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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 giver of the seed carries off the son after death in Yama’s world; therefore they guard their wives, fearing the seed of strangers. Carefully watch over the procreation of your children, lest stranger's seed be sown on your soil. In the next world the son belongs to the begetter ; an imprudent husband makes the begetting of children vain for himself.’ This eschatological notion, which can be traced even in works earlier than Apastamba, is responsible for the seclusion of women that came into force in the society of his time.

Transgressions of the law and violence are found amongst the ancient sages: ‘They committed no sin on account of the greatness of their lustre.’ ‘A mail of later times who, seeing their deeds, follows them, falls.’  'The gift or acceptance of a, child and the right to sell or buy a child are not recognised as legal’. 101

So Apastamba rules out the usages of the past and proclaims them archaic for his times, the transgressors being castigated as sinners. He further introduces a custom that has not been referred to by his predecessors: he says, ‘It is declared in the Veda that at the time of marriage a gift for the fulfilment of his wishes, should be made by the bridegroom to the father of the bride, in order to fulfill the law.’

‘Therefore he should give a hundred cows besides a chariot; that gift he should make bootless by returning it to the giver.’ ‘In reference to these marriage rites, the word " sale "which occurs in some Smrtis is only used as a metaphorical expression; for the union of the husband and wife is effected through the law’. 102 The above not only repudiates the system of giving dowry to the bridegroom, but reverses the order; for here it is for the bridegroom to give some thing before the marriage.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Dharma Sutras
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