Hindu law is the most ancient law in the world. It was created to satisfy every need and welfare of the people. The sources of the concept for the Hindu law are Shruti, Smriti, customs, commentaries and digests. There are two types of modern Hindu law codified law and uncodified law. The concepts of schools of Hindu law don’t exist in codified law but it exists in uncodified law. Vedas and Smritis are the forms of sources in which, many scholars all around India wrote commentaries which later became the basis for schools of Hindu law. The two major types of schools of Hindu law are:


These are the two important sources of Hindu law.


Mitakshara means a brief compendium. The legislators of each state interpreted ancient texts in the light of the present requirements of that time and the code enacted could be enforced by the sovereign authorities. The term school is of a later origin and is divided into five sub-schools. The 5 sub-schools are:

  1. The Banaras school
  2. The Mithila school
  3. The Dravida or Madras school
  4. The Bombay or Maharashtra school
  5. The Punjab school

The Banaras school comes under the authority of the Mitakshara school and covers northern Indian including Orissa and the central province but doesn’t include Punjab. It is also known as the most orthodox school.

The Mithila school exercises its authority in the territorial parts of tirhool and north Bihar. The major commentaries of this school are vivadaratnakar, vivadachinamani smritsara.

The Dravida school or madras school tends to over the whole southern part of India. It also exercises its authority under Mitakshara school. The main authorities of this school are smrithi Chandrika, vaijayanti etc.

The Bombay or Maharashtra school is also called the most liberal of all schools. It covers entire western India including the island of Bombay, Gujarat, northern Konkan and berar.

The Punjab school has predominantly established in east Punjab, it had established its own automs and traditions. The main commentaries of this school are virmitrodaya and its established customs.


Dayabhaga was written by Jimutavahana. It is not a commentary on any specific work but it is a digest of all the codes. It was just a part of a large work titled “Dharamaratna” and it’s a valuable work on the laws of inheritance succession. The new digest benefit was it remover all the short comings and limitations of the previously established principles and inclusion of many cognates in the list of heirs which are restricted by the Mitakshara School. In this school various other commentaries are:

  1. Dayatatya
  2. Dayakram-sangrah
  3. Virmitrodaya
  4. Dattaka chandrika.


Under this article, we have mentioned different schools and sub-schools of Hindu law. The main schools are Mitakshara and Dayabhaga they have been divided into sub-schools such as Banaras school, Punjab school Maharashtra school Mithila school and Dravida school. They have been discussed above in detail. These schools are the sources of Hindu law and an important part of Hindu religion to practice their customs.

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