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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

This importance of initiation, which had been developed by Apastambaís time, bad probably caused the law-giver to begin his treatise with it, as it formed the beginning of the intellectual life of a man and we find Apastamba laying down strict rules at length for such a student. It was a sin to look at a woman and sacred texts could not be uttered when a Sudra woman looked at a Brahmana.79

As the Dharma-Sutra of Apastamba formed a supplement to the Grhya-Sutra, we do not find the details of -marriage as they have been described in the Grhya Sastras. And, as womanís sphere became much restricted in society, the reference to women in the general rules laid down for man is very few. Apastamba recognises six kinds of marriages as legal ; the Brahma, Arsha, Daiva, Gandharva, Asura and Rakshasa rites.80         Of these the first three alone the Brahma, Arsha and Daiva marriages-are praiseworthy.81

He thus leaves out the Prajapatya and Paisacha kinds of marriages. The quality of the offspring depended on the quality of the marriage rite 82 but he lays certain restrictions, that a daughter shall not be given in marriage to a man belonging to the same family (Gotra) 83 nor can marriage take place between relations within six degrees on the motherís or the fatherís side. 84 We thus come to more restrictions on marriage.

Apastamba does not bar a woman from religious rites nor does he allow a man to marry again without sufficient logical grounds.Ď If he has a wife who is willing and able to perform her share of the religious duties and who bears sons, he shall not take a second. If a wife is deficient in one of these two qualities, he shall take another, but before he kindles the fires of the Agnihotra. For a wife who assists at the kindling of the fires becomes connected, with whose religious rites of which that fire kindling: forms a part.í 85

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