sūtra सूत्र

Definition: n. a short sentence or aphoristic rule, and any work or manual consisting of strings of such rules hanging together like threads (these sūtra- works form manuals of teaching in ritual, philosophy, grammar etc.: exempli gratia, 'for example' in ritual there are first the śrauta-sūtra-s, and among them the kalpa-sūtra-s, founded directly on śruti- q.v; they form a kind of rubric to Vedic ceremonial, giving concise rules for the performance of every kind of sacrifice[ ] ; other kinds of śruti- works are the gṛhya-sūtra-s and sāmayācārika- or dharma-sūtra-s id est"rules for domestic ceremonies and conventional customs", sometimes called collectively smārta-sūtra-s [as founded on smṛti-or"tradition"See smārta-]; these led to the later dharmaśāstra-s or"law-books"[ ] ; in philosophy each system has its regular text-book of aphorisms written in sūtra-s by its supposed founder[ ]; in vyākaraṇa- or grammar there are the celebrated sūtra-s of pāṇini- in eight books, which are the groundwork of a vast grammatical literature; with Buddhists, pāśupata-s etc. the term sūtra- is applied to original text books as opp. to explanatory works; with jaina-s they form part of the dṛṣṭivāda-)