Jimultavahana's Dayabhaga is one of the Sanskrit texts in India that "have ceased to be the fundamental source of Hindu law, and it is only in marginal contexts that for practical purposes reference to them will ever again be made in that country."' Indeed, according to Section 4 of The Hindu Succession Act, 1956:
(1) Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act,
(a) Any text, rule or interpretation of Hindu law or any custom or usage as part of that law in force immediately before the commencement of this Act shall cease to have effect with respect to any matter for which provision is made in this Act;
(b) Any other law in force immediately before the commencement of this Act shall cease to apply to Hindus in so far as it is inconsistent with any of the provisions contained in this Act.
As a result, differently from the several earlier editions and the single earlier translation of the Dayabhaga, the present translation and edition are no longer primarily aimed at those who prepare for or are engaged in the practice of Hindu law, in the courts of law in India and, until 1947, in the Privy Council in London. Its goal is academic: to present, not only to Sanskritists and Indologists but also to legal historians, a translation and a text of a Sanskrit book that, for about one century and a half, has regulated all questions of partition and inheritance for Hindus living in Bengal.
Research on this volume was supported by a translation grant of the National Endowment for the Humanities and by two short-term research grants of the American Institute of Indian Studies. I am grateful to the officers of both institutions. I am also grateful to all the friends who facilitated my work in various libraries and research institutions. In Calcutta I worked in the library of the Asiatic Society, at the National Library, and, especially in the early stages of this project, in the library of Calcutta Sanskrit College. At Sanskrit College I could not have done as much as I did, without the support and friendship of Heramba Chatterjee. For a brief period I returned to my first ever (1953-55) research base in India, the Deccan College in Pune. The Director, V. N. Mishra, and every member of staff, contributed much to making my visit to the Scriptorium of the Dictionary Department and to the Deccan College library pleasurable and fruitful. For this project, as for any earlier one, I had recourse to the unique resources in London. I read law reports in the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, worked in the-now old-reading room and Oriental Students' Room of the British Library, and, most of all, in the-now also old-reading room of the India Office Library and Records on Blackfriars Road.
I am grateful to Richard Lariviere and Patrick Olivelle for having agreed to include this volume in their series. Patrick especially was helpful in initiating me in the intricacies of preparing camera-ready copy, and in discussing several passages of the text with me. I regret that his two valuable volumes on the Dharma-sutras reached me too late fully to incorporate his materials in this study. I greatly appreciate the support I received from Madhav Deshpande, who developed the Manjushree font for Roman and the Madhushree font for devanagari scripts used in this volume.
The staff of Oxford University Press has been supportive throughout. I thank Cynthia Read, Theodore Calderara, and others with whom I did not come in direct contact. Joy Matkowski proved to be a meticulous proofreader and editor. I am especially grateful to Nancy Hoagland who graciously and patiently guided me through the final stages. I dedicate this volume to the one person without whose loving care I would not have lived to complete it.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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