- Smriti (from smri, to remember) is a term in the Hindu tradition used to refer to revered tex-tual sources that were composed by humans, as opposed to those that are eternal and appeared through revelation (SHRUTI).These texts were composed by men but usu-ally memorized rather than committed to writ-ing. They were considered authoritative, but less so than the shruti, or “heard,” texts such as the VEDAS, which had been received by RISHIS (seers) during divine trances.Because of the diverse nature of Hindu tradition there have been disagreements between sects as to what texts can be considered smriti. Some hold, for instance, that the BHAGAVAD GITA is shruti, divinely received, whereas others hold that it is smriti.Further reading: A. L. Basham, The Wonder That Was India (Calcutta: Rupa, 1997); Ram Kishore Gupta, Political Thought in the Smrti Literature (Allahabad: University of Allahabad, 1968); Klaus K. Klostermaier, A Survey of Hinduism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989); L. Sternback, Hindu Legends of Jus-tice: Pancatantra and Smrti (Delhi: Global Vision Pub-lishing House, 2002).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.