Talk:When Dharmashastra Works were First Composed

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
Revision as of 00:30, 8 May 2019 by Deval Sancheti (Talk | contribs) (Created page with "When Dharmasastra works were first composed son could ’ ‘Important question is to find out when formal treatises Taittiriya began to be composed. It is not possible to giv...")

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

When Dharmasastra works were first composed son could ’ ‘Important question is to find out when formal treatises Taittiriya began to be composed. It is not possible to give a definite only sor'^'- question. The Nirukta (III. 4-5) shows that long Sutras Yiiska heated controversies had raged on various questions of ( 5a<^ieritance, such as the exclusion of daughters by sons and the rights doe/>f the appointed dauglitcr (putrika). It is very likely that these discussions had found their way in formal works and were not merely confined to the meetings of the learned. The manner in which ' Yaska writes suggests tliat he is referring to works in which certain Vedic verses had been cited in support of particular doctrines about inheritance’. It is further a remarkable thing that in connection w’ith the topic of inheritance Yaska quotes a t ense, calls it a sloka and distinguishes it from a rk. This makes it probable that works dealing with topics of ilhai nia existed eitlier composed in the sloka metre or containing slokas. Scholars like Blihler would say that the verses were part of tlie floating mass of nuicinonic verses, the existence of which he postulates without very convincing or cogent arguments in his Introduction to the Manusiiirti ( .S. B. R. vol. 25 Intro.xc). If works dealing with topics of lihiinna existed before Yelska, a high antiquity will have to be predicated for them. The high antiquity of works on dbannahislya follows from other weighty considerations. It will be .seen later on that the extant dharmasnlras of Gautama, Baudhayana and Apastamba certainly belong to the period between 600 to 300 B. C. Gautania'“ speaks of dlutniiasastras and the word dharmakistra occurs in Baudhayana also (IV. 5.^). Baudhayana speaks of a dharmapathaka (I. i. 9.). Besides Gautama quotes in numerous places the views of others in the words ‘ ityeke ’ ( e. g. II. 15, II. 58, III. I, IV. 21, VII. 23 ). He refers to Manu^’ in one place and to ‘ Acaryas ’ in several places ( III. 36, IV. i8 and 23 ). 46 33^ I Vide 8. B. E. Vol. 25, LXI (footnote) for BUbler's view refuting Roth’s opinion that the whole discussion in the Rirukta is an interpolation. words Ki. 9. 88. 47 appear to refer to students of When Dharmaiastra works were first composet Baudhiiyana mentions by name several writers on dliarma, for him. jahgliani, Katya, Kasyapa, Gautama, Maudgalya and Harita. taniba also cites the views of numerous sages such as those o^^mhita Kanva, Kautsa, Harita and others. There is a Vartika which sp.fjreya of Dharmasatra^^’. Jaimini speaks of the duties of a Jsudra as 1 ' es, down in the dlK^rmasastra>^ Patahjali shows tliat in his days dhainh.oi siitras existed and that their authority was very high, being next t(Xe the coinmandmeius of God'^. He quotes verses and dogmas iiku% have their counterparts in the dharinasutras. The foregoing dis ' CLission establishes tliat works on the (ll.utniuisdstra existed prior to Yaska or at least prior to the period 600-300 B. C. and in the 2iul century B. C. they had attained a position of supreme authority in regulating the conduct of men. In this book the whole of the extant literature on dbaniut will be dealt with as follows :■ - First come the dharinasutras, some of which like those of Apastatnba, 1 liranyaliesin and Baudhayana form part of a larger Sutra collection, while there are others like tliose of Gautama and Yasistha which do not form part of a larger collection ; some dhaniiasnlnis like that of Visnu are, in their extant form, comparatisely later in date than other siilni works; some works like those of Sank ha-Likhita and Paithinasi are known onl\ Irom quotations. Then early metrical smrtis like those of Mann and Yajhavalkya will be taken up for discussion ; then later versified smrtis like that of Narada ; there are many smrti works like those of Brhaspati and Katyayana that are know n only from quotations. I’he two epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and the Puranas also have played a great part in the development of the Dharma- sastra. The commentaries on the smrtis, such as those of Visvariipa, Medhatithi, Vijhanesvara, Apararka, Haradatta will be next passed vol. I, p. 115 and vol. II, p. 365. quotes says it ’ Higlory cf Dharmakuint in review then the digests on dharma such as the works ol Hematiri, Todararaalla, Nilakantha and others. It’s very difficult to settle the chronology of the works on JlWmasastra, particularly of the earlier ones. The present writer Jws not subscribe to the view of Max Muller ( H. A. S. L. p. 68 ) iind others that works in continuous Anustubh metre followed sutra works' 3. Our knowledge of the works of that period is so meagre that such a generalisation is most unjustifiable. Some works in the continuous sloka metre like the Manusmrti are certainly older than the Visnudharmasutra and probably as old as, if not older than, the Vasisthadharmasutra. One of the earliest extant dharmasutras, that of Baudhayana, contains long passages in the sloka metre, many of which are quotations and even Apastamba has a considerable number of verses in tiie sloka metre. This renders it highly probable that works in the sloka metre existed before them. Besides a large literature on liharwa existed in the days of Apastamba and Baudhayana which has not come down to us. In the absence of that literature it is futile to dogmatise on such a point.