In its root form smriti means “memory” or “remembrance.” In spiritual terms, it is the or memory of our soul nature — thus it also means “divine memory.”
Smriti is referred to in the Bible, which says,
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26) [ref]John 14:26, King James Version.[/ref]
It is the faint, dim memory of oneness with God that pulls the yogi towards enlightenment. As we grow spiritually, we remember that our true home is and has always been the Infinite Spirit.
Ancient Sacred Texts
During the descending arc of the yugas, mankind’s intuitive comprehension of spiritual truths starts to decline. Thus, the dissemination of these highest truths vibrationally begins to diminish. At such a time, in the remote past, these highest truths were written down as “remembered lore.”
Smriti, therefore, may also refer to the collection of spiritual treatises that were written down as poems, such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana. [ref]Autobiography of a Yogi, 1946 Edition. Chapter 10, “I Meet my Master, Sri Yukteswar”, by Paramhansa Yogananda.[/ref]
Listen to it here: