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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

He compares a wife to a vessel, which contains the curds or the sacrifice 86 and enjoin that she should be: protected from all impurity, for, as no sacrificial rite can be performed with curd produced from impure milk so no sacrificial rite can be performed with her or her children, if she becomes impure. 87 Apastamba adverts to monogamy kind gives a place to woman in sacrificial rites. The status of a married woman was considered to be equivalent to that of her husband. ‘Married women must be saluted according to the respective ages of their husbands’. 88

The sanctity of the marriage vow was not to be violated, and Apastamba ordains that, if the marriage vow is, transgressed, both husband and wife certainly go to hell; 89 and in the very next verse ho gives preference to facing the punishment or reward of the next, world rather Own obtaining a son through the custom of Niyoga. 90 These two verses though they are seen side by belong to different ages the later probably is a later interpolation.

He adopts a kind attitude towards women and exempts even an adulteress from severe punishment. "If adulteresses have performed the, prescribed penance, they are to be treated as before their fault. For the connection of husband and wife takes place through the law 91. But, like most of the other lawgivers, he prescribes hard rules for Sudras and ordains capital punishment if a Sudra dares to violate the modesty of women of the higher classes.

He lays down rather strict rules for the regulation of the movements of men: 'A young man who, decked with ornaments, enters unintentionally a place where a married woman or a marriageable damsel sits, must be reprimanded’. 92  The violation of a guru’s bed was, of course, the greatest crime that could be imagined, and it had to be atoned for by the most severe punishment possible. 93 Baudhayana enumerates among others the mark of a headless. trunk with a heated iron to be impressed on his fore head and that he should be banished.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Dharma Sutras
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