Mahindra University School of Law organized a webinar on the “Three Factors in the formation of Dharmashastra” by the leading academician in the field, Professor Timothy Lubin, the Jessir Ball duPont Professor of Religion at Washington and Lee University. Professor Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu, Dean, School of Law, Dr. Paromita Das Gupta, Faculty at School of Law and the organizer of the webinar, and Dr. Sehar Khwaja, Faculty at School of Law also spoke during the seminar.
Prof. Timothy Lubin, drew from the Upnishads to explain the grand cosmic concept of “Dharma”: Dharma is the ruling power over the ruling power(Dharmam Kshatrasya Kshatram). Therefore, it is the sovereignty of the law that prevails. The Dharma is the ruler of both the people and the rulers themselves. Dharma is in fact “what is right and true” and nothing is higher than Dharma.
“We are happy to have an academician of Prof. Timothy Lubin stature amidst us. His lecture underlined the fact that religion preaches Dharma, which is the supreme law that prevails. Rajadharma actually corresponds to the “rule of law” which holds the basis of our constitution and reigns supreme”, says Professor Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu, Dean- School of Law, Mahindra University.
Professor Timothy Lubin, an authority on religion and law, is associated with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi and the French Institute of Pondicherry. He has earlier taught at Harvard University and University of Virginia. He is a continuous researcher in Dharmashastra and their relationship to practices discernible in inscription, working with sources in Sanskrit, Prakrit, Old Javanese and Old Tamil.
In his fascinating presentation, Prof. Timothy Lubin charted the three focal elements that were brought together in the earliest Sanskrit texts on Dharma: rules of ritual practice modelled on the older Vedic priestly rulebooks; rules for royal policy and legal procedure from the tradition that produced the Arthashastra; and customary norms, mainly those of various Brahmin male authorities but also (in principle) those of women and other groups.