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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

It is evidently hard to determine when these inter-caste marriages first started. So far as is evident from literature, the origin of these inter-caste marriages can be traced to the Vedic times. Hence the above account of the origin of diverse castes is not consistent with the facts contained in literature. It is, probably, the interpolation of later writers.

‘Children born in the regular order of wives of the first, second, or third lower castes, became Savaras, Ambashthas, Ugras, Nishadas, Daushyantas or Parasavasa, and children born in the inverted order of wives of higher caste became Sutas, Magadhas, Ayognas, Kshattris, Vaidehakas or Chandalas. 6

He further declares: ‘those born in the inverse order (from a lower caste father and a higher caste mother) stand outside (the pale of) the sacred law'. 7 Though this is a general assertion including all castes, he adds, in the next aphorism, a special injunction for the sudras, which is superfluous and unnecessary: ‘As well as from a female of the Sudra caste’. 8

This injunction, specially for the Sudras, must either have been intended by the law- giver to give emphasis or it might be an addition of later writers. Children, and especially sons born of the first four kinds of marriage, are supposed to have the virtue of redeeming a Family from sin up to ten generations each, except in the case of the Arsha marriage which can redeem only three generations.

This virtue of redemption assigned to sons of the first four kinds of marriages is obviously intended to discourage the last four kinds of marriages. But, as Gautama also admits the sons of these marriages into society, it cannot be concluded that Gautama did not recognise them as valid according to law.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Dharma Sutras
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