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Women In The Sacred Laws
Kulapati's Preface The Author
Foreword Prologue
The Dharma Sutras Contemporary Evidence
The Manu - Samhita The Later Law-Books
Digest On Hindu Law Espirit Des Lois
Major Sections

CONTEMPORARY EVIDENCE

It has to be noted in this connection that Kautilya and Vatsyayana are of the same opinion about the persons who should guard a harem. Both agree that women’s apartments should be strictly guarded. But the motive in the case of Kautilya is not so much the seclusion of women as the protection of the king’s person; for in the course of the same account Kautilya enumerates several instances of queens who poisoned or abetted the murder of the king.

Whereas Vatsyayana motive in guarding the harem is simply the protection of women from the public. It is, however, worthy of note that what Vatsyayana says about Antahpura clearly refers to queens and women of the king. The construction of the house of a Nagaraka has also been described by Vatsyayana, a Nagaraka, who represents the aristocracy.

We are told that it was divided into two parts, the outer, where the master of the house attended to his business and received visitors, and the inner, which was occupied by the ladies of the house hold. The word Antahpura is not employed in connection with such women, nor is there any evidence to show that they were relegated to any kind of seclusion of a rigid type.

Elsewhere Vatsyayana mentions garden parties, and we find him describing unmarried maidens as well as married women joining in such parties. He also mentions how a virgin on her way to a garden party is sometimes snatched away from her friends and guardians for the purpose of marriage.20

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About Contemporary Evidence
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