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Prajāpati Smṛti

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

The Smṛtis of Baudhāyana and Vasiṣṭha and also the commentary Mitākṣarā on the Yajñavalkya Smṛti quote several verses from a Prajāpati Smṛti. Since most of these verses are found in the extant Manusmṛti and since Manu is sometimes counted among the Prajāpatis, it is likely that the word Prajāpati Smṛti may actually refer to the Manusmṛti only.

There is a printed edition bearing the title Prajāpati Smrti containing 198 verses. However, the verses quoted in the works mentioned above do not figure in this work. The topics attributed to Prajāpati in all these works or quotations are:

  • Śrāddha[1]
  • References to some of the signs of the zodiac like Kanyā and Vṛścika
  • Aśauca[2]
  • Prāyaścittas[3]
  • Parivrājakas[4]
  • Witnesses and their reliability in disputes
  • Rights of a son-less widow to succeed to her husband’s property and also to offer śrāddha
  • Others


  1. Śrāddha means obsequal rites.
  2. Aśauca means ceremonial impurity.
  3. Prāyaścittas means expiation for sins.
  4. Parivrājakas means sanyāsins or monks.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore