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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

Now, coming to the position and treatment of a daughter at home, Manu ordains a kind and affectionate treatment to her. He says that any man should regard one’s slaves as, one’s shadow, one’s daughter as the high cast object of tenderness hence, if one is offended by any one of these, one must bear it without resentment’. 29

Speaking of the legal position of a daughter, he says: 'A son is even as oneself, such a daughter is equal to a son; how can another heir take the estate, which such an appointed daughter who is even oneself, lives?’ 30 But he disqualifies such an only daughter (Putrika) for marriage: 'But a prudent man should not marry a maiden who has no brother, nor one whose father is not known, through fear lest in the former case, she be made an appointed daughter and in the latter lest he Should commit sin’. 31

So Manu accords level recognition to a Putrika as the direct heir to the property of her father; and by disqualifying her for marriage, be admits indirectly that such a girl belongs to the family of her father and hence should not be chosen as a bride.

Manu thus adheres to the old Vedic custom of giving the place of a son to an only daughter. But soon we find him altering his opinion in the course of the next few verses and excluding a Purika from the legal recognition of inheritance and giving her place to her son.

He, thus says, "He who has no son may make his daughter in the following manner an appointed daughter, i.e., Putrika, saying to her husband ‘The child born of her womb shall perform my funeral rites.' " 32 He speaks again in support of the above, 33 at the end of the discourse and adds: ‘virtually there is no difference between a son’s son and a daughter’s son, as both their respective father and mother have originated from the body of one and the same man.’

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Manu-Samhita
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