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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Code of Conduct by Religion[edit]

The religious way of life are technically known as:

  1. Ācāra - conduct in daily life
  2. Vyavahāra - social dealings

It was largely determined by the smṛtis, the dharmaśāstras and the nibandhas.[1] The nibandhas comprise of encyclopedic compositions by very scholarly and competent authors.

Raghunandana’s Origin[edit]

Raghunandana was a vandyaghaṭīya brāhmaṇa from Bengal. His father was Harihara-bhaṭṭācārya. His guru was Śrīnātha-ācārya-cuḍāmaṇi. According to the Bengali tradition, Raghunandana was a co-pupil of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya[2] under Vāsudeva Sārvabhauma. However, there is no confirmation of this from other sources.

Raghunandana’s Scriptures[edit]

Raghunandana’s magnum opus is the Smrtitattva divided into 28 sections. They are also called as tattvas. It is an encyclopedic nibandha work on all aspects of the dharmaśāstras. The Jīvānanda edition printed in A.D. 1895 is in two volumes. It has 1630 pages.

Content of Smrtitattva[edit]

Some of the tattvas of this book are:

  1. Tithitattva
  2. Suddhitattva
  3. Āhnikatattva
  4. Srāddhatattva
  5. Prāyaścittatattva
  6. Sarhskāratattva
  7. Dāyatattva
  8. Vyavahāratattva
  9. Devapratisthātattva
  10. Others

Period & Views of Raghunandana[edit]

Raghunandana lived in A. D. 1510-1580. He was one such writer who lived in Bengal during the 16th century. He was the last of the great writers on the dharmaśāstras. His views on the various aspects of religious civil laws are considered with respect even now, especially in Bengal.

His views on the śudras are very liberal. He has given them plenty of freedom in religious matters. Raghunandana was a master in the application of the rules of the Mīmānsā philosophy and the nyāyas or maxims, while discussing his subjects. He is an authority on the dāyabhāga system of the division of property which is current in and confined to Bengal only.


  1. NIbandhas means digests.
  2. He lived in A. D. 1485-1533.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore