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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

Women, however, do not possess any independence 4l and they are protected in all stages of their lives. He declares, ‘A woman is never fit for independence,’ 42 and quotes a passage from the Veda in support of it: ‘The Veda declares, "there fore women are considered to be destitute of strength and of a portion " ‘. 43 But Colebrooke 44 has discussed the correctness of the text and has pronounced it as confusing, and as not being original: for the manuscripts differ in their wording. It was probably inserted on an analogy of a passage of the Taittiriya Samhita 45

‘Tasmat Striyo, Nirindriya adayada api papat puinsah Upasthitaram.’ This corresponds to the eighteenth verse of ninth chapter of Manu Sanihita. Though this looks rather harsh, it has a higher philosophical justification. As woman is meant to prolong the race, she should not be left to the hard world to struggle she but should be given protection in every possible way.

‘But women who strive to do what is agree- able to their husbands’ are assured of the bliss of heaven 46, and tiny violation of this duty has to be atoned for by a penance. The punishments prescribed for the Sudras are most cruel; thus a Sudra has to be burned in a fire of straw, for such offences. 47 While describing the customs of the South. he mentions among others, a man marrying the daughter of a maternal uncle.

"We will explain those (peculiar) to the South: they are, ‘to eat in the company of an uninitiated person, to eat in the company of one’s wife, to eat stale food, to marry the daughter of a maternal uncle or of a paternal aunt' ".48 Under certain conditions a man could abandon his wife and marry again.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Dharma Sutras
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