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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 LATER LAW - BOOKS

In reply to this, it has been said that such cases have to be discarded, as they are the deeds of gods and hence not suitable for adoption by human beings. The marriage of a cousin can, however, is deemed as valid on the support of scriptures and, as it slips through the limit of consanguinity by this, support of the text of Vajasaneyi-Samhita. In the earlier law-books the only daughter of a father was technically termed a Putrika.

The lawgivers of the North, until Manu's time have stated definitely that she should inherit the property of her father; and as the legal heir has the right to offer funeral oblations, she could take the place of a son. We have also observed in this connection that the allusion in the Vedas is clearly to this effect and as the legal heir, she belonged to the family of her father. In Manu, however, we find contradictory opinions but his view was certainly in support of the above.

We have all interesting verse from a mediaeval legislator, which throws a flood of light on the subject. Laugakshi, a medieval lawgiver, says: 'The son of a Putrika should offer Pinda and water at the Sraddha ceremony of his mother by the Gotra of his maternal grandfather-so says Prajapati'. 29 The above gives information on two points: a Putrika, on marriage, does not obtain the Gotra and Pinda of her husband, i.e. she bears the same title as ho father and grandfather.

Hence her son, too, belongs to that family. It is this fear that was the basis of discarding a Putrika for marriage, and the later lawgiver avoided this difficulty by putting a side her legal right of direct in heritance and transferring it to her son. We thus find the lawgivers vehemently protesting against the marriage of a brother less maiden. Madhava charya definitely states 'A girl whose father has not distinctly expressed his opinion as to whether he will install his daughter as a Putrika or not should not be wedded'. 30

The earlier lawgivers have not stated clearly the marriageable age of a girl. It is in Kautilya that we first come across any definite age fixed for determining the majority of a girl. This was, of course, meant for state purposes, as after that age she was liable to punishment if she transgressed the law. But the marriage able age of a girl is not clearly stated anywhere in his, book. In Manu, however, we find a reference to the fixed age at which a girl and a boy were to be married. According to him a man of thirty should wed a girl of twelve, and a man of twenty-four a girl of eight. 31

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Later Law Books
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