From Sanskrit, dharma means "right way of living" or "righteousness," and sutra means "sacred thread" or "code." As such, dharma sutra may be translated as "righteousness thread" or "righteousness discourse."
Dharma Sutras emerged from the traditions of the Vedas
and were a guideline, or prescription, to live rightly in Hindu society. They also discuss ethical standards and the four stages of
life, called ashramas, that a person is expected to experience.
Dharma Sutras were written in prose
with the intent they could be memorized and shared through storytelling
traditions. However, throughout time, they were eventually written in verse form, which is called