A pupil who is full twenty years old, and knows what is becoming and
unbecoming, shall not salute a young wife of his teacher by clasping her feet.
It is the nature of women to seduce men in this (world); for that reason be never
unguarded in the company of females. 87 For women are able to lead astray in
(this) world not only a fool, but even a learned man, and (to make) him a slave of desire
and anger. One should not sit in a lonely place with ones mother, sister
or daughter for the senses are powerful and master even a learned mail .
The above, which sets forth a most austere life for a student and
guidance for men, is the outcome of the reaction of the reformatory movements like
Buddhism and Jainism. The vigorous ascetic standard of life has necessitated keeping men
away from women. Among the earliest lawgivers none sanctions such an austere life for a
Woman was not considered to have such an evil effect in
fact, the law- books and the contemporary evidence have nothingor very little to
show that such a rigid type of asceticism was then customary. This rigorous type of
asceticism can, however, be traced in the Jatakas. The stories of the Jatakas seem to
have been framed to bring to light the evil influence of women so both the institutes of
law and the popular literature of the time seem to have been striving for a common end,
and both belong to a common period.
It is quite possible that such a strong feeling against women grew up
in the priestly circles of Buddha at least, soon after the admission of nuns into
hood and the consequent disorders in the assembly of monks. It formed the basis of a set
of rigid rules warning men and student, of the snares of women.