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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

It was on account of such lurking dangers that woman of the royal harem had to be kept under strict guard. This, no doubt, refers to the life of women of the royal families; but in Vatsyayana we get a glimpse of the life of women outside the royal families. In his chapter referring to the life of a Nagarika and of the Antahpura he gives indirectly a picture of how women were guarded even in families that were not of royal blood. Hence from the account of these two authors it appears as though strict guarding of women became quite normal in society.

Hence the verse of Manu, proclaiming that women are not guarded when they are only surrounded with servants, 59 and the last one, 60 enacting the protection of, women from evil inclinations, as otherwise it may fore bode sorrow to two families, seem to have been composed by the legislator in response to the rules of Kautilya and Vatsyayana, for guarding women. In the same context are set forth rules that are of later development, and which say that women could be guarded by engaging their minds and attention on certain duties.

‘No man can completely guard women by force; but they can be guarded by the employment of the following expedients.’

‘Let the husband employ his wife in the collection and expenditure of his wealth, in keeping everything clean, in the fulfilment of religious duties, in the preparation of his food, and in looking after the household Utensils'. 61

In connection with inheritance Manu allows remarriage of widows, and he recognizes her son as the legal heir to the property.

‘ If the widow of a man who died without leaving issue raises up to him a son by a member of the family Sagotra, she shall deliver to that son the whole property which belonged to the deceased’. 62

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Manu-Samhita
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