Vaidyanatha Diksitiyam - Hindu Dharma

Each region follows its own Nibhandhana. In the North, it is the one authored by Kasinatha Upadhyaya. In Maharastra, it is the Mitaksara. Nirnayasindhu by Kamalakara Bhatta is also accepted as an authority there. Sadachara Smruti or Hymns of Pious Living is a short work by Sri Madhvacharya. Vaidyanatha Diksitiyam by Vaidyanatha Diksita is followed in Tamilnadu. These are the important authorities for householders. Sannyasins follow Visvesvara Samhita. In Tamil Nadu the Dharmasastra means the Vaidyanatha-Diksitiyam. This Nibandhana has been translated into Tamil also.

Vaidyanatha Diksita's own name for his work is Smrti-Muktaphala-Nibhandana-Grantha. Very little is known about the author of this extremely useful book. Diksita must have lived some three hundred years ago; he belonged to Kandiramanikkam, near Nacciyarkoil (in Tanjavur district). It must be noted that he himself practised the dharmas he had dealt with in his nibhandana and he is also believed to have performed big sacrifices.

Vaidyanatha-Diksitiyam is considered superior to similar works by Medhatithi, Vijnesvara, Hemadri and so on. Vaidyanatha-Diksitiyam contain six parts. (i) Varnasramadharma Kanda, (ii) Aahnika Kanda, (iii) Asoucha Kanda (iv) Srartha kanda, (v) Prayachitta Kanda and (vi) Thithinrnaya kanda.

Diksitiyam is the last among the Nibhandanas. In the preparation of this work Vaidyanatha Diksita had the advantage of making a comparative study of all the previous works on Dharmasastra. Before it, the authority followed it to some extent in the South was the Nibhandana of Tozhappar. Vaisnavas and Smartas accept the Diksitiyam as an authority today.

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The Nibhandanas are not like Vedas (Sruti) or Kalpa-sutras or Smrtis. Since Nibhandanas is of recent origin it is not easy to make them acceptable to all. Diksita does not show the least trace of bias in his work and has followed the Mimamsa in determining the meaning of Vedic texts. He has brought together previous Sastras and arrived at conclusions only after resolving the contradictions in them. This is the reason why his work is considered as authority in the South. When the Smrtis differ in some matters, he takes a a broad view and suggests: "Let each individual follow the practices of his region and the tradition of his forefathers" (Desachara, Lokachara, Sishtachara, Sadachara basis).