Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sruti & Smriti

Sruti & Smriti
The Knowledge of Vedic literature is primarily divided in two types, Sruti and Smriti. The Veda is called sruti and is the highest authority. and are timeless that is beyond time.Other texts are called smritis, and they derive authority from the sruti and depend on Desha Kala Parasthithi (space ,Time ,Circumstances)
Sruti is apaurusheya (eternal and authorless), and smritis are the words of seers.
Sruti श्रुति in Sanskrit
“hearing, listening”, often spelled shruti or shruthi, is a term that describes the sacred texts comprising the central canon of Sanatana Dharama Hinduism and is one of the three main sources of dharma and therefore is also influential within Hindu Law. 
These sacred works span the entire history of Hinduism, beginning with some of the earliest known Hindu texts and ending in the early modern period with the later Upanishads. its literature differs from other sources of Hindu Law, particularly smṛti or “remembered text”, because of the purely divine origin of śruti. This belief of divinity is particularly prominent within the Mimamsa tradition. The initial literature is traditionally believed to be a direct revelation of the “cosmic sound of truth” heard by ancient Rishis who then translated what was heard into something understandable by humans.
Both śruti and smriti represent categories of texts that are used to establish the rule of law within the Hindu tradition. However, they each reflect a different kind of relationship that can be had with this material. Śruti is solely of divine origin and contains no specific concepts of law. Because of the divine origin, it is preserved as a whole, instead of verse by verse. With śruti, the desire is more towards recitation and preservation of its divine attributes and not necessarily towards understanding and interpreting the oral tradition like that found in smṛti.
 textual nature of Śruti
Rig-Veda (hymns recited by the hotar)
Yajur-Veda (hymns recited by the adhvaryu)
Sama-Veda (hymns recited by the udgatr)
Atharva-Veda (a collection of ancient spells and charms,brahma )
The liturgical core of each of the Vedas are supplemented by commentaries on each text which all belong to the śruti canon:
Brahmanas
Aranyakas
Upanishads
Smritis could be broadly classified as
Vedangas :-subjects required to understand various aspects of the Veda
Upavedas :-arts and sciences
Upangas :-understanding of dharma and debating it
Darsanas :-Windows to truth
other shastras (treatises, guidelines)
Types of Smritis
Based on the nature of knowledge, the smriti literature is of two types: one that expounds sastra and one that outlines codes of conduct. While texts like Manusmriti and Puranas contain both types of knowledge, there are specific texts for specific purposes. Texts like Paniniya Astadhyayi (Vyakarana), Gautama Sutras (Nyaya), Tarka Samgraha (tarka) expound specific sastras. Dharma Sutras and similar literature expound codes of conduct, judiciary etc.