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The Vishnu Smriti

Even were he to die with him, a kinsman is unable to follow his dead relative: all excepting his wife are forbidden to follow him on the path of Yama [the god of death]…. Of existing beings the beginning is unknown, the middle of their career is known, and the end again unknown; what reason then for you to complain? As the body of mortals undergoes the vicissitudes of infancy, youth, and old age, even so will it be transformed into another body hereafter; a sensible man is not mistaken about that. As a man puts on new clothes in this world, throwing aside those which he formerly wore, even so the self of man puts on new bodies, which are in accordance with his acts in a former life.

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The Vishnu Smriti is one of the latest books of the Dharmaśāstra tradition in Hinduism. It does not directly address the means of knowing “dharma” — that is, one’s responsibilities and duties to others. This anonymous text is notorious for advocating the controversial “sati” — or burning of a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre. Estimates of the time of composition vary widely — anywhere from 1000 to 300 BC.

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Even were he to die with him, a kinsman is unable to follow his dead relative: all excepting his wife are forbidden to follow him on the path of Yama [the god of death]…. Of existing beings the beginning is unknown, the middle of their career is known, and the end again unknown; what reason then for you to complain? As the body of mortals undergoes the vicissitudes of infancy, youth, and old age, even so will it be transformed into another body hereafter; a sensible man is not mistaken about that. As a man puts on new clothes in this world, throwing aside those which he formerly wore, even so the self of man puts on new bodies, which are in accordance with his acts in a former life.

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The Vishnu Smriti is one of the latest books of the Dharmaśāstra tradition in Hinduism. It does not directly address the means of knowing “dharma” — that is, one’s responsibilities and duties to others. This anonymous text is notorious for advocating the controversial “sati” — or burning of a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre. Estimates of the time of composition vary widely — anywhere from 1000 to 300 BC.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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