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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

WOMEN IN THE SACRED LAWS PROLOGUE

IV. The Buddhist Law.

In Buddhist Law,1 the position of woman was different. The religion was more practical and elastic as well as highly ethical due to the eight principles of life enjoined on each man: 

  1. Right understanding; 

  2. Right mindedness; 

  3. Right speech; 

  4. Right action; 

  5. Right livelihood ;

  6. Right endeavour; 

  7. Right concentration; 

  8. Right collectedness.

In Buddhism every human being-man or woman is a free agent able to work out his own salvation independent of any supernatural agency or the medium of priests or rituals. The inequality between man and woman is wiped out. Hence woman in the Buddhist Law has a special place.

Buddhist marriage is a simple ceremony it is purely a civil contract.

The age at which a girl is allowed independent choice is twenty. If a girl contracts a marriage before this period without the consent, expressed or implicit, of her guardians or parents, it is null and void. This rule is not binding on widows and divorcees as their first marriage has already freed them from paternal control.

Polygamy is allowed in Buddhist Law. A man can marry a second time during the lifetime of the first wife; but a woman has not a similar choice.

Wives of inferior status, who can how ever inherit the Property of their husbands, are mentioned and Buddhist Law speaks of them as ‘wives and concubines’. Concubines have a legal status and can inherit property, hence illegitimacy of children is avoided.


1. The Bombay Law Reporter, Vol.38, P.14

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About Prologue
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.1
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.2
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.3
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.4
The Meaning And Scope of Dharma Pg.1
The Meaning And Scope of Dharma Pg.2
The Period Covered By Law-Books Pg.1
You are Here! The Buddhist Law Pg.1
The Buddhist Law Pg.2
Law and Religion in Hindu Culture Pg.1
Law and Religion in Hindu Culture Pg.2
Law and Religion in Hindu Culture Pg.3

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