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Women In The Sacred Laws
Kulapati's Preface The Author
Foreword Prologue
The Dharma Sutras Contemporary Evidence
The Manu - Samhita The Later Law-Books
Digest On Hindu Law Espirit Des Lois
Major Sections

THE COMMENTARIES AND DIGESTS ON HINDU

We have observed in almost all the earlier Smritis a close connection between funeral oblations and inheritance. In the commentaries we find the leading authorities barring women from the right of succession. The Bengal School, 29 however, took a different view and allowed women to become heirs. This admission of women to succession, and the recognition of their right to inherit, especially in the case of a widow, destroyed the connection between inheritance and funeral oblations, as widows are not entitled to the performance of Sraddha.

Balambhatta-Tika, or Lakshmidevi's commentary, contains some interesting points in this connection.30 She gives two lists of relatives, one consisting of the order of heirs and the other the order of the persons who can perform Sraddha. These two lists differ. In the first the wife comes after the son, but in the second she comes only after the brother, father and daughter's son. Balambhatta does not consider that the right to inherit coincide with the duty of offering funeral oblations. She argues in strong terms, against the assumption of such a rule. She is, how ever, a writer of the 18th century.

There are distinct differences of opinion between the Mitakshara and the, Dayabhaga schools as to the right of inheritance of women. The Dayabhaga is for the recognition of women among even the remote heirs to a property. In this respect, however, Devannabhatta, Mitra-Misra and other writers of the Mitakshara School agree with to author of the Dayabhaga. In the Smritis

we find some avowing a woman's right to succession and the others opposing it. The lawgivers who disapprove it have based their opinion on two ancient texts, which declare the general incompetence of women to inherit. The Dayabhaga upholds these texts and argues that women other than those mentioned in the Smriti texts cannot have a claim to inheritance. Jimuvahana, on the support of the Smrti texts, argues that the daughters, the widow, mother and paternal grandmother have aright of succession to the property of the paternal grandfather. The text of Yajnavalkya regarding succession 31 agrees with the above statement. By the term Got raja, occurring there, those 'born in the family' are meant, and hence the female Sapindas are excluded, as they are not born in the family.32

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Commentaries And Digests On Hindu
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