Published in 1810, this work was one of the key translations of texts that formed part of the law books of the Anglo-Indian civil courts under the East India Company. A successor to the orientalist and jurist Sir William Jones, Henry Thomas Colebrooke (1765-1837) had taught himself Sanskrit and became involved in studying and trying to codify Hindu law to apply it in the civil law courts where he held superior judicial positions. Here he translates two medieval texts, Jimutavahana's Dayabhaga and part of Vijnaneshwara's Mitakshara, which formalised an area of legal theory, serving as the principal guides in, respectively, Bengal and the rest of India for laws on inheritance until the Hindu Succession Act of 1956. Despite errors later identified in the translation, Colebrooke's work stands as an important scholarly undertaking, reflecting his desire to promote knowledge of Hindu law, culture and heritage throughout the English-speaking world.
Preface; Part I. Daya-bhaga of Jimuta Vahana: 1 Partition of heritage defined and explained; 2. Partition, made by a father, of property ancestral, and of his own acquisitions; 3. Partition by brothers; 4. Succession to women's property; 5. Exclusion from inheritance; 6. Effects liable or not liable, to partition; 7. Participation of sons born after a partition; 8. Allotment of a share to a coparcener returning from abroad; 9. Participation of sons by women of various tribes; 10. Participation of sons by adoption; 11. Succession to the estate of one who leaves no male issue; 12. Second partition of property after the re-union of coparceners; 13. Distribution of effects concealed; 14. Ascertainment of a contested partition; 15. Peroration; Part II. Mitacshara: 1. Definition of inheritance; 2. Right of the widow to inherit.