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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

‘If the husband went abroad for some sacred duty, she must wait for him eight years, if he went to acquire learning or fame, six years, if he went for pleasure, three years’. 78. Though this law found in Manu is in considerable agreement with Kautilya, we find certain variations.

Disrespect of a wife for her husband is punishable by law by deserting her for three months and depriving her of her ornaments and furniture. 79 But if the, husband be a mad man, or an outcast, she is not punishable by law. 80

Remarriage of a man is allowed only under certain conditions: if the wife is barren, he can remarry after abandoning her, in the eighth year; if all her children die, in the tenth; if a woman bears only daughters, in the eleventh if she is a quarrelsome wife, ‘without delay‘. 81

Marriage was indissoluble, if it had been solemnized once before the sacred fire, and go ‘neither by sale nor by repudiation is a wife released from her husband’; 82 and Manu quotes the authority of the Vedas, declaring the oneness of a husband and wife.

Thus says the Veda, and learned Brahmanas propound this maxim likewise, "the husband is declared to be one with the wife". 83 Manu, too, propounds the rule mentioned in the Satapatha Brahmana, by which a wife has to eat after her husband: ‘Let him not eat in the company of his wife’. 84 The custom is religiously observed even to-day if many parts of India.

Long discourses, expounding the wicked nature of women and warning students and men against falling ‘victims to their snares, appear in Manu. The following appears in connection with the rules to be followed by a student : ‘Let him not perform for a wife of his teacher the offices of anointing her, assisting her in the bath, shampooing her limbs or arranging her hair’.85

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Manu-Samhita
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