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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

In cases where the nuptial fee has been paid, the bride can, in the event of the death of the giver of the fee, be given to the deceased’s brother, with her consent. ‘ If, after the nuptial fee has been paid for a maiden, the giver of the fee dies, she shall be given in marriage to his, brother, if she so desires’.49

This is done without giving her any choice in the matter.

'If the future husband of a maiden dies after the, troth is verbally plighted, her brother-in-law shall wed her according to the following rule’. 50 Here she has no say in the matter, and the rule prescribed corresponds to the Niyoga custom ordained for widows.

Coming, next, to the position of a wife in home and society, we find Manu adhering to the old Vedic order. ‘To be mothers were women created, and to be fathers men; religious rites, therefore, are ordained in the Veda to be performed by the husband together with the wife’. 51 He thus gives a wife an indispensable place in the religious field, which is consistent with the Vedic and Brahmanic rituals.

Manu, like his predecessors, is against giving an independent position to a woman in, society, and he declares: ‘Her father protects her in her childhood, her husband protects her in youth, and’ her sons protect her in old age; a woman is never fit for independence’. 52

This is an exact replica of Baudhayana. 53 Manu reasserts the same in the fifth book. 54

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Manu-Samhita
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