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Vishnu Smriti

Ancient Code of Laws and Duties Emphasizing Righteousness

Author Name :

Traditionally attributed to Sage Vishnu.

Time Period :

Estimated to have been composed between 200-500 CE.

Source when Found :

Vishnu Smriti is part of the Dharmashastra literature and has been found in ancient manuscripts and commentaries.


The Vishnu Smriti, a venerable text in Hindu literature, serves as a significant code of laws and duties for different social classes. Attributed to Lord Vishnu, this sacred Smriti emphasizes the importance of righteous conduct and provides valuable guidelines for harmonious living in ancient Indian society. In this article, we explore the origins, key themes, and enduring significance of the Vishnu Smriti, highlighting its contributions to ethical and legal frameworks in Hindu culture.


The Vishnu Smriti, one of the revered Dharmashastra texts, holds a prominent place in ancient Hindu legal and ethical literature. Ascribed to Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, this sacred Smriti offers comprehensive guidance on laws, duties, and righteous conduct for individuals belonging to different social classes. It reflects the divine wisdom and the ethical principles revered in Hindu culture.

Origins and Context:

The origins of the Vishnu Smriti can be traced back to ancient India, and its composition is believed to have occurred between the 1st and 4th centuries CE. As part of the Dharmashastra genre, it is one of the many texts dedicated to prescribing ethical and legal principles that govern human behavior.

The Vishnu Smriti emerged in the context of ancient Indian society, characterized by its adherence to dharma (righteousness) and the varna system, which divided people into four social classes: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. This Smriti aimed to provide a moral compass for individuals from different backgrounds, harmonizing their roles and responsibilities.

Key Themes and Teachings:

Laws for Different Social Classes:

The Vishnu Smriti delineates specific laws and duties for individuals belonging to different varnas (social classes). It outlines the roles and responsibilities of Brahmins (priests and scholars), Kshatriyas (warriors and rulers), Vaishyas (merchants and traders), and Shudras (laborers and servants) in society.

Righteous Conduct (Dharma):

The text emphasizes the importance of adhering to dharma (righteousness) in every aspect of life. It underscores the significance of virtuous actions, ethical behavior, and truthfulness.

Punishments and Justice:

The Vishnu Smriti prescribes appropriate punishments for various offenses and crimes, ensuring the maintenance of law and order in society.

Social Ethics and Morality:

The Smriti provides guidance on social ethics, emphasizing respect for elders, compassion, and charity as essential virtues for leading a righteous life.

Enduring Significance:

The Vishnu Smriti continues to hold enduring significance in Hindu legal and ethical thought. Its teachings provide a framework for harmonious living, emphasizing the core principles of righteousness and moral conduct.

Though some aspects of the text may reflect the social norms of its time, the Vishnu Smriti’s enduring significance lies in its ethical teachings that remain relevant across cultures and generations. The emphasis on dharma, social ethics, and justice continues to inspire individuals seeking to lead virtuous and meaningful lives.


The Vishnu Smriti, attributed to Lord Vishnu, stands as a revered code of laws and duties, emphasizing righteousness and ethical conduct for different social classes in ancient Indian society. Its teachings continue to inspire individuals and communities, providing invaluable guidance on leading righteous lives. While some aspects may be rooted in the context of its time, the core principles of dharma, justice, and moral conduct remain applicable in contemporary contexts. The Vishnu Smriti remains a timeless source of wisdom, serving as a moral compass for generations to come, and reflecting the enduring significance of Hindu ethics and cultural values.

Editor – Kaalchakra Team

[ Note – Before Concluding anything as a Finale, Please Go through Original Scriptures of Vaidik Literature Written in Sanskrit and Also with Meaning of That time of Language. Because English is a Limited language to Explaining the Deeper Knowledge of Vaidik Kaal. ]