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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

The conditions are as follows :- ’Let him abandon a barren wife in the tenth year; one who bears daughters (only) in the twelfth year; one whose children all die in the fifteenth; but her who is quarrel some without delay.' 49 This dictum shows beyond doubt that monogamy was the prevailing order of society.

In his discourse on impurity caused by deaths and births he puts It ban on women and especially unmarried girls for whom no offering of funeral cakes and water is prescribed; 50 and, even when, according to some the funeral rites are performed in the case of married girls, 51 it is done to gain the goodwill of the public; for ‘women are considered to have no business with sacred texts'. 52

Baudhayana debars women from the religious field and the aim of existence of a woman was to be the mother of sons, daughters were not desirable and the extraordinary importance given to a son is evident from the fact that a wife who bore only daughters, should be abandoned. Pregnant women were honoured, and it is in Baudhayana that we first meet with the injunction that a man should honour such women. 53 But he quotes these views not as his, but as of sonic others, and it is doubtful if Baudhayana has added them or by his successors who compiled his book.

'Let him first feed his guests, next the pregnant‘ women, then the infants and the aged; 54 he thus places enceinte women foremost in the list of the inmates the home. It cannot be asserted, however, that this was the view of all the lawgivers; for Gautama does not mention it, and or the later lawgivers only Vasishtha 55 and Manu 56 refer to it.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Dharma Sutras
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