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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 LATER LAW - BOOKS

His motive, as has been pointed out by Madhava charya, was to dwell upon such duties of a man as are connected with, or is beneficial to, life after death. He has limited his treatise accordingly. The other lawgivers of considerable importance are Vishnu, Brihaspati and Narada. Vishnu belongs to the Black Yajur-Veda school and has been assigned to the 4th century A.D. The treatises of Narada and Brihaspati belong to the vicinity of the 6th century A.D.

Medhatithi, who is supposed to have written his commentary in the ninth century A.D., mentions Brihaspati as an inspired writer. This evidently shows his priority to 'Medhatithi and the influence of his book on the people of his times. Narada has been described as an independent writer. The rest of the lawgivers agree in substance with the more authoritative.

Madhava charya, in his commentary on Parasara, supplements the laws of the teacher by giving a fuller and more detailed description of many of the domestic rituals and the rules that governed them. His commentary enlightens us on many of the new developments and changes that took place before his time. He has been assigned to the 14th century A.D.

Beginning with the earliest of these law givers, viz., Yajnavalkya, who is considered next in importance and antiquity to Manu, we find him mentioning eight kinds of marriages prevalent in society. The name of the Prajapatya marriage is changed into Kayah and he defines it thus: 'A marriage in which a maiden is given to a soliciting person after saying "Practice religion with her " is called Kayah. 2

He disapproves of the marriage of a Brahmana with a Sudra and asserts: ' There is a saying that the twice born can get their wives from among the Sudra. I do not approve of it; for the soul itself is born there.' ' But, excepting the Sudra caste, a twice-born man can marry from other castes'. 3

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Later Law Books
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