Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: February 2013

Janmasvatvavāda and Uparamasvatvavāda: The First Chapters on Inheritance in the Mitākṣarā and Dāyabhāga



“An…important question is whether Jīmūtavāhana who is certainly a little later than the Mitākṣarā criticizes it…All that one can advance is that it is quite within the bounds of possibility that Jīmūtavāhana criticizes the Mitākṣarā” (Kane 1930–1962: 1.326–27). Here —as on many other occasions— Kane has replaced wild speculation with sober reasoning. The fact that he places Jīmūtavāhana's activity between AD 1090 and 1130 makes the Dbhā practically contemporaneous with Vijnāneśvara's YMtā. The problem whether or not Vijnāneśvara influenced Jīmūtavāhana, and whether or not the Dbhā criticized the chapter on inheritance in the YMtā, therefore, becomes all the more important. This paper intends to contribute to solving this problem through an analysis and comparison of the introductory chapters of the Dbhā and the YMtā (section on dāyavibhāga).

One cannot help being struck by the unusual length of Vijnāneśvara's introductory remarks to the chapter on dāyavibhāga. In the Nirṇayasāgara Press edition this introduction covers 123 lines, as against 38 lines for abhyupetyaśuśrūṣā, 27 for daṇḑapāruṣya, 23 for sākṣin, 19 for prakīrṇaka, 13 for dattāpradānika and vākpāruṣya, 11 for aśauca, and 10 to 1 for the other 35 chapters. It is clear that Vijnāneśvara wanted to make an important point before actually commenting on Yājnavalkya's ślokas on inheritance. The argument develops as follows:

- definition of dāya (1.2–3);

- definition of vibhāga (1.4–5);

- the specific problem to be examined in the introduction is: kasya vibhāgaḥ? (1.6).