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Nanda Pandita

Nanda Pandita (1580-1630 CE, also known as Vinayaka, was a prominent figure in the realm of dharmashastra literature during the 16th and 17th centuries CE. Hailing from Bidar, which is now situated in North Karnataka, he was born into a lineage of scholars, being the son of Ramapandita Devasharma and a descendant of Lakshmidhara. Although he likely spent most of his life in Kashi (Varanasi), he garnered patronage from wealthy individuals across various regions of India, such as Paramananda of the Sahagila family, Harivamshavarma of the Mahendra family, and Keshavanayaka of Madhura.

Among his numerous works, the Dattaka Mimamsa stands out as his most renowned creation. Notably, this text gained recognition even among British colonial rulers in India, who referenced it as an authoritative source when resolving Hindu family disputes. Nandapandita authored thirteen works in total, with several notable mentions including the Vidvanmanohara on Parasharasmriti, Pramitakshara (a commentary on Vijnaneshvara's Mitakshara), Shraddhakalpalata, Smritisindhu, and its summary Tattvamuktavali. Additionally, his commentary on the Dattaka Mimamsa further illustrates his depth of understanding in this domain.

While Nandapandita generally adhered to the principles outlined in Mitakshara, a significant commentary on Hindu law attributed to Vijnaneshvara from the 12th century CE, he occasionally presented contrasting perspectives, particularly concerning matters of succession and other legal intricacies. His contributions enriched the landscape of dharmashastra scholarship, leaving a lasting impact on legal discourse in Hindu society.