‘It is declared in the Veda, " A maiden who has
no brothers comes back to the male ancestors of her own family;
returning, she becomes their son." With reference to this matter
there is a verse to be spoken by the father when appointing his
daughter, " I shall give thee a brotherless damsel, decked with
ornaments ; the son whom she may bear shall be my son." The
fourth is the son of a re-married woman.’ (XVII. 6).
It is evident from the above that Vasishtha reverts to
the old Vedic order of giving the place of a son to an only daughter.
* She comes back to the male ancestors of her family.’ Substituting
her son in her place later modified this. This modification of later
times is embodied in the next verse in the above. But these two
verses, though standing, side by side in the above context belong, by
no means, to one age. They represent two ages.
But which of these is Vasishtha’s view is difficult
to determine. If the second view is not an interpolation of later
writers, it can be safely asserted that the above modification of the
Vedic law was the work of Vasishtha, to be consistent with his
predecessor, Baudhayana. Among the contemporary lawgivers of
Vasishtha’s time, Apastamba adheres to the same view. It is also
evident from the above that Vasishtha admits the re-marriage of women
and gives legal recognition to their sons.
But opinions differed as to the definition of the term
‘re-married.’ He gives two definitions of the term; She is called
re-married (Punarbhu) who, leaving the husband of her youth and,
having lived with others, reenters his family.’ ‘ And she is
called re-married who, leaving an impotent, out-caste, or mad husband,
or after the death of her husband, takes another lord’.123