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 Indian
tradition quite significantly. The distinctive culture of synthesis
of our great nation has been built on the contributions made
by different races and peoples who have enriched our
civilisation. However, India is proud to have her own sons,
the great thinkers, philosophers and religion is a way of life, a
life experience, an exaltation of one’s personality into the plane
of the universal spirit, a direct awareness of the eternal values.
Various religio-philosophical developments in India
throughout the ages have amply demonstrated the fact that all
endeavours in this regard have been consistent striving for
establishing a link between the past and the present, between
tradition and modernity.
As the repositories of Hindu culture, the Vedas explain
mainly the two great objects of human life viz-dharma and
moksa enabling a person to lead a happy moral life finally
leading to attain liberation. Dharmasastras dealing with both
secular and religious laws regulate human life from the point
of view of religion and morality. Manu and other Dharma-
Sastrakaras like Narada. Yajnavalkya, Gautama, Baudhayana
and Apastamba have laid emphasis on the conservation of social
order. The society has been treated by all of them as an
integrated whole and all the Dharmasastras have dealt with the
social-cultural topics in an uniform and analytical manner.
Social customs and practices have been treated as not static
but studied by way of continuity.
Professor (Dr.) Braja Kishore Swain of Shri Jagannath
Sanskrit University trained both in traditional and modern
methods of research has been giving due attention to many
branches of Indology including his own field of research
i.e. DharmaSastra. Earlier he has successfully edited
Naradasmrti and Kalmadhava with his own sanskrit
commentary and translated Manusmrti and Niladrimahodaya
into Oriya with brief notes from well known commentaries
in relevant places. A peep into Dharmasastra and History
of Dharmasastra in a Nutshell are two of his known
contributions introducing Dharmasastra-studies with a view
to 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 were
earlier published in various All-India journals. I have gone
through most of them with pleasure and satisfaction and
found them most rewarding. Conspicuous among them
include his first article on ‘‘Smarta-Varnasrama Dharma and
the Law of Welfare’’ relating to the very aim of Hindu Social
life i.e. to accomplish happiness and welfare; ‘‘Development
of Dharmasastra in Orissa’’ highlighting Orissan
contribution to the Dharmasastra tradition; ‘‘Caste-system
vs casteism’’ where Varnadharma and Jatidharma are
discussed on a separate footing; ‘‘Indian identity: an
analysis of its anatomy’’ where stress is given more on
cultural identity than political identity; ‘‘Manu: A scientific
analysis of his socio-political philosophy’’; ‘‘Customs and
rituals in Smarta tradition’’; ‘‘Vedic concept of Dharma’’
analysing both its aspects based on rituals and
contemplation; ‘‘Role of Kalinga in the Mahabharata war’’
where Kalinga’s bravery is extolled by highlighting same
facts like (i) Kalinga had inaugurated the Mahabharata war
(ii) Kalinga had provided necessary protection to the
Kaurava-captain Bhisma and (ii1) Kalinga demonstrated her
valour, courage and loyalty till the end etc. Besides these,
two other papers 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.
It is now my pleasant duty to congratulator the author,
Professor Swain, for his significant contributions to the field
of his special interest, Dharmasastra and its present day
relevance. I have my every confidence that like his previous
publications, the present collection of papers on various
aspects of our Indian heritage will be met with great
reception it deserves. I pray Lord Jagannatha for all success
of the author and his future undertakings.
I am happy to place before the readers this present
creation DharmaSastra: A Link Between Tradition and
Modernity Containing selected articles acting like hyphens
between traditional values and man’s excursion to modernity
or the mistaken one as pointed out by some eminent
sociologists The collection is diverse, embracing not only
customer (acara), behaviour (vyavahara) and ethics
(prayascitta), but also nationality, social philosophy and
plant ecology. Some of these articles have already been
published and some new additions have been made to give
this work a concrete shape. The tradition-based articles have
been scrutinized with comparative materials dealing with
their modern ramifications. Articles related to modernity are
studied and presented here in varied types. However, the
collection presents the nature of Indian identity as it is a
burning issue at present not only in India and abroad.
Naturally it will be a great pleasure to me if the book is
welcome by the readers in its real spirit. I am grateful to Prof.
A.C. Sarangi, the Vice-Chancellor of Sri Jagannath Sanskrit
University, Puri who has very kindly written a purposeful
‘foreword’ to it. I am also thankful to M/S Chaukhamba
Sanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi for their timely effort to bring
out such a book in a nice manner.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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