By Swami Harshananda
During the ancient and medieval period, the religious works that regulated the complete conduct of the religion, are known as the dharmaśāstras. The first stratum consists of the gṛhyasutras and the dharmasutras. The second stratum is formed by the smṛtis.
Among the smṛtis, the Manusmṛti and the Yājñavalkya Smṛti occupies a place of importance. During the growth of the society, these smṛtis needed explanations, amplifications and clarifications of doubts. The commentaries written by later scholars who were well-versed in this field supplied the much-needed material for this.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore