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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

The Madanaratna, Smrtichandrika, 40 Viramitrodaya, Mayukha,41 Sarasvativilasa 42 and Vaijayanti explain Sulka as the price paid by the bridegroom to the bride for the household utensils, beasts of burden, etc. The Viramitrodaya states further that this is not given by the bride- groom in money, but in the form of ornaments. Jimutavahana in his Dayabhaga 43 and the other writers

of the Bengal and Mithila schools explain Sulka as being the bribe given by the workmen to a woman in order that she may use her influence with her husband in their favour. We thus find that the commentators disagreed as to the meaning of the term, and this may be due to the change in the customs of the country from age to age. This was, however, not the meaning upheld by the Smrti writers. Sulka was distinctly a present from the bridegroom to the bride.

So, in the commentaries, Sulka and Stridhana meant different things. Among the later lawgivers, Katyayana gives a vivid description and definition of Stridhana. It is to be found that even in the days of Kautilya this special property of woman- known then by the name of Sulka-had special laws of inheritance, and these laws had developed to their perfection by the time of Katyayana.

Katyayana adheres to the opinions of his predecessors, but adds to them the Saudayika, which is a comprehensive term, including all gifts, before marriage or after it, from the husband or relations. It literally means 'the gift of an affectionate kin.' A woman has absolute right over this Saudayika property, whether it is movable for immovable, according to Katyayana, and so according to him Stridhana is a synonym of Saudayika.

Among the various kinds of Stridhana mentioned by the earlier lawgivers, the scope of the Adhyavahanika Stridhana formed a point of dispute among the commentaries. The difference is due to two different versions of a verse of Katyayana, one reading Piturgrihat and the other Paitrikat. The former is the version of the Mitakshara.44 and the latter of the original.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
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