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Item Code: IDF943
Author: Manmatha Nath Dutt and K.L. Joshi
Publisher: Parimal Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Language: Sanskrit Text, English Translation, Notes, and Introduction
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9788171102754
Pages: 320
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch
Weight 460 gm
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Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description

From the Jacket:

Under the series of Smrtis collectively known as Dharma-sastra, Visnusmrti or Vaisnava Dharma-sastra occupies an unique place. There are many smrtis ascribed to the names of various Rsis like Vyasa, Parasara, Manu, Yajnavalkya, Atri etc. But visnusmrti is famous after the name of lord Visnu himself. This foremost of the Dharma Sastras ha been promulgated b y the god himself.

It contains one hundred chapters in total. In the beginning of this treating, lord visnu felt a desire of creating creatures; knowing the earth to be under water, he, as in the cycle before, uplifted the earth supported upon the auspicious (figure of the) boar, delighting to sport in the water. The initial chapters after chapter one describe the duties of the four-casts, duties of the King and also laws relating to treasure-finds.

The subsequent chapters deal with the laws of purification, viz., Upakarman, Utsarga, Upanayan, Purifying Mantras from the Vedas etc. and penances, viz., Tarpana, Pitr rites. Apart from these rites, the code of Visnu elaborates about the duties of Brahmans, duties of owner and servant etc. It also mentions about the three kinds of Property of a house-holder and their comparative moral worth's.

The present translation of Visnusmrti by M.N. Dutt is an authentic English translation with various notes at appropriate places for researchers. The Editor of the present book has further enhanced the English Translation by replacing older usage of English words with the corresponding modern words. He has done a good labour to put Sanskrit text and English translation side by side for the benefit of readers. Further, he has corrected various diacritical notations that were incorrectly used in the earlier edition. Also the text has been corrected at appropriate places for a better edition of Visnusmrti.


The Scriptural writings of the Hindus are divided, mainly, into two classes Sruti (or what is heard) and Smrti (or what is remembered). The earliest and the most sacred religious work of the Hindus, namely, the Veda, belongs to the former. In it the words of revelation are preserved in their original state. And all the law, civil and religious; which govern and regulate the life and conduct of the Hindus pass under the sacred appellation of Sruti. According to the belief of the Hindus, Smrti also is of divine origin; the difference between it and the Veda consists in the fact that in the Hindu System of Law the sense is recorded either in the divine words or other equivalent expressions. The Taittiriya Aranyaka, describes Smrti as one of the sources of Dharma.

The history of the origin of Smrti attributes it to the Self- Sprung Brahma who communicated it to Manu, who again taught it to the ten patriarchal sages, viz., Marici, Atri, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Praceta, Vasistha, Bhrgu and Narada.

Smrti consists of three sections, viz.,- (i) Acara or regulations relating to the performance of religious rites and ceremonies and the general.duties of men; (ii) Vyavahara or civil law relating to the protection of life and property with all their rules and practices; and (iii) Prayscitta or those relating to the atonement for various sins committed. But all these groups of laws, religious, civil .and about atonement, pass by one comprehensive term which i popularly known as the Dharma- Sastra.

Under the series of Smrtis (or Code of law) collectively known as Dharma-sastra, Visnusmrti or Vaisnava Dharma-sastra occupie an unique place among these scriptures. There are many smrtis ascribed to the names of various Rsis like Vyasa, Parasara, Manu, Yajnavalkya, Atri etc. but Visnusmrti is famous after the name of lord Visnu himself. This foremost of the Dharma Sastras has been promulgated by the god himself. Brahmanas, who study or teach this Law code, acquire an elevated status in the celestial region.

This (code) is holy, auspicious, life-prolonging, and heaven awarding. It imparts fame, knowledge, opulence and good fortune. This (Code) should be studied, remembered, heard and recited to others. Persons, deserving good, shall hear it, narrated during the celebrations of a Sraddha ceremony.

It contains one hundred chapters in total. In the beginning of this treatise, lord Visnu felt a desire of creating creatures; knowing the earth to be under water, he, as in the cycle before, uplifted the earth supported upon the auspicious (figure of the) Boar, delighting to sport in the water.

Chapter 1    
The Creation of the Universe, the Components of the divine body of Visnu. 1-18 1-4
Description of the Earth goddess. 19-29 4-6
Conversation between Kasyapa and Earth. 30-31 6
Earth beholds Visnu in the ocean of ambrosia and hymnises and asks him to relate to her the eternal duties. 32-59 6-12
Chapter 2    
Duties and means of livelihood of the members of the four social orders. 1-8 12-13
Chapter 3-    
Duties of the King. 1-36 13-17
Law relating to treasure-finds. 37-17 17-21
Chapter 4-    
Measures of money penalties. 1-14 43-47
Chapter 5-    
Crimes and their penalties. 1-192 23-42
Chapter 6-    
Law relating to money debts,interests, sureties, etc... 1-43 43-47
Chapter 7-    
Different kinds of documents and their attestations, as well as deeds that are invalid in Law. 1-13 47-49
Chapter 8-    
Person who cannot be cited or held as a witnesses. 1-6 49-50
Witnesses 7-17 50-51
Demeanour of a witness and the mode of addressing, and administering oath to a witness, as well as the procedure of examining witnesses. 18-40 51-54
Chapter 9-    
Administration of oath and trials by ordeals. 1-33 54-57
Chapter 10-    
Ordeal by scale. 1-13 58-59
Chapter 11-    
Ordeal by fire. 1-12 59-61
Chapter 12-    
Ordeal by water 1-8 61-62
Chapter 13-    
Ordeal by poison 1-7 62-63
Chapter 14-    
Ordeal by sacred libation(Kosa) 1-5 63
Chapter 15-    
The twelve kinds of sons and their status and obligations. 1-31 64-66
Person disqualified from receiving shares. 32-37 66-67
Obligation of a son to offer funeral oblations. 38-43 67
Spiritual benefit accorded to a father by his son, no distinction between a son and a daughter's son 43-46 67-68
Chapter 16-    
Offspiring of hybrid marriage and their names and vocations and means of redemption. 1-18 68-70
Chapter 17-    
Division of property, Estate of childless person and women's property. 1-23 70-72
Chapter 18-    
Shares of sons of twice norn fathers by wives of differen castes, Self-acquired property. Joint-family after previous partition, etc.. 1-44 72-77
Chapter 19-    
Rules regarding the carying of dead bodies, Sudras not to carry the dead bodies of Brahmanas, and vice-versa. 1-5 77-78
Procedure subsequent to the cremation of corpse. 6-19 78-79
The spiritual superiority of Brahmanas. 20-23 79-80
The form of consolation to be given to the bereaved. 24 80
Chapter 20-    
The speech of consolation to be addressed to the bereaved, the inevitable nature of bereavements, the transitory character of human life, the spiritual benefit conferred on the manes by the performers of Sraddhas. 1-53 80-86
Chapter 21-    
Feeding Brahmanas on the day of the expiry of the periods of death-impurity. The Ekoddista monthly, yearly and Sapindakaranam Sraddhas. 1-23 87-90
Chapter 22-    
Periods of birth or death impurity in respect of the four castes and the Sapinda relationship. 1-4 90
Acts prohibited during the period of impurity and expiatory penance's for doing them. 5-23 90-92
Period of impurity in connection with an abortion of pregnancy and regarding deaths of children. Period of death impurities affecting married women, and various terms of impurity under different circumstances. 24-50 93-95
Circumstances which nullify death-impurities. 51-55 95-96
Penace's for shedding tears for a suicide, for following the corpse of a Sudra by a Brahmana etc.. 56-65 96-97
Conditions which entail bathing sipping water and other forms of purifications. 66-79 97-98
Purity or impurity of the different species of wines, the duties of a student on the death of his preceptor,etc. General purification. 80-92 98-101
Chapter 23-    
Purifications of various kinds of defined things. Things that are always pure. 47-54 101-107
Purification under special circumstances, purifications of houses,etc., the purity of a cow. 55-61 107-109
Chapter 24-    
the four wives of a Brahmana, wives of different castes holding different things in their hands in inter-marriage ceremonies. Factors which prohibit marriage. 1-41 109-112
Chapter 25-    
Duties of wives 1-17 113-114
Chapter 26-    
Status of the co-wives of a Brahmana husband of different castes. 1-7 115-116  
Chapter 27-    
The rites of Niseka, Punsavanam, Simmantonnayanam, Jatakarma, Annaprasanam and Upanayanam. 1-29 116-120  
Chapter 28-    
Duties of a Brahmacarin and the routine of his daily life and rituals. 1-53 120-125  
Chapter 29-    
Definition of acarya, Upadhyaya and Rttvik. 1-7 126-126  
Pupils who should not be taught. 8 127
Conference between the Brahmana and the goddess of Learning. 9-10 127
Chapter 30-    
The rites of Upakarman and Utsarga. 1-3 127
Day on which the study of the Vedas is prohibited and the evil which result from such studied. 4-30 127-129
A student to salute his Guru both at the commencement and close of his study and the pleasure which one's manes derives from his studying the different Vedas. 31-39 130
Sale of knowledge for money, etc. and the superiority on one's Guru to one's progenitor.. 40-47 130-131
Chapter 31-    
Gurus and one's duty to serve them. 1-9 132
Devotion to parents and preceptors and its merit. 10 133
Chapter 32-.    
Persons whom one shall respect as one's Gurus and the mode of saluting them. 1-5 133
A pupil not to touch the person of his preceptor's wife, nor to anoint her person, etc... 6 133
Mode of saluting stranger's wives, conduct towards a Guru. 7-12 134
Rules as to saluting a youthful wife of a Guru by a student who has attained the age of discretion. 13-15 134
The rule of precedence among Brahmans, Ksatriyas, Vaisya and sudras. 16-18 135
Chapter 33-    
The three enemies of man and especially of the householder, and the different kinds of sin committed by yielding to their promptings. Atipatakas, Mahapatakas, Anupatakas, Upapatakas. 1-6 135-136
Chapter 34-    
Acts which constitute Atipatakas (heinous crimes and their unatoneable nature. 1-2 136
Chapter 35-    
Acts which constitute Mahapatakas and their expiating penances. 1-6 137
Chapter 36-    
Acts which constitute Mahapatakas and their penances 1-8 138-139
Chapter 37-.    
Acts which constitute Upapatakas and their penances. 1-35 139-141
Chapter 38-.    
Crimes that lead to the loss of caste and their penances. 1-7 142
Chapter 39-.    
Acts which constitute Sankarikaranam. 1-2 142
Chapter 40-.    
Crimes which are called Apatrikaranam and their penances.. 1-2 142
Chapter 41-.    
Crimes which are called Malavaham (defiling) and their penances. 1-5 143
Chapter 42.    
Miscellaneous (prakirna) crimes and their penances. 1-2 144
Chapter 43-.    
Hells and their names. 1-23 144-145
Different classes of sinners consigned to the pangs of different hells, and tortures they suffer therein. 24-46 145-148
Chapter 44-.    
Re-incarnations of different species of beasts.. 1-45 149-152
Chapter 45-.    
Marks and congenital diseases with which sinners are born. 1-33 153-155
Chapter 46-.    
Penances- Different forms of Krccha Vratam and Santapanam. 1-25 156-158
Chapter 47-.    
Different forms of Candrayana penances. 1-10 159-160
Chapter 48-.    
Mode of cooking, protecting and consecrating the sin-expiating barley gruel. 1-22 161-163
Chapter 49-.    
Fasts, and worship of Vasudeva for the expiation of sin. 1-10 163-164
Chapter 50-.    
The Mahavratam and Govratam Penances and penances for killing various species of animals.. 1-50 165-168
Chapter 51-.    
Penances for various crimes.. 1-58 169-176
Injunction of the Sastras against wanton killing of animals life. 59-60 176
Animal sacrifices. 61-67 176-177
Praises of non-killing and the etymology of the term Mansa (Meat). 68-78 177-179
Gurus and one's duty to serve them. 1-9 132
Chapter 52-.    
Penances for Brahmanicide and thefts of several kind of gems. 1-17 180-182
Chapter 53-.    
Penances for sexual crimes (incests) etc.. 1-9 182-183
Chapter 54-.    
Liability of one associating with a sinner to do the same penance as the latter, penance's for drinking defiled water for omission to visit one's wife after her menses. For being bitten by a dog. Etc. for renouncing the study of the Vedas, for pretending excellence, for marrying before an elder brother, for receiving improper gifts and selling for bidden articles, and for attacking a Brahmana and other crime. 1-30 183-188
Virtuous men not to deal with unexpiated sinners, and person who are to do half penances. Penances, proportionate to the age of the delinquent and nature of the crime. 31-34 188
Chapter 55-.    
Penances for crimes done in secret, the sin expiating energy of the Pranava, Gayatri, and Vyahrti Mantras, the excellence of Japa-Yajnas. 1-21 189-193
Chapter 56-.    
The purifying Mantras from all the Vedas. 1-27 193-194
Chapter 57-.    
Persons who should be avoided. Gifts which may be accepted and persons from whom they may be taken. Sudras whose food a Brahmana may take. 1-16 194-196
Chapter 58-.    
The three kinds of property of a house-holder and their comparative moral worths. 1-12 197-198
Chapter 59-.    
Religious sacrifices to be made by a house-holder -The Paka-Yajnas, Darsa-paurnamasi and other sacrifices . The superiority of the order of house-holders. 1-20 198-201
Chapter 60-.    
Morning duties, rules as to urination and defecation and cleansing of the body in morning. 1-26 201-203
Chapter 61-.    
Selection of a tooth twig (brush) and the mode of using it. 1-13 203-204
Chapter 62-.    
Situations of the different Tirthas at the phalanges of different fingers and the mode of doing the rite of Acamanam. 1-9 205
Chapter 63-    
Rules of conduct. 1-51 206-209
Chapter 64-    
Baths and Tarpana rites. 1-42 209-214
Chapter 65-    
The daily rite of worship of the god Vausdeva. 1-15 214-216
Chapter 66-    
Daiva or Pitr rites not to be done with water collected at night, things ought to be offered to a deity. 1-51 206-209
Chapter 67-    
Mode of offering burnt oblations. 1-30 218-221
Hospitality to Atithis. 31-46 221-223
Chapter 68-    
Occasions on which a person ought not to eat. 1-49 224-227
Chapter 69-    
Days on which sexual intercourse is prohibited. 1-16 227-228
Chapter 70-    
Rules regarding sleep. 1-17 228-229
Chapter 71-    
Rules of conduct . 1-87 230-235
Benefit derived from observing rules of conduct 88-89 235
Chapter 72-    
Merit of controlling the Senses. 1-7 236
Chapter 73-    
Sraddha ceremony. 1-31 237-242
Chapter 74-    
Astaka Sraddhas. 1-8 242-243
Chapter 75-    
Descendants competent to do the Sraddhas of their manes. 1-8 243-244
Chapter 76-    
Occasion on which Sraddhas ought to be performed. 1-3 245
Chapter 77-    
Occasions on which Kamya Sraddhas should be offered and their merit. 1-7 245-246
Nocturnal srddhas prohibited except under the auspices of a lunar eclipse and their merit 8-9 246
Chapter 78-    
Benefit derived from performing Sraddha on different dasys of the lunar month and under to auspices of the different astral combinations and on days marked by the different asterisms.. 1-53 246-251
Chapter 79-    
Rules regarding the performance of a Sraddhas. 1-24 251-253
Chapter 80-    
Different degrees of satisfactions which the manes derive from different articles offered in the Sraddha. 1-14 254
Chapter 81-    
Sights which are objectionable while offering a Sraddhas to the manes and rules as to the distributions of leaving of Sraddha oblations. 1-23 255-257
Chapter 82-    
Persons who should not be invited on the occasion of a Sraddha ceremony. 1-30 257-258
Chapter 83-    
Panktipavanas (Brahmans who sanctify the row in which they sit down to a Sraddha repast . 1-21 259-260
Chapter 84-    
Countries in which Sraddha should not be offered. 1-4 260
Chapter 85-    
The merit of bathing in different Tirthas. 1-67 260-264
Chapter 86-    
The rite of Vrsotsarga (setting free a bull). 1-20 264-266
Chapter 87-    
The gift of a black antelope skin. 1-10 267-268
Chapter 88-    
The gift of a cow. 1-4 268
Chapter 89-    
Rules of conduct etc., to be observed during the month of Kartika (October, November). 1-4 269
Chapter 90-    
Merit of gifting different articles in the different months of the year and under the auspices of the different phases of the moon. 1-29 269-274
Chapter 91-    
Merit of endowing tanks etc. for the benefit of the public. 1-19 275-276
Chapter 92-    
Gifts and their merits. 1-32 277-280
Chapter 93-    
Proper Recipients of gifts. 1-14 280-281
Chapter 94-    
Paraphernalias of the order of forest dwelling hermits. 1-15 282-283
Chapter 95-    
Duties of a forest-dwelling hermit. 1-17 283-284
Chapter 96-    
The fourth order of asceticism, Pravrajyam. 1-97 284-292
Chapter 97-    
The mode of contemplation to be practiced by an ascetic of the fourth order. 1-21 292-295
Chapter 98-    
Hymn to Visnu by Earth. 1-100 296-299
Chapter 99-    
Earth hymnises the goddess Laksmi . 1-7 299-300
Person and things in whom the goddess, resides 1-22 300-303
Chapter 100-    
The excellence and sanctity of the Visnu Smrti. 1-4 304


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