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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 late Dr. G. D. Banerjee in his 'Hindu Law of Marriage and Stridhana'45 has elaborately discussed the scope of this Adhyavahanika ,Stridhana and showed how the different versions have materially affected the scope of Stridhana. The reading-of the Mitakshara is adopted by the Smrtichandrika, Sarasvativilasa, Mayukha, Madanaparijata, Viramitrodaya, Vivadatandava, Vaijayanti, Balambhattatika and Apararka's commentary on Yajnavalkya.

But the Bengal46 and Mithila schools have adopted the 'original reading'. This difference in the reading of the texts has affected Stridhana in the following manner: in the former case gifts to a woman at the bridal procession, by whomsoever made, whether relatives or strangers, come under the category of Stridhana, while according to the latter, it includes only gifts to a woman from the family of her parents.47

We thus see that in the age of the commentary the word Stridhana, though it originally meant the entire property of woman, became an ambiguous term through the close scrutiny of the commentators and the variations of the texts. The Bengal school took their stand on the text of Katyayana and defined Stridhana as that property of hers which a woman may give, sell or use independently of her husband's control. Jimutavahana borrowed this definition of Stridhana from earlier commentators, and he has based his theory on the texts of Apararka and the Smrti-Chandrika.

According to the view of Vijnanesvara the term means simply 'Woman's estate,' i.e. property of any description belonging to a woman. In the earlier part of the Mitakshara 48 the term Stridhana is used with reference to the whole property of a woman, and Vijnanesvara considers the two texts of Yajnavalkya 49 as supplementary. Kamalakara, in his Vivadatandava, in the section on Stridhana, adds, after quoting Yajnavalkya definition of Stridhana, the following: 'as indicated by the use of the world Adi, acquisitions made by inheritance, purchase, acceptance and so on are also included in this definition'. 50

Balambhatta censures the reading of the Eastern law-givers. Nandapandita, in his Vaijayanti, expressly includes all other acquisitions of a woman in the term Stridhana, and, interestingly enough, he deduces this doctrine from Vishnu's definition of Stridhana and not from Yajnavalkya definition, though it agrees in substance with that of Yajnavalkya, the only difference being in the substitution of Iti for Adya in the termination.51

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