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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

Coming next to the question of the law of partition and inheritance, we find two special Schools being developed in the commentaries on Mitakshara and Dayabhaga, the former more or less being authoritative all over India, and the latter only in Bengal. Jimutavahana gives more prominence to the actual usage's or his times than to the letter of the written law, and thus differs from the ancient authoritative digests in some respects.

Among the various points discussed by those digests, importance has been given to the right of maintenance of women. According to the rules laid down here, a claim to maintenance has been extended to 'married women who are not recognized as legitimate wives'.  his change in the scope of the rule was made to give effect to the older law, which made it compulsory on the part of men to maintain a widow, and to evade the modern law, according to which a sonless widow is recognized as an heir to her husband's property.10

All the writers of the Mitakshara School are in full agreement with this principle of inheritance. The widows and daughters of a man who has no son can never claim more than a mere maintenance. The rules of the Smrtis regarding the rights of these and other women have been restricted by them accordingly, and the wives, mothers, sisters, and the rest are eligible only for a share of the property. Where the heirs to the property of the deceased choose to remain undivided, all their female relations may claim maintenance and nothing more.

The Smrti Chandrika, too, shares the same view and asserts1l, on the strength of the Vedic text declaring the incapacity of women to inherit, that a mother has the right to maintenance only. The same author,12 basing his views on Apararka and others, explains literally the text of Yajnavalkya13, which declares that in the cases where father divides his property equally among his children, the married daughters have the right to inherit their share; but in that case they shall not take, the share themselves, but hand it over to their husbands.

The author of the Madanaratna and others share this opinion; but the author of the Viramitrodaya l4 refutes the view of the author of Smrti-Chandrika with success. He points out that the shares of the married daughters should be regarded as their Stridhana. Both the Madhaviya and the Vivadatandava are opposed to the view of the Smrti-Chandrika, The followers of the Mitakshara, however, have generally adopted the other view of Yajnavalkya. By this, a woman who already has her Stridhana can take only a part of the property equivalent to a son's share.15

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