Philosophy of Life in Hindu Shastras and Smritis

The basics of the Hindu way of life have been stated in the Vedas, but its details have been worked out in the Smritis. The works like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Puranas and the Dharma Shastras all are Smritis. The word ‘Shastra’ means to ‘to govern’ and is applied to a scripture if it teaches the ways and means to attain righteous way of life.

There is a very precise and clear philosophy of life, both individual and social, behind the theme of the Smritis. According to Smritis, the manifestation of life is not same everywhere: it sleeps in dead matter, is awake in plants, moves in animals, and is self-conscious in humans. The human being is considered to be the highest expression of life, but it has to be evolved culturally and spiritually.

Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda


About drmcpanda

Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S.,M.D. Date of Birth:29.02.1948 Retd. (29.02.2008) Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa India
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11 Responses to Philosophy of Life in Hindu Shastras and Smritis

  1. I have referred the topic ‘Dynamics of Morality and Justice in the Smritis’ authored by ‘Swami Samarpanananda’ published in the monthly journal ‘Prabuddha Bharata’ in its Vol. 117, No. 8 in drafting the article ‘Philosophy of Life in Hindu Shastras and Smritis’.

  2. Philosophy of life is a very vast subject. I, as a surgeon, had no touch with this subject, on which great books have been written by eminent people through out this world and through out ages. Why was I born, is not known to me. But I should serve people with my surgical knowledge is clear to me, as long life and body permits me. The knowledge acquired by an individual during his learning phase, job which he gets to do in the society and his mental make up; all decide our role in this world. Our collective deeds then go on to decide, what type of world we are going to leave for the next generation. Individual roles are very miniscule part in this very complicated process called life.

  3. Vinod Varma says:

    We live life often considering every happenings around from personal perspective. It leads to heart burn and deep pain. That is why people often feel life is hard. In fact, life is a manifestation of divine and human life is most refined of all. Yet, power of divine within is hidden by mysterious force of illusion, just as dirty outer shell hides bright light within. The divine light shines on, unaffected by tumultuous exterior, though only a few are blessed to see it.

    “hiranmayena paatrena satyasyaapihitam mukham
    tat tvam pushannapaavrnu satyadharmaaya drstaye”

    The face of truth is covered with a golden vessel.Please uncover that, so that I can see the truth.

  4. Kedarnath Sahu says:

    Respected Sir
    Namaskar.This is a nice article.

    Through this article we realize that in ancient India the people lived very happily. The Ramayana and Mahabharata enlightened the people about their social life .At that time the people learnt the proper education from the puranas which gave them good idea for their social life.

    With Regards,
    Kedarnath Sahu
    Sohela Bargarh Odisha

  5. Prakash Padhan says:

    Yes,human being is the highest manifestation of life. In the evolution process modern man Homosapien evolved as highest manifestation.


  6. Madhusudan Mahunta says:

    Dear Sir,

    I read your article ‘Philosophy of Life in Hindu Shastras and Smritis’. Of course your collection in this regard is highly praiseworthy and appereciated by me; but I hope, what are the principles of the righteous way of life may be described in details in next article which will be useful for all.

    Thanking you,
    Madhususan Mahunta
    C.H.C.Sohela Bargarh Odisha

  7. Dr.Binod Bihari Naik says:

    Respected Sir,

    It is too difficult to minimize the feedback of the Philosophy of Life of Hindu Shastras and Smritis; still I put it in a nut-shell as follows:

    The philosophy of above pertains to a vast lesson to each individual to learn day to day activities, but human being can`t be able to well-verse or learn properly in spite of whole life devotion through it; because it is as simple as to skip & simultaneously too difficult to grasp.Moreover it is authorless and eternal. Hence inquisitive develops in mind to know more & correlates the past status to present & moulds his future life. It brings knowledge to believe in rebirth of different nature which is an unending research of mind faculty. It deals with from microcosm to macrocosm, from inanimate to animate & from introvert of self-realisation to extrovert of discovery of self expansion. In this way one spends & ends his life time & dues for blessed or cursed next life. As such I would like to enumerate though I have little knowledge about Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism. Mohemadenism, Zoroastrianism which is treasure of indispensable knowledge for welfare of humanity as a whole. All are Divine Shastras &Smritis, but philosophy in life of Hindu Shastras like Jajurveda, Rukveda, Samaveda, & Atherbaveda are extraordinary & unique; others are complementary.

    Hence I close with a Dictum as follows:
    There is one religion that is humanity,
    There is one language that is from heart.

    Thanking you,
    Your Divine Brother
    Dr.Binod Bihari Naik
    Bargarh Odisha

  8. Chandra Kumar Panda says:

    Om Shri Sai Nathaya Namah

    The article on ‘Philosophy of Life in Hindu Shastras and Smritis’ is a good caption so far the social, cultural & spiritual evolution of the human race is concerned. Indeed the human race is the supreme creature from among the living creatures of the earth; because every creature has the power to eat, work, sleep and enjoy the sexual life, but it is the human being who possesses a special power of conscience and reasoning and perhaps due to this fact now we are able to learn and know the rich heritage of our social culture which has been kept in form of the smritis treasured by the forefathers and gurus, Rusi, Muni, Santhas etc. since ages together. It is said that “East and West can never meet”. We, the Indian people are God-fearing people and in no way we should deviate the base of our culture and tradition by any means whatever the miracle of glory and achievement we may achieve in this human life. Now we are what is the outcome of the work done in our previous life (Prarabdha); so we must keep it in mind to do something for others and for mankind (According our resources and capacity) and the result be let on the hands of that creator who runs the Universe.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Chandra Kumar Panda

  9. V Nageswar Rao says:

    Dear Sir,

    Thanks a lot to make me know more about way of life, which has been mentioned in detail in Smritis rather than in Vedas as per your article. It’s also very clear from your article that ‘Puranas and Shastras are Smritis’ and there is ‘Philosophy of Life’ also behind the theme of the Smritis.

    I also compeletely agree with the sentence,”the manifestation of life is not same everywhere”; it differs in different activities, situations and individuals.

    With Regards & Nuakhai Juhar,
    Bhubaneswar Odisha

  10. Purnima Panda says:

    Pranam kaka,

    The philosophy of life itself content a lot of meaning and a vast topic to discuss. I have a little knowledge about these topic and want to know more by seeking ur guidance.

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