Smriti Mukta Phalam

Smriti Mukta Phalam
By Sri Vaidyanatha Dikshitar

Varnasrama Dharma Kandam - Canto on Varnasrama Dharma
Translation by P. R. Kannan


Vedas are many, varied and difficult to comprehend for ordinary men. In order for humanity to understand and practise the injunctions of Vedas, Maharishis like Manu, Yagnavalkya, Parasara et al, filled with compassion, wrote Smritis. Again Smritis became numerous and sometimes had notable differences among themselves. Yudhishthira says in 'Yaksha Prasna' in Mahabharata that logic is uncertain, Srutis are contradictory and there is not one Rishi whose opinion is the final authority. Hence a need arose to compile and present in one place the various views of Rishis and arrive at a final conclusion suitable for practice in the present age. Such a 'Nibandhana' book was compiled by one Vaidyanatha Dikshitar and was titled 'SMRITIMUKTAPHALAM', meaning 'Pearl of Smritis'. This great work, also called 'Vaidyanatha Dikshitiyam', is divided into six Kandams, the first being 'Varnasrama Dharma Kandam'. Dharmas for people in the four Varnas and Asramas have been dealt with in great detail here, citing not only the views of various Rishis, but also Vedas, Puranas, Dharmasutras, previous Nibandhana books etc. together with the compiler's own explanation as required. It is bewildering to note that in those early times when modern day facilities like printed books did not exist and sources of information were difficult to reach, one individual could have compiled so much from so many varied sources and presented such an easy - to - digest compilation.

Not much is known about this distinguished author's personal life history. It appears that he lived about 300 years ago; was born in a place called Kandramanikkam in Chola country in Tamil Nadu in Vadula gotra in brahmana community.

A free translation in English of the original work in Samskrit is attempted in the following pages.

P. R. Kannan
Navi Mumbai

1. Mangalacharanam
2. Determination of the authorities for Dharma
3. Authority of Smritis
4. Determination of Dharma
5. Characteristics of the Virtuous
6. Fruits of practising Dharma
7. Praise of Achara (Good conduct)
8. Marks of Good Achara (conduct)
9. Praise of Smriti etc.
10. Determination of Fruits of Sruti, Smriti
11. Determination of the authors of Smritis
12. Determination of Dharmadesas (Areas appropriate for Dharma)
13. Censure of living in Prohibited areas
14. Yuga Dharmas
15. Benefits of describing the Efficacy of Yugas
16. Dharmas Prohibited in Kali yuga
17. Definition of Karma
18. Process of Creation
19. Varna Dharmas
20. Performing Yagnam
21. Determination of Yaajanam (Performance of yagnas for others)
22. Study of Vedas
23. Teaching of Vedas
24. Discussion of Upakarma
25. Discussion of Anadhyaya (non - study of Vedas)
26. Danam (ceremonial giving with mantra)
27. Dana mantras
28. Persons suitable for Danam
29. Determination of persons Unsuitable for Danam
30. Determination of Acceptance of Danam (Ceremonial Gift)
31. Other means of livelihood
32. Livelihood in Adversity
33. Kshatriya dharmas
34. Discussion of Vysya dharmas
35. Discussion of Sudra dharmas
36. Glory of Brahmanas
37. Explanation of Anulomajati
38. Explanation of Castes like Kunda and Golaka
39. Explanation of Pratilomajati
40. Rise and Fall of Anuloma and Pratiloma Jatis
41. Forty Samskaras
42. Discussion of Garbhadhanam
43. Pumsavanam
44. Seemanthonnayanam
45. Jatakarma
46. Namakaranam
47. Piercing the Ears
48. Nishkramanam (Taking baby out in open)
49. Annaprasanam
50. Discussion of Chowla
51. Jatakarma etc.of Women
52. Aksharabhyasam (Beginning of Study)
53. Dharmas prior to Upanayanam
54. Upanayanam - Proper Time
55. Upanayanam - Secondary Time
56. Upanayanam - Preparation of Sacred thread etc.
57. Upanayanam - Danda (Staff)
58. Upanayanam - Ajinam (Deerskin)
59. Upanayanam - Cloth
60. Upanayanam - Mekhala (Girdle)
61. Upanayanam - Bhikshacharanam
62. Upanayanam - Sandhyopakramam (Commencement of Sandhya)
63. Upanayanam - Samidhadhanam
64. Prayaschittas - Jatakarma etc. not done in time
65. Number of Brahmanas to be fed
66. No Upanayanam in certain conditions
67. Upanayana Kartas
68. Upanyanam of Twins etc.
69. Upanayanam of Dumb, Mad etc. boys
70. Determination of Sons like Aurasa (12) et al
71. Svikara (ceremonial adoption of son)
72. Determination of Guru et al
73. Reasons for Respect
74. Those fit to be given Way
75. Abhivadanam (Reverential Salutation)
76. Pratyabhivadanam (Returning of Salutation)
77. Dharmas of Brahmachari
78. Veda Vratas
79. Repeat Upanayanam
80. Duration of Period of Brahmacharya
81. Determination of Godanam
82. Rules for Snathaka
83. Dharma of Naishtika (Perpetual) Brahmachari
84. Dharmas of Snathaka
85. Marriage
86. Marriage with Daughter of Mother's Brother
87. Lineages to be Rejected in Marriage
88. Marriage with Girl not from same Varna
89. Characteristics of Vara (Bridegroom)
90. Time for Kanyadanam
91. Rules in case of Girl going into menses in the midst of Marriage
92. Persons Eligible for Kanyadanam
93. Types of Marriage like Braahma etc.
94. Two auspicious observances at the same time are forbidden
95. Determination of seniority in twins
96. Bar on marriage etc. for the first - born in Jyeshta month
97. Months in which Marriage is forbidden
98. Testing of Growth
99. Rules for time of Kanyadanam
100. Time for Commencement of Aupasana
101. Commencement of Sthalipakam
102. Adhivedanam (Marrying an additional Wife)
103. Parivedanam (Marriage of younger brother before the elder)
104. Method of Protecting Women
105. Dharma of Pregnant Woman
106. Widows' Dharmas
107. Anugamanam (Joining Husband on Funeral Pyre)
108. Censure of unchaste woman
109. Dharmas of Grihasthas (Householders)

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