The codification of laws in numerous areas has occurred under modern Hindu
law. However, there are still instances where codification is lacking. Hindu law
schools have played an important role in these areas.
The evolution of several commentaries and digests can be traced back to the
origins of the various schools of Hindu law. Hindu law is divided into two
- The Mitakshara School
- The Dayabhaga School
There are several sub-schools within the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law.
In this article, I will make a descriptive study of The Mitakshara School.
Origin of Mitakshara School
One of the two major Hindu law schools is Mitakshara.
Let us examine the "Smriti" in order to gain a better understanding of this
school of law. Smriti is regarded as one of the most important Hindu legal
texts. The literary meaning of the word "Smriti" is "something that has been
remembered." Smriti has a religious connection as a source of law. The Smritis'
subject matter is derived from sages' memories. The sages preserved the sacred
revelation in their memories. The sacred revelation, as the name implies, is the
revelation to humans of sacred realities and sacred notions.
Let us return to the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law and look at its etymology.
The name of the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law comes from a commentary.
Vijnaneshwara, a well-known Indian legal scholar, prepared legal work for King
Vikramaditya in the twelfth century. Mitakshara was the title of a legal work
based on "Yajnavakalya Smriti."
The Mitakshara School of Hindu Law takes its name from Vijnaneshwara's
Mitakshara commentary. Vijnaneshwara's "Mitakshara" is more than a commentary on
"the Yajnavakalya Smriti." It is a collection of several well-known Smritis. It
is also extensive, as it covers almost all aspects of Hindu law.
Mitakshara's followers belong to the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law. In India,
the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law is well-known. Except for West Bengal and
Assam, it is followed in every state in India.
The Mitakshara school of Hindu law specifies particular structures and
procedures that must be followed when deciding succession and inheritance
Let's look at each one separately:
Proximity of Relation
The Mitakshara school of Hindu Law, as an orthodox ideology school, has
emphasised and recognised the doctrine of propinquity. The term "propinquity"
can be defined as determining the order of heirs' preferences in order to
determine succession based on the magnitude of the relationship's proximity. In
addition to the "propinquity" rule, the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law
establishes a number of distinctions to be followed when deciding issues of
inheritance and succession.
Exclusion of female
Females are barred from inheriting property, according to the Mitakshara School
of Hindu law. As a result, regardless of her proximity to the property owner, a
female has no right of inheritance. This regressive gender discrimination is
frequently criticised. However, this discriminatory feature has been removed
from modern "Hindu Law." The Hindu Succession Act was amended in 2005 to give
men and women equal status.
Agnates and Cognates
Agnates take precedence over cognates in the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law. "A
person is an agnate of someone if the two are related to each other by a blood
relation or by adoption process wholly through males" and "a person is a
cognate of someone if the two are related to each other by a blood relation or
by adoption process but not wholly through males." As a result, this
succession provision is also discriminatory against women.
Privileges awarded to sons
"By birth, a son has a right in the joint family property," according to the
Mitakshara School of Hindu Law. The Mitakshara School of Hindu Law has made a
unique contribution to Hindu Law jurisprudence. A son obtains his share of
interest in a joint family property from the first moment of his existence in
the world, according to the Mitakshara School of Hindu law.
Doctrine of survivorship
The "principle of survivorship" is another Mitakshara School of Hindu Law
principle that is related to the aforementioned principle. The succession of a
joint family is determined by the magnitude of length of life among coparceners,
rather than by inheritance, according to this principle of survivorship. This
means that the inheritors of joint family property are among the coparceners,
those who live longer.
Volatility of shares
"Community of ownership" and "unity of possession" are two other important
Mitakshara School of Hindu Law principles related to joint family property
succession. According to these principles, no coparcener has a fixed share in
the respective joint family property prior to its partition. The coparceners'
interest is volatile, as it is subject to the group's potential death or birth.
There will be more divisions and decreases in shares if more sons are born. If
any of the existing coparceners die, the share of the remaining coparceners will
In addition to these Mitakshara schools of Hindu Law principles and doctrines,
the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law has several sub-schools.
Schools under the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law
Except for rural Punjab, the Benares School of Mitakshara is practised
throughout northern India. The authority of the Benares School comes from a
variety of sources. These are Viramitrodaya, Nirnayasindhu, Dattaka Mimansa,
Vivada Tandava, Subodhini, and Balam-Bhatti.
The Mithila School, which is part of the Mitakshara School of Hindu law, is
based in Tirhut and parts of northern Bihar. Vivada Ratnakar, Vivada Chintamani,
Smriti Sara or Smrityarthasara, and Madana Paruata are the main authorities of
the Mithila School of Mitakshara School of Hindu Law.
In Bombay and Gujarat, the Bombay School of Mitakshara School of Hindu Law has
its followers. Vyavhara Mayukha, Viramitrodaya, Nirnaya Sindhu, and Vivada
Tandava are the main authorities of The Bombay School of Mitakshara School of
The Mitakshara School of Hindu Law's Madras School is also known as the Dravida
School. Smriti Chandrika, Parasara Madhaviya, Saraswati Vilasa, and Vauayanti
are the main authorities of The Madras School under the Mitakshara School of
The eastern parts of Punjab are dominated by the Punjab School, which is part of
the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law. Customs is in charge of its primary
Following an examination of the Mitakshara school, it can be concluded that it
is orthodox on several grounds. Hindu law was developed with the intent of
achieving salvation rather than preventing crime. The basic sources of Hindu law
are the schools, which widened the scope, resulting in the growth and
development of Hindu law.
This was a big help in the Hindu law codification process because all of the
sources were written in Sanskrit, making it difficult to interpret in many
places, and the presence of Schools that interpreted the same made the task
easier. Currently, all types of activities in India are governed by codified
law, but because the codified law recognises the importance of good customs, it
allows certain rules to be relaxed when good custom prevails in that area.
- The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 (Act 39 of 2005), s. 3.
- The Hindu Succession Act, 1955 (Act 30 of 1956), s. 3(1)(a).
- supra note 2 at s. 3(1)(c).
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