Titles of law: Vyavahārapada

Mark McClish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The term vyavahārapada has two related meanings: “a matter under dispute” and “an area of litigation,” sometimes rendered as a “title of law.” In the dharma tradition, the vyavahārapadas are the categories of private transactions that can be litigated in royal courts. They pertain to disputes initiated by private parties and are, to that extent, distinct from rules the king might enforce on his own prerogative. This chapter explores the development of the vyavahārapadas, including their origin in the nīti statecraft tradition and appropriation by the early dharma texts. It also explores the manner in which the legal authority of the rules comprising the vyavahārapadas was transformed in the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford History of Hinduism
Subtitle of host publicationHindu Law A New History of Dharmasastra
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780198702603
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Dispute
  • Lawsuit
  • Legal authority
  • Litigation
  • Titles of law
  • Vyavahārapada

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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