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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

Elsewhere he says, ‘ Even a Sudra ought not to take a nuptial fee, when he gives away his daughter; for he who takes a fee sells his daughter, covering the transaction by another name’. 45 He further declares emphatically that such a thing, is unheard of. 46 But, against the above argument, a verse occurs in support of the fee.

This is, in all probability, an interpolation of later writers; for it cannot consistently come from the pen of the same writer after such an emphatic declaration against even the fee of a cow at the Arsha wedding where he says ‘Even the acceptance of a bovrice pair is designated as a dowry by certain authorities—a dowry whether costly or insignificant in value constitutes the sale of a daughter’. 47

But ‘when the relatives do not appropriate for their use the gratuity given, it is not a sale; in that case the gift is only a token of respect and of kindness towards the maiden’. 48 This is evidently the plea of a certain section of the people who wanted to re-institute in society the custom of taking dowry.

It is in all probability, later than Manu’s time. Kautilya, in his Artha Sastra puts forth rules in support of accepting a, fee for a daughter. So it seems as though this antipathy to taking the fee, as reflected in Mann, is a new development that came into existence, after Kautilya’s time, i.e., it developed between the 4th century B.C. and the 1st century A.D.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Manu-Samhita
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