Itihāsottama: A Source Text Of Cultural Amalgamation
AbstractThe life of Indians was documented in Sanskrit Literature. The dynamic culture of society was started from the Vedic periods. After that, Smārta literature or Dharmaśāstra flourished as the code of conduct. Here a particular text of this tradition named ‘Viṣṇu Smṛti is going to discussed. The text seems by the name anyhow related to Dharmaśāstra. Hence, the content of the text has proved the presenter wrong. The unique feature of the text is the orientation of Bhakti where Kṛṣṇa is the supreme Godhead. Even the other diverse dogmas (e.g. Śaiva, Śākta, Pāśupata, Bauddha) and popular belief systems are propounded through the code of conduct. Dealing with diverse topics it is considered not only a law text but also a kind of a source-book of social history which throws light on Indian culture, ethics and philosophical tradition. Even the existence of Viṣṇu Smṛti proves that undeniable primacy and priority of Manu was not the end. It is a mixed composition of poetry and prose in 100 chapters around 7th century of Kashmir. It is really not possible to analyse the whole life as mentioned in the Smṛti in a short paper. Instead, this paper is an attempt to discuss some aspects of dharma and religious life as described in the Viṣṇu Smṛti.
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