Hareet Smriti

HAREET SMRITI

Amongst all the Smritis, Hareet Smriti has a distinct significance. This Smriti comprises of seven chapters and, despite being so brief and short, it highlights the Vedic teaching in such a manner that it turns useful for the welfare of one and all. The first chapter discusses the four Varnas (castes) and stages, the second chapter discusses the analysis of the four Varnas and the stages to be reached. The third chapter discusses the duties while practicing celibacy, the fourth chapter discusses the life and duties of a householder, the fifth chapter discusses the life and duties of the one who goes to the forest for realization, the sixth chapter opines the concept of renunciation and the seventh chapter discusses the concept of Yoga.

Acharya Hareet has also explained comprehensively the duties of a Brahmin. According to him, he is a Brahmin who has knowledge of the Shruti (Veda) and Smriti (The policies delineated by the Vedas) and who adheres to all the rules thus mentioned. Such a person is an ideal person. Hareetacharya has clearly stated that a person who is absolutely contradictory to the attributes mentioned in the scriptures, is not a pure Brahmin and giving Dakshina or donation to such a person is a sin. Hareet Muni is moderately benevolent towards the Kshatriyas. He states that even if a Kshatriya protects people, it is just enough and that the Vaishya and Shudra caste are equally respectable.

Hareetacharya has explained very beautifully the amalgamation of penance and knowledge. He opines that mere penance or mere knowledge shall not accrue in anything substantial.

YATHA RATHO ASHWA HINASTU TAHASHWO RATHI HINA KARA ||
AEVAM TAPASHCHA VIDYAA CHA SANYUTAM BHESHAJAM BHAVET || 6/9
Just as a chariot without a horse is like a horse without a charioteer i.e. both are useless, similarly, only the proper co-ordination of penance and knowledge shall accrue in the welfare of all the people like the property of a medicine.

Explaining the concept of Yoga, Rishi Hareet states that one can attain god-hood by the aid of both action and knowledge. Either of them alone is not enoough. The author believes that a person can be successful if he performs all his duties properly.

DHARMASHASTRA IDAM SARVAM HAREETMUKHA NISRITAM || ADHEETYA KURUTE DHARMAM SA YAATI PARAMAM GATIM ||    6/15
That person who understands the entire Dharma Shastra (religious principles/teachings) told by Hareeta and follows the same meticulously attains salvation.

Hareet Smriti undoubtedly is playing an important role in the lives of people today. The ultimate aim of this is to enjoy material pleasure and finally attain salvation. One can see people following the policies stated by this Smriti in present times.

Due to social changes, a lot of rules and regulations have changed and have turned resistant but this also got to be acceptable.

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