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By Swami Harshananda

Smrtis are secondary scriptures which expound dharma in consonance with the Śruti or the Vedas. If the Śruti gives the general spiritual truths, the smṛtis give elaborate details pertaining to the code of conduct of an individual member of the society both at the personal and at the social level.

One of the earliest smṛtis that ranks on almost equal terms with the Manusmrti, is the Yājñavalkya Smrti. This work has two well-known commentaries :

  1. The Mitākśarā of Vijñāneśvara (12th cent. A.D.)
  2. The Bālakrīdā of Viśvarupa (9th cent. A. D.)

Being earlier than the Mitākśarā, the Bālakrīdā is a pioneering work. Its author, Viśvarupa shows a good grasp of the Purvamīmāmsā terms and logic, but seems to lean towards the advaita of Saṅkara (A. D. 788-820) where philosophical ideas are concerned.

Some scholars opine that Viśvarupa and Sureśvara, a disciple of Saṅkara, are identical. ‘Viśvarupa’ being his premonastic name.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore