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
womens 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 kings 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
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