Smṛtis are secondary scriptures which expound dharma, in consonance with the Śruti or the Vedas. If the Śruti gives the general spiritual truths, the smṛtis give elaborate details pertaining to the code of conduct of an individual member of the society both at the personal and at the social level. One of the earliest smṛtis that ranks on almost equal terms with the Manusmṛti, is the Yājñavalkya Smṛti. This work has two well-known commentaries: the Mitākṣarā of Vijñā-neśvara (12th cent. A.D.) and the Bālakrīḍā of Viśvarūpa (9th cent. A. D.).
Being earlier than the Mitākṣarā, the Bālakrīḍā is a pioneering work. Its author, Viśvarūpa shows a good grasp of the Pūrvamīmāṁsā terms and logic, but seems to lean towards the advaita of Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820) where philosophical ideas are concerned.
Some scholars opine that Viśvarūpa and Sureśvara, a disciple of Śaṅkara, are identical, ‘Viśvarūpa’ being his premonastic name.