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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 on the other hand, Manu Samhita is supposed to be the work of different authors under the designation of Manu, then these laws represent the opinion of a later author. Manu’s definitions of marriages agree accurately with those of Vasishtha, but not quite precisely with those of the earlier lawgivers.

While assigning higher merit to the sons born of the first four kinds of marriages, 13 he gives legal recognition to the sons born of the last four kinds of marriages, that are blame worthy. This contradicts his former assertion about marriages. 14 He says: 'but from the remaining (four) blamable marriages spring sons who are cruel and speakers of untruth, who hate the Veda and the sacred law.’ 15

Prof. Buhler, in his introduction to the ‘Laws of Manu.' 16 has underlined a passage in the Mahabharata 17 which refers to the authority of Manu. It is the Sakuntalopakhyanam, where King Dushyanta tries to persuade the heroine to a Gandharva marriage, which he tries to prove legal by quoting the authority of Manu. The narration runs thus:

‘Learn that among these rites, as Manu Svayambhuva has formerly declared, the first four are lawful and recommended for a Brahmana; know, O blameless one, that six, according to their order, are lawful for a Kshatriya. But the Rakshasa rite also is prescribed for Vaisya and Sudra.’ In Manu we have seen that he admits as legal six kinds of marriages for a Brahmana, and the four last for a Kshatriya.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Manu-Samhita
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