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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

Hence, though laws in support of the above are to be found in Manu, they cannot be said to be from the same origin, as they contradict the views expounded by him in another context where he explicitly says: ‘where women are honored, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honored, no sacred rites yield rewards,’ and "where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers‘. 89. The former is, in all probability, contemporary with the stories of the Jatakas.

To meet the demands for a higher moral standard, the ban set on women and their evil nature is elaborately expounded in many a verse of Manu.90

We come across another verse denying women any right of sacred rites. ‘For women no sacramental rite is performed with sacred texts, thus the law is settled; women who are destitute of strength and destitute of the knowledge of Vedic texts are as impure as falsehood itself that is a fixed rule‘. 91

This view of the author contradicts the above, 92 where Manu gives a place to women in the religious field. We have already seen, in connection with the earlier law givers, that the sacraments for a boy and a girl are the same. A deviation from this rule is, however, to be found in Apastamba, where he enjoins a father to greet his daughter without any sign of endearment, but only with a verse from the sacred texts, whereas a boy has to be greeted with a prayer and a kiss. Even as late a writer as Apastamba gives a place to woman in the religious field. Hence the foregoing verse is more consistency with the spirit of a much later age than that Manu.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Manu-Samhita
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