Schools And Sources Of Hindu Law

Hindu law is a very old law which is about 6000 years old, Hindu are the people who follow the religion of Hindu according to section 2 of the Hindu marriage act 1956 Hindu includes Buddhism, Jain, Sikhs or does not include Muslims, Jews, Parsis etch are called Hindus. According to Manu Hindu has two types of sources: an ancient sources of Hindu law and modern source of Hindu law. Let us understand one by one;

Ancient Sources of Law

(I) Shruti-

It actually implies what has been heard. The word is gotten from the root “shru” which signifies ‘to hear’. In principle, it is the essential and foremost wellspring of Hindu law and is accepted to be the language of the perfect disclosure through the sages.

The equivalent of shruti is Veda. It is gotten from the root “vid” signifying ‘to know’. The term Veda depends on the convention that they are the store of all information. There are four Vedas to be specific, Rig Veda (containing songs in Sanskrit to be presented by the main cleric), Yajurva Veda (containing recipes to be recounted by the administering minister), Sama Veda (containing refrains to be recited by soothsayers) and Atharva Veda (containing an assortment of spells and chants, stories, expectations, apotropaic charms and some theoretical psalms).

Every Veda has three sections viz. Sanhita (which comprises fundamentally of the psalms), Brahmin (discloses to us our obligations and methods for performing them) and Upanishad (containing the substance of these obligations). The shrutis incorporate the Vedas alongside their segments.

(II) Smritis-

The word Smriti is gotten from the root “smri” signifying ‘to recollect’. Customarily, Smritis contain those segments of the Shrutis which the sages overlooked in their unique structure and the thought whereby they wrote in their own language with the assistance of their memory. In this manner, the premise of the Smritis is Shrutis yet they are human works.

There are two sorts of Smritis viz. Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras. Their topic is nearly the equivalent. The thing that matters is that the Dharmasutras are written in exposition, in short adages (Sutras) and the Dharmashastras are formed in verse (Shlokas). In any case, at times, we discover Shlokas in Dharmasutras and Sutras in the Dharmashastras. From a restricted perspective, the word Smriti is utilized to mean the poetical Dharmashastras.

The quantity of Smriti essayists is practically difficult to decide however a portion of the prominent Smriti scholars counted by Yajnavalkya (sage from Mithila and a significant figure in the Upanishads) are Manu, Atri, Vishnu, Harita, Yajnavalkya, Yama, Katyayana, Brihaspati, Parashar, Vyas, Shankh, Daksha, Gautama, Shatatapa, Vasishtha, and so forth.

The principles set down in Smritis can be partitioned into three classifications viz. Achar (identifying with profound quality), Vyavahar (connoting procedural and considerable standards which the King or the State applied for settling questions in the arbitration of equity) and Prayaschit (implying the reformatory arrangement for the commission of a wrong).

(III) Digests and Commentaries-

After Shrutis came the period of pundits and summaries. Analyses (Tika or Bhashya) and Digests (Nibandhs) secured a time of over a thousand years from the seventh century to 1800 A.D. In the initial segment of the period, the greater part of the discourses was composed on the Smritis yet in the later period the works were in the idea of overviews containing a union of the different Smritis and clarifying and accommodating the different inconsistencies.

The advancement of the various schools of Hindu law has been conceivable by virtue of the various editorials that were composed by different specialists. The first wellspring of Hindu law was the equivalent of all Hindus. Be that as it may, schools of Hindu law emerged as the individuals decided to hold fast to either school for various reasons. The Dayabhaga and Mitakshara are the two significant schools of Hindu law. The Dayabhaga school of law depends on the editorials of Jimutvahana (writer of Dayabhaga which is the summary of everything being equal) and the Mitakshara depends on the critiques composed by Vijnaneswar on the Code of Yajnavalkya.

(IV) Custom-

Custom is viewed as the third wellspring of Hindu law. From the most punctual period custom (‘achara’) is viewed as the most noteworthy ‘dharma’. As characterized by the Judicial Committee custom implies a standard which is a specific family or in a specific class or area has from long use acquired the power of law.

Custom is a standard source and its position is close to the Shrutis and Smritis however use of custom beats the Smritis. It is better than composed law. There are sure attributes that should be satisfied for announcing custom to be a substantial one.

(I) The custom must be old. The specific utilization more likely than not been drilled for quite a while and acknowledged by normal assent as an overseeing rule of a specific culture.

(ii) The custom must be sure and ought to be liberated from any kind of vagueness. It should likewise be liberated from details.

(iii) The custom must be sensible and not against any current law. It must not be shameless or against any open approach and

(iv) The custom more likely than not been constantly and consistently followed for quite a while.

Indian Courts perceive three kinds of customs viz: (a) Local custom – these are customs perceived by Courts to have been pervasive in a specific district or region. (b) Class custom – these are customs that are followed up on by a specific class. Eg. There is a custom among a class of Vaishyas such that departure or surrender of the spouse by the husband revokes the marriage and the wife is allowed to wed again during the life-time of the husband. (c) Family custom – these are customs that are authoritative upon the individuals from a family. Eg. There is a custom in groups of old India that the oldest male individual from the family will acquire the homes.

Modern Sources

(i) Justice, equity and good conscience-

Every so often it may happen that a contest precedes a Court that can’t be settled by the utilization of any current principle in any of the sources accessible. Such a circumstance might be uncommon however it is conceivable on the grounds that few out of every odd sort of actuality circumstance which emerges can have a relating law administering it.

The Courts can’t decline to settle the question without law and they are under a commitment to choose such a case too. For deciding such cases, the Courts depend upon the fundamental qualities, standards and norms of Fairplay and respectability.

In wording, this is known as standards of equity, value and great inner voice. They may likewise be named as Natural law. This standard in our nation has delighted in the status of a wellspring of law since the eighteenth century when the British organization clarified that without a standard, the above rule will be applied.

(ii) Legislations-

Enactments are Acts of Parliament which have been assuming a significant job in the development of Hindu law. After India accomplished freedom, some significant parts of Hindu Law have been classified. Not many instances of significant Statutes are The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, The Hindu Succession Act, 1956, The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, and so forth.

After codification, any point managed by the systematized law is conclusive. The establishment supersedes all earlier law, regardless of whether dependent on custom or in any case except if an express sparing is accommodated in the order itself. In issues not explicitly secured by the classified law, the old printed law contains to have application.

Above are the sources of Hindu law now following are the schools of Hindu law

Basically there are two main schools of Hindu law according to manu which is as under  schools of Hindu law are mitakshara school and dayabhaga school

Mitakshara school

Mitakshara School: Mitakshara is one of the most significant schools of Hindu law. It is a running editorial of the Smriti composed by Yajnvalkya. This school is relevant in the entire piece of India with the exception of West Bengal and Assam. The Mitakshara has a wide ward. Anyway, various pieces of the nation specialize in legal matters diversely due to the distinctive standard principles followed by them.

Mitakshara is additionally isolated into five sub-schools in particular

  1. Benaras Hindu law school
  2. Mithilalaw school
  3. Maharashtra law school
  4. Punjab law school
  5. Dravida or madras law school

These law schools go under the ambit of Mitakshara graduate school. They appreciate a similar basic guideline however vary in specific conditions.

Benaras law school

This law school goes under the authority of the Mitakshara graduate school and covers Northern India including Orissa. Viramitrodaya Nirnyasindhu vivada is a portion of its significant discourses.

Mithila law school

This law school practices its clout in the regional pieces of tirhoot and north Bihar. The standards of the graduate school win in the north. The significant analyses of this school are Vivadaratnakar, Vivadachintamani, smritsara.

Maharashtra or Bombaylaw school

The Maharashtra law school has the power to practice its locale over the regional parts including Gujarat Karana and the parts where there is the Marathi language are capably spoken. The fundamental specialists of these schools are Vyavhara Mayukha, Virmitrodaya, and so forth.

Madras law school

This law school will in general spread the entire southern piece of India. It additionally practices its specialists under Mitakshara graduate school. The primary specialists of this school are Smriti Chandrika, Vaijayanti, and so on.

Punjab law school

This law school was prevalently settled in east Punjab. It had built up its own traditions and conventions. The fundamental critiques of this school are viramitrodaya and it built up customs.

Dayabhaga school

Dayabhaga school overwhelmingly won in Assam and West Bengal. This is additionally one of the most significant schools of Hindu laws. It is viewed as a summary of the main smritis. Its essential center was to manage parcel, legacy and joint family. As indicated by Kane, it was fused in the middle of 1090-1130 A.D.

Dayabhaga school was planned with the end goal of annihilating the various foolish and counterfeit standards of legacy. The prompt advantage of this new condensation is that it will in general evacuate all the deficiencies and impediments of the recently settled standards and consideration of numerous cognates in the rundown of beneficiaries, which was limited by the Mitakshara school.


It very well may be reasoned that Hindu law is viewed as the eldest and productive laws on the planet. It has been around each stage. It is around 6000 years of age. Hindu law has been built up by the individuals, not to expel any wrongdoing or offense from society yet it was set up with the goal that the individuals will tail it so as to accomplish salvation. Initially, Hindu law was set up so the need of the individuals gets satisfied. The idea was started in for the government assistance of the individuals. There is the two-overlap order of the wellsprings of the Hindu law

ancient sources

modern sources

Schools of Hindu law are viewed as the essential wellspring of Hindu law which comprised of the improvement of the Hindu law from its underlying foundations. It is otherwise called the discourses and the digestives of the smritis. These schools have broadened the extent of Hindu law and unequivocally contributed to its turn of events.

This Article is Authored by Naman Gari, 2nd Year BBA LLB Student at JIMS Greater Noida IP University.

Also Read – Who is a Hindu? State The Categories of Persons To Whom Hindu Law Applies

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