By Swami Harshananda
The life of an average person was generally guided both at the individual and at the social level by the smṛtis and the dharmaśāstras. Among all the smṛtis, the most ancient and widely accepted is the Manusmrti (100 B. C.). The Manvarthamuktāvali by Kullukabhatta is widely known of all the commentaries on this work. It has been printed several times.
Kullukabhatta was the son of Bhaṭṭa-divākara and belonged to the Vārendra family of Bengal. He must have flourished sometime during the period CE 1150 -1300. This work was probably composed around CE 1250 in Kāśī. His commentary is concise, lucid and to the point. He avoids all the unnecessary discussions though he is quite critical about Medhātithi (circa CE 825-900) and Govindarāja (11th century CE). Both of them also wrote commentaries on the Smṛti of Manu.
Vivādasāgara and Aśaucasāgara are two more works, alluded to, by him, which too must have been a part of this bigger work. Kullukabhatta was an adept in the Purvamīmāmsā doctrines.
Śrāddhasāgara is another work attributed to him wherein he deals with the following topics:
- Times and places suitable for śrāddha
- Aṣtakāśrāddha which even the śudras can perform
- Details regarding intercalary months
- The yajñopavīta or the sacred thread
Perhaps this work was a part of a bigger work called Smṛtisāgara which is not available now.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore