Smriti Literature of Vedic Tradition – Best Notes

This post is the next part of the Vedic Literature Notes in which we will cover the Smriti Literature of Vedic Tradition. In this post, we will understand – what is Vedangas? important notes on Vedangas, Smritis dharmashastras, Mahakavyas, Puranas, Upvedas, and Shad Dharshanas.

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Smriti Literature of Vedic Tradition

In the last part, we have covered the Vedic Literature (Shruti) topic thoroughly which is a part of our best History notes. Literature that was written based on human memory is called Smriti. These smritis were written between 600 BC – 600 AD and can be classified into 6 categories –

  1. Vedangas
  2. Smritis Dharmashastras
  3. Mahakavyas
  4. Puranas
  5. Upvedas
  6. Shad – Dharshanas
Important Links:
History Notes
UPSC CSE Prelims The Last five years History Solved Questions
General Studies Complete Course – Videos+Notes+Tests

Vedangas – Smriti Literature

  • Vedangas literary means the limbs of Vedas.
  • They are six in number.
  • Just like the limbs of the body, they perform various supportive and augmenting functions in the study, preservation and protection of the Vedas and Vedic traditions.
  • The six Vedangas are:
    1. Shiksha (Phonetics)
    2. Kalpa Sutras (Rituals)
    3. Vyakarana (Grammar)
    4. Nirukta (etymology)
    5. Chhanda (Metrics)
    6. Jyotisha (Astronomy)
  • These subjects were an integral and essential part of the ancient Vedic education system, aimed to promote an all-round development of the students with a better understanding of the Vedas and Vedic Practices.

Types of Vedangas and their dealings

Deals with the study of __Important Points
Shikshasounds and pronunciation associated with each syllable.“Pratishakhya” is the oldest text on phonetics.
ChhandaMastery of rhyme and meter.Chhandasutras (written by Pingal) is the famous text
Vyakarnaword and sentence structureAshtadhyayi (written by Panini) is the oldest grammar book in the world.
Niruktacomplex words and phrasesNirukta (written by Yask) is the oldest dictionary in the world
JyotishaHeavenly bodies to find auspicious time for ritualsVedanga Jyotish is the oldest Jyotisha text
Kalpaethical, moral and procedural perceptsShrauta Sutras/ Shulva Sutras deal with the sacrifices
Grhya Sutras deal with family ceremonies
Dharma Sutras deal with varnas Ashramas etc

Smritis Dharmashastras

  • These are six (6) in numbers
  • the oldest one is Manu Smriti

Mahakavyas (Epic) Smriti Literature

  • Ramayana
    • written by Valmiki
    • also known as Adi Kavya
    • the oldest Epic of the world
  • Mahabharata
    • written by Ved Vyasa
    • there is a total of 18 chapters called Parvan.
    • the longest epic of the world
    • Bhagwat Gita is extracted from Bhishma Parvan of Mahabharata.
    • Shanti Parvan is the largest Parvan of Mahabharata.

Purana Smriti Literature

  • There is a total of 18 famous Puranas.
  • Matsya Purana is the oldest Puranic text

Upavedas Smriti Literature

Upavedas or Upved is a type of Smriti literature and a type of traditional sciences or technical literature having no connection with Sruti. These are the Sastras derived from Vedas for materialistic life.

VedasUpavedasField associated
Rig VedaAyur VedaMedicine
Sama VedaGandharva VedaMusic
Yajur VedaDhanur VedaArchery
Atharva VedaArthaveda
Science of wealth
Science of Craft

Shad Darshan

Shad Darshan is also a type of Smriti Literature. 6 schools of Indian Philosophy called Shad Darshan:

DarshanaFounderBasic Text
Sankhya DarshanaKapilaSankhya Sutra
Yoga DarshanaPatanjaliYoga Sutras
Nyaya DarshanaAkshapada GautamaNyaya Sutra
Vaishesika DarshanaUluka KanadaVaishesika Sutra
Mimansa or Purva MinansaJaiminiPurva Mimansa Sutra
Vedant/ Uttara MimansaBadarayanaBrahma Sutra / vedant Sutra

Best Notes on the Vedic Age for India’s Top Government Exams

Vedic Literature (Shruti)
Complete Indian History Notes
Sources of Our Notes:
1. Vedic Heritage Portal, Government of India
2. NCERT Books
3. NIOS History Books
4. Lucent Gk Books

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who among the following wrote Sanskrit Grammar?

Panini, the first Grammarian of the Sanskrit language in India.

In which language was the ‘Shrimad Bhagwat Gita’ originally written?


The expounder of Yoga philosophy was____


Nyaya Darshan was propagated by_ 

Gautama (Akshapada Gautama)

what is Upavedas?

Upavedas or Upved is a type of Smriti literature and a type of traditional sciences or technical literature having no connection with Sruti. These are the Sastras derived from Vedas for materialistic life.

what is the definition of Purana smriti text?

Purana is a type of Smriti Literature and a type of encyclopedic text based on cosmogony, cosmology, folk tales, pilgrimages, temples, medicine, astronomy, grammar, mineralogy, humour, love stories, theology and philosophy as well as the genealogies of gods, goddesses, kings, heroes, sages and demigods.

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