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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

If, on the other hand, the wife has not received the whole of the Sulka, but only a part of it, she has to wait only three months. A wife who receives the whole of it has to wait for her husband for five months. Then she may ‘with the permission of judges, marry whomsoever she wishes.’

Kautilya recognizes the remarriage of widows and the system of Niyoga. ‘ In the cases of husbands who have gone abroad for long, who have become ascetics, or who have been dead, their wives, having no issue, shall wait for them for seven months… Then the wife may marry the brother of her husband.’ Where there are no brothers of her husband, she may marry a person belonging to the same gotra.

At the end of the chapter Kautilya limits the range of remarriage to the particular family. Thus he says, 'If a woman violates the above rule by remarrying one who is not a kinsman of her husband, those that have given her in remarriage and those who have given their consent to it shall all be liable to the punishment for elopement.’

It is doubtful if this last part can be directly from Kautilya; for the rule about there marriage of women whom their husbands abandon is similar to that of Niyoga, and he does not prescribe any punishment for the violation of the rule. Moreover, Kautilya is in substantial agreement with Vasishtha in laying down the intervals after which a widow can remarry.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About Contemporary Evidence
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