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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

‘If after making a bargain with the father, a suitor marries a damsel purchased for money, that is called the Manusha-rite’.113 ‘We thus see that Vasishtha not only omits the Prajapatya and Paisacha kinds of marriage, but changes the name of Rakshasa into Kshatra and includes a new one in the place of Asura marriage. Two contradictory pass ages from the Veda, one supporting the purchase of a wife and the other discarding it, are referred to by the lawgiver. He says, ‘The purchase of a wife is mentioned in the following passage of the Veda. "

Therefore one hundred cows besides a chariot should be given to the father of the bride"’.‘It is stated in the following passage of the Chaturmasya, " She forsooth who has been bought by her husband commits sin" 114 These two quotations, giving contradictory views, could not possibly have emanated from the same writer. The second, in all probability, may be a later interpolation.

For the first is similar to the view upheld by Apastamba, and hence is the earlier of the two ; the latter, a later development, prohibits the custom of purchasing a wife. Further these passages are not traceable in the existing versions of the Rig or Atharva Vedas. Vasishtha is emphatic in his view as to the dependence of women: he declares: ’A women is not independent; the males are her masters.' 115 In support of his view he quotes a verse which he claims to be from the Veda, but is not found in any of the existing Vedic texts.

It has been declared in the Veda, "The fathers protect them in childhood, their husbands protect them in youth, and their sons protect their in age; a woman is have never fit for independence".’ 116 This dictum must a higher philosophical justification: as a woman is to perpetuate the race, she has to be protected in every way from the sordid struggles of the world and should not be exposed to physical and economic strain. But we can not trace the above text in the existing Rig-Veda.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Dharma Sutras
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