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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 later times his importance was transferred to the Saptapadi ceremony, as is evident from the verse: A maiden becomes one with her husband in Pinda and Gotra and is detached from the Gotra of her father on the completion of the seventh Step'.17  This change was probably at the root of the excessive importance given to the Saptapadi ceremony in the marriage ritual of later times.

Another vexata question that engaged the attention of mediaeval writers was cousin- marriage whether law sanctions marriage to the daughter of a maternal uncle or not. The earliest reference to it among the Sutrakaras, is to be found in Baudhayana he men ions the marriage of the daughter of a maternal uncle and that of the daughter of a paternal aunt as customs peculiar to the south.19

Among the lawgivers, of the north no one approves of it. They have, on the contrary, looked down upon it as a, sin, and have prescribed the penance of Chandrayana for the violation of this rule. 20 Yajnavalkya, Satatapa and other lawgivers agree with Manu in disapproving of the custom. 21

Madhava charya, in his gloss on Parasara, puts forth a long argument, adducing evidence from the Rig-Veda itself for the sanction of the custom. The passage in which such a reference occurs is the fifty-fifth verse of seventh Mandala of the Rig-Veda, where, in the course of invocation to Indra, it is said, 'as the daughter of a maternal uncle falls to the lot of his nephew, as the daughter of a father's sister falls to the lot of the grandson, so is this portion allotted to thee. 'The verse referred to by Madhava charya is as follows: -

"O Indra, come to this sacrifice, by excellent paths and take, this portion offered by us; this Vapa which has been dressed is offered as your portion like the maternal uncle's girt and father's sister's daughter." it occurs ill one of the Khilas of the Rig- Veda, and it appears in Aurecht's edition of the Rig-Veda 22 and is quoted also in Nirukta. 23 The tradition of these stanzas however is floating and uncertain. Madhava charya thus explains the verse:

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Later Law Books
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