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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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125 views

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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220 views

What is the life story of Srimati ubhaya bhArati?

In the well known debate of sankara and manDaNa miSra his wife ubhaya bhaarati also took part. What was her background and important life events? I am also specifically looking for verses which ...
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126 views

Death of a great grandmother from paternal side, and marriage of a great granddaughter (a female offspring)

A question about death of a grandfather and postponement of granddaughter's marriage, was answered with: If there is a death on the paternal side, then all Subha karyas, including visit to kshetras,...
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92 views

Are there any blasphemy laws in the dharma śāstras?

According to some comments & answers to What are the after-effects of insulting gods/goddesses? it appears that in the grand scheme of things, the Karma theory is going take care of all those who ...
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47 views

Is it written in our Shastras about abstinence from some acts on certain days

I understand that most of the practices that are followed in the society have some or the other reasons. Like it is very popular belief in Hindu tradition not to purchase Oil and Salt on Saturdays, ...
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Is “Democracy” naturally in accordance of “Dharma” (righteousness)?

"Democracy" was not famous until last few centuries. Famous political system till then was "Dynastic". i.e. the dynasty was not only prevalent among the ruler clan (i.e. Kshatriya), but also ...
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164 views

Why suthak applies for different number of days in different casts?

Why suthak effects on people for different days in defferent region or cast? I did read THIS ANSWER and came to know about suthak. But from the answer and also from the comment section of this answer ...
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263 views

Can ladies take head bath after dark?

According to dharma shastras, are ladies allowed to take bath by pouring water on their head after dusk, in the dark ? I heard someone say it is a bad thing, similar to ladies leaving their hair ...
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44 views

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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207 views

Is underage sex for pleasure considered bad?

Do Hindu scriptures consider engaging in sex for pleasure an evil malpractice when the persons involved are juvenile? If not, why does the orthodox Indian/Hindu community believe so?
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Bramhacharya and restriction on cosmetics

Dharma shastras restrict Bramhacharis from applying perfumes and oils. Is it possible that Moisturiser is also restricted, and if yes, then is there any shastra advice for sweaty and dry skin ...
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34 views

Can we do gayathri mantram insted of sandhyavandanam?

Can we do Gayathri Mantram instead of sandhya-vandanam? If yes, May I know how many times does the Mantram need to be chanted?
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101 views

Grihasthashram - Parents or in-laws : Who is to be obeyed ? In case of husband, and in case of wife?

Grihasthashram or Marriage is the joining of not just 2 souls - man and woman, but their two families as well. When there is a difference of opinion between the 2 in-laws, how do shastras recommend ...
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187 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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34 views

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