Yajnavalkya-smriti (Vyavaharadhyaya)—Critical study

by Kalita Nabanita | 2017 | 87,413 words

This page relates ‘Social Issues (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 3.6 - Social Issues (Introduction)

The Vyavahārādhyāya of the Yājñavalkyasmṛti contains rule regarding certain social issues that have persisted down to fairly modern times. The stand of the author, on these social issues is important, as it bears information of the then contemporary society, and reflects both traditional view and legal status. It may help to gather a picture of the ancient Indian society, whether it was static or transforming gradually. From these points of view, the following social issues are significant to deserve mention.

[a. Prostitute and Concubine]

[b. The practice of Niyoga]

[c. Slavery in India]

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