ABSTRACT

The corpus of customs (dharma-siistra) was drawn up in close connexion with the books of ritual. So far from setting forth codes which, in the European sense, have "the force of law", it defines a religious ideal of social order. It lays down duties much rather than rights-again two notions which in India are never opposed, but are enveloped in the intermediate notion of dharma. The books are drawn up like sutras, but are full of maxims in verse. They bear the names of schools or traditions, like the ritual books.