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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

Aryavarta lies to the east of the region which the river Saraswati disappears, to the west of the Black forest, to the north of the Paripatra Mountains, to the south of the Himalayas. According to others it lies to the south of the Himalayas and to the north of the Vindhya ranges, being limited east and west by the two oceans. Some declare the country of the Aryas to be situated between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna.

Acts productive of spiritual merit and customs, which are approved of in that country must be everywhere acknowledged as authoritative. In the absence of the rules of the revealed texts, peculiar laws of countries, castes and families, have to be foIlowed.106 He prescribes this on the strength of Manu’s authority. In these general rules he permits a Prahmana to marry three wives, a Kshatriya to marry two, a Vaisya to marry one. 107

According to some teachers the 'twice-born‘ men could marry a Sudra but without the recitation of Vedic texts. 108 But in the next verse Vasishtha records his disapproval of the custom; 109 for degradation of the family and loss of heaven after death are the consequences of such marriages. 110 He like Apastamba, recognises six kinds of marriage rites as legal, 111 but rejects some of the old names and defines them differently.

‘There are six marriage-rites, viz., that of Brahmans (Brahma), that of the gods (Daiva) that of the Rishis (Arsha), that of the Gandharvas (Gandharva), that of the Kshatriya (Kshatra) and that of men (Manusha) 112.

He further elucidates them:-

If a father, pouring out a libation of water, gives his daughter to a suitor, that is called the Brahma-rite. If  the father gives his daughter, decking her with ornaments, to an officiating priest, whilst a sacrifice is being performed, that is called the Daiva rite. And if the father gives his daughter for a cow and a bull, that is called the Arsha-arite. If a lover takes a loving female of equal caste, that is called the Gandharva rite If they forcibly abduct a damsel, destroying her relatives by strength arms, that is called the Kshatra-rite.’

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Women In The Sacred Laws
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