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Dharmasūtra

Dharmasūtra (Skt., dharma, ‘law’ + sūtra, ‘aphorism’). Any of a class of Sanskrit prose texts concerned with law and rules of conduct (dharma). Dharmasūtras differ from dharmaśāstras in that the former consist of prose or mingled prose and verse, while the latter consist exclusively of verse. Dharmasūtras tend to be briefer than dharmaśāstras, consisting of terse sūtras or aphorisms which are seldom arranged in any systematic fashion.

Major dharmasūtras include the Gāutama-dharmasūtra, Bāudhāyana-dharmasūtra, Āpastamba-dharmasūtra, Vasiṣṭha-dharmasūtra, Viṣṇusmṛti, and Vāikhānasa-smārtasūtra.

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