The Pre-colonial Tradition of the Dharmaśāstras

Nandini Bhattacharyya Panda

in Appropriation and Invention of Tradition

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780195690484
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081516 | DOI:
The Pre-colonial Tradition of the Dharmaśāstras

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This chapter focuses on certain features of the pre-colonial Dharmaśāstra tradition to explore the extent to which the colonial Hindu law embodied any element of invention. This millennium-old literary tradition constituted an often incomprehensible range of literature on diverse themes such as cosmogony, the origin of humanity, the duties of an individual, property, duties of a king or ruler, inheritance, succession, marriage, adoption, penance; and almost every issue relating to the moral, social, economic, religious, private, and community-oriented behaviour of a person. The objective was to ensure well-being not only in this life but also after death.

Keywords: Dharmaśāstra; Hindu law; colonial India; literary tradition

Chapter.  8006 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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