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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

WOMEN IN THE SACRED LAWS PROLOGUE

II. If The Meaning And Scope of Dharma:

Since then Dharma has played a prominent part in the life of man and woman through all these ages. It meant law in a broad sense. The shades of meaning implied by this term have changed from age to age.

In the Rig-Veda, wherever it occurs, it means "upholder" and signifies religious ordinances. In the A.V. it denotes not the religious rites but the merit acquired by the performance of such.

In the Brahmanas it refers to the whole range of religious duties. The denotation and connotation of the term have further been determined in the Upanishads.

The Dharma of a Student, i.e., Brahmacharins, the Dharma of a householder, the Dharma of a hermit and hence the entire life of a man was regulated by Dharma. The later lawgivers widened its scope and made it to cover the whole range of the obligations and duties of different castes.

The commentaries on the Smriti, which were still later productions further, interpreted the term as being five-fold in character-Varna dharma, Ashramas dharma, Varnasharama dharma, Naimittika dharma and Guna dharma.

Jaimini defines dharma as the summum bonum of life to be attained by a man through the injunction of the Vedas ; hence the performance of Vedic rites will lead one to heaven.

The Vaiseshika school adopts a Hedonistic view and avers that which leads to happiness and beatitude is Marina. To propound laws for society various schools sprang up, but they based their conclusions on Veda as the first and foremost authority.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About Prologue
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.1
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.2
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.3
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.4
You are Here! The Meaning And Scope of Dharma Pg.1
The Meaning And Scope of Dharma Pg.2
The Period Covered By Law-Books Pg.1
The Buddhist Law Pg.1
The Buddhist Law Pg.2
Law and Religion in Hindu Culture Pg.1
Law and Religion in Hindu Culture Pg.2
Law and Religion in Hindu Culture Pg.3

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