There are two types of Hindu Law:

  • Codified Hindu Law
  • Un-codified Hindu Law.

The codified Hindu law applies to all Hindu equally. The application of Un-codified Hindu Law depends upon the context of different schools.

  1. Hindu by Religion:

In this category two types of persons fall –

  1. a) Those who are originally Hindus, Jains, Sikhs or Buddhist by religion, and
  2. b) Those who are converts or reconverts to Hindu, Jain, Sikhs or Buddhist religion
  3. Hindu by Birth:

A child who’s both the parents were Hindus, Sikhs, Jains or Buddhists at the time of his birth, is regarded as Hindu. A person will be Hindu if at the time of his birth one of the parents were Hindu and the child is brought up as a member of the tribe, community, group or family to which Hindu parent belonged at the time of his birth.

  1. Who are not Muslims, Christians, Parsis or Jews:


  • Hindu marriage is a religious sacrament. Unlike Islamic law, it is not contract. Hindu philosophers treated Hindu marriage as a part of Achar (custom) but not a part of law (vyavahar).
  • It is believed among Hindus that every Hindu is under a religious obligation to discharge three debts– PitriRin, DevRin, and Rishi Rin.
  • Rishi Rin is discharged by getting education, DevRin is discharged by prayer and by making gift but for the discharge of PitriRin a Hindu must have his own son who is supposed to perform funeral rites and to give sacred obligations to the ancestors on their death for their salvation.
  • Marriage is also necessary among Hindus because all the religious ceremonies and rites are to be performed in the companionship of his wife otherwise they will not bear any fruits.
  • From the Rig Vedic period marriage was considered as a sacramental union. A marriage is the union of flesh with flesh and bone with bone. It is a union which is indissoluble. As long as her husband is alive, the wife is enjoined to regard him as her God; likewise, the wife is declared to be half the body of her husband (Ardhangini) who shares with him equally the fruits of all his acts, good or bad. Man is only half, not complete until he marries. The wife is the source of Dharma, Artha and Kama, and she is also the source of Moksha.

According to Manu, the daughter is given in marriage only once and she remains the wife of that person to whom she is given in marriage for her whole life.

According to Narada, there are only five conditions in which a wife could abandon her husband and remarry –

1.If the husband is lost; or

  1. dead; or
  2. has renounced the world and has become a sanyasi; or
  3. has become impotent; or
  4. has been ousted from his caste.

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