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{{ToBeEdited}}Dharmashastras (Samskrit : धर्मशास्त्राणि) are the texts that have discussed the dharmas extensively in a comprehensive manner. Unlike the Vedas which have short incidental statements and references to dharmas, these voluminous books deal with socio-economic, moral and judicial aspects in an organized manner drawing their reference from Vedas. They address many aspects unique to Sanatana Dharma such as Samskaras, Shaucha, Prayaschitta, Shraddha, Srtidharma and many others. Apart from Vedas, the Kalpa Sutra works (Dharmasutras), Smrtis, Itihasas and Puranas included under Vaidika Vangmaya have greatly influenced the development of Dharmashastras.
The time of composition of Dharmashastras is beyond the scope of discussion of this article.
It is debated by many that such Varna Ashrama dharmas are not existent in other nations and are different. On close observation it can be said that though not expressly recognized, the divisions themselves are to be found everywhere, under other names, in all the races of the present day. The natural conditions of the present evolution unavoidably force upon humanity the relations of teacher and student, ruler and ruled, producer and consumer, master and servant, parent and son or daughter, husband and wife, brother and sister, worker and pensioner, employer and employee, soldier and civilian, agriculturist and tradesman, householder and a recluse and many such other. The Sanatana Dharma, instead of leaving these relations to vague and groping experiments, rationally orders and systematizes them. These dharmashastras teach general and specific duties and virtues proper to each relation and situation, with the injunction that they should never be mixed up together indiscriminately, great is the danger in doing so as said in Bhagavadgita.<ref name=":022" /> <blockquote>श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुण: परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् | स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेय: परधर्मो भयावह: || 35|| (Bhag. Gita. 3.35)</blockquote>It is indeed better to perform one's natural prescribed dharma, even with faults, than follow the dharma of another perfectly. It is better to die (in the performance of) one's own duty; the follow the path of another as it is fraught with danger.
The words Svadharma and Paradharma have to be carefully evaluated by one and all. Dharma is applicable to our context, situation in life, profession, moral maturity, as the central law of our being. What is right in one situation is not right in another and are relative to the surrounding circumstances, thus different points of view have to be evaluated. For it is said in Daksha Smrti that a person who does not follow Dharma does not have happiness. <blockquote>धर्महीने कुतः सुखम् । - दक्षस्मृतिः,३/२३</blockquote> == Texts ==Kalpa-Vedanga which included the Sutragranthas, Dharmashastras, Smrtis and more lately the Nibandhas (Nirnaya Sindu, Dharma sindhu to name a few) are the four kinds of texts in which the dharmas evolved in the context of codes of conduct and justice. However, there are various versions about what each of these broad texts are and their content.  Manu called a Dharmashastra as Smrti. <blockquote>श्रुतिस्तु वेदो विज्ञेयो धर्मशास्त्रं तु वै स्मृतिः । (Manu. Smrt. 2.10)</blockquote>
== References ==
[[Category:Dharmas]]
<references />

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