Law and the State

Ashutosh Dayal Mathur

in Medieval Hindu Law

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780195685589
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081578 | DOI:
Law and the State

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Hindu law has allowed different groups and regions to develop their own dharmas. The growth of law in India may be likened to the evolution of disciplines like grammar, poetics, etymology, and prosody. Soon, however, these sciences freed themselves from sacerdotal concerns and came to be established as independent subjects of enquiry, paying only lip service to the authority of the Vedas. The same may be said to be true of law which was an appendage to sacred literature only in the period of the sūtras. Even earlier than the earliest of the known metrical sṃrtis, the artha śāstra tradition had recognised that politics and administration were outside the domain of the sacred. The sṃrtis of Nārada, Ḅrhaspati and Kātyāyana clearly recognise law as distinct from other branches of dharma and therefore they deal exclusively with law.

Keywords: sṃrtis; Hindu law; sacred literature; sūtras; Nārada; Vedas

Chapter.  15567 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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