Showing posts with label Achara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Achara. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Are The Yajnavalkya?


Yajnavalkya or "remembered" writings, a genre of literature that is significant but not as authoritative as the shrutis, or "heard" scriptures.

This smrti is attributed to the sage Yajnavalkya and is an example of a Dharma Shastra, which were texts that prescribed principles for proper human conduct and ideal social life.

Unlike the Dharma Sutras, which are attributed to identifiable individuals, the Dharma Shastras are usually attributed to mythic sages in order to strengthen the authority of these texts.

There are around a thousand verses in the existing text, split into parts on religious custom (achara), justice administration (vyavahara), and expiation (prayashchitta).

The Yajnavalkya Smrti was the subject of numerous commentaries, one of which, the Mitakshara, was given the status of a legal code for the greater part of India during the British empire.

Estimates on its date of composition range from the first to the sixth century, but it is clearly later than the Manu Smrti because some parts of the middle section are far more developed.

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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Achara?

Achara is appropriate or authorized conduct as defined by customary law as found in the dharma canon. 

The dharma believes that society is made up of several social groupings known as jatis, which are typically defined (and organized hierarchically) by their hereditary profession. 

  • Each jati had its own set of rules for proper conduct, and there were frequently significant variations between them. 
  • Lower-status jatis, for example, were frequently allowed to eat meat and drink wine, while higher-status groups were prohibited from doing so. 

Aside from the usual norms of one's social group or subgroup, age and gender factors influence what constitutes acceptable conduct for a certain person: 

  • A young, sexually active woman would face much more limitations than a postmenopausal woman, since any sexual scandal (or even the suggestion of one) might jeopardize her chances of finding a suitable marriage or giving birth to an illegitimate child.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.