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Mitakshara of Vijnaneshvara

The Mitakshara of Vijnaneshvara, also known as Rijumitakshara or Pramitakshara, is a renowned commentary on the Yajnavalkyasmriti, a seminal work comprising about a thousand verses and holding significant authority in Hindu jurisprudence. Vijnaneshvara, who lived around 1100 CE, is celebrated for his expertise in the Purva Mimamsa Darshana, which he adeptly applies in interpreting the intentions and principles of Yajnavalkya's Smriti.

Despite its concise and lucid nature, the Mitakshara delves into intricate details when necessary, reflecting its depth of analysis and comprehensive understanding of legal principles. It draws from a wide array of sources, quoting approximately 80 smritis and various writers of dharmashastras. Notably, it shows a tendency to overlook the puranas, with only five of them being referenced. Other esteemed authors referenced in the Mitakshara include Vishwaroopa (circa 800 CE), Medhatithi (825-900 CE), and Dhareshvara (1000 CE), showcasing the breadth of Vijnaneshvara's scholarship.

Several commentaries have been written on the Mitakshara, among which the Subodhini by Vishveshvara Bhatta (14th century CE), Pramitakshara by Nandapandita (1580-1630 CE), and Balambhattii by Balambhatta or Balakrishna (1730-1820 CE) stand out as noteworthy contributions. Additionally, there exists another work titled Mitakshara, authored by Haradatta around 1100 CE, which serves as a commentary on the Gautama Dharmasutras.

Overall, the Mitakshara of Vijnaneshvara remains a seminal text in Hindu jurisprudence, revered for its insightful commentary and systematic interpretation of the Yajnavalkyasmriti.