Daksha Prajapathi can be the author of this Smriti as it is known by his name. The work is in 7 chapters and 220 verses. The topics dealt with are varied. Apart from Varnashrama Dharma, subject include the giving of gifts, eulogy of a good house wife, Asauca or ceremonial impurity to be observed on the death and birth of one’s family members, certain aspect of Yoga and philosophy of Advaita.
Daksha Smriti, attributed to Daksha Prajapati, stands as one of the earliest Hindu law texts and serves as a valuable source of knowledge on conduct and duty in ancient times. Mentioned in the Yajnavalkya Smriti, Daksha Smriti consists of 22 verses divided into seven chapters, offering profound insights into the social and ethical framework of Sanatana Dharma. This revered text was highly regarded, evident from its frequent citations by later commentators and digest writers of dharmashastra (codes of law). Covering a wide array of topics, Daksha Smriti addresses various aspects of human life. It delves into the conduct and responsibilities of individuals in the four stages of life prescribed in Hindu tradition. Chapter I of Daksha Smriti elucidates the four stages of life, while Chapter II presents a comprehensive daily routine for individuals of different classes. The text provides guidelines, specifying what to embrace and what to avoid, offering insights into the dos and don'ts of everyday life. It also mentions suitable penances for atoning various sins. One of the most instructive chapters, Chapter III, analyzes personal conduct in nine groups, each comprising nine items. These groups cover a range of aspects, including hospitality towards guests, acts of charity, essential duties, acts to be avoided, and matters to be kept confidential. The chapter emphasizes the significance of result-oriented gifts, non-productive gifts, and refraining from sinful acts. It also highlights things that should not be parted with. Chapter IV focuses on the duties of a wife, recognizing her role in facilitating the three objectives of life: virtue, wealth, and pleasure. Pollution and purification, essential aspects of ritual and spiritual practices, are explored in Chapter V. Chapter VI addresses personal impurities arising from births and deaths within the family. The concluding chapter, Chapter VII, provides practical guidance on yoga, meditation, and the ascetic way of life. It touches upon the dualistic and monistic tenets of Hindu philosophy, offering insights into the spiritual path. Daksha Smriti emphasizes the importance of diligent effort and fulfilling one's duty. It proclaims that wealth follows effort, action follows wealth, duty follows action, and happiness ensues from fulfilling one's duty. With the ultimate goal of attaining happiness, Daksha Smriti urges individuals to diligently perform their prescribed duties. In conclusion, Daksha Smriti stands as a revered ancient text, offering invaluable guidance on conduct, duty, and the proper way of life within the framework of Sanatana Dharma. It provides a comprehensive understanding of societal norms, personal conduct, and spiritual practices, shedding light on the rich tapestry of ancient Hindu traditions.