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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

The text of the Dayabhaga has Gotraja, and, as it occurs in masculine singular form, 'it precludes absolutely the notion of any female Gotraja being called to succession'.33 Kulluka, Apararka and the Mithila writers follow the version of the Dayabhaga. Vijnanesvara adopts the plural form Gotraja in his Mitakshara, and this has been adopted by the digests of Bombay, Benares and South India.34

The Smriti-Chandrika35, on the other hand, argues, on the strength of the above version, that, as the plural denotes both male and female, women can be included; but Devannabhatta clings to the old interpretation and says that, as the general incapacity of women to succession has been declared by Smrti itself, the passage of Yajnavalkya must relate only to men.

Now, coming to the, digests that allow women the right of succession, Madhava argues in the following manner: ---'The Smriti text declaring the incapacity of women to inherit relates really to their incapacity to take part in the solemn Soma sacrifice, and hence the Sruti text does not bar the right of inheritance of a woman.' This view has been adopted by Varadaraja, 36 Madhava's successor.

Both Madhava and Varadaraja are terse, in their views as to the remote relatives who can succeed to the property but they are favorable to the claims of the wives and the daughters. The opinion of the Mayukha is more favorable to the right of inheritance on the part of women than any other standard digests.

The Mitakshara gives a different interpretation of Gotraja, and includes all the blood relations who belong to the same family (Gotra) and this definition of the term, while including the wives, excludes the daughters of Gotraja, because they are transferred into a different Gotra on marriage and marriage is imperative for a girl according to the law-givers.

The daughters are included as Bandhus or relatives.' That they are considered as Bandhus under the Mitakshara is further, evident from Vijnanesvara's observations on the meaning of Sapinda, in the chapter on marriage, and from the fact that he does not say, like Jimutavahana, that Sapindaship, considered at the time of marriage, is not the same as the Sapinda- ship applicable in the law of succession'. 37

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