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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

THE COMMENTARIES AND DIGESTS ON HINDU

This view of the Mitakshara has been contested on the, ground that it recognizes the binding force of the texts that disqualify women to inherit, and this general rule is evaded by the force of special rules; for the Mitakshara, though it does not quote the actual texts, recognizes the authority of the Veda and of Baudhayana.

Neither does the Mayukha quote the text, and Apararka, though acquainted with it, takes it only as an explanatory statement and not as a rule. In spite of their great reverence for Sruti and Smrti, it is to be found that the commentators explained away the old laws that were incompatible with their system. Vijnanesvara, however, recognizes the general capacity of women to inherit.

The texts 38 quoted in support of exclusion from inheritance are applicable to women as well as to men. Next to inheritance, the question that engaged the closest scrutiny of the commentators of this period is the exact meaning and scope of Stridhana or property of women. The word can be traced, as far back as Gautama, where it meant simply any property belonging to a woman. It is used in a general sense, and not to denote any species of property belonging to women. Later, in

Kautilya's time, we have seen that it came to designate a special kind of property. Then its scope did not extend beyond Sulka, or the fee given to the bride at the time of marriage. It was really a ' bride- price', over, which she bad absolute authority. It probably came into vogue at a time when the purchase of brides at a price was quite usual, though later it fell into desuetude. In Kautilya's work the Sulka was identical with Stridhana, though in the later law codes it is separated.

Among the later lawgivers Vyasa and Katyayana mention a bridegroom who went abroad after having given Sulka and Stridhana to his future wife. Among the commentators Jagannatha 39 describes Stridhana thus: -- 'The trifle which is received by a woman as the price or reward of household labour, of using household utensils, of keeping beasts of burden, of watching milch cattle, of preserving ornaments of dress, or of superintending servants, is called her "perquisite".'

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Commentaries And Digests On Hindu
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