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Lakshmidhara Bhatta – 12th Century Hindu Lawgiver

Lakshmidhara Bhatta was a Hindu lawgiver of the 12th century CE. He was the author of the Hindu dharmashastra called Kritya Kalpataru (wish yielding palm tree of domestic rites and duties). He hailed from Mithila in North India, the second home of Hindu writers on Dharma. Son of Hridayadhara Bhatta, Lakshmidhara was the Sandhi-Vigrahika-Amatya (Minister of War and Peace) of King Govinda Chandra of Varanasi, who ascended the throne in 1115 CE.

Lakshmidhara Bhatta has presented the massive material that he had collected and digested from earlier works in his Kritya Kalpataru in fourteen classified sections, which are devoted to –

Brahmachari Kanda setting out the daily duties of a Vedic student.

Grihastha Kanda on the multifarious functions, both domestic and ritualistic of an orthodox Brahmin.

Niyatakala Kanda on the daily duties of a householder from morning to nightfall.

Shraddha Kanda on the performance of the annual rites relating to the manes.

Dana Kanda on numerous gifts which procure various benefits to the donor.

Vrata Kanda on the performance of a large choice of austerities.

Pratistha Kanda dealing with the construction of temples and installation of divine images in them for worship.

Trithaviveana Kanda on visiting holy and sacred places and bathing ghats throughout ancient India.

Prayaschitta Kanda on securing the expiation of sins.

Shuddhi Kanda on purification.

Rajadharma Kanda on royal duties and the governance of the country.

Shanti Kanda which elaborates on propitiatory rites for averting divine wrath and inauspicious planetary influences.

Moksha Kanda on cultivating a frame of mind which is conducive to salvation after life on earth.