Dharmashastra is not just a corpus of scriptural texts. It is rather a genre, in its own right, of writings comprising prescriptive codes of righteous conduct in different spheres: whether familial, societal, ritualistic, legal, or even political. For the first time, this book offers a quintessential view of the Dharmashastra (Smrti) literature. Which today, along with its digests and commentaries, looks like a vast reservoir of literary works that have been accumulating over the centuries since their legendary beginnings with Manu. This book not only tries to show how Dharmashastra works are representative of the ancient medieval political, social and cultural milieus, but is also a painstaking attempt to gauge their influence in conditioning the Indian way of life and psyche.