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The Law Code Of Visnu : A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of the Vaisnava-Dharmasastra, Hardback Book

The Law Code Of Visnu : A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of the Vaisnava-Dharmasastra Hardback



In this first critical edition of the legal treatise of Visnu (Visnu Smrti), Olivelle locates the text geographically in Kashmir and dates it to around the seventh century CE based, among other factors, on the iconographic description of Visnu.  The text was composed by a scholar who belonged to the Kathaka Branch of the Yajur Veda and who was also an adherent of the Vaisnava Pañcaratra tradition. This is the only legal text that shows a deep
influence of the bhakti tradition. Although the Viṣṇu Smá¹›ti did not have as illustrious a life as the treatises of Manu and Yājñavalkya, we find it cited frequently in medieval legal digests. Indeed, unlike citations from other Dharmaśāstras, medieval authors regularly cite entire sections of this treatise, indicating that they were familiar with a text more or less identical to the one that has come down to us. Consisting of 100 chapters, the text is framed as a  conversation between Goddess  Earth and Viṣṇu, with Earth requesting the dharma that should govern the lives of those belonging to the four varṇas. Originally published in the Harvard Oriental Series, this Indian edition will hopefully make this important text available to a wider Indian audience of scholars and students. 




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