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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 tradition of learning came to a standstill in the north, and the centre of Vedic culture, which was shifted to the south, even centuries before the Christian Era, developed there gradually under the fostering care of many powerful Hindu dynasties. The conservative Hindu society clung all the more to the old laws to preserve itself from total destruction in face of the threat of a new foreign civilization. A tremendous

attempt to adjust the old laws to the new times is to be seen and the commentators, at this juncture, had to twist the meaning of the old laws to make them effective in the new. Hence we find all the commentaries and digests contending in a scrupulous examination of terms, the scope of their application, their limitations, and on various such other details, which perhaps did not even strike the authors themselves when they framed the laws. Through the scrupulous scrutiny of the commentators the simple law became complex and unintelligible.

This prosaic period in legal literature can be described as analogous to the Brahmanical period of the Vedic age. The prosaic period that followed the glorious creative period of the Vedas saw the Brahmanas endeavoring to explain the Vedic texts, and developing ceremonies based, on these texts. The growth of these ceremonies and their complexities is tremendous, when compared to the simple rituals of the Vedas themselves.

Several schools sprang up in different localities, which often indulged in bitter controversies on certain points of disagreement, even on a trifling part of a ceremony. Innumerable instances of such divergences and controversies can be in met within the Brahmanas themselves. Similarly in this prosaic period that followed the creative period of law-codes, the commentators tried to evolve from the old laws a network of legal rules that could be suitable to the new developments.

Hence we find them often differing in regard to the meaning and scope of a single word in a verse. Though opinions diverged, they reverted to a common source. As the Rig- Veda was to the Brahmanas, so was the Mitakshara to these commentaries and digests stands in the same relation to the main schools of as the Atharva-Veda did to the Rig-Veda in the Vedic period. 

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