कात्यायनस्मृतिसारोद्धारः - Katyayana Smriti Saroddhara or Katyayanasmrti on Vyavahara (Law and Procedure) By P.V. Kane
|Author:||V. Srinivasa Sharma|
|Publisher:||Sanskrit Academy, Osmania University|
|Language:||Sanskrit and English|
|Other Details||10.00 X 6.50 inch|
While engaged in writing a history of dharmasastra, it occurred to me several years ago that it would be a very useful and interesting thing if I called together from the several nibandhas the quotations from the dharmasutra of Sankha-likhita, that of Harita and the smrti of Katyayana (on vyavahara) and reconstructed these works. The former I published in the Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Institute at Poona (vide volumes (VII-VIII) and the latter is now offered here. Katyayana represents the high watermark of smrti literature on judicial procedure and the substantive law of inheritance, contracts & c. In the following pages about one thousand. Verses of Katyayana on vyavahara will be found collected from about a score of Sanskrit commentaries and digests and presented under appropriate topics. It is further proposed to translate these verses into English, to add explanatory and illustrative notes, to print out the provisions of the modern Indian Statue Law wherever the parallelisms are striking and to indicate the important cases wherein the texts of Katyayana have been relied on Dr. Jolly intended to publish a similar restoration of Katyayana, but did not carry out his intentions. Mr. Narayan Chandra Bandopadhyaya published about 800 verses of Katyayana at Calcutta in 1927. But he left the work incomplete in several respects. He collected passages from five works only, viz. the Dayabhaga, the Vivadaratnakara, the Smrticandrika, the Parasara-Madhaviya and the Viramitrodaya. He did not cast his net over a wide area and so his restoration is not as thorough as could be wished. Besides he did not publish a translation nor did he append explanatory notes. It is my intention to add also an introduction on the age of Katyayana and his importance in the ancient Hindu Law. In my history of Dharmasastra, which will be published in a few weeks, these topics have been dealt with (at pp. 213-221), but I propose to enter into greater details in the introduction to this work. References have been given as to each verse and important readings have been pointed out. I hope that this work on which I have spent much of my time will be found useful and suggestive to all those who are interested in the development of Hindu Law and the study of comparative jurisprudence.
The system of transliteration adopted here is that of the Bhandarkar Oriental Institute. The works consulted, the editions used and the abbreviations employed in the notes to the text are noted below.
Dharmasastra literature can be broadly three categories-the Sutra literature, the Smrti literature and the Nibandhas or law digests. Sutras are short aphorisms which usually require a commentary for the meaning to be made explicit. Dharmasutras are a part of the Vedanga called Kalpa which itself has four parts Srautasutras and Sulbasutras forming one: related pair and the Grhyasutras and Dharmasutras forming another. Works such as Baudhyanasutra and, Apastambasutra are an example of the sutra literature. Smrtis come, roughly, later in the development in of Dharmasastra, though some scholars opine that certain Smrtis like that of Manu are earlier than certain Sutras, like the Visnudharmasktra. In fact P. V. Kane in his History of Dharmasastra classifies ManuSmrti along with the Sutra period (p 545, Vol. 1, 2nd ed.). The material given in Smrti is intelligible by itself, though many Smrtis have also been explained by detailed commentaries. Smrtis are usually metrical compositions though some intervening prose is also seen occasionally. Smrtis are said to be eighteen in number, though different ancient authors quote different numbers like nineteen or twenty also (and different names). The third category called Nibandhas are compilations of the views of various ancient Sastrakras on different topics. Sutras are usually limited to the followers of a particular sakha or branch of Veda. Thus, while many Krsnayajurvedins follow the Apastambasutra, quite a few rgvedins follow the Asvalyanasutra; ManuSmrti and YajnvalkyaSmrti are followed in general rather than by a particular denomination and Nibandhas have asserted this special characteristic of Dharmasastra - namely the general applicability - as compared to the Grhyasutras etc. by compiling the views of ancient writers on different topics.
The word "Smrti" is used in two sense in Dharmasastra- first, to refer to works authored by humans, based on what they recollect from the Veda.
This is the usual sense of the word as used in works of Dharmasastra and other sastras, Thus, Vyakarana is referred to as Smrti by Bhartrhari in Vakyapadiya (1-142) and Sankara in his commentary on Brahmasutra. However in literature about Dharmasastra, especially that written in English, "Smrti" is used to refer to Smrtigranthas such as Manusmrti and Yajnavalkyasmrti.
Among the eighteen (or nineteen or twenty) Smrtis, only two are available in full - Manusmrti and Yajnavalkyasmrti. Naradasmrti has also been printed but some scholars feel that the extant text might not be the full text. A few other Smrtis have been reconstructed to different extents - from the quotations in the Nibandhas. Since the Nibandhas are both lengthy and many, quotations in all the nibandhas cover quite a wide part of the text. For instance, the printed Naradsmrti contains about a thousand verses, of which about seven hundred are quoted in the Nibandhas. This widel "coverage of the Smrtis in the Nibandhas opened the scope for reconstruction of Smrtis.
The Katyyanasmrti's reconstruction is one of the best examples of such a reconstruction, which was done in three stages. First, in 1927, Narayan Chandra Bandopadhyaya, a lecturer in History and Anthropology collected 826 verses pertaining to Vyavhara and published it as the Katyayanamatasangraha. In this work, he had collected verses from four Nibandhas - the Vivadaratnakara, Viramitrodaya, Smrticandrika and Dayabhaga, and also attached appendices of 16 verses pertaining to rajadharma from the Rajanitiprakasika, and additional material amounting to 53 verses from the Parasaradharmasamhita. Then, in 1933. P. V. Kane published Katyyanasmrtissraoddhra. This work contained 973. verses collected from 20 works. Finally in 1942, an additional 121 verses from Vyavaharanimaya, representing the so-called South Indian school. have been published by K. V. Rangaswami Aiyangar, also a Professor of Economics. Thus, we have nearly 1,100 verses from Katyayana reconstructed from 21 Nibandhas, compiled by three scholars from the East, West and South of India available in three different books.
Of the three sections of Dharmasastra-acara, prayascitta and vyavahara - only those dealing with vyavahara are reconstructed. This is so, because Katyayana is most quoted in matters pertaining to vyavahara. The fact that a verse has been quoted conveys that the verse was considered important. The reasons for importance could vary: it could be that it sets out a concept very clearly, it could be in support of a particular view (i.e. the verse captures the mainstream view), it could be because it offers something unique and so on. These very reasons are valid for a modern scholar as well. Thus, reconstructed versions capture the essence of a text. Thus it is no surprise that P. V. Kane names his reconstruction as saroddhahara - the extraction of essence [of Katyayanasmrti]. The major features of KatyayanaSmrti compared to other Smrtis are the definitions given by Katyayana, the treatment of Stridhana and judicial procedure - the last being especially important. P. V. Kane opines that "Katyayana represents the high water mark of procedure in Smrti literature".
Katyayana occupies a very prominent place among smrti writers on law and procedure. Next to Narada and Brhaspati he is cited on vyavahara more frequently than any other smrtikara in such commentaries and digests as the Mitaksara, the Smrtichandrika, the Viramitrodaya and the Vyavaharamayukha. Katyayana's work on law and procedure must have been of considerable extent. In the present work, over nine hundred quotations from Katyayana have been collected. The smrti of Narada as printed by Dr. Jolly contains 1028 verses while the quotations from Brhaspati collected and translated by the same learned scholar in the Sacred Books of the East series (vol. 33) number 697 verses. Therefore even on a very modest computation the smrti of Katyayana on law and procedure must have contained about fifteen hundred verses, if not more. This conclusion is further strengthened by a comparison of the number of quotations from Katyayana on certain selected topics of law and procedure with the number of verses devoted to the same topics in the work of Yajnavalkya and Narada and in the quotations from Brhaspati.
A few observations about the text presented would be quite appropriate here. Owing to oversight a few verses have been repeated (viz. 253 and 267, 477-78, 587-88, 471 and 641, 566 and 654, 486 and 957). In a few cases the text of Katyayana is presented in two versions (viz. 61-62, 174-175,537-538, 899-900) by the authorities consulted in reconstructing the text. About a dozen verses are somewhat obscure or difficult of explanation, as we are ignorant of their proper setting or context (eg. vv. 17, 160, 256, 309-10, 491, 541, 700, 851,932, 971). A few of the verses here presented as Katyayana's are ascribed by some authorities to other smrtikaras.
Besides these, verses 908-909 and 916 are ascribed to Devala by the Vyavaharamayukha, verses 425 426 are ascibed to Pitamaha by the Viramitrodaya and verses 485-86 to the same author by the Parasaramadhaviya, verses 402-403 are ascribed to Prajapati by the Parasaramadhaviya, verses 394-5 are ascribed to Vasistha by the Smrticandrika and several other digests and verse 404 to the same author by the Smriticandrika, verses 418-419 are ascibed to Vrddha - Manu by the Sarasvativilasa, verse 659 to the same by the Viramitrodaya and verses 818-19 to the same the by Vivadaratnakara.
Several verses quoted as Katyayana's in the digests occur in the printed Narada. The following are such verses: 73, 82, 91, 129, 169, 249, 289, 305, 321, 345, 356-357, 400-401, 437, 451, 455, 493 494, 553, 569-70, 625, 693-94, 696, 698-99, 714, 730-31, 765-66, 769, 893, 939. The corresponding verses of Narada are indicated in the notes to the Narada are indicated in the notes to the translation. A dozen verses attributed to Katyayana are found in Manu'. Besides verses 83 and 884 A occur in the Kautilya Arthsastra and verses 326 and 327 are the same as Visnu V. 186-187 and verses 463 and 716 (first-half) are the same as Yajnavalkya Pi.113 and 183(later1 half).
It is impossible to hold that verses of other authors were in all such cases ascribed to Katyayana owing to lapses of memory on the part of the authors of digests or to the careless copying of manuscripts. The fact that such early writers as Visvarupa and Jimutavahana ascribe several verses to two authors should rather induce us to hold that some verses were borrowed by Katyayana, Brhaspati and others from still earlier works which are now lost or that Katyayana bodily took some verses from his prodecessors and incorporated them in this work.
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