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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

Some of the works based on the Mitakshara give a place to a stepmother in the claim to a share of the property placing her on a par with the mother. But some others make a further distinction between step- mothers, i.e., and the stepmothers that have sons and, those that have none. The former can claim a son's share, but the latter can have a maintenance only.16 The Viramitrodaya,17 Vivadatandava, and Vaijayanti!

Are adherents of the above rule, whereas Balambhatta and Mitra-Misra argue on the strength of the occurrence of the word Mata in the text of the Mitakshara that the stepmothers are included among 'Mothers.' There is difference of opinion in deter- mining the fourth share of the property ordained for a daughter. The fourth share has been defined as a part of the property sufficient to meet the expenses of the marriage of the daughter. This view of the term does not meet with the approval of the Mitakshara and Medhatithi's Manu-bhashya.

 The other commentaries on Manu, the Mayukha,18 Viramitrodaya, 19 Vivadatandava, Madanaparijata and Vaijayanti 20 have opposed and combated this view. The Smriti Chandrika, probably in accord with Medhatithi, declares that the fourth share can be taken by the daughter for the purpose of her wedding and for nothing else. She cannot claim it as inheritance. Hence it seems to be a compromise reached by the author between these two extreme views.

There is again a further discussion as to the meaning and scope of this 'fourth share'. The term is ambiguous, and several explanations have been given; it may mean ' a part of the whole, a part of a son's share, or apart of what a daughter would have taken, had she been a son.' The commentators do not come to any definite conclusion on this point, and leave it nebulous.

The Bengal school, however, is more favorable to women and declares that they can claim a share in the property in certain cases.21 The extreme importance attached to a son, based on the eschatological idea of procuring the welfare of the departed in the next world, has made the earlier lawgivers accept as a member of society and family any kind of son, legitimate or illegitimate.

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