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Śruti (Skt., ‘that which is heard’). In Hinduism, sacred and eternal truth, now in the form of revelation. As the word implies, this revelation was ‘heard’ (or alternatively ‘seen’) by seers (ṛṣis) in a mythical past and transmitted orally, now by brahmans. It is completely authoritative because śruti is believed to be eternal, unmarked by human redaction, and only written down in the age of disorder. Thus it is distinguished from smṛti, ‘that which is remembered’, this latter being sacred and of divine origin, but imperfect because it is an indirect form of revelation. Śruti is synonymous with the Veda. Smṛti in its widest application includes the Vedānga, the ritual sūtras, the lawbooks, the itihāsas, the Purāṇas, and the Nītiśāstras.

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