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By Swami Harshananda

Significance of Samvarta Smrti

Samvarta-smrti seems to be a fairly ancient work. Samvarta is quoted by many authors of dharmaśāstras like Aparārka, Haradatta, Medhātithi, Viśvarupa and others. Almost his 200 verses have been given in their works. There is a printed text which appears to be an epitome of a portion of the original smṛti of Samvarta. The smṛti is in the form of Samvarta’s teachings to Vāmadeva and others.

Contents of Samvarta Smrti

The topics dealt with may be summarized as follows:

  • Rules of conduct for a brahmacārin
  • Prāyaścittas or expiations for various kinds of sins
  • Duties of a householder, a forest hermit and a sanyāsin
  • Special duties of a king
  • Few minor topics as the age of girls for marriage

Samvarta as per Mahābhārata

According to the Mahābhārata[1] Samvarta was a son of Añgiras. Bṛhaspati and Ucathya were his brothers. It is difficult to say whether this was the same Samvarta who authored this smṛti.


  1. Ādiparva 67
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore