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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 MANU-SAMHITA

But Manu disapproves of selling a daughter for any fee, as well as giving her in marriage to a man destitute of good qualities. He emphatically declares:

‘A maiden, though marriageable, should rather stay in the father’s house until death, than that he should ever give her to a man destitute of good qualities.’ 41 In another context Manu gives his opinion against taking a fee for a bride.

Among the earlier lawgivers Baudhayana is against it and declares such a wife to be unfit for religious duties. 42 Manu is emphatically against taking a fee, and this disapproval of the custom must have been gradually growing in the country before it found expression in law through Manu who says:

‘No father who knows the law must take even the smallest gratuity for his daughter; for a man who, through avarice, takes a gratuity, is a seller of his offspring’. 43 He further goes on to pronounce even the gift of a cow at the Arsha marriage as improper, and such a gift, when accepted, will amount to the sale of a daughter.

Some call the cow and the bull given at an Arsha wedding "a gratuity"; but that is wrong, since the acceptance of a fee, be it small or great, is a sale of the daughter’. 44

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Manu-Samhita
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