Śāstras are treatises, usually ancient and authoritative treatises, in Sanskrit, on a variety of topics: Bharata’s yaśāstra on poetics, drama, music, etc.  Kauṭilya’s Arthaśāstra on politics and statecraft; jyotḥṣaśāstra on astrology; even aśvaśāstra on horses and gajaśāstra on elephants; etc. Dharmaśāstras are ancient Sanskrit treatises on the subject of dharma, one of the most central and fundamental concepts in Hinduism. Along with artha and kāma, dharma is one of the three goals (trivarga) in the life of a Hindu.

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