Yajnavalkya-smriti (Vyavaharadhyaya)—Critical study

by Kalita Nabanita | 2017 | 87,413 words

This page relates ‘Position of Woman (Introduction)’ of the study on the Vyavaharadhyaya of the Yajnavalkya-smriti: one of the most prominent Smritis dealing with Dharmashastra (ancient Indian science of law), dating to the 1st century B.C. The Yajnavalkyasmriti scientifically arranges its contents in three sections: Acara (proper conduct), Vyavahara (proper law) and Prayashcitta (expiation). Vyavahara deals with judicial procedure and legal system such as substantive law and procedural law.

Chapter 3.5 - Position of Woman (Introduction)

In a society, the position of woman is significant, as they comprise the main component part of the society. Present is always outcome of past, and therefore, the position of women in earlier time may explain how it has come to be what it is. During the Vedic period, women are believed to have enjoyed glorious position, which is said to be deteriorated in the Dharmasūtras and the Dharmaśāstras.

An attempt is made here to trace out the position of women through the Vyavahārādhyāya of the Yājñavalkyasmṛti, which mainly contains the legal theory of that time. The position of an individual or a particular section of people in a legal system can be determined by the proprietary rights and status, which is again the sum total of one’s right duties and disabilities.

[a. Legal Privilege and Disabilities of women]

[b. Proprietary right of women]

[c. Strīdhana (women’s property)]

[d. Chastity as a supreme virtue of woman]

[e. Remarriage of Women]

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