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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 Manu, however, they have gained a special importance in law; for a divorce could be obtained, if the maiden possessed any disfiguring marks. Anybody gives away a maiden possessing blemishes without declaring them, the bridegroom may annul that contract with that evil-minded giver. 2 Manu adopts the system of his predecessors in his enumeration and definition of the different kinds of marriages.

He enumerates eight kinds of marriages They are, the rite of Brahmanas Brahma; that of the gods, Daiva; that of the Rishis, Arsha; that of Prajapati, Prajapatya; that of the Asuras, Asura; that of the Gandharva, Gandharva; that of the Rakshasa, Rakshasa; and that of the Pisacha, Paisacha, 3. 'It is followed by verses declaring their validity in society, which can be taken to represent different stages in the development of legal literature. They are as follows :-

‘One may know that the first six according to the order (followed above) are lawful for a Brahmana, the four last for a Kshatriya, and the same four, excepting the Rakshasa rite, for a Vaisya and a Indra. 4 The sages state that the first four are approved in the case of a Brahmana, the Rakshasa rite in the case of a Kshatriya, 5 and the Asura marriage is that of a Vaisya and of a Sudra.’

‘But in these institutes of the sacred law three of the five last are declared to be lawful, 6 and two unlawful; the Paisacha and the Asura rites must never be used.’ For Kshatriya, those before - mentioned two rites, the Gandharva and the Rakshasa, 7 whether separate or mixed, are permitted by the sacred tradition.’

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Manu-Samhita
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