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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 DHARMA SUTRAS

Baudhayana agrees with his predecessor Gautama in his enumeration of marriages. They are eight in number; of these the first four he recognizes as legal for a Brahmana 37 and among the (four) later each succeeding one is more sinful that the preceding one; the sixth and the seventh  the Asura and Rakshasa, he recognizes as being compatible with the nature of the Kshatriyas, for power is their attribute, 38 and he makes the Gandharva and Paisacha legal to the Vaisyas because, as they subsist by such low occupations as husbandry and service, they are not particular about their wives. 39

According to the opinion of some legislators of his times the Gandharva marriage was applicable to all, as it was based on mutual affection. As the quality of the offspring is said to depend on the quality of the marriage rite, he warns people against illegal marriages by alluding to a Vedic passage. His protest against the sale of a daughter is vehement. Later on, as we shall see in the contemporary life as depicted by Kautilya, to pay Sulka was a popular and usual custom, and Baudhayana records his strong protest against it.

He declares that ‘a female who has been purchased for money is not a wife. She cannot (assist) at sacrifices offered to the gods or the manes. Kasyapa has stated that she is a slave. 40 He ordains heavy punishment for fathers who sell their daughters for a fee. ‘Those wicked men, who, lured by greed, give away a daughter for a fee, who (thus) sell themselves and commit a great crime, fall (after death) into a dreadful place of punishment and destroy their family down to the seventh (generation). Moreover they will repeatedly die and be born again. All (this) is declared (to happen), if a fee (is taken).’

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Dharma Sutras
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