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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 Udvahatatva, however, points to one of the instances in which they deviated from the older writers. It states that a man, who has married thrice, must, if the wives are living, marry a fourth time. It may probably be due to the, inauspicious nature of the number three that this deviation occurred. A girl having the same name as her mother is not eligible for marriage, while the daughter of the preceptor could be married. A girl could be married into a family separated by three gotra from her father.

These are clearly derivations from the older laws, and the last may have been adopted on the analogy of the law relating to cousin-marriage existing in South India especially. The younger brother can supersede elder only under certain circumstances, if the elder is an outcast, or has left the country, or has taken orders or is engaged in the practice of Yoga.

The marriageable age of the girl is fixed as in the later Smritis. By violating this law the father of the girl will incur sin analogous to that of killing a Brahmin. In this connection the author, while quoting the ancient authorities, mentions a strikingly interesting verse from the Mahabharata, which goes against all assumption of the existence or sanction of child-marriages by the earlier lawgivers.

' Trimsatvarshah shodasabdam bharyam vindeta nagnikam '.

' One of thirty should marry a bride of sixteen.' It throws light on two important points: (1) the marriageable age of a girl fixed in ancient law, and (2) the change in the meaning of the word Nagnika, which did not mean a child who did not learn to wear clothes as in later law-books. Side by side with this we have the injunction quoted by the same author from the Smrtisara: 'Marriage above seven years is lawful for all castes '.

The two passages, occurring in the same context, show the great, length of time that separated the two stages in society. An- other noteworthy change in the denotation of words is in the word Didhishu. The word can be traced even to the Rig-Veda, where it meant 'a wooer.' But here it designates an eldest daughter whose younger sister is married first. The gradual deviation and the restriction of the scope of certain other terms have been dealt with in the previous chapter.

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