This book contains many a serious topic on Dharmasastra. Conspicuous among them is on Smartavarnasrama Dharma and the law of welfare relating to the very aim of Hindu social life. Another interesting topic is related to development of Dharmasastra highlighting Orissan contribution to the Dharmasastra tradition. Caste-system Vs casteism is a theme where varnadharma and jatidharma are discussed. A serious researcher would not be disappointed if he goes through the topic ''Indian Identity : An analysis of its anatomy'' where stress is given more on Cultural identity than political identity. ''Socio-political philosophy of Manu'' is of many sided significance which basically supports customs and rituals in smarta tradition. Besides these, two other articles viz. ''Lokatantra in Mahabharata and its present day relevance'' and ''Significance of Lokacara'' are discussed with a comparative approach made by different law makers who have established the necessary link between the two seemingly different aspects, tradition and modernity. In a nutshell this book is a significant contribution to the field of Dharmasastra and its present day relevance.
Professor Dr. Braja Kishore Swain teaches Dharmasastra in Sri Jagnnath Sanskrit University, Sri Vihar, Puri for more than two decades. He is credited with the authorship of twenty two books and forty research papers published in National and International Journals. At present Prof. Swain serves Sri Jagannath Sanskrit University as Professor of Dharmasastra and Directo, Centre of Advanced Research in Sanskrit. Under his able editorship reputed Journals like Puri Orientalist, Sri Jagannath Sanskrit University Journal of Indology (Sri Jagannatha Jyoti) and Digdarsini (Quarterly Sanskrit Journal) are being published.
The Cultural heritage of the mankind owes to our Indiantradition quite significantly. The distinctive culture of synthesisof our great nation has been built on the contributions madeby different races and peoples who have enriched ourcivilisation. However, India is proud to have her own sons,the great thinkers, philosophers and religion is a way of life, alife experience, an exaltation of one’s personality into the planeof the universal spirit, a direct awareness of the eternal values.Various religio-philosophical developments in Indiathroughout the ages have amply demonstrated the fact that allendeavours in this regard have been consistent striving forestablishing a link between the past and the present, betweentradition and modernity.
As the repositories of Hindu culture, the Vedas explainmainly the two great objects of human life viz-dharma andmoksa enabling a person to lead a happy moral life finallyleading to attain liberation. Dharmasastras dealing with bothsecular and religious laws regulate human life from the pointof view of religion and morality. Manu and other Dharma-Sastrakaras like Narada. Yajnavalkya, Gautama, Baudhayanaand Apastamba have laid emphasis on the conservation of socialorder. The society has been treated by all of them as anintegrated whole and all the Dharmasastras have dealt with thesocial-cultural topics in an uniform and analytical manner.Social customs and practices have been treated as not staticbut studied by way of continuity.
Professor (Dr.) Braja Kishore Swain of Shri JagannathSanskrit University trained both in traditional and modernmethods of research has been giving due attention to manybranches of Indology including his own field of researchi.e. DharmaSastra. Earlier he has successfully editedNaradasmrti and Kalmadhava with his own sanskritcommentary and translated Manusmrti and Niladrimahodayainto Oriya with brief notes from well known commentariesin relevant places. A peep into Dharmasastra and Historyof Dharmasastra in a Nutshell are two of his knowncontributions introducing Dharmasastra-studies with a viewto popularising them in the English-knowing world.
Here in this anthology of papers written in English Prof.Swain’s studies are on Dharmasastra, most of which wereearlier published in various All-India journals. I have gonethrough most of them with pleasure and satisfaction andfound them most rewarding. Conspicuous among theminclude his first article on ‘‘Smarta-Varnasrama Dharma andthe Law of Welfare’’ relating to the very aim of Hindu Sociallife i.e. to accomplish happiness and welfare; ‘‘Developmentof Dharmasastra in Orissa’’ highlighting Orissancontribution to the Dharmasastra tradition; ‘‘Caste-systemvs casteism’’ where Varnadharma and Jatidharma arediscussed on a separate footing; ‘‘Indian identity: ananalysis of its anatomy’’ where stress is given more oncultural identity than political identity; ‘‘Manu: A scientificanalysis of his socio-political philosophy’’; ‘‘Customs andrituals in Smarta tradition’’; ‘‘Vedic concept of Dharma’’analysing both its aspects based on rituals andcontemplation; ‘‘Role of Kalinga in the Mahabharata war’’where Kalinga’s bravery is extolled by highlighting samefacts like (i) Kalinga had inaugurated the Mahabharata war(ii) Kalinga had provided necessary protection to theKaurava-captain Bhisma and (ii1) Kalinga demonstrated hervalour, courage and loyalty till the end etc. Besides these,two other papers viz. ‘‘Lokatantra in Mahabharata and itspresent day relevance’’ and ‘‘Significance of Lokacara’’are discussed with a comparative approach made by differentlaw makers who have established the necessary link betweenthe two seemingly different aspects, tradition and modernity.
It is now my pleasant duty to congratulator the author,Professor Swain, for his significant contributions to the fieldof his special interest, Dharmasastra and its present dayrelevance. I have my every confidence that like his previouspublications, the present collection of papers on variousaspects of our Indian heritage will be met with greatreception it deserves. I pray Lord Jagannatha for all successof the author and his future undertakings.
I am happy to place before the readers this presentcreation DharmaSastra: A Link Between Tradition andModernity Containing selected articles acting like hyphensbetween traditional values and man’s excursion to modernityor the mistaken one as pointed out by some eminentsociologists The collection is diverse, embracing not onlycustomer (acara), behaviour (vyavahara) and ethics(prayascitta), but also nationality, social philosophy andplant ecology. Some of these articles have already beenpublished and some new additions have been made to givethis work a concrete shape. The tradition-based articles havebeen scrutinized with comparative materials dealing withtheir modern ramifications. Articles related to modernity arestudied and presented here in varied types. However, thecollection presents the nature of Indian identity as it is aburning issue at present not only in India and abroad.
Naturally it will be a great pleasure to me if the book iswelcome by the readers in its real spirit. I am grateful to Prof.A.C. Sarangi, the Vice-Chancellor of Sri Jagannath SanskritUniversity, Puri who has very kindly written a purposeful‘foreword’ to it. I am also thankful to M/S ChaukhambaSanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi for their timely effort to bringout such a book in a nice manner.
**Contents and Sample Pages**