Sources of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
Hindu law, also known as the Dharma, is a set of legal principles and customs
that originated in ancient India. It is considered to be one of the oldest and
most complex legal systems in the world, and it is still practiced in some parts
of India today. Hindu law has its roots in ancient Hindu texts, including the
Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Smritis.
The Vedas are the oldest Hindu scriptures and are considered to be the source of
all knowledge. They were written between 1500 BCE and 500 BCE and are divided
into four main texts: the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda, and the
Atharvaveda. These texts contain hymns, prayers, and rituals that were used by
the ancient Hindus in their daily lives. While the Vedas do not contain specific
legal principles, they do contain ethical and moral codes that form the basis of
The Upanishads are a collection of philosophical texts that were written between
800 BCE and 500 BCE. They contain teachings on the nature of the self, the
universe, and the ultimate reality. The Upanishads also contain discussions on
ethical and moral principles that are foundational to Hindu law.
The Smritis are a collection of legal texts that were written between 200 BCE
and 1200 CE. They contain detailed rules and regulations for all aspects of
Hindu life, including marriage, inheritance, property, and criminal law. The
most important of these texts are the Manusmriti, the Yajnavalkya Smriti, and
the Narada Smriti. These texts are considered to be the primary sources of Hindu
law, and they continue to be used in India today.
In addition to these ancient texts, Hindu law has also been influenced by the
decisions of Hindu courts, known as Panchayats. These courts were traditionally
made up of five respected members of the community who would hear disputes and
make decisions based on Hindu law. While these courts are no longer officially
recognized in India, they continue to operate in some rural areas.
Another important source of Hindu law is the decisions of the Indian judiciary.
The Indian legal system is based on the common law system, which means that
judges are required to follow precedents set by higher courts. However, in cases
where there is no clear precedent, judges may turn to Hindu law to make their
In conclusion, Hindu law has its roots in ancient Hindu texts, including the
Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Smritis. These texts contain ethical and moral
codes that form the basis of Hindu law. Hindu law has also been influenced by
the decisions of Hindu courts and the Indian judiciary. While Hindu law has
evolved over the centuries, it continues to be an important part of the legal
system in India.
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