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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

The jester says: '…as a young girl whom all might see in her innocence, she was in an open palanquin.’ 22 The second occurs in Avinaraka, where the Princess Kunjarika goes to the garden with her attendants. Sentinels strictly guarded the garden, so that no man could enter.

But the conclusive evidence about the seclusion of women prevalent in these days is to be found in Pratimanataka, where Rama, while leaving the palace with Seeta finds his subjects eagerly waiting at the door of the palace, to have a glimpse of the royal pair.

On seeing this eager crowd around him Rama orders Seeta: ‘O Lady of Mithila, take off your veil.’ Then turning to the people he says: ‘Gaze freely on this my spouse, while your faces stream with tears. For women may be looked at without offence at sacrifice or wedding, in calamity or in the forest.’

The above refers mostly to royal families, but from the reference to the life of a Nagaraka in Vatsyayana, and from a description of common life in Abijnana Sakuntalam and Sahitya-Darpana it is clear that this was spreading beyond royal families. It seems to have been quite a usual custom for women to appear in public with in Avagunthana'.23

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About Contemporary Evidence
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