Dharmashastras (धर्मशास्त्राणि)

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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), 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.

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