From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Swami Harshananda
Śāstra literally means ‘a treatise that commands and protects’.
Etymologically speaking, the word refers to any treatise that gives a command and protects the person who obeys it. In general, it can be applied to any systematically composed work dealing with any subject that is useful to the human beings.
Śāstra as per Mīmānsā and Vedānta Systems
According to Mīmānsā and Vedānta, a śāstra must have four aspects that help in binding it into a single integrated whole.
It is very noteworthy that every ancient śāstra claims to have originated from God Himself.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore