The Dharmasutras are the four surviving works of the ancient Indian expert tradition on the subject of dharma, or the rules of behavior a community recognizes as binding on its members. Written in a pithy and aphoristic style and representing the culmination of a long tradition of scholarship, the Dharmasutras record intense disputes and divergent views on a wide variety of religious and social issues. These unique documents give us a glimpse of how people, especially Brahmin males, were ideally expected to live their lives within an ordered and hierarchically arranged society. In this first English translation of these documents for over a century, Patrick Olivelle uses the same lucid and elegant style of his award-winning translation of the Upanisads and incorporates the most recent scholarship on ancient Indian law, society and religion. The fresh editions of the Sanskrit texts present new manuscript material, variants recorded in medieval commentaries and legal diigests, and emendations suggested by philologists.
About the Author:
Patric Olivelle is the Chair, Department of Asian Studies and Director, Center for Asian Studies, at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is the Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Religion.