One would assume that law schools would only restrict themselves from giving lessons on legal rights, and laws, but the Mahindra University School of Law recently organised a webinar on Dharmashastras — a collection of ancient Sanskrit texts which give the codes of conduct and moral principles (dharma) for Hindus.
The webinar on, ‘Three Factors in the formation of Dharmashastra’, was taken up by academicians, including Professor Timothy Lubin, the Jessir Ball duPont professor of religion at Washington and Lee University. Meanwhile, professor Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu, dean, School of Law, Dr Paromita Das Gupta, faculty at School of Law and the organiser of the webinar, and Dr Sehar Khwaja, faculty at School of Law also spoke during the seminar.
Prof Timothy Lubin, drew from the Upnishads to explain the grand cosmic concept of “Dharma”. He said that Dharma is the ruling power over the ruling power. “Therefore, it is the sovereignty of the law that prevails. The Dharma is the ruler of both the people and the rulers themselves. Dharma is in fact “what is right and true” and nothing is higher than Dharma,” he was quoted as saying by the university.
“Rajadharma actually corresponds to the “rule of law” which holds the basis of our constitution and reigns supreme”, says Professor Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu, Dean- School of Law, Mahindra University.
In his presentation, Prof. Timothy Lubin charted the three focal elements that were brought together in the earliest Sanskrit texts on Dharma: rules of ritual practice modelled on the older Vedic priestly rulebooks; rules for royal policy and legal procedure from the tradition that produced the Arthashastra; and customary norms, mainly those of various Brahmin male authorities but also (in principle) those of women and other groups, claim the press release from the varasity.