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The Minor Law Books (SBE33), by Julius Jolly, [1889], at


1. 1 Thus has been declared the law concerning the mutual relations between master and servant; learn now concisely the performance of agreements.

2. 2 Brahmans imbued with a knowledge of the Veda and of sacred lore, learned divines, and persons keeping a sacrificial fire, (the king) should worship, establish them there (in his kingdom), and provide a maintenance for them.

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3. Let him bestow on them houses and landed property, exempt from taxation, declaring in a written grant that the revenue is remitted.

4. They shall perform for the citizens constant, special, and voluntary rites, as well as expiatory and auspicious ones, and pass a decision in doubtful cases.

5. A compact formed among villagers, companies (of artizans), and associations is (called) an agreement; such (an agreement) must be observed both in times of distress and for acts of piety.

6. When a danger is apprehended from robbers or thieves, it is (considered as) distress common to all; in such a case, (the danger) must be repelled by all, not by one man alone whoever he may be.

7. Mutual confidence having first been established by means of (the ordeal by) sacred libation, by, a stipulation in writing, or by umpires, they shall then set about their work.

8. Enemies, dissolute, bashful, indolent, timid, avaricious, overaged or very young persons must not be chosen as intendants of affairs.

9. Honest persons, acquainted with the Vedas and with duty, able, self-controlled, sprung from noble families, and skilled in every business, shall be appointed as heads (of an association).

10. Two, three, or five persons shall be appointed as advisers of the association; their advice shall be taken by the villagers, companies (of artizans), corporations (of cohabitants), and other (fellowships).

11. 11 When a stipulation has been entered in a

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document as follows, ‘The construction of a house of assembly, of a shed for (accommodating travellers with) water, a temple, a pool, or a garden,

12. Relief to helpless or poor people, the performance of sacrificial acts, a common path, or defence, shall be undertaken by us in proportionate shares:’ that is a lawful agreement.

13. (Such an agreement) must be kept by all. He who fails (in his agreement), though able (to perform it), shall be punished by confiscation of his entire property, and by banishment from the town.

14. And for that man, whoever he may be, who falls out (with his associates), or neglects (his work), a fine is ordained amounting to six Nishkas of four Suvarnas each.

15. 15 He who injures the joint stock, or insults a Brahman acquainted with the three Vedas, or breaks the mutual agreement, shall be banished from the town.

16. 16 An acrimonious or malicious man, and one who causes dissension or does violent acts, or who is inimically disposed towards that company, association, or the king, shall be banished instantly from the town.

17. 17 The heads of families, companies (of artizans) and associations, whether inhabiting a town or a stronghold, shall censure and reprimand offenders, and forsake them.

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18. 18 Whatever is done by those (heads of an association), whether harsh or kind towards other people, must be approved of by the king as well; for they are declared to be the appointed managers (of affairs).

19. 19 Should they agree, actuated by hatred, on injuring a single member of the fellowship, the king must restrain them; and they shall be punished, if they persist in their conduct.

20. 20 When a dispute arises between the chiefs and the societies, the king shall decide it, and shall bring them back to their duty.

21. 21 Those (companions in trade) who conspire to cheat the king of the share due to him (of their profits), shall be compelled to pay eight times as much, and shall be punished if they take to flight.

22. 22 Whatever is obtained then by a man, shall belong to all in common; whether it have been obtained a sixmonth or a month ago, it shall be divided in due proportion.

23. 23 (Or) it shall be bestowed on the idiotic, the aged, the blind, to women or children, to afflicted or diseased persons, to persons having issue, or the like (worthy persons). This is an eternal law.

24. Whatever is obtained or preserved by the members of a fellowship, or spent on behalf of the

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society, or acquired through the king's favour, is common to all (members of the society).


346:1 XVII, 1-10. Ratn. pp. 177-179; Col. Dig. III, 2, 2, 6.

346:2 2-9. Vîram. pp. 423-427. The readings given in the Vîramitrodaya have been translated everywhere, except in 2, where the Ratnâkara has been followed.

347:11 11-14. Ratn. p. 181; Col. Dig. III, 2, 14; Vîram. p. 425. For kulâyanam in 13, the Vîramitrodaya reads kulâyandairodhas ka and p. 348 interprets it by 'the maintenance of a family, including its preservation in times of distress.'

348:15 Ratn. p. 183; Col. Dig. III, 2, 19.

348:16 Ratn. p. 184; Col. Dig. III, 2, 20; Vîram. p. 430.

348:17 Ratn. p. 184; Col. Dig. III, 2, 21; Vîram. p. 429; Viv. p. 110.

349:18 Ratn. p. 184; Col. Dig. III, 2, 22; Vîram. p. 429.

349:19 Ratn. p. 184; Col. Dig. III, 2, 23; Vîram. p. 429.

349:20 Ratn. p. 184; Col. Dig. III, 2, 24.

349:21 Ratn. p. 185; Col. Dig. III, 2, 27; Viv. p. 110.

349:22 Ratn. p. 186; Col. Dig. III, 2, 30; Viv. p. 116. The commentators observe that gifts obtained from a king are meant.

349:23 23, 24. Ratn. pp. 186, 187; Col. Dig. III, 2, 31; Vîram. p. 432. For prakalpitam in 24, 'what is spent,' the last two works read rinamkritam, 'what is borrowed.'

Next: XVIII. Rescission of Purchase and Sale